Yesterday was a shite day. To be honest, I’ve been having a lot of shite days recently. Since I was made redundant 10 months ago, the proportion of shite days has increased substantially. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like there’s some kind of disaster every day, it’s just that I feel like I’m teetering on the spine of a roof and it only takes a tiny bit of wind to make me lose my balance.
I really didn’t realize just how much my self-worth was tied up with my work. When I was working full-time I knew my place, I knew my purpose, I felt I was contributing. Now I just feel…well, kind of lost. And sad. And sorry for myself. So very very sorry for myself. Some days I feel so sorry for myself I don’t even get out of bed. (Haven’t said that one outloud before).
And then of course there’s the guilt. Feeling so miserable makes me want to hide away. I feel I don’t really have anything to say to people so am more socially uncomfortable than I have ever been before. So I’m not keeping in touch with friends. And I feel guilty about that. The only person I am good at keeping in touch with at the moment is my long-suffering boyfriend, who therefore bears the brunt of all of this. He’s the one who has to listen to me and watch me disolve into tears at almost any little thing that goes wrong. So I feel guilty about that. Almost every day I feel I’ve failed myself in terms of changing my situation, that I haven’t e-mailed or called enough people or made enough of an effort to find a new opportunity. So I feel guilty about that.
So it’s tough. People are very good, they remind me that this isn’t forever, and it will all turn around, and there is a part of me that knows that, but sometimes that part gets drowned out by all the guilt and self pity. Also, I know that really I’m lucky, with no mortgage or children to worry about, things could be so much worse. But that fact can get drowned out as well. I’m also aware of the fact that the only person who is going to make my situation better is me. But that seems to be the fact that is buried deepest beneath my personal tragedy on days when things aren’t good. On the shite days.
Part of me wants to delete all this, I mean it’s kind of shameful, and not very good PR. But the fact is, I’m not the only person going through this. With unemployment at 13.4%, there are lots of us in the same position, so I’m going to be honest and leave it here. I’m having a lot of shite days. But I’m not the only one. And deep down, I know it’s not forever.
A couple of years ago I got an irate text message from a listener who was furious with me for having mentioned being away two weekends in a row. They were unemployed and felt I was boasting about my fun. At the time I didn’t understand it; my parents had paid for my flights for one of the weekends as a birthday present, and the other weekend was in Ireland with loads of us packed into a house. They hadn’t been expensive holidays so what was this person so annoyed about? Now I know. Now I understand how when there is literally NO spare money, hearing about someone else’s fun can be hard to take. Obviously people are entitled to live their lives, and enjoy their earnings, but I understand now how that listener may have felt. If you’re reading this – I get ya.