Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Like second-hand smoke

I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m so emotionally depleted. Yes, Kent and I are working through some circumstances that are difficult, and yes, my son has been deployed, and yes there are other things going on that I haven’t mentioned like a friend’s divorce, and so on. But those don’t fully account for the utterly squeezed-flat-wrung-out-beyond-dry place I’m in.

Then I realized that since becoming the manager of a large team at work, my team has gone through a lot of personal losses of their own. In not quite two years’ time:
  • One person has lost a father and uncle to disease, a best friend to murder, has another close relative in hospice and the remaining parent faces major surgery next week.
  • Three others lost a parent; two were sudden deaths and the other one had a long, lingering illness.
  • Another lost a parent and a sister-in-law, all within the last three months.
  • Another lost a sibling right before Christmas.
  • Another faced major health issues and had complicated surgery and a lengthy recovery.
  • Another had emergency surgery.
  • Another had to handle major health issues with two different in-laws.
  • And we’ve had the good stress too—a marriage, a baby, another baby on the way.
These losses (and the happy events too) aren’t mine. But they affect me because these people are on my team. I’m getting way too experienced at expressing sympathy and condolences and either ordering flowers on the company’s behalf or arranging a charitable donation in someone’s memory.

When I finally put all this together last night, I sort of sat there stunned. It’s been a lot of mostly bad news and events. No wonder I am so flat. I guess it’s more like second hand smoke than I’d ever realized.

Speaking of smoke, if you have never listened to k.d. lang’s album Drag, you are missing out. Most of the songs tie back to smoking in some way. Here’s my favorite from that album.


Paula said...

Wow - this is another reason I miss our times together! Two months ago I was really struggling​ with why my emotions were surfacing at odd moments and why I was finding myself unmotivated for just about everything. I realized that "something" had been going on for some time, I just didn't know what - until I created a timeline of significant events since 2005. It was eye opening, humbling and a huge relief. Basically since 2005, a major, significant and/or life changing event every year. Yes some of those were positive but the majority we're really difficult. I refer to the timeline every so often to refocus myself or remember my blessings. I shared it with Frank - he really didn't understand why I created the timeline or how it was helpful - it was just "looking for an excuse or justification" of feelings" (he claims not to have any - well, only 2 but no more) thanks for sharing - you once again reached out and provided some affirmation. Love you and miss you!

Anonymous said...

Wow -- that IS a lot.