The last couple of weeks I've been working as a temp in a plastics factory not far from my house. This is not the factory I worked at and was laid off from in June. This is a whole different place, and my hours have gone from second shift (3pm to 11pm) to third shift (11pm to 7am). My days have changed from Monday through Friday to Tuesday through Saturday.
I seem to be adjusting to the job and the schedule, but more than that, I'm trying to adjust to the new outlook. I didn't realize how much my identity and my self-esteem was tied to my job until it was gone. I need the discipline of having a regular job schedule and it helps me put the rest of my life into perspective and on a schedule as well. Sure, in a few months I might complain I need a day off or two, but for now, I am so happy to finally be working, earning a paycheck, and feeling like I accomplish something at the end of each shift. It's a gift I am so grateful to have.
My new outlook has also spilled over to the rest of my life. This new work environment has brought out the best in me. Everyone I've worked with has been kind, encouraging, helpful, and a lot of fun to work with. It reminds me of my old job when I loved to go to work there, before everything got so far away from treating the employees like they mattered.
It's also brought me to a turning point. I've been carrying around a lot of secrets. Things I've done that I'm ashamed to admit I've done. Nothing criminal, but things that have hurt my family and my friends. I've had to make some painful decisions lately. Decisions that have spurred me on to tell the truth and be a better person, a better mother, a better life partner and a better employee and a better writer.
I don't want any sympathy, I don't deserve it, but I do want those who love me and who are scratching their heads wondering, "What the hell was she thinking?!" I was not in my right mind, obviously, when I did some of the things I did. Just to say, "I'm sorry" will not make better what I did, but I am truly sorry, and will do everything in my power to make things right. I expect I will lose family members, friends, and the love and respect of some of those around me, and that will hurt, but nothing will come close to the pain I have been carrying around for a long time now.
Wrong is wrong, no matter what your problem is, whether it's alcohol, drugs, gambling, food addictions or severe depression. The "stinking thinking" gets you believing what you're doing is ok, and that you'll make it up to them later.
The good news is, I will be getting help for my severe depression, real help, not just a pill to take everyday. What I have is more than just a chemical imbalance. I have some serious issues I've been procrastinating, spending money that doesn't belong to me, lying like a rug, and avoiding anything that I don't want to do. I've been sneaky, and angry, and I've let things get to the point of being overwhelming and when I had backed myself into a corner, I had to decide if I was going to continue living like this or end it all. I decided I couldn't take the easy way out.
When I get to the point of being better, I will be working to help those who feel they have no hope, who are spending way too much time on the "dark side" feeling there is only one way out. Please, as hard as it may be, get help, talk to someone, anyone. You don't have to live in the dark, the sun is on the other side.
And so is forgiveness.
Update on Alex: He's currently in Rio de Janero, Brazil. Sounds like he's having a great time!