It had been a week of uncontrollable crying. There were no particular triggers, well, my whole life can be viewed as a trigger, but I would just randomly burst into tears.
I noticed it happened mostly when I was in the shower or driving. Maybe in my most private or cocooned up moments.
It was 2015. A f***ed up year.
The year when hopelessness was my best friend and Beck kept singing in my ear… I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me.
What happened in 2015 then?
Well, I had left my job as a Marketing Director in a fancy French company in Dec 2014 after having been there for only 3 months.
Before that, I had been at another company for around 4 years before I had decided to take a break.
At that point, in 2013, I hadn’t realised the repercussions of my “just leaving a job”. I’d always been successful at work, and had either been headhunted or had never had any problems finding a new job. But, that was in my 20s and 30s.
Moving into my 40s, it was a whole new game.
I feel especially so for us in Marketing. All those in senior positions, around my age, are holding on to their posts like their lives depend on it. As a friend of mine once said, “I don’t need to climb the ladder. Just let me hold on to it!”
So the only roles in Marketing were more junior ones. Which even if I had decided to explore, I just couldn’t find anything. Either I was “too experienced” or “not experienced enough in digital”.
No place for a dinosaur who still believes in the 4Ps, I guess?
It didn’t matter that I had kept myself updated, learned and mastered all the latest digital / social stuff, I guess I was too old.
Not being able to find a job despite my accomplished CV filled with accolades was the direct cause of the hopelessness.
Even with all this, I can’t find a job??
I’m a loser, baby.. so went my mantra.
Also, that was the year I had a breast cancer health scare. The doctor had made it seem like I definitely had breast cancer based on just mammograms, so for over a week, I was in a state of “I’m done for”, till the biopsy showed otherwise.
It was also the year that my uncle had died rather “suddenly” from cancer.
I mean, this is my brain trying to justify or think of reasons for how low I was then, but I don’t know. Maybe it makes more sense to have trigger points to explain random bursts of crying.
But, it’s not. It was a bad, bad period. You could say that was my nadir of feeling depressed.
But I had good friends and a good hubby.
Just those two got me through it. My hubby was travelling, and for the 1st few days, when we Skyped, I refrained from sharing with him. Because I didn’t want it to be like why is there always something bad happening when he travels.
But around day 4, I did share with him.
Same with one of my best friends. I just texted and asked what he was up to that evening. It was as if he could sense something was up, he said that he was out for drinks, but he’d grab a burrito and come over to hang out with me.
Lend me your ears.
And he did. Just having him spend a couple of hours with me, I wasn’t weeping or anything, but just him being there helped. And him just listening.
Luckily, I am an extreme realist and optimist. Yes, that might sound paradoxical with feeling depressed but it’s possible. That’s why I said, “luckily”.
I was able to go through that period with a little help from my closest people and did little things here and there to try and get better.
One of the best things that I ever did, and why it remains so important to me even though I don’t particularly care to do it that much anymore, is my food and travel blog, The Diva Eats Prata.
Having something to focus on that gave me the semblance of “being at work” and doing something that is very relevant for a marketer who needs to learn and keep updated on the digital space, was exactly what I needed.
It made me feel like I was accomplishing something, that I was still relevant in my world.
A lot less like a loser.
I think at the end of the day, having something to fully focus on that makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something and that makes you still feel “relevant” is the antidote to hopelessness.
The sadness still creeps in now and then, but I deal. You might want to read about How I Deal here.
Good luck on your journey too. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how you deal. Share in the comments or contact me. Thanks!