“The bomb blasted at work! At home early — stress — union…It’s the turning point!”
A year ago it happened what brought me to take a radical, drastic and, for many people, irresponsible decision: to leave my job to get out from that cage I was dying in, and take my life back!
Things weren’t going well for long time already, actually were going pretty bad: I was sleeping shortly and badly because of nightmares, and during the nights I was waking up all the time thinking about work and stressing tasks to do; even during weekends or evenings with my family my mood could rapidly flip because, don’t know why, my mind suddenly could “bring me back” to my office, to my asshole colleague, to my hated boss. Even in the mornings, while walking to work, I could not bear my situation anymore, could not stand to face another day in that place, and my mind was already working out possible arguments, problems, raising already my stress and nervous above the danger point. I was a triggered bomb and what then happened was unavoidable.
Last year the 7th of December was a Wednesday and, even if I had to work just until Thursday (every Friday I was having my paternity-leave) I could not suffer another day at work and, as usual, I was falling down toward the lowest stages of my unhappiness. The good vibes of the long weekend with Patty and Lara was forgotten already by Monday after only few hours at my desk, and it was not helpful at all to think I had to resist just another 16 hours to get out from there: my work was my prison, my oppression, my everlasting anxiety. And I was not capable to knock off from work. Ever.
I realise now that what actually happened, at the end, was only an excuse, a chance I created my self because I already decided it was time to turn my life (even if I didn’t want to admit it yet): a new stupid quarrel with my colleague which rapidly escalate until we start to scream to each other. But this time something different happens because I get a panic attack: I have difficult to breathe, my heart is beating fast, I’m shaking, I have a strong pain on my chest. I go out to get some fresh air and try to calm down, but I still feel suffocating, sweating and feeling cold at the same time, and I’m scared because it seems as the panic lasts forever. After a while I decide to go to my boss, explain what happened, and take the rest of the day off: he says nothing, does nothing, actually he doesn’t really care. And I deeply feel I have to get away from the damned place, from that oppressive situation, and as I shut the door behind me I understand I have to do it once for all. Yeah, because by that time it was not anymore just about stupid problems or arguments at work: no, the situation was completely different because I realised it was not me who decide about my life, and so about my work, but it was the opposite! And I didn’t feel only I was wasting my time doing something I didn’t like (but it’s what you have to do to live, they tell you, and it’s completely normal…), I felt like I was giving everything to my work, too much. My job was taking all my time, my energies, my lust for life, my soul. My job was steering my moods and changing the colours of my days. My job was making me unhappy and frustrated, leaving me unable to enjoy my little daughter and my family because my mind, and I don’t know why, was always driving me back to the reality of my life — my stress, dissatisfaction, anxiety — deleting everything else (How many evenings spent talking about work, how many quarrels with Patty only because of me being nervous…). My colleagues and my clients was disturbing my nights and dreams, and I was waking up already angry and stressed out. My boss was pushing me down towards my complete dissatisfaction and my fears, playing with my bonus (which he erased time to time knowing I needed that job anyway, being at that moment the only one supporting my family), not paying attentions to my tries to explain the situation and my problems, and instead giving me more and more task (for the same reasons I mentioned before). My job, and my job only, was ruling my thoughts and feelings and now it was even affecting and spoiling my health.
While going back home, still troubled, I tried to find the answers to all those questions I avoided for a long time: was this the life I really wanted? Was this the life I wanted to give to my daughter? Was it really worth to prefer the economic safety for my family, and so for my daughter future, even if this was spoiling my moods and my happiness, giving me everlasting stress, anxiety, depression and now even making me sick? Was it really normal I should accept that situation (any job is the same, as they always being telling me…), putting my head down and keep going? What could I get for my life and what could I give to my beloved ones in that situation? Life is one and is mine: shouldn’t be me who decide what to make out of it?
What to do was than clear (it has been clear for a long time but “luckily” I reached the bottom and I didn’t have any other way out…), and I realised I had to get my life back, I had to find my own way to be happy, serene, satisfied. I had to do it for myself, I had to do it for my family.
Some others thing happened those days to strength my decision. As suggested by the union I went to the doctor which diagnosed me with the depression and explained how my mind was working in that situation: usually the brain is capable to get positive and negative inputs out of any situation, and so it answer back with positive and negative outputs; because of my stress and depression, my mind was receiving just negative inputs, answering back with even more negativity. Basically I was unable to see and perceive anything positive in my life, at work as in my privacy: everything was stressing me out, everything was a sorrow to me. Finding out I was depressed was somehow a relief, I have to admit it, at least I knew I was not going crazy and there was an explanation why my brain was working so badly. But then the doctor got rid of me just giving me a few days of sick-leave to avoid problems with the authorities: I was sick but I could not rest and have a good treatment because I had to go back to the working life.
Once again someone else was deciding for me and for my life: Who really cared about me and my health? For sure not my boss who, during my sick leave, strangely started to contact me more often, by sms or emails, not to ask about me, but only about working tasks and bureaucratic issues which however kept me under pressure. Did I really want to let him rule my life?
The journey it has been long and difficult and from the 7th of December 2016 it took long time before I could let that place and gain my freedom back. But I love to remember that day as a bless, the turning point, the push, the kick in the ass I needed to get back myself and my life.
After a year I’m now the owner of my life, I decide about my work and my time. After a year I’m a total different person, a better one, even if it has been difficult to fight the stress and depression and recover completely. After a year I’m now happy and serene, as man and as father, and I have so much to give to my daughter and my family, so much more than just the salary at the end of the month: that something which is worth more than anything else. After a year I’m working on my project inerro.land — expected to launch at the beginning of 2018 – following my dreams and my passions, doing what I like to do. After a year I’m building my own way, step by step, and I’m finally sure I’m walking towards the right direction. And trust me, it’s such a great feeling…