So, here we are in the last week of a year that, to put it mildly, was a total catastrophe for me and a countless number of others. I’ve had rough years before, but this one totally knocked me on my ass. And it started out so well, too. January and February were looking pretty nice. I was living in Fort Collins, Colorado, had a place of my own, finally was able to save up enough money to buy a car, and started being able to make friends outside of work. It all came to a crashing halt on February 21st when I was let go from my job. It’s a memory that has continued to haunt me over the last few months, because I didn’t even remotely see it coming, and it devastated my life in ways that I’m still feeling now. I had a full time job with benefits, cool perks like traveling around the country, and sometimes in a private jet - that was really incredible.
As I sit here right now, I’m going to be getting ready, soon, to go to a temporary contract job that doesn’t pay much, but it’s the first actual job I’ve had since that day. The days that have passed since then have seen us all trying to stay careful during a contagious virus, and so while I’m grateful to have been able to move back in with my parents, I felt like I was falling off of a cliff in the worst possible time, and under circumstances that led me to my very first major anxiety attack. I may put another entry together for that harrowing moment, but suffice to say, it has taken me almost the entire year just to put myself back together. I honestly did not know how I was going to get through losing one of the best jobs I’d had in recent memory, and in the week before I flew back to Austin, I was suffering from major depression and must’ve drank 3-4 bottles of whiskey. People were worried about me, and I was so alone and terrified that my mom was going to send the police over for a wellness check.
A week after I got back to Austin, which coincided with my dad’s birthday, the country shut down 10 days after and I was essentially stuck and couldn’t get back to my place in Fort Collins. I wasn’t about to fly back at the beginning stages of the pandemic, and my options were limited. I wasn’t going to rent a car to drive back and spend the months during the lockdown by myself, because I would’ve ended up back in that same mental mind game, wondering what I was going to do next. So, it was a good thing I was here with family. But I still had to pay rent on my apartment to avoid getting evicted. I already was looking at having to break my lease, since in Colorado and with the apartment management company, they weren’t able to budge one bit. By the time I moved back at the end of June, I would eventually spend a little over $11,000 in moving, rent, lease break fees and the loss of my deposit. So, everything I’d worked and saved for during my time with the company would be gone in a matter of months. My savings nearly drained, I had no choice but to close my 401k and hopefully get through it all.
I need to wrap this entry up so I can get ready to go soon, but I’ll end with this. I know I wasn’t affected nearly as bad as others, nor did I die from a deadly disease or by my own hand...both of which were genuine possibilities. I’ve managed to get through a lot of things in life that I didn’t expect that I’d make it through, and after 10 months of holding my breath, it looks like things are finally starting to come back together for me, in more ways than just work.
I sincerely hope that 2021 will bring a much different path forward than this year did. I know we could all use a breather.
Ya’ll be safe out there for this final week of 2020. My love and best wishes to you and yours.
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