“You are glowing.”
“It’s so good to see that smile again.”
“You just seem like a weight has been lifted off of you.”
“I feel like I haven’t seen ‘Nora’ in three years.”
“I feel like I got my wife back.”
The last two weeks, these are just some of the phrases those closest to me have said. It’s amazing what eliminating the main source of debilitating stress and anxiety can do for your appearance and your attitude.
I haven’t been 100% forthcoming on here, and I feel too tender to be completely vulnerable now, but my job was killing me. Literally. Over the last three years I was in my last job, I developed serious anxiety and depression with weekly panic attacks, struggled with lymphopenia, developed lesions on my liver, breast tumors, pituitary tumor and gained over 50 pounds with little change to my diet. Doctors kept telling me that my health decline was being exacerbated by my stress and if I wanted to get better, I had to find a way to relax and ease my tensions. But my only real source of stress—the harassment I was experiencing at my office— only seemed to get worse with each passing day.
At my job, I witnessed and experienced some of the worst workplace bullying I’ve ever heard of. Think 1950s management—screaming, cussing, berating and belittling. Doors slamming and fists pounding on desks. I nearly called the police twice when he was berating a coworker… and when the abuser found out I told on him to HR, he began exhibiting threatening and intimidating behavior toward me, most times when he knew there would be no witnesses. I daily feared for my safety and the safety of my coworkers. Meanwhile, my boss and current HR just shrugged their shoulders and said “well, that’s just how he is…” In fact, it was suggested that I have to hold hands with him. They laughed when I told them I was scared. They laughed when I told them I had began medication and therapy for the panic attacks I had been having as a result to his intimidation. You read that right… they laughed.
It became clear that nothing was going to change. No matter how many times employees reported the behavior or how many times he was written up. On the night Brian and I decided I needed to resign and give my two week notice, a peace washed over me that I haven’t felt for years. For the first time in a long time, I went to bed on a Sunday night and slept like a baby.
Since that time, God has done some amazing things that you wouldn’t even believe unless you had witnessed them yourself. A week after giving my notice, I was offered and accepted a position I had dreamed of having for years. I got to go back to my favorite office of all time, working for the best boss I had ever had, with some of my favorite people in the world. Today, I’m celebrating my first two weeks in the position and working there has been nothing short of sheer joy. I keep telling Brian I feel like I’ve won the lottery. If you see me out and about you may witness me literally skipping around because of the joy.
If you are in a season of darkness and stress and weeping, hold on. JOY is coming. And if you need to make some major life changes in order to find JOY and PEACE, pray… then Take that leap of faith, and trust that God will carry you. Start the therapy, end the toxic relationship, quit the job. There is no badge of honor for living in misery.