Loss of Job, Loss of Self? – My Next Act

By Marjorie Favuzzi

Have you ever identified yourself by what you did, say your job or a role you play? The role could be mother, wife, employee, entrepreneur, or other roles that you show up as. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be limiting, and if you are to lose that role, then what? You might have poured yourself into that and identified with it so deeply that you could be set adrift.

That’s what happened to me. I was a mother, wife, daughter, and also an employee. In fact, I was very good at my job and thought that I loved it. I thought I’d be in that 60 hour-a-week, high stress job for the rest of my life – until it suddenly evaporated. I was shocked, dismayed, adrift, and anxiety rose up.  What now?

I hadn’t realized the toll that working so hard at that job had done to my life. My children and I had lost the closeness we once had. In fact, my son said that “you were so crazed that you would fly in, have 10 minutes to talk, and want me to download my life. I just didn’t feel like fitting in to your time schedule!” I had been clueless. I had been sleepwalking through life, grinding away at the job, and losing my precious children and marriage in the process.

Once that came to light, I couldn’t see myself going back to the grind. However I had identified with the job role so much that I didn’t know what to do next. I started having anxiety attacks, watching myself be frozen and not moving ahead. I had to bring in money but I didn’t want to lose myself, again, in the process. I felt stuck.

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