UnHealthy Work Environments: Petri Dish for Anxiety & Depression

 

It’s surreal to believe that I lived a life where “happiness” was brought to you by a little blue pill, calm was slipping a white dissoluble sweet sphere under my tongue and energy to drag myself through the day came from chugging venti skim lattes and red bulls. At the end of the day there was never any reprieve, I was still wired and dreading my tomorrows. This left me to drink a night cap along with one quarter pill of benedryl just to fall asleep and be able to do it all over again the following day. That was my life only 16 months ago!

Of course I had anxiety and depression. I only now had the realization hit me like a ton of bricks- I grew up with a paranoid schizophrenic father where walls were punched, doors broken off hinges and cops were called. To say that I had PTSD as a result of that upbringing is  pretty accurate.

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Resume Help: How Do I Get Started?

 

I know what it’s like to be in a job that you hate. It’s happened to me one too many times. I know there were many times when I had a rough week and resolved to update my resume over the weekend. When you are in that situation – you don’t quite know what is up and what is down. You can’t even begin to know how to get yourself out of this sticky situation.

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Soul Sucking Central: Modern Retelling of Plato’s the Cave

Chained to the desk. We think that the drama of the workplace and building a life around work is the norm. 
The workplace is a highly regulated synthetic environment. 
From the moment you leave your apartment- you commute to work. You are funneled through stairways and platforms to cramped trains, similar to how cows and farm animals are corralled into sorting pens, rushing from one location to another to make it in on time.
You somehow make it to your desk. The desk that you are chained to all day. You don’t get a window or access to light. You are not aware of the weather or the outside environment unless you have access to an office. You get yellow fluorescent lighting. Temperature is controlled. Too cold in the winter and freezing in the summer. They want to keep the meat fresh- keep you cold.
The policies that govern interactions are pre made by the powers that be. Life at work is controlled.  The outside world is suspended. Here you are not a parent, a sibling, a caretaker, a wife/husband/significant other/partner- here you are a worker who is here to churn out production and make money.
Everyone is hell bent on having immediate gratification. Of getting their own way. Of wielding power/control and ego’s. The ego’s are too big to be contained in the building. You have to be careful of stepping on toes and making sure feelings are not hurt. It’s high school drama times a million. 
You see these people 5 days out of the week spending 40 plus hours a week with them yet they are strangers. You do not know them. They may ask you how you are doing but do they truly listen to your answer? Strangers passing in the hallway. Interactions are for the most part superficial and built on what can you do or provide for me. Rare is a friendship- even rarer is genuineness. All under these fluorescent lights.
They pretend as if people will die if deadlines are not met. Things, acquiring stuff/money and getting things done at certain times are all that matters- people and treatment of others falls by the way side. 
As we earn more money and manage to move up in this made up world- we begin to need more stuff. Our fear of keeping this “more stuff” keeps us dependent on the system that does not have our best interest at heart. It was made to be self serving- to elevate and enrich those at the top and promote those that are able to work well within the confines and feed into the machine. 
In exchange, we get “job security,” two weeks vacation, 401K retirement plan, a transit perk, life insurance that covers death and dismemberment (and death via suicide after two years). We are lucky. We have a job. We have somewhere to be every day. We don’t have to think. We don’t have to be creative- things are planned out for us. 
What we forget is that it is all a construction. It is all made up. We are watching but the shadows on the wall cast by the fluorescent lights. We think that it is real when it is not. 
All that is real is love- our relationship with ourselves, god and others. All else (perceived grievances, material things, acquisitions, money, caste, stations in life, ego etc) is meaningless. 
You don’t realize that you have just arrived to the slaughterhouse. Dreams are sacrificed here- this is where dreams come to die. Welcome to Soul Sucking Central- will you be punching in?
I want to be able to sleep at night. I want to wake up in happiness. I want life to be a joyful experience. I want to radiate happiness and joy. I want to care about what really matters- loving/being.
Knowing that in this moment I don’t have to do anything whatsoever or at all. I am perfect. I am love and happiness embodied. 
I can miss all the deadlines in the world. I don’t exist in time. Time is a gift and an illusion. I have no where to be and nothing to do. I have nothing to lose and nothing can be threatened. This is the biggest gift of all. This is the gift of (F) unemployment.
Deep down inside of me, I know that there is a better way. We were not created to live in the zoo/circus that is called job/work.
I know that none of this is real. NONE OF THIS IS REAL. NONE OF THIS IS REAL!!!! We constructed this life and we can deconstruct it. We can opt out of the craziness. We stand in our own way. It is up to us to decide to be the hero in our own stories- will you opt to save yourself or will you continue to be chained to your desk looking at the shadows on the wall… or will you join the (F) unemployed revolution? 
P.S. Support my crazy dream of (F) UNemployment: Read more here. Donate here. 
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My Ebay Store: I’m a Hustler Baby!

I looooove shopping! I love it so much that I think it might even be an addiction. Correction: It is an addiction and I am definitely a shopaholic. During my FUNemployment period (thus far I am going on NINE MONTHS!!!) I have stopped shopping almost completely. 
During a dinner with friends, I was told that there was a crazy sale where most items in the store were marked down a whopping 75% off… I clearly went to check it out. This is like being the one and only sheep amongst wolves- totally not a good idea. I hit the mother load! I found a Missoni silk scarf, vacation attire and awesomeness. 

As I was contemplating my scarf purchase- the idea hit me that maybe I should go back and purchase more. I could do something that I enjoyed doing (shopping!!!) but I could do it with the end result of making money. Off I went and purchased a few items that you can see in my ebay store.
I also thought that I could auction some of my own “stuff” to ebay. I find it so difficult to even think of parting with my crap (beautiful valuable items). I have so many work clothes that I could easily sell but I find it outstandingly painful to part with any of it. I guess I could list things on a whim and see if it sells the first time around… Just to see what happens. 
All of these things are just not reflective of who I am and they most certainly no longer contribute to where I would like to be in the future. So I find it funny and oddly bizarre that it’s so difficult to part with things that I am no longer using. 
I can sell all of my rat race clothes… I have no need for them. I will no longer be on the hamster wheel but I find it so. very. hard. to. move. on.
Not for sale yet…
Maybe it’s reflective of that little inner voice that doubts. 
That inner voice that says- “Hey Mary, you should keep the crap because you never know… maybe one day you’ll be forced to go back. You’ll be forced to swallow all your pride and just go back with your head hung in defeat. Back to all those things that I have been fighting against for the past 9 plus months.” How do I quiet that little voice? How do i tell it to f*ck off? I have got this. 
I have got this. I’ve got this. 
I.Have.This.
I.HAVE.GOT.THIS.
THIS IS ALL MINE. 
THIS HAS MARY WRITTEN ALL OVER IT. 
I am sitting here googling how much these dresses cost on ebay, how much they go for and how much I actually paid for them. It is just madness. How did I spend so much money on this crap? It’s just crap and yet I still don’t want to get rid of it. I am feeling a bit of anxiety. Things are coming up because this is exactly where I need to go in my life- I need to get rid of the clutter. I need to liquidate the crazy and put a “For Sale” sign… 
Life is not always pretty. When you are doing the deep work things can get messy. 
Do I have power over this stuff or does it own me? Will I be tied down to this stuff, not able to move about freely in the world and travel because I’d rather have this expensive dress sitting in my closet? 
Where is my allegiance – With traveling or with the stuff? How badly do I want to be free? How badly do I want to travel? How badly…
Wow this brought up some serious shit that I was not expecting. 
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People are Crazy! How to handle difficult coworkers…

We are all on the crazy scale. Everyone is struggling with insecurities, self hate, lack of (self) love and open wounds that they have yet to heal.
I often get lots of people who speak to me due to work issues and crazy coworkers. 
I usually point out to them that the insanity they see before them is reflecting deep pain within the person that is acting sh*tty. That coworker who is a total b* and he doesn’t know how to act. He constantly yells, might punch cabinets, slam doors, embarrasses others and says inappropriate things- that guy is truly hurting. There is something in him- a pain so great- that is causing him to lash out. That person who lives at work and emails at all hours of the day -even on holidays- who just can’t seem to disconnect from the happenings of work- how sad is their life? Can they truly be plugging into family life if they are constantly on email and on call?
I don’t care how much energy you may have and how much LOVE you have for the job- if all you think about is work… How diversified is your emotional portfolio? How nuanced and intricate is the flavor of your life? 
I don’t care how passionate you are about your job or how much good you may be doing- even the most dedicated people need to unplug and try something different in order to add some variety to their life. 
In dealing with the “difficult” personality I invite you to not think of them as the other/the adversary/the enemy- think of them as your greatest teacher.

Thank them for giving you the opportunity to learn more patience. Their acting out is a call for you to infuse the situation with more love. Bite your tongue and instead tap into your non-reactive state. Remain calm no matter what they throw at you. Be professional and courteous at all times. If they overstep bounds, set boundaries and stick to them. Speaking up for yourself in a respectful manner can be a very powerful act. It can shift the relationship dynamic if done correctly. If they are overbearing and continue to disparage you and act up- report them to Human Resources.

I found this gem of a video from a farm when cleaning out my phone. When piglets fighting looks like a calm affair compared to the office:

Your crazy work situation and the piglets fighting are one and the same! It makes no sense and it feeds no one!

This too shall pass! Greet every situation with a smile! You’re alive and you get to go home away from the craziness. This moment will pass so there’s no use in going down with it- ELEVATE! Don’t be a crazy piglet! 
Baby Jesus did not suffer fools. Do not participate in the crazy- use this mantra “Not my circus! Not my monkeys!” Watch the show from the audience but don’t get dragged into the chaos. This opportunity is here to teach you great lessons- take note!

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