Please forgive the nashville video-it really has great music and the song fits nicely.
It sinks in. It’s like trying to fall asleep. It happens slow, you’re not sure when it’s going to hit. Then it all happens. All at once.
Now, moms (and mine especially), let me explain. It’s not clinically diagnosed or anything and I’m not entirely sure I would’ve been. There were a series of events that brought me to a place that I needed to wipe the slate clean and start fresh…with everything. This probably started around 3 months ago and today I’m feeling a lot better about where I am mentally. The fog is lifting and I don’t have to force smiles anymore. My energy is coming back and I’m excited about some new opportunities.
It really started, I think, when I had a job offer from a company here in Lincoln. I’d get to work with a good friend and the pay was unlike anything I’d ever been offered. The tradeoff was the shift in my work/family balance. There was a lot of after hours/on call stuff that I wasn’t completely ready to shake up. I turned the job down. The money would’ve been life changing. But it was work I’d never done and even though I knew I wouldn’t fail, I wasn’t ready to take that risk. The next week, Jack had some weird foreign substance in his eye that needed surgically removed. $2,000 later, I felt I made a mistake in turning down the job and the security that the money offered. My heart knew I made the right decision, my wallet filled me with guilt. I think that’s what kicked it off.
It wasn’t too long after that, that the unthinkable happened. Around 2:30 on the Monday after Easter, management at my work called everyone into the Board Room to tell us that our beloved Bettina had been the victim of a homicide at the hands of her husband. While that news in and of itself was tragic, it was the details that haunted my dreams. Bettina and I weren’t the best of friends, but friends we definitely were. The high fives, the smiles, her laugh, and her genuine eyes are missed and that is what has replaced the details that kept me from sleeping. The details that have forced me to nightly sleep aids, otherwise I would be up at 4:30 and be up for good.I suddenly felt it necessary to lock our doors at night and I gained a weird fear of dying in my sleep. While losing gramps was extremely hard, the news of Bettina’s death was something that none of us could deal with. While I still have some minor set backs regarding the thought of my eventually inevitable death, it’s something that I’m slowly coming to terms with.
A year ago, I ran the majority of the Lincoln Half Marathon. I signed up again this year fully expecting to beat my time. I had gained about 15 pounds since I had last ran it, but I thought I could easily work that off and whip my old time. I had got into running after new years. I got up to 6 miles. While it wasn’t the best, I was running 6 miles and thought I was on my way to a successful half. Then the two above things happened and my training fell apart. I ate myself into temporary muted happiness. I finished the half, but I only ran about 5 miles total. I walked the majority of it. While I did it for Bettina and was proud to finish for her, my frustration with letting myself go only aided into my sadness.
About a month ago, things started to move in a better direction. A great friend of mine emailed me telling me that a job had become available with his company. A company that I had been hoping to get into. The interviews went great and I landed the job. I start on Monday. While I’m going to miss my foundation family dearly, this was the right time for me to go. The direction of my department felt like it was moving to a place that didn’t fit my skill set any longer. I made so many great friends there. I worked with one of my best friends for 4 years. I’ll miss the health insurance, the 401k matching, awesome vacation leave, and knowing the ins and outs of the happenings at the university. I’ll miss our pop o’clock gathering’s at UStop and one of our Network Admin’s complaining endlessly about how bad the Huskers are, even in the middle of a great game. But I’m looking forward to being a part of a team again. I’m looking forward to learning about Scrum and OnBase. I’m excited to work with so many of my old Fiserv friends. But I’ll never forget my 4 years at NUF. Ever. They are family. Plain and simple.
Being in I.T. afforded me the luxury of putting in my notice and getting 2 weeks paid vacation. It allowed me to take my family to KC to see a real life Thomas the Train, a great night with great friends on their back deck, and a night at Great Wolf Lodge. It also allowed me and my wife to go digging for the spark that got lost in my depressiony haze by spending 4 days in Colorado camping and relaxing in posh hotels.
All of the great things that have happened in the last month brought me through the fog. Brought me back to me. I feel like myself again. And while I still have some unpleasant flashbacks, every little thing is gonna be alright. I’m going to be alright. We’re all going to be alright.
I consider myself to be so lucky. Lucky to have an awesome support system. An awesome new job and a beautiful family. A great support system made it easier for me to come out of the fog. To get back to me. I feel like I’m back home.