Redundancy – Am I Grieving?

Redundancy – Am I Grieving?

Like so many others, I have been made redundant.

I loved the job. I like to think I was good at it, but apparently not that good – or so my mind will lead me to believe. In my head I want to blame myself, I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t worth it, I am REDUNDANT.

But perhaps I’m simply a mild victim of COVID-19. No, not an extreme victim, I’m still here, I’m not ill, and thankfully I haven’t lost anyone due to the pandemic. I say mild because compared to losing your life or a person within it, this is nothing. And yet I’m so tired I can’t see the day past 8pm, I forget meals or I overeat, I am sad. Is it depression? No, I don’t think so. I think what I’m going through is more akin to grief. Grieving for a past life I was so happy in.

The difference between depression and sadness is that depression can hit the happiest, most successful people, and there is no explaining why they feel the way they do – it’s an illness. Sadness and grief are, in my opinion, normal reactions to world, and so, I’ll say I’m grieving, not depressed. It has the symptoms of depression; crippling tiredness, total disinterest and disengagement from the outside world and a sense that nothing will ever be good again.

But with grief there are also other feelings at play. The famous five; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I’m glad to say I’ve reached the final phase of these commonly recognised stages of grief over my job. I accept it. I wouldn’t say I went through these stages in this order but at some point over the last three weeks they have all been present.  

The most overwhelming feeling I think is attached to the language used to describe my situation; redundant. It’s a harsh word and it makes you question your worth, not just in your job, but I think it can translate into your whole life if you let it. You are not necessary, you are not worthy, you are redundant.

I don’t blame the company. It’s a difficult time for all businesses and I’m not angry – that phase was very short lived. But I just loved it… I was doing exactly what I enjoy doing and earning enough from it to get by. Now, I have no financial security and nowhere to go to work. Okay, so I was remote through lockdown, but I was looking forward to going back to the office and having some real, human interaction again soon. Now there is nothing. Nowhere to go, no one to talk to, no money coming in. It’s sad and it’s worrying and I know I’m not alone in this place. So many have lost their jobs and I’ll bet a lot of them feel like me; redundant.

Luckily for me I have an incredible network of warriors around me, they don’t let me stay on the floor for long and, if I tell them how I’m feeling, always work hard to ease it, to make me feel self-worth again.

Losing a job that was pretty close to perfect is a hard hit and it made me crash to the floor. I couldn’t even consider applying for other work for weeks because all my confidence had been battered out of me through one simple communication. That phone call. I was so pleasant about it but I was crying inside. They were taking away something I was proud of, something I enjoyed, not to mention the money that was keeping me afloat with rent and bills.

I’d like to let you know that in fact there is light in my tunnel. I won’t say ‘at the end of’ because I haven’t reached the end yet. I’ve thrown my CV into the ether, but actually I’ve landed a number of freelance contracts that are keeping me going, and there are more in the pipeline.

Now I’m over my grief I’m ready to get out into the world again and see what it throws at me. I’m ready to seize new opportunities and when I look back on the job I lost, I am grateful for the experience I gained there, the enjoyment I got out of it and the skills I developed. Now I’m over my grief the confidence I built in that job is slowly returning and I’m ready to move onto the next phase of my career. My career isn’t over. It was a bump in the road that tripped me up and caused me to fall. But I’m up and about again and the bruises caused by the fall will heal. Like with any injury, healing from it will take time, but I’m getting there.

So if you, like me, have been made redundant because of the pandemic please bear with the attached feelings, they will pass. It’s completely natural to feel sad and concerned when something like this happens to us. But, you never know. It could lead to greater things. And it will work out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end.

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