Two weeks ago, my job became a soft-casualty of Covid-19. I say soft because of the many, many people who came down with the virus and lost much more than me. Me, I got laid off unexpectedly. From one day to another, my executive salary disappeared. Like millions of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, losing my job in a corporate head-chopping marathon was a blow which - as a single parent who also supports elderly parents – I did not expect. Although if I get radically honest, I may have been the one asking Universe for exactly that.
Today is Sunday, two weeks from the day I was booted off my “executive producer” role. Fear and sadness have been the two scarves I’ve wrapped around my neck since that day. Fear of the finances, the next step – losing a job and healthcare in the middle of a pandemic is less than ideal. Sadness of the work family and professional identity I leave behind. For the last five years I’ve been the one woman in a team of men – striking a balance of respect and empowerment has been a journey which filled me with pride. I was not ready to divorce my 3 work husbands within a 20-minute window in that awful head-chopping day. Unlike my 2 real-life divorces, this one was not one I was prepared for.
But that’s reality. It happened. I got laid off because my job became unsustainable to the company I worked for. It was a business decision, not a personal one. I remind myself of that every time I want to throw a black-glitter pity party for myself. I learned many moons ago to not argue with reality – with what is. This strategy, together with not letting the scarves of sadness and fear choke me to death, are some of the blessings that come from my sobriety.
People think that sobriety is about not drinking. It is – but it’s a million times bigger than that.
Sobriety – the kind of empowered, badass one I’m honored to have – is about living life from your highest self. It’s about facing the shit with a raised eyebrow and the ability to stay afloat when fear wants to drag you down to places where you can’t breathe. Sobriety is the soft space of air between the punches of life and your place of reaction.
That's the magic of this moment; the beautiful ability to stop myself from diving deep in the ocean of fear. When I feel the salty waters pull me down, I curl my neck up – and, just by inertia, my body propels to the surface, seeking fresh air. At surface level, I stop being a silver-finned mermaid and become a bird. Looking up at the sun, I request to be pulled up, up, up - where I can truly see. From that point, 10,000 feel up, I get a chance to access clarity.
Update: This is a two part story. Read the rest here.