It happens over a long period of time, so that you don’t really notice it happening- the numbness. You build walls to protect yourself- not intentionally of course- but you tell yourself that it’s what you need to do provide for your family- you need to do this thing (insert the job that’s crushing your soul here), because it’s what you do. And the bills need to be paid. So you get up and go to work, and endure it. And you earn some money, which when you look at your pay cheque means you can tell yourself that it’s worth it.
But each day that you go, you lose a little more of yourself. It’s the sacrifice that’s required to keep the show on the road. I’m guessing that some of the people that read this will recognise it and it will trigger a pang. Well that’s your soul reminding you that you weren’t meant for this. You were meant for something else. Something bigger and altogether better. The numbness is the emotional scar tissue that develops when your constantly tell yourself that you can’t have what you want, that all there is is (insert the job that’s crushing your soul). You feel disconnected from everyone around you. Oh you go through the motions, you smile at the appropriate places, you appear to be a fully functioning adult, but inside you feel that no-one really knows you anymore.
In my case, people looked at me and thought I had a good career, a nice life, a lovely family, what could I possibly have to be unhappy about? So I stopped trying to talk to people about it. The job I did, added no value to the world, at least that’s how I saw it. No-one benefitted from it, not in any meaningful way. The work was dull, and I’d console myself that at least my colleagues were nice.
When I lost my job, after the initial shock, I couldn’t face trying to find more work doing the same thing. I needed a break to consider what I want from life. So the weeks have ticked by and slowly I have become aware that I am becoming much more sensitive to the way I feel, and that I am developing a very real aversion to the heavy energy that comes when I am trying to do things I don’t like or think I’m not very good at. There has been quite a lot going on in the background over the last few days which has caused a lot of emotion to surface.
But the moment I knew that I was starting to heal was two days ago. I was suddenly overwhelmed by a huge wave of emotion which came from nowhere. All the grief, the frustration and sadness I have been feeling, but suppressing, had to come out. And I cried real tears, and didn’t understand why. Afterwards, I realised what a significant moment it was. It’s a hugely important milestone. Because I am learning to listen to myself again, to allow myself to feel. And I’m ok with it.