In the Summer of 2017 (more specifically, December 2017- a truly magical time in my life), my manager told me about how her manager had spoken to them about how the business set goals for each quarter. Her manager had remarked that it was such a great idea and he thought that the staff should do that too.

I would later go on to practice that method for years, dividing the year into quarters and then setting goals (personal, professional, financial and study goals) throughout the year.

For 2022, I didn’t have any goals. Due to a professional setback, I had decided to step away from my “work, work, work, study, study, study” routine and focus on my health.

Atleast the idea was that for the first quarter, I would focus on my health. But things did not go as expected.

Sure I lost 3KG and the only studying I did was one Hubspot course in Email Marketing. But besides from that my source of stress was still work. Specifically money.

The company that my dad worked at was placed on short-time, my dad was having issues with his heart and I was supposed to still be maintaining a healthy lifestyle because I had graduated from being insulin-resistant to being pre-diabetic (Go me! I guess there was one thing I was excelling at. Food. I was excelling at food). If you’ve been here for a while, you might remember that this is almost exactly like The Horrors of 2019

And then… the department manager told me these very simple words that caused me to melt down. “We’re working on your contract.”

So…some context. In December 2021, the internship contracts were supposed to end but because of some issues the interns were not offered permanent roles. They were given new titles which would be looked at in March. So it should have been an exciting time. How long have I been working and waiting for a role in Marketing? FOREVER! Sure, the manager telling me that it was close to becoming a reality made me slightly ill but that was fine, right? Everyone gets a little nervous.

Except I went home and got violently ill. I threw up everything I ate that day (and was morbidly fascinated by the fact that omg I can projectile vomit wow. Also why didn’t the carrots from my lunch digest completely? Is this why the doctors kept pushing me to eat veggies? Did they come out of me like that always and I just didn’t know? Honestly you would be surprised at the things one thinks of when one is bent over a sink trying to hold oneself upright and not fall face-first into undigested carrots)

I was mildly concerned but was still not going to pursue the issue. Until I realized the next day, I had an abscess the size of a golf ball on my arm. I was horrified. What was going on?

Again, I ignored it. I, champion of the “Listen to Your Body” squad ignored my body. My psoriasis flared up. I started having trouble sleeping. And then the department manager asked me my salary. I gave it to her. But it was then that I knew. I couldn’t do this. My entire body protested at the thought. My stomach gave a lurch that made me wonder if I was going to throw up at work and if so, how would I explain it? No, I’m sorry I just get sick whenever you mention my future job?

Desperate for answers, I went externally. This is a very important life lesson. Have a support system that 1) knows you personally 2) knows you professionally and 3) is calm, rational and non-judging.

I knew that I didn’t want to raise any eyebrows so I sat down with my former manager and explained my issues. She agreed that it might not be a good idea for me to run towards the thing that was making me sick.

I decided to get a second opinion from someone who I didn’t know as well but who seemed level-headed and of sound advice. All this confirmed was what I already knew.

I was devastated and I cried non-stop. I didn’t work for three years to behave like this. What was wrong with me???

But that day, I slept throughout the night without an issue, the abscess had deceased significantly by the next morning and my psoriasis flare-up was paler. I felt lighter and happier. I hated it but I had made the right choice.

At some point I need to figure out what it is I need to do and it terrifies me. I feel like there’s a big gaping hole where my future should be. But I also feel like I need to take the time to heal my mental health. There’s been a lot of things going on behind the scenes that’s been affecting me too so it is important to me that I take the time needed to process.

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