I’m afraid my life is finally catching up with me. In mid-February I left a horrible job that had been tormenting me for years, with the last year being by far the worst. I left for a whole new life working as a locum tenens (travel doctor), where I work 2-3 weeks, then come home for 2-3 weeks. At least that was the plan. I was looking forward to a lot of travel, exploring new places, and a chance to have unlimited time with my family when I was home.
For the first months, I was as happy as I can ever remember being for the longest period of time I can remember. I felt so relieved, the unhappiness that had so long been coloring my life ebbed and I felt like a whole new person. I was elated. I enjoyed the travel. I enjoyed the chance to go on field trips with my daughter for the first time ever. I cooked for my family. I cleaned and organized the house, with more energy than I ever imagined I could have.
When I traveled I was happy too. I enjoyed the me time: I make jewelry and for the first time in years, I had unlimited time to work on my creations. And I loved wasting the time with the TV. We have never had cable, and I got hooked on Law and Order, Criminal Minds, NCIS – I just love a good psycho killer story.
I had been badly overweight for at least two years, to the point where I hated myself and avoided everyone else. I never looked in mirrors. I was miserable beyond belief. My body image has always been tied up with my well being, and I hadn’t been that fat since I had my daughter. But when I left the bad job, I suddenly developed incredible drive and will-power and managed to lose over 35 pounds. I was ecstatic! I felt so beautiful and so much like my life was on the right track.
But reality is now setting in. For the past weekend, I was alone in the hotel room for Memorial Day weekend, which also happened to be my birthday. I was really lonely. I realized that I’ve seen all the crime shows over and over again. I tried to go shopping, but this is a little tiny town and there is really nothing to do. It was stormy. It rained.
I also am beginning to have regrets about this job that I am working. I had visions of traveling all over the country, but somehow I fell into this job as a regular stop since they have recurring needs – it’s an oil boom town and they have a chronic need for health care workers. So instead of traveling the country, I come back and back and back to this same place. And the people are really nice, but this is beginning to feel like a regular job. No more new people, no new locations. And I’m getting paid a quarter of what I was paid at the bad old job. My call is not as bad as it used to be, but this town is even smaller and more backward than the one I thought I was escaping. There are 18,000 people here – that’s it. The nearest town of any size is 98 miles away.
So suddenly I feel very sad. I am not making nearly the money I could. I am stuck in a tiny little town. Since it was (I thought) going to be just a brief first job, I accepted a pretty low pay rate since I was inexperienced. I now know I could have asked for more, but it’s too late. I’m locked into this place without ability to ask for a raise. And they want me back again and again and again.
I want to try somewhere else. I don’t want to be locked in here. I’m afraid to give up this job though, because I’m afraid I won’t find another steady one that lets me work 2-3 weeks then come home for a couple weeks. So I’m sad. I’m depressed. I can’t go on any more of my beloved shopping sprees because I’m making so much less money, and because my husband has now taken over all my bank accounts and credit cards. So now he always know when I have spent money and on what. I feel completely, miserably trapped. Not as bad as I was at the old job, yet, but I’m afraid I can feel myself spiralling down. I’m starting to lose my will to diet and I’m terrified that I will gain the weight back. I can’t go through that self-hatred again. And I feel so lonely, I’m realizing that the beauty of my weight loss is hollow because after all, I don’t see anyone I care to impress. I just slog away in this tiny town.
I hope I can get out of this funk I’m in. I can’t stand it if the darkness and sadness come back. Please tell me this is just temporary. I need to go to Walmart for more yogurt and string cheese, but I am too tired to fight the Walmart crowds. I just want to curl up on the bed, or in it. I’m beginning to feel the need to eat and sleep to escape again, and I’m terrified those things will take over.
I can only pray I’ll be better tomorrow. Please let me be better tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day. Right?