That Old Familiar (Sinking) Feeling

March 22, 2004

This being the fourth time I've been reluctantly out of work you'd think I'd be used to the emotional roller coaster ride that accompanies the experience. You'd think that but you'd be wrong.

In the four days since my contract was cancelled my wife and I have run the gamut of emotions from anger to despair, from tentative optimism to abject hopelessness. The first day or two was as close to emotional flat line as we could get and still be alive. We stumbled around our home doing normal things without really connecting to life. Making our favorite dish in order to be nice to ourselves was just an exercise in going through the motions. we were mechanically involved in the process, but there was no emotional attachment.

Now, four days into this latest lesson of life, there are moments of near normalcy. Which is good, but they only serve to accentuate the feelings of despair and displacement. We know that in time we will be okay again. That normalcy will return to our lives. We just know don't know when, or what form it will take.

That is the worst part, not knowing. When your life is "normal" you have some idea of what is coming. You've got plans, hopes, things in motion. Then the rug is yanked out from underneath you. You fall. You get hurt, and, after a time, you get up and dust yourself off. Now you have to start over with new plans, new hopes, putting new things in motion. All of this takes a huge amount of energy and belief in yourself. And at a time when belief in yourself is low.

All of this would be impossible to survive if not for the love and support of my partner in this life, Michele. She has her own roller coaster through this latest twist in our life, and yet she is there for me when I need her. She is my safe place to fall. And I am trying my very best to be hers, because that is what I have now. And that is a very good thing to have.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.