This is Part II of a little mini series where I try to share with you how I came from trying to fulfill everyone’s expectations to setting my own rules and started to not only breathe but live. You can read Part I here.
So I didn’t like the apprenticeship that came with the dual study programme, neither did I like the study programme, but I felt that two years into the programme it would be silly to quit, also I am not a quitter and pretty stubborn. I had finally found a nice apartment, I saw the ad as I already had given up hope to find something reasonably priced in the area I wanted to move to, and sealed the deal only two hours after I had seen the apartment and had a quick chat with my mum 😉
Renovation was kind of stressful and I broke down crying on the first day, because I couldn’t start immediately as the contractors hadn’t finished putting in the new energy-efficient windows yet. Mind you I was still balancing work and studies. A dear friend of mine, with whom I originally wanted to move in together, until she crushed my dreams saying that she was going away for half a year to tutor at a Chinese university, helped me a lot during the renovation, as she is very handy and had moved a lot with her parents so she knows how to fix and build things. I am not a person with two-left hands either, but doing all the stuff needed to get an apartment nice for the first time was a bit scary at parts.
Anyways I moved in at the middle of October, had my house-warming party shortly before Christmas, all my guest still had to sit on the floor, but there was enough Feuerzangenbowle (This is a recipe video and if you would like to see why I like this drink so much, skip to the fun part here) to keep everyone happy.
I am all alone
By this time I was settling in at my new fulltime position, still going to the evening classes and just trying to get through the programme. But I felt very lonely, the handy friend had left me for China , I didn’t get along well with the colleagues my age and most of them lived elsewhere anyhow.
From my old circle of friends from high school there was no one left in my home town, which was only a 40 min train ride away so that I basically kept all to myself in my new apartment.
Half a year later I recognised that humans are a herd animals, me not being an exception, and that I had to make some human connections outside of office hours to make me stop feeling so miserable. I found a great StudiVZ group (german pendant to Facebook, but it ceased to exist after FB took off here as well) and made one lovely friend who went to the normal university in the town and therefore my circle of friends kinda grew from there.
But I had to pay a lot for that revelation, both literally and figuratively as I went to see a therapist, after it became incredibly hard for me to get out of bed and go to work. Sometimes I just came in about two hours later then usually but on the worst days I couldn’t make it out of bed and called in sick pretending to have a heavy migraine. Then I just lay in bed often two days in a row and did absolutely nothing or binge watched some stupid TV series.
I needed help and I needed it now
This part of the series is called the break-down, because at one point I figured out that I needed help, professional help. If I remember correctly it was when my boss called me into his office to offer all the help he and the company’s health department could give me to defeat my migraines. I had used my migraines as an excuse whenever I just couldn’t make it out of bed and go to work. I felt very bad for having lied to him all the time and I therefore called the therapist/coach a friend had recommended me. Writing this down seems silly, because I didn’t just call this woman. If I remember correctly it was in April, there was still snow on the sidewalk and the sun shone as if it was summer. When I left work this day I was able to walk 3 minutes until the tears started flowing down my cheek. It was then that I realized that I needed help and that I couldn’t continue to save this one on my own. I called the therapist/coach and we immediately made an appointment for later in the week.
I write therapist/coach not to belittle her or diminish my problems, but that’s what she is. She is a job development coach, helping people realize what they want to do and figuring out the steps to get there and she completed a therapy degree so that she has a profound background.
I will explain how she helped me and what my next steps were in the third part coming next week.
picture courtesy of The Medicine Owl