A Little Mercy
I took a job over the summer. At an undisclosed call-center. The job itself is simple. It provided me with flexibility to travel and do my job anywhere where Wi-Fi was available. And a quiet room. What comes along with it, is far from simple or easy. The animosity. The loneliness. The anger. It made me into a terrible person. I started having panic attacks. I would dread going to work and pick fights with my boyfriend. My general attitude was indifferent. I lost all my motivation to do anything. To do my homework, study or do things for me. I would get off work and sit there wasting away all my time on “Divorce Court” or “Live P.D.” or “Border Security.”
Before I started this job – I was happy. I loved exploring and traveling. I was always yearning to start the next big adventure or come up with a new business opportunity.
I was on a call one night – a woman was asking to speak with an office that was closed. I was having panic attacks that night. I was crying uncontrollably. But I was alone. We had no one else answering calls. I had to do it. I wiped all the tears off my face. I concentrated so hard on making my hands stop trembling. And I answered. I got all of this woman’s information, but she was so fixated on whether or not I was okay.
I was not okay. I never was okay. Going to work in fear and trying to justify to yourself that calling out “sick” every day was okay. Because, honestly, that is what I wanted to do.
I started to develop debilitating back pain. It would radiate down my back and up and down my arms. I had stress headaches. I stopped taking care of myself. I slept through 11AM classes. Classes that should be so easy to get to in the mornings. I was sleeping for maybe 3 hours if I was lucky.
And even though I knew this behavior was harmful. I kept going. I convinced myself that I would be a failure if I did not continue.
People continued to ask me on the phone if I was okay. I continued to get worse and worse.
Until I snapped. And quit.
My mother had been telling me for weeks to stop showing up. That it was harmful to my health. My professors at school saw the dramatic change in my behavior and told me the same things. I have a job in my industry. The job at the call-center was supplemental income. It means nothing. It does mean I am a failure. It does not mean I am worthless (which is how I felt working there).
I am still learning this but it is okay to tell people how you feel. It is okay to want different things. It does you no good to keep your pain inside. And it is not shameful to not be okay.
Having to listen to people tell you to kill yourself and that they wished you had cancer and died and not being able to defend yourself is not a way to live your life.
And in honor of Jamie Lawson’s 5th consecutive album “Happy Accident’s” coming out recently, here is a song that has gotten me through the last week. And teaching me that sadness is not the end of the world.
“There’s no shame in sharing how you’re feeling
There’s no gain in keeping your pain inside
Let go of your burden, one thing is certain
We all need a little mercy sometimes, oh”
Also shout out to my awesome boyfriend for all of the pep talks and not believing that I’m some terrible person.