November 22, 2018, was one of the most difficult days of my life. I lost my job for the first time. You might be wondering why I’m starting this blogging venture on such an unhappy note; the truth is, nobody really talks about what a sudden and drastic change can do to an individual.
So, let me talk…
The day I lost my job, I had my first full-blown panic attack. As someone who has only ever experienced minor anxiety, I was not prepared for this. It felt like the closest I had ever come to death. Yes, that does sound dramatic, but my body was on fire, my head was pounding, I was dizzy, and I felt like I was going to vomit, all at once. By some miracle, I was able to go out with friends later that night, even though the feelings had not entirely dissipated. I was lucky to be able to force myself out of the dark, but I still worry that I won’t always be able to do that.
It took me almost a week to leave the house. Losing a job almost feels like losing a loved one. In a way, I lost several. I know I will still see many of my coworkers, but it will be far less than seeing them on an every other day basis. I also lost my independence. This was a very hard pill for me to swallow, and I’m still struggling with it.
As someone with a disability, I receive financial aid from ODSP, or Ontario Disability Support Program. when I was employed, I was practically supporting myself. It was a very vulnerable moment having to tell them that I lost my job. Now, I feel like I’m returning to the very unflattering stereotype of someone who is wasting your tax dollars.
I do not return by choice
I know that one day this experience will be just a blip on the radar, but the day has not yet come. In the meantime, I will continue to write here and keep myself busy.