This is the hardest blog post I’ve ever written. Some will say it’s too personal, and they’re probably right. My regular readers know this blog is a diary of sorts, I generally write about whatever is top of mind and damn the consequences. Others may feel sorry for me. A few might even understand, having gone through the same situation. The dreaded D word has hit my home like a wrecking ball.
Funny how these things happen slowly over time, yet all at once. I didn’t see this coming six months ago, yet looking back it’s a wonder my marriage lasted as long as it did. Years of dysfunction have taken their toll and this is the result. I wear a lot of hats in my life – mom, daughter, (former) wife, friend, RECRUITER. My job is incredibly important to me and even more so now that I’m the sole provider for my household – not to mention rising legal costs. Recruiting can be a 24/7 job if you let it. Catching candidates after hours, early morning east coast recruit calls, churning out administrative reports and B work that can be done on a Friday night after the kids go to bed – time management was never my greatest strength. Plus just needing to be “on” all the time – the happy, positive face of a great company, ready to make shit happen. I’ve been kicking ass and taking names for so long I could do it in my sleep.
Except now I don’t sleep.
This is without a doubt the most difficult thing I’ve gone through – ever. I’ve been divorced before and I thought I knew ugly. I was wrong. The issues we’re dealing with I wouldn’t wish on anyone, especially when kids are involved. But the work keeps coming. I still have deadlines, professional commitments, and a façade to keep up. The smokescreen I hide behind that says “I’m ok! I’ve got this!” while my to-do list makes me weep. I have to be strong for my kids and smile in the face of character assassination and wrong-headed accusations. I have to swallow my pride and recognize that I can’t control how other people view me or my choices. I’m so blessed to have a very small group of core friends and family that know “the truth” and back me up in every way. I’ll never be able to thank you enough – you know who you are. I’ve got your back too.
Sometimes I pick myself up, slap myself around a little, and remind myself I’m not the only one to face this. And that’s why I wrote this post. I figured I can’t be the only one who needs a reminder that I’m NOT the only one. Our candidates, clients, co-workers all have problems. Some difficulties are HUGE – divorce, illness, accidents, life happens. So the next time someone is not themselves, let’s be kind, shall we? We don’t always know the backstory. Maybe they just lost their home, or the barista at Starbucks got their coffee order wrong. Maybe it’s somewhere in-between. I’ll even concede that some people are just assholes. No matter what - it’s not our cross to bear, and it’s certainly not our place to punish.
If you’re going through a rough time, communicate! The smartest thing I’ve done to date was coming clean with my boss. Luckily I have a great relationship with her, but still I’m an intensely private person and I HATE looking weak. Unfortunately I needed an explanation for why I burst into tears during one of our meetings. Being able to provide perspective on why I was such a cranky, sensitive flake helped us both. Just don’t over-communicate, at least in the workplace. I manage to keep it together in front of clients, and work from home on especially emotional days so I’m not inflicting my crap on people I’m supposed to be helping.
Finally, take care of yourself. For me, that meant getting the kids help and joining a support group. I stopped apologizing. I stopped taking the blame for things out of my control and finally recognized that I'm NOT responsible for other people's decisions - nor am I responsible for the consequences of their actions.
I love what I do and I won’t let this season affect my career. This too shall pass – and I’ll come out of this stronger, happier, and better for it. Just be patient with me while I’m getting there.