Inseparable From My Work
I never really had weekends. Simple pleasures like reading the papers seemed like a time-wasting activity to me. I barely had a social life and spent little time with family members. I had let work dominate my life and everything that defined me had something to do with my work.
One Swift Blow
Then, events unfolded in turbo mode. In a half dreamy state, my colleagues and I went through the official town hall style of announcing the retrenchments, received our letters in private sessions and attended sombre farewell lunches. Since I was among the first few to leave the company, I had insufficient time to successfully nail another job.
At Home And Alone
The retrenchment was shocking and traumatic, and I tried very hard to deny it. A part of me insisted that I was fine, even convincing myself that I was just taking an extended leave to indulge in my much neglected writing hobby.
I wished and prayed for a miracle; perhaps management would change their mind and request that I return to work.
Eventually I entered into depression. I slept with knotted eyebrows and looked like a dead fish. My mind kept repeating two words in the retrenchment letter, “excess and redundant”, until I believed that I was really an excess and a redundant human being in this world! My self- esteem plummeted. I viewed myself as being useless, not good enough for anything and having no future. Day after day, these thoughts hit me whilst I stared at that rotating fan.
I continue to be depressed for the rest of my life. I had to get over it if I was ever to live out the rest of my life meaningfully! And I did get over it.
Grateful For What I Became
Somehow, being a perfectionist- cum-workaholic had made me blind to other wonderful and crucial aspects of life. I had long forgotten how to love, smile and laugh from my heart. I had been neglecting my friends and family members. At work, I often exerted anger to intimidate others, with harsh speech and words. No wonder some colleagues had shunned me!
Most importantly, retrenchment helped me to rediscover my love for writing. Sharing the vulnerable side of me with others in the written word is a humbling and therapeutic process. Without retrenchment, I would not be writing this article. I hope that my little story can help many of you out there who are facing the same inevitability as I did many years ago. Life always gives us a second chance, and the second chance may just be the one that you’re looking for.