Early in sobriety, a man told me, "If you're sober, and you've made a bad decision, you have the option to simply make another decision. Drunk, the only option you have is to say 'the hell with it,' and keep drinking. Sober, you've still got a choice."
Well, I've made a bad decision. And it's time to make a new one.
Back on January 13th, I wrote these prophetic words:
Without being hideously disloyal to my new employer (who I really, really love), the process of "going live" for our latest major client has been a minefield of screw-ups, and we've hit a whole bunch of them in the 10 short days since we cut live. Our small band of intrepid warriors have been battling bad converted data, bad software and systems interfaces, and a genuine lack of disseminated data about the client. Consequently, I've been at the office until 1 AM the last three days, and this weekend promises to be another long one.That voice has gotten a lot louder, recently.
There have been thoughts, especially in the last 24 hours, that I've given up one form of being half-alive for a slightly better-compensated form of the same condition. That there has to be more to life than this. That I did much better at this schedule at thirty-eight than I am doing at forty-eight. My info-technology skills picked up a lot of rust and barnacles over the last three years of getting into (and out of) seminary, and I have heard the voices in my head saying, "You're just not the right person for all this."
It's not even the biweekly "Hell Week" runs, which have consistently kept me at work (and as the last person on deck) until 3:15 - 3:30 AM. It's the fact that even as they have added more people - supposedly, to help out - my job has become more about helping them out, and less about doing my own work. The result is that today, I am further behind than I have ever been, with no end in sight. People are continuing to send everyone on the team messages like, "I expect an answer by 4:00 PM today" - and I'm getting the email at 5:15.
The simple fact is, I really don't believe I have gone three days without breaking down in tears at work since the first of March. When I left the office at 5:20 yesterday, I left with 6 hours worth of work that needed to be done before the stroke of midnight.
And I just didn't freakin' care. Not a bit. Not at all.
I've put on weight that I can ill-afford to carry. My blood-sugar regulation has been in the dumpster for months now. I'm not sleeping; my apartment looks like a crack-den, because I have no energy or will to clean it when I get home.
And I should have worked all last night, too. And I even brought my laptop home to do it.
Instead, I ate way too much carry-out food and watched Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, which has been waiting to be watched since mid-Februrary. (Thank God for Netflix and no late fees...)
As a friend fondly says, "How low do you have to go before you know you've hit bottom?"
Well, I'm not sure, brother - but I'm in the right neighborhood.
I love my boss...well, my former boss. She was laterally-transferred off the project as a sacrificial lamb to the corporate weenies. She didn't fail - none of us have - but she was at the helm as things were going down (even though the engines and the rudder and the navigation were all sabotaged before we even got on board), so she was the one shunted aside.
My dear friend, to whom I gave the Music From The Neighborhood CD (back here), also ended up being set-up as the bad-girl for several high-visibility screw-ups - most of which were caused my our near-fatal lack of knowledge about the system we're running. She ended up quitting the day after I gave her the CD. She took a week off - and then came back, and was shuffled to a new client (a slightly less dysfunctional one). Sadly, she's no happier - although she is going home at 5:30 a lot more (whereas we are going home at 5:30 only when we can no longer stand it).
So yesterday was Maundy Thursday - commemorating the Last Supper. And it was my own personal Gethsemane...my "Can't You make this stop?" kind of cry. I made it to one of my three regular AA meetings a week (the only one I make during the regular work week) and it helped a lot. But I still feel like sitting down in a garden and crying out to God.
The two big differences, of course are that I am not even remotely like Jesus, these days - and that I also can choose to walk away from the cross.
So we'll see what this day brings. My employer may well try to crucify me for the work that has not been done. But I'm all done killing myself for the greater corporate good.
If you're the praying type, pray for me.