The DownSide of the Upside

by Deborah on November 19, 2009

I’ve experienced another level of reality this week, dealing with unemployment compensation and  health insurance, meeting with my financial planner and gathering information about social security.

It’s been a steep learning curve and I wish I’d spent more time looking at the financial piece of the Wheel of Opportunity. But I mustn’t let the feelings of guilt spiral me into a depression.  “It is what it is” has become a way of life for so many who suffer the real or impending possible loss of our homes and our livelihoods. That’s one aspect of the nature of change – the feeling of being out of control and the necessity of putting it into the context of a transtion. Change signifies what has happened, transition speaks to the possibility of what comes next.

There are 3 stages to a transition and each has its associated feeling states which have been well researched by William Bridges, author of  Transitions, Making Sense of Life’s Changes.

The Ending phase reflects feelings of shock, anger and disbelief and often relief. The Neutral Zone is wrought with uncertainy, anxiety depression and glimmers of light. New Beginning are marked by creativity and seeing new possibiliities.

I need to  honor where I am in the transition process and the associated feelings. Dealing with money, limitations, a steep learning curve and not having a great personal track record in the area of financial literacy means high stress for me.  And yet, deal with it I must.  But then after I’ve gathered the information and made some decisions it’s time to move on. Get creative, go with the flow.  Honor my feelings and make the most of each day.

The feelings associated with the loss are not easy ones to express.  Anger can leak out and  have negative effects on our relationships. Feeling loss means mourning the relationships I had which get severed for the most part when we leave an organization.

The downside of gaining my freedom and the excitement of recreating my life and livelihood means experiencing the intensity of the roller coaster ride.

I hope you’ll hang in (or check in periodically) on the ride.

Have you lost a job and do you have a story you’d like to share.

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