I got drunk last night.
Worse yet, I got drunk alone, at home last night. And I meant to. A couple of vodkas followed by red wine. Continuing the pattern of self-destructive behavior that (sadly) can be my way of coping with stress.
It was work that started it, but it quickly spun into something else. As anyone who’ll ask knows, I love my job. I adore what I do to earn a buck. I pursued my love of words and found the nooks and crannies of progress to work from home as a FT writer and editor. I work for a very large company. A company with a good deal of money. The CEO of my company took home $1.75 million in salary and a $5 million bonus in 2006. Yesterday afternoon, my boss called to share the results of my annual base pay review. I was excited. I’ve been taking on new projects, showing solid results and garnering a good deal of executive attention. I had hung a good deal of secret hopes on a bump in salary. I was allotted an additional $157 monthly. Boss said it “was all he could do”…”limits and restrictions in the plan”.
Money isn’t everything. But it’s something. There’s little recognition in a company that spans the globe. Often times, success is gauged on money. When a leader is granted millions, $157 feels like a bad joke. It was embarrassing, humiliating. I’m fully committed to my work. I get that it’s a job, and I don’t equate who I am or title myself based on it (how folks tack an “er” on to the company name to define themselves…an HPer, an IBMer).
So why did the day get so dark. I let it sink into my gut. I wanted to stay awhile. I wanted to commit. It’s a blow when your company won’t. Feels as if the message is, you’re not needed. We can find another you. You don’t matter so much that we can’t do without. And it sent me to a personal place I don’t like to go and I got stuck there. That career message sounded too much like many of the messages I’ve deflected emotionally. And I don’t like to delve into rarely shared feelings and learned beliefs I have of being unworthy, unloved and alone. So I got drunk last night.
Of course the drunk sleep is a fitful one, but I did manage to get deep enough into REM several hours past midnight to have a dream. There was a man. A boyish man, really. About my height, no taller as not to be imposing, with a slimmer build, dark curly hair and a light beard. And he was building up things in my house. A beautiful deck. A “man room” for himself. Fixing the little things that were broken. I didn’t know him. But he knew everything about me, what I liked and what I thought. And he was building things up around me. And it was overwhelming because he just was. I kept asking why and it just was. Because I was. And at one point in the dream, I took his hand and he held it and didn’t let go. And I was worthy of not being let go. I haven’t had my hand held in some time. I would really like to. And I didn’t want to let go.
Then Angelina Jolie came over and shared her shoes with me. A strong, confident, caring, compassionate, successful, authentic and beautiful woman insisted I walk her shoes.
So today, along with a good deal of water and aspirin, I pledged to be kind to myself. All day. To build up, like that boy/man in my dream, some of what I allowed myself to tear down. I’m going to try very hard to hold my own hand today.