I haven't really talked about it, and I've mostly avoided talking about it here, because I didn't want other people to think I was dragging them into something or whatever. I still don't. But I've come to realize people are going to think what they want, regardless of what reality is, and some are going to do their best to keep their head in the sand. But I shouldn't be afraid to talk about why I took leave.
A few people think that I took leave because of particular person at work. They're partially right. But also wrong. And some of them didn't really seem to want to hear the real reason, but here it is: I took emergency leave because it was the closest I've ever come to ending my own life.
The depression, anxiety, and situations at work made my life so miserable, that I didn't want to keep on anymore. Some of what was going on was my own making. Of not trusting in myself, of not believing in myself, of not being me. Some of it was the fault of others. Some of it was just things. Either way, I couldn't be at work. In conjunction with my awesome counselor and other medical folks, I took leave to figure out what I was going to do next and to put my head back on straight. It was during that time that I decided that one way or other I was going to leave my job by the end of the summer, even if that meant moving to some random part of the country and working at a bookstore or some other random job. Or joining the Rangers led by Isildur's heir. I looked into graduate programs to apply to, jobs, etc. I came back from my leave, still somewhat shaky, but with a plan in place and made it happen. I got out. I left a place that was going to literarily kill me.
I'm sure I made mistakes as I left and shoved back against what made me so miserable for so long. But I also know that it was the right decision when I was criticized for how I took my leave and not following the "normal protocol" and "normal rules"...even though nothing about the situation was normal. I lost people that I cared about as I left. Splits, strains, cracks, and fractures appeared and I know I took a hammer to some of those to separate, because I wanted to put out how I really felt, in the hopes that they'd understand me a bit better. I did what I thought was right at the time. Not sure I'd do it any differently now.
The point of all of the rambling? To say that if you are in a similar spot, or if your job makes you feel so miserable that you don't want to go on, you aren't alone. Ever. And regardless of what other people tell you, of what they try to shove down your throats about "that's just part of life" or "all jobs are miserable" please tell them to kindly fuck off and make a plan to find something new. Set a deadline. Set goals. Get help. Life is too short to be miserable where you spend the bulk of your days.
I'm in a better place as 2015 starts and I'm enjoying the new path that I'm making for myself. There are scary and exciting things ahead. And I can't wait to see what happens next.