Ch-ch-changes. Or: putting therapy into practice.

It’s been a little quiet around here again. Sorry about that!

Ever since my last post, I’ve:

  • attended my BFF’s bachelorette & wedding
  • gone to the zoo to spot polar bears & explored my hometown
  • completed a ToughMudder
  • had some CrossFit successes while I struggle through marathon training
  • gotten a tattoo
  • spent a week on SPA vacation
  • made great progress at therapy and
  • scored a new job

I’ll be making separate posts about some of these points, but for now, I’d like to talk a bit about the last two happenings, since they’re such major life events.

I’m not keeping it secret that I regularly see a therapist to help me overcome my disordered eating, compulsive dieting, help me deal with my depressive tendencies and generally learn to love and accept myself. My therapist is wonderful and I think I’ve already made some great progress ever since I started seeing her at the beginning of the year.

One of my major issues is my extreme perfectionism, which stems from growing up with a negligent father and the resulting feeling of being inadequate. Somewhere along the way, my kid-brain concluded that the father who never expressed that he loved me, would’ve “loved me” if only I’d been smarter, prettier, funnier, skinnier, basically, anything more. Now as an adult I know he did and does love me, he was and is just too caught up in his own depression and alcoholism to show it. But as a little girl, you don’t really understand what’s going on.

I’m an extremely disciplined person, I’m a hard worker, yet, I can never win because even if I achieve something, I’ll just revise the goal and force myself to do more. That’s how I ended up with an eating disorder, because a size 2 wasn’t small enough. That’s how I worked myself into or close to a burnout several times in my life. That’s how I’ve trained through physical pain and injury on more than one occasion.

My therapist and I regularly work on soul projects as we call them. Little theses of loving, positive thinking, directed at myself. They’re promises I make to myself. They’re life and therapy goals and one recurring theme has been loving and accepting myself the way I am. Another big goal of mine has been to treat my body lovingly. To stop scrutinizing everything and just accept that I have flaws. And that that’s ok. But also to prioritize my well being. To allow myself rest when I need it – guilt and anger-free – and to really ask myself what I want in life and focus on my path to happiness.

This leads me to the latest change. A new job.

I work in advertising for company, let’s call them, A. Company A lost a fairly large client at the beginning of the year, as it happens in the industry. Agencies lose clients, then they win a new one. There’s always movement. At the turn of the year, we lost said client and as a result, Company A had to downsize. At the time when it became known that they’d have to let people go and whom, I had been with them for about 9 months.  It didn’t come as a big surprise when my name turned up on that list.

I have a strong relationship with some decision makers of Company A, so while they told me I had to leave, they were able to help me get a placement with our sister company, Company B. While Company B is headquartered in a different city than Company A (neither in Munich), nothing was going to change for me. I was going to stay put where I was in Munich, my responsibilities were going to stay the same, same salary, same job title, all that would’ve changed was a new team and new clients. I happily signed the contract because it meant that I had my last day at Company A on September 30 and the next day, on October 1, I would go back to the same office, only working for Company B.

Sounds good in theory, right?

However, I realized that something didn’t feel right when meeting Company B only after the contract had been signed. I traveled to their headquarters for a face to face meeting and I had to realize that it was just not a good fit. The deal itself happened so fast and just as I was headed to the Baltic States on vacation in June that I didn’t really have time to think and consider alternatives. I had to decide fast. In the end, the desire for security won me over and I agreed to the deal. But after meeting Company B and having my knowledge and experience questioned (I’ve been working in the industry for over 7 years – I know what I’m doing) and simply not connecting at all on a personal level, I had no other choice; I had to think about alternatives.

My initial plan was to start with Company B and then with all the time in the world, I’d start looking for the perfect job. However, even before I started with Company B, the perfect job found me. Company C, a well-known agency in the country, headquartered here in Munich, contacted me and asked whether I wanted to talk about a job offering they currently had. I had been thinking about applying with them for a while and certainly would have after a brief period with Company B, but here they were, reaching out to me before I could reach out to them. I met them for an interview and was in love. Immediately. The interview went great for them and me and I just felt the chemistry was right. Sure, the job is fantastic and a smart move, career-wise, but more important, the company just seemed right for me. After the disastrous meeting with Company B, it was great to be reminded that it doesn’t have to be that way.

So when they offered me the job, I didn’t hesitate one second. I agreed to take it. I would be stupid not to.

Only problem? I had a signed contract with Company B. And I was going to break said contract. When I made that decision, I knew it wouldn’t just affect me, but also the people at Company A who vouched for me. I felt awful about this. I felt like stabbing allies in the back. But here’s where I get back to therapy and how I’m putting what I’ve learned to use.

As I was thinking about my situation and how miserable I was after the meeting with Company B, I realized that this too was part of becoming healthier. I could have started with Company B, started a job I didn’t even want to start, then quit the first day and then continue to be miserable for the next four months. Stuck with a company I just didn’t feel connected to. Prioritizing my mental health, doing everything I can to take the happiness I deserve, is an integral part of what I’m trying to learn in therapy. And this means that I’m not going to take a job I know won’t make me happy just because somebody did me a favor.

Instead, I’m starting the new job, one that I know I will love, with people that I felt very connected to, at a company that is an industry leader. My first day is going to be December 1. Until then, two blissful months, I’m not doing anything.

Well, that’s a lie. I’m going to do a lot of things. But work is not going to be one of them. My last day with Company A is going to be next Thursday. My original plan was to start with Company C right away, however, it doesn’t quite work out that way. Ultimately, the more I thought about it, the happier this made me. I get two months off to do only the things I want to do. When in life do you get that chance?

So now, I’m extremely excited for my break. I have a bunch of projects I wanted to do in the summer, but I never got the chance because July and August were so busy. I want to ride my bike around Lake Starnberg. I want to ride it all the way up to Weihenstephan, visit the monastery, drink some beer, eat a brezn, ride back home. I want to read the books on photography that I have laying around and really learn how to use my dSLR. I want to go to CrossFit every day and work on my lifting technique. I want to recharge, really recharge so that I’ll be ready to rock the job I’m starting on 12/1. My dream job.

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2 thoughts on “Ch-ch-changes. Or: putting therapy into practice.

  1. Pingback: Last Day | 3ckfoodie

  2. Pingback: 2014 – a year in review | 3ckfoodie

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