It was early evening in the middle of August when I arrived home from a new management position I had started 3 weeks ago. My efforts had resulted in the lab reaching close to peak performance, which gave me a sense of satisfaction. I poured a glass of chardonnay and began fixing dinner. It looked like I had turned my life around and that my recovery had begun
Suddenly, the phone rang. It was Maria, the Store Manager of my place of employment. She completely shocked me when she told me the owner of the company was letting me go. I could hardly believe it, so I asked her why he was firing me. She said she didn’t know why.
After I hung up the phone, I walked around my apartment in a daze, wondering what the heck happened. Since my funds were limited, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew I couldn’t pay the rent since it was due the first day of September. In addition, my unemployment benefits had run out. I was beginning to feel completely devastated and realized my recovery was only an illusion
I didn’t exactly enjoy dinner, even though I felt an emptiness in my stomach, that wasn’t caused by hunger.
When I finished dinner, I rolled a joint and thought about my predicament. Hopeless began invading my body, mind and spirit. Even the success principles I once embraced couldn’t help me. Another failure reduced me to something less than a Reluctant Objectivist.
Paralysis took control of my mind causing me to lay around, watch TV, listen to music and get high. Several weeks went by without any possibility of overcoming my sorry situation or experiencing a recovery.
3 days before the end of the month, I visited a former associate of mine and explained my situation. He told me something must have been going on behind the scene, because my performance couldn’t have caused my employer to fire me. Later I learned the cheap jerk found someone who would manage the lab for 25% less pay. Anyway, I asked my friend if he could store some of my stuff if I lost my apartment. He said yes and I left his place with no prospect for the future. I wasn’t perceptive enough to realize my recovery was right around the corner.
The Previous December
I got out of bed the day after Alicia left me forever. Much to my surprise, I experienced mixed feelings. One on hand, I was heartbroken; one the other hand, I felt a sense of relief. Maybe, my heavy dose of Prozac actually helped me in this situation.
I picked up my phone and listened to a voicemail from Alicia. She said she would pick up her belongings when I wasn’t around, which was fine with me. I don’t think my heart could take the pain of seeing her.
It occurred to me that I didn’t need my 3 bedroom, 2 story apartment, so I visited the office and rented a studio apartment, moving in on New Year’s Eve.
The next two weeks found me spiraling between heartbreak and a sense of relief. I smoked a lot of weed and listened to my favorite music, which seemed to soothe my soul. Otherwise, the ambition to improve my life was still on vacation. Would I ever experience a recovery from my heart-wrenching situation?
A New Job
The second week of January, I decided to look for a job. Luckily, I walked into an Optical Shop, talked with the owner and he hired me to start the next day. That really excited me. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize my state of mind would hamper my ability to effectively perform my duties.
My heavy intake of Prozac and marijuana caused me to feel like I was floating though life. It also covered up my pain and suffering. On several occasions, I destroyed an expensive pair of lenses when I was attempting to edge them into a frame. I could tell the owner was becoming frustrated with me. When I waited on customers, they seemed to respond positively to me, still my lab skills seemed to have gone south.
On a Monday in early February, I walked into the office only to have the owner tell me he no longer needed my services. He gave me my final check and told me to gather up my stuff and leave. As, I left despair set in and made it hard to drive home. I would have to reapply for unemployment benefits, since I still had about 6 months left.
The Unemployment Screw-Up
About a week after I applied for unemployment, I received a letter notifying me that I owed the bureau over $6,000. Apparently, someone had mistakenly debited my account instead of crediting it. You can imagine how that made me feel. I was beginning to think the Universe had something against me. I wondered how life as a beach bum would be, thinking I would never have to worry about a recovery ever again.
After some bureaucratic frustration, a helpful person straightened it out and I began receiving my benefits. It temporarily helped my state of mind, but it didn’t supply me any ambition.
I sat around and read metaphysical books, listened to music and smoked plenty of marijuana. Since, I associated bad luck with Prozac, I quit taking it.
After a while I became so desperate I decided that maybe the Holy Bible might supply some answers. I laid in bed and read every page of the King James version. However, even though I enjoyed it, it didn’t give me any religious feelings.
The Flowering of April and Teresa
One idea the Bible supplied me was that I could have my 3 days into ascension. The night before Easter I observed an attractive lady and her companion walking towards the pool area. I thought about how lucky he was since female companionship had abandoned me. I went up the steps to my apartment and put on some music. All of a sudden, I heard someone call out to me “Put on some Joe Jackson.” I looked out my front door and saw it was the attractive lady, minus her companion. I asked her if she wanted to come up and listen to him. She ran up the steps and joined me.
As we sat down, smoked some weed and listened to Joe Jackson, she explained she cut her date short because she found the guy boring. She also told me she lived in the apartment in the building across from me and liked the music I played. We experienced quite an evening and had many more just like it. At least my sex life experienced a recovery.
Incidentally, my ascension never occurred.
Spring Turns into Summer
Although it didn’t turn into anything serious, Teresa and I got together 2 or 3 times a week. Darn, she was delicious. Anyway, in early May, I acquired a part-time job from an owner of an Optical Store. He ran it as a one-man operation. Well, he had broken his arm playing baseball and needed someone to make the glasses. That supplied me with about 2 months of work, which really allowed me to sharpen up my skills.
After that assignment ended, I realized I needed a full-time job. I called a former manager of mine to see if she could help me. She gave me the name of two franchise owners who were hiring. The first one I visited needed a sales person, which paid salary plus commission. The second one needed a lab manager which was right up my alley, so I took that position. Of course, you know how that ended.
Early September – Turning Defeat into Victory
September 1 came and I couldn’t pay the rent. In my despair, something occurred to me. Why don’t I check back with the first prospect who offered me a sales position?
I drove up to the store and walked in. Once again, I met with the owner. He asked me what happened to my lab manager job. I told him and he said that was chicken-shit what they did to me and he hired me on the spot. My recovery began as I had turned defeat into victory. I became his top sales associate and worked for him for 4 years. I learned adversity has within it the seeds of a greater benefit.
P.S. I was able to pay the rent.
RA Meyer – Master the Social Maze