The numerous times, in the past two months, that you tried to convince yourself that this virus will just “go away” is not even funny.
It uprooted your physical/ social/ painfully normal life and changed it forever.
The very job you detested but loved, complained but bragged about, barely survived but also thrived at – slipped out of your hand like sand. And you were left standing there, with the iconic Shocked-Pikachu meme plastered on your face.
(Oh no. Please don’t tell me you don’t know what a shocked-pikachu meme looks like.)
Who knew Pandemic, Pyjamas, and Penury were all synonymous?
The first week into the then-temporary Lockdown went by with you still digesting the reality of being unemployed and trying to get used to the quarantine life. Quite a breeze, no?
And then weeks started passing by. Days had no names, 3 am was the new 11 pm, binging shows was the new shiz and Tik Tok was just around the corner waiting to swallow you into a world of… cringe behavior or cool videos. (However you wish to see it. No judgments. That’s a lie. There are internally screaming judgments if you choose the latter.)
Truth be told. Losing your job is like losing a close friend. Don’t roll your eyes at me just yet, hear me out.
Not literally – but comically – this is a friend you hate for taking up almost 89% of your daily life with stressful bullshit, but you can’t exclude it because it poops money.
Literally – this is also an extended version of your persona (also a close friend), that you warp into for almost 89% of your daily life.
Side note: The data accuracy may vary from person to person. The writer of this article is not to be quoted on any kind of research analysis that you wannabe nerds are looking for in your post-lockdown essays, marketing strategy presentations, or literally anything else. The number is, at best, random. Yes, you may roll your eyes at me now.
So. Someone died (your future).
There is a spirit circling you (your existential crisis).
The last rites are postponed until quarantine ends (the pity- alcohol drowning-party with your friends).
But Huzza! Not all is lost. This dreadful grief phase has an end too.There are, apparently, 7 stages of grief now. (Yeah. 5 just weren’t enough.) And if you would like to accompany me for this not-so-joyous ride into a hell-hole, read on!
Damn, you’re still reading? Phew! You didn’t abandon me like my company. HA! Too soon to joke about it? Alright, alright.
Let’s plunge down to it: Here are the 7 stages of grief.
Shock: You feel paralyzed and emotionless.
A little extra-dramatic-shock-gasp action happened to you. And then you felt… hollow. Like your favorite Cookie Jar, had just been emptied out and crashed to the ground into million pieces.
Denial: I’m not jobless, you’re jobless. Huh.
You behave like you’re on an unpaid leave. Yes, everything is FAAAINEE. You’re going try and make the most of all the free time you have now. Cause things are going to go back to normal soon, right?
Anger: *ducking corona ARGHHH!!*
Welcome – bouts of frustration: harsh venting to your friends, checking up with your ex-co-workers, the misplaced rage that you throw on your mom when she asks you if you’re applying for other jobs, and much more.
Bargaining: Perseverance is key, right?
It’s time to try and to swallow that bitter pill. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise? I was thinking of quitting anyway. Maybe it was time I moved to something better?
Depression: Lonely… I’m Mr. Lonely.
All your other friends are ‘WHF’. They’re busy either eating, sleeping, or working. Their life trains are still on the track while your track got buried underground somewhere, nowhere to be seen. You doubt your experience, your work, your skills, yourself. Yeah, you’re doomed.
You’re finally peeking out of your self-isolation shell to test the waters. Friends are not being left on Read anymore, rather you are subtly seeking their counsel. Some are sending you links from job portals; you look through them twice, once dejected and once a little hopeful. It’s now a 40-60 chance.
Acceptance: I guess it’s time to ‘Hustle From Home’
Yes, I’m out of work. No, I’m not embarrassed anymore. Yes, it’s difficult. No, “you are super talented, you’ll find a job soon” doesn’t always help. Yes, it is time to accept the ‘new normal’.
Somewhere between these pointers, you felt my pain, did you? Even if you’re one of those dangling in-betweens.
To all the souls who are currently on this emotional-rollercoaster-wave of Grief, all I have to say is – been there done that. Still doing that. Ugly crying while updating your resume is a phase, it does get better. You will also learn to cry on the inside while applying on LinkedIn, trust me it’ll be an achievement.
And if doomsday still looms over your head and you feel like you’re stuck in roller coaster seat, running in a loop? Hit me up. We can zoom call and sob about it while we bake a lousy chocolate cake in a mug. What do you say?