Apr 14, 2019
In the summer of 2016, I received the wonderful news that I was pregnant. After countless failed attempts and one miscarriage, I looked down at the test results and read the word “Pregnant”. I had a rush of mixed emotions – I was excited, relieved, but ultimately, scared. If you’ve ever experienced a miscarriage, you may understand the internal turmoil associated with such a loss. I forced myself to be positive and optimistic on the outside while internally begging God to keep my baby in my belly to grow strong and healthy. I kept all this inside putting on a front to all of my friends, family, and even coworkers that I was as happy as a clam. I didn’t even tell my husband in fear that it would jinx the life of my unborn son. It was CRAZY! At the same time, life took an interesting turn both personally and professionally.
During a time that should have been filled with joy and excitement, was rather filled with stress and self-doubt. I use to think that success was linear. Start your career at the bottom and work really hard to make your way up the ladder of success. After 5 years of being with my company, I was promoted to a prestigious position that I was after for months prior to the knowledge of being pregnant. Starting a new job has always made me feel both excited and anxious, but in a good way. A few days after receiving the offer, is when I received the positive pregnancy result. That’s when guilt started to make its way into my emotions. I felt guilty to start a new job knowing that after learning the role, I would be out for an extended period of time for maternity leave. I tried pushing that aside but the thought and guilt would make its way back every once in a while. At the same time, my husband and I started to have marital problems.
The stresses from home life started spilling into work life. I was once told that the moment you walk through doors to work, all your home issues should remain at the door. I did fairly well up to this point in my life and I was too weak to stop it. All my negative emotions crashed into me like a giant tsunami. I felt like I was drowning. I was frantically trying to keep myself above water but the waves kept crashing on me pulling me back in to the water. I lost my identity, my confidence, and my light. I now lived in the darkness feeling like there would never be a way out. The fake smile was just that – fake. Insecurities from my teenage years found its way back into my life. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough to keep my husband happy, I wasn’t good enough to work in the department I worked so hard to get into. Just all around – not good enough. All of this happening at the same time I am carrying a child. I would go to my doctor appointments and say, “I am currently under a lot of stress right now…” without ever going into details as to how intricate the emotions were. Thankfully all my vitals came back excellent so my doctors never pried.
When the baby arrived, I was again filled with mixed emotions – joy, anxiety, and anger. I loved his tiny hands and the way he snuggled in my arms feeling completely safe and warm but I was angry that I didn't have the joyous pregnancy that everyone else seemed to have. I may have been experiencing a small dose of postpartum – but again refused to show my full vulnerability to anyone, including my husband. I would rock in the rocking chair holding my baby crying thinking of all the terrible things that happened to me during my entire pregnancy. My victimized self internally screamed “why did this have to happen to me!?”
I blamed my husband for all our marital issues. I blamed my department leadership for my shortcomings blaming their micromanaging to my demise. I hoped that after giving birth, the darkness would go away - but it lingered. The longer I stayed out on Maternity leave, the better I felt but I was still damaged. I returned to work thinking I was ready to take on the role but found that I didn’t overcome those insecurities. I quickly returned to the darkness. I reached my breaking point and requested to step down. Thankfully, they were willing to work with me and granted my request. When I put in the request for a transfer, I truly thought my career was over. I sadly felt that this was the highest I would ever reach and success was now completely out of reach. Little did I know this was just the beginning!
As Gabrielle Bernstein says, "Obstacles are detours in the right direction". Well this was my biggest obstacle and boy did it take me towards the right direction, I just didn't realize it at the time. My son recently turned 2 years old and I have never felt happier in my life. Personally, my husband and I are doing phenomenally. We worked through our issues and have become a better, stronger couple. When the three of us are together, I know we wouldn't have been this strong or happy without the bump in the road. I have been able to work through my insecurities and gain back my confidence. I subscribe to multiple podcast that relate to personal development and healthy living. I do daily affirmations, self care and subscribe to a healthy lifestyle as I have written in past blogs. All of it has made me a better version of myself that will continue to evolve. Professionally, I am doing just as great. I have recently been promoted to a pseudo leadership role and continue to expand my professional development through mentors and trainings. I’ve reached out to my old leadership team to apologize for my actions during my dark time. I realized I was blaming them for everything that went wrong professionally at that time and it was really me. My old supervisor is even one of my mentors now. I was blinded by the darkness. I learned so much about myself and am so grateful to have experienced what I went through and come out on top. My light is SHINING! I no longer see success as linear. To me, success is circular. It just keeps going and going - learning and growing with every rotation and it never ends. It should never end. No one is perfect and perhaps no one will ever reach ultimate perfection, but one should never not try. If we fail the attempt, we fail ourselves.
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