Nobody expects the GR.
or “How I was jumped by grief”
In December 2015 I quit my job; It was my first professional programming job and one which I’d kept for the past 7 years.
When I used to tell people that I’m at the same company for so long, I normally got one of these two reactions:
Wow! I can never stay at the same place for more than x (x<=3) years
Wow! It must be an awesome company!
and it was most definitely the latter.
I joined the startup at inception as employee number 3 (out of 70 by the time I left) and grew from clueless n00b to Lead Developer.
Although I was not a founder, I was of the founding team; I gave my heart and soul and in return got my dream job.
Leaving the pond
During my 7th year with the company I’ve made up my mind to leave; I wasn’t unhappy, I wasn’t suffering, there was no bad blood, just dissatisfaction.
I needed something else, I needed to grow.
After handing in my resignation, I’d started searching for a new job and eventually found myself in a year-old startup with great people, interesting work and excellent pay.
Down On The Upside
After 2 months of bliss I suddenly started feeling down but had no idea why; everything sucked, everything was pointless, I was hit by the Unexplained Blues.
Everything was going so well:
1. I was in a happy relationship.
2. I enjoyed my job.
3. I had devoted time to my hobbies.
So what on earth could be wrong?
This sudden change of weather also made me reconsider my decisions: Perhaps I shouldn’t have left my old job, perhaps my relationship isn’t what I make it up to be after all, perhaps I should move away and start over?
I was doubting every decision I’ve made in the past year and was very close to acting on these doubts as well.
It’s normal, dummy
After sharing this experience with my therapist, he explained to me that this was a normal case of grief.
Although I willingly and happily left my job for valid reasons, I’d still “lost” something that was a huge part of my life for almost a decade.
I had readily ripped out this entity but I‘d never thought of or prepared myself for the time that I’d need to cope with this “lose”, until I can begin replenishing myself with new experiences.
Listening to the advice of my therapist, I just waited it out; now 2 months later I’m back to my normal self, back on track.