On Tuesday, I curled up on the couch with my dog from 10:00 a.m. until noon, after having slept all night. My stated purpose: I give up. A few days before, a health insurance document written in overly academic language had convinced me that I was no longer covered. And that the sign-up period had passed. So I sobbed on my couch for a good two hours, although I found out that none of this was true.
I was insured, but the bastards who write these documents intentionally try to confuse us. Although I found out 8 hours later that I did have insurance, the feeling of doom remained. Everything felt overwhelming. So on Tuesday, I gave up.
That was the day I realized I may not be handling all the changes in my life very well.
To be fair, a lot has changed in the last several months: newly married, changed my legal name, quit my job, found a part-time job that I’m excited about (yay!), signed a lease in the suburbs and will move mid-February, started freelance writing, and switched health insurance and therefore doctors.
Yet it turns out that giving up is not the answer. Go figure. It felt like the answer, but it only made it worse. Later in the week, I felt out of control. Like there was nothing I could do to remedy the situation. Like I had no say in how things went for me. None of this is true.
Today, I have been doing some reading about how to cope with change. Apparently I have been thinking of myself as a victim rather than a “navigator,” or a self-sufficient person who can make things better for herself and come up with a plan.
Also, apparently I am currently in the dreaded neutral zone.
Neutral Zone. This is the period between an ending and a new beginning. During this period, we experience the most stress as we try to move past our loss to something new.– Crisis Response Network
I have ended a bunch of things, but most of the new beginnings have yet to start. We don’t move into our new apartment for another 3 weeks. My first day on the new job isn’t for another month. And we still haven’t completely figured out a minor issue with my health insurance, so I haven’t been able to go to a new doctor yet.
Some people call this “limbo.”
Limbo is not fun. But it also doesn’t have to be hell. Keeping a routine helps. Exercising helps. Eating a balanced diet helps. In other words, all of the things I least feel like doing in the midst of change. But it’s time for me to suck it up.
So, today, I will scratch changing bank accounts off my list and bump it until after the move. It’s not urgent, and that is something tangible I can nix. And I will actually start packing, something I have been avoiding because it’s so much work.
Here I go. Wish me luck.
Anyone have advice about dealing with change? Throw it in the comments. I would love to hear it.
Until next time,