Change Is Good. But When It’s Not?

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,

5 thoughts on “Change Is Good. But When It’s Not?”

  1. Oh Tiffany…you are experiencing growing pains, part of growing up, and even though we think we are ready and willing to embrace change, it’s human nature to resist…just a little or a lot. You have embarked on a journey including three circumstances that are some of the most stressful human beings face. Joyful, yes. But still stressful.

    I remember a time when I left a job I loved, bought a house, entered the realm of parenthood, and started a new job – all in a three month time span. Thirty years have passed and I’m still amazed things have turned out so well.

    I survived, and thrived, and you will, too. Moving forward is part of becoming the best that you can be, writing about it such insightful ways gives us a glimpse into your life, and sharing experiences with others is wonderful. So…keep on packing, know that we’d be there to help or hug if we weren’t 3,000 miles away, and keep giving yourself the opportunities to grow stronger.

    Who knows what your next thirty years will bring?

  2. There has been a lot of “limbo” in my life recently and I can completely relate! I wouldn’t admit that I was struggling with it until a therapist reminded me that trauma takes many forms. Accepting that major life changes- good or bad- are traumatic helped me with handle transitions with patience and accept the struggle for what it is. I know that sounds fluffy, but just allowing myself to admit that transitions are hard (and that’s okay) has prevented me from feeling overwhelmed so that I can stay in control and keep trekking upward and onward. It’s just another season. Hope you feel settled in soon! Let me know if you ever need to talk! (Also, whatever routine you CAN maintain, I feel like that helps me too. And puppy snuggles for the win! 💛)

    1. It’s nice to hear that others can relate! And yes, it is so true that even if change is good, it can still be traumatic. It takes time for your brain to process and catch up with what’s going on. It’s great that admitting it is hard has helped you–if only we were all that honest, it would be easier for everyone! And yes, I am pulling myself out of the funk and re-committing to a routine. It’s easy to fall out of but hard to get back into. Baby steps! Thanks for the support. 🙂

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