In my last post I wrote about my search for a new job. Well I’m happy to report that I’ve found one – at a funeral home!
No, it’s not just in the office…I’m dealing with families at one of the hardest and saddest points in their lives, working funerals and burials and doing things that I never in a million years thought I would be capable of doing. But I’m doing them, and I’m doing them well.
I’m enjoying my new career – and I’m also enjoying the reactions of people when I tell them about it.
Most are happy that I’ve found something new, and tell me all of the reasons that they think I’ll be wonderful at it. That I’m good with people. And I’m good at helping people. And that I look damn good in a black suit.
But they also have that moment when something else crosses their mind. That “Wait a sec…” moment when they put two and two together.
“Wait, are you sure that’s a good idea with your, um, I mean, when you’re, well, you know – will you be able to handle that?”
Handle what? Sadness and grief? Wearing black all the time? With my what? My illness? My problem? Because I know they’re not asking about my computer skills, or my language skills, or my people skills. They’re asking about what I lovingly refer to as my crazy.
Dear everyone: Depression and sadness are absolutely not the same thing. In fact, some of the times that I should have been the happiest in my life were actually the times that I was in my deepest, darkest, brain foggiest times. And times when I experienced some of the most difficult and profound losses in my life were ones in which I was able to cope and carry on and laugh.
My illness does not force me to avoid situations and events that may cause sadness. At my worst, it actually forces me to avoid situations that I enjoy and could make me happy.
I’m looking forward to being able to provide comfort to others, because I will never forget those who have provided me with comfort along the way.
And I’m also looking forward to getting a new black suit.
About Jessica Wilson
My name is Jessica Wilson, I’m 35 years old and single. The single is (mostly) by choice, the 35 is not. I am mom to 5 furbabies, have become an avid runner, and own and operate a small business. I’ve been dealing with mental illness for as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety in my early 20’s, and continue to struggle with it or manage quite well, depending on the day. It very obviously runs in my family – my grandmother was bipolar, and mental illness can be traced back at least 3 generations on my maternal side, in various forms.