From 2014 thru 2017, I managed a project/study that was very close to my heart. I was blessed and lucky to be given the opportunity and I learned so much - too much to list here. There were successes and failures, stumbles and moments of perfection. At the end of it all, the study was completed and the outcome looks bright (so I'm told). I am very proud of my work, our consultant team, the CRO team(s) and all the vendors who in any small way assisted the company in the endeavor. I was poised at the end of study enrollment to look forward to the 'what's next'.
Except there was to be no what's next - instead my position was eliminated and I found myself out of work, with HERE WE GO AGAIN echoing in my head. This is the fourth time this industry has taken everything I offered it and without so much as a by your leave, shoved me out the door when they were finished.
Of course it all comes back to money (and data); companies can't get funding and go bankrupt and close or have to streamline themselves thinner than a sheet of paper; some get bought out and people get a fat severance as they dance out the door, but that's rare. It is the nature of the startup beast and I understand that (obviously since I keep going back to start ups) it just doesn't make it any easier, you know?
I don't blame anyone, it is what it is and honestly – partly my fault if I keep going back to these situations. However, I feel unappreciated (and I think it is ok to feel that way); I have worked from home, first in a tiny apartment packed so full of study supplies that I couldn't get to my couch, then in my little office with no sunshine and lots of children screaming (day care next door). I have taken conference calls in my car while driving back from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania; I left my partner the day after he came home from the hospital with a compound fracture that required surgery (and was not weight baring) to fly to Chicago for an overnight meeting, leaving him with a stranger neither of us had met to attend to his needs. I answered calls on days off and vacations; I have been repeatedly emailed by shareholders demanding information that legally I could not (and did not) provide them. I was also stalked by shareholders reading blogs on this website and discussing them on company financial message boards as if my posts were oracles projecting the future! I have done everything I was asked to do and more to make the project a success and I believe it is a success! But that isn't much of a salve on the disappointment.
I won't lie - I could see this situation heading my way on the horizon. As a person who fights anxiety and depression on a daily basis, this just pushed me over the edge. I still worked and got things done and I am proud to say that I still met my timelines (except when they superseded each other) but my quality of life was gone. I didn't want to leave the house. I would take Gav to the grocery store and he would do the shopping while I stayed in the car (he is a great shopper). We had a lot of delivery meals (pizza or Chinese - those were our only choices in Schuylkill Haven). I started becoming agoraphobic; I would make plans to attend functions, but when the day arrived, I no longer wanted to go and I either made an excuse so I didn't have to attend or I had to force myself to go. I spent hours staring at the television or out the window, my mind elsewhere or nowhere.
Finally, I sucked it up and drove the 80 miles to my doctor and got a medication change which didn't help so we went through a series of medication changes (luckily over the phone) until we arrived at what worked.
However, I did not go out to shop for 1 Christmas present - EVERYTHING was delivered thanks to Jet, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Current, Michaels and a bunch of Ebay and Etsy shops (where small business Saturday can be everyday!). We did have 4 Christmas trees this year - Gav had a very small faux tree in his office decorated with beer mug lights & Dr. Who and Eagles ornaments; my faux Frida tree (also small) was on my vanity in the bedroom; the pencil tree (faux) with the 'under the sea' theme was already up in the balcony as we never took it down from Christmas the previous year. We did get a real tree - second biggest in the lot at 9 1/2 feet tall (and extra points for us buying it after a decent sized snow storm!)! So yes, I got into Christmas as long as I didn't have to go out for Christmas. Yes, I was quite a mess and that before I was eliminated!
We did go out for New Year’s Eve – one of two holidays that I normally loathe (the other being valentine’s day) but it was food & fireworks in a friend’s backyard and some games at the kitchen table. Quiet. Subtle. Nice.