Updated: May 19, 2021
Have you ever felt a roller coaster of emotions? Have you ever not been able to turn your emotions into words so you can ask for help? Have you ever just not been able to even process your emotions to articulate your feelings to someone else?
I've been there. And it's not fun. I've been there recently in fact. A few weeks ago, I officially resigned from my teaching position after 1 1/2 years of thinking about it. Now there is a roller coaster of emotions in itself. But I'm not here to write about that today.
I'm here to write about what happened afterward. So, I turn my letter in finally feeling some relief. Then, come the emails of support so I'm feeling a bit better at that point. I've already felt guilty for letting my amazing colleagues down but at the same time excited because I know this is what I need for me.
However, not even 24 hours later I get another email. This was definitely not an email of support. Rather, it was an email about a very large amount of money that I owed the school from a master's reimbursement that was given to me. And at the time, there were only two options to pay them back. Neither of which was feasible for me.
Cue the roller coaster of emotions. I don't think I have EVER had a roller coaster of emotions as fast as when this happened.
My Roller Coaster of Emotions
First, I was in shock for about 5 minutes. I aimlessly walked around my student-less classroom. It was like a deer in the headlights moment. I couldn't think and it seemed the whole world went black around me. If someone had come into my room, I wouldn't have even noticed.
Then, came the waterworks. I cried. At this moment, I didn't understand and I didn't know what to do. I didn't have that money so again I was feeling stuck.
Next, came the "I don't understand moment." I resigned respectfully and did everything I could to give them a long notice. I don't want to burn any bridges. What did I do wrong to deserve this less than 24 hours later? I was still trying to process that I had just resigned.
After that, came the freak-out moment. I don't have that money... do I have to stay another year so it will go away? This moment was fleeting because I knew what the right decision for me was.
Finally, I became angry. I didn't want this emotion and on top of feeling that way about the circumstances, I was angry at myself for feeling angry and resentful. Because I understood why and that they needed this money back. I just didn't have it because it went into my student loan, which is where it was supposed to go. Unfortunately, anger lasted the longest though.
I wasn't able to talk to anyone else about it to try and solve this issue, besides my partner, until the next day.
How I Worked On My Mindset
The most important thing that I did during this situation was I did not react to it that day. If I did, I would have reacted out of emotions and not in a logical way. So I spent the rest of the day letting myself go through my emotions. In other words, I let the roller coaster of emotions just happen. Whatever I was feeling, was what I was feeling. I let myself feel and let myself be.
The next day I started thinking about the two options I had. My two options were to pay it by taking money out of five paychecks. If I choose this option, I would not have been able to pay my house payment or other bills for the month. The second option was to pay it in full within six weeks, by the end of the school year. This was not an option either as I did not have a second job because of being a full-time teacher with them.
So, the next step was finding out what other options may be feasible or if I even had any other options.
I went to my trusted teaching partner and she helped me out. She got me some answers I needed so my mind was to put to rest for a little bit. She told me I had more flexibility than those two options, I just needed to start thinking about what was best for me and what I could afford. I had to give them a decision in five days.
After the conversation with her, it took me all five days to process and decide what I could do to come up with this amount of money and still be able to pay my bills at the same time.
The decision I made was not my favorite but I knew I had to give something up. And that something was a goal I had been saving for a while now. A goal that I only had seven more months to accomplish. And at that moment, it was being taken away from me.
Which... naturally, made me go through the roller coaster of emotions again. Shock, sad, in disbelief, and anger.
Let yourself go through the emotions, my friend. It's important on your journey. Don't feel guilty for how you feel. Just let it happen. Once you've done this, you will be able to make a more logical decision.
Reaching A Decision
After my emotions had calmed down, I was able to think logically. After five days of mulling this over, I decided to take my travel money that I save up for every year and the money I have been saving for my brain scan to pay half of this back and the other half to be taken out of my remaining paychecks. This was a good way to make sure my remaining paychecks weren't so depleted that I couldn't pay my bills. I emailed my payment option proposal and it was approved.
However, this also triggered a lot of emotions. I have been doing so well saving for my brain scan. And for once, I was on target to reach my goals. But after this, I had to deplete a good chunk of it. It almost felt like I was starting over again.
After some time had gone by, I was okay with my decision. I realized that I can continue saving for my scan because I will still have a paycheck to do so. I would be able to replenish that money in different ways. And it was going to be okay.
I made the right decision because not only can I continue saving for things that I really want but I can also pay my bills. The two options given to me before would not allow me to do that.
So, with my personal story, I'm here to tell you a few things:
Let yourself feel your emotions. Don't bury them. Don't feel guilty about them. You are allowed to feel how you feel.
Don't make an emotional decision. Let your emotions do their thing and then let them subside. You will make a more logical decision for you this way.
Give your brain the time to process. It can only go so fast.
Don't rush your emotions. Give them the time they deserve.
There is a solution to whatever you are going through.
No matter what comes your way... you've got this!
Dr. Amen Brain Health Coach
Owner of SustainaBrain