Isolation is only one of the many dangers of forced sabbaticals…being involuntarily out of work. Many times, though, that isolation inhibits the ability of the person out of work from describing the emotions they’re experiencing. The result is often a deeper alienation, and even a resentment towards those closest to us.
The longer a forced sabbatical continues, the more likely it is you will face these emotions. While not everyone goes through all these thoughts, feedback from over 200 readers and others in forced sabbaticals confirms the validity of this list…
(HINT) Sometimes it’s difficult to acknowledge certain of the following emotions…[people have] had good results by simply showing this list to those around them as a way of identifying some of the struggles they face.
- I’m not good company, but I don’t want to be by myself.
- I’m feeling a little paranoid. I’m assuming people are talking about me behind my back.
- I’m scared. I don’t know what this means for my career and my family.
- I’m embarrassed. Even if I shouldn’t be, I am.
- I’m feeling helpless. This is happening to me and I can’t control or prevent it.
- I’m hurting. Even if it’s completely my fault, it still doesn’t feel good to fail in front of other people.
- I’m obsessed with the circumstance. I know it’s probably not the end of the world, but it sure feels like it. And no, I don’t want to be distracted.
- I’m angry. Maybe even at God.
- I’m lonely. Even when I’m not alone, this feels like it’s only happening to me and no one understands.
- I’m wishing this would go away.
- I’m having trouble believing what’s happening to me really matters to you.
- I’m resentful that life is moving forward without my participation.
Remember, not everyone experiences all of the above, but if you’re out of work for very long at all, just know that the emotional and spiritual struggles you face are not only unique to you…others are also likely facing them, or have faced them, and can help you sort through them in your journey back to work.
Written by Randy Kilgore, Senior Writer and Workplace Chaplain for Desired Haven Ministries. Used by permission. Content distributed by WorkLife.org > Used for non-profit teaching purposes only.