My Freelance World Exploded – But I Found Love

I used to work for this really cool guy. I loved the work and we’d made all these awesome plans. Then he said he was getting a divorce from his wife. I’m super awesome at working during a crisis so was proud at how I was able to make everything easier for him and deal with the business inquiries from people wondering where he was. I felt honored that I was trusted and could help out. Then I discovered, via a video series, that I was outta a job. There was no longer a place for me with his new direction. Again, I was cool. Disappointed, but was happy that his hard work was paying off.

Then shit exploded.

Here’s the thing: I don’t do drama. I have enough of my own. Being placed in the firing line of someone elses drama? That sucks. I have enough of that in my own life. Pretty quickly, his personal drama become public. He and his business partner stopped responding to a lot of stuff. A website was created attacking his actions. I knew about this months before anyone else and was terrified that people would contact me, demanding answers. I got a lot of email from people who had struggled to contact him for a refund.

It got to the point where I hated social media and everything about it. I was no longer working for someone, had been cut off and was dealing with the customer support. Then, during a conference that a lot of my peers attend, this site went live. That led to a lot more stress. I had no idea what people thought of the situation. Did they hate me for lying for them? Did I piss people off by being loyal?

It’s only been in the past week where I’ve been able to reach out to people and find out what they think. I’ve had no confidence and seriously doubted I had a place in this industry anymore. I sincerely believed that people would ‘pick sides’ and that I’d be in an even worse position I am now.

Things are better. I’m sad about how things have turned out. I miss the friendship. I have nightmares where they tell me how much they hate me.

I’m not blameless in this, nor am I saying it for sympathy. I bailed on work owed, and confided in close friends, because I panicked. I’m not trying to call anyone out.

So… bad stuff happened. But awesomeness happened too.

 ~

In the post about kicking arse last year, I wrote about how I was dating a guy. It’s now been 6 months.

This is my first relationship and I’ve found the whole experience so fascinating. I’ve changed as a person. It has been a lot of fun. We are both geeks so spend our weekends educating each other. He got me into british comedy and dodgy sci fi. I show him how to buy cheap comics and T-Shirts online. It’s been nice to just be happy.

It hasn’t been all hugs and puppies. His father died on Easter Sunday. When I got the text, I freaked. It sounds selfish but I didn’t know if I was going to be strong enough for him. My grandmother died about 4 years earlier and that had led to a nervous breakdown. I was terrified that I’d let him down.

I just tried to do the best I could and took time off work. I was there for him when he needed me, and stepped back when he needed space. I felt horrible when he asked me not to go to the funeral, as his father didn’t want people to make a fuss about him after he’d died. That raised questions with my parents but I knew it was the right thing. This wasn’t about our needs. This was about honoring someone that had meant a lot to him.

I grew up that month. I learned how to put someone else first, even when it makes me feel messed up. I learned how to have 100% faith in my partner when my parents bought up how I hadn’t met the family or much of his friends. Our personalities are different to most people, and I think that’s what makes us so compatible.

 ~

Feel free to skip this section, but I feel it’s important to talk about. I’ve felt so isolated over the past few months.

A major side effects of my anti-depressants was loss of libido. At first it really didn’t matter. I just wanted to make my partner happy and be with him whenever possible. After a few months it started really bothering me. I was unable to ‘get into the zone’ and it felt awkward. It felt nice being close to my partner but I just couldn’t get into it. Think about it. You are 23, and in your first relationship. I felt like a complete failure and a bad partner.

I looked into all sorts of things. At first it seemed like my savior would be Wellbutrin – an antidepressant known for increasing libido and aiding weight loss. I cried in the Dr’s office when she said it’s not available in Australia. We then talked about lowing my dosage of Effexor to 75mg.

It has been a week since I’ve started the new dosage. It has been awesome. I kinda feel sorry for my partner but things should even out as I stabilize. Mwah haha.

 ~

I thought I’d always stay on Effexor. Weight gain and loss of libido seemed like a nice compromise in return for happiness. Then, I started thinking. I’ve been stable for a while. If I was going down to 75mg, why not just go off them altogether?

I’ve been reading several articles by intelligent people who are aware of what goes into withdrawing from meds. It’s been interesting. In addition to getting their libido back, they’ve commented on a lot of other changes. The bad emotions come back, but so do a lot of the good ones. The creativity comes back. Joy comes back.

I’ve felt like I lost a huge part of my identity in the past few years. My camera has sat on my shelf, unused. I stopped reading for pleasure. I was so sick before I went on the beds and forgot what about the parts of me that I lost interest in. I’m curious if I’ll get my creative mojo back. I’m hoping I lose the weight I stacked on. Mostly, I’m really keen to see what I’m like without the need for, well, drugs.

It’s been an interesting process. I look forward to sharing it.