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Justin M. Stoddard

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These Are the Times that Try Men’s Souls
February 25, 2006 — 9:00 pm

Ahhhh…Corporate America.

Let me just make this clear to one and all. Being laid off sucks. It blows. It bites the big one, as it were. I’m still in the state of mind where I’m on the outside looking in…sort of an out of body experience where I’ve disconnected nearly all feelings regarding my situation. What’s the first stage of dealing with grief? Denial?

I’ve never been one for pouring out my personal life to those who are not in the know. But, in this case, I suppose it’s necessary…that is if the reader wants to get a full picture of the shear enormity (yes, I said enormity, not immensity) of what’s going on in my life.

Depression, Separation, Death, Divorce, Unemployment. Five unique occurrences all bunched up in a 12 month period.

Occurrence the first – Depression. Nearly a year ago I was diagnosed with chronic low level depression (Disthymia). The mighty wonder drug, Prozac; and a years worth of therapy has served well in abating that particular problem.

Occurrence the second (and fourth) – Separation (and divorce). Not much to say here. Suffice it to say, it’s messy.

Occurrence the third – Death. My father passed away in August. We had issues, he and I. The only way I can explain our relationship in a succinct manner is thus…I talk to him more now then when he was alive.

Occurrence the fifth – Unemployment. I went from having a job that paid 60k one day to being nearly destitute the next. This wasn’t because of anything I did. It’s just that the company wasn’t making enough money, you see. So, bye bye, Justin. Oh, and we are going to escort you from the building. No, you can’t say goodbye to anyone. No, you can’t go back to your desk, we’ll pack that up for you and have you pick them up at a later date. Good luck!

Am I being tested? If I believed in a higher power, I’d have to say yes. I’ve come to understand that circumstances such as these really measure the worth of a man. I mean, come on, it’s easy to be a stand up guy when all is in order. But, what happens when the foundation starts to shake and your very world begins to rip itself apart? What then? Do you go home and kick the dog, or do you step right into the middle of that motherfucking storm and dare it to bring its worst?

When I told Eric I had been laid off, he had some very astute, if not pithy advise for me. “You’d better get on that…like yesterday.”

He’s right, of course. There is no time to wallow. I’m stepping into the storm.

Bring it on, motherfucker.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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