I often compare recovery from a history of abuse to a journey on a rugged path with many pitfalls. Sometimes you follow the path for a while, and it just stops, leaving you stranded in a parched desert. You crawl back to a crossroads, tending to your thirst by lapping from a muddy puddle (hoping no one sees you do that). You find another path, relieved it has some trees to provide some shade. You stumble along, following its twists and turns; you are never sure if you are going in the right direction. All of a sudden, the path opens up, you have a view again, and you find yourself on the edge of a steep cliff over a cavernous canyon. Now what?

I’ve decided to leap into that canyon. No parachute. I’m going to throw myself off the ledge and see if I can fly.

Don’t worry. It’s a metaphor. I’m not about to physically jump off a cliff. But it feels almost that scary. I’m quitting my job.

There’s no soft landing. I don’t have another job lined up. I don’t have a plan.

But the thing is, I can’t live like this anymore. I am tired all the time. I am always behind and feel it like a huge weight on my shoulders. Morale is very low right now at work, for so many reasons, and since I gave up my director position last winter, I am not in a position to do much about it. I still love the work itself–it’s very meaningful, but there’s way too much of it. I like most of my colleagues, and I enjoy working on teams. But I just can’t do it anymore. Some days I feel so discouraged and depressed that I can’t get anything done. I know something has to change, and I don’t even have the energy to explore options while I’m still working.

Furthermore, there is something about the chronic stress at work that stirs up the chronic stress of being married to an abusive first husband and the chronic stress of being a child in unsafe situations. And those connections make the current situation worse that it really needs to be. It’s time to let go of chronic stress.

Finally, I think the main reason is this: life is short. If I give all my energy and creativity to a job that no longer makes me feel good, then what is the point of my life?

So I’m going to leap off that (metaphoric) cliff. I haven’t given notice yet, but I’ll do that either August 1 or August 8 (haven’t decided whether to give 3 or 4 weeks’ notice). I’m thinking September 1 will be my last day. Well, if I don’t chicken out.