The Next Chapter - Part Two

For my husband's last week in Texas, we were determined to complete his Texas "bucket list." Last Saturday, he ran a Tough Mudder with a friend. Later that night, we celebrated at a Brazilian steakhouse his new position with our closest friends.

"Howdy folks!"
On Monday, we hosted a happy hour with my coworkers so that they could say farewell to him. On Tuesday, we attended the state fair and said goodbye to Big Tex. The plans for Wednesday included the Mötley Crüe final farewell tour, and then my husband was set to start his drive to Reno early Thursday morning.

But the plans suddenly changed.

At dinner on Wednesday night, my husband received a voicemail from his new HR manager informing him that he needed to return her call as soon as possible. He stepped outside of the restaurant, and as I watched him on the phone I could tell something was wrong. He walked back in only far enough to motion for me that I needed to join him outside. It was there that he broke the news.

The job that he had been hired for had been changed.

The German CEO had decided that the job should be in Germany, and not America.

His Reno position had been eliminated.

Instead of a new job, my husband would be receiving a severance package.

There was nothing we could do.

A wave of emotions flooded through me, and I tried to handle them as gracefully as I could. He mentioned that both his new manager and his new HR were on the phone with him, and they both sounded distraught. They wanted him for this position. It was a perfect fit. But the German CEO believed that the job belonged in Germany. They gave us about twelve hours of advanced warning before his move.

When my food arrived, I couldn't eat. I looked at my order and thought I was going to vomit. I knew I needed to leave the crowded restaurant and process the news. I grabbed my cell phone and informed my husband that I was going to call my mom. As soon as I was outside of the restaurant, I sprinted out of sight. I felt a panic attack coming on. I found a random tree and sat down, failing at controlling my breath. One of the ticket scalpers saw me and attempted to comfort me by offering me his unopened beer. I'm thankful my mom had more practical advice.

"Amber. Take more hydrocortisone. Now."

The National Adrenal Disease Foundation defines an Adrenal Crisis as "the result of an extreme physical or emotional stress that does not get the necessary steroid coverage to meet that stress." My mom was determined to not let this unexpected extreme emotional stress spiral me towards a full blown Adrenal Crisis.

Taking additional cortisol during that moment did not numb my pain. It did not reduce the shock of the news. What it did do was enable me to respond appropriately. The inappropriate response was my refusal to eat any food. It was the uncontrollable sobbing to the point where I could not breathe. It was that dangerous unsafe voice tempting me to hurt myself. That was my life before I was properly diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency.

With proper cortisol coverage, tears are still shed. The shock is still real. The hurt is still there. But the doom is lessened.

I am so incredibly grateful for our friends who upon hearing the news dropped everything to make sure we were ok on Thursday. That even included allowing my dinner that night to be chocolate ice cream and broccoli.
My husband and I will weather this storm together. The past few days, we have come up with a plan of action. The severance package will allow him to search for employment in that area of the country full time. He left this morning to begin his quest. We will figure this out, together.

One more photo together before he starts his journey to the other side of the country.
And as always, I will fight to remain Clearly Alive.

I mentioned self-harm in the post above. I want to inform my readers that I am safe. I have a good network of support that regularly check in on me. Before I was properly diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency, I struggled with a dangerous voice inside my head that would tempt me to hurt myself. A few times, I would listen to it. A few times, my mom would have to come in and forcibly stop me. 

With proper cortisol coverage, that voice is silenced.

If I am ever overwhelmed while running low on cortisol, that unsafe voice returns. I am learning to recognize it quicker and react. I seek out help. I speak openly about it. By speaking openly, I can have accountability. Through accountability, I can remain Clearly Alive.

If you are struggling, know that you are not alone and do not be afraid to seek help.
I want us all to remain Clearly Alive.

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