I lost my job today. There wasn’t any warning.

I mean I had discussions but never really thought that they would just let me go. Get rid of me. Like you chop off the rotten part of a vegetable. I'd seen scenes, in movies you know, heard of these things happening to acquaintances, friends of friends. Not me. Not now.

I had it all planned put. The job, the life, the future. And then the call happened.

Without warning. The whole image, the reality I was trying so hard to put together crumpled, piece by piece. It was surreal. It almost felt like someone I know, I love has just died. The anxiety I feel inside my chest right now, the bouts of tears that wouldn't stop, the anger, the sadness, they're all grieving the slow death of my mundane dreams.

However, in between those bouts of tears and underneath the rubble of despair there were flares of rebellion, sometimes, a couple of times, OK it just happened once! It was like in one of those coming-of-age movies where I saw myself in my very own Bildungsroman - taking all the blows at the beginning, falling down miserably. But then in a moment of great realization things start to look up. I stand up, slowly and painfully but steadily. As the music swells in the background, I get taller and taller until I reach unimaginable heights. And all my adversaries applaud and bend down in reverence. The reverie didn’t last long of course. Reality pulled me back with a jolt. Reality is much too close to one’s sleeves these days, even in golden Luxembourg.

I come to terms with the fact that everything becomes uncertain again. I try to find answers. What did I do wrong? What did I say that ticked them off? Or was it the way I dressed, smiled, behaved…? All my life, I have struggled with rejection, telling myself that my worthless being puts people off and must be either hidden away forever or made up in a way that one won’t be able to see the burning acne through the layers of concealers and foundations.

I haven’t been successful at either.

A job lost equals all those fears that I have tried so hard to keep at bay, fears that some would say are unfounded but that I know, and some of you might know, are real. I am good for nothing, a big fat failure, a glitch in the system. I go around taking care of the chores, getting up in the morning and going to bed at night but nothing, absolutely nothing can distract my brain from repeating to me a thousand times “you lost your job, you idiot!”

When Covid rammed in, I saw people losing their balance. Many – some I know, some I heard of – lost jobs, businesses, their “normality”. I looked at them, felt pangs of buried anxiety bottling up but told myself “not me”, “not now”. It is me. It is now. There’s no escaping it, and especially not if you have lived under the aegis of the Great Depression most of your life.

So in one of those rebellious moments of fanfaring reverie, I take up my sword and start writing in the hope of finding solace or at best some “co-reveurs” who would like to share their stories with me.

If you’ve rubbed shoulders with words like depression, anxiety, guilt, fear etc. Covid or not Covid, and would like your voice, your story to be heard, write to us at contenttoday[at]rtl[do]lu