Finding Positives Within the Negatives of War, Part 3

Guest post by AW Schade

When I returned to work after finishing school, I began my old ways of switching jobs within the company every two years. It was actually the only way for me to fight the demons. Like Lee Marvin in the “Dirty Dozen,” just send me to do a job, then move me on when it’s finished. Every job I selected was very different, which kept me in a constant learning mode, and managing new challenges.

I accepted challenging positions in finance, marketing, business development, sales, bringing new products from research to market, consulting, managing relationships with business partners, and traveling around the world working with country managers to resolve issues. Nevertheless, the nightmares, depression, anger, and anxiety were increasing beyond my control. I had to refocus on moving ahead. Until one day, I finally realized ‘boredom’ was a major catalyst for my emotional setbacks; having too much time to think and not being productive, was a recipe for falling hard into the bowels of PTSD.

For instance, I was asked to work on the regional staff in NYC for a year, a two and half hour round trip commute every day; three years later, I was still there. So what does a supposedly ‘smart’ man, with the baggage of PTSD, do when he does not get his way? Yup, I quit! Without any discussion with my wife or kids, I made the decision that after fifteen years of service, knowing I would lose my lifetime pension, salary, health insurance, had no savings, and a wife and three kids to feed, it was time to move on. I taught them a lesson. NOT!

With no job, I found work at a small medical insurance company on a commission only basis. I was going to set the world on fire, instead I found myself on target to make, possibly, ten thousand dollars a year, again. All I worked sixty of seventy hours a week for was gone. I was a failure; falling deeper into the abyss of PTSD. But I wasn’t a quitter and never stopped trying to salvage or life.

However, God is good! Nine months after quitting my job and discussing bankruptcy, a friend from my old job called me and said he had a position for me if I wanted it. I wanted it! I told him. I would also kiss his butt and make him brownies for breakfast if he could pull it off. Thankfully, he did not take me up on either of my offers, and closed the deal. I was jubilant, but I had nothing to do with this turnaround of events. For the first time in a year, I was looking forward again. Yet, continued chastising myself for putting my family in that position.

Based on past performance the company had no objections to bringing me back. More important, because I was rehired within a year I had no break in employment service, and everything was reinstated as if I never left; salary, pension, insurance, etc. Slowly my family finances began to get back on track, and I continued looking ahead at opportunities. I still needed to change jobs every couple of years, which I continued to do successfully, without leaving the company again, until I retired.

Towards the end of my career, I began to write and publish two books. The first, was “Stop, before you lose your time, money and reputation.” It is about how not to avoid scams, and the work it really takes to build a business on the internet. However, wait until I rewrite it because the grammar is horrible. My second book, “Looking for God within the Kingdom o fReligious Confusion.”, is one man’s semi-nonfiction journey to find the truth about God, Spirituality, and Secularism. This is edited, published and selling fairly well.

See here to read Part 2.  Part 1.  Next week, Part 4…

AW Schade is a Marine, Vietnam Veteran, Bank Manager, and over 30 successful years in corporate executive marketing, business development, and sales. An author; married and father of three young men, Schade graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Business Management.

The ideas contained in this post solely represent the perspective of the author. To contribute to ‘Survivors Speak’ contact Michele.


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