So, praying helped to ease my rocking, praise Jesus! But now what do I do?! How do I get back on my feet? What does it look like when I get there? Prior to this point it took all of me to make it through the day. I was not used to thinking about anything else. The highlight of my week was making it to church each Saturday. It still is, but that was all I had at the time. My wife Kristi and my Mom were taking care of me, making sure I took my meds, and trying their best to understand. I was making it out of the house, taking walks around the block, but what else should or could I do at this point? What hope did I have of leading a “normal” life? Do people recover from OCD and anxiety? I had many questions and different people had different answers to my questions. Some people would not answer my questions, no matter how subtle they were. Some were quick to tell me that I needed to accept my condition and adjust accordingly.
Adjust accordingly…I tried my best to figure out what this meant for me personally. I tried my hand in Real Estate, thinking I could set my own schedule and make a decent living. It was something I really thought I would enjoy and I did, but 2007-2008 was not the time to try to break into life as a realtor. It was one of the worst financial markets of our time. After one year of being a realtor, I broke even financially and decided to look elsewhere for a career, but where?
I was often reading job postings hoping to find something when one day I stumbled onto an ad to work for Apple retail stores. On a whim, I applied online and soon forgot about it. This wouldn’t be my first time to apply online and never hear a word back from a company. It was late in the year when I received a call from Apple about a position I had applied for months ago. I was eager for anything, so I went on 3-4 interviews before landing a position with Apple. I was new to Apple products, only having a MacBook Pro for six months prior to working there.
My training class was delayed several times which got me excited and left me hanging. Would this actually happen? It was around the first of a new year when my training class finally started. We began training in the basement of the mall where the Apple store was located. I never knew this mall even had a basement. The trainers where oddly excited about Apple culture and what it meant to work for Apple retail. I spent a couple of weeks in training which oddly enough did not involve being in the retail store. What type of retail job was this?! I was no stranger to working retail. What company in their right mind invests this much in their employees?
My time at Apple was more than merely a job. It allowed me to briefly forget about the whole concept of a job. I had the amazing privilege of helping people each and every day. It was a job in the sense that I had an obligation to show up when I was scheduled to work. I got paid…check! I received a lunch break each day which I would spend escaping a bit from the busyness of the store. The escape was different at Apple though, it was merely time to rest, eat, etc. It was not time spent avoiding the work I was doing or needed to be doing. My breaks were highly valued, but my work was not detestable either. I enjoyed it plain and simple.
In my time working at Apple I do not recall a single time having issues with my anxiety. I remember hustling to get to work, ready to leave at the end of the day, but nothing which I was unable to handle. I believe this as a time when God smiled down at me. It was not perfect by any means. I had frustrations with my job and with other people, but for a brief time I did not need to look or think of looking for work. The pay was not fantastic, but it was not the lowest in my lifetime either. My benefits were solid, rock solid.
I loved my time at Apple. I knew it would not last forever, but my feet seemed to be on solid ground for once.