Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Looking for a job

Depression disabled me. I was unable to work, even unable to care for myself at times. Things have been getting a little better, and a little better, and a little better over the last several months. I haven't been in the hospital for over one year, the longest freedom tenure since this odyssey began eight years ago. Yes, eight years now. Eight years ago this month, November 2000, my new, uninvited life began. It's been a long road.

But now, I am looking at going back to work. I have been working on-call for years, but I'm talking about going back to a regularly scheduled, part-time position. Fortunately, physical therapists are in high demand. Unfortunately, most healthcare organizations no longer hire part-time employees. It's too expensive to provide part-timers with benefits, I guess. That's not the point, however. The point is, I'm looking at going back to work, and this is big deal!

It's big, and it's frightening. I've had a few phone interviews already, and I have an interview with a local PT office tomorrow. It sounds like they may be open to part-time employment, although I don't know if that would include benefits. I'd certainly like health benefits. I'm sure many of you understand when I say living with a chronic illness, without benefits, is also scary.

I kind of enjoy the interviews. They don't scare me. I've found a new, relaxed attitude during the interviews I've already done. With what I've gone through these past eight years, my perspective has obviously changed. I'm not perfect, but neither are they. They are either going to like me or not. I'm either going to think the position or employer will be a good fit or not. I'm not desperate. I know I can live on very little income. I've been doing it for at least 6 of the last 8 years! I also know if I accept a position which isn't right, I'll set myself up for failure. I don't want to fail. Failure scares me!

The possibility of failure is frightening. When I worry about failing, my thoughts race. What if I get in over my head? What if I can't tolerate even part-time employment? What if I can't manage the stress of a new job, new co-workers, new patients, more responsibility, and more scheduled time? What if that stress increases my fatigue? What if that fatigue keeps me from doing the other activities which keep me stable? What if losing my balance and stability leads to increased depression symptoms? What if a depression relapse disables me again and keeps me from working? Whew!! Thinking is frightening.

Therefore, I'm trying not to think. There is a lot of uncertainty ahead. I hate uncertainty. I have no idea what is, or is not, going to happen. Clearly, thinking about all of the negative possibilities does not help! I'm trying to stay in the moment. I'm trying to live one moment at a time. I cannot allow myself to think ahead, although that is a very difficult thing not to do. However, if I allow the negative projection to take hold, I'll likely end up paralyzed, desperate, and discontent. I'm trying not to think.

This is a time for trust and faith. I'm not so great at either of those. I have to trust everything will work out as it should, that I'll be able to handle whatever is ahead. Thinking about it or predicting the future does not help. But trusting things will work out, and trusting I'll be taken care of is very, very difficult. I can't think about that either.

Perhaps, as our new President-elect stated last night, "this is a defining moment..." for me.


Anonymous said...

"I kind of enjoy the interviews. They don't scare me. I've found a new, relaxed attitude during the interviews I've already done. With what I've gone through these past eight years, my perspective has obviously changed"

I LOVE that statement and I totally agree with you. There are things that have happened recently that would've torn me apart years ago, but now I can cope because I've learned so much about myself in the last few years. It's an amazing feeling to realise that you've made progress.

etta said...

Thanks tanya!
I'm glad that rang true for you. It is a nice feeling, isn't it?