Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 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!

Friday, January 27, 2012

One moment to the next

I would love to begin this post by reporting that things are much improved around here. Unfortunately, I can't. I'm still feeling very, very low. I don't know why. I've stopped trying to figure it out. It is what it is. And I'm trying to move from one moment to the next as gracefully as possible.

My mother is here. She's been making me soups and freezing them. She also helped me sort through my bills and get my tax information gathered together. It's been good having her here. It's nice to have another person in my home. It makes life a little less lonely right now.

I returned to work on Monday. I've been working 4-5 hours every other day. I feel overwhelmed and incompetent at work. I think I'm doing an okay job, but I don't feel okay. I know I've done better at other times. My boss has been incredibly accommodating, and she's not pressuring me at all. But I put pressure on myself--pressure to work faster, pressure to work more efficiently, and pressure to work more hours. I feel bad leaving so much of the work for my boss. She's pulling more than her weight, and I feel guilty about that.

I'm actually in the process of deciding whether to keep my job or not. One option I have is to take disability. For the life of me, I can't make a decision about what to do. There are pros and cons to working, and there are pros and cons to taking disability (I would still work intermittently while on disability). My mom thinks I'm rushing back into regular work too soon. But mom is the only one willing to provide an opinion. Members of my treatment team are willing to discuss it, but none of them are willing to provide an opinion, so the decision is up to me. I value work, which is why I've gone back, but there are also valid reasons not to work. At this point, I'm hoping the decision will become clear as I move from one moment to the next.

I'm moving from moment to moment as gracefully as I can, but, damn, I wish I felt better! Unfortunately, I don't. It is what it is. All I can do, all I've been doing, is move forward one day at a time. I'm doing the best I can. I appreciate the support I've received here. It really is helpful knowing some of you understand. Thank you for all of your feedback and encouragement. I'll keep going if you will.


Kinza said...

Please be satisfied with moving forward one day at a time.
Keeping your job or not, one thing to consider is money, and the other maybe more important aspect is having a job, being forced to be active, socialize... For me personally, it would be easier and more appealing to quit the job, but that would allow me to isolate myself even more.
Keep moving one day at a time.

Wendy Love said...

I understand about the work dilemma. It took me years to finally give up my work. And there was no disability for me, but thankfully I have a husband with a good pension. Not working has been wonderful in that there is no pressure and no obligation. That part is great. I am not letting anyone down so the guilt levels are decreased. That is the good side of not working. For me it is all good. I manage to fill my time in other ways, when I have the energy to fill my time!
Continuing to pray for you. Keep writing and doing those things that you know bring you some degree of joy, or peace, or sanity, or any kind of relief at all.

Patty Taylor said...

Etta, my depression is much more responsive to treatment than yours, so our situations are not equal, but I can relate to the depth of your despair and self-pressure to get more done. I recently started my own blog about living with depression, and your post reminds me of a post I wrote called, "I changed my work and changed my life." I, too, have struggled with work and depression my entire adult life and it goes directly to negatively impacting your self-esteem and confidence. Perhaps without the stress of a job, you could find another purpose in your life, like continuing to help others with mental illness because I believe your blog is serving this purpose. Just an idea. Take care, my friend.

hereagain said...

i feel like my life is somewhat on a parallel- without the ECT. I was glad you wrote today because your last entry seemed very down. Sometimes i get so tired of looking for answers.

Med said...

I can remember on going back to work on medication and feeling that way too because the meds affected my mental agility. It was the last thing I needed, to feel like I wasn't cutting it. I also found I had to concentrate a lot more than before, on conversation and tasks, again because of the medication. If I had been more clued up back then I would have said that it wasn't right for me or my role in the organization. I needed to stay sharp.

Keep an open mind and keep gathering evidence of how you respond in your work environment. Use it to get a better insight into the nature of your particular depression. But, also be mindful that the depression itself clouds our judgement and so makes decision making tricky. So take big decisions about your work life slowly. I know that is hard because you feel compassionate towards your colleagues who are working hard, but they are only doing what you would do if the situation was reversed. If they are permitting you to work in a low gear and ease yourself back, take that opportunity. They want you well and throwing yourself into things risks drowning, they won't thank you for that. Pace yourself, show yourself some compassion. Take care. Med

Brian said...

HI etta,

I'm new to your blog but I totally agree with Med. If you have a boss that is understanding, you are very lucky. That means that your boss does care, and leverage that.

When I stepped away from work, I had no structure, which made me feel like I had no purpose, which drove me into a deeper depression. It was a vicious cycle that I broke only with someone who understood and gave me the time I needed.

Good Luck - I will be reading.