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, May 9, 2012

A maze of discomfort and fear

One of the tenets of my program of recovery is, "Do not make decisions based on fear." My friends have been reminding me of this lately. Well, as I wrote here a few days ago, I am fearful. I am in the middle of salary negotiations for a job I'm not certain I want because I am afraid I no longer possess the skills necessary to perform it well. Yet I know I can't stay at my current job, as the environment there is just too negative and unsupportive. So I'm stuck, and I need to make a decision.

If I decide not to take the new position, I would definitely be going against the basic tenet. My decision not to take the job would be totally based on fear. The major reason not to take the new position is because I am afraid I can't do it. Other than that, it's really a no-brainer.

My fears, in reality, are likely unfounded. I know eventually my discomfort would abate, my fear would subside, and I would settle into my new role. So what am I afraid of? Well, I've discovered I'm actually afraid of being afraid!

I don't like to be uncomfortable. I don't like to feel afraid. I'd like to avoid both discomfort and fear at all costs. So I'm actually afraid of feeling uncomfortable and afraid! New jobs are always scary and uncomfortable. And I do have some legitimate concerns about my forgotten skills. But if I'm really honest, I am most afraid of, and I most want to avoid being scared.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately (because it forces me to face my fear), staying at my current job is also quite uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable for very different reasons, but it's uncomfortable nonetheless. Yet choosing to stay in my current situation would be easier, and in a way more comfortable, than leaving for this new position. Weird! It's confusing. It's sticky. It all makes this a very difficult decision to make. No wonder I feel stuck!

Stuck or not, I'm leaning strongly toward leaving. If we can work out the salary details, which I could have accomplished tonight had I called the regional manager back, I think I will take the new position. In a way, I feel like I need to take it in order to challenge myself, in order to work through this fear.

In doing so, I have to remember another crucial component of my program, faith. I can only make my best decision, and I must leave the rest to God. It will work out as it should. I must, regardless of the decision I make, have faith in that.


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Etta, I, too, am afraid of fear, of being uncomfortable. I can't count the times I've based decisions on fear, taking the easy way, but not always the best way. Sometimes it's hard for me to recognize myself doing it while I'm in the middle of the decisionmaking, so kudos to you for being able to recognize it in yourself.

I admire your faith, too.

Mohican said...

So you have to choose between 2 uncomfortable situations: your current job, which is unlikely to get better, or a new situation, which you have done before and has plenty of upside. Whether you hate your job or love it, it doesn't last forever. Your last one didn't, your next one won't. You know you need to leave your current job - don't look for reasons to avoid it.

etta said...

@ Tina: Thank you for your supportive, understanding comment! I thought I was just babbling in circles when I was writing this post, but you get it! Thank you, that helps.
@ Mohican: As usual, you are wiser than I. I appreciate your direct and accurate accounting of my situation. Thank you. And thanks especially for reminding me that everything is temporary!

Jean Grey said...

Would you be working alone, or would there be other PT's there who could help you if need be with treatment technique's, etc? I made the transition to outpatient (I'm an OT), and I love it, but it took a lot of effort on my part to learn new skills. I think that inpatient and outpatient are very different environments and require different skills. But it is a great challenge.

I am going to steal your principle of not making decisions based upon fear! I keep telling myself I am being realistic... but I am really giving in to fear.

technomom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
technomom said...

Your tenet of "don't make decisions based on fear" has encouraged me to try something I've been worrying over. Thank you.

Samantha McDonald said...

I completely understand what you mean by not making choices based on fear. When I've actually thought things through, I realize that a lot of my fears are unfounded as well. Thank you for your honest posts. It's comforting to know we're not alone. :)


Shannon said...

I too, as many here have practically lived my life based on fear! And he things it has kept me from doing is a list a mile long. The "I wish I had" list... You are brave to try and live your life not making decisions based on fear. I need to learn this from you!! It is so weird how the fear is so great sometimes but if I just push past it that little goes away! I wish my body automatically did this and it wasn't such a struggle! I'm there with ya!