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!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Standing Up

I've had a bit of a tough week. Of course, I'm still recovering from my Achilles surgery. And while I'm not having physical pain, just some soreness, being immobilized in a walking boot prevents me from doing the crucial exercise I need to prevent mental pain. I'm doing what I can, but I feel a mental heaviness settling in. I'm a little worried about that.

I am unfortunately not without physical pain. I'm still recovering from my oral surgery and some follow-up orthodontic work, which has been quite painful. Even today, 10 days later, I'm having trouble chewing and very sore all the time. I've come to believe oral pain has got to be one of the worst types of pain. There is really no way to rest your mouth, and you gotta eat(!), which just aggravates the pain over and over again. I'm trying to be patient and hang in there. I know it will eventually get better.

I returned to work this week. I was looking forward to getting out of my house and seeing patients again. I was really looking forward to getting out of myself. Instead, I was met with a pile of paperwork that didn't get done while I was away, as my supervisor didn't find anyone to replace me while I was gone. I spent three days completing overdue documentation on patients I barely knew or in some cases hadn't even seen. It was frustrating.

I was frustrated with my supervisor. Besides the paperwork issue, another situation arose where I felt like I wasn't being treated fairly. In fact, I felt like I was being taken for granted. That's an icky feeling. And it forced me to have a pair of difficult conversations with my supervisor.

I simply had to stand up for myself. Standing up for myself, while necessary, is rarely comfortable. It's almost always challenging. I was already feeling challenged working in a walking boot with a very painful mouth. The last thing I wanted to do was have a difficult sit down with my boss.

I contemplated ignoring the situation, but not addressing it certainly would have resulted in an energy-sucking resentment. I can't afford resentments. They are poisonous to my mental health.

It took me a few days and at least one sleepless night, but I did have a respectful conversation with my supervisor yesterday. We had a good discussion, and I said what I wanted to say. Things were clarified. I'm still not entirely happy with the situation, but I accept it. My acceptance does not require my agreement, but acceptance frees me from resentment and allows me to move on.

I'm glad I stood up for myself because I already feel better. Letting go and moving on is crucial for my mental health. As I move through this next week I'm hoping to shed the looming mental heaviness and be freed from more of my physical pain. Those are the goals. One day at a time. One day at a time.


Anonymous said...

wow - thank you for this post. I struggle with standing up for myself.

Do you think it is worth going back to express our feelings to someone who we feel wronged us? How do we let that go.

I cannot say how much I respect your journey, your sharing, your perseverance. Your blog is a ray of truth and hope (even when it is hard times, your honesty inspires me) in a lifelong battle with depression myself.

etta said...

@ Anonymous: Thank you for your kind words. In response to your question, I have to say I think it's impossible for one person to answer for another. For me, the decision regarding whether to speak up depends on our relationship status and my energy expenditure. If it is a person with whom I will have continued contact, an ongoing relationship, it is almost always worth it to speak up. If I don't, the bad feelings are likely to come out sideways, and that's not fair to either of us. I also speak up, as I did in this instance, if I know that not speaking up will lead to a resentment, which sucks up precious energy I am not willing to waste. However, I have chosen not to speak up, too, if I determine the relationship status or the energy expenditure of speaking up are just not worth it. In those cases, I instead have to say a LOT of prayers to rid myself of the resentment. Again, I can't afford the wasted energy.

Anonymous said...

You had a sit down to stand up. I like that.

etta said...

@ paullamb: Cool. I like that, too! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I applaud you again. I hate confrontation. But those conflicts don't just go away. You handled it. You used your voice.

Paperwork is simply draining. Hope the pain diminishes soon.irene