And sometimes it hits me out of nowhere, all of a sudden, this overwhelming sadness rushes over me. And I get discourged and I get upset and I feel hopeless, sad, and hurt. And once again. I feel numb to the world.
~ Author Unknown
It’s close to Christmas and I am completely worn out. I have very little energy to do anything besides wake up and head back to bed a few hours later. All I want to do is sleep, hoping that when I wake up all is well again. Depression sucks!
Stress has me so run down, to the point that my immune system is low and I keep getting sick. Even going to the gym has me with less energy than normal. It also means more time “thinking” which is never good for me.
There are things I want to get off my chest and talk about, but at the same time slightly embarrassed to talk about them. I have done some very silly things the last few weeks.
Background to Depression
Let me digress for a minute. I’ve battled depression off and on for years. The last major bout of depression happened a few years ago. When my ex and I ended our marriage, I continued to live in our house while he went back to Alberta to work. I hadn’t realized what a toll it was taking on me emotionally and psychologically. It got to a point that a friend showed up at my house and asked me if I was OK. I couldn’t figure out what she meant by that. She stood there and said “I’m worried about you. You haven’t answered your phone, emails, and your voicemail is full”. I looked around and realized that she was right. I was buying Rubbermaid totes so that I could put my mail in them because I couldn’t deal with opening and be sorting through the mail.
Does it make sense? No, but at the time, it was like, out of sight, out of mind. And it meant that I didn’t have to deal with reality.
When I’m mentally and physically healthy and working full time, I’m a force to be reckoned with. I’ve always excelled at whatever I put my mind to. I exceed all expectations. Nothing came easy, but when I put my mind to it, I could overcome all barriers.
What Led Me to Today
Over the last year, I’ve been struggling to get my business off the ground. At the same time, look for full-time employment. Prince Edward Island is not the easiest place to find work. Most jobs here are either seasonal or low paying. I have killer skills and yet I’m still not able to find work. I’ve met so many business owners, economic development officers, Skills PEI and many others to talk about projects, business ideas, and nothing has come to fruition. I’ve even put some volunteering time in, hoping that I can make new connections that way. As per the job hunt search, I haven’t even been able to get a job interview.
Near the end of October, I lost my job and it really set me back. I was working for a hotel in Charlottetown and was responsible for their sales and marketing. I came into work one day and was told that I was let go. It had nothing to do with my abilities but rather it was a slow season and they couldn’t afford to keep me on. Marketing is always the first department that gets cut in economic downturn.
I think it was one too many rejections that sent me on a downward spiral. I feel like that duck on the water. On the outside appearance, it looks like things are calm and I’m drifting along. If you take a closer look, you’d see underwater that my feet are paddling furiously.
I’ve never been one to tell people how I feel. I put on a smile and tell everyone that things are great meanwhile I’m really struggling and hurting inside. It goes back to my childhood, which you sweep things under the rug and disregard what’s really happening. I’ll never forget the day that all our family secrets came out and people found out what was really happening. My world as I knew it, was tumbling down all around me.
I know that we can’t blame things based on what’s happened in our childhood. But sometimes, it’s really hard not to fall back into old habits. My coping mechanisms revert back to my childhood. You sweep it under the rug and ignore what’s really happening.
Unfortunately, this time, all the stress is catching up with me. A few weeks ago, I landed in the emergency room due to severe chest pains. I was having troubles breathing and it felt like a bull was sitting on top of me and crushing me. The doctor told me that my anxiety is so high that is was starting to affect me physically. My chest walls were/are tender from the stress and anxiety. He suggested that I talk to my family doctor about it and perhaps anti-depressants to help with the depression.
What Can I Learn from Depression and Anxiety?
You might think to yourself “Ok Rosie, but you promised that this blog would be about inspiring and will motivate me. So, you’re stressed out, we all do, what makes yours different from mine?” You’re right, I did promise that. Here are my thoughts:
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I felt slightly embarrassed about talking about my thoughts and feelings. Why should I be? We are human and we have emotions and we can’t be all things to all people.
As a society, there are still topics that are taboo and we don’t talk about them – we sweep them under the rug. Depression is one of those topics. So many people don’t understand it and think that you can just snap out of it. For once, I don’t want to keep a secret and hide what I’m going through. I want to share my thoughts and struggles.
Secondly, I’ve come to realize that I need to find better coping skills. Since this last bout of depression, I’ve started talking to a therapist again. Because what I’ve always done is not working. I can’t hide and pretend that things are not working out.
When I talked with a friend of mine and admitted the depression, she was relieved. She’s been worried about me for months and was too afraid to tell me that I should seek help. She thought that I would get upset with her and tell her off. She was right, I can be quite stubborn and I’ve been in denial for so long about my situation. Least of all, I didn’t need someone telling me that I needed therapy. Boy, was I wrong!
Finally, as my therapist said in my last session “Doors keep shutting on you. The universe is telling you something. You need to stop and listen and figure out what it’s telling you.” I’ve never been a quitter. I may have setbacks but I will keep moving forward. Some days I feel like I’m on my hands and knees crawling, but I’m still moving forward.
I am finding my way, slowly. Taking one day at a time. Soon, the feelings of being lost and alone will subside.
READER TIP: If you share my feelings and feel alone, I urge you to talk to someone about them. Don’t wait till it affects you that you’re house-bound and unable to get through daily life.
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