Saturday, December 26, 2015


About a month ago, I started taking extremely mild anti-depressants.  About a month ago, my work troubles and my family's health problems finally took a turn for the better.  I'm not sure which one has helped lift my depression, but I'm so grateful.

Between my mother's cancer, my father's two pulmonary embolisms, and my sister's chronic and plaguing sinus infections and headaches, there's been a lot of family stress.  Between trouble with my standing in my union, being passed over for a different position by someone new who had less experience, and by being saddled with a position I'm not fond of, there's been a lot of work stress.  And these two sources of stress have, together, created a nigh irrepressible weight that I'm constantly struggling under.

As with everyone person, I've struggled with self-esteem throughout my life; believing that I am competent, capable, and worth other people's time.  Generally, I've mostly gotten to the point where I do believe that most of the time.  So, when people tell me that I'm not good at something, I can evaluate their opinion critically to see if I believe them or not.  The situation at work, with the new and less experience people be promoted above me (and several other coworkers) shattered my confidence.  And once it was shattered, the depression settled in, and I just couldn't regain my confidence and belief in my self-worth.

That's what I've found with the depression is that it isn't just sadness, as I've read in so many articles by people with depression.  For me, it typically manifests in this inescapable and irrepressible sense that I'm not worth anyone's time.  And where normally my self-esteem would kick in at that point and logically point to all the evidence to the contrary, with the depression hanging over me, I found that none of that evidence meant anything.  The feeling was going to remain and it was not going to let me shake it.

I'm personifying the depression, but that's not for literary effect, that's because it's how it felt; how it feels.  It this thing I live with that I can't escape or run from or hide from.  It imposed an overwhelming sense of futility and while it never, thankfully thankfully, got to the point where I didn't see the point in life, it definitely got to there point where I could see how people could get to that point.

And the overwhelming guilt I felt when burdening my boyfriend with all this baggage was one of the hardest parts.  We've been friends for awhile now, so he's seen me without the depression.  But the depression started right around the time that we got involved and so we've never really been together without it looming there between us.  He didn't leave though.  After my breakup with Riley and the fallout that caused between my friends and I, I was truly terrified that I'd scare him away.  I told him that and he laughed and told me he still liked me and that I didn't always have to be good company.

And when I told my family, they were shocked.  But they didn't run away either.  They didn't necessarily help either, but they didn't run.  If they had run; if my boyfriend had decided that while he loved me, the depression was too much, I truly wouldn't have blamed him, but I don't know what I would have done.  This thing stripped away every defense I had against doubting myself.  If I hadn't had that external support, getting through, surviving (and I do mean that in the least dire way) to get my on internal support back, wouldn't have been almost insurmountably harder.

So I'm grateful.  Endlessly grateful that they have helped me.  And understood that I can't always do this on my own.

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