Feeling well enough at last to find my voice again
I have known for years there was a forum here and was too afraid to join because it would mean admitting I needed medication and just couldn't fix this by myself. So here I am at last! I hope this helps even one person if they are feeling like I did. Ok here goes.....
I'm a 32 year old mum of 2, 15 months apart. I'm happily married, love my job, love my family and friends. I have support. Nothing bad has happened to me. So I thought I had no right to feel depressed. I have always been an anxious and emotional person. Mood swings were normal for me. I made every excuse to myself and the doctors to explain away my poor scores on the postnatal depression checklists. I admitted I constantly thought about suicide but that had been normal for me for years so it didn't feel like a big deal, it didn't mean I'd do anything. I was angry all the time and my moods were unpredictable.
Hubby said constantly I don't care what the doctor said you perform for them and I know you. Something is wrong. After my second bub and the start of a new health condition (psoriatic arthritis) I saw a psychologist who said I was dealing with chronic pain and two small children and what I felt was normal.
I practiced mindfulness. Family and friends gave me rest. Eventually I got medication to help my joints. I talked. I ate well, I went back to work. Everything was supposed to be better....
But I felt worse. I'd see the doctor and they'd say I was ok but I'd stand at the sink washing dishes and plan the steps of how to kill myself. If I wasn't busy I would find the thoughts repeating. They'd all be better off without you. You're worthless. They'll only put up with so much of your issues and then they'll leave you. So I'd plan how to die. And I was TERRIFIED.
My husband told me to write down exactly what I felt on a bad day and he put it in an envelope and made me an appointment for the psychologist. We made a plan. I would go in and say I need you to read this. I don't feel like this now but this is how I've felt most days for years but I can't seem to communicate it to a doctor and get help and I'm so frightened.
And finally! A crisis plan put in place until I could see the psychiatrist! Apparently I have had major depression for over 12 years. Only after starting an antidepressant did I notice how anxious and self destructive I had constantly been. I don't have suicidal thoughts anymore. I am happy again. It's the start of my journey but there is hope at last.
That really does help me. I do the same. Build things up in my mind. Dream endlessly and never make decisions for myself. Avoid reality.
I really don't like being brought back down to earth. I do understand I'm a bit airy fairy but I'd kind of accepted that was ok. Last night I think I just felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me and what I'd been feeling was all wrong.
Then I saw your reply 😊
Perhaps it's not bad to have these expectation? As long as we can accept when things deviate....?
I think that's what the psychiatrist was trying to say. It's about recognising that things won't ever be completely perfect and that's ok.
As to work... Hubby and the psych think I'll regret leaving leaving and financially it makes no sense. But I was upset because I felt trapped again. Yes I know there are good things about my job. But I hate it. I'm rubbish at it. There's a big push away from education and towards punishing people and that doesn't sit well with me. I'm confused about how everyone says do what you want to do and in the same breath says don't do this, that doesn't pay well, you won't be happy all the time at any job.
I'm not completely unrealistic. I just know this job is doing me harm. I dread going. I spend the time at work on edge and waiting to be yelled at. And listening to staff complain. It's toxic. But there's this expectation to suck it up because it pays well and a job is a job. And the general consensus that I'm not competitive for another job because of my restricted hours, medical conditions (basically being a mum). It makes me feel worthless. And I thought I was getting beyond that feeling!
Thank you Fiasco. You have really helped. I just need to think on this.
I'm not worthless. I'm not. So they are wrong. Not me. Now just to figure out how that relates to my work...
Changing career direction can be confronting and scary but also how will you ever know? Who wants to live with regrets hey?
I've just come from a job interview this morning in a completely different field from pt. (nailed it by the way - the job is mine but who's bragging) Pt is my second career change so this makes it three - but who's counting. It's something that I've been thinking of for a while but only made the decision once I felt well again. I see changing it up as a positive. You gain different skills in life and broaden your experiences. Now I have three careers that I can fall back on. If you're not sure think about volunteering in your new field while still keeping your old job. It gives you great insight without having the pressure of having to perform. It's also the best possible way to get a job.
I'm a huge fan of the saying 'work to live not live to work'. As mums we often get a chance to redirect after taking time off looking after the kids. Sometimes finding a job that offers more flexibility and satisfaction is more important that simply $$.
Stew on it, try it out but don't bury it. It's not a decision that you have to make in a hurry enjoy the build up, the investigation and the trial and error. Best of luck xx
Good job on your interview that is awesome news! Yeah I'm well and truly ready for a change. It's just finding something in my field it's mostly in the city. Blah! May as well stay where I am workwise if it means more travel.
And Fiasco... I'm not a teacher or a nurse or anything useful. That would be great for rural jobs unfortunately I am not good with kids (I've barely got any patience for my own let alone someone else's). All admiration to you!
I'll figure something out. All I really want is a shop. But when I suggested it to hubby he said it's up to me but owning a store is hard work and often fails because of online shopping. Sigh.
Hi CMF and Ross,
Thanks for the support I think I might just sit on it for now. A good friend from my work rang to check on me and said she agrees with the psych and my hubby about waiting till I am stable before making changes.
I think they're probably right. I like the idea of working with plants again. I suppose there's nothing stopping me from growing things for hubby to sell at markets. Wait and see. Its always wait and see. The story of my life since kids arrived.
Speaking of kids they are driving me insane. Mr 3 decided to pee on the dog because I was on the phone. And squashed olives all over the concrete. Disgusting. And Miss 2 hasn't stopped whinging all day so I'm carrying her around for some quiet. Why did I want kids?
I've often tried to get away from what I do, but always stop within a day or so because inside I realize I'm trying to find a perfect position, and there isn't any such thing - at least for me as I drag my nature around with me like a snail-shell. Anxiety is not position dependent - at least for me:-[
Having given you my 2¢'s worth on employment 🙂 I do think Ross and CMF may have something to think about, talking about going on-line. Apart from lower expenses it also has the opportunity to start of at hobby level and build up. (Ross thanks for asking how I was the other day - much appreciated.)
Now Quercus I also wanted to thank you -again - for another tale in
Forums / Staying well / Store Your Happy Memories Here:
This time the nudie rudie kids on a cold wet day. Fun!
You don't really have to wait and see you know, pop a plant or two in now, if your direction changes nothing lost?
Sorry to miss out on the current conversation. Going back to your question about the fantasy of a perfect life. Don't know if this will help. I joined my meditation group on Wednesday evening as usual. We have a talk before meditating and the words seemed to be directed at me on a similar topic to yours. So I thought I would copy some extracts.
What is the difference between reality and unreality? I think one way we can understand it is to see unreality as the product of desire. .... As everyone can find from their own experience, we learn in the stillness and silence (of meditation) to accept ourselves as we are. This sound very strange to modern ears, above all to modern Christians who have been brought up to practice so much anxious striving: "Shouldn't I be ambitious? What if I'm a bad person, shouldn't I desire to be better?" .... The real tragedy of our time is that we are so filled with desire, for happiness, for success, for wealth, for power, whatever it may be, that we are always imagining ourselves as we might be. So rarely do we come to know ourselves as we are and to accept our present position. But traditional wisdom tells us: know that you are and that you are as you are.
I find these gems that come into my life speak so powerfully about our way of life, and remind us we do not need to rush hither and yon looking for answers, but to know ourselves first. I hope they have some meaning for you.