The last several months I’ve been in a very bad place (as the majority of my posts have reflected). I know I’m depressed. I don’t know what to do or who to talk to about it. Is this what my life is now? What now?
Realized I go back to work in 4 days. Glad to have the time off but I don’t want to go back. I’m tired. Tried of saying I’m fine. Tired of pretending I’m happy to wake up every morning. I’m not. I hate my life, I hate what its become and I cant change it. It’s like a bad groundhog day.
Haven’t had a good xmas day in about 5 years…sitting at home alone again today. I have really grown to dread this day. and to make this year even more fun i’m sick. merry … whatever.
I’ve been with the same company for a long time now (over 5 years) and I’ve always wondered if this is where I belong and what I’m supposed to be doing. Years ago most days I was happy and looked forward to coming to work. That changed about 3 years ago and ever since it’s been more a grind to wake up and come into a place that I could really don’t know if I could care less about.
Couple of weeks ago I switched to a different department in hopes that would stoke the proverbial fire. It hasn’t. In fact I’ve become even more despondent. I think back to other jobs I’ve worked before switching to technology and I realize that I was much happier in those days. I worked my fingers to the bone because I believed in the mission and the more work we did, the more people we helped. It’s the exact opposite at my current job. The more work I do, the more work that gets piled on.
Was my calling to work at a non-profit or something like that? Looking back I remember some of the latest nights I’ve ever worked but also going home and feeling the most satisfied about the work I’d done that day. I left that environment with the misconception that more money would equal happiness. So far, it hasn’t. It’s just meant putting up with more bullshit and having more bills to pay.
I’m not happy in my current field and I don’t know what I’m going to do about that. Can I make the jump to working for a non-profit for less pay? More than likely, yes. It will require losing the illusion that the higher paying job provides me more happiness. But, honestly, I think I’ve already proved that to myself. Now it’s just a matter of taking the leap (and pay cut).
Have you ever found something, a book or article describing some kind of condition and just felt like it was written about you? I’ve never been one for reading self help books. I’ve also never been one for visits to therapists. I’ve done both with very limited success. I usually buy the self help book, read a few pages of it and then forget about it..And as for visits to the shrink, well, I’ve been and I’ve spilled my guts about my porn use/habits and been likened to a heroin addict. And that was on the first visit!! If you want to scare the hell out of someone and make them likely to never want to talk again, compare them to a heroin addict. I know the effect of porn on the pleasure centers of the brain and maybe that is what getting high feels like. If it is I can certainly see why addicts are made.
But anyway, back to the topic. I stumbled across a self help book called “ReTraining the Brain – A 45-Day Plan to Conquer Stress and Anxiety”. After reading a few pages of it I found myself nodding in agreement and reading a list of things going “that’s me, that’s me, that’s me, I do that as well”..It was beyond eerie. I bought a copy of it from Amazon and it was delivered today. All I can say is, wow. It talks about depression and something called stress storms…Some questions it asks very early on:
- Have you ever been confused or frustrated at your inability to find a simple solution for an everyday problem? (Yes)
- Some days, do you just find yourself overwhelmed with too many tasks and feel like you’re losing control? (For the last year/year and a half..almost every single day)
- Do you sometimes wonder if your brainpower is slipping away? (I feel like I can’t retain anything I read or see anymore…so yes)
- Are you getting in your own way because of the negative thoughts that run on a continuous loop in your brain (Yes! I worry about this happening everyday and usually it does happen and all I want to do is just leave)
The book also gives management techniques to deal with the stress before it it spirals out of control and becomes a stress storm (some of which I do already):
- Listen to music. (I do this all the time at work when I get stressed out..I think my timing may be off since I only listen to music when I feel like I’m losing it. It’s suggested that after 20 minutes or so the pattern of the stress storm is broken)
- Deep cleansing breaths while focusing on pushing out the bad energy. (I’ve only recently started using this technique and it’s been in conjunction with listening to music so I don’t know how it would stand on it’s own.)
- Medication. (This is something I would like to avoid and it’s been a major reason I haven’t stuck with a professional therapist. I don’t want to get dependant on drugs and have to deal with the side effects of them or the risks associated with taking them. Some of them have some pretty bad potential side effects.)
There’s also a passage that I”m going to quote because it hit me like a ton of bricks:
When you take away the positive response and invite the demon of self-criticism, you will incorporate that message into your imagery and into your life … If you deem yourself a failure, you practice being a failure.
I put the part that hit me hardest in bold. The book also highlights the thought pattern leading up to a stress storm and it’s like someone is reading my thoughts.
When you fail to do a task before you the first response from most people is “I must be doing it wrong”. The next failure results in “I’m so stupid–why can’t I do this?” and the kicker is, “I’m not good at this and am giving up”.
Seriously, get out of my head! I’ve only just started this book and I find myself highlighting passages and writing things in the margins (which I never do) and folding down pages to reference later. I’m just getting into the anxiety portion of the book and once again on the mini questionnaire it’s like I was interviewed for this book.
As I posted yesterday it all boils down to me being responsible for how I feel. No one can make me angry/sad/depressed or whatever. They are not responsible for my feelings. I’m responsible for how I react to them. That sounds really elementary and I’ve probably posted about it sometime last year on this blog..When I get into these down/depressed states I tend too … forget everything that I’ve learned/read which goes back to the whole loss of brainpower feeling. But this time feels different.
At this particular moment I choose to feel hopeful.