I can’t completely put my finger on the day that I felt like I was sinking… It just kinda happened and before I knew it, I felt like I was in emotional quicksand that I couldn’t pull myself out of.
I do remember in June my world was turned upside down when some drastic personnel changes happened at my job…. Let’s just say my boss was no longer my boss and I didn’t really know what was going to happen next. Not to mention, that at this point my boss and I had gotten really close. He was like the Dad I never had. I would drive to his house every morning and we would carpool to the office together… Now this isn’t an experience I’d ever had before. I never had a manager who cared enough about my driving to work that he offered for me to ride with him daily.
So, when my security blanket was snatched from me unexpectedly, I basically cried like a newborn baby. Immediately, I started having anxiety attacks on the days I had to drive down to my office by myself. Some days I’d carpool with my husband because we worked within 15-20 minutes of each other. I could barely make the small drive between our jobs without having bad panic attacks. I was using every method I knew to try to calm myself, but nothing worked. I called friends and family in the car, I listened to meditation music, I gave myself pep talks…. You name it, I did it. Basic trips that I had always made by myself I could no longer do. I was nervous driving to my Sisterhood Bible Study group, nervous to go to the nail salon or grocery store. I just lived in a constant state of anxiousness. I struggled day in and day out because of this sudden change to my “normal”.
From this constant anxious feeling was a spiral into depression. I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere because of my anxiety….. I literally didn’t even want to be around my own family. I was easily annoyed. The children frustrated me, my husband frustrated me, life itself frustrated me… And I just wanted to sleep… Because if I was asleep I didn’t have to deal with the constant feeling of uneasiness. I was in a SLUMP. It affected my marriage because Josh couldn’t understand what was going on and honestly I didn’t even realize that I was dealing with depression, so I couldn’t effectively articulate to him how I was feeling. I just knew I didn’t feel great and I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t just let me sleep. I just felt sad, eternally sad, I cried at the drop of a hat… I was an emotional wreck.
This went on for about a month before I was offered a position at another company… Actually the company my husband works for… (YES, we work in the same office now). Now mind you this is a huge company, very organized, I know my role and what I’m responsible for. I’m no longer pulled in 15 directions on a daily basis. I get to ride to work with my husband… But yet in the pit of my stomach I still felt uneasy…. And I felt even worse on the days I had to drive myself to the office. I intentionally avoided driving on 95 or the turnpike to work when it would only take 30 mins and opted for a route that would take me more than an hour to get to the office. My hands were shakey on the steering wheel, I’d break out in sweats, I was paranoid when people were driving next to me or behind me too close. Basically, I WAS A WHOLE MESS!
I struggled from July until October with these attacks…. Initially I thought, it was a fluke and I’d be fine the next day… But the “next day” would be worse than the day before… I finally couldn’t take it anymore so I called my general physician and he had me come in for a check up. Once I gave him my symptoms he explained to me that I was in a clinical depression. He then proceeded to change my medication because I had been on it for three in a half years at this point and it just wasn’t working anymore. I started the new meds and began to feel better but, I knew it was time for me to go back to therapy. You see I hadn’t been going since I started my new job. My schedule was off and my original therapy time wasn’t working.
I went maybe 3 more weeks before I finally got to the therapist….. And literally after one session I felt better. So, I knew I had to get back into the routine of going to see my therapist regularly…
So.. what’s today’s lesson? Well, we’re all figuratively walking around in life, and sometimes we TRIP. We may even FALL… But, we can’t give up or give in, we have to dust off our knees and keep going…. Also, pay attention to yourself! Take care of your mental health. See a therapist and if you can’t afford one, talk to someone. A friend, family member, minister… Anyone who’s willing to listen to your thoughts (without judgement). And if all else fails, write it down. It’s imperative that we take care of our mental health… Because a mind IS a terrible thing to waste…
See you on the next one… Peace, Love & Light.