I’ve been thinking about writing for a while now, but I haven’t figured out exactly what to say. Finally, I decided I better just write something, anything, or I’m never going to get started again. I don’t think I have the words to explain the last several months, but I’ll try my best.
I was overwhelmed with work life and home life, depressed, anxious and not sleeping. The lack of sleep was starting to get to me. I was constantly nauseous or dealing with a headache. I don’t know if you’d call it hallucinating or not, but I’d mix up reality with whatever my brain came up with when I dozed off for a few minutes. I’ve been this way before, but I’ve always pushed through. I always thought if I just push through to the other side things will start looking up and I’ll get to a place where I feel safe, can relax and maybe enjoy something. By safe, I mean a home, a secure career, a steady income, family, friends and no huge financial problems. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation or maybe it was starting Quentiapine but, I guess the difference this time was that I finally realized that is never going to happen. No matter how hard I work now, I’ll never reach a place where I can breathe. There will always be more responsibility, another commitment, another challenge. It is just going to keep going like that. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. So what is the point in killing myself, working so hard only to make myself miserable? Well, there is no point. So I stopped.
I know the ideal is to achieve a balanced life. Things should be done in moderation so you get your work done, but also enjoy life a bit too. Logically, this makes total sense but, it is still completely foreign to me. Like many people with depression, I am a very black and white thinker. You know, all or nothing. How can you enjoy playing when you know there is work to be done? I guess this is why I have always held on to the principle of work hard, play later.
Anyway, I guess this realization was the last straw. I just stopped everything and imploded into a sobbing, hyperventilating, irrational mess. I had to bail on a conference I was supposed to speak at, I stopped going to work, stopped answering the phone, going out, working out, blogging, drawing, etc. After going full steam ahead for so long it was a big crash and burn. The only good thing about this was that I was finally able to sleep. In fact, that’s pretty much all I did. I slept, I cried and I watched TV.
I wasn’t proud of myself, but sleep or TV (basically avoidance) were the only things that got my brain distracted enough to get relief. It was like this for a couple months. I am so thankful for my family. They were patient and didn’t make me feel worse. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.
After my months of avoidance, I started to feel like I could handle doing little things again. Things like driving my mom wherever she needed to go or reading a magazine. Eventually, I felt I could handle thinking about work again. I came up with a plan to take the rest of the semester off and go back in January. That may not be happening anymore, but that’s another story.
For now, I’m just going to try to enjoy and participate in as much of the holiday season as I can. I hope all of you have been well over these last few months and I look forward to catching up. 🙂