As part of my attempt to recover from depression and return to a relatively ‘normal’ life meant returning to work. The employment market meant there was no jobs part time nor any that were within half an hour from home so I started full time work over an hour from home, which places extra stress upon me as I struggle to maintain some sense of normality but what is normal when you have depression?
The struggle to keep on top of my major depression has been an ongoing challenge that has seen more bad days than good ones, more exhaustion than energy, more tears than smiles, more stress than relaxation and more struggling than enjoyment. I have always been a type A personality, one of the worst enemies of those living with depression and has meant that I am determined to succeed, always wanting to push harder for more results and the feelings of guilt when depression cripples me so I am unable to do my job properly. This personality and determination has not helped me in either my ease back into normality nor my ability to get to work every day without depression restricting my performance. It’s all a vicious circle that is constantly troubling me and leaving me to question everything from who I am to not being able to do this anymore.
For the last 12 months I have taken recovery from depression seriously, more determined to get well than I have ever before. A supportive partner has changed a lot about who I am and what I have to live for, while sometimes I can’t see why I want to live, I do want to be happy and to be at a point in my management of depression that I can say it is under control and I can participate in life as anyone should. In this regard, I not only see my GP atleast monthly, I see my Psychiatrist atleast every three weeks, and I do this consistently, something that I have never done before. Now I have come to a point where I want to see a Counsellor, for me to take this step is huge, coming from the girl who has never talked about her problems, who was told never to talk about her problems as a teen, leaving me silent, not knowing how or what to talk about. Taking that step to want to see a Counsellor has taken a lot, it has not been easy but I have recognised that something has clicked inside me that has enabled me to take this step. How it goes time will tell but hopefully I can reach a new part of my life that releases so much from my thoughts, that let’s go of the past and allows me to want a future, too look forward to tomorrow.
The new problem that I now face, which those living with mental illness who work share, is that these services are only provided during normal business hours! Why the heck can’t services be provided for everyone with a mental illness? I have an employer who supports me to get well and manage my depression, therefore they are accommodating my need to work at home when I have a medical appointment, but their support may only go so far because now I have to see a GP, Psychiatrist and a Counsellor when I should be working. I need a couple of extra week days to fit in my second job of treating my mental illness!
There is only so many days they will allow this to happen? There only so many days before being on sick leave is exhausted? There are only so many times when depression is a relevant reason for absences, not 8 hour days, and not performing! Sooner or later questions will be asked of me and I won’t be able to meet their expectations!
I need a clone of myself to manage my treatment while the type A me works.