Dealing with Anxiety and Depression

I don’t know what changed, but something did.

Well first, I got sick. It was something that was going around the office. Nasty virus that eventually turned into a sinus infection. Super fun. But then the ear infection started, and after three rounds of different antibiotics, nothing’s changed. I can hardly hear out of my right ear and although I was doing better with the virus, I’ve started getting worse again. My cough has come back, my nose will still be stuffy from time to time. It’s a nightmare. I’m headed to the ENT doctor tomorrow to see what can be done about my ear.

But that leads to my next big issue. Work. I work in a call center, which means I need to be able to hear and speak. Typing has never been a problem, but I need to hear and sometimes these people have us on speakerphone or are just very quiet. I haven’t been able to work. But it gave me time to realize that I just can’t stand working in the public sector anymore. I’ve hit a big bout of depression, akin to my very first time back during my sophomore year of college. No appetite, I sleep most of the day and when I’m awake, I’m still tired and lethargic. I have no interest in anything, don’t want to leave the house, and I’ve had at least one bad anxiety attack over the whole issue.

It’s not that I don’t want to work. Sure, I can be damned lazy when I want to be, but it’s not just that. Working in the public sector, especially retail and ESPECIALLY sales, makes me anxious and I’m so unhappy. There’s a level of unhappiness I can deal with in my job, but I dread going into work every day. Sure, I have friends there, but when you work in a call center, you hardly see them. I’m in  my own little world for 10+ hours with no access to fun websites (all I ask is for Pinterest, really) and a book. That’s it. And trust me, I love reading, but not when I can hardly finish a page without another call coming in. Quite frustrating.

I want to write and do something that actually makes me happy. I need creativity, I need a freeflow environment. And without it, it’s stifling. So although Disney wasn’t super creative and I was dealing with people (sometimes very NASTY people), it did give me a bit of creativity and being surrounded by such magic helped keep me going every day. Sure, there were plenty of days that I didn’t want to work, but my crew was amazing and we all supported each other and had so much fun on our little boat ride. Star Tours I don’t miss as much (too hot, too crowded) but Living with the Land… I’d go back in a heartbeat. Though trust me, I don’t miss Florida ONE BIT.

Feeling like this for the past week is not only inherintly exhausting, but has drained me even further. I guess I didn’t even wake up to my alarm or Sean waking me up this morning. I got plenty of sleep, but mentally I’m so drained that my body is too.

I know people have it worse than me. Of course. And they’d love to have my job. Sure. But in my unique situation, I don’t know how much longer I can do this. Every time I’ve changed jobs, I’ve told myself I would never do retail, and I definitely never thought I’d do sales. But here I am, at the bottom of my personal barrel, trying to find a way out.

So in short, depression and anxiety suck. I’m depressed because I can’t stand my job and I’m anxious because money is a constant worry for us. So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. And I’m trying to find the best solution for me and for Sean, but it’s tough. The idea of moving back to Virginia near/with my parents has crossed both our minds, as has moving back to Florida so at least I can be close to Disney. I don’t think either are a proper solution, though I’ve entertained both ideas.

Right now it’s time to just get my mental health in order and then work from there. It might not happen tomorrow or next week or next month, but I’ll find something I love to do that can keep us afloat. And hopefully he’ll find a job that works better for him as well. Call center life doesn’t suit us.


Dealing with Monsters

Have you ever felt so down that you didn’t want to get up in the morning? Or have you ever reacted to something that was quite meaningless but it seemed like your world was crashing down? I have.

For at least the last ten years I’ve been dealing with one hell of a scary monster: depression. It’s the first time I’ve come out publicly and said that I carry it around with me and lately, I’ve been feeling its effects more and more.

I won’t go into details of when I first noticed it or all the major times it has affected my life, but I realized last night just how far reaching its tendrils were. I will react to something that is mildly inconvenient as if it is earth-shattering. I get overly emotional at the little things and have a hard time keeping it contained in public. It’s not the overwhelming sadness or apathy that gets me. It’s the roller coaster of emotions that nearly take over my body and force me to rant and rave, cry my eyes out and act like the world is against me. And sometimes I really think this damn university is out to get me, but that’s a blog post for another day.

When Robin Williams died, I was definitely sad, but part of me was at least a tiny bit glad that from his death the door opened for the world to finally start talking about depression, about how it can affect anyone at any time. But of course different tragedies struck and people forgot about the dialogue they had started about depression and that it is never the victims fault.

People with depression carry a monster on their back. Some monsters are small and keep to themselves most of the time, but others are large and heavy, ruining everything we hold dear. Sometimes people with depression can’t eat, can’t sleep, and just can’t get out and do or enjoy the things in life that they once loved or that need to be done. It’s hard.

For those of you reading this who deal with depression, just know that there are so many resources out there to help you get through this. Talk to friends or a therapist, seek help. You may not want to, but connecting with at least one person can help tremendously. Use your support system to your advantage and don’t be ashamed of the monster on your back. You aren’t the only one.

And to those of you who do not deal with depression, never ever blame the person who has it. A lot of the time, it’s almost impossible to control. Imagine a weight sitting on your chest all the time. One you’re in bed or sitting down, that weight makes it impossible to get back up again. That weight makes you feel like all you should do is sit there for eternity until someone or something lifts that weight off and lets you breathe again. It is never the victim’s fault. Be there for them and let them know that if they ever need to talk, that you’re there for them. Never pressure them to get out of the house or do anything. And sometimes, a silent companion is all they need to get through another day. So just be a warm and welcoming presence in their life and when they can finally put that monster back under the bed for a while, they’ll thank you for being so compassionate and understanding.

If anyone out there has any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here for you.

And if you’re thinking about taking your own life, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Get help as soon as possible because there are so many people who love you who don’t want to lose you.

I’ll leave you with this fantastic video by a man named Sky Williams who sums up depression perfectly.