I’ve been feeling a little stressed today. Nothing compared to how I used to stress out, but enough to put me on alert. I had a cold earlier in the week. A mild one, but enough to knock me out on Tuesday. I woke up feeling fine on Wednesday though so that was a bonus. Not a fan of getting colds in the summer!
Work has been exceptionally busy this week. I work in logistics and export so it’s an expect the unexpected kinda job, but this week it has been especially so. We’ve recently opened a new warehouse, which is fantastic for the company. This week we welcomed a new client so everyone has been particularly busy making sure that everything gets done, while still keeping on top of everything else.
It’s made for some long hours and a challenging week. Today I discovered that I had made a few mistakes, one of them which could have had serious repercussions. Luckily I was able to smooth it over and come up with a solution, but I still felt a bit down and anxious over it. On the plus side, not as much as i would have a few months ago. I left work late, but still smiling.
I was tested again while I was cooking dinner. I was trying to improve a recipe that I’d created last week and I completely messed it up. I managed to make it edible, just, but it was another blow in my difficult day. I was feeling a little low and I saw the warning signs of anxiety creeping in, which had the potential to sink me even deeper. So I stopped, took a breathe, counted a few blessings and continued on my way.
It made me think of how far I’ve come and why. Nearly eight months ago it was a very different story. It was then that I experienced the darkest day I’ve ever had. And it changed my life.
My depression and anxiety had been dragging me deeper and deeper for about a year and I was in denial. I was ruminating to no end and convincing myself that everything was terrible. I was canceling plans left and right and my friends were getting sick of it. Partly because I wasn’t being honest about why I was canceling and I think they knew it.
I had convinced myself that Zombie didn’t want me and that he only kept me around to help with the rent which of course was ridiculous. I’d lost interest in everything I enjoyed, except eating. I couldn’t be bothered cooking, but I just wanted to eat crap all the time. I sat around most of the time, drowning in my own thoughts. I came up with elaborate plans on how my life could get better and blaming everything on other people.
I went to work, but only because I couldn’t afford not to. It wasn’t a distraction. I spent most of the day on autopilot with my tasks and ruminating to excess. Sometimes I would cry at my desk. I tried to hide it, but there were a couple of times that people noticed. I would brush it off, I wasn’t ready to share. I made a lot of mistakes and freaked out over every little thing. And of course some days I just couldn’t bring myself to go to work so I wouldn’t. I’d spend the day wallowing in my own sorrow, alone and sinking deeper.
I am very grateful to have never been suicidal. I couldn’t be bothered living, but the actual act of ending it wasn’t something that crossed my mind. I was irritable and snappy all the time and just not interested in helping myself change. I thought it would always be that way. It wasn’t ok with me, but I had accepted it.
Zombie tried to help. There were times he would be talking about something, anything, when all of a sudden I would start crying. And when he asked me what was wrong I could never answer. He was very supportive but it must have been so hard on him. I’m very lucky to still have him in my life. I his it from my family and friends. I honestly think the only reason I didn’t hide it from Zombie is because I couldn’t.
The worst part about all this, the catch 22, was that I had no valid reason to feel this way and I knew it. Which of course made me feel even worse. I kept saying to myself, “you have a good job, a good partner, a roof over your head” but it never worked. I viewed my emotions as selfish, which made me hate myself even more.
One day in July I woke up, knowing it would be a bad day. I just knew. I was in a foul mood, I spent the entire time I was getting ready for work crying and I ran incredibly late.
I arrived at work and hadn’t even turned my computer on when a workmate show me some paper and said “what’s going on here?” I lost it. I snarkily said “oh yeah I know all about that seeing as I’ve just walked in and haven’t turned my computer on!” This was very out of character for me. He responded by snapping back and as he walked off I started crying. Another workmate asked me to pass the stapler or something innocent, but I couldn’t even look at him. He asked me what was wrong and I told him I didn’t know. He asked if I needed to talk to someone and I nodded. He told me not to worry about the other guy and to take a few minutes.
So I did. I pulled myself together and got to work. I felt horrible but I was good at faking it by now so it was business as usual. Until I had to go into the warehouse to talk to one of the forkies. He noticed right away how distressed I was and asked me about it. Again I burst into tears. I ended up running off and went straight to my supervisors office and managed to slowly tell him what was going on, through my tears. He sat me down, got me some water and told me he was going to talk to HR to get me some help.
After a while he came back and told me that they were going to organize a counsellor for me. I agreed, so he took me up to the board room and sat me down, offered me a biscuit and some more water and left me while they sorted something out. I’m not sure how long I was there for, but I cried the whole time. I text Zombie, told him what had happened and that i wanted to go to the local mental hospital. He responded well considering, but he was stuck at work so couldn’t do much.
A while later the door opened and my mother walked in. I was stunned! If they had asked me if I wanted my mother called I would have said no, but it turned out to be the best thing they could have done! Finally I had to be honest with mum, even though I’d kept it hidden. She knew of course, but hadn’t known how to approach it.
They sent me home with mum and a counsellor came to my house to chat to me. I told her that I had no reason to feel this way and she said “yes, but you do feel this way. Sometimes you can’t question it and you just have to let it happen.”
At the end of the session I felt a little better. We made another appointment then I was alone again. My supervisor called and said I could take the rest of the week off, stress leave. Zombie came home and we talked, a lot. I finally was as honest as I could be about what was going on with me.
After that day, I slowly got better. Work payed for some of my counselling and offered to do everything they could to help me, which I am so grateful for. Mum checked in on me regularly which made me feel good. Zombie gave me pep talks in the mornings and hugged me tight when I cried. My counsellor set me up with some support groups, which I still attend now, they have been invaluable. I went to my doctor and started on medication. I started eating less junk and exercising. Slowly at first but then getting regular.
I didn’t change overnight. I still cried a lot, I still had dark days, and I still hated myself for a while. But slowly I got better. I’m still on medication now but I’m handling life so much better. I look forward to the future instead of dreading it.
The best advice I can give anyone feeling the way I did is don’t ignore it. I did and I ended up way worse than I needed to. It wasn’t the first time I’d been depressed, but it was by far the worst. I couldn’t have gotten through this without the support of my workplace, Zombie, my family and the professional help, but I’m so glad I finally asked for that help.
Wishing you all a happy Friday tomorrow 😋
Smiles and Sunshine