I have not written in a while; frankly, I have not felt the need to write or do much of anything lately. I stopped running because I can’t muster up the energy to commit to anything for more than an hour and I am completely run down. This… is, unfortunately, reality and the face of what depression looks like. About 3 months ago I made a decision to make a job switch, and at the time this decision felt like the right one. Boy was I wrong. See, the problem with being manic or depressed, like I am, is that little things set us off. What might seem only somewhat difficult for some, feels like a mountain for individuals with mental health issues. When I made this job switch, I did so while denying my gut feeling and trusting what my head had to say. Unfortunately, my head was wrong, and it majorly screwed up. I am now sitting in an office, fearing my security, anxiously applying to other jobs and hoping to get out.
I work for an abusive supervisor (which I hoped my gut was wrong at the initial interview stage) in an understaffed, high-stress environment. So basically, I poured water in the grease trap. I now wake up every morning wishing a bus would strike my car on my way in or I would get a terrible injury so I would not have to show up; of course with enough mobility to move my fingers and apply for new jobs! This has caused me to start doubting my entire life at this point – my career, position in life, and overall, my happiness. The problem I have discovered through all of this is a problem with life, we are all waiting for it to end and not serving a greater purpose or even feeling fulfilled. When I finished graduate school I just wanted a job, any job. I just wanted something so I did not become like my other classmates who could not find anything. You know, the intentional job searchers who wanted to find a job they liked but at the cost of being unemployed for years? I fell into a career that was, not great to say the least. For four years I’ve been in my current career field and this job switch and misery just reminds me of how horrible it is for me. I was also reminded by my lovely wife that I am young and have only been doing this for four years, so why not try to reinvent myself and use my experience for a new career.
I am glad my head is just barely above water enough to start planning an escape because if I drift too far under the current, it’s pretty hard to come back and I don’t want to get there. Despite my lack of running I have managed to spend multiple days a week powerlifting and keeping my headspace in the “OKAY” region. I have also had time to plot the course to a new career. I have joined some not for profit planning committees/boards, started to look at mentorship, and jobs with pretty substantial pay cuts! At first, I was not planning on a pay cut, but you have to start somewhere and why not when I am still young? I am sure when you came here you were looking for something a bit more uplifting. Sorry, that was not the intention. What this was intended to be was a piece showing you that, real life happens and it’s extremely hard when we have to balance life, mental illness, and the future. I am currently not functioning at full capacity, I hardly smile and I want to cry on a daily basis. In reality, I want to blame my mental illness for this and not my situation. I know that if I don’t change my outlook and my career, then I don’t know what the future holds for me.
A director at my current job told me the other day that I have a giving heart; a “service heart”. So basically, the job field I’m in right now is not the one for me. I told him what my plans were and he asked me “is that the easy path or the one you really want?” Again, I realized I was telling myself a lie in that moment and I was just trying to lie myself to more money (and not more happiness). Some people have told me that “no matter where you go you will be unhappy because that is life and work”. I can’t believe for a minute that life is going to work and wanting to die! Why does life have to be the waiting room for retirement? Why do we have to punish ourselves every day by getting out of bed and dreading life? I’ll say this, if anything, I am going to treat this bout of depression and self-loathing as a wakeup call. I can’t live like this anymore and I intend to change it!!