A friend on Facebook (who's also on my LJ flist) said I'd been quiet lately and asked how I was doing. She may have simply been starting a conversation, but I assumed that she might be concerned as well. You see, I confided something to her that I've only shared with a handful of people -- mostly because the subject came up in other contexts. It's not that I don't trust all of my good friends. It's not a matter of trust at all. It's courage. I'm not good at discussing problems when I'm actually experiencing them. I'm the type who goes into a corner to lick her wounds. I guess I need to process everything before I can really confide in people. Hell, to be honest, I haven't even told my siblings about this. My dad had to find out from my mom --and I'm not sure if he even has the full story. And I don't mean to sound all scary and mysterious. I'm only sharing this in case it might help other people. Actually, I've been meaning to post about this for a long time.
I had a breakdown in August. Well, my therapist thinks it was probably a breakdown. At the time, I thought it was perimenopause. I've always had bad PMS (in terms of mood swings) and the symptoms seemed to match. I was crying all the time and feeling depressed and anxious. When I returned from my trip to Victoria, it got so bad that I literally lost the will to live. That was when I went to see my doctor. She prescribed Zoloft and tried to get me to see a therapist. As I was convinced it was perimenopause, I wanted to get tests done first. It honestly came as a shock when all the tests came back clear and I had to accept that it was me not my hormones. I'm not sure why it was such a surprise. Depression runs in the family. All the same, I cried for the entire day after that doctor's appointment and it took me some time to come to terms with the news.
In the new year, I finally made an appointment with the therapist that my doctor had recommended. She pinpointed the problem by the third appointment: I was feeling trapped in my job -- a job I never liked. She thinks the breakdown came because I very much don't identify myself by my job and my identity was being threatened because I was feeling more and more penned in. And that sounds so lame. My therapist explained it a lot better. Anywaaaaaay, once I knew what the problem was, and knew what steps I had to take (e.g. look for a new job and break my negative cycle of thinking), I felt so much better. In fact, after months and months, I actually started feeling like myself again. It makes such a difference when you know exactly what you're facing and can be proactive about it. And I'm doing a LOT better. Okay, I'm still on anti-depressants, but I've been seeing my therapist much less and haven't been having any issues with depression or anxiety at all lately.
Again, I'm not looking for sympathy. I don't even care whether or not you comment. I'm only sharing my experience in case it might help someone. I want to say that if you're feeling depressed and/or anxious, you need to talk to someone, even if it's just your doctor. I'm usually the Queen of Denial, but let me tell you right now that it won't go away on its own. You have to get help. And, even if it seems hopeless right now, it will get better.
Wow. I wasn't kidding about being less quiet, eh? *g* Well, on the lighter side of things, I've actually been getting work done on my original fiction project (e.g. what I'm supposed to be working on). Once I got Stalky & Co out of my system (and finished writing An Awful Biznai), I found I could focus on it again. And, yes, I know how many times I've said that before. However, now that I'm past the difficult part (e.g. the techy/sciencey stuff), it's been a lot easier. Okay, it's still a great big mess at the moment, but I've had ideas on how to fix certain parts. I've even had ideas about what I might do with it once it's done. That's "when" not "if" because I will finish it.