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Please help me decipher my thoughts.(5 Posts)
Potentially a long back story so I'll keep it brief.
DX with severe anxiety and moderate depression from July 2014. Off my meds and doing okay by August 2015. I've always struggled to cope with work/life balance - I'm a lawyer so requires long hours but I also have four children and a dog, which you can imagine takes up a lot of time too!
My mum died two weeks before Christmas which sent me into major relapse (didn't want to leave the house, still hate doing every day tasks such as shopping - it fills me with anxiety). Both anxiety and depression are now pretty severe in nature (and largely not linked to my grief, which is still very painful), although I have good and bad days.
My younger disabled brother also lived with my mum, so I now have to care for him too on top of everything else. It's just too much to cope with.
I've been off work for four weeks - due back on Thursday. In all honesty - I don't want to go back. At all. It feels pointless - I just don't care about my job anymore. I care about my family and being around them more has made me realise how much I'm missing (since I've been doing their homework with the kids rather than grandparents they've had full marks every week!).
I've seen a counsellor who thinks I'm angry about the fact that work detracts from my family life and robbed me of time with my mum. I was in a meeting when my mum was rushed to ICU which delayed me by an hour - one of her last few hours alive. It's heartbreaking.
Anyway - work seems to be giving me very negative associations. I don't feel that I'll ever get over it and it's damaging my health. I am so tempted just to resign, but will that be logical in the long run? We can manage on one salary and DH has enjoyed me being a housewife and spending more time with him and the kids. I just can't face going back - I've been unhappy for about two years but this feels like the final straw - just not sure if I'm able to make the decision right now.
Sorry for rambling, just had to get it out. Can someone please help me try and see sense one way or another? I don't know what to do for the best. It's awful. Just trying not to struggle so much
Just going to boot my pc so I can type properly. In a very similar position xx
I'm no expert but I'm going through something similar so I thought it might help to let you know what I'm doing. I don't have children and as much on my plate as you.
Like you, I have been depressed for some time now and many things have worsened this, an awful diagnosis in my family and then the death of my Father a year ago to name the worst. As my Dad died I had left a job and started a new one so I had to "bank" my grief and throw myself into the job. It was the wrong job for me, they pushed me into basically pretending to be qualified while they trained me, but never trained me so I've been drowning for almost a year. Things have slipped at work and home and I have been deeply unhappy. The year anniversary of my Dad dying has really heightened things for me, not so much that he has gone, but the circumstances and the aftermath I had to deal with alone was very distressing.
I went to the DRs in October and was put on Sertraline and that was working well but this month I had a breakdown and just could not cope. The doctor has upped my dose and signed me off work for a month.
My DP urged me to quit my job, as did my Mum and my friends having seen how miserable it has made me. Fortunately we can survive on DPs salary for a few months. I have handed my notice in and as I'm on sick leave, do not have to go back.
It's been a huge relief. I'm going to take a month to look after myself. I'm getting counselling, seeing a dietician (part of my problems manifest themselves in eating) and generally looking after myself- reading, exercising, sleeping. I'm not under any illusion that this is a cure but the weight is already lifting. I'm also keeping to a structured routine because I know I could all too easily hide under my duvet all day.
If I was you, I would probably leave my job. You are unhappy there and you can manage financially without it. You need time to care for your brother and be there for your kids, but ultimately you need time for you too. Anyone dealing with what you are would be under immense pressure without depression and anxiety thrown in, there is just no way one person can cope. What reason would you have for keeping the job? Maybe you could speak to your doctor and ask to be signed off for a while longer so you can make the decision? Even if you do quit, it doesn't have to mean you stay at home forever. You might eventually find a job which is less demanding and means you can balance your family too. But you're in a fortunate financial situation and I think you should use it to your advantage.
The other thing i have done is TALK. I'm renowned for being a stubborn stiff upper lip sort, I am more than happy to listen to and support my friends with problems but cannot stand to talk about my own. But my DP urged me to tell me close group of friends and they've been brilliant (and they knew all along really so I was only kidding myself that I was keeping my head above the water!). I've also started to be able to say "I'm having a bad day today" to DP and that's really helped us both because before I would just withdraw which was tricky for him.
About your Mum and ICU. Please don't be angry at yourself. You were at work, but you could have been anywhere; watching a school play, in the supermarket, in the bath, asleep. These things do happen and its awful but you did get to be with her, I hope you can in time cling to that memory and not the distress. I'm sure she would hate you to beat yourself up over it.
I feel like i've typed loads and made it all about me, but I wanted you to know you're not alone and give you my own experience because I feel like I'm making the right steps for me.
Oh, and finally. Would you consider going back on ADs for a little while? I'm normally a bit anti them in the way that some Drs seem to put people on them very easily but I've found they have balanced me out enough to let me make sense of everything and start making a plan to "rebuild".
Thinking of you.
Thank you - a lot of what youre saying resonates so much with me! I'm a stiff upper lip type too - I guess when I decided to stop and take some time out, it made me realise how unhappy I've actually been. I never told anyone about my anxiety and depression - I did start to tell my close friends and DH a month ago and it was like a massive weight being lifted. I've always dealt with everything and been "strong" but now it's just too much - it's kind of nice to be able to admit that.
Re the ADs - you're right there too! I started them again three weeks ago. I wanted to wait a few weeks after my mums death to try and distinguish between normal grief and depression - however I soon realised I couldn't process my grief and my thoughts because my brain wasn't in a position to do so. The ADs have started to help but I still feel like crap so I'm trying to make some changes to help - I've joined a gym, I'm seeing a counsellor, I have ADs - now I just need to get my life in some sort of order so it's manageable.
I feel like I've broken down too. Normal just feels wrong and I've lost my ability to do anything normal! I've even lost coordination and I keep falling over or down the stairs - it's ridiculous.
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It's good to know there is someone else in a similar boat.
You can manage on one salary? You want to be with family not return to work? There are your answers. Why on earth would you go back to work you find pointless and anxiety inducing unless you were financially obliged to?
In your position I'd definitely resign. You may want to take on part time or freelance work at some stage later on if you feel the need but for now, trust your gut and do what you want to do.
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