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The Journey To Sanity and Self-Esteem, And The Detours Along The Way.

Updated on December 28, 2011

Why can't there be an occasional shortcut?

So. Yes. Depression and anxiety/panic attacks. That's been my life as of late. Well, the depression has been a life-long thing, and I've been on happy pills for about 11 years now. But the panic attacks came on as a very unpleasant surprise this February. They were brought on by a combination of many things (hormones, a toxic work environment and a failed experiment at trying to have a dog), and turned my world absolutely upside down. I have never felt so wild, out of control and frightened in my life. It felt like every part of my being was going in an opposite direction from the part next to it. Does that make any sense? Well, neither did my life at that time. All I did was cry and panic, panic and cry. Thankfully, I have a husband who recognizes when I cannot make rational decisions by myself, and he hauled me off to the doctor. I got some new drugs, some wonderful new drugs, and took two weeks off from work (unpaid) to let the new drugs start to work in my system. I also started seeing a therpaist (again at Chris's insistence. I don't know why I dig my heels in about things), and while she is more in touch with her feminine side than I will EVER be with mine (she got me to buy a book that has, I kid you not, a poem in it to say to your uterus to bid it farewell and to thank it for its service upon menopause. I call it 'the vagina book'), it feels good to talk to someone who is trained how to listen. I am doing so much better than I was two months ago.

Well, mostly. A week ago today, I was dismissed (not fired, as the powers that be were very quick to point out. You know, because that makes such a HUGE difference in the outcome) from my job without cause. I strongly suspect that my bosses heard the words "mental illness" and freaked out. Okay. Whatever. I was probably going to quit there in September anyway, because as it is being run now, it would have been extremely difficult for me to really heal there. And at least this way I can get EI (or so they promised me), as the dismissal was without cause, and then I can spend the summer with my girls, hopefully at the pool. Being out of that environment has also done wonders for my stress level. I remain, however, ever so slightly pissed off that I was let go based on, I can only assume, the fear or thought that I was unable to do my job. I was actually rocking the socks off of my job the past three weeks since I went back - it was at home that I would fall apart, and it was my family who bore the brunt of the exhaustion and emotions that my illness so helpfully brought with it. Both of my daughters changed who they were for a while during the height of my being sick, and that just kills me. But the people at work did not bear the brunt of my struggles, so the thought that it was my illness that led to my termination really irks me. I'm also a little bit in shock, because I feel discriminated against. Discrimination is not something I ever thought I'd have to deal with. And yet, here we are.

Okay, so what is the point of this blurb? I don't know, really. I just sat down and started writing. I guess its to let you know what's going on, and to thank those of you who have offered support. As I've opened up about my issues, I've been really overwhelmed by how gracious and caring people have been. But mostly its for me - I need to start writing things down, because then maybe it will help me to internalize some ideas that I need to internalize:

-I will get over being 'dismissed'. What an awful word. But I will get over it.

- I will work hard to re-build my confidence. Safe to say, its been shaken by the events of the past two months, especially this past week. I need to keep reminding myself that I have good qualities, and that having mental illness and not being at that shitty job anymore do not define who I am. In the grand scheme of things, they are both blips in my life.

-Blips can be opportunities. I now have some time to really focus on healing.

- When the time is right, something better will come along.

-My family and friends love me, and have been and will continue to be there for me. I am blessed.

-Maybe now I'll figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

-I can still make a difference.

-I am worth making the effort for.

-The events of the last week are not as important as how I choose to deal with them.

-When things get tough, I will get through it by taking it one day at a time. Boy. Good thing I'm not sounding cliched or anything.

-What I think about myself is more important than what anyone else thinks of me. I need to remember that. And I need to think good things.

That's about it for now. I'm sure I'll come up with more later. I'm not always going to talk about heavy/important issues. This is just what's on my mind today. To end, I'll just say that I am really open to talking about things, so if you've got questions, fire away.

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    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 5 years ago

      I hear you on the dual depression/anxiety thing. A continual struggle. Your work helps others. Thanks for this great piece, voting up! Best, Matt

    • profile image

      Carrie-White 5 years ago

      Mental illness has always had the knack of surprising you just when you least expect it. Living with it is never easy and I'm glad that you have such a strong support system to help you. I only wish that there were more people who are supportive to those who suffer in this way.