I would love to say that I have spent the last 2 months riding the momentum of Victory Month and writing ridiculous numbers of posts that I just haven’t gotten around to publishing. In fact, I’d like to say that I’ve spent the past 2 months taking my passion for writing seriously, following through with my commitments, challenging myself to write better, and continuing the open dialogue on depression and anxiety. Well…I can’t say any of that. That’s not to say that things haven’t changed for me though.
I got a new job about a month ago, which I love, but it has taken every ounce of energy and willpower that I have. I mean, put a smart woman in a downswing of anxiety/depression into an unfamiliar setting with about a hundred strangers with high expectations, and she faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge every day. But she does it anyway because she decided that she doesn’t want to be a mental patient who can’t pay her bills and ends up losing her house that she worked so hard to buy.
Now I’m a mental patient with a high-stakes job. At first every day was so difficult just to be up and out and around so many other highly functional people that I dreaded the work day starting the night before. When I was there at the beginning, it was like I forgot how to be a person. My job skills were fully intact, but when there was downtime, I didn’t know what to do with myself, often to the point of panic. I didn’t know what to say to other people, I didn’t know how to act around strangers, I didn’t know what to do with my hands.
It was an awful feeling that I still have in a much milder form. But I keep trying. I keep making an ass out of myself in attempts to fit in, to make a place for myself, and to earn respect from my peers.
Now, over a month into it, I still feel socially awkward and shy, but I’m starting to make a place for myself. My depression and anxiety linger, but their weight is lighter and easier to carry. I’m starting to get to know the people around me and I’m finding that I have things in common with them. I’m starting to actually have energy when I’m not at work too, which I haven’t had in a long time.
It has been a terrifying invisible battle over the past few weeks. People might think I’m a little strange, but I’m slowly learning that it’s never as bad as I fear. I’m proving myself as a competent and hard worker too, which goes a long way. There are days when I want to give up, but I’m hoping they will become fewer and further between.
I realize I’m not out of the darkness yet, but there are several light bulbs coming back on around me.