Can’t believe I have been away so long. Thankfully, I have moved on to a non-management position in my work. I am thinking that the unrealistic expectations of my last position convinced me to step away from nursing management. I now am working again as a hospice case manager. Some may think, “Hospice? Isn’t that depressing?” But actually I find it quite fulfilling. Death and dying is just another part of the circle of life. I have the opportunity to accompany individuals and their families on their end of life journey. I work with a committed team of professionals that help our patients and families at this challenging time. Even though it is challenging, it is also rewarding. It is a privilege to help others with their journey. So it really doesn’t feel like a grind at all.
Intensive group therapy helped me get my head together and know that I needed to change my career direction. Met some amazing people coping with some difficult circumstances. The biggest take away was for me to be in touch with my feelings and to push myself to live and not just exist. What I mean, and what continues to be a challenge for me is motivation. It is so easy to just let time slip by and not be accomplishing anything. I still struggle with this day-to-day. Hopefully writing about my struggle will help. I have always found that blogging has been therapeutic. And goodness knows I need it.
Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. —Dalai Lama
Hard to believe that it is already March of the new year. It seems that the older I get, the faster time goes by. I haven’t been very consistent in my blogging through 2013. I’m down to quarterly posts. It’s not that my life has been without my companion the “black dog.” I am aware of his chronic presence nearly every day. And I’m not sure that depression has prevented me from writing. Believe me, my life has not been so busy as to prevent me from writing. Well, maybe just a little. My current job does consume the majority of my waking hours during the week. But I must confess, I have become quite the recluse on the weekends. I joked with my therapist about how I have become an agoraphobe. She did not find this amusing. I don’t know if I am being lazy or this is a manifestation of the depression. It seems I just don’t care. It is an effort to just get the basics done, like grocery shopping. I should be embarrassed. I don’t cook, I don’t clean and I don’t have anywhere to go. I piss myself off because the free time I do have is completely wasted. There are so many things I could be doing. I just don’t have any motivation. All I can do is keep trying…
I was thinking of posting earlier in the week, but I was in a pity party mood and didn’t want to dump here. Could be a I missed a dose or two of meds (this seems to happen on the weekends) and wasn’t feeling 100%. I admit I was less than motivated and spent too much time in bed; didn’t have anywhere to be and was feeling a little isolated. But the funk has passed, and I have something to look forward to this week.
I am starting yet another new job (leaving undergrad teaching). I thought I would remain in teaching, but I don’t have a passion for it right now, and the pay is abysmal. So I found a new position in my clinical area and hope this works out well, I should be able to work my way out of debt with the better income. I look forward to working with patients again, I missed it. I particularly enjoy working with the elderly. They are complex, and often have wisdom to share with a youngster like me (haha, had another uneventful birthday this month). I also believe I have an old soul, and am attracted to kindred spirits. So, I am looking forward to this new position. And hoping the black dog will remain silent and not interfere.
My two dogs have been faithful companions throughout my depression ups and downs. They are always there to snuggle and give me unconditional love. I don’t know what I would have done for the past year without them. And I have not been the best of dog owners either; not that they are abused or anything, I know they need to go out for walks, but more often than not, I have crawled into bed after work to veg. Not living really, but they put up with me in spite of it. So I am sure they are glad to see me in a better, more active state of mind and body. I’m sure it is a combination of factors, including med adjustment, better weather and trying to focus on positive thoughts. My sister says, “positive thoughts lead to positive feelings.” I’m not sure that any of us can think our way out of depression. But positive thoughts sure beat wallowing in melancholy.
So I am looking forward to a new job this month. I spent the past year teaching nursing at a local liberal arts college. While it wasn’t bad, I really didn’t have a passion for it (or perhaps the depression was interfering with my work). I am more motivated by clinical practice and hope this job fits me well. Practice pays better than teaching too. My therapist says this time between jobs would be a good time to establish a “routine.” She specifically means eat right and exercise. Ugh. I know I need to, but it’s a really tough proposition. I know I need to take better care of myself so I can be more effective in helping others. Sort of like the airplane speech about putting your oxygen mask on before assisting your children/family members. But it is so very hard, don’t you think?
Meanwhile, I have made great strides in taking care of my home and yard. Mowing and pulling weeds is good exercise (push mower, one-quarter acre). The yard has been quite neglected since last year when my Mother got sick. By the way, she has made a miraculous recovery from being near death. She has gone from being unable to walk, to driving and socializing with friends. She is coming to visit me too. Hope to do something fun with my few weeks off. All work and no play makes Jen a dull woman. Can’t have that.
So, I am completing some unfinished projects and have gone back to some creative pursuits (pottery, crochet, jewelry making, blogging). Positive activities boost my mood for sure. Staying busy!
The darkness seems to be lifting a bit, which is wonderful. As far as what is improving my mood;, could be a few things. My meds were adjusted a few weeks ago, and I think they are kicking in. Also, wrapping things up at work for the semester and looking forward to better weather. Got a decent tax refund too, so I haven’t been so stressed about finances as usual. So, I’m feeling grateful, even as I look around the house and realize how I have neglected things at home. My goodness, the dust rhinos have taken over! I guess it’s time for some serious spring cleaning.
Time to sweep clean, not just the house but also my old soul. Need to think positive thoughts and stop sleeping my life away. Now to stay motivated. Hope this improved mood today continues…
Perhaps if I was still blogging regularly I wouldn’t be feeling as melancholic as I have been of late. It is good to get my feelings out, but lately I haven’t been feeling so hot. Got the nurse practitioner to adjust my meds, but the therapist said I shouldn’t expect it to fix all my issues. And boy, do I have issues. I have no motivation whatsoever. Dr. M wants me to get out more and be social, but it’s been hard. I’ve gone to a couple Meetups, but I’m sure I should be getting out more. Just spent another Saturday in bed, sleeping and watching TV all day. And it’s not that there isn’t anything to do. There are always things to do around the house. I feel as if my battery is drained, there just isn’t enough umph to get going. Having problems just trying to finish this post. Even the dogs have become couch potatoes. Ugh. Depression sucks.
Hard to believe one lousy little blue pill can make so much difference. And I’m not talking about Viagra either.
I spent 4 and a half months unemployed and UNINSURED. Was spending five hundred dollars a month for my medication, but couldn’t afford that little blue pill (It cost more than all my other meds combined). So I thought I could get by with the two antidepressants I could afford. Alas, I’ve come to discover since being employed and having medical coverage that I really do need that drug. It does make a significant difference in how I feel.
I sure could have used that medication as I have had a lot to cope with over the past four months. Apparently I have been too depressed to blog as well. But I was also dealing with a family crisis. My mom was critically ill and hospitalized for nearly two months. She is recovering quite well now, thank goodness, but I spent many hours by her bedside, thinking and praying. I realize now that perhaps I could have coped better if I had all my medication. Damn biochemistry!
Anyone else struggling?