It’s Been a While…

It appears it’s been well over two years since my last original post. Since then, there have been a lot of good times along with some not-so-good times.  Thankfully it was all those good times that originally took me away.

I learned in these recent years that it is a good “work”/life balance that keeps me emotionally stable and functioning well.  Working too much or too little and I would find myself getting more depressed.  But once I hit that “sweet” spot of about 25 hours, it gave me the right amount of time to volunteer and spend time with family and friends.  I had reached a point of wellness with my depression.

During that time, I spent my volunteer time essentially doing intensive casework with two gentlemen with disabilities.  Some days it seemed more like work than just something I enjoyed doing; that’s when going to work became my “down” time.  For over a year, I “worked” with my two guys and “relaxed” at work.  This was the most fulfilling my life had felt.

Slowly, though, I volunteered my way out of helping my guys.  The first guy finally got set up with an official case worker that worked well with him.  The second guy, after I did all the hard things for him, decided he wanted to do things on his own.  It’s with mixed feelings that I admit that he hasn’t completely messed things up yet.  Regardless of the reasons, I knew once my time with my guys lessened, I had to pick up something else or the depression was likely to come back with a vengeance.

I reached out to two difference agencies offering my time and skills.  I had a meeting with one of them and we made a plan for what I would do.  For whatever reason, that person just really didn’t want to be as aggressive as I did, and that fell through.  The second agency just didn’t get back with me. Honestly, I think I intimidate some of the people at that second agency based on some past interactions.  Either way, it was their loss…and ultimately mine since I was really counting on these opportunities and took it personal when they fell through.

sink draining

Imagine a sink draining.  At first it seems to drain very slowly; but as there is less and less water, it seems to drain extremely fast.  That’s kind of what happened earlier this year.  I was on a slow spiral down into a deeper depression and all of a sudden I found myself not leaving the house except for therapy and the grocery store.

Besides not volunteering, I started missing more work due to PMDD, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.  Then I got diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  So, less work + more stress = increased level of depression.  By the end of July I found myself inpatient in a psychiatric unit for a week.  When I didn’t see any improvement two months later, I checked myself into an Intensive Outpatient Program (three hours of group therapy, three days a week).

So that’s where I am now.  Once IOP is complete (12 sessions), I do have some volunteer activities lined up to keep me busy for a bit.  Before I know it, it will be Dec 18 and I’ll be having my hysterectomy to help with PMDD.  I’ll share more on that next time.