After a long hiatus of job-hunting and overwhelming vacation planning … I’m back! For me, job-hunting is really, really depressing, as I’m sure it is for most of you out there. A couple of months before the school year ended, I found out that my position was being eliminated. Needless to say, I stayed hopeful, but slipped into a medium depression.
I’ve been depressed before, so the way that I distinguish between having a hard time and really being depressed is in the way I function with everyday life. At the beginning of the summer, I found myself thinking about all the things I wanted to do. I was almost cheerful at the thought of doing them. However, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to actually do them. That is my biggest red flag.
The apartment really needed to be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. I would make lists, set up a schedule, and then just sit there staring at the schedule feeling overwhelmed.
I had a really fabulous interview with a private Christian school for a fourth grade position. It is everything I want with regard to environment, supportiveness of staff, cohesiveness of staff, and, of course, the ability to talk with students about faith. It is everything I expected with regard to salary, but nothing that can’t be done with work in the summer as well.
On July 1st I accepted their offer of employment. I was really pleased, but couldn’t muster the kind of happiness I was expecting. I feel certain this is where I should be. There is a connection there that is rare. However, depression doesn’t end just because something wonderful happens to you.
I’ve been struggling since then to renew myself. It wasn’t until a few days ago, when I borrowed a book on organization from my sister, that I had a breakthrough, and the upswing has begun. I realized that I had been pressuring myself back into being depressed by expecting far too much from myself. My lists included everything that needed to be done in the entire house on one sheet. I figured that whatever I didn’t get done could go on the next day’s work. My expectation was that I would get about half the list done each day.
This book said to break off tasks into really manageable chunks. On Monday, I got started. I still gave myself too much to do, without knowing it. I was schlepping items from home to school, then driving the forty minutes to my sister’s to watch my nephews so she and her husband could go to a doctor’s appointment. I started at 10:00 in the morning and didn’t arrive back home until close to 7p.m. After a trying incident with Direct TV(not DTV’s fault, btw) being installed, we dropped off my mom’s car and didn’t have a moment to ourselves until after 10:00p.m.
I looked at the remaining items on my list and cut myself a break. I felt pretty good about what I’d done.
The next day, I mowed through a ton of items on my new list. I still underestimated how much time all those things were going to take to do. I find myself doing this a lot in my life. I overburden myself with responsibilities, and then have to dig myself out. Again, I allowed myself to be pleased with the amount of work that I had completed, especially when I have been dealing with a headache for the last few days.
Yesterday, my depression returned, but not as strong as before. I didn’t get more than five items done on my list. I was fighting a headache all day. Mike and I went on a walk for the first time together since our car engine caught on fire. It was nasty and humid the whole way, but we did it.
Then this morning I woke up with a killer headache again. It is really hard to be logical and think when suffering from a massive headache. Between getting some tuna in me (I’ve noticed at times that I get headaches when my body needs protein or just plain sustenance), taking a couple of Advil, and drinking several cups of water, I finally hit on a possible cause for the headaches. DEHYDRATION. To be quite frank, I think my cat has been drinking more water lately than I have. I have taken to drinking far too much caffeine again, and when I don’t, headaches!! So I’m thinking caffeine withdrawals and dehydration!
Oddly enough, one of the items on my list that wasn’t getting checked off was “64oz water”. Maybe this is another item that I need to be realistic about and slowly increase. So today, I’m going for 40 oz of water. So far, I’ve had about 20 oz. If I hit 40, I won’t stop, but I definitely think that I need to set the bar a little lower and work up to it.
The other aspect of besting depression that I have not been focusing on is exercise. I have felt somewhat better when I walk with Mike, and I will continue to do so. However, I realize that it is mainly intense exercise that helps me to chemically come into balance again. We’re talking setting the elliptical at an 8-10 resistance and doing interval training that busts extreme amounts of sweat out of me. I have a Bally’s membership, isn’t it time I started using it again?
No pictures this time, just a lot of thoughts.
Have you ever had a hard time rebounding from depression?