I was planning on writing something else tonight, but I will save that for later.
Going into my 50th Christmas I find myself in one of the darkest, bleakest periods of my life.
I can’t go into details, but I am going into week 4 of “Sick Leave”. I’ve had the one thing that gave my life purpose and meaning stripped away from me, through no fault of my own.
My days blend together, each one the same as before with few exceptions.
Without the distraction of work, and socializing with my friends there life has become pretty grey.
There is one bright spot here though, and that is that I’m recognizing my tendency to hide when things get bad.
With the help of my psychiatrist, Dr. N., and some very good friends I’m finding it easier to recognize behaviours that are less than helpful.
And, I’m finding it easier to talk about them.
Up until recently there was no way in hell I would let anyone know that I was hurting. It would have to be truly bad for me to even hint that I was in trouble, let alone ask for help.
The headline of this blog is something that I’ve wanted to say so many times in the past.
The reasons I didn’t are all my own.
There are a few reasons for this neurotic way I deal with depression and stress.
Most of my adult life, I was the one who came to the rescue. I was a medic.
Back then I had coping mechanisms…friends, alcohol and terrible, terrible karaoke.
There is also a part of me that is terrified of being vulnerable. As I type that I realize the irony. Not asking for help for fear of being seen as vulnerable, actually increases the vulnerability.
So, after years of battling depression I find that my social skills are lacking.
I withdraw from socializing because I don’t want to bother people with my bullshit, so I’ve lost the ability to make small talk, or have a “normal” conversation about “stuff”.
The result of this of course is that its harder to find people to socialize with, and build those friendships where someone will call bullshit when I say that I’m fine when I’m not.
The bright spot in this quagmire is that I’ve been unable to hide it. Dr N commented during my appointment the other day that it was the first time in the 4 or 5 years I’ve been seeing him that I actually looked depressed.
I say bright spot, because other people have noticed and have offered support. Invitations for coffee or a shoulder should I need one.
Thank you so much all of you for that.
Now to the bit that still kind of terrifies me….I’m going to ask for help, directly…
Please know that accepting help is new to me. I fight every day to keep from “going dark” and avoiding everyone and everything.
So, if you’re inclined to reach out, please don’t let me run and hide…because I might.
Thanks everyone…I’m going to hit “Post” on this before I chicken out.