I haven’t written anything about my experience with menopausal depression for awhile. I don’t want to be one of those people who complain endlessly about their health, so I try not to talk about it too much. But since I started with that first post, (if you want to follow along, look under “depression” in the drop-down categories) I guess I will continue. Please stop reading now if it’s going to drive you bananas!
This is my third week back on the job. The first week, I only came in for two days. The second week I came in for 3 days. This week, I’m back to full time.
Wearing the everything-is -okay mask again has been tiring, and I’m exhausted at the end of the day. I’ve had a couple of small anxiety attacks at unusual times, too. For example, at the end of the day when I’m lying in bed I’ll suddenly start to panic. Kelly holds onto me and tells me I’m safe and that it will pass. God bless my husband.
I had two broken days in a row last weekend (Friday & Saturday). I held it all together through the work week, and then fell to pieces as soon as the pressure was off. I guess that makes sense. Today is another broken day as well, and I guess that makes sense, too.
What’s next? Well, part of my wellness plan is to attend a special course that was designed to teach lifestyle & self-management tools to people with depression and other related disorders. It takes place one morning per week for seven weeks. Sometimes I look forward to it, and sometimes I dread it. When I dread it, it’s because I’m scared and proud. I’m scared because what if being so immersed in the subject will make things worse? And my pride doesn’t want me to be labeled and judged before I even walk in the door as “depressedNita”. I don’t want to be depressedNita! I want to be joyfulNita!
On the other hand, I look forward to being in the class because I really do want to be 100% well again. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get the joyful ME back, and I’m hoping that taking this course will give me some great tools for my kit.
So the course information session was today. I went into the meeting feeling pretty good, but walked out feeling extremely shaky. At the end of the meeting, we were asked to fill out our answers to a dozen or so questions on a written form. I tried to answer as honestly as I could, but as I went from question to question, I began to realize that I’m really not as fine as I thought I was. It shook me up.
Afterwards, I sat in my car for a long time before I could drive away. I felt nauseous and lightheaded, and my chest and throat hurt. I might have thought I was having a heart attack, but I know from experience what anxiety and panic feels like, and that was the worst panic attack I’ve had in a long, long time.
I needed to be calm before going back to work, so I parked the car on Main Street and walked up and down a bit, just allowing myself to be amongst people, breathing and trying to feel settled again. I went into a store to browse, and ended up buying two dresses. Two dresses that made me feel confident and pretty the instant I put them on. Two dresses that made me smile and see myself on the outside the way I want to feel on the inside.
I like that image of myself: there goes Nita, moving towards wellness in a pretty dress.