Since having a change of medication, my mood has lifted. I feel more energized and motivated. This is exactly what I needed to feel ready to go back to work.
My analyst says that I am an anomaly as far as people who take a leave of absence from work and start collecting disability. Many people get into a victim mentality that there is something wrong with them that they simply can’t work and put off the return to work for as long as possible. I, however, know that I am a capable worker and was able to function at my job for over four years. The problem was that I have a very high standard for myself and consequently a high standard for those around me, so I found myself taking on too much and being a work robot while I was at my job, which contributed to my anxiety, panic attacks, and general feelings of being overwhelmed at work. My health issues are being resolved now, and I am anticipating a changed outlook within myself when I return to work in two weeks
While I do believe my new medication has allowed me to feel more energized and motivated, I am also proud of the continual work I am doing on myself – turning around my self-talk and making it positive, re-discovering interests and skills I had forgotten, and doing a lot of research on potentially going back to school to learn a trade. I found out about an accredited dental assistant program at a local community college, and am taking baby steps to research that career and find out what I need to do to get into the program. Like my stepmom says, sometimes just doing research on possible life-changes is enough to get you motivated and excited.
Other things I’ve done that have helped me to overcome depression is trying to take a walk every day (even if it’s just walking around the mall where you get that added people-watching benefit), mindfulness meditation, and replacing negative thoughts about myself with positive ones. My goal is to talk to myself like I would talk to a good friend. I also have people in my life who provide me support and check in on me, so that holds me accountable to recovering.
If I could say one thing to other people who may be struggling with depression, try, try, try not to beat yourself up. Forgive yourself. Treat yourself like you would a good friend. Sometimes the feelings of sadness and loneliness are justified, and logical responses to what may be going on in your life. But circumstances are not forever. Making one change at a time will do wonders to overcome depression.