I loved my first job out of graduate school. I was working as a therapist in schools, in an area of much need – I felt so fulfilled at 23 years old. But after a year in my job, my husband and I decided that our current life situation was not sustainable. We quickly found new jobs, listed our home, started searching for homes – the stress hit- and I have not recovered.
We found a house on the water, we closed after a month of commuting one hour both ways, we sold our other house within the same time period. It may sound brief – but it was an awful time. My body was exhausted and reacting in many ways that I never knew it could.
Once we closed on everything – nothing was settled – there were no breaks. Work consisted of long hours with people who have severe mental health needs. By the end of my days, I just wanted to sleep. Feeling happiness was far from my thoughts, I didn’t have the energy to feel what happiness might look like. Mind you, I had a damn house on a lake -connected to another – my husband – my dogs —- my health… the list goes on. Despite this, I felt like I was in a constant hell.
My Grandpa was diagnosed with cancer about 2 weeks after we moved in. My mother, who also has mental health problems (google Borderline Personality Disorder & Bipolar, that will give you an inkling), became extremely needy – she expected that we would see her all the time since we live closer (farrrrrrr from my plans), and my 20 year old little sister whose been struggling with life enough – was struggling in every way, with nowhere to go, because everyone had kicked her out. So she was living with her boyfriend’s family, jobless and lost. I saw the writing on the walls (stay tuned for that segment).
Anyhow, moving became a living nightmare. I quickly discovered that everyone at my job hated their lives and they had all lied to me in the interview. People were leaving the place left and right, people were miserable, the place was hopeless. I quickly discovered that you have to be ignorant to stay at the place. When the people higher than you hate their jobs and the people on your level are either quitting or depressed – things aren’t looking up. Which added to my darkness. I realized I had made all of these changes, only to discover that the new environment was a huge negative. Not to mention the fact that, again, I was treating people with severe mental health issues – while at the same time realizing that everyone at my job were too wrapped up in their own depression to even consider the needs of the people they’re paid to provide services to.
What is this system? How can I have hope when the leaders are hiding? When the clinicians are hopeless? How do I voice my opinion when the people in power are, frankly, crooked as hell? How do I maintain my ethics in a place that does not have any?’
Welcome to my depression.
Trust me – it gets better 🙂