I've suffered from depression for quite a while. I don't think anyone close to me knows this. I've kept it secret and private because I find it horribly embarrassing to admit. I don't want to be the person who cries herself to sleep at night, so I just don't let people know because it makes it less real for me. My family (except my husband) doesn't have a clue there has ever been anything wrong.
Fortunately, I have made a lot of progress over the last year. I no longer hurt myself when I'm disappointed or frustrated or depressed. I am doing a better job of communicating with my husband so I don't get to the point where my emotions overrun me and I'm curled up in a ball on the floor in the bathroom crying my eyes out. One thing that has helped me find some self esteem in the last year has been my job. I finally found something that I was good at and that gave me a sense of pride in myself. It was something I focused on when times got tough and gave me hope. I knew I was good at that one thing and it couldn't be taken away from me.
Flash forward to yesterday--review time. I've been busting my butt at work this year working 60+ hours a week and sacrificing personal time to make sure that things at work were going smoothly. My customers appreciate me and I have a good relationship with them. I was under the impression that I was kicking butt.
My impression was very wrong. I walked into my review feeling pretty optimistic until my boss told me I rated as dead last in his division.
Let me repeat that. DEAD LAST.
I am his worst performer.
I don't even know how to describe how upsetting it was and is for me. I had placed so much of my self value into my performance at work that I don't know how to undo it.
I cried the whole way home. It wouldn't be so bad if I had slacked off this year and knew I could improve or do better this year. That way I could be optimistic about next year because there would be hope for improvement. But I feel like there isn't hope--I poured my heart into my work and gave the very best of me only to find out that it wasn't enough. My very best is last place.
I was trying so hard last night to not let this effect me. I tried counting my blessings (I have a wonderful husband...I'm not unemployed...I have a great family...I've lost weight this year...) One by one I counted them to try to erase the feeling of complete failure that was wrapping its wretched arms around me. I would like to say it helped, but it really didn't.
I ended up the evening by counting my failures instead as tears streamed down my face. I remembered a fight that I had had with my husband earlier this year where he said: "Name one thing you do consistently well." He was referring to around the house (I've mentioned that I suck at keeping a clean house), but I took it further than that and sat there pondering his words and realized that the only thing I could truly say I did consistently well at was my job.
Where does that leave me now? No matter my husband tells me (he made a list last night of things he thinks I do well), I cannot convince myself I have one thing in my life I do consistently well. I want to be able to. I don't want to be depressed. I want to finally have self esteem. I want to be happy and carefree like I was a few years ago before I lost myself.
I've decided that for now I am going to try to pour myself into my training and health. The one glimmer of hope that stood out for me last night in the rubble was that I've done an okay job of losing weight and getting healthier. I definitely haven't given it my all and I know I could do much better at it, but I still am getting results and I am much better off than I was at the beginning of the year. This will be my ray of sunshine that gets me through this. I've got a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth towards my job right now, so instead of working myself to death at work I'm going to devote the extra time towards reaching goals that only I can judge myself against.
I'm still not sure that I should share all of this on my blog, but I'm going to anyway. And for those of you concerned that I might have harmed myself last night, I am proud to say that I did not. That's progress, right? In any case, if any of you out there are suffering from depression like me and need help here is a great place to start. We are not alone in this and it can get better.
It will get better.