Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Dirty Little Secret

So...I should probably expand a little more on yesterday's blog post.  I don't really want to, but I think it will help me in the long run to be completely open and vulnerable and honest on this blog.  So, here goes:

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.
From 2005 to 2009 it was nearly unbearable.  I'd been at the extreme end where I was a cutter and harming myself.  There were nights and days where I was so disgusted with myself that I literally wanted to hack myself apart.  Very disturbing, but true.  My life is good; it's just the way I feel about myself that leads me to do these crazy things.

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.


  1. Thanks for sharing all this. It must be really hard to write all of that out on a blog for the world to see. I am really sorry about your performance review but you did your best, so there is nothing you should feel bad about. You are a total inspiration with your continued weight loss and I know you will get to where you want to be.

  2. Becky,
    You are right, you are not alone, not in your fight, not in your tears. Thank you for being vulnerable. Sending Love, jo

  3. You continue to inspire me every day and this is no exception. Just to put those words on paper takes courage and strength and I commend you for that. You are not alone, and I am sending my love your way! **HUGS**

  4. Becky, I just want you to know that I think you are a spectacular person! Prayers, good thoughts, and {{{HUGS}}} I am sending your way.

  5. You are not alone. I suffer from depression and my family doesn't know. I keep it from most people in fear of what the reaction might be. You were very brave to right this post. I hope that things only get better for you.

  6. ((((BECKY)))) ~ I think you're an amazing person, my friend, and I'm thankful you shared this with us. Don't forget - you are NEVER EVER alone. Anytime you want to vent or hash things out, we're here for you. Sending thoughts, hugs and prayers your way!

  7. Powerful post.
    Glad you are finding ways to interrupt the old patterns.
    Many challenges will come and go.
    Good that you didn't let it destroy your new-found confidence!
    Keep that "good" list in deserve good things!

  8. It's very generous of you to share that, it's very personal. Thank you.
    I am sending you good toughts and I'm sure things will get better!

  9. Your boss probably told everyone the same thing. It's their job to make everyone feel like they did not to well. Why? Well, in their eyes, it will make you work even harder the next year. It's unfortunate but this is what they do.

  10. Becky,
    Kudos to you for your honesty and being willing to share your story. First, (((hugs))) and prayers coming your way. That must have truly sucked and been so awful to hear that news from your boss after you had given it your all.

    I have also dealt with depression issues and after all my thyroid problems in 2009 I FINALLY got some help and went on medication. Best decision ever. There's such a stigma attached to depression but many of us suffer from it when there is help available. Only by talking about it and sharing our stories can we help ourselves and others.

    More hugs, support and understanding to you. :)

  11. My husband is going through a tough time at work too and basically being treated like and told he isn't good enough even though he really cares about his cutomers and works ethically which is not so common around his job. As a former supervisor, I would say if your supervisor waits to inform you at a review with shocking and unexpected news that a. you don't have a great supervisor. b. you can work toward regaining your self esteem at work by asking for more feedback so you know what the expectations / issues are and deal with it...sorry you are going through it...but what a sweet hubby to make that list for you. sounds like you already also hae a good plan for where to put your focus.

  12. I'm so sorry that you are going throigh this!! I'm proud of you for not harming yourself and agree that you can see measurable success with weight loss and activity. What about training for and runnung a race?