Today I am feeling sorry for myself.
Ok, I have been dragging around feeling sorry for myself for at least a month. And at the same time, I have been trying to hide it from even myself. I can turn on the positive, let’s do anything attitude while at work. To me, I am giving 100% during the workday. The feedback I get from managers and employees is that I set the example and lead from the front.
But that’s my concealed depression going into overtime.
When I am at work, I leave my personal life at the door. I don’t call home on my “15,” or on my lunch break. My head is in the game, and I spend my working hours working. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t share the latest picture of my grandson. I find reasons to share his picture with employees and customers.
I don’t feel comfortable letting my guard down at work.
Work is all about work. Now for me, asking questions of my staff is part of knowing what motivates them and what they care about. I know so and so is having a procedure done. Someone else’s Mom is not doing well, another’s 6-year-old just had a birthday. It’s nothing personal.
Learning about them as people is part of what I do at work.
Relaxing and just being in the moment, I can sometimes stretch this interaction into two and even two and a half minutes. Boy, it doesn’t sound like much time. But for me, it seems an eternity. I see people spending long intervals talking. How does that work? Doesn’t that just wear them out?
Here I am going off on a tangent because I am not sure I want to think about the guilt I feel for not choosing differently.
So even if my depression has a hand in the decision-making process, I still live with the consequences. And not only that but others I care about are impacted by my decisions as well. This may be the hardest part. I know I will eventually get back to spending my energy on what I can do, not on what I cannot do anything about. But right now, is not the time.
Living in the past for me creates bad energy and starts that familiar trek towards the abyss.
Even as I remind myself of that, I know that in the back of my mind, I am carrying around that negative, unhelpful thinking that depression loves. This very quickly degrades into “could a, would a, should a.” And from there, guilt, shame, and “why me” show up.
I am reminded of all of the positive accomplishments I have had in my lifetime.
But none of this matters when unhelpful thinking comes around. It is easy to brush these accomplishments off and turn the tables, so I become the victim. What silliness.
I should be getting ready for work, but instead, I am working on writing this.
Once I get my shower and get dressed for work, I know my attitude will change. The closer I get to my job, the more I focus on what I will need to do that day. I shed off my unhelpful thinking and leave my depression in the parking lot. I am not sure where it goes while I am at work, but it is always waiting for me when I get off. As I say good night and walk out to my car, depression is always there to greet me.
I am feeling guilty for making bad decisions over the course of my life.
And this guilt is getting in the way of focusing on what I can control. I can control my attitude towards events. That means I can control what I spend my time thinking about. This positive energy is supposed to make me feel better. After all, I am doing what I can with what I have. It doesn’t matter what I left on the table, or what I gave up.
Well, that is a crock, because it does matter what I gave up.
And to say it doesn’t is insulting. Depression and I conspired several times to leave hundreds of thousands of dollars behind and go off in search of the change you find under the couch cushions. Having done this the first time, you would think I would recognize it the next time. But no…..
How could I possibly have thought that nothing would be better than the something I had?
Should I know that the pie in the sky ideas depression is still bringing me are shams and are not based on reality? Of course, I should. But depression makes these lies seem so life-like and such a sure thing. As I go off arm and arm with depression, I am always certain I am on the best path possible.
And because depression insisted that I keep the plan a secret, I do not need to explain myself or my actions to anyone.
With me. that is still how depression operates. The first order of business is to get me off by myself. Then it can work on demolishing my self-esteem. Once this is accomplished, the real work of getting me into another unhelpful thinking style begins.
The whole thing starts out so innocently, it is hard to see that it is really depression at work.
But here I sit, wallowing in self-pity. I am using up a finite amount of energy on something that I cannot do anything about. That is really the issue. There is only so much of me to go around. And I must choose where I focus what energy I have. If I don’t, depression is right there to steer me where it wants me to go.
So, I will choose to be positive, to focus on what I can do.
I will let you know how it turns out.