Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feeling Hopeless...Isn't Me At All

To all of you leaving comments, thank you so much. I want you to know they really do touch my heart.

I can't explain depression, oh if I could I would be a very rich woman. Can anyone explain this insidiousness? The feeling something isn't right but you can't change it. The feeling you are loosing your mind and no one seems to notice? Am I really?

I want to share with you some of my feelings, in the hopes you will be able to recognize this in a friend, loved one, co-worker.

I am (I was at one time) a very happy person. I found happiness in seeing my flowers grow in Arizona when I was told none would grow, but with love and ingenunity they did grow...Impatients, Carnations, Roses, I had a small but beautiful garden.

I found happiness in my home (until the mice moved in and then they were gone), I had a huge bright kitchen, a living room that had been faux painted by a friend, a grass and tree front yard, a large soaking tub. I worked many hours for that house. Sometimes I hated it. The payments were extremely high with an 11% interest rate, no bank would re-finance and I felt an Albatross around my neck.

We attended NASCAR races twice a year with the kids many times and had many wonderful people from all over the world we ran into at each race. My husband had a boat and he took me out on the lake to read (I do not fish) but most of all he and my granddaughter loved fishing and camping.

It was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo hot, to hot! My face would burn opening the door. The kids couldn't play, the area was becoming so riddled with crime and I am and always have been a Washington type of girl, I just love the green and water and peacefulness.

I prayed for Gods will to be done. I even stopped discussing or talking about it for 6 months and just concentrated on Gods will. BOOM! Everything clicked into place...except I fell and broke my ankle and took a bit longer to move.

I was happy and excited. I took the entire summer off to spend with the grands, get our new home in order and learn the lay of the land. I took a job in September with Americorps at my grands school, while it was exasperating at times, I enjoyed working and seeing the little ones light up when they would read and read correctly.

During this time I was putting in for job after job. Some I received interviews for, some I did not. Some I got letters of denial and some I did not. Our finances began to sink but I hung in there. I even did a month at our local seaport and was doing great and applied for a full-time position there. Someone knew the CEO and their child got the job.

I became a substitute teacher, but it is so hard trying to rely on a job when you don't know if you will work or not. I didn't give up, I continued to apply for jobs and interview where I could. I love the new application scanners, sometimes I would apply and within 3-5 minutes get a denial from a computer! A COMPUTER!!
I subbed right up until 2 days before major back surgery.

I had 2 back surgeries that summer and couldn't return to work as planned. Then came the news my mom was dying. I spent 2 weeks with was a miracle and she didn't pass on until 4 months later! While helping my moms husband after her death, I received a call for a job.

I applied, I got it. But even though I had the most beautiful view, the job became a horrible nightmare. The owner didn't want to comply with regulations, he did all he could to bypass laws any law because he could basically. When the you know what hit the fan, he was always ready to throw someone else under the bus including his much beloved Office Manager and then myself. I was there and helped save a mans life, though I will never get over what I saw that day!

It boiled down one day to a shouting match, his face almost burst until another worker stepped in. I was in the right and stood my ground something he wasn't used to. After all it was his business and he would run it the way he wanted to. From then on, I was told to not answer the phones, not do this, don't do that. Getting up in the morning became increasingly difficut. When I was laid off, I felt relief!

This also interfered with my church life as my pastor was the owners pastor and I no longer felt comfortable in my own church. But I loved my ladies bible study.

I began a job hunt and we all know that led to a job, however it also led to a discovery that I have a hearing loss and that made me ineligible for the job. The company was amazing, they hired me, they put me through training and they prayed with me that a hearing aid would help. It did not. I was released!

I denied I had a hearing issue. I still deny it as I never have an issues with talking on the phone, talking in person and I hear things no one else can!

From there it has been downhill.

I no longer am happy. I know God has a plan and reading Job won't help me! I feel life has been sucked out of me, I feel I am no longer useful! My house is a wreck, i can't concentrate anymore and I can't remember things!

A few weeks ago the much public horror of Josh Powell and how he blew his 2 children up as a social worker called 911...upset me so much I cried and threw a horrible hissy fit over how uncaring this dispatcher was, after all I did the job for many years & we always sent help erring on the side of caution. What were they thinking? I was distraught. I had to stop watching, reading or even hearing about it. What was going on?

Then today, a Washington State Patrolman was killed and he was killed in the area I was living and working from September to November. I applied for the job in that area. and at the time there wasn't an opening. Then I got the other job and you met these patrolmen in training classes in our halls. I may have said hello to him.

When I was terminated I contacted the supervisor at WSP, they still didn't have an openings, but they also didn't do hearing tests. However, though I passed the tests, they had now changed them and I would have to retake them. I just didn't pursue it and tried for other positions in other state agencies.

Today, when I heard the news I was in the tire store and broke down in tears. Lucky for me hubby came in the door and I was able to walk out but in the truck I was crying and crying and so upset. Why am I like this? I never used to be?

I tell you these things because I was the person that people came to for answers. I was the dispatcher that all the officers trusted and wanted on tough calls. I was the person officers came to when it was time to off load their tough calls or just get a good chewing out. I was the person detectives knew would find something when everyone else would give up.

I worked full-time, I went to school full-time earning my degree's in fields I knew would benefit the municipality I worked for...Public Administration/Business Management/Organizational Leadership/Human Resources. The more I went to school and prepared myself to move out of dispatch, the more the city told me no, no, no, no on jobs.

The more they told me no, the more my co-workers scratched their heads. I didn't apply for every job, I applied for the ones I knew I was qualified to do. Each time I applied, the HR department would make up their own rules....I once was denied because I was the only one that applied for the job. When they posted it a second time, I didn't apply.

My depression I think began then. If I was such a valuable employee, so well liked, had excellent evaluations, why couldn't I do something else? No one would give me an answer...not the department head, HR...but we all knew in our city, it wasn't what you knew, because the jobs were given away before they were even posted.

How do you explain people being terminated and then rehired for a position they had no experience in? My heart sank. Then came the police involved shooting I worked solo..yes S O L O and I was back on the job that night. I was strong, people were amazed, I was great on that shooting!

But my body and mind shortly thereafter began to fall apart. I began to see a counselor, who diagnosed me as being stressed out, recommended another doctor who told me I had adrenaline depletion and both gave me time off from work to rest.

Some people feel I am suffering from PTSD, some from depression. Others think it is self-pity.

You are strong, you can get through this, God loves you.

I love all of my cheer leaders. However, I am no longer strong. I doubt myself everyday. My confidence levels are gone. I cry all the time. I look in the mirror and staring back at me is a face I no longer recognize with eyes all puffy and a sadness. I have chest pain one is concerned about it.

I try to quilt and can't anymore. I can't read anymore because I can't concentrate. I can't pray anymore. I get down on my knees and I start to pray and in comes rushing all this mess of thoughts did I turn off the stove, where are my keys, why did Whitney die all this noise and then, I start falling asleep. I start over, crying to God to help me pray.

People I thought I could trust and were my friends this past year have shown their true colors. My bible study group turned me out to the curb because I changed churches and only one of them stood up and said what they were doing was wrong. I would have fought for all of them.

A friend stopped talking to me after her daughter babysat the kids and attempted to make cookies in my microwave which she burnt, which I thought was funny because they had fun anyway. But she didn't tell me in the process she broke one of my good plates. Now, I wouldn't have been upset had she told me when we got home...I burnt the cookies and your plate cracked. No, instead she washed the dishes and put them away and told me she did that. Not one mention of the plate.

I found it the next morning and called her mom. I told her what upset me was that she tried to hide it. Accidents happen, I get it, I would understand. Mom said she probably didn't notice the crack. Uh, it was glued back together, yes I now she knew it was there. This woman has not talked to me since. Why? Because she is upset I said her daughter did something wrong.

I want you all to understand, I have no control over this insidiousness. I try but I don't. This is difficult for me, to second guess myself, to no longer be strong, to not be able to find work, to have my home falling apart around us and being told if I had a job maybe things could be fixed. If I had a job......if I had a magic wand...if I had a million dollars..................if, if, if is like saying but, but, but!

I never thought this would happen to me. I am strong, I am smart...........................I once was!


Naila Moon said...

I feel like you just took a page out of my own diary.

If I can give any advice, I would say to try daily (even if only once daily)to see the good in your life...that little glimmer of hope. It might be as simple as a laughing child or a butterfly. Look for it.

The second thing is prayer. You are obviously a praying woman. Even if it is all jumbled, crying, blabbery do it anyway. Remember that the Creator knows our hearts and is there with open arms no matter how we come.

Finally, if you have not already sought out counceling again, then do so. Counceling is so good even when thing are great. If one person is not good for you, then try another. There will be a fit.

Keep talking things out, blogging or journaling about them. It is ok however it comes out. It just needs to be out.

I wish you peace...
Naila Moon

Quiltingranny said...

In spite of it all, I have many positives in my life. Just stopped by my grands old school and they were all so happy to see me, my car is paid for, the shocks are done and cheaper than I alloted, but depression is tough to pull through!

Alanna said...

Your comments are much like my own thoughts, some days the only thing that keeps me going is a quote I once read "Things always work out in the end, if they aren't working out, then it's not the end yet."

Sara said...

Maybe you do have PTS and maybe it is depression - or a combination of the two. I am not an expert but I grew up in a household with a severely depressed mother. She always refused to get help. I pray that you can find the strength to pursue the help you need. I do firmaly believe that then life will begin to fall back into place once again for you. Depression is such a cruel disease, in part because people dismiss it so easily as self pity. Know that you are in my prayers!

Patty said...

Hi Jean, I understand what you are going thru. I have been there myself, for the last 15 years I have suffered from major depression. Maybe you can find help from a doctor. I am taking 3 meds at this time. A doctor can help you find someone to talk to. I finally found someone after 3 tries.

Keep praying, you are a strong woman. You have shown us that so many times.

If God brings it to us, He will help us thru it.

Many blessings to you.

Pokey said...

hugs! and prayers, we all need them!

~Niki~ said...

I feel your pain.
I'm suffering from major depression and anxiety. I've had this most of my adult life. I'm back with a psychiatrist and on meds (again). She actually told me in the office yesterday I need to apply for SMI. Seriously?! I was so upset I cried. This is something I don't share on my blog often, as I'm afraid of the stigma. But I want you to know you are not alone...

jolynnrn said...

I read your blog and all that you shared and my heart hurt for you. I have suffered from depression and finally got the help that was needed. A safe therapist that was so kind and gentle who gave me assignments to help me see and solve the mysteries in my life. I was placed on medicine and finally found the right combination that works for me. I was given the opportunity to slowly heal and then surprise myself when I was able to concentrate on something for longer than a minute. You are a very well educated woman from your descriptions, the job situation maybe just on hold until the time is right for you. Or perhaps the perfect job is just around the corner, or perhaps through this experience you will be able to help so many more people. I do not have the answers but I can tell you, do when you don't feel like doing. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and be kind and gentle to yourself. Look at the blessings that you do have. Your belief in God is apparent, he understands when the prayers are short and he also understands when you are unable to pray at all. I hope that this helps, I hope that you know that you are loved and may the darkness and despair become less and less each day. Jo Lynn

Cassandra said...

*hugs* I don't know you but I can still pray. :) I sent up a prayer for you that God will always show His presence in your life, that you will always feel Him close by.

Judy said...

Aw Jean, I am so sorry you are having such a tough time. I wish I could give you a big hug. It might not fix anything, but hugs are good. I struggle in the winter with something close to depression...and it stinks. I relate to much of what you have said. It's especially hurtful when your friends from a church no longer have use for you when you leave the church.

I do hope you reconsider about closing your blog. You truly would be missed. Very missed.

You will be in my prayers.
oxo Judy

ChrisJ said...

Please, please try medication. Find a good psychiatrist and be patient as he finds the right combination of medications. I've been there for nearly thirty years. Depression and anxiety come from 'stuffing feelings'. Pray as well of course, as do I. I've been a pastor's wife for 52 years. My depression and anxiety came from teaching high school and from always trying to produce 120%. 100% was never good enough for me. There is no shame in depression and anxiety or to even admitting it's a mental health problem. It's like diabetes. It's a chemical imbalance. No amount of counseling will cure diabetes. Your brain is an organ and can get out of whack in its chemical balance. Keep praying and find a good cognitive therapist. I went through all that you are going through now. I have lived normally for 20 years, but still on medication. There is help. I will be praying for you.