Depression runs so deeply and wildly throughout my family. It is a clinical and real problem. For some of my family members it is a disease, a disorder and for others it is just the way it is. I have always denied having depression. I never wanted to join that side of my family and have to take a thousand perscription pills per day. I have always been happy and upbeat, trying to be optimistic and full of life. When I became an at-home mom, so much crap hit the fan and I felt re-traumatized all over again for things I had hidden deep inside. I denied falling into a depression for a long time. I felt that as long as I was homeschooling and keeping my house picked up, I wasn't depressed. I isolated myself from my neighbors and sometimes got brave, ventured out and quickly came back home. Other times I got brave and invited neighbors over for dinner or so my son could have a playdate. Secretly, I was hoping they would cancel or something would come up. Sadly, very rarely were these attempts ever reciprocated. This doesn't make me a bad person, just a fearful one. I figured all I needed was a job. Yes, a job would distract me. I would find the energy again and I would be able to be the mom I should be and I would be able to fill my days before and after work with productivity. I blamed the eventless mommihoodness on my "boredom."
It has been a year since finding my job. Our family is incredibly blessed. We have amazing neighbors whom we've grown close to that care for our kids while we are both at work and I'm still able to homeschool. We are right on track for my son and my daughter is healthy and happy. So, why am I still "bored?" I got a promotion quickly. My shift at work changed from an afternoon shift to a night shift. We didn't think it would be so bad because the difference was perfect for me. I could keep my productivity at home and I could keep homeschooling. After several months, here I am, lonely and bored. I have felt the feelings creep up on me and I have been slowly letting them take over. At first, of course denying it was depression, I called it procrastination. My schoolwork for my Master's degree was late or done the night it was due (including any readings I should've had done for the assignments). I then got "addicted" to T.V. shows and "oops, where'd the time go." Then it was "I don't want to ..."
Being an insightful person I started to wonder, why am I doing this. This isn't me ... I knew I was lonely for adult attention, for time with my husband, for friends, for FUN. I only see my husband about 96 minutes M-F, if I'm lucky on Saturday and always on Sunday which is full of obligations. At home, I teach my son. At work, I supervise my peers and "yes sir, no sir" my bosses. I come home to a dark and sleeping home. I have a sleep disorder that keeps me awake until 2am and so for three hours after work, I watch TV. I don't exercise, because when do I have the time and I have no one at work to talk to or who is interested in me as a person or my husband or my kids. No one at work wants to talk to me about their husbands or kids. I feel like a robot. At work, it's work - well, that's understandable, but where's the human in that? Before my promotion, that human connection was neatly balanced because I wasn't a supervisor. Now I have to deal.
So, after several years, several months, several late assignments or half done assignments or flake-outs on callings, on and on, I am admitting, I am depressed. I can't runaway anymore from the reality that is my depression. I don't want to go to work. I don't want to go to school. I don't want to homeschool. I don't even want to eat, leave my house, let alone clean my house. Yikes!!! I've learned that my schoolwork slips because it is the only thing I can control. I've learned that my obligations on Sunday (or related to) are slipping because that is the only thing I can control. I've learned that I don't care if the laundry is done or the house shiny and new because that is the only thing I can control. I'm lonely and that makes me depressed. While I know I will turn away and distract myself, go back to denial and not work through this (because it's hard and will suck!) at least I have said it outloud.
But now what?