Is this depression?

I'm struggling with the day to day of life lately.  I've decided to write about my experience as I know I am not alone in how I'm feeling at this point in my life.  I am not after sympathy I just want to be understood.

From my six years of blogging you my reader know me as a pretty busy, happy and outgoing person.  Or that is how I like to portray myself to the world.  My kids have commented that I don't sound like their mum when I blog, I guess I've always tried to keep my everyday life dramas separate from my blog.  Is that wrong?  Who seriously wants to hear about all the stuff that goes on in the the life of a wife, mum, daughter, sister, nurse, volunteer, creative person.................

What is depression?  A diagnosis.  A label.  A stigma.  

de·pres·sion  

/diˈpreSHən
Noun
  1. Severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
  2. A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.
Synonyms
dejection - hollow

I'm not depressed I'm just sad more often these days.  Doesn't everyone have periods in their lives where they feel not as happy as they could?  It's normal isn't it?



How did this all start?

Last July Dear Husband heard of a management position in a regional city hospital laboratory that very much interested him.  He had been in his current position for 23 years and I could see he was bored and wanting something more, so I fully supported him in following this up.  As a trade off for expressing his interest in this new position he was seconded to another regional city hospital laboratory who were experiencing a severe staff shortage and would really appreciate his help for a couple of weeks.  Well that became more than 3 months.  He lived in hospital quarters and commuted back to the coast most weekends.  Not an ideal situation but bearable if he could secure the management position he wanted.  It worked.  

We bought a house in this new regional city and Dear Husband moved in and started his new job last September.  More commuting to the coast, less often as it is a 500km trip each way.  

I stayed at the coast because Darling Daughter was completing her final year at high school and stability is what she needed.  I continued to work as a nurse in a day surgery and started looking for  work in this new city.

I moved to our new home in late January ready to start a full time permanent job at the hospital in early February.  All seemed to be going well.  Our daughter was managing to look after herself and Surfer Boy, our son is based not too far away at a Navy base and returned regularly to mow lawns and help look after our coast home.

My job was not what I had thought it might be, no support or guidance and I missed clinical work so I resigned after only 5 weeks.  This will look odd on my CV.  I secured another job very quickly, this time as a dental assistant in a new practice and after a 4hr orientation and a 5.75hr first shift I didn't return.  I was shocked and dismayed to witness a total lack of infection control measures in this practice and I morally couldn't work there.

There aren't too many jobs advertised in this regional city for females.  The next one was a part time maternity relief reception position at a radiology company.  I was interviewed and then received a phone call to tell me I was too qualified for their position.  That old chestnut!

I've also submitted my resume to 3 large retailers online and heard not a thing.  Not unusual I'm told.

Finally I was offered 2 weeks casual office work at a local high school and it was the best two weeks, I really enjoyed this new and different environment.  I enjoyed it so much I have applied for a part time position at another local high school, fingers crossed I might get an interview.

The one bright spot in my working life has been partnering my only sister in our little shop, this I thoroughly love and wish I could be at the shop more often but it is 130km away.  For the first time in 25 years my sister and I have been able to spend more time together than ever and I am so grateful for this.  

Other than my struggles with finding work I am finding living here not as ideal as would have wished.  We were really quite excited about a new fresh start for Dear Husband and I.  We had been married for 22 years and together for 25, raised our family and now it was "our time".  We met in this city when were both in our final year at university and when we finished our courses we lived here for about 18 months together before deciding to move to the coast if we could.  This city is Dear Husbands home town, although he has no family here he has a load of great friends and acquaintances.  He has also told me he feels "at home" here, "as if he never left" and he has slipped right back into his social circle.  I have met a few lovely people here and tried to form my own social circle of friends which is much more difficult when you are 46 and don't have young children.  I am not into sport, clubs, pubs or groups so it is a bit harder to find potential new friends  in a country area if you aren't interested in these things.  

I have given up so much to be beside Dear Husband and allow him to fulfill his career dreams.  

- Our humble family home at the coast is my true home and where we will eventually return.

- My children who are now 18 and 21, both with partners and busy with their lives.  I guess empty nest syndrome has popped into my head a few times too.  They won't visit us here either, they are coast kids.

- My friends.  We lived at the coast for 23 years and I've made so many great friends in that time and I miss them dearly.

- My job and colleagues.  I returned to nursing after 17 years away from it and enjoyed working in a busy day surgery and learning so much along the way.

Maybe it is too much change all at once? 

I wish Dear Husband could understand how I feel and be a little bit more gentle and caring with me during this difficult time.  I need to be needed and I guess that is a basic human trait, we all want to be loved and respected.  I know I am not much fun to be around at the moment, I am teary a lot of the time and feeling very lost and alone.  

We have returned to the coast to visit the kids 3 times and each time I find it more difficult, it makes me really sad to be only visiting my true home.  This last time I couldn't even ring any friends for a chat or arrange a catch-up it's just too hard.  We have discussed the possibility of me moving back to the coast but I known in my heart this would spell the end for our marriage and I'm not ready to give up just yet.

My dog Ruby has been a great companion, we walk and talk, trying to find great open spaces to let the wind blow through our hair and feel the sunshine warming us.  I try to get out most days with Ruby but some days it's just a struggle, it's nothing like walking on our beach.  

I will keep on trying to get through this rough patch in my otherwise good life and I'll keep you informed of how I'm getting on.  I won't let it beat me!  

Interestingly the Black Dog Institute in Sydney are currently seeking people to interview who would describe themselves as never having had depression for a study distinguishing between normal sadness and depression.  Click on the logo above for more information about this study or if you need help with depression

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wish I was closer and could give you a big hug, sit and talk, stitch or knit together. Sharing your experiences is a good step to take. Talk to someone experienced in the area of depression, Thinking of you, love Heather xx

Sylvia said...

So sorry that you are having such a hard time though I do understand a little as our Canberra move was a bit of a shock! Hope things will be better for you soon.

Susan said...

I wish I could give you a big hug too. Life throws so many changes at us, I think we all have low periods, I know I do.....
Trust yourself, be kind to yourself while you're struggling.....keep walking Ruby. X

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Oh Lisa I totally understand how you feel...sometimes I feel like that at the coast and miss my old home and country town. It's not easy making new friends in a new town I know especially as I have JoJo to care for. Hang in there Chick especially with the knowledge that you will be back xo

Dee said...

I understand your feelings and so sorry you are going through this.

It's hard to uproot from a place you dearly love.

No advice ....I have none. But, I do have big hugs and hope you know that there are many of us in the blogging community that hope things work out soon.