Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Necessarily busy

"Be careful," my friend said, "that's a lot of work." I had just relayed to her how incredibly busy I'd been this week. I worked 5 of the last 7 days, and I'm working tomorrow, too. I usually work 3 days per week. My friend, Wendy, knows I don't tolerate working more than part time for very long. In the past, lots of hours have led to depression relapses. It sucks, but working part time is one of the compromises I've had to make as a result of this illness.

I appreciated my friend's quick concern. She cares. That's nice. But I hate that I have to be so vigilant when I work what, for most people, is just a normal work week. After having this Sunday off, I'll be working Monday through Friday next week, too. And I need to do that. I need to work. As of October 1st, I was only one month away from exhausting every spare penny I had just to pay my bills. I won't feel comfortable or safe unless I replenish that money as soon as possible.

Fortunately, we're very busy, so I've got plenty of opportunity to work. I'm doing what I need to do to take care of myself, at least financially. Yes, I'm tired. No, I'm not getting as much exercise as I'd like. Yes, I'm spending more time solo. No, I'm not eating as well as I'd like. Those are all very important pieces to maintaining my mental health. I know. But feeling financially secure is just as important. I know that, too.

So I'll keep being vigilant about how I'm tolerating my increased work load. I'm not going to put myself in jeopardy of creating a depression relapse. I am paying attention. Actually, right now I'm celebrating, just a bit, that I'm able to do what I'm currently doing. I'll keep working on fitting in the other important pieces, and I'll back off the work hours when needed. I'm willing to do what's needed to find that balance.

Balance. It's vital to my mental health stability. I'm hoping I can figure out a way to work as much as I can, while I have the opportunity to do so, while still finding time for the socialization, exercise, healthy food, and sleep I need. I suppose that's the goal of everyone, chronic illness or not.

2 comments:

paullamb said...

It is tough to achieve the right balance. When I'm busy, I tend not to indulge in negative thoughts, until I'm too busy and overwhelmed. And when I am relaxed and free of commitments, my thoughts tend to be more positive, until the lack of structure lets them roam into negative territory.

I hope you get there!

Emilie Marie said...

Very good point Etta! This is something I watch out for too. I am working 5 days a week but I make sure to not work overtime. I used to work 70/80 hours a week on a regular basis which has led to the worst relapse I ever had so this is now a priority.
Well done for going back full time and good luck ! I hope you find a new balance allowing you to stay healthy 😊



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