Saturday, December 28, 2013

When it's deeper than burnout

During these weeks (who am I kidding? months) I've been quiet on the interwebs, I came to realize that my apathy comingled with fury was beyond burnout. It became clear even after a long, wonderful vacation with my husband that what I've been experiencing was deeper than burnout--it was full-on, irrefutable, un-ignorable, in-your-face-like-a-can-of-mace depression. A fair amount of October and November were spent adjusting to an antidepressant and letting my coworkers know what was going on with me. Because I do in fact work with human beings, they understood and agreed to help adjust my workload and schedule accordingly.  This wasn't just "Lulu is feeling kinda burned out"; this was now a medical condition that, while it would pass eventually with medication and therapy, it also must legally be accommodated and ethically and emotionally cannot be ignored.

I also spent the fall working on some project process research for the firm for which I work, and I still had to fulfill my managerial duties of participating in staff performance reviews and some HR tasks. These chores kept me busy enough that I didn't feel totally useless and gave me a reason to come to work every day while the lack of serotonin in my brain told me that work was bullshit and life was bullshit and there's no point in anything anyway. Fortunately, I have several amazing and wonderful relatives and coworkers and friends who helped me combat these despondent voices. I cannot thank them enough.

Assembling coherent, helpful blog posts has been tough for me these past few months, and it's still a struggle. While I'm still not done wrestling with this condition, I at least have the clarity to see when my angry apathy is the depression talking versus when it's truly work that has me pissed off. (One sign that it's depression: if I say I hate my job and someone asks what I would rather do instead, and I say "Nothing. Nothing sounds good." That's the lack of serotonin talking.) Things are looking up professionally; I have some professional speaking engagements coming up in the spring, and I'll be working with some different project teams in my office to see if that helps with my mehness. I promised myself I'd try again at this blog. I hope I'm not done trying to help and mentor others wherever I can, but if I've given all I can, then I have to accept that. I've found in the last few months that I was right about some things, and I've been dead wrong about some other things. I hope to have to courage to share these things with you all in 2014.  

Til then, have a lovely holiday season, and here's to a new year.