I did it. I took a leap of faith and I quit my job.
I know you must think I’ve totally lost my mind. With the economy the way it is and the unemployment rate rising, why on earth would I give up my job? The answer is simple: I had to make a change.
Many years ago, I was diagnosed with depression but I refused to accept it. I didn’t follow through with therapy nor did I get treatment. Honestly, I didn’t want to admit that I was weak and couldn’t handle something on my own.
But as time passed, my symptoms grew worse. I couldn’t sleep through the night, I was having trouble concentrating and I couldn’t remember things that had just happened only moments before. My faith had all but disappeared and I didn’t believe in my future or my dreams anymore. I had gained a lot of weight. I was overly tired. Not so much sleepy, though that was becoming my favorite past-time, but more fatigued to a point that I had no energy at all. There were days where just getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom was about all I could muster. I felt sick all the time. I was emotional, crying over the littlest of things. Migraines were happening almost once a week. I didn’t want to leave the house and I started missing work more often. I was depressed and there was no denying this time.
If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that I can’t change anyone else, but I can certainly change my perception. It was then that I came to terms with the fact that depression doesn’t portray me as vulnerable or weak. It doesn’t mean that I’m a misfit or irreparably damaged. These were all stigmas I had given to myself. Unfortunately, these are also stigmas that much of society doles out when mental disorders and disease come up, but I wasn’t going to let that influence me any longer.
I found a great therapist and have learned so much from her. Though my mood swings weren’t happening as often and the stress management techniques were helping keep the migraines away, nothing else was changing. Matter of fact, my desire to sleep was increasing and the feeling of wanting to close myself away from the world was becoming stronger. We were hitting walls at every turn.
Then one day during a session I said “Something has got to give. I’m not happy. I’m stressed out. I’m tired. I can’t keep doing this.” Life is far too short to live every day in misery. I wanted happiness and laughter in my house again.
Thanks to a bit of prodding by my therapist, I realized I had just made a break through. I couldn’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. Just because I was in therapy, didn’t mean a fix was going to magically appear. I had to actually make some changes. So I took stock of what was important to me, what my goals were, and what I needed to let go of. It was sort of like spring cleaning my life.
I needed time to focus on me and take care of my mind, body, and soul. I needed to get myself in a better place. I wanted to focus on our home which I had neglected, get back in shape, and and eat better. But I also wanted to continue writing, which had taken a major hit from my depression as well. There was only one thing stopping from doing all this, my job. The hours I was working and the commute, plus my husband working a different shift so we weren’t seeing much of each other, was making my job one of the biggest sources of my stress. Overall, it just wasn’t worth the toll it was having on me. So, after paying off a few bills I turned in my resignation letter.
I’m starting to see some changes now. I have hope again and I don’t feel overwhelmed by my life. I’m making plans and getting organized. My energy level is growing and my moods are leveling out. I don’t have a headache every morning when I wake. My depression isn’t gone, I still have days that are harder than others. I won’t be quitting my therapy any time soon but at least I know I’m on the right path because my faith is returning and so is my determination to chase my dream.
There will be challenges along the way – what’s life without those? But I’m ready to face them this time because with a little hard work, I’ve learned to let go and placed myself in the hands of a greater power. Something I should have done a long time ago.
I’d love to hear about your experiences too. Have you ever been in a place where you had to make change? Have you ever taken that leap of faith?