I'm so glad spring seems to be drawing near. This winter has been brutal for me, so now that we are having longer days and milder temperatures, I'm breathing a big sigh of relief.
I don't dislike winter. I actually like winter a lot. But the last few months have been difficult, not because of the weather, but because of my mental state. I have been beating back depression. It started before winter set in, and the dark days of winter just exacerbated it as winter came into it's full strength. Thank goodness, the long winter nights here are nothing compared to the Midwest. If I'd been in KC, I have no doubt that it would have been many times worse. Here in New Mexico, there are very few times when we don't have significant sunshine every day. I thank that for getting me through at all.
I probably should have sought help. Easy to say in hindsight. But I kept thinking, "It will be alright," and "Its not so bad." By the time I let myself really face the issues, I was actually beginning to recover. And I did, at that time, get help. It didn't take much at that point, but I'm glad I had the support.
The root of it was at work. I love my job and what I do with and for people. I like nearly everyone I work with. There was one person outside that "nearly everyone" category who was causing much grief for others. After a period of time, that person moved on to a different job, and the rest of us began to heal. Then the replacement was hired, and it looked like things would settle down. Briefly, it looked that way.
And then ....
The newly hired person began to show colors. Bright colors. Penetrating colors. And not pretty colors, at all. Oh, not in front of the boss, but at other times .... it was awful!! And through the winter it became worse and worse. I had no particular problem with this person, but the atmosphere was absolutely poisoned. There were many who were unable to avoid contact and it was mostly negative. That person did not do the job, seemed to be unteachable, and was back stabbing anyone who got in the way, and the angst was awful. Since the person "behaved" in front of the boss, it appeared for a while that others weren't playing nice.
I began dreading going to work. I enjoy my job, but the ugliness was affecting everyone, if not directly, then by the ripples of ugliness radiating from the core of the problems. I did my best to avoid getting in the thick of it, but it isn't possible to be in the workplace and not pick up on some of it, especially when it is a small agency.
I felt tired a lot. I began to avoid some social things, feeling too tired to make myself go out, especially at night. Of course, that deepened the depression. I was less than on top of housework, so having a messy house added to the problem. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ..... [Did you hear Yul Brenner just then? :D]
So again, thank goodness much of that is over. At any rate, the increased sunshine, the pleasant weather, and the fact that I'm back on track is very good. I've begun several healthy new practices, and have more planned. The study course will begin very soon, as I expect my books and study materials to arrive tomorrow or Saturday. I'm excited about many things again. It feels good. :)
Not only has the cloud lifted, but new projects are sprouting, too. I love developing new components. Today the boss and I talked with some folks about starting a cancer support group for patients and families using educational pieces to help people change thinking and life styles. By including allopathic medical people, natural and nutritional experts, practitioners of acupuncture and biofeedback, we hope to be able to direct folks to taking preventative measures and finding healthier lifestyles in the future.
This fits well with parts of my job already underway .... public speaking about Hospice, about aging, and about end of life issues in general. My purpose in all this is to touch as many as I can with information to demystify these topics and redirect thinking into healthier and better informed paths. I guess it's that old thing about "if I can change the life of one person, I will have done my job."
So, I'm back! I had a grueling six months or so, but I'm back on track. It feels good. Onward and upward!!