professionally depressed

I’m currently experiencing a bout of depression. I’m still figuring out how to show up as a professional at my job while allowing space for my depression to breathe and do what it needs to do. My teacher frequently references the buddhist idea of inviting our demons to sit with us. The idea is to say, “sit with me, have tea” instead of trying to push away or deny negativity.

Working in recovery can be difficult. It’s also a wonderful environment, where my bosses and peers understand and have compassion for mental illness. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a hard time owning my mental health status myself.  I encourage others to be open and allow themselves to be themselves, but I have a hard time applying that suggestion to my own struggles.

Sometimes I wonder if admitting I am depressed means I won’t be taken seriously. Intellectually, I know that likely won’t happen. I’m not any less brilliant when I am depressed. A bit foggy, sure, but definitely not less brilliant.

I am big on communication and letting people know exactly where I am and how I am feeling (within appropriate boundaries). The thing I struggle with when I am depressed is that I don’t exactly know how long my depression is going to last. So, when should I tell my boss that I am struggling? I don’t want to alert the troops on day one. What if it only lasts one day? So, I think that’s what I am trying to figure out.

I had a great talk today about the support I need at work and what can help me through this undertow. I feel so accepted and loved. That’s really all I need from others. The rest is sort of up to me. I need to remain vocal. At Menninger I learned (it was a big surprise) that people cannot read my mind. So, it’s really up to me to communicate what I need.

I feel so grateful that I work in an environment that is so accepting and willing to support me through whatever I need to walk through. I can show up, give my best (whatever that looks like right now), and accept the love (something I sometimes struggle with).

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