I’ve slowly started to feel a little better since Monday. Don’t think I cried once today. I had forgotten, however, that my team all agreed to go to lunch with one of our carriers (aka, insurance reps). When my boss reminded us all yesterday, I was secretly crest-fallen. See, my team, as sweet as they are, are murder to dine with. More so when it’s just us team members. They will literally go through the whole meal without talking. My thought is, if we’re going to make a point of going out together as a team, let’s do more than just eat. My assistant and I try to keep the conversation going, but she usually caves and lets’ me drive the bus. On our team, I’m “the funny one”. When a carrier takes us out, that alleviates some of the pressure on me, but, then again, I don’t wanna talk about group insurance all through lunch (or ever, really), so I still feel compelled to keep things moving. It wasn’t so bad today, as the carrier who took us out is a chatterbox. But I probably spoke more today in front of my team than I have in a month.
Three out of the four of my team are a little uptight…VERY professional, which is a welcome change, but they tend to be more serious than I am. The fourth, my assistant, is sassy like me, but usually doesn’t start things…out in the open, anyway. She likes to torture me via email. I’m usually the first one to point out the absurd. Like that the COBRA administration arm of one of our carriers is called COBRAToday. I know I’m not the only one who reads that as CO-BRAT oday. We are owned by a large bank who does ridiculous, pointless things (as most large companies do), like state the need for fiscal responsibility as an excuse to slash our pay and benefits, yet they spend tons of money on stupid nylon banners and gold pins to commemorate anniversaries, and send us glossy fliers to tell us about our new cheap-ass benefits, then follow the snail mail up with emails with the exact same information. Again, I’m usually the one adding the color commentary.
Except for the last two months, I’ve barely spoken at work. My team hasn’t been walking around on eggshells with me…I’ve told them I’m struggling to get a handle on a major depressive episode and they’ve been very sweet. But they seemed so…relieved…yesterday when I made a joke about something. The look on their faces was kind of surprising.
I’ve gone through rough patches before when the people around me, usually family, seem downright irritated that I’m not behaving as they expect me to. Even my husband gave me “the sigh” the other day. Tuesday morning, I was so exhausted, I went into work late. As my husband left to take our daughter to school, I heard it. That sigh that I’ve heard from some members of my family when they are annoyed with me. I asked my husband about it. His response surprised me. “I am just at a loss trying to help you and I feel like the woman I married is slipping away right in front of me and I can’t do a damn thing about it.” His thinking of me as slipping away struck a chord. And the fact that he didn’t seem to be chastising me was bonus. Then he went on to explain his view that I’ve always hard a shell, but it was more like an eggshell to him. A few taps from him and he could crack it. But now he sees me as becoming enveloped in armor. I have to work on that.
To be fair, it’s been years and years since my parents or anyone else in my family made me feel shitty about my depression. The trouble is, a few harsh words, even those spoken a decade ago, can haunt you.
I do feel myself pulling away. I’ve got two friends…one in particular, who keeps calling me and texting me to make sure I’m okay. I haven’t been returning their calls. And I’ve been avoiding talking to my family as much as possible. I just don’t have the energy for social interaction. Which is why I so feared today. But it wasn’t so bad. And maybe it was taking a few steps back to the land of the living.