Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The deeply personal post

This morning, I told my husband that I thought I might be depressed. He agreed that I certainly was. It's probably not a big surprise to anyone who knows me, and it's probably not unexpected right now.

I was with family at Thanksgiving. This is only the second time I've seen my mom and my sister since my father died. The other time was to put his ashes to rest. It was the first time being back at my mom's house. I was only there for a day and a half, at most, but long enough for my dad's absence to follow me back home. It was inescapable while in the house. Memories of his life, memories of his death. It was intensely painful being there, and yet, I have to fight a strong urge to go back there and stay with my mom.

Yesterday, I had a stomach bug. I could probably have gone in to work by noon, but I had no desire to do so, and I stayed home, sat on the couch, watched CSI:NY and knit. It's 8:00 now, and I should be packing up my belongings and heading in, but I don't really want to. Dragging myself out the door is going to take a great deal of effort, and frankly, my interest is low. Really not a great time for a low point in my career. The economy is bad, and my field is taking a hit, like many other people out there. I keep contemplating whether or not I want to continue to go on. Part of me does - at times, I love what I do. But it's a job that demands a lot of time and effort, and at the end of the day, the work follows you home. Nights, weekends - it doesn't matter. I still should be working, because someone else is. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time to live a balanced life. I like to read. I like to knit, and cook, and run, and play with my son, and even interact with my husband. It's hard to cram all that in to the few hours I have in the evenings and when I'm not at work on the weekends. It would be nice to be able to enjoy it, without the guilt.

So I'm contemplating a big career change. For those reasons, and for the fact that well, things aren't looking so good for me. I've performed poorly, and there's not a whole lot of recovery from that. I could move, find another postdoc position, hope for the best, or intentionally go somewhere I might actually belong (not the south), and find a job, find fulfillment in other areas of my life. Maybe doing what you love for work isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Of course, now isn't the best time to be making big decisions, so I'm trying not to. At the same time, the recession and the fact that my job isn't going well isn't helping. I know I should try to look on the bright side. I have a job for almost a year still. I could still see things turn around, and I could walk out with more options. The perfect next job might appear. I might start to feel better soon.

I guess all of this is in part my explanation for why I'm not posting much. That, and a self-indulgent need to put it out there. Going back to running is probably a good thing, and might help my mood. I don't want to be a whiny, complaining blogger, but I'm far from my happiest right now. Time to do battle, put the armor on, head to work, and pretend to be okay.


Elizabeth said...

Oh, hang in there honey! Do talk to your doctor about the depression. It's a disease of perspective. It's hard to see clearly when you're in the throes of it.

I'm hoping the new administration will start spending beaucoup bucks on science research, which will certainly help many folks. Things may look very different in February.

Many hugs from chilly Wisconsin!

Bells said...

I'm glad you've recognised it. I am not at all surprised to hear this and as one who fights recognising it in myself, I can say you've done a good thing. Get help if you need to - make changes, make time for yon and your loved ones...

And send me your address again. I'm getting ready to post your present!