A Day in the Life of Working Full Time with Major Depression, Anxiety, and OCD
Guys, sometimes working is hard. Getting up in the morning with that alarm blaring at you, trying to figure out what to wear, making your lunch and thinking about all your meetings scheduled for the day. It gets overwhelming.
Now, let me slightly tweak that sentence.
Guys, sometimes starting your day is hard when you have depression and/or anxiety and/or OCD.
Getting up in the morning with that alarm blaring at you, your depression is so strong that your body physically feels like 2000 pounds to get out of bed. Eventually, you find the courage to get up and stand in your closet.
What should I wear? What will people think? I wore this 3 weeks ago can I wear it again? I don’t know I probably shouldn’t. Or should I? UGH FORGET IT I’ll just put this on. Now what the heck do I make for lunch? Crap I have 3 meetings today, will I even have time to have lunch? Everything just hurts I need to remember to take my meds since I forgot them yesterday.
You stare at your meds, your chest feels heavy and begin to cry.
Why am I crying? Why does everything hurt? Some unwanted thoughts come into your head: “You’re not good enough. You’re going to bomb these meetings. Did you take your meds? Did you turn off the stove?”
You down a few pills and stare at your stove.
I TURNED THIS OFF, REMEMBER THIS.
This makes for a difficult long day, and you haven’t even sat at your desk.
The bus arrives at your stop for you to arrive at work 30 minutes early because you don’t want to be late.
Great, it’s packed and this lady is going to try to make small talk again. Why can’t she just leave me alone? I don’t want to talk to anybody. Did I even take my meds this morning? Did I lock my door?
You walk in the office and are welcomed with bright “Good morning!”‘s. Your mood feels so mute that you can muster a closed mouth smile and say “Morning.”
At your desk you see that the night cleaners have moved a few things around. Your heart starts racing and you begin to feel uncomfortable. Itchy even. It takes a few minutes to re-organize your desk to your liking though you’ve spent 3 minutes aligning and separating your pens by color, type, and size.
Did you turn off the stove? Your apartment might burn down if you didnt. Better call the building caretaker to have her check on it.
Your first meeting isn’t scheduled for 10, but you keep checking the clock starting at 8:30.
What time should you leave to get there? It should take 5 minutes to walk there, but you should always be early and never late to a meeting.
Should I leave at 9:45? Is that too early? Better to leave at 9:40 JUST incase.
9:30 rolls around and you begin to feel anxious, you don’t want to be late for your meeting.
I should leave soon.
At 9:35 your boss comes to you with a quick project that should take no longer than 5 minutes. Your heart is racing.
Great timing, I’m going to be late for my meeting. Ok, breathe, by the time I finish this it will be 9:40 and I’ll still have time to be early for my meeting.
You finish up your project at 9:39, a minute to spare! You quadruple check that you have everything with you.
Crap did I talk to my caretaker about my stove? My apartment is burnt down and it’s going to be all my fault. I’m going to lose everything. EVERYONE in my building is going to lose everything! How could I be so forgetful?!
Your heart begins to race and knots form in your stomach. You start gagging. You want to puke. Then you check your phone and see that you’ve sent a text to your caretaker and she replied that everything was ok.
Oh my gosh it’s 9:42 I’m going to be late!
Did I take my meds?
You catch a glimpse of a stray pen on your desk as you’re walking out the door.
It’ll be fine, I can put that away when I get back.
You make it halfway down the hall and turn around.
Nope! Need to put that pen away, it just wont be ok. It can’t wait. But great, now I’m going to be late for my meeting. It’s 9:46. No, no it will be fine it will only take 5 minutes to walk there. Did I lock my office?
The rest of the day goes on this way, you focus on your work as it’s a great distraction, and before you know it, it’s time to go home.
You walk into your apartment feeling completely defeated. You check the stove, count your meds, and stare at the pile of dishes in the sink You start to cry.
I just want to go back to bed. My body hurts so bad and I can’t stop crying. WHY am I crying!
You make sure all your blinds are closed while you sit in darkness. Your chest feels heavy. Your throat clenches and a steady stream of tears are going down your face.
I just don’t understand. It takes so much out of me to get through the day and make sure no one notices anything. This is so exhausting.
This is only a glimpse into what a day is like when you work full time with depression (and/or anxiety and/or OCD). Sometimes you’ll have more good days than not but for the majority of us suffering it definitely is a daily struggle that begins with waking up each morning. Some would call it “high functioning depression” because you’re able to get through your days with a smile, you’re able to laugh and apprear that everything is okay, when deep down (or maybe not even so deep) you’re suffering.
So be a little more understanding when you see your co-workers having a great time, you never know how they’re actually feeling, or what they’re going through.