Depression, Getting Ahead, & Life in Quicksand

I feel incredibly stuck right now. Being stuck is not always a bad thing, but for a restless person like myself it’s unpleasant. I like to constantly be working towards some clear objective. But here I am, 30, theoretically successful yet not successful at all. I’ve created an illusion of success but it can easily and will likely all come crashing down at any minute.

When all my friends from back home and here even are posting pictures of their happy families and happy kids (most are on child #2) in their happy houses I sometimes think — well, at least I have a great job. At least I have a career. Except it’s all a rogue. I’m much, much more junior than my title would lead one to believe. Which causes a conundrum as I can’t get a promotion despite having worked at the same company for nearly four years — while a coworker who has worked here one, with more experience, has gotten promoted already. The coworker deserves the promotion, this isn’t about them, but it is about realistically looking at my potential career growth and I’m stuck.

Meanwhile, I come home everyday to my roommate who, a reclusive school teacher who lives with her significant other in our apartment, is always, always home, ready to talk my ear off. She’s nice, but when I get home I just want to sit on the couch and veg out. I don’t want to talk. I end up going to my room and shutting the door. It’s my own fault, I could move to a studio apartment and live on my own, but that would require my willingness to spend $1500 a month on rent instead of $650. I keep telling myself I’ll move out eventually but I just want to give it a few more months to help my savings. It seems so wasteful to spend the extra cash on rent. (Plus what if I lose my job and have to dip into savings? With $450 a week being the max unemployment, I want to be able to pay all of my rent and experiences on that if I do find myself unemployed.) Even if moving would make me overall happier. Even if I would feel like I finally had some control of my life.

My boyfriend and I have discussed moving in together but it doesn’t make sense right now. We won’t find out until May if he got into any of the grad programs he applied to and that leaves us with two more years likely apart. If he gets in. And we’re not allowed to talk about it until he finds out later this year. That makes me feel even more stuck. If I move now into a studio, he won’t move in with me (he requires a 1 bedroom as he likes to sleep in late and can’t stand my typing in the mornings – plus I’d want my own personal space as well) and it doesn’t matter because he’ll be moving to go to grad school in the fall, maybe.

I just feel so completely out of control of my life. The only thing I feel in control about is my bank account. I can control how much I spend in rent or on shopping. While I can’t control the stock market, I can control how much goes out and how much I save. That’s probably why I’m so obsessed with personal finance. It’s the only part of my life where I feel somewhat in control.

The other week on a Friday night I heard myself think “thank god I survived another week.” I really don’t want to live a life of surviving my weeks. Blah blah blah complain complain selfishness etc but it is what it is. The thought was real. I stared at the wall and was grateful for getting through yet another week. But why do I want to get through the weeks? What am I getting through them for? Another $1000 in the bank? Just to play the game of finance so I can invest more and see the bar charts go up? I enjoy spending time with the few friends I have but that doesn’t happen often. I go through the week waking up too late, trying to get to get myself out of the bed, finally get to work, try to get some things done, come home tired, go to sleep, and repeat. Weekends? I don’t know where they go. I sleep a lot. I hibernate. I occasionally go to eat out with my boyfriend. I waste away the hours.

This is why I am depressed. Why I spend way too much time crying. Why sometimes I think I just can’t handle it all. I am slipping. There is nothing I “want” anymore that feels achievable. Yes, to live in a house and have a family but even that feels unobtainable. It very well might be. I’m not just being overly dramatic. I get this feeling in the pit of my chest where giving up seems to be the only logical answer. I am spoiled and selfish, privileged and overpaid, and everything is “good” yet I feel like a complete failure with no hope to improve the situation. So, naturally, I want to escape. I want to cut off all ties to the people I know and run away. That’s what depression does to you. But that won’t solve anything. I just wish I knew what would.

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4 thoughts on “Depression, Getting Ahead, & Life in Quicksand”

  1. Hey HECC, I just discovered your blog not long ago. This post resonated with me because to everyone else but you, you have a GREAT life. You are a responsible young woman in a long-term relationship with a promising career, and as far as I can tell, you have your health. Several years ago I was diagnosed with depression, at the time, the only control I had was my calorie intake – so I went crazy counting calories, every single grape or piece of gum I ate, I would document the calories – it’s similar to what you said about your need to control your personal finances. I would think to myself too, “I survived another week.” Just like you.

    Are you taking medication for your depression? I’ve been on Prozac for 3 years now and I started off on a high dose, but now I’m on the lowest dose possible and feel good. (Not perfect, but better)

    1. I do that with calorie counting sometimes too. It really isn’t a bad thing and I’m trying to get back into it. I’m not on any meds… tried some but I don’t really like the idea of altering my mind. I have nothing against people who do, but I like to be in a clear mental state. I don’t think I’m really… really depressed. Not now…

      1. Thinking SSRIs alter your mind is kind of equivalent to thinking flu shots make you sick. I’m not a healthcare professional, but next time you visit your doctor, casually talk to her about depression and see what she recommends for you!

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