The advice was keep involved and don’t stop doing things. At the time is was the exact opposite of what I felt like doing. I wanted to withdraw into a quiet space and tell the world to go away. I followed the doctor’s advice, probably more so with my career. I don’t think I ever missed a day’s work due to depression. No-one at work was aware that I had any concerns. I can put on a good face that all is well!
I am grateful that I was able to keep working full-time over 17 years with the state government. It has allowed me to take an early retirement. Interestingly though, the advice I was given years ago seems to be a little redundant now. I only realised recently that I have developed an excessive habit of keeping busy to ward off any signs of depression.
Given that my lifestyle now doesn’t have the pressures and demands of the past, it seems I can let down my barriers a little and not be on the defensive and fearful that depression may sneak up on me. I have always been very aware how important it is to get the right balance in my life. Too much stress can definitely set one up for an episode of depression however not enough challenge in life is just as concerning.
Life is an ongoing learning process, isn’t it?