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I'm having some issues at work, some (if not all) to do with this stupid peri menopause business. I'm not sure what to do about it.
Not being a naturally positive person, which in the past has caused major low mood crises, I have gradually built myself up and for the past several years I have been the happiest/well adjusted/positive in my life so far.
Now that this (peri) has reached its current pitch, I have lost my confidence (and it seems to get lower all the time), my mood is on the floor, I'm anxious much of the time, my energy levels have decreased such that I now spend my weekends and evenings resting/sleeping, I'm covered in aches and pains, my emotional resilience is almost zero meaning I cry at the smallest slight and I have almost nightly (quite dramatic) sweats which cause my sleep to be majorly disrupted. In the words of the Arctic Monkeys, things have all gone a bit Frank Spencer (frankly).
Work is really full on at the moment - the nature of what I do can be very fast paced. This of course means that those 'above' me are pressured and totally pre-occupied with getting the job done. My immediate line manager is particularly in the firing line and is someone who takes her work extremely seriously. I'm now having to do some of her job as well as mine, and it's proving to be a problem.
She is short tempered and 'on my back' about how quickly I am working, and the implication is that I'm not as committed as I should be. I know I’m not working as I once did, that's indisputable. Prior to this, we have got on really well and worked together fairly and effectively. In fact, she is the latest manager I have had that I have had a good relationship with, in a long line of good work relationships. I recognise that I have been lucky in this respect. When I say this, I would also add that these have always been 'in-work', and not outside the workplace - I have boundaries that stop at the office door. I'm saying this so that people don't point out to me the potential pitfalls of making friends with your boss - the relationship is entirely appropriate.
I'm now so depressed/anxious all the time – a combination of coping with my myriad symptoms and trying to do a good job and seemingly failing – that I am … Well, feeling extremely grim basically. I often cry as soon as I wake up, and am literally forcing myself to get out of bed, go to work and sound and act positive and ‘on board’ as I can. I then spend portions of the day trying not to cry. A huge regret is that I have been smoking again, having successfully given up nearly 10 years ago. I'm not asking for sympathy for this as it is completely my choice, but what I will say is that I just don't care enough to do anything else.
One of the problems is that I lost a job nearly 20 years ago as I was very seriously depressed, which caused me to make mistakes and take quite a lot of time off work (this was unavoidable as I couldn't get out of bed in the mornings, basically). This was probably the lowest time of my life. I am now drawing unhelpful parallels with this, and am even more anxious as a result.
I know that I'm ‘essentially’ OK, i.e. that I'm not back where I was, but these hormonal symptoms almost exactly mimic it. (I know that I’m essentially OK, both on a gut level and also in the fact that I am sometimes able to draw on my philosophical skills to put things in perspective and thus feel better. I had become really good at this, to my great relief and pleasure).
I’m on a combination of high dose anti depressants (a ‘cocktail’ that I was put on after all other meds had failed to make an impact, which has served me very well), so a prescription for this kind of medication wouldn't be applicable.
I have made it clear to my GP that I want to try HRT, and have cited my history of depression as an added incentive for this. She Is of the same mind. If it gives me back at least some energy, I will think it worthwhile.
In the meantime, I have to find some way of coping at work. Talking to them about it really isn't an option – at least not yet (and hopefully never). Does anyone have any advice, or recommend a book I can look at that would possibly help? Maybe some practical advice. I would also be interested to hear if anyone has a similar experience (not necessarily the depression, but the work problem). I’m already dreading work tomorrow, and am beginning to feel quite sick.
Anyway, thanks for reading and sorry it's such a long ramble.
All good things,
PS I would also like to say that I still have ‘windows’ of being my old self - it's not unremitting, thank heavens …
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