It’s not easy to start over. Especially when you’ve been working towards one goal for a long time. In my last blog post I talked about my struggle with depression, and the health struggles that went along with that.
Suffering from depression and anxiety doesn’t mean you’re crazy. It doesn’t mean you’re just having a bad day. It’s a condition that’s hard to explain, and embarrassing to share. In fact, I would be surprised if many people knew that I was struggling.
I was on track with my career path, a young TV news producer who had already made it to the 4th largest market in the country. I was learning how to function at a new station, in a new city, with much different hours. That’s when it happened. When I really started going downhill. Talking about it made me feel weak. I now know that I’m stronger for talking about it, and the more I do, the better I feel. I took leave from work for 5 months, to deal with the depression, the anxiety and a lot of the physical symptoms (migraines, feeling sick to my stomach, stomach pains, extreme fatigue) that came along with it.
I intended on going back, but then I took a new leap. After speaking with my doctors and deciding what would be the best course of action, I resigned. It’s heartbreaking, ending (for now) a career I had worked so hard to cultivate. But depression isn’t like breaking your leg. It doesn’t just heal. Even when you’re feeling better, it can be amazingly easy to fall back into it. And if I can help it, I don’t ever want to feel the pains of a panic attack again. So the best thing for me is to take a step away, work on some lower stress projects, and focus on growing.
So here’s my new chapter. I’m freelancing. I’ve already landed two separate reoccurring jobs. One writing for a blog that focuses on weddings, and the other creating marketing materials for a start-up real estate company. I may not be making as much money as I was, but for now I can live a little more modestly. And It’s nice to have projects where I can work on my own schedule. I also can make sure I’m exercising, getting outside and taking time to relax.
I’m excited for my new chapter, and a little afraid, but I know this will be a really great journey.