This may come as a surprise you (or not) … I’m depressed.

Depression is one of those things I would never, ever wish on my worst enemy. Even mild depression is an evil monster. It affects everyone differently, some find it hard to participate in daily activities, others will feel sick to their stomachs, some will focus on only the negative aspects of life and maybe even comment on how worthless their life is.

Get ready for me to be very vulnerable frank. 

For me, I know my depression is getting bad when all I want to do is sleep, have difficultly focusing or concentrating on work or other things, and when I start to come up with excuses to not do things (like the dishes, laundry or cooking). I can still function …. but I’m not going to lie, it’s sometimes very difficult to convince myself to get up and go to work, or to cook something for dinner, or even to shower sometimes. And when I do convince myself to go to work (or do the laundry, or run errands, or fix something healthy to eat), I often feel like I’m in a fog – not really there, not working to my best ability and not caring one way or the other. It’s not fun … at ALL … because I know I’m doing this because of the depression, and yet, I can’t shake it. I know I should be able to, but it’s impossible. I know that going for a walk, or exercising for a little bit will help me with my funk. But knowing it and doing it are two VERY different things.

My husband will tell you I’m not a very fun person to be around when I get depressed. I tend to snap at him for stupid things; I want to stay in bed and sleep all day; I get annoyed by other people and little things that shouldn’t annoy me; I want to cry over nothing – and everything; Nothing seems to go right; I’ll start working on something, get distracted and not remember what I was working on two seconds before.

I’m convinced my depression stems from my job. Now, I like my job. I like what I do. I like most of the people I work with. I can handle the stress and pressures of deadlines with a respectable amount of ease.

What I don’t like is the time it takes away from my family and my non-existent social life. There are very few perks to working nights and weekends. I’d give up the empty grocery stores and quiet shopping malls in order to be able to eat dinner with my husband. I’d gladly start using an alarm clock if it meant getting to go out with the girls without having to plan ahead 3 months.

It’s a horrible feeling to be stuck at work doing nothing while your friends and/or family is out doing something much more interesting. Some of you have been there – you know what I’m talking about. Some of you are lucky enough to only have to work a night shift a few times a month … cherish that. Seriously. I know it sucks, but think about us poor suckers souls who do it day in and day out.

And please, please, please … I BEG you …  don’t tell us “well, you chose that career.” I’m not sure I know one person who actually grew up thinking “I want to work nights/weekends/holidays ALL THE TIME.” If you do know of someone crazy like that, please introduce me so I can find out why they’re abnormally happy.

And, along with that, please don’t suggest getting a new job. Have you tried looking for a new job in this economy? It’s not easy. A friend of mine just got a new job – TWO MONTHS after her first interview with this company. And seriously … do you think I haven’t thought of that yet??

I urge all five of you who read this blog to reach out to someone you know who has an odd schedule and can never participate in activities/event at “normal” times and find a time when you can get together … even if it’s just to sit around the kitchen table and have coffee. Better yet, take a day off work so you and a girlfriend can spend the day shopping or pampering yourselves. (I can’t tell you how many days I’ve had to take off in order to do things with other people on weekends – that alone is depressing to think about.) Either way, I sure it’ll mean the world to them, and more importantly, it’ll show them that you care about them – something that we all need to be reminded of now and again.