Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Understanding

Ok, so lets give this whole honest sharing thing another try. I have good things to share today.

The truth is that I've been feeling utterly awful lately. Depression has sneaked it's way back into my life and with it comes anxiety attacks and the general feeling that life is a horrible struggle, even when it's not. Life has actually been very good for a very long time now. I have a job I love, a boyfriend I love and I live in a big, nice apartment that I've decorated myself. Everything is safe, stable and rather comfortable. Still this mental state doesn't really care about that. The doom and gloom comes into my life like an uninvited guest that is really difficult to get rid of. It's not really anyones fault.

The good thing is that I've been through this several times before. Well yeah, it's kind of sad that I've gone through several depressions and periods of intense anxiety in my 24-year old life, but still, this makes me sort of an expert on how to recognize the signs when my brain and body tells me enough is enough. I know how I function now, and that knowledge makes me safer, more able to accept and take care of myself. There is no quick fix or certain cure, but I have a map now. I just have to walk along the dotted path towards a healthier state of mind.

A step along the way is to adjust my life and my living situation to make things easier to deal with. Work is a big part of this. I love working, but getting to work and to sit in an office when my brain is full of anxiety and unexplainable sadness isn't easy. As a result I've had to stay home, sick. Sick with sadness. This doesn't really help though, because I don't get happier from walking around at home knowing that my work still needs to get done when I get back. And I love what I do at work, so that's not what the problem is. Luckily, this was solved today.

Today my friend and co-worker gathered up all my image files and delivered them to my apartment where I was walking around like a sad zombie with unwashed hair and my "give-up-on-life-pants". So now I'm able to work from home! I've thought about this before but I haven't really thought it would be possible. A large part of game development relies on communication and collaboration. Still, my assignments right now can easily be done from home and today I sat comfortably with my unwashed hair and worked without a problem in the world. In my own safe home I can work and whenever my brain wanders I can simply lie down for a while. Take a shower or a walk. When I get back I keep going and I don't have any time limits. I might not work by a normal office hour schedule, but I've gotten more work done today than I thought was possible, without even feeling slightly stressed. When you take away the strict frames of a traditional work-day I suddenly feel so calm. Being creative and productive gets so much easier and today has been a really good day. I've actually caught up for the time I lost when I stayed home yesterday. When I'm calm I work quickly!

I really want to thank my employers and my co-workers for trusting me and being so understanding. I doubt every work-place would be able to be flexible enough to handle this situation. I feel so much love and pride for Coffee Stain Studios, even though I'm currently not present at the actual "studio". My hope now is to be able to continue like this, start the long way back to full health and to be able to both work amongst my friends at the office and from my home depending on what my health allows. We'll see how it goes and what ends up being a permanent solution. Today gave me a lot of my hope back.

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