Smallwolf, Mary, Isabel,
I hope you don't mind the 'communal' reply, but I like to acknowledge everyone's responses individually, as they are all helpful to me.
Smallwolf... My work is not a trigger for me (although it certainly was in my last job). The work can be stressful, but in a good way - challenging, problem-solving, looking for innovation, collaborating with others - I am the type of person that thrives on this, and I find that I can go a full day without thinking about my problems. I do struggle with self-esteem and confidence, but I get positive feedback and have developed a good reputation in my industry, so this helps me challenge my 'inner critic'.
I have shared some of what I am going through with my parents, but not the full extent. I plan to speak more openly with my mum when I've had my follow up appointment this afternoon. I want to tell her the right way so that she doesn't worry about the wrong things. I need to plan it a bit.
White Rose... Thanks for continuing to support me on this thread. 18 years is a long time to be living with depression, I can't imagine 18 years from where I am at the moment... I'm a bit apprehensive about the timeframes required but as long as it trends uphill from now then that is a good thing.
I do have sick leave and annual leave at work, it's more of a case of the timing. I'm feeling a bit better on the new meds, so I think I will be ok. And I'm getting good support from my husband, as he is not working at the moment he's able to keep an eye on me.
I am very sad about one particular friend, she admitted she doesn't know what to say to me because everything she says seems to be the wrong thing. And she also said doesn't want to hear any more negative things from me. Message received loud and clear! I feel she seems to be making it my problem, but it's not worth arguing about. I've been pleasantly surprised by other friends and how great they have been. I have learnt valuable lessons about the strengths and limitations of my friends. I'm certainly not on my own, I just need to learn to ask for help from the right people.
Isabel Sabrina... Thanks, you made me laugh! I also believe in humour, I can pull myself out of a mood by cracking jokes with others. I do have moments of sobbing too - you need a balance!
Thanks for your positive thoughts, I do have the strength to get over this. I've lived with it for so long, it's certainly not going to beat me now!
... Thanks to all of you x