I feel for you so much as you face this deeply challenging time. It's a truly horrible feeling, when you can feel yourself on the brink of falling back into depression. Can be an experience of mixed emotions, including disappointment, fear, desperation, sadness, confusion etc.
COVID lockdowns, grrr. Being a Melbourne gal and having managed to raise myself out of depression some years back, the lockdowns were tough. By the time we entered into the 2nd I was on a rant to my 19yo daughter and 16yo son about how I couldn't manage another. Little did I know we had plenty more to come. With the lockdowns there was a lot of soul searching. Wondering 'How can I manage the lack of excitement, the lack of adventure, the lack of mental stimulation, freedom, community contact and so on led to a lot of revelations. One of those 'Suppressing our nature, especially long term, can become depressing' and another involved waking up to what's so desperately needed in order to really feel a connection to life. I think life beyond lockdowns triggered a kind of quest for a lot of people. On any significant quest there can be a lot of questions such as
- Who brings me the most joy? I imagine you found it was your friends
- What leads me to feel excitement on a level where I can really feel it? Meeting with groups of high vibing people will often do the trick, if that's the kind of energy we're looking for
- Who leads me to openly vent and/or explore challenges on a constructive level, whether that simply involves stress release or problem solving? A friendly group of open minded people who can have a bit of a laugh at the insanity of life at times can work
The list goes on when it comes to such a soulful quest.
I found, on such a quest, I moved more toward certain people and, in turn, away from my husband. The following's not a criticism, simply an observation - He admits he's not big on adventure, excitement, open minded wonderful conversations and he's more a low viber, often stating 'I'm so tired' yet doing nothing to change that. At only 55, he simply chooses to declare 'It's just a part of getting old'.
Sounds like your friends may have offered you exactly what you needed. Did you gravitate toward them too much, based on a lack of something in the relationship? That's something only you can answer. Sounds like you're fully waking up to how soul destroying your job is, which I can relate to myself. Finding the courage and energy to change our job can be a challenge :)