In other news, I chose to take a medical retirement after the 2018 school year.
I just simply had too many physical issues preventing me from doing my job effectively.
During that first six months or so afterwards, I crawled into a mental hole of depression... I got to where I never even went out my front door (other than trips down to Dallas to my doctors at UTSW).
Eventually one of those doctors picked up on it, and referred me to one of their psychiatrists. When I visited with her, she required that I talk to one of the therapists at least once a month. I reeeeaaaalllly didn't want to do that -- please don't make me talk to someone about this because I won't be able to hold anything back and all I will be able to do is cry -- please just give me a pill to make this better -- but no, she told me that her continuing to treat me was contingent upon my visiting with the therapist.
Once I actually did see the therapist, boy howdy was I glad I'd done it. I began to feel the weight lifting off my shoulders. I eventually was able to go back to church (!!)... that was a biggie, because for my entire life, I did NOT miss CHURCH. Skipping church was just not something we did in our family. It wasn't ever an onerous thing, it was just What We Always Do. We go to church on Sunday. And for six months, I had stayed home on the pretense that I just didn't feel well enough to go back.
And after seeing the therapist (and beginning to take an antidepressant and an anti-anxiety medication) (only a small dose), I began to see sunlight dawning in my life again.
I honestly think that everyone ought to talk to a therapist every so often, even people who aren't depressed. It's so helpful to just talk to someone who's completely objective and not currently involved in your day-to-day life... to help you sort through your thoughts and your relationships.
I've since been "graduated" from monthly visits, with the understanding that I will once again seek it out if things start to go pear-shaped again in my life. I actually have the helpful option of visiting the therapist via telehealth (video visits), so I won't have to make the wearisome trip to downtown Dallas.
Go see a therapist. Do it. Even if you're scared to.