Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is chaplaincy. I completed my semester of CPE a few weeks ago. It went beyond resume filler to become a wonderful learning experience for me. Being with the other interns at the hospital, I had a chance to be something besides a stay-at-home mom. Also, being able to escape to the hospital for periodic 24 hour on-calls was wonderful. I loved my time when I was on-call even with all the challenges that such an on-call can be at a trauma hospital.
The best thing I learned though is that I have been in depression for at least 2 years. Just knowing that has helped me to understand why I have been acting the way I do. I have been living in something like a fog for a while. I have been easily distracted, very irritable, and moody.
I never really thought I was depressed because I assumed that it would come over me fast and be evident. However, this depression has been slowly clouding my mind and affecting my actions. This week after Christmas has been really bad as I am able to see that I am not acting in a good way toward my family; I have been so irritable and yelling at the boys for trivial things. In some ways, I am grieving the end of CPE; I am trying to get back into a stay-at-home mom role that is not so fulfilling for me; and I am trying to live with a husband who is not thankful for anything I do.
However, my doctor did prescribe an anti-depressant on the advice of the psychologist I am seeing. So I am hopeful that my mind will become clear again and the hopelessness I feel now will not always be.
Being able to admit my depression is a good thing for me. Putting words to the way I feel is invaluable. I am hopeful at the end of 2008.