I’m having a hard time lately with depression. It seems to come and go in cycles for me. When things are going good I’m out of the house, I’m crafting or reading up on a craft. I cook and maybe clean a little. But now things aren’t going good and I’m having a hard time climbing out.

Recently, for example, I have been considering getting a job outside of the home. The initial thought of this makes me excited because I like the idea of having a routine, of making some adult friends, and of bringing in additional income. But then I think of all the downsides. I think of the fact that my daughter would have to spend her summers in daycare. If my husband had vacation time, I wouldn’t be able to spend it all at home with him because I couldn’t get off as much time as he would. If my daughter is sick, I’d have to miss work. I wouldn’t be able to take her to after school activities like girl scouts or sports.

So I reconsider and think about going back to school instead. I worry though if I sign up for school again I am only going to accumulate more school loan debt and I wonder about how long I will be able to stay in school this time before I drop out again. How much money will I waste on books and tuition? And then if I get a degree, so what? How long before I put my degree to use? Will I be able to go back to work in 4 years after I have my degree? Or will I worry about the same things I do now?

An additional worry also creeps in, “What will people think?”

In most ways, I consider myself a very confident person. I’m not self conscious about my looks or my body. I love getting dressed up and taking care of myself. My weight isn’t an issue for me and I embrace my figure. I do, however, worry constantly about first impressions, making friends, and maintaining friendships. When I look at my life, the first thing I think of is the story that it tells, and the 2nd thing is I wonder how others will perceive that. It upsets me to think that someone could look at my life and think “Oh look, Sam failed again,” when I move on to another opportunity or area of interest.

I don’t believe anyone has ever said anything negative to me about my multitude of hobbies or my variety of activities, or how often I have chosen a new goal – but I have witnessed time and time again friends and family, and complete strangers, who get praised when they accomplish something. Simply put, I don’t think anything I have attempted thus far could even remotely fall into the category of “accomplishment.” When I think of that, I am hit with an overwhelming fear that whatever I pursue next will be yet another thing that I can add to the string of failed projects behind me. The idea that I am wasting even more time, money, or resources on something that will not be considered an accomplishment is very depressing to me as I feel that I should know by now what I want to do with my life and that I should be able to make the right choice.