Life Advice



Ask Amy: Woman at home worries about work

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a woman in my mid-40s with two grown children.

I have suffered with depression and anxiety for much of my life. I am on medication and work weekly with a therapist.

Things have been under control until recently.

Over the past few months my mother had a stroke, my husband had a heart attack, and one of my children called off their wedding. I handled everything as it was happening, but once everything settled, I had a bit of a breakdown.

I took some time off work to attend to my mental health. When I returned, I was pretty much told I was no longer needed at the company. I was very hurt, but in reality it was probably time for me to move on.

My husband and I talked and decided that I didn't need to be in a hurry to return to work. We realized that we could more than make it on his salary and I still wasn't in a great place mentally. My therapist didn't think I was ready to return to work, and definitely not in a place to start a new job.


Being home, I’ve been accomplishing a lot of things we had been putting off due to lack of time and energy. Our home is very happy and very clean!

However, I struggle to respond when people ask about my work.

When I tell people I don't work, there's always an implied question as to why.

My children are grown, I'm not disabled, so what do I say when the questions do get personal?


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