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    I’m in a hurry, so can’t look back at who said what, or even to check your name.  I’m sorry about that.

    But I do agree with whoever said that this place is a good place to connect with people.

    As far as out in the real world, maybe some classes or some support group would be good.  In larger cities there can be painting and wine bars (though you don’t have to drink wine while you paint, if you don’t want to).  In small towns, it could be tougher.  I lived in a small town for my teen years, and it seemed like there was almost nothing there.  So, depending on your area and circumstance, maybe even just getting out in nature and talking to people there, or finding some some class or group, even if just knitting or painting or anything.

    I’m sorry for not doing better with this post because I have to get off this computer so quickly.



    Anita, you’re right, it does make sense that a therapist would have to have similar beliefs, in order to help the person.

    nextsteps, yes, my mum would have a hard time dealing with any therapist who chose a religious perspective – she lost any faith she had when my sister died

    I will check out that site you mentioned.





    It’s possible that you haven’t met the right woman yet, but even if you did right now, you would probably find that you would feel the need to end it with her, too.  I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that you are afraid of loving and losing someone.  That seems, to me, like exactly what is happening.

    I’ve been in a delightfully happy marriage for 33 years (just had our anniversary), and I can tell you that there’s nothing like it.  It’s not perfect, because nothing is, but it’s as close to it as you can get.  We are good to each other and very much in love.  If you expect any woman, or yourself, to be perfect, it will fail.  But if you truly are kind and loving (and she is, too), something this good can be yours, too.  It’s really worth it, and you know that already, because you are trying to get to this point.

    I’ve felt the fear of losing my husband ever since I met him, because I knew he was different, and was the right man for me.  Also, we’ve lost 4 very close and important family members in the last 20 years or so (including my beloved sister), and that has increased our fear of losing someone.  My husband is better at pushing it aside and just living, and I try to do so, too, but when I am down or tired, or during illnesses, etc., it’s there a lot.  It always will be, when you truly love and care about someone.

    It is possible to have this fear, yet still make good choices and be happy and live your life.  I guess finding a good therapist to help you through it would be one step.  Also, when taking time for yourself, if you could focus more on your inner self than just your physical self, that might help.  Like maybe do therapy, but also read a lot of self-help books, meditate, and things like that.

    I guess that’s all I can think of.  I hope it helps, even just a little bit.




    Hi Steve,

    I like nextsteps’ suggestions.  I was also thinking that maybe you could write a list of any and all things that you enjoy (keep adding to it whenever you think of something) and try to do one or more of those things each day.

    I know it’s really not easy, though, to find anything at all that you like when you are very depressed.  I have stretches of days or weeks when I get like that – when I say that I “hate everything” and I feel like I can’t enjoy anything – favorite shows, activities, people, or anything.  It’s when all of the things that you would normally like just seem to suck.  But still, try to see if there’s anything that you could look forward to doing, like making art.  I mean, my paintings and drawings aren’t great, but I love doing them anyway.

    I know you said you don’t see any way that your situation can change, but it’s not true.  It might feel that way to you, in your present mental state, but it can change.

    I’m also socially anxious, and stick to only a couple of family members and my husband most of the time, but even being around family drains me so much sometimes because I get hyper and nervous, so please understand that my suggestions aren’t being made by someone outgoing and confident.

    More things I can think of that might help:

    List any shows that you even can slightly enjoy and try to watch some.

    Do exercise, because it can really help you feel better, over time.  Walking, lifting some weights, doing YouTube aerobics videos, etc.  Check with your doctor first, they say.  Or just keep it mild enough to be safe, for now.

    If you think you don’t consume or get (from sunlight) enough D, take a supplement.  Disclaimer – check with your doctor to see if you need it, but I know I was extremely deficient (almost record-setting low, my doctor said), and it’s helping me to feel better.  Also, you might need magnesium.  Many people do.

    Eat more vegetables, and just eat better, as best you can.  Over time, that reduces your inflammation, and can help with depression.

    List any hobbies to try.  Anything you can accomplish or do can make you feel better.

    Consider writing a book about your experiences, to help others.  Even if you don’t turn it into an actual book, you might feel better getting some of it out.

    Try to do short outings with anyone you like, or even by yourself.  Like, go to a museum or art museum, or get out in nature (being near moving water can help – the negative ions help you feel better).

    You can get comfortable being on your own and being around strangers, even just a little bit.  Try to smile at friendly-looking people, or even comment about something, if you feel like it.  If you get out and do things you like, and learn to love yourself more and enjoy your life as it is, then eventually you could be comfortable enough and might meet someone when you are out there living your life.  You certainly can’t meet anyone at home, nor can you meet anyone when you are feeling so down.  Don’t expect to find love in your current state – just work at feeling better first.

    Also, try to avoid social media and the unrealistic (and fake) lives that it portrays.  People’s lives aren’t as happy and perfect as they want you to believe.  So, while you feel like other people are all in relationships, they aren’t really all as great as you might think.

    Anyway, these are just suggestions.  If you like any of them, you can make a plan for yourself.  Oh, also visualize yourself feeling better.  Close your eyes, counteract any negative thoughts with words and images.  It can help.

    Another thing I do is print some positive graphics from Buddha Doodles or anywhere online and also from this site we are on:


    and put them up around the house so I can see them and be inspired.  Or if you don’t have a printer, just write down the words and draw your own simple pictures to go with them.  That in itself can be therapeutic (art therapy).

    I know when you are severely depressed, anything can sound too hard or can sound like it won’t work, but just try a little bit at a time (like 5 minutes of exercise), and you maybe can gradually feel a bit better, then better and better.

    Also, if things ever get even more serious, seek help.  Don’t ever give up!



    Anita, I didn’t think anything you wrote was rude.  In fact, it was extremely insightful, about how bullies are and how they are formed.  I’m just guessing, and can’t speak for Lala, but I think sometimes people just get overwhelmed by all of the information and input and don’t know how to respond.  I know that happens to me.

    Lala, what you say is so true, about people who can dish out so much, but can’t take it.  My mom criticized me (felt like it to me) for about 30 years (she’s been good for the last 27 years, once she chose to accept my complaints and change), but in all that time, and now, too, she can’t take even the slightest criticism, and I always think, “Jeez, what did you do to me for half my life, and YOU can’t take it?”  So, I guess that’s how people are.

    It’s good that you are trying to reduce and work on the stress aspect of this whole thing, because the anger, resentment, and stress can do such damage to your body and mind.  The more you can do to help yourself overcome it (in a healthy way), the better.

    I wish you peace and joy and love – every day – so you can get past this.

    Actually, I wish the same to everyone here, because they are all such good people.



    Mark and Inky,

    You made very good points on how to execute the push-back.  Excellent!




    I’m sorry for what you went through, and how much it’s still hurting you.

    It stinks that HR departments are so generally useless.  At least, from my experience.  My husband was bullied by a bunch of young women at the Kohl’s corporate headquarters (many awful co-workers (mean girls that were lazy workers), supervisors, and an evil HR department that lied and abused him – all contributing to his heart attack and to his mental and physical struggles after surgery).

    I know it’s a different situation than yours, but it’s all bullying.  It’s hard to understand those people and why they do what they do, when you are a good and kind and decent person (like my husband and like you).

    It’s terrible that a company won’t get rid of a jerk like your manager, and instead makes things worse for you.  It’s the same thing they usually do with sexual harassment.

    Since you still have to see that jerk, maybe do something that makes you laugh inside, like picture his head exploding as you walk past him.  Maybe it could divert some of your anger and pain, as you giggle about that image of him.

    You’ve done all you can about him, so now just take care of yourself.  Work on anything that helps you feel better – meditation, exercise, being with friends or family, hobbies, accomplishing something outside of work (something you’ve always dreamed of maybe), and things like that.  Work on your inner peace (many helpful articles on this site) and try to let it go, as much as you can.

    I hope you can feel better and better as time goes by.




    Also, it’s really good that you are being sensible, and not jumping into a marriage just for the sake of being married.  Many people do that, and regret it later.  You are wanting to be your best self, and find the best person for you, and that is REALLY, REALLY the most important thing, if you want to have a happy life.  You are completely right about that.



    Just because you love your mother it doesn’t mean you have to keep taking that crap from her.

    Of course she has selfish reasons for wanting you to have children, but she also maybe wants to worry less about you – to feel like you are “settled.”  Still, that’s no reason to keep nagging at you about getting married and having kids.

    You have a right to tell her to stop it.  Make consequences, like blocking her, hanging up on her, if you want to do that.  It’s the kind of thing I did with my mom years ago to stop her criticizing and nagging, and it worked and now we have a good relationship.  But I do realize that it won’t work for everyone.  It took several tries with me (complete breaks from my mom for a while), and eventually she wanted to change.  Now our relationship has been really, really good – for many years.  I know it doesn’t always go that way, though.

    I just think you have the right to be treated better, so if you can find any way to achieve that, it would really be best for your mental health.



    Rare Amulet,

    When I saw your name, I thought of one of my favorite Buddha Doodles drawings.  It’s on this page:


    Look for the one that talks about a magical jewel inside us.  You are a rare amulet that contains a magical jewel.

    Now, back to your question.

    One thing would be to spend some time studying so that you feel more competent.  Just a little bit each day, and eventually you will feel more secure.

    Also, do breathing and visualization each day and picture yourself being comfortable, happy, confident, and secure doing your work.  A lot of it is probably in your mind, just thinking that you don’t know enough, when really you know more than you think you do.

    I have anxiety and depression, too.  Some things that can help are vitamin D (if you are actually deficient), magnesium, omega 3s, and exercise.  Aerobic exercise can help burn off stress and can lift your mood, over time, and strength training has been shown to help women feel more confident (I don’t know why, but studies say it’s true).

    That’s all I can think of for now.  I hope it helps.





    I’m not trying to judge, really.  Just trying to give advice.  It does seem superficial, to me, to think that you need a lot of sexual partners, or that you need someone very attractive.

    Are you realistic about being with someone who is at an equal level of attractiveness to your own?  If you watch a lot of porn, your attitudes can get warped about how beautiful or sexy you “need” a woman to be.

    Also, social media and fictional things, like movies or TV, don’t portray reality.  You may think that other people have so much sex or so many partners, but even if some of it is true, that type of existence is a pretty empty and unhappy one, for most of those people.

    Loving yourself first is key, then living your life (not just sex), then the person who is right for you will come into your life.

    Sex isn’t the main thing in life, it’s just a part of life.  Being loved for your whole self, not just your body, is what will really make you happy.

    I think you will probably want to learn to let go of your extreme fantasies, and learn to just love and be loved instead.

    p.s.  I wrote all of that before seeing your newest post.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Mimi.


    I read most of your post and some of the replies.  What I didn’t see was anyone saying that five 16 oz. beers plus 5 shots of hard liquor is quite a lot of alcohol.

    I’m not judging you, but I do want you to be aware of what you are doing.  Many people with anxiety, depression, and other problems do tend to turn toward alcohol, when they should run as far away from it (and drugs) as possible.

    Of course getting black out drunk is very dangerous in this day and age, with all of the bad people you could come in contact with.  I know you didn’t mean to get that way, but sometimes people just want to escape their problems so much that they do that.  Even small amounts of alcohol can also contribute to the worsening of your anxiety, depression, and other problems.

    I know a  lot of people think, “Well, everyone drinks,” and things like that, but my husband has never touched drugs or alcohol (during decades of being an adult, and even as a teenager) and he’s the coolest, most amazing person that I know.

    Just something to keep in mind.  Whatever your problem, alcohol (or drugs) will only make things worse, in the long run.

    A mother who hurts you emotionally is usually someone you will want to distance yourself from, over time.  I didn’t see anything bad about your boyfriend in what you wrote, unless I missed it.  That doesn’t mean to rush into things with him, but if he’s good to you and so is his family, it’s certainly not a relationship to break off just because of what someone else (your mother) says.

    Just stay in touch with your own feelings and what you want from life, take things slowly, and start standing your ground with your mother.  My mom used to be super-critical, but now she is wonderful.  I had to stand up to her, cut off contact a few times, and eventually she got it.  Not all parents can change like that.  I was lucky that she wanted to change.  It can happen, though.

    I’m sorry if this reply is sort of unclear.  I’m very low on sleep and shouldn’t be writing right now, but I wanted to see if I could help, even if just a little bit.

    Good luck with everything.  Take care of YOU first.  Be true to what you want and need in life.




    Thank you for the advice.  I printed it to keep consulting it.

    I hope this message will post.  I’ve been trying for two days.  Husband updated our Java, so maybe it will work this time!

    Thank you again!


    p.s.  Just realized that maybe I should’ve posted this in the “Emotional Mastery” section.  I never know where to put things.  Sometimes they seem to fall under multiple topics.


    p.s. (as if you needed to read more)

    Also, my friend, who I email with (I can’t handle long phone calls), has many, many problems, both new and in the distant past, and I’ve experienced a lot of stress dealing with her things, too.

    Jeez, is it any wonder that I’m a mess?





    [very long – I won’t blame you if you don’t want to slog through it all]

    Yes, my “dad” was a gynecologist (we were never very close), and he constantly cheated on my mom.  After a few years of that, she did the same, and that man is probably who our father was.  Mom didn’t tell my sister Kim about the father thing until Kim was dying, and Kim insisted that Mom tell me, too.  So, about age 50, finding that out, and no chance to really discuss it with any of them, because Mom doesn’t like talking about it, “Dad” I cut out of my life long ago (bad guy all around), and the other man is long since dead.  Kim was too ill to really discuss things by then.  Plus, I was freaking out and not handling her death well at all.  I wasn’t close enough to her, like I should have been.  I would go there to her house, but not talk much or be near her and her hospital bed.  I didn’t mean to be an ass.  I was just unable to cope.  Other people even stayed away completely, so I guess I wasn’t as bad as that.  I was mostly hanging out with her son, who was only 5 years old then.

    My sister Kim had Lyme disease for years, but died from cancer.  She felt something was wrong and kept getting tests, but they couldn’t find the cancer.  Most people didn’t believe she was sick and wanted her to just shut up and even acted like she was nuts (even family members), but I believed her and my husband did, too.  The cancer was hard to detect until it was way too late – it was thin sheets of cancer that scans couldn’t pick up.  I think it started at the liver.  It’s been just over 5 years now that she is gone and it’s still very hard.

    My husband and I used to live in a house with his family.  His mom never wanted us to leave, and neither did we, and we never could afford to, really.  But mostly we just all loved being together – his mom and dad in one area, his aunt in another, and us in another part of the house.  All together and so loving and close.  It was amazing.  Earlier there was also an uncle and my brother-in-law, but in later years, it was just the 5 of us.  We lost my father-in-law some years ago, then more recently my mother-in-law, then my sister died, then a while after that my husband’s aunt (all those who loved us very much), then two weeks later, my husband’s heart attack and triple or quadruple bypass surgery (luckily, it went fine).  So, in the last few years, it’s been quite a lot, and we are having a hard time, still, dealing with all of it.

    It’s just not the same as losing some regular relatives, because my husband’s parents felt like they were my parents, too.  They were so good to me, and I tried to be so good to them, too.  They loved doing things with us and hanging out, talking, etc.

    We also had too many problems with cats being sick or dying, so right now we can’t afford or deal with that, so I’m lonely without one.  We had various cats for 30 years.  All amazing in their own way, but our second one was incredible, unbelievable, so loving!  I miss all of them, too.

    Right now, few people are left in our lives, because we are introverted and have always stuck close to home.  We have my adopted sister, who isn’t that close to me emotionally, my best friend that I just email with, my wonderful husband (so, so grateful for him), and my mother (love her a lot, too).  My childhood was rough, though not as bad as some people I know.  Mom used to be sort of bad and critical for about 30 years of my life, but I forced her to change by cutting her off a few times.  Luckily, she learned to change herself.  I know you can’t really force someone to change, but now she is really loving, kind, caring, and wonderful, and has been for a long time.

    It’s hard having only a few people, and worrying about losing more, and worrying about being sick myself.

    Aren’t you sorry that you suggested that I might want to elaborate?  I only went on so long, because it all seems so complicated, but also incomplete if I don’t mention other parts.

    I’m glad that your doctor experiences haven’t been that bad.  When I used to go, I kept having mammograms and then they had to do one needle biopsy and one surgical biopsy, and they were fine, but I felt like I was going through too much and couldn’t handle it.  Now it’s been so long that I worry what they might find.

    I was in an absolute panic again this morning, had to take a bit more Xanax, then eventually felt better.  These days have been rough, just waiting to even start this whole process of appointments and tests and whatever.   Hoping and praying that they don’t find anything, or that I just have some simple problems.

    Anita, thank you again for listening.  I know this went on far too long.  I guess the floodgates were opened by just your couple of simple questions.  I proofread this once, but now my husband is home and I must get going.

    If you manage to get through all of this (or even if you don’t), thank you for “listening” to whatever part of this you made it through.


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