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That sounds incredibly difficult, I’m so sorry you’re going through this.
A friend just e-mailed me a quote (I’m not sure who said it) because I’ve been going through some difficulties, too. It seems appropriate for you: “Sometimes the things that seem to hurt us the most are the very things that bring out the best in us ~ that helps us discover the love we thought we’d lost ~ the strength we didn’t know we had ~ the courage to let go of the past and begin again ~ because challenges help us to see who we really are, where we want to go and what our lives can be.”
I understand that you may not be able to see the gifts in your situation right now, and that’s OK. It sounds to me like what you need the most right now is some support from someone who is not judgmental or disappointed in you. Is there any way you can see a therapist or counselor? If money is an issue, maybe there is a training clinic or low-cost service in your area. It’s hard to motivate yourself when you’re feeling depressed and exhausted, and it doesn’t sound like your family has the resources to support you right now in the way you need to be supported. A counselor could not only give you the space to talk about what’s happening without feeling like you’re a drain on someone else, but might be able to see your situation with new eyes and offer solutions you and your family haven’t thought of. Sometime just having a sympathetic ear where you can be honest and open about how you’re feeling is enough to take some of the pressure off.
From your description, it sounds like you’ve been pretty motivated and smart about dealing with these hard issues. You’ve taken steps to try to better yourself and haven’t given up even under a lot of stress. I know a lot of people who would have given up long ago. I probably would have, too. Are you giving yourself credit for the fact that you’ve been handed some tough cards, and that you’ve really done a lot to try to make the best of them? Even though things haven’t worked out the way you wanted, you made the effort to make your life better. It must be incredibly frustrating to not reach your goal of passing the exam. But I’m impressed that you even took it. I don’t think I would have had the motivation.
I hope that things get better for you soon!
Thanks Brigid, I am going through the same discovery process you describe. I realize I’ve been dating men who weren’t opening to me because there is such a lot of fear inside me about not being enough and not being seen. I wasn’t opening to them in some ways, either. After 20 years of dating, I finally realize I need to step back and figure out what’s going on inside me, how to love myself regardless of my relationship status. I’m terrified because I’m almost 45 and what if I never find the partner I’ve longed for my whole life? But the roller coaster of love is just too much for me, it’s too painful and confusing. I don’t think this is how it’s supposed to feel. So I need to get my head on straight and remember the things I love about myself. I don’t really know where to start.
Ugh, that sounds SOO painful. I’m sorry you’re going through this. In my past, I’ve had some luck chanting things like “I let you go with love” and meditating on my loving thoughts for someone who was no longer in my life, as well as sharing both my loving feelings and my pain with all the people on the planet who are feeling similarly. It helps put things in perspective, and allows you to still feel love for this person (who is obviously in a lot of pain if he’s treated you this way) without needing to be with him.
I’ve unfollowed people when I just don’t find their posts interesting, just to clean up my feed. It’s not even necessarily passive aggressive. I’d say let it go. Pick your battles, and this doesn’t seem like one worth fighting.
What Vic said. Also, it might seem obvious, but it sounds like you’re clinically depressed. Depression lies to us, and tells us that nothing is working out, everything is horrible, and we’ll never feel better. This is simply not true.
You say that you will never take meds, and to me, that seems like the depression talking. It doesn’t want you to feel better. But there’s a part of you who does want to feel better, or you wouldn’t have posted here.
I just recently started taking zoloft after years and years of being unhappy and refusing to take meds. You know what? I feel better now. Whether it’s a placebo effect, the meds, or something else entirely, it feels great to feel “normal” again. Ask yourself why you are so dead-set against at least trying medication or speaking to a professional. Are you somewhat comfortable in a place of feeling sorry for yourself and feeling like a victim? If so, and you don’t take steps to get out that mindset, you will be unhappy for the rest of your life. Do you really want that?
There are lots of people who have built good lives without a degree, and who started out in a place like you’re in, but changed their lives for the better. Comparing yourself to your friends is going to be painful right now because they’re on a standard societally-planned path, and you’re not. You may always be different than your peers. I’ve always been different than mine, too, and sometimes it feels extremely lonely. But your path is OK. You don’t have to be like them. Late bloomers are often the happiest people later in life, because they’ve taken the path less traveled and figured out who they really are, while people who did what they’re “supposed” to do often find out later that those things don’t make them happy.
You say you hate everything. I’d focus on finding something – anything – that you like, and finding other people who like that, too, even if only one or two. I know it feels more comfortable to isolate yourself, but that won’t help you feel better. It’ll just keep the cycle of self-hatred going.
You can get out of this if you really want to. I’ve been there, believe me, and I know a lot of other people who have. Good luck to you! Hugs.
Thank you both 🙂 Your words have really touched me and given me things to think about.
Please, please don’t give her this letter the way it’s written. It feels like you’re dredging up past pain and trying to show her why she was wrong. If you’re getting married to her, I assume you two have had conversations about what happened, and hopefully both owned up to your parts in it. If you haven’t said what needs to be said, perhaps you should speak in person, before your wedding, so make sure there’s no resentment still hidden away. This letter seems very bitter and full of pain, and very blaming of her.
Before you start composing a ‘closure’ letter on the eve of your new life together, I’d suggest asking yourself: what do you want to accomplish? Do you want her to know that she was wrong to do what she did? Why? What would that solve?
Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?
I’m not saying you two shouldn’t talk about that time or that you shouldn’t share your thoughts with her, but this letter just seems to open the wound again. If you still have resentment about the past, perhaps you should wait to get married until you’ve worked through it as a couple. It certainly seems from this letter that you do.
At the very least, have a private conversation with her where you tell her you still have pain around what happened, rather than giving her a letter like this right before her wedding day.
Ask yourself: are you read to let go of the pain of that time, to embrace the joy of your new life together? Or will you always want to make her pay?
A letter on her wedding day should be about what you want to accomplish with your partnership, not dredging up something she did “wrong” in your estimation. Have you considered that that painful time and the time apart could have actually taught you both important lessons, and that it could actually strengthen your relationship if you reframe it?
Whatever you do, please don’t enter into this marriage feeling justified in believing she did you wrong back then. A marriage that starts out that way doesn’t have a very good chance of being a happy marriage, in my opinion.
Good luck to you both!
I applaud your ability to see the bigger picture, and I totally feel your pain, as I broke up with someone I love very much, also about a week ago, and after about 5 months together. I think I’m in more pain than he is.
It sounds like you have just the right attitude, and you will get through this and be stronger and will show up in your next relationship in a wonderful way, I can sense it.
I’ve found that my greatest lessons come when I feel I’ve gone “astray”. Maybe you never went astray, and this is the path you needed to be on to learn these things, and now you can find your way to your true path having learned what you needed to know. 🙂
In the past I’ve found some relief by repeating “I let you go with love” to the person, in my head. It helps me get out of the “you wronged me” or “I hurt” mindset and reminds me that we’re all connected and true love means I want that person to be happy, even if it’s not with me.
That sounds really scary. I’m not a psychologist or anything, but I’ve had my share of issues, and I’d recommend maybe tracking what you eat and drink, what meds/supplements you take and the dose, how much exercise you get, how many hours you sleep (and when you go to sleep and wake up), and any major emotional things that happen (bad or good) every day for maybe 3-4 weeks to see if you can see any patterns. There could be things you don’t think about that could be affecting your mood, like caffeine or alcohol or cigarettes, getting more or less sleep or exercise, certain foods, or even seeing or interacting with certain people, that might affect your mood. Even if you don’t see a pattern, you may decide to go see a therapist at some point, and the information might be helpful. There are even smartphone apps where you can track things pretty easily. Good luck!
Thanks so much to everyone in this thread. It’s really helped me with some of my own struggles in the same vein.
Especially John’s words “I believe that love in the purest sense of the word is non-attachment, stable, calm, composed, kind, gentle, soft, generous, forgiving, peaceful. If we truly experienced love and saw our partners in their entirety and accepted the impermanence of any relationship either by death or any other factor, we’d be able to let it go with little or no pain and suffering and find acceptance and comfort in our own being. ”
I imagine I’ll come back to this thread now and again to remind myself.