June 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm #36591
I’ve been going through a divorce which has been brutal on me, but that just seems to be the culmination of one thing after another that has been thrown my way. Over the past year I’ve dealt with my father passing away after a long illness, a work situation that has become almost unbearable (which I can’t quit because I have 3 kids to support), my wife leaving the marriage after 19 years, now my oldest daughter just graduated and is moving 1000 miles away to college, my mother has mental issues that are getting worse, and I’ve struggled with deep depression for a year and thoughts of wanting to end everything over the last couple months.
I’m not even sure what I’m looking for here. I know I need to try and put things into perspective. I know there is supposed to be a balance out there. I see a therapist, and she is actually a wonderful person. But I’m so beat up.Wave after wave crashes over me. I know life isn’t always fair, and maybe there is good to be found in all things that happen. But how do I continue to live this kind of a life? Is there something I did wrong, something I’m supposed to do, something I’m missing? WasI that horrible of a person in another life or in my youth that this is how things have to balance out?
I am simply lost, and I honestly have no idea if there is really an answer. For anyone who reads this- thank you.June 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm #36592
Your analogy of the wave reminded me of something that I read recently by Russ Harris – I’m paraphrasing here, ‘The more you continue to try to be the steadfast, strong, and powerful rock cliff by the ocean’s edge, the harder the waves will slam against you.”
I can only imagine what you’re going through because I’ve never experienced that much turmoil in such a short amount of time. But, if I’ve learned anything from my meditation and Buddhist practice, is that while the onslaught of waves in life will never stop, suppleness, gentleness and kindness towards yourself and others will allow the waves to wash over you and make them much more endurable.June 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm #36593
don’t give up. You will get through it.June 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm #36596
I have my three kids, but that is what worries me. I feel bad that they have to see their father being so depressed and hurting- they deserve a dad who will be with them and show them a good life. I’m so afraid I can’t give that to them in the state I’m in.
I’ve tried meditation- I never can seem to get the hang of that. I’ve tried the calming music, the finding good in a bad thing, changing up habits, getting out more, getting back into my writing. I know there is a mindset issue, but I simply do not know how to let these thing go and be in the moment. I keep hoping to find that one book or site that gives me the key. Intellect gets in the way of doing, I think.June 9, 2013 at 4:35 am #36602
Hi Jeff, depression can be beaten and not just by drugs. Try to get away from your home, somewhere peaceful, relaxing and an environment which doesn’t distract you. Take half an hour or maybe an hour and think honestly about what is important to you. Know that you can get your life back by fully accepting that you can turn it around. Know that your negative thoughts are those of depression and fight them, reply to them and believe that life is so darn short and you don’t want to waste another moment. While you may feel that ‘its easy to say but not do’ you must fight this and believe you can be happy and live life to the full. Meditation may not be for you so why not try (make yourself) walking for half an hour each day in your neighbourhood. Plagiarise Nike and JUST DO IT. Reach out, be strong and love your children like you’ve never loved them before. Be committed to changing your thoughts and feelings which are a direct result of depression. JUST DO IT. Make a decision to do this and commit!June 9, 2013 at 5:46 am #36604
Hi Jeff, I went through a similar time in my life. I’ll share my experience in hopes that you can get the sense how I can relate.
Two years ago my fiance cheated on me. All my friends knew about it, it happened while I was on a month long trip and no one wanted to get involved. I found out through an acquaintance on facebook the night before I returned. I was in a tight knit group and we all worked together, so I stayed professional even though I wanted answers and to be validated somehow. I ended up learning that all the fun people who were my friends were mostly gossipers and fence sitters. I was also in a toxic work environment, but also felt that I had to stay due to debt and was not able to leave without putting myself in a bad spot. I stayed, told myself that if I was stronger and more positive I could handle this. I got kicked in the teeth every which way professionally and lost promotions to people who partied more, wore shorter skirts or slept with the right people. After a year of getting more beatened down most of my friends gave up on me. I was grateful to have one person who was still there for me. One night I told her I was suicidal when I had a panic attack and she changed the topic to her Harvard interview, so I stopped talking to her. A week later my mom died. That all happened within a year. To this day my closest friends have no idea that mom died.
I’ve had a lot of things to reflect upon this past year; How I felt so guilty that I spent the last year of my mom’s life telling her how much I hated people, how I can’t blame my ex on all the things that didn’t go my way, how I wish I could have let go of the resentments sooner, etc.
If I could have told myself anything during that time, it would have been that as long as you try your best and keep your integrity, you will have nothing to regret. When bad things happen, it doesn’t necessarily mean you deserve it or that you are a bad person or that you made stupid decisions. Sometimes life just happens. When life gives you bad situations, just don’t make it worse for yourself. I didn’t exercise while I was in the toxic work environment and I blew a ton of money after my mom died.
While you are going through it, pretend you are a writer and try to imagine why someone would *want* this situation. For example, my mom and I had an estranged relationship for the majority of my life, but we reconciled for the last five. I beat myself up for telling her how much I hated people until a mother I spoke to told me how she was probably grateful that I needed her. That toxic job I hated allowed me to send my dad on a tropical vacation after my mom’s death which helped him have something to look forward to. I would have traded a decade of my life at a horrible job if I knew I could have given my dad a gift like that at that particular time. After that year I resolved to learn how to get over things as quickly as possible and how to cope with things better.
Lastly, I don’t have kids, but the one thing I would want to instill in them is not that I can protect them from everything or make everything perfect, but that I can be an example of how to cope well with anything. Find a different way to look at things. This may all sound trite, but an idea is just an idea until you believe it. We as humans have limited understanding and sometimes from our vantage point everything seems so meaningless. There are other ways to approach this, you can make your own shortcut if you can figure that out.
Bon courage.June 9, 2013 at 6:26 am #36606
I am amazed at the compassion and understanding from everyone here- although I guess maybe I shouldn’t be! Thank you all so much.June 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm #36725
I’m in the same situation except the kid is an adult. I decided to end an 18 year marriage because as you get older you think harder about which rocks to push up which hills and this one didn’t make it for me. No drama, just dissolving it all because I don’t want to be 60ish and sitting there sniping and complaining. I still love what i do for a living but I hate my job and my colleagues are mostly unbearable. I’m writing this from a seat on a moving box, on my way to my new-to-me much smaller house, and since I’m the one leaving I’m taking very little, and taking a big hit financially to start over, probably not the smartest thing given how much I hate my job and the economy. To add to the fun there was a massive amount damage to the existing house from a storm ten day prior to close and a 500$ repair on my car.
However, a few things. Even if you are the one being left, if you think long and hard I’ll bet you were unhappy as well, if not unhappy enough to make drastic changes, unhappy enough to feel an emptiness. Everyone has a different tipping point and I have no doubt that most people settle for some vague coexistence with no joy and no comfort other than not having to face change. And it is even harder when everybody is a nice person. If somebody is a druggie well that’s easy. What is hard is leaving a relationship where you mostly get along but you aren’t looking forward to anything together. The other thing is that things only go wrong when you try to do something, try to change. Your car won’t break down unless you leave the driveway. The more things you are doing, the more opportunity for things to go wrong and the more beat up you feel. When my car broke down I just laughed hysterically for that reason. I am trying to go somewhere so of course it broke. I visualize myself as a wall where things just bounce off or slide down. This works when everything is breaking and when I have to listent to my condescending colleagues. Transition is like a caterpillar to butterfly – there is that period where there is just an empty sac – chrysalis? I can’t remember what it is called but there is something furry, then nothing, then something fluttery and pretty. Find a picture of yourself as steel not as a punching bag. And just wait, nothing will go into something. That is what I am doing.June 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm #36726
It’s called chemicalization- things fall apart to make things better. I think that’s it or metamorphosis for butterflies.
It feels wierd saying this because you could be my dad lol but it will pass. You still have your life ahead of you. Your kids are grown so its better then them being young and not fully understanding. You spent a large part of your life thinking about another person, making decisions together and planning a future. Maybe this is your time to be you, and find your true self and your true love. It’s never too late.
I read somewhere, maybe it was on tiny Buddha, that all bad luck is actually a good thing. It helps you to reevaluate your life and your decisions. I was going through the same crap and am slowly coming out of it. (My post:at the end of my rope).
You are entering the best time of your life it’s just going to be a little shitty for a while and then I promise you will look back and say “remember when…”
I find it helpful to read my horoscope even if you don’t believe in horoscopes just having something that tells you it will get better puts you in a healthier frame of mind.
Keep a journal, it’s great to look back and see how far you’ve come.
We are all here for you this is a great place to come to whenever you feel down 🙂June 10, 2013 at 7:55 pm #36729
Thank you both. I do keep a journal. One of the joys of trying to be a writer- I keep more than one journal. It’s a little odd to write 100 pages in a journal over the last month, so obviously this has weighed heavily on my mind. There are days when I think I’m doing OK,but then something small happens and I crash down again. Or something happens that leads me to think there may be a chance to get back together, or a chance to talk through things- whatever. I know I need to detach from her, but that seems impossible right now because we have 19 years of being together. It’s a lot of history to say “I’m no longer attached to you” and walk away from such a huge part of my world.
I’m sure a time will come where I move forward, but I need it to be soon because I’m not sure how many more times I can hit the bottom.
Anyway, thanks.June 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm #36735
I cannot imagine exactly the pain you are in, but I can identify with some of it.
You have done nothing wrong. Please be gentle with yourself. Not to be preachy, but try and get through the minutes. As I read somewhere – GIVE TIME TIME. You need time to heal. You might feel like the boxer who has been knocked down so many times that you don’t have the strength or are afraid to get up. I feel that way sometimes. Try and take it day by day. Minute by minute. Breathe. Eat well. Sleep.
My wish for you, and myself, and for anyone else out there who is struggling, is that, like a “phoenix from the flame”, we will rise again.
My thoughts are with you.June 11, 2013 at 7:16 am #36753
And just to prove that fate or karma or whatever isn’t quite done with me yet, someone smashed in the window of my drivers side door. And the clear sky predicted for today for my area? Yeah- it’s raining.
June 15, 2013 at 9:06 am #36938
- This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by Jeff.
I understand about being beat up. I have basically given up on thinking life can ever be “better” .. I get up every day and hate my life and efforts to “change” it have not worked. I did not even get out of bed for three months, have not had a job or income for over a year. I am sick of looking for and applying to jobs because no one will hire me and when I have had “jobs” in the past, I get fired for having mental health challenges. LOL. Whatever.
Sometimes focusing on a hobby or volunteering and “doing” can help.June 15, 2013 at 10:14 am #36942
If there is one place where I have been fortunate in all of this, it is in my boss at work. She has been supportive since this all happened and gives me what amount of time I need, whenever I need it, for appointments and therapy sessions. I think the difficulties for me are that these things come in wave after wave, so I never get a chance to gain some equilibrium before the next thing happens.
I guess all I can do is keep going.June 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm #37661
This is my first attempt at putting my personal life on the internet… but Jeff I was touched by your story and feel compelled to let you know you are not alone in all the BS that happens in life.
When I was about a year and a half old my grandparents adopted me. I still saw, talked and spent time with my mother but I always had this longing to live with her. I definitely didn’t understand why I couldn’t live with her. I didn’t realize until I was older that this caused what I’ve heard people refer to as “abandonment issues”. I definitely find that I cling to people, even suffocate them…but not just any people, emotionally unavailable people at that.
I am grateful that my grandparents adopted me though, they provided me with a stable and loving home. My grandma and I were best friends. She was my rock. Skip forward to May 2009 and she was diagnosed with lung cancer (she didn’t smoke). My grandma qualified for a particular surgery that would remove all the cancer. The surgery took place, five days later she was discharged and was almost as good as new. Less than a month later she started to act really strange and we found out it was all over her brain.
My grandma moved in with my husband and I for home hospice and my mom was a hospice nurse so everyone was here all the time taking care of her…everyone except my uncle. Within two weeks my grandma died and my life changed forever. My uncle was the executor of her Will (she didn’t have anything but a house and the belongings in that house…oh and car). He decided that her death somehow became all about him and everyone needed to see how concerned he was, how much he loved her, how he was handling things all on his own…whatever. It got really ugly. He refused to allow my mom and I into my grandma’s house to go through things, smell her clothes, grieve together like most families do. We spoke through lawyers for the next year. At the end of it all, it all came down to some boxes that I still have yet to really go through.
In Jan 2010 I found out I was pregnant, which was really sad that my grandma would never meet my kid. Within a few weeks, I started to have serious complications. I spent most of my pregnancy on bed rest, in the hospital all the while dealing with the estate lawyers and my uncle because my mom fell apart. After 9 weeks of hospital bed rest, my son was born 7 weeks premature and spent a month in the NICU. OHHHH I forgot to mention that at the time my husband and I were being sued for $276,000 because some idiot lady at a dog park tripped and fell on my dog and came after our homeowners insurance. She ended up losing but it was scary and one more thing to deal with, because my plate wasn’t full enough.
Anyway, thankfully my son came home after a month, the lawsuit with my grandma’s estate was over, the lawsuit with the dog park lady was over and I thought, ok now we can move on with our lives. AND THEN…the last week of October my mom emailed me with a 911 email. At first I thought it was a joke but then she emailed me again. I drove to her house and when I pulled up I could hear her screaming. At the time we all thought she broke her hip, she was only 56, but within a month we found out she had bone cancer (the day before Thanksgiving). By Christmas we found out she had breast cancer that spread to bone cancer and now its basically all over. Remember I said she was a hospice nurse? I guess she thought she knew it all and never needed to go for routine check-ups. Maybe if she had, we would have found it sooner. Jan 2011 she died. At the time I was just numb. I had no more feelings left. I dealt with my step-dad shutting me out. Feeling alone. Feeling angry.
Guess what? It wasn’t over either. Remember the uncle I mentioned? He dropped dead June of that year and left everything, including my grandma’s house and all my childhood stuff, including my great grandparents stuff…my entire childhood was being handed over to his girlfriend. I have spent the last 2 years fighting and fighting and the end result is…I lost my grandma’s house, had to buy back some heirloom items like my great grandfathers baseball glove (I wanted it for my son). THe only closure I got was negotiating walking through the house one final time.
So, even saying all of that now seems so surreal. I have dark, DARK days but some days are filled with sunshine. I started to see a counselor, but I don’t think there’s anything anyone can say to help fix all of this damage. What I have discovered is this. When I wake up in the morning I have a very important decision to make. I can choose to be thankful for everything I still have, my husband, my son, my dad or I can think about everything I’ve lost. This decision sets the mood for the entire day which trickles down to the awful thoughts that I get stuck in my head to how driven I am at work to how I feel about myself…everything. Obviously its much easier to sit right on the event horizon but its much much harder to break away from that (that mood can last for days) than it is to make a conscious effect to smile, to enjoy the little things, to stop and live in the RIGHT NOW.
I have spent the last 4 years living in this limbo place, keeping it moving so I wouldn’t fall apart. All that did was take away my right now time. So, everyday I work very hard to live right now and right now requires a constant decision to enjoy the right now. That’s the best advise I can give you, I hope it makes sense. Just know that you can reach out to me if you want or feel comfortable enough to do so and we can vent to each other so we can both enjoy the rest of our day.
Keep on keeping on 🙂