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  • #403019
    Patrick
    Participant

    I’m 59. My life is imploding. Everything I had has been lost. Money, possessions, and now it seems, my sanity. A life’s toil and nothing to show for it. Never in my lifetime have I known depression and anxiety like this. I have a wife and a daughter to support, so I carry on, but my confidence and self-esteem are destroyed. Not sure where to start. When I was younger I had more faith. Now? I don’t believe in myself anymore. I know I mustn’t be negative, that it doesn’t help and that it affects the people around me, but ….. I feel crushed. It has become impossible for me to fake it. Anyone who knows, who has maybe done this, late in life, your wisdom and counsel will be accepted with a grateful heart.

    #403025
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Patrick:

    Never in my lifetime have I known depression and anxiety like this… It has become impossible for me to fake it” – no need to fake it here, on your thread. Here, you can express your raw truth as it is.

    Everything I had has been lost. Money, possessions” – I am sorry that you lost your money and possessions. It is just the other day that it occurred to me that this is true for everyone, even billionaires lose all their money and all their possessions (when they die).

    A life’s toil and nothing to show for it” – this reminds me of when I was a teenager: I was amazed when watching ants at work, how when their nest was destroyed, they didn’t waste a second and kept working, building a new nest. They were not at all discouraged about all their toil coming to nothing. I think there is a lot we can learn by watching nature.

    I don’t believe in myself anymore… I feel crushed… Anyone who knows, who has maybe done this, late in life, your wisdom and counsel will be accepted with a grateful heart” – I experienced/ experience parts of what you are experiencing. What helps me a lot was the concept of radical acceptance: that is, accepting reality as it is, radically accepting it, all the way. Are you familiar with the term?

    Once in a while I recite the Serenity Prayer: “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

    anita

    #403040
    Patrick
    Participant

    Thank you Anita

    I feel the need to fake it all the time. No-one wants to hear about my problems. In fact, even alluding to my mental state has been ignored by my two closest contacts. My wife as well. She is avoiding me. No physical contact. I feel like a leper. So that’s my truth. I feel alone in my crisis. Not allowed to express it.

    Money and possessions? Well, we need some of them to survive and live decent lives. I wanted to provide for my family. Put a roof over their heads. I don’t care about me. But I want them to be ok. My daughter is small, and I want her to be ok.

    I like the analogy about the ants. I am trying to keep going.

    Never heard of radical acceptance. That’s a new one for me. Serenity prayer I do know well. Thirteen years sober one month ago, so learned the prayer early on.

    Peace

     

    #403099
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Patrick:

    You are welcome, Congratulations for thirteen years and a month of Sobriety!

    Let’s see what you shared so far, as I understand it: you (59) are a married man and a father to a daughter. You lost money and possessions and it is a reason for your current intense depression and anxiety, and crushed/ collapsed self-esteem and faith- confidence in yourself.

    Your wife’s reaction to your Collapse: she doesn’t want to hear about your problems, and when you allude to your poor mental state, she ignores you. And physically, she is avoiding you altogether: “No physical contact”.

    As a result of her (and others) avoiding you and withdrawing from you at your state of crisis:  “I feel like a leper… I feel alone in my crisis. Not allowed to express it“. And further: “I don’t care about me. But I want them to be ok. My daughter is small, and I want her to be ok”-

    – my thoughts today: (1) I want you to care about yourself. You are not less worthy than any other person in this whole world, so you matter just as much as anyone!

    One quote from AA is: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less” – please don’t think less of yourself!

    (2)  One of the most well-known mantras of AA is One day at a time: every day anew, focus on the task at hand, and ease your anxiety about the future on one hand, and your regrets about the past, on the other hand.

    (3) Another AA quote: “What other people think of you is none of your business” – try to apply this in regard to your wife and to others.

    (4) It might help you to work on the 12 steps of AA in the context of your wife: “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable” => I am powerless over my wife and my life with her… has collapsed, etc. It might help you to do the same in regard to your finances: I am powerless over my finances, and my financial situation is… (you choose the words, of course).

    (5) Radical Acceptance is a concept similar to that of the first AA step (admitting powerlessness): it is about letting go of any intent or desire to change an existing situation (a situation which you cannot change even if you tried). It is about no longer resisting a situation like this, no longer being tense and upset about it, but instead: accepting it and relaxing into it. I heard something long ago that is an incredible example of Radical Acceptance (paraphrased here)-  Q: if you are an inmate in prison, sentenced to 20 years to life, how could you possibly feel free? A: stop wanting to escape prison, stop wanting to be free.

    There is freedom that is available for you (and me) today and every day, one day at a time, and this is the freedom from resisting situations that we cannot change.

    anita

    #403252
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Patrick?

    anita

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