January 10, 2018 at 8:40 am #185959
As I look over my previous posts (over the last year or two), I see how my situation has gotten progressively worse. In 2017, I lost my job (2nd job in 2 years), I lost my grandparents, I lost most of my friends (my choice to remove fake people from my life), realized that my parents are not my friends and that while I have a mom and a dad and a stepmom and a stepdad, and two sisters, non of them could give a damn. They love me and say nice things, but words are empty gestures and are excuses for non-action. I was in the hospital for a serious illness, realized I am deep, deep in debt and will be in debt for the next 3 years. And to top it off, my wife is leaving, mutual decision. I feel like I've lost too much to ever be happy again, to ever be me again. I know there is “Clinical Depression” or “Major Depression”, but for me it's not based on just being depressed. I am not depressed because my brain is wired to be depressed. My brain is just overwhelmed with tragedy and loss and failure and at 40, I feel like it's over for me. I will never be a father, I will never love again, I will never be my cheerful self. I am not giving up, but I honestly don't know how much more I can take. Life has its ups and downs and I've always had good times, great times, bad times, and horrible times, but I've never before had just horrible times for such a long period of time. There is no one to fall back on. No emotional support or family love. There is nothing. I just have to bust my a$$, work super, super hard, study, see my therapist, get healthy emotionally and physically, and whatever else I have to do. But I am just feeling so empty, so hopeless, and everything seems just too real. I know it's just my brain's perception of reality, but I don't have anyone else's brain, but my own and I have to live with my own brain and I just don't know how to go on. I am trying to find a reason. I have an amazing job right now, I love my dog to pieces, my family and my soon to be ex are all being somewhat supportive. I am doing all the things I need to do to get out of this hole I am in, but I am just not sure if I can beat the tide or if it's so strong that it will just pull me back into the sea no matter how hard try to get to the shore. No one ever said life is fair and there are no guarantees, but I never thought I would have to suffer this greatly. I know there are worse situations with people who lose their kids to illness or worse, but I am not them, I am me, and “me” is struggling to find something to hold on to. I am holding on to my dog, my job, my family, and a few friends, but my situation is so bad (debt, loneliness, etc.) that I am just not sure if it's all worth it =(
I am sorry for sounding so gloom, but I am just so tired. I feel exhausted. I stopped going to the gym the last few weeks and not eating healthy. I can't do anything and small things send me into panic. I can't live like this anymore….January 10, 2018 at 9:24 am #185973
I agree, you have your brain, not anyone else's, and indeed you have to live with your own brain. True for everyone.
I was wondering, regarding your parents, you wrote: They love me and say nice things, but words are empty gestures and are excuses for non-action”. Later in your post you wrote that your parents are “somewhat supportive”.
What actions would you have liked your parents to take?
And what does “somewhat supportive” mean; if their words are empty, what support are you referring to?
January 10, 2018 at 9:36 am #185979
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by anita.
Means that they would let me borrow some money if I needed it. They would be “nice” to me. But they simply cannot be supportive emotionally, logically, psychologically. It's just not in them. The only one who is somewhat supportive, which is kind of strange, is my stepdad. And he is in prison for another 9 months (nothing too crazy, just made more money than he should have in his business =)January 10, 2018 at 10:39 am #185987
What you don't have from your parents then is emotional support, and since you wrote that they don't have it in them, I suppose you grew up without. As the social beings that we are, especially as children, we inherently need emotional support: empathy, attention… It is not optional. We can survive without, or with very little, but we cannot thrive.
Many of us do survive without, as emotional support is unfortunately lacking in so many, many homes.
You still need the same that you always did, empathy, attention. You need to matter to someone, to be seen and cared for. Thing is, can't get it from your parents, got to get it from someone else, to give and take empathy, attention, in another relationship.
Your step father is one, there has to be someone else, maybe a few people, over time.
anitaJanuary 10, 2018 at 10:59 am #185993
Exactly my point. I am completely alone right now. It's a scary, scary feeling. I did have those people in my life, but they have since passed away. That's just life. YouTube vides (various motivational and other types of support videos help), but one thing that's helping me is the desire is climb out of this hole. I saw this somewhere, “I can, I will, I must”… And that's the only thing that's keeping me going right now. I have no one to pat me on the back or tell me that everything is going to be OK. If I don't work hard on every aspect of my life, then no, things are not going to be OK. I know it sounds silly, but my age is getting me depressed. I am 40 (even though I look muuuuch younger =) and by the time I am done climbing out of this hole I am in, I will be 43 or so. By then it will be too late to have kids. I mean, men can have kids at any age, but I don't want to be an old dad. If I was 30 right now, I wouldn't be sweating any of this. I would work so hard right now on everything and would eventually be on top of everything, but at 40, before you know it, you're 50. That very idea is depressing the living crap of out me. It's just a number and I don't care about societal standards or anything, it's just that I feel like a failure. And that's the worst thing of all.January 10, 2018 at 11:24 am #185999
You are forty wishing you were thirty, looking at your age from the 30 position. What if you did look at your age from the 50 position, oh, ten more years!
Lots of people give themselves a hard time for being older, for not “having something to show for it”, is a common phrase people use. Thing is the same people with this sentiment gave themselves a hard time when they were younger, teenagers, if not earlier. What was the reason then?
If you could change your brain just a bit, start with aiming, forming the intent to not give yourself a hard time no matter the reason available. This would be unconditional emotional support given by yourself to yourself.
* Will be back to the computer in about seventeen hours.
anitaJanuary 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm #186051
I am trying. I am taking care of myself and trying to get to a place where I can be happy again. But the tide is just so strong and powerful, sometimes it pulls me back so hard that I don’t know if I can make it out.January 11, 2018 at 7:23 am #186119
Maybe it is not a good idea to aim at being “happy again”- but accept the way you feel now, and not pursue a different feeling. Let it be. Live with these feelings you have now.
Focusing on, or desiring too much to “make it out”, will keep you in.
anitaJanuary 11, 2018 at 7:58 am #186123
I agree. I am just overwhelmed with grief.
Do you think we can heal and get better?
I am not giving up. Just feel so broken at the momentJanuary 11, 2018 at 8:15 am #186127
Yes, I believe we humans can heal. In nature, following an injury, healing starts automatically. A plant doesn't supervise its own healing, it is simply available to it. In a similar way, we humans can avail ourselves to the natural process of healing.
We often get in the way of this natural process by thinking the way we think, distortedly. Fortunately for them, plants and other animals do not have this problem.
For example of thinking that does not avail you to healing is thinking you are a failure, for being forty and what not. So healing, for humans, has to include correcting our distorted thinking. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is just about that- correcting distorted thinking, primarily.
To correct our thinking we have to reduce our distress so to be able to think clearly. So relaxing is necessary, again and again throughout the day.
anitaJanuary 11, 2018 at 8:19 am #186131
I agree with everything. I just wish I was handling all these stressors better. It's just that it's not one thing, but almost everything has crashed. We are resilient beings, but there is only so much one can do before eventually breaking down. I am going to accept that this is happening to me and just work harder on everything else. I am religious so I don't pray or anything, but I will ask the Universe for just a tiny bit of luck. I could use some. Simply don't feel well. And thank you btw.January 11, 2018 at 8:30 am #186137
You are welcome. We do need luck sometimes, yes. Luck plays a part, the coming together of favorable circumstances. Pay attention when that happens, then. Many people get lucky and don't notice and therefore miss the opportunity that was presented.
anitaJanuary 12, 2018 at 8:56 pm #186431
You said “I am trying. I am taking care of myself and trying to get to a place where I can be happy again. But the tide is just so strong and powerful, sometimes it pulls me back so hard that I don’t know if I can make it out.” And I was reading through these posts, and before I got to that, I was remembering how, one time in the past, I was in a yoga class, doing my practice and crying alternatively internally and externally. I had pinned all my romantic hopes on a guy who led me on and yet somehow I became energetically attached to him and even though he never gave himself to me there was a sense of great loss. A friend of mine had also recently died of a pancreas transplant. I could go on, it doesn't compare to what happened to me recently, but what I realized in that yoga class was useful: I was trying to get a happy feeling from the yoga, and the disappointment on top of all the depression and loss was intensifying the sad feelings. At some point, I thought, don't aim at happy (just like Anita suggests), but rather, aim at neutral. Neutral includes being aware of and holding your feeling in your consciousness, but stop trying to solve everything and let go, observe what you are going through without problem-solving. This is like meditation.
My yoga practice was not that young at that time and I was aware of a difference between being centered in myself and calm and able to think and make decisions from that calm and centered place. Notice I am not saying from that happy place, but from a centered place. When we are depressed and we struggle with the turbulence around us we exhaust ourselves like we are drowning, and just as you instinctively realize as shown by your fear, it is dangerous, because we can't spare the energy and we are not healing. To need the energy to come from outside of you is to not be centered.
I know how awful this is to hear. I lost my husband and my mom within a month of each other and have been left with my teenage daughter alone. My support system is thin to weak, not quite nonexistent but nothing like what I see on TV on Friends and Parenting. My oldest sister had died two years before the deaths in my household, without my support because I was angry with her and she didn't tell me she had cancer. By the time I found out, it was Stage IV and I went west to see her and saw her and she died very soon. My other sister and my brother are problematic, we are all adult survivors of alcoholism, abandonment, and our own addictions, and I keep them at a distance from my daughter for good reason.
So, I'm on here looking for support because history repeated itself with me this week and I lost my job. I am competent and a good worker but at this job it was a matter of who didn't like me. I used to have a complex about being shy and unsocial and not having friends and not being invited, and I solved that by being pretty and partying to have friends. It worked to some degree. Now I have a complex about being rejected repeatedly by employers in my non-native, culturally different state. I have called two of my friends that I tend to lean on but one is not responding. The other is, but doesn't reach back out and I get worried about pestering her.
So, here I am, with a fabulous daughter who I need to provide for, love, and lead, feeling inadequate, unloved, and fearful because I am getting older and oh yes they let me go when I was sick, I'm on antibiotics. I am 52 now. Even my daughter rejected me at a developmentally appropriate state but it was right when we needed each other when her father my husband died.
So as you can see, somehow I must keep calm and carry on with a relapsing sister, lost husband who loved me and we took care of each other, and not freak my daughter out by needing too much chicken soup from her, and I need to be self-reliant and I need to be my own best friend.
When I crave functional support and affirmation of my lovability from my sucky family (not daughter or inlaws, my birth family, who's left), well, that's just predictably disappointing. And what it does is, that craving and the disappointment, it pulls me off-center and squanders my energy. Now, being let go this week when I am sick, I went back to the doctor for the third time and got a second course of antibiotics. The doctor's office was closed over the holidays, which was when I was sick, so by the time I saw my doctor I had been to the urgent care twice and seen two other people, so three people, lots of missed work and lost money.
Point is, I can relate. I want you to understand who is saying this to you, what I am going through, to evaluate how useful it might be for you. And what I am saying is, give yourself a big fat giant break and notice what is necessary for survival and do that and only that and let go of everything that is not necessary for awhile and try to get to neutral. The perspective you need is not the set of facts of your life, but the perspective provided by being centered and making yourself 100% available to yourself, or as close as you can get. Its ok to accept that so and so does not love you the way you want them to. You can't fix it. Better is to turtle up and protect your energy for the healing time and neutrality can give. You can't be available to joy and the ability to generate love when you are struggling, just like thrashing is no good in an undertow. Relax and do only what is necessary to get yourself where you can breathe, get centered, and be still (neutral) for awhile.January 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm #186505
I don't have much too add, but I just wanted to say you are not too old to be a Dad. My Dad had two sons in his twenties, and he had me at age 45, and said it was the happiest moment in his life.January 25, 2018 at 12:37 pm #189011
I have an amazing job right now, I love my dog to pieces, my family and my soon to be ex are all being somewhat supportive.
That is a good place to start. I recommend a gratitude journal. This is a good way to be focused on what is good going on in your life. Plus having a regular journal is good for being able to process stuff without having it go around and around in your head making you crazy.
You crave emotional support especially from your family? That is tough. I do know that I need to love myself in order to attract the love (and support) from others. In the meantime, you might want to find an outside support group such as a Men's Support group or even a 12 Step group. Having a meditation practice helps being OK with yourself. I went on a meditation retreat and it was powerful. I got to sit with myself in silence with others for stretches at a time. I was with myself AND I was with others in support.