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Hopeless after graduating and depressed.

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  • #40089
    SV
    Participant

    I feel like a waste of space. I graduated early in December from a top university with great grades, but haven’t been employed since. I started falling into depression shortly before graduation. A bad break up, moving back home with my Mom to an area where you need a car and I don’t have one, with no friends, and other issues etc…I think just triggered off something terrible. I got a job fairly quickly after graduation, but had a mental breakdown literally the first day. Within two months after graduation I was in a psychiatric facility for a suicide attempt. This isn’t the first time this has happened either. I’ve been hospitalized for a suicide attempt and cutting when I was 16 – in fact, I was a high school drop-out because of it – so it’s just something I struggled with on and off.

    Getting back into school and excelling despite my fears was so difficult, but I was so proud of myself and thought everything was going to get better. Finishing early at the top of my class was one of the proudest moments of my life. I started having faith in myself after years of just wishing I was dead. Now I feel like I have gone back to square one, and am even worse now. I watch my friends get good jobs, travel, even marry, and I feel like all my dreams have gone. I barely see the point of life anymore; I live because I don’t want to hurt my Mom, but all my dreams, plans for grad school etc…everything seems hopeless. I don’t even feel the same passion for the dream I thought I was mine when I was younger. I just don’t believe in myself anymore. I don’t see the point in waking up everyday, never mind getting a job. I hate myself because I look so lazy probably to the world ,but I am not. I try to apply for jobs but it so hard to even focus. Some days I only have energy to apply for just two. And I’m not getting anything.

    When I do have days where I apply for loads and study for grad school exams, I inevitably end up breaking down, like today. I got calls for interviews this past week I felt too afraid to answer. I’ve been forcing myself to study and have been, but I am not as quick-thinking as I was in college. I struggle to focus and not to cry. I keep asking what’s the point? I don’t even know what I want anymore. I think I need to leave home as not having a car also makes have a life or getting a job hard (I have to rely on my unemployed widow Mom who hell I should be supporting financially now, not other way around, who has eye problems and can’t drive me very far because there is no public transport here)…but every time I try to make that work, something falls through, or I end up self-sabotaging.

    I worked hard in college so I could help my Mom, make a great life of service etc… I feel like such a waste of space and a burden. I don’t know what’s wrong with my head, and I’m getting so ashamed of myself. I’m cutting myself off from everybody. The shame makes me want to end everything. I just need some encouragement. I’ve lost hope. I barely recognize who I am anymore. I’m completely isolated from life. I haven’t hung out with people in ages.

    I think my self-esteem is further impacted by the fact my Mom and I have had a stressful relationship. It’s one of the reasons I ended up in psych ward when I was 16. I love her dearly, but she can be so draining and mentally abusive. And being dependent on her once more makes me once again that child. I hate who I have become, and I need support and help. I started seeing a cheap therapist intern, but she hasn’t been very helpful yet. I need to leave home, I just don’t know how. Everything is so overwhelming. The future seems black, and I hate living everyday with the only thing I look forward to being bedtime.

    • This topic was modified 7 years ago by SV.
    #40118
    SV
    Participant

    I guess just looking for advice and support =/

    #40121
    Christina
    Participant

    Hi SV,
    We have some things in common. I understand you feelings. I’m sorry. When I graduated the first time I thought: it’s done i will be happy. Not at all. I felt into depression, the the things you are describing you are living now. I decided then to come back in university for a master’s degree. One exam and I will be out again in the same old scheme. I understand you. For me, the only thing that works is doing things. It doesn’t matter what. Just do something. I don’t have any solution. I am still working on it too. But know that there is semeone, me, that understand you and I wish you the best.

    #40128
    Matt
    Participant

    SV,

    There is not a being on this world that is a waste of space. We are a family of sentient life, all exploring what it means to be alive and conscious. That being said, it is normal and usual to feel lost from time to time as we move from one state of being into another.

    When you were in the womb, it was comfortable (if a little cramped) but you were warm and cared for without ceasing. When you were in school, you were given rigid plans to follow, allowing for some preference but within a frame that was comfortable. Now you have left to womb, and the air is colder than before. You have left the school, and the limited options have expanded. On top of those dramatic changes, your mom suffers with mental afflictions which prevent her from helping you find inner warmth and stability.

    It is no wonder you feel sad and uncomfortable, fearful and alone. I’m sorry that the bleakness inspired you to do harm to yourself, as though feeling pain was at least feeling something, taking your feelings into your own hands. SV, dearest one, there is a better way to feel in control again, to feel a vibrancy of life that is not based on painfulness and self harm. I see in you a very passionate heart which has upon it a load of bricks. Such as the self criticism, your mom’s misguided and afflicted love, the fearfulness that you are not strong enough to find peace. These are normal, and the weight is of course heavy.

    You seem to think the weight is “you”, as though you are just a depressed person without noble qualities inside you. Without strength. This is not the case. You are stronger than you believe, and a being whose body wishes with every fiber to express and feel love. Its just that on top of that sits some rubble, which has accumulated since you were a wee one. Don’t despair, because there is always a path to joy, a path where we unload, unpack, step aside and overcome the weight. It only requires a little hope, and a willingness and courage to jump.

    The first thing that comes to heart as I relax and open to your words is that your body needs more energy. This can be done in a few ways. Are you eating fresh fruits and vegetables? Are you taking vitamins? Sometimes a lack of certain nutrients can throw our whole system out of whack and make everything seem like a mountain. Next, have you talked to a doctor since your hospitalization? There are times when the chemicals in our brain need help to maintain balance, and doctors can help. Because of the visits you had earlier, when you were forced, there might be some fear that opening up to a doctor isn’t safe. Many doctors are very loving, and could help you determine if anything can be done.

    Finally, one of my teachers blessed me with a secret to becoming joyful and buoyant. He told me that generosity is what produces joy, and that when we do generous actions, we become happy. He was very right. Consider looking for a local food bank or charity organization to help people who are even worse off than yourself. Consider being kind to your body with a bubble bath, or a nature walk, or speaking nice things to it. Where you took control by cutting in the past, perhaps the more awake you could take control now with kindness. Consider doing something spontaneously nice to your mother, who is so afflicted by her past that she lashes out at her sweet daughter. I can promise you that it takes an incredible amount of pain for a mother to lose sight of her love for her daughter.

    If you invest the hope you’re feeling now into some of those actions, there should be a great harvest of joy. However, it is like filling a bucket with water. It is good to have water pouring in through our generous activities, but it is also important to fix the holes in the bucket, or over time the joy leaks out. Said differently, as you increase the energy in your body, automatic and self-critical thoughts drain the energy.

    Those can be released by starting a meditation practice. Ajahn Jayasaro has a great meditation on YouTube called counting breaths. You could also search for any number of guided meditations. When we meditate, we develop concentration. The concentration allows us to step out of negative, afflicted thoughts. This like noticing where the bucket is leaking and moving the energy away from the hole.

    SV, there is a great and beautiful world here. I know that it seems dark and scary, but that is only the deep potential of the unknown. It is really just a blank canvas, and it is not the world itself which is scary… its the weight on your chest that changes a bright, blank page into a scary empty void. Once the weight is being approached directly, you’ll see just how brave your heart is and how the brush is in your hands. Namaste, my sweet suffering sister.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #40157
    Jaydee
    Participant

    I must be honest and say that it was very hard to read about what you are going through right now – hard because it reminded me of a time when I was going through something similar. It was a difficult time for me and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemies but I can tell you that it gets better. What matters right now is you. You are hurting and full of pain and you must go to yourself and provide comfort and solace however you know how. Only you can do this. If you could stop to examine your thoughts you might see how you are berating yourself for Not Being Enough. But I can assure you – you are enough. Even though you don’t believe that now you must learn to believe it because it is the truth and to believe otherwise is to regard yourself with contempt and hatred. There are ways you can do this and meditation is one of them. One form which may serve you best in this situation is metta meditation – that is, loving-kindness meditation. Consider finding a guided metta meditation online and picking up the book Lovingkindness by Sharon Salzberg. Metta meditation was regarded by the Buddha to be an antidote to fear, anger, and possibly the kind of suffering you are experiencing. You must learn to see the truth and that is that you are a wonderful, valuable human being. It breaks my heart to know that your current suffering blocks you from seeing that. If only you could see the truth! But do not despair – through effort you can accomplish this.

    You are in a lot of pain and it seems like you are feeling lot of pressure externally – you feel you must get a job and this is only increasing the stress to your system. Your situation with your mother also seems to have the potential to creating pressure and stress as well. Dear, you are stressed out – there is no space in your head to gain perspective on your situation. Consider pulling away from the things that are creating stress for you. Isolating yourself from healthy social supports is probably not a good idea. But pulling away from situations which cause you stress and produce thoughts of little self worth will be to your advantage. Despite the shame that you are feeling – do not believe its messages! Your shame tells you that you are worthless and that you are better off hiding yourself from the rest of the world. But you are not your shame! That shame belongs to the people or situations which caused you to believe those lies about yourself in the first place at a time when you were too young to defend yourself from them. But you are older and wiser now and though you may not feel it you do have the strength to do what is right for yourself. You are so important – your life has value – your life has meaning. You have the power of thought and that is enough to make you an invaluable asset to yourself and to the world.

    Consider this quote from the book Lovingkindness which I mentioned above:
    “When the Dalai Lama visited Insight Meditation Society in 1979, somebody asked him, ‘I am a beginning meditation student and I feel quite worthless as a person. What can you say about that?’ The Dalai Lama replied, “You should never think like that; that is completely wrong thinking. You have the power of thought, and therefore the power of mind, and that is all you need.’ He was recognizing that we all have the potential for enlightenment, and therfore we should not denigrate that capacity by saying we are worthless.”

    So even though your thoughts are working against you – they can be changed! And it seems like that is exactly what you need – not the right job, not the right external situation – but the right messages to send yourself. Don’t take my word for it – simply consider it – and try it if it makes sense to you. And even though you are sending yourself the “wrong” thoughts about yourself – don’t let that be yet another reason for condemning yourself. It is merely ignorance of your true nature and we all carry that ignorance – that ignorance is part of what it means to be human. The truth is that you are capable of so much – merely because you have the power of thought. Use that! You are valuable and beautiful. Anything else is lies and ignorance. To continue to send those messages to yourself is to tell yourself lies. Consider it.

    If doing something nice for your mother with whom you have a tumultuous relationship seems overwhelming – then please refrain! Don’t let this be another reason to beat yourself up. You already have enough on your plate! Perhaps if you were Saint Francis of Assisi then this might pose no problem. But being kind to a person who is abusive to us is not easy and in fact dangerous for us less-than-saintly ones. There is just too much opportunity to expose yourself to further abuse from yourself and your mother. I do not know the complete nature of your relationship but this may be something to consider.

    Please take care of the wonderful and valuable person that is you.

    -J.D.

    #59583
    Huda Syyed
    Participant

    I ended up here because I googled my feelings. Reading your post made me want to sign up here and also because it seems like a safe place to be with what I’m going through right now.

    I feel exactly how you do. I graduated woth a Masters degree, zero job, I worked part time telling kids tp sit in their place during damce class. Even for that I wasn’t paid enough and half the money went in taxi fare. I was almost close to being forced to marry a man last year after graduation, I feel like my self confidence jas suffered a lot after coming back home. I was studying abroad and belong to a slightly conservative culture. it has been hell for me, I cant count how many times I cry myself to sleep. And my relationship with my parents has suffered a lot too due to the past year happenings at home. I have virtually zero trust in people except a few friends I made in uni who live countries away from me . I go to sleep every moght thinking when this feeling will pass over.
    to make it worse I get paranoid as well and get paranoid if my parents make any sort of criticism regarding me being quiet or even if its something related to my appearance or dressing. It is so difficult, I know how you frel. Im letting you know that you arent alone. I got so depressed that the doc had the nerve to diagnose me with bipolar and to be honest it was probably situational depression I assume because things were really bad at home.
    Sigh
    Just hang in there. for yourself. for the hope that things will get better, they have to get better. that is the only way out. I hope ypu find strength because this is a difficult time. Lots of love

    #59798
    Warrior of Light
    Participant

    SV:

    I admire your courage to be vulnerable. It’s always painful to feel so exposed and vulnerable, and even more so to share our vulnerabilities with others. You are in a heart wrenching place and I want to honor that.

    It’s hard to find hope between a rock and a hard place, especially when one feels depressed, confused, and uncertain. I noticed a lot of shame hidden within your words. Shame is a difficult one to feeling to work with as (at least for me), shame holds some deeply rooted messages in my mind; most of which tell me I’m not _____ enough or I’m not worthy of love or success.

    It sounds like you need a lot of love, support, and a safe space to express your feelings; none of which it seems you are presently getting. Again I want to honor the fear and pain of your experience, and the courage it takes to express your vulnerability.

    Lots of love…

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