November 8, 2018 at 6:49 am #235959
I feel so lost at the moment and i am going to try and use the help and advice in this post to help me find a meaning and purpose to my life, i feel so lost and alone and it is pure torture, i had depression for 5 years and felt suicidal at times, wishing i was dead and the only thing stopping me from taking my own life was the love for my son (Liam, 23) whenever i had the thoughts of suicide i saw his face and him upset at the side of my Coffin, in October last year i decided i wasn’t going to let it win, i had counselling for the third time, i felt the other two times didn’t help or maybe i was just so determined to get the most out of this course of counselling that i asked the right questions and listened to what was said, it wasn’t a overnight cure but i started to feel better and although like everyone i have had a few days when i have felt low, i knew it was nothing like what i had experienced for those 5 years, i came off all medication and feel that i have dealt with my depression, only to be replaced by this feeling of emptiness, i cant motivate myself, i feel that i am just existing, joy and happiness is fleeting, i am happy when i see my son and granddaughter, but mostly i stay home and watch movies or box sets and try not to venture out in to the world, i feel i should be born in to another time or life cos i don’t fit in to this one, i feel lost and alone, unhappy and guilty that i am not doing more with this gift of life, but i am not happy with life, i know that sounds so selfish, there are young kids out there with terminal illness that would love the chance to live a happy life and here is me at 49 years of age wanting to throw mine away or not use it to the best of my ability, as i write this the tears stream down my face, i am truly lost and confused, i have no motivation i have to drag myself out to go to the shop for essentials or to work, i only work 2 days a week as a support worker with a guy called Sam who is a good lad and has cerebral palsy but has good movement, i take him to power wheelchair football every thursday and one other day we go to the cinema or out for something to eat which i find difficult sometimes as i also suffer with anxiety and social anxiety, so it is hard when we are in crowded places, deep down i feel i have a purpose in life, i want to help others and i want to enjoy life but i feel empty and numb inside and feel like i am just waking up and starting the cycle over again day after day. I have a beautiful granddaughter and i want to be there for my son and my granddaughter for a long time to come,
thanks for reading,
I wish you all peace and love on your journey,
Paul,November 8, 2018 at 12:08 pm #236051
I would like to read and respond to your thread when I am back to the computer, in about sixteen hours from now. I hope other members will respond to you before I am back.
anitaNovember 8, 2018 at 4:58 pm #236075
Thank You anitaNovember 8, 2018 at 9:29 pm #236109
I know exactly where you are. I am in an almost identical place, but for different reasons.
I can tell you with no uncertainty the following:
You are still depressed. Ending medication is never a great idea unless told so by your doctor. And counseling is not a one and done thing for those of us suffering from depression. It is work. It is painful. It seems to me that you have sort of switched off your emotions in an effort to assure yourself that you are no longer depressed. This is what I did for a long time. But there are a few problems with that. First of all, the negative emotions you are burying, and that IS all you are doing to them right now, will come back. And they will be POWERFUL because you have allowed them to fester like a wound. I am talking anger, depression, rage, sadness. They’re all still there, you’re just ignoring them. Second, is that you cannot just pick and choose which emotions to “turn off”. You either turn them all off, or none. This is likely why you feel empty. That joy and happiness are fleeting. Because every so often, something will happen and in the immediacy of the action, you feel those emotions, but since you have switched them off, they flutter away just as fast. Same thing with sadness and rage and the like. In the immediate moment of such feelings, it’s there. But it dissipates quickly.
So I would suggest a few things.
1. Get back on some sort of medication. If the medication you were taking had some undesired side effect or didn’t make you feel right, tell your doctor. This is the crappy part about psych meds. They are very hit an miss. Many solutions are “off label”, meaning that you end up taking adderall for something that has nothing to do with ADD because of how it interacts with certain chemicals in the brain. Basically, the medicine meant directly to take care of X might also help with Y, so it takes awhile to find the right ones.
2. Get back to counseling. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing, or even weekly. Maybe go twice a month. Having someone you can talk to with no judgments and who won’t blab to everyone is invaluable. Think of it like a pressure release valve on a water heater. When you use the hot water, steam starts to fill the empty portions of the tank, even with the new water going in. Without that valve, the water heater would explode every time you took a shower.
3. This one is probably going to suck at first, because you remind me of me, but……
Get out there. Go walk around a park. Be out and about in public. Don’t pick some out of the way park where no one goes to. Pick the one that is busy all times of the day. Interact with other human beings. It is fostering even these chance encounters that “kick starts” all those emotions again. And for a few days, you will feel like crap. Because all of those negative emotions you have been ignoring are gonna come soaring back in. But that too shall pass. I wish the same could be said about all of the positive feelings you ignored, but alas, those are gone forever. Not to fret, you will make new ones. And that is what makes life worth living, my friend. Stay strong. Chin up. I believe in you, because I believe in me.
That is also pretty important. Believe in yourself.November 9, 2018 at 5:02 am #236135
Thank you for your advice and i will take it on board, i agree with some of it and yes i have often wondered am i still depressed, when i was on medication i didn’t feel it was doing anything although it must have been because when i came off one to go on to another i felt so much worse, and now i have been off medication over a year the darkness has lifted but has been replaced by the emptiness, but i don’t feel depressed anymore i just feel like i have no direction, no motivation, no goal, no ambition, no will to live (but not because i am in a dark place like depression) but because if i cant get myself to move forward i will be stuck in this place forever and that would be just as torturous, and i feel more emotional too, i’m 49, 6ft, 20 st, ex bodybuilder and boxer, I look like a bull dog chewing a wasp but when i watch a movie with a sad part or a happy ending i’m sitting there crying or when i think of my son and granddaughter i get emotional, i don’t feel like a man anymore i feel like a whipped pup and for someone with my background it’s crushing me, i do see your point John that i could still be depressed and instead of being in that dark place that terrified me for 5 yrs i have replaced it with another place of emptiness it is a very good point and i have thought about it but dismissed it maybe because i was so relieved i had got through my dark depression that i didn’t want to use that word depression again, but i also don’t want to go back to the medication either, I am taking amitriptyline 25 mg at night for the past 8 weeks for sciatica pain, maybe that is helping the depression a bit but i don’t want to be going back to maximum dose of citilapram or sertraline, since looking on tiny Buddha i have seen a few posts and some great advice and suggestions, i know deep down i must drag my arse out of the chair, i need to lose weight due to putting it on during my depression, i used to draw and write, i enjoyed fixing things, i used to love walking, being a ex bodybuilder i loved the gym although i have no desire to go back to such excessive training plans, i used to love swimming, i want to learn how to airbrush and maybe airbrushing motorbike tanks, i have lots of ideas but i just don’t have the will or the motivation and i’m far from a lazy person, i may have become one due to the depression but in the past i have been a builder, painter decorator and taxi driver, i think i am still in that vicious circle but it has become a bit brighter now and i need to find a way of braking that cycle, your words have helped me realize that i still need some help, maybe i am trying to move forward to quickly but also that makes me feel a bit sad because i thought i may be near the end of it, maybe some of you have some suggestions on moving forward, i will look on here now at moving forward posts,
peace and love to you all
PaulNovember 9, 2018 at 7:25 am #236163
I want to repeat your share in my own words as it helps me process information when I do that:
You used to be a bodybuilder and a boxer, a painter decorator and a taxi driver. You are 49, have a 23 year old son and a granddaughter. You have some history of “anxiety and social anxiety”. When you were about 43 you became very depressed, you got on psychiatric medication, gained weight, and your depression lasted five years until Oct 2017 you attended counselling (third time). You felt better and came off all medication. “The darkness has lifted”, but you feel empty, unmotivated, “just existing, joy and happiness is fleeting”, “lost and alone, unhappy and guilty.. selfish… lost and confused…. empty and numb inside and feel like I am just waking up and starting the cycle over again day after day”. You stay home a lot and work two days a week. You don’t want to be stuck in this emptiness for the rest of your life, that feels like torture.
My input: the hopes and dreams of youth, these keep us motivated, no matter how difficult life is, how anxious and miserable we may be, we still have hope, we view the future as open for a different kind of life. We see possibility there. You were a body builder, had dreams related to that, I assume. Then you got older and that dream ended.
You had other dreams, now they don’t look possible to make happen.
So you are stuck in the emptiness left when the dreams are gone. No dreams, no hope for a different kind of life. The solution is not in resurrecting the same dreams, that is, getting your body back to the shape it was before, and it is not in resurrecting the other dreams. The solution is in restarting your life at 49, a different attitude, different understanding of what your life is about.
Your life is your restarting point, your new beginning. This time there are no dreams of future greatness to deliver you from accepting your life as-is. Your life as-is, this is all that is available for you.
First step, I would say, is to relax into your life as-is. It is possible for you to feel much better about your life as it is now, if you correct your thinking.
Let me know of what you think so far about what I wrote, and we can continue to communicate, if you’d like.
anitaNovember 9, 2018 at 8:12 am #236171
help me find a meaning and purpose to my life
Which come first the chicken or the egg, the fever or the cold, the depression or search for meaning?
It kind of ironic however its possible that it is the search for meaning and purpose is feeding into your depression instead of engaging you to life
The issue with meaning and purpose is that people think they know what they want when they use those words. The problem is that the search itself can be the very thing keeping us from experiencing the very thing we are searching for.
Meaning and Purpose do not exist in the natural world. Not in the way that we tend to think about those words. A flowers purpose and meaning be a flower. Growing is not the meaning or purpose, being is, the flower itself, as it is, is purpose and meaning. In becoming the flower gives meaning to Life, Life does not give meaning to the flower. And that is a big difference of perspective.
You, as you are, all your struggles and accomplishments give Life meaning and purpose. You are meaning and purpose. All that you do and are is done with purpose and meaning even taking out the garbage.
Reading your post, I don’t think the search of meaning and purpose is troubling you as much as being lonely and in a kind of rut. The experience of meaning and purpose are often tied to the experience of being in relation to others. When we are witnessed by others it is more likely (easier) that we can accept ourselves as meaning and purpose.
My Advice for what its worth, is to let go of your “search” for meaning and instead engage in Life as it presents it self to you. Opportunities to engage with others will present themselves to you. Say YesNovember 9, 2018 at 8:35 am #236175
thank you for your reply,
I agree with some or most of what you have said, and i do believe i am starting a new chapter in my life, i started bodybuilding when i was 17 and enjoyed 10 years of it until i was 27, around the same time my son was born so didn’t have as much time, i didn’t do bodybuilding for competitions or fame etc i started lifting weights at 14 to get bigger and stronger because i was bullied at school, i was always a shy person i suffered anxiety from a very early age in school when i was about 9 or 10 i hated the crowded class rooms and i used to sneak out of school all the time and go to the local park nearby or railway tracks, followed by a search party from the family once the school had notified them of my escape, i went to the local boxing club to keep in shape after stopping the bodybuilding, when i left school in 1986 i started working as a Y.T.S (youth training scheme) as a painter and decorator i did that for two years and then got a job as a painter and decorator i did that up to about 1995, i wanted a change so me and a friend started fencing and landscaping, my friend took ill around 2004 and i could have found someone else to take his place but i decided to become a taxi driver which i did up to 2013, I also have twin daughters to my second relationship, (not my son’s mother who was my first relationship) who are 18 in December this year, when they were born in 2000 and i was with their mum till they were 18 months old but she had PND (post natal depression) and the relationship went down hill from then, she stopped me seeing my daughters and for 10 years i battled through the courts to see my girls but we weren’t very close due to the lack of contact and not bonding at an early age, so i stopped fighting for them, i had had enough, they were 12 and they knew who i was so i decided to wait till they were old enough to decide for themselves, a year later their mum allowed them to get in touch and i started seeing them again, but their mum had lost control of them and they were hanging around with the wrong sorts and getting in to trouble, i think she needed a stronger person in their life so that’s why she let them contact me, i punished them when they were naughty by taking their phones and laptops etc away from them and it worked, they started to behave and were rewarded with meals out etc for doing well in school and staying out of trouble, i think the mum got jealous of this and what happened next tore my life apart and caused the depression i talk about, i wont go in to detail as it is still too painful and i have spoke about it to my counselors and doctor and numerous organisations like mind and the Samaritans, i firmly believe the mother set out to ruin my life and used one of the girls as a weapon against me, but it didn’t work and i reported her to the police and social services and she nearly had the girls taken off her, my son refuses to talk to his sisters and he says he will never forgive them, i tried to tell him it wasn’t their fault it was the mother but he wont entertain it, as you can imagine i was destroyed and my life lay in tatters on the floor and it has taken me 5 yrs to deal with it and process it and come to terms with what happened, i stopped talking to the girls after that and although it was only one of them the other one did not back me up when she knew the truth, and i have since spoke to her and she said it was out of fear of going against her mum and she had to live with her mum and sister afterwards, i have tried to have contact with her by going out for meals and talking and texting on the phone but the love is just not there, i feel on edge and feel like she only texts or calls when she needs something and doesn’t bother when she is doing other stuff but i suppose that’s the way it is as they get older and have their own life and we haven’t spoke or text since the end of august,
so that brings me to now… trying to sort out my life and restart or begin a new chapter, and as i say, I am Lost…
peace and love
PaulNovember 9, 2018 at 8:46 am #236179
Thank you for you input i will take it on board and i will read the post you have mentioned
PaulNovember 9, 2018 at 10:50 am #236209
You went into body building so to be able to protect yourself against the bullying you suffered from in school, so to get physically strong and capable. Unfortunately, reads like you were bullied by the mother of your twin daughters, a different kind of bullying. You lost precious bonding time with them and the final blow, the one you didn’t detail, that brought about the five year depression. You turned to the courts, social services, the police, you did your best but you lost the battle, lost the girls, at this point.
I think that I have a deeper understanding of your sadness. It is more difficult to accept such a loss, isn’t it. And it was traumatic for you to be mistreated that way by the mother of your girls, what a shame. Why was or is she so angry at you, so hateful?
anitaNovember 9, 2018 at 11:34 am #236213
I think because i left her when the girls were so young, i never deserted them i told her i was there for her and the girls and would support them in every way i just didn’t want to be with her anymore because she was making my life a misery and we weren’t getting along anymore, i fell out of love with her i suppose but also it was because she was pushing me away, to be honest now i think about it again, she was like that from the beginning, how we ever lasted two years before the girls were born ill never know, i think the added pressure that was brought on by having two young babies and the fact she wasn’t letting me in and help her and i still had to go to work, i suppose we both had to deal with this but it was in her best interest to allow me to help rather than push me away so i don’t feel guilty about leaving i gave her all the opportunities to accept the help i was offering but still she threw it in my face and chose to bring up the girls without me and shut me out completely and stop me seeing my girls, then i had to go to the courts to get contact and they were useless they nearly always favor the mother or the person the children live with, they granted me access but a few weeks after the contact began she would stop contact and use some excuse that was related to my size and say i was aggressive or one time one of them crawled in to a table leg and bumped her head, my mum witnessed this and when i took them home she said to my face “well accidents happen” and then the next day got on to her solicitors to stop contact my mum wrote a letter explaining what had happened to my solicitor who forwarded it on to her side but they weren’t interested, and that went on for 10 years so in the end i was exhausted with it all it was very painful, emotional and mentally draining.November 9, 2018 at 1:05 pm #236225
Too bad, what a shame. Reads like she was driven by anger, driven to cause you pain. Having two girls with you gave her that opportunity. I can see how this led you into deep depression. I am impressed you tried as hard and as long as you did, with the courts and otherwise, to improve this situation.
Back to the concept of starting anew, from the beginning, or in your words, “a new chapter” in your life, a chapter that makes sense, a meaningful chapter, a meaningful life, can you write the beginning of this chapter, in your next post perhaps, list objectives for this coming chapter, list a few things you learned in the previous chapters so to make this chapter better?
I will soon be away from the computer for about fifteen hours. If you reply further I will be glad to read and reply when I am back.
anitaNovember 10, 2018 at 3:34 am #236263
That is where i become Lost…
I have had many thoughts over the past months of what i wish to do with my life and moving forward but i just cant seem to motivate myself or something is stopping me, the voice in your head saying “you cant do that” “don’t be daft you will make a fool of yourself” “it’s not worth even starting cos you will give up in a few weeks” I am stuck in a rut and cant seem to get out, I have told myself it’s all in my head and just start and the rest will follow, I suppose i need to make a plan of action, I would like to help others and i am really interested in life coaching, i watched a documentary on Netflix called “I am not your guru” with Tony Robbins, and it was very good, It really moved me, and the same here at Tiny Buddha some of the quotes and inspirations really make sense and i suppose life coaching is just wisdom, life experience, and i feel this is the path i wish to take,
Lessons learned from previous chapters of my life are so many and i cant change my past, i am watching a series at the moment called Vikings and Ragnar Lothbrok say’s to his two son’s “Don’t waste your time looking back your not going that way, it brought tears to my eyes and i realized i have been dwelling on the past so much i have stopped moving forward and i want to and need to change that or the rest of my life is going to be shorter and empty
peace and love
November 10, 2018 at 6:44 am #236277
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by paul.
You are thinking about becoming a life coach. I suggest that you can start this job, this occupation right away by having you as your first client. The thoughts that are stopping you, that inner critic’s input, every person has that inner critic. Your coaching of others will have to include dealing with that voice.
I would say regarding your idea of making a plan of action, start small, make a simple, short plan of action for today, something doable. This will not stimulate that inner critic into a frenzy of discouraging messages, so you will have less friction accomplishing the few doable objectives in that daily plan. At the end of the day, having accomplished those few objectives, you will have a little bit of confidence to repeat the next day, another simple, doable daily plan. Over time, you will aim at bigger objectives.
anitaNovember 11, 2018 at 3:37 am #236341
good advice, thanks to everyone who has took the time to listen and respond, i will take it on board and hopefully find myself
peace and love to you all