New Buddhist, looking for support.

HomeForumsTough TimesNew Buddhist, looking for support.

New Reply
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
  • #87844

    I am going through a really rough time lately, and decided to pick up Buddhism. My mother has exposed it to me offand on as a child, but I never really did much with it.

    What are some simple first steps I can take to find this peace I hear Buddhism can bring?
    I work up to 28 hours a week, when I am not at work I am at home caring for my son, or at my mothers house studying, or hanging out with my son when I bring him over to her house.

    I struggle with anxiety, depression, and have adult ADHD. I feel like everything I touch either explodes or falls apart, and I don’t know how to explain it to people anymore, or to myself. I have become very non-mindful with my actions, subconsciously I guess, and I am having trouble remaining mindful. I feel like I have regressed a lot, mentally, and am having trouble functioning as a person. I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be around other people without destroying relationships, and I need to do something about it, now! I can’t keep going down this path, I need to find something to get my life in gear before it’s too late.

    Any advice would be lovely, thank you!


    Dear amaranth:

    You wrote that your mother exposed Buddhism to you when you were a child.

    What about Buddhism did she expose to you?

    What is your understanding of the origin and development of your anxiety, depression and adult ADHD?

    More insight, is my advice, hence the questions I ask.


    Dear Amaranth:

    We are here as a community to support you. Thanks for sharing your story.

    I would start with taking a moment to breathe….the very essence of Buddhism is to live in the present moment. Pause and breathe. Enjoy your breath…it sounds like you are carrying a lot of responsibilities both working and taking care of your son…if we allow just a few minutes for ourselves to clear our mind & center our body back to our breath…we feel calm & stable…we feel alive again.

    Putting the negative aside for the moment, can you share with us a moment in life where you experienced happiness? What was it like? What things do you like doing that makes you joyful? It could be as simple as perhaps watching your son smile or cooking a nice meal for your family…sometimes, we need to re-focus back on the simple things in life. If we are too caught up in the negative, we can easily spiral down and miss the small moments. Once you feel centered again, then you can reflect upon the past while staying grounded in the present.

    I wish you the best of luck! Please feel free to share more of your experiences.

    With a smile & lotus flower,


    My older brother has ADHD and has trouble focussing on tasks to see out their completion. it has affected his employment. He said he tried meditation but couldn’t concentrate so quit. Buddhism and meditation aren’t the answer for everyone.


    What about Buddhism did she expose to you? It’s been a while, but she basically taught me about mindfulness and meditation, and breathing exercises… really didn’t delve much further than that as far as I can remember.

    What is your understanding of the origin and development of your anxiety, depression and adult ADHD? My anxiety and depression have really taken off since moving out of my parents’ house. At this point it is not really a viable option for my little family to move back with them. About 2 years ago, we moved from my fiancée’s mother’s house, to a 5th Wheel Travel Trailer, sitting next to their house (because we can’t afford to live off their property right now). At first it was just a relief to be out of there and have some space, but as we have a toddler now, and two dogs one weighing 100 lbs the other weighing about 60. It is a small space as you can imagine – aprox. 26 feet long, and maybe 10 or 12 feet wide at its widest? With all of our stuff in there, as well, it makes it very hard not to bump get on each others’ nerves.

    We have been trying and trying to get into our own place – but every time there is hope we seem to have it yanked out from underneath us. It has really taken a toll on us, honestly… and it has gotten real old, real fast, about 10 times ago. It has been literally every time we have some glint of hope… I try to stay positive, and I try to keep thinking that there is something out there that is going to work but it just keeps not working out.

    As my son grows things get more complicated and less and less suitable for living in a trailer. I have been feeling this ever growing sense of urgency every since my son started walking more and being more active. Something has to change in our living situation and soon, or it will become a hell of a lot more intense (in a potentially bad way).

    The ADHD has been a thing since I was a kid – not really much to say there.

    – Thank you for your support! I do think the taking a moment to breath and center myself will help.

    Any time my son does something, is a happy moment for me. His smile lights up the room, he is sweet as can be…
    I love to draw, and I love animals. Those things make me happy. I wish my life was simple again and I could just focus on those things, as well as my son obviously.

    I have a lot of difficulty feeling positive, because any time I feel positive about a situation it tends to go wrong. My fiancée feel like we have been cursed. Everything goes wrong. We have been trying so, so hard to get to a better place for over 2 years now. It is driving us insane. I don’t know how to cope or what to do. We need space, we need a house, we need support. But everyone around us seems to either “not be able to help” or put all sorts of impossible conditions to meet, or people are just greedy.


    Thank you all for your responses and support, it is what I need right now.


    Dear amaranth:

    I read attentively what you wrote, original post and response a short while ago. Need to know about the nature of the “curse” as your boyfriend puts it. The nature of the “impossible conditions to meet” that other people place in front of you and him- is it as simple as rent being so high that what you and your boyfriend (?) make being employed can’t cover? More???



    @Anita – We feel cursed because of how often things go wrong for us.
    The specific people we are trying to get help from (which keep saying they will, but have mostly just been helping us stay where we are, honestly… which helps, but isn’t the direction we are looking for.) want us to jump through hoops to get their help, we are more than willing to put a fire under cleaning our stuff out and moving once there is solid proof that is actually happening. We still try to make progress, even without the “hope”. The conditions of their help seem to always change, or grow, or become impossible. It would be impossible to detail it here.

    I am also ashamed to say sometimes my anxiety gets to a point where I am compelled to force myself to vomit, and not for any stupid self image reasons. I just feel some sort of anxiety relief afterwards, and sometimes when the anxiety levels just get too high, it seems like the only option other than having a mental break down. I do not do it every day, but there have been weeks where I have done it almost daily. There have also been months and months where I do not do it at all. It just feels shameful every time, I feel like some stupid teenager looking for attention but I’m really not. I guess the only reason I really do it, ever, is for the brief anxiety relief. Sometimes it even breaks a cycle of anxiety and allows me to at least move on for a short period of time.

    Yeah, we cannot cover rent in our area, at all. We are trying to scrape enough together to at least buy a place, and have rent for a few months for me to get a job, or hopefully be doing Medical Transcription by then (something I am studying, and it is a work from home job). My boyfriend / fiancée is disabled in a way that makes him unable to work right now, so he is largely a stay at home daddy, which is nice so we don’t need to pay a sitter or anything like that. It is difficult though, living off of one income. Long story short, I support him and understand his situation, so I try to make ends meet the best I can.

    We were never really taught “how to be an adult” and have social anxiety and other social handicaps as well which have made our lives more difficult as you would imagine.


    Dear amaranth;

    I wish I could write something to ELIMINATE the shame you have about throwing up. Throwing up is a way to reduce your anxiety and when not having a better way, it is the only way available to you to eliminate anxiety, however temporarily. Why feel shame for taking care of yourself the best you can at the moment?

    Of course, inducing vomiting can hurt you physically and other ways should be tried that are not physically abusive. In any case, shame is not required. Buddhist techniques such as meditation and mindfulness sure beat vomiting. But no shame, please.

    There are practical issues in your situation- if you had a big enough house you lived in right now, with plenty of space for the dogs and a whole room for your son and a yard area or recreational area for yourself, can you imagine how it would feel to you? I mean asking you: how would it feel, can you write about such a house and how you would take advantage of it? Daydream about it and write about it?

    Curious about the last two lines, not having been taught about how to be an adult, can you write more about it?

    I am going for a long walk now and hope to find a response from you. It is a learning opportunity for me and I do so hope it can be of some help to you. This is why I am asking the questions and suggesting the daydreaming above!



    @anita: We always dream of a house on a few acres, surrounded by woods and land and few people. We want to eventually be self sustaining, growing our own fruits and veggies, and hunting / growing our own meat. I would have my own office for work and art, and general use, my fiancée would have his man cave, my son would have the best bedroom, we’d have a nice kitchen that I could finally feel comfortable cooking in, and a nice big fridge/freezer, and another bigger freezer for stocking up for the winter and stuff like that. We want to be off grid as possible – it just seems to be the only answer for us to work as people. We shouldn’t have to conform to what people want us to be, and instead be able to work with what we have and grow from there.

    We both feel like we were never prepared for “the real world” of being an adult. Our anxiety makes it difficult to learn on our own, and also detracts from confidence levels.

    He grew up in a really bad situation, didn’t really have proper parents, and wasn’t really prepared for functioning as an adult either. My parents just kind of let me do my thing and did not really try. I wish they had been a little more strict with me, and made sure I learned the skill sets needed for adult life.

    I’m not sure how else to explain it, I just feel like a kid in adult shoes.

    I feel like I have forgotten how to learn, too, my brain just overloads with anxiety and i can’t think. I sometimes feel like Dori from finding nemo, the way she forgets things every 3 seconds or whatever. I cant seem to hold on to information purposely. I end up offending people in conversation cus I can’t remember things they just said.


    Dear amaranth:

    Am I getting it correctly as I write the following (let me know): Life seems overwhelming to you. You feel that it is too much for you to handle, that you don’t have the skills, what it takes to make things right, to get what you need. Especially when you are not all there is in your life to take care of: there is a toddler .. and two dogs and a husband on disability.

    And you live in a small trailer that would make anyone tense, no matter how skillful. And you live on the land of his parents whom he is not in a good relationship with, parents that did him great disservice as a child and teenager.

    And there is not enough money.

    This anxiety you are experiencing is a result of all these difficulties AND it makes solving problems and creating better life circumstances very difficult. It is a result of the problems and a cause keeping the problems growing and unresolved.

    WHAT TO DO???

    Everything in your power to reduce that anxiety in ways that don’t hurt you. Lower your expectations for yourself to the bare minimum. Congratulate you for being able to do the little that you can, good job, pat yourself on the back. Whatever you are doing that is positive is a LOT in comparison to giving up all together and disintegrating.

    Part of you is that child, scared, overwhelmed and alone. This feeling like a child in an adult body, without help and guidance. You need another part of you that already exists but needs to be stronger- that is the adult in you. The adult part of you needs to grow stronger and more confident so that the child in you will feel she is not alone, that she can trust on the other part of you.

    You do so by taking little steps and congratulating yourself for every single little step. Don’t look at the big picture but the little one step in front of you and do it well. This is Mindfulness- focusing all your attention on every little thing you do- nothing is too small to overlook. Just like you would with a child, just like you hopefully do with your own toddler:

    You didn’t expect your own son to walk immediately when he was born and when he started walking you probably congratulated him. And you encouraged him when he fell, not expecting him to get it perfectly- exercising gentleness and patience with him. Same you should practice with yourself: gentleness and patience and empathy.

    All of this is of course, easier said than done. But then is there anything at all that is not easier said than done?

    Practice it, this gentleness, empathy, patience with yourself in every step you take. CHOOSE the smallest things instead of automatically reacting. Practice this, it will take time to built a strong practice but it will pay off.

    Focus on the small stuff and eventually, over time, you will have that house you dream about. When you are mindful of every step you take now, every choice you make, you are NOW working for that house you dream about.



    * The “curse,” the misfortune is that once you are an adult, no matter how much abuse and injustice you experienced as a child, no matter how unfair life has been for you, and it has been for me, no matter how crippled you are when you enter adulthood, as I have been, there is no one to help you. People die every day, un-helped. People drown in drugs and homelessness and disease and dysfunctions of all kind, every day, all over the world, and there is no help. And when people are lucky enough to get some help, often it is not… enough.

    There is no way to avoid the unavoidable: YOU are the only one you can turn to for help.

    No matter how anxious you are, how weak, how inexperienced, no matter how much you suffer, there is NO ONE out there that will say: “amaranth has suffered ENOUGH. Okay, I am satisfied, she suffered enough. amaranth has suffered so much, it is her time to be given a break.”

    No, this is not the way it is. It is YOU. Take control over yourself and wisely, with patience, gentleness and empathy and with the understanding that the help you are looking for will not happen and if so, it will not be enough.

    There is no one that can help you, really, but you.



    Dear Amaranth:

    First, I feel that you haven’t given yourself enough credit! You mention that there is a “curse” following you. I actually am thinking it is quite the opposite! You alone have been supporting your entire family on your own income…that includes your fiancé, son & 2 dogs…one person supporting 4…adding anxiety & ADHD on top of that…that is a HUGE accomplishment itself! See how far you have come along…that is a “miracle” to me already!

    Second, you mention about living on large land with surrounded by woods and few people….do you know any friends, neighbours or anyone out there that have the same vision? Maybe you guys can chip in together to find a place. Or maybe you can inquire into joining one of these “off-the-grid” communities & help pay the “bills” by doing communal chores.

    I don’t know which country you are from but here are a few examples of these communities:
    United States: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/stories/off-the-grid-communities-5-places-carving-a-sustainable-path
    Canada: http://www.voicefromthebush.com/
    England: http://naturalhomes.org/tinkersbubble.htm

    Lastly, as Anita already mentioned…take little steps in life. Go for a short walk, enjoy the artwork your son draws, admire the trees and grass that are surrounding you. Some people in other parts of the world may not be so lucky…there are children around the world dying everyday from malaria, lack of clean water, war etc…many things that we take for granted. You can start counting the things that you have instead of the things that you don’t have….give thanks for 5 things everyday…a shift can slowly help…

    Here’s a guided relaxation meditation youtube video you can follow…it is best to listen with earphones so you can zone out…

    Good luck!!

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.