Struggling for years and things just seem to get worse all the time

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    Hi everyone,

    Like the heading says, I have been struggling for years. I don’t know what to do or where to start anymore because things just seem to get harder all the time. I don’t know how to be happy and I don’t know how to get motivated either. I never seem to have “wins” in my life anymore, and it makes me sad to feel like nothing will improve, because it doesn’t feel like it will. They say that you shouldn’t just focus on the bad things in your life, but I seem to have a lot of them, so it’s hard not to. There are two great things that I have in my life. I have two sons that I love very much but I worry that they will see how weak and powerless I feel at this point in my life.
    I’m going to break it down in point form what my life has been like the past 4 years.

    – My marriage ended 3 days after I turned 40 because of a cheating spouse.
    – For at least a year, I struggled to accept what happened, and went through a period of depression.
    – Because of the stress of dealing with a mean spirited ex in-law at work, I left a fairly well paying job I had for fifteen years.
    – Since then, I have had 3 different jobs in 18 months that don’t pay well enough, and jobs that I want to get, I can’t even get an interview for.
    – Without experience in other fields, I don’t know where to start to get into a different job. I’m tired of working in a warehouse environment.
    – Financially, I can’t keep up with my bills anymore. I am under stress from this all the time, and now I am getting a lot of car trouble bills too. Everything keeps compounding.
    – It has been 4 years since I have had a vacation.
    – I seem to be getting sick too often and it is causing me to miss work and losing pay that I need.
    – I have done some dating last summer, and it was nice to spend time with a woman again, but nothing progressed too far. I missed having someone in my life.
    – I have elderly parents, who at first I leaned on, but now have become overbearing and over step their bounds regularly. We live in small city, and I am clinging to hold on to my house, so I feel trapped.
    – Lost friendships that I thought were as important to them as they were to me.
    – Have felt very isolated and alone.
    – lost a lot of confidence and self esteem

    I’m just going to stop there. It is disheartening because I don’t want my life to look like this. Since my marriage ended, everything just seems to be going in a downward spiral. I feel helpless to change things. I have trouble getting motivated or excited about the future, and I hate that my kids might see that. They are 14 and 12 year old boys. I thought my life would be different than this right now. I don’t want them to not be able to dream about a good future because they see what my life is like. I use to be positive. I use to be motivated and have dreams for the future.

    I tried to be a good husband and I am a good dad. Ever since I was blindsided that day, 4 years ago, I am struggling to get back up again. I never chose this and it is frustrating that I am still dealing with the fallout 4 years later. I don’t know what to do anymore.


    Dear Ecotone:

    I don’t feel that I have a solution or solutions for you. A sidenote: I used to think that I had solutions for others… ha ha- a delusion of mine. I have one sentence that went through my mind spontaneously as I read your post- “… grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…” The first part of the Serenity Prayer. Accept the things i cannot change right now. Maybe later… but right now. Another idea that occured to me in connection to this: what is the fastest way to get out of a prison cell (metaphorically, if not a literal prison cell)? To stop wishing to get out. To stop wishing for a change… by fully accepting the way things are. Does any of this mean anything to you?

    Wishing you well:


    I can relate to somethings you’re experiencing and to what you’re feeling. You’re feeling stuck. And you created helplessness. But who created that you’re weak and powerless? You. You have enough power to create that you’re powerless (I know that sounds absurd and crazy but I don’t know a better way to put). The problem is that when we create such feelings and we believe that they’re true we protect this belief so we bend our perception of reality and of our life. If you bend your perception long enough you have the power also to change your reality. So advice such “don’t focus on bad things” don’t help and (sorry Anita) “stop wishing to get out” was even worst for me. Bad things are here, they are what they are. After long enough seeing that our life is bad, this becomes REAL. Bills are bills. Losing a car can be a big real problem, I lost mine.
    If I can create an image of everything that you’re saying, it feels like you’re in a big hole and you believe that there’s no way out. Everywhere you go you hit a wall. And you feel isolated there also. If you keep trying you’ll keep hitting a wall. Life is asking you to change your approach. Look up or dig down. Find the way! And the way is different than what you’re used to do. What you’re doing is clearly not working. Do something that you don’t know. Take risks. Learn something new. Life is calling you to grow. Get out of the hole! That’s not your life.
    And how to do it? First you need to change the belief that you’re weak and powerless. Can you frame this belief in an absurd way? Can you see the ridiculous side of it? If you can do that it will become difficult to keep believing it. And what are also the consequences of such belief? What did it do to you until now and what will it do to your life and to your family in the future?
    Second. What do you want? You just wrote things that you don’t want. What are the things that you want? Can you do a list as big as you did with things that you want? And go after them, one by one? If you want to share with us, I’d love to see it.
    You took 4 years or more building this belief and organizing your reality, so please have patience to come back. It will take some time to change your reality back.
    Finally what helped me a lot when things go bad is to breath. It’s like putting your head out of this hole, when you’ll be feeling down put your head up and grab air. Take the time and breath deeply for some minutes.
    An be grateful for every little thing that will come to help you come back, even if it is a drop of water, try to be grateful. It will bring your mind back to abundance.


    Very well spoken Jesuanreis!

    The only thing I can add is do something each day that is Stress free! Because sitting with stress like that on your head 24/7 will kill you by time your 45. Doesnt have to be some kind of big deal stress free event but just something that breaks the cycle of the 24/7 hating your situations and feeling weak. Take up weight lifting, build your mind strong. Take up boxing, hitting the bag to get anger going in a positive constructive way.

    “When things look bad, like they’re not gonna go your way….that’s when you get mean. I’m talkin’ plumb maddog mean. because if you lose your head and give up you neither win nor live. that’s just the way it is.”-Josey Wales

    Sometimes to get out of the hole you gotta get angry but not to hurt anyone. Use the anger to win back your life. This isnt the life for me and Im gonna take a stand.


    Thanks everyone,

    Everything that all of you are saying makes sense. Most of it is just good old common sense, that for some reason people forget, when things become overwhelming. I am trying to do the best I can with dealing with everything. I want things to improve and I have tried so many times to get to a better place. Sometimes, it is difficult to not have a defeatist attitude when you are pushed back down again and again when you are trying to get up. This isn’t the attitude I want. I always use to see a silver lining when things were tough before. Maybe because I had someone to lean on most of my adult life, it was easy to be that way. I’m not sure that I believe that because I was like that before I was with my ex too.

    Jesuanreis, I know I gave this situation power. I was in a place of weakness for so long that I am finding it difficult to come from another place. People will say you can chose, and I know you can, but for a year before my marriage ended and after, my self esteem took a massive beating. It has just been a long road back from it all.

    Since I first posted this, I have been spending a lot more time on my guitar. It has helped me focus on something else besides my problems. Also, I need to sleep more and get some more exercise. Thanks again everyone. I will just keep trying to change a little everyday.

    Oh yeah, good Clint Eastwood quote The Thinker. That was a great movie.


    Hey Ecotone… how did things turn out?

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