Support system wearing out

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    I am losing perspective and could use some advice.

    Over the last four years I have been laid off, unemployed long term, my eldest son graduated and left for college, had a large but benign tumor and a hysterectomy, my husband ambushed me with the news he might no longer want to be married the same month, found out I had an un-diagnosed heart condition and underwent a procedure to implant a heart monitor and now one of my dearest friends has without warning pushed me away.

    Over the last five years I have also, taken up hiking, volunteered for a dog rescue group, watched my nephew full-time for free so my sister could start a business, taken care of my home and my family, found a new job one year ago, I have already got a raise, I am going back to school, I have been studying meditation and mindfulness and have worked my ass off to try to get back on my feet.

    My husband’s main complaint was that he feels that I am a negative person. I feel that I was overwhelmed with negative circumstances and that I am an external processor. I like to talk things out. I do have a good friend that I go to most of the time, but I am guilty of letting that spill out to him. I don’t think this reflects my personality as a whole or that I am a big Debbie Downer. I think I have had a rough time and it is apparent to those who know me well. I am not a drain, I am exhausted.

    Now one of my friends has distanced herself to me because she said I often talk about what is bothering me and she just can’t deal with it. Now, I understand that, but I know way too much of her dirty laundry to be the sole contributor here. She has never mentioned this to me before, I would be completely on board with making a conscious choice together to limit the negative and focus on the positive. She did not give me that opportunity, she just cut me off via text.

    My husband and I are working through our marriage issues. All in all, we have made great progress, but those things don’t just go away over night. I had no idea he was unhappy until he was ready to walk out the door. (He is obviously not an external processor) I am worried every day that he will just leave.

    I am trying, but not very successfully, to avoid the victim mentality here. My husband and my friend have had stable jobs, good health, and are doing well. They think it is hard to be around me. It probably is. It is harder being me. The thing is, this does not make up the whole of me. I am trying not to let it control my life, I have not given in, I am working every day to find balance and to get stronger. I give out love and light every day. I have a lot more to give. This too shall pass.

    I am trying to learn what I need to from this situation. I have recently gone on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds for the first time in my life, because I feel that I am being abandoned and I am exhausted. I am exhausting my people and myself. If I were stronger and could have handled these events better, maybe I would not be driving people away? If I were not so easily overwhelmed?

    I would like to think that if the tables were turned that I would not give up on them.


    Well then, there’s one person who’s not going to give up on you. You.

    This sucks, man. I wish I had more to say, or some sort of advice, but I honestly don’t think there’s anything you could do other than what you already describe. Meds, if you feel that’s helpful, not letting it control your life, not giving in, working to get stronger, giving out love and light. Let hope and patience overcome you, just when you think you’ve run out.

    And that will get you through. And who knows who you may be travelling with when you reach the next leg of your journey. I hope they will be good people. All good things to you.


    Sending you hugs and empathy! xo


    Hi Kay,

    Sadly, your husband ambushing you can be very typical of guys about to walk out the door. Your female friend, not so much without some clue.

    I liken them to prey animals. Prey animals (rabbits, mice, deer) always seem healthy. Always seem vibrant. Always seem on. Until they’re literally dead. They have to give the APPEARANCE of everything being OK just to survive. They don’t want to be picked out as being weak from predators. Some people are like that. In the distant past, if they complained, life would get very difficult. So they put on a happy face and don’t talk about it. Until the end.

    Now, just because it’s out of the blue for you, doesn’t mean it was for them. They’ve probably been thinking about this for months and years.

    I hate to say it, but take a page out of their book. Don’t SAY anything negative now. If you have to, get a journal and write the hell out of it. Don’t be an external processor around them. They can’t handle it anymore.

    And for the female friend, and I say this from experience, don’t talk about what went wrong in the friendship. That is a sure fire way to kill it. If/when you see her now, everything’s “Great!” Maybe one day you can have deep talks and kvetch about the world. But it sounds like she is saturated.

    I’m sorry. Think of this as a crash course on how to be positive.


    Rhonda M.

    Hi friend! I read your post and actually registered with this site just to tell you, “I feel your pain!” I have been sick with a chronic illness for a long time now. I had to give up my nursing career and am fairly isolated now. Went through a nasty divorce from an abusive man nearly twenty ago and raised two lovely children through periods of major depression on and off. Everyone has pulled away. Maybe they didn’t think I’d really notice, but I do! My husband is not leaving, but neither is he terrible interested in being a part of what goes on in my life. My dearest friend, my lifelong bestie, also has pulled away. I make overtures, but it’s very hard to actively engage in any friendship now, and I understand I failed on my end because of circumstance. I miss her and love her dearly. It hurts. I need her. The very wonderful thing is we can go many months without talking, and if I don’t try to explain myself or inquire what has gone wrong with us (I tried that), it’s all good. Good enough, anyway. I know I am not especially positive these days because of my illness and depression. I need to talk about everything to process it, just like you. Because there was no other choice, I turned to online support groups and forums, and thankfully, I have a wonderful, long-suffering dad who wants to hear about everything. I think the other are right. I needed to hear what they had to say, too. I just want you to know I really understand. Hugs and mutual support coming your way.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by Rhonda M..
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by Rhonda M.. Reason: left out word

    Inky’s take is intriguing, and I think I’ll second it. It’s worth a try.

    The phrase “furiously happy” comes to mind, I think that was a thing on the internet a while back. You may still find some ideas about this as a philosophy.

    Wayne Gearing

    Hi Kay,

    Im sorry to read about everything you have been through but I do sorta of know how you feel, everything just seems to come at once and it seems like the world comes crashing down around you, but there is a way out!

    Do you still volunteer? I found that to be of a massive benefit personally, I could work with like minded people all day and have a good laugh

    Secondly, why not write all your frustrations and agonies down, then delete the file? Strange approach I know but I found that, once I “vented” to myself, I could just delete the evidence and no-one would be none the wiser 🙂

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