Depression is ruining my life.

Wink_and_the_Gun wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Well, I'm starting therapy for the first time ever. Hoping it helps, because I'm mystified what changed to cause this precipitous change in how I feel.

Did it start around the middle or end of 2016...?

Not really. Cis white het dude in Seattle, so the privilege train runs above the majority of the actual fallout from that. And my bottomless well of cynicism about politics has resulted in precious little actual surprise in the last couple years.

That all said, maybe this has been a slow and gradual slide that I didn't notice happening until it bottomed out?

Jonman wrote:

Well, I'm starting therapy for the first time ever. Hoping it helps, because I'm mystified what changed to cause this precipitous change in how I feel.

Good for you. I found that the talking helped a lot. Before even getting into what's wrong or solutions, just being honest about what's going on in your brain with no judgement is a huge weight off.

Jonman wrote:
Wink_and_the_Gun wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Well, I'm starting therapy for the first time ever. Hoping it helps, because I'm mystified what changed to cause this precipitous change in how I feel.

Did it start around the middle or end of 2016...?

Not really. Cis white het dude in Seattle, so the privilege train runs above the majority of the actual fallout from that. And my bottomless well of cynicism about politics has resulted in precious little actual surprise in the last couple years.

That all said, maybe this has been a slow and gradual slide that I didn't notice happening until it bottomed out?

That has always been my experience. I never see the shadows gathering, and suddenly I am surrounded by darkness.

Jonman wrote:
Wink_and_the_Gun wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Well, I'm starting therapy for the first time ever. Hoping it helps, because I'm mystified what changed to cause this precipitous change in how I feel.

Did it start around the middle or end of 2016...?

Not really. Cis white het dude in Seattle, so the privilege train runs above the majority of the actual fallout from that. And my bottomless well of cynicism about politics has resulted in precious little actual surprise in the last couple years.

That all said, maybe this has been a slow and gradual slide that I didn't notice happening until it bottomed out?

Sorry to hear this. Talking about it should help. And, as you've no doubt heard but I'll reinforce, it may not be the first therapist. It may take a couple of tries. Eventually, though, you'll find someone who you work well with. And either way talking about it should help. It always has for me.

I do something called DBT as part of my therapy. It helps me sometimes to keep a journal (they have this thing in DBT called "diary cards") of how I'm feeling so that as it starts to creep up on me I catch it before it advances too much on me.

Haven’t even yet listed it, but this weekend I prepped my car to sell. It’s not even really that special to me, and it’s over 200k miles, but I’m still being hit by a lot of melancholy and sadness about selling it off. We had too good a chance to upgrade my wife’s car and pass hers down to me. Not unlike the opportunity that made me sell off my first car in favor of the one I’m about to sell.

My mind says “it’s just a car” and my heart says “you weren’t all that attached to it, you know” but some other part of me that’s stored up every loss and longing throughout my life is just saying “yep, I know this feeling all too well. Come and sit awhile and I’ll remind you of all your loss and pain you’ve never really healed from. Let’s add this car to the mess, eh?”

I’m sure it will turn out well, but for now I’m sad and letting myself be sad and have a queued up list of sad and longing music to let my feelings echo for a while. Stay a while and listen, indeed.

I totally identify, Antichulius. My family talk about our sentimentality for our family cars. We talk about my partner's Jetta, which we traded in for a Honda Element that we ended up not caring for. My car is the first brand-new car I ever purchased, was the car I bought to divest myself of the financial attachments I had at the end of my first marriage, and has been a character in our family for 12 years now. My VW Rabbit's at about 115K miles, and any discussion of trading it in always brings up preemptive nostalgia.

---

As a slight tangent to that, though it will seem not event tangential, I've been really struggling in the last few months with my job. Due to how some of the organization's leadership and project logistics have panned out since late June or early July, I found it too easy to slip into work increasingly late without anyone noticing or really caring. There's lots bundled into that, but it suffices to say that my very poor opinion of my workplace, the disparity between its purported goals and what it actually works toward, they way it treats employees, all combined with my gift for post hoc justification abetted by my depression have landed me in hot, and potentially boiling, water with my employer. I kept thinking I could snap myself out of it, get back on track at least with the perfunctory conditions of my employment, but I slipped and kept slipping. Until my bad habits were finally noticed.

Prior to this I had talked to my therapist about the prospect of short-term disability. The people I work with and for are fine. There are definitely cultural and social-infrastructural issues, and there are people who treat others badly, but overall it's just another group of humans doing things. But I've found it harder and harder to be even minimally productive, and finally broached the topic of some sort of institutional reprieve to reset even a little, to get back closer to a baseline productivity and professionalism. My past two jobs often found me obsessively working well over 40 hours weekly and taking very few sick or vacation days, such that my partner felt it necessary to compel me to take time off. With my current job, for the last year or so I've been treading water, using up vacation and sick time as quickly as I accrue it. It was all I had to make space for my head and heart.

And then I started skimping on my time. Coming in later and later, leaving earlier, taking longer breaks in the day. And then I just decided to work from home a couple of days, which is strictly against policy. I was productive those days but it's well-known that my employer is not on-board (yet) with remote work.

Then my newest boss, my fourth since July, noticed. When asked about it, caught off guard and having seen and read all about how poorly U.S. employers handle the mental health of their employees, I lied. A couple days later, I corrected that. And now I'm in limbo: I have no idea what the next step of the resolution process is, nor whether I'll have a job here by the end of the week let alone month. And they're fully justified, in a shallow context at least: I was not fulfilling the terms of my duties, notwithstanding the various contributing factors.

All of this coming to a head, my partner noticed it weighing on me. She was talking about some of it with her dad, who said, "You know what he needs? He needs to take that trip he's been talking about for years." My partner said, "You know what? You're right."

My employer closes down for Christmas week, and we're required to be off all that time. So I have a window I've been desperately looking forward to, from 12/22/18 to 1/2/19, during which I won't be at work. And now, at the loving insistence of my partner and the enthusiastic piling on of my kids, I'll be getting the best break I could've hoped for.

I'll be driving my beloved 2006 VW Rabbit, solo, from Cincinnati to Albuquerque, and back (one presumes), starting 12/23/18 and probably returning on the 31st or the first of the new year. I have been pining for a long road trip for decades, and especially for returning to New Mexico since the day I left in 1997. With the Sandia Mountains running the eastern edge of town, and desert all around; with El Malpais, Socorro, Santa Fe, and the VLA all comfortably within a half-day's drive; with far less light pollution obscuring the starry sky; with miles of open road, some cut through millennia-old black lava flows; with my car, my bike, my camping gear, and space for my thoughts, it's the place and the trip I've needed and wanted to take for years. And I'm finally taking it.

I'm so very lucky to be in a position to do so. My family cares so much for me and my health and my well-being. I have practically no savings but have worked to reduce some debt and have a little bit of money in a 401(k) should the need arise to dip into it after a potential termination. I almost don't know what to make of this confluence of goodness, but I can't wait to jump in.

A handful of years ago, I started counseling for some PTSD issues, and it has made a big difference. Most days, I have no issues, and I generally go long periods of time without nightmares or panic attacks. However, my counselor warned me that stress makes things a bit more difficult to handle. Whoo boy, was he right about that. Currently, we're dealing with:

- Me getting promoted to a new position that's much more demanding. I'm excited about the promotion, but the imposter syndrome is strong, and my hours have jumped to nearly 60 hours a week.
- My daughter moving into her first apartment. I'm proud of her, and she picked a great place, but my brain weasels are eagerly whipping up worst case scenarios, and I'm nowhere near ready for her not to be home anymore.
- Our landlord is in the midst of a nasty divorce, and it's just been revealed that she was supposed to sell the house we've lived in for the last ten years about a year ago. Now, the judge has ordered it placed on the market, so she's trying to get us to get the house ready to sell, instead of just fulfilling our responsibilities as tenants. She's been sending over contractors and such without warning, and I had to have a very loud and angry phone call with her after she gave an electrician a key and this strange dude walked into my house and scared the hell out of my teenage daughter (who was in the shower).
- Because of the house being sold thing, we have to move. Due to the state of the Nashville real estate market, we can't afford another house right now, so we're moving into an apartment. That means we have to downsize the HELL out of all the stuff we own. We're doing this while trying to pack and prepare to move.
- My mom's Alzheimers has reached the point that she needs full-time care, but she and my dad are fighting us tooth and nail on every step of the way, insisting that they're fine without it. They aren't. She fell twice last week, and wandered outside once. We're making progress with them, but it's easily one of the most painful experiences I've ever dealt with.
- I somehow lost my wallet this weekend. The license, debit cards, and $300 in gift cards are bad enough, but the worst was having to tell my brand new supervisor that I lost my corporate credit card that I was issued only weeks ago. She was not pleased.
- Because of my new work hours and the pending move, I have no time to devote to my friends or family, and they're all getting frustrated with me.
- My computer speakers died. That one's minor, and they're 12 years old, but still, not cool.

It's taking a toll on me. I've had four nightmares in a week, and last night, I opened the oven, and the blast of heat sent me into a panic attack. I talked to my counselor, and he says that's not uncommon, and I need to find a way to relax. He was unspecific as to how.

Alzheimer's is a beast. Our whole family suffered along with my grandmother a decade ago. I wish I had some great advice for you but it's just tough to deal with all around.

Can relate on the Nashville real estate stuff, since my in laws are mostly there. They keep wanting us to move closer with the baby now. But cost of living is so much higher I'm not sure it makes sense, even with some free babysitting by family thrown in.

Holy smokes, trichy, that is a lot. I'm not sure what to say. I'm hoping that these will sort themselves into some easier-to-handle categories so you can work on 'em. That's part of the trick, though: it's easier to triage 'em when you're not in 'em.

Hello, everyone. I'm very hesitant about participating in this kind of threads. I've been reading this one for a few months now and wanted to post something but I couldn't do it. I always feel that I'm actually fine and I don't know struggle. Like, trichy, that's intense stuff. I wish you all the strength to work everything out. Me? Well. I feel lonely.

I've always been an introverted person. My mom told me that when I was a small kid, before my first memories of my childhood, I could spend hours playing with wooden cubes all by myself. And that's pretty much the same story today when I'm 26. Though for the last few years I've had this growing feeling of loneliness. I think it's growing from my low self-esteem and feeling of being a castoff. As a teenager I didn't connect with many people and would often get forgotten by others. I grew up pretty closed. Things started getting bad when I dropped from university. I didn't fail because it was hard for me but rather because I wasn't interested in studying. I finished school with no thoughts on what I wanted to do in life. So my mom chose me specialty I'd study and the university I'd attend. Once I failed she did it again. And I failed. Again. This weights on me all the time. I failed my parents and burned a sh*tload of their money. And I'm a loser who didn't finish university. It’s a stigma in my country. My sister is the only person in my family who didn’t nag me about it. It took me a while to overcome an anxiety when people ask me about my education and to be able to give a straight answer that I don’t have one.

I lived with my parents until last November and every year felt less comfortable and welcome there. Neither my mom nor my stepdad showed any signs of displease of me living with them. Except that one time when I overheard my stepdad telling my mom, during one of his drinking episodes, that he doesn’t want me to be in “his” house. After that I couldn’t go to bathroom without anxiously thinking about meeting him. I left during another drinking episode. That time he started verbally abusing my mom and I tried to intervene and it made him angry. Thankfully it didn’t end physically as he has way more mass then me. I had mental breakdown that evening. I was crying and punching my forehead in front on my mom. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was so tired of worrying about her and not being able to do anything, about her not wanting me to get involved, about the mess that our home becomes every time he starts drinking and his irritable attitude when he stops. So I left. I feel guilty for leaving my mom alone. She’s always been overly caring for me (as I’m writing this I got a message from her asking whether I was cold today). Not having me around is probably difficult for her on its own and I know I’d have to leave someday. But I left when there’s no peace at home. She is probably lonely too. And I feel like I betrayed my mother.

I’m able to write this only because I’ve made a good progress on accepting my insecurities and overcoming them. I don’t worry as much about my image in other’s eyes. I don’t worry that I’m not masculine “enough” or that I don’t have the right “achievements” under my belt. Still a long way to go but I’m learning how to love and care about myself. I’ve started exercising shortly after I moved from my parents as a way to cope with it and become more fit in the process. Back then I couldn’t do a single pull up. Currently I’m working hard towards my muscle ups and L-sit. These are my goals right now. Even on my rest days I have this itch to do some pull ups. I can’t remember being so passionate about anything since I finished school.

I’ve learned how to feel better about myself but I’m still lonely. Interestingly, I have meaningful connections in my life. I put a lot of effort to be in touch with my sister and my friends. I opened to them about my things that bother me and heard them open to me. I started telling them that I love them. I say the actual words. I’ve never done that before. I know that these people will be there for me when I need them. And let them know that I’ll be there for them. But I feel lonely. I can’t get rid of this feeling. Especially now that the holidays are coming. We don’t have Christmas in December. But we have New Year holidays. I don’t have anyone with whom I could meet New Year. Our family used to gather at my parents’ home. But this time is different. My mom’s marriage is falling apart because of her husband’s alcoholism. My sister has a newborn and she’ll be with her family. One of my two friends lives in another city and we both are on tight budget so we can’t meet. Another friend is leaving to see her parents. The girl with whom I used to work, and with which I have good relationship, is celebrating with her boyfriend. I was thinking about taking my camera and just walking around the city on New Year night but I’m afraid that it can attract a lot of unwanted attention. Don’t know what I’m going to do.

This turned out to be a much longer post then I originally planned. Thank you, if you read the whole thing. If anyone suddenly finds oneself in St.Petersburg, Russia, in the first half of January – send me a message. I’ll be happy to meet and maybe show around the city.

Ollie, thanks so much for sharing. For me one of the most powerful New Years experiences I had when I was feeling lonely and down on New Years Eve because I just didn't want to face the world. I had this weird feeling of being lonely, but I also just wanted to be alone. I wasn't invited to any parties, yet at the same time had this feeling that if I had been, I wouldn't want to go.

So I went to bed, really early (like 6:00pm) so that I wouldn't have to be the only one not at a party, I'd just sleep through it. What that did was make me wake up at like 4:30am. I then drove out east of the city, pulled my off the side of the road by a farm, got out, sat on the hood of the car, and just watched the sun rise. The world was so calm, because everyone was still asleep from the night before things were so peaceful, and I felt like I got my own private true New Year's day celebration. I got to welcome in the first day of the new year.

Thanks for sharing, Ollie. I'm glad you're working on feeling better for yourself, but even so, loneliness can be hard. The boards can be a good outlet, but finding a therapist might help a lot, if you're in a position to do that.

Well done, Ollie, and thank you.

It is not an easy thing to do, sharing coherently without negative thoughts overriding our will to try. I hope it helped you to do so. I find it can be a cathartic experience.

As a reader, other than the desire to offer support and understanding, I, at times, find solace in the sharing of others. It signifies that I, we, are not alone in these experiences.

I've never known what my career path was. I still do not. I finished high school with middling basics and underwent no further education. The work was never difficult. I simply failed to apply myself. Teachers often commented as such. I can only surmise that without end goals in mind, I could muster no desire to achieve more, irrespective of being naturally quick to grasp and learn. I would love to have a calling. I simply do not. It has remained difficult to be overly motivated without one.

I have had clashing inner emotions concerning masculinity, from too much, to not enough. The expectations of men in society, then, now, and going forward, in conjunction with what those around us project as good, and as not, from men, from women, to shape what we naturally feel. I honestly discarded most of everything masculine and feminine. There are good traits that may be attributed to both, rightly or wrongly, but mostly I found the perception for men to be masculine (strong, stoic, providers) and women to be feminine (delicate, emotive, careers) detrimental to the human condition. I felt it okay to cry. I would opt for pacifism instead of violence. I naturally liked to care for, as oppose to provide for. I did not fit the masculine mould. When I tried to, it was not a positive experience on a personal level.

My father was an alcoholic. It dominated his entire life, and every relationship. I'm not sure what to say. It was hard. We all wished it was different, better. It frustrates me that it was only after he was gone that I became equipped to potentially offer support. I remember my mother wishing he would change, or leave. I remember suppressing the urge to aggressively confront him. I see my mother now wishing he was still around, even as he was. Life is certainly complex.

I also lived with my parents, minus a job, into my twenties. It saw my insecurities fester and grow.

I also experienced a breakdown of sorts, crying, punching objects and my own forehead, lashing out at or pushing everyone away. Formally resigning from my place of work. Planning when, where, and how to take my own life in the aftermath.

The holidays are hard. Especially birthdays and the new year. I am lucky in that I have family and friends who I do like to see. I still suffer when I think on a personal achievement level, an end goal level, and what I actually offer those around me. So, whilst not solving that conundrum it does offer a pleasant distraction from it.

Seeing a professional helped. Medication helped. Stepping away from these, at my own choosing, hasn't been easy, and has knocked me back somewhat. I am better now minus these aids than I was before. It's yet to be seen if I should return to at least one medication, even a small dose, on a permanent basis. It's my desire to try without so not to rely on an artificial high unless I must.

I'm unsure how I rambled on there. I did not intend to. Apologies for the novel.

Please do continue to share anything you feel the urge to. Use this thread where necessary. There are plenty who shall listen, and those, too, who can offer understanding and support.

Skraut, this sounds very soothing. Thank you!

LastSurprise, I'm considering therapy. For now I'm going to try to be more outgoing and maybe meet new people. I'll see how it goes. Thank you!

RnRClown, It felt disturbing and I had an urge to delete the post immediatly after writing. Now I'm happy that I didn't. It is somewhat cathartic. Thank you for your kind words and the novel. I hope you can feel good without the need of medication!

You’re all doing good work. Thank you for sharing. <3

Ollie - thanks for sharing! A lot of us have found that posting things like that when we almost didn't is usually really helpful and cathartic. I know it's helped me organize my thoughts and understand my emotions.

I'm actually posting today because I'm feeling better. My job is still a mess, but I've got two invites to campus interviews for tenure-track assistant professor positions. The job search process sucks, but having that validation that I'm good enough at my job to make it to this stage is really helping. I haven't felt comfortable telling my boss that I'm searching (which is absurd, given that postdocs are supposed to be doing this, but that's another story), so I've been fantasizing about walking into his office and telling him I'm leaving. Still dealing with the stress around my projects being behind, and now I have to prepare for those interviews, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Then again, assistant professors are notoriously stressed out, so maybe it'll just be jumping out into the fire.

The brain weasels are enthusiastic today.

So I probably shouldn't be posting here. I'm intoxicated on the final night of MAGFest and while I've had a good weekend, I still feel slightly down. I feel good and down at the same time.

Before I really get into detail, I should note I started therapy around October or November. I cannot even recall when. I just know that it turned out to be the best decision I could have made. Between Church and my Therapist I've been making a lot of progress in terms of bettering myself, be it as a decent human being with compassion and an open mind (NOT WHAT YOU'D EXPECT FROM A CHRISTIAN HUH) but also as ...I dunno. I'm intoxicated and had an either or in my mind but I don't now. But basically, religion has helped me reprioritize things, but therapy has helped give me a greater perspective on myself that consultation with my pastor won't. A man whose life is based around leading a Church isn't going to have an understanding of someone that's stuck where I'm at.

Anyway, there is one really good thing about having therapy. I confirmed I don't have chemical brain depression, which makes me feel like posting here is a joke. I don't want to post in Frarkin Frogohs though. I've tainted that thread enough with my negativity when it started out as joy. I suffer from some bullcrap and I feel the need to put it out in the open before my therapy session on Wednesday. Why? Probably as a call for attention, but that's the glass-half-empty perspective towards my every motivation.

But really, I've found clarification. Two things causing me to suffer. The one I'd already recognized, and the other.... well, also recognized, but now I'm willing to confess.

The first is just the desire to be recognized. Be it with my writings or videos, or even wanting to sit down somewhere at MAGFest to play my music playlist so I can find others that understand my tastes in music, I just want people out there to acknowledge and accept me. On one hand this is absolutely freeing. I'm working on a video that's just purely based on what I want to communicate and am passionate about. On the other, I'm now alone in my hotel room playing music without anyone to share it with. Others just blare their own music out with ease and I cannot. I feel rude. But I want to connect with others, and I'm always worried who I am is going to repel others rather than attract.

Which leads into the second problem. I've been single 13 years. My only relationship lasted a month because I was selfish and craved all the wrong things from it. So despite that moment in time, I've effectively been single all my life, and most of it is my fault. I'm sick of being single, but I'm 33, most women are already taken, and it feels like time is running out. I don't know where or how I'd meet a woman that would be interested in a man that's both a devoted Christian and has a deep, deep love for video games, followed by analytical interest in anime and film. I know, stereotyping and blah blah creating criteria yatta yatta. Just... the odds are against me even before I factor in my weight, which is an endless struggle itself.

I'm sorry to every member of GWJ that has, in some fashion, sent me a PM or said something to indicate that you love or enjoy my posts, videos, write-ups, whatever. I struggle to appreciate the small reminders in search of the grandiose. I am trying to configure my mentality so I find all that rewarding. But most of the time, I feel like I'm just a pest or attention whore. I want to contribute something of value, but I'm always afraid I am just... obnoxious.

I want to be happy with myself. I don't know how to be. I sought therapy so I could figure it out. I don't know if I ever can.

I'm so afraid of living my entire life feeling alone and ignored. I just wish someone would see something in me, and see something they'd been looking for all their life and unable to find. I otherwise just feel like I'm liked well enough, but am interchangeable, forgettable, or just... annoying.

It sucks, and I don't remember the last time tears flowed so easily from my eyes. How do so many others find love so easily, but now that I've seen how much of an asshole I've spent my life being it feels too late.

I probably shouldn't post this, but I will. I will talk to my therapist and I will speak with my God. Maybe these tears will finally drive me to make real changes in my life. I don't know. I just know that I need to be a better me. And not in desperate search for subscriber numbers or something. Just... healthier, kinder, and more spiritually in-tune.

I'm sorry for intruding on a space for people whose depression is a result of their brain chemistry, as my misery is nothing more than my own mistakes and conceit in life catching up with me. I am pleased that my therapy appointments have made that clear. Nevertheless, I don't remember the last time I cried like this, so... yeah. This crap is ruining my life.
I wish I could just have it all together.

c, you're definitely not intruding. This is the place for all these kinds of feelings, no matter what the cause is.

You're not alone.

c,
know that you're not alone in this. To key in on one specific part of your post, I too sometimes have doubts about posting, or, upon posting, I get annoyed that I did because I feel like what I wrote was dumb or obvious, or not contributing in general...
I try to remind myself that I am who I am and I think and express myself the way I do, and people can either like that or not. As long as I strive to be constructive in my posting, that should be enough.

As to you being single....at the risk of sounding trite or condescending, know that it's never too late, but also that success will take effort and luck. I was a very late starter as well. My first notable relationship began when I was almost 28 (this was not due to a lack of desire for one much, much sooner). It didn't last, and several years of awful loneliness followed.

Specifically to the luck part...everyone needs it. In my case, a friendship from a decade earlier reappeared, recently divorced. We've now been married 3 years with our second kid on the way, and I'm 40.

One thing I had to learn over and over - and I'm not claiming you're doing this, as nothing in your posts indicates that you do or don't - is that acting/appearing desperate is the surest way to not succeeding.

Glad you've made some breakthroughs on your dual-pronged approach! Keep posting and we've all got our fingers crossed for you!

Well done, Chris. You are articulating well the most difficult of feelings and emotions. This is progress. Really well done for making the effort to seek therapy and aid, and so too for utilising it to good effect.

Coincidentally, I've also shed tears for the first time in a long time recently. Years. (Save for one emotional breakdown where tears, anger, laughter, frustration, all came through at once.) These tears felt strangely good. I learned that I could still feel! I shed a few during a film. Silly as that sounds. I shed a few upon discovering what I can best surmise as at attempt at cruel manipulation targeted at me. Weak as that sounds. But I can feel again. Progress! My wife has picked up on this, too, from how I interact and the words I now choose, compared to before.

I am completely off all medication. It was a rocky path to come back off. I may have done so too quickly.

I have unpleasant moments still, but I'm aware of what is happening and that it shall pass. They're not as frequent. They're not as overpowering. I limit my interactions until they pass so as not to create a negative situation that could inflame and prolong unpleasantness.

Do only what you enjoy or is necessary. Try to make amends before moving on. Put yourself out there. Say goodbye to toxic individuals. Do not overlook the importance of sleep, both amount and pattern. These changes helped me a great deal.

Keep up the good work. One step and one brick at a time.

Ccess, as another here whose depression is not a matter of brain chemistry, but of choices, circumstances, and dissonance between my life and my core self, I’ll echo Stele: this is a place for all of it regardless of cause. Depression from disconnection is no less valid than depression from chemistry. The isolation, the hopelessness, and the need for understanding, support, and compassion are the same.

From what you posted and knowing my own experience, therapy sounds like a great move for you. It’s probably the ideal place to work out the link between the doing things you like and the getting acknowledgement that you crave. As I recently realized for myself: we all need to exist and sometimes it takes more than just knowing that we have thoughts— we need other people to know and let us know that they know, and then we feel we exist. Certainly, internal proof of existence is the ideal, but we all have to start with external proof before we can move to internal. So, maybe give yourself room and acceptance over external validation, knowing it’s part of the road to internal validation. We aren’t born with “I think, therefore I am” in mind; we’re born with some abstract form of, “caregiver came when I cried, therefore I am.”

And I’ll just add, for all that you feel hopeless about being single—an understandable line of thinking—you’re actually in a wonderful position to be working on yourself without pre-existing relationship structures trying to hold you in place. The more realized your self improvement, the more healthy your eventual relationship. It doesn’t help to read this when the weight of depression and isolation is so heavy, but as the wave subsides, perhaps is will give some solace. You are actually in a great place right now, so keep it up.

Thank you everyone for your words. The past 24 hours have been a bit of a roller coaster, though a lame one without loop-de-loops (which, in this case, is good because it means my emotions aren't dramatically shifting and spiraling). Ultimately I am more disappointed in myself, as I feel like I'm not even acting in accordance with who I am. Wanting to be a different person so that wonderful things can happen like it does to others. I'm in more control of my life, fate, and enjoyment than I like to think, and last night I had options. No, they likely would not have resulted in providing me all my wants, but they would have been something more.

Of course, hindsight is also always 20/20, so I'm trying not to beat myself up too much over it. With a whole year until another MAGFest, it's easy to give in to despair and depression, as being back in the daily grind just... crushes. But I want to use this to encourage more than just plans or something. I want to encourage this to change my life and actions going forward. To improve who I am so it's less about "planning the ideal MAGFest" in 2020 and just... well, being me, instinctively.

I don't know what the end result will be, but I do know that it's got to be better than how things have been so far.

Ollie,

I did read the whole thing. Thanks for being brave and participating with us here.

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RnR,

Please remember that there is nothing wrong with taking psych meds. Taking them doesn’t mean that you’re weak, or that you’re somehow “cheating”. Psych meds help us to be on a level playing with the neurotypical folks that don’t need them. It’s ultimately your choice and I respect that. I’m sure you’ll make the decision that’s right for you.

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cc,

It sounds like your on a quest to better yourself in a profound way. I think you’re on the right path. Be patient with yourself. A true transformation will take time. Missteps along the way will be inevitable. Be brave. Keep going.

Tonight I’ve been watching the Mr Rogers documentary with my family, quietly wiping the tears that keep rolling down my cheeks. It’s a pretty inspirational look at his life. That’s actually what brought me to this thread tonight. I just wanted to dedicate this song to everyone who reads and participates in this thread.

edit:

Spoiler:

I thought that I should come back and explain that I’m not saying that anyone here is a mistake. It’s explained in the film about Fred Rogers that he had self doubt. That’s what he’s expressing in the song. Then a friend assures him that he is not a mistake, which is what most of us want to hear when we’re experiencing self doubt.

Something I really liked:
Someone in the film points out that in the last verse of the song, the doubtful voice and the reassuring voice are singing at the same time. It illustrates how both lines of thought are usually happening simultaneously as we struggle with our insecurities. I’m pretty sure Fred Rogers was a genius.

CC: I didn't meet my now husband until I was 41 and after I'd been single for over 10 years. To draw on you Christian belief, he and our teenager weren't ready for me yet. He was married to his first wife for almost 25 years and we didn't meet until after she passed away. So now I know that I didn't find the right person for me sooner, because the right person wasn't ready for me to be in their life.

If you believe that God has a plan for you, I would encourage you to work on making yourself the best you that you can be, so when the opportunity is in front of you, you can embrace it as the gift it is. Part of this is letting go of expectations and knowing that you can make an extended family of supportive friends. Finding a life partner in our current society isn't as automatic as it was in the past. By moving away from arranged marriages and the like, we've changed our expectation of a life partner. Most of us aren't connecting for business-like reasons, so finding a person who fits with us is a lot more intentional and direct than it was in the past.

You sound like you are asking yourself the right questions. I'd encourage you to talk to the therapist about this stuff as well. Connecting with people as friends or as a potential partner starts at the same place, but there is a level of emotional intimacy that can be hard to open yourself up to and the share in ways that don't put the other person at the end of a fire hose.

You're articulate, you're funny, you're getting in touch with yourself, AND you're willing to work on things (yourself included). These are not superficial traits and unless you are looking for a very young woman, these are things that discerning women see as positives.

I'm not a guy, but I've been in your shoes with these thoughts about being alone. You've got the tools, don't lose hope on the journey.

RedJen wrote:

I'd encourage you to talk to the therapist about this stuff as well.

Oh do not worry about that. The largest reason I came here was needing an immediate outlet, but even in the emotional and intoxicated wreck of a state I was in I was able to hold back somewhat in order to hold onto some things for my therapist, specifically. I've spent a lot of time trying to unload on the Internet like it were a therapist, and it wasn't healthy. This was just a need to get those emotions out now, sort of a pressure relief.

Thank you Rawk and RedJen for your words. It's just going to be rough for a while, because going back to the regular life and not knowing when I'll have such a wonderful weekend like MAGFest again is... it makes it rough, and is why it is easy to regret actions not taken. It feels like a major missed opportunity, but if I step away from my expectations I can see that a lot of things happened that will build toward a better life and future better MAGFest celebrations.

ccesarano wrote:

I confirmed I don't have chemical brain depression, which makes me feel like posting here is a joke.

I envy you this.

My depression is caused by a variety of things, but brain chemistry is a significant part of that. I've known a lot of people who have found that knowledge liberating: they could look at their behavior and their struggles and understand that it wasn't their fault, that they were just wired that way.

I can understand that perspective, but I've found that knowing the chemical mechanisms behind my depression has given me a different feeling: inevitability. No matter what I do, where I go, or what I accomplish, my baseline is depression. I am tethered to my sadness and my emptiness and to the endless, agonizing quest to find the right balance of medications to make it bearable.

When I'm at my worst psychologically, it's not usually when I'm at my lowest points; it's at those times in between when I'm simply tired of it all. I'm not mired in black despair, but I will be. I'll always struggle to do the things I want, and I see that. The current isn't bad just then, but I'll always be swimming upstream. Those are the times when I most feel like life is pointless.

So please don't feel bad posting here if you're not stuck in the same cycles. From here, it's nice to hope that someday someone else could escape it.

I know it wasn't your intention, but reading that nearly brought me to tears, Clock.

I don't know what to say in these instances. I tend to blab on trying to "make it better" or take a positive spin on things. All I can say, however, is that I will use this knowledge to manage a better understanding and awareness. So to that end, thank you, because I have an even better understanding of the experience, and a better understanding is the first step towards... well, I mean, isn't understanding all you ask?

So thank you for that perspective.

You did a really good job putting that into words Clock. Thanks for that.

Well said Clock. My depression is a side effect of low testosterone which I get a needle to correct every 3 months, so Month 1 and 2 are sunshine and lollypops and by month 3 I'm sliding back down into the morass and things that would bounce off me the other two months drag me down.