Depression is ruining my life.

H.P.: I agree with the others - that shrink ain't worth your time and money. And to tell you the truth, I don't trust psychiatrists with the sorts of things I will tell my therapist.

Coolbeans: I'm really sorry. I think that your refusal to give your daughter any money under the current circumstances is very reasonable, frankly. From what you've said, why should you apologize? She's also hurting the child with this manipulation.

Here's something I saw by Andrew Solomon, who wrote The Noonday Demon:

I don’t think love can cure someone’s depression, but I think that it helps give people the sense that if they can only get better, there is something of value on the other side of suffering. The sense of being loved is very central and very crucial to recovery, and so is the experience of loving others.

The people who are resilient are often those who know they are well-loved. Such people have more to lean on than do people who are more socially isolated.

So this is why I'm glad this thread is here.

Hear, hear.

There was a time in my life when I had no reason to live for myself. I only stopped myself from doing the unthinkable because I felt the obligation to live for people who loved me. It was the harder thing to do, but it was right, so that's what I did. In my mind, I thought that it wouldn't be fair to subject them to all that suffering just because I hated life.

Jeez Coolbeans, so sorry to hear about that. I'm not a parent and my advice isn't worth much but I think you did the right thing. I hope your kid comes around soon.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

Jeez Coolbeans, so sorry to hear about that. I'm not a parent and my advice isn't worth much but I think you did the right thing. I hope your kid comes around soon. :(

+1

*Edited for accuracy because I can't help myself

Big hugs Coolbeans. I can't begin to imagine how that feels.

Respect for standing by what you think is best for your daughter and grandchild, even if it hurts this much.

Maq wrote:

Respect for standing by what you think is best for your daughter and grandchild, even if it hurts this much.

That is a really hard road you're on. I wish you all the strength you need. Given my recent trigger being so closely tied to the future of me and my own daughters, I can't offer much more than a +1 without feeling my own grip starting to slip.

(((((((hugs)))))))

Coolbeans, total respect for you for standing by your guns.
I'd imagine it would have been heartbreaking, if not doubly so, to see your daughter and her fiancée take you for a fool and have you finance his life of leisure.
Make sure to keep up the hope, and efforts for the restitution of your relationship.
Deep down there will always be regret on her side that her stubbornness forced your hand. Love is felt, and even though there is anger now, you will always be her parent.
I can't imagine much wedding bliss if he can't even get off the sofa.
I hope you can find the strength to fight through this difficult time.

Part of trying to bring balance to my existence with brain weasels is finding motivation to do things. A meaning or purpose in life. I don't think I've had one that I can apply to my whole life, but I have found little goals here and there in my life to get me through pieces and sections or months or years at a time. I have been getting more and more into practical pistol shooting competition over the last few years but this past few months has seen me diving feet first into it and I think I've found my next opening in the clouds to keep the brain weasels away.

Next year in March (my birthday!), the 2015 IDPA World Championship will be in near my hometown in Caguas, PR. I want to be there to not only represent my new home of Seattle and Washington, but to be able to compete with my fellow Boricuas. 300 of the best shooters from over 50 nations around the world will be in my home competing for massive prize table. I want to be there. To go back home, to put closure to a bad part of my life when I was living there, to represent my new home who has taken such good care of me, and to be with others like me which I really miss because of the demographics here. Christ, I already feel emotional about it.

I can't tell you how long it's been since I've felt I have a purpose besides being a wage slave and capitalist drone. So I know what I am going to do for the next year. It's good enough to cry for.

Edwin wrote:

So I know what I am going to do for the next year. It's good enough to cry for.

Amen to that! Nice one Edwin!

I have a question for the group, as I'm conflicted by the answers.

I have a form to fill out for the Department of Health, regarding my youngest, now in Kindy.

There are two forms, one mandatory (eye sight checks, hearing, growth development, the usual), then another, purely voluntary.

The voluntary one is to try and capture a snapshot of the child's home environment. "If you choose to provide this information, it will enable the Community Health Nurse to understand more about the issues that can potentially affect your child's health and well being"

The question that I am stumbling over is this...

In the last twelve months, has your child been affected by any of the following events

One of the items listed is "serious illness of parent(s) (including mental illness)"

Now, how serious is serious? I know my wife will say 'don't write anything', but I'm torn between 'was my clinical depression serious to be considered serious (no need for hospitalization, or officially sanctioned suicide prevention)' and 'if you say nothing, then you are part of the stigmatizing of the condition brigade'. Be loud, be proud...

I am sure my moodiness and quick temper has affected both my kids. It can't be helped, I'm only human. But, and I don't know why, but there is a 'but' in there somewhere.

I don't care if people's perception of me is altered, I really don't, I just don't want my health issues to be on a Governmental Registry as a black mark for them.

It would be so much easier if I had a missing leg or something equally as visible.

Oh well. Back to the form.

I'd be very hesitant to put that info on a form, unless the info is meant to be anonymous.

I would say don't say anything, but I'm inherently suspicious of government. Anger is human. Everyone gets angry. The thing children need to learn from you is how to grow and deal with it. If they're your kids, they might have inherited the short fuse, so who better to teach them how to deal with it than someone who also has a short fuse?

The only real catch there is you have to learn how to deal with it while they're watching you. Tough gig.

LarryC wrote:

The only real catch there is you have to learn how to deal with it while they're watching you. Tough gig.

I'm getting good at this one.

Imaging the late 70's Hulk TV show, I stop myself as the eyes turn green on Bill Bixby. I then explain to the girls 'why I am getting angry'.

I am frustrated by this behaviour, and that is getting me more and more upset. If you continue, I will start to get angry, and I don't want to be angry. Help me out, by stopping that right now, please.

My *insert damaged body component from the motorcycle accident here* is extremely painful right now, and it's making Daddy get grumpy more quickly that it should. I'll try my best not to get too grumpy, too quickly.

Daddy's sleep mask did not work last night, so Daddy is very tired. I don't have as much patience as I should, so I really need to count to ten before I get grumpy, but if I slip up, and make a mistake, I'm sorry. Just be mindful OK.

It could be others, but I do my best to let them know my motivator in a very calm and controlled manner, rather than just stewing in silence then snapping. Oddly enough, taking the time to explain 'why' I am getting angry usually diffuses the situation, so it's a double bonus. It seems only fair, and I try my best to give them as much advanced warning as I can. Both kids are fairly emotionally intelligent for their ages (6 and 4.5), maybe this is a contributing factor?

You could take that tact, and just write that you have ongoing complications from a serious road accident several years ago. They don't need a laundry list of the specifics.

It's funny, just finished discussing it with my wife, and some of the 'other' environmental factors they listed that could affect your child was a change of jobs, and/or financial pressures.

I asked if they should be listed (being as both were 'her' department) and the speed with which I got a 'don't list those' kind of gave me my answer for my own question. If she's not comfortable disclosing 'everyday' stuff to the government, then I sure as sh*t won't be telling 'em about the 'not so tangible' mental stuff.

I'm leaving it blank.

If there's issues, they can make their own enquiries. I'm already 'in the health system' as a person who has received treatment for a mental illness. They can cross reference their databases if it warrants further investigation.

Thank you all for your opinions, I appreciate it, as always.

Mad props, m0nk3yb0y. Mad props!

IMAGE(http://bittersweetdistractors.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/respekknuckles.jpg)

I need to get it out somewhere because I don't have any close friends, and not ones I would be comfortable sharing this with. This is as good a place as any.

Backstory:
My spouse is in love with someone who isn't me. This other person is young, thin, beautiful, and not my gender. This is new. To my partner and to me. This person makes my spouse happy. My spouse is so confused because they thought they were straight until this person came into their life. They thought they were just great friends. They didn't expect this to happen. My heart is so broken.

I've been in poly relationships in my past, but this was not something that was ever on the table for us and completely unexpected. This all happened behind my back, and I'm devastated. I was told as soon as my spouse realized how they felt and made their feelings known to the other person. The other person cares deeply for my spouse but does not really feel the same way.

My spouse still loves me, and is willing to do whatever it takes to preserve our relationship, including cutting that person out of their life. I do not want that because I know how important that friendship is, and I think that it would do more harm than good. This other person is someone I've only met a couple of times, and I know they're not interested in having a serious relationship with my spouse. Or even a casual one. And they're a genuinely good and honest person. I can see why my partner fell for them.

So what's left is a repairing process.

The issue:
I haven't been depressed in a very long time, and I know the signs and they keep coming. I know that the common sense approach is get thee to a therapist. Clearly. I know that this is bigger than what happened between my partner and their friend. I haven't been happy with my body and know that due to getting older and fatter, my partner doesn't find me attractive anymore. They love me but they are not attracted to me.

This has triggered an eating disorder that I was so proud to get past over a decade ago. Where I am emotionally, I don't even care to avoid it right now. I just feel like this big, ugly thing that is tethering my partner from their own happiness, even if now they tell me that fixing what we have is what they want the most and will make them happy, and that my partner wants me to be happy.

My demons just tell me that's just my spouse is saying a lot of this because they are feeling guilty and it's what they feel they should be saying, and as soon as the guilt fades, they will fade too.

I don't know what to do. I think I just needed to get this off my chest.

Thank you.

That sounds rough, tinyfish. {{{hugs}}} As you said, you got over that eating disorder a decade ago, you can do it again. Even though things will likely be different in many ways the second time, you can still do it

As for the spouse, that's not a department I have experience in, so I will leave the sage words to others. {{{more hugs}}}

tinyfish ... good luck, stay strong. Keep us posted as you fight this thing.

Tinyfish, I was really moved by your message and I hope you are able to get the support and solutions you are seeking. It sounds like a very stressful and painful experience, but not a hopeless situation. It sounds like both you and your spouse are dealing very honestly with each other, and the situation could bring you closer together. I'll speak to some specific parts of the message.

tinyfish wrote:

I need to get it out somewhere because I don't have any close friends, and not ones I would be comfortable sharing this with. This is as good a place as any.

In my experience, this is a good community and full of supportive, insightful people - so a good place to share this sort of problem. I also think it's really helpful to speak about these things with someone in person or at least over the phone, so I recommend carefully thinking about your non-judgemental friends or people who don't live in your community - there might be someone who you could talk to. That's not to say the community won't help, but just that it can really help to speak to someone in person as well. If you don't have people like this, then maybe it's worth thinking about speaking to a therapist or counsellor. It can be very helpful to speak to someone impartial, and you're so articulate that it seems like loads of insights would emerge for you.

tinyfish wrote:

Backstory:
My spouse is in love with someone who isn't me. This other person is young, thin, beautiful, and not my gender. This is new. To my partner and to me. This person makes my spouse happy. My spouse is so confused because they thought they were straight until this person came into their life. They thought they were just great friends. They didn't expect this to happen. My heart is so broken.

That sounds really tough for both of you. I think it matters that your spouse hadn't expected this to happen, or even known that they were bi. It's not like your spouse had given up on you, and started looking for an escape route from your relationship

tinyfish wrote:

This all happened behind my back, and I'm devastated. I was told as soon as my spouse realized how they felt and made their feelings known to the other person. The other person cares deeply for my spouse but does not really feel the same way.

My spouse still loves me, and is willing to do whatever it takes to preserve our relationship, including cutting that person out of their life. I do not want that because I know how important that friendship is, and I think that it would do more harm than good. This other person is someone I've only met a couple of times, and I know they're not interested in having a serious relationship with my spouse. Or even a casual one. And they're a genuinely good and honest person. I can see why my partner fell for them.

So it sounds like this was an accident between same sex friends who both thought they were in a straight friendship until this happened. You say that the friend actually doesn't feel the same way isn't interested in a serious relationship with your spouse, but it's not clear what the nature of the friend's feelings are for your spouse (reciprocal romantic feelings or not?) It seems that they do have a serious friendship and that it's dipped into romantic attraction for your spouse (and possibly for the friend). Does the feeling of betrayal/devastation partly come from the fact that your spouse didn't let you know about their feelings before chose to shared them with the friend? I think that would be pretty upsetting for me. My spouse and I have always tried to be very honest about the nature of our feelings toward friends, and inevitably there are surges of attraction to others - the real question is always how we choose to respond to the feelings, not the fact that we have the feelings. We're happy with each other after more than a decade, and I like our code of thoughtful transparency/honesty. I think it's a good thing that your spouse brought the situation to your attention immediately, even if they didn't flag it up to you early.

tinyfish wrote:

So what's left is a repairing process.

The issue:
I haven't been depressed in a very long time, and I know the signs and they keep coming. I know that the common sense approach is get thee to a therapist. Clearly. I know that this is bigger than what happened between my partner and their friend. I haven't been happy with my body and know that due to getting older and fatter, my partner doesn't find me attractive anymore. They love me but they are not attracted to me.

This has triggered an eating disorder that I was so proud to get past over a decade ago. Where I am emotionally, I don't even care to avoid it right now. I just feel like this big, ugly thing that is tethering my partner from their own happiness, even if now they tell me that fixing what we have is what they want the most and will make them happy, and that my partner wants me to be happy.

My demons just tell me that's just my spouse is saying a lot of this because they are feeling guilty and it's what they feel they should be saying, and as soon as the guilt fades, they will fade too.

I don't know what to do. I think I just needed to get this off my chest.

Thank you.

Ok, you really have got the issue pinpointed very well. You're super articulate, and a dynamic thinker. The thing that stands out here is that you say "I haven't been happy with my body and know that due to getting older and fatter, my partner doesn't find me attractive anymore. They love me but they are not attracted to me." as well as that you "just feel like this big, ugly thing that is tethering my partner from their own happiness". Wow, that sounds really painful, and it sounds like something that's been sitting there sucking your energy and happiness for some time. Then the thing happens where your partner has feelings emerge for their same sex friend, and that really taps into the existing painful feelings that you've described. It sounds like it could make a huge difference to address those feelings that underly things and are sapping you of your confidence and happiness already. If it were me, I'd probably seek therapy help and get my partner involved. They sound supportive and like they clearly love you. The "lack of attraction" could be a lot different than the way you're reading it. It may be that your partner has pain that they aren't dealing with too, and that you could both experience attraction again by being honest with each other about the things that have built up. Physical appearance is an element of attraction, but in my experience it's more the thing that initiated interest early in the relationship, rather than the primary force of attraction in my own romantic relationship. It's easy to feel undermined by changing appearances, but I think the emotional atmosphere of a relationship has the greatest impact on attraction, rather than appearance. Feeling a lack of confidence in your appearance may be impacting on things far more than your actual appearance.

Given that you're experiencing the early signs that depression is moving in and your eating disorder has regained footing, I think it would be better to seek professional help rather than stick it out on your own. Your demons sound like they erode your self confidence and won't give you impartial advice and room to share your feelings.

Thank you for having the courage to share your story and I wish you the best! Keep us posted how things go. Good luck with things! This all seems like things you and your relationship can recover from.

tinyfish, thanks for sharing, and trusting us with your story.

It's rough, but try not to let the brain weasels 'devalue' what your spouse has said. Their words may be truthful, the depressive thought patterns may be working to destabilise them in your mind.

It sounds like you have a good line of communication with them.

Maybe, examine these issues bit more, so that stuff doesn't get lost in the mix. You admit 'get thee to a therapist' is probably task number one, but maybe isolate the issues first, if you can.

From an external point of view, and from the issues you present, I can see two possible options.

One: A couples therapist that deals with poly, to help you and your partner work through the change in the dynamic, and looking to address any rifts/outcomes/solutions you guys need to look at to either fix this, or find closure.

Two: A personal therapist, to help you get yourself 'back on the wagon' and helping unravel how you came to be 'off it' in the first place.

I see these as two separate issues in your post. Don't let the weasels muddy the water for you and try and hide one set of problems inside the other, and vice versa.

Best of luck, and strength. Post back if you need to, if not, glad you gave us the chance to hear your thoughts.

Added to all the great tips from community here, I kept a depression diary when I was at my lowest state.
It really helped just to articulate what was going on in my messed up brain, and also with my road map, as I could see where I was, where I am and where I am going.
Depression for me was waking up every day feeling that everything was the same or worse than before, and there was little sense of time passing.
Speaking to a professional helped me, (although I have seen some duffers mentioned here !) and also opening up to close friends.

Hi Tinyfish. My advice is to stick with this thread. Lots of great people here.

The last two days have not been the best days ever for me. Like I'm stuck in mud and decided to spin in circles as well.

Hi, tinyfish. I'm very impressed by the control you're exerting not taking the easy way on any front. You're not demonizing your spouse, nor your spouse's new friend, nor yourself. There is plenty of room for people who care for and love others to nevertheless find that raw love isn't enough, that there are still decisions to make. That's an incredible first step, and you do yourself and your spouse well to keep things open. I can't say it enough: I'm really very impressed and want to help someone who's brave enough to find the right solution and not the one that looks easy.

That said, the closest thing I've experienced was toward the end of my first marriage. In my case, my now ex-wife was trying to create melodrama because she associated that with caring. I don't fault her for it, and what she was doing actually helped bring to the fore just how differently we were developing as people. I wish I'd had the wherewithal to handle it as classily as you are, but I did try to be fair. I hoped for a better friendship after the divorce, as I'd heard others had experienced.

Keep an open heart but, as others have said, find help keeping it warm. I imagine part of your apprehension with approaching your close friends is that some or all are also your spouse's friends or close friends. I think there's still likely someone in that crew who would love to help such a caring person as you. Until you feel comfortable with that, please do keep comin' back 'round.

EDIT TO ADD: Do feel free to join the misreants in the #gwj IRC channel if you're so inclined. It's on Quakenet. Here's a link to the webchat.

Hey Tinyfish,

Figured I'd chime in with a poly perspective (married 10 years, poly for the last 4).

It sounds to me like your spouse is behaving admirable and ethically given the circumstances. I'm firmly of the belief that we don't get to choose who we do and don't fall in love with, but we *can* control how we behave towards those that we do love.

Your spouse's willingness to go so far as to cut this other person out of their life speaks to a great respect for and attachment to your marriage and relationship. Your spouse is clearly prioritizing your relationship, even in light of this surprising development.

All depression and eating order issues aside, this all sounds remarkably positive. It must be a shock to discover that you're not straight, and the new-relationship-energy from a new love can be powerfully disorienting. That your spouse continues to focus on your relationship instead of all this newness speaks volumes to me, not to mention that it sounds like they kept you totally informed of these developments as soon as they were aware of them.

That last point strongly suggests to me that you guys have a very honest, open communication style within your relationship, and that suggests to me that, difficult though it may be, you should try your best to accept your spouse when they tell you that what they want the most is you.

Great posts already for tinyfish. Jonman said what I would have:

It sounds to me like your spouse is behaving admirable and ethically given the circumstances. I'm firmly of the belief that we don't get to choose who we do and don't fall in love with, but we *can* control how we behave towards those that we do love.

Your spouse's willingness to go so far as to cut this other person out of their life speaks to a great respect for and attachment to your marriage and relationship. Your spouse is clearly prioritizing your relationship, even in light of this surprising development.

I'd also try to keep from projecting your fears and insecurities onto her, for example, regarding your age and weight.

Take her at her word. And give this time. What this may have done is get her to realize how deep her commitment and attachment to you really are.

Thank you all so much for your kind responses.

I think my biggest source of hurt is that when my partner realized their feelings, they went to that other person first with all of this and I wasn't told for a few weeks after that. This isn't just about how they feel about each-other, I am a part of this situation, too, but as a primary/only? (I don't even know yet) partner, I feel disrespected, hurt, and disappointed that my partner didn't come to me first but turned to that friend instead. I think that my spouse knows that this hurt me, I said it, but I think it may bear repeating.

For the record, maybe I'm confused by the phrasing. Going into our marriage, my partner knew I wasn't entirely straight, but thought they were straight. Their friend is very, very not straight, so that may have some social background on how the relationship developed as well. This friend is pretty young, and I think it's a heady and flattering thing for them to attract a straight person and be loved for who they are and not fetishize them.

Jonman, thank you for your insider input! Is it ok if I send you a private message?

Regarding the depression/disorders...without prompting, my spouse suggested that I may want to seek help professionally as well, so thank you for the confirmation and support. I really am thankful. As time passes I realize I was really not okay for a long time and I was stuffing that down where I didn't have to deal with it, and it exploded.

I've read every page of this posting; I will continue to do so. I support you all, too. I appreciate your kindness. Thank you.

Editing to add: Vector, I know that feeling, helplessness after effort is really difficult. Thinking about you.

OK, just when I think I'm destined to be plagued by this sh*t for forever, occasionally, little things happen that take me by surprise.

I received a txt from my wife at work tonight.

Do you need to find a new psych I'm worried you're slipping into a funk again. The girls told me you didn't talk to them much this afternoon.

About 12 months ago, or maybe more, my initial reaction would have been something along the lines of.....

[size=30]FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU![/size]

[size=10]do you even know me? *sob*[/size]

Instead, my initial reaction was 'wow, that's pretty risky/brave to send a message like that', I then took stock of the fact that I was a little withdrawn, because after a week of annual leave, the prospect of returning to work and missing out on the evening routine with the kids was depressing sobering. I was also 'quiet' because I had some bills to pay, and when I was done, I sat back and watched both of my little girls play, and interact, in an absolutely beautiful manner. Such respect and care was being shared between them, I just didn't want to interrupt it.

So, how did I respond to this message I would have previously interpreted as inflammatory?

I'm doing OK, thanks for the concern though :)

I felt normal, and for the first time, that in itself didn't feel too uncomfortable either.

Guess I'm getting a little bit closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. [size=10]WooHoo![/size]

If you see dogs twitching around you right now, that is due to me squeeeing up here in Canada m0nk3yboy.

Sooo happy for you.

That's pretty kickass, dude. On the part of both parties.