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When/how does it end?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by honeyroastedcashews, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. I'm wondering if anyone has any words of advice... Really need some help. Growing up, I often felt desperately sad and lonely, and that has never changed. I've managed to appear on the outside to be fairly successful, exams, career, (I'm even often told I'm 'bubbly', ha) etc., but never managed to hold down any friendships or relationships. The past few years I've moved jobs, countries (several times), had several bereavements and more recently a serious relationship breakdown with two separate friends. It has been very hard at times. I am aware that it was a series of stressful events. I was diagnosed with depression quite a few years ago, and was on medication for some of those years.

    To the point (this is so self-indulgent, please bear with me) - when does it end? I've felt suicidal in the past, in a rather hysterical and upsetting manner, but now I just want to not exist any more. I'm tired of the loneliness, tired of the sadness, and am fairly confident these feelings won't ever leave me. Some of my earliest memories are of feeling sad and isolated, and that was 20-something years ago. I know I couldn't end my life because I can't do that to my parents (although we have a difficult relationship, they don't deserve that). Just plain tired. Grateful for any suggestions. Thanks for reading.
     
  2. One of the things that has helped me most with my depression is Mindfulness based therapy. Try and get hold of The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams it includes a very helpful CD. I was lucky enough to be referred by my psychologist for an intensive 8 week course in mindfulness and I have found that it has really changed my perspective on things. I think I'm beginning to sound a bit evangelical about Mindfulness on these boards but it really has had a huge impact on my life and on the lives of those around me.
     
  3. Thanks, yirg, I'll take a look.
     
  4. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Well firstly honeyroastedcashews, I am very upset with you [​IMG] because now I want some!
    On a serious note, parts of your post echoed very much with me. I've never had a serious argument with anybody but that's largely due to disliking confrontation and being afraid of the disapproval of others.
    I struggled a lot with relationships as a youngster. A lot of it seemed in part due to circumstances: my mother sent me to a small independent prep school where I was happy for a couple of years but then I was moved to a state primary school (my mum sent me to the prep school as they accepted children a year early and I had a September birthday - I don't think the plan was ever for me to go long-term.) Then I was moved class after a year - again, I'm not sure why, just due to numbers I think, but it meant that I was moving into new friendship sets again.
    I was badly bullied at secondary school. I was a very nervous pupil and I had an awful lot of pressure on me at home that to be honest I have only recently started to process - the message my brother and I had all the time was that we were not good enough and that we were basically inadequate as children. My brother recently attempted to take his life and it's only now we've started really talking about our childhood and adolescence that we've realised we aren't crazy! My dad in particular seems to genuinely believe we had an amazing time as a family and were so close and loving but we both remember differently - my brother tried to kill himself aged twelve because he failed a Maths test and I tried to take an overdose at a similar age because I just felt so inadequate as a person. It IS strange trying to explain what it was like, because those memories are interspersed with memories and photographs of happy family holidays and days out and making sense of it all is very peculiar. I think the problem is that my parents didn't enjoy being parents: they were constantly trying to fobb us off as young kids onto other local parents who then (I now realise) avoided us as a result of this [​IMG] but it meant we were extremely isolated as a family unit, if that makes sense.
    Growing up, and becoming an adult was immensely difficult for me. I have started to think of myself as a home-schooled kid who went to school, if that makes sense, because I had been so held back socially. I had a group of friends at school and later at sixth form college but I never felt comfortable. I lost my mum in adolescence and I think that combined with such a difficult childhood meant university was just awful for me - I suffered from what I can now recognise and identify as quite severe anxiety but I didn't know why and being very young and pretty much on my own meant I didn't even think to seek help or talk to somebody about how I was feeling. Teaching was in some ways a healing process for me and to an extent still is. All the same, I don't think I settled into being who I am until I was around 27/28. Why that age was key I don't know - I think it was just that I had so much to learn about the world I suppose and while I wouldn't describe myself as immature generally I think I was quite socially immature until that age, if that makes sense.
    I still see my dad, and I recognise still a lot of behaviour that makes me uncomfortable. At 68 years old, my dad is still good-looking, he has a very friendly, relaxed, humourous manner about him but he also has no tact at all and often needlessly upsets people and also socially is far too forward and to be honest uses people for what they can give him. One of my (few!) friends from sixth form college and I got back in touch a couple of years ago on Facebook and she now lives in the south of France. My dad's first response? "Well, you know what I'D do?" complete with smug and questioning look. "I'd go and STAY WITH HER." My dad couldn't see that plonking myself on a woman I haven't spoken to for over a decade was not appropriate. All he saw was a cheap/free holiday. Sad, really.
    I explain all the above to stress that you can come back from it. How I have, I don't know, but I have and I'm quite proud of it. I'm successful career-wise and have a good job, I own my own home and planning to start a family this year. I feel happy and content with life. I do sometimes feel sad that the first 27 years of it were unhappy ones, but I have to force myself to make the choice to move on and accept that. I wish you well x
     
  5. I used to feel like this until around 30 and still do in some ways. I've been relatively successful - gaining a PhD, buying a house and cars, getting to the top of UPS etc, with pretty well all the good things happening after I turned 30. I still find it very difficult/impossible to form friendships and relationships. In work situations I'm fine, however I have and still do find social situations agonising and excruciating. I've always thought of it as shyness. I heard the term recently 'social anxiety' - and I think that is a good description. Basically I'm reconciled to the fact that for some reason I'll never be able to form lasting friendshisp and relationships, but am no longer unhappy as I throw myself into my work and interests - I'd recommend doing the same as it really does take your mind off things. I spend lots of time perfecting stuff for work, reading, watching films, driving my cars, and going out to concerts, operas, ballet, theatre etc by myself (which I'm quite happy doing. I'm now around 40 and don't think I'll ever be able to form friendships or relationships, but am no longer unhappy.
     
  6. I am afraid I don't have much to add, but the posts above are fantastic and I'm sure have already left you feeling somewhat better! I hope so. I just didn't want to read and run, and suggest that you please see your doctor re. the depressive feelings, they can be most overwhelming...you must allow yourself some help!

    Please do take care and don't be so hard on yourself.
     
  7. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    On a more sociological/political note, this book about "affluenza" might be worth a read
    The author is a noted (child) psychologist, and is interested in how parental and societal pressures cause unhappiness and some types of depression
    http://www.selfishcapitalist.com/affluenza.html


    He also wrote "They f**** You Up" - haven't read that yet, but it's on my list of ermmmm "must-haves" ,ermmm, as it were....
     

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