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I am refusing to let go of my misery....why??


zestygirl

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I am a miserable, bitter, person filled with anger, rage, and utter despair almost every day of my life. I'm not proud of it. The details really don't matter, right? The bottom is reached in many ways, I suppose - and once you get there, life changes in a way I for one, could not have predicted. It's like opening a door to a dark and awful prison, that once visited - cannot be forgotten. Once the path is marked, one finds themselves drawn down it - despite the knowledge that they know they shouldn't allow themselves to travel back to such a terrible place.

 

I often visualize my depression as being like someone who is surrendering to water, sinking, drowning, drifting down to the bottom like a ribbon, without resisting the current as it pulls me deeper....this for some reason fits how I feel.

 

So, fine, you say. She's obviously a little crazy.

 

Maybe that's true. I've gotten to the point where I really don't even know how to make rational judgements about myself or others - so I couldn't tell you whether or not I am even still sane.

 

I did realize something recently, though. And it has disturbed me. I asked myself: "Why? Why am I so irreversibly and stubbornly miserable"? At first, the old list of "whys" rattled through my brain, the things I don't have, the things I want, the burdens I carry, the harms done to me....And I realized something.

 

I am stuck in a stubborn stance, both feet dug in, detesting my life. REFUSING to accept my life. Hating it: because I feel I deserve better, because it is NOT the life I ever wanted for myself. And because the thought of actually ACCEPTING my life, of being happy with what I have, well - it makes me feel almost physically ill. If I was to decide to feel grateful for what I have, it would be tantamount to saying: "I accept this garbage as my life, and I LOVE it"! It almost feels insulting. Here - eat some garbage, and smile with filth all over your teeth while you tell everyone how great it tastes. Yay! I'm officially a LOSER!

 

On some deep, disturbed level, I think that by continuing to reject what I have, MAYBE what I WANT will come along. My eyes are not on what I have. My mind says "screw what you have, it sucks. Think about what you WANT". So, I think about what I want, and then I think about the fact that I will never ever have what I want,

 

and I want to die. I choke on my own bitterness, and I am rendered the drowning victim...

 

I actually have trouble MOVING let alone eating when I feel like this. Picture a puddle of a person. I consume myself from the inside out. It's like an acid that just eats everything. I'm a shell.

 

So - am I crazy? Or am I just a terrible person who takes everything for granted?

 

Finally, when I have EXHAUSTED myself for decades in this despair - where would I ever find the strength required to climb out of the emotional tomb I have buried myself in?

 

If you have been depressed - have you ever felt like this? Does it even make sense?

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I can SO identify with you, I feel very much the same. I can look at people who have so much less than I do, and TRY to be grateful for what I have, but the all consuming thought is - this is not what I want. This is NOT how my life is supposed to be.

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Wow, you did a really fantastic job of expressing how it feels to be in a deep, long depression. And you have - a lot of insight.

 

Yes, can totally relate.

 

No, you are not crazy. Far, far from it.

 

Depressed? Certainly sounds it. Have you ever sought out treatment?

 

Where does the energy come from? What happened for me is the energy I was putting into keeping my depression going, I started to release and guide that energy elsewhere. To something healthier, more positive. It takes some time, some work, a lot of consistency.

 

I still am working on it; on maintaining now, so as not to get sucked back in. Old habits die hard.

 

Just think of this possibility: It takes SO much energy to keep oneself in the hole, to live - day in and out - with the huge weights and pains and drains of all those negative feelings and thoughts - so that energy is in you. You have it there.

 

It is a matter of re-directing it to something better. Giving yourself a chance. Giving yourself permission to start hoping again.

 

So long as you are still alive - you can turn it around. I believe this one hundred percent.

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To me, when I read that, I sense an unmeasurable amount of anger, sadness, and pure bitterness for the displeasures you seem to experience. I'm so sorry you feel this low. Nobody should have to feel like this and from what I gather from your post, I doubt that even the words you used for the sentences you structured for the purpose of describing your misery is far from the reality of it in degrees of depression.

 

When did this intensity become mainstream in your life? Was it directly after a paramount event in which you may have lost someone or something, or, was it the culmination of constant failures or disappointments?

 

Believe it or not, there are many people who feel the way you do. I'm one of them, and everyday, I find myself waging the same war as the day before where I could do nothing but battle against the immobilizing paralysis of depression and emptiness. Even today, I feel the "auto-conscious" hunger to try and "figure it out". After 25 years of this mess, I still have no direct answers, and that is after seeing more than one counselor (2 of which had Ph.Ds).

 

The good news is that with time, and baby steps, things do get better, but from my experiences, time is the skeleton key to all this. If you keep trying to get past this, with time, you eventually will.

 

On a more pragmatic approach, what are some things you currently do to improve your lifestyle? For example, how do you react when you see yourself in the mirror? Do you see an aesthetically appealing person, or do you see someone who is overweight, ugly, etc? If you see the latter, then what are some measures you currently use to improve this self-perception? Are you working-out? Are you eating healthy? Are you receiving positive reinforcement from healthy friendships about your personality, etc.?

 

Is there anyway you may just be having a bad day / night which is the product of a crummy week / month and today, it all came to a crash? This has happened to me before, and the product of which is not a very pretty picture...

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P.S.,

 

A key turning point for me was when I finally stopped focusing so much on the "Why?" ..why is it like this? why am I like this? why why why?...

 

and started focusing, at first really deliberately and took a lot of effort, on "How?" How do I get out of this and how do I live the life I want to live?"...

 

Why is not nearly so important as come to think sometimes. Often, it's just one of those repetitive thoughts of negativity we use to reinforce our misery.

 

No matter. There is no avoiding the fact that you must begin with a conscious commitment to change it.

 

Simple, it sounds. Sometimes the simple is the hardest of all to deal with. Start with simple.

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Honestly, you articulated yourself very powerfully. I don't know if it is because I relate but I could FEEL the emotion behind your words.

 

I'm also stuck in this place in life where I just can't seem to let go of the suffering in my life and find myself perpetuating it by destructive thoughts, inaction, resentment, anger, excuses, focusing on the BS of the past.... It's really hard to break free of. Even knowing what to do, I don't do what I have to.

 

And it's weird because I'm a smart person. I've been through hell and back and I have what it takes to go far in life - but I don't. I'm lazy in life - I don't strive for greatness and I'm only stuck here because I lack the power to pull myself out of it.

 

It's so much easier said than done. It's not enough to know the answers or the remedy - actually DOING something about it is one of the hardest things. I find myself sabotaging any progress I make, as if I'm subconsciously kicking and screaming against any change or progress. Sometimes I think I LIKE the misery and find it comforting and that is why I resist my own change.

 

I'm trying to turn my life around right now. I'm reading 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle. I've always been an advocate for reading your way to mental and emotional clarity...and I can recommend a myriad of books that have sort of shed the light on life for me, that aren't the typical "self-help" sort. I think its a huge part of mental health...especially when you start to feel a little crazy.

 

Many people find Tolle a little hard to get into - myself included. It took about 3 tries to actually get through the first chapter, and then I read it in increments but I find the resistance to read it part of MY problem in life. It's not a step-by-step manuel but rather a book you read to interpret it in your own way. It's all about realizing that life in not and never was in the past or in the future - no reliving, or planning/worrying will ever count because life is ONLY now. Then it's about realizing how little time you spend actually LIVING and enjoying the now and how much time you waste perpetuating your suffering because you're ultimately identified with it. It's my second time reading it now, after a year lapse, and I find it very useful in figuring my own head out. You might want to look into it and try not to judge it before you try it.

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For what it's worth, I've noticed many times that this exact feeling you all describe seems to dissipate when I'm hanging around friends. While some of you may blame this exact emotion we all describe from having little-to-no friendships, maybe that would be a good place to start with in this battle?

 

I think this is exactly one reason I often find myself easily angered at my friends when they cancel on me--because it perpetuates this emptiness or depression. It's not their fault their family is having a dinner or that he wound up going on a date, right? But we all know what it feels like to be lonely or to be left for something else (no matter how trivial it may be).

 

I dunno. Just thought I would throw that out there.

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Firstly, Thank you ALL very much for your advice. I hope you realize just how much words can help someone.

 

Have you ever been diagnoised with depression or BPD?

 

Yes. I have seen a couple doctors. The one I have now seems pretty good, but, I've only seen him a couple times.

 

I can look at people who have so much less than I do, and TRY to be grateful for what I have, but the all consuming thought is - this is not what I want. This is NOT how my life is supposed to be.

 

As I say, I think I've discovered the root of my sadness. I always thought once I found it, I could fix it. Not so simple though...

 

Where does the energy come from? What happened for me is the energy I was putting into keeping my depression going, I started to release and guide that energy elsewhere. To something healthier, more positive. It takes some time, some work, a lot of consistency.

 

Grand, I can see here that you're right. I guess the difficulty is that at this point, it feels complicated just to form a smile. I know that you are right, I just feel paralyzed.

 

When did this intensity become mainstream in your life? Was it directly after a paramount event in which you may have lost someone or something, or, was it the culmination of constant failures or disappointments?.

 

Wolf: I am one of those people who had a difficult childhood followed by a difficult adolescence followed by multiple failures, poverty, and heartbreaks. I know that what I now have is "sufficient", and that feeling entitled to more is "wrong", but even knowing that is not enough to shut it off...

 

On a more pragmatic approach, what are some things you currently do to improve your lifestyle?

 

Is there anyway you may just be having a bad day / night which is the product of a crummy week / month and today, it all came to a crash?

 

I have done (frequently) the healthy lifestyle approach. It works when I have the motivation and optimism to do it. When I am depressed, ironically, I could care less what I look like...or my health. And yes. I am having a particularly crummy month. As you probably know, depression is usually triggered by certain events...

 

A key turning point for me was when I finally stopped focusing so much on the "Why?" ... and started focusing, at first really deliberately and took a lot of effort, on "How?"

 

Again, Grand, I do see tht you are right on the money. I can see at this moment that there is something inside me raging against solutions...and doesn't want me to be free.

 

Sometimes I think I LIKE the misery and find it comforting and that is why I resist my own change.

 

I see a lot of my own issues in your post, Balbina. Particularly when you discuss the mental paralysis that prevents you from doing what you know will save you....I also agree that the key to solving depression (truly solving it) lays in fixing our way of thinking/attitudes at a deep level (Such as reading, which is something I am also a big advocate of). The only successes I have ever had in putting myself in a better place have been through rationalizing my way through the mess in my head. I have only had the strength to do that, though, when I feel loved. When I feel lonely or abandoned, I have never had the power to try to rescue myself...

 

For what it's worth, I've noticed many times that this exact feeling you all describe seems to dissipate when I'm hanging around friends.

 

Wolf: It's interesting that I often used to do this very thing. But, I have become more isolated. I shut my friends out these days, unable to fathom social interaction. I think I'm grieving. I think the trigger to this whole episode, as you say, was a series of unlucky events this month: A terrible fight with my sister who spread ugly things about my family, a car dealer that sold me an expensive lemon, my youngest daughter being hospitalized for tonsillitis, the resulting time off work that has shaken my job security, my boyfriend of seven years (with whom I have broken up with at least ten times this year) storming out in a rage the day after Christmas. Our relationship is almost completely dead, and I allowed it to be my "giver of life". Using it as the foundation to build myself....now that it's gone, all my "progress" has crumbled, because the base has disappeared.

 

I guess I just really wished I knew where to start.

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The first thing I would do is give myself a week or so to get things into perspective with that relationship of yours. It sounds like a bad one, so if I were you, I would let the guy stay gone and from that point, keep him out. It will hurt turning him away because he will probably try to come back, but after he gets the point, he'll be gone for good and judging from what you described, that will be a good thing for both of you.

 

After that, just take it one day at a time. We both know you'll come back with the job stuff, and your kid will be okay. ...And I doubt you'll jump off a cliff just because your sister said a couple bad things here and there, right?

 

As far as the lemon is concerned, you'll just have to attack that as best as you can. If a part is missing or broken, try to get it fixed if you have the money, otherwise, just adapt and don't worry about it (or at least, don't let it get you depressed).

 

I know it's easier said than done, but you have to keep your chin up and realize that things like this happen. It sucks, yes, but it eventually gets better one way or the other. If you ever need anyone to chat with, feel free to PM me.

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Wolf: You are right. And, posting here really did help. I was reminded of what a liar depression is, and how the simple solutions usually really are right in front of you.

 

I woke up today feeling better. Nothing changed, just me. I just had a crappy month, and I see that it triggered a depression. It is these times I have to work so hard to control myself, or I could end up in a bad place.

 

Happy new year! Thank you again.

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