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Need to Change


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This is very long, but bear with me. I spent a lot of time preparing it and I hope some of you will read it and share your opinions....


I have recently reached a point in my life where I have decided that I really need to make some changes. I have spent too much of my life depressed with an attitude of “I don’t give a ****”. Looking back I have many regrets about the things I did not do. The think my attitude at time allowed me to miss opportunities and not feel bad about it. But I am tired of that now. I am in what are supposed to be the best years of my life (college) yet I feel like ever since high school the years have been the complete opposite. I have a lot on my mind but I am going to try to state how I’m feeling as organized as I can.


I am twenty years old. I had a rough child hood with an abusive father and, eventually, a rough divorce between my parents. Today I can say that the divorce was for the best but still, years later, there are still many lingering problems as a result of the divorce. My mother has decided that she wants as little to do with my father as possible. I can respect those feelings but I do not agree with how she handles it, which is to make everything with my father MY responsibility. I need to pass along messages between them. The worst part is that my mother does not seem to care in my younger sister has a relationship with him. She would much rather my sister become closer to her step father. I do not feel that this is appropriate for my mother to do. My sister never calls to see how my father is doing. I end up being the middleman between my father and mother/sister. I am tired of this. I should be focused on my school work and having fun; not trying to mediate a relationship between them. I cannot bring myself to stop completely though because I feel like if it wasn’t for what I do, there would zero contact between them. I want my sister to have a relationship with my dad. This whole situation causes me a lot of stress and mixed feelings about what I should do.


I do have my own problems with my father. I am currently living with him and his girlfriend. I like them both very much however we have very different ideas of how we want to live our lives. We do things very differently. I feel like I am constantly nagged by father over every little thing. If I decide to go out at night, he will go on and on about how I have to be up early for work the next day. Constantly telling me how I will be tired in the morning, that I can’t always go out at night, etc. If I have laundry that could be done, but doesn’t need to, he will lecture me about being lazy (he hasn’t used this word) when it comes to doing my chores. I have a load or two that could be washed but I always have another week’s worth of clean clothes so I don’t feel the need to do the laundry when he does. It just feels like he complains about everything little thing I do. He goes on about me needing to take more pride in my look (I am happy wearing jeans and a t-shirt), he says I need to exercise more (I go several times a week, he never exercises), he goes about how I need to quit smoking (can’t blame him for this one, but I will get to it later), I sleep in too much sometimes, I stay up to late, I don’t work enough at school (made dean’s list this semester), I don’t have the right attitude about work (I get frustrated when I have nothing to do and just sit there at work twiddling my thumbs), I don’t do the dishes right (I start cleaning and they put more dirty dishes in the sink as I am washing them). I could go on but I’m just trying to give you guys and idea.


Work is very good and very bad for me. For my age, I have a very good job. It is in the field that I want to work in. I have gained a lot of valuable experience and learned a lot of important skills. There are days where I will be running around non-stop – I love it. I completely lose track of time. I am enjoying my work then someone will come up to me and say “Hey its 5:30, what are you still doing here? Go home!”. The problem is that there are days where I have nothing to do. I literally sit at my desk all day trying to look busy. I do not like to sit and do nothing. I also get very worried that my boss will see that I am doing nothing. I have tried to change this. I have started doing research on equipment we use at work so I can better understand it (this is a computer related job). I will research new concepts that we are looking into. I will study for certifications that are relevant to what my job duties include. All this is great but I cannot do this for eight hours a day, every day.


I am attending school. School has never been my thing. I have struggled with motivation for school my whole life. When I take a class that I am interested in or see the importance of, I exceed. In high school I had straight A’s in all my computer classes. But the rest of my classes, I had mostly C’s and D’s. Right now I am doing classes that have nothing to do with computers. They are gen ed’s. I am doing well but I have no enjoyment from classes. It feels like I am paying to take classes that I will never use again. I will eventually get to the computer classes, but that won’t be for another year at least. I just find incredibly difficult to get myself going for school.


The real thing I wanted to get to in this post in my moods. I really think I have a problem and I have begun to see a therapist again. Just recently, we discussed anti-depressant’s and I will be making an appointment with a specialist soon. I have extreme mood swings. I go from very happy, to very mad, to very depressed. I want to emphasize the very. Sometimes I will be in a depressed slump for days at a time. There are days (most days recently) where I struggle to get out of bed. I wake up every day dreading what I am doing. I have nothing to look forward to. Nothing is bringing my happiness. Every day I seriously contemplate calling out sick from work/school. I feel like doing nothing. I just want to sleep and wake up when things are better. Other times, my mood will change throughout the day. I will wake up depressed and spend an hour trying to get myself out of bed. Then I will get into work and feel numb. Numb is my normal state I guess. It is in-between the moods. It is not a good or bad; it’s kind of like floating throughout the day. Then someone at the office will send out a funny video and I start to feel a little happier. Then I get a call that some equipment is not working. I will get extremely irritated when the person calling stands over my shoulder complaining about things not working. I will be on my hands and needs moving their stuff out of the way so I can get to their computer to see whats wrong. These people trash the equipment and their desks are such a mess I don’t know how they get their work done. I am sitting there trying to figure out why their computer works. I am a little on edge because I probably could go for a cigarette. To top off the persons stands over me complaining about how things break all the time, how are they supposed to work when their computer doesn’t work, then they will even try to tell me what is wrong with it. I never snap on people; I just end up chain smoking for a while after I fix their computer.


These moods are seriously starting to affect me. I will go out with my friends and start off being excited and pumped up to go out and have a good time. Then I get there and out of nowhere, for no reason, I start to feel to depressed. I don’t feel like doing anything. I can’t even get myself to talk. I’ll want to, but I just can’t focus on the conversation or I just can’t think of anything to say. I am trying to understand what triggers my moods. I have found that when I need a cigarette but cannot smoke, that will trigger a depressed/angry mood. When my father nags me, that will trigger the same. When I get a call to go out with friends, that triggers a happy mood. But there are so many times where my mood will change for no reason! I cannot stand this. It’s gotten to a point where I can’t even have fun because I feel like I have this glooming feeling over me. I know that even if I am happy and feel how I want to I know that I will eventually slip back into being depressed. More and more I am feeling that I want to get away from it all. I kind of want my life to end because I cannot deal with this anymore. I do think about suicide but never seriously. I think about how it would easy, but I never actually think about how/when I would do it.


There is more to say but I will leave it at this for now as it’s been a very long post. I hope some of you will read this and post your opinions or any comments. If anyone has had similar mood swings I would love to talk more here or via private messages.

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Hey there first off, I'd like to say that you have been living under a lot of pressure for a long time, you wouldn't be normal if you weren't a bit depressed. Your BEST approach is this...


1. Don't try to change anyone but you....and do that with a vengeance!


2. Get to bed earlier so that you can wake up earlier and work out/run/bike whatever. Get moving because this oxygenates your brain & body and boost your mood for the entire day. You'll feel better and look better too! OUTSIDE is best because of FRESH AIR & SUNSHINE. Both are very important for brain chemistry/moods.


3. Drink water first thing in the morning and then between meals. Drinking with meals dilutes your stomach acids and so food sits in your stomach longer. But stay hydrated! Headaches, bad moods, and lots of bad stuff (like constipation/hangovers/bad skin) can be alleviated or avoided by simply staying hydrated. WATER, not soda, beer or coffee. In fact, to risk being super preachy, NO SODAS EVER AGAIN, they totally mess with your moods (SUGAR HIGHS/SUGAR CRASHES) and are the expressway to obesity and diabetes.


4. Eat super healthy. 3 meals a day minimum and definitely a hearty breakfast. No or minimal junk food, plenty of good complex carbohydrates (whole wheat bread, beans, brown rice, veggies), good proteins like tuna, eggs, even powdered whey protein shakes). Veggies, whatever kinds u like, every day. Healthy fats like in guacamole, flax meal, & olive oil every day. Proper nutrition is a way better approach to stabilizing your brain & body chemistry than any drug will ever be. I would caution against any mood elevator drug unless everything else has failed. Doctors think "drugs or surgery", they dont study too much nutrition at all. Give yourself a month and see if the change in diet & lifestyle works before turning to a drug. Remember, your liver has to process everything u put into your mouth, it should be food!


5. Be kind to everyone, they all have their stuff to deal with, just as you deal with yours. That being said, we still have to accept our family for who they are and sometimes we have to help out as best we can. But don't give till u bleed. Maybe being less available to them for "go-between" duties (gee I have to study/work/get my bike ride in) will gently encourage them to take baby steps toward growth. We can only hope. Try to keep the peace as best u can, which it does sound like u do alot. Just pick your battles wisely and try to stay under the radar. I'm not sure what the deal is with living there at dads, maybe you've got certain chores to do and u should help out, but geez u r working AND in school. Grab some fruit and a protein shake for dinner and hit the books. Let them do their own dishes. Say its part of your new "diet". Thank your dad for his "advice" and let him know you are making some big changes. Maybe that will get him off your back for a bit so u can have some peace.


6. Go cold turkey on the cigs. I have helped give stop smoking seminars and learned alot. It only takes 4 - 7 days to detox from nicotine. Any urge after that is just the habit calling u, not the nic. Recognize what your triggers are for wanting a smoke and take steps or make arrangements to have something else to fill that void. The urge to smoke passes within 2 minutes, so how about two minutes of pushups or crunches or wash your face or whatever, just 2 minutes of something not fattening or stupid


7. Pray to God whenever u feel confused, sad, angry, whatever. Ask for wisdom, strength, forgiveness, whatever u think u need most at the time. Believe. I'm serious, it works.


Hope this helps. Remember, uncommon people lead uncommon lives. You sound like you will not only survive, you will prevail!

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Thanks for taking an interest in this!


1. I know I cannot change others. I want to change my, what I'll call, mood problem. It doesn't feel normal, stable or healthy to me to have such extreme shifts in mood.


2. Agree


3. I have been trying to increase my water intake. I've started carrying a bottle of water with me while at work/school.


4. I eat pretty good right now. If I'm out with friends and the munchies take over I might eat something bad. Overall I eat well, but there is always room for improvement.


5. This is what is so hard for me. I could refuse to be the middleman; it would definitely give me some relief. The only problem is that if I were to stop then my sister would have NO communication whatsoever with my dad. I know it isn't my job to make them have a relationship but it hurts me so much just thinking about them not having a relationship; that's why I try to help as best as I can.


6. Cold turkey does not work for me. I have tried several times to quit, just doesn't work. Smoking is one of my triggers for the moods. I just cannot get through my days if I'm walking around pissed off because of not smoking. The benefits of quitting obviously outweigh what I get from smoking - I just, deep down inside, do not want to quit right now. I want to be a non-smoker but I don't truly want to quit. And honestly, as bad as this is, the feeling of satisfying a craving makes me feel really good and there is hardly anything right now that makes me feel good. Smoking a cig when I'm having a mood doesn't help the mood at all, but the feeling of smoking makes me feel a little better, some days I really need that little boost.


7. I am not religious. I cannot get myself to pray. I don't really believe that there is a higher being out.


Again, thanks for the reply! Even just chatting online about it makes me feel a little better!

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