Sometimes I'm tired of trying

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Django Hendrix
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/16/2008 8:42 PM (GMT -7)   
A little about myself: I have bipolar I, alcoholism (in recovery; 4 years) and stage 3 hepatitis C. All three of these are chronic and deadly diseases so I don't know exactly where to post. However, when things go wrong, my emotional and mental health suffers the most. While the medication works it is not a silver bullet.

I'm not a victim. To the best of my ability, I've struggled to make the best life I can for myself. I recently graduated from college (I'm 38 yrs old) and I work. Sometimes though, I just want to say screw it. I just want God to take me in my sleep. I feel like that is a reasonable request considering everything I've gone through in my life.

I have no real support because I'm afraid to let people know what I'm going through. I'm afraid that they will reject me and abandon me, the way that I sometime feel that God has done.

I/We deserve a good life! I/We deserve good things to happen to us! I/We deserve love, from other people and from God! So why does God literally reserve all of the pain and suffering for some people, while he lays at the feet of a few, all of the love, happiness, riches and rewards of life?

-madatgod

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 1/16/2008 10:14 PM (GMT -7)   
DH, welcome. I understand what you are saying, but I don't know that even the people you view as "having all the riches" - don't to the extent that you think. If you are out there faking it...don't you think others are to? Some may just fake it better than others. And even if some seemingly on the surface look like they have love, happiness, riches and all the rewards...you don't really know their "story" (any better than they know yours), and 99.9% of the time, it ALL comes with a price and is not REALLY what it seems. That is not to say that some do not have it easier than others. Some do, but it is NEVER free. And most importantly....it is never easy. And for that .1% that it might be....there is always a time in life when it isn't in some way, for some reason, that you or I will never know. Because they won't let you in to them, any more than you would let them into you. Does that make sense? I don't think you can equate Gods love that way. As BAD as you may have it. The truth is, you probably have many riches around you which you are not seeing. You are not living in a third world country, with no shoes or running water, no education, and scavenging for food everyday in trash heaps. But there are those that do. So "riches" is relative. I am not invalidating your struggles. I am sure they are immense. But from the sound of it, you have overcome a lot, and have MUCH to be grateful and proud of yourself for. Is there room for more to come to you...absolutely, so create the space for it by already holding the good you DO have with gratitude. Allow yourself (as hard as it may be) to see the wealth already around you. Keep a gratitude journal perhaps. Start with only listing 3 things in a day that you are grateful for that you DO have. This will help you stop looking at what you think you don't have, and start to REALLY see what you do.

I use to tell my MIL when she was slowly dying of cancer, and she would get depressed about all the cancer was step by step taking away from her, that she still had SO much more than others to be grateful for. I finally made her some cards she could carry with her. And when she felt lost, or consumed by the sorrow, she could take out the cards and read them. As an example of what they said - "I can speak to my daughter and know what she is saying", "I can say I love you and hear it back", "I can listen to beautiful music that takes my breath away and makes my soul soar", "I can hold my husbands hand in mine and feel his skin touching mine" ....etc. You get the point. Everyday we would go through the cards we made, and pick the ones that were still true. They were tangible and she could hold them and read them as many times as she needed to help her. Because no matter HOW bad it gets....there are ALWAYS things to be grateful for. Many are things that don't take trying either...they are things that just ARE...but most don't view them as blessings from God and they are. I have a friend who's mother has been in a vegetative state for 5+ years, from frontal lobe dementia. She doesn't know her daughter, can't speak, can't move as she has forgotten how, has no idea what words mean anymore...she just lays in a hospital bed balled up starring into space. It is TRULY tragic. I grew up with this woman and she would have HATED this. This has drained EVERYTHING away from this woman, and her daughter never married, no other family (except friends), and has had to walk this path with her mom alone. But believe it or not, there are still blessings in this, as tragic as it is. Her mom is in a safe place, well cared for in her absence, she can still come and touch her mom, tell her she loves her (whether she understands or not). Yes, the blessing are few, but if you look hard enough...they are still there. And when it is time, and her body lets go....there will be blessings then too...even in the hardship of it all.

I know I must sound like a person who just always looks on the bright side. I am not, but I do always strive for balanced thought. When I am down...I allow myself some time to wallow in it, then I find the blessings in spite of it all. And I am not trying to invalidate your feelings in any way, and I DO understand your feelings of wanting it to stop sometimes, BUT...It is not YOUR time, and there is MUCH for you to do, and live, and see, and learn, and GIVE - left in your life. So open yourself to the blessings that DO exist in your life right now. I doubt you will remain so angry with God. Hope this helps. LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 1/16/2008 10:20:56 PM (GMT-7)


mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/16/2008 11:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I am sorry you are going through such a rough time.  Welocome, and I hope you find the support you need here.  The fear of judgement from others is what causes alot of people suffering from mental illness, to just not open up.  To not let anyone in.  But please do not be afraid, it is just that first step that is the hardest.  Sure, we can not help but know that some people ignorantly judge.  But those who love you, those who are your friends, they will support you.  They may need to get educated on your afflictions, to help answer questions.
You should be so proud of yourself.  Graduate of college.  I will be like you, by the time I am done I will be 37 or 38.  We are just young ones you know ;)
And please do not think all of those "happy" people, all the people with "riches" are too perfect.  I believe every family has it's demons, and you should learn to embrace everything wonderful about yourself...and concentrate on that.
 
God loves you, God can hear you, and in my beliefs....no matter what our trials and tribulations, God has a plan for you, and you were put on this earth with special gifts to help teach others.
I hope you stick around, I know you will gain a lot of support here, as I have.
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" ~ Maria Robinson


Django Hendrix
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/17/2008 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for hearing me out. You are right - I have a lot to be grateful for. Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of even the small stuff to have gratitude for. I feel a lot better and I really appreciate you all not BSing me. I'm still somewhat ambivalent about God, but I know in my heart that he is with me. It is just hard for me understand sometimes why there is so much pain in the world. And, letting people in is something I need to work on. I've built up a wall around myself and the thing that holds it together is this belief that many of us have instilled us that we should "suck it in and pull ourselves by our bootstraps", "don't show any weakness", etc...

Thanks again.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/17/2008 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Django,

Thank you for joining the board and bringing your voice to us. It's so hard for all of us to maintain any kind of faith in the face of mental illness. I bet there isn't one person on this board who hasn't had exactly the kind of thoughts you wrote about, whether they be of God or of self, or of who or whatever we put our faith in. I can't help but wonder at times how long I can put up with it, how long I can struggle with not having even my own brain to rely on. But that's ridiculous, because I am a woman with countless blessings, and because LFW said it so eloquently, I won't even try to repeat it.


serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 1/17/2008 10:43 PM (GMT -7)   
DH, in some ways I think it is the pressure that you spoke of for a lot of people that helps so many hold it together to whatever degree it allows them to remain functional. The key is I suppose to be able to do that, but balance it with selectively letting yourself still be vulnerable with those you love and trust to let them see the truth. I don't know if that changes the responsibility level to ones actions, words or attitude when you do let go and show it all to those trusted few. And to be honest, as a wife to a BP, as well as a mother to a S with BP, being on this side I would say NO, it does not change the responsibility required. But I do believe, and I want to acknowledge that I know it is HARD, it can be done so it gives you balance and the best of both worlds. I have witnessed it here on this HW board with those who are ready to really own their own wellness, and still strive to have loving, emotionally intimate relationships in their lives. I have times here in my own house where it occurs. I think it is a skill that takes time and endurance to develop. And one should probably start with baby steps to do it. But I do think that the ability to do the stiff upper lip routine is evaluable to call upon to be able to function - because no matter what...functioning is important. What a blessing you have that. See...another blessing!! Now, if you feel you are ready...start to create the balance so you get some relief from it, and can put it down at will. Then maybe in time, you won't be so exhausted by it all. Just some thoughts for you anyway. Sending you good thoughts. LFW

Django Hendrix
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/19/2008 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your kind words. It is really hard sometimes. I've got a lot going against me and sometimes I feel so alone. I'm afraid to meet new girls because I know if I get to attached they will reject me when they see that i take medication or find out that I have hep C. I sometimes feel sorry for myself because my friends know about my struggles, but they have never even once called me to ask how I'm doing. Most of them are in recovery for alcoholism and their view is that tough love BS - You got yourself into to this, it is your fault, just deal with it. Or because I don't act sick or look sick, people don't know how I struggle with my moods and the fact that my liver is always in pain and that I'm sometimes chronically fatigued from the hep C. It is just very lonely sometimes...I have three strikes against me. Another great fear is that my insurance won't cover me anymore once it takes effect. I need to work because it gives me something to focus my mind on, but if I can't get the health coverage I need, i might have to resort to being indigent again so that I qualify for subsidized health care. The system is so screwed up. They punish you for being ill!!!!!!!!

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 1/19/2008 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
DH, I agree with you that much of the health care system is screwed up. It applies pressure unnecessarily, which is counter productive to wellness when someone is ill. You talk about the 3 strikes against you, and I hear how angry you are at the world. But it sounds like your friends are suggesting accountability and ownership....I don't know that that is tough love BS. See the issue may be, that you want life the way it was before your actions led to the situation you are in. I am NOT judging you. I am just saying that the one sure thing I know about life is that it changes. Your life changed, in a direction you are not happy with and you now can't get rid of. I DO understand being angry about that. But there has to come a time when you reach acceptance of your situation where you put down the anger and devise a plan for the new life of yours that can work for you to. Plus, you sound angry at people for not knowing your situation and struggles, but you are sharing that you are doing a great job hiding it from them.

You see, I know much of what you are saying because when I met my husband, and we became engaged, his cousin (who became one of my dearest friends) came to me and shared with me that she was HIV Positive. That she was very selective about who knew. It turned out, she was one of the first heterosexual women in this country to be dx. This was now 6 years later when she shared it with me. Keeping this thing private and quite was critical still as this was the late 80's, early 90's. People were still so freaked out about it. But one day, it turned on her and became full blown AIDS. I remember sitting with her in the hospital as she had turned the corner and was on her way to recovery from the pneumonia, and we talked about the fact that maybe it was time to come out of the closet and let people know what was going on with her. Perhaps it was time to let the chips land where they may and then she can pick up the pieces and make a new life for herself. She is today, still one of the braves women I've ever known. She did just that. She started working with advocate groups sharing her truth, and knowledge and experience with practically any one who would listen. She lectured in schools, she traveled to give lectures and be part of coalitions in front of state and national government groups. She helped with changing perspective about the disease, so people could start to see the person who was suffering, and NOT just their own fear, and to openly learn how to love the person, stay with the person, but be responsible about safety as well. When our state started an AIDS awareness week, and key speakers were selected to speak on the steps of our state's capital about AIDS, she was one of them. She now viewed her life as a tool for education, and she was determined to still LIVE as long as she could. We lost her Jan. 16, 1996. We didn't have a funeral, we had a celebration of her life, and more than 200 of her friends from all over the world (Australia, Europe...etc.) came. It was incredible. Our state senate had a minute of silence in her memory.

I have shared this with you for one reason only. Because that is what is possible for life, if you accept the one you have now and make a plan to move forward. Was it easy for her? NO...she HATED the ignorance she ran up against, time and time again. But over time, it got easier to handle, she practiced her responses that pointed out their ignorance, educated them and accepted their fear. It didn't change everyone, but many relaxed and learned and passed that on the next time they met someone like her. She surrounded herself with people who GOT IT, and loved her, and she ALLOWED herself to reach out...A KEY COMPONENT! You talked about wanting to meet women, and how they will reject you when they find out about your Hep C status. But perhaps your goal should not be meeting women for an intimate sexual relationship at this point, but because you like the company of women, to build sincere abiding friendships. Eventually, one might be able to grow beyond the fear. Or, you might meet a woman with similar struggles who you balance each other out? And if it doesn't happen, your expectations can't get disappointed, because you weren't reaching for physical intimacy. I understand compounding this all is the BP too. But isn't it all a one step at a time process? Be honest with yourself, be gentle with yourself, find out what you want and go get it. On the days it is good, go for it, on the days it is bad...have a contingency plan to love yourself through it. Accept that when people know better they do better, and if they don't know what is REALLY going on, if you don't help teach them, then they don't have the opportunity to do better. Does that make sense?

Anger is not going to remain your friend, unless it is giving you what you want. At some point, you are going to have to embrace all you are going through...your 3 strikes as you put it...and find a way to create joy for yourself with and in spite of it. This is your new world...you are brave to face it. Surround yourself with support, take care of yourself to the greatest level of wellness you can reach, and set your goals (a step at a time) to attainable realistic levels....with an opportunity for growth. I've seen it done. It all starts with what you choose. So choose well....Well wishes, and warm caring thoughts are with you. LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 1/19/2008 12:21:56 PM (GMT-7)


Django Hendrix
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/19/2008 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I understand what you are saying, and I have owned up to my situation. If I hadn't I would have been lying around on the dole for the past four years, complaining, instead of trying to move forward in a positive direction, which I have. I am just struggling right now. I didn't ask to be an alcoholic (genetic), I didn't ask to be bipolar (genetic), I didn't ask for hep c (bad blood transfusion), and I didn't ask to have my childhood stolen from me. I see God abandoning entire continents of people. I see God abandoning entire neighborhoods in the city where I live. I'm beginning to see that maybe God has nothing to do with it. Perhaps there is no God and if there is, then he,she or it is entirely uncaring and arbitrary. I once had faith, but I'm beginning to see that I might have been naive.

I have always been there for my friends. When my friend David's mother died and his lover abandoned him, I was there. When my friend James was going though the worst time in his sobriety, I opened my doors to him and gave him a key to my apartment, never asking for a penny. Not only that, I stayed up with him many many times until the wee hours of the morning because he was to afraid to go to sleep. I've probably spent at least a thousand dollars on another friend to keep him in food and cigarettes because he can't work. It might seem like I'm keeping score, but I'm not. I'm just saying this to make a point. When I need a little love and support no one, and i mean no one is there to reciprocate. People know about my struggles, but not one of these people have ever even picked up the phone just to say "Hey, I've been thinking about you. How are you doing?" Just that much would make a world of difference.

I am not feeling sorry for myself! My darn liver is hurting , I'm fatigued and my mood is not that great. But I'm not going to call anybody and tell them about it, because they could care less and i'll just get angrier for being rejected. I don't feel like I should have to broadcast my problems to my friends anyway. They should have the decency to reciprocate every now and then.

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 1/19/2008 6:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with you. SO...perhaps the problem is in your selection of friends? Here's what I mean. You have been through a lot, and you clearly have worked hard to rise above the lot you have been dealt. SO much for you to be proud of. All the things you listed about these people you have been there for shows you are a caring person in spite of your difficulties. BRAVO! Now, maybe it is time to allow yourself to be with people at the same level of quality as yourself. There was a time when I was 28, I was bedridden for almost a year due to a SEVERE episode of Fibromyalgia. They didn't know it was that at the time, but we do now. I to, like you, took friendship to be something valuable and was always there for my friends. And here I was, SLAMMED, and only a few of the people at that time showed up for me. The most interesting part was that my friends that I had had since childhood, or from college, showed up and were there for me. The friends I had made in my adulthood really didn't. So, one day I cleaned house as it were....I went and got a new phone book and transfered the names of those people who I wanted in my life that had a balanced give and take relationships with me (my lifelong friends, my college roommate, my 1st apartment roommate...etc.). But, if it was one of the one-sided relationships with a person who I would hang or do things with, if I made the efforts to get us together (as you are describing), I called once, said the following... "This is "*", I am going through a rough time and could use my friend, if you choose not to call or show up for me, that is fine, I accept that, but this will be my last call to you. If you want to continue our friendship, it will only stay alive if you put in the effort. I am here, and available to continue as friends, but if you choose not to contact me, then I am releasing you with love and wish you well in life and I just wanted to say goodbye"..... In the end, this was the lesson I learned as only 2 called me. I was not being selective enough with who I was investing my time and love into. I was feeling so undeserving that I allowed A LOT of people to take advantage of my kindness. I was the perfect person to rescue them, or for them to lean on when THEY wanted or needed support. But like you are seeing, it was not reciprocated...it was ALL about them. Not US as friends being there for each other. My lifelong friends are still here in my life and in abundance, my roommates are still in my life even though they live far and wide. With new friends I have learned that if it turns one sided, to see the signs and speak up or back away. I am very blessed today to have many VERY good and dear friends. But I learned that it had to start with me doing a better job of choosing them. I remember breaking up in a relationship I had been in for 5 years, and it was hard, so I went to a support group with people going through the same things as me (divorce, break-ups, death...etc.) - none of those people remained in my life and we were together "hanging" together for MONTHS AND MONTHS....propping each other up when we needed it. But, these were really not my kind of people. We had NOTHING in common except for our losses, and as we healed we didn't really need each other anymore and we all drifted apart. Some, I simply let go of because when I healed enough to really see them for who they were....I didn't like what I saw.

My point DH is that maybe you need to do some house cleaning too? You deserve to surround yourself with people who will give back to you too. They will call you almost as much as you may call them. They will care to check in with you if you are feeling crappy and will bring you soup occasionally. YOU deserve that, and the only way for you to get that is to not waste your time with the people who are so focused on themselves, they can't really see YOU, except for what you can do for them. Does that make sense? I know once I "let go"...a higher quality of people came my way, because I started attracting people like me into my world. I started standing up for what I deserved and that allowed me to attract that too me. I didn't do it out of anger, I really did let go with love and wish them well. But I finally "got it" about taking care of me and teaching people how to treat me.

As to God....as cliché as it may seem....maybe this is all part of your process and your faith has to start with you. God is all around in all the blessings you do hold, but is it a perfect God? I am not sure if I could know enough of what I see to make that judgment. I know that I want things now and don't want to wait...but God does things in his own perfect time. I wanted another baby SO bad for many years....each month I would cry when it didn't happen...even when I got help. But, then one month it did work...and I ended up with twins...one boy/one girl. If I had gotten pregnant ANY other month, with any other egg and sperm joining....I won't have the exact kids I do...I'd have someone else for a child....and I simply don't see how that is possible...God was perfect in his decision to make me wait...and allow me both, instead of just the additional one I was aiming for. Even when I didn't understand that at the time. Do you see what I mean? From what you have shared, you seem like a kind and remarkable person that SO many would love to call friend...perhaps you just need to develop some new friendships as a starting place, and lovingly let go of those who aren't your equal in their capacity to care? And I am sorry that your liver hurts...that doesn't sound pleasant. Hang in there DH...keep doing what you are to have the best life you can. Just open yourself up and let goodness continue to find you. LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 1/19/2008 6:31:20 PM (GMT-7)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/19/2008 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
What a conversation. I hardly know where to jump in. Allow me to just voice my support and offer a 'hang in there' to you, Django, for what it's worth. I'm sorry for your struggles, but you sound like a strong, determined man. Hang in there.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare

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