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serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/12/2007 7:18 PM (GMT -7)   
You know, I normally try to be pretty positive. I'm what my therapist calls "very high functioning." Most people would never, ever guess that there's anything wrong with me, and in fact, most people think I'm absurdly cheerful. It's a joke at work (and was in my classroom as well) that you can hear me laughing from across the store. I've always worked very, very hard to hide my darker emotions from strangers (yay abusive, alcoholic parents,) and I'm really good at it.

But I'm not feeling so positive tonight. I've got the self-pity soundtrack playing. Normally I hide these things, but maybe I'll take a chance and lay it out there with you guys. Maybe you all can help me with it. It's pretty pathetic, but maybe just getting off my chest will help.

I feel like such a failure. I really thought I would be someone else by now -- someone who was so much more "successful," someone who had it so much more together. I had a career planned, and even begun! I had hopes. I thought I would have written books, been a tenured teacher, been more confident, more satisfied with my life. But I'm just not. I've absolutely failed. I've done nothing. I'm not satisfied, I'm miserable, and I know I have no reason to be which just makes it worse. I have a great husband, a beautiful and brilliant daughter, (who doesn't think their kids are beautiful and brilliant, but mine really is! :-)) a house, comfort. But it's not enough. I just can't ever be happy.

Instead I feel like I've spent the past decade fighting with my head and body. It's so exhausting. People don't realize how a mood disorder affects everything. Every little thing. Can I do the dishes tonight? I don't know -- I'll have to see how I feel. I was a teacher, but now I work in a bloody bookstore. I have two Master's degrees and I work in a bookstore!!! But I can't stand the responsibility and the pressure of teaching -- the work-at-home aspect. I can't plan around my moods. I'm terrified of making plans. I make playdates with other moms knowing that I may get scared and call off at the last minute because of depression, anxiety, exhaustion. I tell them my daughter is sick, or whatever. I'm actually grateful when plans fall through on their own. And then I'm so lonely and so bored I'd talk to the wall if it'd talk back in complete sentences. But the work of talking to other people just feels unbearable.

And so I find myself in this dilemma. How do I get out of it? All the drugs in the world won't make me happy. I've joined a yoga class, you'll be glad to know, LFW, but so far I'm just making a fool of myself. I'm so hungry for people to like me, as though I have no friends, but I have plenty. I know the problem is really that I just really, really hate being myself.

So yeah. Yuck. sad Thanks for listening.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


Dasa
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 10/13/2007 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
((((((HUGS)))))))))

Dasa

Dasa
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 10/13/2007 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, Serafena,

I have been thinking about you since I read your post. Wow "TWO" Masters Degrees!! That is impressive. Wish I did....lol.... You know, I use to be a personnel recruiter and it was a pretty common thing for applicants to have a great education and often even the work experience in something that they just didn't like doing. Careers are like marrige, you don't know what it's really like until you are in the middle of it living it day to day. But your degrees and experience as a teacher can adpat so easily into so many other careers. You don't have to start over at all.

And if it's any consolation, I don't have bp but I have to be in the mood to do dishes too and dislike housework in general. It's not fun. From the stuff I have read, it's like you need a motive for doing things that you don't like unless you are just a highly disciplined person. I do real good cleaning the house if people are coming over.........lol......so I probably just need to plan a party..... [img]/community/emoticons/yeah.gif[/img]

And that stuff about not liking yourself, I think maybe that is your main problem. Find something else to get your mind on. If you don't have something great to say to yourself about how wonderful "you really are", don't let say anything to yourself at all.....IMO......have you seen or read the "The Secret".....it's all about what you say to yourself that determines how you feel which . Does having bipolar make it different? If so, please tell me, I am just learning about it all. I do understand that depression just affects a person to where they absolutely can't function, so I'm aware of that part.

My dh is alot like you in that he is so fun and happy on the outside but needs constant reassurance that people like him. He has tons of friends but often won't follow through with plans or he is late getting there. I will catch him putting himself down out loud and I try to help him be aware to hopefully get him to stop doing it. It's negative energy at play....

What age is your beautiful and brilliant daughter....lol ? You sound like you have a wonderful life with your husband, home and daughter. I am fortunate too to have a good husband and a nice home too. Actually sitting down and really counting our blessings and being grateful can go along way to helping us to feel better.

One of my good friends is a teacher but she runs a preschool. She doesn't have to be in the classroom, she hires other teachers for that some years...... if she wants to. She makes alot of money too. There are so many different jobs out there that you could do if you aren't happy in the book store. I know another teacher friend who I coached into going into another field some 20 years ago, advertising. It was entry level when she started but she moved on in and up and she has a great job now and is very happy. Maybe if you got creative and started looking at the possibilities, you might get excited.......??

Dh is planning to change careers here real soon and he is starting to see all that he can do. He has been self employed for several years. Not long ago, he was convinced that he just couldn't work anywhere and do well. He worked a regular day job for 18 years and got laid off due to the company shutting down some 20 years ago. He advanced while there but they had him running all over the plant and all over town putting out fires ...... it was a great fit for him. It just takes finding the good fit and something that you enjoy to like what you do and to advance. I've been in several jobs that I was good at but didn't like at all.

Maybe you should take go to a career coach and get an assessment of what your interests and skills are and which careers out there would be a good fit. I did that many years ago for fun and I sure learned "alot" about myself.

I hope your day (and your mood) gets better real soon........hope I'm helping..... [img]/community/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] Take Care of yOU..

Dasa


--There was too much space on the bottom of the post

Post Edited By Moderator (olivia of course) : 10/13/2007 11:35:54 AM (GMT-6)


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/13/2007 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Serafena,

Okay...I have to say this again so you have perspective on it...I am NOT BP, yet EVERY emotion practically that you just shared I sometimes feel about myself as well. It kills me to think this way about myself. But here is the thing. I think to a degree it is normal. I honestly don't believe ANYONE ever feels successful enough. I don't think anyone is 100% satisfied with their lives. I think we are a blend of all the good and bad stuff rolled into one. Areas we have succeeded, areas that have yet to fit our pictures, goals and dreams we made up in our own heads. Part of what I am saying is that what you are feeling is NOT unique to being BP. Its called human, and sometimes I think that the additional difficulty that a person with this mood disorder faces is to know when something they are experiencing is unique to being BP (such as the racing thoughts, low frustration tolerance...etc) or simply HUMAN. And the only difference between being BP and not, is what we all do with these things, or how we hold them. Does that make sense?

When the feelings hit for me, I walk me through it. I first admit that the feelings are real, I look at why I feel that way, and then I remind myself that life is a process, and I am in my process. I am succeeding at certain things (husband, children, roof over our heads, food on our table, friends, support I can reach to, lots of love around, security), and not others (initial career I wanted didn't work out - so I morphed that into another - and LOVE it equally because I use all those skills and more which is exciting - but the company I have created has YET to really take off even though I have been endorsed by every multiple professionals in the field, I am REALLY good at what I do - but I feel like a fraud that will eventually be found out and then I will be laughed at, I never finished college, I want to be liked by other mom's - my own sisters - etc...and yet I have to accept on many levels its a personality thing and even in my own family - I don't click well - those who know me like me very much but I don't get invited places often by others (and yet I think others do, and whether it is true - I have this vision that others are)....etc.) Once I acknowledge the feelings, I then remind myself that when I was a kid, I divided my life into 3 parts; marriage, children & career. If I look at all that I just wrote...I then need to acknowledge that REALLY what I am unhappy with is ONLY 1 out of 3 categories and therefore, I have a 66% satisfaction rating off the bat. Then I look at the one category I am not satisfied with and I see % wise how much of that I am unsatisfied with...I put it at 50/50 (I do have some amazing friends albeit they don’t live near me and I don’t get to “see” them as often as I’d like), so now I acknowledge that really I am more like 80% satisfied overall in my life. And while I will consciously CHOOSE not to give that last 20% all the power about making me happy or not, I can look at it and choose to either stay on the course I have set, or revise my plan, analyze it & see if there isn't something I can learn from or change how I am doing it to help it be more successful at what I want. Then, I let all the negative go, and just GET ON WITH IT and either stay the course, or put my newest ideas and plans into action. And it I don't succeed right away at feeling better, I accept that and DON”T DWELL ON IT ANYMORE and GET ON WITH IT.

Does all that make sense to you (as I gave you a tour of how my mind works-LOL)? So my point is, you are not alone in your feelings. EVERYONE…even the most successful people I know (and I know some SUCCESSFUL people) feel this way sometimes.

I actually have a suggestion for you. You say you have two master degrees (WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT IS SOOOOOOO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), and you don’t feel you are using them in a bookstore. Have you EVER thought of working with a career counselor to see where those degrees can translate into other jobs? Ones perhaps that have JUST ENOUGH structure to make them work for you, and yet enough freedom of choice to YOUR schedule and liking so there isn’t the pressure? It could be very helpful???? HUGS TO YOU SERAFENA….Hope this helps you feel better to know you have been heard and to see you are NOT alone, and that it is NOT just a BP thing. LFW

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 10/13/2007 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Serafena,

I agree with LFW on feeling bad about ourselves is part of being human. I go through that all the time, what I could have, should have done to be in a better state. But this is my life now and I can only move forward, and I need to stop looking back.

You should talk to someone about what you can do with your degree, from what you have said you're not satisfied with working in the bookstore. You should definetly check it out, and here I am struggling to finish my BS degree. Don't hold yourself back, and do not let these thoughts stop you from achieving more in life. You are a great person, and I just wanted to let you know you are not alone.
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 10/13/2007 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi serafena,

((((Big hug)))))

I definitely can relate to what you wrote.  I can't make any plans either b/c of my bp and anxiety.  And I'm totally acknowledging the "can't" in that sentence.  I've tried for years, but everything basically has to be planned (or not planned at all) around how I'm feeling.  And that in itself is stressful.

I don't like you feeling so down on yourself though hun.  It kinda sounds like a bout of depression is making you feel even worse about all of these things.  Depression can do that; make you feel worse.  Not sure if I'm out of line there...

I can also relate to the career issue.  I really want to work in the hospital when I'm done school, but that might be hard b/c with my insomnia, bp etc., 12 hour shifts + shift work of all hours.  It disappoints me, but I don't think there's anything I can do about it.  But it is frustrating b/c it's like if wasn't sick nothing would hold me back.

Hopefully you are feeling better today and you know that your truly are successful in your life and definitely in your fight against bp.  My pdoc also says I'm pretty "high functioning", but I definitely don't feel that way when I'm down.  I hope you can try to turn those negative thoughts around somehow.  All of the suggestions in the other posts were really good, about looking at some other options with your degrees.  Such a high level of education, there could be something else out there for you serafena.

Thinking of you, please let us know how you're doing.  I'm so glad you posted your thoughts. 


Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
.5mg Clonazepam, 50mg Trazodone
--Currently not on meds for bp--


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/13/2007 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all so much. It's really sweet you all took the time to give me such thoughtful responses. I really appreciate it. I've only got about 10 minutes, so I'll be brief in my response and come back with a little more detail later...

First off, I am feeling better today. I've been out with my daughter and with friends for most of the day (we took her to a pumpkin farm/petting zoo. -- A baby cow tried to eat her hair. It was adorable. She's two, Dasa. ) But I think you're right Mogli, I am skimming the top of something mood-related. I've been up and down all week: irritated and depressed in turns. Not sure what's up, but I don't really want to think about it either. I have lowered the dose of my Effexor because my doc thinks it might be causing the vertigo. Verdict's still out on that.

Thanks for being impressed about the degrees. :-) I did them concurrently; they overlap a bit. So it sounds a little more impressive than it actually is. It only took me one extra semester to get the second degree. One's in English, the other in the secondary teaching of English, so there you go. I do need a major re-think of my career plans, and thank you all for suggesting I get some professional recommendations for that. I hadn't even thought of that.

I absolutely agree that these feelings are perfectly normal. I know everyone feels them. It is really helpful to have them put in perspective for me. That's one of the things I rely on my therapist for. She helps me sort out what's normal and what needs attention. I like how you quantify it, LFW. I'm allergic to percentage signs, but it makes perfect sense. :-)

But I do mean something a little different, which Mogli touched on. There is a constancy of frustration which gets tough to bear at times, even for the most cheerful of us. The lack of consistency is so tiring, the inability to rely on your own head, knowing that your own emotions may undermine you -- it really does feel out of your control -- it's just so frustrating. It can get so exhausting. And obviously I had a hard day yesterday, really struggling to keep the emotions in check. When I finally let my guard down, it really collapsed.

But thank you all SO much. It's good to know you're here.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 10/13/2007 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
serafena said...

But I do mean something a little different, which Mogli touched on. There is a constancy of frustration which gets tough to bear at times, even for the most cheerful of us. The lack of consistency is so tiring, the inability to rely on your own head, knowing that your own emotions may undermine you -- it really does feel out of your control -- it's just so frustrating. It can get so exhausting. And obviously I had a hard day yesterday, really struggling to keep the emotions in check. When I finally let my guard down, it really collapsed.

Serafena,
 
You said what I was trying to say much better...The frustration really overwhelms me a lot of the time.  And for me it's the constant up and down, seeming never to be stable (I am sure my extreme up and down cycling has to do with not being on meds...but...we all know how I feel about that :-) ).  It is exhausting. 
 
I just can relate to that so much.
 
Anyway, thanks for updating us.  Glad to know you are feeling a tiny bit better.  Glad you had some family time too.  Take care and if you need to borrow my cape for a bit that's alright with me :-)
Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
.5mg Clonazepam, 50mg Trazodone
--Currently not on meds for bp--


Dasa
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 10/13/2007 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   

 I've been out with my daughter and with friends for most of the day (we took her to a pumpkin farm/petting zoo. -- A baby cow tried to eat her hair. It was adorable.

AW........how cute!!! 

And I'm sure glad that you are feeling better.

You know, in the book,  Loving Someone with Bipolar,   it describles how it is helpful for you guys to write down ahead what you need to do step by step so when you are off kilter,  then you don't have to think so much,  you just try to follow your pre made plan.  One of those easier said than done things??

I'm not real good at housework so I started Fly Lady today (AGAIN..lol) and it seems more fun but it says I need to plan my little routines (with their help).  I need little meal plans so I can make little grocery lists and stuff.  Alot of you probably already do this but I usually just fly by the seat of my pants which is really the reason I'm not so great with housework.  But I have to say,  getting these routines will be better for me.  Maybe they would help you too. 

I'm real proud,  I got my dishwasher going before I go to bed......but in reality,  I just wish I had a maid..... 

 

 

 

 

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