New here. My first post. Going to lay it all on the line

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toddm
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 4/26/2009 5:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone. Thanks for letting me type. I'm 38 year old male. I've been battling major anxiety and always feeling like I am freaking out. It's like I cannot relax, I cannot accept anything. Let me take you back to 2006 when I lost my job working as an Event Technology Director. My best friend also lost his job working in the music industry. He was my best and only friend. We were very similar as far as being the same age, know each other for 20 years, both being never married and single, having many of the same likes and dislikes. Best friends 100%. If there was anyone who could talk me off a ledge it was him. We have made plans to both move out west together by the end of 2008. Everything seems set. I am able to pick up enough work freelancing to get by and pay my mortgage ect....

In November of 2007 my sister has a stroke. 38 in perfect health, never smoked, not overweight, basically out of no where. After her stroke everything seems like she will make a full recovery. I live close by to my mom and sister so I was very involved with helping and caring for her.

So, I am relieved my sister seems to be doing really well. It's June 2008 and my best friend and I have decided Denver is where we will move to. We are both excited to be starting a new. July 7th 2008 my best friend dies of a sudden massive heart attack at 37. He was in perfect shape, never smoked ect...
I'm completely crushed. I was in total shock. I somehow managed to keep it together and keep working freelance traveling around the country.

November 2008 a year after my sister has her stroke she has a psychotic episode. Ends up in the Mental Hospital for 21 days. She is still trying to recover living with my mom.

Okay now fast forward to the present. I am completely lost right now. I am pretty sure I was in denial about my friend passing and my sister's issues. I have no one to talk to. My mom's focus is my sister as it should be. My best and only friend is gone. We talked on a daily basis. We would lean on each other. Always there for each other for advice, or to talk the other out of a funk ect...

I'm 38 soon to 39. I have no friends. I am still freelancing but I need to do something else. It's like it all just hit me.....waaaaay after the fact. Was I living in denial? What is my problem. I feel so lost, scared , and stuck. I feel like a complete loser, I have no idea what to do with my life and at 39 in today's economy makes me sick.

I've tried to go to counseling. My insurance doesn't cover it and I can't afford it.

I have decided to try Kira St Johns Wort as a possible way to lift the way I feel a bit. It's only been a week and a half and I will give it time.

I feel like a deflated balloon right now. I don't even think I could hold a full time job right now. I certainly understand that nothing will change until I feel better. I'm trying to do the right things. Taking Nordic Naturals Omega 3's, eating better, forcing myself to exercise.

It just seems like a dead end right now. Not having anyone to talk to is so lonely. I don't mean to complain, it's so hard right now....I'm trying, I really am.

Thanks for letting me post.

Post Edited (toddm) : 4/26/2009 6:34:50 PM (GMT-6)


Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 4/26/2009 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Todd,

Welcome to the forum. Please know you are not alone. This is a great place to talk and get your feelings out about things. There are lots of compassionate and supportive people here!

You have been through a tremendous amount of upheaval in the past few years, and it is perfectly understandable to me why you would be suffering from depression and anxiety. Grief and loss are so difficult to handle, and to have the shock of your sister’s stroke and subsequent psychotic episode, and also the sudden death of your best friend, is a heck of a lot to deal with in a short time. Not only are you grieving your friend’s passing, but also the dreams that you shared and your plans to move to Denver together. That kind of shock takes a while to sink in……sometimes, a long while……and whether you were in denial before now or not, it sounds like you’re dealing with a heavy load.

I am so sorry for your sadness and your loss.

You mentioned that your insurance doesn’t cover counseling and you cannot afford it. There is an online program that others here have used very successfully, called The Mood Gym. It is a CBT self-help program that you work through at your own pace. The address is:

http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

My therapist uses CBT (Cognitive behavioural Therapy) in my sessions, and I have exercises to do on my own at home, and I’ve found it to be very helpful.

As far as your career goes, how do you feel about continuing to freelance? You said that you *need* to do something else, but I don’t know from your message if that is because you *want to* or feel that you *should*. I don’t know much about work in your field, but I do wonder if freelancers might be more attractive in the current economic climate, and therefore also wonder if that is the way to keep going. Either way, you should feel proud of the fact that you have been self-motivated in this way, and have had the courage to travel around for jobs and do it on your own. I definitely don’t think you’re a loser…..I see you as a survivor.

I’m glad you’re focusing on your health and taking supplements, eating right and exercising. Those are all very positive and productive ways of helping yourself to heal, and you should feel good about that, too.

You sound to me like someone who is brave, intelligent, and sensitive, and I think you have a lot going for you. The circumstances of your life have been very tough, and you are doing your best to cope and get through this. Coming here is a good step, Todd. I hope that the support of the members here will help you during this difficult time.
Living one day at a time. 
 


toddm
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 4/26/2009 6:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it very much.

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 4/26/2009 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Todd, I read your post and am so sorry for all you have been going through.  It must be very painful to lose your best friend so suddenly.  I certainly understand what lonliness is as I have suffered from lonliness for many years.  I do have a group of good friends but they never seem to be around when I need them.  Also, I am afraid to be alone in my house at night.  I was thinking about your situation and thought I could come up with some suggestions that you may want to consider.  Are there any activites you would consider joining?  A book club, or soft ball team, tennis, some activity where you can meet others?  Do you have any hobbies that would put you in touch with other people?  I know you are feeling down and maybe there is a support group in your area for depression.  Another possibility is to be a volunteer somewhere.  How about a soup kitchen or your local library or a Senior center?  I do volunteer work at my local Senior center and that does help me as it gets me out of the house and I do meet some very nice people.  I admit they are all older than me but seniors are a really interesting group and so friendly and wanting to talk to you. Do  you have a dog?  There are lots of dogs parks in many areas and that is always a good place to meet people.  You would already have something in common and it would be easy to start a conversation.  I hope I have helped in some small way.  Please do keep posting here and letting us all know how you are getting along.  This is a wonderful group of people and you will find many friends here. We all support each other. Or sometimes you just need a person to let your feelings out to.  Please take good care of yourself and post anytime.  I will always be happy to answer you.

Aurora


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40595
   Posted 4/26/2009 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

It looks to me like you have gotten a lot of good advice Todd. So I would also like to welcome you to the forum. It does sound like you need to give yourself time to grieve your recent losses. There is no time limit or rules for grief, so keep that in mind. Just go with the flow of it.

Basically taking life one day at a time right now is the best thing that you could do. Do not worry about the future, just try to do the best that you can, and it will fall into place for you. Grieve the past, but try not to dwell on it, if you feel sad, be sad, but embrace that sadness and know that there is a reason for it. You will come to accept it and it will become normal. I think that you are subconsciously fighting the grief. I am sure that in the back of your mind, you don't want to accept the loss of your friend, or the health problems that your sister has. Life is much easier when everything is going the way that you want it to. But you need to learn to adjust to the changes with grace. And you can do that. I think talking about it here is the first step.

Try really hard to stay in the moment. Be aware of the different things around you. Be in the now. By being in the now, the past and the future can run their course. There is a saying:

Yesterday is history
Tomorrow a mystery
Today is a gift
That is why it is called the present.

Remember, you are not a loser. So don't even go there. You are a very special, kind and sensitive person. You have to learn to love yourself, give yourself a break and just be who you are. You can do this.

Check into free mental health services. There is usually a program for people who can't afford counseling. You might qualify for that.

I hope that you have a good night, it is late here.

Best wishes,
hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/27/2009 5:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear Todd,

Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  You have been dealt a tough hand and I am so sorry for the loss of your best friend and for the health issues your sister has endured.

My thoughts, yes you have depression.  Remember I am not a professional just another person with depression the same as you.

I have lost many and it all started with the death of my Father when I was 39 and after that it just went on and on.  It continues to this day as I have a sister dying of ovarian cancer as I write this.  My son died in a car accident at the age of 21 and many others that I loved have died. 

Grief is a normal and healthy response to loss, not an illness. Its symptoms are painful, but they serve an adaptive purpose. Most grief runs its course with the support of your friends/family. But sometimes grief can trigger depression .
When grief triggers depression, the sadness can be unrelenting and overwhelming. Some people describe it as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. Even when participating in activities you used to enjoy, you feel as if you are just “going through the motions.” You may also feel numb, lifeless and empty.

I would like to encourage you to consider counseling to help you through this painful time. One on one counseling can help you understand your feelings as well as teach you skills to cope with your pain.

The CBT online thearpy was mentioned by Raniah.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to
feel / act better even if the situation does not change.

Here is the direct link to The MoodGym Training Program

http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

This same company provides a program called e-couch.

e-couch provides evidence-based information about emotional problems (including depression and anxiety disorders) and teaches strategies that may help you to prevent problems and understand yourself better.

Here is the link for e-couch

http://ecouch.anu.edu.au/welcome

Remember these programs are free and can be down online.......do take a look at both and see if one of them may meet your needs.

Again a warm welcome to HW

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
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Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
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Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
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toddm
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 4/27/2009 9:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your responses. I really appreciate it. I guess the biggest things I am dealing with right now are what I am going to do for a permanent job and loneliness. I am also terrible at making decisions. I do freelance AV work. I am lucky to have any work right now considering the economy. I've been doing the same type of work for so long and I really find zero gratitude in my work. To be honest I hate it. I have tried to embrace the traveling part, but somehow I find myself even more alone in a hotel room in a town I am not familiar with. On the other hand I guess it's better than shuttering myself in my condo. I will say this, I get up early everyday, take a shower, make my bed, been riding my bike, lifting some weights, and eating better. So it's not like I am lying in bed not doing anything. When I'm not working freelance it tough to schedule your day. Especially when you are trying not to spend any money. I agree with what others have said, maybe I should look into volunteering, or getting a part time job. Or joining a club. Problem is I really don't like anything right now. I know this is all part of the depression.

There is a company that wants to hire me doing the same thing I am doing. It just makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it. That should be my answer right there, but for some reason I can't make a decision. I know I would be terribly unhappy working for them. Not because of them, but because I just don't enjoy the work anymore and would rather do something else. Although I do have a marketing degree I never did anything with, I have NO idea what I want to do. Although, that's been the same my whole life. I want to change but don't know what to change into. Then I start thinking about taking that job, how much I hate the work, what am I going to do, Oh my goodness my sister is not right, I have no one to talk to, and my best friend is gone, It causes a "riot" in my head.

I know that I am not thinking clearly or rationally. I am just having a rough time and can't make a decision to save my life. Let alone set any goals.

I'm leaving Wed to go see my sister and my two nieces. I haven't seen the girls in a while and they are 2 and 4. I'm going to try and clear my head when I'm out in Oregon. I bought the book The Power if Now. It makes sense and I really wish I could apply it.....I've been trying....

Thanks again for the responses and suggestions. I really, really, appreciate it, more than you know.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40595
   Posted 4/27/2009 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
It sounds like visiting your sister is just the ticket. I think that will take your mind off of things, and you will be able to relax. One day at a time is my motto. You might even feel differently about that job that you could have. I hope that this helps you.

Take care, and best wishes for a wonderful day.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 4/27/2009 11:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Todd,

Deciding on a career change, or even finding a new job with your current skills, can seem like a formidable task. I wonder if you might benefit from a career counseling class. I attended one of those recently, and it was a no-cost course which was sponsored by the government. It was approximately 5-6 hours per day for two weeks, and we did all kinds of personal interest and aptitude tests and exercises, and it was a real eye-opener. (I hadn’t done anything remotely like that in almost twenty years, and I found that my perception of myself and my abilities had changed quite a bit.) It also gave me an opportunity to meet some new people, which is not something I do very often. It is true that in the current economic climate, jobs are limited, and we sometimes have to take on employment that seems less-than-exciting. However, if you attend a class or consult with a career counselor, it may give you some fresh ideas, which in turn might help you to narrow down what types of things you want to look into.

I am glad you are planning a trip this week to see your sister and nieces. A change in focus is always a good thing when you are feeling overwhelmed by current choices and circumstances. Perhaps this time away will give you a much-needed break from your loneliness and employment dilemma.

I’m happy to know that you are looking into The Power of Now. It’s good to learn how to live in the moment, and you have probably noticed that several members here at HW really subscribe to that idea. It helps to focus on the present, in an effort to avoid becoming overwhelmed by worries of the future or thoughts of the past. I hope you find it helpful.

Please continue to post, and know that we care.
Living one day at a time. 
 

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