God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.
I learned in group therapy many years ago, that I was not alone in my depression. That was really an eye opener. In my mind, I was the only one going through something tough. I thought everyone else was doing fine. Boy was I wrong.
I would start slowly with small steps. And I agree that living in a day tight compartment - day by day - is key.
Most of the time, for most people, what we worry about never happens. We have basically wasted that time worrying about... nothing.
Every day ask yourself "What can I do to make things a little better no matter how small the action?" Then take that small step. Small steps accumulate into something larger.
I am so proud of you. My gosh, you've accomplished so much, coming from such a dysfunctional family, plus.
We get our building's FOUNDATION from our parents, and you didn't really.
Yet despite the lack of that solid foundation, you've manage to 'build' a life that most folks with good backgrouds haven't.
You have every reason to experience depression from time to time.
You're being a little hard on yourself, and though I admire the "stoic", it's only when you don't cut yourself some slack for having the right to feel depressed, that you'd consider "ending it".
God, you're an asset to society, and if good people like you start leaving us in this sometimes very mean world, all we'd be left with is shmucks. (Is that a bad word ?)
I don't mean to use bad language, but despite the fact that your parents did not really give you the feeling of 'security' a child needs to develop "self-worth", plus the marriage, you've Shined.
Your self-worth is still not developed yet, because of the family stuff, but it can slowly be healed and grown.
First, you've got to cut yourself some slack for not having a great past.
They say "as a twig is bent". As in, our childhood 'forms' us (like it or not, or deny it or not, or defy it or not), but it doesn't take years on the couch to undo it, for someone as (actually) strong as you.
If the twig is your self-worth (b/o isolation and loneliness) and it's bent, then focus on that, as what you need to be patient with yourself over. You need to give that "kid" some sympathy. That kid that was you and what you have had as a 'family'.
Then realise that that same poor kid, got knocked in the gut a few more times with isolation and 'being left', Abandoned. That hurts anyone's 'self-worth' and trust for a 'happy future'.
Folks with low self-worth, actually will deprive themselves of fun, because they're afraid it won't last either. And if things have gone bad so much in your life, that would sort of leave an imprint in your mind to "worry about life".
You're obviously very intelligent, so why don't you do a course in Counseling just by researching counseling over a search engine. Or getting some good books at the Library. The problem with some counselors you may have seen, that didn't help for long, is that you're smarter than them ... so study it yourself.
"Support" is O.K., when you can get it ... but in the long haul ... you have to be your own best friend and advocate.
There's a lot displayed in your story, and I only hit a few points, but I'd like to see how these thoughts strike you first.
Someday, I'll tell you my story .
ALL the BEST.
Post Edited (dry) : 1/15/2006 9:22:45 PM (GMT-7)
Hia RD, (I'm changing your name in my mind to "Ready Days"),
I am so glad you posted today. I kept checking for you. Your life just went deep in me and all that you've made of your life, impressed me so very much, that it was a little hard to forget.
Yes, Volunteer work is the greatest thing on earth, as dry and you mentioned.
When I had a Lyme disease plus a max-stress break-down in 94, the first thing I did, out of gratefulness to regain my "sanity", was to Found a Volunteer Help Org (mostly for the elderly to help with chores they couldn't do, so they could stay living in their own homes) for my own town. I felt and wrote, that "if each town took care of their own, just think what could happen ?"
I went to Town Council meetings (I was shy before the breakdown :), and fought for the Seniors and to make the School Zone safer. Called State Rep.s, Lawyers, even the Governor. I became an actual activist at 43 years old.
When the Town responded by buying a Speed Monitor in front of the school and put yellow flashing lights up, and then flashing light School Zone signs, I almost did a back-flip.
And the Governor moved on the request for our Seniors and the State Rep too.
And mind you ... I "sound" like a 5 year old because my voice froze when I was 10 ... so imagin a 5'2'' lady with that voice, accomplishing anything ? But as they say ... 'Just One Person' can change lots of things. (or something like that - ha)
Then when we moved down here, Nursing Homes and the elderly were still my passion. I worked there and also volunteered on days off. And I can't overstate enough, how helping them did more help for me, than any other "depression" treatment out there.
I'll only give you a nutshell of the story of my background, so as not to belabor that part.
My Mom left us 5 kids and my Dad, who was a saint, when I was 2 months old.Dad couldn't find anyone to "stay" at the house, while he worked 2 jobs to support us, except a Couple that would only watch the school age boys. So I had to be shipped out. By time I was 13, I was in my 5th home. Mentally abused from about 9 yr.s old on. I left home as soon as I could and joined the military. Met a man, that I married that 'seemed' to all and me to be Prince Charming. Well, 'PC' only married me for my paycheck. He didn't work and put me in the hospital with his physical, etc. abuse. I got an annulment .... then married a "Minister", with whom, I thought I'd be 'safe'. Well, let's just say, there are some men that should never get married, because they love every woman in the world.
So I was on home #7 now, where I felt unwanted, unloved, and mentally abused.
Then I get disabled, and can't get to the Nursing Home anymore.
But ... I've made it ... I've fought and won against depression. There's a lot more to the above story, but that's not necessary right now.
I must also explain though ... I wasn't just fighting the past, but my mother's genes (she left because she had a breakdown), and I, foolishly tried unhealthy substances as a teen (trying to find love in all the wrong places) and then had CFIDS and Late-Neuro Lyme ... both of which do Organic damage to your brain and CNS and cause organic depression. I've not needed anti-depressants, but because of all of the above, have battled anxiety, so take a very low dose of a tranquilizer only. (Other meds are for the Lyme/CFIDS)
I relate to what you've said, about nothing that you do seems good enough. I've had that 'perfectionist anxiety' too, because of 2 of the homes I was in, "nothing I did was good enough".
I started studying Psychology when I was 12 .... so I reckon, if it weren't for the Lyme contributing in '94, I've basically Counseled myself, from my own Research and self-talks. And some very dear friends.
I got a job in a Hospital as a Nurse's Aide when I was 16 and used my money to get a subscription to Psychology Today Mag. Ha-this was in 1969. From it ... I ordered a ton of books, so by time I was 18, I had some-kinda Library. That desire to want to help people since young, has kept me going RD.
You are so blessed to have that nature in you to want to HELP.
I've found, that those with that nature, seldom 'stay' down for long. We all as humans, for the history of mankind, have had seasons of depression or sadness ... but everyone I've ever met, with that "Nature for Others", has never stayed down. It takes "turning inward" or coccooning to do that. Somehow, True Compassion neutralizes "self" from turning inward. To put it bluntly :) Compassion in Action brings Joy and neutralizes Depression. How can the two co-exist ? [Big Smile]
If you could read two books, I think you'd like Reality Therapy by William Glasser and The Myth of Neuosis by Dr. ? Wood. A Library may be able to tract them down for you or a search on the Internet. They're old but still in use, in the 'good' circles of Psychology.
God Bless you RD and I sure do look forward to hearing more about your adventures. Even if it's just a trip to the Mall with the girls :)
Post Edited (obs ann) : 1/16/2006 10:26:22 PM (GMT-7)