What struck me from your post is that you mentioned feeling bad about yourself because of your finances, but I think the deeper reason for the depression is in what you ended with when you said: "I feel like my family isn't proud of me and at 33 I should have done so much more with my life!" I can so relate to that and in that sense I know for me, a lot of the depression I've struggled with is based on how I have felt about myself. Often times our families don't really know who we are and can't understand a context besides the usual expectations society teaches us all to put on one another, you know, job and financial success, and external things we've built and done with our lives. For that reason and others they have been unable to give us what we needed to develop that inner strength inside ourselves. THat just means we need develop the gift of seeing our worth and feeling proud of ourselves outside of what our parents can't give us and also according to things that are deeper than what the eye can see.
As a christian myself, I do have a residing peace in the Lord, but at the same time, when those old emotions of low self worth get triggered, the prevailing emotion isn't peace, but the heaviness. THe peace never leaves, but it can get buried, and I do have to find my way back to reconnect with it. To struggle in this way is normal when things are hard - outside or inside. And emotions take time to even out when dealing with deeper hurts in our hearts.
Like you, I havn't been able to afford a counselor either, though I have felt it woudl have helped me process stuff. But I journal A LOT. Just writing how I feel and praying or singing it out. That usually gives me a lift and if I struggle again, I just go back to that place again. So daily I can reconnect with my strength that way. And over time I get this deposit inside of all those moments of strength and light and truth, and things slowly but surely begin to change in how I see myself. Self image does take a long time to change, but gradually, from glory to glory, the changes to come as the sunshine reaches in and we find a way to work through those old emotions. Love and truth as we bask in them are very good companions on the journey through the valley of depression as I'm sure you know. Sometimes they are hard to feel, but every little movement towards them helps. So journalling might be helpful?
I havn't been able to work in about ten years except a bit of part time work. My health took a pretty big nose dive in 98. But after a decade, I am finally seeing my dreams re-emerge even though they look differently than I expected, at least for now. BUt yes, there really IS a light at the end of the tunnel. I can say that is true from experience.
As for health, I still find it hard to accept my limitations. It still hurts. But there again, journal the pain and frustration out and then refocus on the health you DO have. Find the perspective that will bring you strength. And of course, vent here and reach out here for support when you need it. There's a lot of love and compassion going on in this forum.
I think the fact that you are working part time rocks! It shows you are trying and not letting the chrohns win the war.
You know, I just re-read your post and I remembered something. When I was at my lowest - just getting in touch with having ptsd and other stuff going on, I said in essence the same thing as you did re. "I'm 34 and still can't get my life right." I was 27ish and I said that to my mentor/friend I looked up to and her reply was "Well, I'm 44, and I havn't either." We are all so hard on ourselves. At the same time, I think part of what you are feeling is just the struggle of having to push uphill and find the forest clearing. The lack of peace is maybe more a feeling of discontent and unrest? It can actually be a good thing because it can be used to propell you to keep searching for the breakthrough your heart desires and to know the peace in an even deeper way. Sometimes I think certain things are not given to us in full because if they were, we would stop searching for more. So let that seeming lack of peace be the hunger that keeps you searching for a greater awareness of peace and whatever is you need met.
Anyway, I relate to what you posted. And I wish you all the very best. Even if your feelings don't come around right away with teh truth about
your value and your life's achievements etc., you can still choose to give yourself kindness. You should...you deserve it!
Take care April, (I agree with Karen. I like your name.)
Post Edited (manyembers) : 12/29/2008 5:52:46 PM (GMT-7)