Don't want to self diagnose

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/10/2011 2:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm feeling pretty low, and it's taking a toll on my sleep, my eating habits, and causing general mental and physical fatigue. I'm 74, been extraordinarily healthy all my life, never any illnesses, always quite successful and fairly accomplished in sports, music, civic and public involvement, technological and executive work, with a loving family and large extended family. Up to a point. about 15 years ago, the rockslide started.

Lost a love through inattention in the one and only extramarital affair ever. Retired early at my career peak earnings to start a business within my specialty niche. Quite successful for the first seven years, then lost all my retainers and contracts in the aftermath of 9-11. Divorced (after her asking for divorce a dozen times over the previous 20 years) and filed in such a manner as to provide that spouse of over 40 years the bulk of all we had earned and owned - I felt I didn't need equity from a courtroom, that I'd always find a way to sustain, and to sustain well.

It began. Resumes received glowing commentary, but as soon as I followed up with an application, possible new destinations went silent. My age *might* be and have been a factor, but of course that's seldom provable. I learned (better said, recalled) how to live on one seventh of my previous income. Experimented fairly successfully with varietal cooking for one (portion control failures notwithstanding). Continued to help adult children and their families as best I could. Didn't pay much attention to a growing sense of failure, or at least self disappointment.

Had a TIA/mild stroke four years ago - it did no discernable damage, wasn't off my feet longer than 5 hours. That resulted in the first medication I've ever been prescribed. All precursors and consequential symptoms are now under control, and have been since the event.

I'm comfortable in living alone, but honestly like some time alone, but don't want to BE alone. This thought has grown in significance pretty constantly over the last eight years. During those eight years, I located in apartments close to a major highway to facilitate looking after my brother and sister in law, both on disability. He was a career military retiree, service related disability, and needed periodic care from a VA Hospital here in the city, but lived 185 miles out of town. He passed away on October 1, a loss I felt deeply - he was my little brother, younger than I, and I did my best to help him sustain. Then last Sunday morning my closest cousin, one I grew up with (we were termed 'the terrible twins', one month younger than I, passed away after a two year bout with cancer. I had handled my parents' passing, as well as aunts and uncles and friends, with cheer and aplomb - you know, the one who still smiles and braces others up. I can't do that any more.

This set me to thinking about all the times I've lost friends, loves, military buddies, teammates, classmates, family members - a continuous stream since 1941. And for the third time in the last 55 years, I have to stop and self examine. For which, of course, I'm not qualified. The first, a lovely young woman that shared a most intimate relationship with me, came to me pregnant with child that was admittedly not mine. I turned her away. 2 months later, she died by her own hand trying to abort the child. The second time, at the end of my single illicit affair, with news she had moved on and would not wait for me to divorce - I had failed to do that in order to care, pay for, and continue medical/surgical support for my wife and my daughter. I shut myself in my office and was in tears except for restroom breaks for 90 hours. Contemplated suicide, dismissed the notion after alarms went off causing my son, my brother, and the lady in question to phone and talk me down from that gloom and sense of despair. The third, was my brother's passing after 29 years of remarkable recovery from recurrent brain tumors, skull replacement, plastic surgery, 3 of the 4 times uncertain he'd survive the procedures. When his wife called to say he was in terminal decline, I went out back and spoke aloud, "God, please don't take my little brother - he has fought for his life so long and hard, and there's no replacement". It began to rain, seemingly from nowhere, with a large bolt of lightning. I told his children the next day that I had made God cry.

Now I'd love to move close to the rest of my family, got moving estimates (sticker shock), and simple arithmetic tells me I can't do that. So I'm feeling broke, unable to be the go-to parent, brother, cousin, and friend others relied upon in days past, age-limited for work as well as recreation and exercise, and generally unable to be "me". And I truly hate that sense of inability. I'm afraid, as well. Afraid of further decline, loss of pension, loss of the use of skills, and incipient loss of even more of my family.

Is this depression, or am I just having a pity party chock full of gloom at things I can't control no matter my efforts?

Post Edited (eaasy) : 12/10/2011 12:28:01 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 12/10/2011 2:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Eaasy..Welcome to hw forum,,,you have picked the right forum. It is packed full of wonderful members. I am so sorry for you losses. I am not a doctor however, I think you are in mourning. Give yourself some time to heal. maybe consider seeing a grief counciler.

Is it possible that maybe some of your family members could help you make the move. Do you have children who may be able to help.

I wish you luck and will keep you in my prayers.

Bless you, Amy
Chronic Pain(nerve), fibro, mild depression and a few others

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/10/2011 2:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the considerate reply. I can't afford the copay for a counselor, did touch on this with my PCP. She was blunt - told me I'm a big man with a big heart and should not run myself down. Nonetheless, I feel that I'm at fault for much of the downslide. Between debt, unemployment, and hospitalization my immediate family members are in no position to help. Thus the encyclopedic volume of the first post. Frankly, it's sort of cathartic just to let it out. The underlying feelings won't go away. I don't show it in my conduct, posture, or demeanor though. Always smiling, try to listen well, etc. IOW I know quite well how to "front" the situation, but now am worried it's actually been part of me for a very, very long time. The prayers are appreciated!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 12/10/2011 7:03 AM (GMT -6)   
welcome to the forum easy...Lord knows you have alot to be sad about. My Dad always said "Getting old is not for the faint of heart" and now I understand-lol. It seems that as soon as we get old enough to really appreciate what we have in our family and friends, we start to lose them

it sounds like you are the "caretaker" personality, always looking after everyone else and not yourself...I think you need to care for yourself now, so you CAN help others.

I just woke up and will post more after requisite caffeine fix..nice meeting you..hope you keep posting

"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

cymbalta seroquel hydrocodone klonopin magnesium potassium

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 12/10/2011 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   

I have only read your post at the moment. Firstly, welcome to the forum,

I am sorry for all you have been through, for all your heart breaking times. I don't think it is a pity party, but I think you are looking at all you have experienced as a whole event, not seperate events, and when we look at things this way, it all seems way too big. My advice, is keep things simple, look at one issue at a time. I think many people when they look and examine life as a whole, have stories similar to yours, life does that to all of us, as we love, we lose as well, either through changing emotions or by loss.

My second thought was this, while you have been the go to person for the longest time, and that is admirable, now may be the time for the family to become resourceful, and find solutions to their own problems. Sometimes when we fix things for others, what we are doing can hold them back from learning lessons in life that they need to learn. It is a really good feeling for an individual to learn that they are resourceful and can take care of thier things.

You will still have a role to play, just a different role, but it can be just as forfilling and powerful, but without the pressure of having to take care of everyone. I know there is a pay off for you being in the fix it role, but it may well be time for others to do some taking care of you for a change

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42610
   Posted 12/10/2011 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   

I do feel you would benefit with a counselor. How bad are the co-pays? Have you checked into a sliding scale mental health facility? Where they go by your income? It often makes it cheaper...

You have come to a good forum, where everybody is very kind and compassionate. I think you will like it here. You will get much support.

I just got up. woke up late today, need more coffee...

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20279
   Posted 12/11/2011 12:31 AM (GMT -6)   
we are here for you. nice to meet you, jamie


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