Posted 2/23/2017 6:37 PM (GMT -7)
― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays:
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..”
As I think about it. My dad had about the same mindset as you, even though in a way, he had many of the same things you wish for.
He had: small town, lived 1 mile from work so no 2 hour commute. Was so close to work, he came home for lunch, and even had time for a 15 minutes nap before he went back to work. His college that he graduated from was only about 70 miles away and we went to home football games basically every time there was one.
He made good money, lived in a nice house. Lived on a quiet, tree-lined street with good neighbors. Naw, he didn’t get to know any of them. He would talk to them in a nice way if he saw them, but he never saw them. Didn’t want to.
When he would come home from work, as a kid I would run to meet him, and would jump into his arms. I would ask him, “How was work?” hoping for an interesting discussion of how things went that day. Instead I always got, “It was a day like all days,” which I didn’t fully understand, because I thought each day would be different and interesting.
When he didn’t get the managerial promotion he thought he deserved, he quit (in anger I supposed) what you might have called the ideal job.
What was left for him? He quit a job that you might have called ideal, almost passing in front of the plant where he had worked for five years, to go to his new job 235 miles away, where he stayed all week to come home on Friday nights; then go back to on Sunday afternoons, for five years.
In a way, so much for the ideal job. He had that, and he gave it up almost without thinking, to go for the 235 mile commute, where he never saw his family all week.
At the end of his career, thinking back on it all, he told me, he had a lot of anger as a child, and it still gave him trouble even as an adult and in his career. That job change might have been an example of his anger.
So, for my dad, the ideal job wasn’t out there.
So, in a way, maybe you and my dad had similar situations, similar temperaments. No matter what you placed my dad in, he wasn’t really excited about it. Give him the ideal, small town, naw, he didn’t care. He didn’t care for the job 235 miles away, either. He did it, but he didn’t like it.
Today, I was at huge eye clinic for I have cataracts and I’m going to have to get them taken off. I’m looking around at the employees. I’m comparing them to my performance during my working years.
As a manic-depressive, I didn’t measure up. These employees were doing their jobs, getting along with their fellow workers and supervisors, occasionally laughing, basically none of which I use to do.
When I was checking out a couple hours later, I was noticing those working at their computers in the billing/appointments section. They were all doing their jobs. I thought, no way I could do that.
So, that was lives of quiet desperation, also, I guess.
The other life on the other side of the counter was mine as a manic-depressive. What is my life like? Can’t get or keep a job. Get attacked by a group of neighbors who see me living alone as a senior citizen who has emotional problems and no job, whereas if I had a wife and family and job they would back off.
So, what is that?
So, in a way, there’s not a whole lot going on on either side.
You say: “I am in a downward spiral of negative circumstances, as such, I feel very depressed and hopeless.”
And “It may have started over a year ago when my wife lost her job. Since then, although she has a decent job again, we are way in debt. We are going for bankruptcy. We are always late with bills and do not have enough money for food. I am severely underweight because of this and stress and depression.”
And “I recently turned 50 and am burnt out at my job. Job is not stressful, just not fulfilling anymore. And, at 50, will be hard to get another job and besides I do not know what I want to do. Tired of sitting in cubicle staring at computer and clicking mouse all day.”
“My mind has turned to oatmeal.”
“I do not hate my job, but am burnt out and tired of not making enough money to do things I would like to do.”
“Also, my commute time is causing physical problems. The traffic is horrific, and, we are down to one car. I have to drive around 4 hours a day. I am exhausted, a walking zombie.”
“And, the drivers here are aggressive and lack courtesy. Daily I am cut off in traffic, lots of near misses, and the other day nearly had a head on collision. Many drivers simply do not care. So, before I even get into work I am exhausted and anxious, due to being stuck in traffic and dealing with mean spirited drivers.”
"I also have psoriatic arthritis which causes pain, stiffness and great fatigue."
"But, I do not want to risk going on biologics right now."
"And, my daughter has health issues and is overweight and is headed for diabetes. But, by the time we get home, we are all too tired to do anything. We are all 3 literally exhausted. I do not even want to get in a car after I get home or on the weekend."
"and then we live in an apartment. No real peace. I have not had true peace (the type of peace and quiet one needs to read and think and study) due to apartment living. Why apartment living? Cannot afford to buy house. Current housing costs and job wages do not allow for a house purchase. Stuck in lease."
"And then, my A1C is elevated, I may be headed toward diabetes, too much junk food and sitting I guess, even though I am underweight."
"Friends? I have none. Coping methods? Listen to classical music and buy books and CDs."
"I do go to church, but not as regularly as I used to. Lack of funds to buy gas sometimes, too tired, or, just do not want to get in a car to drive on rest day. No connections at church, very big church."
"I feel old and look very sick. I am miserable and have become cynical... I have prayed, but, so far, have not had any apparent success."
"I do not want pity or sympathy. I just do not know how to get out of this pit I have been in for so long."
"Everyday, after work, I have to cross bridge. Everyday on bridge, backed up traffic. I am tired and want a better life. And then add on normal middle age things/emotions like lots of regrets, a sense that my best years are past, etc. So, what would I like? Read on..."
"A new job that pays generously and rewards good ideas and is, dare I say, somewhat fulfilling? The job would be close to where I live. No more long commutes. I would live in a nice quiet clean peaceful safe house. Nothing fancy, just decent. A smaller town perhaps where you can actually get to know people and where the drivers seem more..sane."
"A church where I feel connected. A health plan that would help me gain weight and loosen up (but, need money to buy lots of food to gain weight). A plan to help my daughter lose weight. Funds to pay my bills on time and give to church and save for child's college and my retirement. Also, dare I dream, a piano to practice on and eventually perform a song for church. Perhaps a group of friends in my age group that accepts me flaws and all and that shares my same interests?"
"I do not blame God for my problems."
"Most are due to my bad decisions or sin or just a part of being human and living in a fallen world. But, I do pray that He would show me a way to improve my life and the life of my family. My day starts at 4:00 a.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m. I am so tired and need things to change."
"Thanks for reading this. Appreciate your comments."
Your response to a contributor on this site:
"I try to read, listen to classical music, walking does help me too. I also like watching B&W old movies. Now, if you ask me, am I happy? I would say, no way. I am not happy. My life is a wreck. I am not sure how to fix things. Praying/reading the Bible helps too.
"I tried to find a good counselor, but, cannot afford $100 per hour. Saw one, he did not provide any profound assistance.
So, for now, I languish day to day, here, and yet not here
There’s a lot of other people going through the same things. It may be that it’s just a tough situation.
It could also be, you have a chance to have friends at work and in your neighborhood, but it’s that you choose not to. Those are your choices.
You’re making those choices, you just don’t want to live with them.
You’re distancing yourself from your choices, as if you have no connection with them, and then writing in, why don’t I have any friends. Because you choose not to.
Why don’t I have happiness? Because you choose not to.
Why don’t I enjoy my job? Because you choose not to. Why don’t I change jobs? Because you choose not to.
Why am I not happy? Because you choose not to be. You’re choosing that, then wondering why you don t have all of those things you’re seeking. Because you’re not seeking them. Why don’t you seek them? Because you don’t want to.
The reason you don’t seek them may be because you don’t think you can have those things.
So you unconsciously don’t go after them, but then blame the things that you do have as the source of your unhappiness.
When the source of your unhappiness is yourself and you don’t want to look at it, or don’t think that you can improve it, but you can shift the blame to your small apartment, which is a step forward: the small apartment is to blame, not me. That’s progress, that’s all the progress you think you can make, because you think you can’t be happy.
And then have a certain level of unsatisfaction that you don’t have all these things you want. This saves you from realizing you don’t think you can have those things. So it’s a defense mechanism that keeps you from having to see yourself. And we all use our defense mechanism.
It’s not the small apartment or the job or the finances that’s the problem, it’s yourself. You might try working on that. You might not feel you can work on yourself. Which might be part of the problem, so you’re blaming the small apartment as to why you’re not happy.
If you can have a positive outlook, that might help. “One problem at a time, and be positive about that problem.”
Maybe you can approach your daughter’s upcoming diabetes with a positive attitude. Maybe quit looking at what you want and decide what’s best for her.
This website also has a diabetes forum, which has an excellent moderator, who knows all about diabetes because her mother and grandmother died from it, and she’s striving not to.
Go on the diabetes forum and ask her what the best steps would be, and then follow those steps, like I’m trying to do from this person because I have diabetes, also, and then write back on this and the diabetes forums about any progress your daughter might be having.
You might not can be happy, but you can be positive, like I was not for a lot of years.
If we can’t be happy ourselves, maybe we can help others.
And, “The person you have to defeat is the person you have to look at in the mirror every morning.”
These are all my opinions.