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Struggling lately, anyone else?

  • Thread starter Alexander Ypsilantis
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A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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I've been struggling with depression a lot lately. I've had clinical depression since I was a teenager, but what kept me going all those years was the hope that someday things would be better. Now I'm at the age when there isn't that much 'someday' left and discouraging things keep happening. Life never seems to balance out, it's a daily slog filled with disappointments and discouragements.

Maybe we set ourselves up for disappointments? For example I have an older dog who has been great company for me for almost a decade, now he's suffering from congestive heart failure and hasn't got long to live. Facing up to his departure is just one more struggle I'm dealing with right now (if any of you have pets you're very close to, you know how I'm feeling. I have no kids, I'm separated from my wife and my dogs are very close buds) but I brought him into my life for the companionship knowing it would have to end some day.

I really have no close friends to talk to, my younger brother was my best friend and he passed away from cancer 5 years ago. Mom and Dad are long gone, of course.

I read the stories some of you post and I know I'm not dealing with the sort of financial issues some of you have, bullying, sexual harassment and the like. Those are serious issues and I empathize with your pain. My discouragement has to do with loneliness and feeling God isn't interested in the daily struggles many of us put up with. The isolation from this pandemic has magnified the feeling of loneliness many of us are feeling.

Sorry, really feeling it today. When can we expect to turn the corner in life? Are there any 'golden years' we can look forward to after a lifetime of struggles?
 
A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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Before the pandemic I used to volunteer a little bit. It always made me feel like I was doing something useful and helpful and it distracted me from my own feelings of sadness. For example, I volunteered at a Food Bank after my Mom and Brother passed away. I also volunteered at a Dog Rescue Group.

The pandemic restrictions have curtailed a great deal of that activity, it's difficult to do those sort of things now. Hopefully we'll get back to normal soon, this would help.
 
AnxiousCookieMonster

AnxiousCookieMonster

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Hi Alexander,

Sorry to hear you are struggling today.

I think we are all feeling the impacts of the pandemic, everything seems to just be made more tough, we can no longer do the things we used to and at times it means we lost our coping mechanisms which really is tough.

Everyone's struggles are different and it doesn't matter what the reason behind your struggles are, if you are struggling this is a safe space for you to come to and chat and hopefully we can make things just a little better.

Sorry to hear about your dog, pets can be such great companions and of course it is very tough when they are not well and eventually do leave us. However, that is not a reason not to enjoy our times with them, I am sure your dog loves you and I am sure that he appreciated your company too.

Are you thinking of returning to volunteering when things are a bit better pandemic wise?
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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Before the pandemic I used to volunteer a little bit. It always made me feel like I was doing something useful and helpful and it distracted me from my own feelings of sadness. For example, I volunteered at a Food Bank after my Mom and Brother passed away. I also volunteered at a Dog Rescue Group.

The pandemic restrictions have curtailed a great deal of that activity, it's difficult to do those sort of things now. Hopefully we'll get back to normal soon, this would help.
Hi Alexander.
I can relate to your volunteering. I just started my first day of volunteering at the local hospital near me in the Human Resources (HR) department performing administrative duties. This is my first time volunteering in my 61 years. I haven't worked in the past six years due to my being on Social Security Disability. I'm hoping that volunteering will give me a purpose in life. I worked last Friday for four hours. The four hours felt like an eternity. I'd look at my watch and couldn't believe that only one hour had passed. It's good that I'm being around people again, after my divorce and being estranged from my two adult children. I'm hoping that I can make a friend by volunteering. That's all I want: just a single good friend.
 
W

woman500

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Sending tons of sympathy your way, wherever that may be. I too have struggled with depression since I was about 20, and right now am very lonely--and I am getting into my "golden years" as well at 58. I do have 4 adult kids (my only real success in life) and 3 friends who are scattered across the US. But they're all busy; it's hard to even find time to talk on the phone. My marriage is very unhappy; and we've already tried a separation (even lonelier). The idea of being in a happy relationship seems more remote by the day.

The impending demise of your beloved dog must be heartbreaking. I have had beloved dogs die too. It helps to think of yourself as their caregiver right now: rather than them being there for you, you are there to help them in their time of need. And when the end comes, he will die feeling loved and cherished, without any of the reflection and regret that plagues humans. You will miss him greatly, but eventually you may choose to offer another dog the same love and protection-- a new beginning. For the moment, though, do you take your dog to a dog park? On walks in the neighborhood? I only have a cat right now, but it always seems like dog owners belong to a special club: their dogs meet on the street and (of course) sniff each other's hindquarters while the people chat about their dogs and eventually other things. Is there any of that in your life?

You mentioned God-- do you belong to a church or synagogue? I'm not much of a believer, but in times of dire need I have gone to church. It's a struggle to find community there, but can be worth the trouble. The worst part when people stand around talking to each other after a service, and it's the dreaded cocktail party anxiety all over again, with me wanting to just leave so I'm not standing there awkwardly. So instead I went to one service and signed up for a bible study group (and another time a Torah study group at the temple near my house, as I really liked the rabbi, who was quite welcoming, and the group members were so friendly). It is so much easier to meet people when you are sitting around a table with a project to work on together, something to talk about. No awkwardness, because you're all turning to page such and such, and no one cares if you haven't read it beforehand. And it's always relevant to some part of life. A comfort to know that 3000 years ago people faced loss and misery, just as we do--it's part of the human condition.

These thoughts may not help you, but I was just sharing a couple of the things that have helped me before.

I try to take one positive step on days of profound depression. Today my step was to write a text to my scattered friend-group to see if we could meet on zoom sometime in the next few weeks. I hope someone responds.
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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Feb 6, 2021
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Location
Punta Gorda, Florida, USA
I've been struggling with depression a lot lately. I've had clinical depression since I was a teenager, but what kept me going all those years was the hope that someday things would be better. Now I'm at the age when there isn't that much 'someday' left and discouraging things keep happening. Life never seems to balance out, it's a daily slog filled with disappointments and discouragements.

Maybe we set ourselves up for disappointments? For example I have an older dog who has been great company for me for almost a decade, now he's suffering from congestive heart failure and hasn't got long to live. Facing up to his departure is just one more struggle I'm dealing with right now (if any of you have pets you're very close to, you know how I'm feeling. I have no kids, I'm separated from my wife and my dogs are very close buds) but I brought him into my life for the companionship knowing it would have to end some day.

I really have no close friends to talk to, my younger brother was my best friend and he passed away from cancer 5 years ago. Mom and Dad are long gone, of course.

I read the stories some of you post and I know I'm not dealing with the sort of financial issues some of you have, bullying, sexual harassment and the like. Those are serious issues and I empathize with your pain. My discouragement has to do with loneliness and feeling God isn't interested in the daily struggles many of us put up with. The isolation from this pandemic has magnified the feeling of loneliness many of us are feeling.

Sorry, really feeling it today. When can we expect to turn the corner in life? Are there any 'golden years' we can look forward to after a lifetime of struggles?
Hi Alexander.
I really feel for you with your struggles. I'm sorry that your older dog doesn't have much longer to live. He'll always be with you in spirit, though, and you'll be able to reminisce about the good times you had with him for the years to come.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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One persons mountain is another persons molehill
I just made that up!
(maybe someone else did before me?)

We must never compare ourselves to others

Life feels like a continuous struggle sometimes. It is important to make time for something that you enjoy even if you have to write in on the calender, like a date with yourself, a time to recharge the batteries.

It is hard though. I struggle too most days and every night i get in bed and know i have to do it all again tomorrow :(

but then i manage somehow to get through, and some days are very enjoyable too :)
 
A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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Hi Alexander,

Sorry to hear you are struggling today.

I think we are all feeling the impacts of the pandemic, everything seems to just be made more tough, we can no longer do the things we used to and at times it means we lost our coping mechanisms which really is tough.

Everyone's struggles are different and it doesn't matter what the reason behind your struggles are, if you are struggling this is a safe space for you to come to and chat and hopefully we can make things just a little better.

Sorry to hear about your dog, pets can be such great companions and of course it is very tough when they are not well and eventually do leave us. However, that is not a reason not to enjoy our times with them, I am sure your dog loves you and I am sure that he appreciated your company too.

Are you thinking of returning to volunteering when things are a bit better pandemic wise?

Hi ACM, thanks for your supportive words. Yes, I'd love to return to volunteering soon. I'm planning on retiring next March, I'll be going on 68 then and that's enough. I'd love to volunteer like at a Catholic Soup Kitchen (I'm not Catholic, but they do a great job of this and I'd love to help) which the Capuchins run near where I live. When we help others, it distracts from our own sadness.
 
A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
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Location
USA
Hi Alexander.
I can relate to your volunteering. I just started my first day of volunteering at the local hospital near me in the Human Resources (HR) department performing administrative duties. This is my first time volunteering in my 61 years. I haven't worked in the past six years due to my being on Social Security Disability. I'm hoping that volunteering will give me a purpose in life. I worked last Friday for four hours. The four hours felt like an eternity. I'd look at my watch and couldn't believe that only one hour had passed. It's good that I'm being around people again, after my divorce and being estranged from my two adult children. I'm hoping that I can make a friend by volunteering. That's all I want: just a single good friend.
Well done, MAMD. When we volunteer we light a candle in the world instead of curse the darkness. I'm sure you'll find it fulfilling, I always have.
 
A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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Joined
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Sending tons of sympathy your way, wherever that may be. I too have struggled with depression since I was about 20, and right now am very lonely--and I am getting into my "golden years" as well at 58. I do have 4 adult kids (my only real success in life) and 3 friends who are scattered across the US. But they're all busy; it's hard to even find time to talk on the phone. My marriage is very unhappy; and we've already tried a separation (even lonelier). The idea of being in a happy relationship seems more remote by the day.

The impending demise of your beloved dog must be heartbreaking. I have had beloved dogs die too. It helps to think of yourself as their caregiver right now: rather than them being there for you, you are there to help them in their time of need. And when the end comes, he will die feeling loved and cherished, without any of the reflection and regret that plagues humans. You will miss him greatly, but eventually you may choose to offer another dog the same love and protection-- a new beginning. For the moment, though, do you take your dog to a dog park? On walks in the neighborhood? I only have a cat right now, but it always seems like dog owners belong to a special club: their dogs meet on the street and (of course) sniff each other's hindquarters while the people chat about their dogs and eventually other things. Is there any of that in your life?

You mentioned God-- do you belong to a church or synagogue? I'm not much of a believer, but in times of dire need I have gone to church. It's a struggle to find community there, but can be worth the trouble. The worst part when people stand around talking to each other after a service, and it's the dreaded cocktail party anxiety all over again, with me wanting to just leave so I'm not standing there awkwardly. So instead I went to one service and signed up for a bible study group (and another time a Torah study group at the temple near my house, as I really liked the rabbi, who was quite welcoming, and the group members were so friendly). It is so much easier to meet people when you are sitting around a table with a project to work on together, something to talk about. No awkwardness, because you're all turning to page such and such, and no one cares if you haven't read it beforehand. And it's always relevant to some part of life. A comfort to know that 3000 years ago people faced loss and misery, just as we do--it's part of the human condition.

These thoughts may not help you, but I was just sharing a couple of the things that have helped me before.

I try to take one positive step on days of profound depression. Today my step was to write a text to my scattered friend-group to see if we could meet on zoom sometime in the next few weeks. I hope someone responds.
Thanks for the very kind and thoughtful response, woman500. Great insight. I never walk pass my dogs without reaching down and petting them or smiling at them. I want them to feel loved right up to their final moments. If people I work with knew what a softy I was they'd laugh at me! LOL. I work in a very dynamic industry for a Fortune 100 company, it's 'bare-knuckle' battling every day when I get on my first conference call. But, when it comes to my dogs I'm like a mother hen, I want the best for them always. My wife and I never had kids, so our pets are treated with the love attendant with children. On the downside, it hurts like hell when I have to take one in at the end-I usually walk out with tears streaming down my face, the Vet staff are probably shocked.

I am a practicing Christian, and I've been attending virtual services for a year as our Church has been shut down for attendees until recently due to the pandemic. I believe in God, but I have to confess to being perplexed and disappointed at the disparities in the world. The amount of pain some folks have to go through on a daily basis appalls me and I see no sense behind it. Maybe I'll see the Grand Picture in the Hereafter? In the meantime I want to spend my retirement years trying to contribute to the betterment of my fellow human beings as well as animalkind. Maybe that will fill the void in my heart and make the remaining days tolerable? Depression is a yoke many of us carry and anything which relieves the load it causes is of benefit.
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Yeah it's been a hard weekend with the anxiety, and feeling down about it. Sleeping some odd hours. Thinking unhappy stuff. Sorry you're going through a lot as well.
 
W

woman500

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Yes, volunteering really is so beneficial to the soul-- that's something that I really missed during the pandemic. I used to enjoy volunteering at an assisted living facility, but that program is still on hold even though all the residents are vaccinated, and I'm vaccinated; there is this variant strain circulating and it's unclear how well and for how long the vaccine protects against it.

I wish I could drum up more faith. I used to hope that if I simply practiced a religion, faith would follow. What I've found is that if I make any religious practice part of my life, I'm happier, whether or not I believe. Faith is such a great gift.
 
C

celticlass

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I'm sorry you are feeling this way. I think lot of us who have lived on our own through the pandemic can relate. It is so hard trying to build a normality again. My dog was there for me throughout it all. Don't think I would have done so good otherwise. So sorry to hear about yours xx Having lost 2 in my life I understand the emotions. Mine were at home when the time came around. Vets did a house call. I felt it was better for both of us to be in our home environment saying our goodbyes. The last one lay across my knee with me giving strokes and reassurance. I feel pretty restless at the moment as it seems to me I am slipping into old age when my mind is saying hold on - I want to do painting, writing, picking up vintage bits n bobs. Dye my hair silver and have some violet streaks put in it. But you know if you are really feeling it perhaps a discussion with Doctor is needed.
 
T

TheOwlOfTheRemove

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I hear you Alexander...that sense of running out of time and losing hope of any prospect of that sheltered harbour of contentment that might bring some relief to our twilight years. It seems hard to have to struggle like this endlessly with no relief in this life. I am sorry to hear that you have lost your brother and have nobody to talk to; I intensely miss the family I have lost along the way, my parents and my dear sister who took her own life back in 1997. It might seem odd but I speak to them from time to time - if I am feeling low I will take their picture down to our summer house, lock myself in and just chat with them, gives me some comfort and I don't really care if it makes me a bit crazy.

The volunteering is an admirable thing and something I think I would be happy to do myself if I wasn't working full time and caring for my wife. I guess my wife provides my purpose now. I will look after her as long as I am able, as she would do for me if the situation was reversed. After that, I just don't know, maybe it will be time for me to go.
 
A

Alexander Ypsilantis

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I hear you Alexander...that sense of running out of time and losing hope of any prospect of that sheltered harbour of contentment that might bring some relief to our twilight years. It seems hard to have to struggle like this endlessly with no relief in this life. I am sorry to hear that you have lost your brother and have nobody to talk to; I intensely miss the family I have lost along the way, my parents and my dear sister who took her own life back in 1997. It might seem odd but I speak to them from time to time - if I am feeling low I will take their picture down to our summer house, lock myself in and just chat with them, gives me some comfort and I don't really care if it makes me a bit crazy.

The volunteering is an admirable thing and something I think I would be happy to do myself if I wasn't working full time and caring for my wife. I guess my wife provides my purpose now. I will look after her as long as I am able, as she would do for me if the situation was reversed. After that, I just don't know, maybe it will be time for me to go.
You and I are walking the same path and seeing it the same way. Thanks for your words.
 
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