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Where The Hell Is My Life Going?


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#1 rickincali

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:09 PM

“Sigh.” I don’t want to babble so I will try to keep this as short as possible. I just need to vent. Where do I begin?

I’m 38. I lost my job in March and am still unemployed. I have a Masters degree (I just don’t want to pursue the fields listed in my Bachelors and Master’s degrees) but can’t seem to find a job starting something new. Where do I look? What can I do? I spent 7 years in a really sh*tty job (it was flexible and allowed me the time to get my education) and its pretty much all I have on my resume’. I mean, it was a REALLY low-on-the-totem-pole job.

I have been diagnosed with dysthymia so I’m pretty much following the pattern of having poor work performance and low level chronic depression (have had it since ’93). In fact, I think the only way I finished school is that I seem to excel in an environment where I am not just accountable to only myself. I was borrowing student loan money, I had a rigorous class schedule and professors who gave deadlines and wanted their assignments in on time…I was good in that environment. But, in the ‘real world’ my dysthymia seems to **** it for me. I have no esteem, my ability to really hit the job market with my head held high is very difficult and I just have no idea where to turn. Going back to school is really not an option for me. I mean, c’mon already. I need to once and for all make a ‘real’ living at a ‘real’ job and feel like I have some purpose or meaning in life. This living check to check business, especially at 38, is just no longer acceptable for me. I can’t keep doing this.

One more thing, I am a fairly creative guy…but to clarify, not so much with my hands. I don’t paint or play music or anything like that. But, I am creative. And, one thing I have always wanted to spend my life doing is write. Not books. Not magazine articles. In fact, WHAT I want to be writing is not really relevant. What is relevant and what is compounding my feelings of ‘being a loser’ is that now more than ever I have the time to write. I am unemployed for Christmas sakes!

Do you think I could spend just 1 hour a day focused on writing? Just one hour? The answer is yes…but I don’t. I spend an hour or two at a time…every several weeks maybe. Sometimes every few months even. I mean, what is WRONG with me???!!! Why am I unable to complete a simple task? I have MORE than enough time every day to devote to this. I KNOW I am not a lazy guy. I spent 8 years in school while working full time and simultaneously holding down multiple jobs. But, I also know that I am absolutely standing on an emotional precipice about to slip and what could really make the difference in my life is me getting my *** in gear, writing, and letting THAT become my job. But, I can’t. Not with any regularity.

What’s worse is that I will soon be out of unemployment money (about another month or two) and will absolutely need to take whatever job I can get. Can you say waiter anyone? Not to knock that line of work but I did that for years while I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree and never felt my soul so sucked out of me before or since. I absolutely HATED it. At the rate I’m going folks, I will be re-typing this same story 1 year from now. NOTHING seems to change for the better. And, I try not to be negative. BELIEVE me. I believe in the laws of attraction. So, I try to be positive every day (with the occasional sigh). I try to believe that something will change. Maybe today I will get a call from one of the MANY resumes I have sent out (even though I haven’t really liked any of the companies with which I have applied). But, I can’t seem to get out of this funk.

I haven’t seen a therapist in quite some time. I never really connected with a therapist. But, in a fit of desperation, I set an appointment with one for next week by using the “eenie, meenie, miney, moe” method. I don’t have insurance so I have to pay out of my pocket. I’m sure that will do wonders for my financial worries and concerns. :o)

Okay, I have no real questions. I guess I am just venting and perhaps putting out a feeler to hear stories from someone else out there who knows how I’m feeling. Maybe you’ve lived this? Or are living it? Or maybe even, it got better for you (please GOD let this not be all there is)?

Thank you for letting me vent-
Rick
PS SO much for keeping it short.

#2 Aerial

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:41 PM

((((((Rick))))))

Rick please feel free to vent here on the forums -that's why we're here. In fact, you can publish your own blog on the DF, as well. We are here to support one and another and I'm sure you'll find people here that can identify with your situation.

I have a couple of family members in your situation--they've done super well in school and part time jobs because when their life is "booked" their lives are structured and ordered from the "outside." On the other hand, without that structure they drift from one project to another, have trouble keeping a job and trouble keeping up with menial household chores. I heard them say many of the same things you wrote about and I know they get frustrated. They feel like failures and when the self-confidence takes a hit it's tough to keep on trying.

I also know that, these people I care about do so much better with meds and therapy/counseling. As for me, when I got hit with a deep depression med and therapy really helped me dig out of a deep dark hole.

Keep looking around for information and reaching out to the professionals that can offer you some help and hope. I believe you'll find your way out of this--don't give up!
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#3 jimbow15

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 05:07 AM

Hi Rick,

First congratulation on your great achievements, you must have put in a great number of hours per week to achieve a Masters. That is something to be really proud of. Now what are you really passionate about doing? What job would you love to do because you have a natural tendency towards it and would even do it for nothing if you could (maybe not)

But most of us have a fair good idea where we really want to go with our lives, if cicumstances allowed, and as a well educated guy you could come up with several projects.

For instance can you move to another county or country, is that a possibility, see another side of the world and perhaps get a job with your qualifications?

The depression factor is only a barrier if you allow it to be, and the fresh environment might be the right challenge. Why do menial jobs when in reality you have maturity, and excellent qualification to start again somewhere else.

Anyway the best of luck for your future.

Jim Bow
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert E.


Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#4 rickincali

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 08:19 AM

Jim-

Thanks for replying. Truly, you are right in saying that if we do something we love we would do it for free. I know that I would LOVE to do things that I love for free. And, I know what I love in a broad sense. Not sure how to pair it down to make a living. But, thats not my MAIN issue. My MAIN issue is feeling a paralyzing 'stuckness', for a lack of a better word. The things I want and need to do are creative-based. But, I also need to keep my options open to keep the lights on. Even if it means wanting to shiv myself every day that I have to drive to a job I hate to punch in a time card. But, I can't even find a manageable and good 'real world/non-dream job that pays the bills'. *sigh*. But, your words resonate. I have family members that always repeat this mantra, "do what you love. if you do what you love the money will follow". And, I believe that. Just not sure how I can move towards it at this point. I'm not sure how I can unstuck myself. As for moving my address...I just moved to NY from cali. I'm where I want to be. But, I'd move to the deep woods of Alaska if I thought I'd be doing something I love. So, believe me, I am very flexible. So, thank you for taking the time to reply to my initial post. Sometimes its just nice to know that people care.

Aerial-
I hate to say misery loves company but I'd be lying if I said I didn't think it. Not that I'm happy to hear about the struggles your family members face but it just feels comforting to know that I am not alone in this. Its very hard to talk about this with friends and family, so I don't. On the outside, I am EXTREMELY outgoing, the life of the party, always up for a fun time...but on the inside, I am absolutely in a pressure cooker about to pop. My finances and world around me are crumbling and I can't seem to 'snap out of it' or shake this sinking feeling.

Out of utter desperation I contacted a local therapist and have an appointment in two weeks. I know I need it. But, unfortunately, I haven't the greatest expectations. I've had several therapists before and I've never felt like they 'understood' me. With dysthymia, I don't seem to be depressed enough to require immediate attention. It seems like I am fine. It makes me look like a whiner or a complainer. Hell, I even feel that way sometimes. Even though, I know better. It seems like it will take a major stroke of luck to find a therapist who can look me in the eye and say "I understand what you are going through. I'm here to help you. We are going to get you back out there." The therapists I've had before say things like "well, if thats what you want to do, why don't you just do it". DUH. "If I had the answer to that one, I wouldn't be here. I'm STUUUUUUUUUUCK."

I know I should re-think meds as well. I HATE taking them and am not sure how I will get them without insurance. But, I will look into it. I took Wellbutrin to no avail. They worked for my sister so I thought that it might work for me. I also took Celexa several years ago. At first, I felt the clouds lift and it worked for me for a while. But its hard to say how much of it was the meds and how much was the fact that I was "booked" as you say...I was working on my Master's degree. So, I had to get up and get moving. Also, Celexa contributed to about a 20lbs. a year weight gain for 3 years. And I am in the process of losing that extra 'bulk' which has did a number on my esteem. So, I fear adverse side effects. But, I put a lot of stock into what I read on these boards and I appreciate your feedback. So, I will look into my options and see what other med options might be a better fit.

I just want to know what it feels like to be genuinely happy again. It's been years.

Thanks again Aerial. I appreciate the time it took for you to give me some advice.
Rick

#5 Sheepwoman

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 09:37 AM

This recession we're in makes finding employment (in or out of the field of our endeavor) difficult as many companies are downsizing. If you want to find something outside of your degree, are those the type of jobs you're applying for? As a side question, have you called any of the places you sent your resume? If not, call them. It shows you are interested in the job, plus it will put your resume back on top of the pile of resumes. Your call may also result in getting an interveiw. You should check with your local unemployment office, as many of them offer free training in resume writing, interview training and a few other things. They also have job listings posted from companies with openings they want to fill (at least, these are what is available from the state EDD).

Good luck with your therapy appointment. You may want to ask the tdoc if they will work on a sliding scale for payments. It's worth a try to ask.
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#6 rickincali

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 01:39 PM

This recession we're in makes finding employment (in or out of the field of our endeavor) difficult as many companies are downsizing.


Boy, aint that the truth.

If you want to find something outside of your degree, are those the type of jobs you're applying for?


Yes. Its a semi-long story but I feel its necessary to get started with a line of work that doesn't quite match my degrees. It may be a shame but its a tough field to follow. While looking 'outside' of my degrees, I am kinda pegged into a rock and a hard place. I am using my previous crap job as the experience needed for my future employment. Its not a line of work I love doing but if it pays the bills... I actually had a very strong interview last Monday but for some reason, no call back. Now, I could be reading into this but during my second interview (with the woman who would have been my superior) I got the distinct feeling that she got to where she was by bypassing school and working hard for the company for 11 years. She had quite a chip. Which, in NO way do I have a problem with that. Different strokes... However, I felt a little bite to her line of questioning regarding my schooling. Not jealously persay...threatened maybe? I don't know. Maybe I'm just reading into it. Could be that she sincerely felt I didn't quite fit the role or maybe she just hasn't called yet. Who knows? But, it is very tough out there.


As a side question, have you called any of the places you sent your resume? If not, call them. It shows you are interested in the job, plus it will put your resume back on top of the pile of resumes.


I'd be lying if I said I did this EVERY time. But, I do it most of the time. In fact, one company called me two weeks ago. I called back and left a message. I then called HR to let them know that I got a call and was calling back. I then waited a couple of days and called to speak to the gentleman who would have been phone interviewing. I had to leave a message. I then waited another couple of days and called him back to leave another message. That's about all I can do. There is a fine line between appearing interested and looking like a desperate psycho. :hearts: ---> :flowers:

You should check with your local unemployment office, as many of them offer free training in resume writing, interview training and a few other things. They also have job listings posted from companies with openings they want to fill (at least, these are what is available from the state EDD).


I actually gave my resume' to my sister-in-law for review. Its what she does. She is a pretty successful consultant and if there is one thing she knows how to do its polishing off resumes. So, I'm pretty good there. I'm good as can be for a guy who is applying for a job that I have limited experience in and has nothing to do with school. :hearts: I guess I just need to keep the faith. It ain't easy. But, I have no choice.


Good luck with your therapy appointment. You may want to ask the tdoc if they will work on a sliding scale for payments. It's worth a try to ask.
Sheepwoman


Thank you very much. I need this lady to be the one that finally gets through to me. This walking-zombie-sh*t has to end. I need to get my life started. Let's hope she slides that scale down. WAY down. This is coming out of my own pocket.

Thank you for your advice. I sincerely appreciate you.
Rick

#7 rickincali

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:18 PM

Does anyone else feel like they need an act of God or some outside influence, a stroke of luck perhaps, to help pull you out of your abysmal funk? I know funk doesn't just go away so I should clarify. I think that what you do effects how you feel about yourself. If you don't love going to work on Monday morning you probably aren't going to be happy. I want to work and work hard. I want to get up Monday mornings loving what I do. But, I can't even find a gig, let alone one that I would do for free.

I'm not lazy. Just stuck. And, I am been so consistently stuck that I feel like a loser. I can't figure out how I am going to "snap" out of this or break free of this paralyzing hell. Its like I feel like I need divine intervention...a phone call, good news, an offer out of the blue...

This is how absolutely frozen and lost and miserable I am. I am reaching the point where I absolutely do not feel like I am going to ever be able to pull myself out of this one. Not alone anyway.

Any one else relate?

#8 americandownunder

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:59 PM

Most people have trouble writing - no matter how much time they have available to do it. In fact, sometimes having more time available actually makes it harder. JD Salinger apparently built a concrete bunker in his backyard with no windows and locked himself in every day to force himself to write. You might want to try reading Natalie Goldberg's books on writing, such as Writing Down the Bones. She's got a lot of advice on the topic of how to get yourself to actually write. There's another book I really like called Art & Fear, you might want to look that up as well.

I think your observation that you do well in structured environments is an important one. I am the same as you, and after I got out of grad school, I thought I would leap into practicing an art form that required me to spend a lot of time alone, setting my own deadlines. It didn't work out - in fact it eventually led to severe depression. I'd like to be doing it still, but it's not right for me, so I've had to try and find a different creative outlet and related art profession which created more structure for me.

Hope the therapist is helpful.
Midway on our life's journey, I found myself
in dark woods, the right road lost.
To speak about those woods is hard,
so tangled and rough and savage
that thinking about it now
I feel the old fear stirring.
Death is hardly more bitter.

-Dante

#9 rickincali

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 06:59 PM

Most people have trouble writing - no matter how much time they have available to do it. In fact, sometimes having more time available actually makes it harder. JD Salinger apparently built a concrete bunker in his backyard with no windows and locked himself in every day to force himself to write. You might want to try reading Natalie Goldberg's books on writing, such as Writing Down the Bones. She's got a lot of advice on the topic of how to get yourself to actually write. There's another book I really like called Art & Fear, you might want to look that up as well.

I think your observation that you do well in structured environments is an important one. I am the same as you, and after I got out of grad school, I thought I would leap into practicing an art form that required me to spend a lot of time alone, setting my own deadlines. It didn't work out - in fact it eventually led to severe depression. I'd like to be doing it still, but it's not right for me, so I've had to try and find a different creative outlet and related art profession which created more structure for me.

Hope the therapist is helpful.


Americandownunder-

I think its a classic case of "what came first, the chicken or the egg?" I am depressed. Therefore, I have a hard time writing. Or, am I depressed because I don't write?

Thank you for the reply. Unfortunately, misery loves company. I will surely look up your book suggestions.

Rick

#10 americandownunder

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 07:18 PM

I think its a classic case of "what came first, the chicken or the egg?" I am depressed. Therefore, I have a hard time writing. Or, am I depressed because I don't write?


For me it's both! And then of course you finally get yourself to write and get depressed 'cause it's crap, even though I firmly believe you have to write a lot of crap in order to get to what's good.

This is why many writers are also alcoholics. Not that I'm recommending that.
Midway on our life's journey, I found myself
in dark woods, the right road lost.
To speak about those woods is hard,
so tangled and rough and savage
that thinking about it now
I feel the old fear stirring.
Death is hardly more bitter.

-Dante

#11 Cim

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 04:20 PM

Just wanted to say I"m in very similar situation... with the dysthymia... I'm 35, out of work, good profession, thinking sort of what's the point... I'll pm you maybe you can respond and we can chat sometime.




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