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    Interested in pretty much anything that has to do with music: performance, education, theory, history, and of course, listening to it. I also enjoy learning about History, Psychology, and Computers.

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  1. People who experiencing the depths of depression need to know that it is possible to turn it around. I admit that there are times when I don’t want to hear about someone’s good day, but I usually get something out of it when I do take the time to listen to them about the good day they’re having. It helps to get me out of my own head. Telling stories of recovery is what provides hope for those who didn’t know that there was any hope.
  2. Hello, I’m looking for people who have tried using an “accountability partner”. For those who don’t know, an accountability partner is a person who coaches another person in terms of helping the other person keep a commitment, set goals, and achieve those goals. I had never heard of an accountability partner until last week when someone suggested it to me. Although, I had heard of a life coach and the two are very similar. Obviously, an ideal accountability partner would be someone who isn’t going to judge you on a personal level or offer negative criticism. However, it seems to me that finding the right person to be an accountability partner might be a little challenging and time consuming. My main goal right now is: Stop sleeping so much! I recently moved back in with my parents and they are very concerned, as am I, about the amount of sleep that I’ve been getting. It was a problem before I moved in. It’s obviously part of my depression. I have no desire to get up because I have nowhere to be. There are times when I do get up at a decent hour. For example, I never miss a doctor’s appointment. Because I know that if I do, I’ll get all messed up on my meds. It doesn’t matter if the appointment is for 8am. I’m there. I think I could use this forum as my “accountability partner” at least until I could possibly find a member of this forum who would be willing to talk with me privately on a regular basis. And I would do my best to be an “accountability partner” for the other person, or perhaps a different person. The bottom line is I’m 45 years old and I don’t see a future for myself. That scares me to death! I’m sleeping my life away and that’s something I can fix! It’s something I have to fix! Then, I can focus on gaining some momentum toward a job that I like. My whole life people have told me that I’m capable of doing whatever I decide to do. I’ve also been told that I have a lot of potential. But right now I’m wasting that potential with each passing day and I can’t live with myself anymore if I don’t change. Thanks for your time.
  3. Hello sandyb. Hopefully, you've been too busy with school to check back on the replies. I just wanted to echo what mmoose and justthinking said about starting at a university at age 17. I've been there, except I was barely 18 when I began my freshman year. I went to the largest college in my state, so it took some getting used to. There should be some sort of counseling center on campus for students with anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, etc. A lot of times the counseling sessions are free to students. That would be something worth looking into. I spent five years at college and I have a number of regrets from my time there. One of those regrets is the fact that I didn't take advantage of the free counseling services provided by the university. If I had, I might have learned something that would've steered me in a more positive direction. Universities also offer numerous different types of social and academic clubs. There's usually something for everyone. You can probably find out more about these clubs at the student center on campus. And whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, take the time to realize that there are students all over the campus who are feeling the same way. One night during my freshman year I made a frightened phone call home to my parents, determined that I was in the wrong place. Luckily, they talked me into staying until the end of that semester and they said I could come back home after the semester was over if I wanted to, but I didn't. My college years weren't always the greatest, but I made it through, all in one piece. Hang in there.
  4. @Steveab63. I think we felt the same about each other all those years ago. Something changed in him though in the years following high school graduation. Whenever he would say one of classic insults, I would tell some of my other friends about it and ask them why they thought he was saying these things to me. Most of them replied by saying, "He's jealous of your talent." We were both competitive musicians who played the same instruments. I just happened to use my talent a little more than him. Nevertheless, I appreciate your feedback.
  5. I participated in a local community band concert in the town square. Music performance is one of the few things that I've almost always been able to do. There have been a couple of times when anxiety kept me from making it to a gig. Terrible feeling. But that didn't happen today!
  6. I set out to write this as concisely as possible and I think I have done that. It just happens to be a long story. In fact, I could've added even more so you could better understand where I'm coming from. Mainly, I needed to get this off my chest and I'm so grateful for being able to do that here in this forum. Please read it and tell me what you think. 30 years ago, when I was in high school, I had several close friends. I'm still friends with a few of them, with the exception of one or two. In the years following high school one of those old friends started spreading rumors about me and saying very hurtful things to me. In the mid 90's my drug habit was becoming a full-fledged addiction. Living in a small town meant that certain people were going to know about it. This once close friend of mine decided that he would use his big mouth to belittle me instead of figuring out a way to help me. Here are just a couple of examples of his charming ways: Example #1: One night while I happened to be hanging out with this friend and a few other people, he pulled out a big sack of garden shrub. Then another guy did the same. I was surprised when I saw the second guy with that much shrubbery because he never smoked when we were in high school. At this time I wasn't smoking hardly any shrubbery, so I said, "Wow, you guys probably smoke more than I do now." Upon hearing this, my old friend must've thought that I was trying to make him out to be a big pothead, because he retaliated with the words, "Yeah well, at least we don't go around shooting street drugs!" I promptly replied, "Dude, I've never even seen that stuff!" I left the gathering a few minutes later and walked home. Example #2: Once again I found myself at a party with my old friend. This time there were even more people present to hear his slanderous lies. It was winter and as I was taking off my coat I noticed that my old friend had a coat 100% exactly the same as mine. So I said, "Hey, we need to keep our coats separated because they're identical." Without hesitation his response was, "Oh that shouldn't be a problem. Yours will be the one with the pocket full of pills." I was blown away by his complete lack of empathy and his willingness to say whatever it took to make me look and feel like a junkie loser, and he didn't care who heard him. After he said that I immediately told him to sit down so that we could have a talk. It was a complete waste of my time as he just sat there while I tried to educate him about addiction. That was about 20 years ago. Since then we have kept our distance as much as possible. We ran into each other a couple of years ago and he brought up something that I had posted on Facebook. He misunderstood it and told me that he felt like I was insulting him with my Facebook post. I pulled him aside and told him that he should never take anything I say as an insult. I was proud of myself for telling him that instead of something like, "Oh, so you're telling me that you don't like being insulted? Well neither do I ya big jerk!" Later that night, we communicated briefly online and, for the first time in over 25 years, I felt at peace with this person. I stopped having the recurring dream where I'm on top of him, pummeling his face with my fists until he becomes an unrecognizable pool of whatever. Pretty heavy huh? Since then his mother has passed away and I sent him several private messages telling him how sorry I was. I began to find peace regarding this person by reaching out to him especially in the days following his mother's death. It wasn't easy for me but it made me feel better and those disturbing dreams stopped. Okay. So tonight I found out that he got this job that I was really hoping to get. Even though part of me is happy for him, the bigger part of me cannot help but picture him with a smug grin on his face while he thinks about the fact that he got the job and I didn't. Of all the people to be chosen instead of me... I have never received an apology for the laundry list of hurtful comments that were hurled at me as I was going through the hardest years in my life. A few years ago I wrote him a long message one night. In it I brought up every single time that he said something derogatory to me or to someone else about me. I covered it all while being as civil as possible. I thought that I would finally get my apology after that, but I didn't. I've heard stories of him crying and apologizing to other people and I can't help but wonder, "Where the hell is my apology? There's no way that he could've said worse things to these people than he said to me!" When I hear other people talk about him I just want to tell them about the real person behind the brown-nosing mask. He's very adept at telling people what they want to hear, and putting on this act like he really wants to be your friend, but only if he can gain something in the process. Once I started using drugs, more than him that is, I had nothing for him to profit from so he started with the harassment. Am I being petty for hanging on to the hurt caused by someone who used to be such a close friend? If I am then why did I tell him that he should never take anything I say as an insult when I could've said something hurtful to him just to get even? Just when I think I've put all of this behind me, something happens that brings it all back again.
  7. Wow, that comment is a little too long. As I was folding laundry just now, I started thinking about that long comment and about that hostile confrontation between myself and my dad in front of the tire shop. I don't wanna make my dad out to be some guy with a short fuse who overreacts to everyday inconveniences. If that were the case...if he was a temperamental moody man who went around making mountains out of mole hills then it would be a lot easier to dismiss his comments. He thinks that he could've done something different along the way that would've prevented things like addiction, anxiety, and depression. Anyway, he's under a lot of stress because of things I won't go into here. So, I just wanted to get that off my chest. Thanks again.
  8. First of all, thanks for the input. Believe it or not, the last few days have been so much better than the day I was having when I wrote my post that I had forgotten about it. That's pretty huge. The first few days after I posted this, I didn't want to check to see if anyone had commented on my entry. I didn't wanna think about it. The last few days have been better but things between me and my dad actually got worse before they got better. A few days later he calls to see if I or my brother/roommate had taken the car to have the nail removed from one of the tires. So do you guys think that I or my brother had taken the car to the shop to have the tire patched, knowing that it had been at least a week since I had said something to my dad about it? No! That's exactly right. So he called one day and asked if we had accomplished that simple task. When I said that we hadn't, oh boy, he began to ask me, "Do you think that is prudent behavior on your part?" I answered him, "No sir, I don't think that's prudent behavior on my part." I could hear the desperation in his voice the likes of which I had never heard and it scared me. I can't remember what he was saying exactly, but it was something like, "Dear God, what do I have to do to be delivered from this?!" This is a man who has been dealing with this kind of ineptitude from his two sons for almost 20 years. Man, it hurts to see that written out in black and white. I told him to calm down and he told me to take the car to the shop now! I go to the shop. I tell the man there's a nail in the right rear tire and I give him my keys. I walk out the front door of the establishment to have a seat and a cigarette. I had barely gotten the cigarettes out of my pocket before I looked up and saw my dad. I thought he was just making sure that I went where I was supposed to go. I wish. He said, "Take the car to my house, park it, and leave the keys in it." There I was, an inch tall just like that day on the phone. I said, "Daddy, I've already given them the keys and they're about to get started on it." Again he said, "Take the car to my house and leave the keys in it." I started arguing, saying that I would take it over there after the tire was fixed. "If you don't get in MY car and take it to MY house right now, I'm calling the police and having it towed." I was 16 years old again. I'm sure all the employees of the establishment heard every word between this father and his adult son. I couldn't find the guy who I had given the keys to, so I just sat down on the curb next to the car and waited until one of the employees came over to get the car to be fixed. When he came over I stood up, and with a defeated sound in my voice I told him that I was gonna have to cancel my work order and I apologized. I did exactly what my dad said and then I started walking home. Sick to death. Hating life. Hating myself. Horrible pain. "How does this keep happening to me?!" Knowing that my brother would need the car for some errands the next day, at first my dad said he could have the car for those errands and that's all. A half hour passed and my mother called to tell me that my dad decided to give the car back after we go get that tire fixed. So, at the end of that day the car was still with my brother and I, but so what? In the following days, amends were made and love was restored to this family. I wish I could say, "The End" and make it so. Later on that day, my dad went to see the psychologist who I see. Dad has heard me go on and on about how he's so easy to talk to. He figured he'd go see him. What could it hurt? He didn't have an appointment and he didn't need one because I have the best psychologist in the world. He doesn't overbook in case of emergencies like the one my dad was experiencing. He had to talk to someone who could put a different spin on the day's events. After talking with my psychologist for over an hour, my dad left feeling better about things, which tends to make everyone else feel better about things. That's not to say that I'm giving up on the volunteer work. I think that for a person who hasn't had a job in a few years, volunteering is a great way to ease back into things. That's one of the main reasons that it appeals to me. Once again, I didn't mean to write a short story. I gotta work on that. Thanks for everyone's input. I'll sure appreciate any other feedback as well.
  9. I know that there are a lot of topics in this forum dealing with unemployment caused by depression and anxiety. I could have posted my problem in one of those threads instead of starting a new one, but I wanted to make sure that someone saw my post. So I created a new topic instead of commenting on someone else's post. Like I said, I am in my mid-40's and I still depend on my parents for rent, bills, food, and meds. I haven't had a steady job in 4 or 5 years and I shouldn't even call that last one a steady job, considering I lasted about 3 months. I'm sure my story is a lot like many of yours. The thought of actually having to show up for work somewhere gives me that "butterflies in the stomach" feeling. My parents are in their early 70's and I'm scared to death of the thought of something happening to one or both of them, especially if it's before I am financially independent. It's so frustrating. I'm so fearful of stepping out of my comfort zone. It seems impossible. I'm a musician and I used to get a lot of phone calls for gigs, but over the past 5-10 years I started "flaking out" on the day of the gig. I would get so nervous that I couldn't take the first step towards getting ready for the gig. I couldn't get my drums and gear together. I couldn't make myself take a shower. I couldn't even pick up the phone to call one of the other musicians to let them know I wouldn't be coming. Word spreads about that kind of stuff. In other words, I don't get those phone calls anymore after 20+ years of being a professional musician. That stuff really got to me and really made me think because playing music was always my thing, and I'm good at it. It's easy money plus I get to jam with some great musicians. Personally, I can't think of a better way to make a living. The main reason I came to this forum today, however, is because I just got a call from my dad that involved my current state of unemployment. Last month I had gone to a local museum and talked to someone about volunteering. They said that they would love to have someone volunteer. They also said they needed someone to do a little research. I have a college degree. I'm not scared of a little research. I was on fire! I went to my parents' house and told them, and my dad was like, "I've been waiting so long to hear such news." Lately my dad has been saying that he'd be content if I would just go volunteer somewhere. So I was on cloud nine. I was going to start right after the new year. But, wouldn't you know it, that day came.......and went. I've been meaning to send an email to the person in charge so I could explain myself a little bit. I wouldn't have to get into any details about my anxiety or depression. I know she would be glad to hear from me. Any extra help they can get is like icing on the cake. But I haven't been able to send that email. So, today my dad called and asked if I was planning to go back up there. I told him that I was. Then he said something that I can't comprehend. He said that he feels like I'm deliberately not volunteering at the museum because that's my way of trying to hurt him. ***? He didn't say it like that word for word, but that's pretty close. He knows all about my depression, anxiety, and how I fight it every day. I told him that I'm not trying to be passive-aggressive by not volunteering. I wish that was the reason. Here I am, a grown man, and my father can still make me feel like I'm an inch tall with his words. However, since he is my father, I know that he must be having a bad day and during this bad day he started thinking about me and my situation and it ate at him and ate at him until he finally had to call. "When you don't do the things that your mother and I want you to do, it hurts us." Thanks dad. I don't have any children. If I did I'm sure I would say the same thing to my screwed up son. Thanks for providing a place where I can get this kind of stuff out of my system. I will appreciate any comments. However, I'm going to take a break from the computer/tablet and maybe go for a walk while it's not too cold outside. So if I don't respond to your comments right away, you'll know why. Please take it easy on my dad. He's frustrated too.
  10. Hey William. I'm new to this forum but not depression. I'm not a professional by any means but the feelings you're experiencing right now are normal in my opinion. If you were having the time of your life while failing school and losing your job, then there would be cause for worry. First of all know this. You are not alone. I may not be experiencing that terrible feeling of overwhelming anxiety and despair right now, as it relates to school, but it wasn't that long ago when I was experiencing it first hand. It happened a year or so later for me. Sometime during my second year of college, a pattern began to develop. A habit actually. I would begin each semester by hitting the ground running, going to every class, staying up to date on my assignments and all that jazz. Then, after those first 3 or 4 weeks, I would fall back into old habits of procrastination and avoidant behavior. And I knew that things like skipping class would only make me feel worse and more out of control but I did it anyway because the anxiety and dread would be so strong that I let it win. I would miss a class or two but I'd tell myself that everybody does that every now and then. It was during those years, when I was 19-20 that I was feeding my anxiety every time I chose not to go to my classes. I found out that the more I missed, the harder it was for me to walk back into those classrooms, for fear of what the professor would think of me, or what my classmates might think of me. I guess what I'm trying to say is, during that time of my life, which was my late teens and my early twenties, I was unknowingly engaging in behavior which would result in bad habits that I'm still struggling with to this day, in my early forties. You mentioned being fired from your job because of the unbearable intense anxiety and panic that would arise every time you had to go to work. I'm at the point where just the mere thought of creating a résumé causes enough anxiety in me that I haven't completed a proper résumé in years! I had a decent job a while back but one day when I drove into the parking lot of the store, a sense of dread and panic overcame me and I turned around and drove home. My advice to you, while you're still at the crossroads of age 18, is to continue seeing a therapist. You may not have noticed it when you wrote it, but you contradicted yourself in your last paragraph. You said, "I haven't a clue as what to do." Then in the following sentence you said that you're seeing a therapist, which to me says that you do have at least a clue as what to do. Continue with your therapy until you're able to get the anxiety and panic under control. In the meantime, don't look at all of the assignments needed to get yourself back on track. That's much too overwhelming. Try one assignment at a time. One of the last classes I took before graduating called for a different assignment just about every time the class met. When the professor was first telling us about all of the assignments, the students in the classroom let out a collective grumbling sound. When the professor heard it he turned to us and said, "Class, do you know the best way to eat an elephant?" We all said, "No!" The professor said, "One bite at a time. That's how." I didn't intend on writing such a long response but I felt the need to let you know just how very important it is that you get control of your anxiety now, while you're whole life is still ahead of you. I'm sorry you're also having to deal with the death of your father during all of this. I imagine it is only making things harder for you. If I were you I would try talking to the teachers of the classes that have the assignments due. You might be surprised by their empathy and, who knows, they might just give you a little extra time to finish your work. You won't know until you ask, if you haven't already. I have faith in you William. Please keep me posted. You got this!
  11. Thank you nightrose. I used to get a lot of calls from other musicians asking me to play in little jazz combo gigs for things like wedding receptions, parties, and other events. That was mainly when I was still living in the college town of Tuscaloosa, AL. (ROLL TIDE!) Then I moved back home to the fairly small town that I grew up in. The gigs slowly became less frequent and further apart. A couple of years ago I started having panic attacks before a gig, which I never expected to happen. I actually dreaded going to a gig. More about that later perhaps... Thanks again.
  12. Hello nightrose, good to hear from you. I can't remember if I mentioned how much money I would receive each month via disability. From the research that I've done online on the government website, I found out that I would get something like $211.00 each month. I don't know if that would be worth hiring the disability lawyers. You do have to get a lawyer right? That shows you just how little I've paid into social security. As a musician, almost all of my earnings through the years have been tax free. I was so busy playing jazz combo gigs in college that I didn't have to get a regular job. But that was the early to mid 90's. A quick story about a job I had where I paid taxes, and what I did that cost me this job. About 16 years ago I was hired as the assistant manager for a record store in a local mall. I had no prior experience in retail management yet the regional mgr hired me with a salary of $24,000 a year. In the year 2000. I was 27 and had never had a job making that much, so I was very excited. After all, I knew more about music, bands, songs, and movies, than any other subject under the sun. (OK, I gotta get to the point because I said it was a quick story.) Once a week I had to work from 9am to 9:30pm. The manager had to do the same if we wanted to have two days off each week. This started after I had been there for about 4 months. So, I was working this job and I really liked it. There were a few customers who would come straight to me if they had a song in mind but couldn't think of the band's name or the singer's name and I could usually tell them who it was after hearing the title or a few lyrics. I have a good memory for that kind of stuff. I was also learning a lot about running a retail music store. And I had money! Man it's nice to have money. Whenever I, or someone else, would close the store, I would have to count all the cash, checks, credit card slips, and gift certificates. After I made sure everything added up correctly, I would fill out a deposit ticket and put it in an envelope with the corresponding cash and checks. Then everyone would clock out and we'd all go home, except for me because I had to take the bank deposit and put it in the night drop box at the bank. (OK, so this story might not be a quick story after all.) Well, after I had been there about six months, I had just worked one of those 12 1/2 hour days, and an especially stressful one at that. I made the bank deposit but instead of going straight to the bank and putting it in the night drop, I went to my brother's apartment first because I was so ready for a alcohol! I brought the deposit inside with me and put it under his couch. I might have had 3 beers total. Three beers! I slept on my brother's couch that night like I had done a hundred times before. The next morning I was awakened by a ringing phone at about 9:30. It was my manager! She was at the bank to pick up the deposit receipt, which was just one of the things you had to do if you were opening the store. Of course the deposit receipt wasn't there because some moron forgot to take it there. She asked me if I had taken it there and I lied and said that I had. I'm not real sure why I felt the need to lie. I guess I was afraid of getting in trouble for not taking it to the bank. Since my manager thought that I had taken the deposit to the bank, she then had to call the regional manager and inform him of a missing deposit. So I was sitting on my brother's couch just panicking by then. It didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that I needed to tell my manager the truth, which I did. She was relieved that the money wasn't missing, but she was also a little confused and upset. I took the deposit to her at the store. She had to tell the regional manager what had happened. I totally understood that. So I took the deposit to her and she told me that regional management wanted me to type up an account of what had happened, which I did. We had a computer in the back room and I used it to tell them exactly what had happened; the stress, the alcohol, the couch, and that I had no intention of ever stealing the cash from the deposit. I have no idea how much it was. So my manager told me to come in the next day like I was scheduled to do. I remember walking down the hallway of that mall with my head down, defeated. One of the people working there that day was a kid in high school who really respected me and liked working with me. As I walked in he said something like, "Alright! Man I'm glad you're closing tonight instead of so-and-so." I just smiled and told him, "Yeah, me too." I went straight to the back and my manager gave me the bad news. I had been fired. My manager told me that she hated to do it and that she hated to see me go. She told me to keep my head up and that everybody makes mistakes. So I started walking out of the store and the kid from high school had this puzzled look on his face. I just told him that I would see him later. This story, getting fired from that job that I liked so much, with benefits and a good salary, is one of the things that I still ruminate about to this day, especially when I'm thinking about my financial situation. So, it's definitely one of the things that I want to work on with a therapist. If that's not enough for ya, I have yet another story that involves me working as an assistant manager of a major chain music store. Only this time I wasn't fired. I was led to believe that I was getting fired and that I should quit instead, so that's what I did. Ain't life grand? I should write a book. O:-)
  13. Hey LoneSquirrel, good to hear from you again. I agree, sleeping for 12 hours isn't all that bad. The bad thing is - I usually sleep for longer than 12 hours. (I would be embarrassed to admit the following to a group of friends or something like that.)>A couple of days ago I didn't go to bed until 5am and I slept until about 8:40pm. That's almost 16 hours. I should've said 13 or 14 hours initially instead of 12 but I didn't want to sound too pathetic. Sleeping that long makes me feel like a lazy bum. If that's not enough, I end up being awake after my brother and my parents go to bed, which means that I have to tip-toe around like a thief in the night. That's not easy on some of these squeaky wooden floors. I've actually learned where to step if I want to make the least amount of noise. Shortly after my brother and I moved back in, my dad asked me about the sleeping thing. I told him that I would start setting my alarm clock a little earlier each day or two until I whittled it down to something reasonable. I obviously haven't done that. I think I could though. And if I did, I know that would be something that made me feel better, both mentally and physically. Sleeping that long not only makes me feel guilty, it also makes me feel sluggish. So maybe that can be kind of short term goal for me. I liked what you said about asking my parents to try wording their advice in a different way; the part about giving them some direction regarding their word choice and how they phrase their suggestions. I'll definitely remember that. Thanks a lot!
  14. Wow. Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it. I don't think my parents are going to be a trigger or a cause for me to use. I don't suffer from cravings thanks to a couple of prescriptions that I take. My parents, especially my father, are so much more laid back and tolerant than they were as I was growing up. As a child, I had to go to church on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights. Most of the time I went without any fuss, but during my teenage years there were lots of times that I really dreaded going to church. I don't remember any major arguments between me and my parents about going, but I'm sure there were some minor ones. So yeah, back to the subject. I'm sure one of the reasons my parents treat me differently has to do with the fact that I'm 42 years old. My dad has been taking an anti-depressant for a few years now. I'm sure that has something to do with him being more laid back. I wish he would've been more laid back and less strict when I was growing up. I had a great childhood though. I wanna set that straight. Could it have been better? Well yeah. I'm still finding out things about my dad's childhood and the way he was treated by his parents. Sometimes he'll tell me something about his childhood and it really explains a lot about why he is the way he is. Okay, I really don't wanna be that guy who cannot write a short comment, so I'm going to wrap 'er on up. Not that there's anything wrong with a long comment/post. I don't want to jump from one topic to another and make it really hard to read for y'all. Y'all...lol Am I from the southern part of the United States? Hmmm... WOTL, thank you again for your empathy and encouragement. It really helps.
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