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Everything posted by MarkintheDark

  1. Breaks my heart to hear about Shiloh. I've been a pet parent for over 30 years to probably a dozen of 'em. Most of their pix are in my gallery. This is never easy. In fact it was four of 'em back in 02 who saved me from exiting when I made the commitment - yes, out loud and through tears - to see each of them through their too-short lives. I did and I have to say that fulfilling that promise the next 11 years is probably my proudest accomplishment. But, trust me, Shiloh knows he's loved and that's the best gift any of us can give to our furballs. What I often suggest is doing the search for rainbowsbridge.com to help you thru the process. You''ll read heartfelt stories much as you find here. I found it's a wonderful way to memorialize my guys. I'm wishing you both peace.
  2. For what little encouragement it's worth, John, I'm glad to see that you're at least posting and sharing what's going on. (Honestly, I'm doin' pretty sh*tty myself)
  3. Yes and no, if only for the fact the 60s were my time of innocence. But it was emotional hell for me being dragged around my narcissistic adopted mother and her incessant abuse, about which I was powerless to do a damn thing. I'm grateful I at least had Dad and my stepmother to counter some of it, if only a few times a year. When I came of age in the 70s, having narrowly escaped the draft, I also escaped NM's clutches and, with Dad's help, was able to pursue my dreams in recording engineering and broadcasting and reclaim some self-esteem, right into the 80s, though I had to remain closeted for the most part. Then AIDS came and I started losing friends left and right...but then I also lost Dad in '85. At least his carefully-planned legacy made it possible for me to realize many of my dreams in the 90s. After I got seriously ill in 2001 - progressing to AIDS myself - it's mostly been downhill. And now I've lived only a few months longer than Dad did. I feel completely lost in this uncharted territory at a time when I've particularly needed Dad's guidance (even 34 years on). Now in my mid-60s, with no familial support and having lost so much of my health to exhaustion, I've largely lost the will to live. I guess that's to say, my life has been so full of contradictions, I can't answer either way.
  4. Crying off and on most of the day. I wish I had some excuse why a guy in his mid-60s could experience such hopelessness. I can't fight anymore.
  5. Y'know, reading thru a number of posts here - I know this sounds odd - but I find a sense of relief I DON'T have a family with whom to deal. Nor, and this is a conscious choice - am I obligated to anyone socially. For at least a couple days I won't have to put on my happy face. That being said, I received an email out of the blue from my NP today that simply said he was thinking of me. No one IRL has done anything like that for me in years...and, yeah, it brought a few tears that someone actually cared. None of that "Happy Holidays" BS. He knows how badly I've been doing, as I'd expect from someone who's known me eight years, and he just kept it simple.
  6. @PraiseBrownies, I'm no psychic, but I just have this feeling you'll have good Christmases again. You're right about the innocence, alas. For me it was those Christmases I was permitted to have with my dad and his second wife alternating years. For one, they actually celebrated it (there's a pic in my gallery of my best Christmas when I was 14), while the narcissist mother who had custody of me - a living hell - might manage a tabletop Christmas tree before trotting out to some damn cocktail party. I have to say, too, the same went for Easter when I was a small kid. Dad and my stepmother went all out with the Easter basket, hiding jelly beans, etc. You've just been through a year of hell. What bothers me the most is that you've had to endure this upheaval at your age. I hope you find some peace during the holidays despite some of the hurts being so fresh. (Actually, yeah, I've been there, too, albeit in my mid-30s.) Again, I'm not psychic. But I'm willing to bet you'll eventually find a different but satisfying flavor of Christmas in the years to come. For me, that meant making my own Christmas as a young adult, drawing quite a bit on Christmases I'd had while I was still in school. That's to say, Dad and my stepmother gave me a template that stuck with me. Maybe you have a similar template within you.
  7. @anxiousE, I really appreciate the kind words and recognizing that perspective of "what is to happen if I'm ever on my own again." That's a particularly salient point for me and one which some have usually overlooked in the course of their expectations of what they think I should be able to do. In fact, at least from what I've read during my time on DF, many of us are in the "on my own" position, which makes your point doubly valid. I'm glad you were able to find some relief from your pain. Again citing our friends here, you'll read so many stories about the folks who are struggling with some kind of chronic physical pain such as fibromyalgia. You obviously know from experience how difficult that makes day-to-day living...add depression, anxiety, etc., to the mix and it becomes unbearable. I'd have to say that lately, as you read, it's that some of my body is shutting down and, without pain meds, I've had to rely on the standard Walgreen's remedies. I was only able to manage The Crow once - it disturbed me - but you're right on that it can't rain all the time. And I hope that's a point I've been able to convey successfully. I actually do have good days or at least portions thereof. So, thank you again. Appreciate the ramble. That's what this place is for.
  8. I know words are insufficient right now, but I'm so sorry.
  9. Welcome to DF. I come from the same side of the situation as @JessiesMom, however have also in my history had to deal with my elderly mother's resistance to seeking professional help. (For her, eventually it was further complicated with the onset of dementia.) That said, I'm glad to hear you both have access to professional help. I'd caution you on the family and friends route. Again, speaking from my own experience, their "advice" may often be a more aggressive "snap out of it" approach which simply is not useful and, in fact, may be harmful to your spouse. Depression is a biochemical issue, not an issue of willpower. Yes, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is quite useful for many of us. But, again, that's in the realm of guidance under a professional's care. I hope you'll take some time to read some of our stories to gain some perspective. Finally, I fully concur with @Lorax on tending to your own needs. I'm gonna be a li'l presumptuous, but that may be an area to explore with your therapist.
  10. Not that great an evening. Tried and failed on a photo opp I thought would be similar to last night...and had a bout with the hypotension afterwards. Meanwhile, a strong wet front is blowing through that's, oddly, kinda calming. Guess I'm kinda meh.
  11. So far, I'm having a peaceful day today. It's quiet. And, to be clear, it feels like refreshing solitude, not isolation. I notice the feeling of isolation comes when it's apparent no one's interested in helping me address my pain(s) in ways that are meaningful to me. But, today I'm calm at the moment.
  12. Appreciate the support. As I told a friend tonight, I was that close to putting myself in the ER...that's how scary the pain was. I managed to get out briefly - whether or not it was a good idea - for a few nighttime shots. Got one that turned out well, but started to again feel some cramping when I got home and thought ruh-roh. Now, go figure, it was about that moment a friend called just out of the blue. He knows my whole story and I've shared more than a few tears with him. We were able to talk for a couple hours, as usual, about his stuff and mine. This guy's like the brother I never had. I've come to love him that much. Still, I'm feeling tired and like I had too much day.
  13. idk what the use is of complaining at this point, but was taken down midday by severe abdominal cramps that didn't even start to subside for an hour. The intensity of the pain was similar to my gall bladder attack a couple years ago...and accompanied by alternating chills and sweats. Oh, it passed after a couple hours b/c I simply laid still, flat on my back in bed - I think I dozed off - but I'm exhausted from these surprises my body throws at me.
  14. Only in the past few hours have I been able to somewhat pull myself out from the past 24. I was up all night Thursday night wondering if now was the time for me to exit. Would have been so easy. Too much going on...or not going on. None of it which over which I felt I had any control. I've simply quit caring. Didn't get into any sleep until mid-morning and, even then, after a few hours, still hadn't come out of it. Finally, when the sun went down, I noticed it was quiet and we had a nice stiff breeze making it's way from offshore. That's my favorite weather. What it did for me was to give me a li'l push for my "fill up" routine....replenishing my Gatorade, Diet Coke, Robi, air for the tires and gas for the tank. I'm barely noticing Christmas. Usually I particularly enjoy the palms wrapped in lights around here, but I'm just not feeling even that. It's just a reminder of a season I've simply lost the capacity to enjoy. I'm just numb to it.
  15. Man, I am so sorry you've had to relive this the past 24. I completely understand that, once activated, how that endless loop can just drive someone deeper into the bottomless pit. That's how so many of us are wired, JD...regrets, recriminations, etc. I think I've sometimes used the term "worthless POS" in describing myself quite a few times on DF. And, all I can hope - even when I can't see any hope - is that it eventually subsides even just a little bit. In the past couple of weeks, I've had very similar feelings about my dad...who's been gone 34 years and, yeah, even some cries over just how ignorant and selfish I was at the time (in my 20s). Have done what writing I can just to gain some perspective, but it's a double-edged sword because, in my own recovery, I can start to empathize with what his perspective might have been in dealing with both me and his own sh*t. What I'd wish for you is that you might be able to consider that being able to develop empathy is a good indicator of your own recovery. In other words, if anything good comes from it - and a point I'd make to you - is that your ability to empathize with your ex, a quality you've obviously developed with lots of your own work, seems to me like a good measure of the kind of man you've become. That's to say, you're not the same man you were at the time. Believe it or not, imo, you're a better man today. Honestly, too, no, you don't deserved to be punished, as much as it might feel like it. Probably sounds like pandering, empty words. idk that I'm even one to utter them, because that's what a lot of what my life has felt like the past year. God, I wish I could reach down and pull you out of that hole.
  16. Madder than hell and so damned tired of fighting, idk that a response is even worth it. Last spring I was treated so abusively verbally by a clinic benefits counselor, I filed a formal grievance in which I specified I refused to deal with her further. They formally acknowledged the complaint and that action had been taken. The head of the clinic even acknowledged my complaint and my demand she never again contact me. I came to discover from others, including even my own NP, that there were multiple complaints about her. Heck, her deeds even came up in an effin' Google review of the clinic. Yet, nothing was ever apparently done. This afternoon, unbelievably, I received a voicemail from that same woman on another matter. Yeah, I could make another complaint, but like most issues with the clinic, it would fall on deaf ears.
  17. Hypotension's bad today, even sitting down. Nor have I been able to shake a day-long anxiety attack.
  18. Thank you, @MargotMontage. I've had some time to calm down, erase the evidence (to try to put things back to "normal" as quickly as possible), pull myself together and message with a couple people here. Still shaken, however, if I start thinking about the experience. So, I'm mostly not. (I still have the rescue inhaler I can use as often as needed...plus several shots left on what I'd call a super inhaler sampler - lists about USD215 - my NP gave me as a backup for this kinda situation. But, yeah, we're in survival territory now.)
  19. Not quite sure how to word this, but had a shock this afternoon that was humiliating. Have been having lower GI and related issues, but relatively manageable. I've never had one hit uncontrollably when I was out in public. I guess I'll let you infer what you will. It was horrible. Took me ten minutes to find a public restroom, but the damage had been done. I don't have words to describe the unavoidable shame I felt. Still had issues even by the time I got home. I mentioned at one time here that many folks like me are 10-15 years older physiologically than their chronological age. I guess today was proof. Along with other medical issues I've mentioned, it just seems I'm losing control of more of my body. It make me feel sad, angry, hopeless.
  20. Truly trying to pull it together today, even if only for a couple hours. In that vein, showered/shaved. But have been fighting an anxiety attack since morning. Rest of the day may be a test of handling the hypotension, too, if I don't get at least one cup of coffee in me. Operating on semi-automatic and just not inclined to feel anything because I know where those feelings will lead.
  21. 5½-hour phone conversation with a close friend Sunday night. One of those during which we spilled a lot of our guts to each other. I treasure this guy's friendship and that he'd trust me enough to be utterly honest with me about what has/is going on with him. That's exactly what I need right now and it particularly helps that it just seems natural that our conversations flow in such a way that neither of our considerable issues ever take precedence over the other. We both agreed we wish we'd met 30+ years ago...brothers for life. That being said, I have to admit the heaviness of our subjects, though sprinkled with our own considerable humor that comes from having lived 60+ years, exhausted me. And today I've felt completely worn out. It did spur me to get into some writing for a few hours this afternoon. Probably shouldn't have, but had a few things to clarify and get outta my system. Nor have I felt physically well today. But I didn't try to fight it. Have tried - at least to my mind - unsuccessfully to rest and/or distract myself. (In that vein, a friend wanted to grab a photo opp but I gently put him off without going into explanations.)
  22. I think you just summarized exactly the thoughts so many of us have had here. I wish I had some wisdom to help relieve your pain. Please keep sharing as you're able.
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