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  1. Thanks man, I appreciate the response. Someone actually read my post. This week I had a road trip with my son and I've calmed down. The Wellbutrin might be kicking in, although the effects do makes me physically uneasy. I'm hoping I don't have another panic attack if I see them together again. I would edit my post somewhat in hindsight, but the story remains. This problem I have of fixation on individuals (females if romantic, males when it's a friendship issue), jealousy, anxiety, weakness, stuck in my head, it's a recurring pattern. It all stems from lack of self esteem. Anyway, not to rant endlessly again.... Best of luck to you, be strong.
  2. I don't really care how long this post is, and it's long. I'm writing for myself. I wouldn't read a post this long lol. I have always had depression, but I have never been suicidal. There was always hope, trying again, getting back on the horse, move to a new city (where your problems follow), etc. But lately I am getting to the point where I experience literally the same patterns in my thought patterns, my fixations, my dependencies, ME, where I am seeing less and less possibility of life improving. I am not thinking of harming myself today, but I am starting to wonder in general if life is worth living anymore. I am 50 years old. The repetition of the same experiences - and here I am speaking of the struggle to make success, the struggle to meet a partner, the struggle to make friends, the missed connections, many professional failures, missing out on opportunities because you are one second late, missing out on girlfriends because some asshole swoops in right before you. I am not very competitive or ambitious, to be honest. The ironic part is that on the surface, I appear to be a stellar individual. I'm a handsome guy (not arrogant about it, just a history of experiences and information from women), I have a lot of culture and amazing experiences, many interests and hobbies, multiple languages, I'm funny, etc. All these good qualities - but no audience. The problem is I am an introvert. I also have no career, because I have failed at so many attempts. Also my son comes to visit every couple months, so I keep my life open to spend time with him. A 9-5 would not allow this. So I have no career with the opportunity to regularly meet people, have a network, obligations, etc. I am entirely alone. Relationships - friends or romantic - never last. It's a problem of my thinking. Which is very difficult to summarize. I had another experience today, which kind of began a week ago, which just about sent me over the edge. I will describe it, but I am well aware that this story will appear rather silly and petty. It is only magnified in it's relevance to the larger story of my life. The patterns always repeat, I can never escape from losing every time. It has always been hard for me to make friends. I don't need many. But I do need to feel part of something. I spend probably 90% of my time alone. I am ok with a lot of alone time, Iam an introvert. But I still need to feel appreciated and loved by SOMEONE - anyone please. So all the alone time is starting to take it's toll. I'm not getting any younger. When I was married I had a built in friend, so it wasn't a problem. But the last ten years, evolving into an older demographic, it's just harder and harder. Every friend or partner that comes along is a significant possibility, and I have been let down so many times, I could write a novel. (I'm trying to establish a history here before I describe what happened today.) A couple years ago I moved to Nashville from Colorado. To make friends I started going to salsa classes. That was a whole other story, and a year ago I moved back to Colorado. All on my own, totally alone. I was so excited to move back to my happy place. I thought I had it all figured out: Live in my happy bubble in Colorado, then travel a lot to South America, my new obsession. During my move (Sept 2021), my father passed away. Literally the day before I got the moving truck. I have been dealing with the bereavement, in that it has changed my perspective on life, my own mortality, who I am, and does my existence even matter at all. My mother will follow eventually, she's 88. I will then be an orphan. I am very worried about how I will cope with that, in light of my hopeless personal feelings. I don't think there is any help either. I believe we are all inherently alone on this earth. At least I am. But this bereavement is only a part of the emotional decline I am feeling. Last year I traveled to South America many times to learn Spanish, and also to date. Travel to other countries had been pretty much the only way to meet beautiful women. They are SOOO different from American women. So I have to travel to foreign countries, where the women are lovely, polite, and very interested in me. I can't even get a date in my town. But down there I am fighting them off. It's been a revelation. Lots of success down there. I have mostly dated foreign women over the years. But I have to create a life at home. So I am trying to develop a social circle in my own hopeless, feeble way. It's never worked. It's all in my mind. I'm emotionally very weak. So recently I started going to salsa classes again. Gotta get out there. Maybe meet a nice girl. Turns out, in our area it's a lot of dudes, college girls, and old ladies. A lot of lonely people. Go figure. But in my class there was one very cute girl. Half my age. I have mostly dated younger women. I get it, it doesn't last, different places in life, etc. I know all that. But the women my age are hideous to look at. Absolutely no interest. I also have to rely mostly on dating apps, but the last couple years this has been a futile exercise - at 50yo. That party is over, at least in the US. So we rotate around in the dance class, and this girl and I have some chemistry. Let's call her Susan. I feel it. I think I sense her feeling it. Something was happening. She laughs at everything I say. Every class I looked forward to seeing her, chatting with her, slowly getting to know her. I am not pushy or aggressive. I want it to flow naturally, with some eventual nudging, that's my job. I am also so emotionally fragile, I can't rush into anything. I'm just trying to make friends really - be part of a healthy, fulfilling community. Not get complicated. But eventually yes, meet a girl. It gets tricky with salsa because it is a community of regulars. If a fling doesn't work out, bad feelings can happen, then the regular interactions can be awkward and uncomfortable. So hitting on anyone in salsa is a delicate matter. So last weekend there was a big salsa event in Denver. I went, and surprisingly, Susan shows up too. We ran into each other, and it was all good vibes. Lots of laughs, we walked around and went to classes together, and I thought this is fantastic, she's like my buddy. We're just developing a friendship. But under the surface, I'm hoping to gradually develop that. This is a good start. But during one class, she's dancing with this guy, (we rotate around) and I notice them talking a lot afterwards. Then they start walking around together. Suddenly, I have competition. Who the **** is THIS guy now? She is not aware obviously of my plans, or hopes. She doesn't even explicitly know I'm really into her. But the way my mind works, I get fixated. I'm thinking about her all the time. Imagining future interactions, conversations. It's kind of ridiculous because again, she's half my age. But some chemistry was there. The problem is ME. I get fixated, then possibly obsessed, on one thing, one person. So as I think of her more and more, it deepens the neural pathways, and suddenly she becomes larger than life. Why her? Well, I haven't encountered anyone else interesting or attractive. Like I said, too young or old ladies. Anyone who shows up my age has been objectively unattractive. So I am well aware a real relationship would never last with this girl. Still, the emotions and attraction evolve into fixation. I can't help it, I like her. So the whole rest of the afternoon, she hangs out with this guy. I'm walking around, bopping in and out of interactions with her and others. But I am getting nervous. I don't want to compete, so I start withdrawing a little even. Maybe she'll circle back to me? Day transitions into evening events. I go get a bite. I come back. Now she's sitting with the guy in the lobby talking one on one. For ****ing hours they hang out now. Like I said, I refuse to get into a pissing contest. I am not competing for her attention like a peacock. I was hoping to not have competition and interruptions in the flow of our interactions. But alas, the world is not mine. I was going to stay the whole night, but I suddenly had a panic attack seeing them together. So I left. Did they hook up? Did they dance all night? Did she leave five minutes later? I have no idea. So then the next week, we're back to the normal schedule, our little classes in our suburb of Denver. But... now HE starts showing up, obviously to find her again. I see her at a couple more classes. We chat, it's funny and fine like before. But I don't know their status, if they are still talking. I try to ignore it all and be strong. Maybe I am overreacting? Maybe nothing happened? Just do my thing, be strong. But in truth, I am obsessed with the direction of all this. So a few days ago she tells me about a little dance get together this weekend which I had not known about. She said "Are you going to go?" I said I would try to make it. (I have family in town currently). But I knew I would go, because I wanted to hang with her again. I assumed the dude would not be there, because this small event was kind of discreet in just our little town. How would he know about it? He was from Denver, we're in another town. But overall, I'm developing a story with all of this - Susan and the dude become larger than life. They don't even know what is going on in my mind. But she is my target. He is my enemy. It's like a novel with characters. No one else matters except where this story is going. I know anyone reading this right now is saying "Dude, get over it, you lost and she's with him. Man up. No big deal." Well that's where the depression and neurosis comes in. It's a BIG ****ing deal. Because it's hard enough to meet people, this is an opportunity. If there were other equal opportunities, yeah, it wouldn't be a big deal. But it is to me. So I put on a nice shirt, nice shoes, I'm kind of imagining how it will go. I'm reasonably sure the dude will not be there. I'm hoping I can spend a lot of time talking to her, dancing with her, get over last weeks distractions. Make some progress. Maybe that guy was nothing. I pull into the parking lot, I see a few other people arriving. Suddenly, as I slowly pull up, I see Susan (the girl) and the dude get out of a car and walk in together. I almost implode. Instant anxiety attack. So.... I guess they are a ****ing couple now? Or it's certainly leading in that direction. If I go in, I will only be hyper aware of her, of him, of where they are and what they are doing. I wanted to join a fun little community and make some friends, but suddenly within two weeks, it's COMPLICATED and HEAVY again. It's the same shit over and over and over and over. Nothing just...flows.... evolves happily. NOTHING ever in my life has just naturally flowed. But if you want to get the girl, you CANNOT hesitate. You MUST take clear action. It's not a game, it is orchestrated WORK. It is quite literally a jungle. Women don't really appreciate this about being a man. But all men are not heroic archetypes who can execute courtship flawlessly and confidently. It is a burden. I guess some men like the competition. You have to be aggressive (not physically, more persistent). In the blink of an eye someone will swoop in then it's a d**k swinging contest. This is one part of manhood I do not enjoy. I could have parked, steeled my nerves, rationalized it all, and been strong and lived my best life this afternoon. But I had a panic attack. My instinctive reaction was to turn and flee. And that's what I did. I was suddenly quaking in disbelief at what I just witnessed. For the drive home I stared in a trance, in disbelief. I am not kidding when I say it feels like a cosmic conspiracy to thwart any chance I have at being a part of a happy community with no conflicting, complicated relationship tensions. And maybe some romance. Obviously the world does not revolve around this girl, or me. I will have to get over it, or find another salsa community. Focus my energy elsewhere. However I know that I cannot stop thinking about this situation. In the car I stared and shook my head, completely baffled at how literally NOTHING ever works out. This is not an isolated experience in my life. In one form or another, the same frustration and disappointment has thwarted me in some form over and over and over. I also fully realize that you can't put too much energy into one opportunity, because when it fails you will be devastated. You have to spread your efforts out so you have options. Intellectually i know this. But my own neuroses often prevent me from living this. My intellect is overruled by my reptilian brain. I swear to god the feelings of seeing them emerging from a car together and go in together - it was a shock. Like "Yep Chris, it's worse than you thought! Now he's banging her!" Or... Did they spend the afternoon together? Does she like him or is she just tolerating him? It felt like a choreographed stage performance to rub it in my face, to shut me down, to say "Hey Chris! Oh you like this girl? Well watch this guy swoop in and court her in front of your face. Haha! I could not believe it. It was the total opposite of what I hoped might happen. Before I even got out of my car. I know, the world is random, my thoughts are only in my head. It's the symbolism in the arc of my life, repeatedly thwarted. A history of unbalanced relationships that never stick. The metaphor of being squeezed out in front of my face, of nothing ever working out, is what astounds me the most. Life is full of obstacles. I wouldn't take it so hard if there were a couple other girls to draw my attention away. But like I said in this group it's a lot of dudes, one or two cute younger ladies, and some middle aged hags. This long story is not about the girl half my age. It is about my neurotic pattern of emotions that seems to repeat in a loop. Every time I do emerge from a difficult experience, I think "Ok, you learned from this, be stronger next time, don't get attached to ANYONE. Keep it light and fun. You got this." Then it happens again. And I lose again. And again. And again. I'm tired of writing and this is probably the longest post in history, if anyone has actually read it. I am very, very stuck in life. I am not suicidal today, but every time something like this happens it chips away at me more and more now. The hopelessness. I have been single forever. I don't know why. It is very, very difficult to meet people and make any friends. Guys or girls. No one cares. No one wants to get to know me, no one cares if I am there or not. It feels like a resistance, no matter what I try. I have also lost friends and been so disappointed by people I think are my friends, then they reject me. (When I returned to Colorado, I tried to catch up with a friend, we exchanged a text, then when I told him my father just died three days ago, he never responded. No joke. He never even replied. Who does that?! It really, really hurt. I was looking forward to resuming with him. I didn't bother to follow up and chase him, I was baffled. I don't have many friendship opportunities. And now another one, gone. When I sense rejection, I reject you twice as much. I am too old to be groveling, chasing people to be my friend when they clearly don't care.) I need the pain to end. I need love. And I have so much love to give. But I am utterly, totally alone. If I died, literally no one would ever know. It would be one of those stories where the corpse rots for weeks until the neighbors call the police because of the stench. But I am too chicken to **** myself, Yet at least. This girl Susan wouldn't even want to be with my complicated personality anyway, lol. Insomnia is also a major issue for me. I have not had a solid 8 in months. Recently I also started Wellbutrin, I am not confident it will help. Thank god for CO medicaid, (I qualified this year, but probably not next year) because I cannot afford thousands and thousands and thousands and thousand of dollars for full price depression treatment. Maybe a week to decompress will help? Then reset. I have to carry on and forget this girl. I hope it is not rubbed in my face any more than necessary.
  3. This is along one, read it or not, I don't expect any words to make any difference, but thank you for reading if you do. I don't even know where to start. I just need to vent. The loneliness is ******* me. I must describe concisely the backstory, the situation, where I live, how it devastates me, the circumstances, a little about me, why I'm so dumbfounded. I am literally dumbfounded. Why? Because I am a great guy. Yet I am paralyzed and bewildered. I simply have no ideas left. Everything I do fails. I live in a medium sized (100k), very vibrant, college town, packed with people. not packed with students actually - the main strip is packed with 20,30,40-somethings all out and about having a great time. Most people in this town don't seem to have children either. It's all young people out having fun. Me: 44, introvert. Everything related to social building is an effort. I'm a great guy, but obviously with some serious baggage. I train in jiu jitsu, Muay Thai fighting, and boxing. Women usually find that pretty cool. At least, the ones I am interested in find that cool. I play guitar, speak a foreign language, formerly a professional artist. I'm sincere, funny, and I've been told, handsome. I don't have trouble attracting second looks. Just saying. The steady flow of women I do seem to attract through online dating all live in the big city, 30 miles away. If I lived there I could date every night. I'm considering it. In my small town however, I can't buy a date. Everyone here is young, childless, and into constellations of the same things : rock climbing/cycling/running, yoga, microbrews, startups, pseudo-spiritual mumbo jumbo, the same cliches. I feel like such a weird outsider for some reason. Divorced eight years ago, I have a ten yr old son who lives in a foreign country with his mother. My son and I are close, he is wonderful, I am so blessed. I have made it my main priority to be in his life. I will suffer if it means being there for him. It is my mission to be a good father, even from a distance. As such, we spend all of his school holidays together: two weeks in March, five weeks in summer, two week in fall, alternating Christmas and New Years. And with this, I can't hold a full time, or even part time job, or hope to have a career. It also brings immense social isolation, or any daily community to interact with people or perhaps meet new people. In my eight years here, I have certainly had ups and downs socially: part of different groups here and there, acquaintances, relationships. But something just isn't right - for some reason I can't fully integrate into this scene. I'm not plugged into anything here, and all these cliques I've been part of seem to always fizzle out, because in the end I don't seem to relate to them. I was in a church group for a while, but they were all late 20's age couples, and I realized I don't believe in God. I had a p/t job at a alcohol store, but the management were all a******s - I'm not just saying that, it was widely known; and I got tired of juggling the schedule with my son's visits. I've never been successful professionally, probably because I am in my head all the time. I never fully feel comfortable in team environments. I have had several careers and they have all failed. I was an illustrator for ten years, but I got sick of the rejection. I was a realtor for 1.5 years, but I lost a friend and failed. Total train wreck. I was breaking into the alcohol industry, but my first job they were all a******s, and I couldn't find a niche I liked. Again - I worry about a full time position anywhere because then I can't see my son. I might go back to the alcohol in the future. Nothing seems to stick. Every night I sit down and try to think of a way to find a community. Every night: what should I do? Is there a class I can take? Oh that class started three weeks ago, too late. Oh I just talked to a nice girl in a cafe today until she mentioned her boyfriend. Everything requires my extreme effort. I feel it's all a one way street. Even the guys I have befriended seem to only have short bursts of time, then they have to move on to their other 500 friends. There is no depth - it's all small talk, happy hour, short duration. In the past three years I have had two male friends who I thought were good friends potentially, and they both flamed out. I don't know what the reasons were from their perspective, but I just know that I was making all the effort to stay in touch with them, and they made no effort. When I stopped trying, I never saw them again. I felt betrayed. Nobody seems to care about the integrity and value of friendship and mutual effort. I do. I am simply out of ideas. I feel like I am being choked by loneliness. I feel loneliness is my destiny. I am tired of trying. I feel like I am on this desperate and futile search for friendship. Tomorrow night I am planning to go to a big group dance class to hopefully interact with people. But everything is adhoc, throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. I have tried Meetup groups, but nothing interests me (or I haven't found anything "up my alley") or there aren't enough of them taking place. I am totally at a loss for ideas, lost. In fact I am so lost that I am considering renting my house and escaping to trek through Asia for an extended period. I need peak experiences and new scenery. I have old friends in several places around the country, just not where I live. I find when I leave my town, I perk up - I love to travel and visit old friends. I love getting out of here. To me that is a sign that I need to move. I am considering either a move to the nearest big city, or Portland. The trouble is, because of my schedule with my son, I can't really commit to a steady career, a conventional full time job. No job would allow me this amount of time away 0- two weeks here and there, five weeks in summer, it's unheard of. So wherever I live, I am stuck. I am working on some online business ideas so I can have an income while being location independent. But that doesn't solve my loneliness problem, it perpetuates it. Should I abandon my son? I can't do that. I am totally lost. I guess this post is long enough.
  4. Ok here goes. Several months ago a relationship began between myself and a coworker. We work together at a retail store. It began at a time in my life when I was really "getting on track" with things - new job, new inspiration, positive events. Part of that was not online dating anymore, and trying to meet a lovely new partner the old fashioned way. The relationship began with great promise - a very deep and natural connection, romance, sensuality. Lots of time together and deep conversations. We shared many things together - past experiences, common traits and beliefs, and complementing each other naturally in a variety of ways. I was cautious yet excited that she could be a serious partner. Six years after my divorce, and after years of disappointment with online dating (lots of dating), she embodied everything I could want in a new partner. She was cool, athletic, funny, sensitive. We were, in many ways, mirror reflections of each other. I can't stress enough that this wasn't just some bulls*** fling. We connected very deeply, and I let down my guard and invested a lot in her. She told "don't hold back." I decided to surrender to my feelings. It felt entirely mutual, she was right there with me. The problem was, she was twenty years younger than me. We were not in the same place in life. While we shared a tremendous connection, a sigh of surrender when we touched, the fact was I was looking for a serious partner, and she was not. Deep down she just wanted something casual and fun. I never truly realized this until much later. I vastly overestimated her commitment. We wrangled for about a month as she distanced herself. Many discussions. She didn't want to break up, but she didn't want to spend much time together. She'd say "we should hang out". I would say "ok, how about tomorrow?" And she would cringe. It was all very confusing. I should have dumped her when I was in a position of strength. But based on the direction and emotional intensity of what was happening, I was confused and struggling to keep her. As she spent more time going out with her college friends, we spent less and less time together. Halloween came around and she basically blew me off for days. The age difference was a real problem for her. She would not introduce me to her friends. There was no commingling of her wider social life and out time together. This was all revealed to me slowly, while we struggled to preserve whatever we shared. I stopped projecting into the future of us, but still we spent less time together, and the "connection" suffered. Eventually, in a moment of weakness I showed too many cards - revealing my neediness and frustration one more time. Very abruptly, she bailed. I don't necessarily blame her actually. While she never intentionally lied to me or misled me, what I resent is that she dragged me out into deep water, and then she swam away. We work together, and now twice a week we see each other. It has become VERY awkward. I don't do well with having great intimacy with someone, then reverting back to a normal meaningles chit-chat banter status. She seems totally cool with it all. There is baggage now. It's more of a problem for me than for her. She enjoys working with our other coworkers because they goof around well. With me, I've gotten rather serious about it all. I am saddened that this relationship didn't last. I could get over it, but again I have to work with her. Seeing her now weekly, I have developed a Pavlovian response of serious anxiety around her. At our break up I began having severe anxiety attacks. For well over a month now I have been in a serious crisis. This whole experience has triggered an avalanche of broader issues deeper within me - failed career aspirations, failed romantic relationships, divorce, a lost child. Yes, I have baggage. There was such promise with her, that the odds of finding love anywhere nearby again is a long one. While things were seemingly improving in my life, this experience caused my world to crash down once again. Wrongly, I put a lot of hopes and dreams into this girl, and it was a mistake. I fell for the emotional connection I thought was occuring. I dread working with her now. The job is boring, so there is a lot of time to stew and think. The night before our shift, I start to ruminiate relentlessly about our upcoming shift together. It's horrible. I become nervous and speechless, I clam up. I can't make stupid chit chat. It is a direct, physiological response I have developed around this girl. I am planning on losing one of our two shifts together, but there is still one day when it is a perfect storm of factors - another coworker who she seems to really like, very long hours swimming around in a fish bowl together. She's not mature enough to give a s*** or acknowledge any of this any longer. I started working at this place before her, and it was a new beginning for me that I take some pride in. So I refuse to give in to these feelings, to give in to her and quit or something. But any joy I had in this job is now stolen away as I think more about unbearably seeing her every week. My heart pounds, it is an acute anxiety response to her alone. Even seeing pictures of her slmost triggers this as well. Any thoughts? Strategies? Thank you.
  5. Thanks for the replies. I have always had a problem with excessive worry, so I often have a million thoughts racing around my head, and that i have to get everything done right now. I need to just go easier on myself, but I can't. It's a long story. If the panic and chest feeling continues I might go to my doc. He is my general practitioner, but in the past he has prescribed me Adderall with the help of a psychologist I was seeing. I do have a few sedative pills from past unrelated events (Lasik surgery), but they usually knock me to the floor for a day or so. I've taken those maybe once. I might dig those out just in case. I think in general I need to go the meditation/yoga/breathing route, it's the only thing that seems to have any holistic, lifestyle change built in. I meditated yesterday for two periods of 20 minutes. It's hard to relax but with regular effort hopefully this will help. I'm just a high strung, yet low evergy, person in general. I have tried a few supplements - I take Tyrosine regularly, and I've tried Borage Oil, Gaba, Arginine, but honestly I can't tell if they do anything at all. If you can recommend any other vitamins/amino acids/supplements that have been found to be noticeably helpful, please let me know. Thanks.
  6. I've experienced one form of depression, anxiety, angst, ADD, under achievement, or another, bla bla, bla, just about my whole adult life. Not sure if describing any context is necessary, but basically lately I've been spiralling downhill - having pretty extreme anxiety. It's a result of an my fragile nature combined with very significant bereavement and grief, (I lost my son to my ex half way around the world) many personal failures - you wouldn't believe all the layers of failure and frustration to my dumb life. Anyway due to my self-induced stress and anxiety I'm actually lately feeling a kind of compression - not really pain though - in my chest. My stress and anxiety is a palpable, almost visible part of my existence, and lately it's really feeding on itself and degrading my state of mind. I don't have the balls the **** myself, but I need to do something powerful and effective to relax - I don't know what. I literally feel the damage being done to my body, heart, mind in the long term due to all of this. I am convinced I will have a heart attack in the next ten-fifteen years from the toll it's taking on me. I'm totally paralyzed - if I knew what to do I would do it. But I don't. I've been on meds, I don't want that again (many side effects). I've been in therapy, I can't afford it any longer and it didn't help anyway. I'm trying to meditate a bit, but all I can think about is my problems. I'm quite isolated as well, and I have a bad attitude that no one really gives a s***. I have a few friends I see occasionally, but they all have their own lives. This sounds pretty negative I'm just trying to pain a general picture, and I'm just wondering if, due to the degree to which I feel chest compression from stress, what should I do to chill out very fast?
  7. I hope you had a fantastic day :)

  8. I guess this is a rather broad question. I am wondering about how to keep positive and find self-confidence when you actually have very few positive experiences from which to build this support. When you are young, going through college into adulthood for example, you build your skills and confidence by being challenged and succeeding, sometimes failing, but ultimately learning through positive reinformcement. It builds your inner strength and core confidence. In my life I have had almost no success in my career, but experienced repeat defeat and discouragement. I was a commercial illustrator, and barely hung on for ten years with a scattered focus, always trying different areas, getting some jobs, and several fizzled out letdowns in terms of performance- ultimately no momentum. I've done some webn design and even managed to work for a large bank as an information architect for a while (I hated it). None of these opportunities seemed to last, leading to a scattered professional resume, and nothing to reallty build on. I quit the art world a couple years ago and recently became a real estate agent in order to hopefully build a more stable future, and this was right when the housing bubble burst and now the economy sucks and no one is buying houses. More specifically, my first client experience was with a "friend," and was as total disaster. It was the most unpleasant professional experience I have ever had. It shook me up bad, worried that all clients would be like this. I felt completely offended by human nature, and unsure whether I can entertain such nonsense from people for a living. In short, in my new career, I failed immediately in it's very fundamental activity: relationships with people. As a result of all these years of trial and error, and struggling to find my strengths, talents, and a career identity, I have no energy left. I have no self-confidence. How do you build self-confidence when you only have failure to work from?
  9. I am quite certain I suffer from depression. For twenty years I have dealt with all the symptoms, the lack of achievement, the broken marriage, the isolation, the sadness, the chronic angst. I've tried most of the SSRIs on and off, had all the side-effects. Couple years ago I learned about ADD, and this seemed a more focussed summary of my life, so I've been on Adderal ever since. It's helped, but still there are issues. I wake up defeated and mentally scattered. Lately I've discontnued the Adderall to see if I can regain some new perspective. Over the years I've learned about the role of seritonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in regulating mood, though I haven't studied it thoroughly. My diagnoses over the years have been largely anecdotal, based on feelings and experiences I describe. I've been in some therapy on and off, but eventually the cycle ends due to cost or moving or whatever. Therapy began in high school, and since then whenever I start up with a new doctor or prescription, I simply recount the background history and they assume the story, like a snowball. Yadda yadda yadda. But these dian The Question: So with all the years of primarily experiential symptoms, my question is, is there a way to definitively, medically/scientifically, quantifiably measure one's seritonin or dopamine levels to confirm depression? Similar to a blood test, only measuring your mood regulating compounds? For example I don't know if perhaps I can climb out of the depression if certain life events would occur to serve as positive reinforcement; or is my personal makeup and cycle of sadness, self-sabotage, and failure always doomed to repeat regardless?
  10. Thanks very much for the replies. It's generic amphetamine salts, not XR. But true, although my doc said it lasts about 4 hours, I notice it lingering for 12+/- hours. I've experimented with taking a dose at different times of day then eventually taking Ambien. Things have been more or less manageable like this until recently. Another thing I've noticed is that if you stop the Adderall cold turkey for whatever reason after taking it regularly, there is a withdrawal period of a few days that is a deadening, fatigued lethargy - like what I'm feeling. This is another possible cause, as I've been trying to detox from all this meds nonsense lately to see where "normal" is (energy and mood). Whatever the cause, if I take 10mg of Adderall before 11am and that's it, or nothing at all, I'm hoping this will pass in a few days. You're absolutely right, I hear ya. After the breakfast/email routine described above, it's like the day is a wide open vacuum of nothingness. (I am an independent contractor so have the choice to "work" from home or go to the "office"). I will try and head in to work regularly and see if I feel any optimism or energy boost from the psychology of that. As for potential and talent, I just don't know. I've heard that, and tried to convince myself of it. But seriously, life - every single day, just seems like swimming against a very strong tide. I've been having trouble getting the enthusiasm to just make a bagel lately or get up and do anything at all. I'm 38 now, and I can guarantee it'll be a blinding lightbulb when I'm like 65 and it's too late. "Why didn't I do more!" "What was I doing all those years!" I'd like to cut out the Ambien altogether, but with the Adderall I just don't know how to get to sleep. OTC products are prety weak in comparison. Warm milk and meditation doesn't cut it. Thanks for the comments though!
  11. I guess it won't make much sense without knowing the endless complexity of one's personal history - years of on/off depression, unrealized goals, ADD, borderline misanthropic, family loss, rinse, repeat... Right now I'm actually on Adderall which, compared to years on SSRIs, is really quite useful. However it leads to insomnia, for which I then take Ambien, which leads to grogginess, etc. But jeez- lately I am starting out my day just plain exhausted already. I get out of bed, shower, have breakfast/coffee, check email - and then all I want to do is go back to bed. Or lie on the sofa and watch a long movie. I'm drowsy and the day hasbn't even begun. I'm not expecting some quick remedy from a website. The drowsiness is probably at least partially resulting from having little to look forward to or be excited about every morning. But wow I just had to at least state that I start my day very tired! And it's really annoying me.
  12. yeah I've done therapy, it was useful for a while, but I don't believe therapy permanently helps solve things. I definitely agree it would be helpful as a place to substantially vent. Back in America I have to consider cost- I have insurance but not sure sure exactly how therapy would be covered. I could use a few sessions though. Thank you for your replies, I appreciate the support very much. It's always interesting how there are so many people who have gone through similar experiences - the rage, anger, resentment: failed relationships, learning experiences. The way I feel now I never want to get married ever again.
  13. Thanks for your reply. "Volcanic rage" is actually a very good term for how I feel too. I want to add a little more description why I feel this anger. SHe also comes from a very large, wealthy family. In Germany, they are always going for lunch or tea at someone's house, there is family around. They vacation together with her brothers family, so there are other kids around, and it's a fun thing as a child. I'm happy he is experiencing love and togetherness. With me though, it's just me. My brother has a child, but they never vacation, and here in America they are lucky to get a couple weeks of every year, and they do their own thing. (Of course we all know in Europe they get at least 6 weeks, so she and her family have multiple extended vacations a year). When I took ski trips with my dad when I was young, we fought tooth and nail. Just the tooth of us, stewing. I don't want trips with my son to be like that. I have to talk my brother into group trips at some point. So overall my point is that she has a big, powerful family. Their leverage and influence has overshadowed me. My son will grow up with that lifestyle as his primary reference. I feel pushed out, I feel defensive and protective. Sorry this is so bleak, but I am at a downpoint. I have taken anti-depressents for years, but lately have come off them due to unwanted side-effects.
  14. I have so many overlapping emotions right now - triggered by a video call with my son and ex-wife - I feel like imploding. I haven't cried once because of this situation but this almost made me. First let me summarize the situation: Married for 5yrs, knew her for 16, passionate, high school love, an exchange student from Germany. Over the years we were on/off, then lived in the States after getting married. She is a multi-millionaire; I have always struggled, she has always had it easy. - That right there is a recipe for disaster and resentment, and it did simmer deep down for years. She convinced me to move to London, we lived there for 3 yrs, had a son in 2006. My whole life changed when he arrived, I have been overwhelmed with love and emotion and a close connection to him. He is very, very important to me. Without him I feel a (another) gaping hole in my life. We got divorced about 6 mos ago. I hated London, sick of Europe. My career was floundering, I was dying inside, living a pseudo-life. I came back to the States to get my life back. She got my son, they now live in Germany, me in Colorado. Visits are very disruptive, time-consuming and costly. However it's worth anything to see him. I resent her, I hate her, I feel so much anger inside towards her. They are about to go on 2-wk beach vacation. My stuff (furniture, art studio supplies, books, all personal belongings) has been shipped to me, but it has so far taken 6 months to get here (not here yet). She had all her stuff in a few weeks. She now has her expensive, beautiful apartment, new car, new everything, all her stuff, her millions, and my son. When we video call, I feel like I am in a prison speaking to them on the outside. Not to mention my jealousy. I feel terrible about it, but I don't want her to be happy. I was her first, only, real love, and first sexual partner. my irrational feelings are that somehow she "belongs" to me, in a figurative sense, and any new partners are somehow betraying something we had. But we're divorced! I'm doing ok now on my own. In school again, busy, but no income. I am getting some settlement from her, but there are still issues. Lawyers are costing me thousands$$$ - deducted from the settlement, meanwhile everything for her is just honky dory. The video call just now had me seething. I was thinking "nice place? All set are you? Comfortable? Good for you. Enjoy our son, have fun, have a great time." I feel hatred and anger towards her, like I have been royally screwed - but she's all set. I have no one to talk to about this. I have a new girlfriend but I'm not going to dump all this baggage on her. How do I let go of the anger? thx for reading.
  15. Actually I did try a lower dose - cutting a 10 in half, but that was ineffective. Believe it or not 10 tips the balance just enough and gives me what I need without the intensity of greater side effects (I do know what that is like). Possibly I'm imagining the side effects/withdrawal, but it feels real enough. I just don't want to feel sluggish anymore! I have been on virtually all the meds at one time or another. It was always a search for something that did not cause sexual dysfunction. I never found one. If it did not cause sexual dysfunction, well then it made me a sedated zombie. So I am not too keen on trying yet another med unless there is some new discovery about not affecting sexual functioning guaranteed. And the likelihood of that discovery is probably just about zero.
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