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Asking Those Who've Found Strength To Keep Going / Meaning In Work, To Share Here


gandolfication

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I'd love to hear from others who have had this same experience with being petrified at work, not finding it meaningful, having to get through it anyway, and any strength, hope or encouragement or anything you've learned along the way.

 

 

Basically, I intend to stay on this site a lot today and this week, because frankly, I just need the strength and connection.

 

Yesterday, I called off sick because I just couldn't get out of bed (it was Blue Monday I guess the day of the year when statistically more people do this than any other day, so I tried to take some comfort in knowing I was in good, or at least, large company).  I still want to move in the opposite direction though, onward and upward and all that.

 

 

 

When I get really depressed, and anxious (the bigger problem for me), I sink into a low activity slump, put things off, isolate, and give in to the easiest distractions at work (the internet) and at home (TV/Movies).

 

It also seems I just can't seem to find any motivation or meaning in work.  I know one answer to this is to do the right thing(s) and then the feelings and motivation will come.  Its true even if its a chicken and egg type of conundrum.  So I am going to try again, no matter how many times it takes.  I just have to start with where I am at and be real, that I'm (once again) exhausted emotionally and mentally, and especially in the winter, I just desperately want to sleep and be unconscious (hence, calling off yesterday).  When I'm at work, I haven't been able to stay focused or get much done for 6 weeks now - and so it seems totally pointless and like it is laughing at me.

 

I know this is an exaggeration (all or nothing thinking being one of the cruel symptoms/causes of depression).  That in fact, I have done some work and even some good things, I just don't remember or give myself any credit for these.  This is the problem of being self critical instead of practicing self kindness and compassion, which is the path to recovery.

 

 

This is a recurring question and theme for me, and it does tend to be worse in the winter...and when, as now, I am desperate to help my family survive financially.  We just had our third baby (weren't planning it - something I'm still trying to get over the feeling of betrayal over without showing it.  I love the boy and my wife, but feel betrayed because she just stopped using birth control saying she thought she was too old to have another one.  I know, I gotta find a way to let this one go, but sometimes I need to vent it here).  She knew how close to the edge we already were financially, and how close I thus was to the edge emotionally and regarding suicidal thoughts.  I guess I'm dwelling on the past.  My sister reminded me that people never get old or on their proverbial deathbed, and say, "I wish I had had fewer kids."  Very often, they say the opposite.  So I'm trying to take the long view.  The one real thing I know I have in life is a family who loves me and whom I love as well.  I don't question the good in this very often.

 

Answering another email, trying to stay plugged in, on task, making the next call, the next meeting, etc., when I'm constantly petrified that even if I keep my job (which seems like a miracle in itself), I'm not going to be able to make ends meet in the ultra-expensive city I live near.  The sources (parents and one brother) who have lent some help in the past, have made it clear they can't and won't be able to do so again - one of them did this in a way that I'd have to describe as nasty.  I can't really blame them, and besides, of course I want to be an independent adult, etc., but it just still feels like, now I'm finally on my own in this lonely word.  Jeez, I know I'm overly sensitive, but you know, just saying 'buck up' to myself doesn't ever seem to work.

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Please don't see your new child as unplanned, we have six now adult children, we didn't "plan" every single one but they were a blessing to us none the less. Are they all perfect, of course not. Some have broken our hearts more than once and they continue to struggle with life but my wife and I wouldn't change a thing. They have given us ten grandkids so far that brings us much joy, and some heart break also. My heart still aches and cries for our daughter who died many years ago; as a father I have never been able to overcome this. Please don't just love your new child but show him how much you love him.

I had only three jobs in my working like which I immensely enjoyed but there were days I struggled just being there and like you some days I just couldn't go in. Aside from struggling with depression I dealt with a severe back injury which eventually required two back surgeries that didn't take. I don't if I missed if you are taking meds for your mental illness if not you should consider it and if you are you may require some tweaking. Don't give up, do what is necessary to improve your mental health and it should improve your outlook on life. Don't waste years struggling for you may come to regret the lost time enjoying life. Please let us know how things are going.

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This is going to seem idiotic, but the best solution is to not overthink things.  You just have to do it.

 

I am that way at least.  If I contemplate things too much, I won't get anything done. 

 

Take each task one by one.  Figure out how to accomplish it, & do it.

 

You have a wonderful family to support.  You CAN do this!

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I know these are both good advice - cherish all my beloved children, and don't over think tasks.

Thank you both for taking time to comment here today, I need the encouragement.

I have a terrible time over thinking things. It is really bad. I have had to practice keeping things simpler and just doing the 1 next right thing.

I know it isn't really about having too many kids - of course Iblove them all. I'm just terrified I can't get myself together well enough or in any case, make it for them. I quickly revert to thinking, 'what have I done and what will become of them if I do not stick around?' and even if I do? We are destitute, and this seems no way to live be in this world.

I know there is self pity in that, and I want so badly to access the grit and determination I've displayed in my earlier years.

Winter doesn't help, buy I'm just having the toughest time rising to any occasion and not giving in to the desire to just stand still and sleep.

Gradually and all of the sudden, I remember how God awful bad life can be.

I know it changes. I know I have tools, and some people mainly my wife) to support me. Dealing with the exhaustion and the question of whether life will ever be better just doesn't seem to end.

I do know if it wasn't for my kids and wife, I would check out. I'm just having trouble putting 1 foot in front of the other, and it feels like I can't stand traveling this wretched path again and again like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the mountain and then back down.

I want to escape or to change it.

This probably isn't especially coherent.

Thanks again for your posts.

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I think we who suffer from MI do over think most things. I honestly give myself headaches doing this; as I've gotten older and come to accept and understand that there's many things I can't change or do anything about I've gotten better at it. This post kinda proves it, in the past I wouldn't have been able to use words such as gotten, kinda, etc. It just didn't seem right to me but now I don't sweat it to much. And boy would I pound it into my kids.

Since we spend in general at least 40 hours a week at work you should try to find a job that at you are content with. I was fortunate in that I enjoyed my jobs and made a descent living. Ironically the job I least enjoyed is the one that afforded me the most income. The single best suggestion I feel I can offer you is please don't wait to long to improve your life the way YOU may feel it needs. Improving your mental health should be your first step. As I mentioned elsewhere my wife recently had a heart attack while on the freeway; two of my grandkids were with us and hearing their cries and seeing their fear helped to again reassess my life. Sometimes we may need to. Hang in there.

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I'm wondering, do you enjoy your job?  If not, is there a possibility you could get into something you enjoy more?

 

LaurynJcat,

 

No, I have not really enjoyed a job since I first began practicing law, and that was only for the first couple of years.  Since then, I have thought I wanted to get into something more involved with either/both academia or helping people.  I have put forth a good deal of effort over the years, pursuing both.  I try not to beat myself up too much with, 'if I really wanted it, I would have found a way...' because the truth is it is very difficult.  Law professor and college professor jobs are hyper competitive, and more service-oriented jobs (i.e. non-profits and the like can be too, especially when one is the sole provider for a family).   I have also often applied for government jobs, but nothing on the horizon.

 

But ultimately, at least when I feel like I do with depression, yes, I want to get out of sales like this.  It is a viscous cycle.  Thanks for the question.

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Firstly I think everyone experiences decrease in motivation and is more easily distracted as clinical depression increases. Its a symptom and not just a choice. I dont mean that you have to give up of course as we can do things to improve the situation. Just that it is a normal response in context. I personally couldn't do any job, whilst dealing with depression and my other mental health stuff, that didn't give me something back. When depression goes up then I need all the help in the world to keep going. When things are bad I still struggle to see anything positive but that again is a symptom. I have chronic mental health issues and thats a reality and so I have planned my life accordingly (as shameful and annoying as that was). Since I did that I have been able to manage my depression symptoms much better and ironically I am slightly better off financially despite being terrified it was going to be a financial disaster. One I couldnt afford as I was barely managing. Still barely managing unfortunately. 

 

Secondly for me personally depression gets much worse when I block my real feelings about situations and dont allow myself to express fear, shame anger etc (I dont mean to the people involved). That is a constant battle as I dont really know how to do so. I am a million times better than I was in the past and I am still bad. If I was in your situation (which I am not and I am not you) then it would be v important for me to acknowledge the difficulties and resentments. You have every right to feel the things you do about the baby situation. As much as you love your new family. They are not mutually exclusive. You absolutely are truly blessed to have a loving family that you love. And well done to you for being part of that. You are also allowed to be  angry at your wife or afraid of the responsibility. 

 

Give yourself a big pat of the back that you have managed to continue to work despite depression. Many cant. Or cant continue to do so. And for providing for a large family. 

 

Lastly have you thought of getting a light box? You talk about winter symptoms.... 

Edited by Fizzle
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I wish I could help everyone with motivation, you and me, too!

It's like I get ideas, but between the idea and the implementation, there's a pause. A transition in which I often lose the motivation. Therefore, the best thing for me to do is what Jules19 suggested: not to overthink, and to just plow ahead and do it.

But that's something I'm going to be working on this year: how to maintain my head of steam when I have it and not just let my consciousness cool down and then grow torpid.

Gandolfication, I hope you can find some peace in all this. I agree with Fizzle that you are fully entitled to your feelings--even about your new baby--and that it does not negate the feelings of love you might have for the new little one and your already-there-for-you family. (I apologize. I'm real tired right now, not sure if I'm making sense).

{{{{gandolfication}}}}}

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Firstly I think everyone experiences decrease in motivation and is more easily distracted as clinical depression increases. Its a symptom and not just a choice. I dont mean that you have to give up of course as we can do things to improve the situation. Just that it is a normal response in context. I personally couldn't do any job, whilst dealing with depression and my other mental health stuff, that didn't give me something back. When depression goes up then I need all the help in the world to keep going. When things are bad I still struggle to see anything positive but that again is a symptom. I have chronic mental health issues and thats a reality and so I have planned my life accordingly (as shameful and annoying as that was). Since I did that I have been able to manage my depression symptoms much better and ironically I am slightly better off financially despite being terrified it was going to be a financial disaster. One I couldnt afford as I was barely managing. Still barely managing unfortunately. 

 

Secondly for me personally depression gets much worse when I block my real feelings about situations and dont allow myself to express fear, shame anger etc (I dont mean to the people involved). That is a constant battle as I dont really know how to do so. I am a million times better than I was in the past and I am still bad. If I was in your situation (which I am not and I am not you) then it would be v important for me to acknowledge the difficulties and resentments. You have every right to feel the things you do about the baby situation. As much as you love your new family. They are not mutually exclusive. You absolutely are truly blessed to have a loving family that you love. And well done to you for being part of that. You are also allowed to be  angry at your wife or afraid of the responsibility. 

 

Give yourself a big pat of the back that you have managed to continue to work despite depression. Many cant. Or cant continue to do so. And for providing for a large family. 

 

Lastly have you thought of getting a light box? You talk about winter symptoms.... 

 

Good thoughts as usual Fizzle.

 

I'll try to remember more of this.  Yes, so much of this is symptom, not identity.  The point about resentment and love not being mutually exclusive is also a good one and is somewhat freeing.  We decided together, incidentally (and fortunately), for my wife to have a tubal ligation.  While it is one of those things you don't ever see happening to you, I do realize it is not uncommon.  Just kinda makes me feel stupid and not a responsible adult.  Part of that is depression's self loathing.

 

​I do have a light box.  I can't say I've found much benefit from it even when using it for a couple weeks, but I have it set up, and may give it another try.  Can't hurt.

Edited by gandolfication
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I wish I could help everyone with motivation, you and me, too!

It's like I get ideas, but between the idea and the implementation, there's a pause. A transition in which I often lose the motivation. Therefore, the best thing for me to do is what Jules19 suggested: not to overthink, and to just plow ahead and do it.

But that's something I'm going to be working on this year: how to maintain my head of steam when I have it and not just let my consciousness cool down and then grow torpid.

Gandolfication, I hope you can find some peace in all this. I agree with Fizzle that you are fully entitled to your feelings--even about your new baby--and that it does not negate the feelings of love you might have for the new little one and your already-there-for-you family. (I apologize. I'm real tired right now, not sure if I'm making sense).

{{{{gandolfication}}}}}

 

Thanks Dolphin.

 

I was thinking on the way in this morning about being tough.  Depression seems to have a way of robbing me of that.  Or maybe I am tougher than I realize.  Just doing the next thing un-laden with so much emotion and angst and analysis.  It sounds so beautiful, natural.  I know I used to do this.  I know we can't go back, but the impulse to want to re-trace my steps is so strong.  All I can think about sometimes is, 'why can't I just do what I know I'm capable of?'

 

Ah, so I may never be the image I had of something and someone who did everything well and right.  Maybe what I have is better than living only to do.  I always have a tenancy to look or meaning and redemption in life, but I need to realize these are things that are elusive, let alone in the here and now.   

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I too always wanted to teach so when I could no longer build golf courses I returned to school to work on my masters. I started teaching at our community college and I enjoyed immensely. Unfortunately I wasn't to continue due to physical and mental illness but I still do volunteer work when able which I wish I could do more but I've learned to accept things the way they are. Not happy about it but it does allow me to spend more time doing what I enjoy and with the kids and grandkids.

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I'm wondering, do you enjoy your job?  If not, is there a possibility you could get into something you enjoy more?

 

LaurynJcat,

 

No, I have not really enjoyed a job since I first began practicing law, and that was only for the first couple of years.  Since then, I have thought I wanted to get into something more involved with either/both academia or helping people.  I have put forth a good deal of effort over the years, pursuing both.  I try not to beat myself up too much with, 'if I really wanted it, I would have found a way...' because the truth is it is very difficult.  Law professor and college professor jobs are hyper competitive, and more service-oriented jobs (i.e. non-profits and the like can be too, especially when one is the sole provider for a family).   I have also often applied for government jobs, but nothing on the horizon.

 

But ultimately, at least when I feel like I do with depression, yes, I want to get out of sales like this.  It is a viscous cycle.  Thanks for the question.

 

 

I agree don't beat yourself up with the "if I really wanted it, I would have found a way."  I hope you can get into something better one day, though, that will still allow you to provide for your family.  I personally am trapped in a job due to financial issues right now, because anything else I could find would pay me less, so I feel your pain.  Just take it one day at a time (one minute at a time, actually) and know you're not alone.  I really empathize with the financial stress and I hope you're able to find a way out of it.  I went to a non-profit credit counselling agency that helped a lot, and I highly recommend that even if you don't think they'll be able to give you any options - it's amazing the things they can do.

 

Best wishes and hugs.

Lauryn

 

 

 

Lauryn

 

I really appreciate that.

 

And going to a non-profit credit counselor is an excellent idea.  I have set out to do this, called, even scheduled an appointment once, and I guess I thought I figured out the problem of the moment.

 

But I'm putting that on my to-do list now because I need to do it.

 

Thanks

-g

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