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Phoenix1

Has your depression/anxiety cost you this?

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I've been thinking recently about what mental illness, my depression and anxiety, has cost me. I've dealt with anxiety since my childhood..it's only gained strength in the 30 years it's been a part of me and I've been dealing with depression in its most formidable form since 1999. ALL of my adulthood has been spent w/this monster on my back. Here's what it has cost me..

A marriage that I thought would never end, too many jobs (I've literally lost count)..some lasted a few days, some a few weeks, some a few months, job opportunities I have been offered because they required travel or dedication or skill I didn't think I had or I thought I couldn't handle (according to my "monster" voice) what was required (I tell myself the employer is only hiring me because they are desperate..failing to see I do have two college degrees and varied experience), friendships (I literally have NO friends, not because people haven't tried over the years but because I just..can't...I can't give energy I don't have to someone else and the thought of small talk or going shopping makes me nauseous), money..thousands of dollars wasted on supplements, not working, b.s. purchases that, for the moment, made me feel "normal", too much alcohol, too much food, bills that are woefully behind because my employment is so unsteady, bill collectors calling...physically..weight gain, acne, sagging skin, dry skin, thinning hair, t-shirts, shorts, jeans..clean, but old, stained or ill fitting..no pride, no confidence, just trying to hold on..remarrying a person who I am not compatible with on 99% of life..but the "monster" told me I would end up alone (which I feel anyway - how ironic) or that this person was the best I as a divorced person with mental health issues would ever find..so once again, the voice of reason which was no voice of reason at all, was what I  based my decision on, I have lost time..lots and lots of time..living, having a career, making friends, enjoying life..because I am too scared, too depressed, too everything that is the antitheses of those positive things, to be any of them. And I still have a long way to go. I look at others who are my age, same educational level, skill level and they have left me in the dust. I am, once again, getting ready to start yet another entry level position which I am grateful for but is some distance from my home because no one around here will hire me - rightfully so - because they have no idea how long I will last. I should be in a leadership role or at the very least, able to maintain whatever job more that I have. I should have friends..I should be able to pay my bills. I should be able to do a LOT of things..but the depression which has gained in strength, the anxiety that keeps its fingers firmly pressed around my neck..show no signs of letting up. I am a failure, on many levels. I exist. That is all. I have not been able to manage the monster that started in on me decades ago..no therapy, no medication, no change of partner/job or geography has helped - at least not for long. I envy people who are happy, who understand who they are and are committed to their goals - whatever those may be - but I pity and literally sob for myself and others like me who may know fleeting happiness or peace but never anything consistent that allows a breathe between guilt, condemnation and pain. So much, so much this gdamn illness has cost me and I don't think it's done w/me yet. I don't know what to do, I feel I have exercised every idea, every option, every..thing..to slay this monster, and yet it seems to always win. Anyway..this, all this, is what my mental illness has cost me. How about you?

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I don't have time to respond in depth, I just wanted to say what a beautiful post that is. I feel so much of that.

My most concerning thing right now it's costing me financial stability because I can't make myself deal with things that shouldn't be that hard to deal with. Which makes everything else worse.

Anyway, thanks for the eloquent post which helps me remember I'm not completely alone in those feelings. I don't think my illness is done with me yet either and I'm afraid of the feelings I'm having and the anger I feel. I'm so afraid and so very alone.

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Phoenix1, I also feel inferior when I compare myself to others. They have money and families and friends, and I don't. But you shouldn't compare yourself to others. They aren't better than you, and you aren't worse than them. You can change your life. You seem to know what your problems are, so try to act against them. You are worthy of affection, and you have made achievements.

My depression cost me a lot of opportunities. I never talked to people or made friends. I sat alone in my apartment and wasted a lot of time. I threw away many opportunities to make friends or acquire experience, as I felt worthless and unworthy of them. I also had a lot of anxiety. I rejected people and hated myself. I felt little curiosity or ambition.

But now I try not to waste opportunities. I don't immediately reject people (not that I often encounter people) and I don't just sit in my room. I am introverted and prefer to be alone, but extended solitude worsens my depression.

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Personally I like to view depression like a broken bone. Doesn't matter how long you had it, 1 month or 50 years. If you never found the 'right' treatment for it, it will still grow the wrong way and cause you suffering. The difference of course being that it's easy to fix a broken bone, but depression and personality issues are infinitely more complicated with breakthroughs on the horizon.

You might have tried everything to date, but honestly treatment research has been infantile for the most part. There's new drugs being developed and old ones revisited (i.e ketamine) that are showing relief where all other options have been exhausted. I'm certain you haven't tried DBS either. 

Edited by axl617

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I can relate to all of that. I have nothing in my life. Anything I once had is now gone...Unfortunately, this is the human toll of severe, chronic, clinical depression/ anxiety (that is difficult to treat).

I'd like to tell you to not be so hard on yourself, but that's difficult at the moment as I am being just as hard on myself. I feel like I've wasted my life. But when I think about things rationally, I know that we have a cross to bear that other people don't have.

I don't even have enough energy to end it all! It's hard to stay positive when things get really bad. It's hard to continue to have hope when all you do is hope to feel better and work to get better, and then things actually get worse - over and over again. This is a hard life. Depression pits us against ourselves. My brain is my own worst enemy no matter how much I try to stop it. 

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I'm so sorry that you've gone through all of that, friend. I can hear your pain and hurt from what you've experienced. I assume you've tried counseling, since you mentioned that you've tried everything. Do you think maybe a different counselor could help, if previous ones didn't? I know what a difference it can make just to talk to someone, though sometimes it goes much deeper than that, I realize. I don't have any real words of wisdom for you, but you're not alone. I hope you know that through this site and just in general. You're not alone. Your life matters, hard as it's been - YOU matter. You are so incredibly important, and loved by God. I'll be praying for you, friend, and I hope that this new job might bring other new opportunities with it. Hang in there.

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Great read. You display a keen insight into your problems, which I find highly commendable. I know my 'monster voice' gives me bad counsel that I can't seem to refuse, and I'm sorry you've lost so much to it. 

Litany

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