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Hermitic

Coping with Inferiority and Regret

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I cannot help but feel worthless. Many people I knew from high school have done so much more with their lives. Due to my depression, I hid and ignored opportunities, and now I am permanently behind those people. I know I am inferior, but I don't know how to cope with that. Everywhere, everytime, everyday I feel a burden of shame, guilt, and regret. I could have utilized those opportunities and had the success they did, but instead I doomed myself to permanent inadequacy. How can I cope with inferiority, and knowing that I am responsible for it?

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21 minutes ago, Hermitic said:
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I cannot help but feel worthless. Many people I knew from high school have done so much more with their lives. Due to my depression, I hid and ignored opportunities, and now I am permanently behind those people. I know I am inferior, but I don't know how to cope with that. Everywhere, everytime, everyday I feel a burden of shame, guilt, and regret. I could have utilized those opportunities and had the success they did, but instead I doomed myself to permanent inadequacy. How can I cope with inferiority, and knowing that I am responsible for it?

Hermetic,

This is a serious feeling and challenge I know.  Actually, nearly everyone here knows it, as the vast majority feel some level of identity with you even if the circumstances vary.  I could go on about my own experience and feelings of inadequacy (but I'll refer to other writings or save for another time).

Instead, let me offer a few thoughts.

First, yes, you are response-able.  Not at fault.  These are two different things we often confuse.  It is not permanent. Nothing is.  The very fact that you are response-able means quite literally that you are able to respond.  Yes, it's hard, arduous, will take time and effort, and you may never 'get ahead' as far in the way you now think is important as compared to these peers of which you speak.  But if you have a goal--something worthwhile for you to accomplish, there are steps and something you can start doing to move closer to it.  

Second, you are comparing your insides--all the internal regret, imposter syndrome, low self esteem, etc. to others' appearances on the outside.  It's okay, we all do it, but it's a totally unrealistic and inaccurate comparison.  Comparison against other people in general should be minimized beyond the practical amount that is nearly unavoidable.  You are a person, unique in all time and history and expereince.  

All of us have regrets that are painful.  The most painful ones tend not to be mistakes we've made, but things we have not done.  You can't turn back time, but you have right now.  What is the biggest thing you would like to gain or do or achieve in your life in the next [you fill in the timeframe]?  Can you write down one step to take toward it?  Then move toward it.  Then another.  This is the only way progress is made.

You are valuable.  Thank you for contributing here.  I don't care what it is you think your friends have achieved that is so great.  They are not you, and you are here adding to my life and others' lives.  I'd rather be corresponding with you.

Best,

-g

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As my therapist likes to remind me when i start feeling ashamed of what im going through, around 1 in 4 people deal with a diagnosable mental illness at any given time. There's no way everyone everyone in your high school is doing so well, unfortunately.

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I could have utilized those opportunities and had the success they did, but instead I doomed myself to permanent inadequacy. How can I cope with inferiority, and knowing that I am responsible for it?

Why do you feel so responsible for it? Circumstances happen and if your dealing with a clinical depression as you suggest, illnesses happen that are beyond our control that affect us. And unless your not human, it will. It's not your own doing, place the fault on depression.

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@gandolfication I know we all have painful regrets, but I feel ashamed to open my eyes every morning. My regrets overwhelm me, and I feel that my current life is invalid and illegitimate, like a chess game after an illegal move. Since I realized I had depression I have tried to make changes, and now I am taking steps toward goals. But everything seems pointless. I must strive and undergo much stress to reach what my peers did years ago.

But this is permanent. I have thrown away too much time, and it will haunt me for the rest of my life. My peers have awards, certifications, internships, scholarships, and various other impressive things on their resumes, while mine is more or less blank. For the rest of their lives they will have those things to be proud of; they will always be marked by success, and I failure.

Maybe you appreciate my contributions here, but does that matter? This doesn't help me professionally and this won't fix the relationships I've ruined, The people I lost will remain lost, and nothing I type here will change anything. The people I tried to love will never read this; my opportunities for communication are long past.

@bigmike092 It's not that everyone from my high school is doing well; I know of particular people. The problem is that I was capable of doing what they did. I could have experienced their happiness and success and lived a fulfilling life. Instead I hid. Yes, I have suffered from depression, and that is not entirely my fault. However, I let my depression control me and threw away opportunities. I refused the help that was offered to me and did not know I had depression until years after I doomed myself to failure. Blaming the depression is too easy; I am responsible for my failure.

My medication has apparently done nothing, as suicidal thoughts remain prevalent in my mind. I cannot escape my inferiority. I cannot be anything but a failure. I have never been happy; at best I was complacent or distracted. Now I must live the rest of my life knowing I wasted what should have been the best years of my life. I don't want to cope with decades of pain. If nothing can change who I am, I would much rather end my pain now than suffer under it for years.

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I am in the same boat Hermitic, except it's college for me. Most of my friends are doing good and married. I also didn't utilize opportunities I should have due to my anxiety and depression. I am looking for answers also. It sucks.

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3 hours ago, Hermitic said:

@gandolfication I know we all have painful regrets, but I feel ashamed to open my eyes every morning. My regrets overwhelm me, and I feel that my current life is invalid and illegitimate, like a chess game after an illegal move. Since I realized I had depression I have tried to make changes, and now I am taking steps toward goals. But everything seems pointless. I must strive and undergo much stress to reach what my peers did years ago.

But this is permanent. I have thrown away too much time, and it will haunt me for the rest of my life. My peers have awards, certifications, internships, scholarships, and various other impressive things on their resumes, while mine is more or less blank. For the rest of their lives they will have those things to be proud of; they will always be marked by success, and I failure.

Maybe you appreciate my contributions here, but does that matter? This doesn't help me professionally and this won't fix the relationships I've ruined, The people I lost will remain lost, and nothing I type here will change anything. The people I tried to love will never read this; my opportunities for communication are long past.

@bigmike092 It's not that everyone from my high school is doing well; I know of particular people. The problem is that I was capable of doing what they did. I could have experienced their happiness and success and lived a fulfilling life. Instead I hid. Yes, I have suffered from depression, and that is not entirely my fault. However, I let my depression control me and threw away opportunities. I refused the help that was offered to me and did not know I had depression until years after I doomed myself to failure. Blaming the depression is too easy; I am responsible for my failure.

My medication has apparently done nothing, as suicidal thoughts remain prevalent in my mind. I cannot escape my inferiority. I cannot be anything but a failure. I have never been happy; at best I was complacent or distracted. Now I must live the rest of my life knowing I wasted what should have been the best years of my life. I don't want to cope with decades of pain. If nothing can change who I am, I would much rather end my pain now than suffer under it for years.

Hermetic -

I know exactly how you feel.  And may I say, what a great description ('invalid and illegitimate like an illegal chess move').  I like that - very vivid. 

So we've been knocked back hard.  I'm with you there.  I started out with a lot of momentum and potential, acing business and law school and having some early success in sales and law practice.  Then it all fell apart for me, spectacularly.  We had our house foreclosed on and earlier this year, declared bankruptcy, just as a couple reference points on the financial side.  The emotional and relationship side is as bad or worse.

But I want you to hear this.  The disease lies to us.  It exaggerates, makes us believe the worse parade of horribles.  Others almost never view us as negatively as we view ourselves, and this means something important.  With depression, we become our own worst enemies.  And if we can change ourselves, we can improve much.  People are more forgiving and understanding than we imagine.  Much can be gained back.  And we can adjust our expectations too.  I'm not trying to tell you that all can or will be great again or that it'll be easy.  It hasn't been for me, and I don't expect it to be.  But I know that a very large part of the reasons I feel very similiary to you is depression, not entirely reality. 

When I say it is not permanent, forget about the circumstances for a moment - let's deal with that secondarily.  First and foremost what I mean is that the feeling, the condition of depression is not static.  This is observable - in the vast majority of cases, it changes, and this becomes ever more likely with persistent efforts for treatment.  It isn't easy.  It usually isn't quick.  But it happens in a very high percentage of cases, especially those where people--as you are--seek treatment.  These are facts, not feelings.  I hope this gives you some ability to take heart.

Last, I'd relay a story I heard Zig Ziglar tell years ago.  A woman who was I believe 50 years old or so, was regretting that it as too late for her to go back to college because she'd be 54 by the time she got out, and she'd be so old.  The person she was talking to merely asked/pointed out, 'how old will you be in 4 years if you do not go back to school?'  It's a bit cliched, but is true.  Another way of saying this I got from an interview with an author who wrote a book about recovering from illegal drug addiction.  The title was, What's Left of Us.  He was meeting with a counselor talking about problems and regrets, and the counselor finally paused and looked at him and said to him:  "If you live long enough in this world, you are going to experience tremendous pain, loss, regret, etc.  The question isn't whether you will - you will.  The question is what you'll do with what's left of you."

This is my view of things.  It is daunting but hopeful.  Life is very, very difficult.  There are things we can do to make it worse.  And thus there are also things we can do to try to make it better.  I try to remember this.  I fall short and flat constantly.  But the possibility remains and it is one of a few legitimate reasons I stay around even when feeling like the most miserable person alive (which is how we all feel with severe depression - the phrase comes from Abe Lincoln who dealt with very serious depression himself and used humor, illegal drug tinctures, and other methods to get through).

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Dear Hermitic,

Wow, I relate so much to what you're saying that I wish we could meet in person, we would have so much to talk about.

I logged in this morning to write specifically about this exact same topic, and the first thing that caught my eye was your post!

I want to acknowledge how awful it is to feel this way. Your question was "How to cope" and there are answers for that, but I just want to say that I feel the same feelings that you feel, and it's horrible.

Your words ring so true: "Everywhere, every time, everyday I feel a burden of shame, guilt, and regret." I do too, and it's awful.

For me, it's worst at that first moment that I wake up, and I'm flooded with regret, discouragement, and sometimes panic and anxiety about facing the day.

That suicidal thoughts remain prevalent in your mind is a big concern, but totally understandable.  That's why there is a whole section for Suicidal Ideation on this forum.  It's common to consider suicide as an option to escape torturous feelings and thoughts.

However, I would recommend for you the same "Step One" that I did for myself: I made up my mind that I would never, ever commit suicide no matter how horrible I felt.  I took that option "off the table" for myself.  I didn't initially try to control all the other painful thoughts of guilt, regret, sadness, discouragement that I felt, but I decided stop allowing myself to have thoughts of suicide, and I successfully squashed that.

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10 hours ago, bigmike092 said:

As my therapist likes to remind me when i start feeling ashamed of what im going through, around 1 in 4 people deal with a diagnosable mental illness at any given time. There's no way everyone everyone in your high school is doing so well, unfortunately.

Why do you feel so responsible for it? Circumstances happen and if your dealing with a clinical depression as you suggest, illnesses happen that are beyond our control that affect us. And unless your not human, it will. It's not your own doing, place the fault on depression.

This is true, and also something I have trouble with.  Depression's natural default lie is to get us thinking everything bad is our fault.  

I struggle becasue the nature of a behavioral illness is multi-factorial, meaning it is a real mental and physiological disease (that shows up in brain scans, cortisol levels, and many other symptoms), while also, it over time interacts with our actions and behavior, which we have some control over.  This, and the social stigma attached, I think are why we feel so guilty.  I try to remember the adage that it's not my fault that I feel this way; it is my response-ability to do what i can to be the best I can be.  Sort of like the serenity prayer.

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3 hours ago, Lynn1954 said:

Dear Hermitic,

Wow, I relate so much to what you're saying that I wish we could meet in person, we would have so much to talk about.

I logged in this morning to write specifically about this exact same topic, and the first thing that caught my eye was your post!

I want to acknowledge how awful it is to feel this way. Your question was "How to cope" and there are answers for that, but I just want to say that I feel the same feelings that you feel, and it's horrible.

Your words ring so true: "Everywhere, every time, everyday I feel a burden of shame, guilt, and regret." I do too, and it's awful.

For me, it's worst at that first moment that I wake up, and I'm flooded with regret, discouragement, and sometimes panic and anxiety about facing the day.

That suicidal thoughts remain prevalent in your mind is a big concern, but totally understandable.  That's why there is a whole section for Suicidal Ideation on this forum.  It's common to consider suicide as an option to escape torturous feelings and thoughts.

However, I would recommend for you the same "Step One" that I did for myself: I made up my mind that I would never, ever commit suicide no matter how horrible I felt.  I took that option "off the table" for myself.  I didn't initially try to control all the other painful thoughts of guilt, regret, sadness, discouragement that I felt, but I decided stop allowing myself to have thoughts of suicide, and I successfully squashed that.

I have tried to take suicidal thoughts off the table too.  I was successful for a good while, but recently they've come back.  Ultimately it is a decision, but I'm having a hard time being resolute about this.  I agree with the approach though because otherwise, it becomes a kind of self-fulfilling crutch and unhealthy coping mechanism.  

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13 hours ago, Lynn1954 said:

For me, it's worst at that first moment that I wake up, and I'm flooded with regret, discouragement, and sometimes panic and anxiety about facing the day.

Yes. This exactly. I lie in bed, dreading the thought of experiencing another miserable day. I am ashamed to open my eyes, as I see I am not where I should be, and, due to my wasted opportunities, I can never reach it. I think I don't agree with your "step one". I would have died by now if I weren't so weak and scared. I have tried to die many times, and I have found no better solution to my pain. I want to die. I have already wasted my life, so what is the point of continuing? @gandolfication I know life is painful, and I have experienced much pain. I know that depression exaggerates things, but I have depression due to my actions. I think my depression is a symptom, not a cause. And I can do nothing against that cause, so I am doomed to depression until I die. Thus my attempts at death.

Too bad that your life was going so well, then suddenly went poorly. I suppose my life was going relatively well, but in retrospect I was never happy. Regardless, I don't think I'm the most miserable person in the world. I'm just miserable. Maybe starving village children have a worse life than I, but my pain hurts enough to make me want to die, so it seems legitimate to me.

I don't see any point in being the best I can be; the best I can be isn't good enough. I must work very intensely just to reach what my peers did years ago. So long as I am alive, I will still try to work, but I don't want to. Like Zig Ziglar's story implies: doing nothing will result in a worse life than doing something, even if both lives are terrible. I suppose I could try to live a slightly-less-terrible existence, but why bother?

@WhyMe9 So far as I can tell, there are no answers. We just suffer forever.

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Hi Hermitic,

I just want to say that I can relate to the majority of what you are saying and going through. I dip down into these deep lows you are describing and sometimes I manage to dip out again.

Sometimes I've analyzed the situation a little differently though. I too missed out on opportunities like my peers did to branch out socially, in education and in careers. I feel distraught that I felt forced outside of the scene because of various mental health issues I had been going through. In fact during those times I almost felt like what these people were doing was foolish, even though what I was doing wasn't much better.

I guess like, what specifically do you want that other people have? Is it a wife, a family, a specific career, a certain wage? All of these come with certain "pre requisities" and their own set of responsibilities and sacrifices. Like gandolfication describes the comparing of our insides to other people's outsides is a problem I too have severe difficulty with.

However, I think that because you haven't done the things your peers have is intrinsic with your nature. I know it sounds redundant but the fact that you followed a different pathway because of depression, or with the symptom of depression might mean something. Sometimes I think that I just happen to be different for whatever reason. I wish I was happy and had more relationships and a job I really liked that paid well and I wish I was like how I think happy people are. The funny thing is though, that when I really think about it, I don't wish I was any of the people I know who appear more successful than me. I sort of think they are boring, tasteless or unaware of many of the realities of the world, and I sometimes think that maybe the depressive episode I am going through is something that they themselves will experience when their bliss runs out.

If I really wanted a certain job I would have gone for it, and if I really wanted a girlfriend I would have gone for it. I don't know if it's the depression or an authentic disinterest that I'm haunted with. Anyways I don't know if you can relate specifically with any of this, and maybe I am venting a little bit in return. Maybe part of the depression is having an inability or handicap to work things out naturally and excel or have the desire to excel like our successful peers.

It sucks though because once you have dipped down so low, it's like you have seen how bad it can be, and maybe other people who are fortunate enough to not have experienced it can get along easier in the real world for it. I feel like this is the case. We have it bad right now, and even though you may not have much job experience on your resume, but you do have experience when it comes to facing the harsh realities of these emotional and depressive hardships, and that is a darn good quality to have in the future.

I hope any of this helps.

Edited by zzzsheepyzzz

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One of the ways to help not compare yourself to others is probably to limit your usage on social media. People often only post the good portion of there lives on the internet and leave out the bad. Some people portray themselves as having the most interesting and fulfilling lives but are absolutely dead inside. 

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11 hours ago, Hermitic said:

Yes. This exactly. I lie in bed, dreading the thought of experiencing another miserable day. I am ashamed to open my eyes, as I see I am not where I should be, and, due to my wasted opportunities, I can never reach it. I think I don't agree with your "step one". I would have died by now if I weren't so weak and scared. I have tried to die many times, and I have found no better solution to my pain. I want to die. I have already wasted my life, so what is the point of continuing? @gandolfication I know life is painful, and I have experienced much pain. I know that depression exaggerates things, but I have depression due to my actions. I think my depression is a symptom, not a cause. And I can do nothing against that cause, so I am doomed to depression until I die. Thus my attempts at death.

Too bad that your life was going so well, then suddenly went poorly. I suppose my life was going relatively well, but in retrospect I was never happy. Regardless, I don't think I'm the most miserable person in the world. I'm just miserable. Maybe starving village children have a worse life than I, but my pain hurts enough to make me want to die, so it seems legitimate to me.

I don't see any point in being the best I can be; the best I can be isn't good enough. I must work very intensely just to reach what my peers did years ago. So long as I am alive, I will still try to work, but I don't want to. Like Zig Ziglar's story implies: doing nothing will result in a worse life than doing something, even if both lives are terrible. I suppose I could try to live a slightly-less-terrible existence, but why bother?

@WhyMe9 So far as I can tell, there are no answers. We just suffer forever.

Hermetic,

I can relate to your thinking.  But if we try to step back for a moment, is it fair to acknowledge that whatever the cycle of cause and effect may be, part of the definition of a mental illness is not always being able to see things clearly as they actually are.  Said another way, the essence of depression is that it distorts thinking and perception in certain ways, usually more negatively than is actually the case (I'll leave aside for now the more narrow phenomenon of "Depressive Realism" which in certain areas allows depressed people to more accurately predict outcomes mostly out of pessimism).  

You said:  "but I have depression due to my actions. I think my depression is a symptom, not a cause. And I can do nothing against that cause, so I am doomed to depression until I die. Thus my attempts at death."

I think there are fallacies in this line of thinking.  Don't get me wrong, I feel the same way.  And yes, there is a behavioral, circumstantial component to depression and one which I don't want to pretend I can succinctly sum up.   And here is one proof point.  There are people whose circumstances are in fact worse than ours and yet they are able to be resilient and overcome.  Also, more than a few depressed people are even able to do this.  So, all I'm saying is that it is not quite that simple that your depression is due only, or even necessarily mainly, because of your actions.  Yes, our actions impact how happy or not we are.  But one uniquely human ability--even amongst us the depressed--is to be able to act against impulse.  And this is of vast import.  Every single day you, and me, and millions of other depressed people get up, go to work, and do a long list of other things which we very much feel like not doing and in fact doing the opposite.  Isn't that amazing!?

All I wish to suggest to you is that deep down, perhaps admittedly buried and submerged beneath years and layers of depressed habit of thought and action, still burns a fire of hope and of possibility.  And in fact it is just an observable fact, that people can and do change, and quite substantially.  Even depressed people.  Not everyone sadly.  But it's indisputable that people even suffering from long term depression, do improve, and it is not rare.  I have known quite a few.  I'm sure therapists have seen more than me.

I hope you can remember this.  I believe one of depression's most insidious effects, is that it causes us to believe a lie, that it cannot get better.  It can.  We have no 'guarantees' that it will, but nothing else in life is guaranteed in life either.

One of the things that personally gives me greatest hope, is when I talk with someone like you, who has felt so badly for so long and struggles to see even a pin P**k of light.  But yet, here you are, hanging on, moving forward, and I would bet dollars to donuts, having a positive impact in your sphere of life beyond just interacting here with us.  This is a large thing.

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However, I let my depression control me and threw away opportunities

It's not a matter of you letting it control you. It's a powerful illness that overtakes us. We can all learn to gain more control over it, but it's in no way that easy.

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I refused the help that was offered to me and did not know I had depression until years after I doomed myself to failure.

Yea I wish i got help much earlier too. I don't know how it was for you, but for me admitting what i was going through and then getting help for it is not easy when there's a lot of shame there. And i think even admitting to myself the extent of it wasn't easy and acknowledging the amount of suffering there.

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Blaming the depression is too easy; I am responsible for my failure.

Blaming the depression is too easy? So what? It's not a cop out. It's an illness, and that doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. That's just depression/low self esteem talking. Along with this,

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but instead I doomed myself to permanent inadequacy.

Your not responsible for your failure. I myself can give you list of things depression screwed things up for me and failed. Your not alone in that, by far. Failure doesn't have to be permanent or a horrible thing.

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If nothing can change who I am, I would much rather end my pain now than suffer under it for years.

That should say if nothing can change how you are, not who you are. There's not a problem with who you are. Though i know it's not something you can just realize. It's distorted thinking, and it's hard for us to see that it is.

But you can learn how to cope with this pain and it can get better.

Edited by bigmike092

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@zzzsheepyzzz There are many things I want that they have, but I missed my opportunities to get them. Prestigious scholarships, for example. Your view seems somewhat fatalistic to me; I believe in free will and I believe I could have lived a far superior life. A lack of desire to excel is absolutely a part of depression, and it ruined my opportunities. I think only in retrospect can someone say that depression is beneficial. My life has been shallow and hollow, not others'.

@idkusername465 Not a problem. I don't use Facebook/Twitter/etc. anyway.

@gandolfication Amazing? I don't think so. People being trapped in despair and continuing to suffer pointlessly is very sad, I think. Resilience is exhausting, and I can't find a reason to continue trying. I would never say that there is something burning in me. I do not have hope, because I know my position is irredeemable. I don't think depression forced me to believe that things cannot become better; depression merely made tht fact easier to accept. I don't want to hang on any more. Maybe I am moving forward, but I can never fix my past, and I will always be behind.

@bigmike092 I know it's a mental issue, and I would have made many different decisions if I weren't depressed. But I was. I can learn to cope? I can't believe that anymore. After trying so much for so long, I still keenly feel my failure. Despite medication, therapy, and everything else, I still hurt. I disagree with you; failure is permanent. The people who want nothing to do with me will continue to feel that way. The opportunities I wasted will remain wasted. Permanently etched into my record is my late graduation and lack of scholarships.

Since realizing I had depression I have tried being social, being active, therapy, antidepressants, trying unfamiliar things, and various psychological exercises, but nothing has helped. I am tired of the pain, and I am tired of living as if I can bear to face each day. I receive much support from you, my psychologist, and both of my friends, but I still feel awfully. People are busy, and they only care when I cry for help like an infant. I have work to do, yet I am here instead. I post here, and people offer support, and I don't or can't accept it. Everything feels pointless.

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Hermitic,

I'm only responding to the points you made in response to me above.

I feel the same as you.  But I know my feelings are not facts.  I know that part of depression's effect is to deceive and make us certain that the way things feel now, the way they may have felt for years (in our cases) can never change.  But in the vast majority of cases, that is objectively not the case.  

"because I know my position is irredeemable"

This is what I disagree with.  Yes, I feel the same to and often say it.  Part of me though, knows it is not the full story.  I'm not trying to be fake when I say it's amazing.  I do see it this way  -  that despite it all you and I are still here.  I can't see it any other way, that is amazing.  And if we've experienced ANY love or joy or beauty at all (and I'll simply say that I have even though it doesn't seem like it when I'm feeling like this most all the time), then that is something quite significant.  We often don't feel like it because depression is a liar and we remember most only how bad it is.

I hope this makes sense and it doesn't seem like I'm trying to be argumentative, as I am not.  I think we hold on to some thread of belief or hope.  I do, or else I would not stay here.  It's not guranteed.  In my case, at least I see some 'point' or purpose in that my kids' lives are better for me being here.  If there is anyone around you who you are connected to (and I believe we all are connected), then the same is true for you.

As it happens, I am now one of these people whose life has been enriched by crossing paths with you, and I'd be diminished if you weren't here.

-g

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It's okay if we disagree, and I don't want to keep going back and forth in circles.

I just want to say that I have discovered that I was not driven to the points of success that my peers were driven to because deep down, when I did enough soul searching, I figured out that I found flaws in that thinking of "Success = happiness". Some of these people were likely driven by sources of pressure from peers and family, or were following what they believed was the right thing to do.

However, whether you believe me or not, that does not necessarily make them happy people.

You were pulled down by symptoms of Depression and did not follow a path that correlated to the more successful peers, and thus coins the subject of the topic: Inferiority and regret.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling inferiority and/or regret. Of course feeling this way isn't always the most positive, but there are people out there who have the success you describe from your peers who also feel instances of inferiority and regret. Regret maybe because deep down they don't want to be doing the things that have come out of success. Inferiority to the street punks who stare them down while they walk down the street. What I mean to say is that at some point or another, both these feelings are part of being human.

" A lack of desire to excel is absolutely a part of depression, and it ruined my opportunities. "

When I am feeling my utmost of loneliness sometimes I think of the seniors at a senior home down the street. They absolutely must endure the pinnacle of loneliness, thus it happens to all of us sooner or later. However you and I are fortunate that we have vitality to move and do things. If you feel like these are feeling like the end of days, just remember that you are like a super geriatric person who can shapeshift into a young person (I am just assuming you're around 25-30, heck even if you were 50 this would still apply). You can sure as heck do funner things than being strapped to bed looking out a window all day.

: )

Edited by zzzsheepyzzz

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Since realizing I had depression I have tried being social, being active, therapy, antidepressants, trying unfamiliar things, and various psychological exercises, but nothing has helped.

If you don't mind me asking, what therapy have you tried? Perhaps you just haven't found the right one and/or therapist?

 

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Permanently etched into my record is my late graduation and lack of scholarships.

You still graduated though. And you've made this far despite what you've been going through.

 

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I am tired of the pain, and I am tired of living as if I can bear to face each day. I receive much support from you, my psychologist, and both of my friends, but I still feel awfully.


 

Yea i know how that is. I feel for you. Depression is horrible...just hope you keep going.

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@gandolfication

23 hours ago, gandolfication said:

  If there is anyone around you who you are connected to (and I believe we all are connected), then the same is true for you.

Not anymore. I made a separate thread about this, but my first girlfriend told me yesterday she doesn't want to be emotionally close. She doesn't want to be in a relationship, and now I'm alone again. I can't hold on to hope. I have felt pain for so long. I don't want to hurt any more. What you say makes sense; I just don't agree. I don't feel like depression is a liar. I feel like depression is the result of the truth.

@zzzsheepyzzz Talking in circles is what I usually do regarding depression. People offer support, I say no, people offer support, I say no... Maybe success doesn't equal happiness, but failure certainly doesn't. I never thought about comparing myself to an elderly person. No matter how much I post here, I still don't feel better.

@bigmike092 I'm not sure what kind of therapy it is. CBT, I think. I don't want to keep going. I'm tired of the pain. I have found no way of coping with my feelings of inferiority and regret, and now that I'm alone again, I have additional pain to intensify everything.

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Hermitic,

I know how you feel.  

Sending love your way man. 

We care about you. 

I wish I had something that could change it by words. 

Selfishly, I hope you stay and I hope there are at least times you feel better.

I didn't know you've had (have) a girlfriend. That's something.

-g

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Perhaps it would help (just a little) to take a peak at the lives of the people you compare yourself to.  Would it surprise you to know that many of those excelling students you looked at felt the very same "shame, guilt, and regret" you were feeling? As the mother of 4 over-achieving children, one of my most often repeated words of  advice to them were, "Life is not a competition." But why would they listen to me when as early as first grade their teachers were giving candy rewards to the student who could add a math problem the fastest.? One daughter was so humiliated that she graduated as "just the salutatorian" instead of the valedictorian that she wouldn't even show up when the yearbook award photos were taken because she felt totally unworthy. The competition was so strong among another daughter's group of high school friends who were all in the running for valedictorian that they would compute their current GPAs from class to class to see every hour who was in the lead. That particular class ended up with 5 valedictorians. My daughter was one of them and she still felt like an abysmal failure because someone else was selected for the English award. I'm sure the other students (and their parents) looked at these top students and thought they had perfect lives. They only saw the trophies, heard the speeches, and read about their scholarships in the newspapers. They knew nothing of the anxiety, the depression, the stress, the stomach ailments, the sleepless nights, the tears, or the debilitating headaches. They saw the smiling faces of camaraderie among these top students who were "best friends", but they were clueless about the tension and strained relationships resulting from competing against those best friends for everything from coveted science fair awards to music solos to scholarships ~ and coming in second place meant being sent to a hell of self incriminations, guilt, self doubt, regret, and shame.  Sadly, these same emotional conflicts carried over into their relationships with their super-achieving siblings. The daughter who was "just the salutatorian" in a family full of valedictorians once told her boss that she was "the black sheep of the family." This particular daughter had the nickname "The Queen of Nice" because she is such a kind, thoughtful, loving person. But to this day, as a high ranking bank executive at the corporate office of an internationally known bank and the supermom of 2 active boys, she still bears the burden of being that shameful black sheep salutatorian. She still has those stomach ailments, always feels unredeemable, but is still the Queen of Nice.  My advice to you, as it always was to my children and will be to my grandchildren when they get older, is that life is not a contest. Even though the messages are everywhere that tell us that it is ~ from advertising, to social media, to athletics, to academics, to scholastic testing, to the statistics the pediatrician gives you when you take your baby for a check up. How can any of us feel anything other than the stress of trying to measure up to the next job applicant, the student sitting in the next seat, or even the driver stopped next to us at the traffic light? I always feel shame and guilt that I'm not as thin and beautiful as the woman ahead of me in the checkout line ~ it's even been known to throw me into an anorexic tailspin.  You ~ and all of us ~ need to accept ourselves for who we are. We need to stop looking at the person next to us and stop comparing if they are one step ahead of us or one step behind.

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1 hour ago, rainingviolets said:

Perhaps it would help (just a little) to take a peak at the lives of the people you compare yourself to.  Would it surprise you to know that many of those excelling students you looked at felt the very same "shame, guilt, and regret" you were feeling? As the mother of 4 over-achieving children, one of my most often repeated words of  advice to them were, "Life is not a competition." But why would they listen to me when as early as first grade their teachers were giving candy rewards to the student who could add a math problem the fastest.? One daughter was so humiliated that she graduated as "just the salutatorian" instead of the valedictorian that she wouldn't even show up when the yearbook award photos were taken because she felt totally unworthy. The competition was so strong among another daughter's group of high school friends who were all in the running for valedictorian that they would compute their current GPAs from class to class to see every hour who was in the lead. That particular class ended up with 5 valedictorians. My daughter was one of them and she still felt like an abysmal failure because someone else was selected for the English award. I'm sure the other students (and their parents) looked at these top students and thought they had perfect lives. They only saw the trophies, heard the speeches, and read about their scholarships in the newspapers. They knew nothing of the anxiety, the depression, the stress, the stomach ailments, the sleepless nights, the tears, or the debilitating headaches. They saw the smiling faces of camaraderie among these top students who were "best friends", but they were clueless about the tension and strained relationships resulting from competing against those best friends for everything from coveted science fair awards to music solos to scholarships ~ and coming in second place meant being sent to a hell of self incriminations, guilt, self doubt, regret, and shame.  Sadly, these same emotional conflicts carried over into their relationships with their super-achieving siblings. The daughter who was "just the salutatorian" in a family full of valedictorians once told her boss that she was "the black sheep of the family." This particular daughter had the nickname "The Queen of Nice" because she is such a kind, thoughtful, loving person. But to this day, as a high ranking bank executive at the corporate office of an internationally known bank and the supermom of 2 active boys, she still bears the burden of being that shameful black sheep salutatorian. She still has those stomach ailments, always feels unredeemable, but is still the Queen of Nice.  My advice to you, as it always was to my children and will be to my grandchildren when they get older, is that life is not a contest. Even though the messages are everywhere that tell us that it is ~ from advertising, to social media, to athletics, to academics, to scholastic testing, to the statistics the pediatrician gives you when you take your baby for a check up. How can any of us feel anything other than the stress of trying to measure up to the next job applicant, the student sitting in the next seat, or even the driver stopped next to us at the traffic light? I always feel shame and guilt that I'm not as thin and beautiful as the woman ahead of me in the checkout line ~ it's even been known to throw me into an anorexic tailspin.  You ~ and all of us ~ need to accept ourselves for who we are. We need to stop looking at the person next to us and stop comparing if they are one step ahead of us or one step behind.

Thank you for posting this, rainingviolets.  It's a reminder I needed, and I wish I could "like" it more than once!!!

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@rainingviolets Good points. But regardless of the troubles my peers had, they still succeeded more than I. Maybe success does not equal happiness, but I tried to be complacent, and now I only feel more miserably. As you said, your daughters and I seem to have been tricked by society. But changing fundamental beliefs is difficult if not impossible. I learned long ago to not try to be the best, and I don't want to be. I'm not sad because I am inferior to my peers; I am sad because I am inferior to what I could have been, and my peers make this apparent. I failed my potential and led a hollow life of pain, and I wish I hadn't done that. But I don't think I have to be better than everyone or receive all the awards etc. I just want to have received what I think I was capable of.

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I feel this way too.  I have been depressed so long and lost so much because of it. I just want what could have been and never will be and don't know how to change it either.  Medication can't change my beliefs and therapy isn't doing it either.  The voices from my childhood have been internalized too long.  I'll never measure up.

I'm sorry.  I just joined and don't have anything helpful to say.  I just know what you mean.

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@YohY I seem to find solace in people loving me for who I am now. I am important to a few people, and they like me regardless of my past. I'll never have my opportunities again, and I'll never be what I could have been. I don't think that will ever stop hurting, but sharing the pain with someone helps immensely. Of course, finding people to love you is a monumental task.

Somehow I changed from requesting advice to giving it. I suppose I feel a bit better.

Edited by Hermitic

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