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Depression bottleneck...how do I get unstuck from avelanche of unfortunate events that led to depression?


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First off, thank you for reading this.  For taking the time.  I appreciate it.

I can't even figure out what I want to say.  What's my purpose in this post?

I just keep thinking...bottleneck...bottleneck...everything is stuck inside...  Something might release, and things might budge allowing a little trickle of motivation to leak out.  Maybe.  Even if it does, there's simply too much on the inside to allow a nice flow.  More likely, the disappointment that the flow could not (or would not) continue and develop into a steady stream results in further dark clouds inside the bottle, adding to the mind bloating and painful experience of depression.

So what's my purpose here?  I know I need help.  I read other posters stories, searching for some nugget, some word or phrase that changes my path.  

I guess I'm not sure what to expect here...maybe some comradere, maybe some advice.  SEASONSED advice please.  I've done all of the "exercise!", "healthy diet!", "supplements!", "sunshine!", "ask your 'friends'"! B.S. and, while that might work for many (I'm honestly happy for you if it does) my life, my mind, my emotions, my needs and my experiences are just too complicated for these logical methods to take hold.  Yes, I've not only tried all of the above, but sustained most of them.  They DO help.  Of course they do. But it's not enough.

I believe my depression is circumstancial...and I am thankful for this.  I have been subject to substancial trauma in my young life.  Then the universe gave me a little 20 year break.  Fast forward to 2009 and the poo started flying.  It started flying with increasing speed, velocity and payload and has continued.

I really wish someone, anyone...could look at my entire history and the events, not as onesie twosie events, but how these events compile, and build, and trip you up, make you fall and eventually kick you while you're down, and continue to beat you when you try to get up.

I'm so tired, I've stopped trying to get up.  About every 6 months, or when I stick my head out the door, something significantly negative happens.  I'm so done with this.  I recall my state of mind from the months past and remember thinking, "I'm really low" "I'm almost at rock bottom!" and wonder, silently, as to not alert the universe and have it send more flying poo my way "It's ok, this will pass...you'll get time to heal from this and you'll be up again."  And then something happens.  CONSTANT crisis for years.  Deaths, moving house (including being FORCED from two homes that I liked due to sale), marriage, divorce, mental illness (not me), backstabbing, losing job(s) (PLURAL), drugs (not me, husband), narcissisitic abuse, losing credibility, lawsuits, and most recently, losing friends and being excluded.  By the way, I'm also emotionally sensitive.  I'm dying here.  

My self coaching, which has served me well for many difficult years, is no longer serving me.  

But I am so damn good at putting on a mask, no one really knows.  I don't want to be a downer.  THAT person that is always p***** off or depressed and a drag to be around.  And to be honest, it's not really a mask.  When I am out with a friend, I know I usually look happy, chipper, quick witted and engaging, and I am.  Because my mind is OFF of my depression.  It's a nice break.  But then I go home to this pathetic life.

So back to what's my purpose here?  I still don't know.  But I can tell you if I were to get rid of only ONE symptom...it would be the lack of motivation.  This is the biggest baddest ugliest mother effer of issues for me.  I could be looking into the mouth of a lion and be like, "Eh."  Back to staring at the TV.  My lack of motivation is SO bad I am unemployed.  I'm 45 years old, unemployed engineer.  My 75 year old mother is litterally supporting me.  The humiliation at the THOUGHT of someone else supporting me used to be enough find myself working 2 jobs.  But my drive, motivation and goals started to wane...and then POOF.  Gone.  

I don't answer my phone.  It's about to be shut off.  I'm late on my credit card bill...and student loans.  Not sure how I'll keep my payment plan to the IRS afloat.  Now THAT will badly impact me.

I look behind me and see pain.  I look ahead of me and see...more pain.  

This is a problem.

The above is also the most I've written in months, anywhere.

I would really like to find some friends here that will hear my story over time, realize the weight of what I've faced, turn to me and say "Holy crap.  I understand why you're depressed and any HUMAN going through the same would also be depressed if not worse."

I think this is all for today.  Hopefully an update at another time. 

In the meantime, I hope for a few comments, an "atta girl" and maybe some advice.

Love to all.



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Wow.  Sounds like you have been through an awful lot.  I think this mental health stuff sort of snowballs.  I know that my anxiety and depression started out with insomnia but maybe I was a little depressed before that?  Then it went away or seemed to for a little while, buy you're right, then something else awful can happen, and then you are just sort of motionless - like you are in quicksand or something and you keep telling yourself to "go to work" or "take a shower" or whatever and you just CAN'T DO IT - no matter how hard you try.

I personally just made an appointment with a therapist - hopefully a proper diagnosis and meds to follow.  I did take Lexapro for awhile and that helped but it was prescribed by my family doctor.

And I did go to a counselor for a few weeks but mostly he told me to make taking a bath/shower pleasurable and then I would be more likely to do it.  While I sort of agree with that, my problems seem a little deeper than playing music in the shower and buying some nicely scented shower gel - like some people just don't get it?

Anyways, I don't know if this helped or not.

You are not alone.  Others have similar feelings.  Please don't give up on life.  I do think that it can get better.

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Good lord, I could have written this!  You've precisely described my situation in almost every detail.  Particularly since losing my last home of seven wonderful years due to a sale a year ago, I've completely bunkered, as I put it.  I've struggled to make my new home a home.  But there are boxes I haven't unpacked, rooms I haven't painted, a yard I've barely touched except for a hurricane last year...you get the idea.

I've nevertheless kept up most social contacts - social media and IRL - which helps the isolation significantly.  Like you, it's not fake.  I genuinely enjoy their company (we're a group of photographers interested in transportation subjects like rail and aircraft) and have a good time.  Particularly in the past year, I've noticed how those simple activities energize me for all the reasons you mentioned. 

Downside is, due to health issues which already drain me, that it's easy to physically overdo and can exhaust me up to days afterwards.  Compounding that, most of the remaining people who were left with the institutional health care resource on which I've relied were uncaring, almost to the point of hostility.  It's just one more thing, a major one at that, which adds to the overwhelming pile of sh*t out of which I no longer feel I can extricate myself.

In short, though I've fought it with the 5+ decades of life experience I have, things for some reason have completely stopped working out, whatever I do.  These days I lean towards, "Why bother expending the time or energy?"  Honestly, I don't have an answer, as such, for you since I'm struggling myself.  But I'll follow this thread with great interest.

Edited by MarkintheDark
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THANK YOU for your replies!!  I was honestly wondering how I was going to deal with the rejection of no one finding my ramblings interesting enough to comment on.  So, thank you again, I"m glad to know that to some I AM NOT INVISIBLE.

Is there a character limit here?  Well, if it's not posted, I will certainly hit it as some point.  Yes, that's a warning.

Your listening make a huge difference to me.  I will do the same for you.  Please...let me have it.  (And maybe I will feel of use again!!)

Ha!  Tracy...yes...scented shower gel will not cut it.  Shoot, if it did, pharmacies would be out of business and shower gel would cost $100 a bottle!!  Am I right?  LOL.  Shower gel.  *snicker*  Normal people and doctors are silly wabbits. 

There's a topic...I seem to swing between feeling invisible...or rejection.  If I MAKE myself VISIBLE, I get rejection.  Mostly.

Mark...I have to tell you I read your response right after getting off the phone with a Special Agent from Defense Security in regards to my background investigation to get a secret clearance (Again.  I held one for many years previously).  The conversation did not go well and in the ends affects my ability to get work.  Negative news in a big way.  I'll give details later, but, long story short, I was delighted to see your post.  Well, not delighted to know you're hurting, but at least that you replied and I'm not alone.  I'm so sorry you had to move out of your house.  It's so violating.  I hope your landlord gave you more than 30 days. It's SO hard finding a new place to live because you never know what it's going to FEEL like until you're there and then you're stuck.  Do you like the new place at all or are you just having a hard time missing your old place?  Like you, I have a car port full of boxes I have to unpack or find somewhere to put them.  Probably 10.  They've just sat there...like yours.  The OLD me would have had those suckers unpacked and a sucessful garage sale completed within 2 weeks.  But now...they sit there.  It's been about 3 weeks and I haven't really made any attempt at them. Why should I?  I'm so tired.  

And a hurricane??!!  That's traumatic.  Did it hurt you or your property?  I hope you get a break soon.  Or many breaks.

What is the institutional health care?  Either way, if it's a struggle to get help, and they're hostile, that sucks.  I'm also not suprised.  How is it that people can lack ANY compassion?  Or at least, do their job with some integrity.  I guess they don't understand how your interaction with them REALLY AFFECTS you beyond just that call.  Ripple effect.

Luckily, and somehow miraculously, I've avoided any health issues.  I had some back pain and chronic tennis elbow (which is QUITE painful despite the fluffy name) and it really impacted me because I'm not used to dealing with being physically impaired.  Luckily, the problems just floated away like they always do...but I want to say I'm sorry your health is suffering.  My little experience with lacking health is enough to have alot of empathy.  I will send out good vibes to you.

Sometimes it feel that every facet is crap, huh Mark?  Relationships, finance, career, health...all crap.  If it's all crap, how do you climb out.  You have to have something significantly positive to hold on to.  CRAP IS SLIPPERY!

Your photography sounds interesting.  Is there anywhere I can see it?  Maybe an online gallery or something?  I've always been interested in photography.  Hopefully someday I'll be able to learn more.  Right now I can't afford dog food, let alone a camera.

I/we just need a steady stream of GOOD THINGS to happen to get us motivated or convinced the world isn't trying to **** or reject us.  Agreed?  A steady stream to undo the negative that has settled in.  The negative that has now become the new history you remember.  I struggle with this.

I've moved (literally) at least 6-8-10 times in the past 6 years and more ahead of me.  I'm so done.  The first time this happened to me, I was living in a lovely 2/2 condo, with garage, washer dryer and a little back yard with a fountain.  I was/am a single mom and it was within acceptable walking distance to my daughters high school.  They allowed dogs, so my big boy great dane was with us and things were working.  So here's the timeline for that year in 2009...The year started out good...I had finished and placed in my first triathalon in May.  Then my young niece died of an overdose in June.  My next triathalon was a few weeks later an I BOMBED badly.  Then my father starts (restarts) abusing my mother in August.  He hit her with a fireplace poker tool!!  She stays with me for a few days (drama drama).  He died a couple months later in October.  I was arranging his funeral and memorial while still trying to maintain my daughters life and still be a working professional.  I was the center of it and subject to LOTS of drama and meanness, In fact, I haven't talked to two of my 1/2 sisters since then.  A few weeks later, my grandmother died in November.  She had just died, I was still at the hospital, when I get a call from my landlord saying I have 30 days to move.  W.T.F.  But it was impossible to find a place that was 1. Within walking distance to my daughters school 2. Affordable  and 3. Accepts large dogs.  Long story short, early 2010 I ended up moving us to my mothers house and slept on the couch for weeks.  My brother was keeping a travel trailer on my mothers property so I asked if I could live in it.  They rarely used it.  I told them I would only keep a few things in it that could be easily emptied out if they wanted to use it.  They regretfully said "I guess".  About 2 weeks later, they decided to sell it.  So I had to move into a dark, dank and leaking bedroom in my mothers house with no doors, no closet, no blinds.  I had to figure it out myself as my mother didn't seem interested.  Fast forward to my 2nd experience in 2013...I'm living happily with two roommates and my new great dane.  My previous dog/best friend/rock dropped dead right in the backseat of my car while I was driving.  This happened as I was recovering from the eventual nervous break down in 2011...thanks buddy.  Anyway, the apartment is great and I was really happy there.  We get a notice that everyone in the building has to move because they're renovating.  They just kicked everyone out!!!  Sure, they made it easy to move to another apartment, only to have to move again once the renovation started there.  I hope to get back there someday, but naturally they've jacked up the rent by hundreds and even if I were working, I couldn't afford it now.  It's the only place I truely want to be and it's unattainable now.  Hurts my heart.  Google "The Village Mission Valley San Diego".  Ohh  it was so awesome there.

This "thing"...this "black cloud" that follows me/us...there's got to be a name for it.  "Bad luck" "dark knight"...I wish more people understood the cumulative affect it has on the psyche.  How hard it is to sustain.  Like Tracy said "it's snowballs".   But why?  There needs to be a reset button.  I wish I could forget all the bad stuff over the past few years because...then I wouldn't dread the future so much.  Who wants to go forward into MORE BAD?  But that's all I see, and I see that not because "everything is dark because I'm depressed" but more like becasue THAT WHAT I"VE LEARNED.  

Mark, I wish for you and me for things to turn around.  Like you said, with so much experience, we have the knowledge to navigate life!  But, the curveballs end up being too much compounded.  It's frightening given that with our experience, we still can't get ahead.  

One of the awful situations that didn't make my initial list is the issue of getting my security clearance back.  I've been waiting for OVER TWO YEARS.  This is partly the reason I'm unemployed.  I had a security clearance for 13 years and now...limbo.  Which means that the industry that is my specialty, I can no longer work for.  I literally have to start over.  This is the equivalent to taking a real estate agents license away.  So...I've been waiting for two years and the agent was hung up on my employement status.  While I am an employee, I can't be a PAID employee until I have my clearance.  But she said there was no reason to GIVE me a clearance unless I am an active employee.  You see the problem.  The problem rests soley on the head of the employer, who pretty much ingores me and said "Yes, the investigation is still pending" and then drops it.  Only for months to pass by until I check again.  CAN I BE ANYMORE INSIGNIFICANT?  This issue with the clearance will affect this job and ALL others that require a clearance, which is I'm guessing 90% of the positions I'm qualified to fill.  

Tracy, I feel you with anxiety and insomnia.  I used to have terrible anxiety.  Luckily that is a thing of the past.  However, I was taking ALOT of meds.  Mood stabilizers, antidepressants, xanax, klonopin, you name it.  I do believe the antidepressants can help, just be careful and do your homework if you can.  I know "doing homework" is an impossible task when you're feeling desperate though.  It DID pass, just know that.  I have an anxiety attack once in a while now, but I know what it is and kind of ignore it and it goes away. Insomnia continues to plague me.  Ambien has been very good for me, although I believe one can become dependent on it.  I've tried trazedone, which KNOCKS you out, but it was too harsh long term.

If you've read this whole thing your eyeballs have fallen out and you're probably preparing to send me a bill for $150.

Please give me your thoughts.

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I am the universe's whipping boy. I attract misfortune and bring rain clouds into other people's skies.

I've always thought it would have been better if I'd never existed.

Lack of motivation--that's my biggest hangup as well. I don't even want to try anymore. My life is one long case of "learned helplessness" from being defeated at everything I attempt. I failed miserably as a kid, and I continue to fail miserably as I near the age of 60.

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JD...Do you self sabotage, become disinterested?

I feel the way you do about being whipped.  I told friends that I must have killed Jesus's dog in a past life because the universe REALLY doesn't like me.  Well...I don't feel it's FAILURE, it's misfortune that results in failure.  Unusual hardships.  The wierdest things happen to me in normal circumstances.  Normal easy things somehow manifest into some difficult monster with hoops of fire that NO ONE else seems to have experienced.  I often look at the sky and say "WHY?!!  WHAT!!??  What is it that you want me to learn?"  I must be terrible at reading between the lines so if there's SOME DARN reason why all this is happening I'd appreciate it, dear Universe, if you could make it a bit easier to understand for me and my friends here on this forum.  Stop being so cryptic!!  We have alot to offer others if you could just help us out of the funk and let us contribute.


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After reading your first post here you said a lot of things that I have felt or said myself. It sounds like others here feel the same. That is something I have realized about depression is the universality of some of the symptoms. One is the lack of motivation. Depression makes you feel like there is no point in even trying. You want to give up because you don't see the point in getting up yet again. You see all the problems and they have been around for so long that you don't think they can ever be overcome or changed. In a word you are tired. 

The other thing that you said that was similar to my own experience is that there are many remedies and solutions offered for depression and none of them ever seem to work. I totally agree. You try lots of different things, multiple times and you don't make any progress. This is disheartening and discouraging because it seems like you just keep failing and never see success. 

One thing that I have started and worked on several times but have yet to finish is to write about and go through all my past to better understand it. You mentioned this too, how you feel the need to go over all your history to understand what it all means. I don't like to give advice but I do like to recommend things that I have tried and have helped. I write a lot about what I think and feel. I try to break it down and understand why I think or feel something in some way. I also started a program called self authoring. It does cost money but quite cheap if you compare it to the cost of paying a therapist. You basically write about your history and try to understand the most influential experiences you have had. It's a way to understand yourself. (I am not getting a kick back for telling you this by the way, I just found it, tried it and it helped).

Essentially I have found that better understanding myself, my past, and my personality I can better understand why I feel depressed and experience depression. This was a big revelation to me and has helped me enormously. 

I apologize for the lengthy response. There is more I could say if you want to talk more. Thanks for reading!


Edited by 20YearsandCounting
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Mr. Bliss...thank you for reaching out with the advice.  I will certainly check out selfauthoring.  It sounds interesting to say the least.

Luckily, I know myself, and exactly why I'm depressed.  There's no question considering my history.  My problem is now that I've found myself here, I can't get out.  Yes, I'm tired and scared.  Given that I'm unemployed, I have no discractions.  Nor the motivation to GET employed.  (That will be a struggle in and of itself).  The crap is non stop.  It's a big bear and I don't want to poke the bear so I stay frozen.  I'm recently divorced and lost my medical insurance with it, so counseling is unattainable.  Although I've been through years of therapy and even an outpatient mental health facility after a breakdown, and it did help...I'm kind of beyond that.  I've fought and fought and then I got tired and it got me.

Regardless of my non stop whining and explaining...I will look at self authoring.  Who knows what it could lead to!

Lengthy responses are welcomed!  Please add more.  Makes me better about my verboseness.


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I don't have anxiety panic attacks just debilitating anxiety where you overthink everything and maybe some social anxiety thrown in.  Seems like I've also had a lot of things happen such as diagnosed with a heart condition, surgery to correct, sold house and moved to apartment - job transfer every year for four years.  It is all too much.  Before all this I raised a son with a disability with little help from anyone, which was very stressful, then my parents, grandmother, and best friend all moved out of state.

It's just a bunch of stuff that happened all within 3 - 4 years.  Then realize I have always been anxious.  I am looking forward to some stability - that's the main thing.  Of course, right now I am in-between jobs thanks to it all being too much to handle - switched to teaching a whole different subject with no training and principal and human resources telling me two different things - yes, you do need to teach computer coding - no, you don't need to teach computer coding.............it was a nightmare.  It was a relief to quit.

But now, looking for a new position and anxiety over interviewing......ahhhhh...................this too shall pass.

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Tracy wow you've been through alot too!!  Nonstop stuff like that is no good and then to lose your support system is a triple whammy.

There's only so much one person can handle, right?  Apparantly the universe thinks more of us than we do.

Good luck with interviewing.  I'm in the same boat.  I think "How the heck am I going to interview well when I'm a depressed mess?"

Here's hoping for good things.


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18 hours ago, ellemak said:

Tracy wow you've been through alot too!!  Nonstop stuff like that is no good and then to lose your support system is a triple whammy.

There's only so much one person can handle, right?  Apparantly the universe thinks more of us than we do.

Good luck with interviewing.  I'm in the same boat.  I think "How the heck am I going to interview well when I'm a depressed mess?"

Here's hoping for good things.


Thanks Elle.  My support system is back now but all this stuff is just a jumbled up mess.  I really feel like I am/was in denial about depression sort of returning?  I had an interview scheduled but I couldn't make myself go.  Just don't think I can handle the pressure and anxiety right now?  Even substitute teaching seems too much at the moment.  Like I really don't want to do it.

Am thinking that maybe going to the therapist and possibly meds again will help.  I'm floundering for sure.

I hope things get better for you.  I find coming to these forums helpful when I'm feeling these things because it's somewhere safe where others feel the same things.

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Tracy, I know what you mean about being in denial.  Sometimes too many things keep happening before we get a chance to heal from the last and then you find yourself going into a depression quicker and easier than the last time.  At least, that's my experience.  I'm sorry you didn't make the interview.  They're pretty intense.  Might have been a good decision to postpone/cancel instead of falling apart during the interview.  Couldn't help to go to the therapist and consider meds. 

I've been med (antidepressant) free for a couple years and just put myself back on about a week ago.  I'm so disappointed.  

I hope things get better for you too.  Hang in there.

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Dear ellemak, 

I am truly sorry for what you are going through in your life.  I admire you for the efforts you make to better yourself.  But also, you have handled so much as you described.   Christian counseling can be helpful to work through things like this, overcome obstacle in your life. You are valuable and worth fighting for.  But let me tell you that you have a purpose in life. Even in the darkest moments in our lives there’s always hope. Please, let me tell you that you are not alone. Things happen for a reason. It is a hard situation that you are living now, but do not feel discourage. Hang in there!! Please do not give up!. When we accept that we have something, forgiveness is the first step to change and healing. Have you consider forgiving situations, and yourself? Forgiveness does not mean that these things did not happen to you, however means that you let the problems go. Forgiveness will return your peace and joy. Forgiveness is the first step of healing and change. Please do not give up! Hang in there! In that way you could start a new chapter in your life and you will see the difference and the impact that this will have in yourself. In counseling, you can find ways to help overcome and conquer how you handle things.  Suffering is neither good or bad.  In suffering, it can help you to become a stronger person.  You’ve endured so much, but do not give up, there’s hope.  Along with possible counseling, have you thought of seeking new friends in social group gatherings in your area?  Such groups you may consider are groups that offer social activities (movies, bowling or some other recreational activities, volunteer work), hobbies or something that you like doing.  Some churches may offer such groups that help individuals in their adult lives to meet new friends.  Let me tell you please that you are not alone in this battle.  If you need to talk with someone I’ll leave this Hotline #s: 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). [link removed] Do you have a faith or believe system to help guide you through this? I do not know whether if you believe in God but I will keep you in my prayers, my friend. – keep us posted, OK?


Edited by 20YearsandCounting
remove link; left suicide hotline number up
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