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samadhiSheol

Past 50, not worth the effort?

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Because that was the message I got when seeing the occupational healthcare nurse. I could be imagining of course, being the cynical glass-not-even-empty-but broken - loser I am.. I will see a proper doctor in a few days, but I am not holding my breath, done it been there etc. Rinse and repeat. 

On a more general note, what can a 50+ dude do when he hates his current job, hasn't a clue what he likes, nothing interests him, he's constantly pissed off, frustrated at work and nowadays had a passive aggressive attitude?

When the little pay he gets for the job he hates is pretty much the only thing going for him?  When retirement is pretty much a death sentence(no money to live on)? 

Oh and I forgot to mention all the chronic tendon issues. 

Life never looked better. 

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I feel the same. I'm past 40 and thanks to the drugs that they threw at me I feel there is no point to go on any more. With so many mental and physical issues, distress in my private life and everything else, I have never been so pessimistic about my future.

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Seconded, and thirded. I'm past 60 now. I have to keep running in the hamster wheel in order to keep the debtors at bay. My ex was a shopaholic (still is) and rang up an obscene amount of debt. Through the divorce settlement, she gets half of my salary, plus half of my retirement if I ever do happen to leave this hell called work. 

Edited by JD4010

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It's hard because for me it's been 41 years of not fitting in.  Everyone else shows up and they are themselves and it's no big deal.  The only time I'm myself is when I'm alone.  I don't keep doing it when someone shows up.  Every room with people gives me the feeling of oh no I have to pretend to be one of them.  There's never excitement always dread like I'm about to die.  Nobody ever comes my way.  It's always me that has to fit in.  It has the feeling of being a duck among people that has been forced to pretend to be a person so there's nothing but bitterness.

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In hindsight I am being unfair towards the nurse. 

I reckon she knew that I knew the only way forward is to go through the appropriate channel: occupational GP- pdoc/which ever specialist required.

That's probably why she she seemed somewhat careful and restrained, I think would be the appropriate term. She said point blank there wasn't much she could do(true).

So GP it is. I am not too fond of mine to be honest. But it's all I have. 

It was just me being the drama queen again (the one thing I excel at. Too bad I can't get paid handsomely for being a compete twat).

Oh wait, perhaps if I could be the president or prime minister of certain English speaking nations. . 

Haha. 

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2 hours ago, JD4010 said:

Seconded, and thirded. I'm past 60 now. I have to keep running in the hamster wheel in order to keep the debtors at bay. My ex was a shopaholic (still is) and rang up an obscene amount of debt. Through the divorce settlement, she gets half of my salary, plus half of my retirement if I ever do happen to leave this hell called work. 

I am probably way out of line, and I mean no disrespect, but is there any chance of contesting the divorce settlement? Any chance of not paying her accumulated debts? Sounds unreasonable to me.. 

 

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13 minutes ago, samadhiSheol said:

I am probably way out of line, and I mean no disrespect, but is there any chance of contesting the divorce settlement? Any chance of not paying her accumulated debts? Sounds unreasonable to me.. 

 

Yeah, I could contest...but then I'd have to hire a lawyer. At the time of the divorce, I just wanted out and settled for the crappy settlement.

Problem is, she rang up all that debt from our joint accounts...so my name is on a lot of it too (up through 2014).

There's days where I'd rather be sitting in debtor's prison, I think. 

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Thanks for starting this convo.

I guess middle age is the proper stage in development for me to re-write of the narrative of my life. I was out of the workforce because of depression for 12 of the last 15 years. Hated my "career" but was good at my job, made decent money (nope, together that's a recipe for happiness). Long term relationships with partners fizzled out.

 

My old narrative was: I'm defective from birth due to mental illness. What meager potential or gifts I possessed, I squandered due to a lack of individualist ethic (not competitive) and held no big dreams to aim for. Never married or had children because I'm barely tolerable when my mood is baseline. And, I never got the big break because I'm unlucky (the Midas Touch is for other people, I was endowed with the Fecal Touch). Happiness is something other people enjoy (same for real love) and that's because I believed if I ever allowed anyone to know the real me, they'd abandon me. So I always checked-out before that could happen.

 

That old narrative is bullsh1t. A comforting, but pleasantly painful myth I adopted, casting myself as anti-hero/victim/prisoner to make sense of life's boring opera. This narrative served a purpose in part because treatment-resistant depression is a cruel disease that contaminates my environment, perception, cognition, relationships and eventually my soul. 

 

But, I was also miserable and that's because I live in a culture that manufactures needs, devalues empathy, rewards takers and punishes givers, and scolds me for not playing a game I hate (and makes me hate myself). I always figured it was just me, being deficient. 

 

I'm 50. I've had enough of trying to live up to a storyline about who I "ought to be", which I copied from my mass media idols, and basically wrote when I was 16 years old. 

 

I got mad. I went to therapy. I hired a guidance counselor. I spent years trying, crying, writing posts on DF. Eventually, I borrowed 20 large to go to grad school. My life ain't great but it is meaningful to me, has direction and feels right. No epiphany, no catharsis. I've just began writing a different narrative, one that actually fits who my weird-ass self actually is rather than some guy I'm not, never was and don't wanna be. 

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1 hour ago, Atra said:

I've just began writing a different narrative, one that actually fits who my weird-ass self actually is rather than some guy I'm not, never was and don't wanna be. 

This. Intriguing and it makes sense..

But I wouldn't even know where to begin. The whole narrative thing has stumped me to no end. How do I find/invent an appropriate narrative if I don't even know what I want? Though I do recognize that the one I am currently living out doesn't fit me anymore(?). Perhaps it never has.

I haven't a clue what I want, what I am about. If I ever had dreams I have forgotten them a long time ago or they weren't there in the first place

 

I suppose I could begin by defining and recognizing the current (dysfunctional) narrative, the one I have been living out for the past 40 years or so:

I float through life, without any sense of direction. I fail to find meaning in anything and due to lack of passion or interest in anything in life on the one hand, and considering myself a loser and a failure who screws up most of the time on the other, I just grab desperately at the little that is in reach. I am constantly dissatisfied and none of my so-called achievments make any difference. I face an impenetrable wall whatever  I do, How ever I think. I hate myself and I have given up. I think the world is going to hell in a handbasket and nothing I do or say will ever make a difference. I don't even like people. So what's the point anymore?

And it is this I need to somehow replace with a narrative that:

1 hour ago, Atra said:

actually fits who my weird-ass self actually is rather than some guy I'm not, never was and don't wanna be. 

I needed this @Atra.

I haven't a clue what to do about any of it yet though..

 

I don't even know who I really am.

Edited by samadhiSheol

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59 minutes ago, samadhiSheol said:

I haven't a clue what to do about any of it yet though..

 

I don't even know who I really am.

This is quite alright.  A 'work in process' is definitely acceptable.  

Reading @Atra's post made me realize I am going through a very similar process.  I have been 'in progress' for the last few years and am starting to see some results.    My best guess is that it will take another six months to a year to get to the stage where I am writing or have written a new narrative.  (BTW -- I am 59.)

What I feel most is relief at finally recognizing the process.  When we are on our own 'mountain', it is very difficult to get a good view of the entire mountain.  [(#1) None of this has magically solved any of my problems, just given me more tools to work on them.   (#2) In a very weird way, this entire Covid virus situation may have been helpful to my 'process'.]

@Atra, many thanks for having the courage, ability, and will to write that post. It has helped me more than I could ever explain!  I can now start to see some purpose to what I have been going through.  There still may be a long way to go and more struggles to endure, but at last I finally see a path/process.  Ah, the light at the end of the tunnel just might not be the train!  

Gratitude and best wishes to both of you (and every one else)!  ... and just in time for Thanksgiving.  Cool!  

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!   🦃  🙏  🥰

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@Atra - Excellent job of approaching depression. This has to be the best post I have ever read on this forum. It should be a "sticky" or "FAQ".

While I didn't get here from there along the same path you did, the end result is very much the same. The current narrative that got me through the last 5+ years is BS. It is wrong, not acceptable, but most certainly not easy to change. I've already started working on it through several changes in my approach. It will take time to change and requires lots of reminding oneself that the narrative has to change and I have to stay the course. Making mistakes, falling off the horse, taking two steps back before one forward. are all part of the work. You have to commit that you will do the work. Part of depression and living with a BS narrative you get very lazy, mentally lazy, then physically lazy. You literally have to get off your physical and mental azz and start.

So how do you start? Exactly. The big question that comes first. Start writing things down so you can review and change and adapt as you go. You need to see a path but you can build it in pieces. Maybe you start with the negativev and write down all the things you don't like about yourself and where you are. Then work on the other side. Just a few changes that you would like to make. Not grandiose things. Simple things but you must repeat them until they are muscle memory. You don't have to have the story even flow to get started. Piece it together as you go until you can see a picture, even a small one. It's building blocks.

The constant negative talk, threatening to off yourself, and how you are not wrth it, and blah, blah, blah, is the rat hole you go down. The self feeding spiral that eats away at you. Many posts in here are just that. Lather, rinse, repeat. Change that part of the narrative. I do beleive that is the first step in gaining some traction and energy to focus on building yourself back up. Not constantly tearing yourself down. It's good to get an eye opener post on here that starts the conversation going in a better direction. How about this thread stays in that direction and the discussion stays about how and what to get there?

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4 hours ago, samadhiSheol said:

I don't even know who I really am.

The first time I ever heard Nowhere Man by the Beatles, I wondered if they had somehow made that song about me.

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1 hour ago, In2deep4me said:

@Atra - Excellent job of approaching depression. This has to be the best post I have ever read on this forum. It should be a "sticky" or "FAQ".

Seconded.

1 hour ago, In2deep4me said:

 Part of depression and living with a BS narrative you get very lazy, mentally lazy, then physically lazy. You literally have to get off your physical and mental azz and start.

That sounds like a simple explanation, but I personally think it's a tremendous insight. I have to get over this "why bother?" mindset I've been in for...many years.

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7 hours ago, JD4010 said:

Seconded.

That sounds like a simple explanation, but I personally think it's a tremendous insight. I have to get over this "why bother?" mindset I've been in for...many years.

Here is the rub I think... When a person who doesn't suffer from depression tells you to just get over it, think differently, stop whining, or being lazy, etc... They're looking at it from a different perspective and they're not helpful at all. They're just insulting. Like you I suffer from depression. So from one afflicted to another. We do have to do as @Atra says and work on changing the narrative. That work means not being mentally and physically lazy and falling back into the trap of just saying it won't get better so why bother. We have to resist and fight that. That is the work against the easy way out. The lazy self that says let's do nothing cause we aren't getting better anyway. BS!!! It can, but, we have to to start, and work on that narrative. Not seeing the end goal today or tomorrow is ok. Let's just get started.

Brainstorming together as a team maybe we can find a common starting point narrative. Something we can all agree to work on and help move things along. We're all very good at depression. We know the signs and the excuses and fears and so on. So what about some basic positive ideas to get us going? What about a group effort to get better as a team?

I'm just thinking outloud, not telling anyone what to do.

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On 11/24/2020 at 6:52 AM, samadhiSheol said:

On a more general note, what can a 50+ dude do when he hates his current job, hasn't a clue what he likes, nothing interests him, he's constantly pissed off, frustrated at work and nowadays had a passive aggressive attitude?

When the little pay he gets for the job he hates is pretty much the only thing going for him?

I am where you are - I find that everything is an effort and nothing brings me joy.

I was also stuck in a job that I didn't like, I quit because I thought Id find something that I enjoyed.

Now Im an unemployed white male in his 50's. Who wants to hire an unemployed, over the hill, white male in their 50's?!? Tough road.

My point is that the grass is not always greener - I think that a good option is try to get the grass on your side of the fence to grow. How? By focusing on the fundimentals: nutrition, distroying negative self talk, exercise, etc

Edited by StillStandinTall

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9 hours ago, JD4010 said:

That sounds like a simple explanation, but I personally think it's a tremendous insight. I have to get over this "why bother?" mindset I've been in for...many years.

I usually have that mindset.  My entire life has been like a Hulk Hogan match.  Most of my life I'm getting the hell beat out of me and then someone says or does something that makes me mad and it flips on a high gear switch that drives me and nothing can stop it.  I've never enjoyed anything or wanted to be here at all.  The reason I'm still here is because I'm nuts really.  Anger compels me to continue beyond reason.  I have to keep going.

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15 hours ago, JD4010 said:

The first time I ever heard Nowhere Man by the Beatles, I wondered if they had somehow made that song about me.

Nowhere Man and Eleanor Rigby. I can relate to both.

 

"All the lonely people

where do they all come from?

All the lonely people

where do they all belong?"

 

Not that I feel particularly lonely. I am nowhere though.

No not true. I am somewhere I don't really belong.

Edited by samadhiSheol

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16 hours ago, In2deep4me said:

Part of depression and living with a BS narrative you get very lazy, mentally lazy, then physically lazy

I would like to point out that in some cases we truly do not have either the energy or the acumen for the what is needed, so it's not always laziness. Learned helplessness and non-existant self-esteem are real entitites and are not easy things to conquer.

I can tell all of you from experience that when you are burnt out or severly depressed, or been in a manic mode for years, you are in constant survival mode. When you eventually exit the "fight or fight" - mode you have lived in for years, you collapse mentally. That is what happened to me, anyhow. You can't think straight and neither can you trust your feelings. You have no energy. It took me the better part of two years to even begin therapy the last time round, 15 or so years ago. Then I was younger and I managed to get state funded therapy. (In my neck of the woods it's possible to get financial support for therapy for a period of time, but only once).

Another thing also is you need both the belief that you can in fact, create a new, functional narrative for yourself, and you need  hope for a better future. Now that I am older I see that I don't have the possibilities I may have had 30 years ago. The possibilities that are available to me now just don't seem worth the effort.

I feel compltely justified in  "negatitve self talk". In fact I don't even see it as such. To recognize it as negative, I would need to see a positive side. I need a REASON to think positively. Proof that I can be a better version of myself. I need to know what that even means.

In the past I have done everything I can think of to improve myself. I have never been one to just sit on couch and drink beer(I do that on and off, but not as a habit). I work out. I read. I have tried to study. I eat pretty healthily. I am in a relatioship. i go to work. Rinse and repeat.

I have given up looking for a better job, though. I don't want more of the crap I am doing now. But I haven't a clue what I would even want to do. At the moment I am useless from the job market percpective. Nothing interests me and I have no talents or skills that are of any use.

At the end of the day nothing works out. I don't know what to do differently. I keep arriving to the dead end place I have always been at.

I can't afford any kind of councelling. And in the rare instances I bother telling someone I know about how I fee,l they just don't get it.

 

 

So I guess all  this counts as a continuation to the dysfunctional narrative I wrote above. Haha.

Thing is I can't think up a better one.

 

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8 hours ago, In2deep4me said:

We do have to do as @Atra says and work on changing the narrative.

Yes, I agree. I'm super impressed with our team here and am delighted to see what a lot of wisdom we have between us 🤝

In the spirit of teamwork and connection, I thought I would chime in. I'm at polar opposites with you @samadhiSheol in spite of sharing the same affliction 😬 

However, I respect your thoughts and your right to express them. How do you stop feeling the way you feel, right? It's true and authentic to you 🙃

Changing the narrative is not an easy thing to do unless you can step back and get some distance from it. I've said it before and I won't harp on and on about it 😆 however since we're discussing it here, I think it's worth mentioning again:

You need to be able to observe your mind. Writing your thoughts down and looking at them (as 2deep says) is an excellent way of doing this. Taking your attention away from the mind and putting it onto anything else which requires concentration is another way. 

Can't concentrate? Start small, build up 👍 Spending time in nature is another excellent way of getting out of yourself.

Of course,  there's drinking, but it tends to leave a nasty aftertaste lol. And finally, meditation,  yoga, tai chi etc and exercise are super hot for getting that attention into your body and away from the spiral in the mind. 

This all sounds super simple and it is really, but it's effective. I can't keep saying the same things over and over so I'll leave it there. 

I will say that @Atra has a highly developed skill of observing himself and that with this comes wisdom. Above are ways to develop this but maybe he has some tips to share? 

Suffering is another way to develop the self observing skill and wisdom. Many of us have developed this simply through suffering. And whether you know it or not @samadhiSheol you are developing wisdom and insight every day that you suffer....Some of us suffer a lot before we are willing to look at ourselves in a kinder way - as mentioned above. But eventually, the suffering becomes too much and we just have to be kind and be labelled as hippies, goddammit 😆

Anyway,  love to all.. 

Special respect to @Atra(my spiritual buddy) 

@samadhiSheol@samadhiSheol(who suffers greatly and deserves compassion) 

 @In2deep4me(my fellow warrior) 

@JD4010 (my kind hearted friend) 

@sober4life(my DF bestie) 

@jkd_sd (my wise and respected friend) 

Thankyou all and respect to you on your journey 🤝👊👏🐾🌻🌼🌷

Nightjar

 

Edited by Nightjar

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2 hours ago, Nightjar said:

Suffering is another way to develop the self observing skill and wisdom. Many of us have developed this simply through suffering. And whether you know it or not @samadhiSheol you are developing wisdom and insight every day that you suffer....Some of us suffer a lot before we are willing to look at ourselves in a kinder way - as mentioned above. But eventually, the suffering becomes too much and we just have to be kind and be labelled as hippies, goddammit 😆

I don't see "suffering" like this at all. If it's bad enough, consistent enough, it eats at you from within and destroys any hope you happen to have left. 

I think in my case, suffering is more like the kind mentioned in hinduism/buddhism. Frustration is more like what I feel most of the times. That and an emptiness sucking at anything still left at what some people call a soul. 

There is no meaning in anything from my point of view. I cannot see myself as being anything else but a failure. No amount of suffering will change my view. Constant, senseless suffering will only prove that I am right. There is nothing else in this world.

Suffering/frustration/emptiness is all I know. 

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..no, it shouldn't be like that and I'm sure, you're not sentenced to constant suffering. Hm, there just must be something that would help you. Usually people adviced me "do what you love" when I was worst and it really helps. Never is to late to start feeling better. You're 50, not 100 years old.

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40 minutes ago, Mikayla said:

..no, it shouldn't be like that and I'm sure, you're not sentenced to constant suffering. Hm, there just must be something that would help you. Usually people adviced me "do what you love" when I was worst and it really helps. Never is to late to start feeling better. You're 50, not 100 years old.

.. And when I say "suffering I mean more" ennui, "weltschmerz" and good old existential emptiness a la Shopenhauer, Kierkegaard,  Nietzsche, Sartre, than pain and agony, hell and brimstone. 

But thanks @Mikayla. You are spot on. I should do stuff I enjoy.

Recently I have had trouble focusing on that side of things. I do stuff I enjoy (or used to) but I end up feeling empty, with a "now what?" mentality. When I am reading I realized I don't understand a word of what I have read. I don't have the capacity to concentrate anymore. 

 

On a somewhat different note and following up on:

On 11/24/2020 at 4:52 PM, samadhiSheol said:

when seeing the occupational healthcare nurse

I saw my GP today. And it was talking to her I realized that of late I have been SCARED of letting in joy or anything remotely like happiness in. And the reason why? 

I am afraid that I will somehow jinx myself into bad luck if I begin feeling grateful. That the minute I am, it will suddenly be taken away from me. So I don't indulge. 

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself", as the saying goes. But there it is. There is an obvious connection to the chronic anxious/agitated state I am in most of the time. 

Anxiety and feelings of panic have been my lot most of my life. Add poor self esteem to the equation and you have.. Well, me. And these were some of things I was in psychotherapy for back in the day. 

The GP was good enough to send me for xrays(multiple tendon issues), a referral to a rheumatologist (whom I have see before for similar reasons) and also a pdoc. 

I have to add that a lot of my "suffering" is also cerebral in nature. I see the world inherently void of any meaning or point, but that is OK. I understand the bid for sentient beings to create meaning themselves, both in the individual and collective sense. 

But I struggle with the question of meaning myself. I have always been a glass half empty person and that is OK too. Optismism/pessimism are characteristics and both serve a function. 

But the point is, as many of you say and as @Atra pointed out:

On 11/25/2020 at 12:55 PM, Atra said:

I've just began writing a different narrative, one that actually fits who my weird-ass self actually is rather than some guy I'm not, never was and don't wanna be. 

This can and SHOULD include us being optimists/pessimists, introverts/extroverts, whatever we are  as we are as our true authentic selves. 

Oh well, the quest continues I guess. 

 

 

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"suffering is more like the kind mentioned in hinduism/Buddhism" 

Buddha did indeed say that life is 'dukkha' or suffering but dude, he also said there was a way out. That's what Buddhism is all about, the way out of suffering. 

:hugs:

Are you calling the Buddha a b*tch? 😆

Edited by Nightjar

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2 hours ago, Nightjar said:

"suffering is more like the kind mentioned in hinduism/Buddhism" 

Buddha did indeed say that life is 'dukkha' or suffering but dude, he also said there was a way out. That's what Buddhism is all about, the way out of suffering. 

:hugs:

Are you calling the Buddha a b*tch? 😆

Yes. No. Haha.

Dukkha, annica, anatta: suffering, impermanace, not-self. Trilaksana or the three marks of existence. In other words the crap we get caught in in life, according to Buddha. 

But does it mean deliverance in this life or the nirvanic state once we have left the birth-rebirth cycle of samsara?
 

Allegories, to be sure. To be applied in the here and now.
 

I don’t really believe in any religion. Though admittedly Buddhism, or some aspects of it makes some sense. Zen even more so(though zen isn’t really a religion..).

Also the concept Yetzer hara in Judaism is an intriguing concept. Not so much sin as abuse of the gifts Yahwe has bestowed on us. Indulgence, so to speak. But I digress.

Surely all religion has been born out of the want for redemption in this life or at least the next..?
 

Anyway, In zen I like the idea that searching for satori is a waste of time. We are there already, we just have to realize it.

I suppose the same applies to Buddhism proper. We can accept our sentiments, our feelings, our intellect. But instead of hanging on to all of that, we should let them pass by and just take their due course.

Easier said than done of course.

Edited by samadhiSheol

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