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Trying To Help Someone Else Backfiring


ArthurP

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So my day was already tanking. A woman I thought I was going to have a second date with, texted me that she'd met someone. It was unnecessary. I told her after the first date I understood if she didn't want a second but she said yes. I know, I know. She could be telling the truth, but I think she's lying an attempt to be nice because she had second thoughts. It's unnecessary. I'm a grown-up.

Next, my computer decided it wasn't going to start, period. Dead as a doorknob. It came back when I got home from work, but the hours of thinking about having to buy a new computer had done their damage.

Also, I was moving at work to sit in another department that I'd be supporting along with my old one. That caused all sorts of anxiety as well.

I know these are silly "First World" problems, but they're real to me and especially difficult in light of my condition. Things hit rock bottom and started tunneling when I bought a laid off co-worker dinner.

She was laid off a week ago today, in fact, but before that even happened we'd discussed how things were and she was worried because recent life upheavals had left her broke. Then it actually happened. Ironically, she was fine. She was concerned but confident she'd find work. However I wound up horrifically depressed because work is my trigger and of course that's all she wanted to talk about. It was horrible. I learned things I didn't want to know and had to relive things I didn't want to remember, but not wanting to bring her down I kept all this to myself. I laughed and kept a smile on my face, but inside I was dying for hours.

The cherry on top was on the way home I saw a guy with no arms and one prosthetic leg reminding me some people have real problems and what an a**hole I am for crying in my milk like this.

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Hi ArthurP,

I am sorry that you are feeling so low. Hang in there my friend - as you know this will pass too. We are cursed with this cyclical episodes of ups and downs but we will have to be strong and keep on fighting. You are strong and you can get over this too - never lose hope.

Take care,

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Sorry you're having a rough time. You're NOT an a**hole! Your problems with depression are real. People keep trying to cheer me up by pointing out how much worse things could be, but it doesn't help. First, like you I feel guilty for being depressed when there are people with problems that are worse than mine. Then, I worry about how much worse things could get.

It was thoughtful of you to buy your former coworker dinner and help keep her spirits up, especially when you're suffering with your depression. Definitely not an a**hole.

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Thanks, everyone. I want to be there for her, but I know when I talk to her she's going to want to talk about work. And I understand why, but I just can't do it. It took me a week to get back to climb out of that hole. And it's not like I need another trigger. Tonight, exactly one week later, something from work ruins my night and sends me plummeting into a hole. I can't fight a two front war.

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This might be a little late and maybe not even what you want to hear, but I would never tell a woman on a first date that, "I understand if you don't want to go on a second date." Just that statement alone may have made the decision for her because it makes you look really insecure. It's hard to act confident when you're depressed. I take that back, it's almost impossible. The way you're going to act and even the kind of woman you'll be attracted to is probably going to change once you stabilize out of the depression, so I wouldn't worry about that too much...

Michael

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Hey guys, I'm new on this forum. Just registered. Been fighting emotional problems for years. As a part of that, I never dated until college, and I quit even trying in my early 30s, what could I possibly offer a woman, just a mess, only had a few semi-serious relationships, and they basically left because I was too messed up.

But I gotta tell you, knowing how hard this all is, all I can say is the fact that you're out there is a major triumph for you in my mind. It takes cajones to get out there in the face of this. My utmost admiration for you. Don't give up like I did, I think all the time about how I'm going to die some day totally alone and dirt poor. I wish I was a big enough man to rise above this, but I haven't found that in myself yet.

Edited by Denninmi
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The rules are bit different when it comes to internet dating, Michael. But thanks.

Denninmi, that's depression telling you not to try. It's a demon that feeds on itself. Going on a date that doesn't work out is better than not going out at all.

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Well done for making it to the end of that day. I try (don't always manage) to balance the things that make me upset and te outside world. Sometimes things like your disabled man help me put things in perspective, but at ther times I try to accept that the things that I have to deal with my own life. Soe things are easy to see like people starving, or suffering after a flood/fire but he things we deal with are just not that obvious, though they can be just as painful so I try to be kind to myself and keep that in mind when I see other "less fortunate" than me. I wouldn't wish depression on my worst enemy.

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Hi ArthurP,

I'm very new to this forum, but I wanted to say that I relate SO MUCH to almost everything you've written here, especially in regards to being triggered off by work, feeling guilty about your emotions, and comparing your troubles to other people's (and finding them lacking). I experience all of those things myself, practically on a daily basis, and god - it's awful.

I purposefully avoid certain coworkers because I know they're going to want to talk (ie, complain, gossip, etc.) about work, and hearing all of that causes me a huge amount of anxiety that I simply can't handle any more. I want to be supportive and I want to be polite, but like you, it tears me up inside to listen. I won't even talk about what goes on at work when I'm at home because it's too triggery and will ruin my mental state for hours.

I often compare my problems to other people's and scold myself for believing I have any problems at all. That's a huge, HUGE issue for me. Just the other night I found out that a childhood friend of my sister's (who I also knew, in a second-hand sort of way) just lost her 5-month old daughter to MRSA, which she contracted while confined to the NICU, and I felt sick to my stomach for HOURS afterward, mentally beating the crap out of myself for daring to imagine that I felt bad about MY situation.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I understand, and it's so, so hard. I try to tell myself that we are ALL entitled to our feelings, no matter where they come from or what they are, and that we each have our own, personalized crosses to bear and demons to fight. Some people's are a LOT more obvious and visible than others, but that doesn't make our own emotions any less valid.

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ArthurP, I'm sorry for posting the dumb dating "advice". It's awesome that you are dating. I've not actually dated in years and I'm approaching Denninmi's situation. I've been seriously lonely though and definitely am going to start dating when I'm feeling up to it. Actually, you could probably give me advice... Internet dating - that's probably where I'm going to start. Hope you're not to offended.

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