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Where the hell do I go now?(18 Posts)
I'm 40, 41 this year.
I'm currently single, no kids, came out of a serious long-term relationship a year or so ago. All very amicable, we're still great mates etc. etc.
I am depressed. I'm on anti depressants (40 mg citalopram). I've been on and off ADs since my early 20s, when I was diagnosed with clinical depression. (History of an aunt and cousin who were both diagnosed with depression and committed suicide, although I can barely remember them).
The problem is that I don't know what I'm doing! I'm pretty sure I don't want kids. I have an awful and painful history with my older sister - who abused and bullied me all my life, and continued to do so until I finally cut contact with her early this year.
More and more I'm content to mooch around. When I take the dog out each day - anyone who meets me would never believe the brain mush I'm currently in. I'm happy, chatty, full of cheer...always remember who's doing what, how's this that and the other lol
But I'll never progress to make more important friends. I have friends though - but they don't live where I live, and these were friendships I forged years ago
when I knew how
Both last weekend and this weekend I have used work as an excuse to not do something social - (invite from local friends (not v close but lovely) to a party and this weekend a night out with 2 people I'm quite friendly with)
what the hell is wrong with me? I'm on a pretty high (for me) AD dose so I'm not sure where I can go from here. I've had various different counselling over the years but nothing has really got to the crux of the problem.
I guess I'm just lost My dad (in a spirit of kindness) told me to 'live a little' when I last saw him and I tactfully hid myself away and had a cry.
Thing is I'm quite happy until someone (like my dad) says something (like the above) and then I feel mortified - like I'm the subject of sympathetic and pitying talk, and the one thing I can't bear is being thought of the subject of gossip.
I am social in my own
strange way but on my terms. I don't like people to turn up unannounced - I loathe unexpected phone calls - but I like nothing better than to catch up with a friend on a weekend if we've scheduled a meet-up.
I'm also gainfully (self-) employed and make a good living in a job I had to go back and do university study and extra qualifications to do.
I'm not really sure what I'm asking? What am I doing wrong?
I look in the mirror and see an old person - and think of all the things my peers and friends have at the same point in life - and wonder what the hell will I do?
I also wonder if I'll ever meet someone who will consider me truly as a partner? Would you consider someone of my age who has never had kids (obviously I wouldn't spill out the guts of this post to a potential new boyfriend!)
I think I'm having a mid-life crisis
I've had some wine tonight and I'm going to be working tomorrow so if I can take the shame, I will check back after that.
Thank you for reading (whatever the fuck this rambling was)
You sound wonderful. Don't go changing to try and please people.
An considere approach tomorrow, or from someone else!
I do get what you are saying, but you have put yourself down too much, so stop. You are not strange or weird or whatever.....be the fullest version of who you actually are and never apologise.
Oooh, now I was just going to log off but refreshed as I didn't think anyone would have replied, and you have, and I'm now crying
something2say thank you xxxx
I'm just a bit lost!
will definitely come back tomorrow but now my bed is calling.
good night and thanks again x
Not having kids is not a problem for you.
You've contact with your sister which sounds like was the absoloutely right thing to do.
You're happy to mooch around - there is nothing wrong with that!
Friendships...so you do have some long term friendships. You're sociable with people around you. You are well liked - you've been invited out by friends but chosen not to go. Maybe parties/nights out are not your thing? Would meeting up for afternoon coffees be more your thing and how would you feel about instigating that? Personally, if going out, I'd much rather go to the theatre/cinema/museum than stand in a crowded party not being able to hear what anyone else is saying.
Honestly, I used to be a right old raver (same age as you) and now I'm quite happy to sit in front of a nice film with a cup of tea! I do feel like I don't make enough effort to be do social stuff sometimes and catch up with friends, I've also come to hate speaking on the phone (I used to spend hours on the phone) but the truth is I just like having me time, using my spare time to unwind, relax and be on my own. What's wrong with that? And I also HATE unannounced guests. Similarly, I used to live in a busy house with friends in and out as they pleased, but just not up for that now.
I do have a ds and I'm single, but not planning to get into any relationships until ds is much older to be honest. I think you have a definite advantage not having kids as you don't have that whole relationship between your partner and kids to worry about. There are also a lot of blokes out there who either don't want kids or don't want any more. Again, I don't think there is a problem here.
To be honest, your life sounds fine to me. You haven't actually said you're unhappy - are you?
I meant, you've stopped contact with your sister.
Not sure if it came across, but was trying to say about the whole friendships thing, it all sounds good from here.
But I'll never progress to make more important friends...Well, like you, I've got a few good old/close friends and don't need much more than that. Quite happy to treat everyone else I meet as casual friends.
I think you just need to feel confident that there is nothing wrong with the life you lead, the choices you make, the direction you are taking. Embrace your life because it sounds great!
Parents and their expectations of how one should live. <head-desk> Even when they're being nice they're a bloody menace.
Too tired to write much just now but will be back tomorrow. But basically I think being at this stage is about a balance between (A) recognising that actually parts of your life are just genuinely fine thank you, and that a whole range of things really are possible (including meeting a partner) in the future and (B) recognising that at the same time, there might be stuff you need to mourn, stuff that isn't open to you, or never was, and that's a shame. B doesn't negate A, if you see what I mean. I hope that makes some sort of sense.
You sound utterly fab. Don't change !
I'm 38 and becoming the sort of woman that -
Still dances at parties and prefers that to making small talk.
I intend to move to the country and have a garden and a part time job.
I am a therapist, card reading hippy sort and very happy with that.
My hair looks like its been dragged thro a hedge backwards, very rock and roll, and I paint my nails and black my eyes.
Happy with that.
Don't like talking on the phone, but show me a client in distress and she can come right in.
Can stay up all night till dawn at a party but equally spend the entire weekend alone and feel refreshed for having done so.
My adding pile is immense.
My guitar playing needs work.
I love sex and sensuality.
Most of mt friends are older women now, love young people but love maturity more. Saggy bellies, greying hair, wisdom, cackling crones, dog walkers, free thinkers and those who speak from the heart and where you know whee you are with them.
Who ever you are op, be it fully.
You don't have to conform to anyone's version of you, or life.
That said, it maybe struck me that you might like someone or several someone's a bit closer? I think we all need intimacy of some sort.
Why don't you pay for a couple of sessions with a therapist to pull on this string a little and see what comes out for you? Maybe there is a half formed thought in there, which will open up a fresh pathway of happiness?
Much love anyway,
And if I meet you dig walking, tell me your brain is mush today, as mine might well be to, and we can cheers each other and maybe arrange to get pissed on a week night,
Got the iPad typos!!!
Reading pile.....dog walking....
I'm like that and am married with 2 teens. In my yoof the thought of a weekend at home was anathema. Now I can't think of anything I would rather do than chill at home. I don't really drink so drunk people irritate the hell out of me.
Occasionally ( every fortnight or so) I will make the effort to entertain or be entertained, and it's fine but would much prefer to be pottering around the house with an audio book plugged in.
I put it down to having to be very involved with work, parents and DC, so when I have a day with nothing planned I guard it jealously
You sound perfectly wonderful to me! Don't go changing anything - unless it's being more accepting of that.
I often want to be totally alone, make excuses not to go out, not to visit people, not to make phone calls, not to answer the phone (hmm, friends don't know about that one, but where did the rule come from that a ringing phone MUST be answered?) and then can also, at other times go out and be the life and soul of the party, or sit quietly at the side chatting. I know some people find it strange, but who cares!
You're a normal, complex individual and that is only strange or a problem if you expect to be a sunny, happy 2D image of a real person.
I have anxiety issues like you and take sertraline which really helps.
I think some counselling or CBT would help you majorly if you can get it.
Go to the doctors and ask, seriously. If you can afford it, you can pay for a quick service that is of good quality. I would do that if I had the money because it's unbelievably useful.
In fact, I am also considering hypnotherapy because the cruel comments my mother often passes dig deep and stick in my mind.
Maybe go to gym classes like aqua zumba to meet new people and have fun... you'll be fine.
The others are right, NEVER change yourself. xxx
Right, to recap in a slightly clearer version:
I have two conflicting thoughts reading your OP. Well, actually one major thought which is "Oh god, this is me." I am a few years behind you and not currently single, but I have a lot of the same characteristics and I may well end up in the same place.
So part of me is with everybody else here cheering you on. They're absolutely right, there is nothing wrong with being sociable on your own terms and setting up your life the way YOU want it, rather than conforming to other people's idea of what a happy life looks like. There have been several great introvert threads on MN, here is one of them. The problem most introverts have, as I never tire of reminding people when drunk, is NOT that they naturally have low self-esteem. The problem they have is that everyone keeps TELLING them they must have low self-esteem, or they wouldn't act in the "unnatural" way they do, obviously!. And if enough people tell you or imply to you that your natural way of living is abnormal and indicative of you having a problem, pretty soon it WILL grind your self-esteem down.
On the other hand, with the best will in the world, you started out by telling us you are depressed. Like me, you've known depression on and off for years, so I am guessing you know perfectly well the difference between "depressed" and "just needing a confidence boost that my way of life is right for me". So we're going to need to do better than just trying to gee you up.
So the two things you seem to need to follow up are the meeting a partner idea, and your reaction to the thing your dad said.
None of us can say what will happen in the future of strangers on the internet, but from my perspective right now, there is no reason at all why you shouldn't at some point in the future meet a partner. I certainly don't think having no kids is a bar - usually the worry is the other way round, isn't it, with people being nervous a new partner won't want to "take kids on"? Do you want to take active steps towards meeting someone or not? Online dating, real life blind dating, widening your activities to meet more people? If not, why not?
It's perfectly reasonable to decide these things are just unappealing, but if so, decide to resolve whatever grief this entails. It's perfectly ok to look at your life choices and say "On balance, this is best for me, but it does mean I lose that, and that is sad." It doesn't negate the fact that your choices are good ones. I think this applies to the children thing as well, by the way, though you sound pretty certain about that.
On what your dad said, it's a question I guess of picking apart whether he is genuinely hitting a nerve, or whether he's just doing the "telling you you must have a problem" thing I described above. He may also, as a parent, be opening up a whole seam of guilt/anxiety/embarrassment you feel that you're not living according to parental expectations. These can be very mild, by the way, I don't mean he/they necessarily have very strict expectations of your course through life. But IME people tend to assume that what's best for them is best for other people too, and your dad has married and had a family, therefore that's the logical pattern for you to follow as far as he's concerned. There also may be a lot of history there which would make your reaction logical - where was he when your sister was subjecting you to abuse?
I'll stop banging on now, hope you find some helpful things in this thread.
Wow, you are all so kind to reply to my very maudlin posting last night! Thank you so much
Madbuslady something you wrote in particular really struck a chord with me:
"The problem most introverts have, as I never tire of reminding people when drunk, is NOT that they naturally have low self-esteem. The problem they have is that everyone keeps TELLING them they must have low self-esteem, or they wouldn't act in the "unnatural" way they do, obviously!. And if enough people tell you or imply to you that your natural way of living is abnormal and indicative of you having a problem, pretty soon it WILL grind your self-esteem down."
I spend a lot of time when I would be happily content, wondering if I am weird as other people would be filling their time socially and then worrying I'm not normal to be the way I am. It makes me feel rather ashamed. That would fuel a sense of low self esteem/feeling not normal wouldn't it?
I'm 99% sure I am an introvert, thanks so much for the thread link, I know I read one or a similar one not so long ago.
I wonder if the depression is a bit of a red herring? I know I feel so much better now I'm back on ADs, but it hasn't changed how I feel about my choices of what I do really (which again reinforces the negative thoughts - what's wrong with me, even pills won't change it? lol).
My dear dad, I know it was meant in kindness. He knows I went back on ADs and I think it's his way of 'jollying' me back to life again, but such a silly flippant comment hurt like mad!
I have sort of met someone(!) online (we've met up a few times) who is keen to take things further, but I'm not sure at the moment. And last week I started volunteering with a local charity - I'm ashamed to say not because I want be charitable, but because I want to be able to tell people there is a social side to my week aside from the dog walking! Self-centered, moi? (any socialising tends to take place at the weekend when, if planned, I may meet up with old friends).
I don't know why I don't want to forge on and make real friendships with the other people local to me, I know they are interested as they invite me to do things. I think maybe I'm scared they will find me wanting. Whereas my old friends know me warts and all and I don't have to feel like I have to try to be me!
Lawks, I'm so sorry for the huge post!
I'm really really going to try and be a bit kinder and accepting of myself.
Perhaps if I'm still struggling to do that I should go back to my GP and talk about things. She's a fantastic person and she would listen and help if she can.
I'm really touched that you guys posted back to me. Really, thanks so much
OP, I really identified with a lot of your post.
I, too, am prescribed AD's. I believe I have a predisposition to depression. My current prescription is in relation to PND, however, I've also experienced periods of depression throughout my 20's.
The part of your post that really resonated with me, was when you said you put off social invites, that you're social, but on your terms. That unexpected calls or callers isn't something you like to happen and that you're happier when you have previously made plans and you know what's ahead.
I'm exactly the same and I believe this is down to a few things; the depression (stating the obvious) being used to and enjoying your own company, some kind of irrational fear and also because spontaneous socialising is something I'm no longer in 'the habit' of doing.
Does my theory strike a chord with you, I'm wondering?
I think the only way I'll ever get over it is to keep pushing myself to say 'yes'. I always enjoy whatever activity I take part in, which kinda makes me angry with myself that I just don't feel comfortable being spontaneous IYSWIM?
I'm sure I'm rambling and making no sense whatsoever but I just wanted to hold my hand out to you and let you know, you're not alone.
As for love. I think, actually, you sound like a great prospective partner. No DC means no PITA ex for a new DP to worry about. You are young, you are independent, you have a career and you love dogs...what's not to be attracted to?
Oh my word, I've just found out I'm an introvert and quite honestly, the notion had never occurred to me before going back and reading the full thread.
It all makes sense now!
Thanks for starting this post OP!
I think we are all 'weird' in our own way. And the older I get, the more self-doubt I feel. When I was young, I was too busy enjoying myself to care what others thought.
As for worrying about never having had children, I think that is an advantage in being able to meet a new partner. You have more time and energy to spend on it all for a start.
Unapologetic, same for me too. More self-doubt than when I was younger. I thought we were supposed to become more confident with our age and wisdom? ;)
Itallis it's great to read you've found the thread helpful. The introvert/extrovert thing is fascinating isn't it? Those threads were so enlightening to me. It led me to do some more reading on the web about it. And I'm absolutely sure I'm an introvert, and everything Madbuslady said made perfect sense.
I feel much better today after getting all that off my chest, so thank you thank you again
I am a definite work in progress but I am really going to start working on accepting who I am, and on not feeling apologetic and ashamed of who I am. Perhaps then I can unravel which parts are 'just me' and happy with, and which I'm maybe not so happy with and can work on.
(p.s. I am really happy to be helping a charity (food banks), I'm worried what I wrote before made me sound like a cow! I just meant that a wish to help wasn't the main driving force that led me to volunteer, but obviously a lovely byproduct)
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