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So much work to do on my life

(80 Posts)
icecreamwithflake Tue 12-Apr-16 16:29:04

I don't have a clue where to start.

I'm starting completely from the bottom if you like with (almost) nothing.

So - you're me. Your career is over and you don't know what to do next; your health (physical and mental) is poor, you're physically unattractive so no hope of a marriage giving you an opt-out clause and you've no one to support you (Apart from mumsnet.)

Where would you start?

And what might you do?

Dontyouopenthattrapdoor Tue 12-Apr-16 16:35:06

I'd write a list of stuff that has, at some point, made me happy or brought me peace. Big or small. And I'd do one of them every day.

I'd look for a simple job that allowed me to pay my bills without asking too much of me while I healed from what has been.

I'd take up two hobbies, one physical and one not. I'd do them every week without fail, to get me out of the house and anchor me to the world a bit.

I'd just keep getting up and getting on for six months without really pausing for much reflection, I'd just let time pass and wash over me for a bit. Then after six months I'd see what was working and what wasn't, and take it from there.

8FencingWire Tue 12-Apr-16 16:36:00

I'd start by showing myself the respect I deserve. Stuff like 'I'm not attractive enough to find a husband' doesn't sit well smile

Start with small steps. Exercise, even if it is walking a couple of miles. Clears the mind.
Clear the house, clear the mind, again.
Be kind to yourself and look after yourself as if you were looking after a dear friend.


Bluecarrot Tue 12-Apr-16 16:38:31

Probably look at some self help books re esteem to begin with! Are you seeing your GP for any medical intervention required?

Seeking a job that pays the bills, and that will keep your cv from any big blank spaces will help for both short and long term benefits. (Assuming your health isn't stopping you)
Maybe have a think about hobbies you enjoy, especially ones that can be social, and make an effort to do something once a week?

HanYOLO Tue 12-Apr-16 16:46:01

I'd start with making sure I could keep body and soul together. A job, not worrying too much about what it is so long as bills are paid and it doesn't cost too much emotionally. Exercise. Connections with friends and family. Eating well and getting sleep.

I think I may have seen another thread started by you OP. Be kind to yourself. Take time to regroup.

icecreamwithflake Tue 12-Apr-16 16:48:43

Thank you. I can't possibly exercise, right now. I don't have friends or family. Depression is marring sleep. So some of these just aren't possible; I wish they were.

whois Tue 12-Apr-16 16:57:08

I can't possibly exercise, right now.

How bad is your physical health? Can you go for a short and slow walk outside? If not up to 'exercise' I would probably try and get out in the fresh air as much as is feasibly possible (every day if not working?) for something like an hour. Even if 50 mins of that is sitting on a bench.

i would concentrate on getting my flat or room minimalistic and clutter free and like a sanctuary - a tidy home is much less stressful.

I would try and find a job, any job really but defo no anything like customer services or care work. Something that wasn't emotionally taxing.

If work wasn't possible I would try to get a structure of groups or vol work that I attended on a regular basis.

I would try and 'fake it' till I made it in terms of taking positive steps and working at my routine even when I didn't feel like it.

Piemernator Tue 12-Apr-16 16:57:28

I think I would look in to trying to get some counselling and if the waiting list was too long and I couldn't afford private I would ring up The Samaritans because if you haven't told anyone at all verbally it must be an absolutely dreadful burden.

I would set myself tiny manageable goals, forget real exercise, being able to walk to the end of the road and back for 5 minutes will do you currently and try to find one tree or bird or something and see some beauty in it.

shovetheholly Tue 12-Apr-16 16:58:37

I would start by remembering that I deserve kindness, as a right not a privilege and from myself as well as from others.

Then I would think about change not in terms of big, drastic, destabilising, overwhelmingly huge decisions to 'fix' everything, but about doing tiny incremental things, and building them into your daily routine. First of all, things that make you feel good (this is not the same as things you enjoy, but certainly includes some things that you enjoy).

Part of those changes needs to be seeking as much help as you can access - from health professionals and others - for your mental and physical health. This may require a bit of sustained campaigning, but we are all behind you.

Everybody is good at something. Often the difference between succeeding and failing at something is self-belief, which translates into the courage to give something a go instead of giving up before you try. Self-belief is one of the hardest commodities to rebuild once you lose it, but it CAN be done. It takes patience. One of the craziest ideas I ever heard was from someone who told me to put a 'click' counter on my phone, and give myself a 'click' every time I did something well, however minor (apparently, those who fail are people who are more severely self-critical who don't give themselves credit, ever, for anything they do). It is actually surprisingly motivating! Though it will feel strange if you're not used to giving yourself credit. It can actually replace other, less healthy ways of comforting yourself (like overeating).

I am not diminishing in the slightest where you are, or how hard things are for you right now. I'm telling you that there are things you are good at and there are new directions that are open to you, however bleak it feels right now. flowers

RudeElf Tue 12-Apr-16 17:08:57

Ooh i feel in the same boat OP.

What i've decided is to work on the vey basics (this might seem pathetic to some but i really struggle with things other people dont even think about)

Number 1 on my list and i think the most important is sleep. I dont sleep. I have been a sleep avoider all my life but much worse in the last 6/7 years. It affects everything. So i am trying to develop a normal evening routine that gets me to sleep at a decent hour so i feel human the next day. Not doing well so far but better than i was.

Number 2: work
I was out of work and very depressed, house a shambles, no motivation to do anything. I had it in my head that whatever job i took on had to be a money maker (to solve all my problems of course! grin) and so was stuck from the start, because you need experience/qualifications/a commute/24 hour free childcare to have an awesome job like that. On a whim i applied for a 12hour retail post as i was shopping in my own town one day. Thinking it will do until the better thing comes along. I got the job and actually i am very happy. They pay is minimum wage and i still get benefits To top me up but it has provided me with routine, a few new friends, bit of a social life, pride in my appearance again, self belief, motivation.

3: exercise.
Right now for me that means taking a wee walk when its dry and i have time. I would love to do something more routinely and effective but no childcare, little money, embarrassed to join a class etc so im not able to yet. A wee walk makes me feel better than doing nothing. (Could you try a gentle yoga video at home?)

4. Do what i feel like doing.
For too long ive done nothing. I kept reading threads on here where people said "get a hobby" "what do you enjoy". Truth be told i had no idea what i enjoyed. I watched soaps, facebooked and MNetted. That was it. Then someone suggested doing a free online course. So i had a look, found some that interested me so i kept going, then I found (by chance) on pinterest some lovely vintage glassware and thought i'd love to have a collection. Forgot about it for months then found it again and decided to treat myself to a bit, then a bit more and now i have a few pieces. Voila! I have two hobbies! grin oh and tom hardy. He's another hobby. I collect all his movies and tv shows on dvd and photos on pinterest. I'm also rebuilding my childhood/teen music collection as well as other music from different eras that i enjoy. There are probably other things i do to pass the time that count as hobbies but i cant recall them.

Mightnt be any use to you but i certainly feel generally better about life than i did a year ago. Hope you can take something from your thread and feel a wee but better about even one aspect of your life smile its shit, i felt like i wasnt living for a long time. I really hope you can start to feel better soon.

icecreamwithflake Tue 12-Apr-16 17:09:35

I don't think you are diminishing at all smile am grateful.

However I've got a 'pays the bills' job, I have to otherwise I would starve!

I can walk to end of the street and stuff. But after that? What am i going to do?

RudeElf Tue 12-Apr-16 17:15:40

What do you want to do? Do you want to exercise more than that? Can you manage more?

HanYOLO Tue 12-Apr-16 17:17:16

Great - so you have the job. Step one is already done.

Exercise can be a walk, a stroll - but do it every day. A bit of gentle yoga from an online class (does wonders for your head, and great to help you to be kinder to yourself). In fact even just some breathing exercises to start with.

Rest, if you can't sleep. Don't whatever you do worry about the sleep or lack of it. Try the breathing and yoga when you can't - to use up the time, not to try to drop off.

Is there anything you enjoy doing - creatively, sportingly, reading group, gardening, classes, singing, or anything you'd like to try?

BrandNewAndImproved Tue 12-Apr-16 17:18:36

Agree about getting out.

Also get up early everyday and open your curtains and have a cup of tea/coffee/whatever and sit down in the light.

What's your house like? Can you slowly make your bedroom into your sanctuary if not your whole house. I love the feeling of coming home after work.

Set a few achievable goals, like sign up to take rescue dogs for walks so your not just walking by yourself. I don't really like the advice of just go for a walk. If never go for a walk by myself I'd be bored, but I love taking the dc for a walk when there's a coffee and a cake at the end of it or I take my nans dog for a walk.

RudeElf Tue 12-Apr-16 17:21:33

Oh yes i would be bored stupid walking by myself. Luckily i have a dog whose energy levels perfectly match mine (he's lazy too!) grin we dander at a leisurely pace and he has the decency to look tired when i feel ready to go home.

Amammi Tue 12-Apr-16 17:22:02

Cook something you never made before at least once a week. Read - only thing I could do when my back went - the MN Bookclub will have good suggestions. Pick a time everyday to listen to some music that brings back happy memories. YouTube has a huge selection I'm into Nina Simone right now

StrapOnDodo Tue 12-Apr-16 17:27:35


What a lovely post-sounds like you have made great progress in getting sorted.

Birdsgottafly Tue 12-Apr-16 17:31:34

Your not in the right place to look for paid work, yet, so I wouldn't worry about that issue.

I took a break from my Career, downgraded and now I've been ill since November and have CF, put on three stone, I'm in a similar position.

I'm lucky that my condition (CF) has meant that I can access MH services, my appointment is next week.

I'm feeling physically better, so I've just ordered a home delivery that includes ingredients, rather than ready made/junk food.

My aim is to put a meal in my slow cooker, chick pea/lentil curry etc, with spinach etc added and fruit when I feel like something sweet.

Housework is enough for my excercise, I've been getting out for a 30-60 minute walk, every couple of days.

My aim is to build up, that's the essential bit, to have aims.

I'm reading and am on the 'joy of tiding' KonMari, FB group. This is helping me to sort my house out and understand that why my behaviour is linked to my emotional state.

I've also been looking at non physical voluntary work and have applied to read to residents in Care homes. I aim to build up my voluntary work, so that I can gage when I'm fit for work, again.

I second, being kind to yourself.

icecreamwithflake Tue 12-Apr-16 17:32:47

It's all very well being kind to myself but ultimately being kind to myself is going to lead to staying in a small flat and not much else.

I don't know, I guess I wanted more from my life.

Birdsgottafly Tue 12-Apr-16 17:33:51

X post, I thought things were worse for you than they are.

icecreamwithflake Tue 12-Apr-16 17:34:42

Birds if I didn't look for paid work I wouldn't be able to eat.

Birdsgottafly Tue 12-Apr-16 17:51:04

""Birds if I didn't look for paid work I wouldn't be able to eat.""

There's many people, myself, at present included, who haven't got the option of taking up work, because they just couldn't manage it.

So your not starting completely at the bottom. Perhaps look for positives.

BrandNewAndImproved Tue 12-Apr-16 18:03:07

I've also got a tiny flat and I don't even have a bedroom. I bought a bookcase from ikea the other day and put it together by myself. Seriously I was so bloody proud of myself and everytime I look at the bookcase I smile now.

Before I gave my bedroom to dd I used to change my sheets, have a bath, shave my legs and get into bed really early to read a book or watch TV. It was a treat to myself that didn't cost anything. Start treating yourself with little things like a bunch of flowers or whatever it is that you like. The big things can work themselves out once you're more happier in yourself.

icecreamwithflake Tue 12-Apr-16 18:33:02

I'm just very worried they aren't going to work out.

RudeElf Tue 12-Apr-16 18:39:44

What are the big things you are worried about not working out?

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