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Don't know how to go on

(9 Posts)
motherofthreegirls Mon 01-Oct-12 18:48:58

Hi everyone, this is only the second time I've ever joined a discussion on Mumsnet. I have recently realised, through therapy, that I've suffered from depression for a long, long time - nearly all my life, in fact, without ever knowing it. I'm 46 now and I think it probably started when I was about 5 or so, and then was massively exacerbated by my parent's incredibly acrimonious divorce when I was 7, the ramifications of which lasted many, many years.
I've coped with it by always pretending that I'm absolutely fine, even when I feel hollow and desperate inside, and by keeping very busy. But I've always struggled with the things that I could see other people were fine with and wondered why. Now that I know that I have depression, and I'm having therapy and taking Sertraline 100mg a day, I think it's actually getting worse. It's almost as if, now I've stopped pretending that everything's OK, I haven't got any coping strategies left.
My husband really doesn't know how to help or how to respond at all. He's always relied on me to be the strong one, doing everything, sorting everything. Now that I'm really struggling to do this, it seems as if he just can't handle it. I think he wishes it would all go away and everything get back to normal.
The other problem is that I don't know if I love him anymore, or even if I ever did love him. I think I married him because I thought he was the best I could get and if I didn't stick it out with him, I'd never find anyone else. I knew my mum would be happy if I got married, and I've spent my whole life trying to get her attention, love and approval - my wedding day was probably the only day I ever got those things from her.
I've been having a - very!- long distance affair with my first boyfriend, who lives in Australia with his wife and two grown-up kids. But I think that is on the way out, which is making me feel sick with devastation. I feel that he's the only person I've ever loved and ever will love. I don't know what to do without him.
The worst thing about the depression is that I isolate myself so much. I find it impossible to talk to anyone, I cut myself off from everyone and just feel worse and worse. I've told a couple of friends about the depression, and they are sympathetic, but I don't think they really understand how serious it is and how bad I feel - suicidal some days, crying endlessly and finding it almost impossible to do the simplest task such as cook the dinner. I work from home so I spend days not speaking to another adult, obsessing about how much I love my lover and how impossible it is for us to ever be together. I know that I should just get over him and try to make things work with my husband for the kids' sake. But I don't love him, I don't fancy him, I've never enjoyed our sex life - he suffers from erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation - and I can't bear to sleep with him anymore. I'm desperately trying to go through the motions for the sake of the children, but I'm finding it harder and harder every day. And yet I know that I'm lucky as I have a house and we're not rich but we've got enough. I'm just so devastatingly lonely and unhappy, feel a total failure, don't enjoy anything, feel my whole life has been a disastrous waste, mourn all the terrible things that happened when I was a child and how no one has ever helped me with any of those things. I just don't know how much longer I can cope - and yet everyone I know thinks I'm fine and I'm sure they think I'm just being spoilt and melodramatic.
Sorry for the very long post.

sillymummy11 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:13:47

Hi motherofthreegirls sorry to hear that things are so difficult for you at the moment. How long have you been having therapy for?

1sassylassy Mon 01-Oct-12 22:21:36

I dont have no advice for you but do you have a friend that you could sit down with and say what you have said on here,they might help give you some perspective on the situation.Sorry cant be any help but feel for you.

amillionyears Mon 01-Oct-12 22:44:11

How long have you been on the Sertraline?

MadBusLady Tue 02-Oct-12 08:14:40

Being the strong "coper" is one of the classic ways of dealing with depression, I think, isn't it. Until suddenly you can't cope any more. I'm so sorry your husband doesn't know how to relate to the traits that are now bubbling to the surface. That must be hard for both of you.

And yes, friends never really understand if they haven't had it themselves. Even if they don't say so, they think you mean you're "just a bit down at the moment."

What kind of talking therapy are you having? Do you come out of each session feeling better/worse/clearer/more confused?

motherofthreegirls Tue 02-Oct-12 12:14:57

Thank you, everyone, for your messages.
I've been seeing the therapist for about a year and a half now. It's costing a fortune but I can't even think about giving it up yet.
I've been on the Sertraline for about 4 or 5 months.
I find that friends just don't really get it. I've only told a couple, and they are sympathetic, but everyone's dealing with their own problems, aren't they? And we all still have young kids and jobs etc etc so the time to spend with friends is very, very limited. I just don't think anyone understands that when depression truly strikes, isolation is the worst part of it. The worse I feel, the more I take it all inside and find it impossible to reach out for help.
One of the main problems is my marriage. I don't know whether being married to my husband makes it all better or worse. A bit of both, I suppose. He doesn't even begin to meet my needs emotionally, or sexually come to that - but then I think that no one ever could, so what does it matter who I live with? No one can give me the love and security I so desperately needed as a child and that just wasn't on offer. But lacking any support, I'm finding it so hard to give my kids what they need... three kids put relentless demands on you and i'm struggling to meet them all. I pick them up when they fall, literally and metaphorically, and every time I do it, I feel how much I've lacked ever having anyone to pick me up when I fall. All the coping strategies I've developed over all the years seem suddenly to have collapsed and I don't know where to go now.
Thanks so much for all your kind words, because as I'm sure you know, it really does make a difference.

isthiswhatitfeelslike Tue 02-Oct-12 14:35:14

Motherof3, I know exactly how you feel. I'm single and dealing with a crisis and my baby is currently in foster care because my depression got so bad I preemptively asked for him to go somewhere he could have his needs met short-term. I have 1 friend I can talk to about all this but she lives far away and is single, unattached, very wrapped up in trying to find the man of her dreams.

I have very few friends locally and the isolation and loneliness are the absolute hardest parts of all this (obviously being away from DS is the worst...). I don't know how to make these friends when I'm feeling this way, I can't laugh and joke and feel very socially anxious about even attending a function with people I don't know.

I don't have a MH appt til next week so until then I'm trudging along and trying to get through each day, which I'm surprised I've managed to do up til now. I have an innate distrust of medication and I know the therapist will want to put me on AD's so I have mixed emotions over that as well.

I'm here if you ever want to talk, I promise you are not the only one. sad big hugs to you

motherofthreegirls Wed 03-Oct-12 08:19:23

Hi, thank you for your message. You must be very brave to have made such a decision for your baby and I can hardly imagine how hard it must be for you.
I'm so sorry. Same goes. You can tell me if it helps.
The loneliness and isolation are desperate, and impossible for those who don't suffer from depression to understand. I tried to explain to a friend that it can take me three days to work myself round to even picking up the phone to make a dentist's appointment. She just didn't understand.
I don't know what the answer is. People say that it will pass - but I feel that I have been in this current one for over 5 years, so I'm not sure when!
Big hugs to you, too.

lovepink Wed 03-Oct-12 15:49:36

hi, i suffer from depression after having my little one but took me 6 months to c a doctor..... i felt like things were getting better for a while but now all down hill and i can relate to alot of things u say motherofthreegirls. it would be nice to know th day wen u will wake up and everything will be normal!! i dont have much advice for u but just to tell u ur never alone, ur a mum and will always be needed and loved by ur children :D x

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