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Self esteem & life's purpose (sorry, long)

(10 Posts)
MillyMollyMandy78 Sat 30-Mar-13 15:02:57

Hi all, I posted a couple of weeks ago, though was much more upset then. I get bouts of depression and things have improved since going to the doctors a couple of weeks ago & was given meds to help.
For those of you that aren't familiar, i am in my mid 30s, with no children - we have 2 dogs instead lol! My husband is an incredibly successful and intelligent man. He is a GP, and has also recently got a part-time role as an assessor in the NHS.
I, on the other hand only work 3 hours a day due to circumstance, in a job which i enjoy but is basically unskilled. I haven't really got any potential and have achieved little in my life. I don't really know what I DO want, but feel like I want to do something!
I don't believe that work is the be all of life, but i do feel as though i want to do something that 'matters'. I feel such a failure when lined up next to my husbands successes. What would you do t make yourself feel like you contributed something to the world?
My wages don't make any difference really, and my husband is lovely and always says he is proud of me regardless. However, i can't shake off the feeling that i should be 'doing/ achieving something'. I hope this makes some sense to you - I'm struggling to put the feeling into words. I mean, working part time and raising kids has worth, but working part time and bumming around for the rest? I just feel like i'm searching for a purpose/ role, but don't even know what that role is...

Unfortunatelyanxious Sat 30-Mar-13 17:53:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MillyMollyMandy78 Sat 30-Mar-13 19:39:47

Yes I remember you posted on my previous thread, and I remember that you had similar issues, including a troubled childhood. Thank you for posting again - it feels too shameful to admit to anyone in real life that at times I am jealous of my husband and best friend!
Sorry to hear about your the promotion you turned down, I do agree with you when you say we need to be well for ourselves and our husbands - but thinking and feeling are two different things! Guess there is no easy answer. Though I tend to shoot too high for things then fail, so I decided today that i should instead keep ings simple for a while... Focus on getting things together and being as well as i can manage. Take care

Bproud Sat 30-Mar-13 19:58:47

I am sure your DH appreciates and values your contribution to your partnership.
You could try maknig some small steps to improve your own self worth though. This does not have to be through employment. You could try a new hobby, a fitness class or voluntary work. Each time you make some acheivement, be it learning a dance step, making a beautiful flower bed or helping someone with volunteer work it makes you feel a little more 'worthy'. I know it is hard, because i have had to do the same myself, but I pushed myself, tried a few different things out and now find that what I do outside of my working life gives me more pleasure and self worth than my quite responsible and well paid job.

Fatherfluffybottom Sat 30-Mar-13 20:32:13

Hi Milly smile Your post absolutely chimed with my experience. Nice to find someone who will understand. My friends all seem to have high powered, high achieving jobs as does my DH.

I'm a SAHM with 2DCs and I haven't worked for 16 years blush I was really bright at school but haven't done anything with my qualifications. I was ill with migraines when I got married, then wanted to start a family so never went back to work. I had PND after DC2 which was just awful, the worst time.

I went for a job interview last week for a job in a school. In theory I met the criteria but from the reactions of the interviewers I just don't say the right things having been out of work for so long. It feels like there's a secret language that I should be able to speak. Will run it all past a high powered friend when I've stopped cringing.

I really want to contribute to society but I feel I've just left it too late and no one will take me seriously now. I'm a bit in awe of you, you've got a job! Believe me, that is no small achievement!

I think I'm going to have to content myself with being the best mum I can be, (which I find hard going) and sorting out the mess which is our house. It all went to pot when I was depressed. Everything just stopped, the piles of stuff all date from then, so quite depressing going through it all. Life just stopped sad

Anyway, getting off the subject. I didn't get the job, no surprise there. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise though. Don't know if I would cope with it all (and it was part time) and I need to be well for my family. I'm in a good patch at the moment but I don't know if that will continue.

I used to be so so sad about this great career I wasn't going to have. I could cry buckets thinking about it. I used to want to go into drug development. I could have done something so useful. But this is the hand life dealt me and the result of decisions taken along the way, which weren't the right ones really. But would I have met DH, had the friends I've got, maybe I would have moved away and not been with my family so much. Work isn't the only way we can contribute to the world, but it is the one that seems to be pushed and emphasized more than any other. But how much of that is just on economic grounds, everyone should be an economic unit.

I've had a lot of counselling and I don't feel quite so distraught about it, but there will always be a sadness there. So, I know how you feel. Have you had counselling or would you consider it? It helps just to blurt it all to someone, all the grief and frustration... Take care, my dear x

ColouringInQueen Sat 30-Mar-13 22:49:19

Hi Milly, I too feel very similar. My DH is very dynamic and successful which is the opposite of me at the moment - and that's tough. I've started to learn to paint - always really enjoyed art at school but no opportunity to get stuck in til now. I'm also thinking about doing some voluntary work when I'm feeling better to get a bit more of that sense of purpose and also to maybe prepare the ground for a part time job.

One book my DH found helpful is called "What colour's your parachute" and the first few chapters are all about helping you identify your interests and skills - might be worth a read to help you identify some possible new hobbies/interests? Or if you have a bigger budget some counselling might help you work out what you'd like to do in the future?

Wishing you the best of luck.

whethergirl Sat 30-Mar-13 23:17:12

I am mindful of the fact that you have recently had episodes of depression and I would always let that be a priority. You sound like you are in a good relationship, and you are happy in your job - in some ways, I would say don't fix it if it isn't broke iyswim. If you feel happy, then be happy about that!

However, there is no harm into adding something to your life that if it enhances it. I would look into volunteering...get involved with something you think you could be passionate about, it may feel like your life had some purpose? Not that it doesn't now...AT ALL...I meant to have something as a bonus, something you can get your teeth into - which would also be excellent for your MH as well, it is often recommended that getting into something that requires responsibility and where you are needed, can be a positive for mental health.

I too have suffered from depression and it is under control with meds. After years in dead end jobs, I was then unemployed for quite a while when I became a single mum. Fast forward and ds is 8 and i am studying for a degree in a field that I am passionate about. Studying really gives me a sense of purpose, pride, oomph, that I can contribute something, etc. However, for some years I felt like you did, feeling like I needed to do something but wasn't sure what, and it took some time to figure out what I wanted to do. So perhaps, you just haven't found what it is you need yet.

However, my main priority is always my mental health and so I'll always look after myself and make sure I'm not getting too stressed with studying etc.

In short, as you've just recovered from a bout of depression, be easy with yourself, make sure your well being is your priority, and start browsing around the internet at things that interest you. Something will come up!

starfield Sun 31-Mar-13 00:30:54

Just seconding the idea of charity work. You sound very sensitive (in a lovely way) and I realise you may not wish to tackle a stressful situation just yet. When I was kicking my heels (no real job prospects but couldn't move because DH had a great job) I started a memory recording project with retired people. I liked being able to dip in and out, going at my own pace with a wee dictaphone. People love talking and its sad when nobody takes time to listen.

whethergirl Mon 01-Apr-13 01:08:09

That sounds like an amazing project starfield. Was that with a charity? I did come across a charity a few months ago that did similar kind of work.

Salbertina Wed 03-Apr-13 11:19:34

Wise words i heard recently "the world doesn't have any more room for successful people, it does have more room for kind ones..."

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