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I feel I am vanishing

(17 Posts)
honeyandlemon Sun 30-Sep-12 19:42:46

I haven't posted for a long time. I have teenage and grown up children, and am in a relationship of 4 years following divorce 10 years ago. My partner is kind in many ways but I am very very unhappy. I have tried to carry on day to day for many reasons. My ex husband and I are on good terms although financially he has always been unreliable. I have tried to suppress my feelings of sadness for some time - around 2 years, but am now in a position where this is increasingly difficult. Today was typical. I wake up, cry, try not to cry, go out to do some domestic chore, cry ,come home, manage to keep busy and succeed until early evening, when I cry again. I have never been one for tears, certainly not with other people around and I am finding it exhausting. I may be depressed but I actually do not think that I am. I am fearful of the future, and I don't like how we are living. This is not economic, as i work full time and earn a good salary. But there is no joy in my life. My question is this - do I struggle on until my youngest has left home, or do I leave? Logically I think the second but I simply don't have the energy to even think about it, let alone do it. I am aware that this post comes across as very self-pitying, but that is exactly the problem! I am a strong person but stuck in a very negative place and I do not like the person I see in the mirror any more. I would welcome all thoughts please as I do not wish to fail my children or my partner and I feel that at the moment I am failing al of them. Thank you for your thoughts. X

dequoisagitil Sun 30-Sep-12 19:51:36

I'm so sorry you're feeling so low. Try seeing your GP to confirm/disprove depression and consider doing some counselling to talk out where you are and what you want.

CailinDana Sun 30-Sep-12 19:56:35

It sounds very much like depression to me. Depression isn't a failing, it's an illness, just like the flu or cancer. Carrying on and trying to ignore it will only make you feel worse. You need to see your GP and perhaps confide in someone if you can. You need to rest for a time, just give yourself a break and let yourself heal a little (with the help of antidepressants if that's appropriate) and then start to work towards getting healthy again by getting out and doing exercise.

I've been there, it's absolutely horrible and I really feel for you. But it is possible to get better and to feel great again, I promise. It takes time but you will get there.

honeyandlemon Sun 30-Sep-12 20:43:14

Thank you. I think both gp and counselling are good ideas. I will try to do those. Thank you for your replies - it feels easier not to be on my own. I know I am strong but sometimes i need someone else to clarify my thinking x

tallwivglasses Sun 30-Sep-12 23:08:11

Are you menopausal perhaps? Are your family aware of how sad you are? Have you got any plans for the future - something to look forward to, a day trip or theatre trip for example? Do you have a close friend you can talk to?

By 'invisible' I assume you mean unappreciated? Make some noise! Tell the people close to you how you're feeling.

wildpoppy Sun 30-Sep-12 23:12:24

Does dp know you feel like this? Try telling him.

struwelpeter Sun 30-Sep-12 23:16:24

It does sound as if you are depressed OP. There doesn't have to be an obvious trauma or some identifiable event to cause it. The exhaustion of both crying and trying not cry, of holding it together and then just needing to let it all out can make it very hard. Imagine if the depression were a badly sprained ankle, you are walking on it and so it gets worse over time. What you need is a diagnosis and then some guidance on ways to deal with what you are going through. Don't reject medication out of hand, if that is what is offered. It is like the plaster to deal with the immediate problem, then you can work out what best will help later - the physiotherapy.
One in four of us have a period of depression at some point in our lives, it's ok.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 30-Sep-12 23:19:41

I am a strong person but stuck in a very negative place and I do not like the person I see in the mirror any more.

Agree that you shouldn't rule out depression as your symptoms certainly tick the boxes.

But I read something on a website (lesswrong.com) and I have copied it here for you:

"A person suffering from depression due to chemical imbalance may get more help from a pill than from learning better social skills. A healthy, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious woman can still be unhappy if she is trapped in a bad marriage."

It really struck a chord. Depression can strike happy people from nowhere, and there doesn't have to be a reason. Equally, someone by nature happy, can be ground down by living in an unhappy situation and that can cause or mimick depression.

You need to work out which category you fall into. It may be depression, it may be that your relationship is wrong. If you are happier, more energetic and more productive when you aren't with your partner, it may be the latter. In which case that is what you have to change.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 30-Sep-12 23:22:40

'Mimic' not only misspelt but written in italics.

Sorry. It is late. [embarrassed]

honeyandlemon Sun 30-Sep-12 23:48:25

Thank you. There is much to think about here. I cannot look to my partner for empathy or support unfortunately. There are many reasons for this. Although he is kind, he is in a difficult place and completely self absorbed. I do see the irony of posting about myself and then suggesting that he is self absorbed !! I do think depression is likely and menopause possible. I am not in a healthy relationship which is definitely contributing, however I am reluctant to leave my partner at the moment as he has had a very rough time himself so it would seem very unfair and unsupportive, also a considerable upheaval for my children as well. I like the suggestions of making time to look forward to events or outings. The other issue is around sleep and while I would find it challenging to take sleeping medication as I need to get up early for work every day, there are probably relaxation techniques etc which I am not using and which would benefit. Sorry this is a clumsy post at best! Ground down as described above feels a very good description. I think over the next week since I will not be able to get to the gp I may start keeping a diary of triggers and emotions which may amaze it easier to manage situations, and may be helpful to the gp when I get to see her. Although I have only seen her twice she was excellent on both occasions so I am confident that she will be a good source of advice, although not a magic wand!

Thank you again, I'll come back to this thread to follow all the ideas and will let you know how I get on x

garlicnutty Mon 01-Oct-12 00:12:59

Poor you. Your posts have really hit home to me, for a number of reasons.

Your plans look good; well done.

You can generate happiness from inside yourself. Living with "no joy" is highly destructive long-term. You will benefit from consciously finding joys, perhaps tiny but numerous, in your daily life. I have intractable clinical depression and work at this. Felt weird to begin with, but it's now a happy habit.

Antidepressants don't make you happy (at least, none of mine have!) but they take the edge off misery. This facilitates the finding of joys, etc.

Modern sleeping pills are like magic. They take exactly ten minutes to work, make you sleep for exactly eight hours, and don't prevent dreaming. Might not be a good idea if you operate precision machinery in the morning, but otherwise fine. I've found that an alternative mild relaxant like paracetamol is often all I need.

Learn to meditate. It's mainly a matter of paying attention to your breathing (slow & deep). A long out breath triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, making you relaxed. I do this before falling asleep. It's also great for stressful moments.

No self-improvement will mend a life-sapping relationship. Calm yourself and balance your capacity for feeling good, then work out a practical strategy for freedom.

Wishing you the very best and plenty of peace smile

ladyWordy Mon 01-Oct-12 00:37:04

You do sound depressed honeyandlemon. Certainly this is a biological event, which needs treatment; and it can come out of nowhere, quite unbidden.

But your first post said My partner is kind in many ways but I am very very unhappy .... And your second says, more bluntly: I am not in a healthy relationship which is definitely contributing. You then go on to explain that he has had a rough time and that the children don't need upheaval.

But it's apparent that something is very wrong here, because you're talking about leaving, and it's not solely because you're depressed, is it. sad Has something happened? You don't have to answer, I just feel you are keeping something in and that your tears are expressing whatever it is.

Please do see your GP, because any treatment on offer will help you think more clearly .. and this in turn will help you find a way forward.

tallwivglasses Mon 01-Oct-12 01:46:54

You've had some good advice here op. I just wanted to add walking's good. If you haven't got a dog and you need a purpose take a camera. Theres some beautiful autumn trees about. Apparently after 20 minutes you release endorphins(?) that lift your mood. It's also a quiet time for contemplation.

I've had a little weep on many a walk, but always come back feeling better.

CailinDana Mon 01-Oct-12 17:11:01

How are you doing honey?

Mayisout Mon 01-Oct-12 17:44:14

I was depressed when I felt my life was out of my control ie place we lived was due to DH's job, not my choice, we moved around so I didn't have close friends or job so felt there was nothing in my control to change things for the better for me. Perhaps you feel like that.

As I don't work I have time on my hands and have read lots of those books about what to do for a fulfilling retirement. They all want you to find what WOULD give you fulfillment and bring joy into your life, and then you to do it. (the books have a myriad of options if you are stuck)

Finding what would bring joy and fulfillment isn't as easy as it sounds but I have come up with a couple of hobbies now which I think will be rewarding anf fulfilling for me.

So what would you really like to be doing in your spare time or are you weighed down with looking after everyone else. Can you get a cleaner if that is an issue. Going for walks/ running or something outside which takes long enough to get the endorphins going will definitely make you feel better if only for a short time.

Another thing which is dispiriting is saying 'should' to yourself ie I should be meditating, I should be going to the gym. If you have to say you should do it you probably don't want to and therefore shouldn't (except for a bit of exercise which everyone should do now and again.) As it means you are constantly chastising yourself which is not good.

I have been an insomniac for years and while I wouldn't advise taking sleeping pills, as it is obviously a brain altering pill, my doc doesn't see a problem with using it occasionally and in between I take sominex. So get by. I used to be secretive and ashamed at having to take stuff to do such a normal thing as sleep but now I think WTF, live dangerously, but not exhaustedly!! The effectiveness of these things wears off if you take it all the time so taking them constantly long term is not an option.

I think I would postpone thinking of divorce as it is such a major trauma but meanwhile try to get your own life (ignoring DH and others) onto a happier level first. I think GP can do hormone tests to see if menopause could be major factor so worth speaking to GP first.

Dahlen Mon 01-Oct-12 18:40:02

While I think it's important that you visit your GP to discuss depression and/or menopausal symptoms, I think the biggest problem here is that you don't like your life and feel powerless to change it.

You cannot stay with someone simply because you do not want to hurt them/disrupt their life, etc. It never works. And it works both ways - why isn't he offering the support that you seem so desperate not to deny him? What has happened in your life to make you feel you have to take responsibility for others happiness? Maybe you'd be better off getting angry at him rather than feeling sorry for him and making yourself miserable in the process.

tallwivglasses Sun 07-Oct-12 12:42:07

Just went for a lovely walk and wondered how you are doing. Hope things are looking up for you honeyandlemon.

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