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How to stay positive when life is the complete opposite of what you had hoped

(150 Posts)
Morley19 Mon 23-Mar-15 16:51:26

Just that really.

How do you stay positive? All I ever wanted was a 'normal' life - meet the right person and have a family.

So after horrendous endometriosis that, 5 operations later, has left me completely infertile, attempts at IVF with 2 men over the last ten years who ended up treated me like shit. Last one basically dumped me and left me homeless 3 days after failed IVF results.

So, am now 45 and single (have been for couple of years), childless and no hope of ever giving birth to a child (I know there is adoption but I don't want to do it on my own, have to work full time, getting too old (in my opinion)).

On the positive side I have a very successful career so I know I have more than a lot of people. But, despite desperately trying to think positively each day, I just can't help but thinking what is the point? I have a great job, am doing up a lovely house but I come home every night and weekend and sit in it on my own. So lonely.

I have got friends, they are all enjoying bringing up their families.

I feel like I just watch life happen for everyone else.

I know this message probably comes across as self pitying. I really do try and not be like that but I am just sick of having to get over crap, watching life happen for everyone else. I feel like I am destined to be alone

I know the advice will be 'get out there' 'join clubs' 'life is what you make it' etc etc but I'm just exhausted from trying to do that.

How does anyone else stay positive?

GoatsDoRoam Mon 23-Mar-15 17:00:44

I have occasional breakdowns, which lead to me making the changes that address whatever issue it was that needed addressing and led to the breakdown in the first place.

Sorry, probably not the solution you were looking for, but you did say you didn't want trite recommendations to join clubs and stuff.

I'm pretty sure that once I master meditation, it will go some way to helping me accept things as they are, too.

Morley19 Mon 23-Mar-15 17:07:50

Thanks Goats

Sorry to hear you're having bad times too. I hope meditation helps you x

Skiptonlass Mon 23-Mar-15 17:11:46

I don't think I do stay positive.

In all honesty, I'm not a fan of this idea that we must refer to all problems as challenges and see everything through a sunny lens. I don't mean we should all be moaning constantly, but sometimes life is hard and nasty and we feel bad. The last thing you need on top of that is to feel bad about feeling bad! It's not normal to be chirping away when you are in a bad situation ( at least it's not to me, some folks may differ.) im a cynical optimist - I think I'm generally optimistic, but I'm a realist with it.

Goats has a good point. I've had some real lows in my life and it's made me realise that depression is a signal that something is badly wrong. A relationship, a job, the country I live in, etc. When I've changed one if those things, stuff gets better, slowly.

You're grieving over the loss of a future you wanted and that's real grief. Allow yourself to accept that. Yes, at some point you will do the clubs and moving on thing but right now I suggest a trip to the gp to check your health ( some general bloods, a good checkup and talk about possible depression) and then perhaps some professional therapy.

Other people's lives? Don't compare yourself. All those sunny happy facebook updates? There will be a good percentage who are truly miserable with their lives. You've got the guts to say it and face it, and change what you can.

GoatsDoRoam Mon 23-Mar-15 17:14:36

I think that when your life just doesn't sit right with you, it's time to make some changes. If the things you are trying at the moment are only exhausting you, rather than fulfilling you, then those are perhaps not the changes you need to pursue.

I don't have the ready-made solution for you, but perhaps your frustrated longing for a partner and child points to something inside you, that could be resolved another way.

Also, I imagine that years of surgery and IVF cannot have been easy for you, emotionally. Perhaps you need to do some deep and restorative self-care, to recover, before you can feel bouncy again. Just take time to take care of yourself, first, before you launch into a spate of "getting out there", joining clubs, and "making" something of your life. Do you think you maybe just need a rest?

What would be the kindest thing you could do for yourself?

GoatsDoRoam Mon 23-Mar-15 17:16:38

x-post with Skiptonlass, but she expresses it all beautifully.

expatinscotland Mon 23-Mar-15 17:20:26

I just go with the flow. I don't try to force positivity on myself anymore at all, but instead on enjoying good health - so I do exercise I enjoy and do whatever interests me, no commitment, just dabble and try.

I think people put a lot of pressure on themselves trying to force themselves to be something that's not really a natural state, when there is nothing at all wrong with just being yourself.

I don't compare anymore and for me that's meant a lot of moving away from some people and growing closer to others.

Life isn't what you make it. Sometimes, some people get dealt some really shitty hands. I understand. My daughter died of cancer nearly 3 years ago, my other daughter has a lot of problems from it and my son is autistic.

Just be yourself. You sound just fine to me! smile

Starpupil Mon 23-Mar-15 17:24:44

I know exactly how you feel. I don't know anyone who has a life like mine and it just goes from bad to worse. I honestly think it won't be long before I will have lost everything - marriage, children, home and career. How do you accept it?

It's not the life I thought I would have.

Morley19 Mon 23-Mar-15 17:32:28

Ah thank you ladies, every one of your posts has been helpful. This site is a godsend, it has helped me massively in the past.

I am guilty of comparing to others' (supposedly) ideal lives. I recognise that in myself and am trying not to think like that. I appreciate that many of these outwardly happy lives are not like that underneath.

I think what happened a couple of years ago with a man that I would have bet my life on (who turned out to be a vile character) really just knocked the stuffing out of me and it has taken a long time to even get this far.

I think part of my problem is I do need a bit of a kick up the arse now! I'm over that relationship but I think am at risk of becoming a bit of a hermit! It's too easy just to lock the door behind me and put the TV on but that isn't going to change my life is it? Things don't land on your lap, life is indeed what you make it and you only get out what you put in don't you?

I had some counselling a year or so ago, when I was still really struggling with what happened and that really helped. I feel like I'm not at the stage where I need to get up and out there again, and build a new life. It is just hard accepting that life is one so very different to what I'd imagined.

Thank you ladies, I really appreciate you taking the time to write and I wish you all good things xx

Morley19 Mon 23-Mar-15 17:34:09

Gosh Expat what a horrendous time you have had. Just awful.

Every credit to you for managing to have the outlook you have.


Binklesback Mon 23-Mar-15 17:35:06

You say you're lonely and I get the feeling that if you met the right person and were content in a relationship your whole perspective would shift and I get that completely. Unfortunately we can't forsee when that person will come along and how long we have to wait for that fulfilment so we really have no choice but to make hay while the sunshines and recognise the good things we have, in your case your career and lovely home. I find as cheesy as it sounds than being actively thankful everyday for little things that could go wrong but don't really does shift your perspective and stops that thought train of the world being against you. That may be something as simple as being thankful that you find a pound in your pocket or that all the lights are on green on your journey etc. that glass half full mentality is a habit that you can cultivate and once you are radiating a more positive vibe for want of a better phrase you will inevitably attract that to you as well.

Morley19 Mon 23-Mar-15 17:35:29

My message was meant to say 'I feel I'm NOW at the stage....'

minmooch Mon 23-Mar-15 17:37:35

I think some people are dealt very hard hands. The last few years have been awful for me. 8 miscarriages, still birth of twin girls, my 18 year old son died of cancer, second marriage fell apart, I'm now sitting by my mum watching her life ebb away. It's not what I had planned or thought my life would turn out to be. I'm lucky in that I have one living son but it is hard to find positivity. I try to simplify my life - enjoy the feel if the sun on my face for a brief moment, watch a kingfisher fish, plant some bulbs and watch them grow. Instead of large goals and expectations I have narrowed them down. If nothing else I feel less disappointed if things don't go to plan.

I still want to grab life by the balls, when I find the energy I will do. I will try and see opportunities and take them. Leave people behind who pull me down. Enjoy moments with good friends.

It is hard, some days are doable, some days not.

Morley19 Mon 23-Mar-15 17:43:03

Minmooch, that's just awful. So so sorry. I'm lost for words at the amount of crap you have had.

Your attitude is commendable though, really.

I know exactly what you mean about enjoying the small things in life, there's a lot to be said about appreciating little things in life that can give us joy


expatinscotland Mon 23-Mar-15 17:45:50

Definitely just keep it simple. And don't put any pressure on yourself.

peacoat Mon 23-Mar-15 17:51:17

Another one here who has to fight for positivity every day. I too have a problem with comparing myself to others - all my childhood friends and family are happily and wealthily married. I'm not. They don't have to work - I have to support myself. And all the things that make life easier like nice dinners out, nice holidays, nice houses, nice clothes, time to decompress, time to exercise and still not have a rushed day etc etc.

Although I can't really help it sometimes, the comparing is my downfall. It seeps discontent throughout every part of my life, and damages my emotional strength and resilience.

I just think life is tough for everyone sometimes, and we don't see the tough parts of others' lives, so we end up comparing our tough parts with their good parts and then feel inadequate.

Oh, and I've started taking St John's Wort. It seems to be helping, even if its just a placebo.

spoonjarjarspoonjar Mon 23-Mar-15 17:59:44

I think the idea of staying positive can be an unhelpful one. It's not possible to be upbeat and positive all the time, moods ebb and flow.

I think the thing to aim for is acceptance and not allowing yourself to become bitter. That is a lot easier to write then it is to achieve!

When I was single and childless and living alone it physically hurt me at times. This is probably going to sound awfully cheesy but it's the only way I can think of to describe it. It felt like I had a lot of love to give which was just trapped inside me with no where to go.

For me what helped was doing volunteer work because I was giving something of myself to others. It was nice to be part of something. It made me feel positive when I'd done it.

I'm sorry for all that you've been through.

Morley19 Mon 23-Mar-15 18:06:56

Binklesback - sorry I missed your post earlier. Very wise words, thank you. I am definitely trying to cultivate that way of thinking.

Spoonjar - thank you. and you have just described exactly how I feel - I have so much love to give and I feel like it is just being wasted. And I could have given a child a lovely home/upbringing. It is difficult to comprehend why these things happen.

I used to do some volunteer work and have actually just signed up for some again. I feel the same way you do about it.

Thanks for your message x

Binklesback Mon 23-Mar-15 18:40:56

Was,going to add I also do volunteer work in a sector that give me an awful lot of perspective on how Ok thing really are in my life by comparison and I do find it helps. I'm 43 and after a fair few slightly off bowls of porridge I've finally had my goldilocks moment and met the right fit so all hope is not lost, he's on his way to you and everything else will hopefully follow smile x

MatildaTheCat Mon 23-Mar-15 18:42:29

Morley, I am so sorry for your losses. It is a bereavement. And that is a long process but one that truly does get better over time. Never to fully heal but accepting and deciding to love and embrace the life you do have the best you can.

Fwiw I think mid forties is a terrible age for women unable to have a child. The remote possibilities and longing are overwhelming. You will get through.

My own life has been blighted by bodged surgery. A year ago I would have said ruined so I have moved on. Mindfulness, exercise, interests, family and friends have helped enormously but myself deciding to start getting on with my life has been the biggest factor. It's not the life I ever envisaged but I'm trying to make it work for me.

There is always hope and the possibility of finding your true life partner but I believe happiness comes from within. I wish you well whatever you decide to do. flowers

Binklesback Mon 23-Mar-15 18:43:30

Incidentally in the office at my voluntary job there is quote up which reads "some days your the pigeon, some days you're the statue - that's life" sums it up eloquently I think smile

Stearinlys Mon 23-Mar-15 18:49:08

I hope you end up feeling that life is ok. 8 years ago i left an abusive man and felt overwhelmed and depressed by single motherhood. Im still single but im happy about it now. Psychotherapy helped me react differently, which helped me help myself. I dont know if that makes sense.

Morley19 Mon 23-Mar-15 19:14:59

Thanks for your messages.

Matilda, so sorry to hear about your surgery, what a horrendous thing to deal with. I agree with what you say about happiness coming within, am trying not to base my happiness on being with someone.

Binkles - am very glad you got your happy ending!

Sterinlys - sorry you have suffered too. What you say does make sense and I am glad you found a way to be happy again


Handywoman Mon 23-Mar-15 19:35:24

Morley I remember you posting about what happened to you - it would have been unbearable and very difficult to recover from. I'm glad you are better, but of course you are grieving lossess associated with that. It's a long journey. Simplify your life and give yourself lots and lots of kindness.

I love the pigeon quote - fantastic!

thanks for you, OP.

Paddlingduck Mon 23-Mar-15 19:50:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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