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starting over after LOOOONG struggle depression/anxiety....

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Old 06-11-2009, 01:59 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: miami, Fl
Posts: 412
mochi* HB Usermochi* HB User
Unhappy starting over after LOOOONG struggle depression/anxiety....

Hello all,
I have had problems with depression, OCD (my primary diagnosis) and anxiety most of my life, since the age of 15. But more or less it was managable, with the exception of some seriously difficult "episodes," which rarely lasted more than a few months.
Anyways, after REALLY painful a break up with a long-term partner about 6 years ago, I underwent some seriously intense feelings of anxiety, ended up getting so physically ill that I had to be admitted to the ER, acutely, I was a wreck and had no idea why my emotional and physical reactions were so intense and so seemingly beyond my control; the anxiety morphed in and out of depressive stages, but manifested mostly as insomnia and anxiety about sleeping (weird I know)
I also developed a phobia of travelling and of sleeping away from home (because I was afraid of insomnia, as I believed insomnia would be my ruin)
anyways, I won't go into all that. Somehow I managed to get though school and my day to day life using alcohol to quell the anziety and intense sense of dread that the break uo left me with (not good, I know.)
After 8 months or so I met another man and we dated, very cautiosuly at first because I was still very messed up over the first break up and had lots of anxiety provlems. My confidence was still more or less in tact, hpwever, by some miricle. and this allowed me to date and even get very close with this man.
We fell in love, and were togethet for two years, during which i still struggled with anxiety and insomnia, but not to the degree i did before.
He broke up with me, rather abruptly, just after we had planned on moving away together and building our lives together. It was a complete shock and I againn was riddled with INTENSE, inexplicable anxiety and dread...this lasted for a few months, many maybe, and eventrually I fell into a DEEP DEEP depression, one which i let fester for about a year before i sought help.
I have been in therapy for about a year now, and it has helped me understand why I am totally destroyed by these break -ups, by the loss of someone i am very attached to....i still have very intense feelings of loss, intense sadness/dread/anxiety that comes and goes, usually at keast one or two weeks out of the month i am battling these feelings to the point that i can barely fucntion, let alone plan the for the future.
Am i making any snese here, sorry...
I am not feeling so great today and my thoughts feel flurried.
What I am trying to say is that I am worried, worried because I am only 29 years old, but I feel somehow doomed.
Prior to this last break-up and seriously long depression that has followed, I was the type of person who was goal-oriented, confident and always working tpwards something new.....
After the break up though, I sunk into some kind of black hole, trying desperately to grab on to something: a branch, a root, anything to keep me from plummeting backwards into the abyss (how to explain it, I don't know?: It felt/feels like an inexplicable, terrifying dread, a terrifying nothingness maybe. Hard to describe.
Anyways, this period began about 2 nd half years ago...and I should note that things with this ex were on and off for a LOOOONG time afrer we intially broke up, so it only really ended about 8 months ago, or mayve even more recently. Obviosuly this did not helkp me to move on with my life, adn the repeated abandonment by him made it cumulatively much worse.
So, during all this time I made some poor life-choices, mostly career-wise, adn other...but I quit my "respectabe" job abruptly and took a job hostessing at some stuoid restuarant, which was my get-rich quick scheme (i thought i would become a waitress and save a bunch and then move abroad) but needless to say, that didn't pan out and i wasted 8 months at that crap job, and ended up getting an injury as well, or at least exasperating a leg condition I already had. Oh, I should mention that MUCH of why I stayed in that job for so long was that the schedule allowed me to go to therapy twice a week (i was trying desperatly to get better) Anyways, because of my leg, among other things I left that job about 3 months ago and am now living at home with my folks for the first tiem sionce who-Knows-when and attempting to put my mess of a life back togetehr.
I am terrified though that now, because I have neglected so much over the past almost 3 years that no one will employ me, no grad school will want me, and no love is in my future.
Am I done for?
I know I made some poor choices, and now because I left my good job for one without insurance my medical bills are piling up dealing with this leg issue (I may need surgery) and I feel like I have tried DESPEARELY to understand myself and to heal from all this, really, I devoted the poast year to it, but now that it is time to take action, make changes, LIVE MY LIFE AGAIN, I feel inept. I mean, fianlly I am feeling more empowered emotionally to go after what i want, and now my leg is a mess, adn I can;t afford to move out of my parents house because and it;s impossible to get a job....ahhh!! I can;t take it anymore!!!! is this how life is going to be>
I neglected so much when I was depressed, and I feel like I am waking up to the total mess that I made my life, and I just need something to look FORWARD TO!!! But is that it? Is this what my life is going to be?> Will i never get a good job, into a good school, get married>>>I mean, how do you explain to a school or a potential employer that there's a huge gap on your resume because you were horribly depressed and could barely function for two and ahlaf years???? You can't!
How do i move on if i have to constantly pay for what i neglected because i was in so much pain i could not deal with life????? i guess what i am saying is that how do you recover, take your life back if you are always catching up to everything you've missed...bills, work expereince, [email protected]@! I'm 29 and I feel like my life is over, or that I have no second chance.

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Old 06-12-2009, 05:55 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 461
fossilapostle HB User
Re: starting over after LOOOONG struggle depression/anxiety....

I know how you feel. I lost about 5 years in my 20's to drug addiction. When I came out of it I was hugely depressed b/c you can't ever get that time back and, like you, I felt like I was so far behind my friends and contemporaries that no matter what I did I could never catch up.

But I can tell you a couple of things that I hope will help you. The first is that this feeling, as bad as it is, does go away over time. The more you get into your new life, the less the past will matter. And if I can quote you a cliche from AA, "one day at a time" is really the best way to deal with this kind of thing. Don't stress yourself about the future. Dealing with today the best you can and the future will take care of itself. Remember that you don't have to make up for your "lost years" all at once. In fact you don't have to "make up" for them at all. They were part of your life. A part that is over now. No one's life turns out exactly how they plan it.

There is nothing you can do to change the past, so forget about it. Focus on now, and by that I mean focus on improving your life now, but do not dwell on how your life might have been and how hard things will be. The best advice I can give you is to do, and not think so much.

My second suggestion is to realize that life isn't a race and that there are no winners. We all end up in the same place. Dead. That isn't meant to depress you either. It's meant to point out that in the face of the fact that we are mortal and have only a short time on this Earth, how silly is it to worry about things like material possessions and social status? How silly is it to compare ourselves to others as if the meaning of life were to gain the most money and prestige.

And let me tell you something else, if you had done as financially well as you had hoped to in these past years, what makes you think you'd be any happier. I've been poor and though I've never been rich, I've been pretty well off at times and looking back I can see that I wasn't any happier having more money or a better job, etc. Life's not about that. What it is about, I'll leave to you to decide, but I promise you one thing. If you make your life about shallow material things and social status and the like, you will never be happy no matter how much of these things you get.

Find something to you that matters. Something that you love. And do that. Maybe you won't be able to do it as a job. So what? Most people don't love their jobs. But find something that is important to you and do that thing.

Good luck!

Old 06-12-2009, 11:15 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 162
Matt321 HB User
Re: starting over after LOOOONG struggle depression/anxiety....

Feeling "doomed" is a possible symptom of depression. just keep telling yourself that. it will get better.

gong on 2 years major depression to the point where i cant function at all other than eat, sleep, and comp.
you're not alone

best wishes <3

Old 06-16-2009, 11:51 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: miami, Fl
Posts: 412
mochi* HB Usermochi* HB User
Re: starting over after LOOOONG struggle depression/anxiety....

Oh, thank you guys! For some reason my email didn't tell me I had a message, I thought no one else had replied and I was pretty buummed about that!!

I'm happy to know someone else did!
Fossil Apostle (great name by the way!):
Your advice truly is the best: to "do, and not think so much"
I have been trying to force myself into doing just that in the past 2 months, after so long of stagnation and rumination it is hard, but it is defineltly helping me get to a better place.
As far as my comparing myself to others at my age, and feeling sad about where I think I should be, is not about money at all for me, but about family, love, purpose, etc.
I get really down on the idea that i am 29 and not married, that I had thought i found"the one" and it fell apart...I really want a family, and I worry that it will be too late for me...but that is the thinking i am trying to reverse. I have been so depressed for so long precisely because of this idea, that after I lost my ex...I had no future chance at love or family, the very things I want most in the world.
Oh, and I also lost my sense of purpose (which previously had been VERY strong) during all this....My faith was totally shaken...i am working on re-connceting with the things I am passionate about, the things I am good at, and what I can give back...

Old 02-02-2011, 07:59 AM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: 1
good2bgreen HB User
Re: starting over after LOOOONG struggle depression/anxiety....

Hey Mochi!

You're story sounds so much like mine.... out of nowhere I fell into massive depressive episode and had some crazy ideas of what I should do to feel better.... I was desperate to feel better - I was going to do anything!!! I sold my house (which I loved) AT A LOSS and moved into a tiny little apartment because I thought I could save money and... and.... feel better.... obviously it wasn't well thought out - but like I said I was desperate to feel better... I could go on about frivolous travel, recreational drugs, promiscuity, alcohol abuse, cigarettes and more.... but needless to say I was looking to anything to just feel better.

Now some 10 months later after a whole lot of therapy (which continues), some clonazapem for anxiety (as needed) - and an antidepressant (it took two tries before I found the right one for me). I look back at how I set my self back about 2 years and shake my head.... Even though I didn't lose or quit my job I found myself despairing at first (some time after the anti-depressants took effect). You may well be on your way to recovery at this point - but I want to share with you and other readers that each step I take to get back to my old self I move away from the nightmare that was this major depressive episode. It's going to take a little time (no time really in the big picture) - but I'm grateful that I've had this opportunity to deal with some old hurt that's been festering for a VERY long time and had taken a life of its own inside me.

Life is going to be a little different going forward - and I'm not going to have the same house I had before - but once I get settled in a new rythm of my choosing that I enjoy, I have hope that I can find happiness again :-)

All my best to you!!!


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