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Forums / Long term support over the journey / Blue's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (life viewed through the lens of depression)

Topic: Blue's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (life viewed through the lens of depression)

  1. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    26 April 2016

    Some of you are aware of my existence by now, but for those who aren't, I'm fairly new to this forum. I've been stumbling my way along with depression for somewhere around seven years. It was triggered by a life event and exacerbated by circumstances since then, which I've done my best to eliminate where possible. About a year ago I changed track with that and made the huge decision to end the relationship I was in. Rough though that was, I finally started to see a bit of progress. I've still had a fight on my hands, to stay afloat and get control of my time and money and my peace of mind, all of which were tied up for a long time in untangling my finances from those of my ex (not his fault, the bank made it really damn hard, and my job and my own state of mind weren't helping).

    Now I've started enjoying things again, and am not always instantly down when I'm on my own. I was once a (deliberately) solitary creature who enjoyed my own company and learning everything I could, so it's good to be more like that again. The depression's always there, lurking in the background, but I sometimes go a few weeks at a time without any prolonged episodes. Long enough to start feeling like I'm healing or that my emotions have some concept of cause and effect again. Then down I slam again, sometimes for a day or two, other times for weeks, and it feels like I've made no progress at all. In these periods my mind and my emotions are constantly at war, particularly when I'm alone and/or it's quiet. My mind is calm for the most part, and well aware I'm strong and capable and have strategies and I actively work on those in spite of the depression. My emotions, on the other hand, are running about with flags chock full of negative messages and even though I know it's not (or even close) I feel like everything is collapsing, that I can't deal with it and I just want everything to stop. That's where I'm at, today.

    I do have an amazing partner now, who is extremely supportive, and has helped me immensely. My current problem is that I need my friends and family, too. I so rarely have time that isn't ruined by unsociable work hours and also the energy and will to socialise, but my friends are seldom available when I do. In those times I know it may be weeks or months before I can see them again, and I miss them, and that's mostly when I crash again these days. Dunno how to fix that yet, but I need to vent, and here I am. Getting better but having a really crap day.

    5 people found this helpful
  2. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    27 April 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues
    Ah, reach out with my worries about isolation, and a day later I can still hear the crickets chirping. It's funny how often that happens.
    2 people found this helpful
  3. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    27 April 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hi Blue's Clues (I like that name by the way).

    I am so sorry that your post got looked over somehow. It always feels like that for me, that the moment you decide yes, I am going to reach out, is the very day that no one is available or aware enough to hear you.

    I hope it is some consolation that I hear you know (figuratively of course).

    I think that it is great that self aware when it comes to your depression, that you are able to continue on and hold on until the rough times pass, and the stillness of mind to know that they eventually will during the bad days. In fact, I commend you on it. You should hold on to that knowledge, as tightly ass you can, because when it comes to depression (as I'm sure you know), positives are rare.

    I do not think that because depression can hit you with a different magnitude at any given time as you not getting better. I think what constitutes as better is how you cope during those waves. And here you are, talking through your feelings and being open to responses, something that took me years to even consider doing. You developed a method for keeping a calm mind during it all, and you have developed strategies and are able to push yourself in spite of it all. That is better. How you deal with it.

    I am truly sorry that you feel isolated from the people that you want to see because of your "unsociable" working hours. Have you tried joining a weekly club or something so that you get human contact to bide time until you and your friends can catch up? Or join this club with a member of your family? Or just show up unannounced and see where that gets you?

    Not entirely helpful, I know. I hope talking on here will suffice until you (or we) can hash out a solution.

    Hi, my name is Joelle

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Zeal
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Zeal avatar
    1737 posts
    27 April 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hi Blue's Clues,

    Don't worry, there are always people here to talk and listen. Sometimes it may take a day or two to get a response though. I remember your display name actually :)

    It sounds like you've had a challenging journey for these past seven years. It's great that you found the strength to end a relationship that wasn't working, and that you secured your finances. I'm glad your ex wasn't making that hard. Banks and other institutions can be really complicated unfortunately, as you've discovered. The previous university I attended for six months was like that!

    As you said, it's helpful to enjoy your own company some of the time. It's great that you do have periods with only short bursts of the depression creeping in. Having bad days is really disheartening. I can relate to these days, though my bad days pertain to anxiety. Have you sought help from your doctor or another professional in the past to help with the depression? It's of great benefit to have "maintenance" sessions with a doctor (GP) or psychologist (e.g. every fortnight or month), when you can talk about your mental health and recovery. If you feel that these bad days are a problem, definitely see your doctor. Last week I went to a new psychologist. Before that (for the last few years), I had just been seeing my GP.

    I am very glad you have an amazing and supportive partner now! That is fantastic! I'm sorry to hear that you aren't able to have regular contact with family and friends. When you're not physically able to see them, perhaps you could talk on the phone or communicate via face book with your closest family or a few friends.

    I completely understand the need to vent. If you want to do so more regularly and without having to write to an audience, try just typing out your thoughts on a Word doc, not worrying about grammar, spelling or expression. Just type as the thoughts come, as fast or as slow as you like. I've done this before. I just delete the Word doc afterward.

    I hope you continue to enjoy using this forum.

    Best wishes,

    SM

    3 people found this helpful
  5. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    28 April 2016 in reply to Zeal

    Thanks for your input, SM. It is a good community on here, if not one for super quick responses. But to be fair, the responses that do come are typically pretty thoughtful. You'll excuse the little funk I was in for a minute there, I hope. You're quite right about how disheartening the bad days are, especially knowing that so far every time I've failed to knock an episode out within a day or two, it's been immovable for at least a week after that. I'm not saying I stop trying, but at that stage it's like trying to stop a boulder rolling down a hill. It'll stop when it's at the bottom, and it will get there, but trying to stop it before that inevitably results in nasty abrasions and not a lot of alteration to its course. So while I'm fighting the good fight as always, I know exactly what I've got to look forward to.

    To answer your question, I've spoken to doctors and was on antidepressants for a time. Most of my progress, however, has been through talking with my partner and my own sheer bull-headedness in knocking out various things that were actively making me miserable. Therapy would no doubt do me good, and I'm working on that. Options for the dirt poor in that area are a bit limited. Hope your new psychologist is a good fit for you, by the way. Finding one you're comfortable to open up to can be tricky.

    I've occasionally done the Word document thing (though there's no such thing as me not paying attention to spelling and grammar). Unfortunately, I didn't find it satisfying. I vent to myself in various ways all the time, but when I'm really struggling the big thing for me is to be heard. A lot of my baggage revolves around years of being stuffed in a corner and not listened to no matter what I said or how I delivered it. Prior to my current relationship, no amount of clear communication or assertiveness resulted in me being understood or supported much at all, so that stuff keeps hitting me if I'm alone when I don't want to be (albeit mercifully less often these days). It's not a good place to be in.

    On top of things, some elements outside of my control have been disrupting my sleeping and eating lately, which has knocked me around a lot. It's a cycle of things that are feeding each other and making it damn hard to get a handle on any of it. I'm action oriented and untangle myself from these things if I've got a direction to point in, but that's the bit I'm stuck on at the moment. Too much going wrong at once, and I don't know where to start.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Lost Girl
    Lost Girl  avatar
    2696 posts
    28 April 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hey Blue's Clues,

    It sounded from your first post that work hours are preventing the access to family and friends that you need. Is it possible to consider new work?

    In your second post, when I get overwhelmed by things and don't know where to start I resort to writing them down. The method I use is the same for problems, tasks or goals. Write the problem/goal/task then write what is in your control and what is not in your control in terms of addressing/completing/reaching it then go from there.

    A simple example;

    Goal is to have a picnic with friends. Problem is that I work on the days they have off and vice versa. I can't control the days they have off. I can control mine by requesting a day of leave. My action is to talk with people see if they can make it then request the day off.

    If you think this idea might help and want to talk through anymore let me know.

    The sleep disruption plays havoc with the body says I at 3am in the morning. I hope you get some rest soon and start getting some better days. Sleep may be a good starting point too. I have some ideas from my psych if you'd like to hear and see if they work for you.

    Kind thoughts,

    Carol

    3 people found this helpful
  7. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    28 April 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    Hi Joelle,

    Thanks for your positive feedback. In these little slumps, it really does help when someone counters my negatives with "but hey, you're doing X, Y and Z exactly right". Even though intellectually I know my strategies will eventually win through, they feel really damn ineffective at the time and it's hard to convince my emotions that they're of much use.

    Can't say I've thought of joining a club. Kinda wanted to get back to martial arts, but knew I wasn't up to making a regular commitment to stuff like that around work. It's so hard to plan around trying to get sleep, so I try and organise stuff a few days to a week in advance and hope for the best. As for being spontaneous, I did actually try that yesterday. It went brilliantly, actually, and I feel half a fraud for being all down and lonely again almost as soon as I got home. As I said in my last post, it's the momentum of the depressive episode. Once it sets in, even if I'm doing all the right things and my actions are getting positive results, it takes time to stop feeling like crap. It's so frustrating.

    That said, I'm solution-oriented even at the worst of times and particularly loathe self-pity, so I spent much of last night looking for ways I could do something about what I was dealing with, in the immediate. My searching turned up a little site called 7 Cups of Tea, which I'd never heard of before. The overall feel of it is a bit hearts and flowers for me, but they do have a chat system and "listeners" floating about 24/7, so there's counsellors/professionals and also a whole bunch of people like us who aren't necessarily qualified but have a bunch of experience to draw from to talk to whenever it is needed. I spoke to one of them for a while, and having someone actually present in the moment to vent to went some way to breaking the back of the mood I was in at the time.

    On a side note, I've noticed your responses to other people's posts on here as well. I appreciate your methodical and well thought out approach. I imagine you've had a pretty good impact on plenty of people here.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    28 April 2016 in reply to Lost Girl

    Hi Carol,

    Believe me, I've spent a lot of time considering new work. That said, getting a new job is a pretty significant life change, and the search for work where there isn't much to be had and there's a lot of competition means high chance of a lot of knockbacks and stress before success. Considering I'm not long out of the last massive, stressful life change (the break-up with my ex), I have accepted I'm just not ready for another fight that big, just yet. Six months or a year maybe (it's in my sights), but for now I'm just trying to recover and get some strength and energy and peace of mind back before I go tackling something that overwhelming.

    I have at times written things out like you suggested. Generally I have a good sense of that sort of thing nicely organised in my head and don't need to, but it's been handy occasionally, and it's sound advice to anyone with a problem to resolve. I did actually go through a similar sort of mental process to the picnic example you described, yesterday (the spontaneous thing that went brilliantly I mentioned to Joelle). Realised while at work that one of my friends there finished not that long after me, so I took the initiative and said I'd wait for her if she wanted to have a coffee together after. It was great, and I even had the energy to do a few jobs when I got home. Then the exhaustion caught up with me and concerns about getting enough sleep, and I stressed out and felt crap again, hence coming on here for more venting.

    Happy to report neighbour didn't wake me up too early again like I expected (I'm a shift worker, so not much support for noisy neighbour problems during the day), so I did actually get some rest. Had only managed about six hours collectively over the last two nights and was anticipating more of the same, so I'm somewhat relieved to finally have at least one good sleep behind me. Lack of sleep has been a huge factor in my depression, and I have done a tonne of research on sleep strategies that work well without anyone actively countering them. Happy to swap ideas on that, if you like. Thanks for all your suggestions. It's pleasant to see how articulate and thoughtful so many people on here are.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    28 April 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hi BC (Mind if I call you that?),

    I see a lot of myself in what you say. Right down to the martial arts. I have to say, if, intellectually, you know you will get through, that it just takes time, you have won your battle. In my experience, other people, they just are so impatient with life, boxes have to be ticked based on how old they are and what they had planned, and they look at me and wonder why or how I am so lenient with plans. Like you, short periods that sometimes can be minutes. Holding on for another minute. And they get frustrated that they aren't married yet or aren't as far ahead as they thought they would be yet, but they are on their way there and they tell me, because I don't have the plans they do, that I don't know what the impatience is like. When in reality, I know how a minute can feel like an hour, I know what it's like (like you) to have to wait, to convince yourself to wait. To hold back on the "plans" because what can I manage and when? To think I don't want to be alone but can someone bear with me and be by my side. And I have to wait. If you can, if you have the patience and the knowledge that there is another side, you have won. We are here to remind you of that. And to remind you of the positives for as long as it takes.

    I also know what it feels like to be lifted out of your mood when you visit a friend only to be harshly reminded of it when they have gone. And then when you mention it they say, you seemed fine earlier. So don't be too harsh on yourself for that. Like you said, time. (This seems to be a recurrent theme here...). In any case, I hope it doesn't stop you from keeping spontaneity going at least as a back up.

    Ah yes, 7 cups of tea...I have used that and used to be a listener on there. The reason I didn't mention it was because the last two times I logged on, no one was available to talk to me when I wanted to reach out (a bit familiar?) It was a desperate time for me so...it seems to have made me averse to it for a bit. There are a couple of other sites with volunteer counsellors also, if I think of the names, I will let you know.

    Thank you for your side note. That made me smile to think that I am of help to people, and that you appreciate my methods. I hope I can keep living up to that.

    Joelle

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    29 April 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    I've long since concluded that things like dream jobs and getting married are often just things people do to keep up with the Joneses, and it honestly doesn't matter when or even if they happen. Anything heavily involving other people comes without guarantees, and you're no less of a person if employers or prospective partners won't come to the party when you genuinely make an effort. But not chasing after the same ambitions as everyone else certainly doesn't mean I don't have my own goals or that I don't get unbelievably impatient and frustrated when I know I can't just bull through and accomplish them when I want to, so I completely get what you're saying about that.

    I try and focus on creating and implementing the steps along the way if I can't do everything at once. I took that approach to stuff like getting out of debt and losing weight - did a boatload of research on how to get where I was going and persevered with the techniques I thought had merit. Both went swimmingly, though they did take time. I documented my progress along the way and celebrated little milestones where possible, to keep the momentum going. The only difference with recovering from depression is setbacks feel a lot bigger, even if they're not (hence I'm here and poking around other similar resources, doing my research on how to deal with that). There isn't really a quick fix if you have a big goal.

    Thankfully I don't get the "you seemed fine earlier" sort of response from my friends. Most of the people close to me suffer depression or anxiety themselves, or have a pretty good familiarity with it. Great, in that they understand my troubles, less great in that we're all periodically overwhelmed or needing a time out from people, and that's another contributing factor to the scheduling problems. The spontaneity wagon is still rolling, though it's a bit hit and miss. Trying not to get too disheartened when it doesn't work out.

    It did take a while to get through to anyone on 7 Cups of Tea, I admit, but it was the best result I got at the time, it did help, and was the only site I found not claiming to be free or have a free trial, then asking for credit details before you could talk to someone. That really wasn't helping my mood at the time. It may not be the best resource available, but it's one I can add to my collection.

  11. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    29 April 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    Ran out of characters again. I do waffle, I know. Mmm, waffles...

    Sorry, got distracted. What I was going to add was how it's good to be on the other side of things sometimes and help people, and that's what's happening here on this forum and places like it. It's what you and others are doing, and hopefully what I'm doing a bit of, too. There's power in knowing the struggles we've gone through and the knowledge we've gained have not been entirely in vain.

    On a related note, there's a school of thought that's opposite to those with no compassion for we depressed sorts, and it's the one that doesn't want to burden us. I remind my other half often that no matter how messed up I get, I am always here for him. My partner's happiness is integral to my own, and especially when I'm feeling kind of lost and hopeless in myself, being able to help him with his troubles or just make him smile is not only great in itself but reminds me that even if I'm not being much use to myself in the immediate, I have something to offer that is important to someone.

    Just a thought or two, a bit off the initial topic.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    29 April 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Firstly, I respect how self aware you are. I think you should know that.

    I actually used to be like that...plans, plans, plans...it was drilled into me by my parents (not the most nurturing people) and there wasn't any room for movement or change. They assume that you can know what you'll want to be at 16 and keep true to that by the age of 40. Mix in some severe depression and you have a sad, sad little Joelle. Depression has actually changed me, not that I define myself by it, just that I am...malleable now. I think everyone on here is that way. We all have goals, the fact that we are all surviving is a testament to that, and we all struggle to have them, to keep them. When I feel good it's too easy to aim high, and when I work my way toward that and depression kicks in, I wonder how I ever thought I could do anything. So you have to remember why. And definitely, setbacks feel like you're back at the starting point, displacement is zero. I think it's great that you put in the research and implement what you think will work and push through with that despite what you are feeling. Even if you haven't reached a milestone yet with that, the fact that you're trying is commendable. Personally, I don't think there is a quick fix for depression. Just time and grunt work. Trying a thousand different things a thousand different times in a thousand different ways. Definitely, when it comes to big goals, always remember why. My current big goal, doing a Master's in Biomedical Engineering. Right now, I'm in grunt work territory. So I remember why.

    I'm sorry that your friends have similar issues, but it is great that you have someone you can physically contact who understands. It's tough work huh, trying not to be too disheartened? 7 cups will do in a pinch. Unfortunately, I don't have the answer to solving loneliness. We are here for you on here. I agree with you, it helps a lot when you're on the other side providing support, renews some amount of self confidence, and a feeling of solidarity, and you get to speak out. Every encounter I have had in real life, I have walked away thinking I haven't said anything that was of importance. Another wasted chance. I could have said more. Here though, I feel like my voice is heard, and that means a lot to me.

    Yes, I have come across that in the past. And it does help to provide that support, it is like a beacon, something good and tangible.

    I agree. Waffles, mmm...

    2 people found this helpful
  13. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    1 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    Our experience differs, there. I was never pushed too hard by my parents about anything. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. Probably good, as I'm a stubborn git when I'm pushed. My goals have been my own, chosen by myself as an adult, and for the most part have been fairly modest, but done from the standpoint of someone coming from next to nothing, well behind the rest of the herd, and just not expecting to catch up. And when you see the herd from behind, the view ain't that pretty anyway, so I wasn't much interested in following. Sometimes remembering why I was reaching for a goal was enough, but mostly it was a matter of why not? If I didn't do X, an intollerable situation would remain the same or get worse. So I doggedly got about doing X. That's my life experience since well before my general cranky and cynical nature evolved into full blown clinical depression. If I don't swim, I sink, so swimming it is (or at least a pitiful dog paddle). In that way, depression isn't really new territory for me. What is, is the way I can't quite shrug that off the way I used to.

    I admit I had to Wiki biomedical engineering for a more specific idea of what you're studying, but I like the sound of it. If you don't mind me asking, is your depression part of your motivation, in terms of contributing to diagnosis/monitoring/potential therapies? Or something else? A worthy pursuit, in either case.

    As for solving loneliness, that's a tricky one. For me, the loneliness is a biproduct of depressive episodes. Something triggers me off, then I can't stand my own company and need outside influences to drag me out of my head a bit. If left to my own devices too much in that state the depression gets worse and causes further loneliness and it's a cycle that can be very difficult to break. Still working on that.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    1 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme
    Also, I'm sorry you feel like encounters in person aren't satisfying, and that they amount to wasted chances (you're welcome to talk more on that if you are of a mind to). But for what it's worth, here your voice is most definitely heard, and very much appreciated. Right now I'm going through one of the worst bouts of depression I can remember. Not because I feel worse, but because there's less reason for it, I'm being more active in combating it than ever before, and it's proving nigh impervious to the sheer number of positives I've been throwing at it, where normally with each one I would start to lift a bit and not crash down so hard again. And in
    this you are one of two people consistently and persistently offering words of encouragement and good sense (the other being my partner). Which isn't to say I don't appreciate the gestures of others on here, or
    from various friends outside the digital sphere, but when you're this far down, it's the ones that keep talking that really start to get through. So thank you for that. And for accidentally making me think of
    bacon (because that was what I saw where you said "beacon").
  15. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    2 May 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hmmm...when I was 11, with the stubbornness that a child can have (I prefer to call it vehemence), I wanted to be a vet. I don't know why. I loved animals and I loved science. It seemed logical. I made the mistake of telling my parents. My mum, from that moment, every time we'd walk the dogs together, she'd ask me, wouldn't you like to be a proper and do medicine? Wouldn't you like to do medicine? Over and over...and to this day I cannot figure out when I swapped my train of thinking, but medicine was my path. I remember liking medicine, I always knew I wanted to help people, and these qualities were translated to me in such a way that my only option was med. I wasn't pushed but I was cultured in that way. For my parents it was always linear, life. And so my future was set. In the last two years of high school, depression took full swing and I didn't end up doing well. All my teachers noticed, my parents were clueless about it. With my parents, when it came to me, perfect grades were expected, not pushed for. And If I did badly (to them the equivalent of getting Credits), I was berated, there was so much anger and physical expressions of it around me. So when I did badly, which was out of character, I got anger and punishment which left me so lost. It was bad. So, when uni time came, I picked biotech, science pretty much, because it was another chance to try for med. I was an international student in Aus, and by the time I finished uni, they had cut funding to the bone, and students of science straight out of uni had no chance. So I couldn't get the experience required to stay. And being forced to leave, after years of learning how to think independently, I was forced to think about what I really wanted out of life. Keep doing degrees until something stuck? No way. They were actually asking me to consider it. And I realized, I never felt at home in Aus, I was living this lie with end goals that weren't mine. I had severe depression, I was so lost.

    Your swimming analogy I can relate to but for me it's a bit attenuated. I've felt like I was floating adrift, occasionally being sucked down into the deep, and I would swim literally to get back to just floating. Now, I'm swimming while on the surface. And I have learned that irrelevant of how strong my stroke, how close my goals are, how on course I am for them, I can get sucked down. Depression...just is.

    Continued...

  16. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    2 May 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    It's like DNA in cells. It has a finite number of times it can be replicated, at the point, the cell dies and is replaced. Cycles and cycles. Depression, to me, just hits. There doesn't have to be a reason, and I've been struggling with that concept recently as, for the first time in my life I made all my decisions I told people rather than asked for opinions, I didn't listen to the naysayers, everyone can catch up when they're ready. And here I am just, in a really bad bout and trying to manage. So, I understand perfectly where you're coming from. I guess for people like you (and I like to think me) who does the research, puts in the pre-emptive work and does everything right, it's harder to accept because the character type is do the work, succeed. That's what I have understood from your posts, if this is wrong, please tell me.

    I just told you most of my life story, haha. Sorry. But, for as long as you want/need, of course I will keep talking. You help me also, I like to think this is symbiotic. And thank you for hearing me. I appreciate it. I recently "outed" myself to my parents about my depression and...they made jokes, and they don't want to remember, so I can't even talk about it. So, this is where my outlet is. Don't have any physical friends in this country either. So loneliness just seems to echo off the walls for me. I understand completely about not wanting to be in your own company, so I hope you find an outlet somewhere. What about going out for a walk with your very supportive partner? Maybe it doesn't have to be more complicated than that in the short term?

    Biomed Eng...I love science. the mechanics of the body fascinates me. I've been down the pure science road and it's too microscopic. You pick a study and you focus right in, and at that point, you can't see too much else. I prefer a macroscopic take on science. Interconnection between all the sciences, because that's how the body works ultimately. I realized I didn't want to do med because it wasn't enough for me (not that I don't respect doctors) I just wanted more innovation than effecting things that have already been done. I also realized I can help people in more ways than just med. Plus, this would also satisfy the creative part in my brain. Incorporating everything might mean some satisfaction/happiness in life. I'm taking my risk. I hope that explains it...I can ramble sometimes.

    Haha, bacon.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    2 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    I had to stop and think for a bit about your interpretation of my stance on things (i.e. do the work, succeed), and I concluded that's an aspect, but a long way from the whole picture. It's as much about logic and precedent. If I haven't tried something before, I can't guarantee my chosen path will succeed. If there are a lot of variables, particularly humans, which are largely outside of my control, I *definitely* can't guarantee my path will succeed. If I've had a particular problem before (i.e. one of these episodes) and something has worked before, I expect a reasonable chance of success, especially when using a combination of equally good techniques that have worked for me in the past. If my research has turned up high rates of success with a certain solution applied to a specific problem (a path of logic, if not experience), again, I estimate a reasonable chance of success. When both precedent and logic fail to yield results, I have a problem (i.e. the current little episode I'm not doing a great job of getting out of).

    I won't assume you live it the same way I do or that the causes are directly relatable, but in terms of my own experience, I'm going to have to disagree with you on depression just hitting without a reason. I'm perfectly convinced that whilst this bout is a lot harder to work with than usual, there is a reason for it. I have spent a lot of time dissecting the lead-up to and duration of this episode, and have turned up a lot of little niggling things I hardly noticed on their own (and I think there are more to find), but which have snowballed into a great mess for me. I wasn't well for a bit, a while ago. Not badly ill either but my digestion was, shall we say, a little too regular. As a result, I was hungry a lot, which food wasn't satisfying for long, the hunger was keeping me awake, the sleeplessness made me need energy for which I was even more hungry, and so the cycle kept going around. Add shift work and a neighbour that won't shut up, and you have one extremely stressed person. Stressed and tired person reacts more easily to triggers, past events surface and demand to be dealt with, etc. etc. So while nothing huge is going wrong in my life that wasn't already askew and being worked on, a bit of an upset stomach threw the whole balance out of whack. It's entirely possible if you really pull apart the nuts and bolts of it you could find the same sort of game of connect-the-dots in your own relapses.

  18. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    2 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    No need to apologise for sharing your story, by the way. I'm glad you did, and doubly so to know I'm of some help to you. Sounds like you've been pretty isolated for a long time, and having more meaningful communication in your life is high on your list of priorities. I'm sorry to hear your parents have been so unsupportive and lacking in understanding.

    If you don't mind me making an observation, and obviously I do this without the full range of knowledge to draw from so may be a bit off, but it seems to me like you have plenty of reason to be fighting with depression in the here and now, and aren't being pulled down senselessly at all. It may not be that some huge thing is going wrong right now, but that the past is catching up with you, and/or that on some level you're realising that just because something you're going through now isn't half as bad as before, it's still not okay and you deserve better.

    You said you're in the grunt work stage of your education, that you don't really have any friends to physically be with here, and that your parents expect big things of your grades and chastise you otherwise. So basically it's been a while since a milestone, and you don't have someone to be there and encourage you or support you when you struggle, or celebrate with you when you succeed or do have a milestone? That would make me pretty damn sad, and it would remind me of all the other times it was like that, which would make me feel worse. You have reason to be down, you have the right to want better and you're not the only one who has been there or felt like that, so it's not senseless or hopeless at all.

    I could be wrong, and tell me if I am, but I think like me you prefer to look forward not backward and work at making things better, but sometimes the past keeps hanging onto our heels and slowing us down. Stuff you've been through is obviously still weighing on you, as is the case for me. I keep finding that little things in the present unearth stuff long past that I didn't even realise had bothered me so much. I guess it's in the same way that you can have a hard week at work, running on coffee and adrenaline, and only when you start to wind down on the week-end does the cold that's been chasing you finally take hold and you spend all of what should have been your fun time in bed with the sniffles.

    Another ramble, but it's food for thought, and in contemplating your situation, I've got a slightly better handle on my own. It's a good thing.

  19. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    3 May 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Okay, I understand the reasoning. Your chances have a higher probability of succeeding if you base you attempt to solve the problem based on experience and logic.

    I didn't mean to imply that it occurred without reason, I meant more that it existed around the good and the bad. For me anyway. This is actually a newer version of my thinking based on last year and this year. I do have plenty of things troubling me. I know this. And you are right, I tend not to look in the past except to learn from, put it in my experience pile. Just that last year, I felt lost and I was, I was uprooted from a place I've spent my entire adult life in, I left everything behind to come to a place that is trigger city for me. I had no goals, I couldn't even bring myself to think about them. Based on that, I thought setting some goals, in increments (which I have done), worked hard at it and contributed to that bigger goal, plus lose some weight (done) with a lifestyle change, I did everything right, what my psych said what I thought, and yes this Biomed thing I want it, but irrelevant of all that, here I am in this pit, struggling to function again, and I have more functioning to do. When it comes to this depression, for me, one part of my brain knows the linear causes from my environment, can put it down to brain chemistry and development because of that environment, and the second part that laughs as it bowls the other one over.

    It's funny you should talk about my past actually, because all these people I have spoken to tell me that there was reason in my childhood and reason now for me to have depression, and I don't even think of it that way. So I am unable to fully accept depression because it hasn't fully been justified to me. Now, sure there are reasons, but this has been going on a while. My counsellor actually laughed at this because I said that it could have been worse.

    Yea, this is why I don't like the "coping" mechanism of distraction, it just hits harder when you're alone.

    I guess it is a matter of replacing the heavy weight with something lighter (says the person who has no idea how...)

    I'm glad you're having some self-realization while talking things through, always helps :)

  20. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    3 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    It makes more sense when you say it exists around the good and the bad. That's true to my experience as well. My take on that is that it's kind of like a tree (this is a loose analogy, but bear with me). A tree takes years to grow. When it falls, it takes as many years to rot. Likewise, it can take years for depression to form. Even once the circumstances that kicked it off are gone or diminished, it's apt to take just as long to rot. Longer, if you consider that life pressures continue on and feed any negativity that remains. I think these crashes we have are as much the past catching up with us as anything. But as much as they're brain chemistry and such, and tend to bowl over our logical processes, I also think they're communicating with us. Pain exists to tell us to stop what we're doing and dig out the splinter (or fence post, as the case may be).

    Like me, you're working your behind off to overcome current problems and create a better life for yourself. (I love your outlook on Biomed, and that it ticks all the boxes for your creativity and desire to help people.) And the past is the past. You're onward and upward. Except things in the present have a way of linking back and kicking us in the teeth. I've found I've really had to stop and examine exactly why things are triggering me off. How many things went by while I was just surviving that I never really managed to address properly at the time? I'm a thinking person, not a feeling person, so I always rationalised and compartmentalised, and continued on my way. Now I'm a big fat depression sandwich, I've had to admit I'm no robot (sadly, because robots are cool) and that emotions figure into my existence and altogether too many things relating to it, whether I like it or not. So here I am periodically getting really ****ing sad at little things and having to stop and go "well, that thing X years ago really, really bothered me and this reminds me of it". It's been an eye-opener, and not a pretty one, and I've found a bunch of splinters so far this time, and some broken glass, and gravel... you get the idea.

  21. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    3 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    I admit I chuckled a little, myself, when you commented that "it could have been worse". Not because it's amusing in itself, but because I have thought and said the same thing so many times about my own situation. But again, I've come to some realisations. For starters: so what if it could have been worse? Did it need to be? However bad it could have been, and however much worse others may have had it, I experienced what I did, and it damn well sucked. And that matters. Accepting that your experience matters is probably at the core of it, regardless of those other factors.

    And if you're going to compare your experience to those of others, perhaps ask yourself if you would expect anyone else to be doing better, in your shoes? If you wouldn't expect someone else to be able to cope so well, why is your own depression not justified? Although that's not a perfectly definitive measure. Something that would cripple someone else, you or I may walk through like it was nothing, and the things that cripple us may not be a blip on the radar to them. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and our breaking points. I've had some trouble considering my own depression justified, as I went through so much before the proverbial straw broke my back that would make a mess of others, and continued on pretty successfully until that point. It was a rude surprise when I went tumbling over the edge, I can tell you, and I still quite regularly rally against the idea that I wasn't up to dealing with that as well. But it is what it is and I've had to bully myself into accepting that.

    I may have heard the reference to replacing a heavy weight with something lighter, but I can't say I've ever thought of it that way directly. More like chipping away at the existing boulder on my shoulder (ooh rhymes, I'm a poet). If that's the same thing, then you're probably already on the right path. Though if I can throw in my two cents, sounds to me like you could afford to dig out some of those splinters from the past, as well as addressing the present and future. Not just stating what happened but really getting into the nuts and bolts of how you feel/felt about each thing, what you did then and what you can or want to do now. Are you angry with your parents and pretending everything's fine (for example)? Even if you don't send it, write them a letter and get it out. That sort of thing. Forgive me if I overstep my bounds, but those are among my methods and they do help.

    1 person found this helpful
  22. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    3 May 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues
    Hey BC. I erm...I'm having a long, bad day, I can't reign in the tears and the anguish at the moment...I'm ashamed as I write this but, I can't write a full reply right now. I'm sorry. I will write tomorrow (by the time you read this). I apologise again, I just didn't want to leave you hanging
  23. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    4 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme
    Even feeling like that, you made the effort to post. I'm impressed. Don't beat yourself up for having a bad day; we all have them. Lord knows I've had my share lately and a few to spare. Slowly (so, so slowly) coming out of the fog, though, so don't worry about me. I'm in a better position than I was to help, when you're ready to talk.
  24. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    5 May 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Hey. I'm glad, no matter how slowly, that you are coming out of the fog. What's that saying? "If you can't fly then run, can't run then walk, can't walk then crawl. Just keep moving forward." Quotes may not have been appropriate in a guess but...easier to discern.

    I've been in this fog for more than a month now. I have these moments where I feel, yes, I am coming out. Dare I say it, I feel good at those times. Then...bang. Fallen. And I've fallen a lot both physically and emotionally and the emotional fall is much harder to stand up from. It feels like trying to jump with a very short tether to the ground.

    No, I agree, analyzing how we got here, how this occurred helps me to recognize where in the future I could potentially get back to this place. I'm essentially replaying last year, this year, and I put things in place, a counsellor etc. Once I sort out insurance, I will get psychologist, because from my experience, they are more helpful than psyciatrists. Resolving the past though...I'm not sure how, apart from accepting that these things happened to me. In relation to my parents, I have changed the way I interact with them, and they seem to hate it. So while I have changed and asked them to change, there's no respect for me to do so. They love me but they do not respect me, and I would much rather have their respect. They are not my go to for being loved. I agree also, that I should validate my depression, and in doing so validate myself. This happens about 40% of the time, which is a lott bigger than just 1.5 years ago.

    Haha, I have thought that myself, about wanting to be a robot essentially. Just logic, no emotion. And you realise you are a slave to emotion and logic is a choice.

    All thee coping mechanisms and plans that I have, they have all been suggestions because I never had the right coping tools. Mine were harmful to myself. And any given time of depression, I always question if I have to find the right permutation of techniques to feel better or, if my depression just let me feel better. Like, we're walking around, and under all the bad emotions, we actually feel good, and arbitrarily, that cloud comes down and lifts. Because, I can't figure out something that always works. The reasons why have been there but, when you run out of those and still feel it...I just don't know.

  25. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    5 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    It's an appropriate quote, in this instance, as much for me as an individual as for the situation. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's stagnation and not doing what I can to change a situation that is untenable.

    A month is a long time to be in the fog, and it feels so much longer than it is. I can relate to that, the ups and downs, and basically everything you've said about it. Mine's been a couple of weeks so far, and when I say the fog is lifting, it's as much that I'm identifying the problems and the generally crap feeling has evened out and isn't fluctuating so badly. Still no fun, but it's easier to think straight and find the way out when you're not up and down constantly, not knowing if you're Arthur or Martha.

    Seeing a psychologist is definitely a good idea, and can probably help you come to some conclusions about resolving your past and your relationship with your parents. Sounds like a tough situation, and one you probably need to make some decisions about so it doesn't keep negatively impacting your life. Couldn't help but think again how like me you are in some ways. You've echoed my stance on human interaction: i.e. "I don't care if I'm liked, but I want to be respected". Respect is a huge thing for me, and I have removed or limited contact with a family member or two myself, because it wasn't there.

    I'd be seeing a psychologist myself, if not for the financial factor (and that's just for the GP). I know some bulk bill still, but the bulk billing doctors I've been to are consistently pretty poor, and I'd rather not entrust my mental health to someone who got their medical qualifications from a Cornflakes packet. That said, I know I need to resolve a lot of past stuff, myself. Whilst I can and do talk to my partner and make sure he knows what's going on with me, many of my problems stem from past relationships, and that's the sort of stuff I don't want to be beating him over the head with all the time. He deserves better.

    I'm glad you're making some progress with validating yourself and your depression. I've had to do some soul searching on that myself, this time. Realising that after all the work I've put in to knock out the most pressing of my troubles, a goodly portion of my life still sucks. Admitting that in itself is hard, because overall life sucks a lot less than it did, but it's still enough to knock me over periodically. I don't feel justified in doing this badly when life is only half as crap as it used to be.

  26. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    5 May 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    A month is a long time to be in the fog. As far as I'm concerned, one night of intense fog is too long as well.

    Yea, I got a lot out of seeing my last psychologist. Finances were a big (still is really) a big factor for me, when I contacted BeyonBlue, they suggested a psychology center that ended up coosting me 20$ a session. This was because Grad students are the counsellors, but they are supervised by full psychologists. I didn't mind at all, she was more helpful than the psychologist that I saw before here (once because I hated the experience). They learn the newer stuff anyway so...there is also the fact that they have to record you. Again, I didn't mind, all of it as confidential anyway. Maybe you would consider that?

    That's exactly how I feel. Unjustified...

  27. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    5 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    To give some background and context, the greatest hurdle for me was my last relationship. It had been in a bad way for a long time for various reasons, so I left before I wound up driving into a tree (which was a very real consideration on more than one occasion).

    In itself, that was a healing act. Immediately followed by eight months of hell, trying to get his name off the house. The bank had me jumping through hoops, cost me thousands and thousands of dollars, and stressed the absolute hell out of me. Though it was sufficient, there was no convincing them I had enough income, so I was forced to take on every possible shift to keep my payslips pretty until they approved the loan, though I was in no fit state to work that much and my workplace is pretty stressful in itself. They also kept hinting they'd do an inspection to value the property, so as soon as I got home I would have to be perfectly on top of cleaning and stuff like gardening that I likewise didn't have it in me to do.

    Eventually the loan went through and they didn't inspect the place (refusing to tell me one way or another what they were going to do until it was already done), so my stress at the time had been doubled for nothing. Even so I heaved a sigh of relief, and looked at my roster for the next few weeks which was enough to live comfortably on, and not more than I could handle.

    Then the moment everything was signed, sealed and paid for with the house, the roster changed. Cut back to minimum hours, virtually all of them set to exactly counter my natural circadian rhythm, and my days off changed to counter the little bit of time I was getting with my partner. Everything was upside down, and I had a fight to fix the days off (that lasted for weeks). Everything else is still wrong, and my ****ing neighbour actively destroys my sleep every chance he gets. No matter how hard I work to fix it, my life goes to hell. I thought I would have a chance to recover just a bit before having to fix the next huge mess in my life. Sure I haven't liked my job much in a long time, but it had just got to a place I could live with for long enough to get myself together and move on. Then it all blew up in my face. Literally the instant I'd overcome the last unbelievably huge thing. So that's what I'm coming to terms with, and what has me in this slump. How do I take steps I can manage, to fix something this big? I don't know. And this is where I am.

  28. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    5 May 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    I'll start by commending you for having the courage to leave a relationship that was doing you harm. I have had those thoughts that you do, so separating yourself from the main thing that contributes, it is certainly brave and laudable. Especially, considering how you were feeling at the time.

    It sounds like you went through what I can only imagine what the inside of a pressure cooker feels like, and you came out the other side, and from what I understand, the other side is better but you still fell into a depression and you can't think why because you are in a better place. Could it be that all the feelings that you had to deal with when everything was going wrong is just catching up to you now? A...delayed onset if you will? All that stress, there is an emotional cost that you have to account for, and people with depression feel that cost all too much.

    May I ask, what blew up in your face, or is it your depression that you are talking about?

    What if, while working, you slowly took steps (from what you feel is manageable) to look for a new job? Is that unrealistic?

    I am truly sorry you are feeling stuck where you are.

  29. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2220 posts
    5 May 2016 in reply to lookingforme

    Thanks. It's surprising how many people at the time told me they thought I was really brave for making that step, even the ones that didn't know the extent of what I was going through. I'd been with him for about eight years so yeah, it was pretty hard.

    The inside of a pressure cooker is a pretty good description for it. Still feels much the same, quite often. And I do know I have a lot of residual stuff to deal with from that period. That's why I think a psychologist would be of some use to me. I have a lot from that, and indeed relationships before that one too (one of which was downright abusive), to deal with. And my days before relationships. There's a whole big mess there. I had the usual bullying and stuff at school, my parents were cold and distant, I grew up without affection or much encouragement or signs of any love between them either, before they eventually divorsed. Big messy custody battle. The list goes on.

    The thing that blew up in my face was work. Like I said, I had a roster lined up that I could live with. Enough to get by comfortably, not so much I couldn't do it. Then the department was gutted. Half my hours are now in a department I find really difficult to work in, and I work more 5am starts than ever before, and make barely enough money to scrape by. If I go out for one meal now, my week's food budget is thrown into utter disarray and if I'm having a bad time like I have been and don't have it in me to cook, I can't afford to eat well while I pull myself out of it. If I don't eat well, I don't sleep well, and can't anyway because I work at stupid hours and my neighbour wakes me up if I try and sleep when I get home. Things that weren't so bad while I was with the ex, or during the period of sorting out the house have become markedly worse, so I have swapped one untenable situation for another.

    I'm a bit hazy on what I can manage work-wise. I feel like I just need the downtime to recover, to start looking for work. I don't feel at all up to jumping through all the hoops with resumes and interviews and all the rejections one typically takes in a market with few jobs and many seekers, but as things stand I can't get the rest and the break from ongoing stress it takes to get the strength to do what I have to. My current problem to resolve is how to get better than an average of four hours' sleep a night so I can deal with things. There's a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture. Doubly so if one is already depressed.

  30. lookingforme
    lookingforme avatar
    666 posts
    5 May 2016 in reply to Blue's Clues

    Okay, I understand now, what you are going through. One thing after another after another. I am truly sorry I cannot physically help you, snap fingers and presto. I understand about being in the right frame of mind to find work and deal with everything that surrounds it. It's a catch 22 isn't it? You want a job but you don't feel emotionally/mentally capable to find one, so you push it back a bit, waiting for the "right" time. You stew in that cycle. Like a loop on an algorithm without a time condition.

    I think I told you that I recently found a job? 4 days into it and absolute decimation...on top of that trying to study after work and get up early to exercise. All of this, my psychiatrist tells me, well equate to a better headspace. My headspace has been stop and start because of my new meds, and if I plan my day out correctly I can get 8 hours of sleep, but...not counting for insomnia. You speak truth, sleep deprivation is torture.

    I'm sorry I can't pull wisdom out from the air to help you along. You know your situation and from what it sounds like you are actively trying to counteract it. I know it may seem like someone picking you up from the edge of civilization, blindfolding you and dropping you in the middle of a forest, telling you to find your way back. You don't know how but at least you can take off the blindfold. I believe hope comes in when you keep thinking the just on the horizon, just few meters away, is where civilization is. You have mentioned that slowly, you are feeling better, so maybe, just a little bit longer?

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