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Forums / Long term support over the journey / Struggling to go on

Topic: Struggling to go on

  1. Tess2
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    23 April 2018

    Life is being really hard for me and troubles keep compounding. I cannot face wading through what is needed to move forward I feel isolated and alone. I have people who care but I think they can be overloaded with my despair and it can be a burden. There seem to be obstacles all along the way.

    Two years ago I lost my job. A career of 50 years. I am 66 and have no partner. I have not coped well with this loss and now have significant financial problems too. I have to sell my home. Pay off my mortgage and buy a new place. I live with my son who is very caring but I have suppported him financially and emotionally through the family court. His ex is trying to remove him from his daughters life. I feel I have reached my retirement years with very little and no joy. Depression has been a big part of my life. But I have managed. Now I also have severe anxiety. It paralyses me. And panic attacks. I don’t know how to do each day.

  2. stormcloudz
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    23 April 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Hi Tess

    I think it's very understandable that you are feeling especially anxious at the moment - there is a lot going on for you.

    You mentioned you have people who care, which is great, and this is definitely the time to lean on them. And you can get heaps more support here on this forum - you don't need to worry about overloading anyone here!! We've had similar experiences and will understand and support you.

    The good news is that anxiety comes and goes, so you won't feel like this all the time. There is hope, and there still is definitely hope that you can get some pleasure from your retirement.

    I really feel for you, and want you know that you are not alone, and that there are wonderful people on this forum who will want to hear from you, and have a lot of experience in managing depression and anxiety.

    I have had bad anxiety attacks, and it makes it really difficult to think at all. Something that I have found useful is a safety plan. For me this was really simple, and listed out tiny things that helped me feel a little bit better - even if it was only 5% better, as long as it pulled me back from the edge a bit. It was really simple things like having a hot cup of tea, or calling a friend, or watching a familiar and comforting TV series. I'm shy to admit it, but I also had a teddybear (blush). Do you have anything like that, and what would be on your safety plan?

    I also kept numbers to call ready, like Lifeline and BeyondBlue. It's a good idea to give them a ring if you are feeling bad or isolated or like you can't call your friends. It's a friendly ear.

    I know it's hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other in difficult circumstances... but you have coped courageously with depression for so long, and I'm convinced that you can. It's hard going through housing changes, job changes and money worries, it's not surprising your anxiety has really amped up.

    We're here to help and support you. There's also other support out there, and we can help you find it if you don't have it already (eg a counsellor).

    I am sending you strength and peace with all my heart.

    Please post back and let us know how you are doing.

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Tess2
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    24 April 2018 in reply to stormcloudz
    Thank you for the encouragement. I have found calling lifeline etc not so useful. I don’t want to be told to get counselling and given numbers. I have had loads of counselling over the years. I am not what these services can do really except provide a sympathetic ear
  4. smallwolf
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    24 April 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Tess2,

    Hi. And welcome to Beyond Blue. I hope that you know that you can talk openly here knowing that you will not be judged by others here. It is a very safe place to post.

    I am saddened that that you have not had much/any success with counselling services etc. At the moment I want you to know that I listening/reading your posts. There are threads on the forums here you might find useful for dealing with anxiety etc. My own psych has also given me the distraction and coping tools. If you are open to these suggestions please let me know and I will post more.

    Smallwolf.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Tess2
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    24 April 2018 in reply to smallwolf
    Thsnk you thst epild be helpful. It is not that counselling hasnt helped in tha past. But it is like i know now what they are going to say. It is slso a cost i cant afford
    3 people found this helpful
  6. smallwolf
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    25 April 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Hello again,

    Firstly, I have 2 apps recommended by my psych. They are virtual hope box and relax melodies. I only purchased relax melodies for the additional meditations. Virtual hope box contains a couple of meditations plus a number of distraction tools. One of these is a word search game that only uses positive words. While I was initially sceptical, I found that it actually does work.

    I also have deep breathing exercises, and a mindful eating exercise (using minties) to ground me into the present moment. With the mindful eating exercise, you use all of your senses. I have added posts elsewhere on the forum, where I go into more detail about each of these activities. I will find the link and let you know shortly.

    2 people found this helpful
  7. smallwolf
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    25 April 2018 in reply to smallwolf

    My psych has suggested mindful eating exercise...

    Take a mintie or similar treat. Feel it in your hand. How does it feel? What does it smell like? Does it make a sound when you roll it around in your hand? How small or large is it? What colour is it?
    It is about engaging all of your senses.

    Now take off the wrapper and repeat the above exercise. Does it feel sticky? Or not? Is the smell stronger? Again, engage all of your senses

    Next... Put the sweet into your mouth. But don't bite into it. Just suck it. How does it taste? Any sounds? How does it feel? After a short while bite into it.... Don't attempt this with a hard sweet! Consider the sound, taste, smell.

    The idea is to take your thoughts from your current stress and put all your energy and focus into something else.

    You can do similar with meditation, with breathing, listening, feeling, sensing.

    4 people found this helpful
  8. Tess2
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    27 April 2018 in reply to stormcloudz
    Thank you. I am really struggling to start each day and do the things i have to do. I feel particularly down today and wonder how long i can go on feeling this way. I dont think that i can.
  9. stormcloudz
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    27 April 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Tess

    That sounds hard, and it's so tough when a particularly down day comes through. You are not alone - on this forum you are surrounded by friendly folk who understand that at some times it is hard to put one foot in front of the other.

    Are you at that point where you can't get up, and any suggestions that anyone else has just sound pointless? Or are you so hyper-anxious that you just can't settle to anything? Or both?

    People on this forum will understand and will be happy to offer practical advice or emotional support, whatever you need.

    It is so, so hard to trust this when we are in a dark place, but things can improve. You have a lot happening at the moment, it's not surprising that any underlying depression or anxiety is coming to the fore.

    People with depression are often reluctant to ask for help and battle on alone. Is there anyone around you that can provide some practical or emotional support, no matter how small? If not, we are still here for you.

    At certain times I have found it helpful to remember that if it all just gets too much, you can always call the ambulance. Although it's a bit of a drastic option, it's good to have a backup plan.

    I think it's amazing that you are keeping on going and getting a few things done. That is just great. Even if it's only tiny, every action is a huge victory in the midst of depression. You are such a trooper.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Tess2
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    27 April 2018 in reply to stormcloudz
    I am hyperanxious but also cant get moving or get up for hours. Suggestions seem well meaning but i feel so alone. I have never felt this alone.
  11. Tess2
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    28 April 2018 in reply to stormcloudz
    Thank you for your encouragement and support. I just want to feel better
    1 person found this helpful
  12. stormcloudz
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    28 April 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Tess

    Being hyperanxious and unable to do anything is a horrible combination, I know.

    I also understand your experience of listening to people's suggestions or talking to the hotline, and thinking that all suggestions seem so...trite compared to the experience.

    Those suggestions are based on the lived experience of people who have been in the same situation as you - but maybe those suggestions aren't right for you at the moment. They may be, at a different time. For example, at one time the minties exercise above would have meant nothing to me, but at the moment it sounds like a helpful idea (thanks smallwolf, really liked that). Try to be patient with us even when we suggest things that don't quite work for you, we know how that feels too.

    It is so understandable that you just want to feel better. It is very hard to feel so alone. Remember we are all here to support you, you are not alone, and we do have a deep empathy with you.

    You are going through a really rough time, but it will pass and things will improve.

    Are you on any medication? Sometimes it's helpful in digging ourselves out of the hole. Do you have a helpful GP?

    Please post again and let us know how you are going.

    3 people found this helpful
  13. stormcloudz
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    28 April 2018 in reply to stormcloudz
    PS it's probably worth mentioning that I have experienced that combination of anxiety/paralysis a few times in my life, usually, like you, in response to difficult external circumstances. I came out of the most recent bout through a combination of GP advice and physio/massage (it was worth the money for me, but I haven't heard anyone else mention this). I have confidence that things can change for you, but know it's really hard to take those first steps.
    1 person found this helpful
  14. Tess2
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    30 April 2018 in reply to stormcloudz
    I appreciate your post. I feel terrible today. So alone. So panicky. I am so frightened for today and the future. I can not continue like this.
    1 person found this helpful
  15. Ggrand
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    30 April 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Hello Tess, I'm sorry your feeling terrible today and so alone..

    I hope you don't mind me visiting you, I'm also in a very similar place as you are..I'm not far of your age, lost my general store A couple of years ago, living on my own and have BP2 and anxiety like you wouldn't know..it keeps me housebound a lot and when I can get outside or to the shops, I cannot talk face to face with people..and the loneliness I feel is so very overwhelming at time..

    I have been practising the fine art of distraction a lot and have found when my thoughts go bad I will try to do something that distracts my thoughts, I play internet games, but the mind challenging games, to keep my negative thoughts away and onto my game..Also I do meditation a lot, and play instrumentals with my earphones in, I pick out an instrument and follow it right through the song, this aso helps me a lot..

    When my anxiety is heading for a panick attack I do Counted deep breathing it helps me as well..Breath 1-2-3-4-5-..out.5-4-3-2-1. I continue doing this until my anxiety has lessened of and I'm able to go out and do what needs doing..

    Do you have any favourite bands you like to listen to..my favourites are.. Black Sabboth, Yard birds, animals, Creedence, Eric Claptain, Robin Trowel, Jimmie Hendrix,

    What kid of hobbies do you or did you like doing?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Warm and caring thoughts (hugs if you like them).

    Grandy

  16. Tess2
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    30 April 2018 in reply to Ggrand
    Thank you. I dont mind you visiting at all. It is supportive to know i am not alone in how i feel. I have stopped listening to music I crave silence I like your choices of music. I cannot calm my mind enough to meditate yet. I am so terrified
  17. Ggrand
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    30 April 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Hello Tess and thank you for your welcome..

    I was like you are atm..I craved silence, I never had to or radio on for over two years, I found that while there was since my mind went like a tornado with negative thoughts.

    I started with guided meditation on the suggestions of the wonderful people here that reached out and caught me in my depth of despair and depression, Now I have alway the radio on even though I don't listen to it, it's some form of distraction because it's not quiet.. I live on the outskirts of a very tiny village, no cars, people to be seen or heard for days or weeks at a time..

    Can I ask you very warmly and with care for you. What is it your terrified of..(only if you want to answer, there no pressure). Just concern for you.. I want you to know that I'm listening and would so much like to help you if I can.

    Care and warming thoughts (hugs if you like them).

    Grandy

    3 people found this helpful
  18. Tess2
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    30 April 2018 in reply to Ggrand
    I am terrified of waking each day and having to get through it. I am terrified of having no money. I am terrified that my house wont sell and i will then not be able to pay the mortgage. I am terrified of looking for work. I am terrified of what is next. Thank you
  19. stormcloudz
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    30 April 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Hello Tess

    That is a horrible feeling, being frozen with fear, and constantly thinking the worst.

    I am sending you lots of strength, calmness and courage, and want you to know that you are not alone. People on this forum understand your feelings, and know that you are going through a very hard time at the moment.

    You are probably feeling exhausted, so I won't try to provide any practical suggestions, but dont hesitate to let us all know if there is anything you are looking for in terms of suggestions or advice. We are here for you.

    3 people found this helpful
  20. stormcloudz
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    1 May 2018 in reply to stormcloudz

    Hi Tess

    Just thinking of you this evening and wondering how you are going : )

    1 person found this helpful
  21. Tess2
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    1 May 2018 in reply to stormcloudz
    Anxious. But I do feel calmer as the evening comes on. I feel that I am safer. Thank uou
    1 person found this helpful
  22. randomx
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    1 May 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Hi tess.

    First up l've gotta ask , but you don't have to say for privacy reasons if you'd rather not.

    But what is tess from ?

    Reason l ask is l call my gf , well now ex , tess, but her real name is teresa. l'd never heard tess before it was just something l made up from teresa. But now l've seen a few tess's , there's even two in BB and just this week a new furniture brand out called tessa , which is another version l call her. . Sorry if you mind l know you got much bigger things on your mind.

    Tess you could get the pension now couldn't you ? I'm not asking you to talk about your personal finances but maybe when the house sells and it'll sell don't worry ok.

    Would there be anything left to downsize right down into something you could afford on the pension? Could somebody very good with finances help perhaps ? Not necessarily a financial adviser personally l don't have much faith in them , unless it was someone very good. But just someone that really knows their money and tricks. Know anyone self made maybe , you could talk to about your sitch.?

    rx

    l'm very sorry about your sitch and also your sons and l pray he doesn't give into that and give up his kids.

    1 person found this helpful
  23. stormcloudz
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    2 May 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Hi Tess

    Really glad that it was a little better yesterday evening.

    How are you going now? Feel free to ask the forum for anything you would like in terms of practical suggestions or general support. Many of us have been in a bad place at times and will understand.

    So glad yesterday was a bit lighter.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Tess2
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    3 May 2018 in reply to randomx
    I am not sure where the tess came from, but it. COuld be from my name ... yes i get the pension. It is partly the stress of having to move, and feeling the loss of choice, I have lost a lot in the last few years and i think it has all compounded. I cant help it. I am sure once i have sold and moved some of this will go away, but the anxiety is terrible and the physical panic. Everyblittle thing seems to make me very stressed. Yoday infeel very down about it all. Thank you for your reply
    1 person found this helpful
  25. Tess2
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    3 May 2018 in reply to randomx

    Tess is also a not uncommon short form of teresa, therese. And so on. There is alsoma famous heroine in literature. ” Tess of the D’urbevilles”. A novel by Thomas Hardy.

    2 people found this helpful
  26. Tess2
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    3 May 2018 in reply to stormcloudz

    Thank you, i find your posts supportive. I seem to have a reasonable day and then fall in a hole. Today i feel very anxious again. The process of selling my home is wearing me down. Getting ready for home opens twice a week i seem to be always cleaning and tidying and living in an unnatural state in suspension. It is like living in a display home .

    I never used to be much of a worrier, now i worry about everthing and cant seem to turn it off, even if it is beyond my control.

    I just want to feel calm.

    1 person found this helpful
  27. stormcloudz
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    3 May 2018 in reply to Tess2

    Hi Tess

    Don't be too hard on yourself for being anxious over this period - selling a house is stressful, and having to keep the house looking like a display home is exhausting!

    I think you are absolutely right, and once the sale process is over and you have settled down, the extreme anxiety will also settle down. In the meantime (and afterward) we are here for you.

    Can I congratulate you on keeping the sale process going and maintaining the house for inspections? I think that is great, you really deserve a pat on the back. All that extra housework!

    2 people found this helpful
  28. Tess2
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    4 May 2018 in reply to stormcloudz
    Thank you for the encouragement. It is a hard slog to keep doing this. I know it is small in comparison to somethings, but it is wearing me down. I feel a bit down today and stressed. I feel like i am not living , but can do nothing about it. I really want to lighten up.
  29. stormcloudz
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    4 May 2018 in reply to Tess2

    I recognise that a little....sometimes we go through a difficult period of transition where we are just aiming to cope with all the changes, nothing more. For a while, life narrows down dealing with what's in front of us. Is that what it's like for you at the moment?

    Selling your house isn't small, it's a big deal and takes a lot of energy (physical, emotional and mental). It's courageous of you to keep slogging on, despite the anxiety and the lows.

    What type of things interest you normally? Do you like books, music, animals, sport, crafts? I am a big animal lover - cats, dogs, horses, fish, anything : )

  30. randomx
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    4 May 2018 in reply to stormcloudz

    Yeah spot on storm , it is tess , God it feels strange call someone else that name . BUT It's really big thing all that your not alone , most people go through all that selling.

    Last time for my my realestate would ring up , he'd always give me 24hrs notice , but there were a lot of lookers and once or twice a day sometimes , others just a few a week , l'd get the call. Couldn't relax or live how l live , l'm messy haha, cleaning up every 5mins for the next one, what a pain..

    One night l had a party , no calls all week , 9am sat morng he rings up with a special request if he could bring someone right away, an hour. after a party , l'd only just gone to bed , drunk , place looked like a bomb hit it . l said no but he said you really should let them come l think these people will buy it. Oh ok then , damn it. Raced around cleaning up , hung over 2 hours sleep, but he was right they bought it thank god so that was the last one.

    3 people found this helpful

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