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Forums / Staying well / OVERWHELMED AND NUMB

Topic: OVERWHELMED AND NUMB

  1. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    4 December 2021
    I have come a long way since struggling anxiety and depression but that low feeling us almost like a drug that I keep craving. I am blessed with an amazing husband, 2 great kids, parents that do far too much for me for their ailing age and have had the same friend circle for decades. I have so many reason to be grateful and feel blessed and yet I feel no genuine joy. I don't cook like I use to. I'm not a homemaker like I should be. I'm just always on the couch infant if the TV. I see things that need to be done round the house but don't know where to start. I'm ashamed to say that I fantasies about being diagnosed with something that I can blame this feeling on. Then feel bad for being so selfish to put my loved ones through that. I just feel like I can't "adult" sometimes. I hear what married friends did during the day....prepare meals, declutter the house, build a shed...and I feel like I'm failing as a wife and parent and not setting a good example for my kids. I've been in and out of therapy all my life but decided to get a referral for a psychiatrist. I've heard women in their 40s are getting diagnosed with ADHD now. My son has it and reading up on it made me think...I thought this was all normal behavior...maybe I can get the help I finally need (or maybe I'm still fishing fir something to be wrong with me so I can blame it on that!) I don't even feel comfortable being here. I feel ashamed and selfish. Yet I keep writing. I feel alone in a room full of loved ones. I feel unworthy sharing a bed with a man who has proven 100 times he loves me unconditionally. I read self help books. I do daily affirmations. But the slightest spanner in the works and I just want to quit my job and be alone. But I can't afford to. I'm turning 47 and I feel I have nothing to show for it but giving up and taking advantage of loved ones' help. My boys are in their late teens and I feel I haven't prepared then for the real world. I don't know why I'm here. You guys helped I my darkest hours 3 years ago. I quit a toxic job and got help with your support. I don't even know what I need or want right now. I'm just overwhelmed and numb. Money is such an issue. It's the root of our problems. I don't love my job but it keeps me safe, it's somewhat flexible and helps with our debts. It's the festive season and I don't want to go out, buy gifts or anything. I don't know what's wrong with me? I just want to feel joy around me....and I can't.
    1 person found this helpful
  2. Isabella_
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    Isabella_ avatar
    162 posts
    4 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    Hey there,

    Thanks for opening up on here. I can see you're in a lot of pain and feeling really stuck right now.

    I want you to know that the voice in your head telling you that you're looking for a diagnosis as an excuse for what you're feeling/how you're acting sounds like it's influenced by the stigma of "people with mental health issues are selfish and use it for attention".. or "I'm not sick I just need to get over it", "I'm just ungrateful and lazy". I could be wrong, but it does sound like you're dismissing a potential mental health issue based on some very real stigmas in our world.. I've been guilty of that based on what I've heard and what people have said to me.

    Shame around mental health issues is soooo engrained and unconscious.. It's a broader social thing and it isn't your fault.. We've been conditioned to believe that mental health issues even today are so taboo and as a result so many people blame, isolate and invalidate themselves and don't get treated.

    I hope you can come to a place where you can acknowledge that, you aren't making this pain up, and you deserve to be able to feel involved and appreciative of the great things in front of you, and not feel like you're floating through watching it happen unable to feel. You aren't ungrateful. You just aren't in a place mentally where those feelings can come naturally to you and perhaps there are some more issues deep down that need to be dealt with.

    Recovering from anxiety and depression is never linear... It can be lifelong. As you've said you've been in and out of therapy, and it's amazing that after researching ADHD you feel like you fit the criteria, because it means you can get some answers that will help you understand yourself a bit more. And that's a massive win. ADHD is one of those things likely inherited from parents, and same with Autism, women are veeerrry unrepresented in those diagnoses.

    I can see you're feeling really lonely and that money is a big stress for you right now. You feel that you aren't a good parent or wife and you haven't set up your children for adulthood.. That must feel really painful. I know you want to feel joy again.. I know that you're capable of that one day.

    And hey.. you don't have to know what you're here for or what you want. I'm just glad you shared this today instead of carrying it on your own shoulders alone.. I imagine you've been doing that for some time. I may not know you, but I care and I hear your pain. I'm here to chat if you need it <3

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    4 December 2021 in reply to Isabella_
    That made me well up a bit....and exhale. Your words wrapped around me like a comforting hug. I appreciate you for making me feel seen and heard. Thank you.
    1 person found this helpful
  4. Isabella_
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    Isabella_ avatar
    162 posts
    4 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    No of course, that's what this place is for <3

    I hope you're managing to take care of yourself in some small ways, they all count.

    How have you been feeling today?

  5. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    4 December 2021 in reply to Isabella_
    I managed to do tick a couple of things off my checklist and then I just wanted to rest and I did. I ordered pizza for dinner, too. An expensive exercise but can think straight sometimes and putting dinner together is overwhelming. I'm hoping to go out to shops tomorrow eith husband and kids. I can't go on my own. Thanks again for your words
  6. Petal22
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    2020 posts
    4 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    Hi Apollonia,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    Im really sorry you are feeling this way.

    Joy…….. I’m really sorry you are unable to feel this at this moment but you will feel it again really you will.

    I use to feel this way it wasn’t a very nice feeling……. I just wanted to feel like me again before I went through severe anxiety OCD….. I felt very overwhelmed with everything.

    It took time but thanks to the professional help that I received I’m now back in that joyful place… and I’m now a newer stronger version of me.

    How did I get my joy back? I did therapy that taught me how to break free of the vicious cycle I was in. I also learned to change my perspective on things and perceptions.

    I learned to challenge my thoughts

    I learned to wake up in the morning and think straight away of all the things I was grateful for .

    I do everything out of LOVE

    I go for walks outside and I really practice being present…. I really look at my world in wonder and I tell myself how grateful I am to see a blue beautiful sky, the beautiful coloured flowers I get to breathe in the fresh air….. I choose to see my life as a miracle every day and I’ve learned to tap into joy……..

    You are full of purpose, I believe that every human being on this planet has a purpose even if it’s to be loving and understanding to ourselves and others …….. your a beautiful wife and mother.

    Have you been able to speak to your gp about the way you are currently feeling?

    My gp also put me on a antidepressant to help me to manage my anxiety.

    Please try to be kind to yourself.

    Do you have anything that you like to do for you?

    I understand it’s hard at the moment but things will get better for you.

  7. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    5 December 2021 in reply to Petal22
    I have a referral to see a psychiatrist from gp but dpubt I'll get in to see one anytime soon. I'm reading a good book on bring present, manifesting postive thoughts ...so.etimes it resonates with me...sometimes I'm just reading words and not connecting. I have a job that allows me a lot of flexibility and yet I don't use it. I'm working from home, I could pick up things during the day, tidy the house but I don't. My job is affected covid lickdiwn a lot of people didn't return to work. So what once was a job that helped people has become a job that now inconveniences lives. And I know it's put of my control and management have good about it. But I still want out and then what? What other job will be there be where I'm working at home or close to it and have the flexibility to do what I want. I struggling to appreciate how good I have it at times. It's like I'm expecting a Lotto win to be the only resolution to my problem.
    1 person found this helpful
  8. Isabella_
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    Isabella_ avatar
    162 posts
    5 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    I'm glad to hear that. I know it's easy to feel guilt for being tired if you don't feel like you've necessarily been productive.. But it's great that you're listening to what your mind and body is telling you. Depression and anxiety is exhausting.. Constantly being in fight or flight, a lot of mental and physical fatigue. The flexibility of working from home is amazing but I think it has its own set of issues, like the lack of work/home separation, more pressure to self motivate and so on. But of course.. it sounds like you don't like your job for many more reasons and of course that would make it much harder to be motivated.

    I'm glad you've gotten a referral for a psychiatrist. I really hope the wait times aren't long.. Perhaps it might be helpful to look for some alternative resources or backups in the mean time. It sounds like you're practicing self care by reading books and learning..

    One day at a time. <3

  9. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    17 December 2021 in reply to Isabella_

    I'm struggling this morning. I just cannot feel any job. My melb family is coming up for Xmas after 2 years of missed ones and I haven't prepared for it. House is I. Amess, no shopping for Xmas presents or new clothes. I have a Xmas party tomorrow morning and one at night and I'd rather not go to either. It's hard to feel the way I do when you have a wonderful husband and amazing sons. I don't want to drag them down with me but I don't have the energy to build up my spirits and share joy with them. I know I have no reason to be withdrawn from the world and loved ones...I just can't find joy in anything. I love my family but I don't feel like hugging them, spending time with him...I just feel like a shell of a person pretending to feel all the things. My psychologist is on leave and no word from psychiatrist though haven't really pursued it. Had yo have mri and an ultrasound this week and part of me wants bad news....anything to justify my lack of response to life and loved ones right now.

  10. Sophie_M
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    Sophie_M avatar
    6652 posts
    17 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia
    Hi Apollonia,

    We're really glad you see this space as somewhere where you can reach out and share these kinds of experiences. We are so sorry to hear that you have been feeling so low lately and have been struggling to find motivation. We are here to support you through this. Our members are here to support you too.

    If you would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals. 
  11. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    10955 posts
    17 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    Dear Apollonia~

    A lot of what you have said in this thread resonates with me. For instance I too had wanted to have everything taken out of my control by having a fatal illness. It's not something peculiar to just you and me either. Those great pressures to act as if one was fit and well are simply overwhelming at times.

    Of course with that feeling of wanting it to stop goes guilt, even more than you are feeling already.

    I guess we have both fallen into a trap, though I am now out of it and in a much better place, able to do the things I need, plus loving as well as being loved.

    You have had a long part of your life with anxiety and depression, and that is a very real illness, and pushes one into a state where many things are simply not possible.

    The trap is to judge yourself as if you were well. If you had a broken leg you would not expect yourself to do everyday tasks, it is no difference with a mental illness, you simply can't do things, and yet sadly feel very guilty - and frustrated.

    In that dark place the world does shrink down until you see nothing but all the problems and wonder if there will be any improvement in the future -you cannot see how.

    All the good things in your life, the love of your family, a job and all the rest simply do not apply, so thinking you have these as advantages and you 'should' feel better as a result is part of that trap. They realy make no difference except to pile on more guilt.

    There is hope, I'm an example, from a suicidal mess with depression, anxiety and other problems to where I am now. I would never have believed that was possible, but I have.

    You are doing better than you realize, with making appointments for medical help, and keeping that job, and most importantly being loved. Plus seeking comfort here too with those that understand

    Please, rather than expecting to do all the things you may think important, with Christmas and visitors and household chores - setting yourself up for failure as you simply are not capable of it all

    Instead try to concentrate on little things, getting up, doing the minimum, each thing accomplished is a small victory in itself. You may be surprised how successes help.

    Please also try to find something to make yourself feel good, if only for an instant, a food, music, books, walking outside, - I do not know what you have enjoyed, you do - if you can remember, and if not ask your hubby.

    You can get though this time, people love you

    I hope you would like to talk some more

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    17 December 2021 in reply to Croix
    God bless you, Croix
  13. Croix
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    Croix avatar
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    17 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    Dear Apollonia~

    Thank you for your reply, it makes me feel great to be appreciated like that.

    I guess that you are very much appreciated to by your husband, parents , kids and freinds too. That does not just happen by itself you know. You must be a lovely person to have others feel that way about you.

    Perhaps at the moment they may be able to see the real you better than you can yourself.

    I can understand your worry over bringing those kids up, now on the verge of adulthood, however consider this:

    Kids brought up in easy street, plenty of money, parents that never face hard times, and generally been insulated from the realities of life. How are they going to react when things tax them later on?

    Your kids have the wonderful advantage of loving parents - who love and support each other too, plus grandparents who give support as well. OK, so finances are shaky, and you are not able to do a fair number of tasks you think you should. Life is not perfect!

    So your kids already have an introduction to hassles and will be better able to cope with ones that will inevitably appear in their lives. All of your family - including especially you - are an example of how things should be and how difficulties take their toll, coping skills and support come to the fore.

    At one point in my life I had a medical condition, a spot on a lung, and it was on the cards I had the big C - having been a heavy smoker all my life. I survived however it made me think a lot - priorities, duties and importance in particular, and I've even remembered some of it:)

    Xmass presents, preparations, decorations, fancy food and a whole raft other other things are simply not important.

    When you come right down to it you find it is people, relationships, kindness and love that are the worthwhile things. so please simply give what you can and accept that at the moment that is all you have to offer - it will work out fine.

    There are no weighing-scales in relationships. Presents and all material things do not tip the balance at all when feelings are genuine.

    At one stage when my PTSD, Depression and anxiety were at their worst I made my wife a cup of tea, a complete momentary change from my angry and resentful self. It was more than appreciated, it showed inside I still cared. The smallest thing - even just a quick kiss - can count for an awful lot.

    I've not been able to find your posts from 3 years ago -sorry. I'm glad we were there for you. Do you remember anything that helped you at the time?

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    19 December 2021 in reply to Croix

    My post from 3 years ago would've related to my last job and a combination of recovering from spine surgery, opioid medication with a gaslighting boss. I ended up in our garage contemplating ending it....while my boys were handing my beautiful husband their Father's Day gift....I called BEYOND BLUE instead. And I'll never forget the look on my husband's face when he found me on the phone crying and I told him who I was talking to.

    I know I've come along and I've survived a number of challenges.

    My Dr called to me say my recent tests and scans were normal....but when he asked if there was anything else...I said that will be all, instead of:

    - why do I often feel spaced out and overwhelm a lot of the time?

    - besides gastric bypass surgery, how can I lose the necessary weight to improve my health (30kgs at least) when I feel zero motivation at all

    I said..that'll be all. He had given me a referral for a psychiatrist. I tried once to get through and left it at that.

    I know I need help but it's going yo take motivation to fit thi hs dine and I just don't know have. Last night with my girlfriends of 30 years, they're talking about when they're preparing food for Xmas or what products works best in the bathroom...U don't do any of it. I don't live in squalor because helps a bit. But I don't cook and clean like a 47yo wife and mother should raised in the Italian family I was in. I'm not being hard of myself - it's a fact.

    I spend far too much time feeling sorry for myself and on my phone.

    I am dangerously overweight and incompetent around the house,and kitchen. Xmas Day is going to be torture for me. Every year, I have lunch with inlaws and dinner with my parents. This year my sister from Melb is here after years of covid restrictions....I should've hosted both families at my house. And I didn't because I felt I couldn't and now on Xmas Day my beautiful sister and family will be waiting till I get there at dinner.

    I know changes start with me.

    I know I loved, supported and safe.

    I can articulate my feelings with loved ones and feel heard

    I just don't know what is wrong with me.

    I want to lose weight

    I want to fill most of my spare cooking or baking instead of aimlessly on my phone

    I want to look forward to social Interactions i stead of hoping somethings going to happen to cancel it

    I need help with these 3 things! I know it. But everything requires effort and where's the motivation.

    Every1 in my life deserves a better version of me.

     

  15. Isabella_
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    Isabella_ avatar
    162 posts
    19 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    It resonated with me when you said that you have to be a better version of yourself for those around you.. I think it starts with being the best version of yourself for yourself which arguably is much harder.

    Motivation is a tricky one. When I think about needing to do assignments and procrastinating with studies when I'm in a poor headspace.. It seems like a super distant thing completely out of my reach that I seem to be waiting on. Depression quite literally strips all desire and motivation as you know, and everything seems incredibly difficult.

    One thing I've had to learn is that motivation won't arrive, it doesn't seem to be something that comes to you unless you make the journey to do it. It seems the more we avoid things the more we dread them, the more draining of our energy they become. In my studies, my brain tends to think of the bigger picture.. Good grades = a good job/success, etc etc. But it doesn't matter when it comes down to it.. Because when I think that way it becomes too overwhelming. I get frustrated with myself that I can't do the little things to meet the bigger goal, be who I want to become. I catastrophise it in my brain and it's a ridiculously hard habit to break.

    I guess in my brain, the way motivation is conceptualised is unrealistic and very frustrating, because it seems that I have to force myself to do things even if it isn't there, and my brain learns that it isn't as draining as I think it to be, and motivation arrives for me that way.. The dreading and contemplating and sense of failure is the draining bit.. Not the task itself at times. I'm sure you can relate to that in some way..

    Discipline in my mind is more important than motivation.. From the sounds of it, you have the tangible motivations in front of you, your husband, family, health - but you're lacking the feeling of being motivated, when I suppose it isn't a feeling worth waiting for because it doesn't arrive very easily unfortunately.. Change begins with discomfort and falling down, 'the point' being unimportant and unattainable.. But I think most importantly, it's just doing things bit by bit, the smallest of things and working upwards.

    It's so much easier said than done.. Maybe you'll never feel ready to make changes or motivated, and that's okay. The more I started changing how I think about my feelings of dread and the things making me procrastinate as simply just deterrences manifested by depression and anxiety, the more I could learn to ignore them..

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  16. Isabella_
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    Isabella_ avatar
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    19 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    I'm sorry for the long ramblings haha. I have some questions.. You don't have to answer them if I'm being too nosey.

    I know that you have goals for who you want to be, and that's amazing. There's a lot you know you have to do and change and it's a great thing that you recognise that.. Starting is the hardest part.

    I'm curious.. When it comes to chores around the house, seeing your friends/family, the things you want to do that you're finding really difficult.. What goes through your mind and what happens before doing these things, thinking about them?

    Do you decide to procrastinate, and as a result feel guilt/overwhelm from all the things you have to do, and you start to feel stuck? Do you feel discouraged at the thought or before trying to begin a task like cleaning the kitchen, etc?

    Do you find it easier to procrastinate and avoid these things.. Or are you reaching a point where you're left feeling down and tired of not being able to do what you need to?

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  17. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    19 December 2021 in reply to Isabella_

    Don't apologize for rambling...I mustve been on a roll when I first replied to you because I went beyond the maximum number of characters!!!

    So, I'll try and be more logical and less emotional and reply to you one at a time.

    Qhem it comes to chores around the house, sometimes I don't where to start and then I tell myself to just focus on one area. It helps when I out headphones on and listen to a podcast and can get thru a whole task. Without it, it's almost like I'm talking myself out of the effort be absent I have chronic pain, it'll take too long and it won't be long before it gets messed up again. I look at a pile of folded clothes and know they either have to be ironed or put away. It's not a big deal but the pile could stay there till it's in someone's way.

    I use to feel more guilty before, cry about it,and call myself lazy and I was opioid medz for pain and post surgery so I could've given myself a kind of a pass. But now I just don't feel anything....until the doorbell rings and I'm flustered that someone is going to enter the house.

    I do feel good when qw all pitch in and the house looking respectable. And fir the first couple of days I make sure we're all picking up after ourselves so the general daily mess is manageable but most of the time...if if makes sense...I just dont wanna "adult"today.

    Sometimes I wish my husband would scold at me, lighting a fire under my butt and getting me motivated that way. But of course, what a ridiculous remedy to entertain.

    I sit in the couple of people my age, sharing recipes, prepping food for Xmas...and I'm doing nothing. And it should've been me hosting Xmas.

    once upon a time I was the life of the party, the hostess with the mostess. I dunno, maybe it was the combination of daily cocktail of prescribed medz and working for a soul destroyer man that's madw me a shell of a person. I left there in January and I'm in a safer workplace, and it's been hard adjusting to such a thing...where you're mentored and not humiliated and ask for help and not be judged.

    I'm only realizing after 10 months at this,safe job, that I have been healing...weening the toxicity in my soul from the last 8 years.

    I have to believe in the people that see me more in me than I do. Just sometimes it scares me a little that I feel nothing, no butterflies, no tugged heart strings when I'm with my family. I only pray that they're feeling something from me coz they deserve to feel loved and appreciated. I just feel disconnected n faking it

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  18. Croix
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    10955 posts
    19 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    Dear Apollonia~

    I'm glad Isabella_ has been talking wiht you and you are able to explain you feelings, that's great and Isabella_ has a lot of sense.

    Going back to what you said I'm not sure it really needs to be a case of your husband scolding you or some other thing that gives you the impetus to do things you perceive as needed, or for things to be taken out of your hands as we discussed before.

    Forgive me if I digress for a moment. When I was still in my job before being invalided out my anxiety and other problems made my inbuilt perfectionism go wild. There would be may times where I would labor over something to try for perfection, taking far too much time for ever decreasing gains, and then I'd find there were other things I shuld have done but had completely having spent all my time already.

    So they did not get done.

    This was a sort of circle, the harder I tried in fact the less I accomplished until I reached the stage where everything became impossible and the effect overwhelming. -so I did nothing or very little. I too though of motivation, but there was no room in me for that, in fact motivation was the wrong approach - irrelevant in fact.

    As an aside I lost contact with myself to the extent I was numb and went through the motions wiht friends and family, even though there was nothing inside me - or so I thought.

    The right approach, the one that got me where I am now, was less pressure (i.e. that job no longer there ), therapy and meds combined wiht family support. Not an easy time or a quick fix, wiht downs at times, but doable.

    It can be hard to accept that support, particularly if one does not feel deserving.

    You have in your posts shown the high standards you expect

    "I don't cook and clean like a 47yo wife and mother should" plus a lot more besides. Maybe you have the perfectionism I had and have reached the stage I did, or similar to it.

    Isabella_ did mention "But I think most importantly, it's just doing things bit by bit, the smallest of things and working upwards" which sounds pretty wise to me, multiple small victories rather than setting your self up for great failures attempting the currently impossible.

    My feelings returned, including my love for those I loved before, I see no reason why that cannot happen to you too in time wiht the proper support. As your family knows you deserve it and are worth it.

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  19. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    21 December 2021 in reply to Croix

    I've gotten better and taming my anxious thoughts. For example...I feel guilty that I'm working thru Xmas break when my Melb family are finally able to cross the border with us and also feel bad I'm not hosting Xmas lunch instead...having lunch with my inlaws then dinner at my mums where my sister is staying.

    But here's the thing. They're up here from Dec 23rd to Jan 5th. Of the 14 days, we'll be together 9 days and I'll be swinging by at night after work.

    As for Xmas lunch, yes it would've made sense to have it at my house with both my inlaws and family but I'm working from home, specifically, in the dining room and the pressure expectation for Xmas lunch is way more than hosting NYE which I'd rather offer. BUT! My mum is an extraordinary cook and she can't wait to spoil her grandkids with her home-cooked love so my sister will be fine. We will just make a bigger fuss on Xmas Eve and exchange gifts at midnight.

    As for not being a confident cook, with all the Italian feeds mums going to be cooking every night they xan enjoy Asian take out or pizza when they come to my place.

    And as for planning outings and the like, the truth they've just survived the longest lockdown of any city in the world! They're not keen to be going out with these rising covid numbers.

    So yes sometimes I can reason my anxiety...Im grateful I have this platform to air put everything in my head. I had a sleepless night and felt low and a complete waste of space.

    Come what may...my sister is going be happy with any time we spend together and she has a lot of people she wants to catch up with. I don't have to be present every day for her.

    Just have to take it one day at a time...and I have to ask my husband for help. Just let him in that I'm feeling overwhelmed and I can't think straight and need help planning.

    Be more kind to my mind. Save it from dark places it finds so quickly! It starts with a "Oh, I should've done it better..." and snowballs into "IVE RUINED IT FOR EVERYONE!"

    I know what I need to do to feel better but I'm lying in bed in my pjs, dreading to start the day. My chest starts to tighten just thinking about how much am I going to get done today and how much more needs to be done still. And then I tell myself, shut up and be grateful that you get to give another crack at Life today. Just do better. Not all at once. Just acknowledge any wins today rather than focus on the negative.

    First win...get up and start the day.

  20. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10955 posts
    21 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    Dear Apollonia~

    Your post, even though getting up is hard, is a very sensible one, and you have a pretty balanced idea of what is possible, and also realise that it is going to work out fine.

    It's a bit of a triumph to see things that way rather than the catastrophic "IVE RUINED IT FOR EVERYONE!", something that can be hard to steer away from at times.

    I loved your saying "Just have to take it one day at a time...and I have to ask my husband
    for help. Just let him in that I'm feeling overwhelmed and I can't think
    straight and need help planning
    ."

    When I look back on parts of my life I really wish I'd had the sense to say the equivalent.

    Doing better will come of it's own accord in time, it did for me. In the meantime aim for what you know you have done/can do and see what develops.

    Frankly I think after feasting on rich Italian food an Asian take-away might be more than just appreciated.

    I hope your work over Christmas will be OK and leave you with energy for other things.

    Croix

  21. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    28 December 2021

    How was everyone's Xmas?

    I don't think I'm doing enough for my interstate family that are here. Albeit the covid cases and risk of being a Casual and close contact doesn't make them want to done out or venture out but I feel the things I planned during my short break ftom work kinda fell flat because so many businesses have closed that normally would be open this time of year.

    It looks like NYE will be at my house but limited people which initially gave me great anxiety but now I see it as a kinda redemption. I know I have family support to help. I'll be working from tomorrow till Friday but God willing, we will make memories any old how.

    I wish I could just appreciate the time I have with them without antagonizing myself that I should've done more, planned more, organize a longer break from work. But we did spend Xmas together after 5 years. We did go out on a picnic on Sunday. I had them over my house. I took my niece to op shopping though shops were closed but we walked. I took them for a walk throughput the city though many cafes and eateries were closed but still we weren't indoors.

    Part of me just wants to say, you've done you're best in the shape you're in....mentally and physically (living with chronic pain)

    They have plans tomorrow, but not Thurs and Fri is NYE and then the weekend I'll be free. I'm writing this post solely to release unkind thoughts from my mind. I know there's alotta support here but it doesn't matter if my mind can't be kind to me.

    The climate we're living in just makes it hard to feel free to do anything. They don't want to go to any restaurants or crowded areas...I dunno what I can do for us...but I know everytime I leave them I think about how our time together could've been better.

    I'm exhausted. Get too overwhelmed and disappointed instead of JUST BEING GRATEFUL. So many loved ones I know were apart on Xmas because of covid contacts. I feel so selfish and foolish for the way I carry on. I hate the thoughts that go thru my head.

    I wish I could just shut the hell up and enjoy Life as it unfolds one moment at a time.

    This is my outlet...to reach people that understand me. You're not alone. We need to trust our loved ones more and know that they have our backs and we can get through this debacle of a year and be optimistic for the new year ahead, right?

    Cheers to trying! ❤

    If you made it this far, thanks for reading and patience

  22. Croix
    Community Champion
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    10955 posts
    28 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    Dear Apollonia~

    I understand the feelings that one has not done enough, or done badly, or missed something important, and all the other negative thoughts that come in when you should simply be enjoying your accomplishments and your family.

    Sadly I never found it possible to argue with those reactions, they were emotion and feelings. Logic did not come into it, at least not til later.

    So I have tried, with a fair amount of success over time to make my mind 'switch streams' as it were. Instead of letting the inner critic hold sway and consume me I use a free smartphone app called Smiling Mind.

    https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app

    It does not matter if it is called 'mindfulness' or some other description. Its task is to break the chain of unwanted thoughts and leave one with a moment of peace.

    It is not - for me anyway - enough by itself. The peace it gives does not last unless you have something planned to occupy yourself straight afterwards - a TV program, a book, talking with somone, or anything else you like. As the original stream of thoughts has been stopped it is easier to become occupied with these.

    It takes planning.

    Smiling mind also does take practice, however there are exercises there for all levels, even me. I have the concentration of a gnat, and there is an exercise in it that nags me just enough to prevent my mind wandering too far.

    Back to logic again. You have, by your own account, done fine and your rellies will look back on your time together with fondness

    Do you think you might like to give the above a serious try?

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    31 December 2021 in reply to Croix

    I downloaded the app and got a goodnight sleep with smiling mind.

    But can I be honest with you? Sometimes my mind makes sense when it's unkind. I have to take accountability for the lack of motivation and effort I'm.putting into life.

    I know groceries need to be done yet my kitchen is low on food and supplies.

    I knew my melb family were coming up after 5 years yet I've only had them over once and bought no supplies if even if i want to take them out to a picnic or have them over...it'll be public holiday, shops will be closed.

    I spent Xmas Day split between my mum and inlaws when I should've had everyone over at my home.

    My cousin is hosting NYE without her inlaws to accommodate all of us and my Mother-in-law for the first time is home alone coz everyone decided to make plans because they knew my sister was up here and assumed I'd have it at home.

    I can go over it as many times as I want...in the end...the truth is...I failed to plan ahead and organize things for them. They would've been happy just chilling at my place at night....but my house,wasn't tidy enough, I didn't want to cook for then...I haven't cooked proper meals for my family in years.

    I can tell my mind to be kind but sometimes I can admit I'm a loser and have stuffed up. I don't know where I lost my way but I don't know how to get back to who I use to be.

    My best friends father is dying as we speak and I'm half hoping I test positive to covid so that's my out from doing anything this weekend.

    This weekend is suppose to mark the end of a turbulent year, hope for a new start...I just want to miss it all.

    Sometimes I wish I could just lock myself away for awhile and then come out and pick up life where I left off, no questions no explanations...just carry on.

    My biggest angst with anxiety and depression is how selfish you feel. I know I'm making mountains out of molehills. I know I don't have terminal illness and I have support in spades from family and friends. I know I'm blessed. That's what makes living this life so hard. I don't deserve any of it. So much gets done for me, it's like I'm doing nothing at all. I'm like a disappointed spectator of my life instead of participant.

    I suck at Life at the moment. My family and friends are supportive of me...but they do too much. My boys love me but they won't have fond memories of mums signature dishes and end of year of parties.

    I shouldn't be on here.

  24. Croix
    Community Champion
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    10955 posts
    31 December 2021 in reply to Apollonia

    Dear Apollonia~

    I'm glad Smiling Mind was some help. I've found with regular use it does improve further.

    I saw you saying " I have to take accountability for the lack of motivation and effort I'm.putting into life."

    I'm not quite sure how to put things in a way that makes a difference to you, I only have logic, and htat's not always enough.

    Let me try this: When I was in the grips of depression and anxiety I did little, and felt it was my failings.

    Later on I found I'd been blaming the wrong thing. It was not in fact me, it was the symptoms of the illness. Now at the time that was very hard to realise, because the symptoms are self-blame, lack of motivation, lack of energy, even lack of clear thoughts and a focus on all this is wrong.

    You get the same symptoms from some physical illnesses, I have one such illness and before my regular transfusion is due I get all of those symptoms. However in that state I place the reason where it belongs, with the physical illness, not a failing in me.

    The mental health illness is the reason, not you. In fact by interacting as much as you have with your rellies you have done a pretty god job.

    I'm sure you will do as much as you can for your best friend. It may not be in many words, it may simply be caring. Often it is simply listening.

    No, you kids will not remember you slaving over a hot stove, or presenting the home beautiful. They will remember somone who faces great adversity and keeps on managing despite everything. What better impression to give? You deserve respect, assistance and love (no, don't argue, that is the depression talking).

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    4 January 2022

    I have a wedding this Thursday that has been postponed 3 times. Not feeling the joy to attend. Haven't prepped like I usually do....hair, nails, outfit....just not feeling it.

    On New Years Eve my best friend lost her Dad with covid. He had other complications but covid drove his oxygen levels down and his body couldn't cope.

    You know what the first thoughts that crossed my mind were:

    Shit! I hope the funeral isn't on the same day of the wedding!

    Oh, no wait....if it is on the same day, I'll go to funeral, skip wedding ceremony but make the reception. Because is the funeral is on Friday, I have to miss 2 days off work!

    I sent my husband out to shops with my sons coz they're missing something pants, shoes, belt...whatever...I finish work at 4 but it's just after 2 and quiet now...I could do something for myself. Go up the road and get a manicure. Always domethimg to clean...beds are unmade and rooms are upside down ftom boys' "dress rehearsal"......I actually would love to have a guilt free nap right now...and dream of positive energy flowing through me...and then I wake up with a big smile on my face and whizz around the house putting things away, tidying up, get a home-cooked meal ready with a bounce in my step and maybe even whistling while I do it!

    I prayed to God the other night to just make me a stronger person. Stop being a burden to myself and loved ones around me.

    I have reached out to my psychologist who is on leave. I've know her for years and tho I have a referral to see a psychiatrist...i don't think I'm comfortable yet to be vulnerable infront of a stranger.

    It really feels like a daily tug of war between my mind and heart sometimes. Like, my mind makes me defeated and sad but in my heart, I know I'm supported and blessed.

    I long for the day my thoughts are led by my heart and not my mind.

    60mins till I log off...and maybe get some mindfulness in while I have house to myself.

    Manifesting peace and light around us all

  26. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10955 posts
    4 January 2022 in reply to Apollonia

    Dear Apollonia~

    It was only natural to worry about the clash, then to find a solution that gave your friend priority but managed to squeeze in part of the wedding too. I guess for me it would be the same, putting support for a grieving freind first but still wanting to be part of one of the lovelier ceremonies in life.

    As they are on separate days it should work out fine, hopefully 2 days off work will not cause you any hassles.

    By now Christmas and NYE will be in the past. Did things work out OK, even if not up to what you might have wished?

    I have the feeling you might underestimate the effect working from home may be having on you. When one has anxiety and depresson I have come to realize they take up an enormous amout of one's thoughts and energy. If you have to work as well (which you do for the finances) then that may not leave much at all.

    Add to the the feeling work is always there in the background, even when you are not on shift, it tends to color all you think. You end up seeing all the other things that might (not necessarily essential) need doing and you blame yourself.

    Rather blame the anxiety and depression, which have robbed you of part of your capacity. It is neither fault nor laziness, just the limits of what one is capable. I'm happy you were able to get some support from your psychologist, may I ask if it helped?

    I hope you can find some words to comfort your friend, if stuck I have found simply being there and listening, or making a cuppa, can be more than enough to let them know they are not alone.

    Croix

  27. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    5 January 2022 in reply to Croix

    My psycologist is still on leave.

    I've asked for the 2 days off but it's given me great anxiety coz I know due to staff shortage I'm the sole administrator. But at the same time as a sole administrator, I need a break!

    I have the wedding tomorrow and I'm not excited about it. It's costing me a day off work and I don't think the phones will get attended to like I would have. There's a very relaxed management style that hasn't rubbed off me so I fear Friday is going to be a while lot of "This happened coz you weren't here yesterday!"

    My kids are on school holidays, entering important years in high school...I should be planning weekends away....yet I'm.akready thinking taking time off for a wedding and q funeral...I can't ask for anything else for awhile...but I'm a Casual. I don't work they don't pay me.

    There are so many factors to this job that I should take advantage of, like let it work for me...but I can't seem to do it.

    I've walked into 2022 like a wou dedicated soldier. Feeling defeated before the year has begun...I've stooped cleaning, cooking, caring....I know I need help and I have to wait till everyone's back at work but in the meantime I just don't want to parent or adult anymore. I wish I could retreat somewhere for as long as I need and then rejoin society when I was,ready like time never passed and my loved ones weren't affected and I just came back more loving, focused and disciplined.

    I don't want you harn myself. I couldn't do that to my loved ones but it's almost like I'm begging the Universe to make me sick or be placed in harm's way. Anything...other than feeling this overwhelmed and numb. I feel nothing. No joy. No motivation. Are the right medz enough? Here's hoping....

  28. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10955 posts
    5 January 2022 in reply to Apollonia

    Dear Apollonia~

    I guess I'll start with a little logic once gain, it may simply slide off at the moment but might ring a bell another time.

    You have taken responsibility for you job to excess. you are not the one in overall charge who makes quotas, decides inadequate staff levels or does not put in place protocols for the staff's welfare. Yet you are worrying that the system will not perform as well wihtout your efforts. At a guess may be you are worried you will be berated for this.

    All this for a casual job with no proper annual leave, sick day quotas or family reasons leave.

    All the above creates ever increasing pressure as you need tme out and rest just like any other human -but are not getting it.

    As a result you anxiety runs overtime, and picks on all sorts of subjects to worry about, the latest added to all the rest is not planning wiht the kids going back to school for a heavy year.

    So it is very understandable you want circumstances to take matters out of you hands, I've felt that way myself in the past. Actually in my case it was a desire to simply stop thinking about it all.

    I did suggest I found relief with Smiling Mind, which certainly can break those chains of thought. Really taking your mind off al the problems will help and give you a little peace without constantly blaming yourself for things beyond your control - of which there are many.

    Do you think what I'm saying makes any sense? If so what can you do to give yourself relief each day for a little while?

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Apollonia
    Apollonia avatar
    17 posts
    7 January 2022 in reply to Croix

    Croix,

    You've been ever so helpful. The day before the Wedding, during work, I just lost it. I was already exhausted from an anxiety attack in the morning. I contacted my therapist on leave, the recruiter who got me my job, my best friend and in the end my manager!

    My manager wasted no time in calling me. She was pleasant and calming and was not going to hang up until she was happy she was leaving me in better shape. She said I'm not letting her down and we are just such unforeseen uncertain circumstances just doing the best we can. She wants me to take more breaks and thinks the 2 days off is what I needed.

    On the day of the Wedding, just before I dropped off the work phones to my managers house (coz we are still working from home) I pulled over and did an 8min relaxation body scan meditation from Smiling Mind.

    At the wedding there was a big gap between mass and ceremony and I momentarily thought I could've worked for 2 hours..silly.

    Today I didn't wake up with the anxiety of what was waiting for me at work. Instead I took it into my own stride, I dealt with people head on....and thought....if management are accepting the current climate is driving business down and causes staff shortages...then I can lighten the unnecessary burden from my shoulders.

    Maybe coz it's Friday...I don't know...but I was productive and was able to just shrug my shoulders when things went pear shaped.

    Looking forward to the long weekend even if it means spending Monday being there for my best friend at her dad's funeral. I'm going to do my best to ride this tidal wave out. I've booked to see GP Tues night to discuss going back on anti anxiety pills.

    It's acknowledging the triggers and signs before the black dog catches up with me.

    Thanks for always checking in. Really appreciate it.

  30. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10955 posts
    8 January 2022 in reply to Apollonia

    Dear Apollonia~

    I'm glad to be a help, saying I'm doing that helps me too.

    I think you did exactly the right thing after "losing it" at work. You worked you way though a list of people, each of whom probably helped in their own way.

    Your contacting your manager - which you probably worried about doing - turned out exactly to be what you needed and I'm very glad she did not finish the conversation until she was satisfied you were in better shape

    Her attitude gave you the confidence to take as much time as you needed: the short breaks during work are indeed important , as is the ability to take days off without worry..

    Then you were able to deal with the troubles you predicted and were worrying about -that's great!

    You said "It's acknowledging the triggers and signs before the black dog catches up with me." and that is what you are doing, and it does help greatly at times. The fact you used Smiling Mind before a taxing event shows forethought -again great!

    I'm sure you will help your friend though her greif, no magic needed, just genuine care -which you have

    I look forward to talking with you again

    Croix.

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