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My So-called Life

I was diagnosed with clinical depression four years ago, but looking back I think I have battled it most of my life without knowing what it was. I am on an anti-depressant that has mostly worked for me but lately there are more and more times when it doesn't. I find myself thinking that my life is basically over and I am just waiting to die. I feel like I have nothing to look forward to and that life is just a test of my ability to endure. Hardly anything is fun anymore.

     I basically have no familyexcept for my niece who I  am caring for since my sisters death. I have a job that I hate and am currently working 7 days a week at. It seems that all I do is work,eat, sleep, pay bills and chauffer my niece around. I don't get out at all,seldom have an adult conversation,and seldom see my  few good friends because they are in similar situations . So mostly I spend my time with my cats.

     I am a gay man and have been in a relationship with the same guy for 17 years. It has been good and I love him,but lately I feel like my needs are not being met, despite my trying to communicate them to him. We seldom have sex anymore, and in fact I am often not able to anyway , because of stress, medication or just old age or whatever. We are only able to be together once a week and that's just not enough.

     I like people and most people seem to like me and consider me a nice guy in spite of my collosal shyness and reserve, but I find it hard to  connect with people. I feel like I have nothing to offer.

     I could go on and on but I won't.

timmerb timmerb 51-55, M 33 Responses Aug 22, 2007

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I really don't know what the answer is for us. I was diagnosed in 2001 with major depression
Like you, and as a Psych nurse, I know that Ive been sick a long time...since around 18. I was later diagnosed as Bipolar with rapid less manic cycling. I was ok so to speak as long as I was able to work. I would have bouts where I would have to rake off for weeks at a time. Now that I have severe back injures and pain, I cannot work
It has been 4yrs and 3 surgeries ago and I am still in pain. The meds only allow me to keep from actually killing myself. I really don't want to but I cannot help feeling like I want to die throughout the day...everyday... I do believe therapy will help you. It is worth the money. I just don't have any...money that is. It won't solve the problem, nothing will. I know it is hard but do not give up the fight. You have people depending on you. My brother gave up.

I am not a psychologist and have never been diagnosed with clinical depression, but I feel badly about how you feel regarding life and hope you can figure out a way to feel better soon. Getting in the sun and letting the sun penetrate the eye is suppose to help with depression a lot. I remember reading it raises the serotonin levels. I'm trying to imagine if it were me in your shoes... I'm not you but I know me; If it were me I would concentrate on something or someone; anything other than myself. That's what I do when I'm anxious or worried about myself. I clean and organize when I'm really worried! I would probably talk to my niece more and see if I can give her advice about anything or just listen to her problems or anxieties. A good listener goes a long way. Actually my own sister passed away several years ago and even though her daughter, my neice, lives far away I do talk via phone regularly and there have been visits. My sister would be thrilled at how much we communicate! <br />
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Perhaps you could go on Skype with your friends, even for 10 minutes, since you are all so busy. Skype is a blast! Or take up a musical instrument. People's attitudes completely change. It's good for the mind. A friend talked me into taking singing classes; I was way too shy and wanted to quit after the first class but I already paid for the semester so begrudgingly went back and to my surprise I improved and could actually sing in tune unlike many of my classmates. Ouch! Ok, so you are shy and reserved and singing wouldn't be the best idea, but I can totally hide behind a guitar or piano!

I have my own true story, however if you google velvet evolution universe tour you will find my new self help e-book called " JESUS CHRIST - who do you think you are> by Henni Racik

I think its time for you to see your doctor and either change your dose of medication or try another antidepressent.

I think its time for you to see your doctor and either change your dose of medication or try another antidepressent.

feeling down,makes us feel like we r here forever,at the other hand feeling good give us the same feeling .<br />
when i feel lit depressed about my life,i remember myself why im here,that was my choice,i had reasons to choose what i have chosen,if that makes me satisfy,ok /if not i will forget myself about what i did to me,then trying to start all over again,cause that is life,life everyday learn us the same lesson that it is all about starting new over.i wont say that is hard because all of us know that,and keep doing that,but we don't have to keep saying it,cause it means it will be hard forever..

You may have considered this already, but sometimes it is necessary to change antidepressants once you have been on one for a while. I find that mine have to be changed every 5-7 years because they slowly stop working. If you haven't discussed that with your doctor, please do. There are also some newer options that don't mess with the sex drive like some of the older ones do.<br />
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Most importantly, as others have said below, you have to remind yourself that you are a good person and that you have people in your life who need you. Of course, the nature of depression is that it keeps you from believing that. Depression is one of those diseases that you have to fight on a daily basis or it will take over. Best of wishes to you as you fight this. You're never really alone in it.

I am in such a similar situation that your story shocked me a bit. I would love to talk with you privately, however, of course I will understand if you don't feel the same. When I am at my lowest I tend to cut everyone off without explanations- because there really is no explanation; writing often seems to much and pointless, so naturally I understand the need to withdraw. I really do hope to here from you, but naturally I really, really, hope you feel better soon. ***Rae***

I think Lucinda Bassett's program for depression and anxiety is excellent. I have the tapes and There have been times when I was feeling so low that I could barely muster up the strength to shower and eat for the day. These tapes have helped me to get up, stop feeling sorry for myself and get going. <br />
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Also what I am learning to do with myself is to change my environment. Sometimes that helps to change my throughts even for a few minutes. I force myself to get up and get out of the house even if its just a walk around the block and back. Its so strange but I find that as soon as I walk out of the house I immediately feel a small difference in my mood. I did that today and I ended up having a really good time and enjoying myself. I even had energy to do other things I needed to get done.<br />
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If I had stayed home, laying in bed all day and sulked I am sure I would have not gotten anything done and would have felt more depressed focusing on having to go back to work tommorrow and not finishing any of my chores. At least by getting out I got to take my mind off of my troubles for a bit and enjoy some me time and that gave me energy to do other things I needed to do. You have to learn to make time for you especially when you have other family responsibilities and work. Even if its just a few minutes a week. You need some time for yourself to unwind.<br />
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It also helps to write down your feelings or to share them with others as you are doing on this message board. As you can see you are not alone there are many others battling Depression. <br />
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I know from experience that its not easy dealing with this Ilness but it is possible to have a measure of happiness in your life. Do not give up! Also try to remember not to be down on yourself. When I get down I try to remind myself that: This is a real illness but having it does not reflect on who I am as a person. It doesn't make me a bad person anymore than having any other illness. Yes it is something that I deal with daily and sometimes it negatively dampens my spirits but even so I remind myself that no matter how low I get I don't have to let it conquer me entirely. Keep your head up. <br />
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***Google the Midwestern Center for Depression and Anxiety to learn more about Lucinda Bassett's program.

hey, me too, don't worry, I could go on for hours. I have manic depression but hey there are worse things to have.<br />
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anyway, you sound really nice don't worry, you will be a ok. I have helped many with depression do it without medicine although for me I have been on and off for ten years.<br />
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all I know is that it is kinda blessing in disguise, look at it this way, you can really start to appreciate life, like no one else, trust me, that is what I do!

By just reading your story which touched me deeply. I think that you have a lot to offer, but I can relate so much to what you have gone through. I was an only child for the first ten years of my life and felt invisible that my feelings were never important. In 30 years of my marriage have felt my emotional needs have never been met. <br />
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I understand what you mean when you say it is difficult to connect with other people and yet people seem to connect here on-line. I wonder why it is so hard to connect in person

This probably won't help much, but - I'm sorry. I know what you're going through and I know that it really kills a person. So many worthwhile people are out there, battling this big black hole called depression, and it seems wrong but nobody can fix it. No one deserves to go through it.<br />
But please, hold on to this life, because you don't know what comes next. Depression is one of the worst things that can affect a person - it attacks you from the inside. Try to dedicate your life to something that you care about; maybe your niece, or your boyfriend? I know it's hard, but please don't lose hope.

- It's crazy when the sun is shining through my window , kids are playing in the park , couples are having picnics , people are swimming in the sea and here I am avoiding life sitting alone in my room – I know what it’s like. In this climate, when the numbers of people who are going under is going up. It's not even called depression any more. This is about not feeling comfortable in your skin. And not being able to check in with anyone else. A lot of people don't know how to live life, so they avoid it ..<br />
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- I'm no expert but just small steps and small changes can make a HUGE difference. Tomorrow, for once, please just stop beating yourself up. Try to have a really different day. When I’m really depressed, I try to shake up my life and practically do the opposite of what I’ve been doing. <br />
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I've always said that apathy leads to apathy. Energy leads to energy and sadness is simply sad. It's very difficult to make yourself happy. You have to wait until the sadness lifts, go away, and go back to where it came from. <br />
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Somehow, reach out to someone. Join a support group. Join a community website that supports that hobby of yours. Visit a friend. They may need the visit as badly as you do. Friendships work on all different levels. We need friends for different moment, different reasons, and different times of our lives. Sometimes reconnecting with an old friend can really help get me out of a dark spot. <br />
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On a practical not – do try to avoid drinking. It has been proven in many studies to make depression worse. It can also be two to three times as bad if you are taking medications for your depression. Exercise (a walk on the beach or a forest is so good for the soul) produces endorphins in your body which help you to “feel good” and work out the stress that may be a contributing factor. <br />
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The problem I sometimes have is I’m too depressed to exercise. One excuse is as good as another when you just don’t want to exercise. Forcing yourself is one answer. You will thank yourself once you do so. Exercising with a friend is another answer. I found that anti depressants really helped me to cope - I resisted them for a long time but GOD if you want to die - they're certainly a much better option.<br />
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Just a few ideas…<br />
Good luck –hope things pick up for you.

there are people who want to understand and care. dont give up. the world really is a beautiful place underneath all the pain and darkness.

I also battle depression so I know where you're coming from. First, maybe you need to have your medication adjusted. That could be the reason it isn't working as well and why sex seems to be a problem (except that when I'm in an episode- I'm not inspired to be intimate, that's kinda normal).<br />
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Secondly, one of the things I'm trying to learn is that a life of joy isn't worth living. I am NOT suggesting suicide but maybe you need to have a long, hard look at your life and make some changes. <br />
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There is joy to be found in the world (even for depressives like us). I hope you find it because life is so precious. <br />
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I'm rooting for you! Good Luck.

I have many good friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses and they have a very good magazine called the Awake magazine. The issue for July has some wonderful articles on depression that I think you would find very helpful and comforting. I did. It really helps to know that, even if you are under a doctor's care or on medication for depression, you can always turn to God for help and comfort and strength. He says that, even if our mother or father would leave us, he would still care for us. You might want to contact Jehovah's Witnesses in your area and listen to what they have to say and accept the magazine. It is really worth it!

It makes me so sad you cannot see how selfless you are! What an amazing giving person. You mustn't put so much pressure on yourself. I know, easier said than done. But you must try. Do not let your depression ruin the wonderful things in your life, as I have done, you must stay strong, you must be stronger than it. I let it take over and I have lost something precious because of it, I do not want anyone to have to go through the same thing, please remind yourself you are loved and worthy and you will prevail<br />
x

Like the rest of them, I can relate too. Not only do I battle clinical depression but I also live in a sexless marriage. If it were me, I would mention these feelings the next time you see your psych. Clinical depression is a progressive thing. The meds you are taking today, may not be adequate for your condition. And as you know, alcohol makes it worse so if you are drinking, you need to stop. Life can be fun if you allow yourself. And that is the hardest thing to do sometimes.<br />
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Monti

Hello Timmerb:<br />
I am not a gay man (or woman) but I could have written your story. I have been married to the same man for 26 years and I feel that he needs me only for meals, laundry and sex. We never go out. Nobody ever visits. He has a job which makes our sex life impossible. He is always "on call".<br />
Currently, I have no friends, no job and no money. My husband has nothing but debts and he has borrowed money in my name.<br />
I have a son in university who ignores me except when he needs something. <br />
I am very depressed but I can't afford medication.<br />
All I have is a cat (who prefers my husband) and a 14 year old son who depends on me for everything. All I seem to live for is to pay bills (with money I don't really have).<br />
No one knows how desperate I am. I pray a lot. That's all<br />
I have left. Even God does not hear me.<br />
I wish you all the best. Your niece needs you as much as my son needs me. How do you want her to remember you?<br />
That's what keeps me holding on.

stonesfan53, I could have written your story..! Loveless, sexless marriage, NO money - what my husband brings in on SSD doesn't even pay the bills, so I am the worker bee. We also have a very sweet 6 yr old daughter, who is spoiled by her Daddy &amp; plays that to the hilt between us. I have a history of clinical depression and have done some things I am not too proud of...he LOVES to use those 'historical events', as well as my diagnosis against me..just like when my older brother always threatened to tell my little girlfriends when I was 8, that I still wet my bed; it feels the exact same way. I am always scared, even though he has never hit me..he knows not to &amp; prides himself on not ever hitting me, so he tortures us both verbally &amp; emotionally. I have asked him if he ever thought that maybe because I do not get any love or affection if he thinks that may contribute a little to my depressive state. He NEVER thought of that, ever. Men are truly selfish animals. Due to our lack of funds &amp; all of his medical issues (diabetes, high BP &amp; chol., etc..) he "gets" whatever money there might be available for medicine. My illness is untreated at this time, and I was diagnosed in the early '90's. I have rarely been off meds since then, and I am ready to give up most days. I can't, if only for my little girl. Thanks &amp; hang in there ♥

Hello Timmerb:<br />
I am not a gay man (or woman) but I could have written your story. I have been married to the same man for 26 years and I feel that he needs me only for meals, laundry and sex. We never go out. Nobody ever visits. He has a job which makes our sex life impossible. He is always "on call".<br />
Currently, I have no friends, no job and no money. My husband has nothing but debts and he has borrowed money in my name.<br />
I have a son in university who ignores me except when he needs something. <br />
I am very depressed but I can't afford medication.<br />
All I have is a cat (who prefers my husband) and a 14 year old son who depends on me for everything. All I seem to live for is to pay bills (with money I don't really have).<br />
No one knows how desperate I am. I pray a lot. That's all<br />
I have left. Even God does not hear me.<br />
I wish you all the best. Your niece needs you as much as my son needs me. How do you want her to remember you?<br />
That's what keeps me holding on.

Tim,<br />
People have given you good advice, esp. about getting the meds changed and some talk therapy. I'm considering getting back into it for some issues I'm dealing with right now.<br />
Why don't you ask God, the God of Jesus Christ to help you? Ask him to forgive you of your sins and to come into your life to change it. He can!<br />
He can heal any heart that has been hurt. His grace is sufficient to bring you to a place of peace especially in the late hours when loneliness hits the hardest. <br />
I pray that God will show Himself strong to you and give you dreams of good things to come.<br />
<br />
Since you're having the suicidal thoughts, you definitely need to get help. suicide.org is a good help.

you're dealing with what most likely is a chemical imbalence; since anti-depressants worked at first and now don't you probably need an increase in dosage: after you get the current depression under control then start some talk therapy you probably have a lot of issues (so, who doesn't?) you need to deal with it or give your niece to someone who can be a more positive influence

This is my first time on this page so if I do something wrong please dont yell at me, but I think that we are to respond. Tonight I am feeling incredibly alone like there will never be anybody ever again....I too suffer depression with bi-polar, and I have severe episodes where I wont leave my house, answer the phone...etc. problem is I am also raising a teenager some how. <br />
I moved here to cali from fla to be with my family seven years now and I have never been so lonely in my life. I feel like i've lost ther person I used to know, i used to be the one ready to go out and party and have fun on the weekend, and now nothing. My son has more fun than me and points out to me all the time how I have not friends......ME the one who used to have too many..<br />
So now I have five cats....lol Tell me how are we going to get out of this funk?? I feel your pain but I'm a strong believer that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, we deserve it , not living is not an option, we have already suffered enough, now its time for smiles and happiness, it has to be there.....dont you think?

You have so much more to offer to those around you. Please do not give up any hope. You are surrounded with love and honor. Please remember that.

I have the highest admiration for people with clinical depression. Most of whom I know were figthers. They knew something was wrong all their lives, and most got help when they were older.<br />
<br />
Depression is an illness. The more people who undestand this make it easier for those who have it.<br />
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Please keep writing.

Thank-you for recognizing us as fighters. I wonder, do you know how wonderful to hear that is? So many people tell us we are weak and lazy and that we just need to snap out of it. Depression is a disease like any other. Would one tell someone with malaria to "snap out of it?" Many, many, blessings to you for you empathy and kindness.

I can relate to much of what you say, for example<br />
"I feel like I have nothing to look forward to and that life is just a test of my ability to endure. Hardly anything is fun anymore".<br />
<br />
You are obviously a very caring and giving person, and that is a precious gift.<br />
<br />
Here's a big hug from me to you ((((Hug))))

Everything will work out and be okay. Your an amazing person and you've got nothing to be worried about. It will all be fine<br />
Take care x

thanks for relaying how you feel, as many of us read your story and saw parts of our own lives in what you said. In reading the other comments I feel what I have to say has been already spoken. I do feel that what you have said has helped me and others feel better. That in your sadness, depression, you have helped others by just saying what you have. For there are other people reading and feeling like you, feel less alone. that others are experiencing similar situations. Most of us can't or won't express this deeply and in doing so you have accomplished much in helping someones. Take and write again. God bless

You seem a very nice, kind and caring person. <br />
You don't deserve to feel this way I have felt this low at times.<br />
Think where would your niece be without you in trouble, on the streets, or even worse dead. <br />
Your are making a bad situation bearable for you and your niece. Your gieving for your sister and she is gieving for her mother. Talk about your sister to each other or make a scrap book together. <br />
You need to have some me time too like take a day off work and doing something fun like go to the fun fair or the zoo as a family and enjoy your partner company and your niece.<br />
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This is one very improtant go to your doctor's and talk about how you really feel and get them to change your medication and some counselling. <br />
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The pain of losing someone is more then words can ever say<br />
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goodluck<br />
there is light at the end of the dark tunnel

I can relate too. Don't give up and try not to make any rash decisions when ure not feeling like urself. If your meds arent working great anymore, go to the doctor tomorrow and try a new one - dont go on feeling like this. If you get on a new one and things are looking better medically but u still hate ur job why dont u start thinking about what would make u happy, what would u like to do? Talk about it with ur partner. Dry spells are normal in long term relationships, if the meds are the problem then change that. Just remember, its the depression talking.<br />
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This is what I've discovered for myself and I like to remind myself of it when I'm feeling depressed: the point of life is love, thats it, to love and be loved is the greatest gift and experiencing that love is worth it :)