When stress gets the best of us, we can find ourselves in dark place of depression. You may feel lost, worthless or cry often. You can get a handle on your life and reconnect to the real you.
Rediscovering the Truth of Who You Are
Andrea from Uxbridge asks:
Hi, Red. I am at a very distressing point in my life. I just turned 30 and thought I had my life figured out—career, husband, house, and even a dog. My newlywed life has seemed to turn upside down. I’ve had no support at work and have stress regarding a job I used to love, money, and my new husband. I have lost many nice ties with people and feel alone and worthless. I can’t believe how happy I felt and all of a sudden I don’t even feel like living. Why is all this happening? Will anything get better? I feel like I made wrong life choices and now I have no other road to travel because I’m at a dead end—a miserable one. I cry every night and I’m sick of being sad. Am I a total waste of space destined for nothing but gloom and doom? Thanks so much for your help.
Psychic Red ext. 9226 Responds:
Most people will tell you the two things you can count on in this life is death and taxes, but the third constant is greatly overlooked: change. Everything changes. Maybe not when or how we want it to, but changes always happen.
You captured the dream. Good job, friends, family, a decent level of stability, a nice home, and the icing on the cake: a husband. The dog is definitely a bonus, and one of the few things that still brings a smile to your face. Spend more time with the dog…
The last couple of years have been progressive and exciting. You had more going on, and there was always that next thing to look forward to. The past eight months or so have been much more stagnant. You have been doing you duties and fulfilling your obligations, but all of it seems quite a bit more meaningless. It’s a tough transition, and certainly not an easy one to bear.
I’m going to yell at you now. YOU ARE NOT A WASTE OF SPACE, NOR ARE YOU DESTINED FOR DOOM AND GLOOM. I really hope you understand that, because you haven’t even really begun to fulfill your destiny. But, the pressure and stagnation of everyday life changes things—from how you view life, yourself, your goals, and the people around you. Sure, some of the people you were once closer to have backed away for their own reasons, but there’s also a handful who treat you differently now because you are behaving differently. Sometimes you’re aware of it, but most of the time you’re not. You’re too busy just going through the motions.
Now, here’s where I’m going to tell you (in an insistent and stern voice) that you really should seek out a therapist. Psychiatrist or psychologist, it doesn’t really seem to matter, but you will benefit most from an individual with a higher degree and deeper understanding of the physiological workings and impact of depression. You aren’t a head case or crazy, but you present as seriously depressed. Depression is very contrary to your nature, because you are essentially a happy, spunky, get-it-done personality. You haven’t felt that way or been in touch with your true essence, in ages. It happens. Know that you didn’t slide down into this darker place over night, and it will take more than a few office visits to bring you back to your natural bright-and-shiny self, but you need to find you again. The easy way is to get help. The hard way is to keep suffering, let the darkness swallow you more tightly, and play spectator while your life falls apart. You just don’t strike me as that self-destructive. So, get out the Yellow Pages and do some research online, and let your instincts guide you to the right professional, and if you don’t want to “put it out there” and ask for referrals. You can’t fix all these external factors—work, your relationships, your marriage, your financial tensions, even your appearance—until you start fixing the “internal you.”
Get back to the basics, girlfriend. The most basic principle is also the most important and valuable. It’s you. I’m sorry that you are at a place where you cry every night, but I’m also glad that you’re crying. Tears heal. They also help to release some stress. Contrary to what you’ve been thinking, your crying jags aren’t because you’re surrendering or giving in and giving up, it’s because there’s a part of you that desperately wants to “bounce back,” take control, and is more than a little pissed. This is good! It’s the survivor side of you kicking in, only that aspect of your personality doesn’t know what to do or where to start. There’s just too much to outline or tackle in the 20 minutes a day you give yourself to be real.
Your job is stable. That doesn’t mean that it’s currently fun or fulfilling, but it does mean you aren’t getting fired or laid off. Your company is behind on their numbers, and one of the top dogs made a bad choice. So, while all is fine on the outside, the screw up can’t be hidden forever. A place can only make things look as they should for so long before the truth comes out. The truth will be revealed, or at least pieces of it, in November. Things may be a little harder for you right now because you are more emotional, and your heart isn’t in the work or the company the way it once was. If you choose to ride out the storm, you’ll be loving your job again shortly after the turn of the year. If you want to throw in the towel and enter into a new environment, start looking and networking now, because it will take about three months from the time you begin the search to the time you find an opportunity that is a good career move with an honest and lighter atmosphere.
Being married is definitely adding to your confusion and woes. Your hubby is a good guy, but the two of you haven’t been working as a team. Each of you has great expectations of the other, but neither of you is really talking. Both of you are questioning whether or not you made a mistake. Each of you is often thinking that the other is taking them for granted. Somewhere between the exchange of vows and now, you guys quit communicating. There’s still love there, but the passion isn’t what it once was. I’m also not seeing a whole lot of “we,” but I am seeing a bunch of “I”— something both of you are guilty of. It’s going to take some talking, probably a little bit of fighting, too, but it’s not too late to get this marriage back on track. You need to be honest with this guy, though. Spell some things out for him, because he can’t read your mind; at least not the way he used to. You need to tell him what you’re going through, and not just the things that concern him. As it stands now, he can’t help you because he doesn’t truly understand what is wrong, and that lack of understanding is one of the things that has caused him to retreat into his own little protective cave.
When it comes to talking with your husband, be honest, but don’t give him the list of “the top ten things he’s doing wrong.” Since you’ve been married, that’s kind of what he’s been hearing when you try to express yourself, and his anger and hurt feelings become a wall for him to use against you or hide behind, rather than address the issues at hand. He’s a good guy, but his reactions are often more emotional than logical, and he’s not the best at effectively communicating the emotional stuff.
Being married doesn’t have to mean giving up your independence, for either of you. Both of you seem a little confused on that point. Some of the strongest, most loving marriages developed out of a rough and rocky start. Many couples learn to employ the, “yours, mine and ours” principles and guidelines that entail time, space, chores, responsibilities and finances. This really presents as something you should consider working on with your husband. For each of you, such a foundation makes for a stronger “we,” while neither of you would fully be sacrificing “me.”
Going back to the beginning, the first thing you need to take care of is yourself. That immediately takes your life off of autopilot, and opens the gateway for favorable change—some that happen naturally, and some that you will create. Even though there will always be some hassle factor involved, you can always change friends, jobs, homes, even husbands, if that’s what is best for you. You’re not stuck with any circumstance or situation, unless you’re stuck in your own head. So, go talk with someone. When you get yourself back into balance, everything else is going to seem less complicated and burdensome, and the answers and your path will become much more clear.
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