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Depression and excessive stress

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Old 03-06-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
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Default Depression and excessive stress

I've struggled with clinical depression most of my life. I've managed it in a variety of ways, but for the time being, I'm not on meds for it and I'm "managing" it with diet and exercise.

What's going on with me now:
1. My dad had cancer. He's 78 and it's terminal. He's in a lot of pain and has to go in for surgery soon.
2. My mom is a hypochondriac. She's angry that Dad has a real illness and is getting all the attention, and she complains about having to care for him all the time. I think she's suffering from early dementia.
3. My husband wants a divorce, after 25 years of marriage. He says he doesn't want to have to deal with marriage stuff any more. He just wants to work and find some young little thing that will let him do what he wants to her.
4. As a result of divorcing, I have had to leave my home, my kids, my friends and current support system, and a really nice life (all overseas), and am now living in my vacation home, which is old, in disrepair and far away from my family.
5. I am having to save money so I can move back to my hometown, where I have to move into a small apartment so I can live near my difficult parents.
6. I haven't worked in 20 years because I've been supporting my husband and his career moves overseas, so despite current economic times, I am not qualified for any jobs.
7. I have gone back to school so I can get a new career.

So, to say that my plate is full seems an understatement to me. I haven't even added in my own health issues to the list. High blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis in my joints that is affecting me now. I'm 48 years old and having to start all over again. My husband, the one in the mid-life crisis who is dismantling his family, gets to retain his job, life, social status.

I struggle to keep an even keel with my emotions. Some days I want to stay in bed all day, or watch TV all day. Some days, I seem to cry all the time.

I don't want to go back on meds just to sidestep the emotions. I want to go through this, manage the emotions and get my life on track for me. AND I want to lose weight. I seem to be stuck with that one. I am struggling so with it. It's the one thing I really wanted, what I've been working on and finally succeeding at, and then all this stress built up over the last few months and now I can't seem to lose an ounce. Not even exercise is making me feel better right now.

I have to try to get my head together today so I can work on my homework, get some exercise, and make healthy food choices. I hope to talk to my younger son over the weekend. He doesn't even know what's going on yet.

Some days, I wish I could fall apart.

Georgia
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:36 PM   #2
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Georgia
WOW!I am so sorry for everything you are going through.Life is unfair, as we all know.It sounds like you are constantly taking care of others and have done so your whole marriage.I guess I would tell you to protect yourself.25 years of marriage certainly gives you the right to be financially secure in the divorce.I would suggest legal counsel.Maybe right now you are scared and that is causing some depression symptoms.You have certain rights and your spouse has responsibilities to taking care of you in this divorce.I am not sure about California law but I would certainly find out.As far as your parents go, check with you local hospital.Ask about homecare or hospice.These are great resources and can take some of the burden off you in helping care for your parents.Take care.You will get through this.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:07 AM   #3
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Thanks for the support! I am looking in to all sorts of things. I'm arming myself with all types of support information for my parents. They're not originally from the U.S. and so they have some old-world ideas about how they're going to be cared for in their old age. And they're going to have to compromise...or pay for my medical bills when I check into the local mental ward!

I think you're right about the fear factor affecting my emotional state. There are days when I experience such clarity, when I see my future before me and I know where I'm going to be leading my family, and that we're going to be okay. But the darker times, when I'm caught up with anger and frustration, when I look back at the big picture behind me...oh, the wasted years with this man...that's when I start to freak out a bit more. Must stay looking forward, right?

The good thing about the dark years - I went through a lot of therapy back then and it's prepared me to deal with the recent situation. I'm a much stronger woman now!

Georgia
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:42 PM   #4
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Hope you are having a good week Georgia.Thinking about you and your family.I am a nurse so I really understand what you are dealing with.Take care.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:11 AM   #5
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Thanks for checking in. I just ordered some books on elder care, and I'm hoping to gain some insight as to my parents' current state of emotions and mental state. My dad's currently on his meds for cancer (multiple myeloma) and they do affect his mood. He seems to be angry all the time now, just plain crabby, which isn't normal for him. He goes on and on how the world is going to end (almost excited about it) and how "all is vanity".

My mom is thrilled to have me moving close. She was in a very good mood today. I actually took her out shopping for the first time and we had fun. Someone complimented her on her hair, I drove the car through a car wash and she's never experienced that before. She laughed and joked some. It was nice to see.

I'm hiding at Starbucks right now. It feels good to be here tonight. There's energy, like the world is still spinning and people are still alive and living and enjoying life. Even if Starbucks is all about vanity!

OMG! My mom just called me! She says I have to come home now!

Georgia
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:53 PM   #6
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Oh my heavens sakes! I could have written so much of what you wrote, I was divorced after 17 years of marriage...Hadn't really worked much (couldn't truly support myself) I got remarried, he died, and no, I didn't do it. I had to move home with my mother........I even trusted a man, that of course wouldn't screw me over..Doi..... There's so many other things, I can truly relate. Oh, yeah, no other woman involved he said.....A good friend of mine.

I would sleep, sleep and sleep some more, I just want to escape, It was surreal, truly it felt as it was happening to someone else, my anxiety wad extreme, I would be happy, then be crying, I was a mess.

I did go back to AD, didn't truly help this time, then I had a more sedating type it helped, well I hated him in a slower fashion.

First of all, you have a place to live, doesn't matter how old it is, nothing as long as your warm and dry....This is a plus.
I'm not trying to be anti man here, it happens to them too, but don't give into anything until you've seen all the paper work, right down to his 401K, you have many, many rights, don't allow yourself to get screwed like I did, fight, you deserve everything you can get. I don't care if you were a stay at home wife for 25 years, you helped build the life you two had.

Also, one step at a time, like I mentioned, right now, you have a warm place to live, may not be your first choice but you have a place to live.....Eat clean, try and stay away from junk, treat yourself as you would your best friend. There is nothing wrong with seeking meds out again, I don't know your reasoning, nor am I trying to push, but you need to monitor yourself you have a LOT on your plate a LOT.

As another poster said, I believe because of the term of the marriage, you are entitled to spousel support, I don't know if it would be indefinably but to get you over this hurdle, I could very well be wrong, but if I'm not.......I would say go for it, sock everything you can away, also, because of the length of the marriage in many states he has to help pay for your attorney, you were a stay at home wife for many, many years.

You will probably get a sob story how he won't be able to live, how he has debts, blah, blah, blah, a part of you will feel sorry for him, don't, you need to take care of yourself first.

I'm sorry it sounds like a sermon, full of venom, I don't mean it this way, but if I can help, any women, any.......by my mistakes I will. Oh, also, don't ever use the same attorney, if he hires the attorney, the lawyer works for him.

Remember, look for assets..........Any investments, I was conned out of so many things, and this man was the most trust worthy man on earth, how come we don't have a vomit icon;-)
Anything you get will help tie you over.

There are aloso programs in many states that will help a displaced homemaker , train for employment, anything to get your foot in the door, your first job may not be what you want..........But;-)

Again, I'm sorry if I sound abrupt, not my intentions.

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Old 03-18-2009, 03:04 PM   #7
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Wink keep your head up.

Oh Georgia, I'm so sorry for you. A few things you said made me think I was doing the talking but you're right, you have a lot on your plate right now.

I, too, am stuck at my current weight from stress. I lost my job 23 months ago and started school last January in an effort to be qualified for jobs as you've said. But the stress of it isn't going anywhere and it's holding tight to the weight.
I started working out last January and joined a gym, between the two I was working out religiously every other day for four months and did NOT lose one pound. Naturally I gave up and here I am, out of breath when I take the stairs. All the worst and most negative words in existence cannot describe how I feel about myself right now.

And as far as men go, well, I just wish that I didn't make them so important.
When have I ever been that important to them?

Like your mom, I am a hypochondriac, I take panic attacks and I suffer depression. I was put on Paxil and then Seroquel and took myself off both. They did not help me, they made me sleep. Sure sleep has always been an escape for me, but I'm not seeking help to get sleep, I'm seeking help to live a little happier.

I sure hope that having people to talk to and relate with helps you here. We have to let go of the problems that don't matter. (Boy do I wish I could practice what I preach)!
Please remember that there are times when you have to be as self-important as everyone else. Think about yourself for a while. Be there for others but put you first for a little while and see if it helps any.

Hugs to you my struggling friend. We are all in the same boat.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:10 PM   #8
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Oh girlfriends! You're just awesome! It's so comforting to know that all your wisdom and rich souls are right here to shore me up.

I was laying low for the last couple of days, holed up in my house. Yesterday was my 25th wedding anniversary. I spent the day packing boxes getting ready to move out. My father-in-law, who I have always thought was the kindest man, who never forgets to send me an anniversary card, didn't. Come to think of it, he didn't send me a birthday card last month either. None of my in-laws have contacted me since I was dumped. I guess I was dumped by the whole clan. They sure loved me when I was there to support them in their difficulties...

Okay, enough with the self-indulgent pity...I found a new home for me and my sons this week. It's cute, it's bright, it's in a great location. I am completely out of debt as of next week, and will start to save my own money for the first time in 25 years! I just have to find a place where the dork can't get his hands on it. Our finances are very nearly completely disentangled now.

My dad is doing better this week. When he's back on his meds, he's in better spirits. My mom appreciated going out with me last week while I looked for a new place to live, and we had fun shopping for veggies at the market. I went over to the deli and got a small taste of a chocolate fudge cake and purposefully smeared chocolate frosting by my mouth so she would see it. Then she accused me of eating chocolate and I denied it...it was so fun!

I get to be with both my boys in two weeks. I'm really looking forward to that. I'm working hard to feel strong and balanced for them. Really, they are the best thing I got from my marriage and I'm really grateful and feel so blessed to be their mother.

So, I'm cursed with an interesting life, I guess. Challenges and trials. I'm so glad to know that I can handle them. And that I have great support too!

xxxooogeorgia
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:36 PM   #9
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Having another low day today and I just need to vent now. I did a full-body weight training workout to get that endorphin rush last night, thinking it would help me go to sleep. I didn't get to bed till 4 a.m. My sleep cycle is all screwed up this week. I'm sure that's not helping my mental state.

The regular depression issues get managed fine with my usual measures, but I can't seem to get on top of the situational depression right now. This evening, I'm seriously considering couple shots of Bushmill's tonight so I can mentally check out when I go to bed. But I don't want to drink alcohol, because I don't burn any fat for two days afterwards. Instead, I've got a yam roasting in the oven right now. I intend to mash it with some butter for a little fat therapy while I watch TV.

I've been packing boxes all week and I'll be moving into my new place by the weekend. Since coming back to the U.S., I haven't had the opportunity to develop friendships with people just for fun. I'm spending time with my parents, but I'm definitely the caregiver there. My best friend, God bless her, calls me a few times a week, but she's in Southern California. My sister is caught up with her brood. My therapist is in Colorado and we only talk every three weeks, by phone. And then there's all of you on the forum, and my sons via email. I've always been very active in any community where I've lived. It's really hard to be by myself so much.

And yet, it's something that I need to learn to do. I've never lived alone before. I've always been socially connected and involved, and being alone was always an infrequent indulgence when I could just relax and do nothing. Now I'm alone and all my activity is solitary. My ADD brain is on overdrive with nothing to distract it. And of course, I'm mostly dwelling on the end of my marriage and how this is going to affect my boys. And what an idiot I've been married to. I'm so ready to be over that thought process!

Part of my mental state, I'm sure, is also due to hormones. I'm crabby and crampy, and feeling a little bloated. Chocolate might be needed before the night is over!

Georgia
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:03 AM   #10
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Hi Georgia,

I have read your story, and I have to say that you will be just fine. I know it. Women, I feel are very resilient. It's hard work, but you can do anything. Try to confront things in small batches. We all want to plan for the future, but we need to look at the present and scoop a little bit up and deal with it. I suppose its just about prioritizing.

Get settled in your new home, make it yours, and then worry about a social life. If you enjoy spending time with other people, I would recommend checking out Meetup to see if groups with similar interests are meeting in your area or why not doing some charitable work or be a big sister? There are lots of things you can do to fill in those solitary gaps.

Adam Michnik said:
Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. Do you believe in free speech? Then speak freely. Do you love the truth? Then tell it. Do you believe in an open society? Then act in the open. Do you believe in a decent and humane society? Then behave decently and humanely.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:33 PM   #11
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After a rough week 'vacationing' with the STBX and our sons, I'm back in my bachelorette pad. Today my new home theater stereo system arrived. I set it all up on my own and it sounds fabulous! Music is such a mood-booster and motivator for me.

Even though I'm in my new home on my own for the time being, I'm cherishing the solitude. I have the opportunity to make my home what I truly want it to be, and everything can get put away in their proper place. Finally!

The rain has stopped, the clouds have parted and the sun is shining through again.

Georgia
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:25 PM   #12
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Yea Georgia!Good for you.Enjoy settling in to your new home.Oh, and I love music also.It gets me through many days.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:59 PM   #13
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Georgia, glad to hear you are feeling better.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:45 PM   #14
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Hi Georgia,
I am also going through a difficult time due to relationships and I just wanted you to know that I'm happy you are finding a way to move on.
I won't hijack your board with my story..but there will be a post on the board about me soon. It's a doozy.

Cheers,
B
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