Friday, July 31, 2009

Depression doesn't just hurt...depression sucks

As most of you know, I've been dealing with depression for a long time. Depression is one of those chronic illnesses that can rear its ugly head when you least expect it. Or, it can be a gradual accumulation of events that lead to an episode.

This week, I've been dealing with those feelings again. Here's what's going on:

Last weekend I went to visit my choir friends. They had just returned from their trip in central Europe. I stayed at BFF's and drove around town with him and his partner. We went to a tag sale in the morning, then we went to a choir concert that night.

Something about the car ride got me nervous. No one talked during the ride. No one. I sensed a lot of tension. I didn't say anything about it, because it was BFF's birthday weekend and I didn't want to ruin it for him.

We went out to a bar after the concert with two other people to celebrate the birthday. I was the lone holdout from the trip. All they talked about was their trip, their trip, their trip, and they basically ignored me the entire time. I really don't think it was intentional, but it still hurt.

That was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I had been having a lot of self-esteem issues prior to this.

The week before I saw a woman whom I hadn't seen in awhile. She was preggo and glowing, and talking about how her mom was going to take care of the baby so she could go back to work, and how her husband just bought her a phone, and how life was just oh-so-wonderful.

And then I saw another woman whom I hadn't seen in a longer period of time, and she was talking about how great her career was, and she just got a promotion, and her house was newly renovated, and how life was just oh-so-wonderful.

This past Sunday was the worst day. I felt like I wasn't doing anything with my life. I can't afford to go to renovate my house, let alone take a trip to Europe. I don't have a husband who takes care of everything for me, and if I ever have children, I know my mother won't take care of them during the day (she lives too far away).

Lately I just felt like I'm never pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, or just plain good enough to feel worthy.

I've got friends who are getting promotions at work and who are buying these huge houses and who are going on these amazing trips and are overall doing very well for themselves. Me? There are some weeks when I'm living paycheck to paycheck, still trying to get myself out of the credit card debt I foolishly accumulated in my 20s, and figuring out how to put a few dollars in the bank.

I've talked about this with my therapist. She thinks that a man is what I need. You know what she said? I should dress myself up to try and make myself look attractive. You know, wear a little something more than T-shirts and jeans when running errands. I argued that, while it would change my appearance on the outside, my inner self would remain the same.

I left her office in tears. It's time to find a new therapist.

I thought I had made a lot of progress in the past year in terms of therapy and rebooting my always-has-been-shaky self-esteem. This weekend, though, set me back quite a bit.

So, that's where I'm at right now. The edge is still there, but it's not as bad as it was on Sunday. I've been way too self-absorbed. There are people in the world who have situations that are far worse than mine.

I just need to keep things in perspective. I know I'll be all's just a matter of time.


NurseExec said...

I know how you feel. I've been battling a cycle down into depression myself these last couple of days. Hang in there.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You need a man? Yes, dear Lord, find a new therapist!

You have to love yourself first before you can love another person. And you don't need a man to complete your life. We run the singles ministry at our church and we always tell them that they are already a complete person in God's eyes!

Remember, often people will tell you how wonderful they are doing just to impress. And even if many things are going great, there's probably an area of their life that's not going so well, but they won't talk about that!

Don't worry about impressing others, Kitten. Do what it takes to make YOU feel good about you!

L. Diane Wolfe

Anonymous said...

Um yeah, you definitely need a new therapist. She sounds like an idiot and I'm sorry she made more of a detriment than a help.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I unfortunately know what you mean when you are talking about everyone else around you moving forward in life and you are feeling stagnant.

You are wonderful person and your day is coming.

I know it's hard not to get discouraged.

Have you ever tried acupuncture? I know, most people are scared of needles but for me, it seriously helps to balance me out and keep me sane. A lot of insurances cover it. Just a thought.



septembermom said...

You're right that it's time to get a new therapist. She gave a real superficial solution. Sorry that you have to go through these difficult feelings. Your last line says it all, "I know I'll be all's just a matter of time". Sending big hugs your way:)

Anonymous said...

I have dealt with depression as well. First, don't dismiss your feelings and compare them to others' problems. I do that too and it's not fair to ourselves! Yes, others might have "bigger" problems but it doesn't mean that our problems aren't important as well! Second, I cannot believe that your therapist said that and yes, I agree, time to find a new one! That makes me so mad on your behalf. What helps me is to not panic about these feelings, but instead realize that it will won't feel this way forever. I have a book I'm going to recommend too: Self-Esteem by Matthe McKay, PH.D. and Patrick Fanning. Self-esteem is more than just feeling good about yourself...I don't want to write a novel here!

drollgirl said...

oh god. i am so sorry, and i relate to this more than you know. i am repeating myself, but i COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THIS.

and your therapist completely blew it when she said that to you. bah! i would have been upset, too.

i know this might not help much, but i would value YOU over those other people you are describing any day. hands down.

sometimes i think those that brag and prattle on and on about how great their lives are are just full of shit. everyone has problems. some have more "success" than others, but the least they could do is try to be sensitive to the perceptions and feelings of others.

oh kitten. i hope you are feeling better soon. i think you are simply fantastic, and i hope you start feeling that way soon. :)

Heather said...

Oh, Kitten - I'm so sorry deary. We all have those days where we feel really down on ourselves, but it sounds like it's been a way of life for you as of late.

Definitely find yourself a new (more sympathetic and reasonable) therapist. Someone who can offer you real solutions that will help you realize what a fantastic individual you are.

Life is different for everyone - promotions, families, trips... they come in good time. Something amazing could be just around the corner for you. In the meantime, you're a strong, self-sufficient, independent woman who knows how to take care of things on her own. Relish that freedom and feel good knowing that you are capable of taking care of yourself.

Sending you much love today :)

Denise said...

I'm sorry your having such a hard time. I go through the same things you do, self conscious, tired of hearing about how good life is for other people, living pay check to pay check, no vacations, etc..
That's why I love books so much because I can loose myself in them.



Missy said...

I sympathize with you, Kitten. I have suffered depression all of my life. Hang in there....stay away from people who make you feel bad, and change therapists.
I am sending you a big ((((HUG)))

RunninL8 said...

BREAK UP with that therapist! But first, tell her how her 20th century nagging mother comment made you feel! Find yo-self a
MAN! Christ!
I can understand the idea that maybe a little initial false shininess can leak to some real perking up, i.e.head to the bookstore in a cute new outfit...but I prefer the "inner" shininess. What has worked for me in the past(I read about this again in Eat, Pray, Love recently) is sitting quietly and giving thanks for what you DO have. That can be very hard when you're depressed. But give it a try...and SMILE while you do it. As you think of those things that do bring you happiness and love, Smile. Not just with your face, but every part of your body. Find those areas(for me it's the chest and throat) that feel tight, or dark, or heavy, and feel those areas smile.
Get OUT OF THE HOUSE if you can muster it. Find a lovely place and read a great book. Pack a picnic. Enjoy yourself as you are-a good, intelligent, talented, worthy that you are able to love another when the right one comes along.
Just my 2. Hugs and loves out to you.

Celia said...

Depression is an evil bastard. I highly recommend Dr. Jeffrey Thompsons alpha brainwave cds. You play them as you go to sleep. I suggest Ocean Waves.

You know, people are never going to tell you the dirty truth of their lives. Not most people. They will paint a nice, pleasant, fake picture. When I look at you I see someone to admire.

Grand Pooba said...

I hate when depression rears it's ugly head. I may have asked you this before but have you tried medication? It's taken me 10 years but I've finally found a "cocktail" of meds that works for me.

Before meds I did the same thing, I'd over analyse every social situation and conclude that nobody liked me and I was inferior to everyone else and had to punish myself.

It is so hard to keep control of our thoughts, especially if you have depression. Therapy helps some, but medication basically saved my marraige. I was so against medication in the beginning but now I feel more like me real self then I ever did before.

I'm not saying medication solved all my problems because I sure do have trouble sometimes but it definately helped. Just a suggestion from my experience with depression.

And yes, get a new therapist!!!

Janna Bee said...

Celia ia completely right when she says people never tell you the dirty truth.

Please, trust me on this, you are worthy of finding love and being happy.

But your therapist should be fired ASAP.

I hope you feel better soon. I'm thinking of you. {{{Hugs}}}

blueviolet said...

It sounds like you do need a new therapist. I struggle with this myself and it seems to come in waves. My medication helps even everything out and makes the world seem a bit more colorful to me also. Without it, I tend to be very woe is me. Hang in there. We're all here for ya.

Bee and Rose said...

{{{HUGS}}} I'm sorry things are feeling so rotten right now...

I completely understand how you are feeling...I have bouts of depression as well...I'm here for you...A book that really made a difference for me (and still does after 20 years!) is "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay...It really changed my world.

You are a beautiful, deeply feeling soul...your therapist clearly is in need of some therapy! Remember, it's always darkest before the dawn...the sun will shine, my friend!

Jodi said... is a huge HUG.

Second, PLEASE find a new therapist.

Third, you are a beautiful person! Inside and out.

Fourth, don't worry about the people who have to boast and constantly are all about "I, Me & Mine". Sometimes when people brag it is because they are lacking in other areas.

My sister suffers from severe depression all her life. So I know how bad this can affect the body and soul. You know you are in my prayers my friend! ♥

Mammatalk said...

Oh, dear. A women is capable of finding success and happiness without a man. Besides, looking for a man when you are down is a sure way to find the wrong man!

I agree with Yaya. Try a new therapist and maybe some alternative stuff.

I was single for years and finally found my man in my 30's! He'll come.

Jenners said...

Oh Sweetie ... I've been there, done that. (That is why I'm still on Zoloft.) It is bad to compare yourself to others ... and I bet they are not as la-di-da happy as they might seem. And I would consider getting a new therapist -- that was crap advice that did nothing but make your feel worse. Sending you hugs and I'm telling you that you are worthwhile and a winner no matter what anyone says!!!