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Depression is always there. Sometimes it is in the very back

Depression is always there. Sometimes it is in the very back of my mind, quiet against my anxious self and/or my "normal" self. But at times it likes to rear its ugly head and hit me where it matters most. I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) as well as regular depression and anxiety. So it's safe to say that this time of year is never the easiest. I love the holidays but hate winter (snow and the cold are not my thing). Not only am I missing summer but I am also missing waking up to bright sunshine. Everything feels so dark and depressing and cold and lonely. My birthday passed recently and that came with a whole flood of emotions and feelings of failure. Now its the holiday season and I am having to face yet another year of loneliness and it sucks to say the least. On top of that I live in a small place. It is cramped as it is and this past week we have had a homeless family member staying on our couch. Her husband is in jail and she is very frail from a lifetime of drug abuse... Not only is she living out of her car but also has a massive dog that we've had to accommodate. We have a smaller dog and he has gone nuts this week because of the bigger dog. Not only is it a territory thing but this big dog will literally kill our little dog if he gets the chance. So we've had to keep the big dog outside in the car where he proceeded to sh*t all over the place. Between that and piles of dirty/moldy laundry and trying to sort out a homeless shelter during this busy time of the year, my relatives 2 night stay has very quickly become a week long stay. I love her and it kills me to see her homeless and frail but at the same time I am already stressed enough as it is and this whole situation has **** near sent me over the edge. It is December 5th and we don't even have the Christmas tree up yet. That may not seem like a big deal to some but celebrating the holidays is the only thing that keeps me happy and some what sane during the winter time. It is one of the bigger reasons for staying alive through the holidays. Since she has been here, I've felt my Christmas spirit drain and now I just want to curl up into a ball and disappear. I know it is selfish to think but I can't help but be angry with her for stealing my joy. How dare she come in and ruin my one chance at happiness this winter... On top of that my blabber-mouth mother told her I was suicidal. I don't like telling people I'm suicidal and I talked to my mom about it out of trust that she wouldn't tell anyone else (besides maybe my dad). She betrayed my trust and now I am forced to seek comfort from online strangers (no offense) instead of her because I feel like I can't trust her to keep what we talk about private. It's been bothering me a lot that she told her... This isn't the first time that she has done this sort of thing and I can't stop thinking about it. I know some of you will say to just choose joy or to stop thinking about it but my obsessive thoughts cannot be controlled. Trust me, I have tried. And as far as the choosing joy goes, that only goes so far. My normal self can choose joy but in a screaming match in my head between my normal self and my depressed self, my depressed self will always scream just a little louder. I am working towards seeking therapy but that is another battle all within itself... Everything is just getting to me and I can feel myself crashing and I don't know what to do. This time last year was horrible and I was determined not to lose it again this year. But I'm running out of fuel fast and I feel that burnout is just one bad thought away...

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norseduncan's picture
[200105]
Dec 7

I am very sorry. I can see that this is really bothering you. you are new here, so you aren't aware that we here at SG get this, so none of us are going to say anything stupid like 'choose joy' or 'stop thinking about it'. if it were that f*cking simple psychologists and therapists wouldn't be a thing.
this family member really needs to get their sh*t together, and that is not your problem. 2 days has already turned into a week. I know its the holidays (I am not a holiday person) but I don't think that should have anything to do with it. high time this family member starting adulting better than this.
Put the tree up. do what makes you happy. but try to draw a clear line between what makes yu happy, your holiday, and this family member. and welcome to sg!

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[345]
Dec 23

LizzyJ2010 you are stronger than you realize right now. You are correct, it Is not that easy to "just" choose to have different thoughts. If you could you would right? Despite the challenges you are encountering, your heart of compassion and determination to overcome by getting support is admirable. I agree that the holidays do increase our sensitivity to our situations. This has been a year full of unexpected heartbreak, loneliness, riddled with moments of despair, and what has seemed to be a hopeless future for me. However, in all of that I did and do consciously fight my urge to focus on the negative in my life and like you said choose joy. It is not always my first inclination but it is what I consciously again, fight, to focus on because the alternative does not change my circumstances for the better and I find that when I force myself to choose joy my perspective changes thereby my feelings like have no choice but to change too! When I choose joy, it does not mean that like a switch I decide to be happy, I mean that I literally stop in my tracks and speak out loud what is good in my life despite and not discounting what I perceive as bad. I say what is good over and over again, I write my best blessing of my day every day literally! I also read a daily devotional for anxious hearts which coats me in peace even if I was shaking right before reading it. I also listen to sermons about God's word and that is my RX medicine.
Back to your thoughts on Christmas....I completely understand you! I love Christmas and almost let my thoughts (the lies in my head) steal my love for the most wonderful time of the year. While I was not emotionally able to do what I normally do (and that is OK) I chose to do something that has turned out better. I chose to focus Christmas on others. I chose to look around me and see how I can make Christmas special for everyone around me and in turn it has blessed me so much.
There is no magic formula Lizzy, life is and always will be full of challenges and disappointments, but you and I can fight our emotions, our actions, and thereby change our perspective. P.S. People disappoint, they are human and perfectly imperfect like you and I. We can trust others but our trust cannot be in others. (Does that make sense?)
I'm so happy that you have strength, determination, and faith enough to look for support even in a stranger like me! I will be praying for you and perhaps you can do the same for me?
If you would like some counseling resources I know of some and could share them with you :) just let me know.

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