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Old 05-15-2019, 11:15 AM #151
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

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Originally Posted by DechanDawa View Post
I've been following this thread because I just came back on to PC for a day and wanted to check in on how you were doing. I have been following your story for a long time. I read part of this thread and then had to go out and I thought about you a lot while out. We are probably around the same age give or take a few years. I am divorced and live alone. I am not in a relationship. Frankly I could not do what you are doing. I mean I could do it if I had been married to a guy for 30 years...but someone I met much later in life? No, I couldn't do it.


What would I do? I guess I would bail. It's ruthless. Well, it's a moot point. I don't date and I have no interest. I had one last wild fling with someone much younger (so, a lot of sex) and that was it.


To me you sound severely, severely, severely depressed. I am pretty depressed myself but for different reasons, mostly financial.


You try to control your moods with meds but they only work for a few hours. You are always exhausted.


Also, and you know this, you aren't getting the respect you deserve for what you are doing. Frankly I don't know why you stay. I do know about being far from home. I am kind of in exile. But I have been away too long and would never be able to fit into the socially backward town where I was born. I thought about returning but frankly, I think exile suits me better.


I think you are exhausted, bored (I mean what you are doing is tedious) and frustrated. You are angry, too, I think. Sad. And just insanely depressed. And so so so so so isolated. You don't have family nearby. He doesn't either, it appears. That is such a tough situation. Why has all this fallen on your head? This is just why I am not interested in dating. Even if someone was healthy now...it could turn on a dime. Heart attack. Stroke. Etc. No thanks. I am not interested in being someone's lover for two years then his caretaker for ten. I think this is exactly why Jane Fonda walked out on that nice man she was with when he got Parkinson's. She didn't want that life. She knew herself.



I think you are staying in the situation because you feel it is the right thing to do. Well, you are a better person than I am as I am sure I would have walked away long ago.


What to do? Well, I know depression and it has had a similar affect on me. I sleep. I let things get messy. But I feel much better when I make lists and do things. I mean, like you, I used to be almost OCD about cleaning. Now I let things get messy. When you described your apartment I had to laugh. You could have been describing mine! I have clean laundry in piles not put away. Paperwork strewn about. Dishes piled up in the sink. I mean it isn't like those horrible houses you see on reality TV...but for me it is way, way below my standards.



Just so you know I think this happens to a lot of people our age. A lot of people struggle. Not all. But a lot. I struggle with social isolation. It's a terrible situation. But when I think of you...you are with someone...yet terribly isolated. I mean the guy should be paying you for your time, boyfriend or not. You aren't married. He is getting round-the-clock care from you. You should be getting compensated. It's seems terribly unfair and imbalanced. But I think a lot of people are in your situation. I think maybe people consider divorce...then one gets sick...and the other gets stuck.



Thinking about you has me thinking about myself. I think I am going to start keeping lists and getting things done. And also start doing extra things like exercise, even if just walking. More moving around. Going out. Planning. For the future. My future. My projects. Like language study. Writing. Part-time work. Moving to a more suitable apartment. Just improving my life.



I hope you will see that you need to take care of yourself for your future. You can't allow yourself to be totally used up. You are an intelligent woman, with potential for a much more expansive life than you are now living. This is just a chapter. Or maybe a book, haha, but it will end.


I feel badly this person you are caring for does not show you more respect. But a lot of ill men are like that. My father was awful. My sister (a nurse) and I catered to his every need and my father was just awful. Never appreciative, grateful, or thankful. Just always with an overblown sense of entitlement. I got to move as my then husband found an out-of-state job. My sister stayed and got very bitter and eventually she abandoned my father, which, frankly, he well deserved. And...I might add...he didn't care who he was bossing around...a daughter, a relative, or paid help. He just abused everyone.


I am not saying your guy is abusive...but the situation itself is harsh and abusive.


My heart breaks for you.


And I want to improve my own life. I am pretty depressed myself but I don't like the way I am living. I need to change. I am not taking any medications. I constantly crave something that will change my mood but I don't drink and don't take any medications. So my mood only gets changed by sleep...which, frankly, I adore. I have no problem sleeping. I love it. I take care not to sleep over 8.5 hours. But when I sleep I sleep deeply. It's like medicine for me.


I think I am going to start going to my local recreation center. I love to swim. I love the suana. These things would help my mood, I am sure.


Best of luck. It seems like a lot of people here on Psych Central care about you. You have a certain something. You are special. I have always got that vibe from you. All around you are a better person than me because I couldn't do what you are doing. That guy doesn't know how lucky he is to have you in his life.
Rose,
Take the time to read Dechan's post a few times if you can. I'm a newbie, and stumbled into the Depression tab, then your post, then this reply. I feel it sums up a lot about what perhaps many experience. The fact Dechan so eloquently writes a short film-like narration of the life Dechan leads, I can feel myself in that movie, on that set, complete with all those feelings.
Depression is awful, Getting the moment to see how it affects one person is very powerful. I actually feel a little uplifted from my own depression. It's a temporary feeling, but I will try and savor the remnants of light I got from reading the story.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:22 PM #152
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

Thanks, Threadbare, for reposting DechanD's post. I feel believe this is the first time I'm seeing it. Really. It's not a post I would forget, if I had ever red it. I must have missed a page on this thread. You've done me a great service by reposting this.

Dechan - you understand quite a lot. A real lot. One correction, though: I didn't meet this guy later in life. We met April 15, 1984. So there's all that history together . . . all that shared experience. Just 4 years after we met, we moved thousands of miles away. I never had kids. He's been pretty much it. Like you, I decided I have no interest in finding another guy, when this one is gone. I decided that over 10 years ago. At that time, I thought he had only a few years left. Then I would do lots of things like you mentioned. I'd take a course, swim, tend my little flower patch, look after my bird feeders, maybe get a dog. Friendship means much more to me now (if I had the time for it.) I'ld like to do things with others. I have a girlfriend who's good company and alone, like me. Right now, I meet her for lunch or dinner about every 6 months.

People give me advice: "Take a yoga class." "Go swim at the YMCA." "Just go for a walk." That's all great advice. I tell myself all the same things.

Dechan, you do understand a lot. It means something to me that someone can acknowledge my "plight." I know it is all of my own making. I know I'm not doing more for myself that I could do. I do feel like I'm just letting myself be "used up." . . . . like, when he's gone, I'll just be a shell, an empty husk of an aging woman. It does seem so unfair. I did the "respite" thing. I'ld go to the nursing home and find him dirty, sitting alone in his room, being tormented by the yelling of a patient across the hall, who yelled a l l t h e t i m e. He came home with what seemed like worsening dementia. It was just the stress of being in a facility. After 3 days at home, his mind was greatly improved.

He's got no money to pay me with. I handle his income and bills. I can do what I want with his money. He's what the federal government classifies as very low income. I do get to eat for free, which saves me a few hundred dollars a month. We eat very well.

I appreciate all you say . . . . . just that you recognize and understand. It means a lot. I'm not trying to have people feel sorry for me. Maybe, in a way, I am. I vegetate here like I'm shell-shocked. But it keeps seeming like he's just got a few months left. So I figure I'll stick it out. 12 years ago I thought he only had a couple of years left. Doctors tell me he should be on "hospice" and that I should stop bringing him to the ER. But I'm not going to neglect him to death (and I could.) I get him appropriate care whenever he has an infection, and he rallies. He wouldn't get these medical interventions without my advocacy. A doctor stated that. He'ld be given some ineffective oral antibiotics for an infection, which he would succumb to. That's how many of our elders die.

People like George H. W. Bush and Rose Kennedy didn't live such long lives in their wheelchairs, just because they've got the right genes. The genes help, but they were promptly treated for every ailment. Pres. Bush had pneumonia after pneumonia. If he were anyone else, he would have expired after the first couple of bouts of pneumonia. But his family adored him and they hired the right people to make sure he got treated promptly for everything. Most frail, old people don't get that. Even if they have loving families. For one thing, most people can't afford private nurses around the clock. And even those who can will tell you that "it's hard to find good help."

Maybe I sound like I wish he would die. At times, I do. At times, that is exactly what I wish. But, a few hours later, we'll be having a nice supper together and watching something we enjoy on TV, and chatting . . . . . and I feel like I want to hold on to him long as I can. I will never be this important to anyone again in my life. I will never matter this much again in my life. In his own screwball way, he does love me. I will never be loved so much again. I will never be special to anyone again to this degree. Sure - I can be the visiting aunt to family who put themselves out for a few days, while I visit. Yeah, I can volunteer my time to a worthy cause. I tell myself all that stuff too.

Yet, when I am alone, if I manage to outlast this guy of mine, I think I will be alright. I just hope I have a few healthy years left to spend doing things that interest me.

Thank you for understanding and for sharing your own experience, which is not so different.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:00 PM #153
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

Rose, I am so glad you’ve found this rapport with Deshan. It means so much when you feel that someone truly understands, even though the basic situation may remain unchanged. I've found much value in reading her posts, and the posts between the 2 of you, myself.

I continue to care very much about your situation myself and will continue to monitor it.

Wishing you both well... 🌹

Last edited by Mopey; 05-15-2019 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:40 PM #154
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

Thank you, Mopey.

I'm awful low this evening. Just in the bedroom by myself, crying in frustration. I have been doing this total care of this man for so long. I was okay around lunch time. I was being nice to him. Then over a few hours I was alone in the bedroom, while the attendant was looking after him. I went downhill. I had some cheesecake and sherry, and I got down. Very down.

I have wide mood swings. One pdoc told me years ago that I was "bipolar." I am emotionally troubled all my life. I have very good intervals. But I am recurrently depressed. Feeling good doesn't last. Feeling bad doesn't last. I go back and forth and back and forth.

It's not like bailing out of this relationship could be counted on to fix a lot. I'ld still be so worried about him.

This morning we quarreled. I wasn't totally in the right. But he seems to have so little concern for me telling him I feel very distressed. He gets what he needs out of me - every thing that he needs. I get so little for what I give.

I am just making myself more upset and more blue.

When he's gone, I'll have to empty out his apartment and that will be a job. I can probably donate a lot, as a way of getting it carted off. Some nice furniture. Then I'll have to move my stuff that's here to my apartment that hasn't been really lived in for a few years. That place is kind of a mess. I did used to keep an orderly house. My involvement with him undermined that. In '94, I left him and was doing okay. I had my own place that I liked, that I kept nice. 5 years later I got all involved with him again. My life hasn't been orderly since. I can't blame him for all that either.

I know being down passes.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:38 AM #155
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

I wasn't intending this to be an on-going, perpetual blog, but I don't really have anywhere else to go, pathetic as that may sound.

I took one of my Vicodin tablets (10/365.) My neck is sore from reading. Also, I was hoping for a mood boost from it. That makes just 2 that I took all day today. I don't go nuts with this stuff.

I gave him hot dog and beans for supper and I didn't eat with him like I always do. I've stayed in the bedroom feeling bad. He seems to be doing okay out there by himself, watching TV. Usually, if I'm out of his line of sight for more than 7 minutes, he calls to know where I am and what I'm doing. This eve he knows I'm staying in the bedroom because I'm upset with him, so he's not calling for me, unless he needs something specific. Then I have to respond because he can't walk. His way of handling my being upset is to just wait for my negative mood to blow over. So he is just not trying to interact at all. That makes me even more mad.

He never, ever, ever says "This must be a lot on you." or "I'm lucky to have you." Everyone asks me if he knows how lucky he is. I have no idea. He's not one to worry. He lives in the moment and enjoys what is going well in the present. He doesn't reflect on how things might be different, for better or worse. What is - is. That's that. He will acclimate himself to whatever he can't change and that will be that. Warnings that I might leave mean nothing, absolutely nothing. He'll just say, "Okay then leave. Do what you want." His equanimity is not going to be rattled by any threat from me. And I have no business threatening him. Sometimes I get more mean than I have any right to be. I keep wanting him to be different. How ridiculous of me.

An awful lot of the time, I'm fine toward him. More than fine. Morning, noon and night - attending to every need and doing so in pretty good humor. And he's generally quite pleasant himself, living in his childlike world, very pleased with each good thing that comes his way. He's very positive. Tells me the morning coffee is delicious, when it's just instant. He just wants things to be nice. He'ld actually be quite nice to work for. The attendant seems very relaxed around him. He's always pleasant to her. He generally is to most everyone. I'm the crank. Mostly I'm not. But the quarrel this morning has unsettled me. He is utterly unconcerned that I am unsettled. That's what bugs me the most. Something I want him to do differently he won't do. He will stick to his habits come what may. If I stay upset and distant toward him, he will announce that he's going to do exactly whatever I want him to do. He'll say that so sweetly, and he believes he means it - in the moment. But he will do nothing that isn't exactly what he wants to do . . . absolutely nothing.

So I can arrange another "respite" placement. But then he deteriorates in the nursing home. I have to pick from a short list of facilities that aren't the best. Neither the VA nor Medicaid is going to pay for a stay in the nicer nursing homes.
(Even the crapholes cost over $2000/week.) Then my hard work of keeping him in good shape gets undone. So, after the respite, I get him back in worse shape.

So I want us to stay together as we are, but for him to go along with a change I want him to make that would be good for him. (I want him to stop sleeping sitting up in a chair in the living room. I want him to sleep in a bed. We have a normal large bed, and we have a hospital bed. But he sleeps in a chair. In the hospital or nursing home, he sleeps just fine in a bed. But not at home. I find him slumped over in the chair every night. Maybe it shouldn't bother me. That was the quarrel. I can't stand it. Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't care. It upsets me. He doesn't care that it upsets me. That's what really makes me nuts.) He won't budge. He-'ll do what he wants. Nothing I can do about that . . . . except to leave, if it bothers me that much. I hate that those are the two choices he gives me. I just hate it.

Maybe I'm insane that I so want him to do as I ask. But I can ask till I'm blue in the face. He won't even talk about it, or give me a reason. And he doesn't care that this bothers me terribly. Thar's my problem. What bothers me is none of his concern in the slightest.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:18 PM #156
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I'm still in my very down mood. By tomorrow, it will probably blow over. But today I'm down. Mainly I'm resentful of him. Years ago, when we lived together, he said we should get a dog . . . that he needed a dog for companionship. He'ld had heart trouble and believed he'ld never work again. We got the dog. Then his health improved and he decided to take a low paying job. The dog couldn't be left home alone. I had a good paying job, working 12 hr shifts that sometimes went longer. The dog was a problem. He told me to get rid of the dog. I couldn't do that. I turned down assignments to take care of the dog. I gave up good wages so he could go make peanuts. This went on till I was becoming a mess. Eventually, he got sick and was home. Soon as the dog died, I left him again to get the apt I have now. That was almost 12 years ago, and I realized I didn't care if I ever was in a "love" relationship again. But his health got seriously worse and we had stayed friends. I ran errands for him, laundry and groceries. Then "mission creep" set in, and now he is totally dependent on me. At times we would get along well. Often we didn't. But we made up easily. I'm retired. My skill set just happens to line up with exactly what he needs. We both live on small incomes. Sometimes I'm very happy being with him and glad our relationship endured. But today I feel frustrated and depressed. I'm not taking care of myself properly, down to even not brushing my teeth in two days. Even when we're getting along well, I don't catch up on what I need to attend to for myself. Even when I'm not depressed, I'm apathetic about making anything of what remains of my life.

I like to think, sometimes, that, when he's gone, I'll just have me to take care of and I'll create a nice little life for myself, for however long my own health holds out. Then I worry that this apathy will stick with me, and I'll just sleep a lot, go downhill and be found someday, passed away in my apartment.

So I'm staying in the bedroom away from him. Now he's calling, saying he wants to apologize. He's tired of sitting alone in the living room. By tomorrow I'll probably get tired if being mad, and I'll go back to our usual routine. That will last for awhile. The cycle just repeats and repeats. I guess that's why I'm apathetic. I don't see a way to disrupt the cycle that will help me.

The only way out of the cycle would be to end this caregiving attachment. I'ld have to find a facility for him, or have a social worker do that. Then close up his apartment. A lot of work in that, but I have to do it eventually in any case. Then my apt is a mess. We've been using it as a warehouse. I have to turn that place into a home again. A lot of work there. The paint's peeling in the bathroom. Where I live, the property keeps changing hands and has gone downhill. It's not like, in leaving here, I would have something nice to go towards. I've let everything become a mess.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:27 PM #157
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

We all have our contributions to make. We neednt apologize for who we are.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:35 PM #158
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

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Originally Posted by Rose76 View Post
I'm still in my very down mood. By tomorrow, it will probably blow over. But today I'm down. Mainly I'm resentful of him. Years ago, when we lived together, he said we should get a dog . . . that he needed a dog for companionship. He'ld had heart trouble and believed he'ld never work again. We got the dog. Then his health improved and he decided to take a low paying job. The dog couldn't be left home alone. I had a good paying job, working 12 hr shifts that sometimes went longer. The dog was a problem. He told me to get rid of the dog. I couldn't do that. I turned down assignments to take care of the dog. I gave up good wages so he could go make peanuts. This went on till I was becoming a mess. Eventually, he got sick and was home. Soon as the dog died, I left him again to get the apt I have now. That was almost 12 years ago, and I realized I didn't care if I ever was in a "love" relationship again. But his health got seriously worse and we had stayed friends. I ran errands for him, laundry and groceries. Then "mission creep" set in, and now he is totally dependent on me. At times we would get along well. Often we didn't. But we made up easily. I'm retired. My skill set just happens to line up with exactly what he needs. We both live on small incomes. Sometimes I'm very happy being with him and glad our relationship endured. But today I feel frustrated and depressed. I'm not taking care of myself properly, down to even not brushing my teeth in two days. Even when we're getting along well, I don't catch up on what I need to attend to for myself. Even when I'm not depressed, I'm apathetic about making anything of what remains of my life.

I like to think, sometimes, that, when he's gone, I'll just have me to take care of and I'll create a nice little life for myself, for however long my own health holds out. Then I worry that this apathy will stick with me, and I'll just sleep a lot, go downhill and be found someday, passed away in my apartment.

So I'm staying in the bedroom away from him. Now he's calling, saying he wants to apologize. He's tired of sitting alone in the living room. By tomorrow I'll probably get tired if being mad, and I'll go back to our usual routine. That will last for awhile. The cycle just repeats and repeats. I guess that's why I'm apathetic. I don't see a way to disrupt the cycle that will help me.

The only way out of the cycle would be to end this caregiving attachment. I'ld have to find a facility for him, or have a social worker do that. Then close up his apartment. A lot of work in that, but I have to do it eventually in any case. Then my apt is a mess. We've been using it as a warehouse. I have to turn that place into a home again. A lot of work there. The paint's peeling in the bathroom. Where I live, the property keeps changing hands and has gone downhill. It's not like, in leaving here, I would have something nice to go towards. I've let everything become a mess.
Just a comment on your statement, "I'll just have me to take care of and I'll create a nice little life for myself." If at all possible, make that your mantra. Spend time each day thinking about what you want to do, now and down the road. In the future, one way or another, you will be able to create that nice life for yourself. It can be helpful now, today, this minute, to at least think about (even better, if you can muster some energy, write, draw, talk about) what that looks and feels like. If you meditate, this is a good thing to add to your positive visualizations.

Rose, I write this to you as a person who spent 12 years living with and taking care of my mother. The last 2 years that I lived with her were especially difficult because I did 90% of what needed to be done for her. I never spent time thinking about what my life could or would be like once she was deceased. I wish now that I had, because I'm struggling, even 18 months after her death, to figure out, and have energy for, creating my own nice little life. I'm getting there, but i think if I'd started on it earlier, I'd be much further along, even with the challenges of depression, anxiety, burn out, and physical ailments.

I wish for you peace and calm in the very near future! You do you, boo!

PS - I believe that writing about your experiences and feelings on this forum is a good outlet. Just be sure to incorporate other outlets into your routine. Everything in moderation....
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:26 PM #159
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

Rose, i really liked what you wrote yesterday or the day before about being so important to your partner. It reminds me of The Little Prince, at the end when the prince is talking about taking care of his petulant little rose. You never expressed these feelings before.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:15 PM #160
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

Speck - I do spend time daily, thinking and visualizing. It would be wise for me to start going back into my own apartment and cleaning and straightening it. When I got my s/o qualified for full Medicaid, which funds the attendant, I thought I would be able to spend part of the week - even just 2 days and 1 night - in my own place. That turned out to be a fantasy. He can't be alone at night. Medicaid pays very little to attendants. (The skill level of these attendants is commensurate with that.) I'ld stock the fridge at my apartment and end up throwing the stuff out. He has gone from one medical crisis to the next. If he were really rich, he might appropriately hire licensed nurses around the clock. That's the level of attention he often needs. These type of attendants call out all the time. This is where having real wealth when you get old and sick is what it really takes to get truly great care (if you can find the right help) or being surrounded by a big, family of persons who love you to pieces and have lots of time they can devote to you.

All that being said, I have no good excuse for why I don't spend a few hours hear and there readying my own apartment for when I need to return to it. I do not claim that I am depressed because I can't do anything about my circumstances. I know it's the opposite: I don't put enough effort into bettering my circumstances because I am depressed. I have said I'm not looking for praise or pity. My life is exactly what I've made of it. I guess I do this thread to kind of think out loud. If someone endorses me when I say something that makes sense, that may help.

I'm very experienced in dealing with depression, since about age 8. I long ago figured out what it takes to make one's life better: You get up and do what needs doing, and things improve. OR - you vegetate passively and watch things get worse and worse. That's the secret of living life successfully in a nutshell. I know that.

Unaluna - I've put down here very conflicting feelings. I appreciate you noticing the things you noticed. It's not a simple situation. Like: he's disrespectful and abusive, and I ought to just walk away. It would be easy, if that was what all is going on. I have walked away. That's how I came to have my own place. I never married him. (I could have.) I kept one foot in and one foot out. He met a lot of my emotional needs. We have happy, shared memories. I found, and still find, contentment in our closeness. My feeling are very mixed.

Time will pass. Eventually, he'll succumb to the ravages of his multiple illnesses. I'll be free to do whatever I like. I have many, strong interests, so I should be able to pursue various of them and my life will go on. There are some folks who'll be glad to see me, when I have the time to renew old attachments.

Today I coped poorly with being depressed. Tomorrow I may do better. Eventually I will do better. That's how it always goes.

Anyone whose time can be better employed than looking at this thread should do exactly that.
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