I write to ask how to over come and beat these feelings of hell. I have a beautiful wife and 2 young boys. I’m 43 and feel helpless. Self employed with 5 staff. Depressed and crying everyday with no motivation or happiness. Yet, I know it’s all around me. Can we get well. What’s happened?
Thank you for opening up to us here, and welcome to the forums.
Do you know when these feelings/crying started? Has it been something that's been present in your life for a long time or fairly recently? Have you ever had a chat to a GP, therapist, or psychologist about how you're feeling?
These questions may help us refine the support we can offer you. I have lived experience with depression and frequent crying, but a little more context may help give me an idea of what I can suggest based on what's worked for me.
Getting well is possible, yes. The journey of healing may not be linear, but there are always steps that you can take to feel better and get yourself to a place of comfort and joy.
Another few questions, do you have any hobbies, passions, or leisure activities that you enjoy? Any sports, perhaps creative pursuits? What sorts of activities do you like doing with your family?
Eager to hear back from you 🙂
😞good morning and thank you for your reply. The crying just started 8 weeks ago suddenly. I couldn’t get out of bed and was constantly sad. I love to be with my family but currently don’t want them to see me sad. I have been avoiding my work responsibility as I run my own business. I just feel lost, scared and frustrated that I can’t seem to be the old me. Happy, funny and playful. It’s gone. I feel stressed, anxious and want to lay down and hide.
My family is beautiful, perfect in every way but can’t seem to feel the joy life has. I feel like a failure to my wife and kids as I can’t seem to bounce back. Thanks for your reply
That's great that you've been prescribed some medication, and that it's made even a little progress. If you've been on it for a while and find that it's not working for you, don't worry. Different treatments work for different people, and it's definitely worth finding the right kind of medication or therapy.
Would you feel comfortable asking your GP for a referral to a therapist or psychologist? They may be able to help you in a more specialised way, if you'd be open to it.
One important thing that I try to remember when I'm struggling is that the "old me" is still there, just with a few more life experiences now. Perhaps the old me is hiding away for a bit, but she's still very much with me - it may just take a little while for her to come back out again. It may not work for everybody, but I will sometimes look at photos or videos of me from previous years doing something fun with people I love, and it grounds me enough to look upon my current self in a different and more positive way. It renews my sense of purpose, essentially.
Would you feel comfortable opening up to your wife about how you're feeling? You don't necessarily have to tell her everything, just that you're feeling somewhat overwhelmed or unhappy. She may have some more insight into what might help or make you feel better, and it can feel good to be able to share your struggles with somebody who can help you through it. Social support is such a good protective factor for our wellbeing.
I heard this quote a while ago, "action comes before motivation", and I've only recently realised how much truth is in this statement. If we use our strength to start a task or a project, often the motivation to continue will come whilst we're engaged in the task itself. Also, if you have any hobbies, passions, or interest that you used to (or still) enjoy doing, you can even use these to help gain some motivation back. Using these as a kind of reward if you do something you've been meaning to do for a while, or if you complete a really important work project. It gives your brain a chance to relax and reset too.
I hope this helps, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Does any of this resonate with you? Have you tried any of it already, and if so, how did it make you feel afterwards?
Progress is best achieved with small steps. Don't feel pressured to make drastic changes if you're not ready. You may find that small feats are reassuring for you, and it gives you even more motivation to keep going.
All the best, SB
Just want to start by saying I have the deepest respect for people who run their own business. I'm not sure if I could manage the exhausting amount of hours and stress that can come with that. Being a gal who's a real feeler, I think I'd feel the exhaustion and stress too easily.
My heart goes out to you as you manage trying to make sense of why you're feeling the way you are. From my own experience, I'd have to say one of the toughest aspects to manage when it comes to depression involves figuring out why or how it's come about. While I've faced a variety of reasons over the years (from physical to mental to even soulful in some ways, as well as all 3 combined at times), I think one of the least obvious reasons came about last year, when I reached a kind of burnout. It was my 20yo daughter who sat me down and helped me make sense of a lot. I had no idea just how much I was trying to manage until she broke it all down for me, a constructive 'breakdown'. With a variety of challenges in helping my dad (who hadn't been officially diagnosed with dementia at that stage) to helping my mum (who tries so hard to manage a depressing decline in her mobility and overall health) to helping my son who was seriously struggling with the lead up to year 12 this year to managing a failing marriage, a part time job and a host of other things, I just didn't see it all starting to tip the scales. It was my daughter who suggested the 3rd stage of General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). Whether that's what it was or not, it sure felt like it. The 3rd stage of GAS: Fatigue, burnout, decreased stress tolerance, anxiety, depression etc. I ticked every box. In a way, I felt better knowing it wasn't me who couldn't cope, it was my body that could no longer cope and that's what I was feeling. And, yes, my body was doing a lot of venting (crying) during that time. I imagine you may also perhaps be doing a lot of sighing (another form of venting stress).
I think sometimes we can adopt the mantra 'This is stressful but I can cope. I'll be fine' only to hit a point where it's too stressful, we can't cope and we're not fine. While I can relate to 'feeling like a failure', what I eventually realised was I was simply failing to better understand what it was that I was trying so hard to manage through - complete and utter mental and physical exhaustion. If it's of any help to know...over the years I've learned one of my top 5 triggers for depression is feeling next to no energy and feeling a lot of the depressing inner dialogue that can come with that ('You're hopeless. You're of no use to anyone. You're lazy and good for nothing' etc can get pretty dark). Feeling plenty of energy running through us is like feeling life itself running through us. Such a joyful, invigorating, soulful and fulfilling feeling. Next to no energy can definitely feel like hell on earth at times. Wondering whether researching 'small business owner burnout' might offer some guidance, if that's what it is that you could be facing.
Btw, I've found 'no one making any significant difference, in the ways that I really need' also has a feel to it. It can feel lonely and depressing at times. Nothing compares to the feeling of solid guidance and feeling the ability to finally see the way forward. I imagine it's in your nature to be a seer, given how you saw your business before you started it.