FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Blue's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (life viewed through the lens of depression)

Clues_Of_Blue
Community Member

Some of you are aware of my existence by now, but for those who aren't, I'm fairly new to this forum. I've been stumbling my way along with depression for somewhere around seven years. It was triggered by a life event and exacerbated by circumstances since then, which I've done my best to eliminate where possible. About a year ago I changed track with that and made the huge decision to end the relationship I was in. Rough though that was, I finally started to see a bit of progress. I've still had a fight on my hands, to stay afloat and get control of my time and money and my peace of mind, all of which were tied up for a long time in untangling my finances from those of my ex (not his fault, the bank made it really damn hard, and my job and my own state of mind weren't helping).

Now I've started enjoying things again, and am not always instantly down when I'm on my own. I was once a (deliberately) solitary creature who enjoyed my own company and learning everything I could, so it's good to be more like that again. The depression's always there, lurking in the background, but I sometimes go a few weeks at a time without any prolonged episodes. Long enough to start feeling like I'm healing or that my emotions have some concept of cause and effect again. Then down I slam again, sometimes for a day or two, other times for weeks, and it feels like I've made no progress at all. In these periods my mind and my emotions are constantly at war, particularly when I'm alone and/or it's quiet. My mind is calm for the most part, and well aware I'm strong and capable and have strategies and I actively work on those in spite of the depression. My emotions, on the other hand, are running about with flags chock full of negative messages and even though I know it's not (or even close) I feel like everything is collapsing, that I can't deal with it and I just want everything to stop. That's where I'm at, today.

I do have an amazing partner now, who is extremely supportive, and has helped me immensely. My current problem is that I need my friends and family, too. I so rarely have time that isn't ruined by unsociable work hours and also the energy and will to socialise, but my friends are seldom available when I do. In those times I know it may be weeks or months before I can see them again, and I miss them, and that's mostly when I crash again these days. Dunno how to fix that yet, but I need to vent, and here I am. Getting better but having a really crap day.

2,136 Replies 2,136

Hello dear Blue,

 

 I’m really sorry the burnout got worse. It can be a challenge dealing with in-laws! I’m glad if you are at least clawing your way back to some semblance of functionality.

 

 I’m not very functional myself right now so I’m probably not the best person to find good ideas about how to handle things. Time in nature and a sense of humour seem to be the two things that help me at the moment. Sometimes seeing the funny side of a challenging person can help. I was once with three friends and two of them were having a big argument. I was becoming increasingly anxious from the argument and didn’t know what to do. The other friend found it hilarious and started laughing his head off. This made me laugh and then the two arguing settled down as the tension dissipated. I don’t know if there is anything hilarious about your mother-in-law, but just wondering if it might help to see her in a humorous light to dissipate some of the stress of dealing with her. I’m sure it’s not an easy time with everything else you’re dealing with. I hope things improve.

 

Take care and kind thoughts,

ER

Hi Blue & ER ... thinking of having some humour about your mother-in-law, given how you describe her as an 'energy vampire' & Hallowe'en is in a couple weeks, what about wearing some garlic around your neck? Hanging bunches of garlic at the door? 

Ideally though, it would be great if your partner can deal with herr & have a serious talk with her to let her know how some of her behaviours, (being precise about which behaviours) are not welcome, unhelpful, hurtful, etc. Your MIL needs to tone things like her voice &, maybe some actions?, I dn't know exactly what she is doing that saps your energy so much, but whatever it is, she needs to understand the effects of her behaviour. I hope your partner can do that.

Would that be possible? If nnot, are there other rellies who could help?

 

One thing I have been aware of is when people, such as my support workers, seem to be rushing, trying to do various things within the 5 minutes. It seems to me like they sense time passing more slowly, so maybe, it seems to them they can do everything within the 5 minutes, whereas I am thinking, I can't keep up, please slow down, let me do things at my pace - & thiis what i need to tell them. For them the pace must feel natural, because it seems I'll have to tell them several or many times before they actually comprehend what I'm saying & asking them to do. I feel my own energy draining when they are moving, like a buzzing bee around me, while I am methodically trying to do what I usually want to do at the time, most especially when I return home & I've got some groceries, as well as needing to make some notes, & remove hat, dark glasses, fold cane, take off shoes, get my water bottle from my bag ... too many things to do, but I can't do them all at once. & the support worker is trying to unpack my groceries, give them to me to put away, at the same time....

One day I may just deliberately drop something just to get her attention on what she is doing to me. I'd rather not, though. It would be much better to talk & have her understand.

 

Whenever you can, take time to slow down, unwind, relax, even have an afternoon sleep.

Or maybe, do something which grabs your attention so for a while you don't have her on your mind.

 

Hugzies, to both of yu

mmMekitty

Hi MK & ER,

 

Can't say I find the mother-in-law especially funny, it's like she makes it her job to misunderstand everything I say and do, whilst plastering on a little smile and pretending she means well. Pretty narcissistic trait if you ask me, feels like she's trying to make trouble in my marriage. I get left untangling the misunderstandings and I sincerely just don't want to waste my time on it (hubby tries sometimes, he tends to make it worse though). Dunno about wearing garlic, maybe I should eat it all and toot at her until she goes away...

 

Anyway, that little drama has passed for now. The latest one is various appliances needing replacing, followed by the hot water system breaking down. Thankfully only the thermostat, one of the more affordable things that could go wrong, but I didn't relish being without hot water for four days - it helpfully clapped out on the week-end & we couldn't get same day service when we called on Monday. Sigh.

 

Sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment, ER, happy to listen if you want to talk about it. Hope you're getting some nature time, and there's something to find funny.

 

MK, that sounds really frustrating with your support workers, of course you can't keep up with them, that's surely part of why you need a support worker! Maybe suggest to them that they pretend you're a client and treat you accordingly!

 

One big thing in my life has changed since I spoke to you guys, and that is that I quit my job. I have been on basically indefinite leave since hubby got really sick, and that could only last so long. They asked me to make a decision about whether I'm coming back or not, and I made it. Can't get over the weight that has lifted off my shoulders, honestly. Feels like I've just signed the divorce papers to end a 20 year abusive relationship. I can't say everything is miraculously better, but I feel healthier than I have in at least a year. Funny about that.

 

Kind thoughts & hugzies,

Blue.

Dear Blue (and wave to MK),

 

That is fantastic about feeling better having made that decision to quit your job. I think you know you’ve made the right decision when you feel that way afterwards. It sounds like it was kind of a weight on your shoulders still sitting there and now it’s finally released and you are free of the burden.

 

 I’m glad the situation with the mother in law has settled. Bummer about the appliances. I have several similar issues at the moment. A bolt rusted through causing one of the brackets under my hot water system to crash to the ground. I was  able to keep the hot water system propped up hoping the other bracket didn’t collapse until a local handyman could put in a new bolt. It was a bit scary because if it came down it would pull down a lot of asbestos and a brick wall with it. I do have quite a few things like this and sometimes I want to close my eyes and pretend they’re not happening, as I imagine you do too.

 

 I hope you continue to feel better with your health and that this week is going well for you and hubby.

 

Take care xx

Hey ER (wave to MK),

 

Thanks. It's definitely very much the right decision. Mind you, it's been close to two months and they still haven't paid out my leave or taken me off my department's rosters. That sense of it being an abusive relationship is really being driven home by this behaviour, they wanted me to hurry up and quit, and now they are not letting go. Even better, they did pay me a piffling sum that was nothing close to what they owe me, and today had the gall to ask for it back. Let's just say they didn't get a cordial response to that BS and their suggestion was quickly retracted.

 

Sorry to hear you are having troubles around the house, too. It's all so much work and so expensive, there are always things coming up that can't be attended to. Can't blame you for wanting to shut your eyes to it all, sometimes fixing that stuff just isn't within our capacity.

 

Sadly thanks to work and a few other things, this week hasn't been a good one so far. I will say though that knowing I never have to go back to work (whether they get me off the books any time soon or not) has lightened my load enough to have more emotional resilience to the usual rubbish life loves throwing at me. A small improvement, but an improvement nonetheless. I'll take it.

 

Hope the struggles you were having when last we spoke have eased some.

 

Kind thoughts,

Blue.

My mind is a bit all over the place tonight, and I think I just need to get it out. Not just journalling, where it's all my own voice echoing around in my head. The thing with work wanting their money back really triggered me yesterday. When I put in my resignation, that was me getting done with the last abusive relationship in my life, after the various exes and unhealthy "friendships". I knew there would be a period before they got me off the books and paid out what they owe. That period for most people leaving my workplace is 5-7 business days. So here I am, months after they wanted me to hurry up and either come back or quit, still waiting to truly have them out of my life. It's like being told to leave, then when I walk away, they are clinging to my leg and crying about how much they want me gone. Like, what? Let go then! I'm gone. Decision made. I feel stalked, followed by their incompetence and ill will. I'm angry.

 

More than angry, I'm seeing so clearly how my old, old wounds got me into that awful workplace to begin with. How they got me into all the toxic relationships that came and went throughout those years. How does someone who was sorely neglected as a kid know that being made to feel as unimportant as possible in every area of their lives isn't normal? It's all I knew throughout my formative years. How does one escape that roundabout? I lucked out and got a neat invisible disability on top of that, so every escape since has come with burnout, depression and vast financial instability just for fun. I'm reflecting so much on how on one hand I have been so resilient and fought my way out of one awful situation after another, but on the other was kinda set up for failure and unknowingly just kept walking into one awful situation after another. Every time I thought I worked out the pattern, someone snuck in with a different presentation of the same old behaviour. It might just be hidden a while, then "By the way, you don't matter, enjoy forever with me". Um, no. It sure wears you down extricating yourself from that over and over and over, starting your life from scratch time and time again. Okay, so I've gotta go right back to the start to see why this stuff keeps happening. It's all bubbling around in there, memories and understanding and so, so much anger.

Dear Blue,

 

 I can hear how frustrating that situation is and also triggering in relation to past experiences of neglect and disempowerment. I do get that as I too can see patterns in my life where interpersonal dynamics from childhood have repeated in adult relationships and situations.

 

I’m wondering if there is some direct prompting you can do to their Human Resources section? Is there some way you can act within your power to get the ball rolling? Was the small sum they sent meant to be an initial payment followed up by another? That was how I first read it. Or was that in fact all they were going to pay you out? I don’t understand why they were asking for that small sum back either.

 

 I know there is a Fair Work Ombudsman. I have never dealt with them but maybe that is one avenue for support/advice if they are actually not going to pay you what they owe you. Their website is at fairwork.gov.au They have a section on “Get help with pay” which includes leave, entitlements and ending employment.

 

Are you able to focus on some things you enjoy to take a break from the feelings the situation has triggered? I’ve been planning some creative photography projects which, while not eliminating the anxiety I’ve been experiencing, has at least taken the edge of the anxiety and oriented me towards something that makes me happy.

 

 I think those triggering things can flood us with all the other situations of disempowerment we’ve been through, and that can certainly come in the form of anger. I hope it eases for you soon Blue. Take care xx

 

 

Hey ER,

 

Yes, very frustrating and triggering. I think most of us repeat patterns throughout our lives, all things in nature are cyclical, after all - though some shouldn't be. Those of us who started with toxic patterns really struggle to set foot outside of them to see what else there is, and even then there has to be a lot of willingness to recognise toxicity in our own lives and strength with which to fight it. Hard work.

 

Good advice, thanks. Others have suggested the ombudsman, too. I didn't need to go that far, but what I did was go around my store (from whom I was getting zero useful information) and through the union to get the contact details for the higher ups. The union got courtesy copies of any queries I sent and I forwarded the replies to them, so the company knew they were being watched and would be better off not doing anything dodgy. The smaller sum was unrelated, it's still not super clear what that was about, but they stopped asking for it back. There was still some mucking about to get my leave entitlements sorted out, but I've been paid finally. An exhausting venture, but as much as I have a target painted on me from being used to people trying to disempower me, I'm not actually powerless.

 

I've been struggling to do fun stuff, the work thing left me pretty tired, but before all that happened I had been thinking about running a D&D game. Some ideas have been very slowly swimming around in my head, so I still hope to resume preparation for that as my energy comes back up. Glad to hear doing some photography has been helpful for you, I used to enjoy photography a lot.

 

I don't really think of disempowerment when I think of those things, I think of fights I could have done without fighting and wasted energy that I could have better spent on other things. On one hand a life like that has made me tough and resourceful. On the other, it's also made me very cynical and angry, and unreasonably tired. I'm just over it.

 

Hope you're doing okay,

Blue.

Dear Blue,

 

I’m glad you have been able to sort it out. Good on you for persevering. It’s good you don’t think of disempowerment and you have that fight in you. But, yes, it’s exhausting. I think I thought of disempowerment because that’s my own life experience from early childhood and my response to everything is fear and a lot of freezing. But I do have a lot of perseverance too. I have read perseverance can be a strong trait in autism. I don’t have to do things perfectly, but I will nearly always do them thoroughly.

 

The D&D game sounds like a great idea! It’s wonderful to be immersed in something you love doing. I have never played D&D so I don’t know how it all works. But I imagine there is a lot of fun and imagination involved.

 

hope things settle a bit for you now Blue with finishing your job and finally getting paid, and you can really focus on your own well being and life along with caring for hubby.

 

 I am doing ok. I’m sort of coming out of a horrendous 8 weeks or so. I seem to be in a percentage of women whose mental health collapses due to hormonal changes in perimenopause. I expected some challenges but nothing this hard. I’m seeing the doctor on Wednesday. 

Take care Blue and may good things unfold for you. Sending kindness and care,

ER

Blue,

 

I'm following along with your story from afar, I'm sorry to hear about what you're been going through, from poor treatment at your workplace to toxic relationships to having difficulty engaging in things that should be fun for you. Sometimes the combination of different events or situations in our lives can leave us feeling really frustrated and in need of an outlet.

 

I play D&D every weekend (as a player, not a Dungeon Master yet) and I can confirm it is a very relaxing and fun way to spend my Sunday nights. It offers a bit of escapism above anything, as well as being a great opportunity to socialise with likeminded people. Have you ever played? What are your ideas?

 

SB