From the outside things look perfect. House. Hubby. Kids. Career.
But for many years I am shattered, empty, hopeless and surviving day to day. I am an empty shell going through the motions. A shadow of my former self.
I feel sad, lonely and hopeless all the time. Trapped by financial and emotional responsibility for my family. Barely holding it together. Just want to run away, be on my own, or vanish.
No friends. No fun. No future. Isolation. Never enough. Not seen. Not heard. Not cared for. Like I don't exist.
Weekends I retreat. Sleep is my sollace and my company. It kills me to put that mask on again for the week ahead. To avoid "how was your weekend" when I wish I could answer "I didn't leave the house, I stayed in my bed and cried, but I'm still alive".
I hate who I've become. Sad and negative all the time on the inside. I just don't know how to keep this up. It's like being on a rollercoaster that's jammed and I can't get off 24/7 365.
I've tried counselling with a clin psych, kinesiology, tapping, and life coaching. But nothing works. I am exhausted and have given up on things ever getter better. I have accepted loneliness, nothingness, joylessness. Living in my own twighlight zone - sleepwalking through life.
Do other people feel the same?
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Wellcome to our forums, I'm sorry you are feeling this way I understand it's hard.
Sometimes we can feel as though we are just going through the motions.
Have you spoken to your gp recently about the way you are currently feeling?
Have you ever considered medication, this is something you could discuss with your doctor.
I understand how it feels to be a shadow of our former selves, I once felt that way when I went through severe anxiety OCD... I remember saying that I just wanted the old me back.
Once I received the correct professional help I didn't get my old self back I actually got someone better than my old self.
My mind only use to want to give me negatives, I had to learn how to retrain my mind to be more positive which is something that I have succeeded at.
I also use to not look forward to alot of things in general it was just day in and day out I then decided that I had a choice and I could change the way I saw things.
Every night before going to sleep Id meditate, Id read positive affirmation daily , I would practice gratefulness and Id really try to be in the present moment and tell myself positive things.
Just like going to work, Id tell myself how lucky I was to have a job and that I loved my job, I'd thank god for my beautiful family and just for waking up each day and breathing in the fresh air.
Please don't loose hope because what you are going through now is temporary things will change for the positive for you.
I believe every single one of us has a purpose in life and once you can find what yours is and truly fulfill it you will feel joy.
Thank you so much for sharing your situation on here. I'm really sorry to hear how difficult things have been. Speaking to someone on the phone can be good - I've called the BB line Sophie_M provided above in the past and found it helpful.
I have certainly felt the way you describe in the past. I don't think there are any magic solutions to solving it - for me it took trial and error with dozens of different strategies and therapy models, and slow progress over many years.
Part of the issue for me was over-work. Do you think this could be a factor for you as well? It sounds like at the moment your whole life is taken up by work and family. If this is the case, is it possible to cut back your hours at work, change up your responsibilities, or re-allocate some of your family duties to give you more time to yourself?
Do you have any other interests (or former interests) you might be able to carve out space for in your life? I know when you get to that empty shell state, nothing seems interesting or fun. Was there a sport you used to play, or did you ever do choir or something like that? Something with low organisational requirements, but fun, or at least the potential to be fun as you start feeling better. E.g. I took up skating again during COVID, and this is now one of the best things in my life.
Is there something a bit crazy like skateboarding that you've always wanted to do? E.g. join an AFL team? (There are heaps of women's leagues around now.) I think when you feel really trapped and stuck, taking any step, even in a seemingly random direction, can have a positive effect, as life can then throw some interesting surprises at you. Maybe it's irresponsible of me to advocate somewhat risky activities like AFL and skating, but I think a level of controlled, responsibly managed risk can help inject some excitement and thrill back into life when things feel really dreary and hopeless. I think different people do this in heaps of different ways: acro-yoga, shooting sports, gynamistics, contact sports, motorbikes etc etc...
Anyway thanks again for posting on these forums, please keep posting if it's helpful for you in any way. Wishing you all the best.
I hear you and feel for you so deeply. Was saying to my 16yo son just yesterday something along the lines of 'I can do basic but I can't do depressing'. Btw, I left 15 or so years in depression behind me a number of years ago and can sense when it's returning, which requires a lot of management at times. While mentioning to my son we can have a basic lack of adventure, we can also have a depressing lack of adventure. We can experience a basic lack of care and consideration from those around us right through to a depressing lack. A basic amount of work right through to a depressing, stressful, exhausting and overwhelming amount (all challenges included that require work). List goes on when it comes to the sliding scale of feeling life experiences.
GoneGirl74, I'm a gal who's a major feeler. Another way to put this is 'a sensitive'. If you're also a sensitive, I imagine you can sense the need to please/serve others a lot of the time. Perhaps your really good at feeling how others feel and you just don't want them to feel that way, so you'll serve them so they won't be left to feel the way they do. While this is a beautiful trait, there's that scale... Personally, I can't cope with a depressing level of people pleasing. I can do basic to moderate to even major but I can't please others to the point where it depresses me, the point of self deprivation.
Not sure if you can relate but there have been times where I wish my husband had shocked the hell out of me. Depression can be like a living hell at times. It's kind of like shocking a person back to life so they can feel or sense something other than their own sadness and disappointment. I'm not talking about 'Let's go out to lunch' (nothing shocking or stunning about that), more so the kind of thing they leaves you saying 'Oh my god, this is amazing and I can feel that'.
Can relate to what you say, 'I hate who I've become'. Have thought this many times in the past. It finally occurred to me 'I hate it because this is not who I am. I am not someone who thrives on a lacking (a lack of adventure, a lack of vision, a lack of inspiration etc)'. I am someone who feels the lacking, deeply.