Struggling to go on
Life is being really hard for me and troubles keep compounding. I cannot face wading through what is needed to move forward I feel isolated and alone. I have people who care but I think they can be overloaded with my despair and it can be a burden. There seem to be obstacles all along the way.
Two years ago I lost my job. A career of 50 years. I am 66 and have no partner. I have not coped well with this loss and now have significant financial problems too. I have to sell my home. Pay off my mortgage and buy a new place. I live with my son who is very caring but I have suppported him financially and emotionally through the family court. His ex is trying to remove him from his daughters life. I feel I have reached my retirement years with very little and no joy. Depression has been a big part of my life. But I have managed. Now I also have severe anxiety. It paralyses me. And panic attacks. I don’t know how to do each day.
I think it's very understandable that you are feeling especially anxious at the moment - there is a lot going on for you.
You mentioned you have people who care, which is great, and this is definitely the time to lean on them. And you can get heaps more support here on this forum - you don't need to worry about overloading anyone here!! We've had similar experiences and will understand and support you.
The good news is that anxiety comes and goes, so you won't feel like this all the time. There is hope, and there still is definitely hope that you can get some pleasure from your retirement.
I really feel for you, and want you know that you are not alone, and that there are wonderful people on this forum who will want to hear from you, and have a lot of experience in managing depression and anxiety.
I have had bad anxiety attacks, and it makes it really difficult to think at all. Something that I have found useful is a safety plan. For me this was really simple, and listed out tiny things that helped me feel a little bit better - even if it was only 5% better, as long as it pulled me back from the edge a bit. It was really simple things like having a hot cup of tea, or calling a friend, or watching a familiar and comforting TV series. I'm shy to admit it, but I also had a teddybear (blush). Do you have anything like that, and what would be on your safety plan?
I also kept numbers to call ready, like Lifeline and BeyondBlue. It's a good idea to give them a ring if you are feeling bad or isolated or like you can't call your friends. It's a friendly ear.
I know it's hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other in difficult circumstances... but you have coped courageously with depression for so long, and I'm convinced that you can. It's hard going through housing changes, job changes and money worries, it's not surprising your anxiety has really amped up.
We're here to help and support you. There's also other support out there, and we can help you find it if you don't have it already (eg a counsellor).
I am sending you strength and peace with all my heart.
Please post back and let us know how you are doing.
Hi. And welcome to Beyond Blue. I hope that you know that you can talk openly here knowing that you will not be judged by others here. It is a very safe place to post.
I am saddened that that you have not had much/any success with counselling services etc. At the moment I want you to know that I listening/reading your posts. There are threads on the forums here you might find useful for dealing with anxiety etc. My own psych has also given me the distraction and coping tools. If you are open to these suggestions please let me know and I will post more.
Firstly, I have 2 apps recommended by my psych. They are virtual hope box and relax melodies. I only purchased relax melodies for the additional meditations. Virtual hope box contains a couple of meditations plus a number of distraction tools. One of these is a word search game that only uses positive words. While I was initially sceptical, I found that it actually does work.
I also have deep breathing exercises, and a mindful eating exercise (using minties) to ground me into the present moment. With the mindful eating exercise, you use all of your senses. I have added posts elsewhere on the forum, where I go into more detail about each of these activities. I will find the link and let you know shortly.
My psych has suggested mindful eating exercise...
Take a mintie or similar treat. Feel it in your hand. How does it
feel? What does it smell like? Does it make a sound when you roll it
around in your hand? How small or large is it? What colour is it?
It is about engaging all of your senses.
Now take off the wrapper and repeat the above exercise. Does it feel sticky? Or not? Is the smell stronger? Again, engage all of your senses
Next... Put the sweet into your mouth. But don't bite into it. Just suck it. How does it taste? Any sounds? How does it feel? After a short while bite into it.... Don't attempt this with a hard sweet! Consider the sound, taste, smell.
The idea is to take your thoughts from your current stress and put all your energy and focus into something else.
You can do similar with meditation, with breathing, listening, feeling, sensing.
That sounds hard, and it's so tough when a particularly down day comes through. You are not alone - on this forum you are surrounded by friendly folk who understand that at some times it is hard to put one foot in front of the other.
Are you at that point where you can't get up, and any suggestions that anyone else has just sound pointless? Or are you so hyper-anxious that you just can't settle to anything? Or both?
People on this forum will understand and will be happy to offer practical advice or emotional support, whatever you need.
It is so, so hard to trust this when we are in a dark place, but things can improve. You have a lot happening at the moment, it's not surprising that any underlying depression or anxiety is coming to the fore.
People with depression are often reluctant to ask for help and battle on alone. Is there anyone around you that can provide some practical or emotional support, no matter how small? If not, we are still here for you.
At certain times I have found it helpful to remember that if it all just gets too much, you can always call the ambulance. Although it's a bit of a drastic option, it's good to have a backup plan.
I think it's amazing that you are keeping on going and getting a few things done. That is just great. Even if it's only tiny, every action is a huge victory in the midst of depression. You are such a trooper.