Depressed and looking for support
I'm new to this forum so posting a starting point.
I'm a 58 year old single man and have lived on my own for 35 years. I guess I've been in denial about my loneliness for most of my adult life and have tried to ignore it by concentrating on career and other pursuits.
But I've arrived at a point where its all caught up with me and I'm really struggling now with the cascading effects of being alone for so long i.e. difficulty maintaining a social life and friendships amongst the sea of couples and families, spending way too much time on my own which exacerbates the depression and loneliness.
I came from a family with a father that was an anti social hermit and without realising it as a child many of those traits passed on to myself and my siblings (I have one older sibling that is still living at home). As a result I was extremely shy as a youngster and found it difficult to socialise or talk to girls (even though I so wanted to).
I went through my twenties and thirties suffering social phobia which severely restricted not only my social life but also career opportunities. In my late thirties I sought professional help and along with two years of counselling was ultimately prescribed anti depressants which did make a big difference.
But two years ago I began to slide back to the dark side and I find myself really struggling to cope now.
I've never experienced the kind of anxiety I feel now. Its worse than it ever was. I think its because I look back on the wasted life where trying to deal with the problems in my twenties and thirties I sub consciously knew there was still time to repair the damage. But now at my age I feel the task is hopeless.
I always wanted a long term relationship and to be a parent but as time has slipped away this has become less and less possible and I'm convincing myself there's nothing left for.
I'm seeking support and suggestions on how I might be able to dig myself out of the state I find myself in. Because I cant find the path alone...
Thank you for coming to the Forum, not an easy thing to do. it's not easy either to lay out what you believe are the negative things in your life.
OK, your life has not quire panned out as you imagined, however I believe that your view it is now all too late is simply wrong. I also would not be surprised if your current anxiety is promoting this view - not an accurate picture. My anxiety does the same thing, makes me believe things will end in disaster. They don't (well not yet anyway -Xd fingers:)
One good thing, you went on medications before and that had a very beneficial effect.
There is no reason to think that a change or adjustment of your meds may not restore you to how you were. Those last two years have been from your account very hard, can you go see your doctor and explain? At the same time see if more therapy might help.
Would you consider going back? I could not raise myself from depression and anxiety conditions on my own, I needed competent medical help to assist. Which it did.
Having a long term relationship and being a father? Well I do not see that as impossible eihter, though it might not happen as you originally planned. There are many wonderful people who are now single -their partner died or left - and they have children.
Single parents do not necessarily became different from others, and many do still want a LTR too. One might go into such circumstances with different expectations perhaps, a single mother may well always place her children first but if you come to form a relationship wiht them you may think it a good thing. Forming a relationship wiht the children can be a delight.
I remarried in middle age after my first wife passed away very young, and have united with someone whose husband passed away too, we cherish each other and have children from our previos lives, it works. We are happy.
You have strengths - living alone is not easy but you have managed. You have experience from the way you have lived that grants you insight into the value of another. You have stability, responsibility and care to contribute -and in time affection and love.
Your problem is connection, finding the right person in the ocean of other people.
Just as an aside I mentored a younger person for a couple of years recently. Not family, no relation. However the pleasure it gave and the bond that formed is something I will always treasure.
Do you think there is anything I've said you find unrealistic?
Words of wisdom I must say 🙂
No I dont think anything you've said is unreasonable or un-achievable. Putting it all into practice is ultimately the hurdle.
And yes I've got meds prescribed by a physician and working with a Counsellor.
Its great to get supportive messages like this. It really makes a difference.
When you feel you're alone its comforting to know theres others out there...
You are only a few years older than me, and of your story resonated with me. My own dad, like you, and me taking after my dad, used work as a way of covering up loneliness. And there comes a point where it does catch up with you. For me, I am trying to resolve 40 years of issues. It's a nice round number, but does fit around the middle of my primary school days. Resolving these issues can take time. So try not to beat yourself up if things don't seem to be going to plan.
Regarding connections - about a year ago, I asked a friend who I had not spoken to for about 17 years (though followed each other on FB) whether he could do a small favour for me. Luckily he said YES - referee for a job. And our friendship was rekindled. Old friendships can become alive again.
Lastly, your working with a counsellor will (?) give you skills to achieve your goals. I found that just talking with my psychologist was helpful in this regard, as I was able to relearn the art of conversation
And there are more people like you - not everyone has the courage to admit it. And your speaking about it shows courage and determination. Hope to chat more with you,
Very encouraging words and yes the work with the Counsellor has already had an impact and I'm feeling much more confidant as I progress the work I'm doing with her.
Its still a daunting task to repair so many years of damage but I'm up for the challenge...
Long time no hear. It is good to hear that things are getting better for you. And yes, it can be a challenge to change our thoughts patterns and behaviours. At this stage all I can say is to keep up the good work you are doing. And perhaps your story gives hope to the rest of us on this journey.