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Feelings of hopelessness are back and stronger

Hello,

I have had some type of anxiety since my earliest memories and a constant low level of self-esteem. I recently began to medicate for my anxiety once I was able to admit to myself that it was causing myself and others pain. After starting on low dose Zoloft, I started to feel so much better. I felt lighter, happier and the small issues were easier to brush off. Then the pandemic happened.

My Girlfriend has two children 11 and 9 and they had struggled massively with home schooling with her while I was at work ( frontline worker so I had to go in every day and do the other tasks that involved being in public). I developed a deep fear of COVID and the isolationism at work was also difficult to adjust to. I would constantly worry about my gf and how the kids were doing at school. Who decided to get really pissed off and throw/break stuff around the house because they didn’t want to be on a zoom meeting. This started to engulf my mind while at work and I was barely able to concentrate on my work. This anxiety grew so large that I had a panic attack at work and had to take a week off.

I spoke with some emergency counselors over the phone and really broke down. I have had suicidal thoughts and feelings my whole life. The feeling of not wanting to be alive so all of the pain would go away. I’ve never physical hurt myself or even thought about how I would. This emotional breakdown changed a lot and for the first time, I did create a plan of how and when to end it all. I did not tell the counselor that night and I plan to keep the detail private. I eventually was started on some new meds specifically ativan for my panic attacks. I am not a huge fan of this med. It just dulls everything out but the feelings, memories, pain and suffering are still crawling under the surface trying to escape, you just stop giving a shit about them.

A follow-up appt with my MD to review the changes in my meds and we discussed depression treatments. I was started on wellbutrin XL and it started to slowly work. Previously to this appt, I was recording everything in a journal about why I should end it all, how nothing matters anymore, for all my life I tended to be a for a lack of a better word “good child” so I made a list of bad and dumb things to do. I also wrote a last will. Thankfully, I never went through with any of the above items. The combination of the wellbutrin and finding a counselor on BetterHelp got my life turned around.

back to current life and I am almost 2 months removed from the passing of my grandmother after she contracted COVID from a nursing home and spread it to my parents. My parents are doing fine but this disease took my grandmothers life on Christmas day. I read the eulogy at the small church memorial service. While my family was in awe of the words I send, I can’t help feel that I did her an dis-service. I barely spoke with her in the months leading up to her passing, her health declined rapidly after falling before thanksgiving. I still miss her so much and her passing is causing insurmountable pain.

To pile on to that, I am living in a house that has been receiving renovations since June. I haven’t had a kitchen since July. New and better house problems keep popping up and I’m running out of money. I have no clue how I’m going to pay for all of this. I avoid looking at my bank accounts or credit cards because I know a panic attack is imminent. My gf isn’t working due homeschooling and I consider homeschooling to be her full time job and I don’t resent her for not working. She is collecting unemployment but I wish she would spend slightly less money buying shit for the house. I avoid confrontation like COVID so there is no way for me to tell her that, esp since home repair project bring her happiness. The thought of picking up a part-time gig to supplement my income makes me want to jump. The children are also dealing with a ton of bullshit from their dad and after every weekend visit, they come home miserable and ready to take all their hate out on us. I’m trying to be as patient as I can with them. they are going through unprecedented times and life isn’t fair for them now. But I don’t deserve to be a fucking idiot when I ask one of them to take a shower.

I was doing so well but it’s all falling back apart and I just don’t care anymore. I was recently hospitalized with a bad skin infection and swelling in my knee. I was hoping everyday that it would take a turn for the worse but I don’t have that kind of luck.

For anyone who reads all of this, God bless you. You are probably a better person than I will ever be. I am going to call the first response line that work provides for me tonight. Leaving for home now and I’m overcome with anxiety as to the state of house (who destroyed what) and how many people will be cursing and yelling at each other.

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Hey @Prodigal_Son,

Thank you so much for being here and sharing your heart. There’s no word to describe how precious it is that you’ve decided to open up here. While reading your words, I felt the huge weight on your shoulders that you’ve been carrying for a long time now. Not only for all the challenges you’re facing, but also because it sounds that you’ve been quite alone while dealing with all of this. I want you to know that you are seen right now. Your voice is heard. My heart goes out to you friend, really.

You said you’ll never be a good person, but here you are honoring us by showing this side of you that your loved ones may not be truly aware of. They’re very lucky to have you, you know? You are obviously a very thoughtful, caring person. You think about the needs of your girlfriend and her children, you think about the context this world is going through and you want to make sure that everything goes well for everyone. But what about you? Your heart is important too. And I don’t know if you hear that often, but you matter, friend. How you feel, what you think, whether it’s positive or negative, is important.

I’m so sorry you’ve struggled with anxiety, but also suicidal thoughts, for almost your entire life. Anxiety is such a sneaky shadow, constantly draining all the energy out of us. An invisible and quiet battle, yet so noisy and overwhelming at the same time… It turns our minds into an unfriendly territory where we can’t even take a breath.

So when there’s a pandemic on the top of the issues we’re already trying to deal with, it really makes sense to feel overwhelmed. How you feel right now - empty, hopeless - makes sense, friend. Feeling emotionally tired when it feels like life keeps throwing challenges at you is the most human reaction you can have. There’s no shame for feeling that way. It doesn’t make you weak, or a failure. You’re not failing the people you love either. You’re going through a rough time, with deep emotions involved, which can make it hard to see a way through. Right now you need a lot of care, love and compassion, from the people around you, but also from yourself.

And you’ve shown so much strength already. By reaching out multiple times, by trying those medications, by making sure that you stay safe. You can be proud of your efforts, friend. It may not bring the results you expect right now, because there’s a lot to deal with, but everytime you take a step towards healing is a step forward.

May I ask if your girlfriend knows how you feel, the fact that you’ve been really struggling lately? I hear that you want to take care of her and make sure she can be happy, but there’s a point when it’s okay to reach out to your partner and try to find solutions with her. Again, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re not at fault for feeling that way. Sometimes we need more teamwork than usual, and that’s okay. :heart:

You also mentioned your call with the emergency counselors and the fact that you didn’t tell them about your plan to end it all. Can I ask if this plan is something you’re still thinking about? If yes, I’d like to encourage you to talk about it. I really understand how tempting it is to consider suicide, as I’ve been struggling with those thoughts too for a very long time. But it’s important to make sure that you stay safe in any circumstance, that you don’t let yourself drown by this little voice in the back of your head. You’re not alone, okay? :heart:

Finally, are you still in touch with your betterhelp therapist?

It’s a lot to deal with, and I feel your pain, so much. But one step at a time. It sounds that, right now, you’ll need to take some steps further in reaching out - your loved ones, your doctor/therapist, here in this community -, so you can break this wall of isolation.

Let us know how we can encourage and support you. You’re among friends right here. We care about you. <3

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@Micro

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to say some many nice things. You have no idea how much this means to me. My girlfriend is aware of my struggles and she is the one getting me through all of these hard times.

Thank you

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Hello Prodigal_Son,
Thanks so much for opening up here, that in itself takes courage. Courage to write the words that express the pain and hurt you’re feeling. I encourage you to keep up the outreach.
One thing it might help to acknowledge is that you’ve got a lot going on in your life. That you and your family are struggling emotionally and financially. It is completely reasonable and acceptable to be overwhelmed by this virus, and it’s affect on our lives. You’ve also lost people you love. It’s a lot to take in a short period of time. Give yourself a bit of encouragement, don’t beat yourself up because you’ve had a reaction to all the stress and strain of the past year. Many, many, many people have.
Give yourself a break, and try a little kindness… to yourself. When the anxiety starts spinning up, take deep breaths, concentrate only on breathing deeply, it will help to calm you. You can only do, what you can do, try to release the rest for another time, another day. Peace

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Hey @Prodigal_Son, thank you for reaching out. A conversation can only happen once someone makes the first step, and it’s an honor to learn to know you.

I’m really, really glad to hear that your girlfriend is aware of what’s going on and is a pillar of strength to you. It’s so precious, if not vital, to be supported by our loved ones, especially when we’re going through a rough time.

We, as a community, are here for you as well. You have a safety net right here, anytime you need. You’re not alone. <3

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