I feel like a failure more than ever

Lately life has just been difficult. Everyone can say that in some way. I’ve just been so down on myself lately. I just turned 26, i’m a father to a 4 month old, been married for just over a year, and I feel like i’m letting my family down. My spouse and i both are teachers, and it has just been a hell-ish start to the year. If we weren’t on contract, we probably would have given up and quit at some point. On top of that, we’re barely making enough to scrape by. I won’t go into detail on that, but the icing on the cake for me was I had to use a check my grandma gave me for my birthday to buy food for my son. it was humiliating. I just feel like i have failed my family, and there’s nothing i can do than just wake up the next day and live through the shame all over again.

My mental health has kind of plunged in the last week or two. Thoughts of self harm that i have not had in. year or two just creep in my brain. Memories of a suicide attempt are foggy and fill my head at night. I’ve thought about counseling, but on top of the other bills, there’s no way i could afford it. and honestly i think i’d be scared to try. i dont want others to look at me and think i’m weak, even if doing therapy doesn’t make me weak.

I just feel broken. i’ve been cleaning up our apartment blasting bring me the horizon in my headphones after watching my wife cry herself to sleep on the couch because she knows what’s going on financially and our jobs are just too demanding right now.

thanks for listening. hold fast. i dont want to right now but i must.

Ewest

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Dear @eranwest9,

You are a good dad and husband beyond any doubt. You are also such a good friend to so many, and your presence in this world makes such a positive difference. Your situation right now is stressful, heavy, but there is nothing in it that would ever make you a failure. You are a brave, loving and caring person. These struggles don’t define you, nor your capacities, your character or your heart. You are so, so much more.

I’m so very sorry that work and finances have been a stressful and draining reality to both your wife and you this year. Feeling shame in these circumstances is understandable as it feels like putting life on hold, like we are stuck and don’t have a real freedom to move. It is incredibly disheartening to be in this position. Though we need to normalize the fact that financial struggles like these are nothing to be ashamed of. Really. So many of us have experienced or are experiencing similar struggles. And I’m not saying this to diminish the importance of what you feel - only to remind you that you are not alone, and there is nothing in your situation that will ever define you. Almost my entire life has been impacted by financial hurdles, to the point sometimes of really hitting deep spots. The shame and loneliness that came with it were really hard to shake. Though I am grateful that I didn’t give in those thoughts, as it allows me today to embrace a little more the love I’ve received from some people in my life. Please rely on the people who love and care for you, especially in the midst of this. There is no shame in that.

There are circumstances at play that were beyond your control, and I have no doubt that you’ve been doing your best to adapt yourself to it and protect your family. Though this feeling of helplessness strikes deeply and hurts, especially when you witness how it affects the people you love. It makes sense to look after an instant relief - like the thoughts about self-harm and past attempt. But you don’t deserve any harm, friend. And you know that none of this would truly help you in the long run. I am beyond proud of you for not giving in to these thoughts. You are so far from being weak, and needing help would never make you weak. It only makes you human, in the middle of a world that happens to be very challenging at times. It is strong to be here. It is strong to reach out and look after ways to be supported through this. It is strong to express how you feel. Your vulnerability is a strength, not a defect.

Please let your HS fam’ know how we could support you through this. You are not alone. You have shoulders to rest on. I appreciate you a lot. I care about you. :hrtlegolove:

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From: Ashley- (Discord)

Hi friend and thank you so much for sharing. As a fellow teacher, I completely understand how difficult and challenging this year has been professionally. I want you to know that you have absolutely NOT failed your family. The things that we’ve needed to do in order to support our families during this time have hurt a lot of us because it makes us feel like less because we aren’t where we think we should be. But we are doing all that we can and I have no doubt that your wife and son are so grateful for everything that you do. None of us saw this coming and it is so out of our control that we are doing the best with what we currently have. You’re not broken friend, and thinking about therapy or counseling doesn’t make you weak and no one has the right to think it does. Sometimes we just need a little extra support and that is completely okay. In some provinces/counties there are clinics that run on a sliding scale/ are grant funded and do not charge for services, when you feel comfortable to start looking. I want you to know you are so very loved <3

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