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I know I need to change, but I can't

Just venting/writing.

I don’t know what is happening to me lately. I feel like I’m about to cry all the time. I’m just not happy, but also stuck in the sense that I don’t know how to change to make myself happy. Hopefully I find it along the way as I write this…

I’m in a rut again - a cycle. Drinking because I’m hating my job, hating where I live, hating myself and the way I look, hating that I’m dependent on substances, hating the fact that I can’t communicate with my husband and I’m hating the fact that I want to change things but can’t seem to make a change.

Lets start with the first thing I listed…

#1, My job is stressful. Its mentally exhausting. None of our programs work the way they should, and despite our complaints and customer complaints, no one is working on how to make things work properly or better, so it makes our jobs harder and busier than they’ve ever been before. I was just made a lead last year, and the pay was a significant bump but in my eyes, its not worth the stress that I feel. Literally by the end of the day, I am numb, silent and just sit on the couch like a useless sack of potatoes. I’m so stressed out by the end of the day that I don’t want to do anything, say anything, but my mind is still going a million miles an hour so I turn to substances to ease my mind. I could just quit my job - but where would I go? What would I do? I don’t have a degree, don’t really have any talents or passions that are realistic where I could make a living out of them… I feel a lot of pressure to keep this job because for one, its the best paying job I’ve ever had and I get to work from home permanently - and to be honest, the job itself did not used to be this bad - its just gotten really terrible recently with our programs being utter shit, and the fact that we’re dealing with angry people all day due to supply chain shortages. The other reason I feel pressured to stay is because my husband doesn’t make a lot of money but is unwilling to make a change it seems. He works nights for shit pay and I’m always alone, and now will always be the “breadwinner.” Believe me, we’ve talked about this issue many times… I’ve lost count and I’ve lost every single battle about it. So I’ve given up on him ever changing jobs.

#2, I hate where I live.
I absolutely fucking despise it. Its the place that I ran to to get away from my previous relationship and I haven’t left since. For years I’ve been here, sitting in the same goddamn rooms, in this tiny ass apartment that isn’t big enough for us to have a life here. I barely have enough room to store my cookware, much less to have a place to work from home or even dig into my many crafts and hobbies. Its the cheapest place around here and we still struggle to live/pay rent. Rent has just skyrocketed and there doesn’t seem to be any plateau in sight. No matter what kind of money I’m making now, its not enough to live comfortably. I’ve looked endlessly for another place, an apartment or a house to rent/buy but we just don’t make enough money together to make that change, though I want it more than anything in the world. I’ve always dreamed of a little house on a piece of land where I can spend my days in the barn, caring for a horse or two. Raise a garden and some chickens. Have my very own little homestead where I can feel at peace, away from people, no neighbors, a little slice of heaven just for me. But that dream is almost dead. It seems so far out of reach that I’ve all but given up.

#3, I hate myself.
I think this stems from my previous relationship. Being hated, abused and told that you’re ugly and fat all the time really does a number on a person. I still can’t have my photo taken without cringing or picking out what I hate about my face or my pose or my weight etc. I can’t even take a compliment without thinking that they’re lying. I don’t believe what anyone says - I still just believe what I was told all those years ago.

#4 I hate myself when I’m sober.
But when I’m drunk or high, I’m on cloud 9. I like myself a lot more when I’m under the influence of whatever. But I’m addicted to that feeling of feeling okay. My sober self is anxious and scared, and triggered - timid and shy, and silent, afraid to be myself around others constantly worrying what they’ll think or if they’ll judge me if I say something. But drunk/high me is great. I laugh and sing and dance, carefree and in love with myself. But I always come down from that high the morning after and regret drinking or getting high again. And the anxiety creeps back in and settles in the pit of my stomach until night when I can drink again. Its so stupid that I do this - I was raised in a household that literally did this exact same thing. My stepdad would always get through the day sober, and get crazy drunk every single night. And here I am continuing the damn cycle.

#5 I can’t communicate.
I can’t say what I feel or what I’m thinking. I either clam up and don’t say anything at all, or I get choked up and cry so hard that I can’t even make coherent sentences. But neither of those are effectively communicating what I so badly need to say. Here lately I’ve felt such distance between my husband and I. Since I’m in my own cycle, he seems to be in his own now. We hardly talk anymore, and sometimes I wonder what he really thinks of my drinking habits. Though he does encourage me to take edibles with him most nights. But the problem that I’m really having lately is the lack of attention he shows me now. It’s just very recent and I’m not sure what’s going on with him, but he seems to just sit in front of his computer, playing video games with his friend online, and even though we’re sitting right next to each other, we barely speak. And when he does speak, it’s about his games. We don’t have meaningful conversations here lately, like we used to. Any time I try to steer a conversation towards our goals, or what we should do that weekend, or where would HE like to move to, or where would he work if we did move somewhere else… But he doesn’t seem to have any real goals or wants or needs. Its so bizarre to me that he says that he’s comfortable right here as long as he’s with me. And as sweet as that might sound, I still want him to have goals and to try to achieve something or be a bit more of a go-getter… Maybe that’s wrong of me, and if so, please let me know. But it really bothers me that he doesn’t have any of his own ideas of what he wants our life to be like.
I feel so ignored when he’s in front of those games. I feel so far away from him even though technically we’re sitting within a foot of each other. I’ve told him about how I feel and yet he doesn’t really take me seriously. He just says “i’m right here, what do you want to talk about?” and at that point I just shut down.
Intimacy has been put on hold because it seems like every other time we do get intimate, I have an episode and have to take a breather to calm down. Maybe he’s just given up on me entirely… Maybe I’m not worth talking to or even worth having a marriage with. I know I’m screwed up, so I get why he could feel that way. But I won’t know for sure if he really does feel this way, because he won’t talk to me.

#6 Hate the fact that I can’t make a change to better my life. I’ve thought about pouring all of my alcohol down the drain. But I can’t do it. I could just up and quit my job find another one, move out of state where I can be happy, buy a little farm and live happily ever after, but I have no idea how to do that, nor do I have the means to do that…

I just feel so stuck and I can’t figure out how to change. The tasks just seem so daunting. Not only is the housing market completely insane right now, but we also don’t have any savings to put down as a downpayment. Rent is horrible everywhere I’ve looked. And I could just suck it up and keep this job, so I still have the pay coming in and then try to move to a bigger place instead so I could at least have an office, but I’m just so worried about not having enough money if we do that. Seriously we would barely be scraping by if we were to move to a 2 bedroom. Rent is ridiculous. I hate that there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight or any light at the end of the tunnel so I just feel like I’m never going to be able to better my life as long as it continues this way. I really don’t know how people live nowadays. If my husband could find a better job with better pay and better hours I think it would do us some good and some options could open up for us, but it just seems like nothing is ever going to change. Is this really my life? This is not how I thought my life would end up.

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Hey @Hiraeth

You’ve got a lot going on, thank you for sharing your heart with us.

I wonder if perhaps getting into talk therapy would help? You could get some tools to help cope with everything and maybe get some ideas on how to handle some of your problems. Sometimes, it just helps to talk to someone who will listen and not judge you.

I hope you find your peace. :hrtlegolove:

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I am amazed at how much sadness you are experiencing while heroically continuing to do what is necessary.

The longer you are in a rut, the more difficult it is to escape it. The mind becomes locked into a repeating pattern of thoughts. When each day is very much like the previous one, not much happens that could lead to a change of thinking. Alcohol is to some people like sugar is to a diabetic. Injest it, and experience a short term feel-good spike, followed by a potentially dangerous crash. It is a depressant, and using it to cope with depression is not unlike using gasoline to put out a fire. It often has the effect of emboldening people, allowing them to do or say things they wouldn’t ordinarily say, and then regret it later. Lowered inhibitions and numbness, will not lead to happiness or fulfillment.

Having said that, there was a time when I did a lot of drinking, choosing to live in a fog, rather than face my sad reality. I have to say, nothing good happened in the way of improved relationships or personal growth while I was drinking.

If you don’t think you can change, you certainly cannot. That belief has bound you to an immovable object, yet that object was made by you. It’s understandable that you feel that way. Your circumstances are telling you that you’re stuck. The amazing thing is that you your mind is always free to change the way you look at and react to circumstances. In other words, you may be in a physical and circumstantial rut, but none of those things can control your thoughts.

So you seem to hate everything about your life. I suspect that hating one part of it makes it easier to hate other parts of it. Have you thought about the emotional energy that you have poured into hating stuff? If your thoughts and emotions are so occupied with hating things, what inner resources do you have left that can be used to change those things?

There has been a repeating pattern in my life. Whenever I have been stuck in a miserable situation, I remained stuck in it until I figured out how to accept it and make the best of it. I feel as though my life has been like an obstacle course. At first, when I encountered an obstruction, I would feel rage and despair, but remained stuck behind the obstacle until I put those feelings aside and focused on how to get past it.

You are right, life is expensive, and terribly hard to navigate when money is limited. Still, you need to do something to vary your routine because doing so can help shift your thoughts away from the repeating patterns of despair.

Some parts of the country are more affordable than others. I was able to buy my daughter a 3 bedroom place on 3 acres, for $18,000. I think it would probably sell for 30,000 now. The taxes were $120 per year. That was just outside Dothan Alabama. There are little pockets of affordability around the country, so maybe your dreams really are possible.

In the meantime, try and make peace with your circumstances. It will make each day better.

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I am always thinking about therapy - always. After posting this I went to sign up for BetterHelp, answered all of those questions about myself to match with a therapist. While answering those questions I was somewhat embarrassed that all of my answers were… the worst. But answering them honestly really made it clear that I am very messed up and need to do really step up and step out of my comfort zone, and finally, once and for all, do this.

But t the last second I chickened out. Just like I always do…

Disappointed in myself.

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I’ve read your response over and over again. Thank you for taking the time to type this out for me.

While writing everything that I was feeling above, I legit felt every ounce of hatred that I had for this life that I’ve trapped myself in. But after posting it, and after reading your response about trying to make peace with my circumstances, something seemed to click. Immediately I seemed to realize that I can’t keep making the same mistakes while expecting different results - that’s not going to get me anywhere. So I refused to drink when I felt depressed or anxious for the days following this post, until yesterday while spending time with family on Christmas Eve, I caved and poured myself a drink. I didn’t do it to get blackout drunk this time like normal though; iit was more of a social drink with friends & family. One and done. And I was fine! I did of course experience a lot of anxiety and bad thoughts/memories while being back in my hometown, seeing all of those things around my family home where bad memories were made, but that didn’t drive me to drink excessively. Instead, I forced myself to be open rather than closed down with my guard up. I forced myself to feel, and to be more affectionate towards my family members, whereas before I would always be in the background, standoffish and buried in my thoughts/past. But not this time - and it was great. I laughed genuinely with my family and we hugged and cried and had fun together. It was the best time that I have had in my hometown since all those years ago. I feel like that is progress in some small form.

I’m making a plan to start saving as much money as I possibly can by cooking at home as much as possible, not buying alcohol and buying used instead of new when I need something. I think it will make a bit of a difference and I can start learning more ways on how to get a handle on our money and save up for a better future. A better place to live, and a better life somewhere down the road. I’m still thinking pessimisticly though realizing that I may not ever have the life of my dreams on a farm with horses or whatever, but for at least today, there’s a little hope that I can at least better my life in some small way, one baby step at a time.

Thank you again. Happy Holidays to you & yours. I appreciate all of your guidance.

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love the progress you had , and i’m glad that by venting out all those things helped something inside you click.

Honestly, impressive start!! Please keep us updated, would love to support you and be here for your journey!! so glad you had a good time and were ‘present’ there to feel it and enjoy it!!

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also… did you notice something??

YOU LITERALLY CHANGED!! You made different choices, you did things differently.
the title says that you couldn’t, but in a few days, you made so many changes :o
just wanted to celebrate that!!

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Your open mind and heart is what enabled you to benefit from our words. They resonated with and called forth your own wisdom. When that happens, I feel inspired. Thank you!

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:heart: Thank you so much, for your kindness and encouragement! You’re right - I did do things differently even when I thought I couldn’t! Realizing that now makes me smile. Maybe I’m not as “stuck in my ways” as I thought I was. There is hope for me after all. :slight_smile:

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yay for hope!
high-five

so proud of you already for all that you’re doing! Hoping the new year brings you much success with your goals and lots on inner peace :slight_smile:

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Thank you! high five Couldn’t leave ya hangin’ :upside_down_face:
Happy New Year! I wish the same for you! :heart:

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