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What would you do in my shoes?


#1

If you’re reading this, Hi. My name is Jacob, I’m 25, and struggling with a lot.
Ultimately I’m going to try condense my life story as best I can, forgive me if I ramble, or miss details. If you have questions about something feel free to ask, as I’m happy to answer as best I can.

I’ve been clinically depressed for the last 9 almost 10 years, the onset was probably a little earlier than that (early year 12 (Last year of highschool) in 2010 was probably about where the decline started if not late Yr 11), but after deciding life wasn’t worth living at 16, and attempting suicide, mum took me to doctors to try and get help.

I was put onto antidepressants, and tried to get some sort of counselling, but I was just simply not able to express my feelings in words, or vocalise how I was feeling. This is largely because of how I was brought up living with my step father.

I never knew my real father till 18, I only found out at age 12, that my “dad” was not my biological father.
I’d never had contact from my father, he’d been out of the picture in my mother’s life even longer than mine, besides little snippets here and there, of which he would vanish again, time after time.
I was raised with not being allowed to express my feelings, as that was considered “backchatting” and thus would get me into more trouble, and usually ended with me over his knee till my behind was purple.
So I bottled everything.

I grew to learn I could express myself to my mother, and we formed a close bond for most of my life.
She would occasionally try and stick up for me in situations where she could see that dad was in the wrong, but getting him to see that was difficult at the best of times, for her.

Fast forward to now where my father and I have rekindled slowly, and we’ve made up, and he’s apologised for the things he put me through, and how he’s treated me growing up. He sees now how he should have done better, and the “problems” I put him through pale in comparison to what his youngest son is currently putting the family through. But that’s another story.

A year ago I broke up with my girlfriend of 7 years, it hurt, and it took me a while to find my feet again, there was a lot going on, but ultimately, my depression was spiralling and she didn’t know how to help me, or help me help myself. A large part of that was because I was still unable to express my feelings, even to her after 7 years of being together. There was an almost literal physical block in my throat at times.
I’ve since slowly learnt and taught myself how to express my feelings, or at least in a way that works for me, and others around me.

Earlier this year I met someone, I thought I could trust, we shared a lot with each other. She was going through tough times, I gave her the support she needed. I was also still dealing with my own stuff, but we helped each other out where we could.
She ended up using me, for my time, money, and even for a while space to stay.
I’m still getting over that, but after all this the one feeling I cannot shake is that I’m not good enough for anyone.
That they’ll just give up on me. Because of the condition that I have and live with on a day to day basis, and everything else along with with it, depression, anxiety etc etc

I have Lyme disease (as does my mother), my mother and I assume it’s been with me since birth (though some would argue that statement). But it was only known to me about 3-4 years ago, when my mother got me tested a year or so after she got her diagnosis.
It’s been a long tiring road for us all as a family, I spent my teen years with an almost non existent mother always being sick, even to the point of being bedridden for months on end.

My dad has been doing his best to support us both, and learning to become more supportive of us, he was brought up in the mind set that if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right? (Besides how could such a strong young boy/man like myself really be so sick? It must be all in your head /s)
And for anyone that knows about Lyme, you really can’t see it.

(TL;DR)
So I guess that brings me to my final point, when you’ve got a conglomeration of mess on your plate from past trauma and current circumstances, where do you start, and what do you do?


#2

I’m happy to hear that you and your stepdad have worked things out. I am a step father (almost) and it’s HARD. My fiance and I have been together for 6+ years and I’ve been in her kids lives since they were toddlers. When I first arrived, they walked all over her. She was broken and felt guilty for the split with their father, so she didn’t discipline them at all. It was getting out of hand. So per her request, I stepped in as “the authority figure”. Never anything physical, that’s just a line I won’t cross. I’d be lying if I said it never crossed my mind though. All in all, they’re great kids. Sadly, their father has put them pretty low on his list of priorities. That’s another story altogether. I hope that some day we’ll get to the point where they understand that I’m just trying to prepare them for the relentless hardships that come with life. I’m just winging it here, as most parents do.

Forgive me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t Lyme Disease curable? I just did a quick Google search, but that’s not always the most reliable source of information. I certainly hope it is! Especially since “tick season” is in full swing.

As for your question at the end, one day at a time brother. Easier said than done, but you gotta break it down and focus on one thing at a time. I tend to overthink everything and try (and fail) to tackle everything at once. Things take time. These days when everything is just a click away, patience is hard to come by. It’s absolutely necessary though. Figure out what you CAN control and start with that. Most people shoot for the big victories, but those are usually the combination of a bunch of tiny victories. Just break it down and find your starting point. Don’t let your past experiences weigh down your future endeavors. No matter how bad things seem, they could always be worse.


#3

Thank you for your reply.

I can understand this, there’s certainly a balance to it raising a child. Though I’m not going from any first hand experience, my dad did express this to me, and he simply thought he was doing his best. And I don’t hate him for it either.

No, you are correct. Curable, but not out right gone forever, once in a stable healthy condition, you still need to employ methods to keep it that way. I suppose a little like diabetes? Or Celiac disease? Perhaps?
But again hard to say, everyone and their treatment/management is different. For some it can be a simple as a small dietary adjustment, for others some form of medication for the rest of their life.

The difficulty for us specifically is that we live in Australia, and Australia deems it non existent, and for you to have contracted Lyme means you have to have gotten it outside of the country.
Of which then means that our health care system does not cover the expenses for it. Nor does private health care afaik.
Treatment over here then potentially costs AUD$30,000 a year for a single person, in this case my mother.

I’m not on any form of treatment for it at the current stage, nor can I afford to, as I’m mostly unable to work because of my physical condition because of the Lyme. And my father as the sole income for my family obviously can’t afford to support us both for medical expenses, along with mortgages and the costs of living etc

I’m working with my counsellor and setting goals to give myself a purpose and hope going forward, and something to find I’m able to monetise, at least in the long term, but do find myself relapsing frequently in regards to it all.

Another thing to add is that my mother is obviously not in a good situation either, a few months ago she tried to kill herself, and was dead for about 20 minutes while my dad conducted CPR on her. This is the second time now that she’s tried to do this, so I’m afraid of what the future might hold if things don’t improve somehow.
And she’s been the only reason I’ve had lately to hold on, for myself.


#4

Your dad sounds like a hell of a guy. I admire his dedication and conviction when it comes to taking care of his family.

Have you considered working from home? I recently discovered that it’s becoming more common. Maybe look into web development or writing articles? Everything is going digital now, so that opens up a lot of opportunities. What sort of things interest you? Cars, tech stuff, drawing? Figuring that out is half the battle. Once you decide, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for.

How plausible would it be for you guys to relocate to some place that offers better healthcare? Certain jobs can provide that opportunity as well. What does your dad do for work?


#5

Me too, far to often you see people just give up and walk away
I’m grateful for all he’s done and continues to do, I just hope I can do the same for my family someday

I have, that’s actually one of the things I’ve discussed with my counselor, and set a goal for myself going forward.
I’m quite a computer enthusiast, or anything to do with tech for that matter. These days I spend most of my time behind my computer, some of it spent trying to run from everything, other times spent doing or learning something new. Cars, art, video games, movies and music (I’ve played guitar on and off for almost 15 years now) are hobbies I enjoy on a regular basis

I’ve recently again picked up my efforts to learn, to delve into the depths of coding. It’s something I’ve been interested in for a while now, but that got put on hold after the break up last year.
So I’ve set myself (with the help of my counselor) a goal to complete a course I started, and I’m supposed to be finished in about 3 months time if not earlier. Given that I stick to the challenge that I do just a little bit each day, which worked out to be about half hour a day.
So he’s holding me accountable for that too, as I agreed to it

That has been a thought for them for a while now
Though I can’t say how plausible that is exactly, for them at least.
He runs his own business, he’s a builder by trade, works primarily in the restoration side of the construction industry, things have been rough for him lately regarding work and money


#6

It sounds like you’ve got a solid plan in place. At this point I would stay the course and continue to do better each day. 25 is a tricky age. You’re no longer a teenager, technically an adult but it’s all still pretty new. I’m 32 and there are plenty of days that I ask myself “What the hell am I doing?”. Honestly I don’t think that ever goes away. It’s interesting to look back at my childhood and realize that my parents were just figuring it out as they went. Experience builds over the years, but life will continue to throw you curve balls. Some of them can be avoided, others can’t. You just gotta “roll with the punches” as they say.


#7

I suppose I do, at least I would hope so. I have my family and a close friend or two to thank for that.
I would like to think I’ve gotten past the hurdle of suicide and all that, but now I’m at the point of “Where do I go from here?”
So having outside 3rd party input is nice to correlate to, in a way, I suppose.

I kinda thought that was the case, learning from my parents, and grandparents on both sides.
You just gotta do your best with the hand you’re dealt with, as shitty as that hand may be sometimes.

Also thank you for taking the time out of your day to chat to me, it’s been nice Fox.
Even though I know you’ve got your own struggles going on


#8

No worries man. I just found this place a few days ago. It’s a great outlet to vent, but it’s also nice to be able to share my experiences in hopes that it might help someone else.
I’ve been meaning to ask, is Australia as crazy dangerous as they say? I’ve heard all about how every creature down there wants to kill you. Lol.


#9

AHAHA, no, not quite.
In suburbia at least, all you really find that can potentially kill you is Red back spiders, or white tail spider, and besides a few months of the year that’s few and far between. Also again depends entirely on the suburb you live in, some get them more than others. I’ve not seen either of them in a long while.

I saw this photo that quite well, explains what we live in.
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(Admittedly the photo is edited, with characteristics of a cheetah, but you get the idea)
Is there a large percentage of our native wildlife that can be fatal upon coming across one? Yes
Do you on a day to day basis face one, like it’s your damn job, like the legend Steve Irwin? No :joy:


#10

Lol. Well that’s good. I suppose it’s like living here in Florida. Everyone thinks you’ll be eaten by an alligator or a shark. While it definitely COULD happen, it’s not likely. We also have a decent amount of venomous snakes, but I’ve only ever encountered a few. It’s the people here you have to worry about! Lol.