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Losing it

Crushed7 posted 2/22/2021 20:24 PM

I'm posting because I know I need help and think that it will give me an ounce of relief to not have all of this to myself. And that the relief will give me a bit of a window to take some needed steps. I'm also hopeful that others will have insights on what worked for them and that some of those paths might be helpful for me as well.

In short, I'm a stressed, depressed, lonely mess and that all has deep roots in self-image and, as a key part of that, codependency.

The depression is what is most noticeable -- my brain is foggy and I'm exhausted during the day leading me to struggle to function well with work. The thoughts of ending it all are an unwelcome guest as well (I had those after the last Dday and they run back into parts of my childhood). Work has been piling on stress for a while -- I exited my last job after having to constantly deal with a narcissist only to escape a handful of months ago to another job where the transition brings "normal" stress of changing jobs, but that is compounded by working for a micromanager. That leads to struggling to sleep well as my mind races and/or I have nightmares. While R has progressed and things are going better, it has been a slow road. My ex serial cheater/WW has made a TON of progress, but when I need empathy and understanding the most, that is the area, while better, that still isn't very attuned and the conversations can end up being more frustrating for me than helpful. All of this is reinforcing a sense of loneliness and my self-image is spiraling downward as well.

What I've tried in the past...

1. Meds. I've learned that I tend to consistently get the side effects of pretty much any medication and, often, those can be worse than the cure. I stuck with some anti-depressants (ADs) for 6 months a while after the last Dday which was enough to get me through the worst of it. (It took several tries to get the right med and the right dose before sticking with that med)

2. Counseling. So far, many ICs haven't been that helpful. Including the one that would fall asleep on me (really helpful for my self-image, you know?). EMDR was really good for me though. My WW has had a couple ICs that have been great for her, so my opinion is that good ICs are out there, but are hard to find. I'm currently not seeing one.


What I'm starting to try now...

1. Calling my doctor. I'm willing to go on meds to just get through things for a bit.

2. Adjusting my diet -- reading up on how some are more susceptible to brain/mood issues if diet isn't right.

3. Getting outside. Covid has me inside all the time -- a bit of exercise, even just walking, along with some sunshine can't hurt.

Thanks for reading. Just writing it out already makes me feel a bit better. Any thoughts/insights are more than welcome.

CaptainRogers posted 2/22/2021 22:27 PM

Fully understand every last bit of the exhaustion, stress-filled, lonely and depressed life, Crushed. And my W really has no concept of being empathetic. She made an effort a couple days ago to be empathetic, but what she really did was minimize the issue at hand by saying that she knew how hard it was because she had to go through the same thing...except not as hard and not as big an issue...felt like I was talking to Larry the Cable Guy (dated a girl once that looked like Michelle Pfeiffer except she was shorter and her face looked different...but I digress...).

What has helped me is to learn boundaries with work. It's a little more difficult being self-employed, but setting those boundaries is important. They can help reduce that stress of a micromanager by showing them that their micromanagement won't be tolerated.

I don't sleep well and haven't really for a little over 4 years (something about a traumatic event around that time...🤔...). Anyway, I have been recommended to try a couple of natural sleep aids. Melatonin is the one that helps you fall asleep and valerian helps stay asleep. I have a couple of buddies who use both (one also listens to an audio book from an author with a soothing voice) and have said their sleep has improved dramatically. I am not generally a fan of any men's (except some vitamin I...ibuprofen, that is...after a particularly hard workout or after moving furniture).

I have also had several folks recommend CBD supplements for being able to relax and sleep better. Again, not a fan of chemical adjustments, so I haven't tried them, but I do pass the info along.

Diet and exercise are also two things that I have used to help me overall with the stress and depression. I hate running, but give me a good Playlist and I will use the elliptical or treadmill for 30 minutes and not even notice. Also, lifting heavy weights increases the body's supply of testosterone, which helps fight the depression as well.

Overall, it sounds like you are on the right track and just need a little encouragement to get that flywheel rolling. Keep it up and let us know how you're progressing!

[This message edited by CaptainRogers at 10:30 PM, February 22nd (Monday)]

secondtime posted 2/23/2021 00:41 AM

Re: The loneliness- Can you take some time to cultivate other relationships that give you what you need? I know, easier said than done, but it's worth it.

My husband (the WS) is not very empathetic, and hi won't ever be empathetic. I have other ways to meet that need of mine. I go on a crafting retreat (with his blessing) once a year. Interactions with my clients in my side gig also do it for me. In non-covid times, I'd try to meet others and stitch with them for a while.

It's enough to feel like someone has heard me and that I'm valued. (Seriously, I feel like Norm from Cheers in non-pandemic times).

Do you have a local chapter of NAMI in your neck of the woods? That might be a place of support as well.

Have you tried meditation before bed? Even something like focused breathing can help stop your mind from racing.

[This message edited by secondtime at 12:42 AM, February 23rd (Tuesday)]

SlapNutsABingo posted 2/23/2021 09:27 AM

Your post, from the naming of it, to almost every sentence in it, reads like a tragic novel.

The depression, unable to work effectively, willing to induce meds to put the preverbal finger in the dike, it's been over eight years...

Have you ever explored the idea that you are trying to manufacture a reality where this wasn't a deal breaker? That will always fail...

[This message edited by SlapNutsABingo at 12:59 PM, February 23rd (Tuesday)]

crazyblindsided posted 2/23/2021 11:14 AM

I have to recommend reading "Cheating in a Nutshell" when I see posts like this. I have to warn you though it is not R friendly but does explain why it so hard for some to not be able to move forward. Some of us are just wired this way with injustices.

Have you ever explored the idea that you are trying to manufacture a reality were this wasn't a deal breaker?

Crushed7 posted 2/23/2021 22:22 PM

Thanks for the thoughts CaptainRogers and secondtime. I'm giving melatonin a shot starting today. I'll take another run at meditation/breathing (I've struggled with getting much mileage out of either in the past). Boundaries are an ongoing work for me as well.

Have you ever explored the idea that you are trying to manufacture a reality where this wasn't a deal breaker?

There is a bit of truth there -- I do still have coping mechanisms that lean towards avoiding too much reality. However, it is much bigger than the A's as life has been one massive deal breaker...

- Sexually molested as a kid by neighbors.
- Subjected to emotional incest by my mom.
- Married a serial cheater.
- Subjected to spiritual abuse - several APs were in religious leadership positions and churches were keen on burying the whole story.
- The last AP was my "BFF".
- Neighbors who I thought were friends spread gossip about the A.
- My in-laws tried (partially successfully) to manipulate my kids against me post-A.

Basically, I adopted a codependent path from childhood and then took a whole bunch of hits throughout life because of it.

I've made progress with my worst traumas (EMDR). I've recognized the codependency that originated when I was young and have made significant progress at not putting up with those who would manipulate me. But, as a result, I also have trouble trusting anyone and, therefore, am pretty isolated and lonely.

For me, this is really my only truly safe place. I can be heard and understood here. Members are empathetic and look to help through encouragement, shared experiences and suggestions. I cannot overstate how amazing that feels, especially right now.

Thanks for caring enough to read and to respond. And CaptainRogers...

dated a girl once that looked like Michelle Pfeiffer except she was shorter and her face looked different

...thanks for the laugh! That's great medicine too.

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