Living In Extremes, Living In Need Of Encouragement And Someone To Believe In Me, Is There Anyone To Help?
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I'm a 22 year old woman and I'm feeling lost. I've felt lost off and on for years, before college, before high school, even before middle school. And this is a big deal. I have depression. Not diagnosed. I know, if it's not diagnosed, you can't really know, but ... my Mom and Grandma have depression and from pondering on my own symptoms, I'm 90% positive I have the same. Now, before you say anything, let me just tell you I tend to keep my mind open to other possibilities, which is why it's only 90% and not 100. It's possible, I've heard, for someone to be mis-diagnosed with depression when they have Bi-polar disorder, for example. So, I'm just leaving room in my mind in case I find out one day it's not depression, just something that seems like it.
I'm sorry if I've confused anyone or later confuse anyone. I'm having one of those episodes when I'm feeling very confused about everything and nothing at once. Please, keep reading. I'll try my best to get down only what I feel is most important and I'm sorry if I seem to ramble. Please, please, please try to understand despite that.
So, I've had symptoms of depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. This may be due to the fact that I have very few memories of my childhood, but it's scary to think that maybe there's always been something wrong with me. For my whole life I've lived in extremes. I didn't realize this until several years ago and once I did, I immediately set out to fix it. A good life should be balanced, right? You shouldn't have a week when you're perfectly confident, happy, content, energetic, and ready to help anyone who asks and then a week of severe depression, fatigue, near-suicidal thoughts, anxiety, unwillingness to do anything, and loneliness that just won't go away. Besides such a life style making it hard to express you're feelings to those who love you when you have such severe and sometimes sudden changes in attitude, it makes it so I don't reach out to make friends anymore. I keep trying, but it never works and I think that's probably my fault, too. I used to be able to connect better with people. Now, this is not to say I'm not friendly. I love to listen to other people's problems and give advice where I can. I love feeling like I'm at least of use to someone and I have something to offer those in need. The problem I'm having is I have a hard time sharing my true and honest feelings, allowing someone new into my life and giving them the chance to really get to know me when I know my life is hectic and I can barely handle it. If I can barely handle it, who's going to want to even try to get to know me once they see how drastically different I am from one week to the next? So, I've never had a true best friend except family members. I struggle with this not only because I long for someone outside of my family to talk to, but because I feel like it's wrong to want so much. I have a loving, caring family, but ... they're all struggling in their own ways and I feel like my problems fall to the background unless something really extreme happens. Like when I have those days when I cry all day and then as soon as I calm down it seems like they forget that anything's wrong. I know everyone has a lot on their plate (I have a full-time working Mom, my Dad left us, my older sister is still living at home with me and the four youngest because of severe physical and mental health issues, I have two mentally retarded younger siblings (and I do not use the word retarded to sound mean. I love my siblings. They've just never been properly diagnosed with anything except a difficulty in learning at a normal rate, so I know no other way to phrase it), and two very smart siblings trying their best at school and sports) and I do my best everyday to help them in any way I can. I do the shopping, I take the kids to their appointments, I'm going to be starting to do social work with my two challenged siblings, I constantly check on my older sister's mental and physical well-being and do whatever I can to help her feel at least minimally better (she's living with near-constant pain and nausea and can hardly eat or sleep because of it), I clean, I cook, I do dishes (not all, but as much as I can handle) because my Mom just does not have the time or energy. Now, please don't tell me to remove myself from this situation. I will not leave my family when they need me. This unwillingness, though, has created some problems. I have no friends outside of my family (I did leave home to go to two years of college, but never made any lasting friends due to what I mentioned before and I always returned home because it's the only place where I have people who I can tell love me and care about me, which helps immensely with my depression, and the only place where people need me) and I feel lonely. Immensely lonely. I've been feeling for years that I need someone outside of my current life, a stranger, who will be willing to get to know me and let me talk to them and consult them when I don't know what to do and can't talk to my family because the subject is sensitive and would probably hurt their feelings. But I don't have anyone and I can't see any way with how my life is now for me to gain a friend like that out of the blue. My depression and anxiety darn near has me convinced that no one outside of my family will ever care about me or want to spend time with me. I'm fighting the fear that I'll never be married. Now, there are a couple more things you should probably know about me to properly understand my position. I'm overweight. I weigh about 300 pounds, I have back and general joint issues to the point that I cannot exercise normally because I always end up hurting myself. I have started swimming recently, but haven't lost any weight. I'm not pretty. I even have a hard time telling myself I'm cute.
Anyway, I'm rambling, I think, and I truly am sorry. I'm trying my best not to, but I can't seem to stick to one topic. I generally write a lot better than this, but like I said ... I'm confused. What I need most right now ... I'm actually not sure what I need and that's the problem. I've tried everything I can think of. I don't know where else to turn or who to talk to. My family is not well-off financially and with the expenses of my sister's on-going health problems, I can't seek out a counselor in good conscience when I'm unable to hold down a regular job and that means the financial burden falls to my mom. I help as much as I can with any online work I can find and I hope to be able to help a lot more if I can secure this new social working job, but for now ... please, can you help me? When it comes to helping others I give everything I have, even going so far as to sacrifice what I need for them, but there's no one to do that for me. I just need someone to believe in me. I need a friend. I need to know that all my effort means something even though I'm constantly failing and falling into depression after every good episode. I need to know that even if I only take one step forward for every 10 back, that it's okay. Please ... I know I'm asking a lot, but I am so desperate right now and I don't know where else to turn.
I'm sorry if I've irritated anyone. I don't mean to sound like I just want to vent or complain, I just didn't know where else to go and thought that maybe I could find something here I haven't been able to find on my own.
Thank you for caring enough to read this.
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