I just wanted to chime in as a female of a similar age that has been through many of the things you describe. I saw this thread when you first posted
it and wanted to reply then, but not before I went away and thought about it a bit. So here goes.
Around 10 years ago I had something of a breakdown. My situation at the time was as follows;
I had recently split from my first and only boyfriend - a relationship of 3 years - I was in my 3rd year of university doing a BA in Fine Art, getting
up at 6am to get on the bus at 7am for uni at 8am, working through the day until 5pm, catching the bus home for 7pmto grab something quick to eat,
shower and change before - 4-5 nights a week - taking the hour long bus journey back to campus to then work from around 9 at night until 1-2am...to
then make the bus journey back home.....you see where this is going...
To cut a long story shory - I broke. Total psychotic break from reality and acute depression. I dropped out of uni and over the next couple of years I
made attempts on my life, had 3 stays in the local psychiatric hospital and basically my 'life' fell apart. At first I heard voices, hallucinated and
was paranoid and just as that subsided I was hit wirh the deep self loathing, depression and lack of confidence that followed .
When I came out of my 'psychosis' had a good enough grip on reality to know I would try ANYTHING to not feel like I did anymore (because when you're
down that low, what have you got to lose? Nothing you do could actually make you feel any worse) I started to try to understand myself in order to
just feel better.
Since then - it hasn't been easy. It's been getting better, though. And it keeps getting better. But not without a s*** load
of hard work on my
part. But then the harder you work at something, the better the pay off.
It might not be something everyone here would advocate, but I went for some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. NOTHING has been as beneficial to me. I've
gained an understanding of what my values are, where they stem from, what I like about myself, what I like in life, and challenged all my self
deprecating beliefs to the point where I no longer feel 'I am a bad person' but now feel 'I am a good person'. All from learning to understand how I
react badly in difficult situations physically and emotionally, and considering alternatives to my usual reactions based on questioning the validity
of my thoughts and emotions.
An example (not real! but based in truth
), as I don't think I am explaining myself very well reading that back!
I'm working double shifts But I'm struggling to make ends meet. A final demand lands on my doormat. I have no money to pay it.
I just don't know what to do, this is the fifth final demand and I have no means to pay them/ Despair, Depression,
My Physical response:
Sweaty palms, racing heart, breathlessness, tension headache, Insomnia
Self Critical Thoughts;
"I'm useless -I should work harder at a job I hate, for crap money, doing more overtime, having less time to do what I
want. I don't deserve any better because I'm a failure"
Before therapy it would then go;
Close the curtains, go back to bed, wish the earth would open up and swallow me as I just can't take any more. I focus on
everything I hate about myself and my life, lay awake night after night thinking about how I have to try harder, do better, work longer etc etc
The cycle begins again....
Since and during therapy it would go from the self critical thoughts to;
I'm actually doing quite well all things considered. I am doing everything in my power to make my situation better,
but you just can't have control over everything in life and I shouldn't criticise myself or push myself any harder because I already am really
giving it my all.
I don't go back to bed (though it is SOOOO tempting). I crack on and work just as hard as before. I still struggle to make ends meet
and don't have as much time to myself as I would like BUT I am, after all, doing everything I possibly can, just as I always did, but instead of
feeling bad about myself and the situation I look at it from a different perspective and congratulate myself for the strength I show in carrying on
and focusing on the positives in my life.
I use this example as I know alot of people will be able to relate to financial difficulties. I know its not exactly the same as your situation, OP,
but like many have said in their posts on your thread, you come across as an intelligent person and I think you'll see how you could apply the above
Continued below -
edit on 16-9-2011 by Mouldilocks because: grammaaahh