Anonymous asked this question on 5/14/2000:
I'm 42 (f) & have hit a wall in my life. No stranger to depression (& have been ~wrongly I think~ dx'd bipolar2). I'm in a fugue state right now & am avoiding some major issues while pouring all my considerable energy into my business, which is doing very well. However, I am half way through night law school & hating it; wish I had stayed with Plan A, (a PsyD.) I dropped two volunteer positions, one in the court system & one as a rape/crisis counselor, something I had done for 6 years & was proud of. I've been working 80 hours a week with school & business for 2 years, plus volunteering, fixing up an old house & trying to keep connected to friends & family and keeping a relationship with my SO going forward as this is very important to me also. In the last 2 years I have also gone through death & illness in the family & a rather acrimonious divorce. I'm exhausted & overwhelmed & feel like a loser for it. I've always kept my emotional cards close to my chest, and haven't talked with those close to me about this panicky failing feeling. This is wrong, as I have wonderful supportive friends, but I've always been the "strong" one & I suppose don't like to appear otherwise. I have employees relying on me for a paycheck & everyone in my life expecting me to be a winner. Do I try to pick up where I feel I've left off, even though it may not be the right path (the JD)? Run away to Mexico & reinvent myself? I'm sure I know the right answers here. Perhaps I just need to unload, albeit anonymously. I just want to do right by myself & others, & I'm not doing that now. And no, I'm not in counselling, hate the navel gazing. And no, I'm not on meds & hope never to take another mood stabilizer in my life, they flat~line me. And no, finding Jesus won't help this little chickadee.
jooles gave this response on 5/15/2000:
Hi there. I think that you have done the right thing so far by just releasing some of your feelings into something or somewhere. You have been through a lot and are going through a lot. No wonder you are feeling the way you are. And it is extremely admirable of you to continue on with all that you have been doing. Some things to consider: I know we all look to appear strong and we all like to be the one who is helping others not the one being helped...but it's ok. Sometimes you need to let someone know that you are not doing too well and you need some support. At least let one close person to you know what is going on with you so that you will have continuous support from someone you know and love. You are doing a lot. It is time to take a vacation and step back and re-energize. You cannot do it all (especially while being exhausted). If you take a little vacation to rejuvenate, it may help. Also start planning times during the day where you can take "mini vacations". If that would be at night taking a bubble bath, or taking five minutes to sit outside and read a little, or taking a short walk. People need these times to themselves to relax. It could be that since you are doing so much and you are so exhausted, that everything, things that you use to love, just becomes aversive to you. Because you probably go in doing these things exhausted...you suddenly have no more joy or strength to do it anymore. Well don't quit. Don't run away...maybe just for a short time. Don't lose hope for yourself. You seem to be a very strong woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. Don't forget that that is who you are...but at the same time, every powerful woman needs some time to relax, enjoy life, and talk. You are right, you need to do right by yourself and others but do right for yourself first. Unload a bit. Enjoy life again...then you can step back and look at what you need to tackle and do it.
Hoped I helped, Jooles
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