I think one of the biggest challenges I have faced is that of being an empty nester. I never imagined it being so difficult. And I don’t know anyone who is dealing with this right now either, so I don’t have an example of a good transition. I have found being alone at home demotivating (is that even a word?). Now that I am not taking care of my son, there is this void that I have yet to fill. My therapist insists that I need to be more social. I know I need to quit vegetating at home by myself, but can’t seem to get motivated. I am signed up for some Meetup groups, but haven’t gone to any lately. I always make excuses for myself, like the dogs need me, I’m too tired, it’s too far to drive, etc. I know I have a strong drive to take care of others (duh, I’m a nurse), but I don’t seem to put as much energy into just taking care of myself. I suppose it’s part of my self-esteem issue, that perhaps I think I don’t deserve it. But I have convinced myself that I need more rest and recuperation after dealing with people at work all day. So here I am, Friday night, writing about my myself instead of out doing something. If nothing else, I have to get out of bed tomorrow and take care of business here at home. Wish me well.
Deep experience is never peaceful. —- Henry James
I’m doing most of what I’m supposed to be doing…getting enough sleep (probably too much), taking my meds, seeing the therapist, eating so-so, being somewhat social. I just feel blah. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to do anything outside of going to work. I’m not particularly fatigued, I’m just very unmotivated and I don’t care.
My depression seemed to worsen when my son left for college. He hasn’t gone that far, just downtown to the urban art school campus, about 30 miles away. I still get to see him once in a while and we talk/text regularly. But living alone has been a huge change for me. I don’t seem to be adjusting very well at all. I’ve been lettting the cleaning go, avoiding the kitchen as much as possible, and spending a lot of time vegging. This is so not like me. I’m typically a very tidy person, like to cook, and like to be productive. I feel so out of sorts.
I had great plans for cleaning up the house when my son left. Having him and his friends tramping in and out tending to make for more cleaning up, and I thought of it as this great opportunity to really get things clean. I haven’t even been up to his room except to go to the attic and retrieve a few things. It just seems too overwhelming.
I guess this is what they call empty nest syndrome. I never imagined it could be such a setback in my mood. I’m sure I could be getting more exercise and all of that good stuff, but now I don’t see anything shifting me out of the numb spot. And it’s not very comfortable here either.
Amazing that I am surrounded by people and feel so alone sometimes. Just not feeling connected, particularly after ending a long-term relationship about six months ago. I know the relationship wasn’t good for me, and I was lonely in the relationship, but I still miss that human touch. Probably more than anything else.
So, what is one to do? I am supposed to be more social, spend time with friends, etc. I just feel like someone should call me once in a while and see how I’m doing for a change. Only fair in a friendship, right? It is really hard to push myself to call friends.
Why after almost 16 years do I still have some anxiety over seeing and dealing with my ex-husband? I don’t normally have contact with him at all since he moved to Alaska (I know, who the heck moves to Alaska??? But what a blessing!) but he has graced us with his presence for our son’s graduation ceremony. I feel very fortunate that he did move so far away, because we had a very contentious relationship and ongoing battle over custody and parenting. Let me just sum it up for now: it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t in our child’s best interest, but I did what I felt I needed to do to protect and nurture him.
Anyway, I imagine part of the anxiety is for my son. His relationship with his father is strained since dad moved away. My son had some say in where he lived when his dad decided to move, and he preferred to stay in Ohio, close to family and friends. His dad didn’t handle this well, and hasn’t managed to stay in close touch. He hasn’t seen him for about a year, and now he comes into town just for the graduation ceremony and is leaving tomorrow. Like my son said, it’s almost as if he just feels obligated. I mean who spends twelve hours flying just to turn around and go back in a day?
There has been a lot of acrimony and hurt between us too. At least that is how I feel. Our failed marriage was the result of his infidelity during my first episode of Depression (how’s that for a kick in the teeth?). He subsequently married the woman that he had the affair with, and had another family. Because of the depression, I found it an extremely painful time of my life, and he is still associated with that pain. I have grieved the loss of the relationship after all this time, but the darkness and despair of that episode of Depression still scares the heck out of me. And I associate him with being abandoned at my time of greatest need. Perhaps that is the source of my anxiety, I just never thought of it that way before. Writing is therapeutic too.
So, wish me luck as I put on my game face and do my best to confront my anxiety/my ex. It does get easier over time as my son gets older, and as I become more self-aware. At least it’s only for a day.
Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you’ll know you’re dead. — Tennessee Williams
To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. — Fredrich Nietzche
I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. — Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. — Kahlil Gibran
I’m still struggling with being open with others, finding a balance between being friendly and aloof. I feel like I am just matter of fact, tell it like it is kind of person. But apparently that is off-putting to some. I am “unapproachable.” My therapist says I can work on this. Somehow I must have missed the lesson on how to make nice at work. One of my issues is fear of getting hurt. I’ve experienced so much emotional pain due to relationships that I just don’t want to get that involved with people. But my therapist says I can be cordial and warm without getting too deep. I’m going to try to work on that. I sure do better with writing than talking.
Sometimes I wish I could have a personality transplant, because I feel Depression has shaped my personality in a negative manner. It certainly has changed my worldview and it has affected how I see myself as well. Nothing seems clear, and I can’t even trust my judgement or perception. So can I really rely on others opinions either? Should I trust others as being sincere, or am I being set up for a fall? Hard to tell, and no one to ask. Feel like I am right back at the beginning, and I thought I was making progress…
Serial monogomy…what do I have to show for it??? Well, the marriage produced my son, but besides that, I have plenty of broken dreams and missed opportunities. And here I am at another breaking apart. Were we ever really joined? That is the million-dollar pick the right suitcase/door/strategy question. I think he was always holding back, and such a troubled soul to begin with, I could never love him enough to fix all the hurt and resentment and anger he carried around inside him. Maybe others knew that already, but I wanted to try so hard to make things good, to make things right for both of us. Two broken people, not the thing on which to try to build a happy relationship. So the past seven years have been a raucous emotional rollercoaster at a nightmare themepark. Oh, there were certainly good times. But not enough to sustain. The ugliness of the past, just subsumed anything good we had, kept it down like we were struggling in a tar pit.
So, now I am alone. This is something new, I have not been alone, sans relationship as an adult. But I already felt pretty alone in my relationship, so I don’t know that it will be a big difference emotionally. I just wish I didn’t feel like I keep failing. I feel like time is passing me by, and perhaps I will remain alone because no one will want to be with me. That is the scariest thought to ponder, maybe it’s the reason for the great delay in breaking up in the first place.
This is when the Depression creeps in and makes you think negative thoughts like perhaps you are unloveable, or just too difficult to get along with; maybe I’ll just stay in bed a while and consider my options. Chocolate is always a good option, and I do have the loyalty of one obnoxious dog.