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Always feel like my depression is because of my experiences, not the other way around

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by SoleSpider, Aug 30, 2014.

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  1. SoleSpider

    SoleSpider Member

    I am a rational man and I've been to regular therapy before when I reached a point that I couldn't keep my emotions above water any more. In going through therapy and with my own logical reasoning I know that it's probable that the bad things which always seem to happen to me are things that happen to everyone and that it's my depression which makes it seem to that I have it worse than others.

    But the thing is that I do have it worse than others. Deep down in my bones it's what I know.

    I want to share an example. This is the first forum I've ever been on where maybe I don't need to show examples or explain, maybe this is the one place people will understand. I just don't want to feel like I'm delusional.

    Yesterday I had a date. I haven't been on a date in a long while, I've been hiding myself and burying myself in work because I couldn't stand being alone and have lost interest in anything so most of the time when I'm home now I feel tired and incapable of doing much. I met her a few months ago through a mutual interest. A very attractive girl, a bit timid, but very nice and I felt comfortable around her. I didn't have too much confidence to do anything back then but she seemed to keep in touch so I went with it and we would talk by text every now & then. She seemed very open to me and eventually I invited her to meet me later in the week to get a meal together. To my surprise she agreed and seemed enthusiastic.

    At this point I think for any "normal" person, their experience would be that they go on the date and either hit it off or not. For me, it doesn't work that way and it's not due to anything I do. Things just HAPPEN outside my control. I don't cause them to happen, they just happen.

    I know this is a long example, sorry, but anyway as I'm driving to meet her at the restaurant, my thoughts shift to the usual "None of my dates ever pan out, something always goes wrong or I get bailed on or some crazy thing happens." No matter how much she seemed to want to meet up and no matter how positive it was up to this point, my thoughts are centered on wondering how the date would fail. The typical failure is me waiting and the girl never showing up. Other failures are while on the date some ex-boyfriend happens to be run into, or a freak thunderstorm rains things out or someone gets into an accident or the area is blocked off by police due to a crime scene or 100 other things. I get to the area, park, find the place, check with the hostess that the reservation is good and then wait. She texts that she's late due to traffic. I just let it flow and don't react, I've learned to stay calm and at least carry an outward positive attitude. Time goes by, finally she calls that she's in the area and parking so I ask her if she'd know where to find the restaurant after she parked. Nothing out of the ordinary, I'm calm. I banter with one of the hostesses to keep a positive social demeanor. By now she's 45 minutes late and even though I'm staying calm and relaxed I could see in the eyes of the 2 hostesses that they're throwing pity on me like they know I'm going to be bailed on. I know this is not a new experience to just me, I'm sure many people have had this happen to them, but this sort of thing happens to me all the time. Not just sometimes - ALL the time. Finally she's messaging me to apologize and she felt like she was having a bad night and wanted to go home.

    She was nearby, she came, everything was positive up until an hour before and only then do I get the punch to the gut.

    Sometimes in the past I'd have just left already or left at that point, humiliated and yet another repeating cruel form of rejection. Due to loneliness mostly, I didn't want to give up this time and just somehow kept a positive outward talked her into staying and she finally walked over to meet me. Inside I was already crushed at having to deal with this kind of thing yet again but outside I didn't want that to show. By the time we got seated the waiter told us the kitchen would be closing so now I'm rushed to order food and and whole feeling to me of being there soured. On the outside it wouldn't have seemed to gone bad, just 2 people on a date that ended up getting cut short, but by the time it was over and after I walked her back to her car, on my way home it just made me want to crumble. The feeling isn't that of what happened, in a way I can deal with that kind of thing as it happens, but it was a feeling of total dejection because this kind of thing happens to me all the time. Why can't I simply make a date, go on it, nobody is late or causes me to be humiliated, nothing freakish happens, nobody puts the pressure on me to carry all the weight to make sure it's all good, but things just happen positively like it happens for everyone else? Why can't I just ask a girl on a date, she shows up, we have a good time and things progress like they do for the rest of the people in this world? It's not like I'm wearing a band on my forehead that says "I'm mister miserable" - I've gotten very good over the years of nobody being able to guess that deep down my soul is crushed.

    This is just 1 area of my life where I deal with negative situations that only seem to happen to me regularly. I don't want to get into the other areas just yet, but maybe others here can understand from this single example.

    When things like this happen to you over and over, your depression feels like it doesn't come from within but that it is created and even if you tricked yourself into being happy you would still get these experiences that eventually wear you down to the bone. That is how I feel about my own lot in life.
  2. Unknown_111

    Unknown_111 Forum Buddy Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Re: Always feel like my depression is because of my experiences, not the other way ar

    Hi, yes I can understand what you feel. Don't think that you different from the norm. You are being honest to yourself and that should be taken as a positive. Do not very hard on yourself as that does help you but feel bad about yourself. In life we learn from the experiences we have had and only strive for a better future. You can redeem yourself with thus relationship by giving her space and see how she feels in a couple of days. Perhaps just text her to ask gear if she is ok and remaining friends. Friends would be a better situation and that would show her some of your maturity. I knows it's hard to take advice but do not be hard on yourself. You live for the present and nit the past. I hope this helps you but please be easy on yourself.
  3. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    Re: Always feel like my depression is because of my experiences, not the other way ar

    Think this might be a bit on the long side - and I apologise if it doesn't help in anyway.

    I appreciate that its happened a lot. And for that I don't have anything but sympathy because I've been in countless situations where I've pre-planned to meet someone, and they've either messaged me on the day to say they can't make it - or something's come up, or even not sent a message to me until I've contacted them asking if they were still ok to meet.

    I think because of your experiences previously - that you set yourself up expecting things to fail, which has a slightly negative impact on what happens thereafter. But I admire that you still get back up on the horse and keep trying.

    In the above scenario, did the "date" turn up. She let you know she was running late due to traffic. And by virtue of having had a bad day, doesn't necessarily impact having a bad date. And ok, so the kitchen was closing - but did you still get to eat and talk to her? If so, did you have a pleasant evening in her company? Wait a couple of days and I'd try contacting her again to see if she's up for meeting up again. Even if you make just a friendship out of it, that's another kind of relationship that we generally miss out on because we wonder why the date didn't work out.

    I have an example of someone I once dated. Her first meeting of me, she didn't really like me (she was dating a guy I was "friends" with at the time, and I use the term loosely - for what he did to her in later months and admitted to while I was on a phone call one day, I barely passed time of day with him since). But over a period of time, we kept chatting and having a laugh. In the end, she finished with him and 2 months later got with me. He then proceeded to tell her on Dec 23rd 2007 (a sunday) that he was going back to home town (same one as mine), on Dec 27th - leaving her 1 working day to find somewhere else to live. That encouraged me to suggest she moves down here herself, and while she was known for similar issues to many people on this site, she eased up on the negatives. Moving away from where she had been living really did help her. After dating for 5.5 months - we split - didn't speak for 7 months, but rebuilt a friendship to the point I was the one walking her down the aisle on her wedding day - a moment I will cherish almost as much as the time I was at my son's birth. Because I had played a relatively significant role in her early days/years within the friendship.

    The key thing through that experience - is that by having the friendship in spite of a failed relationship, in spite of a couple of fallouts, in spite of everything that may have been wrongly said or done, I had been given the honour of walking her down the aisle. That shows the mark of what can happen even if relationships don't work out.

    Here are a couple of other ideas that you may or may not find useful.

    If I share a different type of example (ok, this one is about baseball not relationships) - this might instil in you that you keep trying rather than giving up.

    Babe Ruth - also known as the "home run" king - for his phenomenal statistics within the game - also had one of the highest "strike-outs" recorded. What that suggests to me is that he wasn't afraid to fail, he would keep swinging that bat regardless - and if we take a look at the difference between him and someone afraid to fail, that "afraid to fail" - would potentially put someone in the "not swing the bat" category. But by not swinging the bat, you'll miss every ball.

    I can see a similar pattern within you to that example (albeit a different scenario) - in that you get yourself back up - and try again. Admittedly it does wear someone down when what they are trying to do keeps coming back with a less than desired response. So maybe have a look at what you think about a situation, and rather than expect it to go wrong (which doesn't help in my eyes), think about what you'd do if it went right. To be successful, you have to fail and fail often. Focus yourself on the goal (and in this case, the goal is to potentially get a significant other), not the problem.

    "Obstacles are those things you see when you take your eyes off the goal" - Cavitt Robert.
    Everyone—everyday can find a reason to not do the things that they need to do in order to be successful in their chosen endeavor. Whether it’s business, life, or anything else, the easiest thing in the world is to make excuses. Want success? Get rid of excuses!

    The above quote and statement I found to be a pretty rude awakening within the last week - it could prove beneficial if i'm willing to set myself a goal and stick to it. Like you, I'm in the position of wanting to be with someone long term (although I have had a couple of relationships last 18 months or so - most of mine have been 6 months or less), and I'm thinking it's me and my lack of application. I feel like I'm the one "not swinging the bat" (reverting to the Babe Ruth scenario). But it's how we respond to the "failure" - of not getting past date stage - or even getting the dates showing up - what did we do wrong? What can we learn from that? What can we do differently next time? All good questions that mean we can hone our skills so that when we next try, it's not as likely to yield the same result, although it can feel that way.

    Another quote I find fits.

    "If you always do what you've always done... you'll always get what you always got". - Jack Canfield

    Unless you change how you approach these things, and how you respond to the situation - how are you going to get different results?

    Just a couple of ideas - but what is there really to stop you?
  4. SoleSpider

    SoleSpider Member

    Re: Always feel like my depression is because of my experiences, not the other way ar

    Thank you. It's just that I'm 42 and have already spent a lifetime trying to work out the positives out of negative situations and I've gotten a lot of practice at it because I don't have any memories where anything ever worked out for me on its own. The Babe Ruth example might work if I struck a home run somewhere along the way of swinging & swinging. We hear about the Babe Ruths of the world but we never hear about the guys who swung just as much if not more than him but never connected. It would be one thing if baseball were an analogy for just one aspect of life and to treat it like "OK, you're not good at baseball so pick a sport you might be better at" but what we (or at least I anyway) am talking about is life in general. Either I am not good at life or life is a living being that has decided to torment me nearly every waking moment. Being a rational man, I know the latter isn't true but after a lifetime of this "ant under magnifying glass" feeling my emotions fight with my rationality and I can't help but break down and believe it. When I find my way to logical thinking and climb back on the horse and try again I'm reminded that my own way of dealing with things seems to have no affect. I wasn't always like this, there was a time in life where I was optimistic even in the face of constant negative outcomes, but it doesn't take long for a life of this to beat your emotions down so much that getting back up on that horse is like climbing a mountain while depleted of all energy and the subsequent fall is that much worse.
  5. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    Re: Always feel like my depression is because of my experiences, not the other way ar

    I can but only try to help. Sometimes I'll get it wrong - but without trying I won't know.

    And I was referring to your post about life, I just used the Babe Ruth/baseball as an analogy that success is not without repeated failure (see point that he had one of the highest strike outs too) - All in researching behind something I read off a different site.

    Something else - there is a saying "Life begins at 40" - why not throw the gauntlet down and just live - rather than fighting what has happened. The past is done, leave it where it is. It won't ever change. The future is unknown, but you can make yourself a part of it - by living today and let tomorrow do what it does when it gets here.

    Maybe I might not have the best phrases or words - and at the "under 30" side (at 29) - maybe I'm not as adept with certain skills as others. But I'll still keep trying :hug:
  6. SoleSpider

    SoleSpider Member

    Re: Always feel like my depression is because of my experiences, not the other way ar

    It's fine, I was just using what you said as an example of how even when I try I end up with bad results.

    I've looked at my own behaviors over the years and tried adjusting as if I was someone who never experienced what I experienced, but even with changes of thinking and changes of behaviors the results are always the same.
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