The eternal cycle of failing really badly and feeling terrible because of it

Discussion in 'Welcome' started by darweenian, May 5, 2015.

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  1. darweenian

    darweenian Member

    Hi guys,

    Sorry for the dramatic title. I'm on here because I've been in more danger of "doing something stupid" (we all know what that means) in the last week than I have been in the seven years I've been dealing with what is probably a serious depressive disorder. My other attempts at changing things up to try and shake myself out of it aren't working. Those have included, at various times and in various combinations, staying busy, a disastrous crisis center phone call, a failed attempt at talk therapy a couple of years ago, journaling, and exercising. I've never actually gone to someone I love about this, and I'm embarrassed by it to the point that I can't discuss it in real time (over the phone or face to face). But I've gotten really close lately - the note, the plan, the settled affairs, the rehearsal, vague ideas of a schedule - and it's scaring me, because the thought of it is tempting and comforting and exciting all at once.

    Lately I've been feeling "dead inside" (no excitement, no anger, only irritation and an intense desire to be alone - and elsewhere) about 75% of the time, immensely sad 20% of the time, and steady and ok about 5% of the time. I'm on the permanent down-swing with my boyfriend of two years (ultimately it will be good for us to split, but the process is aggravating and draining). The big problem with this is that my only friends are his roommates, and I've been isolated from them (self-induced) since things started going south with him.

    I'm stuck in a self-induced, self-perpetuating cycle of dismal and expensive academic failure that I've kept secret from my friends and family for three years - one that would completely destroy my mother, were she to find out about it. I skip classes and exams and don't do half my assignments, and the only excuse is laziness? Bad habits? Escapism in the face of stress I suck at coping with? I work 30 hours a week with an 18-credit per quarter schedule, so that's part of it, but mostly I just suck at school. One of my no-nonsense, unapproachable professors emailed me today to inform me that I'm currently at the bottom of my class and that I need to shape up; I got an email like that from another professor this time last year, and I was so determined to never ever let it happen again, and look at where all that determination and trying got me.

    This stuff just keeps coming back. There are periods of time when I feel happy, but the failure and the dark feelings resurface stronger every time, like an infection that's learned from all my failed attempts to beat it back, and I just don't want to live a life that's a never-ending cycle of relapse and remission. I don't want to fight it anymore. I just want to get away.

    I'm not sleeping or eating well, and all the little details of my life (parking tickets, forgetting to pay rent/bills on time, money problems, etc etc etc) are slipping through the cracks as well, and I'm just feeling totally overwhelmed. So here I am. I think it will be nice to have a non-threatening place to talk and listen and connect at arms length.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2015
  2. Hi. Welcome and nice to meet you.

    You say you had a failed attempt at talk therapy. What was that like? Was it a one-time thing?

    I know it's embarrassing and uncomfortable to talk to your loved ones about depression and suicide, but keep trying. Once, when I didn't want to talk to my family face to face, I wrote them a letter instead. It was just easier that way.

    You mentioned isolation. I know when I'm depressed I want to be alone more than anything. But it's not good for me. I have to get out somehow even if it's only for a short period of time. Sometimes that means calling a friend, saying "yes" to a friend when I want to say "no", walking around the block, or going to a movie. This is hard for me, but I have to try.

    You say your mother would be completely destroyed if she found out what's been going on academically. Is that accurate or is the negative filter of depression making it seem worse than it really would be? I know it sounds like semantics, but the word destroy means "to put an end to the existence of something by damaging or attacking it." Would your mom really cease to exist? Are you attacking her by telling her the truth? I don't think that language accurately reflects reality. I had to drop out of school because of my depression and telling my parents was really hard. But my mental health was compromised and it wasn't fair to expect me to perform my best.

    Every mental health professional I've talked to tells me that the chances of relapse are very high if it's already happened once. Things like this don't just go away without long-term support in place.

    I hope you receive the support you need. Take care.
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