This is difficult... dying seems like the only out

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Mr. E

Well-Known Member
This is so much longer than I wanted it to be...

Without giving my entire biography here, I will say succinctly that my life has been characterized by inner turmoil for the majority of it, and my sense of self-worth has been defined solely through academic achievement. I was first diagnosed with clinical depression in my freshman year of college. In spite of this, and in spite of increasingly serious run-ins with bouts of suicidality, I graduated with Honors in Psychology from a top tier university last May. I was offered a position as a research assistant at another prestigious university some 600+ miles away from the state I was living in. This position was absolutely perfect, as I was working with a renowned professor, someone who I had been dreaming of working with since I was junior in college and whom I wanted to continue working with for graduate school. Long story short, this arrangement did not work out as planned. This professor turned out to be a horrible fit for me personality wise, was very controlling, unsympathetic, and impossible to please. After 4 months of what was supposed to be a year long position doing my dream work, this professor saw best to terminate me from said position, plunging me into unemployment without notice, terrible shame, disillusionment, and another bout of severe depression. Needless to say, with being jobless in a difficult economy, fresh out of college with no real world work experience, and 600 miles away from home, I was fairly devastated...

As an aside, I should also mention that my moving to this place precipitated a break-up with my boyfriend of 1 and a half years. There were many other issues with this relationship before the distance became a factor, and this was actually another (in the fact, the CHIEF) source of major emotional distress for me before the matter of my job, but the break up also added an additional amount of distress in this situation. I picked up my life and moved to a far away place to embark on a new professional career, my dream career, and was stopped completely short in the process. I would likely still be with him had I not left to take this job, and he wouldn't have self-destructed. He totally self-destructed when I told him we couldn't be together anymore... more on this another time maybe...

2 months of unemployment and 50+ job applications later, I finally managed to secure a new job, with pay that is fairly close to what I was making before. But my plans for entering a doctoral program had been thwarted. The timeline was a tight one, with recs, GRE's, and other shit that I just couldn't focus on. So I fell to a back-up plan.

I decided to apply to several M.S.W. programs in order to build a career in clinical therapy (the hypocrisy of this, given my own issues, is a source of conflict for me, but that's another story). This was easier to do since it did not require the GRE and the timeline was much longer. Well, I've gotten into every program I applied to (still waiting on one more decision), including one at the school where I am living now. However, none of these schools are offering me any financial aid. Coupled with the student loan debts I have now, accepting any of these offers would plunge me into crazy debt ($100,000 at the cheapest, around $140,000 at the place I'm at now). No back-up plan, in my mind, should ever be this costly. And social work is one of the most ridiculously underpaid fields in the world.

To make matters worse, my apartment complex is demanding that I renew my lease TOMORROW, if I am to stay here. My lease expires at the end of May, and this complex is at full capacity.

Now, as another aside, I have a VERY difficult time making friends and building a social network. I am terribly introverted, socially anxious, and most people are turned off by the depression thing. 4 years of college and no social ties to speak of other than my now ex-boyfriend. Most of my friends from high school are no longer in my life, and I'm somewhat distant from my family (physically and emotionally). However, I have managed to build a strong network here, but if I leave here then I would be sacrificing this extraordinarily rare phenomenon of having good people in my life. But... I'm feeling pressure to make this decision to stay or go, literally in a few hours.

If I were to accept the cheapest grad school option, then I am moving away. If I accept the most expensive option, then I am staying. Both choices suck in terms of finances and render me in a constant state of despair to have such incredible debt hanging over my head that, in all likelihood, would be a struggle at best to pay off on a social work salary. If I choose to just not go to school altogether... then I am totally lost and aimless. I have the shame of telling my rec writers, who expect a lot from me, of yet another failure, and I don't have any idea of what course my life could possibly take. I have no other aspirations, nothing else that would make me feel worthy of life or motivated to live it. Failure is the one thing in the world that I am the most ill-equipped to handle, and there has just been far too many setbacks in such a short time...

Today I almost ended my life. This isn't the first time, but I went further than I ever had before. I had everything arranged, a note, my apartment door unlocked so that I could be easily found. I used to cut myself when I felt suicidal, but that was super painful. Now I've moved on to xxxxxxxxxxxxxx-I felt like I was slowly falling asleep.

But I couldn't finish it, and I wish I could...

There have been so many other times where I have wanted to die, and on each and every occasion it was due to serious emotional pain, pain that I eventually managed to overcome, and that was always connected to an isolated event. But this time it's different. This time it's due to matters that truly are out of my hands, problems that don't disappear with time and isn't resolved by "toughing it out." Matters of practicality and logistics, not interpersonal ones. This isn't simply, as my former therapists and friends would put, an issue of depression clouding my perception and influencing my emotional experiences. This is as concrete as it gets; it would appear, a cut-and-dry case of being caught between a proverbial rock and a hard place. The long-term consequences of any decision I make here is real, and I cannot see any escape.

Tomorrow, I'm going to beg the financial aid office at the school where I'm currently located to give me a chance at making my enrollment a feasible option. I'm also going to beg my apartment complex for more time to make a decision regarding my lease renewal. Both requests are a long shot. If rejected, I don't know what else to do.
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now is not the time to make a decision about ending your life. you've been through two of the most stressful things a person can go through, the end of a relationship and being, essentially, fired from a job. no wonder you are feeling suicidal.

my advice to you is to get some professional help asap. let your doctor know that you are feeling truly desperate and are on the verge of seriously harming yourself. that way he/she can look at helping you with meds. therapy might also help you cope better by giving you some stress handling techniques.

i don't know what you should decide in terms of grad school and your apartment, but I do know these are not the most important things right now. right now your health is what is most important. you are in real danger. that's what you have to take care of, first.

if you want some tips on talking to your doctor just ask. many of us have taken that totally scary step, and it's worked out okay.

in the meantime, put the methods away and make that call. it will be worth it.

Mr. E

Well-Known Member
Thank you for responding to my post. I have been in therapy before, but I haven’t seen a doctor since I moved a year ago. It was around that time that my health insurance coverage expired, and I haven't had any coverage since then. Continuing therapy and keeping up with my anti-depressant subscription under such circumstances seems daunting. I haven’t been on my meds in over 6 months now, and I really can’t afford to pay for these things in full without insurance. :-\ I'm hoping that I'll be able to get coverage upon enrolling in school.

My apartment complex have given me an extension on my lease renewal, and the school is reassessing the financial aid, so I can breathe a bit easier for the time being.


~*Mod Extraordinaire*~
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Hi Mr.E, I read your post earlier but didn't know how to respond. I hope you will be able to get medical coverage upon enrolling in school, good luck :hug:

Mr. E

Well-Known Member
Thank you! I hope I can too. I know this is a complicated issue, and I can’t reasonably expect anyone to be able to solve it. My depression exacerbates the negative feelings that I have in response to the issue though, so I know that this is where the real battle is.


Active Member
Hi, Mr. E

I actually read your entire post (haha) as I have gone through similar struggles re: furthering my formal education.

Re: Student Loans and Debt
Don't worry about that. Yes, you will be in debt but if you can either get into the Work/Study program or consider going part-time while working, you will get through.
From what I understand, the interest rates of student loans are bearable enough that once you graduate, you can survive paying off the debt.
Sure, you may not be able to buy a house, new car but that's ok for now especially if your main goal is to obtain your graduate degree.
I am in the Social Services/Legal field as well.
MSWs can make a decent amount of money, esp. since you have the MSW, and obviously, depending on where you work. I have attorney friends who made less @ the non-profit organization we were at versus an MSW who worked for a hospital or the state, let's say. And, by the looks of all the job postings out there, there will always be a need for an MSW, therapist, etc.
Oh, and what about scholarships? Sounds like you've got a great chance to be awarded b/c of your academic success.

Re: Living Situation
Well, it sounds like the stress of your apartment lease has lifted so that is great news! Give yourself some props for being proactive and problem solving!
One thing I wanted to suggest is consider maybe living with a roommate so as to reduce the costs. I know that you probably prefer being alone b/c of your depression like I always did but in a way, living with someone can be helpful, too. You said you have developed a good social network where you are so maybe you can reach out to them and see if they know of anyone who wants a roommate (and, obviously check the school boards).
If you're concerned a/b the maturity and consideration level of your roommates, it seems that if you can find other grad students and/or even a professor renting a room, you would find a good fit.

Re: Field of Study/Career
Like I said, I am in the Social Services/Legal field as well. I have often asked myself, "What the f*** am I doing helping these people when I often can't help myself??"
Well, for whatever reason, I keep drawing myself to the job ads instead of going a totally different way because I love helping people. I also realized that it was my perfectionism talking when I would think, "I have to have my own sh** together before I can help anyone else." This is true, to an extent, but because I have the history I have, I can also better empathize with my clients and people I work with than say, someone who just reads about it in theory.
So, try to to see it from that perspective because I tell ya, my clients could tell I was sincere and "real" and that helped them trust me that much more.

BUT! remember, as a giver, you're going to have to be vigilant to care for yourself; therapists/social workers need therapists, too!
For me, it was because I was dealing with the dark side of human nature (as the organization I worked for like to term it), tended to absorb energies and people, so it was important that we kept ourselves "cleaned" and renewed our spirits on a daily basis.

Re: Relationship
I don't have much to offer except to wonder if your partner would consider moving to be with you? If that's what you want. And, did you apply to schools where he is living? Would you consider moving back to be with him??

Ok, sorry this is long but I hope it helps and let us know how it's going, ok?
Hang in there and keep pushing through :)

Mr. E

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your response SuperMoon! It was very helpful. :smile: I'm glad to hear from someone who can relate to these particular circumstances.

Re: student loans
Some good news about the scholarship- I got a call from the director of financial aid at the School of Social Work, and he told me that the aid package originally posted (consisting solely of loans) was incomplete, and that, lo and behold, there will be some merit-based scholarships for me. What I have been awarded effectively cuts my debt in half, making this whole issue of debt MUCH more manageable.

Re: living situation
I've been living on my own since I was 18- being as introverted and depressed as I am, having a roommate has always been very unappealing, but you do make a great point. My social network actually happens to be my neighbors- they are all in my apartment building right across the hall from me, so I'm very happy with where I'm living now.

My only problem, however, is reaching out during critical moments. I can sometimes reach out when I'm feeling sad or distressed, before the inclination to act on the suicidal thoughts takes full hold of me. But once I'm fully immersed in that pit of despair, I've transcended "distress" and I've entered sort of a point of no return. I'm so deeply transfixed on death and so overwhelmed with grief that I literally feel incapable of doing anything other than dying. I've never been able to reach out to anyone once I hit that point; it always ends up being a live or die battle completely on my own. Clearly, life has prevailed thus far.

Re: field of study

It’s refreshing to hear someone in the same boat. :smile: I definitely agree with what you're saying. Trying to help others by relating personally to their experiences certainly can be an asset in this field. I just have to keep my self emotionally gathered enough to perform the job, and hope that the interactions I have don't trigger too many negative emotions.

Re: relationship
I don’t want to be in the relationship anymore at this point. He is still trying to get back together however, and has already said that he would move to where I’m located. It wasn’t a very healthy relationship, and was a primary source of grief and depression for the majority of the time we were together. I do still love him and want to remain friends, but, due to a variety of circumstance both new and old, it just isn't a possibility anymore.


Active Member
I'm glad to hear you reduced your debt and can get some scholarships as well!

Re: Living Situation
I understand where you're coming from. When I had roommates, it was kind of a Catch 22 b/c when I did get into my depressive episodes, I isolated myself in my own room.
However, that "external" pressure of feeling like I was bringing everyone down with my "energy" kinda forced me to fight a little harder. But, I guess I attribute that to me caring about what other people think.
I think, in other situations where, ironically I felt more "accepted", it was also enabling b/c I didn't care if I stayed in my blackhole and my roommate (in this instance, my brother) just left me alone.
It sounds like you do have a good network and hopefully, along with your schoolwork, you will have the right amount of coping resources to keep you going.

Re: Therapy
If you don't have medical insurance now, are there counseling services available @ your school?
They might have some resources re: prescription help, too.
Also, would you consider applying for medicaid?

Re: Relationship
Oh, ok. I wasn't sure where you were at with that. It sounds like you've got a healthy perspective on it and it is great to be friends w/ exes if/when you can.

Re: Field of Study
You'll be okay. I would emphasize the whole cleaning your spirit and making an extra effort to find healthy ways to do that. I was such an avid surfer and very active. However, going to happy hour with co-workers after an emotionally draining day slowly replaced that. I don't necessarily regret the great memories but I do wish I had kept my workout/activity regimen. Also, of course, surrounding yourself with positive things like comedy, good friends, and whatever else feeds your soul will keep you afloat, IMO.
In the end, I would much rather keep "feeling" for my clients and work than become numb, ya know? It's very rewarding work and I'm sure you will be an asset to the field.
You probably will get triggered @ some point, more than once, but hopefully you will be prepared and will be seeing a therapist yourself (wink, wink).


Account Closed
The debt, combined with you being fired from your previous job, the relationship break up and how your x has self-destructed since, you being introverted and not having a good social network of friends, I can really understand how'd you feel in despair, and depressed.

Do you best to try and focus on the positive things you life(my mom calls this an attitude of gratitude) I know this can be hard when you get deeply entrenched in despair. You sound like a very intelligent and articulate person, with lot's going for him, you have a very bright future ahead of you if you can overcome these hurdles life has thrown at you.

I can relate to you about feeling lonely I feel that's what you're alluding to when you refer to yourself as being introverted. I wish I had some good advice to give on this front, unfortunately I don't hopefully someone else does.

I'm glad to hear that your debt has been effectively cut in half that's very good news. Try not to think about all of your problems at once as it will get overwhelming.

Do your best to live in the here and now, don't stress about the past or the future as it will only get your mind going. This current moment is all that you can control and enjoy so appreciate it to the fullest.

Best of luck.


Well-Known Member
Everyone has had great advice I just want to add one thing concerning no medical insurance, I was without it too but found a clinic with a sliding fee and I only had to pay $20 per visit, also alot of the meds are now in generic form and offered at many pharmacies for $4. I wish you all the best.

Mr. E

Well-Known Member
Thanks everyone for your support :)

I'm trying to keep positive as I move forward from here on out. In regard to the insurance issue, The university strongly recommends that all students take advantage of the health insurance plan that they offer. I actually think the student medical coverage is included in their calculated cost, so I should be able to resume therapy and my medication regiment upon enrolling.

I’m going to try to get back on my workout routine this summer too, and hopefully keep it up during the semester. Exercise really is helpful
Thanks everyone for your support :)

I'm trying to keep positive as I move forward from here on out. In regard to the insurance issue, The university strongly recommends that all students take advantage of the health insurance plan that they offer. I actually think the student medical coverage is included in their calculated cost, so I should be able to resume therapy and my medication regiment upon enrolling.

I’m going to try to get back on my workout routine this summer too, and hopefully keep it up during the semester. Exercise really is helpful
That's awesome news!
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