Searching for the gold within the shadows

Hi, my first post here. I am 50, facing change and massive fear of the future.... And huge regret of the past and my choices and opportunities/youth lost.

And am blessed to have a beautiful 18 year old daughter, though I fear deeply for her future and vulnerability. Sometimes I panic and question my choice to bring her into this world and I feel such pain that I haven't been able to give her more in life, particularly siblings and the secure base of a big lively family. It's mostly been just me and her.

I have so many failed relationships, disappointment and heartbreak in my life. I am terrified of her being like me. Recently I have struggled to find any sense of hope and dreaded the dawn and the birdsong and have longed only for blackness and nothing.

I do not choose to take the medication route as it doesn't feel like the thing for me. I have practiced yoga for 20 years and am trying to use this misery to deepen into meditation, self love and acceptance to work my way out of a terrifying abyss of regret, fear and heart pounding anxiety. And debilitating insomnia and all that.

Not easy for any of us hey and my heart goes out to everyone here who is courageous in telling their story and reaching out.

Last night a beautiful homeopath friend suggested the remedy gold and I feel a little calmer today...and confident enough to express myself and post here for the first time and am trying to take positive action. Does homeopathy work or is it placebo?? No idea but I feel it is working for me.

Jung writes of the gold within the shadows and I am trying to find the gift of this nightmare experience... the hardest 6 months of my life. Another failed relationship left me flailing and obsessive and unable to get out of bed. Cried til I was empty and thin. I hope the worst is over now.

I have done so much research on depression. I have been inspired by the work on depression of dr Steve illiard (not sure I have the name quite right) There is a brilliant ted talk where he talks of the root causes of depression and he recommends exercise as the most powerful mood enhancer and also essential omega oils. I am trying both of these and vitamin b12.

I have also read a zillion inspirational quotes in recent months. Here's one of my favourites....

And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn. You’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favorite book and start a conversation. You’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. Then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store. You’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally. You are not the moon kissing the black sky. You’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid July. You’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years. Sleep in on Saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on Sunday. You’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. You’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. You’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. F*** it. Love yourself, kiddo. You’ve got to love yourself.

Kurt Vonnegut

So the sun is shining and my daughter has just left for her penultimate A level exam. I am going to make today a good one in any way I can. The terror and regret is right here and i shall try to just breathe with it and keep on keeping on. Trying to choose love over fear. Trying to find energy not to wallow and procrastinate. I hope the same for all of us who suffer. May we be happy and well and make the most of this day, this moment, one breath at a time.

Love

Kara

7 Replies

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  • Hi Karalara nice to meet you and welcome to the site. You don't say whether you are having any treatment for your depression? Meds and/or counselling might help.

    I think 50 is a big milestone (I am 61 now) as it tends to be a time we review our pasts and make decisions about our futures. It's stock taking time. A lot of what we see can make us unhappy - choices we have made and opportunites missed, but we can't relive our past or change it, all we can do is accept it and move on. Easier said than done I know but we have to. We can only make ourselves unhappy if we continue to look backwards. We have to look forwards and concentrate on the here and now and the future, no matter what you think it might bring.

    As long as we learn from our past and use it to change our future if we can then I guess it is worthwhile.

    I found turning 50 very depressing. My body started to fall apart a bit in my 50's and it is very hard to accept that you are no longer young. I also had maudlin thoughts about having lived more than half my life and time is starting to run out. Relatives and friends started dying on me and I was (and am) very aware of my own mortality.

    What I will say though is your experiences in life have made you what you are today and if you can face yourself in the mirror and basically like yourself, then that is worth a lot isn't it?

    Look ahead not backwards as you still have a lot of living (and loving) to do.

    Bev x

  • Thank you for your kind reply bev x

  • You are very welcome love. Sorry the site is a bit quiet at the moment but hopefully you will get some more replies soon. Take care. Bev x

  • Thanks for the quote,Beautiful in its own way. I go along with the Yoga, exercise and fish oil and sure they will all help , I hope a lot.

    .

    Not so sure about the gold unless it comes in big chunks I would struggle to lift.

    You seem to me to have a lot of good attitudes and I'm sure you'll come through this bad spell well. Having a beautiful daughter is a great blessing you should look on positively not with regrets and fears for her. There is not a person who does not experience trouble of some kind and I'm sure your daughter will rise to the occasion when trouble inevitably hits , although your fears for her are part of being a parent, along with all the joys of parenting..

    Despite the fads of modern management ( "change is opportunity") I think most of us fear change although it often works out better than we expect.

    I would n't regret past decisions and opportunities lost either. Who knows things could have worked out better or worse as a result of decisions we all make, and everyone has missed opportunities and made mistakes.

    You seem to me to be facing everything with courage and common sense and although medics ,friends and family can all help, if you show courage and good sense then you are in good shape to help yourself as much as possible, which is equally important.

    By the way I don't know what a ted talk is and would be grateful if you could check the Doctor's name and I'll try and check it out.

    Best of luck and wishing you happiness. soon.

    Olderal

  • Life is like a swinging pendulum. Everyone has happy and sad memories.

    "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". I think this is so true. There is nothing we can do to change the past but we can learn from it. It is not our enemy but our friend showing us how to advance into a better future. Life is a learning curve and it is only by making mistakes that we make the progress that will make us happier. Look on life's bad times as stepping stones to a better place. Stand on them and move on. Don't look back. Look beyond them. There are better things in store.

    Love, Myra.

  • Hi Kara

    A lot of what you say also applies to me - I have felt the fear and sadness you describe all my adult life – I really identify with the description ‘terrifying abyss of regret, fear and heart pounding anxiety.. and insomnia..’ and I would add to that self loathing.

    It is sometimes more manageable, sometimes less depending on what is going on around me. Like you I chose not to go down the medication route, and have relied on other means of managing my condition. I also carry out endless research to understand it better. I also rely heavily on exercise - including yoga, Pilates and more aerobic forms such as walking and recently even running. I have had counselling a couple of times and work through mindfulness exercises and the online CBT programme MoodGYM.

    All work to some degree, together or separately to keep me getting up in the morning and keep me functioning. It is however a never ending battle and, like most of us, I just long to be normal.

    I have many regrets about the past where I made some bad decisions and caused pain to others. I also feel I have never done enough for my kids, and now the last one is about to leave, will never have the opportunity. I do realise that a lot of the way I view my past is coloured by my depressive nature, and that others might look at it differently, and I expect you are the same. As Olderal says, different decisions in our past may not have worked out any better.

    You have given your daughter enough to get her to A levels – that is a great achievement – she may have hated a big lively family, I know many that do, and my husband grew up as an only child and is deeply secure and emotionally self-sufficient.

    You have been through a rough time recently, is that the change you are facing? Or is there more? Sharing how you feel is helpful, depressive negative thoughts lose power when they are out of our heads and being challenged by others, like by the other responses on this site. Our thinking is ‘wonky’ and often needs correcting.

    You sound like you are applying yourself to improving your mental wellbeing and that is all we can do – and you will feel better soon, at least for a while, and better prepared for the future – and you don’t know what that will bring – it might be the best time of your life waiting round the corner. Keep sharing your beautiful thoughts with us on here – I particularly love the quote – they will be helpful to someone else as well.

    Suejay

  • I have just started writing here too it is a brave step. Like you I had many failed relationships an only son and no large loving family. My son has been my carer virtually all his life he has had support from young carers and maybe your daughter is beyond that now she is doing well to take a levels my son could not cope.

    She will not make the same mistakes she will make her own.

    For me the answer has been to pray pray and pray when I look back I can see a guiding hand.

    I believe exercise is good but life changes have left me static anxiety keeps me from going out and I am not Jane Fonda.

    Yes the dreaded change as we used to call it looms over me but recently I have been saying to myself look at the steps you have taken since 20 years ago I was home,less and my son went into care.

    Now we are together under our own roof.

    I always watch programmes about others struggling and see how much I have they don't like clean drinking wTer and. A hot shower. We are never hungry and have the welfare state some in refugee camps don't even have regular food parcels.

    Sometimes I realise I am that person and knowing others are in the same place makes me want to reach out to the and takes away from my own pain

    Keep going sat with us

    K xx

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