Feeling worthless and hopeless following breakup and job loss

Hi everyone,

I haven't posted on anything like this before and to be honest I'm not very good at talking about my personal problems to people so this seems like a good anonymous format to try out, because I know talking about things helps but for some reason I find it hard to initiate and feel almost embarrassed about my feelings.

It's been the hardest year of my life for me. I'm 22 and I know I've got my whole future ahead of me, but my mental state is really holding me back and shrouding everything in darkness. I've always been a bit of an introvert and pessimist and have suffered from bouts of depression in the past. I have always been in denial about them and have never discussed it with anybody. I've got great friends and a family that support me with everything I do but despite all this I still feel suicidal at times and I'm getting desperate now.

Earlier this year I quit a respectable job position because I couldn't handle the stress of it anymore. I shouldn't be too hard on myself because it was a fast paced job in the PR world and I am studying an English degree with the Open University alongside working and I was having great difficulty handling the two. My boss at the time was very hard and would reduce the staff to tears. I can see that now but at the time I did feel absolutely useless and did feel so bad that I contemplated just getting drunk and jumping off a cliff. Thankfully my girlfriend at the time and family were very supportive with my decision to leave and concentrate on my studies. They knew how down I was feeling but I never shared the severity of my feelings.

Summer was good and it felt like I had a plan with my life. I would concentrate on completing my degree to the best of my ability, get a part time job, spend loads of time with my girlfriend, write and perform music (I'm a musician) which I am very passionate about and do some freelance writing too where I set up an online magazine. All of that was going really well. Then of the blue my girlfriend left me. We had been together for over two years and had lived together for nearly two years. After leaving my job I had to move back with my parents as I could no longer afford to live out which was a massive decision for me, something that I regret now. She told me at the time and now that moving away from her was not an issue, she just didn't love me the same way anymore and wasn't sure why. She also said that leaving me was the hardest decision she has ever made and was the worst time of her life. Saying things like that has just kept me hanging on to false hope ever since.

That was nearly three months ago and I have become incredibly depressed and suicidal in the weeks that followed. She was my first love and best friend so it is hard. I told her we could not talk anymore but after nearly three weeks she reached out to me via text and we have talked a little bit since. I asked if she would like to meet up and she agreed to after her university term ends in a couple of weeks (there is no long distance issue here by the way as I live about 30mins away). Anyway this has just made me feel worse unfortunately and I still can't come to terms with what has happened. It was not long before the breakup that we were discussing our future together as we always have done.

I think the underlying thing with all this though is that I have always been hard on myself and was depressed before the breakup. I sometimes think that I neglected her in times of great personal stress and anxiety and that makes me hate myself. I'm sure that is why she fell out of love for me. Abandoning a full time job and flat to studying and living at home with my parents is really tough and feels like a massive step backwards, too. I have a lot still going for me in life but I wake up in the morning in a great deal of mental pain to the point where I wish I would not wake up. I have lost interest in the things I love most. I have abandoned my freelance projects and music career and my grades are going down the pan. This is only adding to my stress and despair but I feel as though I am in a vicious cycle that cannot be escaped. I love my family and friends and I feel bad about feeling this way, almost as though I am ungrateful for what I do have. However it pains me to think about what I have lost over the past few months. Sometimes I think maybe I just find it harder to deal with mental issues than other people.

I know the hurdles that I have faced this year happen to everyone but I am getting so frustrated that I cannot handle the pain associated with them. I don't want to die, I just want these feelings to go away. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

22 Replies

  • I hate to say it but I think you are better off not staying in touch with your girlfriend if it is going to keep messing with your head. Right now you need to concentrate on you, so you can pick yourself up and sort yourself out. Tell her this, and ask her for some space.

    If you managed to land a good job before you will do it again.

    Don't feel bad about moving back in with parents. Just accept their help and use it to build on, and soon things will start to get better. Take some time to think about if you are going in the right direction. Sometimes we subconsciously sabotage ourselves if we are heading the wrong way. Maybe it is time for a fresh look at life before you get too deeply involved in something that is wrong for you. Try some new things if the old ones no longer interest you. You are important, and it is a good thing to learn this now, rather than waste your life pleasing others.

  • Thanks for taking the time to read my post and for your words of encouragement. You're absolutely right. I suppose in a way it is better to experience all this earlier on in life so I can learn from it and hopefully grow stronger and wiser.

  • Well I don't know if it is a good thing to go through it at all, but at least you have no dependents so that is one thing. However, do not let no dependents make you think it is not important to act on things. Life goes on and you can run the risk of floundering, especially if provided with a nice warm room and home cooked meals and a loving family telling you all is well.

    So first you need to get out of the swamp of self-pity, and maybe away from people who would keep you there, no doubt with good intentions. It might make them feel noble, but it will do nothing for your self-esteem.

    Taking stock of your situation...from what you said you had taken on an awful lot of things at once. A high pressure job, a relationship and a flat, and a degree course. None of these things alone would be too much for you I am sure, but all together it was overwhelming. Too much too soon perhaps. No wonder the cracks started to show. However this does not mean you failed, but maybe means you are trying to run before you can walk.

    The first thing I would do is perhaps a visit to your GP to explain your emotional state. You might find a bit of counseling helpful at this point, or a short course of anti-depressants, depending on how low you are and what is causing it. Rule out any health issues that could be involved, just as you might do before starting any new fitness regime.

    Then think about how to get yourself back out into the world and feeling good about yourself again as an independent adult.

    1. Where you will live and what you will do now - So, the flat depended on the job and you had to move back home after you left the job, but could you get another job that was less stressful and smaller place of your own? That might be more manageable to juggle with your studies. Then you would feel you were moving forwards again.

    2. Your future - Maybe slow down your degree progress if possible and do less hours a week, until things improve, but unless you feel you are going down the wrong road, it is going to be worth persevering with I am sure.

    3. Your interests - You could still do your music as a hobby, but I wouldn't worry about getting too involved in lots of other interests until you are back in the saddle and sorted out a bit.

    4. Your love life - Did the relationship depend on you living together do you think? If so it is probably more a relationship of convenience, rather than a meeting of minds. If not, and you think your relationship is worth saving then your girlfriend should be willing to let you proceed at your own pace, and see how it goes. If things do not work out, maybe take time out and get your head together before worrying too much about meeting someone new. Then you will be in a better place to pick someone right for you.

  • Quitting your job brought massive changes to your life and you knew that you would have to move back home in doing so ...perhaps deep down there was a part of you that wanted to end the relationship because it must have crossed your mind that moving out would end things and thats ok

    its rare that anyone spends the rest of their life with their first love but there is nearly always something special about that relationship.....most relationships bring sadness when they end because we dont know whats ahead of us and the fear of the unknown is always unsettling

    I think your in a a good position even though your not seeing it ....your free to find what it is you really want and it sounds like its music ...you dont need to worry about the ties of running a home and the stress it brings or the ties of a relationship and how that can hold you back....

    As a mother of children older than you i can tell you that what i wanted most for my children was the opportunity to live and not just survive..get out there and do your music, do your study, go and travel do all the things that you have clearly wanted to do deep down because you had the life of being in a committed relationship and running a home and having a 9-5 job and it wasnt right for you just yet and trust me when i say your in a position many of us would have loved to have had where you can just take time for you and find out who you are and what you want ..

    Enjoy being home with the family you love , embrace their encouragement and support there will be plenty of time in the future to get tied down to the mundane things life brings but if the feeling you get of feeling so low continue you must have a word with your Gp

    Go for it Dan and have fun x

  • Hello, welcome to the site

    Generally I would suggest you talk to your GP and discuss possible treatment options.

    How I read your script is that this girl you still think a lot of could eventually come back to you as it seems She wants to pick up a relationship with you when She finishes Her College year in the near future. Could it be there that she needs time to consider the best way forward with this relationship.

    When at college or Uni there are two things that do not seem to work well with studying, sex and burning the candle at both ends.

    Of course your Course can be picked up at a later time, the main problem arises, if you stop studying do you feel when all is sorted you will go back and complete. Do you also feel your hobbies will become your main professional love. You have a great deal to consider, no wonder you are feeling jaded and lost in your low moods.

    Do you not feel your freelance work has been diverting your attention from your studying and over the last two months the loss of your first love, even if, for a short period of time has set that spanner in the works. As in a way the conclusion of your independance when you had to move back into the family home has muddied the life that you had strived for with your Girlfriend. You are now living with those restrictions that you had before you had moved out of the family home. Independence is hard won and very difficult in many ways to gain back if other parts of your life have been also under stress.

    Your Open University Course can be picked up at a later date, although I cannot understand why you left your employment.

    Ask yourself what you want, you are a bright person and I feel you lack direction as far as your future is concerned.

    You also need to consider if the relationship with this person is right for you or is the relationship a habit that is one reason you are distracted. It would seem the girlfriend may be feeling that way with Her studies.

    So sorry I sound hard, yes you are depressed and distracted the main thing however for you is you need to make some hard decisions. We have all gone through the trails of lost love and the distractions it can cause when we are young.

    Yes you can be prescribed ADs although do you really need them, they will just dumb you down and will dull the decisions you need to take. I really feel for you as I went through something very much the same and I had to make some very big decisions those fifty years ago. We all go through the phase that we will never love again. Believe me when I say we all do love again, generally at the right time of our lives


  • Right now take time for you.dont worry what the future holds think about now.its good you have your parents around to support what your going through.

  • Dear Dan

    I hope you are ok, what you are feeling is normal, you have had two traumatic experiences within a short space of time and by the sound of it you have a lot on your plate. You need to allow yourself time to recover, going to the doctor is advisable as sometimes they can help. I am on medication for my depression and it helps some of the time, however certain situations can trigger a relapse. Leaving your job was a good decision I know what it is like working for a horrible boss. In the 25 years of my working life I have had a total of 42 different bosses some were nice and some were nasty. My current boss is the first one to have made me feel suicidal. Anyway I think I am on the road to recovery I am due back at work soon so I'll find out soon enough. Dealing with a relationship break up is so difficult especially when you love that person so dearly. Again give yourself time to recover from this you're still so young, my husband did not meet me till he was 28 and he is still my soul mate and I would be just as devastated if anything should happen to him. I think it is good that you are still friends with your ex I think it is important to not feel bitterness or resentment although these feelings are the most overpowering of emotions. You need to stop analyzing the reason behind the break and work towards a healing process. What has happened has happened and the hardest thing for a lot of us to accept is being unable to rewind time and do things differently. Pondering on the past is painful and can hinder your recovery. I dearly hope you allow yourself time to recover and don't be too hard on yourself we are all human and have our breaking points. Never feel embarrassed to talk about your emotions. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Love Maria xx

  • Hello Dan

    Give yourself time to lick your wounds. We are all different and we have priorities that can change dramatically. You are coming up to Christmas and New Year, many people seem to re- assess their life at this time and draw up new plans. One year, like you I had a broken relationship at Christmas, when New Year came around I completely changed my life around and changed my proposed, future plans and that gave me new, interesting possibilities.

    Life is so very dynamic, and we can always decide to move on from the pathway we had before.

    You have some very positive interests you can develop more fully, give yourself time to breath. Relationship are like a bus, one will follow soon, from these relationships you will learn and understand your needs. That makes future relationships work and of course you need to be more selective, in these Partnerships you will have, especially if you want a long meaningful relationship where possible children are concerned.

    Those people who have an interest that they can expand and make an occupation of are very lucky, consider going for it as you will have a very full, interesting life, and with someone who could give encouragement your work life will blossom.

    Give your self time to put your past feelings to sleep and go for that silver lining, you are still very young, I was thirty when I committed and married, I made a solid decision and it seemed to have worked for the last thirty odd years.

    Talk to your GP as well, personally I feel He may talk and arrange some support. He is the one who decides on your health pathway. Although do not be shocked if He thinks tablets are a second thought, given for a short period of time or not at all

    We are here to chat if you need it

    Good Luck


  • Thanks very much I really appreciate your replies and everyone else's too. It has been a full in time with my job and breakup and I haven't been able to handle it well. I know it will get better in time. I have seen my gp because I feel like I need help to sort myself out at this stage. They have set me up with a Councillor and diagnosed me with depression and anxiety and I will probably need some medication for a time. The depression started at my old employment over a year ago and through ignoring it and denying it I have made it worse by bottling it up and of course the breakup made it go through the roof. I feel better already knowing that I am doing something about it. Thanks again.

  • Dear Dan

    So glad to hear you are making progress, please remember to give yourself time to heal the hardest part of coping with depression is the brain fog. I hate losing the logical part of my brain, especially as I'm generally the one who has to look after everyone else. I've also had to learn to accept that this is a part of me and although I hate the experience I can not escape it forever. It is accepting that depression is a part of me that helps me deal with it in my own way. You will find your own way too.

    Never feel alone I'm here if you need to chat again.

    Maria x

  • Thanks Maria. It's been getting pretty bad over the past few days which is why I had to see someone. I started drinking a lot of alcohol and became really self destructive with it and just felt pretty worthless and hopeless about everything. I'm determined to cut that out now though and hopefully some treatment will help me. I need to stop being so hard on myself too.

  • We all find our own ways to cope, I've tried drinking and smoking but have discovered that they don't really ever help just create other health problems. You have found your voice and that is the most important part of recovery. Word of warning you will come across ignorant people who don't understand depression at all, take them with a pinch of salt they will learn one day. I hope you find the things you love again, mine are food and a blue sky. Don't chase miracles learn to accept that this may be a part of you forever learn to accept it, recognise it and have faith in yourself that it does not last as long as you think it does. Hope you have a speedy recovery, please keep in touch.

    Maria x

  • Hi Dan

    Hope you're ok just checking up on you? Take care x

  • Hi Maria, thanks :) I'm ok, not great of course but I'm seeing my GP again on Thursday and hopefully a councillor this week too. I've got to prove that I can go a week without alcohol before they give me any meds basically. I can, it's fine, but I've just got to make sure I'm not addicted to it which I know I'm not anyway.

  • Hi Dan

    Sorry I can't help but worry, keep strong you will get through this week. I hope you have a good councillor talking is a good therapy the only problem is its not forever, but sometimes it can change your perspective.

    Take care, I'll always be thinking of you, love Maria x

  • Thank you. Hopefully I'll hear something about the councillor today. My GP said she had written to them and that was Thursday night and they were apparently going to contact me and arrange a meeting. I don't know how long these things take. At least I'll be seeing my GP on Thursday anyway x

  • I hope that they don't take too long, they kept my son waiting for over a year but each area is different. Keep chasing your GP if you don't hear anything. I was lucky back in 2004 I got a NHS councillor to see me at the surgery within a few weeks. I have also used a free service provided through my employer via phone and various depression sites. There is always something out there.

    Good luck I'm here if you need me I think you can message privately on here, not sure how I haven't tried it yet. I know this may sound mad but you are actually helping me as well.

    Love Maria xxx

  • Hello it's only me....sound like that bloke out of the Harry Enfield show. Just thought I'd check up on you again. Oh it's Thursday today hope the GP visit go to plan.

    Sorry will stop nagging xxxx

  • Haha I like Harry Enfield :) that's ok! Yeah I'm seeing my GP at 11.30 today and will have a talk about where to go next. I haven't had a drop of alcohol all week so I know I'm not addicted but I don't feel any better in myself right now. Maybe having some meds for a period would help. Might be worth a try. Will also ask about that councillor too which I still haven't heard anything about.

  • Good for you, just remember alcohol only amplifies your emotions and will destroy your beautiful brain cells. I only drink when I'm happy and with good friends. And yes I do remember what it is like to feel happy. Don't expect any quick fixes, like me, medication will take time, read all the blurb they put in the pack as well.

    We will both get through this and you would have inherited an old lady stalker.

    Love Maria x

  • I'm old enough to be your gran now, but y my 1st love was also the love of my life, I also thought at the time, when I was 17 and living away from home. Now 4- 5 decades later I have a couple of adult kids and 3 grandchildren. So what I'm saying is yes I know how you feel, all this time later, although I've long since forgotten about him, till today!

    I think ' finding me' is right, and I don't see that thinking you are getting back together will change anything , or her reasons for leaving, she is probably feeling guilty in leaving you in such a state.

    Because it's winter, the weather is depressing, you may have the SAD syndrome. try taking some Vit D, that helps replace what being in the sunshine does for you. Also don't resort to drinking to console yourself.good food diet, to help you.

    What are your leisure interests, excluding your ex, can you join a club, library, evening classes that cover your interests. The new term will start in January. Are you sports minded? Go out there and meet new people, take walks in parks, is there a dog at your home! Seeing the same people all the time under similiar circumstances, is so often what breaks the ice and conversations start. Can you join a charitable society?

    I know it's difficult, but when you can't alter whats past - you need to start looking forward and a good start to that Is getting your head sorted out, concentrate on what you change not what you can't. also please try not to resort to antidepressants, use nature and opportunity where you can.

    I left my husband after 45.5 years of marriage, had a brain aneurysm and haemorrhage a couple of months later leaving me with a BI. Pills didn't help, they just clogged my liver up which messed with my head even more and left me with Primary billiary cirrhosis, through the toxins I think, I've moved 3 times now, rent where I live and it's all in a foreign country where nobody else speaks English in my village!

    If I can go through all that and still come out smiling,then so can you - your future is in front of you and is there for the taking if you are willing to take those steps.

    You,ve taken the first one already, by coming on here, where you'll also get lots of support.

    .....and dont think of yourself as being depressed - you are simply frustrated because life isn't turning out as you expect and you are the first and the only one who can change that. Mum and Dad are there to support you, so Good luck!

    Chin up, start AND keep smiling :-) :-) - there's always someone else worse off than ourselves......

  • Hi. You wrote a really good post. Maybe writing is for you!

    I know just how you feel. I broke up after 6 years 4 weeks ago.

    I also suffer from depression most of the time and I think about death.

    My photography keeps me going and right now, it's enough. Maybe

    your writing will be the thing that helps you. I do know that telling my

    Dr has really helped. I hope you will start to feel better soon. I think my

    BF left me because of my depression too!

    It's like this. Nothing we can do. If you start to feel really low again

    please phone the samaritans. You can google them. You can call 24/7

    or you can email. I have used them when I have got close to the edge.

    I wish you the very best. You will have to face this grief, as will I...but

    it will get much easier. I know because I have done this before.

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