How do I find the Joy in life? - Anxiety and Depre...

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How do I find the Joy in life?


I am drowning. I am so overwhelmed with life. I am single Mum to 3 kids, with my own business. There is no Dad in their life so I am being both breadwinner and homemaker and it is so hard.

I can't keep all the balls in the air and my mental health is at rock bottom. I have struggled with Depression for years and years, and am on Citalopram. I know all the things that I am 'supposed' to do - eat right, avoid alcohol, take exercise, have time for myself etc but I cannot bring myself to do any of them. It is like self-sabotage and I do not understand why I am like this.

I spend my whole day thinking of when I can go back to bed, or whether I can sneak out of work to sleep in my car just to escape my own head. I can't be bothered to be alive, but have to be for the kids.

All I want to do is ensure that my children don't only have memories of a depressed Mum as their childhood memories; I don't even care about how I feel, but I do care about them. I just don't have the energy to be that Mum so we just sit around watching TV. I really feel such a failure and am just winging it through their lives.

I have given up entirely on feeling better for my own sake, but should make an effort for their sake.

Any advice welcomed - please help xx

12 Replies

I feel your struggle. I am a single mom as well who suffers from major depression. I feel guilty about my daughter. I come home straight to my bed. Not even energy to cook. Thankfully I have a housekeeper and a older daughter who sometimes cook and feeds her. Otherwise it’s takeout. I work full time and go to school. My counselor suggested a technique called tapping which helps when I use it. I just need to be motivated to do it.

Thank you so much for responding, this is the first time I have used a forum of any sort and it feels wonderful for people to understand and reach out to help. No-one I know has depression (that admits it) - no one seems to talk about it. Only today on the school run did I start talking to another Mum who I hadn't talked to before. She said she was struggling with mental health issues - she is the very first person 'in the flesh' that has openly talked about it. I'm so sorry that you are struggling in this way too. All too often (tonight included) their dinner is just cereals. Although they think that's great so technically a win for me! I hope today has been a better day for you x

My advice would be one of two replays something has to give abit!.....either if u have a good income employ a cleaner so it just work and kids and now housekeeper or two if in lower earning bracket go part time claim universal credit more to life than money!!

Hiya - definitely good advice, thank you. I have been concentrating so hard on work post-covid that the family life is suffering. I literally have no energy left after a day at work to give to the kids x


So I have mastered the art of lazy depression friendly activities. Crafting or beading can be lazy.

I also noticed my daughter doesn't care that last week I was a shit show. She just cares about now. That helps with some pressure!

But with covid we are not able to parent in all the ways we probably usually would. This is pandemic parenting. No one asked for this or wants this, including the kids. So, cut yourself a break and know you are doing your best during uncertain times with a lot on your plate! Have the kids cook for you! Lol!

amazingmurphy in reply to Hidden

Thank you LulaBeth, you made me smile with 'lazy depression friendly activities' - you are right, the kids just want to be with us, and if that is just snuggling on the sofa that's great xx

Please know first that you deserve to be happy. Yes you are a mom, yes you are an employee, but FIRST you are a person who deserves happiness and love and support. It sucks that you have to struggle and that you feel so lost and sad and overwhelmed so much of the time. It isn’t fair.

You are doing the very best you can, and if right now all that means is you get some chicken nuggets on the table for dinner and then cry in the bathroom, that’s completely ok. For now. But you deserve better, and when you are ready please take little steps to get to a place mentally where you feel you can cope without constantly being in deep despair.

Keep taking the antidepressant and if it isn’t helping, speak to your doctor. I am the single mom of two boys (now teens), and I have been a single working mom to them for 11 years now. I’ve had many many days like the ones you described. I’ve been through alcoholism, been suicidal (the only thing keeping me from doing it was that I could not leave them alone) and I’ve been deeply depressed and hopeless. YOU WILL FIND A WAY. IT WILL BE OK. Please repeat that to yourself as often as you need to because it’s true.

Lexapro helped me to just feel like a weight was lifted and I could handle the endless tasks every day without falling apart or falling into the numbness of feeling hopeless and wanting to disappear. Please give yourself a chance to feel ok in a safe way. Don’t beat yourself up for having weak moments or bad days. Reach out to anyone you can talk to when you feel really on the edge. Remember you are loved, and remember you deserve peace, happiness and to be the person you were before you got emotionally beaten down by life. You will get there. Hugs and prayers for you love. 💕

Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a lovely post, you and the others on here have made me feel loved and realise that I should be more kind to myself. Your experiences sound very similar to mine, and I wouldn't wish them on anyone, I am so sorry you have suffered too x

Iammesues in reply to Pixie630

Your words hit me. I have forgotten what I deserve and what I was like before life beat me down. The question is how do I regain both.

Find you a good older man. I did. He became my daughter's father after being a single mom for 7 yrs. He is 17 yrs my senior. I'd like to get to know you. (But nothing personal) Maybe I can help with emotional strength. You are such a great mom to not give a hoot about yourself but you def do for your kids.....but give a hoot for yourself because that's when you can be better for them. My doc once told me about a program of church people that fosters kids....temporarily until the mom gets I'm NOT talking the regular foster care system! DO NOT do that! I am in FL. Maybe you can find a similar program in your area? Try to find out. there fam that can help? Do you have good ways of keeping your kids occupied? So you can get some you-time? What are your hobbies? If you want I can get together a list of games and places online for your kids to hang out....a lot of companies are offering FREE programs for COVID-19. Do you have a movie streaming service? Like Amazon Prime (which you can get discounted with an EBT card and Medicaid card) (Also offer a free 1 month trial) I found that as a single mom, ESPECIALLY of one! (I was her only source of entertainment) I had to be creative to get me -time. I can imagine it's very hard for 3! You are doing a SUPER amazing job! How many moms can put up with the emotional overload and still be a good mom? Not many! You are brave for seeking help, just be careful who you trust and give no personal info. Because some ppl will think you are inadequate for having these problems. However, they are normal. If you can give me the ages of your kids, I will get a long list and PM you a lot of games and programs. (That way I can know which ones they would like) Also I can be there for you. My daughter is 15 now! Whew! I did it! (So far lol) Once a mom always a mom ya know? I am here to help....from a seasoned mom. Write me sometime! ; )

I am a full time single father of a teenage girl. The mom is not in her life. I can relate to what you say about working and being a full time parent while struggling with depression. I'm sorry that I don't have any advice. Just commiserating..

Taking time everyday, even just five minutes, to allow yourself to forget everything and just take deep breaths and being there with your body. Let your thoughts float away as you reconnect with yourself. Reconnecting with yourself will give you more energy the more you do it. This is meditating... it may not seem like much at first but the positive feelings add up over time. You can do breathing meditations at any moment that you feel stressed, and at first it may not seem like much but eventually it will help connect you to yourself.

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