Am weary of feeling this way

Roughly a year ago I woke up with a knot in my stomach. I'm a bartender and work in a very stressful high volume place, so to wake up feeling tired or mentally drained is pretty common. This time the knot was different. Like a low grade cramping in the pit of my stomach. Carries with it a sense of dread and impending doom. I feel like I have lost my way and don't have a clue how to find my way back again. I Have a good support system but I feel like the only person who can figure this out is me. My self confidence is completely fractured, and it's started to unravel any and all joy in my life. I've never been the most confident person, but always able to have the game face on so no one sees it. I'm embarrassed of myself and how feeble I feel at 37 years old and I have no idea how to pull out of it. Dating seems impossible because if I don't love myself, how is anyone going to love me? I would really appreciate any insight from anyone with experience in this matter because it's eating me alive from the inside out


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20 Replies

  • Hey there

    I am 40 and feel like it is impossible to date so you have someone who understands you here.

    For me it is the broken relationship with my ex and things she said about my family and childhood that has destroyed my confidence. Is there something that stands out for you? A stressful boss? Constant criticism? These things can erode you.

    I am trying to learn to like myself so we are in a similar position.

    Keep talking, glad to listen!

  • Thanks for responding. I did just get out of what I now realize was an almost abusive relationship with someone I work with. Too much booze and too many late hours. We had gotten to the point where we were tearing each other apart (verbally not physically) and things were said that I can't forget. She pursued me and I was ambivalent until she got tired of it and began seeing someone else. As luck would have it all of a sudden I cared a lot. But we brought out the worst in each other and Im still convinced we do not belong together. So that is definitely a contributing factor.

    However it started before the relationship. It's possible that I've been on the night circuit for too many years and my soul or humanity is just weary of bar life. Unfortunately I still have no idea what else to do as bartending is very good money. I come from a family of Doctors and Lawyers so I feel like I'm supposed to go into something more "professional," but I was never very good at school and don't know where to go from here

  • I am seeing a counsellor. Would you consider that?

    They help unravel the ball of wool that is our lives.

  • I've had therapists in the past but they're so expensive! I'd love to talk to someone if I could afford it

  • There are always free services and I have seen therapists prices vary a lot.

    I really advise this course of action as about 2 months ago it was all I had and now it is leading me back towards happiness. Slowly but getting there.

  • I will certainly look into it. Thank you again for listening. How long were you with your ex?

  • 5 years on and off. Made all the more complicated by us getting pregnant and the relationship completely falling apart.

    I left (temporarily) as I feared for her state of mind while I was around. She would say and do the most horrible things which resulted in me doing the same. After our son was born I thought we would get back together but we never did, things got worse. I was stopped from seeing him and we became very bitter.

    In June last year I decided I needed to change. I haven't said a negative word to her since. She is an excellent mum and our little boy is happy. She is on the dating scene which hurts more than I can describe but I am concentrating on me now.

    I am often lonely, often feel like crying. But I have done some positive things. I gave up alcohol two months ago. I went on a diet to get fit and improve my appearance. I try to pack as much into my sons visits as possible and be as good a dad as I can. And I don't think too far ahead - concentrate on today.

    In the mornings I feel a huge amount of negative energy leaving my body. At night I feel tired. I think that is part of the recovery; I am slowly getting there.

    I also joined dating sites and went on two dates but it is way too early. It might be 6 months before I am ready to date. I need to sort me out first. No more knee jerk reactions. I have a counselling session booked once a week for January.

    I have been programmed to think I am a bad person by things my ex said. I am not bad. I need to get me back and then move forward.

    I hope all this helps you :-)

  • Absolutely. If there's one thing I understand it's alcohol, especially in relationships. The emotional pendulum is crazy. The exercise should help keep those endorphins firing. I was heavy growing up and the thrill of losing 70 something pounds worked miracles for my self confidence. And God watching your ex with someone else has got to be one of the most painful experiences life has to offer. Do you see her out socially a lot? As in do you have to share friends or do you live in a small town?

  • No I don't see her out thank god as I don't go out :-)

    I am just realising not everything was my fault and am learning to like myself again.

  • Good. Because trust me brother, I have to see mine daily and it is not an easy task

  • Good. Because trust me brother, I have to see mine daily and it is not an easy task

  • I can imagine. My way of dealing with things has changed - no revenge, be as nice as possible, respect her as she is my sons mother and realise that she is a good mum.

    I will make an effort and if one is not made towards me the. I just accept it.

  • I can't seem to concentrate on anything. I exercise a lot to try to keep the endorphins up but somehow I always seem to slip right back into the sadness. Especially in the mornings

  • Mornings are terrible for me too. But what I have found is lounging in bed is a killer. The best medicine is to spend a max 10 mins in bed after waking then just think of three things to do - get out of bed and do them, be they tidy the kitchen or cut some wood for the fire.

    I think we are experiencing some very similar items.

  • Totally agree. Movement is good. Trying to walk places, not drive. Just being outside is healing. I just keep going in circles and am desperately trying to solve the problem. The only issue is that I'm the problem which makes it very difficult. Its self perpetuating.

  • Not being nosey but where at you based? I love in rural Ireland but work in the city which gives me a good balance between thinking time and working time.

    I find that I am getting there since I began listening to my counsellor more and doing the exercises they gave me. The exercises are tough but are helping to tackle the issue.

  • I live in southern California. I grew up in this town so I know everyone and have to constantly play the sad clown I feel. Part of that is my job, but part of it is also that everyone wants to hear good things, not sad things I feel.

  • I completely understand that. A barman is expected to be happy, provide advice, listen to the problems of others.

    the thing is you are human.

    A couple of things you said about your ex: she pursued you and the relationship became abusive. I can identify with both of these. My ex pursued me for a long time but a lot of what happened was negative. 4 years ago I almost had a breakdown. We were arguing so bad the stress got to me I thought we had to end it but I could not hurt her. So I kept going and we hurt each other more. The big problem was she took everything to mean I did not care. Park your car at that angle in the driveway - you didn't listen to me you don't care. My sense of who I am was eroded. Despite breaking up in Nov 13 I was so active in sport and work that I never processed the break up. A year on it hit me like a train. I asked her to reconcile and got the most horrible abuse back at me - about me, my family, you name it. I spent a whole week crying thinking of some other shmuck cuddling my son or being with my ex.

    Now I realise I cannot affect that so I am concentrating on what I can affect - his well being, being a good dad and NOT taking on board what she says about me.

    My counsellor is working through with me why I ended up in an abusive relationship. We are working through childhood issues and it is really positive.

    Counselling is expensive but I am cutting costs in other areas - booze and nightlife for example. I think if you could afford some counselling and open up to a counsellor it cold reap dividends for you also create boundaries bad goals - if a lady comes on to you at work, politely decline until you are ready. If there is something you really want to do in 2015 then make it a goal. I would love to visit New York and might even make a 1 say trip there so I don't miss out on time with my Boy.

    Again, hope this helps you.

  • the part where you said the sense of who you are was eroded sticks out for sure. That's where I feel lost. You have a son with her so I can't begin to imagine the strain you're going through, but I do understand when a woman pulls the pin out of a grenade and drops it in the middle of your self confidence. It's a bewildering feeling that blindsides you. Can't help thinking I'm 37, I've been through heart ache before, why is this getting to me so much? I think you're right about working through our childhood. It's just taking this many years to come out I suppose.

  • It's a lot of strain but when crossed she seeks revenge so I am not surprised she is dating again. I am not ready and will not be for ages, maybe another year!

    Sometimes it's not one thing sometimes it is an accumulation. Rule nothing out until you find out what it is that is getting to you.

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