The dump truck of depression

It started with just one problem, but as I've ruminated over these past years, more and more things gets added to the pile of regrets and problems, such that now it seems like almost all my major lifetime decisions were bad and have lead to my current desperate self loathing situation

But how do you stop this ruminating stuff tat adds more and more negative stuff to the burden I carry?

And yet I have a loving family, good income, houses, cars, but it all seems wrong and too complicated and is a burden rather than a joy

20 Replies

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  • Goldfish, I tend to do that, too: look over my life choices and realize they weren't that great and just beat myself up over them. So, I take a deep breath, as I am right now, shed a few tears, then think about what I have done right & what did go well. I have 2 beautiful sons, each with their own issues, but both are good people. My oldest has a heart of gold. The little one has come a long way with his behavior & academics. I love them both dearly. I care about people. I do. I don't like when people are bullied and I'm realistic about the evil that exists in this world, but I do care. I stand up for people. I often thought I failed the constant challenges God threw my way, especially with my relationships & work, but then I asked myself if I did the best that I could. Not, did I give in and make the best of situations, but my personal best . Yes. I did. When I didn't, I tried to do better. Perhaps, the people I shared my life with failed, not me. That's between them & God. So, ruminate on accomplishments, large & small. You've had them, I'm certain. Maybe your choices were exactly what you were supposed to choose. Did you learn anything from them? Did someone walk away better off because of you ( whether they acknowledged it or not)? Goldfish, I'm taking a big leap here. I'm scared to death. I'm exhausted. If you want to jump, too, hold my hand, let's see where we each land. If you land in mud, I'll pull you out. If you splat on cement, I'll put you back together. If you land on your feet, I'll hug you and give you a pat on the back.

  • The choices I am currently ruminating are my decisions about my children's education. I could have easily afforded to send them to private schools, but didn't. I now see the benefits of private education which woul have been so helpful for their confidence, contacts, skills, work and leisure. This I regret as they struggle with their jobs and confidence.

  • Now, there's no guarantee that a private school, no matter how good, would make your children turn out any differently. My poor family begged & borrowed to send me to a private highschool. I did not mature any faster or better than I would have in public school.

  • Whatever decisions you made or I made, in the past, are not worth thinking about.

    They are a distant revery.

    Circumstances shaped us to make those decisions. Also we were young. We were allowed to make mistakes.

    Even if we went back in time and made a different decision, probably the outcome would have other problems connected to it and we would still be moaning.

    Forgive yourself, if you think,you need forgiveness.

    Much better to deal with the present.

  • I agree, but seem unable to do this, I seem to ruminate over the past and it's destroying me and my family.

    How can I stop these ruminations? They are in no way helpful, but my day and night is filled with thoughts of how easy it was to get it right and to have done things differently. I always took the difficult hard working route and it was wrong.

    This is destroying my lovely family.

    I read all the books about mindfulness, living in the now, Get out of your head and into your life etc, but it's always there and the self loathing and regret. Feeling like I don't fit in , not enjoying anything- eve skiing in perfect conditions (which is what I am doing now)

    Distractions are no longer working

    .?magic required.

    I'm taking the medication seeing the psychologist but it's not working

  • When I hear people talking about their regrets I think of the saying 'No good crying over spilled milk'. Anyway, who knows if your kids would have turned out any better if you had sent them to private schools. More likely you had a gut feeling at the time to keep them at home which was right for you and them at the time. If they are using this to make you feel guilty then ignore them. Kids like that do not deserve your stressing over them. Regular schools turn out successful people every single day. It is character which makes the difference, not the school (well mostly anyway). They need to buck up their ideas and get on with their lives, and you should too.

  • Hi Goldfish,

    You are using a lot of time and energy thinking about the past.

    This is not beneficial to you or your family.

    You say that you regret your past decisions, on how they have impacted on your family.

    Right, lets start fixing things by using your time and energy on your family, instead.

    Not for ruminating about the past.

    Take your wife out and tell her, you love her.Talk about 'fun' things.

    Do 'fun' things together.

    Make a rule, that money matters are discussed only in your office at a designated time.

    Don't let your problems rule your life.

    If you think, you need to compensate your family, then do it by giving your, time, energy and love to them.

    You were too busy working in the past so do it now.

    But don't forget to look after yourself, too. You deserve it. x

  • Having read a couple of recent articles you may have actually done the right thing. There seems to be a current back lash towards the privately educated and some employers are not even giving them interviews let alone a job. I guess the 'all encompassing' liberal left is really making its mark. I know over in the UK many young people are being denied places at some of the top universities because of where they went to school or even if their parents have a degree, in favour of those deemed to be less privileged. I always maintained participating in sports or theatre give a lot of people more confidence, so perhaps they could try something like these.

  • Not so easy.

    If only people could buck up their ideas and get on with their lives, then there would be no need for psychiatry.

    I do have 90 minutes of psychotherapy every week and have done for the past year, which tries to change my thinking and get me into a more positive place, but I'm not improving

  • Well maybe, but I do think that sometimes we are looking for a quick fix when we seek a psychiatrist to tell us some magic way to feel better about our lot in life, when it feels so much better to find your own way forwards. Yes, there are a lot of people who have issues so complicated they need a professional, but having not had the benefit of private school does not seem like one of them to me.

    As for whether you made the right decision or not, you can only try to remember why you made the choice you did, and decide if you still agree with those values or not. If not, then why not? Were you not spending the money because you were afraid you might not be able to see the school years through, and prefered the security of a free education and the stability it would give? This is a very valid reaosn if there was a real possibility that you would have to move your kids. Or did you believe that private school was snobby and you were sticking to some principal which you now do not hold dear? Whatever the reason you cannot undo it. Ok, so you might look back and decide that your beliefs were skewed for some invalid reason, but we can only work with what we had. Stop beating yourself up. It will do you no good. All you can do is to use your new knowledge or confidence or beliefs in the future, and go forwards with confidence. If later you look back and decide yet again you could have done things differently, then you will be no different from the rest of us. There are endless possible futures, and no one can possibly tell which is the best one. As long as you are doing your best, doing what you believe is right, and trying to enjoy your life, then you cannot be wrong.

  • But there's the problem. I know I'm not doing what's right as I constantly ruminate on the past and no longer get any enjoyment out of almost anything. I have become a slob with poor motivation

    I know it's not a quick fix as I've probably had more than 100 hours of psychotherapy, but am still stuck in the past and my life is passing me by.

  • The therapy your having isn't working so have you thought about a different therapist!!? Also reading about mindfulness is good but it's not the same as actually practicing it!! Can you find a class to go to?i know your mind is so focussed on the negative and your a tough nut to crack if you don't mind me saying so!! No disrespect intended. Your such a lovely kind person and I bet if you asked your kids if they feel you let them down they would say no!! None of us are born to be perfect parents!! Orcperfect anything else for that matter!! We have to make choices and we don't always get it right. We are all the same!! You just keep beating yourself up over and over again.i just hope one day soon you realise that enough is enough and get on with enjoying your life.you know it's not useful in anyway thinking the way you do. You along with all those close to you don't benefit from it. If it was one of your children saying the things you are what would you say to them?

  • Goldfish, I have a feeling there is more to this. I'm wondering if your sons have mentioned that their lives would have been better 'if dad' had spent his money? Is this coming from them or just your own need to somehow have been a better father?

  • 5 therapists, 6 consultant psychiatrists, lots of different approaches. 2 weeks on a silent meditation course. I keep trying.

    Mindfulness yes I can do it but am aware that I am not living in the moment and am losing touch with reality.

  • Hi Goldfish, during my times of worry and feeling low, I still had to carry on. I had to cook for my family, wash clothes, tidy the house and keep house fairly clean.

    I would cry a bit then wash the dishes.

    I also had a part time job which was quite demanding. Once I was there, it was impossible to think of anything else.

    I was struggling but these mundane, ordinary things had to be done.

    Even though I didn't know it, doing these chores actually helped me from thinking of my worries.

    As time went on, I was able to accept my worries. Giving things time was the answer for me.

    You have the advantage of your therapist. I wonder, have you actually tried any of the therapist suggestions?

    Who cooks dinner at your place? Perhaps give it a go. x

  • Have you tried doing some charity work, and using your wealth to help others. It is very rewarding and definitely helps keep you living in the moment.

  • I help each week at disabled swimming and work as a volunteer in 2 charity shops.

    My so called wealth is all tied up in property and investments wich are being sold to pay the tax bills I'm getting, which are more than I earn, so I actually live very frugally.

  • Sorry, I was reading your original post where you seem to be saying you were well off, and that was causing you some sort of guilt. I guess I mis-read it.

    Perhaps you are just facing a mid-life crisis where you have worked hard all your life and thought you had done enough to earn a rest, but are now finding that there is always someone or something that wants more from you, and it is so depressing. I have to admit it would depress me. Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to wave a wand and make it all disappear. Life is not like that though and it will take a while to work through, but you will get there. Best of luck with it.

  • The 'rug is being pulled from under your feet'

    Did I write the saying correctly?

    Please keep strong.

    You are doing all the correct things. Good wishes to you and your family x

  • Just one more thing before I go to bed tonight (well actually I already did but felt I had to say this so got up again). You sound like a decent guy. Maybe you have got yourself in a bit of a state right now, and it cannot help being surrounded by people who may be unsympathetic to someone in your situation. It can only make you feel worse to compare yourself to them, so don't go there, literally. As in, wait until you are back on your feet before mixing with this crowd again, unless they are supportive of you.

    But I wanted to remind you that the really important things in life, the reason we all strive for success in the first place, are probably still there for you. Your family, and your health, and friends. If the very people you admire and want your kids to emulate are not there for you, then maybe they are not worth counting as friends in the first place. Maybe not going to that public school will ensure your kids have real friends, not fake ones. Maybe if you talk to your wife and kids about how you are feeling they will support you and help you. And do not beat yourself up for this set back. All the best millionaires have gone bust at least once aloong the way. If being rich is no longer your goal, change your goal, but whatever it is, I am sure you can do it.

    Before you go to bed tonight, which you should do soon as you need all the rest you can get at times like this, why not count your blessings, literally. Write down all the good things in life and thank god for them.

    Then, perhaps dial back a bit on the charitable work, and the counseling, as it takes energy you probably cannot afford right now if you are going to sort things out, which you will. You will feel rested and more able to cope after a proper break.

    I am off to bed now as I too need my sleep. but I hope this has been of some little help.

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