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Topic: Did COVID make anyone else realise how fragile the human life is?

29 posts, 0 answered
  1. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    22 August 2020
    COVID made me realize how fragile we are... it has now given me a new form of anxiety... anxiety about losing loved ones. Does anyone else feel this way?
  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5944 posts
    22 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hey Dove20,

    We're so sorry to hear that this pandemic has made you feel anxiety about losing a loved one. We understand that it must be so tough to be sitting with these feelings, but we are really grateful that you have taken the big step in sharing here. Please know that this is a safe and non-judgemental space, and our friendly community is here to help support you. 

    If you feel up to it, we'd also recommend reaching out to our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. This website is regularly updated with information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time. You can also call our dedicated support line, staffed by mental health professionals, which is available 24/7 on 1800 512 348.

    We hope that you keep checking in to let us know how you're going, whenever you feel up to it.

  3. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    22 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    Thanks for sharing this. I am sure many people are more anxious about the health of family and friends especially when we learn about infection rates and deaths. It is very confronting. If you look at the home page of beyond blue you can read 'Looking after your mental health during the corona virus outbreak'. There are various resources you can utilise including counselling options.

    It can be useful to talk about our fears and worries and this forum is a good place to post. As living beings we are fragile in a world of so much potential danger. However, as you have said, it has taken this pandemic to make us realise how fragile we can be. It has been a shock to many people I believe. Safety precautions have been put in place but then gives rise to a new set of events.

    For example, I am an older person with a major medical condition. I need to be isolated as much as possible, even from my family. I find I cannot spend my time 24/7 alone in my home as I am not used to being on my own for such long periods. I made the decision to go out to various places but going when there is a reduced risk, as far as I can tell. I go shopping, but do so early in the day when there are few people around.

    My children are very protective about me and I love them for that. They do some jobs that would bring me into potential contact with the virus. I also have to attend a hospital for treatment every week and of course that means more potential contact even though everyone is screened before entering the hospital. I guess we can only do our best to keep well physically but we also need to take steps to remain mentally healthy.

    Have you spoken to family members about keeping safe? I do not know your family circumstances so can only speak generally. If you are concerned about anyone in particular it would be useful to get on to the govt website and learn how to implement the best precautions. You are probably taking all necessary precautions for yourself and realise how hard it is to keep your loved ones safe unless they choose to do these things.

    I think our lives will never be quite the same once this pandemic is over. If I may suggest, can you ask the more vulnerable family members to take reasonable precautions? Help them to make a routine that will ensure they are as little exposed as possible while accepting that we all need other people in our lives, preferably in person. Video and phone are good but do not offer the same comfort as being with someone.

    Mary

  4. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    22 August 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for your kind words. It is really nice getting a response... My family is taking precautions and are doing their best to stay safe. But despite this, I find that I still have been really fearful of them potentially being gone. I have to say, I'm sad that it has taken a pandemic for me to realize how grateful I am for my family. I know that one day they won't be with me anymore... but honestly, I'm not sure what I'd do without them. Do you have any words of wisdom on dealing with this inevitable situation?

    You say you have children. How many do you have? I can't help but wonder if they have the same fear as I do..

    Stay safe, especially when going to the hospital!!

  5. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    22 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    I have four children, all grown up with their own families. I am sure they get anxious at times and want to tell me what to do. Sometimes I tell one daughter she thinks she is my mother. And it's true, she does want to protect me and keep me safe. I am in Qld where we are not having such a difficult time as other states. Infection rate is much smaller which makes us all feel better.

    We all know we will die one day and parents generally pass away before children, but COVID has brought us face to face with the possibility very personally. As with all events that have the potential to cause sadness it takes time to process the information. Six months is not long to come to terms with such potential grief. I feel it is a kind of mourning for the possibility of losing someone(s). In some ways it seems that each day we get up brings the potential back again and again.

    It seems to me that people are taking time to spend with their families. Moving around and going where we please is no longer possible. Instead families are enjoying being with each other. I think this is a positive outcome as families build good memories and live in a loving atmosphere. I suspect it will be good for the mental health of everyone. Now that you have realised how grateful you are for your family and how much you love them, it's good to tell them sometimes.

    You can change your lives because this is something in your control. Worry for the future does not help as this is beyond your control. Easy for me to say I know, but not always easy to do. Instead focus on day to day events which you can influence to be more comfortable. I know when my mom died it was so unexpected. But in reality I knew this would happen in the future, just not knowing exactly when. We have been forewarned this may happen sooner that we expect but no one can predict when or if.

    My suggestion is to live each day enjoying your family. Build memories and keep yourself as resilient as possible. Meditate, practice mindfulness, whatever you enjoy and if you lose a family member you will have happy memories of their life.

    I hope that helps.

    Mary

  6. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    23 August 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for your words. I'm happy to hear that your chicks have become hens. I chuckled when I read that you state that one of your daughters thinks she is your mother. I feel I act the same way about my parents. I can't help it sometimes. I just worry about them, a lot. Sometimes, an unbearable amount to the point where it makes me sick to my stomach for days thinking about all the bad things that could possibly happen to them.

    Yes, I also agree that we all know that we will eventually die one day and that COVID has brought us even closer to this thought. I know this is the circle of life but it's scary... knowing that one day, you'd be alone with no one left to care about you. I think it is especially worse if you're financially not well off and can't pay for anyone to take care of you or afford to live in a nursing home. I think I am struggling with this thought the most.

    You said that worrying about the future does not help as it is beyond our control. I agree... and worrying only makes us suffer twice. But it is hard to control our thoughts sometimes. Even though I consciously can rationalize my thoughts, I can't help but feel a certain way about things. My anxiety does not go away... It makes it hard to do even basic things like go outside... It also does not help when I can't find any motivation to go outside.

    You stated that your kids are all grown and have families of their own. How are you spending your spare time now? Do you have any fur babies that you are now taking care of?

    Thank you for giving me some words of wisdom, Mary.

  7. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    25 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    Thanks for your reply. I always smile when someone says they agree about something with the their mind but not with their emotions. It's so true. It does take time for the conscious thought to trickle through the system and line up with the emotions. My lovely GP taught me that and I hold on to it when my mind and emotions are at war with each other.

    If we consciously think about something and try to see the best in it or how self defeating it is then we are on the way, but it does take practice. Every time one of these thoughts pops its head up we need to counter it with something positive and that's not always easy. However over time the less emotional thought will wear a new pathway in the brain helping us to automatically switch to that better way of thinking. It does take time. If I may suggest, when one of these thoughts intrudes can you try and sit with it? No judgments about yourself and no trying to banish the thought by willpower. Simply acknowledge its presence and let it wash over you. It may be a bit painful but not as much as fighting it.

    Before COVID I had quite a full life and in fact used to long for a day or two with nothing to do as it were. Isolation has meant giving up some of these things or doing them differently. I have returned to my hobbies of scrapbooking and cross stitching. I do get a lot of enjoyment from them and they help to focus my mind on something constructive instead of being miserable. In the past few months I started to get panic attacks which I have not had for years. Very disappointing but this is where my hobbies come in. I am so pleased I have something to focus at these times.

    No fur babies. This is the first home I have had without an attendant dog. Instead I make do with the grandchildren when I see them. I did have some goldfish but when they died I decided not to get more. I enjoy watching the birds in the back garden and how they squabble over the scraps I put out. I get Crows, Magpies, Mynahs, Lorikeets, Kookaburras and Ibis. It's a soothing occupation and when I sit outside I find many of the birds just ignore me and do their thing.

    Mary

  8. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    25 August 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary,


    Yes, I think trying to counter our negative thoughts with positive will take a lot of practice. I've never really done this.. at all. I think sitting with negative thoughts will be painful... I'm not sure if it will be more painful than pushing the thought away and waiting until the thought comes back again. I hate when I’m faced with situations like these I just push the thought away and wait until a later date to worry about it. But when I do push these thoughts away, the emotions linger and they keep me down. And later, when the thoughts come back again I suffer through the same emotions over again. It’s a constant cycle. Why am I like this?



    Today is a particularly bad day. I woke up and my depression got the best of me again. My fears and anxiety came back and hit. It hit really hard. It is quite hard to do many things when this happens. I'm even more afraid when I have to work full time and worry about how I can work 5/7 days a week when my depression hits me so often.

    I think... this thought has particularly been circulating my mind for a long time. I've never really sat and just let it wash over me like you suggested but maybe I'll give it a try. I have to admit that it is a really big fear of mine to let anyone know that I feel so down, so often. I don’t want anyone to know about my mental illness. I’m worried that once they’ll know they’ll judge me for being weak, not knowing how to ‘handle my emotions’, or how I ‘can’t separate work from home life’.


    Did you suffer from these things when you were working? And if you did, how did you cope? I'm not sure how to really sit and think about this. I think it also does not help that I’ve been feeling really lost lately. I feel like I have no direction in life. I’m not sure what to do. Sometimes I try to talk to my friends about these things but I feel like no one knows how to really talk about these things so they just offer words like ‘go outside’ but these things don’t help.

    Wow! You have so many birds that you get to birdwatch. I definitely agree that seeing nature like that would be soothing and calming. How lucky are you! Is this the reason why you’ve decided to not get any more pets?


    What kind of things are you scrapbooking? That sounds interesting.

    Do you have any suggestions for some hobbies I may enjoy? I don’t think I’ve had a hobby in a long time; I'm not really sure what I enjoy. I'm a bit lost in most things in life really.

    Dove.

  9. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    703 posts
    25 August 2020

    A little, I've been a bit more concerned about my mortality and especially the mortality of my parents.

    COVID has made me realise how precious life is and how much we take for granted. Its made me realise that we dont really stop for a minute and take a look around at what makes life beautiful.

  10. tranzcrybe
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    tranzcrybe avatar
    619 posts
    25 August 2020 in reply to Gambit87

    Yes, Gambit, positive and negative must live in harmony for one cannot exist without the other - Nature will always restore the balance.

    But as you observed, undesirable events can positively elevate neglected fundamentals to highlight values of what is truly important.

    Mortality, in itself, is not a concern for me; but rather the separation it produces from loved ones is the actual sadness. But I feel we are given life to make those strong memories, and as their spirit lives on in us, so too we impart such qualities on those around us.

  11. tranzcrybe
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    25 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hi Dove20

    Sorry to hear you are feeling anxious and, in these times, it is not unreasonable at all to feel uncertainty for what tomorrow will bring.

    You are not alone in your thoughts, but I hope you can dismiss the fears.

    I think you are correct in saying that we are fragile... as individuals, perhaps; but as a species, we have proven ourselves most resilient, adaptable, and inventive. As with past obstacles, solutions are inevitable; and, in so finding, the human race progresses further on its path to understanding, and indeed modifying, its behaviours and preconceptions.

    As to the judgments of others, that is their weakness, not yours.

  12. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    26 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    Yes, I struggled with panic and anxiety at work. It's really horrible as I did not want anyone else to know what was happening. I am just like everyone else in wanting to hide what I thought would be unacceptable. Fortunately for me I had a colleague who was very supportive. I remember telling her one day that I wanted to go home because I felt so bad. She told me there was only a couple of hours before we finished for the day and could I hang on a bit longer. Yes I did. No huge intervention but I was grateful.

    If you have someone you trust at work perhaps you can talk a little and enlist their aid when the feelings get too much. Staying at work is good for your self esteem, to know you can get past these difficult times. I know it's not easy, concentration waivers and it seems as though you are not getting anywhere with yourself or with the job you are supposed to be doing.

    I know it's not easy but if you can focus your attention on the particular task it can help. In gardening it's said a weed cannot grow where there is a flower. I found this a good analogy. Call it distraction therapy or substitution. It can work once you get the hang of it.Not fighting the feelings but putting them aside while you focus on work. It's not a magic bullet, it's using our brains in a narrow beam of concentration. Fighting uses up too much energy.

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer at that time, a double whammy. Yes, all gone now. Years later my daughter commented that I seemed not to care. My family worried more about me than I did. Which illness was the most hard to handle. I told my daughter it was just another day in hell. I think we do become oblivious to external matters because our internal focus is so strong. I believe if we can shift our attention, even if only for a short time it can help.

    Yes I went through "What will people think about me". It is hard and was hard 20 years ago when the depression first hit me. You can get through this. Keep a journal and periodically, not too soon, go back and read about your journey. I think you will be surprised.

    Without personal experience others find it difficult to understand how you feel and how these things come in waves. If you have downloaded some of the BB fact sheets it may be useful to give a selected few a copy to help their understanding.

    I am making a scrapbook for each of my eight grandchildren, detailing their lives up to the present. Lots of photos and some stories. I am enjoying this.

    Mary

  13. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    26 August 2020 in reply to Gambit87
    Gambit,

    I feel the exact same way. It really only occurred to me now during this pandemic that my parents won't be with me forever and that deeply affects my emotional wellbeing every day. It changed the way I behaved though. I spend more time with my parents, I don't get annoyed at the little things that they do that would normally annoy me, I even spend less time in my room. I'd just sit near them, doing my own thing; I feel like I just want to be closer to my parents and by being near them, the opportunity is always there for us to communicate about whatever we want. I think its the little things like these that count.
  14. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    26 August 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for your wisdom.

    I agree, staying at work is good for my self-esteem. I remember how hard it was sometimes... just being there feeling so sick, dizzy, and lightheaded but when I got through the day I'd be glad that I did not just give up and leave my shift halfway through. However, it makes me feel ashamed that there are days where I can't perform the way I used to; these were the days that my physical symptoms of anxiety got too much to handle. It is hard not to beat myself up for it.

    My! it seems like you've really battled a lot in your life. I'm happy you made it out stronger. I think it is so great that your family was always there for you. It gives me hope that maybe someday my family will always be there too. You said your family worried more about you than you did. I think I can relate to this. I think, as a daughter, I can't help but worry about my parents. Maybe even more than they worry about themselves. Maybe they know things that I don't and its why they're so chill about things. But, for me, I'm a worrier. I can't help it. It is in my nature to worry. As a parent, do you think your kids worry too much?

    8 grandchildren! That is amazing. It seems you have lived such a full life. Do you see them often?


    Dove

  15. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    27 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    Thanks for your reply. It is hard to continue going to work when you feel constantly anxious. As I said before, focusing on something other than your parents can help the anxiety. Not easy but you have shown yourself you can do this. When you focus on the painful or difficult things in your life you gradually come to believe life will always be like that. This is the time to stop and remind yourself of the good things in your life.

    I see you are spending more time with your parents (from your other thread). That's great and I suggest it helps with the anxiety. Can you also do your uni assignments in the same room as your parents? These are the moments to remember and savour. While it is likely your parents will predecease you (because they are older) it does not mean this will happen soon.

    You asked about my hobbies and for suggestions on a hobby for you. It's really difficult without knowing what you enjoy. You could be a volunteer worker for an organisation. Do you like craft work? Painting, needlework, going to the gym, gardening, reading, writing poetry or some other form of writing. When you have a day or half a day free you could take mom and dad out for a drive and morning tea.

    This is a short reply as I must go out.

    Mary

  16. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    28 August 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary,

    I really appreciate your words. They've given me a different perspective on things and it really does help reassure me.

    In regards to my uni assignments, I actually am on a leave of absence right now from my studies. COVID made things financially difficult and I had to make a sacrifice in order to help my family out with some bills. So, I took a leave of absence to work, save up for any potential future financial problems that may arise, and to help out my family.

    Not only that, but it has really affected us all mentally these past few months so I thought it was wise to just take a leave of absence for a while. I do feel a bit of sadness every day. Maybe, I could have pushed through and continued on with my studies while working/finding work but there's nothing I can do about it now.

    Your suggestions on hobbies sound really great. I've been trying to try out some hobbies but for some reason, I feel pressured to read a textbook or something. Isn't that odd? I feel like I don't know how to live outside of studying.

    Dove.

  17. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    1 September 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    Sorry to take so long to reply. I smiled when I read your last paragraph. I completed my degree part time as I had a full time job. At the end of the year I looked forward to the summer break and being able to read something other than a text book. Reading something for pleasure made me feel so uneasy because I could not get out of study mode. Well not until it was time to start the new year. I think it shows the kind of pressure we put on ourselves.

    It's not a bad idea to take leave from uni when you are struggling with other things. When things get a bit more organised I hope you will return to study, complete your degree and be pleased with yourself for having done so. I know I was chuffed with myself once I got through it all successfully.

    Please do not beat yourself up with thinking what you could have done. It doesn't matter. What matters is that regret can make you question everything you do. What you do is necessary at the time and the best option you can come up with. Later, down the track, you may think of something else you could have done and that's where you start chasing rabbits down their holes.

    So stay with your decision and do not question yourself. Later, when circumstances change, you can change direction either to something new or back to finish uni. What matters most is that you focus on the here and now and work with that.

    Speaking as a grandma I can say that as I get older my attitude to life has changed. I still have a social life (well until COVID) and I enjoy myself. I have learned that 'things' do not matter as much as I once thought. If I was in financial difficulty I am certain my children would help but that is not the case. They are quite protective of me because of my medical condition and one daughter always comes with me to see the specialist. It's good because we can talk about what he has said etc. So I ask for help when I need it and manage as much as possible on my own. Like you my children know I will in all probability die before them because I am older so we enjoy the time we have now and no one will be left with regrets later. I see my grandchildren fairly often and thoroughly enjoy being with them though I draw the line at squealing.

    I hope that my comments help.

    Mary

  18. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    3 September 2020 in reply to White Rose
    Hello Mary,


    It is nice to talk to you again. It has been particularly bad the past few days and I've only begun to feel a bit better now. Yes! I do agree. Reading something for pleasure does make me feel uneasy because my brain has always been focused on studying and what I could be doing to further my career. I haven't ever taken time off from studying in a long time, so I'm not used to having the time to do things that bring me joy. I actually think I won't be ok with doing things for joy for a while. I feel you understand my struggles so well. I'm so happy to have connected with you on this forum.


    You worked full time while studying part-time?! That is really impressive! When I was still at uni, I was working at the same time as well but on a casual basis. Even that was tough. I remember the late nights, the crying and the emotional toll that I felt because I felt I had no other option as my family is not well off and I had to do my part to help.

    It is hard not to beat myself up about taking a leave from uni. I do feel better now that I don’t have any academic responsibilities. It’s one less thing to think/worry about. But I keep thinking… if I’m better now then why couldn’t I just push through? It will take me even longer to finish my degree now that I’ve essentially delayed myself from completing units. I’m already behind compared to a lot of my friends. But I know that not everyone has the same struggles so I know I shouldn’t compare my situation to theirs when I have had so many things to juggle.


    You said your children are all grown and have families of your own. How did you feel when they slowly started to move out? And at what age was this? Did you get empty nest syndrome? I know you said your children keep in contact with you but I feel like when families have lived together for so long, to suddenly live in a home without them would feel so lonely. I fear moving on with my life would lead to my parents emotional turmoil.. not to mention I feel incredibly guilty if I would waste money on rent and things when I could help my parents save up for retirement (my family is really not well off), or pay their bills so they can feel ok with working less.


    Dove.
  19. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    3 September 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    Children leaving home was a bit difficult. Fortunately they did not all leave at once and did return a couple of times before finding their partners and setting up home together. One of my sons lives in Victoria which is a bit of a worry but he is doing all the right things and staying safe. He is still working but his partner was stood down from her job. They manage.

    Both of my boys left home after year 12 to go to uni. One daughter went to uni and lived at home at least for the first year or so.The house was quiet when they left but I found positives in not needing to cook for them or do their washing. Always a bonus. (smile)

    Have you discussed with your parents the financially implications of you staying at home or leaving? You said, "I fear moving on with my life would lead to my parents emotional turmoil.. not to mention I feel incredibly guilty if I would waste money on rent and things when I could help my parents save up for retirement. Without wishing to be inquisitive, will your parents receive a retirement pension at whatever age they are allowed to claim a pension? I gather they are still working.

    To go back to your parent's emotional turmoil, do you know they would be upset or is this your perception. Not being rude but I have found people make decisions based on their perceptions rather than checking it out with the persons concerned. I suspect that a good discussion may clear up any incorrect considerations and you may well be right, mom and dad would like you to stick around. Have they commented on your uni deferral?

    I went to uni when I was in my 50's. The children were at school and my spouse also worked. Sometimes it was hard juggling times to make sure one or other of us was at home with the children. I think my children learned about responsibility during that time. For me, going to uni was a liberating event.

    May I suggest after talking to your parents you have a good look at the practicalities of returning to uni. If you feel unable to relax and enjoy some external activities, maybe you would be happier at uni. What do you think? I am assuming your parents have no need of a carer etc and can manage work and their home routines.

    How do you feel about setting up your own home? It can be scary at first having all the responsibility for yourself and home. Have you considered sharing a home with one or two other people?

    Whatever you do start with a conversation with mom and dad. They are very important in your decisions.

    Mary

  20. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    4 September 2020 in reply to White Rose
    Hello Mary,

    Currently, it is only my dad who is working as my mum is a carer for our grandpa. It will be a fair few years until my parents receive a retirement pension, so until then they have expressed that they would like my help in regards to our finances when my dad can no longer work. I don’t mind but I can’t lie it has been stressful to think about these things. I think, because of my anxiety as well, I fear not being able to work when my anxiety affects my ability to work on a consistent basis (it has happened before; I’ve had periods of my life where I couldn’t work at all because the physical symptoms of my anxiety were so bad).

    I guess it has been why I felt the need to take a leave from uni to save up now for anything that might happen. It was my intention to work multiple jobs while on my leave but this turned out to be really unsuccessful because of covid and the restrictions. This also maybe because there are thousands of those who have lost their jobs because of covid applying for these jobs as well. I’ve been applying for a second job but with no success. I can’t lie this has been really disappointing and stressful. However, I must admit that this is not the only reason why I took a leave of absence. Things have been tough mentally and I felt it was wise to not use my brain for a while. I would like to go back to uni but I think along with all the things that are going on in my life it would be too much on my mental health to add another responsibility.

    In regards to my parent's turmoil, I come from an ethnic background and it is in our culture for children to take care of our parents for a while. It’s not uncommon for ethnic children to live with their parents even after they have married and have kids. So I guess knowing this has made me reluctant to do many ‘adult’ things like moving out and such.

    Setting up my own home would be nice. Eventually in life, I do want to be on my own with my own home. But with my current financial circumstances, I believe this would be impossible for a long, long time.

    I guess, things are really unstable right now and I guess I need to learn how to deal with this uncertainty. It kind of sucks that this is how it is.


    Dove.
  21. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    5 September 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    Thank you for explaining about your family situation. It does make sense now.

    COVID has a lot to answer for. Those out of work are finding it hard going I know. The job seeker and job keeper payments only go so far.

    Interesting you feel you do not want to use your brain at the moment. Do you think this exacerbate your mental ill-health? I have always found giving myself something to think about other than my problems has been beneficial. However, it does depend on how unwell you feel and what you decide to do to get your mind away from your problems.

    Doing simple tasks that you enjoy may be good for you. I really enjoy scrapbooking. It's not the most difficult of things to do but it keeps my mind occupied. Similarly when I am sewing my cross stitch projects. These things bring me pleasure and take away for a time the pressures of life. It does need a careful choice but so rewarding. I found reading difficult when when my depression was bad. TV was a little helpful if there was something I enjoyed but it had a limited appeal. Horses, as they say, for courses.

    I think 2020 will be a year we remember in many different ways. Fires, floods, COVID, drought have all caused major problems for all Australians. I believe we will get though all of this but we will not be able to return to our previous way of life. The old 'normal' has gone and we must make a new 'normal'. I think older people will struggle with this although they are generally the most accepting of change. Personal lives have been upended and change thrust upon us not all due to COVID. Yes we know how fragile we are but we are also capable of getting up and starting again. That's the wonder and greatness of the human person. I think I will be sad to leave this world when my time comes because it could be such an exciting time.

    Mary

  22. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    7 September 2020 in reply to White Rose
    Hi Mary,

    How have you’ve been? I must admit I haven’t been well which is why I’ve been slow to reply.

    It is true that COVID has a lot to answer for. It has been really tough not being able to find a second job. My current job reduced my hours to 1 -2 short shifts a week. Some weeks, I get no shifts. So I don’t really know what to do with myself. My savings will only take me so far. I guess this is one of the factors that has been really getting me down in the dusts.

    I think, enjoying simple tasks is really difficult right now because all my mind can think of are my finances. I can’t really help it. I tried painting, reading, going for walks with my dog and even watching movies but my mind cannot stop thinking…. About my finances. Doesn’t that just suck? Even when I try to do simple things and enjoy the simple things in life, I can’t. These intrusive thoughts just invade my mind and sort of make me feel guilty for not putting my 100% to better my family and I’s circumstances. My family has never been wealthy so I was raised to truly think about our finances 24/7.

    My depression also makes it hard to do things as well. I feel like I’ve been actively trying to get myself out of this episode but nothing seems to be working. I think many things exacerbated my mental health issues, but I think not using my brain is not one of them. Previously, I used to push myself to be busy all the time to avoid my thoughts and issues but after a few years of this pattern, it became evident that this was debilitating. My anxiety got worse, I felt physically sick almost everyday and my brain just would not take in any more information. I could not critically think anymore and I could not even complete any of my readings for uni. My brain had just had enough. I guess its why I decided to slow down my life for a while, and just focus on finding a job that is tedious and monotoned so that I wouldn’t need to use my brain like I used to.

    2020 seems to be rushing by so quickly. I keep reading that life will never be the same anymore. I think many people will struggle with this, including me. It saddens me that my grandpa can no longer see his friends as he is at risk. It’s sad that he won’t get to enjoy the last remaining years of his life the way he wants to.

    Dove.
  23. White Rose
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    10 September 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    How are you feeling today? Hope it's better than the past few days.

    Employment is difficult in some areas while other areas have jobs that need to be filled. It depends where you live. And it's a bit scary to realise we need to dig into our savings to get by. I hope you find more work soon.

    I am concerned you cannot shut down these thoughts which worry so much. I know we have difficulty in stopping them altogether even though you need some respite. Have you considered talking with a therapist? Perhaps you could go to your GP and let them know how distressed you feel. Ask for a referral to a psychologist under a mental health plan. Medicare pays part of these fees for ten visits per year in the same way you get rebates when seeing a doctor. Can you see your GP soon? Ask him/her to find a psych who bulk bills. There is a gap fee usually.

    Devoting yourself to your family is not something I would suggest to you. You need to get out of the house and mix with others for part of each day to stop your mental health deteriorating. From what you have said I think you worry far too much. Borrowing trouble from the future is a waste of time and energy as you cannot predict what will happen. Have you ever tried Mindfulness? This is one definition.

    Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. ... When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we're sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.

    If you have not come across it before give Mr Google a try.

    Slowing down your brain is OK to give you some respite. However you are not slowing down. You constantly worrying about what may or may not happen. This is why I suggest you try Mindfulness. I think it will help. Do not be despondent if nothing happens immediately. You need to practice it understand and 'get' what happens in your brain/mind.

    Must dash off. I keep saying that don't I? I have my appointment at the hospital for my treatment. I hope your day goes well.

    Mary

  24. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    16 September 2020 in reply to White Rose


    Hi Mary,


    How was your hospital trip?


    I was wondering if I can turn to you for some wisdom and advice? I’ve been preoccupied with some thoughts and it has honestly gotten me stumped and down in the dust. This year, my anxiety has gotten worse. It has affected me to the point where I cannot go outside sometimes or even go to work. However, I have been trying to push through like you advised a few posts back and I have to say that your words did help. I did feel a sense of accomplishment when I’d finish a shift.


    I’ve come across a new problem though: anxiety while job hunting. Did you have anxiety while job hunting?


    I am young, but somehow I feel pressured to find a ‘real job’ outside of my retail job. However, the thought of being committed to a real job gives me heart palpitations. I don’t know why. Should I hold off applying for ‘real jobs’ that may worsen my anxiety or just go for it? I have a friend who always says that if we wait until we are ready to do something then we’d be waiting for the rest of our lives. I know that we all have our timelines and that I shouldn’t feel pressured to rush things, but sometimes I fall into the pressure. I think my thought process about this is a bit something like this: that next year my anxiety will not be as bad as it is now and then I’ll be ‘ready’ and able to commit to an office job and its tasks. I guess I’m afraid that if I do get a new job, and that if my anxiety gets worse and it affects my ability to go to work or do tasks then I’d have to quit. I guess I’m also worried about the shame that will come if I do succumb to my anxiety…

    Dove
  25. White Rose
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    18 September 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    Thank you for your compliment. You must remember I am not a qualified therapist. What I say comes from my own experiences and observation. I have suggested you see a psychologist and I know this will pose difficulties for your anxiety about leaving but maybe your GP can help you find someone who will talk to you via a web link at least to start with. Medicare can pay for these calls.

    Why is your job not real? You enjoy the work and get paid for it. Do others think you can get a better paying job? Does that matter to you? May I ask what sort of retail area you work in. Not that it makes any difference, a job is a job. Or does someone think your job has a low status and wants you to improve yourself? Damned rude I call it.

    I have been retired for a while but I do not remember being anxious about any jobs I worked in or about finding a new job. Disappointment if I did not get a job I applied for, yes, but not the end of the world. I do get anxious about some matters and it feels very uncomfortable. This is where I dive into my hobbies and give them my whole attention so that I cannot brood over the whatever. It does help me and certainly gives relief. Our brains are capable of doing several things at the same time but that does not mean we should allow this to happen.

    I'm not sure I agree entirely with your friend about waiting. There is often a time in our lives when we feel we must change direction about something we do (or don't do) and it does become easier as we have settled the should I/shouldn't I question. I think we may miss out on something by consciously waiting until a more favourable time but that may be because we are not ready. It can turn into an excuse for doing nothing which is what your friend means I suspect. It's very true that people get comfortable in being uncomfortable and simply decide that they will not change because of the perceived upheaval. A bit like a marriage break up where one or both partners want to leave but lack the energy to do anything. It may be a hard place but it's a place they know and going somewhere else is a bit scary.

    Please do not blame yourself if things do not go well and that includes anxiety. Being ashamed about mental illness (MI) is a viewpoint of many people because they are taught to be ashamed. The reactions we get from the community puts us under huge pressure which is unwarranted. I think you would be surprised to know how many of your colleagues have a MI. Out of words. Post later.

    Mary

  26. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    22 September 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary,

    I was hanging out with my friend one day and I guess we had an honest conversation about this topic. He said that by not getting a ‘real job’ at an office or so, I would be wasting my time trying to get a degree as my current job does not require any qualifications (I work in a clothing store). We used to go to uni together; he had said I had so much potential and that he thinks that I can do much more with my life than just folding clothes all day. Thinking about it now I can see that he does think my job is low status. He works in an IT department at a reputable bank so I guess he thinks that my job is on the bottom end of the ladder.

    At the time, I guess I appreciated his honesty. We started at the same place and now years later, we’re in completely different places/stages in life. I guess he attributed that to my anxiety. It did make me feel some pressure to change. It kept me down in the dust for a few days too as I didn’t know how to change jobs without my anxiety getting in the way of things. When I was thinking about all these things, the more I became aware that he was right about one thing: my slow pace in my career is due to my anxiety. It didn’t stop me from thinking about what other things he may be right about. My potential being wasted, that waiting until I’m ready to do things is pointless... I don’t know. I don’t really have anyone else to talk to about this. I don't have many friends who have MI. I don’t think people who don’t have MI understand.

    Dove.

  27. White Rose
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    22 September 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove

    That's a good friend you have, telling you how things appear to him. I think it must have hurt a little. I feel you, and anyone else in a similar position, need to decide what you want. Leaving your anxiety out of the equation for the moment (I know that's hard) what would you like to do/be? This is really the only question to answer. If you feel you are looked down on in some way and you dislike it, what are your options?

    Changing jobs is an obvious step but what if this job is really what you enjoy doing. I suspect your anxiety will get worse if you work in a different field when you are happy in your current field.

    If your friend is correct and you are marking time until the 'right' moment comes it is a bit pointless. I understand your anxiety will cause you to doubt everything you do and staying where you are is an attractive prospect as it causes less stress and you know where you are. This is a difficult situation and needs much consideration.

    I am happy to talk with you about the process of changing careers but you do need to be sure this is what you want, not what you feel pressured into doing. You are the important person here.

    I may not be able to post for a couple of days as I have been unwell. I came here in case you had posted and needed a reply. Hopefully this illness will pass in a couple of days.

    Mary

  28. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    6 October 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary..

    Sorry for not replying sooner. My reason for being MIA.... I hate to admit it, but I relapsed into a hot mess of anxiety. Only the past few days I've been able to function properly again. I don't understand why this is happening. It just sucks sometimes dealing with this.

    I have been following your advice on pushing through with work though. Even though I am not working full time, the few days a week I work makes me feel exhausted for days. My anxiety takes up so much of my energy, it leaves me with no energy to socialise with my friends or do anything else. Did you feel this way when dealing with anxiety?

    How are you? Are you still unwell?

    Dove.

  29. TheLastSlice ofBread
    TheLastSlice ofBread avatar
    19 posts
    30 May 2021 in reply to Dove20

    I feel you.

    I also feel like since going back to normal

    Things have not been the same. People on a whole are more stressed .

    work seems to want more than ever and

    i feel like everyone is running on empty.

    anyone else finding this?

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