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Topic: Digging myself deeper and deeper into a hole

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Whits
    Whits avatar
    0 posts
    13 August 2019

    Hi all, I've never really used these kind of forums before so bare with me.

    Over the last few months I've managed to get myself into a pretty dark hole. I've taken months off work, putting pressure on my collegues and burning bridges, falling behind on all my bills, getting into debt and almost getting kicked out of my uni course twice.

    I can go weeks on end without leaving my apartment, which I live in alone, without having any contact with anyone.

    I'm lucky enough to have a great support network, but most of the time I have no interest in seeing anyone or doing anything.

    Most of the time I'm not even depressed or anxious, just numb. I drink too much, sleep too much and spend most of my time watching movies and avoiding the world.

    I honestly just don't know how to get myself out of this. I'm now so anxious about going back to work in an office where in sure there has been eye rolls and comments made about my extensive time off and unreliability.

    I've let friends down on many important occasions by cancelling on them and I can feel them losing their patience with me. I just feel like a broken record.

    I'm on meds and starting to see a new counsellor next week, but my self destructive patterns have become so severe I just can't see how to get out of this.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

  2. Swan.13
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    Swan.13 avatar
    10 posts
    14 August 2019 in reply to Whits
    Hi Whits,

    Firstly, welcome to the forums! I’m glad you’ve been able to reach out. It sounds like you feel really withdrawn at the moment and confused as to how to get yourself out of this dark place. I can imagine it would feel pretty overwhelming as it’s often hard to know where to start. In saying that, it sounds like you’re already on track to getting some help by seeing a counsellor. This is definitely something to be proud of as it’s often not easy to take that first step and you’ve managed to do so on your own.

    I think it’s important to have some compassion towards yourself for taking some time off work and missing some important occasions with friends. I know it’s not ideal, but you didn’t choose to feel this way. In the same way that you learnt to rely on these “self-destructive” patterns over time, you can work towards unlearning them with a counsellor or psychologist. It definitely is possible and I’m holding that hope for you.

    I know you’re worried about your colleagues’ reactions when returning to work and you fear that your friends are losing their patience with you, but this is often something that we put on ourselves. What if the opposite were true? It’s possible that people might have the opposite reaction once they recognise, like I have, that you’re putting in an effort to make some positive changes in your life.

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve got a great support network. While you may not feel like seeing them now, you know that you can turn to them once you start making progress.

    I get a strong impression that you do want to make some positive changes in your life … what do you hope to work towards?
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Oscar93
    Oscar93 avatar
    0 posts
    15 August 2019 in reply to Whits

    Hi Whit

    There's not much I can say right now apart from that I understand the feelings you've described. I've been having a hard time as well lately with feeling isolated and that I'm loosing control over work & uni.

    I've signed up to the BB forums hoping that it will be the gradual push that I need to reach out and ask for help. I hope that it has the same benefit for you.

    Good luck with your first counseling session. I read a nice quote today along the lines of 'half of the key to success is just turning up'.


    1 person found this helpful
  4. White Rose
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    861 posts
    15 August 2019 in reply to Whits

    Dear Whits

    Hello and welcome to the forum. I think it's a great step forward to ask for help here as this is not an easy thing to do. Well done on your first step.

    You have also arranged to have counselling and that is also a good step. May I ask if you are seeing this counsellor for the first time or is this the first time you have made an appointment with a counsellor. I think I am unsure if you have seen a counsellor before. Not that it makes any difference so long as you are getting some help.

    You do sound very unhappy with life. You mentioned self destruction and this can be difficult to by pass. I hope you will keep your appointment and not allow your feelings to stop you from going. It will be a big effort to go but the reward in terms of starting to get well again are very worthwhile.

    In any work situation there are people who have little sympathy for others but on the whole workplaces are tolerant of someone who is unwell. How would you feel about a work colleague who the same amount of time off as you? Quite probably you would try to support that person. Please allow your colleagues to support you when you return. You do not need to tell them all your story but think what you would like them to know. That will be enough.

    I see you are taking medication. How is this going? Do you feel any better? Meds can take up to six weeks to fully kick in though there should be some incremental improvement. I presume your GP prescribed this. Have you made a time to go back and discuss how well you are travelling?

    Getting out of your home once a day is good ambition which sadly we do not always accomplish. I know when I was very unwell I would take a sickie and stay in bed. I just could not face the thought of getting dressed and getting on the train. My manager was not the most helpful but really had no choice as I could always produce a sick note from the psychiatrist I saw if it was required. My colleagues were very supportive and that helped me to continue going to work.

    Take whatever help is offered. Many people do not really understand depression, which is what I presume you are managing. You may like to read about it yourself. Beyondblue has good information on this which you can find under The Facts at the top of the page. I think it would help to explore this and perhaps show some of the material to your friends and colleagues. Any illness is managed more constructively once we know what is wrong and why.


  5. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    172 posts
    15 August 2019 in reply to Whits

    Hi Whits

    There's a massive difference between managing life and managing life with mental health issues. I've been on both sides of the fence and the difference is significant. It's great that you've employed a co-manager (counselor), a truly positive move in the way of guidance and self-understanding.

    When I speak of a significant difference, for a start how many people do you know who strive to consciously manage their thoughts, their beliefs and inner chemistry? Personally, I don't know too many average folk who do this or feel there is a need to do this. By the way, I don't believe I know anyone who was consciously taught to manage specific aspects of their identity growing up. How we identify our self in relation to our beliefs, experiences, others around us, our inner chemistry and so on, should be a fundamental part of our education as kids but unfortunately it's not. We're left to wing it, keeping our fingers crossed when it comes to 'going with the flow' or even finding that elusive flow in the first place.

    With little skill acquired in relation to living through our most authentic self and with coping strategies that can lead us even further away from this self, the question can become 'How did I get here?' or depending on how dark things become 'Where did the light go?' I'm a firm believer when it comes to the importance of self understanding, otherwise known as 'what makes us tick in the way of mind, body and spirit' (our energetic sense of connection to life). A thirst for understanding sees us coming to know our self in incredible ways. When we come to know our self better than he or she who does not possess such a longing, the lights begin to appear on an evolutionary path scattered with wisdom.

    To know oneself is a skill. As you undertake skill development of this nature, rest assured that those who judge you in whatever way they see fit may never be so courageous as to step foot upon the path you are taking. This is the path taken by great people, the one that brings them to discovering their authentic self. And, yes, it can be torturous at times.

    Take care and all the best regarding the appointment next week

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