How Do You Keep Going When Life Keeps Getting You Down?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by threedogs, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    O.K., this is less a question than a need to rant/commiserate and maybe cry a little.

    Trying to stay focused and make a plan for my education. Feeling older by the minute these days, and this is why, I think:

    This year alone, I've had three people who have been important in my life, pass away.

    First was the shock to discover that a dear friend (I mostly kept in contact w/her w/a phone calls every few months or so), who had a big influence on my life, and who I knew for about 30 yrs, passed away before Easter this year. In fact, it was the day before my birthday.

    I knew she had been dx'd w/Alzheimer's (she did NOT even know who I was the last time I called :sorry:, but tried to hide it), but didn't know she was in a car accident a few months previous to her death. She suffered terribly the month before her death, especially - and i felt at such a loss for not even knowing .. until after.

    Then my ex-boyfriend (we actually remained friends, talked everyday, and helped me & my kids many, many times) passed away shortly after getting the shocking news that he had leukemia. He & I were not right as a couple, but he had many, many very good qualities, and he was important to me, and to my kids.

    That was in June.

    O.K., I'm not through yet-

    My ex-husband was dx'd with cancer many years ago. Been divorced for what now seems like forever.

    He was doing well for a long time - then took a turn for the worse this past summer. To support my kids, I even visited him a couple of times (was cautious, as I didn't need to have any bad memories triggered at this point in my life). In fact, we thought he was going to die the same week my ex-boyfriend died, but his first wife & daughter fr that marriage (both nurses) discovered he was being over-medicated. He came out of it, was still ill, but was doing better...

    ... until a couple of wks ago, when he passed away. Two of my four kids were right there when he died, which says a lot, since we had such a difficult past w/him - we all loved him so much, but due to a mental illness, he was abusive. Makes it easier to understand, but doesn't totally erase the past, nor does it heal all of the wounds. I've tried to remember the good, and put the bad behind me, and my kids have all dealt w/it in their own ways - all so very honorable, I must say, despite the pain they experienced in the past.

    And now, my dear, sweet, heart-of-my-heart companion, my angel, my oldest of my three dogs, who was struggling with health issues for a couple of yrs, took a turn for the worse literally overnight last week. Shiloh (part Border Collie, possibly part Bernese Mountain dog, maybe some retriever also - and def part human!) declined so rapidly there was no doubt that I had to have him put down. No matter how much I've tried to prepare myself for this day (years actually), there is no way to prepare for it. My son & I (thank God he was here, because I don't know how I'd do it all by myself) took him to the vet immediately when they opened in the morning (was up with him all night), and found out he was totally blind -and that she suspected cancer. He had gone completely blind (his eyesight had been getting progressively worse for the past few months, was deaf, and had trouble getting up the stairs to my apt.) Due to my finances, (or lack of, I should say) I didn't have the money for a vet visit (they require pmt immediately) previous to this; we just tried to make his life as comfortable as possible. There was nothing else I could do. :(

    Anyway, when we returned that morning, he could no longer stand up, but that didn't stop him from constantly trying to. We did every thing we could to see if we could make him more comfortable, but when he finally started to cry out - I knew it was time.

    So - trying hard to not be depressed (I have my moments, but that's to be expected), not let the other stress factors get to me (yeah, there's more - lack of enough money for just plain survival, fr my disability, harassment from landlord who lives/works/is ALWAY here - just steps fr my door, etc.), cherish the fact that my four young-adult kids are totally amazing and supportive - and not let this throw another kink in my educational goals. I have an annoying disability that can get worse under stress - so I also need to take care of my health, as best I can. And I have to find some way, despite my age, despite my disability, despite the rotten economy, to make more money so I can at least take care of these two remaining pals I have - and not end up under a bridge somewhere. That's why I need, now, even more than ever, to keep going with my Bachelor's and, hopefully, on to my Master's (if needed).

    Well now, wasn't this was a long, long rant/wail/example of the poor-me's!?!

    threedogs - w/one of the three over Rainbow Bridge
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2010
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I'm so sorry. Try to treat yourself with kindness.
  3. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I am so sorry to hear of these challenges. My prayers are with you and your family.
  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

    Isaiah 41:13 "For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

    Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
  5. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I am sorry for all your troubles. You should talk to your Doctor about antidepressents and therapy.

  6. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Thanks so much, Kizmet. Yes, I'm doing that, at least trying to. Just needed to rant a bit... toughest was saying goodbye to my Shiloh (my pal). I knew the day was coming, but honestly, no matter how I tried, I couldn't prepare myself for that inevitable day.

    My kids are the greatest, though. Each has been a great support for me - my youngest, who lives out of state, sent me money for the vet bill - and surprised me w/an order of delivery food that night, because "you need this right now.." One of my sons was right there with me the whole time. Amazing. I'm very lucky - very blessed.

    Time heals - just needed to rant a bit.
  7. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Thank you for those three big HUGS - and they are truly hugs for me right now. He's always with me, even more so through times of strife (and boy, I've had my share - yet - not even a drop in comparison to so many in this world).

    Very comforting - thanks, M.C.
  8. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Ouch. I know you must have meant well - but mourning is a natural state after losing loved ones (and the loss of a pet is definitely losing a loved one). If depression continues for an extended time, then, yes, mourning has gone beyond the normal state and one should consider a chemical imbalance (which very well could result after a succession of hard-knocks).

    I'll be fine. Time, and grace, is a fine healer.

    In the past, my health problems & financial difficulties (along with me ignoring the call to move on fr the school I was attending) - well, it just kind of sucked the life out of my love of learning - for awhile. But I'm just going to pick myself up & keep going - I have to. I'm getting too old(ER) to let my goals & dreams die out.

    In fact, I'm psyched because I'm going to an open house at UMass Boston with a friend tomorrow ... just in case I change my mind.. again.. about where I want to attend and/or my major... again. :D Can't wait - going to line up my questions so I don't forget.
  9. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I know you mean well, so my next comment isn't directed towards you, rather, what you just wrote. I can not think of very many things that are worse than those suggestions.
  10. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Many people us antidepressents after the death of a loved one. Ad's and therapy are not bad. It turns out this person is not interested, but many can benefit from the wonders of modern technology. So I suggested it thinking she was distraught. I stand by my suggestion. I turns it is not for her as she says, but for many others SSRI's are necessary.

    I wish her the best. But in times of great distress, it does not hurt to speak with a Doctor.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2010
  11. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I wonder what Chip thinks about your statement. If I recall correctly, he is a therapist himself. So are you saying SSR's and therapy are a bad thing? Or just in this case?

  12. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I'm flattered that Abner thinks I'm a therapist, but I'm not a licensed therapist or counselor. I do work as a volunteer peer counselor in various capacities, and I am a nationally certified bodyworker, with additional postprofessional training relating to sexual abuse and trauma, and I have worked, as part of my body-based healing training, with abuse and trauma survivors in cooperation with a licensed therapist and been involved in development and implementation of treatment plans for these patients. But that gives me no professional credentials as a psychotherapist.

    People are entitled to their opinions, but I think MC's comment about the value of therapy and antidepressants is, in my opinion, a far worse suggestion than what Abner originally said. Anyone who's read my writings here or in other places on health-related issues will know that I believe that antidepressants (and most other drugs) are grossly overprescribed. Yet I've seen firsthand in the clients I've worked with, and with the people I've been involved in peer counseling with, on the benefits of antidepressants, and, most certainly, on the benefits of good psychotherapy.

    Depression is real and is a genuine psychological disorder that can be caused by biochemical imbalances. Simply telling someone "feel better" or "get over it" isn't remotely effective for someone who is genuinely depressed. Therapy, however, can work wonders... and when it takes time, or when the depression is so debilitating that the patient is simply unable to function, antidepressants can be an important and necessary "bridge" to allow the patient to function (and, in some cases, to keep from harming him/herself) until the therapy can have time to really solve the problem.

    I'd hope that people would keep an open mind about such things and not make blanket statements about the value or lack thereof.
  13. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

  14. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    I appreciate that MC decided to start a new thread on this. But since I happen to be the OP, I thought I'd add a bit of an explanation of my reaction to Abner here.

    I also was responding to what you said - not you in particular. Maybe not even that - it was the way you said it. Reminded me of the old joke about the guy who went on vacation & asked a friend to watch his cat.

    "How is Fluffy doing?" he asks. Friend responds, "He died." His reaction, naturally is shock.

    "What???!! Oh no - look, how could you tell me that... in that way? At the very least, you could have told me that Fluffy was on the roof... and you were trying to get him down. Next time I called, you could have said, Fluffy fell and we did all we could have to help him, but there was nothing we could have done. Don't ever shock someone like that!!" Friend responds that he is sorry... "It's O.K., I understand... how's my Grandma doing?"

    "She's up on the roof..."


    I fully agree that medication and/or DECENT counseling is very important for the process of healing. No two people are alike, so I believe that everyone's needed pathway might be different. However, in the written world of the Internet, just saying 'get medication & counseling' can come off as ... cold.

    I realize that doesn't mean it was your intention, but I thought I'd share that with you.

    Just my opinion.
  15. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I am sorry that I came off as cold, that was definitely not my intention. I worried about you and rushed an answer without expounding further.

    I apologize,

  16. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Thank you. It's hard to see the intentions through cyberspace, sometimes. Doing better. Will always miss my pal, of course.
  17. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I hear ya. I had headstones made for my two Akitas when they passed away. My white male Akita was just like the legendary Hachiko. See link:

    Akita Hachiko

    I also had a pinto Akita (Black and white). Very loyal dogs.

  18. KariS

    KariS New Member

    Thers is a difference between mourning and missing. I know some of what you are going through (mother died ~6 years ago, father 3 years ago, daughter 2 years ago and elderly border collie is going down hill). I love(d) them all, and miss them (will miss the dog). I think back on the good times and the joyous times and not what I could have/should have done different (didn't/probalby wouldn't).
  19. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Akita's are beautiful dogs. Gorgeous, as a matter of fact.

    I actually (gulp - never thought I'd do this, and I certainly couldn't afford it!) requested his ashes (haven't received this yet) and plan to have a little ceremony - maybe by myself, as the kids might think I'm crazy - to send him out to sea. He loved the beach (insanely loved it, but it made his health condition worse, so we couldn't visit as he got older), and as he got older, I thought about doing this.
  20. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    I'm so, so sorry to hear about your losses. It's tough. Tougher when it's humans (as bad as the loss is w/my dog, we fully realize that their life span is shorter than ours).

    My dear friend who passed away in April lost her youngest child when he was eighteen years old. That was the worst - she told me the only way she was able to continue, to keep from going insane was her faith in God. That woman was (is!) amazing - I know she's praying for me, even now. She made friends - sincere, honest friends because of how loving she was - with just about everyone she met. She was originally from Ireland, lived here half the yr, and back in Ireland for the other half - I remember a conversation about how she invited the taxi-driver to her place in Ireland. Lol - I think he went over there, too.

    Yes - I'm past the mourning stages for these losses now, including for my Shiloh, and am remembering the good times.

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