I wonder if I am the only person who has the thoughts that I do.

The thoughts about the state of the planet, the state of humankind, the state of the way we are. The way that I am.

One day or week I feel somewhat optimistic and hopeful. The next day or week I am feeling down. Where is the balance?

Is life as hard as we make it out to be? I certainly understand that a lot of people have things bad for whatever reason.

Let me make it very clear. I have nothing to complain about. Nothing. I have a job that pays me very well. Health benefits and a pension. I am healthy. My son is with me. I want for nothing.

So why is it that(here is the scary confession part) I have been searching the web today for “what to do to prepare for suicide”?

How’s that for a kick in the head?

I feel overwhelmed by…sadness and despair and I cannot for the life of me figure out why.

The truth is I am just tired of feeling like this. Up one day, down the next. Is this what the 30 years is going to be like?

I need to get this out as I am about ready to burst with the thoughts that are in my head. I need to know that I am not the only one that is feeling this way.

How can someone who has a very good life think this stuff? It isn’t right.

Is it the dysthymic disorder? I don’t know. I have been eating well and exercising for the past few weeks. The weather has been good so I have gotten out for some walks. I just cannot put my finger on what is causing this despair. This hopelessness.

I even feel guilty for putting this out there like this but I am not sure what else to do.

I feel shame for even thinking it.

So what do I do? One foot in front of the other for the time being. Will tomorrow be the same? I don’t know. Sometimes this feeling lasts for a few days, other times it passes in a day.

However looking up the stuff I did today on the web is not normal. I know that much.

I can barely breathe. The weight on my chest is so great.

Thanks for listening.


29 thoughts on “A Scary Confession

  1. You are not alone in this one – believe me – Like you I have it very good compared to other senior citizens but the sadness and depression sets in never the less. But my mood swings are due to not getting enough sunshine. The weather can be great but if it’s cloudy down goes my mood again. Other than waiting for the sun to come out what works for me is listening to upbeat music or just some silly songs. Try going around your home and just saying thank you for all that you have. Sure it sounds silly but try it *smile*

  2. A lot of people have moments/days/weeks like this… just not a lot of people talk about it. Try setting some small goals (i.e. losing 5 pounds, calling an old friend to chat once a week, reading an entire book). It feels good to reach goals, especailly if those goals can bring you closer to other people

  3. Mark, you are not abnormal and you should not be ashamed. You do need to see a professional. NOW. Or go to a church, even if you are not religious. They will welcome you. There are many reasons you may feel like this but you have to get in front of it. I think when people commit suicide they are literally out of their minds. I know you would not want to do that to anyone you love, especially your son. Please, please, please do whatever it takes to get help. Talking about it means you don’t want to do it and I think you are brave to blog about it. If you have my email in your records, email me with your number and I will call you. I’m sincere.

  4. We Portuguese have a word that is unique to their culture: Saudade (soodad). There is no easy English translation. Roughly translated it is a feeling of deep nostalgia and/or melancholy, a longing for an absent something or someone.
    I too am a single parent in my 40’s. I too have nothing to complain about. I am a generally happy person with a positive outlook on life. However, as I move through this world I sometimes (often?) feel the feeling of Soudade. We live in a society of couples and to be on your own means being on the outside looking in to one extent or another. But here’s the thing, that place you are today is fluid, you are just at the bottom of a wave and the current of life, the love of your son and your friends and your readers will carry you upward again, quickly and easily if you just have the faith to let it.
    There is not much I know for sure in this world but I do know this: if we keep putting one foot in front of the other we will get somewhere different. Somewhere better. Life is a beautifully fluid thing. This is a very comforting thought because it reminds us that something different, somewhere better is just downstream. Take care.

  5. Dearest Mark: You may have a chemical imbalance. I am saying this, because I have one as does my husband. We both take medication. You have courage to speak out and ask for help. Please, please, see a Psychiatrist, not a psychologist, because you need to have the right medicine too if they determine you have a need. There are many medications now days that do not have adverse side effects. It takes time to find the right one, the right balance, and one that works best with your physiology. I learned a long time ago, there is situational depression and chemical depression. When someone takes an anti-depressant and doesn’t feel improvement it is either because it is a mood disorder requiring a mood stabilizer that an anti-depressant can not address or may even make it worse. The other reason an anti-depressant may not work is because it is situational depression such as the loss of a loved one, a job loss, etc. That too may benefit from an anti-depressant for awhile, but eventually a med may not be necessary. You will not know though unless you reach out for medical help with a qualified doctor. My heart breaks for the pain you have shared that you are going through off and on. I wrote before, but I hear you reaching out to your readers for help. I care, and I hope with all my heart that you will call for help today, now, not next week, please, now.

  6. I recognize myself in your description. At the beginning of Feb. I fell into some dark place, again, and felt this great weight on my chest. I cried a lot, became paralyzed, stopped functioning but worked hard to hide it, and mentally beat myself up for being depressed “for no reason.” It wasn’t until I confessed my state of mind to a friend that things started to shift. She encouraged me to be compassionate toward myself, to accept that I am a sensitive person who sometimes has bouts of debilitating depression because I feel my feelings and let myself be sad. I tried just saying to myself, “yep, feeling sad, it’s ok, it’s the human condition” and made my goals really, really small, after about a week I started to feel a tiny bit better. Western society used to be much more accepting of “melancholy” than we are today. Our fast-paced, instant gratification world creates unrealistic expectations of “snapping out of it”. I think sometimes we need to grieve and feel the sadness in order to preserve our sanity. Google famous depressed people in history, read some Russian literature, watch a sad movie and let it out. You have the soul of a poet. Hang in there. Be kind to yourself, as nurturing as you would be to your son.

  7. Dear Mark, You are a brave young man, being open and honest about your feelings and raising your son. I really admire that you have taken on the role of caregiver. Please, please do not follow through with the searches you have done online. I lost my son to suicide in 1998 when he was only 16. Please do not leave your son alone in this world without you. You are a very important component in his life and suicide is contagious. I have struggled all my adult life with not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough etc. This past year I finally felt that I had to make a change and went to a life coach. Also I would recommend a natural supplement to add to your medications…it is called SAM-e. Also a full spectrum light for your home. Blessings on you tenfold. Keep your son in your heart.

  8. I believe you are suffering from depression. I have had the exact same feelings many times. I finally realized that along with taking care of my body, I must also take care of my mental health. I took action. I began exercising more, eating better, I toke control of my finances and realized the past is past. I have an empty nest and I hated it. But I have three wonderful kids and three wonderful grand kids. As I longed for the past, I was missing the now! And, I also realized I have a lot to look forward to as my children and grandchildren journey through life. It will be amazing! Try to focus on what you can do right now and tomorrow and concentrate on that. Think about the wonderful future your son has ahead of him and enjoy each precious moment.

    1. Yes if you look through other post I do suffer from Dysthymic Disorder. This has been clinically diagnosed. It is a low level depression that is always present.

      However some of these “episodes” seem much worse than a low level event.

      As far as my son goes, he is indeed wonderful. But he is 16 and does not have much use for dad these days:) I do wonder what life will be like after he goes away. I am not looking forward to that time.

  9. Is this depression? I wonder how depressed you’d be if you did throw it all up in the air and travel? Why not go WWOOFING or something? I bet you wouldnt need any medication if you were doing what calls to you. It seems to me that its a basic human urge to move, create, have excitement and company. Don’t medicate to conform to everyine elses idea of what your life should be. I’m saying this to myself as much as to you. I am not depressed, but feel in need of some adventure!

  10. I understand what your going through. I quit drugs over 15 years ago. I go up and down alot. So now I am writing alot.. It’s a book about my life from the day I was born. I am going to leave it to my kids after I’m dead so they can know who I really was. From doing that I found out alot about myself and it helps me alot during the down times.. I did alot of funny things over 50 years.Good and bad but it makes me smile.Your doing a great job on the web. Your never alone. Your a friend of mine.. Hang in there..SMILE

  11. Reading your post brought back a lot of memories for me. I found myself in a very similar position to you. I also found myself to be in the hold of the same system that you find yourself in. I went through a psychologist in your town who was less than helpful and seemed to have his own agenda. I ended up pushing for my own care and was connected to a psychiatrist through Telehealth which connects patients and psychiatrists over a television link at the local hospital. It took many types of medication to get me stabilized and many different dosages to find one that works. A fact little known by anyone not on antidepressants is that one of the side effects of the wrong ones it that they can increase your depression. Most General practitioners don’t have a realistic knowledge base to diagnose a depression and prescribe the most common pill on the market at the time or the one that they have samples for from the last drug rep visit. I was lucky to have a very open family doctor, but still had a battle to get to see a Psychiatrist.
    Psychologists will advocate against drugs as they cannot prescribe them. My feeling is that the only approach that worked for me was to use all of the above assets. The drugs helped, but I also had to talk about the problem and needed someone who could change medications as necessary. Another problem I had was the workplace I was in. I was a middle aged man working in a factory, we are not supposed to show weakness or talk about problems. We had people in my workplace who would actively antagonize anyone who showed weakness and be warned some of them are now in your workplace.
    Try to find a friend or a support group where you can talk about things, it really does help. Talk to your GP and find out if the drugs you are on are the right ones. Try to get to talk to a psychiatrist, they are the ones to diagnose any underlying organic issues. Find a psychologist or counselor who you feel comfortable with. You need all of these things to help you get better. It can and often does take time, there is no magic potion that will fix things overnight. There are ups and downs in any treatment. It takes a long time to change our brain chemistry to an abnormal state and it takes time to change the chemistry back to normal. I was on medication for a number of years and to be honest I hated the lack of emotion that happened, but that passed and I have been chemical free for quite a few years now.
    Please reach out to someone if you are having a rough time and don’t take a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you get the help and support yo need it WILL get better, it just doesn’t feel that way from the inside.
    Contact me if you need to talk, it really does help.

    1. Thanks very much for sharing your story. I too work in a factory surrounded by men who think they are …well I won’t say.

      I am getting to the point where I hate going to work because of some of the people I work with. They harass and make comments that would make peoples heart stop I am sure. Not a fun situation.

      Thanks again.

  12. Just started to read your blog, and I just want to say stay strong! I think a good way to be healthier is to ventilate your feelings on this blog just as you did. I will keep reading your posts they are awesome. Once again, stay strong!

  13. I feel this way often, as well. I’ve struggled with anxiety, and OCD most of my life, and, like you, depression–often for what seems like no reason at all. I have really high highs and really low lows. I’ve tried medications, but they just left me not feeling quite like myself….not feeling much of anything really.

    I will at times be completely overtaken with a sense of doom and panic. I think I’m having a heart attack. My heart races, I can’t breathe, I hyperventilate, feel dizzy, nauseous, and my scalp starts tingling. Really scary stuff.

    I’m learning how to deal with it without medications, however. I usually just distract my mind with some sort of activity. Even if I feel like it won’t help, I still busy myself with something else. And I pray. A lot.

    I’m not sure if you’re religious at all, but this is the passage I always read on loop when I feel this way:

    Isaiah 41:9-13
    I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So DO NOT FEAR, for I AM WITH YOU; DO NOT BE DISMAYED for I AM YOUR GOD. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. 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.

    Just to read something like this is so comforting to me. The older I get and the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know about this crazy mess called life. I’m seeing more and more everyday how small I and my problems are. The universe is so vast and mysterious, and to read a passage that tells me that the God who, I believe, created it all is there with me to HELP me and PROTECT me, is astounding.

    I hope you find some comfort in these words. They always help me. And really, as bad as it seems sometimes, I consider people like me and you to be lucky. We get to feel things more fully than most people do, even if those feelings are sometimes despair. As Bonnie Raitt once said: “I’d rather feel things in extreme than not at all.” I guess, I’m just learning to embrace that side of myself a bit more, and, when it gets too overwhelming, I’m learning how to make my way back over to the other side. Don’t let the despair make you lose your sense of wonder. I’m learning that life is so amazing, even in its darkest of moments.

    I really enjoy your blog. I hope something I’ve said offers you solace, even if only in the smallest way.

  14. Depression is a mental illness. It does not discriminate. It is not the same as the depression that someone feels when they experience a difficult life situation. It is the depression that interrupts a life without a reason. Unfortunately, there is much stigma around mental illness causing shame on behalf of the sufferers causing them to hide instead of seeking help. Depression is a treatable disorder. There are many good providers across the country, helping people manage depression and get back to living. Please see “I had a black dog, his name was Depression” a You Tube video by the World Health Organization, and then share it with everyone who loves you. Good luck.

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