I think I know what it is...
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|Fri, 01-22-2010 - 11:43pm|
Hello Everyone and Happy New Year! (let's hope that it will bring at least SOME happiness)-
I've been not only posting on this board for some time now but I recently tried to respond to some posts as well. I'm always concerned that I may not have much to offer someone in terms of advise because I am so lost myself. I can only hope that my perspective helps a bit.
I titled this post "I know what it is" because I believe that I may be onto "something" in regards to my miserably low self-esteem and symptoms of depression- both, I've been
struggling with for over a year now. I'm sort of hoping here that after reading my thoughts, you could provide me with your feedback and perspective, especially you- wonderful moderators. I do apologize in advance for its length and style as I am not a good writer so please, bear with me....Also, I am not looking for sympathy. Believe me, I've made my bed, I must lie in it.
First of all, 2009 was a horrible year for me and again, I do believe that because of all the things that happened to me, kind of back to back, bam bam bam. They were all the culprit of what became the snowball effect that eventually led to my demise (sounds dramatic, I know).
Okay, are you ready?
In late 2008 I've lost my 8th(!) job just being in my late 20s. It was a waitressing job and 8/10 of waitressing jobs I've held in about 10 yrs. Nice track record, huh? Let me be even more clear about it, what I mean by lost is fired. I was given the boot AGAIN. This time, it was kind of for the very same reason I was fired from previous jobs in restaurants- my attitude. No one has really cited it as the reason but as soon as "situation" arises and I speak up my mind, more often than not, shortly after I find out that I've been canned.
For those who have never waited tables, things that "come up" are usually scheduling conflicts, unfairness, someone getting better shifts, you know, politics. Sometimes actual customers complaint about your service and boom, you're gone. Sometimes I think it's just easy to get fired from restaurants because it is a fickle industry but I still believe that having the kind of track record I hold is still unusual. I think. Some of my friends managed to stay at the same place for 5+ years and despite of ups and downs, they keep plugging away.
The loss of my waitressing job made me severely depressed for weeks and even after that, I never fully recovered because the following events occurred: I was told by my boyfriend that I am a real loser who cannot keep a job (this really did me in because I totally support his view), this notion was confirmed by a friend- not in those words but she pretty much agreed that something isn't "normal" about constantly getting fired for nothing "that bad". Then my cat died and I learned that one of my neighbors started spreading rumors about me, calling me crazy and weird. It didn't help that I already had a strained relationship with my neighbors because I am not very social when it comes to being a neighbor so they probably support the idea that I am this crazy chick.
All this in a span of 12 months. It may not sound like a lot but believe me, I never knew what anxiety/depression was until this past year. It kind of hit me one day that I "really am a loser who can't keep a job, has big mouth, is perceived in a worse way than I really am" and it's all my fault. I've read about negative self talk and how it can effect the brain and our self belief but guess what, what do you do when you actually DO believe that all of those negative things about yourself ARE true?
So I started hating myself for months, drowning in self pity, self loathing, short of suicide. I never drank, did drugs or did anything remotely destructive in my life so being sober and clean certainly did not help a mind that went out of control. Honestly, sometimes I think that it would have been easier on me if I was the type to self-medicate, days would pass by quicker instead of sitting on my couch everyday and over thinking stuff. Because that was precisely what I did for a year. I started collecting unemployment and because the money I was collecting was almost the same as what I was earning prior, I saw no reason to seek employment. To boot, I was spiraling into deep depression, so it made "sense" that I stayed at home and drowned in my tears. After all, I was losing my mind, literally and figuratively, I let myself go physically, went days without showering and only managed to pull myself together when my parents came over which was every other weekend. I cannot believe that I've spent an entire year in that state. Then again, I sort of have been able to pull off the functioning mode, getting up in the morning, feeding the fish, taking out the trash, watching some tv, eating little meals, you know the joyless existence, yet not exactly suicidal.
As things couldn't get any worse, somewhere around late 2008 I've developed physical symptoms of depression as a result of my body slowly shutting down- ear ringing, terrible migraines, tingling and numbness, joint pain, you name it, I had it.
A few weeks ago, I decided that I must start somewhere if there;s going to be any progress in my recovery so I decided on seeing a therapist. I hope that I've made the right decision because so far he is costing me my 401K money as I don't have health insurance.
Back to the matter at hand, I truly believe that my depression is rooted in the fact that I have finally, some 20 years after i was born, came to the realization that most of my problems stem from some kind of flawed personality I possess and a warped way of behaving. I mean, the jobs I've lost over the years, the inability to thrive in a work environment, I somehow get myself in these situations where I rock the boat or something.
I am a very attractive girl so I know ppl are not repulsed by me but I think that there;s something that turns them off about me. Maybe it's that I've always tried to act like I'm confident because deep down I never had the proper amount of self esteem, something that I should thank my mother who always criticized my every move. I became hyper sensitive about how others perceive me and tried to desperately fit in every situation, whether it was a job or a social setting. Somwhow that backfired because here I am, a complete mess.
Besides the poor job track record, I've been having the problems with my neighbors. I know I've written about this on here before. It pretty much goes like this: I have a beautiful condo, I mean a truly great place. I own it, it is my mortgage, I've been killing myself trying to pay my bills on time. I've lived in it for 2 years. Can't really sell it right right now, with the way the real estate market has been. The first year was fantastic, I was so proud to own this place, I came home every night, lit candles and truly enjoyed the space. I never became friendly with the neighbors aside from the occasional hello, but on most part I tried to separate myself from them because I started noticing how clique-key they were all becoming. You know, the congregating on the corner, talking to one another, shoveling each others driveways. It almost did not bother me until the incident with the cat. I mean, I was traumatized after I saw him getting killed. He got ran over by a car by someone in my neighborhood but no one ever came forward and I had no leads. Mentally I collapsed. I started withdrawing even more, I probably stopped even saying hello to them because for a while there I just sat at my condo in utter shock and mourning. I probably cried for weeks on end. My boyfriend kept telling me no one does this over a cat but deep down I knew there was more to it. The lost jobs, the self pity, confusion, the neighbors and their stares.
Then I heard that a few of the families that live on my block don't like me. I heard it with my own ears because I had my windows open. I heard snippets like: "oh yeah, her... don't really care about her...seems crazy or something...weird....hey, did yo hear, her cat got ran over...ha ha....she deserved it stuck up bitch...."
I should sum this up before I write 100 more sentences but can you see how these experiences can lead to my depression? I am not sure, however, if this is my complete inability to process these events in a more constructive way, lack of coping skills or if I really made it all happen on my own. I mean, I did not cause my cat to die, I'm sure, but not being overly friendly to my neighbors seems to made me pay the price because they interpreted it as a character flaw. After hearing such negative things about myself, espacially that they perceive me as weird, my self esteem went from 3 to 0. Whatever was left from it, it dissapeared in an instant. And the irony of it is that I did develop some weird behaviors as a result. I stopped getting my mail during the day out of fear from having to face them, I barely get out of the house for the same reason and I am paranoid that they're talking about me each time I hear a conversation coming from the outside.
My fingers hurt from typing. What do you recon?