Depression 2020: Another Year, Still Here

I feel more than a bit selfish starting a thread like this when it’ll probably just be me venting and whining, but… I’ve had a couple of drinks and there are probably less healthy things I could be doing right now, all things considered.

So. Things are still rough. In some ways, more difficult than before. I’ve been in regular therapy now for the past three months, and I do like my therapist, but each session just seems to reveal to me what a horribly damaged and irreparably broken individual I’ve become. And there doesn’t seem to be any sort of bottom in sight.

I find myself so ugly that I often have a hard time seeing my own reflection and not wanting to hurt myself because of it. And it’s something I’ve brought up a number of times in sessions, but that only seems to make things much worse. I think past events have maybe just damaged me too much in that regard. I’ve brought it up to friends, but the response tends to be “you have to love yourself before someone else will love you” which I find to be bleak, horrifying, and about the best argument against continuing on I can think of.

Anyway. I guess there isn’t much point to all of this. Just venting, and trying to distract myself from the void.

Vent away buddy. QT3 is here for you.

I’ve had a pretty shitty few years as well, so you are not alone.

Yes, vent away. A look around this subforum shows that you’re not alone in struggling with this.

I’m sorry for your struggle. I know how bleak things can look when you’re down in that well. You’re not alone, though, and you can climb back out, no matter how impossible it may look at times.

You’re a good person @anonymgeist and I’m so glad you’re here. Please don’t ever forget or lose sight of that ok? You matter to us and to me.

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. I had to and I did it at the age of 40. I could see where I was going - nowhere - and with no improvement in sight. Sure, everything is easier said than done and no matter the advice, it can always come off looking like so much crap platitude. We don’t all approach things the same way. For me, it worked. So, I know it’s possible. My eldest turned 40 recently and without a doubt was in the top ten of broken individuals of 2019. I’m trying to offer the same advice to him - reinvent yourself. My situation was dire, but different, so I can’t say with certainty that it works, but certainly, I think it could. How to do so? That obviously depends upon the person, so therapy should be instructive…but of course, it is often anything but. It’s such a personal thing that it’s near impossible for anyone to have the answers for anyone else. I haven’t the foggiest how you could reinvent yourself, but I think it’s worth a shot.

Posts like yours are some of my favorite. Two years since your last post, then you come out of nowhere and drop a really good one. :)

Re reinventing oneself, I don’t think my son has gone more than 15%-20% of the way towards reinventing himself yet, but it’s only been a few weeks. Trust me, he was as broken as it gets just three months ago. I have no idea if it will work for him and it’s a constant battle to remind him it’s possible.

I had forgotten about the magic of QT3 and then someone from a Slack thread passed, opening up reminisce including QT3. I really should be here more often. Thanks for the kind words.

It’s possible your therapist, or his methods, aren’t working for you and your situation. Ask your therapist what style or framework of therapy he uses. Cognitive behavioral? Dialectic behavioral? Has he taught you any skills you can use (besides self medicating with alcohol, or considering self harm) that can help you weather the really bad parts of each day? Do you practice those skills? What I mean is maybe it’s time to zoom in and focus on getting through each hour. You’re focused on getting through your whole life and of course that’s overwhelming. My heart goes out to you. If you want to talk more please reach out. I’m awesome at texting.

It’s cognitive behavioral therapy. And she’s given a number of techniques for working on harmful thoughts/beliefs–distancing myself from the thoughts, examining the physical feeling associated with them, looking for cognitive distortions, questioning the truthfulness of those beliefs, etc.–but the problem I encounter is that it’s too easy for me to slip beyond the event horizon, where it doesn’t matter, I was an idiot for thinking it could change, I don’t deserve to feel even this good, so on and so forth. My inner-monologue is just overwhelming. At that point, my only way through is to basically hit the reset button on the day (through alcohol, sleep, or both) and hope things are a bit more manageable in the morning.

And that’s tough enough to deal with as-is, but therapy has been dredging up all sorts of unprocessed stuff that just makes the future seem even more bleak and hopeless than it did before. It’s very difficult to just keep my head above water even when things (at least superficially) are “good” in my life.

I do appreciate the positive comments, and would like to respond to them in the way they deserve, but that might need to wait until I’m in a bit better of a place. Probably better not to get into an argument about “No, you’re wrong and just don’t understand how terrible I actually am.” But they do mean a lot to me. Thank you.

Don’t worry about responding to all the comments. Use this as your vent space, and feel free. You don’t have to spin a positive story or make us feel you’re okay, talk straight and air it out. If we can help with comments, that’s a bonus. Even if we can’t, know that you’re getting things off your chest, and that is truly an important thing to do.

Life focus is hard. Each decade brings a different challenge and shakes things up. I know that’s true for me and I’m guessing the same for you. Depression is a strange beast in that when you’re inside it, it feels like quicksand. And when you’re outside it, it feels … silly? Like, “why was I even depressed?!?” There isn’t a quick fix, but keep with therapy and as Fire suggested, re-evaluate who you are using if you thing that might help.

And keep venting. And keep trying.

Don’t even worry about it, my man. You just worry about you, we’re here to support you.

I have been in depression for most of my life if not all my life (looking deeper has been quite terrifying on that matter). I thought I got out of it when I was 25 yo, but I finally really got somewhat out of it last year.
Your description of that event horizon of dark thoughts, @anonymgeist, and the overwhelming inner-monologue is just spot on what I was subjected to.

The game changer for me was to find the right therapist. I never thought I could. Simply one that I wouldn’t hate would have sufficed I thought.
But I think of my new therapist not merely as a professional I like, but as a real friend. That’s what was a real surprise to me. I hope you find such a person, that seems to find the right words, the ones you are wanting to hear without suspecting it, at all.

It’s the recuring joke. “I used to pee in bed. Now with the help of my therapist, I pee in bed and I’m proud of it.” I used to have dark thoughts all the time. Now I have dark thoughts, but they pass by, and they don’t spiral me into that black hole of hate for myself and the whole world you described.

Just wanted to tell you it may hapen to you, even though it may sound foolish.

One thing I learned in that recovery process is that despite what I was thinking, I wasn’t expressing myself properly, and nobody (I really mean nobody) had any idea how dark my every waking moments were and how darker than black I really was inside.
I still contemplate sometimes that darkness and I still fear it. But the next moment I am glad to see my inability to be mesmerized and taken over by it anymore. I’m a dumb lambda man who thinks “life sucks, but it’s okay!” now.


That’s such stupid bullshit. I heard it so many times (or the variation, “you need to love yourself before you can love someone else”). Being filled with darkness sure tends to empty space around you, but thank god all of humanity isn’t formatted.

That hits the nail on the head for me. And beyond the difficulty of articulating my feelings, I’m also extremely reluctant to bring it up, and also probably downplay the severity of those feelings when talking to my therapist.

I see myself in the mirror and can’t escape the thought of “Ugly fucking monster. This is why you are alone. This is why you deserve to be alone.” Sometimes, I see my body and have such overwhelming negative feelings that I actively want to sabotage my life. I don’t deserve good things.

But then, I say these things to other people, and when they disagree or argue back, it just makes things worse. There doesn’t seem to be any escape other than self-medicating, going to sleep, and rolling the dice that when I wake up the next day, my mind will be on something else.

People often have an innate desire to “fix” someone when they express thoughts like this. But most of the time it’s better to just listen and let you vent and commiserate. So yeah I’m sorry you’re going through this and it sucks. Hang in there pal.

In a sense even your darkness brings good in the world, as your amazing art wouldn’t be half as interesting if it came from a happy go lucky place of professionalism and cheery positivity. The darkness shows a bit in your photographs and they are ever so sweet because of it. Like a blues song.

Go on, let it out. Air it out. Give it tone and voice and lets sing its song of mourning and longing and loathing.

I for one dont give a shit if you’re ugly or pretty or a pink hippo with chicken feet. To me, you are a valued member of this internet tribe of ours who makes amazeballs art. Those portraits you posted were very good indeed.

You keep doing you mate, just dont give up on it. You might even start enjoying being inside that skin from time to time ;)

You know, your body is one thing you CAN change about yourself if you are bothered so much by it. Join a gym. Better yet, just find a few exercises you can do in your own privacy. Take brisk walks, change your eating habits if you feel you’re overweight. You may feel better about yourself after some months of consistent exercise.

That being said, a lot of the times we focus on things that either aren’t really there or aren’t there to the degree we think are there. Or, are things that other people do not even notice or focus on.

I used to have major issues with speaking in groups (even in my own circle of friends; I had no problem one on one), thinking that people were constantly scrutinizing my words, or the way I spoke. It got really bad in my mid to late 20s when I’d get major anxiety attacks just before a work meeting and then feel the heat of embarrassment when I had to speak.

Eventually, I just came to terms with the fact that not all eyes are on me. I mean, yes, at that moment they are, but everyone’s life was not hinging on what I had to say. If I was putting forth a bad idea, no big deal that it got shot down, I wasn’t the only one who had the occasional bad idea. If I got a little nervous and stumbled, it wasn’t the end of the world, it happens to others as well. I realized that it was very probable that half the time I’m sure the thing on people’s minds during these meetings is when the damn thing was going to be over or when is lunch or a dozen other things that have nothing to do with ME.

Not sure that example is exactly analogous, but my point is that we are too hard on ourselves sometimes and focus so much on these things without taking into account that we’re not alone. Even people who appear to have it all have self-doubt; feel ugly at times; feel like they are not intelligent or charismatic enough; feel like complete failures. Here’s the thing about failure: you can always try again. And we can always improve ourselves if we put in the effort, but take it one day at a time and do it without the pressure and expectation and when you are totally ready to.

I really like the idea of reinventing oneself. Within reason - we can’t force ourselves to change into completely different people or change over night. Take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, no matter how mundane or useless it may seem. Focus on little things. Sometimes we have such GRAND expectations and then end up with major heartbreak or disappointment when things don’t go our way. Focus on the small pleasures, the little things that bring you some small measure of joy.

It’s fantastic that you’re STILL HERE.

I sympathize a lot with this. One thing that has helped me at dark periods of my life is just saying to myself: “Okay, what’s the smallest thing I can do today that will help me get to where I want to be?” Sometimes, that’s just remembering to take my medication, and that’s okay, because with enough of those little days, it becomes the kind of day I want to have, where I do all the things I want to do. The important thing to remember is it’s not a magic switch between depressed and not depressed, or a linear curve. Progress in depression is forever incremental, and you will slide back. The trick is to not let yourself slide back to where you started.