Social Question

CardAngel's avatar

When you have nothing, no hope, are in constant pain and have tried everything but nothing helps, and are facing a bleak future with low quality of life, should you still hold on?

Asked by CardAngel (899 points ) September 11th, 2012

I feel like I am at the end of my rope and I’ve been there for a very long time.

I’ve tried counseling for years with several therapists, every antidepressant and combination, and the depression is still so deep, so so deep I feel buried, worthless and hopeless.

I am in physical pain, I can’t work and have been through physical therapy and aqua therapy, pain management injections, and many, many medications but I’m still in agonizing pain.

I am unable to take care of myself and my apartment adequately, I have no one to help me, no friends or family, no money to hire anyone and no social services are available to help me. I’ve searched and searched for help but there is none.

I was denied disability, denied SSI, and I have appealed but the hearing won’t be until April 2013. I was told I probably will be denied again.

Since my husband left me, I am barely surviving on the spousal support. When the divorce finalizes the amount will be half of what I get now. His employer may close due to state cuts and, if that happens, I will get nothing. He is legally blind so it will be difficult for him to find work. He gets disability but I don’t know if I will be entitled to anything of that. I will end up homeless without any income.

I’m so devasted over my 19 year marriage ending. I vowed to love him forever, and I still do love him, so I know I will always be alone from now on.

I’ve heard people say to not give up 5 minutes before the miracle, but I don’t know if one is coming for me. Bad things keep happening to me. New illnesses and challenges I can’t meet, things I haven’t mentioned. I don’t think I can take any more.

I want to hold on. Please tell me how.

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20 Answers

marinelife's avatar

You should try to hold on. It is not a good idea to make decisions when you are in a state of depression.

Your situation does indeed sound dire. I am sorry that this is happening to you.

Can you find the strength to consider volunteering? Helping others would get your mind off your troubles and onto other things. It would get you out among people, which would be good. And it would make you feel better.

It is hard to think of when you are in as difficult a position as you are in, but do you have any blessings that you could be thankful for? Even little ones? If so, you can spend some times each day being thankful for what you can be thankful for.

Spend some time each day outside enjoying the sunshine or the rain and nature.

Take care. I care about you.

Shippy's avatar

I can relate to all you say. All I can say is, take it one day at a time. Don’t look as yourself as unable to take care of your home, but rather you can do what you can. Try and take a walk each day, even if it is small, and bath and wash your hair. Stay in touch with people who do not judge you and encourage you. Reach to all the help you can. I was so depressed I did not leave my apartment for a year. It was a like a black hole. I am still here, I didn’t have funds for medication, nor any other help. Days I would go hungry as I could not get out to buy food. I am worth fighting for, I will NOT let this win. I want to be happy, healthy and full of fun again, so that is what keeps me alive. And I will you can bet on it. So will you.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I am sorry you are going through such rough times now. It sounds like you are up against the wall. When that happens I say “Move sideways”.
Can you walk? Exercise is free and it will help you more than you can imagine. Do the same route every day and time yourself. Same start time, same place, rain or shine. You will be noticed – in a good way.
Can you visit the library? Again, vow to be consistent. Same days of the week at the same times. You will begin to recognize regulars and they will begin to recognize you.
The important thing is to move – physically and mentally.

wundayatta's avatar

When I was where you are, my psychiatrist told me what @marinelife said. Don’t make any major decisions for three months. You can not make a decision you really mean while depressed. You make a depression decision, which is not one you would make if not depressed.

You don’t want to commit suicide. You’ve said as much. But the problem is that the pain becomes unbearable and when you can’t see an end to it, you just don’t know how much longer you can hold on.

I found that this realization that I didn’t want to die, I just wanted the pain to stop, was important to me. It made me realize I was looking for a cure, and death wasn’t a very helpful cure.

Do you exercise? You need at least an hour a day of some kind of exercise. More if you can get yourself to do it. You need to do whatever your body will let you do.

There are many other things that will help. You should seek out volunteer opportunities. Helping others gives us purpose. That makes a difference. Volunteering will also give you a way to make friends.

Sleep properly. Go to bed at the same time each night. Go to bed in bed. Don’t fall asleep in front of the TV or with the TV on. The TV is a depressant. It shows too many horrible things and stimulates your brain in the wrong way for health.

There are hundreds of different med combinations for depression. You’ve gone through how many? Five? Ten? A dozen? Most people I know from my depression group have gone through a dozen or so meds before finding something that worked. Some have gone through more than twenty. Depression treatment is not an exact science. Keep at it. There is something that will work for you that you can tolerate. Discuss this with your psychiatrist. If your psychiatrist seems obstructive, get another one. Even if you are on Medicaid, you can have a choice, unless you live way out in the middle of nowhere. Even then, stay with it.

And therapists are the same. Not every therapist is good for you. You have to keep trying to find one that will work for you. That’s why you need to give it three more months. You need time to work on each of these issues. You may need to give it more time. This stuff is so complicated. And you’re in no condition to really push it, so you need to give yourself extra time to fix things.

This isn’t science, but I have a feeling that if I can be fixed and if the people in my group who were much worse off than I was can be fixed, than anyone can be fixed, including you.

And that’s the last thing I would recommend: Find a group of people like you. go to the Depression and Bipolar Assn. website and look for a group in your area. I found that meeting with people who understood me was very helpful. I discovered I wasn’t alone. I got some good ideas. I got to feel liked and even appreciated. I mean, it may not be much to be liked by a bunch of people with low self esteem, except that for some reason, I could believe them, when I couldn’t believe anyone else.

And finally, stick around fluther. Get involved in other questions. Take your mind off your troubles. Get involved in other people’s troubles. It’s addictive and fun and it helps. These people helped save my life. Perhaps they can help you, too. Worth a shot.

Good luck.

LuckyGuy's avatar

^ This advice is gold. Read it again. (His name and high lurve should tell you something.)

Nullo's avatar

Talk to your pastor.

Cruiser's avatar

You do need to hold on but to the right things. For now what I hear in your words is you are holding on to a lot of pain and painful things in your life. Consider living in the now, this very moment. Take inventory of this very moment for what it is to you free of yesterdays events and problems and also free from tomorrows worries. It is hard to do at first but if you can strip away all those past and future burdens your load is much much lighter. You do have choices albeit limited, but reach out to clergy, friends, neighbors and put your life in their hands and let people help you. Life is crazy but wonderful in many ways. Take inventory of what you do have no matter how little it is. I would also strongly recommend looking into wellness programs such as yoga and meditation. Both are free to do and I know can bring a much better quality to your physical being and mental state of mind.

Don’t give, hold on but do let go of all those negative painful things in your past and let new positive people into your life.

nikipedia's avatar

There is a lot of good advice here. I just wanted to add one thing—although I’m not an expert, I’ve heard that it is just standard practice to deny disability applications on the first try. The appeal may not be as hopeless as you think.

bkcunningham's avatar

Why would you be denied social services, @CardAngel? I’m not referring to disability benefits but other social service benefits based on income. There are counseling services available to you as well as food, medical and rental assistance; all based on your income.

CWOTUS's avatar

I absolutely don’t want to make light of your situation, because it does sound pretty bleak. But I know that you’re a fan of Dorothy Parker, so perhaps you already know that she survived four suicide attempts. (I didn’t know that, myself, until I went looking for the wording below.)

Resumé
——————
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.

Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

- Dorothy Parker

I finally understand the reason for the title.

bkcunningham's avatar

Also, what @nikipedia said about the disability claims is what I’ve heard from people my entire life. Sometimes it may even take three tries. Do you have an attorney? They take your case and help without requiring a fee until your claim is accepted.

judochop's avatar

Always hold on. Always. No matter what.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Firstly, please find a free program in your area for support groups. Check out NAMI, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, or if you prefer your local religious institution. It sounds like depression to me which makes everything negative.

You MUST find something to wake up for every single day whether it’s another person, a cat, or the bird outside your window singing in a ray of light. Count your blessings, realize there are people in the world who would LOVE to have your problems…there’s always someone worse off than yourself.

As people mentioned above, find a disability attorney who will take a percentage only if you win your case. Good luck to you, make sure to get some support!!

janbb's avatar

I am so sorry you are in all this physical and mental pain.

Judi's avatar

I haven’t read all the posts so excuse me if I repeat anything.
First, I want to acknowledge that your situation totally sucks. Divorce sucks, pain sucks, loneliness sucks and you have every reason to feel despair. I know first hand how difficult fighting for SSI is. When I was fighting for my son I often wondered how the heck a person with a mental illness coped without an advocate parent. The fact that you have no one who is healthy with objectivity to help you is heart wrenching.
The fact that you posted this indicates to me that you are searching for a sliver of hope. That’s a positive sign.
I don’t know if you have connected with your local NAMI chapter but they might be able to provide you with some help as it pertains to your legal (SSI) and financial situations. They have a great peer to peer program where people who have fought your same struggles can help you navigate the system.
So for the hope. My sons father gave up and committed suacide When he was 4. He too was afflicted with severe bipolar and frankly this mom worried if he would survive to adulthood. The day before his 21st birthday, he was admitted to the hospital.
It’s a long story, but we are lucky we got him help before he killed himself and someone else. He was refused SSI (they refuse everyone on the first request) and he was denied when we requested a review. We appealed and after 3 years it was finally granted. Finally, he could get the intense treatment he needed.
Today, he is no longer on SSI. He just got a promotion with a great company that provided full benefits from day one. He just closed escrow on his first home and is married with his second baby on the way. He still struggles, but he has a great support system that he set up himself. (I’m 1200 miles away.)
You never really know what tomorrow would bring. 10 years ago I was preparing myself for the possibility that my son would be dead by now. Today there is hope and a future.

wundayatta's avatar

@JudI What a great story. Thanks for sharing!

Judi's avatar

@wundayatta, It’s amazing to think that I’ve been on fluther so long that some people here might remember me mentioning those tough days!

wundayatta's avatar

I know, right? We’ve seen each other through some very serious, life-threatening times.

filmfann's avatar

There have been times in my life where things were so wonderful I have openly expressed how glad I am that I didn’t commit suicide when I was younger, which was something constantly on my mind.
Find the things that bring you joy, and focus on them. Work to improve your situation.
And always keep in mind there are people out there who care for you, and would miss you, even though you might have trouble recognizing that.

Ela's avatar

You have to hold on. What you are going through will not go on forever, it simply can’t.
You must have so much more inside you than you realize. Strengths you have yet to discover.
Focus on your strengths, on the positives. Look deep inside yourself. Don’t look for the miracle, it isn’t out there, it’s inside you.
I’m starting my live over after a 23 relationship. Every month is a financial struggle. I know how it feels to be completely alone. I also know that nothing lasts forever.

” You are more powerful than you realize. You have the power to see the possibilities in each new day. The power to let go of old hurts and embrace new joys. The power to trade doubts for dreams and determination. The power to believe in and build a beautiful future.”

I got that in the mail today from my sister. She is the only person in my life that has never given up on me.

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