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Yellowdog's avatar

How can I shake, or overcome, these feelings of anxiety, fear, depression?

Asked by Yellowdog (12183points) October 9th, 2019

My last fulltime job was my position as a church pastor in a small town in Alabama. The church had a lot of problems when I went there, and I only lasted about 18 months. I was kind of the last hope the church had, as they had run off ten pastors in about twenty years. I was also their final pastor. They closed about a year later.

I came back to Memphis and eventually found a part-time job at a campus bookstore. But in 2012. I was shot in a robbery and eventually went on disability.

I’ve spent / wasted many years since the church pastor position primarily being a volunteer caregiver for several individuals close to me. I always assumed I would get a book written (had a book contract at one time) or that something else would turn up.

One day it occurred to me that I was getting old; most of the adults older than me in my life were getting old and fading out, and I cannot rely on being on disability forever. It doesn’t pay the bills or keep me afloat, and I have no resources.

I am in my mid fifties and am beginning to panic that I have let too many years go by. I can work again, but not anything that requires a lot of manual labor due to my disability. I could probably serve as a church pastor again, if the right opportunity presented itself. Except that I’ve not done it in about fifteen years.

My parents are old and disabled and need me for some assistance and for transportation. My GF does not have a job or car. I cannot sever ties with my sense of place not with those close to me. It hurts me too much to let go of my “stuff.”

I am an ordained minister and have a Masters Degree. How can I shake this feeling, and how can I be a productive citizen again?

One more note: Dead end jobs such as fast food or Walmart, just don’t work for me. I do not focus well due to ADHD, have difficulty with following directions or instructions, get fired a lot. I would lose my disability benefits and that would include medical, which would be a disaster, I need a real job, a real sense of purpose, and/or a real source of income.

For about a week, I’ve been gripped with fear and a sense of dread, and quiet desperation which I at first assumed was seasonal.

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16 Answers

Inspired_2write's avatar

You may had a hard time in life but with it you have a wealth of experiences that may help another that was in similar situations.
If you still wish to do Pastoral work or along those lines try this website:

If you want to branch out to cover a wide variety of social programs that need your help and will give a well paying job to do so to.
Here in our Town ( Canada) we have a FCSS ( Family Community Support Services ) where the Group leaders are paid as they have a degree of Professionalism .
Here the provincial Government pays them a good wage for there services and programs that they set up if needed.
Look for that in your neighborhood as I am sure that you will find what you are seeking there.
If not ask where else to send your resume.
Talk with a Career Counselor for leads.
Good Luck, All your past pain was for a reason, to go through and learn in order to help others .

Inspired_2write's avatar

All is NOT lost.

josie's avatar

Exercise, exercise, exercise

Plus one or more of the following :
Learn to play a musical instrument
Build wooden square rig model ships
Take up photography
Get a dog
It always works

kritiper's avatar

Take up smoking. Spend countless days, weeks, months smoking and drinking coffee while considering the reality of your life as you have seen it and as others have seen it. Then, when it all becomes clear, you will be there.
It’s not an easy journey and many people like yourself have never found the answers to the questions sought. Sometimes, you just gotta enjoy the ride without worrying about such things as answers.

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JLeslie's avatar

I’m not clear, would you enjoy being a pastor again?

Are you able to work part-time and still keep some of your benefits?

What about working at a museum like the civil rights museum or Mud Island?

Or maybe a Chaplain at St. Jude’s? I think Chaplain is a wonderful service at hospitals, and knowing you on fluther I feel like that might be interesting and fulfilling for you.

Another idea a paid position with one of the charities in town.

Just throwing out ideas. Do you live downtown?

Try to compartmentalize your thoughts so you don’t dwell on the thoughts that are making you anxious. Plan things to look forward to. Take a step in a direction, any direction, you can always change course.

mazingerz88's avatar

If there are caregiving agencies where you live and you don’t mind working as one, maybe through them you can get a caregiving job that pays well enough. I’m guessing not all seniors who require some physical assistance would need heavy lifting that you’re not capable of. Maybe there’s one who needs companionship mostly.

It might involve the need to do some light cooking, light housekeeping and laundry for the patient. Also there’s a chance that earning a living helping people older than you improve the quality of their daily lives could help ease your own troubled feelings.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

CBD tincture and capsules are doing wonders for my wife. That shit works! I’m amazed!

Yellowdog's avatar

(original poster here) I am really about to go over the edge.

I don’t know where to go for help, and even if I could shake the feeling, as I said in the question, my problems would still exist. They’d just hurt less before the consequences hit.

I am absolutely terrified and see no hope in sight.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Possibly you might feel more comfortable talking with a Pastor in your region?
In any case he or she may give you some ideas to help with problems.
Well at the moment you see no hope in sight, but others will offer help to you.
Go and talk with the Pastor and get it off your chest so to speak.
A problem shared is a problem halved.

JLeslie's avatar

@Yellowdog Anxiety and fear is a horrible feeling. Do have access to a therapist? Being a caregiver is extremely stressful. It doesn’t surprise me that you are going through this difficult time, but I wish you weren’t. Plus, having been shot and impaired from it is a lot to deal with, even if it was years ago.

Are you able to drive? I wonder if you can talk to a pastor in your area and see if they can help connect you with an opportunity? I can ask a friend of mine for you. He is a pastor out in Cordova.

I really hope you feel better.

Yellowdog's avatar

Thanks! Please send me a Private Message.

Officially, I am an ordained Cumberland Presbyterian

Its probably not wise to label one’s self, but I would describe myself an ecumenical mainline protestant. I like working across denominational lines. I am a little more conservative and evangelical than many mainline protestants. I still do weddings and funerals, but haven’t served a congregation for 18 years.

kritiper's avatar

You’re looking for answers to questions that everybody else is looking for, too. But very few people find those answers, so you are not alone by a long shot. Welcome to the club!

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