I'm Not What I Used To Be

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Jeff1966
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:53 pm
Location: Florida

I'm Not What I Used To Be

Postby Jeff1966 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:19 pm

Hi. I just joined and have never been part of a group like this. I'm a 52 year old male living in Florida. Here is my situation:

It feels like I used to have it all. High-flying career. Nice house. Great family. A great personality. Lots of interests and hobbies and activities. Friends. Church. Volunteering as a coach, homeowner's board member and county advisory board member.

Now, I'm 52. Divorced 10 years ago. The kids are in college or on their own, but are based far away where my ex-wife lives. I try to stay close, but they are far and I only see them once or twice a year. After losing a bunch of jobs in a row through no fault of my own, my career imploded and no one will hire me, so I work in a different field and earn less than I did 20 years ago. My personality has changed. I barely talk. I don't enjoy things like I used to. My interests have dwindled away to nothing. I have no money to have fun. I don't laugh anymore. I don't keep up with old friends or make new ones. I'm not close to God anymore and don't even belong to a church. I live with my elderly mother, for financial reasons and to help care for her health and mobility challenges. The rest of my family is far away, and I'm no longer close to them - they have lost respect for me. I remarried, and she is supportive, but I think she has lost respect for me too. We are not close like we used to be. I have let her down. My dreams have been shattered, and my hope for the future has evaporated. I take medicine for depression, and it helps keep my emotions level, but I'm not happy. I've tried psychotherapy multiple times, but it never helped.

I know should be grateful for what I have. My health is good. I'm not overweight and I have no addictions. My kids, my wife and my parents love me. My life is okay. But all I can think about is what used to be and what I have lost. It feels like I have no identity anymore. I don't know who I am or what I should do. I don't know where I am going, or what the future holds for me. Should I work on being happy with the life I have now, or fight like mad to change it somehow?

That's it. Thanks for listening. Any ideas, suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

- Jeff

RustyTavern
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:15 pm

Re: I'm Not What I Used To Be

Postby RustyTavern » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:44 am

Your problem is common. You ever learned how to choose a partner or what 'love' means. Try slow reading the Ancient Greek definitions.

You need to get off the 'make it grey' drugs.

Get a full medical- they're unlikely to find a cause (especially in the UK- I don't know about Florida) but you might be lucky for instance: fibromylagia/hyperuricaemia

Is there a cause? Bereavement? Ugliness? Low self-worth? Childhood abuse?

Once you have the cause then address it. You have to. This Life is not a practice whether there is Heaven or Hell (I can show you a picture of Hell), you have to.

Life is not about being happy; understand that.

Life is about struggle 'n' strife; how you deal with it and how the energy you control is thus improved. Try to understand this statement with all its inherent ramifications, lateral nuances & implications.

LostHopeGirl
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:30 pm

Re: I'm Not What I Used To Be

Postby LostHopeGirl » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:53 pm

Jeff
I am sorry for what you are going through. I might be able to relate just a bit. I had a pretty good life at one point in my life, then my mom had a stroke. I had to move into the senior apartments with her even though I wasn't a senior and I took care of her for 5 years alone, which I don't regret. However, it changed me and I can't find that person anymore that I was before it all happened. I don't know what to do about it anymore than you do. But I did read something once that a boat is safe in the harbor but it was meant to sail. I don't know how to risk anymore than you do at this moment, but I do know the only way to get out of the rut is to try
I don't know if I can. I hope that you can

Jeff1966
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:53 pm
Location: Florida

Re: I'm Not What I Used To Be

Postby Jeff1966 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:49 am

Thank you for responding, Losthopegirl. I do feel like my entire personality is different, and that difference feels permanent. I also feel risk-averse, just like you do, and make excuses for not doing things that amount to “It will not work, just like it did the past.” It is a lack of hope and optimism about what can be my future. I also struggle with whether the answer is to be satisfied with my current reality, or try to improve things by taking risks. Also, my self-esteem has taken a huge hit by the failures in my career, which has left me not wanting to engage with new people or make new friendships or even talk to people. I used to have a story I was proud of, but now my story is one of shame. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me and I don’t want to lie and say I’m thrilled with my life. So I just avoid others, which makes things even worse, and doesn't even give me a chance of improving my life.

Tell me how you have changed and where you want to go with your life. What risks would you take if you had the confidence and courage to do so?

Thanks again for answering and trying to help me.

- Jeff

sananTonyO
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:30 pm

Re: I'm Not What I Used To Be

Postby sananTonyO » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:01 pm

I am a bit older than you, Jeff, and I know that emptiness, but I had it when I was younger. We cannot accumulate enough wealth to satisfy a certain longing that humans will always have. And when we have lost all the things we used to have, the emptiness gets even deeper. I used to go to a church that was all rituals and traditions not knowing that this was not what God wants for us but a relationship, just like the relationships you lost or miss. But we are surrounded by people today who say that there is no God. But times have changed and there are tons of resources that show otherwise. It takes time to understand but I was fortunate enough to join a small group where I slowly learned that there really is a God who created us. Years before the church cannot answer the questions of science but today every archaeological find confirms the Bible and science has been used to confirm the truths of the Bible. Some forums do not like this and I hope the moderators do not edit this message out because if it helped me it could help you. If you want to give it a try and know for sure, try getting this book called “I Do Not Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” by Frank Turek. It shows without using the Bible how to be confident that there really is a God. PM me if you want if you have further questions.

Jeff1966
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:53 pm
Location: Florida

Re: I'm Not What I Used To Be

Postby Jeff1966 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:10 pm

Thank you for your response, Sanatonyo, I do want to try to get closer to God again. I will look for the book you suggested.

- Jeff

Jimdubu
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: I'm Not What I Used To Be

Postby Jimdubu » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:39 pm

I know what you mean , I'm not the same as I was 20 years ago either. In 2002 is when things really changed. In August of 2002 we had a house fire, fortunately I was home so I was able to save the cats some pictures etc. 9 days later we were out of the house do to smoke damage. someone broke into our house and looted it and torched it. We lost everything ,all our photo albums my son's baby book etc' To add insult to injury we had to fight with our insurance company for 1 1/2 years before they finally settled our claim. During this time I lost my job I had for 8 years because of my depression and anxiety. apparently I seemed to get frustrated easily and had trouble concentrating on my work. ( GEE YOU THINK ) Anyway about that time my Grandmother died and left me some money. So I figured I'd try to go into business for myself well other then buying the house were in now ( never did rebuild other one ) A year later I was broke. tried selling cars for awhile, But went back to being an Optician ( That is what I had been doing since 1984 ) so started working for a place called Walmart within 6 months promoted to Optical manager. 2010 went in to retail store management (BIG MISTAKE) I was a fish out of water for a year but I was making $52,000.00 a year . They fired me. Unemployed a year and a half go back to working for $16.00 an hour. within 2 years I was back to working somewhere making $20.00 an hour with Manager bonus . This past June I woke up in the Hospital we have thought it was a stroke because my balance is off, speech is affected I have to hunt for words and memory is shot . But apparently it was some kind of seizure or something possibly due to anxiety. Still trying to figure things out. My company terminated for attendance ,because I can't work ,so now I am on state disability 60% less then what I was making.
But you know what My faith in the Lord has gotten stronger. There is a book I read once called When all Hell Breaks Loose Praise The Lord
When Job went through his trials it was because God put up his best. in a Forrest the tallest tree is the one that gets hit by lightning. I look at it this way when evrything is going to heck in a hand basket. I smile because I must be doing something right. Another great book is " Be Anxious For Nothing" by John McAurthur He really helps get you back on track. Prayer my Friend.

Jeff1966
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:53 pm
Location: Florida

Re: I'm Not What I Used To Be

Postby Jeff1966 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:56 am

Wow, Jimdubu, you have been through a lot. And your faith in God is inspiring. I will try to find the books you mentioned. Thanks for your support. It helped me feel that I'm not alone going through a difficult time. I think that getting closer to God is going to be important for me going forward. Thanks again! - Jeff

SirOats
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:53 pm

Re: I'm Not What I Used To Be

Postby SirOats » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:44 pm

I hear all these good comments. For my part, I really empathize with losing myself-the man I was. I think maybe it's time for me to take some risks and find some new magic.
A church small group is also a great idea. My own group is a constant source of comfort & encouragement.
But my favorite idea from these posts is the idea that religion is bunk, God wants a relationship with me. And that is no small thing. I need to be better at remembering this.


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