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What Is Wrong With Me? I Don't Care Anymore...

Question:

My Life SUX! I’m a 36 year old woman, unmarried, without children. I Don’t enjoy anything.I Don’t look forward to anything. Recently, I just got a new job. It’s a good job (pay, benefits, incentives, worthwhile). I’m now starting to find fault with it( coworker jealously, backbiting, cliques). I quit my previous job because, I was burnt-out. The previous job was back breaking, the pay paltry, and it was’nt meaningful. Yet, I felt the coworkers were cohesive. I felt some support. I now don’t have any… It’s hard especially when I come home and find there’s no one to talk to. My boyfriend offers no support. In my previous employment I had “doable” hours. Our hours coincided where we could spend time together. I had time to make arrangements for our dates(meal, entertainment,etc.) Now our(myboyfriend&I) work schedules are different. He wants to get together during the same times that we used to, regardless, of the effect on my time. I want us to come to a middle ground. I work on weekends he does not. So, I was figurin’ we could spend some weeknights and some weekends together. He does’nt want to sacrifice. That’s selfish to me. I’m starting to lose interest. I don’t care anymore. The people, with whom, I’ve tried to make friends with only seem interested when it benefits them. The same goes for my family. The holidays don’t excite me. I plan to work for the holidays, to avoid the holiday “phonies.” Every Christmas, I go broke, buying gifts for people who don’t appreciate them. I’ve had other men approach me. I’ve considered their advances, considering my current situation. It’s soothes my ego to know they’re interested. But, I don’t do anything. Maybe I’m a one guy gal. Maybe, I just want to maintain the status quo. Maybe, I don’t trust anyone since I’ve been hurt. Maybe, I don’t care.

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

I read your letter and several things jump out at me. The first thing is that you appear to be depressed. Well – duh! you are probably thinking to yourself, “I didn’t need you to tell me that”. That’s okay if you are thinking that way, however, becuase that brings me to my next point, which is that you seem to be coping with your depression by acting like you don’t care, when it is obvious that you really do care. You don’t actually use the phrase in your letter, but I can just hear you saying “What-ever!”, and that word and attitude might sum up how you feel. But really, you wouldn’t write this letter if you were actually jaded and uncaring about the quality of your life. So – there is a disconnect between how you are thinking and feeling, maybe. The third thing I notice is that you’ve recently been through a lot of significant life changes which have forced you to rearrange your schedules and this is causing further tension in your life like a bunch of falling dominoes. You’re mourning the loss of the peer group at your former work, even as you are glad to be away from that “backbreaking” work. The new place seems like it should be a better environment for you, but it is also cold and you haven’t made new friends yet – you’re feeling unsupported and lonely and not just in your work environment. You’re also finding that the other people in your life – people you might have thought you could count on to care about you – are hesitating to meet you in the middle when you need them to do that. This is a stressful time in your life and you are reacting to that stress with depression and a cynical pose, is my best take on the matter. The question in my mind is, “how well is that pose working for you?”

You need support in your life, and if you cannot get support from your boyfriend, other friends and family, then get it in a different manner. Make an appointment with a professional therapist for some counseling. A counselor or therapist should be able to provide you with a safe and understanding place where you can let your guard down and vent and cry. Some counselors will also be able to help you cope better with your depression feelings and thoughts. The best current styles of psychotherapy for depression are known as “cognitive-behavioral therapy” and “interpersonal therapy”, so be sure and ask for those by name. If your counselor doesn’t know what those terms mean, find another counselor.

Another way to get yourself some support is to consult your regular doctor, describe your stress and ask whether some antidepressant medication might be in order. Such medication can truly be helpful, but it also comes with side effects, including sexual side effects – it can become harder to have an orgasum – so you may want to think a little before you go in that direction.

I’ll recommend vigorous exercise as a good balm for your flagging mood too. Studies show that regular vigorous exercise has a prounounced antidepressant effect, and it is good for you too and side-effect free.

The relationship you’re in is changing (or not changing as the case may be) and that is a source of stress. Relationships are living things that cannot be taken for granted. If your needs are changing and your boyfriend isn’t willing to meet you in the middle with regard to those changing needs, that may be a sign that the relationship is in trouble. When you are ready, you’ll need to address this possibility. There are several ways to go with regard to this process, but all of them involve communication. You need to assertively communicate to your boyfriend that he has to meet you in the middle – has to help you out with this change you’re going through – or there will be consequences. Before you deliver this communication – which is not an ultimatum, mind you – you first need to feel more confident than you do. It will come out passively if you say it when you are feeling down, and it will come out aggressively if you say it when you are angry. You need to get clear on the fact that you do not need this man to survive, but you might prefer to be with him if that is possible before you can talk with him constructively. Couples counseling may be helpful to both of you in talking about this matter if you both are of a mind to engage in that sort of thing.

Anyway – those are my thoughts about your predicament. The one guarentee in life is that things will change. Things are changing for you now, and you have to find a way to surf on top of the waves of change, becuase the alternative is to fall into the “water” and risk “drowning” (e.g., feeling depressed and paralyzed). Mental Help Net has some good material that might help you as you practice your surfing skills. This section of the Psychological Self-Tools self-help book talks about assertive communication. This Emotional Resiliance topic center talks about how people can learn to become more relisiant in the face of change. Good luck!!

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