We Can Work It Out

The title of this post has nothing to do with it. I just couldn’t think of a title, so I used the title of the first story in my new English program that I began today. Personally, I have a heavy heart which is antithetical to the promise of this post. As is often the case, I find myself in low spirits when I write in this weblog. I don’t even know why I’m doing it at this point, for it will certainly depress you, the reader. You see, I am unable to lift myself out of the despair of depression

I feel victimized. My wife of nearly 20 years has only discouraging things to say to me, at this point in my life where encouragement is most needed. She never said encouraging things at any point in our marriage, but I didn’t need them in the first half. I was self-motivated then, able to work and interact with people I encountered. For the last ten years, I’ve been unable to do that, though. I feel oppressed by my wife, Shu Mei, and belittled by my son, Billy. Billy is seventeen years old and thinks he knows everything. That is typical of most teenagers, but Billy is in another galaxy as far as stubbornness and selfishness go. While I have been diagnosed with clinical depression (more on that later), Billy has been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). I have another son living with me, Tyley, who I can compare to Billy. Tyley is a pain-in-the-ass teenager, too, but he’s a normal PITA. Billy treats me much like his mother, with disdain and disrespect, belittling me every time he speaks to me. Billy also goes further than Shu Mei when it comes to verbal abuse. For long periods, Billy has told me he wishes I were dead daily. For this reason, I avoid talking to him. He doesn’t listen, anyway; he just shouts at me with profane barbs of hatred. I still love him, though, and hope that someday he evolves into a more decent human being.

I am not blameless in any of this. When I feel pushed beyond my limits, I lash out verbally. I make it known in a very heated manner to Shu Mei and Billy that I am upset. For the most part, Tyley and I don’t get into heated exchanges. Tyley is a peacemaker and a self-motivated young man, the kind of person that I used to be. I am proud of Tyley and hope he continues on the path he’s now on. Throughout his life, I have thought of him as my “angel boy” because he’s said and done things for me that nobody else did. Because he’s a normal teenager, he doesn’t always like to be around me, sometimes just barely tolerating me. It’s sad, because I enjoy his company so much, and because he’s the only one who speaks to me nicely.

I never wanted this life. I thought I was making the right choices to become a successful husband, father and man. But, I wasn’t, as my mind is full of regret now. For the first 36 years of my life, I made mistakes, and still feel regret about them, but they weren’t anything compared to the years since. The entire time I’ve been married has been a series of regrets, one after another. I don’t want to rehash those regrets here, though. Suffice it to say that there have been so many that I wish I were dead. With death, all the mental anguish will go away. I know I still have great potential, but I lack the infrastructure to climb the mountain I need to in order to have success. Money would be a tremendous help. It would be world-changing for me. With money, I could get out of this situation and go to one where I wasn’t constantly berated. With money, I could start my life anew and feel accomplishment once again. But, I’m poor and depressed, a combination that doesn’t bode well for me making a lot of money anytime soon. My depression keeps me from doing what it would take to make a lot of money, and I haven’t been able to get out of it.</

I’m nearly at the end of my rope when it comes to overcoming my depression. I’ve gone through dozens of anti-depressants, trying to find something that will elevate me to where I can function normally. I found nothing. You see, I’m convinced that my depression comes from a chemical imbalance, for there are seldom any triggers that make me go into a tailspin. I’ll be going along in a normal setting, where nothing, in particular, is happening, and then suddenly I feel the weight of depression come over me. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. I just get the blues and am unable to get out of them. Sleeping usually helps, but I can only sleep so much. Often, I wake up with the same horrible depression that I fell asleep with.

In addition to the anti-depressants (which I currently do not take because none have worked), I tried Spravato. It is a drug that made me feel out-of-sorts briefly, but never elevated my mood. I liken it to LSD, but without the hallucinations. I also tried counseling, going through three therapists with no markedly-positive results. The first and third of the three tried to convince me that there must be trigger points to my depression, even though I emphatically denied there were. Still, I went through their exercises and homework, but to no avail. The second therapist was going through his own problems, medical ones, and did absolutely nothing to help me until he had to stop seeing me altogether. I hope he recovered. I have a fourth therapist lined up to speak to me in a few weeks. It would be a miracle if he could finally help me get better..

As I wrote at the beginning of this, I have started an English teaching program, one that I hope to eventually sell online to ESL learners. I feel confident that I can help them learn English, for I had success with it before. There are many teachers out there who are not effective and I feel I know what it takes to get quick, positive results. I had the idea for this program about ten years ago but did nothing toward putting it together. It is a huge task, but one that could be rewarding, in many ways, if I can stick to it. Therein lies the problem. The last time I tried to put together a money-making program was an online retail website. It flopped because I lost confidence in my ability to make it work – that, and Amazon took over all markets in a gigantic way. That was my excuse, Amazon, but I slowed down working on the site before the online retail giant dominated everything. Still, had I continued working on my site, which was designed to sell virtually everything as Amazon does, I wouldn’t have been able to compete. It would all have been for naught. I wonder what that would have done to my psyche, given the downtrodden state I’m in now. It definitely wouldn’t have been better than what I’m experiencing now.

So, aside from Tyley, I have no one else uplifting in my life. My mother is the only woman that truly loves me, but she’s getting up there in age. I do my best not to burden her with my problems. At 85, she deserves to have only good thoughts. I don’t always succeed in protecting her from my problems, though. I am guilty of confiding too much in her. Because she cares about me is no excuse to take advantage of her good graces. I really shouldn’t be doing that, and it only adds to my mountain of regrets when I do. To me, every day is worse than the day before, and it’s been like this for quite some time. Even on Facebook, my only contact with the outside world, I tend to be short with people I disagree with. In my misery, I seek company, and social media is where I locate it. Mainly, I address political things on Facebook, and there is a lot of angst going around regarding that subject. I am not at all a fan of our current president. I’m looking forward to November 3rd when I hope he’ll be defeated by the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. If that happens, I think it would go a long way toward me feeling better. But, it won’t completely uplift my spirits because, as I said, I’m pretty confident I have a physical problem in my brain. I can see no other viable alternative to explain my unshakable depression. Who knows, maybe this next therapist will have the miracle cure!

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