Depression and dating

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Fri May 15, 2015 9:20 am

ReploidArmada wrote:Well, I had my first appointment with my new therapist this past Monday, and I think it went well Smile I really missed having a therapist over the last year or so, so being able to see one semi-regularly again would probably help me get over my mental issues and anguish a little faster. Unfortunately, my next appointment is in three weeks, but after that I might be able to get weekly appointments set up.

Good to hear it went well! A therapeutic fit is hard to find. Sucks that you have to wait three weeks, but after a year, that is not too, too long to wait.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:58 am

It's been a while since I've updated you guys, hasn't it? So far I've been really fond of my new therapist. I feel like she's trying to help me be a better person a little bit at a time, and that I have a good rapport with her. I'm hoping that eventually I'll be able to stand up straight on my own feet again, so to speak. Something I'm not able to hope for is a way out of my depression and depressive triggers, though. Most of my issues still come from outside things bringing up either my abject loneliness or my fear that I'll never be good enough at anything, for anything, or for anyone. It's still been very difficult trying to keep my mind away from those thoughts, and sometimes I just fail entirely...

One of the things I brought up with my therapist during our most recent appointment was that I'm not sure what my goals are, or how to get to them. Specifically, I brought up finding a better job, and finding a girlfriend. Those are the only two things I know I want to work on, but I don't know how to get there. There are so many options for both that it just becomes confusing and nebulous - like, for finding a better job, should I start by going back to college? Or get an apprenticeship? Or try to find work somewhere else and just get the hell out of where I am? (That last one is tempting because of family reasons, but I digress.) I feel the same way about trying to find a GF, because I simply don't or can't do a lot of things that other, healthier, people would do to find someone. I still don't drink or smoke (nor do I think I should right now, given my mental illness), I can't drive myself anywhere yet to meet people, and trying to do OLD is just as impossible as it seemed when I learned I got banned from OKC for reasons. I'm still also having massive trouble motivating myself to take basic personal care of myself, which doesn't help with my self-esteem or my outward image.

All in all, everything still seems so... hopeless... Crying

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Derion on Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:51 am

Hi Reploid,

I am in a similar mental situation and I feel I have nothing to offer to the partner even if I had the luxury of being in a relationship. I am contemplating whether staying alone for ther rest of my life would be possible as not to cause misery to other people.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Guest on Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:16 am

If you haven't already, tell your therapist about your feelings of confusion. Perhaps she can help you choose the one goal and help you stick with it. Consider setting aside your goal of finding a GF for now (or not) and focus on getting help for taking care of yourself and your self-perception. It feels to me like building a solid emotional foundation will yield the best possible amount of momentum. Invest that momentum to then pursue your desired job/partner.

It's good that you found a therapist you like.


Last edited by HermitTheToad on Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:07 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Perlandra on Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:01 pm

I'm glad your therapist is helping, even if not quite as quickly as you'd wish. It's definitely a work in progress! Is the reason you can't drive your depression, or is that something you can address separately?

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:10 pm

I never learned to drive because it never appealed to me when I was in high school, that typical part of everyone's lives where they all say to themselves "OMG I gotta learn to drive and get a car because reasons". My thought was "meh, if I need to go anywhere nearby, I could just take the bus there or walk, so whatever". Nowadays it's in part because I don't make enough money to pay for fuel or insurance.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Perlandra on Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:26 pm

I've taught a couple of >25 y/o adults to drive. Even if they didn't have their own car, it made them feel more confident and independent. You're right that insurance and such add up, but there are car share programs, and you can rent a car fairly inexpensively on the rare occasions when you might need one. As you mention, it's a bit of a rite of passage that can leave you feeling immature and left out to miss.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:29 am

My dad's been pushing me to get a new job. I would very much like to be making more money for myself, and to be around people who don't work like they have tenure, but the reason my dad has been pushing me so hard is likely because of himself. I feel like my dad is very much the kind of person who needs to have everything happen exactly how they want it to happen, and there's a distinct sense that my dad only wants me to get something else set up ASAP so that he can retire. Knowing him, I fear that if I can't get some other job within a month or two, he's going to bring the hammer down on me somehow - but I'm not sure what all of the local hiring businesses are, and I'm vastly under-qualified for all of the openings I know about Sad

And, of course, I'm still worrying about why I'm having so much trouble doing things in my life, ranging from the borderline-impossible (like find a first date for once) to things I really shouldn't be having trouble with (like taking daily showers and making sure to brush my teeth). Everything nice seems so far away, and I get more and more upset as I look at myself and all of the things that I should be able to do, but just can't do or aren't doing. A lot of my friends are in proper relationships right now, to the point where I'm guessing one of them is going to get married within a couple years, and one of my friends from college moved away to live with his girlfriend, and yet... And yet I still haven't felt a girl's lips on mine, or held someone in my arms...

If my mind wasn't so hung up over the thought that I might never find someone, and that I would have to live out the rest of my life alone and unloved, I would have just given up by now, but I simply can't... Why can't I be happy? Crying

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:09 pm

If you are at the point where you might be up to working, maybe check out your local career centre for a job board and maybe find out what resources they've got to brush up your resume?

It sounds like maybe you could use a little time doing something that's enjoyable and not related to your longer-term goals? You're working hard on moving towards what you want in life, but it's important to give yourself permission to enjoy the life you've got right now too. Try not to obsess about dating; it sounds a little like you're seeing it as the thing that will solve everything, and focusing on it that way will probably make it harder for you and result in disappointment.

Don't forget it's not a race. Some of those friends will break up. Some of them will change careers and start all over. And some people are, like you, working hard to recover from depression and build the kind of life they want to live, even if you don't see them.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:10 pm

Enail wrote:If you are at the point where you might be up to working, maybe check out your local career centre for a job board and maybe find out what resources they've got to brush up your resume?

My therapist brought up the idea of referring me to a career counselor, someone who would be able to help me sort out my resume and work on finding jobs and doing interviews, but there's a couple things in the way for me doing that. First, transport; I absolutely hate trying to transfer between buses if I can avoid it, and the trip to the clinic I would have to visit for this program would be two routes away. The second is that I do not have any sort of positive view of myself or what I'm capable of. I'm not sure what my skills are, what things I should avoid trying to do, what I would be good at, or what I should end up doing with my life.

Enail wrote:It sounds like maybe you could use a little time doing something that's enjoyable and not related to your longer-term goals? You're working hard on moving towards what you want in life, but it's important to give yourself permission to enjoy the life you've got right now too. Try not to obsess about dating; it sounds a little like you're seeing it as the thing that will solve everything, and focusing on it that way will probably make it harder for you and result in disappointment.

I'm not sure what I can do to get away from my troubles for a few days. I simply do not have the money to do a lot of things, especially with ~$1400 being held hostage in a savings account. Even if I had the money, I wouldn't be able to get myself anything nice like a trip to an amusement park or a night on the town, simply because I can't drive myself anywhere. It really doesn't seem like I'm making any sort of appreciable progress even in reasonable time frames Sad

I do, unfortunately, feel like having a girlfriend would get me over all of my emotional hurdles - regardless of whether it's actually the case or not (probably not). My mind is still 100% fixated on this idea that, since I wasn't popular in middle school or high school, and that I wasn't ever able to find any romance in high school or college, I'll never be able to find someone if I don't do so two years ago. I'm very much afraid of living the rest of my life as someone who's lonely, shy, unloved, romantically/sexually inexperienced, and whose only companionship comes from a cat and some stuffed animals. I'm very much afraid that no one will ever want me if I have to go another 10 or 20 years without any sort of romantic contact.

And of course, three weeks ago, my therapist was out of town for my appointment, and now the same thing is happening in a couple days. I won't be able to speak with her for a week and a half. Just the thing I needed right now...

Enail wrote:Don't forget it's not a race. Some of those friends will break up. Some of them will change careers and start all over. And some people are, like you, working hard to recover from depression and build the kind of life they want to live, even if you don't see them.

People keep telling me that 24 is too young of an age to worry about this stuff, but I can't really see things that way... I don't want to be the person that society laughs at 10+ years from now for not instinctively knowing how to act around women, or not being able to take care of myself like all of the healthy, neuro-typical people, or never having a lover... I just want to be happy with myself, but I fear "being happy with myself" is still far too dependent on me doing impossible things, like having a GF, having a good job, or liking my sad, ugly, pitiful body Crying

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:36 pm

ReploidArmada wrote:I'm not sure what my skills are, what things I should avoid trying to do, what I would be good at, or what I should end up doing with my life.

This thread might have useful stuff? As for the bus: I feel you, I hate multi-route bus trips too, but sometimes you just gotta. Seeing a career counselor seems like a good time to Just Gotta. Shrug

ReploidArmada wrote:I do, unfortunately, feel like having a girlfriend would get me over all of my emotional hurdles - regardless of whether it's actually the case or not (probably not).

You already have the answer on this one. Your self-worth cannot be externally sourced, and the expectation that Love Will Fix Me is a terrifying (& unfair) amount of pressure on potential partners.

ReploidArmada wrote:It really doesn't seem like I'm making any sort of appreciable progress even in reasonable time frames Sad

You may have a different definition of "appreciable" and "reasonable," but from where I'm sitting, it is amazing that the dude who started posting here a year ago, unable to leave the house, is now holding a steady job and regularly seeing a therapist. Those are huge steps which you didn't think you could handle back then; the things you're feeling hopeless about now may well be under your control by this time next year. Does hearing other people's outside view of your progress help at all?

Also: your body loathing makes me sad. FWIW, I am pretty sure everyone on earth considers their body far more sad, ugly, and pitiful than others do. Don't assume everyone looks at you as uncharitably as you do.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:32 pm

Werel wrote:You already have the answer on this one. Your self-worth cannot be externally sourced, and the expectation that Love Will Fix Me is a terrifying (& unfair) amount of pressure on potential partners.

I don't know where my self-worth will come from otherwise, though Sad I'm not sure what I could do to improve how I feel about myself or what little I've accomplished, other than do those big things (date, slim down, get college degree, etc.) that I've been obsessing over for years. The inherent problems there are that, instead of looking at the various steps I need to take to get from point A to the goal at point B, I've just been looking at the whole thing as an insurmountable challenge - and then I get distressed and discouraged over how far away I have to go, and how steep the climb is Crying

Werel wrote:You may have a different definition of "appreciable" and "reasonable," but from where I'm sitting, it is amazing that the dude who started posting here a year ago, unable to leave the house, is now holding a steady job and regularly seeing a therapist. Those are huge steps which you didn't think you could handle back then; the things you're feeling hopeless about now may well be under your control by this time next year. Does hearing other people's outside view of your progress help at all?

Also: your body loathing makes me sad. FWIW, I am pretty sure everyone on earth considers their body far more sad, ugly, and pitiful than others do. Don't assume everyone looks at you as uncharitably as you do.

If I really focus and think back to how things were a year or two ago, since my memory has been not-great lately, I do feel like I have made some progress in what I've been able to do. I do remember, at least somewhat, that things used to be a lot worse. I do remember that there were times when all I could do was lay in bed and cry, and that there were times when I couldn't motivate myself to get out of the house and go to my high school or college classes.

I feel like this is another example of my own warped perspective making things infinitely worse for me. If I focus on remembering how things used to be for me, then my mind sees a little bit of how far I've come since that much darker time in my life. Unfortunately, my mind is still focused on how far I have to climb up the slippery slope to get out of the chasm of depression and anxiety, and I just automatically compare the progress I am making against the end result of me being a happy, healthy guy with a good job and a wonderful lover. If I were to guess, I'd say trying to fix my perspective issues might need to be priority #2 - after getting another job to replace the one I'm in - but I don't think I'll be able to do that without a lot of help and support from my therapist. If she keeps being out of town for my appointment times, then this will end up taking a lot longer Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:45 pm

That's great that you're able to recognize some of how far you've come when you focus on it, it sounds like that might be a good thing to keep practicing in the meantime while your therapist's out of town.

Try to remember that non-depressed people are not all happy all the time or healthy, that they don't all have good jobs and wonderful lovers. When you focus on where you think you should be, it seems like you're not just comparing your current situation to a life where you're out of this chasm of depression and able to work towards your goals more easily, you're comparing it to basically an ideal life. That's a lot for anyone to live up to all at once.

You have a lot of big goals, and I think that's really good, but maybe there are ways you can make some of the much smaller steps towards those goals more visible so that you can see what you achieve as you go, something like putting the next really small step on a big page on your wall, and then crossing it off when you achieve it so you can see the list of crossed-off steps grow?
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:14 am

I could certainly try making my goals, and the steps leading up to them, a lot more visible than they are right now. I'd need to sit down and figure out what all of my goals are first, since I'm not even sure how many of them I have, and then brainstorm what I would need to work on in order to get to those goals. The only ones I know about are either amorphous, like getting myself to a point where I have a positive self-esteem and self-image, or so humongous that I don't really know where to start.

EDIT: I decided to write down a short list of the goals that I knew I had in mind for myself, and the steps I could think of that would lead into them. If you guys have any other ideas, please let me know, since I think I've come pretty close to hitting the limit of what goals/steps I can think of. http://tinyurl.com/poxghql

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:56 am

*sigh* With each passing day, my dad gives me more reasons to expedite the process of finding a proper job and moving the fuck out of this damn house. He keeps angrily lecturing me on how I need to be finding a job ASAP so that he can retire, or how I have to be saving a lot more money than I am (regardless of income), or just getting angry at me for random, inconsequential things. This time, it was me not cleaning a slight bit of grease off of a pan I used to fry burger patties. He also had angry words about me wanting to make a breakfast sandwich, and me staying up too late on a night where I didn't even have to be awake in the morning the next day.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Perlandra on Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:39 am

*zen hugs* sorry that you're having so much conflict with him! I hope you find a job/new place soon.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:57 am

I spent lunch today chatting with an old friend of mine from middle school, and I had a lot of fun Grin She just got back from a three-month trip exploring Mexico and India, and she was spending a few days in Seattle before heading back over to the other side of the state. Since she was around, she suggested we spend this afternoon chatting over lunch, so we did Smile

Eventually the conversation wandered over towards dating and relationships, and we basically agreed that, regardless of how desperate I am / have been to find someone to date, fall in love, and have hot sweaty sexy-fun-times with, it really wouldn't do me any good to start off my love life by fucking a prostitute or ONS. For as much as I worry about not finding someone special, I still somehow feel like waiting until I do before getting physical with anyone will be emotionally healthier for me. Maybe it's some small bit of self-respect going about things in the worst manner possible? I don't know.

What I do know is that, given how badly I've thought of myself over the last few years and how much interest I've gotten lately, it'll probably take me another couple years before I can even entertain the thought of that happening. *sigh* Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:16 pm

Really cool that you were able to confirm with a friend some things you suspected regarding your sex and intimacy style-- I think you'll be happier in the long run if you stick to what you know to be true about yourself, instead of trying in desperation to force something that feels wrong. That small bit of self-respect could pick worse ways to go about things, if you ask me. Smile
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:44 pm

I know I'll feel better in the long run if I focus on dating first instead of throwing away my virginity like a piece of garbage, but that still doesn't help me in the short term when I still feel like I have to change the fundamental laws of physics in order to change enough about myself to get to a point where people *would* want to date me. And then, of course, I would have to spend another few years trying to look for people, probably wasting a bunch of time and money on mingling events and first dates that don't go anywhere D:

Everything still seems so challenging and daunting. No change there, then, but I still don't know how I can or should break apart these issues into manageable tasks D:

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:25 am

Nearly all of the people I've talked to over the last few months about my loneliness and anxiety has essentially agreed that I'd be much better served by spending some time working on myself and getting over my insecurities before trying to find dates, so I think I'm finally starting to resign myself to that fact, as much as I don't want to. I still feel like it's going to take another few years to fix things that drastically, and I still fear that I won't be able to find anyone even after I do that, and that I'll have to spend the intervening time trying to distract myself from my romantic & sexual failures Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:02 am

Reploid, I think you might be getting hung up on the idea of this concrete dividing line between "Self-Improvement Life Phase" and "Mate-Seeking Life Phase." Yes, it's a great idea to devote most of your energy at the moment to getting right with yourself-- but it's not like you're slamming a wall down on the possibility of meeting someone during that time. You're just not focusing your energy on actively seeking that someone(s). While you're working on you, you'll presumably be continuing to go out in the world and interact with people; if you meet somebody you want to pursue a relationship with while you still want to be X amount less insecure, or lose X pounds, or reach X professional goal, or whatever other things you're working on, it's not like you CAN'T do dating because you still got goals. There's no finish line saying "you have made yourself good enough for a relationship....nnnnNOW."

It might make it easier for you to deal with that "I don't want to put off dating any longer" feeling to think of yourself as not off the dating market during Self-Improvement Phase--if the opportunity arises, you can still go for it--just not actively looking. If you're seeing working on you as an obstacle standing between you and a romantic life, you're not likely to put much into it. If instead you see it as something that's not mutually exclusive with being open to dating, that will in fact help you when you transition to Actively Looking Phase, you might have an easier time not feeling so restless and impatient.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:03 am

That's... probably all true, knowing how my mind has been working for the past several years. I've been trying to think of things I could do that would specifically help me get over my fears/insecurities/worries/whatevers, but besides that list I put up a few posts ago, I haven't been able to think of anything. A lot of what's on that list is general goals, anyway.

As much as it makes me feel like I'm just making up excuses, I feel like - once again - a majority of my worries and fears stem from a distorted sense of perspective. My mind still can't help but see the path I'm on and the things I'm working towards as a concrete linear sequence, like what you said about me feeling like I have to fix everything about myself that I remotely dislike before I'll have even a microscopic chance of finding someone. I'm still having considerable difficulty seeing the progress I have made towards what few goals I've been working on, instead seeing the remainder of the journey as an insurmountable challenge of indeterminate length and duration.

My therapist, during our most recent session, stated that she thought that the concept of time was self-limiting in some ways, since I was constantly worrying about "I need to be doing X before I'm Y years old" or "it's probably going to take a couple years of suffering to do Z" or other such things. If I can work with her to try to slowly nudge my perceptions and perspective back towards reality, then I feel like the self-improvement might end up a little easier without the invisible, illusory time pressure bearing down on me.

Unfortunately, I still can't make my mind up on what I should be trying to start with to work on things in the short term. It kind of feels like my head swims at the list of all of the things that I feel I need to do, and I can't seem to pick one or two of them and put them down onto a list right now T_T

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:20 am

And now, another three weeks later, here's some more of that update stuff we all like so very much. At least, if people still care :S

So, that PAX thing was last weekend. Some people here may have been aware of that already Razz I wasn't able to go this year, since I just haven't been making enough money to justify the expense lately (I wouldn't have to drive or fly into Seattle, thankfully) but I did go to a board game meet-up the Thursday night before. That ended up being a lot of fun: around eight hours of playing board games with a bunch of con-goers, and some really good fish and chips for dinner made for a good time Smile A friend of mine offered to purchase some stuff from the con for me, and I should be receiving it on Tuesday. I also had an intake appointment for a new PCP earlier today, since I hadn't seen one for over 12 years.

By this point, I think I've fully resigned myself to the idea that I need to work on myself first, and my non-existent love life second. It still doesn't make any of the intervening time any easier, though. I've had a very hard time shaking this perception that I will absolutely positively 100% need to have all of my stuff completely figured out before it gets too late to do so, be that in 6 months or 6 years or whatever, and I can't help but fear the rest of my life... I'm afraid that, in the end, I'll have to spend the rest of my time alone, unloved, and unable to support myself and live a life that's worth living T_T

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:56 am

Glad you've been having some fun lately! I think when you're focusing on 'working on yourself,' it's easy to get caught up in the feeling that you have to be actively wrestling with your brain-weasels or slogging through self-improvement or you're wasting your time, but just doing something fun is a really important part of being healthy. And also, having fun is...fun Razz

And even though it sounds stressful and frustrating, I think it's great how you're trying to keep aware that your fears about never being perfect enough to have a life you want are a false perception. Keep at it!
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Caffeinated on Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:40 pm

ReploidArmada wrote:And now, another three weeks later, here's some more of that update stuff we all like so very much. At least, if people still care :S

So, that PAX thing was last weekend. Some people here may have been aware of that already Razz I wasn't able to go this year, since I just haven't been making enough money to justify the expense lately (I wouldn't have to drive or fly into Seattle, thankfully) but I did go to a board game meet-up the Thursday night before. That ended up being a lot of fun: around eight hours of playing board games with a bunch of con-goers, and some really good fish and chips for dinner made for a good time Smile A friend of mine offered to purchase some stuff from the con for me, and I should be receiving it on Tuesday. I also had an intake appointment for a new PCP earlier today, since I hadn't seen one for over 12 years.

By this point, I think I've fully resigned myself to the idea that I need to work on myself first, and my non-existent love life second. It still doesn't make any of the intervening time any easier, though. I've had a very hard time shaking this perception that I will absolutely positively 100% need to have all of my stuff completely figured out before it gets too late to do so, be that in 6 months or 6 years or whatever, and I can't help but fear the rest of my life... I'm afraid that, in the end, I'll have to spend the rest of my time alone, unloved, and unable to support myself and live a life that's worth living T_T

Yay for fun!

I do the thing too where I feel like I have to get everything completely figured out or else [bad thing brain weasels have decided on]. What I've done to try to resist getting paralyzed by that feeling is to try to emphasize making progress on things instead of having it totally settled. And sometimes progress looks like "figured the thing out and on track to have it just so!" and other times it looks like "exploring some options" and other times it looks like "not actively stuffing my feelings down and pretending thing doesn't exist".
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Re: Depression and dating

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