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Old 09-19-2017, 09:42 AM
neha321 neha321 is offline
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Default I don't know what to do with my life

I often suffer from severe depression. I am lost. I hit forty, got married for the second time a year ago, quit my job at the largest NGO in the world where I was working in a senior managerial position and now I don't know what to do with my life anymore. I suffered from severe depression after my marriage for months and just couldn't drag myself to go to office no matter how hard I tried. I have been unemployed since. But I want to do something great and I know that I have the potential. However, I never got the proper guidance or the encouragement. And there isn't a single family member or a friend who can provide me good suggestion or guidance. Because they all have different educational background and interests that are totally different from mine. I have decided not to share with anybody anymore because nobody is knowledgeable enough to understand what I am going through. So I am doing some online research. My biggest mistake was choosing the wrong career path. I am not a tech, corporate or business person although I have successfully managed to perform brilliantly in senior managerial positions. My father keeps rebuking me for not reading the newspaper religiously. I like writing, I like painting, I enjoy photography, I love doing creative things. But who'll explain to my family members that not a truly creative mind is a news junkie – not a writer, not a composer, mathematician, physician, scientist, musician, designer, architect or painter. Another problem is that I am good at everything I do - but I can't figure out what is the one thing that I am passionate about most. But I know that I enjoy doing work that involves creativity. And I hear there is a link between creativity and depression.

Online source: Creatives – the writers, musicians, inventors, dancers, scientists, architects, students and teachers, and any other creative type you can think of – are singled out more often than not when it comes to depression. Van Gogh being a primary example of the tortured creative. Countless psychologists and psychiatrists tend to agree that major depression is amplified in those who tend to ruminate on their thoughts. There are certain types of thinkers who naturally are drawn to play the stressful events over and over again, thinking about what happened, what they could have (or should have) done differently, how the details of what occurred will affect the rest of their lives, and so on. Creative thinkers tend to fall into the latter group, re-playing events over and over again to better understand them. A result of focusing on these thoughts then, is immense depression or a feeling of hopelessness. This rumination to depression process is evident not only in creatives, of course, but everyone. If the average (not powerfully creative) person finds themselves in a moment of deep reflection – particularly about a stressful event – they too are likely to encounter a state of depression, though it may not last as long as someone who continues to ruminate on the event(s). For creatives, that depressive state happens to be longer-lasting and more intense, due to their innate desire to simply keep thinking on it. Creativity is all about thinking, so it only makes sense that all of that thinking would lead to manic episodes of feeling hopeless, alone, or like a failure. Depression, while seemingly a hindrance to a healthy and happy life, is really a balancing act that helps us focus on the areas where we need to improve most. For creatives, this depression is what amplifies motivation to do their work better. It’s not enough to keep doing what you’ve been doing as a creative, you have to do more, and do it well. That’s empowering, if you can make it through the initial dip in energy. While depression serves as a reflection of thought and those who ruminate tend to suffer the most, it also has a secondary upside that helps explain why creatives experience more depression than any other individual type. Once whatever initially caused the depressed feelings to rise up have been sorted through in the mind, the shift into more positive thoughts (e.g. “That wasn’t so bad,” or “I know what I have to do now”) helps to drive even more motivation to do more creative work (or really more of anything at all). Say you’re an avid tennis player who suddenly falls into a temporary state of depression. Once the thoughts you experienced through those few days or that week of depression are counseled internally, you may find yourself more motivated than ever before to get out and practice your backhand stroke. To the point where you go above and beyond where you were before the depressed state. Of course, the motivational boost is often an inverse of the level of depression. So if you’re in a truly deep funk and start coming out of it, you can expect your motivation to be equally as high as the low. Creativity is what can drive depression, a signal that there’s a lot of thinking going on. Which, in return, is great for creativity once the initial slump has been combated and the motivation returns".

If only I could find someone who could help me. Or perhaps guide me on how I can help myself. All I hear is "Work, work, work - go back to work, you are lazy, you suffer from depression, you have too much spare time, you are spoiled". I need a break from such people. I need to be allowed to hit rock bottom so I can come up feeling more motivated and energetic. It has happened numerous times before, I took a break and I got into a better position in a better organization with better pay and my performance after the break improves everytime, more energetic and more motivated. While I could enjoy the needed break while I was single because I have a stable source of income through real estate that I inherited, I was never allowed that break without the feeling of guilt after my marriage. Because my husband wanted a strong, independent highly educated working woman. And I have been wrong to put the blame on my husband for putting pressure on me to go back to work. He acted like any other ordinary person would and failed to understand me. And why should he? Why should anyone? What everybody fails to understand that I am not particularly enjoying the fact that I am sitting idle and not doing anything productive with my life.

Now I really need to figure out what it is that I enjoy doing, what it is that I want to achieve, what it is that I really want to accomplish.

I want to do things now that I never could make the time for before. Perhaps do a course in photography and interior designing, learn swimming and driving and even salsa comes to mind from time to time. I feel like traveling because I feel I may not get the opportunity to do so when I am older. My husband is probably right when he says I am going through mid-life crisis. I feel like time is running out and there is a clock ticking. But I lack the motivation and the necessary finance to do all this. I went for a job interview yesterday (for the sake of paycheck and pleasing everybody) but I have been so depressed since.

Hoping for some valuable guidance. Thank you in advance.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:31 PM
Mike65Denver Mike65Denver is offline
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Your explanation is better than the best explanation I have ever read. Thank you so much for describing what I am unable to. It is like you shined a light into my soul. Let me tell you what happened to me. I was poisoned by toxic fumes at a job, damaging my lungs, my nerves get all discombobulated and my brain cells go all scatty wompus. I am the opposite of you. I was a loser who always failed, bouncing around from one low paying manual labor job to another. As I got older I was tired and kept getting fired so by the age of forty I was homeless. I was also very sick and suffered terribly. For 20 years I had zero income. I read books and played chess to escape from my misery. I was afraid to sleep at night because of the nightmares. Eventually I got a free room from Uncle Sam and disability. I started studying nutrition. A miracle occurred when I went on a raw food program where I eat mostly raw organic fruit and raw pastured eggs. You can study my 3 posts and watch raw food videos. I feel negative, either sad or mad, when I think of all the times I've had to endure tongue lashings from killjoys. So what I learned to do was flip the script. I just imagine the opposite. I just imagine everyone is smiling, calling me good names, giving me approval positive feedback, emotional support, and common courtesies. I imagine everyone is practicing social etiquette during rehearsals and being considerate to my feelings. I imagine everyone is respecting my decisions, appreciating my effort, admiring my proficiency, and praising my performance. The second miracle occurred when I began feeding the mall pigeons raw organic grains and seeds. They spend their entire lives suffering while they barely survive because the scraps of frankenfood they eat are low in nutrients and high in toxins. When I look back on my life I realize that I never really loved anybody. I love those pigeons and they love me. So that gives me something positive to do and somebody to love.
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