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Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby littleem » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:39 pm

Okay, I'm back! Quicker than expected, actually!

How are you? How is your mood? I'm glad your move went well and I hope you will be feeling happy and settled. :) Nothing ventured then nothing gained, so why not check out with a doctor about your skin? Excuse to treat yourself to nice face masks and those weird-coloured smoothies that taste so good, if nothing else! (Sorry, big fruit and pampering fan, here!) :lol:

Yes, I do think that it's a case of me now being able to face the issues that medication (when necessary) had suppressed. Did your similar feelings after coming off the meds pass? How long did it take? Please share your experience if you feel comfortable to do so of course! :)

Interesting point about the communities providing some escapism. In some ways, yes. The pressure is taken off. But, I would like to think that it would be in a positive way for me.

I've seen people firsthand in India who had chosen community life for want of a better life away from their struggles and poverty outside. These individuals were markedly depressed - to the extent that they unsettled me in my own discernment of this specific community. Other long-term community members, content in their decision in spite of the struggles of community life, disclosed to me that these other members had perhaps entered community for the wrong reasons.
My prior personal experience of community life has shown me that having that clear purpose and direction can in fact bring a sense of freedom, peace, belonging and contentment. During my first six months in community in India, I was the happiest I have ever been in my life. I was there for the right reasons and that way of life was in no way 'easy'.

After India, I went to a different community in Bosnia - but, for the wrong reasons. I only went because I couldn't stay on in India (visa and financial limits) and I didn't want to return home.
I therefore went to escape from returning home.
During these three months, I became very depressed. The community experience there felt more restrictive, controlling and suffocating. It resulted in me feeling I wanted to actually escape from the community!

I guess it depends on the approach of the community, the characteristics of the individual and the reasons they have chosen community life.

Should I join community, I want to complete my CBT for anorexia (only relapse prevention and maintenance left to do - say 2 months) as well as some EMDR sessions.

It's not a case of me needing to feel worthy by constantly serving others.

Stay strong and take care,

Em x

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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby littleem » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:48 pm

P.S. (I'm getting sick of the sound of my own voice/sight of my own words)…. :lol:

Little update!

1. Job that sort of did/sort of didn't sack me have offered me part time weekends only. Either I suck it up, do it, potentially quit for community, or tell them I'm not interested.
2. I have another (same type job but different restaurant) trial this Thursday evening. Or I have a fresh start here, but will that comes anxiety of a new place, will I cope etc. I mean, I hate the other job, but it's a piece of piss and I've embarrassed myself enough times by being mental that I'm not embarrassed.

I don't want either job but I still need to earn money, obviously. :roll:

3. The (not intense) community have invited me for a visit in six weeks - not next week as I thought. So I'm here - working in either job 1 or job 2 until then. Unless I don't work (would like this, but probably not good for the depression or the bank balance - so isn't an option).

4. Meeting with landlady Thursday to find out about whether I'm here for a month or three months.

5. The (potentially intense) community have been in touch. We keep missing each other so haven't yet spoken. Hopefully we will soon.

So that's that. Gonna give your brain's a rest now. :lol:

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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby so sad » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:52 pm


I’m really sorry about the boyfriend and I totally understand not wanting to talk about it. I can so relate to you when you said about ‘you are…..’ – I have many of those traits too and its makes relationships a lot harder. Shame we can’t reprogramme ourselves!

Your boss isn’t the most diplomatic or equal opps is she? I agree totally, wouldn’t diarrhoea be a lot easier to handle and explain away? Have you any other opportunities about?

In answer to some of your questions – work – I actually like my job, most of the time. I’m classed as the expert in my area which I can acknowledge and I do like knowing what I do but it’s when I have to interact with others that I have the problem. I think my fear of getting stuff wrong and letting people down would follow me any where I went and my boss is so supportive so I don’t want to lose that.

My partner isn’t gay or bisexual – she likes men and has no attraction to other women – I am a one-off, an anomaly. I think she is bothered that others will think she is gay or bi. She is a lot older than me. None of her friends have issues with anyone else’s sexuality so it’s not like she would be judged but she just won’t do it. I assume that everyone else assumes we are a couple – we do everything together, live together etc so it’s not beyond anyone’s imagination. When we first got together we worked in the same office and back then, most people in that office (it was a big place) knew I was gay and it felt quite liberating (this was 20+ years ago so it wasn’t seen quite as normal as it is now). When I moved jobs I didn’t feel I could be as open and with the whole secret relationship I just found myself hiding that part of me away. Now, some know, my manager and a friend at work but not many others.
I feel that if I was good enough she would be proud to acknowledge me as her partner. This and her general approach to me definitely perpetuates my mental health issues.
I have tried to talk to her about my mental health but it just falls on deaf ears. She is more than happy to support anyone else who has depression/anxiety but not me.

Therapy – I could go private if I found one that wasn’t extortionate but I’m scared of getting too attached. I do it all the time and then have to try to cope with grief like feelings when it ends – I can’t win!

I know I need to do something and I’m very aware that I’m looking for something external to be that magic wand that makes me better. I need to look inside but I don’t like what I see when I do that. I feel weak and pathetic.

I have kept in touch with some of my old DBT group, mainly through messenger and I do feel that I can just be myself with them. As for meeting up with them, easier said than done. My partner isn’t a big fan of me doing stuff without her and that then causes issues and an atmosphere.

I really don’t feel like I have a safe place, home and work certainly aren’t.

Anyway, back to you – I think a move of job would be good for you, even weighing up the anxiety of starting somewhere new. Your current employer worries me with their approach to you.

landlady - good luck - hope she can sort something for you

The communities do sound interesting - 6 weeks sounds a long time off, hope if goes fast for you.

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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby littleem » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:03 pm

Hiya :)

Ah, thanks. Re the boyfriend, it was better I found out sooner rather than later. I feel a bit of a twonk but it's not so bad. It's a massive step for me to even think about entering the world of relationships. It hasn't put me off. One day, with the right person, I might even hope to give and receive love in a relationship. So it's positive, really. (I've always gotta find those positives.... :lol: )

Major shift in my thinking, though. The undiplomatic and ignorant boss would have triggered thoughts such as "I'm worthless" and "I'm less" in previous times, but (although it wasn't a pleasant experience) I left the job knowing I deserve better. I know my own truth.

I've tried different jobs (I work as a kitchen assistant predominantly washing dishes. Not that there's anything wrong with this, but I am capable of so much more.) but the stress and (mostly self-inflicted) pressure is too much and (if I even start the job in the first place) I don't cope.

But I DO have a trial shift washing up in some other restaurant this Friday night. I must admit, I have a lot of apprehension that I will fall back into my rut of not being able to hold a job down.
"What's the point?" is very much fuelling my depression right now. I don't feel pointless. It's just the job and day to day blah (even nice things in my day) are accompanied by "what's the point?"

I feel like the personification of a big deep sigh. :roll:

Meeting landlady tomorrow. She thinks she has someone to replace me.

Yeah, six weeks for the community visit. Does seem long. But by then, I hope to have completed my treatment with the community mental health team so it could be good timing...

I had an honest conversation with the other (more intense) option of community. They said it was very unlikely I'd be accepted having had anorexia (they've had significant issues in community with sufferers and ex-sufferers of anorexia) which is totally fair enough.

I'm sorry to hear that you experience those struggles at work. It seems to me that you are very effective at positive-reframing. To me, it seems that you have (for want of a better expression) the 'best of the bunch', i.e. your clearly successful and your manager is very supportive, plus you enjoy your work!

Do you think revisiting CBT or DBT or having some further therapy could reduce your fears of making mistakes and letting people down which would thus make your work life easier?

Regarding your partner, this is her problem and not yours. What I mean is, her refusal to acknowledge the relationship bears no bad reflection on you. It seems she can not admit to her sexuality (whether she is bisexual or whether she is straight apart from you - her special someone! :) ) The fact that you are the only woman she has fallen for says a LOT of good about you!! She must love you very much.

Have you asked her about her insecurities about her sexuality?
Have you asked why she won't acknowledge your relationship?

Have you told her how it makes YOU feel when she dismisses the relationship and your mental health conditions?

Forgive me for speaking out of turn, but ultimately is this relationship giving you more good, belonging, happiness and love than it is triggering and perpetuating your feelings of inadequacy, dissatisfaction and not being supported....?

Because, out of care, these statements worry me....

I feel that if I was good enough she would be proud to acknowledge me as her partner. This and her general approach to me definitely perpetuates my mental health issues.

My partner isn’t a big fan of me doing stuff without her and that then causes issues and an atmosphere.

I really don’t feel like I have a safe place, home and work certainly aren’t.

She is more than happy to support anyone else who has depression/anxiety but not me.
…. Why is this?

Re therapy, would you become attached if the therapy worked to help you overcome your struggles and feel fit for discharge? Could you arrange a maximum amount of sessions with the private therapist (with a 5-session extension or whatever) so it's flexible but has an eventual, appropriate cut-off point?

You are not weak or pathetic. I think you are mistaking those labels for feeling vulnerable. Looking deep into yourself and addressing what is within shows courage, self-awareness, strength and resilience. Nothing weak or pathetic about that. Feeling emotional in response to upset and/or as a symptom of mental health conditions is a natural human response. Again, not weak or pathetic.

For anyone, and especially for those of us with mental health issues, having somewhere we feel we can be ourselves is so important and liberating! I do think that DBT group could benefit you...
Besides your partner not wanting you to go, is it an accessible thing to meet up with them?

Hope you are feeling as well as you can be. Take care,

Em x

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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby so sad » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:16 pm


It definitely is better that you found out now that it wasn’t going to work, getting any further in would have been distressing. The right person is out there waiting to meet his soul mate which is you, its just finding him!

The shift in your thinking is brilliant and impressive around your ex-job, you are definitely worth a lot more. I understand the self-inflicted pressure and starting a new job is terrifying on its own without us adding on even more fear and unreasonable expectation. Knowing you can do more is a good basis to start from and time will help you gain the confidence to fulfil anything you want. I’m very inpatient though so if you’re anything like me, you want that stage to happen now.

I feel like the personification of a big deep sigh. - I just want to give you a huge hug x

Fingers crossed on the landlady issue – are you moving back home if she can replace you?

I know I am lucky where my job is concerned but the fear can be debilitating. I would have even more fear if I tried to move jobs so I have to work really hard at keeping this job and try to give myself a bit of a break where my high standards are concerned.

I do need to look at my DBT notes – I am aware of some of the skills, I’ve remembered a lot of them but they’re just not hitting the mark. I did get a phone call from CMHT yesterday in response to a complaint I raised about the circus that has been my care coordinator allocation. I hate complaining but was told by those in the team that’s it’s the only way to be heard. My biggest fear about doing it was that my DBT therapist is now the team leader on the CMHT team and I didn’t want her to see it. I didn’t want her to know I’ve failed at DBT or the mess I’m in…..but she does now. The woman dealing with the complaint spoke to her and I’m being allocated another new care coordinator next week, my DBT therapist will do the handover herself. I’m embarrassed and feel like I’ve let her down.

I think my partner does love me but I also wonder, a lot, if she stays with me because she is afraid of being on her own. She is retired and I think if she was to start again she would struggle. I sort out everything to do with bills and the house, she doesn’t want to know the detail so hasn’t got a clue about any of it. But I also know that I’m hard work so she must love me to some extent to put up with me.

We have talked in the past about why it’s a secret and she will just say that she likes it being a secret and that its nothing to do with anyone else. She won’t talk about it beyond that. She isn’t very approachable at the best of times – if she doesn’t want the conversation she loses her temper and shuts it down. She has very set thoughts on things – yesterday I was talking to her about Susan Calman who has a radio show where she talks to comedians who also have mental health issues. My partners reactions was ‘well we all feel like that at some point’ – I cannot get to see that mental health is chronic for some, including me – but saying that, she supports everyone else so I’m at a loss. When I’ve tried to discuss it before she is quick to belittle it – there is no talking to her.

When I speak to my GP about her, she is clear that the relationship is bad for me but she acknowledges that doing something about it is beyond me at the moment.

Therapy – I’m going to see if I can be referred to a psychologist on the NHS and if not, I do need to think about private therapy.

I could contact my old group and see if they want to meet up for a coffee or something. I would just have to put up with my partner’s reaction.

Once you’ve been finished your treatment with community mental health team, will you still have some form of support?

Hope you’re doing OK – huge hugs coming your way


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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby minniemoo » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:47 pm

Sorry to hear it didn’t work out with your bf, it sounded pretty intense, not what you need. But nice that you are inching closer to something that might be right for you!

The communities seem to offer you something really positive in terms of feeling valued, keeping you busy, having somewhere you belong. Those are pretty important to us humans! Good luck :-) actually it sounds quite exciting. A change is always good. Can you leave whenever you want to? Apologies as my knowledge is very limited.

I was prescribed some meds but I was too scared to take them, for various reasons.. I kind of self medicated for a while with booze! That stopped about 6 years ago so I guess it’s taken that long all in all. Having my own family (kids husband etc) and feeling the sense of belonging and genuine love I’ve not felt in forever, plus generally getting older and giving less of a crap made me stronger so that I could face things. New challenges grew my confidence too. And talking therapy with an awesome lady who just normalised everything for me and gave me specific practical ideas on how to deal with every day situations I couldn’t deal with. Made me realise I was not crazy, I had just been ignoring my feelings for a long time and not putting myself first or even second or third! I am sensitive but not excessively so as I had believed. I really believe now that most mental health issues are normal human reactions to bad situations in life. But it’s bloody hard knowing how to fix a lot of the issues. Often it includes taking the actions we are most scared to do. Basically that’s what I have done now and it has caused some issues with my extended family but I don’t exist to ensure other people don’t ever experience any discomfort....! Which is what I used to think.

Yes I should see the doc again - they prescribed something for skin last year. I just feel like I’m getting old and falling apart a bit.. I‘m only 40.. this feels like such a hard stage in life, I should be making the most of being physically pretty well while I still am but I don’t know how to! Xx

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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby minniemoo » Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:36 pm

Sosad- I read some of your post and I’m sorry you are in this situation. Could you perhaps take some time out on your own somehow? Is there anyone you enjoy going to visit or a trip you wish to take alone to think? Maybe weigh up the pros and cons of your relationship and just get some space. Perhaps your girlfriend may miss you so much and realise you won’t let this carry on as it is forever, so that she may be willing to discuss the issues when you get back???

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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby littleem » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:51 am

Hi sosad :)

Thanks for the message and virtual hug.

I didn't do the trial. Instead, I made a consecutive decision to STOP working in these sorts of jobs.
(Nothing wrong with them, they just personally fuel my depression so aren't good for me)

So, the landlady didn't turn up. :shock: :roll: *insert rant* But she DOES have someone to replace me. I just wish she'd confirm whether I'm paid up or whether I have one or two more rents to pay.
She's near IMPOSSIBLE to get hold of!

Fingers and toes crossed that I won't have to pay more and that I can leave on the 18th March.

I've since arranged to visit the one community on the 20th March for two weeks! So I don't have to wait five. :D

Oh wow, I am incredibly impatient too! If I want something, I'm impulsive. Why wait? Why is ironic because I'm always (and I mean always) late.... fashionably, or otherwise. :roll:

Nothing wrong with raising a complaint. Improves the quality of care which benefits you, other service users and the CMHT. Takes a lot to do that so this is a positive thing. :)

I had a horrible issue with a member of staff a couple of years back from the cmht and it was through this forum that somebody actually noted that I could complain and ask that the staff member no longer be involved in my treatment. My mental health improved for the better as a consequence. I wrote a balanced, very honest review of their services which I know the staff who replaced her read and (maybe it's coincidence or maybe she'd be nice regardless - or maybe a bit of both) the replacement staff member has particularly been everything the previous one was not.

Also, please do not feel that your prior therapist (or anyone from the cmht!) would regard you as a 'failure'. The fact that you are seeking DBT again doesn't show that it 'didn't work'. It shows that it DID work which is why you want to refresh yourself with the knowledge to improve your mental health and wellbeing. That shows self-awareness, intelligence, humility, courage, rationality and resilience. Your DBT therapist will care about you, and thus would not regard you as a 'failure'.

Okay, rant over. ;)

I think my partner does love me
…. You 'think' ? :?
Is this more to do with your insecurities, your partner or a mix of both?

Do you think the relationship is bad for you?

Why is it that you feel 'doing anything about it' is beyond you?

What do the few who do know about your relationship feel about whether it is good for you?

Positive news about seeking therapy. Re DBT group, would your partner have to know? I mean, I'm not for one second suggest that you lie to her but surely she doesn't know the ins and outs of every single thing you do? Could you meet them without your partner even knowing about it?

Once discharged, I'll have my mental health support group once a week. My mum and auntie are supportive. Hopefully, I'll be in a community by then and have their support, too!

Thanks, I'm not as depressed now that I know I have some plans coming together. The guilt of not working (it's only been a week) and the running commentary in my mind of 'you're lazy, you should be working' blah blah blah is trying to have an influence.

Skype call with a community this Monday, skype call for another community the following Wednesday, visit with the third on the 20th. Then that's all my options (the fourth 'intense' one gave me a no) and I'm not looking at any others so as not to confuse myself.

Hope you are having a good weekend. Good vibes and hugs to you!

Em x

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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby littleem » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:11 am

Thanks MinnieMoo :)

Re. the three communities. Two of them, I can join whenever I want and stay for a year minimum with the option to extend. The other (my last choice) is from August-July with no extension.

No apologies needed. I know it's not the most common choice. :)

I'm glad the self-medication methods have stopped and that you are feeling better. Belonging, new challenges and therapy to deal with the issues are all really effective. All of which, I too, am exploring.

You've been on quite a journey, it seems! I love the evident self-awareness, empowerment and strength coming through. :D

I think lot of people say they feel they're 'getting old and falling apart a bit'. My mum certainly does, but in no way does she look or act like she is! And she's late fifties. ;) So focus on the positives that come with age (think of how your attitude and mental health and self-affirmation have all improved with age - you said it yourself!) and see it as a POSITIVE transition. My mum, for instance, had an awful time with the menopause but she loves the fact that she's now post-menopause. :lol: I certainly envy her when Mrs. PMS comes knocking each month.

Why not treat yourself to some new clothes, a nice haircut, have a spa day or massage (I always suggest this because I'm personally big into it! :lol: ), have your nails done, buy lots of nice smellies and have a soak in the bath with candles and pamper yourself! (I'm also a big advocate for this!)

Hope that helps some?

Em xx

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Re: Not wanting to live.... but not wanting to die.

Postby so sad » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:39 pm

Hi Em

Well done on making that call about work - you are definitely very aware of what increases your depression, great insight. It takes courage to act on it too so well done.

I can’t believe she didn’t turn up – very annoying (and rude) but the outcome is good. Fingers crossed you don’t have to pay too much rent.

Community - Great news – what will you do there? Badly worded question but I’m really interested in what life in there would be like for you.

I don’t think my complaint was particularly balanced – it started off that way but emotion got involved and I ended up being quite blunt…but it seemed to have worked but we’ll see.
I don’t think I’ll get anymore DBT, not sure what I will get to be honest. It will be up to the care co-ordinator to decide what they can refer me for. My instinct is that I need psychotherapy to help me sort out some of the stuff from my past. If they’ll agree is another matter and if they do, how long I’ll then have to wait is another issue. I had an occupational health assessment this morning – woman was lovely but couldn’t suggest anything because I’m doing all I can. Part of it was because I’d admitted to self-harming at work and I think it freaked my manager out so she wanted to check the risks. No risk identified which was good. It all makes me feel so hopeless – I’m doing everything I can yet still feel so dreadful.
I’m still really upset about my old therapist seeing my complaint. Its how emotional I got in it that worries me – she’ll be so disappointed in me and that breaks my heart.

Relationship – she never tells me she loves me, never. I know people don’t have to say the words, that they can show it in different ways and she can be quite caring. She likes to know I’ve arrived at work OK if the weather is bad, that kind of thing.
Yes, I do think it is bad for me. She affects my self-confidence and I need her to build it up, not knock it down. I need space to do my thing, not worry that she’ll be mad at me when I do.

I don’t think I deserve to do anything for or about me.

She pretty does know more or less by every move. I go to work, finish and go home. One night a week I go to an exercise class. The rest of my time is work or home. Someone in the group is trying to arrange a get-together and I will try to go.

The ongoing support sounds promising. Are you getting on OK with your Mum at the moment? I know things can be a bit difficult.

We are very cruel to ourselves aren’t we? We would never think that about somebody else but we are very quick to say it to ourselves. You are not lazy, not at all. You’re working out what is best for you and that is your priority right now.

Let me know how it goes today? I hope it goes well and that you feel its an option for you. Did you have a good weekend?

I’m really unsettled at the moment. Issues at work (probably more in my head than real) and the normal stuff at home is causing me a huge amount of anxiety.

Hope you're OK


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