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Have you ever had one of those years?

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
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I haven't been able to catch my breath, so to speak, for a year. I have either been fighting illness, drama, extreme stress or having the fatigue from these events for a year. I don't feel like myself anymore because of the stress of this past year. Just when I think that life will be getting back to normal, I will bet bowled over with some new event that is extremely stressful.

My energy and patience and capacity for thinking about complex items are so depleted that all that I really feel capable of doing is minor housework or watering my vegetable garden. Then, I am so exhausted, I need rest. Anything that requires a whole DAY of energy leaves me depleted for many days.

Have you ever had a period of time when you felt like this?

If so, how did you take care of yourself during this time? How did you get your strength back? How did you get back to feeling like yourself?
 

chrono

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I did, for part of last year and early this year. I had to ask for other family members to share the burden / load. It was so bad that I considered quitting my job in order to free up more time to handle all these tasks and lessen the stress. There were many nights where I couldn't sleep as well. We came up with a game plan and although not perfect, just having others handle some things made daily life so much more bearable. If you don't speak up, others do not realize how much work you are shouldering alone.
 

ksinger

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House Cat|1467033855|4048751 said:
I haven't been able to catch my breath, so to speak, for a year. I have either been fighting illness, drama, extreme stress or having the fatigue from these events for a year. I don't feel like myself anymore because of the stress of this past year. Just when I think that life will be getting back to normal, I will bet bowled over with some new event that is extremely stressful.

My energy and patience and capacity for thinking about complex items are so depleted that all that I really feel capable of doing is minor housework or watering my vegetable garden. Then, I am so exhausted, I need rest. Anything that requires a whole DAY of energy leaves me depleted for many days.

Have you ever had a period of time when you felt like this?

If so, how did you take care of yourself during this time? How did you get your strength back? How did you get back to feeling like yourself?
The last 3 years. I just get by the latest assault upon my life, to be assaulted by the next tragedy/health issue/job issue. Everything is mostly crap actually.

The only thing that is going to relieve some of the burden now, is formal application for disability, the depressing reality of which, is its own stressor.
 

wildcat03

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It wasn't a full year, but last year I had about 6 months, followed by a break for a few months, then 9 months of complete exhaustion. It was a combination of work stress/exhaustion, my fiancé having a crazy work schedule, plus the fact that we didn't live together yet so I spent half my time living out of a suitcase. It has been truly exhausting. It came up with my yearly meeting with my boss in November and he was very understanding (he's great) and didn't push me to take on some new tasks/committees that I probably should have. I have also learned to say "no" with less guilt than before. My mother recently had a hip replacement. Both she and my father asked me to take time off to come home, stating that my dad "had to work" (meanwhile I have a MUCH less flexible job than my dad and am in the process of planning/paying for my wedding). I felt very guilty (and am still dealing with some guilt) for saying no, when I took 4 days off the week before to go to the beach, but my schedule was pretty rigid and I needed that break more than anything.

Far and away the most important mitigating factor for me is my fiancé. We don't have children, so we get to be pretty self-indulgent (which may make this less applicable/practical). He's always great at taking care of me - making lunches and most of the rest of our meals, but if I tell him I am particularly exhausted he will wait on my hand and foot. He'll make sure there is a day's worth of meals in the fridge when he leaves for work in the morning (I work a different schedule and usually leave after him) so that all I have to do is shower and go to work.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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This has been a tough year for me. My best friend decided to just stop being friends with me after 21 years. We are going to a wedding that will cost us well over $1,000 which has been stressful emotionally and financially because it is a destination wedding and factors associated with that. I fell on my knee which gives me pain now so I am not exercising and my weight loss has stalled. We are on a strict financial budget and have been trying to make progress paying off our credit card debt and then my dog had to have $4,000 surgery for bladder stones. Our marriage went through a really rough patch when I confronted my husband about his temper and anger issues (which stem from work) he told me a couple of weeks ago he wanted a divorce but backtracked on that and we have been working diligently on our marriage since. He has been better about keeping his temper in check. I more or less stay home all the time with my two year old son because of our financial situation and just not wanting to deal with any more life outside of the house.

My husband considers me to be functionally depressed. Maybe that is what you are experiencing as well?

I have found that being around people helps. Even though you might not want to go anywhere or deal with anyone, just making what I call surface conversation makes you feel more connected. I would go to my favorite coffee shop and talk to the barista or just take my son to the park and strike up a conversation with someone.

Getting out into nature helps too. I take my dog on a hike by myself and it just helps to center your thoughts a bit plus it's good to breathe in some forest air.

Treat yourself to something daily. Whether it is a $1 coffee or some alone time to go window shopping, something that you will enjoy even if it means you need to be a little selfish, even if it's only 20 minutes.

Do the best you can, that's all. Maybe it's not possible to function at 100% but it's better to do your best at functioning at say 40% then just going through the motions.
 

Calliecake

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House Cat, This year has been one of those years for me. My brother had a double transplant this year so between that and the family drama it's been difficult to say the least. What has helped me more than anything are my very supportive friends. Two of my Pricescope fiends, two of my real life friends and my husband have literally kept me sane. Forcing myself to do fun things has also helped. I hope things get easier for you. If you'd like additional support, please come here and ask for it. Sometimes it just really helps to get things off your chest. :wavey:

If forgot to mention working in my garden and just relaxing with my dog has also helped a lot. She really knows when I'm feeling blue and turns into a little cuddle bug. She would wake up in the middle of the night give me a kiss and go back to sleep. It's so strange because normally she sleeps thru the night. Even my husband commented that she didn't leave my side for months. Do you garden?
 

AprilBaby

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The beginning of this year looked great and then in March I had a major health issue I wasn't expecting that plunged me into crisis. Surgery was 4 weeks ago and recovery has been a bear. Thank goodness for good friends and pshycological care!
 

missy

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Yes and sort of still having one of those years lol but things are much improved so no complaints. I am sorry for everyone dealing with hardship and challenges.

What gets me through it is knowing I have my "peeps"... the people who care about me and love me no matter what is going on and who are there for me as I am for them.

Also saying to myself "this too shall pass" and repeating it when things get rough. Because usually it does pass and while it may be replaced with more challenges know you can and will get through each one of them. Challenges and stressful situations often they occur in multiples but you will get through that too.

Focus on the positives and focus on your family, your children, your loved ones and know you will be OK. Don't be afraid to ask for help whether it be from a professional or just good friends who are there for you and look ahead to when things will be better. Crappy times sometimes hang around but don't usually last forever. And if anything you adapt and the new "normal" gets better.

(((Hugs))) to everyone dealing with adversity right now.
 

amc80

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Yes. The past 18 months or so have been crazy. Had a baby, relocated (so, new job + buying a house from out of state), being on my own while DH finished up in our old location, and DH taking a really long time to find a good job. So lots of stress, both logistical and financial. Oh, and SURPRISE! Found out I was expecting #3 in December.

To add to that, we've all been battling one illness or another since we've moved here. My theory is that all of the viruses around here must be just slightly different from what we've already established immunity against.

I think things will mellow out soon. DH should be getting a raise (which will help with our financial stress). Of course, in another 9 weeks we will have a newborn...I think a year from now or so we should be much less stressed.
 

Elizabeth35

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Yes---about 10 years ago my husband left me a couple weeks before our 25th anniversary. He took no responsibility for our teenage sons, one of whom was having drinking/drug issues. 4 months later my Mom died unexpectedly. I had to handle taking care of placing my Dad in Alzheimers care and handle his finances and care. I had a demanding corporate job and a house and yard to maintain when I got home from work. My dad died 8 months later and by then I was in the process of divorce. It was a bad year and many times I didn't think I could keep going.

Make sure you get to your physician and get a thorough check-up. I did this to make sure my BP was not elevated from stress (I was 48 yo).
Next step---go see a counselor. I did this and it was a huge help. We went through all I had on my plate and devised a coping plan. It helped me greatly.

Sorry you are feeling so poorly---make sure you get the help you need.
 

Kaleigh

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I am sorry you are going through one of those years. It sucks. I have had a few sucky years with divorce, that took forever to settle. Adult kids being involved. Not on my part but Ex was involving them to the point it was very unhealthy. Kids suffered, I suffered. My dad died this past October. Took on Mom's care although she was not in my life. Suffered abuse from my dad and my Mother was never emotionally there for me and my brother died of AIDS, oh the list goes on...

BUT I got a feeling of am I going to let these people win and define me?? NOPE.

After sexual abuse as a kid, I had super survival skills.

I used those skills to just keep going. My friends, were amazing.. I have family that is very caring. My kids adults now are super supportive and caring. My boyfriend has been awesome.

Therapy, and taking care of you is key. It's not a race, just be kind to yourself.

If there is a day you want to hide under the covers, go for it, but do NOT isolate...

Keep a journal. Make goals, and talk to friends. Find something that you are passionate about and have a hand at that...

HUGS!!!!
 

lyra

Ideal_Rock
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Sorry to everyone else who's going through a tough time. And a big virtual hug!

For me it's been a straight 4 years worth of high ticket stress. Job loss, health issues, death of relatives, every kind of life changing stress there is, and honestly, there's still no end in sight. The job situation is severe. The health issues are permanent. Retirement? Unthinkable at this time. Back taxes, property taxes, income taxes. Sheesh!

I'm wishing better luck to everyone caught in a cycle. I often felt like I was the only one, guess that's not so. I always feel like I'm just a whisper away from cracking. Take care everyone.
 

anne_h

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I went through a period of fatigue within the last few years after a fall down some stairs resulted in a concussion.

It tooks months and lots of iron and vitamins to get back to normal, energy-wise. I did not take a rest period, but probably should have.

I lost a lot of hair during that period, and that is still an ongoing fun beauty issue...

Hope you will be feeling better soon!

Anne
 

Jambalaya

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Oh, House Cat. House Cat. Hug: (((House Cat)))

Like others here, the answer is yes. In a way, I'm not sure the objective circumstances of a given person's life are relevant because everyone has different stress tolerances to different kinds of events. So I'll just say that some of the worst things I could have imagined in my life came true and it's still happening. Just found out I have to have surgery, just as I was feeling better after the last three years. If your worries are physical/surgical, this may or may not help: I decided to handle this differently from other events and actively decided that I won't let it dictate my life or take up all the room in my head like other times. It's a mind trick but it does work, at least for me. It's temporary but it does give some relief for brief periods.

About the fatigue - yes. Debilitating fatigue from September last year until about April this year. I think the only thing that helped was time. And I did let the housework go. It's hard to shop, cook, and exercise when you can only do basic things. Two really basic but healthy dishes I did: 1) rice, tuna, peas, and corn all tossed together with some kind of seasoning and 2) chicken breast pieces cooked on the stovetop in broth, tossed with rice and frozen veg (cooked in microwave first). Sorry if you're a vegetarian - I don't mean to offend.

Another thing that's helped me is focusing hard on very simple things that I like, such as Swarovski jewelry or watching Friends or thinking how much I love our pretty town. I absolutely get what you mean about not being able to focus on complex things. That has got better for me now, along with the physical fatigue. The two seemed to go very much together.

One other thing is thinking about how other people I know have recovered from some pretty bad stuff. It's not that their stuff is worse - I don't think comparing situations is helpful at all - it's the fact that they came through it, and the idea that eventually there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it's been just a pinprick for way too long.

I've always been a real worrier - how I don't have a stomach ulcer, I'll never know - but something I'm learning slowly, the hard way, is really how to relax in the middle of multiple and ongoing crises. For me, it's about deciding I'm not going to think about X for the next half hour while I read my magazine, or that I'm going to have the evening off my worries. Literally, like Scarlett O' Hara: "I'll think about that tomorrow." To some extent, it works. I haven't really found any magic bullet, but I guess it's just a combination of patience, time, and attempting to do mind-over-matter relaxing where possible. I'm going to have to get really good at that because I'm claustrophobic but I need an MRI. I guess the Scarlett cliche is another way of saying, "Take things one day at a time."

I can only really say what's helped me. I don't know if these things will help you. Sorry if not. I do think that relaxation is key - giving your whirring mind a break - but it's easier said than done, for sure. It's worth it, though. Nothing seems as bad when you're relaxed.

Life in the middle years is tough.
 

Jambalaya

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Stephanie, I just wanted to say how sorry I am about your friend. The same thing happened to me and it really hurts. Again, the only thing that helped was time. And actually, you feel so abandoned and hurt for so long that eventually you get to a place where you genuinely would never want to be friends with that person again, anyway.

I also want to say that I really agree with the idea of connecting with people on a surface level. I've had some wonderful conversations that way, and they have cheered me up greatly.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 1, 2009
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8,877
Oh, boy. Yes!

I have had several "one of those years" and still wonder how I got/get through. I think we all go through this. It really helps me to be able to talk about it somewhere. That can get tough because I don't want to be that person always "complaining" or dwelling on the bad. That has made things especially difficult this time as I have been feeling very isolated with very few outlets. Through most of the last couple of years, I couldn't even grab a cheap cup of coffee let alone get lunch with a friend.

Over the last 5 years:
custody battle (we finally won)
brought kid (teenager) into our home (see the custody battle)
went to school (heavy duty math/engineering classes)
Lost 2 uncles to alcohol
Grandma diagnosed with Parkinson's, a couple of ICU visits where we almost lost her
DH was disabled and out of work for 6 months (vitamin deficiency -- multiple specialists, 5 MRIs, etc etc)
Got married (with an MRI the day before the wedding) (oh... and a whole thread in BWW on this whole drama)
Lost my sweet puppy who had been with me since middle school
Lost my sweet kitten at just 11 years old
DH laid off after 10 years at a company
DH out of work for 18 months
had to quit school to work (lots of fun with two AS degrees and no BS)
Sold my diamond to pay the car loan so the car wouldn't get taken
Sold our rifle collection to pay other bills
Sold too many other things to remember to just barely get by
House in pre-foreclosure (almost out, just waiting for final paperwork to reinstate in good standing)
DH not extended after 6 month contract
Job search that started to look like it would be another long period (discussed selling house and moving to trailer)


Anyway....
You get the gist.

It has been one thing after another. I try super hard to keep positive and do what needs to be done to keep things together and make it to the next okay stage. Thanks to some very kind people (mostly here on PS), I have managed to keep it (mostly) together. I cry sometimes. I have a bit of chocolate sometimes. I often take 20 minutes to just sit in the car in a parking lot to read quietly.

I think one of the huge helps has been realizing that I am not alone. Many people choose to not share (heck, I spent a lot of time here reading but not posting as I felt too depressed and didn't want to inflict my sadness on others) but I think most (if not all) of us have been here.

I wish I could say it will all get better or better things are yet to come or it all works out how it is supposed to.... but I don't know if I entirely believe all that. Some of the stuff that happens in "those years" turns into something even better than before (like "A" is starting college in September!) but some is just forever sad (like losing a loved one).
All I do know is that life keeps going and I have to choose to let myself feel my emotions but keep on living. What happens the day after you give up? The sun still rises and the cats/dogs still want breakfast. (Oh, on the worst of my worst days I got up because the cats/dogs needed fed and I wasn't going to let them be hungry -- I don't know if I would have bothered to keep going if it wasn't for them)


Sorry to ramble. Hope this helps. You aren't alone!
 

Gypsy

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I am going through one of those. No details here. Just trust me.

What gets me through? Well, my advice is below.

Well I had a super high stress week this week that as complicated by my depression, anxiety and insomnia. And some big disappointments.

But I had several bright spots that really helped me cope.

First, last week I met with a lovely PSer and had a wonderful time having tea with her and looking at bling and just talking about both our lives.
Then one of my best friends sent me a link to a possible job, letting me know that even though she was going through a really busy time, she was thinking of me.
My other best friend is moving back to CA THIS WEEK, and I will get to see her soon and regularly there after and I can't wait.
Then I met with another wonderful PSer for the first time and had a blast with her too, again just talking about life.
Then it was my 17 year dating anniversary with my DH. We didn't do anything special. But I reflected back on all those years and it was a good exercise in perspective.
My cats are bright spots every day. Just grabbing a kid and giving them a squeeze when I need it is so helpful.
We've had GLORIOUS weather. If nothing else works, I look at the sky and close my eyes and feel the sun on my face and the wind blowing. And I thank god and nature for it all.
Another friend (also a PSer) sent me a wonderful message of support today. And it was so wonderful and affirming.
Helping people. Whether its giving a dollar to a pan handler, helping people on RT, or whatever. It makes me feel good, feel like I am making even a SMALL little positive impact on someone's life.

So what gets me through, in a nutshell, is connection. Reminding myself that I have people who care about me, to I care about. I tend to be like a turtle and hide in my shell when I get hurt and stressed. And it's not good for me long term. I have been forcing myself to come out of my shell after a maximum of 48 hours. And you know what... it's been helping me. Even if it just means going to Target and walking around the store 3 or four times just to MOVE and be around people (I have done this several times) ... buying some milk or nothing at all.

Find out where you get your support from. Strengthen those connections. Find out what sucks the energy out of you. And minimize those connections. Even if they are your family or whatever. PUT YOU FIRST when it comes to spending time with people who are good for you. Even if it's just meeting someone for 15 minutes, or a quick 2 minute call that says "I'm thinking of you." Those are what gets me through. And you have to give to get. So GIVING other's that support, that attention is important. I called my best friend today just for a quick call literally to say, "I'm thinking of you." So it's a two way thing. Giving and getting both 'fill my cup' as it were. And you need as full a cup as you can get when you are going through this shit.

Keep in mind that today is a good day. So I can write this. There are really bad days too. And I HAVE to put one foot in front of the other and FORCE IT. But those pass. And even when (like in the last week) it's been 7 days of bad days and ONE good one. I make the most of that one good day. And I give thanks for me. Because it's what keeps me going.
 

ihy138

Brilliant_Rock
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Boy, have I ever. I'm having a real struggle with anxiety lately, something I've had off and on for about six years. I just can't seem to shake it and I'm using all the tools in my arsenal. It's like a black cloud over my existence. I've been feeling for the past year that I'm just not where I should be in life. I'm falling behind. Work is stressful. Money is stressful. Health is stressful. But I know it will get better. I like the following quote. It reminds me that some years are just like this. Most years are not.

PS Thanks Gypsy and others for sharing your strategies. That really helped me.

9b80ae617eb25f70875eba1a9be23a00.jpg
 

luv2sparkle

Ideal_Rock
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I have definitely had a few of those years. The worst was 2003. My mom died, my husband had to go through TB treatment for an exposure at work, we had a huge tree in front of our house that had to come down at a cost of 10K, my #3 son was hit by a car while on a small mini bike and had to be air-lifted to the hospital with multiple broken bones and surgeries. He was in bed for three months, then had to do therapy and learn to walk again. That accident was in May. In October, there was a huge wildfire where we lived and we were evacuated for three weeks. DH is a fire-capt. and he was deployed on another fire at the time. #1 son, who was 18, went with a friend to San Diego, while I went up the coast. The last day before we were to go home, (our house survived), he was in a car accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for many months and in a rehab hospital for a year and a half.

For me, my faith helped me get through it, but I learned a lot of things along the way. When you are going through difficulties that just seem too big to handle, do only what you have to. Let go of all the things you 'used to do'. They no longer apply. Do just what you have to do that day. In the midst of all of it, if you get the chance to do something you want to do, jump on it. Even a tiny bit of fun will help your mental attitude. Let friends help you any way they want to. Friends gave us gift cards. One stranger gave us $400 at Christmas because he son had recently died and had gone through the same injury. Now, I do the same for people. At one point, the hospital put a million dollar lien on our home. We were hugely in debt. Sometimes, when things got so crazy all I could do is laugh. It was all just so insane. I forced myself to look for the smallest bright spot. That often made us laugh. Laughter is truly good medicine but you have to work to find it sometimes.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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2005 was my annus horribilis.

Going through a divorce with no work/job for 3.5 months at the start of the year; found job; had shingles while right in the middle of the 7/7 bombings with 2 bombs within close proximity to where I lived and worked, and my dad died, all 3 happened within a handful of days in July; did not like the job and resigned; engaged in temporary work until I found myself a permanent role in March 2006.

I really do not wish to go through that again! However, I grew more resilient because of it.

Today, I am better prepared for all eventualities - getting rid of my debts except for the mortgage really helped, financially as well as mentally.

Nowadays, whenever I have a bad day, I just think back to that year, and it does not seem that bad a day afterall!

DK :))
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
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I want to send hugs to everyone who is having such a hard time. I am overwhelmed by the idea that everyone is going through so many hardships. I hope that these compounding periods of stress will let up on everyone very soon!

Thank you for reminding me to connect with others. I have been isolating. I am doing this out of exhaustion. I have even avoided my therapist for three weeks because I am so tired that the idea of doing therapy makes me cringe. I had a session recently where I left early because we both could see that I was too tired to do any real work. I am too tired to get the words out of my mouth.

This leads to the isolation too.

I'm not depressed. At least, I am not having depressed thoughts. I love my life, my kids, my husband. I recognize that everything I have is great. The outside influences that attack, whether they be drama or physical illnesses or my mental issues, I see them as separate from the core of my beautiful life. When I am depressed, my depressed thoughts tell me everything is screwed, especially me. Unless my depressions are evolving, which would be terrible.

There is a lot of really good advice and encouragement here. Thank you. Thank you for the reminders to stay positive and to look at the little things. Thank you for reminding me that this will add to my resilience. Thanks for reminding me to love my dogs. I have been keeping all of this advice in the front of my mind and telling myself that this stuff will help. So far, over the past couple of days, I know that it has been helping.

I really wish I had something to give to all of you. I only have my thanks. This forum is so amazing.

~~~
And Calliecake, I do garden. It is my favorite hobby! I used to be a horticulture student many years ago (it seems like another lifetime!) I moved to this new house and I have only had the energy to put in a vegetable garden. I am currently killing my front lawn with our extreme drought and 100 degree heat. I hate lawns. My plans are to fill the front yard with drought tolerant flowers/landscaping. But right now, I look out at that dead lawn and instead of seeing a playground, I see a chore. Years ago, I wouldn't have been able to sleep until that yard was filled. Now, I am just...meh about it. I am hoping my desire to plant will come back to me in the fall when it is best for my zone to plant anyway... My neighbors will thank me. :lol:
 
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