Hi, I guess I'll just jump in and test the waters. I'm brand new to BTB. I am a 55 year old unemployed male. I am fortunate to have a loving, supportive wife, three wonderful daughters, and a few semi-close friends. I am also am a member of a church which gives me something of a support group there, although I often feel uncomfortable being there with my feelings of low self esteem and inadequacy. I am a musician/singer but I seem to be going deaf, which has affected my employment, many other aspects of life, and hasn't helped much with my depression. I was emotionally abused as a child from as early as I can remember until my late teens by a sibling. That has left an indelible mark upon my life..but I dare to think I can overcome it, or at least reach a higher level of happiness than I presently have (today seems to be one of my "dark" days.) It seems to me that I've pretty much led a depressed life, characterized by various degrees of depression, anxiety, and low self esteem. Sometimes, I've had periods of relative happiness, with my depression taking a back seat. About 2 1/2 years ago, I went through a nasty situation at work, resulting in my being treated very badly and eventually, I was fired. That messed me up very badly and triggered severe depression that I haven't really recovered from completely. After living in denial and barely functioning for over a year, I sought professional help and met with a counsellor for about a year. I made some pretty good progress, then the rug was jerked out from under me again recently. I desperately need someone I can talk to..and now I simply cannot afford professional counselling.
I've been looking for a local support group for some time and found none. My wife and several good friends know about my depression but I'm uncomfortable burdening them with my problems. I've opened up to few people due to the "stigma" of suffering from depression. I long to be able to talk about my sadness, my pain, my challenges, etc. with others who have some understanding of what I go through. I am strongly focused on getting better. Nothing else will do. I am not willing to participate in "gripe sessions" or "self pity." I want to focus on the positive, and move in the direction of being less self-critical.
Interestingly enough, I chose this forum partly because of the name. I've come to view my "affliction" as a "beast." The mental image I hold of it even resembles the illustration on this site. In seeking out help in the past year and a half, I finally turned around and faced "the beast" and said "I've had enough of you..I'm fed up with you and I want to be rid of you..." If only it were that simple. The beast is much bigger and uglier than I had ever imagined, and not easy to tame. Still, I'm determined to overcome. I just want to get better.