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Old 02-22-2011, 12:09 PM   #41
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Mild exercise

You can't enlighten the unconscious.
But you can hit'em upside the head a few times to make sure they are really out...
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:18 PM   #42
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Best to you my fellow New Jerseyan. Ditto what many have posted. This too shall pass.

Make no mistake, my friend, it takes more than money to make men rich. - A. P. Gouthey
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:27 PM   #43
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Oh, those times when the case of lemons is delivered to your door.

Two life changing events...
1. I lost my Mom to undetected breast cancer in 2001. I took care of her 24/7 in her final days. I did not see a counselor afterwards. A mistaken decision on my part...
2. I lost my beloved husband to an aortic aneurism, with no prior symptoms, in 2004. All in the space of 6 hours between chest pain and passing. This time I sought out and saw a counselor. My doctor wrote me out of w*rk for 2 months so I could grieve and recover from the shock. Smart doctor.

One of the smartest things my grief counselor told me was to try to distinguish between things I had no control over (illness, death) and the things I could control (my reaction to both deaths, my natural optimism, my inner strength). I made a lot of lists in those days.

I am still deeply affected by both losses, but the difference is I have managed to regain control over my downside emotions.

It is not easy when those damn lemons keep tumbling in, but it can be done. Look deep inside and find your inner strength.

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:36 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by happy2bretired View Post
Maybe men don't cry as much as women, but maybe they should a little. You should actually feel what you are feeling, without any anti-depressants, alcohol or drugs of any kind, and then a good cry sometimes just helps relieve the built up feelings that you really can't describe...feelings that you only can feel.
We guys just resent having our emotions manipulated...

Originally Posted by Fireup2020 View Post
Best to you my fellow New Jerseyan.
Leaving New Jersey-- the solution can't be that easy, can it?

The book written on, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #45
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brewer12345, I hope the good words provided here are helpful to you. They have been to me, so thank you for posting this. In my particular situation, Ihamo's spreadsheet sounds like just the thing to help me hang on. I have been through some tough times and for some reason they all seemed to stack up together - not spaced out at a more manageable pace.

The only thing I could add might sound too simple but when the tough times come I keep reminding myself that "this too shall pass". It helps me to remember that I made it through to the other side many times before and was able to look back and just must perservere.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:33 PM   #46
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Brewer I wish I were close enough to help.

Please talk to your physician about support groups in your community that can help you cope with your family's health issues. As I recall you have young children, that can be an additional stressor for you and your wife. Consider using FMLA time as needed.

Then focus on your blessings and not the pos on your plate at the moment.
Duck bjorn.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:18 PM   #47
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When I'm experiencing the down side of life, I remind myself that there are a lot of people that have it rougher than I do.

Seems to make the down times go by easier. I hope yours go by easier as well.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:47 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
When I'm experiencing the down side of life, I remind myself that there are a lot of people that have it rougher than I do.

Seems to make the down times go by easier. I hope yours go by easier as well.
Might not work, but when friends of mine are down, I sometimes ask them (when I think I already know the answer), 'is this the worst thing that's ever happened to you?'
Answer (usually), "no."
And without asking them to describe or relive that worst event(s), 'did you go on to better days after that worst event(s) in your life?'
Answer (usually), "yes, I did now that I think about it."
Me, "any reason to think you won't come through this just as well if not better?"
Answer (usually), "you're probably right. I've been through tough times and worse times than this, and I'll feel better in time this time too. I've done it many times before."
It often seems to leave the other person more optimistic. And I use this on myself too at times.

Hope it helps someone, just another version of "this too shall pass" that the individual can see more directly...
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:36 PM   #49
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I haven't got anything specific to add - great suggestions here - but just wanted to say "hang in there buddy".
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:57 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
Darn, you beat me to it!

Seriously though, like most people I've had to deal with depression at some stages of life. I've found setting a schedule and making a list of things to accomplish, actively doing these things, getting outside as much as possible and lots of human interaction help tremendously. Depression, for me at least, suppresses the urge to do those things and feeds on itself in a downward spiral. So for me the remedy is to do them even if I don't feel like it - especially interaction.

Even if the list of things to accomplish seem meaningless, they give me a black and white guide to show me I'm gaining momentum. I've often made it as simple as "clean up the shop, change the oil in the hot rod, wash 2 loads of clothes, cook dinner, wash the dishes, call 2 people just to chat, put my son to bed and read him 2 books" for a day's tasks. If I don't write it down, I end up feeling like I haven't accomplished much. When its in writing I can see I'm gaining each passing day.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:18 PM   #51
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Hi, Brewer. Sorry to hear that you've been feeling down. You've been such a great help to so many members of this board (including me), I guess a lot of us want to try to return the favor (including me).

Anyhow, you're probably not going to be overly thrilled with any suggestions, because depression makes everything seem uninteresting, too difficult, whatever.

So, given that I would suggest:

Try saying "yes" more than you say "no" to activities, especially family activities. Keep things simple: play catch with a family member, play board games.

Depressions tend to lift after awhile. A lot of us know that from our own experiences.

Exercise is supposed to help combat depression, but I have a feeling that it only combats depression when a person is not depressed.

And, watch the alcohol intake as alcohol is a depressant.

And, if you are not feeling better in whatever time frame you feel you should be feeling better, you might try some short-term counseling and/or see an MD for a medication evaluation. The meds will probably not cause you to feel happy, but they might lift some of the heaviness, and therefore give you the opportunity to function at a higher level--which in turn usually causes a person's spirits to lift.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:34 PM   #52
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We've had our differences here on the forum, but I'm genuinely sorry to hear you're going through a rough patch. Try to keep focused on the days ahead, not the days behind; I've found the best way to do that is to make plans- (bigger plans for bigger problems)- and then focus on the steps required to see them to fruition. It will help take your mind off what ails you and give you an incremental sense of accomplishment as you move forward. Plans can be mental, physical, spiritual, whatever you think you need to do to refocus your energy and attention.It could be coaching a kids sports team, learning a new skill like mastering hand-cut dovetail joints, other might find solace in religion, yoga, continuing education, or a cooking class. I'd stay away from that whole "my body is a canvas" tattoo thingy, though.... but maybe that's just me...
Lots of good advice here from your many friends on the forum, hope things work out for you. Hang in there, and please keep us posted...
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:52 PM   #53
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Dunno how to deal with hard times, but life goes on anyway. Think of life as a river - if there is some big ugly unsolvable rock or two in the middle of my life I (try) to move past it. If it can't be solved I go around it and keep flowing and dealing with the things that i can solve. Later that unsolvable will resolve itself or become inconsequential.

OTOH, my gal is of the ram and dam nature. Given a problem she just keeps banging away at it till it gives up - it has to, as she doesn't. Seems a bunch noisier her way, but she learns more. For me it's lowkey and calm and try to flow.

Best of luck with your life issues.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:57 PM   #54
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Watch a sappy movie and cry a lot! Sometimes it helps get it out even if it is about some silly movie...

I saw cast away the other day and cried like a baby - the message was really strong and has been playing in my head a lot - since it is relavent to my situation - "you just move forward" - so I keep saying that to myself in my head - "move forward" has been powerful for me since dwelling on the crappy situation I can't do much about sucks after a good pity party!

More hugs!
If i think of something clever to say, i'll put it here...
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:11 PM   #55
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Posts: 1,595 many good post and so many here have suffered losses I hope I never suffer..such as the loss of a child.
Am not sure your post was about this type of suffering....or you said ...perhaps a lot of negative things and negativity surrounding you at the moment.
At times like these I tend to a lot of soul searching, walking, lifting weights...etc. I get "quiet"....meaning.....I wait it out and don't push myself or allow anything else to push me....trying to find "my center" again. It usually returns in due time.
Hoping you are able to turn this around soon.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:50 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
What else does one do? How do you make peace with things when life turns into one big sh!t sandwich?
One of the "take-aways" from the book What Color is Your Parachute? that I first read a couple of decades ago is trying to find the answer to "What were you doing when you were happiest?"

For me that turned out to be learning something new, different, technically challenging but not overwhelming, and something that was interesting for it's own sake. That turned out to be radio control model airplanes for a long time, which morphed into computer stuff, and taking a page from the book I persuaded my employer to create the job I wanted, playing with computers all day.

One of the most depressing times for me was going through the divorce. Six months before she moved out she wanted to have a baby, so "Gee, excuse me for thinking everything was okay". When I asked her about that later she said "I thought it would bring us closer." Only much later did it dawn on me the issue was immaturity - high school girls, not 30-year-old women - get pregnant for that reason, and it accounted for a lot of her spending behavior.

So I made some plans, set a course, had myself reestablished in my own home within 18 months, and as my Dad used to say "You chalk it up to tuition" and life goes on.

The problem is determining the course to set. Only you can answer that, but ask yourself "What was I doing when I was happiest?" Then head in that direction.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:20 AM   #57
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Sorry for your troubles Brewer. Not much to add to what has already been said, but I agree with others about exercise. I enjoy my daily walks with the mutt. Got in 5 miles yesterday. I'm not overly religious either, but I do go online everyday and read the daily devotion on the Upper Room website. I find that up lifting.

Your job may be carrying over to the rest of your life. I never liked my job. Just hung in there and finally hit the magic number. Sounds like your not that far off either, so you have that to look forward to in a few years. Focus on that and try to forget the daily crap. Just think of yourself as a short timer. That certainly helped me when I was closing in on my retirement goal.
Full time wuss............
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:37 AM   #58
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I am really impressed with the intelligence, depth and caring of all these responses. People here are not just average bears!

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Old 02-23-2011, 08:46 AM   #59
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I notice several people referring to anti-depressants as "Happy Pills "in a negative way . I struggled a long time before I finally decided I needed a short term of anti-depressants and believe me they don't make you happy . Nothing can make you happy when your life is in the pits . What they did was help me cope and work through the bad times . I know they have a stigma attached because I even used to wonder about people that take them but frankly until you have walked in somebody's shoes who is severely depressed you don't realize how tough it is to just move on . The only way I can explain a depression is suddenly your whole world is in black & white and all the color is gone . Well little by little the anti depressants restore the color so you can start to live again. Sorry for going off topic Brewer but this misconception drives me nuts .
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:50 AM   #60
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IMO Brewer I would do a lot of praying. That's what I do when life gets me down. It helps me. And I feel ya on the job front(been praying a lot lately ). Also, just some quiet time away from 'everything' can help.

And don't be afraid of anti-depressants. I'm not big into medication but it could be better than self medicating with alcohol. It helped me immensely after my divorce.

Good luck!

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