Afraid I'll Never be Happy

This is my first post here. I’ve had various degrees of anxiety
disorder all my life. Over the last 15 years it has been getting worse peaking
about 8 months ago. Have been seeing a psychiatrist all that time & trying
many meds – mostly antidepressants. When things got really bad I began having
to take Xanax every day just to be able to go to work. Got addicted of course
after a few months of that. Had been drinking wine on weekend since college
which is the only time I really felt good. Ended up at a psych hospital at
Christmas & got off the benzos & alcohol. Now I’m on 7 head meds.
Anxiety is somewhat controlled by meds and developing coping tools. I’m trying
everything suggested by the professionals including AA. Problem now is I’m
really unhappy. I can’t stand the way I feel & so wish I could have back my
wine. Thoughts?

Moderators: if this is in the wrong place please re-post.

  • 22 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Happiness is  a choice. You won't ever be happy if you don't get a grip on yourself and make an effort to be happy. The choices you've made thus far aren't making you feel good about yourself, so why are you still pursuing that kind of direction? You're just overthinking things, you know. Rather than entertain unhappy thoughts, why not explore the world and immerse yourself in people. Accept their support, try to read books or travel. There are so many things you can do that will turn all your thoughts away from unhappiness. 
  • Snapshot, I once was on 10 different meds for anxiety and depression. I was crazy messed up. I stopped all medications and felt like I came out of a cloud! I did end up drinking. I am sober now. Probably should try acupuncture. And whatever method you can use to avoid Meds and alcohol. I know it's hard! Believe me I know! Meditation, exercise, healthy diet, certainly no caffeine! I'm Sorry that you have had such a struggle. I believe you can have peace and happiness. I know how hopelessness feels. Be strong. You can do this! If I can get sober you day at a time sounds cliche but it's true. Every minute can be a challenge. This day was a victory for me and I will take that...
  • Like Tinx said, it's a way of life. You have to want to be happy. I myself am like you. I can't immerse myself in the world though, or even other peoples' company. IT may be all in my head, but every time I do I end up losing that person. Either through fatality or just falling out of touch, all my friends have left constantly. I now seek to fill that void by coming online, but I realize that's just a stop-gap measure. 

    You have to want to change. To pursue it. Stop overthinking like we both are, like Tinx said.  I sometimes think I fret too much over stuff I have no control over even though I try not too. It just seems sometimes no matter where you turn, what you do, it comes back to haunt you eh? Well don't let it. Just keep your head up and afloat. And welcome, by the way. I hope to see you around more. You've got some friends already!
  • I could somehow relate to your situation right now because I do suffer from anxiety issues most of the time, though it's not really that serious. It's like anxiety and depression are all part of my whole system already, like there's no way I could ever escape from these things. I also tend to be very lonely but I just always find time to get back to my "functional" self. I would say, anxiety and depression are really difficult to overcome, actually, I don't know if there's any way to beat them, it's like I will always be at constant battle with them.

    Anyway, I would suggest find a hobby that will somehow make you feel fulfilled, make it your passion, and it will bring happiness to you. As for me, writing and reading are my passion, and I truly enjoy these two activities.

  • Wine is only going to solve your problems temporarily. You should seek out help from your family or your friends, they can be the most helpful people out there if you try and speak to them.
    Happiness comes and goes, but I am sure it will come and remain there for you at some point. Don't lose faith, you're awesome!
  • I agree with xTinx, and now that I think about it, I fall victim to the "make the choice to be sad" category. I think its the thoughts from the past that have lead up to now, thats making me so sad, and that those thoughts will never go away. Trying to be happy, but then getting reminded of your past failures seems to have taken its toll quite heavily, for myself at least.
  • @Zalaria I'm quite the same. I've learned to overcome them with music, shows, games, and things to occupy my time and moving forward in my life. I try to put them behind myself, but you never truly can. You just have to deal and make the right decisions from here on out.
  • @SDarkraven I've made so many small mistakes in life that my family seems to make into a big deal, and it annoys me. Take school for instance. I'm taking classes at the community classes and my grades haven't been the best. And with my younger sister having started highschool, and seeing her go through things like parent conferences or getting decent report cards and stuff. When she messes up, it brings me back to everything I've messed up on. And my parents are rather strict on grades, only wanting A's and B's. I know my little sis wants to go to college and she may have had a few C's here and there, but when my mom or dad starts yelling at her saying she won't be able to get into a good college with bad grades, and knowing I myself have some C's currently that they are unaware of, well... you could imagine.
  • I can imagine. I was there once. I had a 3.5, and never went to college due to family issues and life throwing me around. So I used to let that get me down, and I can't find a job - so there was that. But at a certain point, you can't worry anymore about things that are to come/have passed. You can only control what is in the here and now. Don't fret, try to find happy areas, or things you can build up on. My mistakes were huge, and there were a lot of them. So to someone with a lot little mistakes, there is still hope. Take it from someone who is (29) and been through the ringer. I've been around the block on depression, nobody caring, the ME VS. The WORLD scenario many times over, and I'm still alive and fighting. I didn't let it stop me, or freeze me. Doesn't mean you can't (or won't stop) thinking about them. I think about them everyday and the "What ifs"

    But you CANNOT let it get to you. Then you're losing.
  • Hmm, I see. If it was that easy to let go of the past, I would cut the string in a heartbeat. And now that I think about it, I never really think in terms of the present. I might resent my past and dread the future in some ways but I should make an effort to try and think for the present, even if it is stressful.
  • I feel the same way. I can't be happy, because there's too many horrible things consistently happening to me in my life. I can't win. I don't think I'll ever be happy, and seeing horrible people in this world being happy just makes me feel worse about it all because I feel like they don't deserve to be happy, but I do. I feel like I'm a good person, and I'm fantastic at faking happiness, but I'm definitely the farthest thing from happy.
  • I understand that happiness may seem un-achievable, however it always, always is. Your medications are a crutch to help you with a debilitating disorder, your top priority should be working out your issues and getting through it. It is VERY possible. Happiness is a byproduct of your mind being in harmony with itself, and mental disorders can very much interfere with that. But I promise, it is possible.
  • A lot of people go through a stage in their life where they feel that they're unhappy or never will have everything they want. As people get older I think its more and more common and people start to question just what they want out of life.
  • @snapshot how are you doing?  i can certainly understand how it feels to be depressed. when i was suffering from depression, it seemed like no matter what i did i just couldn't feel better. i tried meds once and they made me so tired.

    i do think there is a place for medicine, but sometimes i think they over medicate....personally, if it were me, i'd try to cut down on meds and work on alleviating depression other ways.  meditation, yoga, acupuncture, a really good counselor or spiritual advisor, friends, etc.

    it's good that you are reaching out and trying though. please let us know how you are doing.
  • I know how you feel and I completely understand. I know that there is hope absolutely and you can get through it but please believe that there is a hope. At least, if you can't see that there is a hope for it, hope for the hope for it to come!
  • I know how you feel. I've been pretty unhappy for a long time, then build my happiness, and then went through some tough things and became unhappy again. Now I am much happier than before though I still struggle a little.

    Few things I wanted to say seeing what people have written:
    Yes, happiness is something you have to fight for and decide to get to on your own. You have to choose it. However I know how hard it is to switch your thought pattern. Don't expect change over night, it takes a while.

    From the times when I actually managed change, I figured some things.
    First, accomplishing something or learning a skill that develops over time really helps you to feel better. It doesn't need to involve other people, and it's an instant mood-booster. Learning something creative helps as well (dance, drawing etc- seeing the results of your effort day after day is a little happiness daily:) suddenly you're not just that unhappy person- you're you, and you just made that amazing drawing! ). Anyway, also experiencing new things and meeting new people helps, but if you have anxiety or anything, that is a problem. Also, for me one of the huge shifts in how I feel happened when changing when I am (moving to university one, and the second when being away to another continent for full summer). Not because of avoiding problems, but because going somewhere fully new is challenging, and full of new things, and that can help somewhat with how you feel.
  • I think I know how you feel - I have resigned myself to the fact that I'm always going to feel "neutral" at best. That's far preferable to being in a state of chronic depression though so I do see this as an improvement. 
  • Hi @snapshot, thanks so much for posting and for reaching out. Sorry I'm just now seeing your note. As someone who has dealt with anxiety and depression for much of my life, which a lot of people who struggle with addiction do, I can definitely relate to your story on many levels. It was always difficult for me to hear the many differing opinions from various people, all well-intentioned, about how to get and stay happy. I heard a lot of "just be happy" or "it's your choice to be happy," or "do XYZ and you'll be happy" along my journey and usually these suggestions just made me resentful. So I certainly don't want to be a hypocrite here, but I can only share what worked for me. The biggest realization I probably ever had in my own life was that happiness is not a destination, it's a fleeting emotion (or physical state) that comes and goes, just like sadness, anger, or anxiety. I used to cling to the idea that if I wasn't in a perpetual state of happiness, or even a relatively consistent state of happiness, there must be something wrong with me. I discovered that this clinging to an ideal state of being that seemed largely unobtainable was actually feeding into more unhappiness. I was so focused on what was missing in my life that I was unable to be fully present in the moment. My belief (strategy) now is that I can find moments of happiness and clarity in each present moment if I allow myself to accept whatever feelings or emotions are happening at any given time. In other words, fully excepting that I may be depressed or anxious in a given moment, and being OK with it, instead of trying to fight it, actually brings about moments of happiness. Stated another way, once I stopped clinging to the idea that I was supposed to be happy, I actually became happy--not perpetually happy, but definitely when I am fully living in the present moment. This realization has truly changed my life for the better, but it required me to do three very important things on a very consistent basis in order to keep this mindset. 1) I had to be fully clean and sober, which for me included eliminating any mind or mood altering substances, including drug (prescription or otherwise) and alcohol. 2) I needed to adopt a lifestyle built around self-care, which included diet, exercise, and many other health-related activities to take care of my physical self. 3) I had to consistently work on changing my mindset, which included years of cognitive behavioral therapy (mainly by reading books) and perhaps most important of all...meditation (which I truly believe has saved my life). I am not one to proselytize but I like to remind people struggling with depression and anxiety that the mind is a powerful thing--it can either be our best friend or our worst enemy. Usually when it's our worst enemy we turn to drugs and alcohol (or even anti-depressants) to escape our thoughts. We do have a choice to change these thought patterns but it takes a lot of work, self reflection, self-compassion, and sometimes months or even years of practice (for me it's going to be a lifelong endeavor). I would encourage you to learn as much as you can about your own psyche and emotions and look inward. Not to say we shouldn't trust doctors or psychologists but you'll be amazed at what you're capable of once you take ownership of your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and learn how to manage them effectively. Mostly I just want to tell you, from someone who has travelled to the darkest corners of my own mind on many occasions, that there is hope and that you are never alone. I hope you are well and finding some peace.
  • @missbishi don't give up! I've felt like this too, but I am closer to "happy" now than ever. You know what they say- "the only constant thing is change". A lot can change with years, so even if you haven't achieved this until now, I think you can still do it. It just may take effort, to get from neutral to happy, but it's possible. That being said, I do think that neutral is much better than unhappy though:D.
  • I recommend you to keep a diary, so you can dwell more in your thoughts and inner self... I don't think a bunch of pills can fix one's life, they can help control the symptoms, but the fact is that you are not very balanced You need to find more about yourself, get to know yourself better and work on loving yourself.  Do you do what makes you happy?  How is the rest of the things in your life doing? Are you a social person? Have a family? What are yuor dreams and goals? 
  • We all go through times that we feel we will never be happy and sometimes it seems as though we will never get out of the hole we are in. I have been there and sometimes I still fight that. I have come to realize that medication is not going to make me happy and that I have to find inside myself what is going to make me happy. I have no reason not to be happy all the time. I have two children that are healthy and are my whole life. I have family that loves me and cares about my welfare. It is hard to turn around negative thoughts as I have had them my whole life but it can be done if you want to do it. Drinking is just temporary relief and once that has worn off then, the demons come back double. Learning to face your anxiety and depression head on is the only  way to find yourself climbing up out of the hole before you bury yourself. Good luck and thanks for sharing your story.
  • Seriously mate, what I feel is that you need some time alone with yourself. You need to get out of all the distractions you have -  your family, friends and this busy life. You need to go out somewhere quiet and peaceful. You need to go to the countryside and spend some time with yourself. 
    Forget about everything mate. You are anxious because you feel that you are not adjusting properly to the so-called society there is outside. But have you ever waited for a long second to ponder if they really care about you? No one does. No one has the time to think about you and your supposed imperfections. It's just your mind that has been hyper-reacting to the situation every single time. Since you haven't been able to get out of this for years, you have begun to feel this is your life and this is who you are. But this is entirely wrong mate. You are someone else. You are a happy person. But you lost your happiness due to all the distractions of today's society. 

    You need that long trip to the countryside. You need to spend some weeks there. Find yourself there. Find yourself in the midst of nature. Enjoy nature. Enjoy the warmth of the sunshine as you stand outside in the field and the sound of the wind whooshing into your ears as you look far away to that point where the sky meets the ground. Mother nature has all the answers for you. Go mate, Go to the countryside. My best wishes are with you.
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