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Dear Cynthia... > "is that all there is?"
"is that all there is?"
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1 post
Jun 02, 2009
6:09 PM
Yes, I do remember the song by that name, by Peggy Lee, and the lyrics as I remember them, do ring true.
I am 56 and I have no idea what to do with the rest of my life.
I raised two kids, who are doing well, which means they are busy. I'm proud of them. I also took care of my parents in their final years. I don't really have any other family.
My marriage was never great, and now it's not even a room mate situation, because we don't sleep in the same room, and we don't mate. It's been years, and now he would need viagra or something, but I have lost all interest in him. He is a good man, but it isn't a "real marriage." No passion, no sex, no romance, no affection, no fun, nothing to look forward to. He supports me financially and doesn't ask much of me. We take care of each other when we are sick, a car breaks down, errands must be run, etc. He goes to work every day, and he has a hobby and a few friends. He doesn't drink, smoke, gamble, run around, etc. Any discussion of our marital problems is "off limits" with him.
I have few friends, and none of them live nearby. I'm very lonely.
I've had no career. I had a few jobs over the years, but I was not very successful in any of them. I have a BA degree that I never used. I have nothing to put on a resume, and frankly, I don't think my health problems would allow me to start working now.
I don't see how I could survive if I divorced him, so I have stayed here. But frankly, I'm bored out of my mind and depressed. I keep trying different projects and classes, but I don't seem to have any drive or talent for anything at all. When I think about the fact that I will never have any love or affection for the rest of my life, it makes me cry.
Reading what I have written here, just makes it all seem even worse. Hopeless, even.
Best wishes, C
219 posts
Jun 02, 2009
10:15 PM
Hi Cass,

It does sound like you're depressed, and it's possible that being depressed is keeping you from being interested in anything, rather than the other way around. That is hopeful, though, because it means if you can get through the depression, you are capable of fun and joy and interest.

I'm sure you know it's not unusual for women to devote themselves to their family and when their kids are launched and their parents are gone to have no idea what to do with themselves. We call it "empty nest" because it feels empty, and that's a terrible feeling. It may also be that your depression comes at least in part from stuck grief. You have had lots of very significant losses, and they all need to be grieved in order for you to heal. You may not have had sufficient support to do all that grieving. That can cause depression.

Depression distorts our thoughts and causes us to believe the distortions which support the depression. I understand totally that right now it feels true that "I will never have any love or affection for the rest of my life," but actually, you don't know that. You may live another 30 or 40 years, and lots of things will happen in that time. Your husband may die or decide to be with someone else; you may fall in love and begin living your dreams (the ones you would have if you could dream, which you may not be able to right now). My own father started a new relationship he's very happy with six years later and he was 80 when they fell in love!

Being isolated and depressed and lonely feeds on itself. It causes you to think depressed thoughts that keeps you feeling depressed and keeps you isolated. So whether it's medication or grieving or just having someone to talk to, something has to kick you out of the stuck place you're in enough so that you can start the intimidating but eventually exciting task of finding out who you are and what you want to do with the time you have left.

Please don't stay isolated. At least talk to your far-away friends about all this, if you haven't already, and if you trust them. If not them, then a counselor, clergy, peer-counselor...whatever you can find. It would be great if you could find a professionally facilitated group of women going through the same thing you are. You might want to check the group therapy website listed on my "resources & referrals" page.

Let us know what you decide to do!


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Email: CynthiaLubow@yahoo.com 

 Cynthia W. Lubow, MFT

 For 30 years, compassionately helping people build self-confidence and feel happier.

 San Francisco East Bay Area Therapist

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