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Dear Cynthia... > The Happiness Burden
The Happiness Burden
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1 post
Jul 21, 2009
10:08 AM
Maybe that's a weird way to start, but my mom and her family are adding stress to my already stressful life. I'm a single mom, raising a daughter on my on who is getting ready for college, money is tight (her dad doesn't contribute.) And yet every time I talk to my mom, I end up feeling more and more like a failure. I had to file chapter 9 bankruptcy earlier this year due to a debilitating depression - I just stopped functioning. I don't think I've ever felt so low in my life. My car got totaled a couple weeks ago (I got rear-ended into a sign) and managed to walk away, but now the paperwork is overwhelming. Why am I not just happy to have gotten off without a scratch? I really feel like I'm sinking.
223 posts
Jul 22, 2009
1:50 AM
You must have much more strength than you give yourself credit for to have gotten through all that! Your mother's effect on you--feeling like a failure--alone would make most people feel depressed. Especially since, if she's doing it now, chances are she's done it your whole life. It's very, very challenging to live a life feeling like a failure. Then to add to that, losing your relationship, losing your ability to function, losing your income, losing your car, losing your illusion of safety in your car, preparing to lose your daughter, losing everything involved in bankruptcy, and almost losing your life--that's a heck of a lot of loss, and I probably haven't named them all! That much loss can cause anyone to become depressed. So thinking you're a failure, losing so much, and possibly there are also brain-chemistry reasons for your depression--considering all of that, you are doing amazingly well!

Without knowing much about you, I can only guess that what might help is if you could:

Talk to someone you really trust about all the losses and your feelings about them.

Get evaluated for anti-depressants--at least to kick-start your brain in the right direction.

Maximize your experiences of success and minimize your experiences of failure. This may include staying away from your mother, at least for awhile, or limiting her influence on you in terms of feeling like a failure.

Do you think these are possible for you?


Last Edited by on Jul 22, 2009 1:51 AM

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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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