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What have you missed out on in life?


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Posted

About hating college, I am mixed on whether I hated my college years or not. I loved being a member of the undergraduate students' group in the computer science department, when I could attend, being on my own far more than before, and no longer being in the environment of my high school, but I just hated being really sick all the time and only struggling to get by academically, despite my very high expectations for myself, because I was too sick to attend classes much of the time. So I am not sure what to make of my being in college as there is so much I liked and so much I hated about it.

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Posted

I've missed some years of life when I was depressed and could barely get out of bed. Because of those missed years I've also gone through some extreme financial hardships, and may never be able to retire (I'm 53 now.)

But what I have gained is just as important as what I've missed out on, if not more so. I have learned to have a tremendous sense of empathy and give people the benefit of the doubt. I used to be impatient with others' shortcomings. I have also gained a huge appreciation of the simple pleasures in life. Looking out the window right now and seeing the trees rippling in the breeze makes me feel good, and although I'm sure I noticed things like that before I got sick the first time, I know that I didn't really notice how wonderful they are.

I don't think anyone's life turns out as they thought, in both good and bad ways. But having a MI definitely makes that much more apparent, the same as any chronic illness does.

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Posted

Saorise, I didn't think you were moping, I was just saying you may not have missed out on as much as you thought. I HATED college. I thought I was going to really love it. I'm am definitely an outlier among alumni for hating it there, but i did.

And while I was abused as a kid both physically and emotionally, I have to say, I had everything money could buy. So it makes me feel conflicted about the abuse. I know money doesn't compensate for beatings and verbal abuse and neglect, but I was given a lot of opportunities other kids did not receive. Which is what made not using my degree even more depressing.

I'm not saying I didn't used to feel the way a lot of you do. I am just saying I've come to realize a lot of the expectations people are trying to live up to are artificial, in many ways. It pisses me off to see people measure themselves with a ruler that doesn't even measure things all that well in the first place. I don't mean pissed at the people, but pissed that they have been fooled into thinking badly of themselves.

This is a very helpful post, thanks. It helped me put some things into perspective, especially concerning how upset I was about not being able to attend that university.

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Posted (edited)

...

Edited by Vivian Darkbloom

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Posted

Just to be continuously annoying, I went to law school. To be honest, I enjoyed law school (although I had awful grades). It was practicing that was too much for me to handle. Even when I did appellate work, which allows you to work more on your own schedule.

It sounds like you aren't in the US (I wonder why we say "college," and not university), but if you are, this is a horrible time to become an attorney, job wise.

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Posted (edited)

...

Edited by Vivian Darkbloom

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Posted

My sister is finishing a veterinary degree at University of Melbourne, and she is 42. I went to law school with people in their 50s. Once you are older, the experience is different than it is for the younger students, but it is totally doable.

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Posted

Oh, and the legal profession is swamped with lawyers. It is worse because of the economy, but it was already happening all through the last 20 years. My class (93) was one of the first classes that didn't have full employment within 6 months of graduation, and the job market has worsened from there. Close to 50k people graduate from law school in the US every year. There is a huge glut.

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Posted (edited)

...

Edited by Vivian Darkbloom

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Posted

I've missed out on being me. There was such a dramatic shift from who I was when I was a young child prior to things unraveling and who I ended up being. Before and after dysthymia.. before and after MDD.. I can see some clear rapid shifts, and I wish they hadn't happened.

Certain things like my empathy and compassion, the ability to understand other views, my strong will, finding humor if difficult situations.. that's all increased as a result, but I'm pretty sure they would have developed anyway - if to a lesser degree. My sensitivity was always there.

I've missed out on being allowed to be a child, feeling secure and supported. I've missed interacting in the world rather than pushing through it in survival mode. I've never felt apart of any school environment. The college experience is lost on me. I fit in there academically - not socially. There's a huge disconnect.

I've also missed out on the ability to set goals and wants. I've been too wrapped up in the MI situation that I've never truly gotten a handle on to be able to look ahead to a point beyond it. I've learned to postpone and settle. Relationships and kids are on a permanent back-burner for when I'm capable of giving to them what they'd deserve.

I suppose that if all of this has given me one thing I wouldn't have had otherwise, is the ability to buckle-down and persevere through anything. This isn't necessary a great thing - I'll run myself into the ground before I'll stop trying, but it's become a key part of who I am.

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Posted (edited)

I've missed out on happiness. I managed to finish college and get my degree and I'm a R.N. I don't work or pursue working because I feel as though I'm not deserving of having a good life. Hence, my lack of being or ever acheiving some form of "happy". I spent countless years and tons of student debt to just exist. Maybe I failed at marriage too, I dunno.

Edited by ginger_flybaby

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Posted

I dropped out of high school, didn't finish community college, and have never had a career. I have a family and was able to be a stay at home mom, so that is the positive side of it.

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Posted

I missed out on a normal childhood, going to uni, a relationship with a person I love, I've distanced friends and family, a lot of stuff.

But if it wasn't for losing all that, I wouldn't have the friends I have now, I wouldn't be doing the course that I really love, and I wouldn't be me.

Because of what I've been through to get where I am now, I feel like I've really earnt what I have, whereas before everything I had was just there for me.

The only thing I really feel like I'm missing out on is having kids, I feel like I can't do that because of my experiences and MI. But that could change I guess. :/

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Posted

I have missed out on so many things, purely because of my depression.

I am usually too scared and paranoid and depressed to leave the house, so I coop myself up for days on end; as a result I miss out doing things people my age do like going to parties and seeing friends and going shopping. I can't communicate, so I've missed out finding good friends and socalising, and finding a boyfriend. My ED and depression and SI combined has wrecked my health; I am weak, I constantly feel awful and I've encountered health problems from forgetting or not wanting to eat.

In short, my depression has robbed me of so many things in life and left me with nothing left to build on. I thought things would be fine; but everything is difficult and forced and I struggle to do the basics like wash and get out of bed, let alone go to school and eat and socalise. I feel different and isolated from everybody else, and I feel like a stranger: to others and myself.

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Posted

Everything. And not just like that. I don't mean a roof over my head, or my family. I mean my ability to live the life I should have lived, that everyone takes for granted. Being able to actually enjoy things, being able to relax, not feeling like a prisoner inside my own head. Not waking up and wishing I'd had an aneuryism in my sleep.

But the thing that hurts the most? Love. Knowing that nobody will ever love me in the way that validates existence. Nobody did before. They certainly won't now.

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Posted

Chapter, I can't tell you you will or won't meet someone, but many people on here are married or in long term relationships. Some were already married when they are diagnosed. Some, like me, had been diagnosed for a long time when they met their partner. I was diagnosed in '88, and met my husband in '00.

Yes, it helps to be more stable than it sounds like you are right now. And part of what you are feeling is probably related to your illness (I said part). But once you stabilize a little, you have no idea what the future can hold.

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Posted

I don't know what it's like to be close to anyone. I've fucking lost that.

I'm 27, and I've never been in a relationship. My closest friends all have moved away and have their own lives. I am by myself 24/7 except for when I visit my doctors.

I see them all being happy. My parents, my friends, my doctors. I've lost that too. I'm not happy.

I'm working on carving out a career for myself, but it's not rewarding. Nothing I do is rewarding. I'm inept and stupid.

There is no more reflecting. I'm just pissed. I reflect every day on this crap. It's just never going to be fair. Over the past 7 years my IQ has dropped 40 points. My memory has become useless in the past 3 years, and now i've got several disorders regarding that to go along with MI.

Yeah, this is awesome.

Reflecting, not for me.

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Posted

This thread has been tough to read but it's interesting to compare to my own experiences.

I like to think that it's possible that none of these things are permanently lost to me (I'm 23... who knows what could happen)

I've lost alot of friends... I've lost my position in law school... I've lost alot of career opportunities... I've lost alot of my self worth and all of my passion for life. And the things that hurt the most are the loss of my positivity and the loss of my ability to write... I can't even write my way out of this pain. I've lost my vision for the future, the ability to feel, the ability to finish a book (no matter how brilliant) and the ability to have a few drinks with my friends in a carefree manner (Can I have one more wine before I start crying for no reason??? Hmmm... better not risk it) I've lost my ability to be impulsive, I've lost the majority of my teen memories and I've lost alot of my self respect..

That being said I think that MI gives you a unique ability to empathise with people, in a way that my non-MI friends struggle to... and that's worth alot.

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Posted

Chapter, I can't tell you you will or won't meet someone, but many people on here are married or in long term relationships. Some were already married when they are diagnosed. Some, like me, had been diagnosed for a long time when they met their partner. I was diagnosed in '88, and met my husband in '00.

Yes, it helps to be more stable than it sounds like you are right now. And part of what you are feeling is probably related to your illness (I said part). But once you stabilize a little, you have no idea what the future can hold.

I appreciate that crtclms, I know I shouldn't just make sweeping statements. And it's not like I'm an oracle or a sooth-sayer. But it is very difficult not to see yourself living the rest of your life the same way you have been for years. Too many years.

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Posted

This question made me think hard and realize despite my illness I still muddled through somehow... and that Ive been lucky in many ways. I have a college degree, Im returning to school in the fall for my masters, I have always had steady employment and been able to get by somehow. Ive maintained a handful of good friendships but Ive destroyed some, too. I had to take a four year break from my career, so theres that. Im behind the norm in regards to my intimate relationship experience. So, I guess I feel like I missed out on a 'normal' life. I use to be really angry about it, but whats normal anyway? I have insight into life Id never of had without my illness and in that way, it makes me who I am and Im okay with that (mostly) (now).

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Posted

I'd echo Crtclms. I was the postergirl for fucked up unfaithful promiscuity, I reached 27 never having had a long term relationship, most of my relationships were the kind of chaotic ones that leave you homeless or injured or further into addiction. I had borderline personality disorder, trust issues, bipolar, self harm and binge eating issues. I was also unemployed, single, with few friends and dysfunctional family. What a catch!

I met a guy, we fell in love, I asked him to marry me 20 months later and he said yes. We are getting married in the next two years. Not only is he sane, (geeky, not 'normal') but kind and respectful, he loves the bones of me. Seriously, he is good to me, more than I deserve. It's not perfect and we do have our differences but our relationship is the kind of healthy, settled, calm ones I envied my friends for.

When we got together, I made him watch a documentary (the one Stpehen Fry did) about people going into hospital and putting drills through their skull and stuff and I said 'this is my world, be prepared.' He stuck around. It turns out that being with someone who has his shit together has helped me get mine together now. I'm now well, looking for work, I have my own flat and a good circle of friends. It's not because of him, but he has helped me get there.

I'm not some supermodel woman, I'm not hilariously funny, or rich, or clever. I'm really pretty ordinary. But I had a chance to build a loving relationship where I have a home, someone to talk to last thing at night, a husband who wants to partner with me for life, in sickness and in health. It's very possible, there is nothing special about me. It can happen for anyone.

Having had a mental health problem doesn't make you damaged or unlovable. Not at all.

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Posted

I warned DH, I told him about the horrible depths of depression I used to experience regularly, I told him about the plan for violence I had once made, I told him he had to realize I wasn't always like "this," this being normal and functional.

He was totally accepting of this. And the funny (weird, not haha) thing is that I haven't had an episode like the ones I had before I met him ever since. In fact, now I have mixed episodes, which I did not have before I met him.

I think the idea of showing someone with whom you want to get serious a documentary is a great idea. I thought I had watched the Stephen Fry one, but I don't remember about drills in people's heads.

Titania, is that "The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive?" Actually, I just looked it up, and realized I only saw Part 1, so something to watch this weekend.

For those of you who haven't seen it, he is a very erudite and gentle man (not to mention hilarious), and is good at explaining ideas to lay people. The part I saw, he said he didn't take meds, because he was cyclothymic, and while I didn't think it was anti-meds, I wish they had interviewed people who used meds successfully.

Although maybe they do that in Part 2. Titania would know better than I.

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Posted

It was, he interviewed a woman who been so depressed for so long she drilled into her own skull. It was very sad. But yeah, it was a way of him seeing what my life was like without me just telling him and him thinking 'it can't be *that* bad.'

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Posted

I've missed out on a good career. I've lost days, weeks at a time. I've missed going out and making new friends, creating the home life I want, it's probably half the reason my SO doesn't want to have kids with me and it's not helping my marriage. :( Trying treatment now, but it takes time. Hopefully it isn't too little, too late.

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Posted

I have missed out on having a father.

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