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Fenn
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12 Jul 2022, 8:46 am

I am 54 and am out of work. Finding that next Job feels pointless. Everything feels pointless. I have made some money but my wife wants me to keep working for reasons that seem unreasonable. Like we need the money (we don’t) and I need to contribute and take care of her (she has a job and just got a big raise). It feels more loving to her when I am working and doing (well, that is how I made the money we have).

But is more about - I feel like a lot of things are pointless - and me too - I feel pointless. If the money I have “doesn’t count” why go make more? If it does count: why do I need to get another job?

What is wrong with me? I cannot find motivation in anything any more.

So:
What is the point? What keeps you going? What do you feel gives you purpose?


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Last edited by Fenn on 12 Jul 2022, 10:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

Fenn
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12 Jul 2022, 9:16 am

(Thanks to whoever moved this to The Haven)


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kraftiekortie
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12 Jul 2022, 9:16 am

I'm sorry you're going through this.

I don't think this is a "mid-life crisis."

Maybe a "rest" would do you good if this is financially viable. Go out into nature, take walks, read books, indulge in your interests.



shortfatbalduglyman
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12 Jul 2022, 9:01 pm

Maybe I am not reading your post correctly, but it seems to me that you are not (necessarily) clinically depressed or having a midlife crisis

You and your wife just had an argument. She wants you to get a job. You think you don't financially need to get a job.

Clinical depression is a mental illness and a psychiatric diagnosis

Arguing with a spouse about cash does not sound pathological to me

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FleaOfTheChill
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12 Jul 2022, 9:58 pm

I always thought midlife crisis stuff entailed things like freaking out that you haven't lived life to the fullest so you freak out and buy a sports car or motorcycle or something...a thing that makes you do reckless, and somewhat immature seeming things in some attempt to cling to that unlived youth that is fading...whereas depression generally manifests in a lack of motivation, a lack of that spark to get you to do things, be they immature or 'normal'. Sounds to me like it's more on the depression side of the fence. But I'm emotionally jacked up, so I might not be the best person to gauge this. For what it's worth, I get it as much as I can from my own perspective. A lot of things seem rather pointless to me as well these days, and motivation is next to non-existent. It's not a great headspace to be in. I hope you find some okay in the middle of this sooner than later.

As to the questions...what keeps me going? The stuff that keeps me going is that I have a few kids and a grandchild. I can't just run off because of them, regardless of what I'd like to do. I'm bound by a sense of duty and obligation. What's that point? The point is to not wreck their lives by being a selfish jerk (as I would see it). What do I feel gives me purpose? Nothing. And that is a problem. I wish there was an easy answer here. If you find one, let me know, eh?

My rant aside... If you don't need to work, why do it? Maybe this could be a time to go explore things that make you happy on a deeper level? I dunno. A lot of people can't afford to retire in their fifties, if you can, why not go for it. If you change your mind or get bored, look for work later. It doesn't sound like there's a lot of pressure to supplement your income right now. You still have a lot of time ahead of you to work, explore life, or do both. Why not take a break and try things you wanted to do but couldn't, due to lack of time and go from there. Not to be dismissive of your SO, but if you're in a funk, it might not be the worst thing in the world for you to try doing some you things...unless work and earning money is stuff you really get satisfaction from, in which case I would say keep working and you're likely in a no work related funk...but otherwise, like kraftiekortie said take that rest, enjoy some nature, indulge a little in whatever does you some benefit. Why not?

But yeah, hope you get things figured out sooner than later.



kraftiekortie
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13 Jul 2022, 10:26 am

I don't like "tit for tat" sort of stuff.

If it's your money that got you two to where you are, why should your wife fuss if you want to rest a little?

I'm guessing she's afraid you will NEVER want to get a job again.



Fenn
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13 Jul 2022, 12:07 pm

My wife thinks I may be depressed. Based on family history (and personal history) it is not possible. Mid life is a time when you realize you haven’t accomplished earlier goals or lived earlier dreams and realize maybe you never will. Some people buy a flashy car or have an affair to try and feel more powerful in the face of this powerlessness, others shut down. Fight or flight or freeze. I am not getting younger. My body won’t do what it once did - eyes, teeth, mussels, heart, brain.

I am spending way too much time on the internet (phone, laptop) doing nothing good. Escapism or maybe freeze. And my wife is noticing. So I picked a fight, but it is reality I really want to fight.


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rse92
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13 Jul 2022, 12:23 pm

Fenn wrote:
I am 54 and am out of work. Finding that next Job feels pointless. Everything feels pointless. I have made some money but my wife wants me to keep working for reasons that seem unreasonable. Like we need the money (we don’t) and I need to contribute and take care of her (she has a job and just got a big raise). It feels more loving to her when I am working and doing (well, that is how I made the money we have).


So you made plenty of money for you and your wife to live on without her working, right? She could stop working today, just like you have, and you two would have plenty to live off of, is that the case?



kraftiekortie
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13 Jul 2022, 3:39 pm

Depression is not always "inherited."

A person can become depressed even if the person's family are all happy.

Probably your ideal situation is if you find a job where you can work at home.



Fenn
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14 Jul 2022, 6:31 pm

rse92 wrote:
Fenn wrote:
I am 54 and am out of work. Finding that next Job feels pointless. Everything feels pointless. I have made some money but my wife wants me to keep working for reasons that seem unreasonable. Like we need the money (we don’t) and I need to contribute and take care of her (she has a job and just got a big raise). It feels more loving to her when I am working and doing (well, that is how I made the money we have).


So you made plenty of money for you and your wife to live on without her working, right? She could stop working today, just like you have, and you two would have plenty to live off of, is that the case?


We do have plenty to live off of.
Do we have enough to live off of forever - depends on how long we live. Do we know how much we have for how long? No. Just the idea that “most people retire at 67”. It was when I told my wife I was researching life expectancy she got worried.


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Fenn
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14 Jul 2022, 6:35 pm

Correction:

Fenn wrote:
My wife thinks I may be depressed. Based on family history (and personal history) it is not possible.


Embarassing typographical error (or spell-check-ographical error).

“not possible” should read “not impossible”


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Fenn
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15 Jul 2022, 7:54 am

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
[ . . . ] Sounds to me like it's more on the depression side of the fence. But I'm emotionally jacked up, so I might not be the best person to gauge this. For what it's worth, I get it as much as I can from my own perspective. A lot of things seem rather pointless to me as well these days, and motivation is next to non-existent. It's not a great headspace to be in. I hope you find some okay in the middle of this sooner than later.

As to the questions...what keeps me going? The stuff that keeps me going is that I have a few kids and a grandchild. I can't just run off because of them, regardless of what I'd like to do. I'm bound by a sense of duty and obligation. What's that point? The point is to not wreck their lives by being a selfish jerk (as I would see it). What do I feel gives me purpose? Nothing. And that is a problem. I wish there was an easy answer here. If you find one, let me know, eh?

My rant aside... If you don't need to work, why do it? Maybe this could be a time to go explore things that make you happy on a deeper level? I dunno. A lot of people can't afford to retire in their fifties, if you can, why not go for it. If you change your mind or get bored, look for work later. It doesn't sound like there's a lot of pressure to supplement your income right now. You still have a lot of time ahead of you to work, explore life, or do both. Why not take a break and try things you wanted to do but couldn't, due to lack of time and go from there. Not to be dismissive of your SO, but if you're in a funk, it might not be the worst thing in the world for you to try doing some you things...unless work and earning money is stuff you really get satisfaction from, in which case I would say keep working and you're likely in a no work related funk...but otherwise, like kraftiekortie said take that rest, enjoy some nature, indulge a little in whatever does you some benefit. Why not?

But yeah, hope you get things figured out sooner than later.


I find your phrase “emotionally jacked up” curious. I wonder if you mean something like hyper-sensitive to emotional situations - jacked up in the sense of “heightened”. One of the things I know about myself is some emotional situations I tend to feel more intensely than someone else would on the same situation. BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) has this feature. So does Autism. And PTSD. You might mean “jacked up” as in “injured” or “abused” or “mixed up” or “fouled up”. I sometimes use the analogy of a team of six horses - very strong when pulling a wagon and all working together. If one (or more) of them get(s) “spooked” and tries to jump over the others the horses become “confused” - tangled up together with the reigns and harnesses and other tack. The wagon may become overturned or smashed or kicked to bits, the driver may die. There is an old folktale song in which a horse throws the rider in a ditch, killing him - “the villain was the blue-tail fly”. ADHD has a feature of “poor emotional self-control”. Small environmental or emotional or biochemical imbalances may be “the villain” much like the “blue-tail fly”. My neurology may be fowled up. Or maybe my thinking. Maybe a pill or talk therapy could help. I have tried both and so far no magic bullet.

I don’t have any grandchildren, but I do have children. I need to set a good example for them - only 30 years behind me. Seeing my get another job would be good motivation for them.

The new job hunt seems more complicated than before - or I am simply more fowled up than before. Every job I see seems either terrifying or repulsive. I lose track of what I am doing. It is like my brain is like a huge system of wooden gears and leavers and pulleys and someone has gone in and nailed and tied strong ropes from one thing to another so whenever something tries move it is pulling on something else keeping both things from moving properly.

I’m a mess.

It is hard to find a way to force my brain to work to find a job I don’t want to find.


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FleaOfTheChill
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15 Jul 2022, 11:55 am

Fenn wrote:
I find your phrase “emotionally jacked up” curious. I wonder if you mean something like hyper-sensitive to emotional situations - jacked up in the sense of “heightened”. One of the things I know about myself is some emotional situations I tend to feel more intensely than someone else would on the same situation. BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) has this feature. So does Autism. And PTSD. You might mean “jacked up” as in “injured” or “abused” or “mixed up” or “fouled up”. I sometimes use the analogy of a team of six horses - very strong when pulling a wagon and all working together. If one (or more) of them get(s) “spooked” and tries to jump over the others the horses become “confused” - tangled up together with the reigns and harnesses and other tack. The wagon may become overturned or smashed or kicked to bits, the driver may die. There is an old folktale song in which a horse throws the rider in a ditch, killing him - “the villain was the blue-tail fly”. ADHD has a feature of “poor emotional self-control”. Small environmental or emotional or biochemical imbalances may be “the villain” much like the “blue-tail fly”. My neurology may be fowled up. Or maybe my thinking. Maybe a pill or talk therapy could help. I have tried both and so far no magic bullet.

I don’t have any grandchildren, but I do have children. I need to set a good example for them - only 30 years behind me. Seeing my get another job would be good motivation for them.

The new job hunt seems more complicated than before - or I am simply more fowled up than before. Every job I see seems either terrifying or repulsive. I lose track of what I am doing. It is like my brain is like a huge system of wooden gears and leavers and pulleys and someone has gone in and nailed and tied strong ropes from one thing to another so whenever something tries move it is pulling on something else keeping both things from moving properly.

I’m a mess.

It is hard to find a way to force my brain to work to find a job I don’t want to find.


I have alexithymia. Feeling nothing is easiest and most comfortable to me. It is my ideal default state. When I do feel things, I either have no clue what I am feeling, if I'm really feeling, or I get freaked out by those maybe feelings and end up shutting that off (quite unintentionally, I just detach due to overwhelm) then those (possible) feelings manifest in some symptom or another...I might have an elevated heart rate, racing thoughts, poor appetite, headache or stomach ache...something. Then I have no clue if it's emotion thing or an actual physical issue. It can be problematic. I totally understand the horse talk. Life can be going fine and then that damn fly comes along, messing everything up in catastrophic ways. I might have to steal that analogy...

Kids can be a powerful motivator. I know they've pushed me to keep on track when, left to my own devices, I wouldn't have. I payed/pay for that pushing later, but man, they can be a lil fire lit under the backside when need be.

I used to hate new jobs so much. The whole process was a nightmare, then there's the whole change/newness bit. I'm not sure how you are with change and new, but neither are my strong suit. That stuff can be uncomfortable, to say the least. Even without issues with newness/change the prospect of trying to find a new job when none seem pleasant...eh, it makes sense this wouldn't be an exciting prospect to you. It sounds very overwhelming to me. I get like that with the brain gears/system when I get faced with a lot of anything at once. Multiple places to look up for work, the potential of multiple resumes to send, possible multiple calls to make or receive, and all for nothing that looks much worth it to you. I'd freeze up facing all of that. I'd be a mess too.

Are you finding ways to implement some self care right now? Sounds like you could use it.



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15 Jul 2022, 2:23 pm

Fenn wrote:
Based on family history (and personal history) it is not possible.


Is this a typo? Did you mean to say it is possible?

It sounds like you're in a state of burnout and reevaluation whether it's called mid-life or depression. It's understandable when you've worked for so long and felt a sense of achievement or contribution to the family, before being laid off without much notice.

Now it seems you aren't sure what your role is, and you might even wonder if your efforts were appreciated when you did work. I'm sure they always were, but moving forward takes a lot of motivation. It's hard to motivate yourself when you don't know what brings you joy, or what's important beyond having a nest egg in the bank.

I wouldn't worry about setting an example for your children. You've done that. You've been a good father, a good husband, and an example of dedication to your job throughout their lives.

I think it's a good sign you are looking at the world in a new way. I don't have any answers, but just wanted to say hi and send some moral support as you explore this new transition.



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16 Jul 2022, 8:39 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Fenn wrote:
Based on family history (and personal history) it is not possible.


Is this a typo? Did you mean to say it is possible?


Yes - sorry about that.

Quote:
It sounds like you're in a state of burnout and reevaluation whether it's called mid-life or depression. It's understandable when you've worked for so long and felt a sense of achievement or contribution to the family, before being laid off without much notice.

Now it seems you aren't sure what your role is, and you might even wonder if your efforts were appreciated when you did work. I'm sure they always were, but moving forward takes a lot of motivation. It's hard to motivate yourself when you don't know what brings you joy, or what's important beyond having a nest egg in the bank.

I wouldn't worry about setting an example for your children. You've done that. You've been a good father, a good husband, and an example of dedication to your job throughout their lives.

I think it's a good sign you are looking at the world in a new way. I don't have any answers, but just wanted to say hi and send some moral support as you explore this new transition.


When I was in school, 4th grade (age 9), I was diagnosed as having a brain that was "wired differently" as others. Later someone called this "gifted dyslexic". As an adult when I was having trouble at work I went for a neuropsych eval, instead of "dyslexic" they came up with "adhd" - and also confirmed the "high IQ thing". Now I wonder if I should get a dx (diagnosis) to ass autism to the mix (officially - self tests come up with that already).
Some of the stories you have shared on other threads about problems at work sure ring a bell.
I never look at the "overwhelm" or "emotional overload" side of things as such. I always just figured there were some glitches in the language center of the brain - or the prefrontal cortex. I could see how that might mess up my ability to "read people", like it also messed my ability to "write a paper". The idea that my environment could be over stimulating parts of my brain creating a chain reaction hadn't really occurred to me before. The more I read about the brain, and try to understand it by analogy with computers (which I understand) the more it seems like there is a lot that no-one knows. There is a gap between what the psychologists know and what the neurologist know. But this creates the practical problem of "what do I do?".
What do I do when I don't know what to do?
Or what do I do when I think I know what to do, but I cannot seem to get the horses all pulling in the same direction?


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Fenn
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16 Jul 2022, 8:48 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Depression is not always "inherited."

A person can become depressed even if the person's family are all happy.


True. I think I said things backwards though - my family history shows a number of nuts in the family tree.

Quote:
Probably your ideal situation is if you find a job where you can work at home.


Why do you say that? Working at home removes me from the environment where work is a thing that everyone is doing, and puts me in either an empty house where the other people at work do not seem real, and the company does not seem real and if no-one cares about me and what I am doing why should I care. Like those sci fi movies where the aliens have stolen everyone except one person who now wondering around the empty town (or spaceship).
Or it puts me in an environment where there are a lot of people (kids, wife) doing things that have nothing to do with work - and this makes work seem far away and meaningless and the people around me as more interesting - I end up thinking about what they are doing, and not about the non-people at non-work.
Out of site, out of mind.


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