Staying Positive and not feel like a Failure

55 posts in this topic

Posted

It's a culture shock problem, maybe a beginning depression. Good news: You are perfectly normal.

You should have your serotonin level checked, though.

And maybe a little change of perspective.

Bikini figure? Who cares. Your friends don't love you for your looks. For everything that seems to be negative I am sure you'll find something positive.

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Posted

I would stop putting salt in the carrots...

:unsure:

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Posted

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Jiddu Krishnamurti

You may just be perfectly fine, feeling like this in Germany.

I keep German culture ( which has a tendency to be a downer) as far away from me as possible when I am in Germany.

To me it feels like drinking from a slightly poisoned well, where the poison accumulates over time if not kept in check. :)

I can also imagine that people who are stuck here full time don't notice it anymore but some just feel increasingly down or unwell and don't understand why.

Consider, Germany is a huge downer for many Germans too, thus it's double trouble if you're from somewhere else.

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Posted

maybe a beginning depression.

I agree, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. I was depressed while in Germany, and didn't even realize it until the lovely people of TT pointed it out to me [though not necessarily in a lovely way :P ]. I've been since told what the 9 clinical factors are for a diagnosis, and I met about 7 of them. I had never felt that way in my life, so it was definitely situational [life in Germany].

Don't be afraid to get a little help. There are some good Rx happy drugs out there. :)

Spring is around the corner!

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Posted

Spring is around the corner!

That thought alone puts a spring in my step. :)

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Posted

Spring is around the corner!

Too true:

post-10876-13619807506659.jpg

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Posted

First step is talking to someone about it. Now that you've taken that step, I bet you feel somewhat better knowing that - at least on the Internet - your friends understand.

I've felt the same way for long stretches of time, but I keep on truckin' and things always work out. Do unto others and all that...

Anyway, there are reports that this has been one of the darkest (lack of sunlight) winters on record and lack of sunlight can bring on depression. Maybe you should check out an Ott light.

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Posted

I just want to thank Dolphinears and mlovett for sharing there personal experiences. I also struggle in Germany. At first my son and I moved to Braunschweig and found it really hard to adapt to a very different culture, eventually I got used to it and actually liked it as I had made friends and knew my way around (it only took 3 and a half years!!!). Then we had to move to Rostock in East Germany (have been here just under a year) and I find that the East is quite different to the West. I really miss Braunschweig (where we used to live in the West) but am trying to adapt again, my son is also finding it hard which makes me feel even worse. I realise that I must socialise more and try speaking more German. Its good to know I not alone. At some point I really would like to go back to the West, but maybe thats just the way I am feeling now, maybe I will eventually feel settled again, who knows.

Anyway 'smile and wave' and take one day at a time.

All the best

TheScots

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Posted

So, I have days where I am like 'OK, I can do this, yeah, come on day! Whatever comes my way! German, hah, got it down!' then I have days where I am totally down. I can just tell anybody to flake the eff off. I am not happy, just bitter... I feel like it is never going to work -- my life in Germany, my hot bikini figure (:-D), and a 'real' job or career where I feel whole.

I even feel like a failure as a parent and the kids are not even in school!!! I will sit there and be like, she didn't eat her carrots, it's my fault, I made them too soft or too salty...waaaah

I try as I might to feel good and positive, and then I end up cursing the chicken in the oven out! WHY AREN'T YOU CRISPY, CRISPY, CRISPYYYY, of course this had to happen, why?! Cause it is ME, ME, ME, WTF are you looking at neighbor!!! Pant, pant, pant...:-)

I mean, I have friends, or acquaintances, but I still feel lonely and strange. I don't want to be depressed, I don't want to feel stuck.

I ask myself, is this a chick problem or what?! Nooo, this is a ME problem, why am I broken? Any advice for the madness. How do you survive!?

Do I need to go home a while, I don't know...

Where is your husband?

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Posted

Hey, Dophinears, welcome to the depressed people club! It's OK. You are very much not alone! There are various posts about depression by me on this site by now, so I won't blather on here. I

If you want to read 'em, this post contains some general comments on depression and some links to websites with self-therapy toolkits and suchlike,

...click on the curly arrow on the left if you want to know what I said...

and I started a thread of my own where I received some really great TT feedback, might help you too:

Losing the plot? Depressed? Burnt out?

...but what I want to say here is: you're not broken, you're going through something an awful lot of people go through. Just reread your post for a second: what's all the self-blame about? I can relate to everything you wrote (except the kids, don't have kids, but I know if I did I'd be constantly beating myself up about whether I was enough of a supermom). To me, your post reads like it was written by someone with low self-esteem. Being in Germany might not be helping, but you are even beating yourself up for feeling low!

Right now, you need some compassion, and the person you need it from is: You. Cut yourself some slack! No-one is 100% perfect 100% of the time! Your daughter doesn't eat her carrots? Maybe she wasn't in a carrot mood.

Here's a tip for staying positive - force yourself to notice the good stuff, especially the good stuff you do and the appreciation you receive for it. One thing that people with depression - mild or otherwise - do a lot, is fail to process and really internalise the positives. Compliments are like water off a duck's back; you work hard all day but only notice what you didn't do - sound familiar, by any chance?

For example: there was no crispy chicken skin but I bet there was a delicious roast chicken with all the trimmings, anyway. Your daughter didn't eat her carrots, but I bet she nevertheless ate a healthy and nutritious meal. It's true, oder? Then give yourself some credit!

It'll feel totally faux, but try to make yourself notice the good in life by making some lists: 1) today I am grateful for... 2) today I enjoyed... 3) today I succeeded at... If the only truthful things you can write are 1) the sun came up, my kids love me, I love my kids 2) toast and jam 3) keeping the kids clean and fed, brushing the dog, cooking dinner... well, so? some of those are a big deal! I'm not trying to be preachy and tell you to "count your blessings". It just really, really, really helps to keep up a positive mental dialogue, like this. It doesn't leave so much space for all those "It won't work - I'm useless - life is rubbish - it's all my fault!" thoughts. Drive 'em out!

PS - not Easy to drive them out. I had a lot of CBT and I still fail at it a lot. Check out the online CBT resources linked in that other post of mine, maybe.

As for wanting the world to eff off, yeahyeahyeah me too! often! I just wish it would evaporate or something! Any idea, btw, are you an introvert? I am and I really need my "down time" alone. Maybe that could also be an issue for you? If I don't get time alone from time to time, my depression gets really bad. A thought, maybe.

Take care of yourself - you deserve it.

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Posted

I keep German culture ( which has a tendency to be a downer) as far away from me as possible when I am in Germany.

How in the heck do you keep German culture away from you when you're living in Germany??? If it bothers you that much why don't you just move?

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Posted

Little scary the number of people jumping on the "depressed" and "hey check those serotonin levels and get some happy pills" bandwagon.

Having kids is HARD, living in a foreign culture REALLY HARD...but come on...life can be challenging.

Not to discount real depression, but are every one of life's challenges now destined for the depression diagnosis?

To the OP, loved your post...sounds to me like you are right where most of us are/were with young kids in a foreign environment. Hang in there, keep reaching out. TT saved me when I moved here.

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Posted

Low vitamin D levels can also contribute to depression. So if you're struggling with depression you may want to consider having your vitamin d level checked.

Btw, From Sad to Glad is a book my psychiatrist recommended I read 20 years ago when I was struggling with depression after my dad died. I still have that book on my bookshelf today.

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Posted

And maybe it's an age thing too

wait until you get my age. Then get your car stolen and then try to take possession of it again when it is found,fill out 10 forms and answer 1000 questions. I guess we all have our fun when the sun shines.But to get serious, one has to let go of yourself and get limbless so to speak or it drives you up the wall.Here is some food advise if that is the problem.

http://www.13.waisays.com/

Good luck!

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Posted

Little scary the number of people jumping on the "depressed" and "hey check those serotonin levels and get some happy pills" bandwagon.

Sure, but if you've been depressed for YEARS [even mild/moderately], why not try the pills?

Anyhoo, I personally didn't get into the many other reasons for my depression, but I will say this: unresolved/ misdiagnosed major health issues, and marital problems [which recently nearly ended up in divorce]. Tack on living in a cold, grey country with a culture quite different from your own AND raising the next generation, and sure, things can look pretty glum. Then my Dad died, and I came close to rock bottom.

IIRC you're an MD, but I'm guessing not a psychiatrist. :P

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Posted

How in the heck do you keep German culture away from you when you're living in Germany??? If it bothers you that much why don't you just move?

Easy, I determine what happens in "MY world"

First of all I am not even in Germany half the time and my house in Germany is more or less de-germanized.

No German TV, Radio or other German media or state propaganda permitted.

No ghastly German furniture, No IKEA.

No yellow depressing German sparlampens but real light bulbs, 75 and 100 watts in beautiful Tiffany style lamps providing sound lighting with a pleasant ambiance (very un-German concept).

Jazz, blues and country music but no disco or other Euro trash.

No apricot wall paper or paint( very popular in Germany), no fake African kitsch ( made in China)

In fact, no kitsch period.

No 20 different convoluted plastic kitchen contraptions.

No tiny dollhouse miniature cups or glasses, but adult size plates, glasses and utensils.

And many other little details making a big difference.

Oh yeah there is large, lovely high quality American flag in the kitchen, but I don't make my German friends and visitors pledge allegiance to it.

Not yet. :)

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Posted

:lol:

Sounds a lot like my place. LOVE Tiffany style lamps, HATE florescent bulbs which my GerMan insists on. And I used to have a ~ 30 ft American flag displayed [48 stars, SEWN on], which the GerMan couldn't stand. The majority of my furniture is antique.

Just last night I was saying that I probably should have watched German TV. Never did once!

Dolphinears: the points chaos_a made about looking for the positive are spot on. Every day, write down 5 things that are positive about your life. Yes, FIVE. :) Get outside often, even if it's freezing and the natives are staring. Keep us updated!

LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE

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Posted

It´s hard being a "foreigner".

You have to work on learning the language - even to express the most simple thing, you need to use a different language to your own. That is stressful.

You are surrounded by people who think and act differently to what you are accustomed to. That is stressful.

On top of that, you are the Mother of toddlers - that in itself is stressful!

So, your life is full of stress and you are making the most of coping with things on a day-to-day basis.

Rather than concentrating on the things that are not going so well, maybe you should concentrate on what is going well - your kids are growing up into happy little individuals, your language skills are improving by the day, and you are slowly but surely becoming accustomed to life as a "foreigner".

You really should congratulate yourself on all that you have accomplished, rather than looking for problems!

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