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DearSugar Needs your Help: Is there a Light at the End of the Tunnel?

DearSugar and Defeated Daisy need your help. Do you have any advice you can offer up to help rebound from a disastrous year of loss and upset?

Dear Sugar,

The last year has been sadly filled with devastating events for me and several of my closest friends. I lost my father very suddenly and in the same year, three of my dearest friends also lost parents. On top of that, my best friend divorced after finding her husband of nine years had been unfaithful throughout their marriage. We're talking Olympic level tragedy which has meant that there has been no safe harbor for any of us as we tended to our own wounds and tried to keep our families together.

Having somehow survived the last year, I feel compelled to make changes in my life. I'm in my late 30's and single with no children, and not currently dating as I went through a deep depression after my father died and subsequently gained some weight. The depression has begun to lift but the weight has remained. I have a very good position at work and I own my own home. On the surface, it looks quite good and I am grateful for all of it but I now find myself wanting more. But I don't even know for sure what it is I want... just that I'm not happy where I am now.

How do I the begin to create the life I want? I keep listening for my inner voice but I think she's taking a nap. --Defeated Daisy

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hills hills 8 years
o and remember do what ever makes u feel better, it dosnt matter what anyone elese thinks, just do what u need to have a happier life
hills hills 8 years
im sorry youve gone through a tough time, we all do and dont worry ur def not alone, i thinku need to think back to the things that made u happy, whether it be playing a sport, running or cooking, concentrate on the things u feel happy doing, also mayb when u feel alittle more confident do little things that scare and motivate u out of ur comfort zone, go a little wild, u only live once. in away u have good out of this, ur friends, as u said they have gone through simaler situations, mayb u could all do fun things together, or have girly sleep overs round ur house with a scary flim or smthing, like u did when u were young. i hope ur better soon and good luck!
andaman andaman 8 years
All the therapists in the world can't help you if you can't motivate yourself to get better.
andaman andaman 8 years
You know there are only two words that is the answer you need to "move on" with your life. Everyone here can tell you do it their way but you have to do it your way. I am not entirely convinced by seeing a therapist. I think it helps if you are lonely and you don't have answers to a lot of stuffs but at the end of the day you have to help yourself. Trust your own instinct and get up and do it!
Danni99 Danni99 8 years
I think there's been a lot of good advice given above, and wanted to chime in with my own bits. I think it's really important to allow yourself to be sad about your loss, and also to feel disappointed and sad that you do not have the life you would dream for yourself. At the same time, I think it's a good idea to begin branching out in small ways to find positive change. Sign up for a class that interests you, try a new gym, give meditation a shot, whatever feels right to you. Finally, I think it's good to make lists. Lists of the bad things you grieve for, lists of the things you want to change, lists for ways to change them, lists of things you want to do one day, etc. I feel so charged and in control after making a dreams list, and the feeling of ticking off one of the entries is incredible. I love the site www.43things.com
saraj saraj 8 years
Definitely talking it out with a therapist can really help. Also, if you have the means, travel somewhere exotic to see some of the masterpieces humans have created, whether it be the pyramids in Egypt, Taj Mahal in India, or even art museums in Paris. Seeing what others have done can liberate you and help lift some of the burdens off of your chest. While I sometimes prefer traveling alone to make it a more personal experience, you and your friends who've had rough times could all go. Good luck!
Trixie6 Trixie6 8 years
I think that seeing a therapist is a good idea. If the weight bothers you, start an exercise program or join a gym. (I'm not a fan of the gym, but I've found a lot of great exercise CDs at the library.) Take some time for you & don't be afraid to try new things. Take a cooking or pottery or sewing class. Sign up to volunteer at an animal or homeless shelter. The more things you expose yourself to, the better chance you'll have of finding what it is that truly makes you happy. Hang in there. God Bless.
tchan01 tchan01 8 years
Wow, I'm not sure where to begin. Looks like you've gotten some good feedback here so far, and we all do wish the very best for you. Everything is a process, especially when it comes to rebounding from such terrible loss. As someone mentioned above, seeing a therapist isn't a bad idea. Also maybe try meeting new people. Not sure where you live and what not, but social groups for common interests are a great way to meet both men and women (sports, dance, etc.) It could help lighten your mood, and keep your mind occupied with something constructive. Just a little note for me :-).
emmad18 emmad18 8 years
First of all let me start by saying I am so sorry for your loss, and saddened at what a hard year you've had. In my opinion this past year must have been such a test for you..and the fact that you and your friends are still standing means you've passed! I am glad to hear that you are taking a look at your life and recognising that you want to make some changes in the puruit of happiness..that is so mature of you and very positive, as it is so easy to get stuck in a rut and stay there but your working at your situation so well done you! you sound like your financially secure so what about a career break and a vacation? do something completely out of character for yourself, perhaps go travelling, or even just fulfill a dream that you never thought you would, like going to paris..etc etc. these are just suggestions. look at how your hard times have shaped you and move on. think of what your father would have wanted for you. you say you haven't been dating due to your depression and weight gain. let go of your hang-ups, i'll bet your just as gorgeous as you ever were so embrace it! whatever you choose to do...just be happy. good luck xx
andaman andaman 8 years
A fewl mistakes above, well as you all know I type at godspeed, sorry guys.
andaman andaman 8 years
I think you should take a vacation somewhere nice by yourself fot two weeks. While you're there do a little work on yourself, read what you like, be quiet and if you get lonely try to deal with it instead of going out drinking with new friends everyday you there, it's time for reflection not time for making new friends. I think what you need is a "fresh start" (and a "positive" one!). If it helps read some positive self help books while you are there in a new surrounding. I don't think you are suffering from depression at a worrying level. You are a bit down and things will look up once you have sorted your head out. We all go though this and you aren't alone. Life is all about how you take the punches and now you are a bit down. It's okay honey. You will be deal with it in your own way. I'll be thinking about you :)
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
1) read "the year of magical thinking" to gain some insight to why you are thinking of things the way you are. this is a healthy reaction to what has happened. that doesn't make the loss any eaiser, but it might make you feel less "nuts". 2) try and remove yourself from the losses your friends suffered. it happened TO THEM, not you. you are not in a position to do anything about their losses, other than offer support. they will make foolish choices, they will stumble because of what they have suffered; so will you. that's because we are human. take a deep breath and move forward. 3) start something like "happy friday's" or "wonderful weekend", where you only talk about the things in your lives you are blessed with; each other, jobs you love, your health, where you live. whatever. get together at a hotel, your place, a restaurant, and start some new traditions that you will look forward too. life doesn't always go as we had planned. we do the best with what we have and move forward. you cannot change what has happened but you can make today a day worth remembering. your father would want that for you :)
summer-roberts summer-roberts 8 years
I agree with seeing a therapist, they can help you to understand what is going on. I would also suggest going on a long vacation. Take some 'me time' to relax and think about the things you are grateful for and what direction you might enjoy pursuing. It may not be a gigantic thing your looking for, maybe just a small change will fulfill your need.
junebrug junebrug 8 years
I've had a similar thing happen when a lot of terrible things happened sequentially. I was horribly depressed. After being barely functional for a pretty long while, I told myself, "Look, either you're going to kill yourself right this second, or you're going to get over it." I picked up and moved across the country. People say quitting is bad, but that's ridiculous. Sometimes nothing can feel better than a "multi-quit." Quitting a relationship, quitting a job, and quitting an area all at the same time. I think the extent of the tragedies are the extent of the change needed. If I were you, I'd go somewhere I always wanted to go. It may be a struggle for a while, esp. with kids, but really, what's the worst that could happen? Sometimes we need an enormous CHANGE to feel hope again. As apple mentioned, see a therapist first thing also if you're not already. They can help you understand yourself better and make you realize your feelings are perfectly normal. And they can provide medication if needed.
applemartini67 applemartini67 8 years
aack! sorry for getting carried away above...didn't realize i wrote a five paragraph essay with conclusion and all ;)
applemartini67 applemartini67 8 years
although i have not suffered tragedies in such quick succession as you have, it's always good to want more. i felt the same a few years ago, and accepted that it did not mean i was ungrateful for what i had, just that i could do so much more if i felt fulfilled! it might not hurt to see a therapist just to rule out underlying depression. after having been through so much, it would hardly be unusual. i found what worked for me was learning and applying behavioral psychology (after seeing a wonderful and ever so patient behavioral therapist!). its interesting to learn to be aware of how your thought process works and can be changed, though it might not work for everyone. also, remember that it is a process...no one climbs back up the hill as fast as it took them to run down. you may slow down at times and think you're never going to feel fulfilled, but sometimes your sprint, and others you just relish the fact that you took a step in the right direction. good luck to you! :)
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