Why can’t I just feel happy again?
Firstly, I’ve never done this before but I just feel like I need advice because my life has been so complicated and this is on my mind all the time.
I’m now 36, divorced and mother of two sons ages 6 & 5.
When I was 18 I met my first love who was 7 years older than me. He told me he wanted to move to Australia as he had been there on a years working holiday visa and felt like it was more his home than the Uk. We where from a big city in the north and even though I didn’t like the area I was brought up in as it was quite rough, it was home and I didn’t know any different. He on the other hand hated the Uk and wanted out. Looking back, I was just wanting to please him and I was so young I didn’t really think of any consequences. We immigrated to Australia when I was 21, I’d been the year before on a 3 week holiday before we immigrated and that was it.
Moving so far away from home was not nice but I suppose I enjoyed the excitement of living in surfers paradise. We moved to the Gold Coast and it was paradise compared to the north of England. Around 6 months into living there my then fiancée told me that he had secured a job in Perth on the other side of the country approx a 5 hour flight away. The job was amazing money and he couldn’t turn it down. He gave me no option to go with him and said he would be working for 3 weeks on and then have a week off to spend with me when he would fly back. I was crushed. At 22 I found myself alone in a strange country with little friends and a non existent social life and I started to resent him. We made enough money to buy land and build a house and so that’s what we did. Materialistic wise I was successful but the relationship was beyond repair after he decided to move back from working away. By the time he did this he’d been away 3 years and id moved on emotionally.
Things got nasty when we separated and he made my life hell with abuse and threats. In the end it worked and I signed the house over to him and walked away with what was left of my sanity. I was so depressed I couldn’t cope with anything. I began drinking and partying non stop. My life just went from bad to worse and in the end I moved back to the uk with nothing but a suitcase to show for it.
I had numerous failed relationships and depression for the next few years and wanted to go back to Australia but never could and my visa wasn’t renewed. My ex met an Australian girl after we split who he’s married to still and is now a millionaire by the looks of it. Twelve years later I still remain bitter and jealous of how things turned out. I got married but my husband was abusive so I left him. We have two sons and my eldest is autistic which I struggle to deal with on a daily basis.
I find it so difficult to find joy in anything. My mind keeps having flashbacks of what I once had and now what my life is like and it feels like it was a dream. I’m not happy in the Uk, but then I don’t know if I’d be happy anywhere? I’ve tried counselling but can’t afford to keep it up, I’ve tried anti depressants but they don’t seem to do anything. I now don’t live near my family as my ex husband was from wales and so I’ve found myself here and have to stay due to my children being settled here. I hate feeling sorry for myself but how do I just get over this? I think I’ve got post traumatic stress or something? I know it sounds ridiculous as I haven’t been in a war but I feel like I was given a great chance and it went horribly wrong for me and now things aren’t much better? My son has a disability which I just can’t come to terms with. I hate autism and what it’s taken from him. I look around me and think this country is rubbish compared to somewhere like Australia why did I leave etc what if this etc. I wish I could erase the whole thing from my memory but I can’t so how do I put this behind me and try and be happy? I know things could always be worse I feel like I battle this in my head everyday and it’s exhausting :( To top it all off my dad and his wife moved to Australia after I left and are still there. He’s constantly sending me pics of what life is like over there and tbh it just makes me feel even worse.
Hello. First of all, it sounds like you have experienced a great deal starting at a very early age. I'm sorry to hear all the difficulties and challenges you've endured and it would be wonderful to see you get to a place where you can experience joy in life and in your children. We are all faced with decisions throughout our life and all decisions we make have consequences. The bigger the decision the greater the consequence. When we make choices that are in our best interest, we often experience positive outcomes or consequences. Likewise, when our choices are not in our best interest we often reap negative/hurtful outcomes. We are unable to turn back time and undo decisions, but we were created with the ability to learn from our experiences and grow to greater heights so that our future decisions are more aligned with our purpose.
Have you considered journaling all that has happened, the learning opportunities, and where you would like to see yourself and children in say 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, or even 5 years from now? Journaling learning experiences can help you make future decisions that will allow you to move toward your goals verses away from them. Journaling your goals and ambitions helps you direct a pathway to start achieving and reaching these goals. Setting your sights on a forward direction, in writing, can help you plug in the steps necessary to move in that direction. It is not necessarily easy but it can help it seem possible. Something I do when I get overwhelmed with life is I try to keep my focus on "one step at a time" vs. the entire mountain I want to climb. I make note of the mountain but focus on each step one day at a time. It would be good to hear what you think of this idea or if you have tried it before? Another thought to possibly consider is a "blessing" book. Each day you write down three blessings or things that made you smile or brought your joy. They can be simple things like sunshine, or a sweet sentiment from your children, or a friend. Maybe dinner turned out well. Whatever, it doesn't have to be huge, simple works. If you do this for a month everyday, it can start to help you focus on the bright spots in each day vs. the sadness and sorrow that easily overwhelms us.
I also want to share that I understand your challenges with an autistic child. I too have a son with autism and there are days I just don't know how to help and I loose my cool. Yet I often see the special gifts that he has been given. Yes, the gifts are different than other children but again we are all a unique creation and I encourage you to try and see the blessings and the beauty in him and embrace the things he can do without trying to focus too much on the things he cannot do. It will make a world of difference. If there is any way you can get him therapy through the school system or other affordable avenues that too would be a great benefit for you both. Maybe even consider joining a support group with other moms or parents with autistic children. It can be a great outlet and learning environment.
I realize I am going on a bit but you are so young and have a great deal of opportunity in front of you. It would be great to hear back to see how you feel about any of the ideas above. I will pray for you and your boys. All my best and God bless.
Hi there - ive recently joined here for a variety of reasons 🙃 and I noticed your situation is fairly similar to mine in some ways. After a number of poorly (v) judged decisions I have found myself more isolated from a previously large number of friends, family and wife - go me. Im currently on medication (last 6 years I think) and have just booked an appt with a therapist to see if they can help untangle my shi*ty life. I also have sons who are nv autistic who are lovely but bring another dimension to everything obviously.. Cant even talk to them lol. So wanted to say you're not alone in how you feel you know.. take care
Thanks for the reply! It’s strange the way we think we are alone but other people are going through similar. I think I’ve also uncovered one of the reasons why I am still down all the time and stuck to the past. I keep on binge drinking when I’m alone to try and help me deal with these feelings but it’s definitely having the opposite effect. It happens at least once every two weeks but it’s enough to keep me depressed and I do think that with dealing with this life will look much brighter. I have also bought a law of attraction journal to try and help me be more greatful for what I do have and to help me practice positive thoughts and keep a journal of my thoughts.
Autism definitely isn’t easy but I have asked for help and managed to get my son some aba therapy which will be funded by a charity. I have to be strong and positive for my son because things are much harder for him. Things are slowly starting to look a little brighter. I think by writing everything down out loud, it’s forced me to do something about it because no one can cling onto the past and we don’t know what awaits us in the future!
Thank you for taking the time to reply I really appreciate your advice and kind words :)