A depressed reader with money problems asks Dr. Sherry how she can change her life.
You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I am a single mom to a four year old. I currently work at a hospital and work all kinds of hours. I am just unhappy in general with my life and with how things played out. I don't have any money and I’m raising my daughter. I have her four days a week. I’d rather have her more. I have a boyfriend and my ex has a girlfriend. I fear he will get married first and my daughter will be in their wedding. Some days are fine while other days I'm really depressed. My boyfriend doesn't want to get married until I’m done with nursing school, which I totally understand, but I'm not even in nursing school yet—I’m working towards my pre-reqs.
Sometimes I'm just so sick of being a single mom. My daughter never wants to go to her dads. He's not a bad guy; I just think she gets bored. He is more obsessed with is new life and career. For instance, I asked if he could take her to her school trip. He won't because he works the night before, so I switched around my hours. Now I have to work a 16-hour shift in order to take my daughter on her trip. I almost don't feel like putting up a fight because I feel like there is no point. I just do not like how my life played out at all. I have no money for anything. I can't afford my own place. My boyfriend won't live with me until we split it halfway, which I get. He moved closer to be near us, but sometimes I just don't know. I live with my parents now and I am afraid to take my ex to court because my brother who still lives at home has a drug problem and my parents won't kick him out. They want me out first.
I am up to my eyeballs in credit card debt. I just wonder how Christmas and will play out this year. It all just puts me in a depressive state. Maybe I'm just waiting to hit the lottery. I know I sound like a brat saying this but there are days I just want to be taken care of and not do it all. I'm just feeling hopeless about my future.
You must become your own rescuer and stop the emotional bleeding. You cannot expect or depend on your boyfriend, your parents, or anyone else to rescue you. I am sure you are overwhelmed with life but you keep stabbing your own wounds. Yes, life can be tough and we all are active players in how life gets played out. Sometimes it just does not play out like we hope it will or how we plan. It may seem unfair at times but regardless you must get up and pull up your big girl panties. It may be hard but your pity party must come to an end if you are going to take control of your life and take care of your daughter. Your unhappiness has become depression, which is treatable. You must address issues that are attributing to your depression. You have pointed out everyone else's role in attributing to your unhappiness.
Of all the problems you mentioned including, school, finances, credit, and relationships, you are worried that your ex will get married before you. Really?! That should be the least of your worries! One of the main things that you may need to worry about is why your four-year-old daughter doesn’t want to go with her father for visits. It is hard to deal with issues related to your daughter while you are overwhelmed. While you may be frustrated with some of your boyfriend's decisions, he has managed to separate your issues from his issues. Cruel as it may seem, it is a good thing. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to address your depression and other issues. This will give you an opportunity to stop the emotional bleeding and heal the wounds. Your situation is serious but not hopeless! -- Dr. Sherry
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