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 51-years-old and I’ve been living with my dad for three years. How did I get to this point? I lost my apartment, car, and everything after being on my own since age 22. I have an 18-year-old and a 23-year-old and they are doing great: one finished college and my youngest just started. I have been laid of three times back-to-back. Each time I work and save money to get back on my feet, I am laid off again. I don’t own a car, so I drive my dad’s old one. I am and have been thinking about ending my life. I am so lonely with no one to talk to that understands what I’m going through. I haven’t dated in three years and I’m afraid to even start a relationship with anyone because I am embarrassed by my situation. I recently started conversing with a gentleman, and he seems to like me and I like him, but I don’t know what to say if he asks where I live or what I do for a living. I am college educated, but no one will hire me. I constantly pray daily and I am depressed. I don’t know what else to do to change my situation. Please, help me.
Desperate and Afraid
I clearly understand your dilemma and fear. However, please hear me when I say that absolutely nothing is worth considering ending your own life. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. As dire as your situation may appear, it is indeed a temporary problem. You have been grieving your loses just as people grieve a death. You are not alone in dealing with financial issues. Many adults find themselves losing everything and moving back in with parents or others in order to start over again. This is called “life,” and it happens to everyone in some form or another. The problem is not what happened, but how you respond to it.
Yes, It can be very embarrassing and depressing after living on your own since the age of 23. But, you do not have to remain embarrassed or depressed. You must complete your grieving process and understand that you cannot change what has happened. Now it is time to regroup and get ready to move forward. This process starts by stopping, rethinking, and reassessing your priorities for your life. Understand how and why you got to this point so you can make a clear plan to avoid repeating the past. I understand that you may feel lonely and want a relationship. But, you must be emotionally healthy in order to find and have a healthy relationship.
There is nothing wrong with having some friends to hang out with but becoming emotionally involved with someone is risky at this time. You do not owe other people an explanation and do not feel obligated to give them one. In fact, be careful and selective in whom you share your personal challenges with. Everyone does not have your best interest at heart. I highly recommend that you seek individual psychotherapy to process issues and resolve your depression and other issues. Consider your current situation only a temporary setback. You have been successful before and you can be again. Best of luck to you. — Dr. Sherry
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