I can respect your feelings about the health system, and normally I would actually agree with you that the system is set up to treat the symptoms and not the underlying problems. It's unfortunate, but true - most of the time. The beauty of cognitive-behavioral therapy is that it's not necessarily just symptom-focused - it works on the underlying problem. So, just for example, with depression - people feel sad
, low self-esteem, etc. This manifests as wanting to stay in bed, avoid social contact, etc.. But CBT looks at the underlying reasons WHY the person feels this way and works to change them (rather than mask them, say, with medication or just using positive affirmations) - so you learn to make fundamental changes in your thoughts, which control your behaviors. What thoughts do you have that contribute to your feeling low or like a loser - and how can you change those feelings and thoughts and translate them over to positive behavioral changes.
As far as ALANON, I think that's a great idea. After I sent my initial message to you, I had the thought that a support group of some sort would also be a good place to start (either in addition to therapy or instead of - although a combination of both is ideal). One other thing I'd like to point out - you say you're always waiting to the other shoe to drop - and it makes absolute sense in light of everything you've said - but this is something cognitive-behavioral therapy can also help you with.
I can't provide you with a top ten list (though I do appreciate your sense of humor and I think we could already add
that to a list of your positive qualities), but I would say that a support group and CBT should be your top two on the list. Third, I would recommend that you read "Change your Thoughts, Change your Life" by Wayne Dyer. It's a fabulous book based on the Tao Te Ching - so it's based in spirituality (not religion) that can help give you a fresh perspective and help you take control of your life just by seeing things in a different light.(see here:
I would also suggest that you think about becoming involved in some sort of exercise or stress
management program. Meditation
, yoga, Tai Chi, aerobic exercise - these can all help you feel better on the inside and outside. Aerobic exercise helps by promoting the production of endorphins (your body's natural pain killing and stress relieving chemicals) - and can help alleviate depression and anxiety
, too. You might want to read this information from the Mayo Clinic on the benefits of exercise, especially if you are a "self sufficient" woman who wants to try to work things out on her own, then it might be one of the simplest things you can do to help yourself.
I hope that helps, but as before, if you have any more questions, please let me know. Have a great day!