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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I'm overwhelmed with all that's going on in my life: empty

Customer Question

I'm overwhelmed with all that's going on in my life: empty nest as of last week (4 daughters all gone), menopause, my beloved horse died recently, my husband is a negative and abusive guy, I'm 20 pounds overweight, in debt, my freelance business stinks and I have no motivation to work anyway, daughter is going through a divorce and I worry about her a lot, have terrible insomnia, don't have any real friends. I have been drinking excessively for a while just to not feel extremely anxious or upset, but that is making me more depressed and I feel sick all the time. Where do I start, or how can I start when I just feel so lost and worthless?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

The best place to start is to become sober. The alcohol is covering all of your other emotions and as you said, adding to your problems rather than helping. Self medicating by using alcohol and/or drugs is a common reaction when you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to turn. You can try working on becoming sober yourself but if that does not work, try a program such as AA, which as meetings just about any where at any time. You can also speak with your counselor about support through your therapy.

Once you stop using alcohol you may feel your pain is worse. That is natural and understandable. But there are ways you can address what is going on in your life that will help you start on the road to recovery and feeling better.

An empty nest, losing your horse, your daughter's divorce and menopause are all losses. Have you worked through your grief over these losses? There is a process you need to work through to come to acceptance and feel better about your situation. The stages of grief are:






Once you can work through these stages, you will have adjusted to the losses and you will feel better.

The best place to start is learning about grief and how you can work through it. Here are some resources:

You can also join support groups to help you feel less alone and to provide you with the support you need right now.

Your relationship with your husband is another issue. You mentioned that he is abusive. Dealing with an abusive spouse is a stress all it's own. It can erode your self esteem, cause you to feel depressed, and make you believe that you deserve to be treated abusively.

One of the first steps to consider is whether or not you should stay in the marriage. This is a decision that needs support and understanding from your therapist and from others like a support group, friends and family. Here are some resources on abusive relationships:

Reach out for help. There are numerous organizations and groups to help you either get out of the relationship (especially if you are being physically abused or are in danger) or find a way to separate and/or get both you and your husband help.

Do you feel your therapy is effective? If not, you may want to consider changing therapists. To find a new one, ask your doctor for a referral. Or you can talk to your pastor, if you attend church. Faith based counseling can provide answers that you cannot find elsewhere. Or you can search on line at

Going through all that you have experienced can make you feel lost and worthless. But you are not. You are strong and resourceful to survive this far. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength, and that is what you are doing here. Surround yourself with people who can help and offer the support you need to climb out of your situation and get back to doing what you want to do.

I hope this has helped you,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Therapy has never worked for me. Maybe I'm nuts, but it always makes me feel much worse. I have been to 7 therapists over the past 10 years, worked with the last one for over a year, but all this just made me feel like I am beyond help. I also feel terribly guilty about the money spent with them, as our insurance does not cover it. I don't have a pastor. I have tried reading and journaling and other self-help methods but without success; right now I feel I can't even muster the resolve to try again.
AA is too embarrassing and painful, and it triggers me to drink more. When I go to meetings, I always think, well, I'm not THAT bad, and so I justify drinking more, I guess. It is pretty out of control right now.
What can I do to even have the power to try any of your suggestions? What I mean is, I feel so lost that I can't imagine doing anything. Also, it just seems too big, too much. Impossible to overcome.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

I understand. It is normal to feel the way you do when you have so much going on and no support. But you are writing here on Just Answer and talking to me, which says that you are able to do something to help yourself.

Reading some of the links I gave you takes even less effort. You can break it up into sections and just read a section at a time if you feel it would help.

You do have the motivation to get better. You would not have asked for help if you didn't, so that is an excellent sign. You may not feel motivated, but sometimes the feeling comes after the action. You need to force yourself to take one step at a time. Even if it is slow, it is progress.

You may not have had success so far because you do not feel motivated. Try letting in one thing that you try. For example, if you try reading one link a day, think about that link and see if you can find one thing that makes you consider your life differently. From there, it will become easier. That will help you find the motivation.


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

You're welcome! Take care


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Do you know of someone or a place to find someone who would work with me remotely (phone, computer) on my issues? I can't spend a lot of money and I don't want to meet with someone in my own town, as I need anonymity ( I get very paranoid about working with someone here even if they promise confidentiality... I don't want to be seen going into a place, and I have figured out who counselors were talking about as "examples" even when names were not mentioned). Is there any way to get a therapist to talk to me for about $20 an hour? My husband has money but I don't.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Yes, there are options for you.

You can work with someone here on Just Answer if you wish. How it works is you can either request a particular expert you enjoy working with or you can continue a thread you have already started. You can pay as you get the answers. You can work with the expert as often as you wish. Some people want to talk every day, others are ok talking whenever they have a need to.

When you work with an expert, be sure to put the experts name at the beginning of your question so the other experts know to not answer the question.

You can also make an appointment at your local community mental health center. They will see you based on your income and charge on a sliding fee scale. They offer a number of services including evaluation, individual and group therapy and psychiatric appointments. You can either contact your local city social services dept. or the United Way for information.

Some therapists will see you for a reduced fee. It takes some work, but you can usually find one.

If you attend church, you can usually see a counselor through your church. They may ask for a donation or charge a reduced fee.

I hope this has been helpful,