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scared about the future...

johnnyjjohnny Posts: 35
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Depression and Coping
anyone else get scared about the future?

i'm just really feeling it tonight. scared i won't live to see 60. scared my meds will stop working. scared of every new ache & pain because of what it might indicate. scared at the accumulated effect of my reduced activity level & reduced muscle mass. scared at my increased isolation, scared i'll lose my friends, scared i won't make new ones. scared i won't be able to survive on disability, scared about what i will do to make money when i can't sit for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time & need to spend the better part of my day on my back. scared scared scared about what's going to happen to me.

bleh. anyone else relate?


  • It can be scary to think about the future but I take it one day at a time. I'm making little goals to improve myself. I'm starting heated pool therapy with my Physiotherapist then getting a disability membership to the same place where I can exercise what PT has shown me to do to strengthen my core and endurance. Like you I'm unable to tolerate walking or any form of enjoyment and have even lost touch with everyone. I hope to get stronger and be able to do some of the things I used to. Keep hoping we never know if there's a cure around the corner. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I think all of us spineys and neckies can relate. Everything you are feeling sounds normal.

    Just the other day I had a "freak-out" moment and started looking at all the SSD info on their website. Then I told myself that it may never come to that and take one day at a time. Heck, after my surgeries on lumbar and neck I may be doing so much better! Positive thinking is a great tool, its just hard sometimes to think that way.

    I find this website extremely helpful with the mental side of dealing with the pain. Hope you find yourself in a better place, Lisa
  • I worry almost constantly about these things. I know that there is a strong possibility that I will end up wheel chair bound before its all said and done. I worry because I do not take good care of myself otherwise. I don't eat right, I am overweight and I don't excersize. It gets very overwhelming sometimes. I have had some pretty rough times throughout my lifetime and I always think about what my mom would tell me. She would say Don't worry it's not like you will fall off the face of the earth. So far she has been right. Everything always seems to workout one way or another. I really try very hard to not worry about the things that I can not change but I am a chronic worry wart.
  • i think that's exactly what's going on--i'm having a good old-fashioned FREAKOUT, just like you had, lisa. i'm just really overwhelmed by what might be ahead.

    hey, j.j., i'm a worrier too--i get anxiety attacks when things are really tough. i guess it's just hitting me harder tonight than usual. it's so hard to be afraid of the future instead of looking forward to it, isn't it? tonight i'm eating a little extra chocolate & doing my exercises & burying myself in bad tv.

    thanks for replying, everyone. i'm sorry to hear you're where i'm at but also grateful to hear i'm not alone, if you know what i mean.

    ps charry, are you canadian? i live in ottawa, & for some reason i had this idea you might be canadian.
  • I think everyone here that has back issues worries about whats ahead. I know I do. I had the hardware out Sept 4 and am wondering when that majical moment of feeling better will come or if it will. The thoughts of having to spend the rest of my life like this is overwhelming. That and the surgery I am having on Monday. I try to stay positive, but sometimes I have freak out times as well. Cant help it. So dont feel alone. We all have our moments, but have to try to stay positive when we can. Love, Robin
  • I am also frightened, I don't know what's going to become of me . I am fearful of my job. I drag my self to work but the pain is wearing me down. I don't know how long my body can take it . Every day brings a new pain, every day the pain worsens. before I get to my office I am in tears from the pain, if I take the pain medication it causes me to make costly mistakes, thank god I have caught them and was able to rectify them. My Doctor told me he does not want me working . I keep telling him a little bit longer. The truth is if I go out of work my employer will hire someone to do my job as soon as they legaly can. Then where do you go, dissability is not a sure thing and I don't think I would have the strenght to to fight for if denied. Now if you are lucky enough to heal and feel you can work who will hire you . Trust me I know this all to well, part of my job is hiring and firing not pleasent but it my responsibility. I know for a fact I look at breaks in employment , during interviews if they mention they were out for back surgery the red flag goes up. Why in our right mind would hire someone that had had a back problem. We see them as a workmans comp problem after they get their foot in the door. I have a department to run. I never think to give them a chance, that they had a problem they took care of it and they are now ready to work. It doesn't matter they have brought in with them great refferences, past evaluations from their other jobs that were great. I look at them as being a risk. It kills me to think what I have done for 30 years only that one day I may be on the other side. I have tried to change and recently hired someone that has had problems both physcial and mentally. I have gone out on a limb and I know my managers are looking at me like I am crazy.I also know this one hire will never make up for the ones I have turned down but just maybe my managers may learn from it.
    Living on dissability is just getting by, I would loose a lot of money. I never saved a lot , I was always helping someone out in my family , paying their rent , buying them food and clothes, paying their electric bills , playing Santa claus for my neices and nephews because my siblings could not afford it . I think about all of the people that I will not be able to help any more. I have always played the part of the boss, having control both in my home life and work life and I am now losing it all. It scares the hell out of me. I am going to have to ask for help for the first time in my life.

  • it's great to see you on here! i've been wondering how things are with you--good luck on mon & i know you let your friends on here know how things go.

    yep, it just feels like things are closing in on me tonight. i'm not sure what's triggered it. the pain has been bad all day & that could be part of it.

    just tired of the struggle & not seeing an end in sight. some nights you need to just let yourself feel what you feel, you know what i mean? to not have to hide it or apologize for such scary & overwhelming feelings.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Johnny,

    As you can see your feelings are no different than most of us here at SH. If
    we sit and think about it will just scare the heck out of you and leave you depressed. I still have my "down times" but I try and stay busy, doing what I
    can do and setting goals with each project then push myself harder to exceed that goal. Oh yeah, I may hurt after that task but mentally it gives me
    strength and courage that this disease is not going to hold me down.
    I firmly believe that pain is relative and with mind over matter we can keep it
    from keeping us down. Granted we all have different tolerances to pain, I am very fortunate to have a high tolerance. I also look around and see how so many others have it worse than I do and realize how lucky that I am.
    Take care,
  • hi everyone!

    it's amazing what sharing your feelings & a good night's sleep & a gorgeous day full of sunshine can do to lift a person's spirits!

    i feel much better today, & i think a lot of that has to do with not ignoring hard feelings just because they're hard. i think a lot of people run from feelings like fear, anger, resentment, insecurity, because they are scary & hard to deal with. people push those feelings down or hide them behind a facade of empty talk & empty busyness. anything to escape having to deal with hard feelings. drinking, even, or gambling or binge shopping--whatever it takes to avoid having to face the fear, the anger, the insecurity.

    that's not my style, & i'm very grateful to have a place where even hard feelings are shared & opened up to the air & given their rightful amount of time & focus. it's a relief to not be alone in my fear.

    so fear is just fear. the future is going to come whether i'm afraid of it or not. some days i'll be overwhelmed by it & most days i won't. & today is actually a gorgeous day & i'm going to go for a walk & do some writing.

    so thanks again to everyone who took the time to reply in the wee small hours last night & this am too. i hope the sun is shining where you are.

  • I also carry lots of guilt around with me. I used to work with someone that had a fusion many years ago. He would have horrible pain days that made it impossible for him to come to work. I was just like everyone else and chalked it up to him being lazy and a pain in the butt. The thing is that we really don't know what chronic pain is really like until we experience it for ourselves. You really should not blame yourself for acting like a normal person and discriminating against people who in your mind had certain flaws that made them unemployable. You did what you thought was right at the time. I commend you because now that you know differently you are trying to make a change in how you view these folks.

    johnny, glad to hear that today is a good day for you. I hope that you enjoy it.
  • short to worry and be scared. I can actual scare the crap out of myself with ALL the things I can worry and be scared for and about- but it wears me out and its for no reason. It will take a toll on your health- your mental state! I have learned to STOP quickly when I get the way and say a prayer and be still. I have learned that I AM NOT in control- not even kinda sorta - God had planned my life even before I was born. Therefore I have to put my trust and faith in Him!

    Good luck with the bad days, may you always find hope to move forward one step at a time!


  • Even when I have painless days and prior to learning about ALL of my health problems that have come about in the past year or so (aside from neck/back issues), I've always worried about bills/work/life (the future). With all of the health problems it makes me freak out even more, especially because I'm only 30.

    I've also noticed that since learning about all of the other health issues, I've come down a lot harder on my bf (we live together) in pushing him to get a better job. I make almost 3x as much as him. When he had an accident back in February we were perfectly fine financially for the 3 months he didn't work because I can hold the house fine with my pay alone. If I were to ever lose my job though because of health problems, we would be out on the streets tomorrow because he wouldn't even be able to pay the mortgage each month with his pay let alone all of the other bills. That worry alone makes me start to not like him and want to be with him because he can't find a better job out there and then I create this added pressure onto myself because of it which stresses me out and probably adds to the vicious pain cycle.

    If anyone has any ideas to help, I'm all ears.
  • This may not be what you want to hear, but, pushing your boyfriend to make more money "just in case" may just push him in a direction you do not want him to go!

    I have lived with my wife for about 25 years, married for 22 of them, the last 22. Anyway, except when she was in law school I have NEVER made more money or even equal money to hers. She now more than triples my salary. She accepts it, she knew who I was and what I did a long, long time ago.

    I would suggest that you plan for your well being should you become disabled, not on your boyfriends money or lack thereof, but more on what YOU can do NOW to ensure you can be comfortable, even if your boyfriend is not around.

    I tried to do "better" years ago, studying books and being a good student gives me migraines. Give me a wrench, a hammer, something to do and I'm fine.

    If my wife and kids deserted me tomorrow I could survive. I realize at this point in my life I don't need much at all. Somethings can't be bought with money.

    Now, if your boyfriend was/is not trying to work at all, lazy, unemployed by choice, etc, I would change my tune. But, some of us just don't fit the make a lot of money mold.

    Realistically, think about it, we can't all make a lot of money. You making more than him is a blessing, not a curse, not something to judge him by.

    We all have to learn to be who we are at some point in our lives. We can only pretend for limited time periods, then the real us creeps out.

    As for the disability thing, for as long as I can remember we have carried 3-4 times as much life insurance and disability insurance on my wife. She says that should something happen to me she can support herself and the kids, she knows if something happens to her I will need the money to get the kids through college, etc,

    Always something to think about, isn't there?
  • I make more money than my husband also until our taxes got too high with him working so he stayed at home and cooked and drove me to work etc. I'm glad to have a disability geared to 60% of pay which we are barely getting by on. Of course now my husband is having a hard time finding work to supplement that 40% I'm not getting now. What's important is your BF should enjoy his job no matter how much he makes. Going to College or University is always a bonus but it's not for everyone and it doesn't guarantee a high paying job depending on what you study for. I hope your work has a good disability package. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Johnny,
    It is only natural for us all to worry at times and who would not, nobody here can see into the future and living that day to day ethos far easier to say than do. Being scared is nothing more than I would expect and it grounds us in the reality of having to deal with the now, rather than what might happen. As soon as we let in the What if fairy it grows bigger in our minds and stop us from achieving, the worry itself becomes the issues rather than emphasis on the condition that we have and managing it more effectively.

    I do not know what will happen to you and nether do you in reality, anything and everything is possible, I am still scared and have had this condition for 20 years this year, only you can make yourself feel bad about you, take some comfort that we have all been where you are and got through and you will too, with the right support and encouragement from all of us here.

    If you came here and posted you were not scared at all, then I would worry for you.

    Take care and be kind to yourself.

  • Wrambler and charry,

    I appreciate what all you both have said. I guess I should mention that my bf has a mechanical engineering degree and has never been able to get a job in that area. When I met him he was bringing home a lot more as he worked longer hours and had a 2nd job. It's almost as if once he moved in with me that he pretty much dropped his 2nd job (his 2nd job was something he LOVED doing - was working 2 extra weekends a month getting an extra $600 a month for it and then went to working maybe one weekend every few months) just because he thought I didn't want him working and wanted to see him on the weekends. I never once complained about him doing the 2nd job.

    Not to mention he knew what he needed to contribute when he moved in here and with him dropping the extra hours and 2nd job, he hasn't contributed what we agreed on. I know, my fault for putting up with it for so long (well over a year now).

    I've started looking into disability insurance, but right now it is not something that I can afford to take on which really sucks.

    Anyway, thank you again for your responses and Johnny I'm sorry to have taken over your thread. It just shows though that you're not alone with the stress and thought of the future.
  • Johnny - I hear you! When I lay awake at night and think of the "could happens". I want to close my eyes and not open them again. BUT I somehow always mange to stop the stinking thinking and deal with life again on a more positive note. Know you are not alone :)

    Liz - Have you talked to your BF and told him just how you feel? Don't assume he knows ;)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • You are not alone. I'm having good and bad days when it comes to worry. I am thinking about keeping a journal b/c I believe my 'freak outs' align with either unhealthy eating, not walking or walking too much, or stress from work.

    I am definitely more aware of pain these days and worry more but I am trying to use that to empower me to not wait to ask for help. You will have these types of days. I'm not even 3 months post surgery and having these moments still.

    Being here helps me realize . . .it might be a slow go but I can get back to normal even if normal has a new definition.
  • Johnny,
    Nobody here has any guarantee of what the future will hold, I did not expect my condition to last the past 20 years or the lifetime now suggested. We could all think of what might happen and that is a life less lived in what might happen, we should not be too concerned about the things we can not longer do, but the future that is where we are all heading. We all have to let go of our previous status and just live in the memory of things we could do, that is OK it motivates us to adapt in realistic ways of finding substitute achievement will equal and progressive value.

    Although we should continually evaluate our medication our life expectancy will not be foreshortened by the use of our medication or pain, without our intervention.

    Are these thoughts we have true ! we all need to filter the truth of each one before embedding it into our psyche, 2+2 = 4 not the equation we are devising in our heads, if this specific thought is not true, why continue to thinks about it, file it under the word rubbish, empty our own mental trash occasion and start that filter process once more.

    Don’t allow negative rubbish to dominate you, your thoughts or your future.

    None of this is easy or simple and we do have those skills already.

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