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Need a different frame of mind...

Old 01-15-2023, 09:47 AM
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Need a different frame of mind...

I've posted about some of this awhile back in another post, but to summarize, this past year has been an extremely rough time in my life and it's led to a very bad cycle of constant feelings of dread and anxiety that I need to find a way to break the cycle of.

Some background: I've lost both of my parents this last summer, and since then, it's been one headache after another... To start with, both of my vehicles have required multi-thousand dollar repairs with the car needing a major water pump replacement and the truck requiring an entire engine swap with multiple return trips to fix various leaks with a horrible undercoating job having been done by a separate shop that made me regret using them. Additionally, I need things done to my old 1920s / 1930s-era home with the basement being the biggest problem right now. Some contractors who replaced 2 entire sides of it used an i-beam for floor joist support that spans too far, and as a result, it's led to some noticeable deflection issues that you can feel throughout the house. It's the kind of place that almost sits in a yard bowl, too. The ground is clay-based, so the 2 sump pumps for this 900 square-foot home creates plenty of noise due to how the pipes run through the crawlspace being attached to a few of the joists above (which I'm planning on fixing this spring). I hoped to have some of these things fixed by now, but the only contractor in my area who does this kind of work has been busy with other projects and dealing with his own issues since last June. Despite saying he thinks he should be more open to doing the work in March, it just means that I have to stomach stuff for awhile. Easier said than done.

I've been on a 3-week vacation, which one would think would be enjoyable, but it's been the exact opposite: all of this time off has allowed me to stew and worry about things. With the vehicles, I wake up each day worrying about whether I'll find a new leak or hear a new sound coming from an engine. I worry so much about this that I sometimes feel my heart race when I wake up because as soon as I open my eyes, I start worrying about whether I tightened an o-ring enough after an oil change or whether a check engine light will light up when I start one or the other up again for the day... I'm the say way about the house. Whenever I'm in bed at night, I sometimes feel vibrations in the floor joists--sometimes I even feel it in my bed--and I believe it's from one of my pumps in the basement. When we recently had subzero temps, I heard all sorts of pops and thumps. Was that a footer? Did any of my single-pane windows crack from the extreme cold? Will any of the freeze cause a roof leak? These are just a few of the things I get anxious about. I often worry about whether those vibrations--despite being minor--will cause problems for my older foundation.

And to top things off, the family I have left never ceases to find ways to exclude me from things whenever they all hang out. It's even got to a point where I sometimes wonder if my grandmother enjoys telling me about how she just spent the day with the family... Just yesterday, I learned that she, along with my older sister and her boyfriend, all went to the city with my little niece to celebrate her birthday by eating at a restaurant and doing some shopping. I live only 25 minutes away, but I never received a single invite or phone call about any of this and they do this all the time with me. Despite constantly getting angry about it whenever I learn about them doing things together, it just keeps happening. It's like every time I say anything about how hurt it makes me feel, it just keeps happening. When I learned about yesterday after calling my grandmother last night just to say "hi" since I hadn't spoken to her in a month, I told her that I think I'm done with all of them and hung up on her. Whenever I tell people about these things, they always find ways to either justify their decisions or dismiss my own needs or feelings, which I can understand to a degree because I'm sure I come across as some sort of whiny person. But again, this has been a chronic problem with them for years and it just never seems to improve no matter how hard I try. I guess my problem is that they've always been my social outlet, something I need to change.

But worrying about the car and truck, worrying about the house, worrying about the family, worrying about a nonexistent social life (doing things like going to the gym or coffee shop hasn't done anything for this). I mean, I just don't know what to do anymore... As such, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that suicidal thoughts is a pastime and has led me to self-medicating with 1-2 bottles of Moscato each night combined with 3 over-the-counter sleeping pills just to get some sleep. I know this isn't good and I'm slowly trying to reel it in, but the stress and anxiety I've been battling is overwhelming. So I needed something, anything, to help get through it. Thing is, I'm beginning to suspect the wine as contributing to some of my anxiety. Have any of you ever felt like wine does that? I'm new to drinking alcohol--never drank before this year--so I'm not sure if wine can do that or not.

On brighter notes, I finally paid off the loan I took out for the truck engine swap, and because of that, I've had more money lately to order things to complete my truck's undercoating with. That stuff should be delivered this week. And despite the vehicle issues, I haven't been seeing any check engine lights, which is good, and they both appear to run without any major problems, so that's good, too. I've also managed to contact a different contractor to come out for a quote on my basement stuff (hopefully this coming week). So I guess things are moving forward in a good way, but being patient and finding ways to deal with my anxiety is the challenge

Sorry for the book. I'm just tired of going to bed and waking up dreading everything in my life and I'm not sure how to break the cycle but I keep believing that it will get better in time if I can just stomach things for awhile. I know there's always someone out there that has it worse, so if any of this has you feeling like I'm whining, I do apologize in advance. Maybe I should get my fishing license? I mean, it's cold outside so the fishing will probably suck, but it'd at least get me out of the house and away enough to get my mind on something else for awhile... I try to go to Starbucks each day to read some of my Stephen King books. That helps a little, but it sometimes gets a little old, ya know?

If you've read all of this, I thank you.
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Old 01-16-2023, 08:01 AM
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Well, this is a recovery forum, you know that and I know that, so my first thought would be that yeah the wine and medications need to go. When I'm not focused on my addiction and program of recovery the problems that arise in my life just seem to compound themselves, and back in the day when I'd self-medicate, you know what that's called having been around recovery long enough...."a temporary solution to an ever growing problem". And yes, any form of alcohol increased my anxiety, but so did sobriety without some form of recovery plan, being dry physically and spiritually ramps up my anxiety and depression.

Home ownership and vehicle ownership is a constant investment of money, energy, and time. I can't think of anything that sucks up more of my time than my home and more of my money than our vehicles. So I guess what I have to consider, and I've been giving this a lot of thought lately, is ROI (return on investment) aka "should I be sinking 7k worth of repairs into an 18 year old vehicle that has 215k miles on it, or would that money be better spent on a used low mileage vehicle with a proven history of reliability?" Same goes for the house. So I guess my thinking process if I were in your shoes would be whether it's time to part ways with some of these things in "as-is" condition and put myself in a better situation with different forms of living and transportation . There have been a few times in my life when I had to cut my losses and move on for the good of my mental and financial health.

When it comes to the family, what I can share is that I'm going through a very painful time in my life right now where my adult children are ignoring me and no longer visit or communicate with me , very strange after 20+ years of being everything to them and feeling that I was cherished as their father. I'm not going to keep reaching out only to be shot down and silenced , and I have a wife, stepdaughter, step-grandchildren, and countless friends who remind that I matter to someone and I'm loved. There is joy and happiness to be found everywhere, I'm reading End Of Watch by Stephen King, when I finish that I'll be reading Warhammer books as it's a new hobby I picked up, I've been learning guitar and when I'm not working at any one of the 4 jobs I currently have I'll relax by going to the local hobby shop and hang out with the kids there. I love being outdoors in nature, fishing, camping, hunting.

God never gives us more than we can handle. Truth. He also never guarantees us an easy life. But life can be fulfilling and full of joy, the Bible reminds me of that, and the life I have in recovery gives me that treasure on a daily basis. One day at a time, we all get through any hardship that life dishes out.
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Old 01-16-2023, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, Astro.

I haven't drank any wine for the past 2 days now, so I'm doing better on that front at least. But as far as everything else is concerned, I'm beginning to try to think about where my boundaries are with everything.

As for the house, I closed on it at $62k. I'm now at around $49k with my mortgage. So far, I think I've spent about $36k on basement work (replaced 2 entire sides, added new footing with both sides along with 2 lengths of perimeter drainage, with an additional sump pit, and removed a lot of old wall and foundation stuff). I think I've spent at least $8k on various yard drainage and sump exit line installs. And this spring, I'm planning on spending around $3k to reroute both sump pump exit lines out through one of the new basement walls to have a shorter connection to the city drain line, which will also stop noises and vibrations whenever they kick on, too. I'm also hoping to spend only around $2k to rework an i-beam that was installed from the prior basement wall work to reinforce and better secure it (to also help level some flooring above, too). With the math, I'm basically closing in on spending more on all this than the house is worth, but the problem is that if I don't do these things, I worry about being able to resell it if and when the time comes.

I haven't even upgraded the HVAC yet, which is probably more than 30 years old, and the system I plan on getting installed for that will be around $9-10k. (But this should have some pretty good return for the resell worth.)

The good news in this is that the car and truck are paid-off with the truck's new engine having a 3-year / 100k warranty. I also have a backup engine in the garage for the car if anything ever happens to it. It'd still cost a good penny to install it, but not as much as it would if I didn't have the engine, ya know?

So where's my breaking point in all of this? I've been thinking a lot about that lately. I know I don't want to rent anymore because the places I've seen around where I live to rent are places I wouldn't do well in... But since I don't have any money to buy a new home, well, I think I'd finally give up if I was *forced* to replace anymore basement walls. It'd be one thing if I chose to do it at my own convenience as that would be a planned, controlled situation... But it's another if something collapses, etc. So if something dumb like that happens, I think that'd be it for me with this place whereby I'd do whatever I'd need to replace / repair the problem (i.e. - take out a loan, arrange things with contractors, etc.) but once everything would be completed, I'd finally sell this place and leave. I don't think anything in the basement is close to doing something like that... The closest thing is the i-beam thing, but I'm planning on getting that fixed this spring. I do have some cracks in the old footings, but the worst are in the crawlspace I have that has plenty of support around it from the crawlspace area (and cracks in old footings of older homes isn't something to get too worked-up over in most situations as long as it's not major load-bearing or retaining anything the way a basement wall does). I don't see anything else that's too worrisome with the remaining older walls I have in my actual basement. I don't like the mortar I see in them and it'd be best to one day replace what's remaining, but they don't look like they're going anywhere anytime soon, so structurally, I think it's okay.

But with all this in mind, I'm trying to schedule a time with a separate contractor company south of my location who specializes in these kinds of things to come out and give me an assessment and quotes on things. I'm hoping they put some things into perspective when they come out.
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