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    Dear anita,

    thanks for your input. It is true that I can be very perfectionist. At the moment I have a lot of self doubt, feeling left behind in life. I get unhappy with myself, because I see others working so hard and then I don’t get anything done for several days. I want to grow up, take responsibility for my life and be mature. But I am working on improving, I should not forget that. The results can not come overnight.

    In the past year, I went to a helpful therapist and learned more about myself and understood myself better. I also worked more and became more financially stable. And I did not give up, when it was not easy at work with the new tasks and I was feeling overwhelmed. Now I am trying to work on my routine and getting a bit better at it. I am already working on it, so I should not beat myself up. Have more compassion with myself.

    The internet is a problem for me though. I get easily distracted by it, a habit that I have cultivated over years. The problem is, if I start with one hour, it will easily turn into five or more hours. So therefore I need some rules for it. Maybe I could limit the use of the websites that offer the main distraction for me. Not to visit them except in the evening, for one hour or so. Maybe that will work. Maybe that is less rigid.

    About my friend: you are right. She is smart enough to make her own decisions, she is also confident and a strong person. I need to let go. She seems to be doing o.K. She has her boyfriend, a job, her family and lots of friends and acquaintances. Maybe some distance can even be good.

    At the same time, I am also feeling a bit sad. “She does not need me”, this thought comes up. But I guess she is just very very  busy. At least I know that she is o.K.

    I think I should focus on working on myself, my studies, my routine and such. Maybe there will be a time, where I will not have so much time for these things. I am o.K.

    My afternoon on Sunday was nice by the way. I went out for a long walk. Suddenly it started to rain. There was hail and it was thundering. It was a bit scary, but I also felt alive. Then the sun came out while raining, it looked so beautiful.The world seemed as if it was newborn. There was steam coming from the ground and there was this earthy smell. I am glad to feel so connected to nature.

    Well, I hope you are well. Take care!




    Dear anita,

    how are you?

    The past week was mixed for me. Some days I  was able to follow a routine. At 7:00 am I would wake up, then do Yoga (only 10-30 minutes), then draw for a bit, prepare lunch/eat lunch, draw some more, then go for a walk and journal while outside, sitting on a bench. I thought that I had finally figured it out, but then there were some days again when I didn’t get much done.

    Today I also got up (a bit after 7:00 am), did Yoga for 20 minutes, cleaned the flat, showered, cooked lunch. Now in the afternoon I want to draw more. Maybe go for a walk again later. So far, it was not too bad, even though I still got distracted by the internet.

    Often I feel like I don’t get enough done, that I should be more productive. I feel sometimes so useless, worse now that I don’t work.

    At least I have improved a bit, did Yoga, journaled, drew regularly for a few days. I am now almost finished with an old project that I started years ago. So I am learning and getting better. I am trying to tell myself that it is o.K. and that it is good enough to make an o.K. use of my time.

    It could still be worse. But I really want to overcome getting easily distracted by the internet. My therapist and I talked about it repeatedly, but it is hard to stick to the things discussed. For example, I should not look at my phone in the morning.Today I even woke up before 7:00 am,but then looking at the phone made me postpone the start of the day. What a bad start! I do not want that to happen again… So some rules I want to keep, that I also discussed with my therapist:

    1) Not look at the phone in the morning

    2) No internet while eating (Magazines are still allowed)

    3) No internet before noon

    Maybe writing this down here will help. So far, I wasn’t doing so good. But I have to try again.

    By the way the life admin day (LAD was supposed to mean life admin day) went well. I did almost all the things on my list, except writing a thank you note for my mentor. Maybe I should set another date for that.

    About my mother: thinking about telling her that is pretty scary. I have not talked about it with her yet. My therapist said, that this would be a good occasion to practice telling people how I feel. But I also feel like my response to her was an o.K. solution. I thanked for her kind words, but didn’t say “I love you” in my message.

    Well, I am still running away from communicating openly. Why is it such a horror for me? Why do I have so much resistance? I have a very hard time telling others my uncomfortable feelings.

    Yet, I would prefer that others would communicate openly with me. It really seems that most people don’t do it.Even my tough colleague couldn’t tell my other colleague that she was not satisfied before talking to management.

    Maybe the world would be a better place, if people talked about their problems directly. But so far, I was not strong enough to do that too often.

    About my friend: she is indeed very busy. She wants to save money now and work full time, so she can work less next semester. At one hand I admire her hard work, on the other only hearing about it makes me feel stressed. Sometimes I get the feeling that she wants to do all at once. She works six days a week now, more than 40 hours per week I think. I worry a bit, hopefully she will take care of her health. But she knows best what she wants.

    I don’t know, if I should call her or reach out to her until she comes to me again (at the moment, I called about once a week)? One thing, I do not want to add to her stress, and on the other hand, I feel weird being always the one who calls first. And then I always get the feeling that I say the wrong things, maybe I am not supportive enough. To be honest, once it happened that she talked about herself and then I changed the subject to me, which I realized later and regretted. Maybe I am thinking way too much about all of this? Or maybe I am not a good friend? I have worried about this a lot lately. Hopefully I will be able to work again soon too, so I will have more distraction.

    I guess I am feeling lonely, but I should focus on the positive things. This week I even went to the river beach. It was a very nice day. I brought some potato salad I had made one day before, an apple and an egg. Then I sat down at the beach, ate my food and journaled for a while. And I watched the people around me. There were a lot of families, children climbing on a tree nearby and playing with the sand. Later I walked back on the shore and collected some river shells. It was a bit like a mini-holiday.

    It was a very nice and sunny day. Today it is raining again (but it’s good for the plants). I should be thankful to be safe and that I will be able to spend time drawing today.

    I hope you are well as well! You said you live close to Canada, somehow I imagined you living in California. Is it slowly becoming summer too where you live? Here I can hear the swallows now more often, so summer can’t be far.

    Have a nice day!



    Dear Ravi,

    thank you for your tips. I think there a re a lot of self help books out there, I only have to decide where to start. As for video, I am already watching youtubers like lavendaire who talk about personal development. I am also in therapy and I think I am on a good path now.

    Thanks for your concern! Have a good day and take care!


    Dear anita,

    hopefully I am making progress, at least I am understanding things better now. Last year was too hurtful. Now I only have to put everything into practice.

    I still have to work on forgiving myself. Negative thoughts and regrets do still come up at times.

    But today I feel pretty much o.K. My boss called and said that I could probably come back to work in about two weeks. That makes me feel hopeful that things will become more normal again soon.

    But I think I have also used this free time pretty o.K. I have made progress on my project and want to finish my illustrations for it until I start to work again. Also, I have worked on my routine and feel like I am finally making some progress there. Today for example I got up at 7, did some Yoga (20 minutes), drew and then went for a walk and also journaled while sitting on a park bench. I feel satisfied with myself.

    Also, I have learnt a bit about herbs, like I had planned and tried out some new recipes. On Sunday I made the bread which turned out delicious (thinking now about making bread once every week). Also, I made fish on a bed of nettles, which also tasted very well, much better than the nettle soup I made some time ago (that one already looked strange, like some sort of green slime :/ but the taste was still o.K.).

    Now I also have the idea to draw one plant I find or see each day and then make notes about its uses, so I can learn slowly more and more! I bought a new sketchbook for this.

    So I am satisfied with how I used this time without work, even though I was not always productive. I did o.k.

    You are right that I do not have to read every article that a stranger suggests. This one was helpful though and made it clearer for me what I wanted to change in myself. It was good for self-reflection. But sometimes I am still too accommodating. At least I am becoming more and more aware of that. In the past I wasn’t at all and I am still in the habit of trying to please others.

    When it comes to the replying – I think sometimes I do not want to reply immediately and then I forget. Or I want to make a very good reply and then procrastinate. Maybe sometimes I also don’t know what to say or just have a lot of other things going on.

    Last week for example my mother wrote a text message. She wrote what a wonderful and talented person I am and also signed with “I love you”. In this example I did not really know how to reply. Our relationship in the past was not that close, there were no hugs or “I love you”, really. More that my parents did not understand me, I can remember more criticism and not being accepted and feeling like I was a bad, spoiled child. Now I think that my mother was probably depressed and unable to handle being a parent.

    A few years ago, after she had gone to therapy, she started saying “I love you” on the phone and hugging. I say it back but I always feel a little awkward and uneasy. And this text message also made me feel uneasy and overwhelmed. How to reply back? Should I now say also positive things about her back? Do I have to write “I love you” when it feels somewhat unnatural to me?

    I can see positive things about my mother. I am proud of her that she went to therapy and faced her problems. She genuinely seems happier now. She has a lot of friends and hobbies and can also can stand up to my father better. She is a loving person, very active and what I also like is that she is quite adventurous (last year on her holidays she wanted to sleep at the beach, she climbs trees, goes swimming naked in the ocean and all while being over sixty years old). She has hobbies like gardening or singing in the choir and likes to spend time in nature. But I have a hard time writing positive things like this to her, it makes me feel awkward… I think it is not easy for me to express my emotions but with my mother I just don’t feel this close at the same time.

    In the end I just wrote a short message, similar to what you suggested. I said thank you for your kind words and talked about what I had done in the past days and said we can talk on the phone soon. She replied at 3 am the same day, which worried me a bit. But the next day we talked on the phone which went well.

    Tomorrow is my LAD. Did you pick a day for yourself too? If you like you can share about it here.

    My goals for tomorrow are:

    1) Go to the doctor to get a prescription for medication

    2) Clear out that drawer where I put all sorts of letters, papers and things that I don’t know what to do with.

    3) Write a thank you note to my former mentor

    4) Call about two online purchases that I returned and haven’t received my money back

    5) One of my roommates is going to move out soon to move in with her partner. Next weekend me and the other roommate want to discuss what to write in our online advertisement in search for a roommate. I want to prepare for that.

    Those are the most important things for now and I can report later on how it went.

    About my friend: we talked on Sunday. This time she called as she promised. It seems she really works a lot at the moment. She even told me that one day she fell asleep while undressing, she must have been so tired! Sometimes I worry about her, because she works so much and also spends a lot of time helping her mother and others. I think I need to be compassionate with her and I want to be supportive and a good friend. Sometimes I also talked a lot about my problems and I hope it was not too much. In the future I want to be more mindful and present when I spend time with her. Hopefully we can stay in contact, even though life is so busy and she has met new people.

    About the climate: it has become colder now again and a bit rainy. You live in the US, right? I live in northern Germany. The place I live in is known for its bad weather (lots of rain), but during the last three or so years, the summers were warmer and sunnier. Climate change I guess.

    Okay, this has become very long! Hope you are well, thanks for your in depth reply. Take care!


    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by Lily.

    Dear anita,

    it is also very nice weather here and everything is in bloom! I can even hear swallows already, so summer is not far away! During my walks this week I also saw a lot of birds nesting and baby wild geese and ducks. I always take my time to observe nature and smell the flowers (the lilac is blooming right now and I love the smell of it). Maybe tomorrow or so I also want to bake bread with fresh herbs in it.

    About being socially responsible, I am not always. Sometimes I did not reply in months, especially if the person lived farther away and we were not that close. Then I would feel bad about myself and lost a friend. So I want to improve myself and not do that again.

    My sister has a social worker that helps her and he gave her the idea that she could collect all her letters and documents over the week and then have a set day where she goes through them. It sounds like a very good idea to me, and I could use the same tactic and also when it comes to answering letters or mails. This reminds me, I like to watch the youtuber muchelleb, who talks a lot about self-improvement and organizing your life. She has a “life admin day”, where she does all the little things that pile up. That would also a good idea for me. Maybe next Thursday will be a good day to have a life admin day (I am telling you to make myself accountable).

    The second thing about that is, I need to know better what I want and communicate it. Now I am more aware of my feelings. Best to first check with myself, how I feel and if I actually have the time before saying yes to somebody. Then I can be more true to myself and also be more socially responsible and keep my promises. Then I will feel so much better about myself!

    In the past week I was thinking more about this topic and it seems more clear to me now. This was probably were most of my problems came from: not telling what I want or how I feel, trying to please others without paying attention to my own feelings. So at least in theory, I see this more clearly. Next step will be to practice it.

    That brings me to my friend. The next time she does this again, I will say something asking in a gentle way, like you suggested. But she has already told me before that she is bad at replying. I asked if it is o.K. if I call her then and she said that she is happy if I call her. So at least she doesn’t seem to have a problem with me, it is just that this is the way she is and I also know she is busy (this calmed me a bit). I just wish to have more regular contact with her. Before the pandemic I suggested to her that we could go to a class at the gym once a week and she said yes. Sadly this is not possible at the moment.

    Since she met her boyfriend and a lot of new friends through him, we have less contact. Mainly I am sad about this, after all she was the one who called me her best friend and said she loved me. Now I feel a bit forgotten. The best thing would be to talk about it with her. I also do not want to be too demanding, but I still want to stay in contact.

    Now  think I will go for a walk, it is such a sunny day today (it was a bit too sunny during the last weeks, not enough rain for the plants). Later I plan to draw for my project. Hope you are having a good day and a nice weekend!


    Dear Ravi,

    maybe the article triggered me a little bit, because I fear that I am not always authentic or true to myself. I want very much to be honest and kind to people. Those values are important to me. But sometimes I was a bit too polite and not that honest.

    When someone mistreated me once, I still wanted to resolve the issue amicably, I still wanted to be polite. Now I think, if someone treats you this bad, it’s time to throw politeness out of the window!

    Or with this one friend, I wanted some space for myself, she was so demanding! Also her words to me were sometimes pointy. I grew more and more angry at her over time. It would have been better if I had discussed my feelings with her openly, and told her that I was feeling hurt and angry. Instead I wanted to be nice and this perfect person and ignored my own feelings. Then I let the relationship fade away slowly by not initiating contact. I still feel unhappy about this.

    I do not want this to happen ever again! I want to be true to myself, not be overly polite (although I value politeness in everyday situations, no need to be disrespectful to anyone!). It is best for me and the other person.

    Sometimes I still am angry at myself for how I handled those things in the past, feeling guilty for not being consequent enough and for not telling others what I want. But I was very confused myself and barely knew myself what I wanted… I somehow have to forgive myself.

    Well, what I wanted to say, because of these things, I think some of the words from the article hit me (sorry I wrote down so many details, but it helps me to understand myself better). Because the things discussed there hit too close to home (I think this is the saying, right?). So for this reason, it was probably important for me to read the article.

    You wrote: “we think that saying “no” to someone means we are being unkind but that is not the case”. That is true and I want to work on that, being kind to myself and to others.

    Thank you also for the website suggestion. I took a quick look at it and will check it out more later!




    Dear anita,

    yes, going for walks is very calming and helpful. I can always feel the positive effects when I do that and the negative ones, when I skip it. I really like it to observe nature. As I had more time for walks recently, I was really able to watch how spring unfolds and which herbs start to grow one after another. Is it also spring where you live?

    Thanks for your support and your part in my process of seeing things clearer and becoming less confused. I think I still have to work on accepting that these negative believes about myself will be there for some time. And yes, I should remind myself that they are not true.

    When it comes to relationships, I hope that I will find my middle way. At least, I have understood better by now, which behaviours and beliefs about relationships are not helpful at all. I still have trouble implementing those new insights and to overcome old habits, but at least I am seeing clearer and clearer.

    I still have a lot of trouble telling people when something bothers me. For example, I discussed with my therapist that I should tell my best friend that it upsets me when she says that she will call me on a certain day or later, when she won’t (it happened multiple times now). Better if she didn’t make the promise then (I can understand that she is very busy). But when she called me last Monday, I was so happy, that I didn’t bring it up and it also didn’t bother me so much anymore. But it would have been a learning opportunity for me and it is a bit worrying that I can’t even tell a close friend something like this. When I think about it now, I don’t feel much like telling her. There is fear to be too critical and I do not want to put her down or anything.

    But on the other hand, it has happened before that I didn’t tell a friend when her behaviour upset me or when I just needed more time for myself. Then I grew more and more angry at her, until I couldn’t take it anymore and in the end I let the friendship fade out. But o.K., this person was also very different from my best friend. She was very demanding and sometimes told things I privately expressed to her to strangers or other friends. Still, I was unhappy with myself for not confronting her.

    But o.K. Overall I am doing o.K. during the past days. I am working on old projects and coming closer to finishing them finally. It goes slowly, but at least I am making some progress. I hope you are doing well and I wish you a good weekend!


    Dear Ravi,

    thank you for your reply and for taking the time to read.

    I have read the article. It has a lot of valid points and I can see some of the behaviours described in myself.

    However, some of the words used are quite upsetting. The headline is kind of provocative. I do not want to be unkind and dishonest to any person or try to manipulate anyone. I don’t believe this is the person I am.

    I do not scan a person to see what they like and don’t like, as described in the article, so then I can tell them what I like based on their preferences. I like what I like and will not lie about it. If somebody shares an interest then I will likely talk more about this common ground than other interests with them. But I will not pretend to like something when I don’t.

    When I meet somebody new, I mainly feel resistance to talking to them. The first conversations will be awkward and I will be very tense. Only over a long time period of time I will feel more comfortable with someone until I really want to spend time with them. I do not try to impress. My main thought will be: I want to be polite, but I also want to get away and be by myself again (unless I know somebody and feel comfortable with them):

    Also, I am o.K. if somebody doesn’t like me. Still, I would want to be polite to them, even if we don’t like each other. I just wouldn’t want to spend my free time with them, but still say hello and talk politely to them, if there is an issue that needs to be discussed. Of course, if somebody decides that they want no contact with me or don’t want to speak to me, I want to respect and accept that. But, I can’t deny that it won’t upset or hurt me and that I might have sometimes a weird reaction to that. I will get an endless stream of thoughts about all possible and impossible reasons of what I could have done wrong and become distressed. Then, I will probably react weirdly to that person – I will become very unsure how to react and behave when we still meet. I acknowledge that I still have a lot of work to do on myself when it comes to this.

    However, some things described in the article, I can see in myself. I have a very hard time expressing to others what I want or to express disagreement. Saying no is not very easy for me. Sometimes when I tried to say no and the other person pressured me in the slightest way, I gave up my resistance and did what they wanted of me. And in these circumstances I did things that were not true to myself, as said in the article. It ended up not working out at all for me or the other people.

    I have also gone to events or helped a friend with their projects, when I did not really want it or wasn’t feeling well myself. What I wanted was to be a good and supportive friend or a good person. I expected a lot of myself and felt bad about saying no. The end result was, that I wasn’t of much help to my friends and only felt more stressed myself. From those experiences I have learned that I should not neglect my own needs and feelings, but it also took a long time just to see and understand this. And I still have a very hard time saying no or criticizing others.

    Another thing discussed in the article is trust. And yes, I have a very hard time trusting myself and others. The feeling that the way I am is not o.K. is very strong. And it is worse trusting others that they will like me. This is why I prefer to be by myself, because then I feel like I can relax and just be me.I need a very long time before I will feel comfortable with someone. At least I have learned and accepted that about myself, so I will not rush myself again, when I meet another person.

    The article raises a lot of points that I have to still work on. It is good to become more aware of them again, so thank you.



    Dear anita,

    thank you for your replies, always. You did not give up on me when I felt very low and had felt that everybody else had given up on me and judged me and seen me as worthless.

    I think I have learnt a lot about myself in the past year and am now less confused. The feelings of worthlessness are still there and come up sometimes. I can still have bad days and feel depressed and ashamed. But I understand better now.

    At the moment, I think it is best for me to just focus on the small things that make me feel and function better. Focus on finishing my studies, also hopefully my work again soon. Besides that, go for walks, dance, cook, journal, do things that make me feel more o.K. In the past days I had self-depreciating thoughts again, but today I went for a walk and cleaned up a bit, so I feel better now.

    Relationships are still very hard for me. Sometimes I think I should go out there and make new connections, sometimes I still tell myself it’s best to stay alone, so at least I cannot hurt or bother anyone. I can see that exactly this way of thinking causes problems.

    Like you said, my inner critic makes it all so much more complicated. Without this self-depreciation, I would probably be a normal, even likable person. Without all his self-doubt, I would probably be more at ease around people, things would feel more natural. But I am always questioning and criticizing myself, and yes that is also exhausting for me.

    My relationships with people are also not very balanced. I have a strong wish to be there for others.In the past I really tried my best to be a good friend, helped friends with moving, go to their events and so on… But on the other hand, sometimes I haven’t contacted people (except for my best friend and parents) for months. It is no wonder that I lost friends… I have two sides inside me: one prefers to be alone, the other really needs connections. I hope that I will be able to find more balance in relationships in the future.

    Basically, I know in which direction to go: I wrote it in my conclusions above.

    In the last days the loneliness got to me a bit, so I was overthinking again. When I was young, I was always the outsider and so I told myself that I don’t need anyone. In the past years I found out that it is not true and I wish to have a small group of close friends and a meaningful loving relationship. But I also believed that I don’t even deserve someone who loves me. And I didn’t even know myself! So no wonder that it didn’t work out.

    I better stop now. At least I know some tools now how to feel better. I should stick to those and not think so much.

    How are you doing? Are you still going for your walks? Hope you are o.K. during these times!





    Dear anita,

    thanks for the suggestion about expressive therapy. With drawing, I find it very hard to distance myself and just let go. I am very perfectionist there! Sometimes it felt like I lost the fun of drawing a bit.

    But with dancing it’s easier to just do it for fun. Weirdly, even when I am alone I sometimes get worried what it looks like or I worry if my neighbours will hear me. I asked my flatmate about it, if I was too loud. She said she heard it, but it doesn’t  disturb her and she said it’s a good thing to exercise during this time. It was good to ask her and clear that worry up! Now I am only a bit worried about my underneath neighbour.

    But I have danced more during the past days and sometimes I really get this feeling of freedom and I enjoy expressing myself in that way. And after a few days I felt even more at ease with it.

    Yesterday I talked shortly with my friend and she also wanted to call today. I guess her life is just very busy, while mine is very empty at the moment. While I isolated myself more and more during the last year, she made a lot of new contacts. I am happy for her, but I hope that we still can stay connected.

    It is time to come out of my shell again. In the past months, I feel I healed more. After I moved out of the dormitory, I still felt anxiety for months, but I am getting calmer again now and finding trust in myself again. Last year I somehow was in this big crisis and feeling like I am a very toxic and evil person. Now I think, yes, I made mistakes, but at least I have learned something from it and now I can see clearer.

    Who knows, maybe someday even a relationship will be possible. Even if it feels unachievable at the moment. I think you are right that I will need time for myself, even if I was in a relationship.

    I am wondering, why is it so draining for me to spend a lot of time with others? The thought of meeting new people or going to parties just makes me feel resistance. At the other hand, often I also felt good after I spent time with friends (that I know well).

    My therapist said it could be because I haven’t learned that you can also just be yourself, even if you are in a group of people. Even if you are with others, it is o.K. to be you, to have different interests and values.

    Somehow, especially with men or demanding friends, I tried to please them so much. I tried to make them happy and didn’t even realize or ask myself how I felt about it. Then I feared that I did not please them enough or in the right way and also that I was not being authentic (basically I couldn’t win). It’s no wonder that this was exhausting.

    In conclusion, in my future relationships or friendships, I have to learn to also listen to myself, learn to say no. And firstly, I have to get them to know slowly, so I can understand what person they are, build trust and feel safe with them. Safe enough to tell them I I feel overwhelmed or to tell them “no” or that I need some time for myself.

    Hopefully I am not becoming too repetitive (maybe I have talked about those things in the past), this week I was thinking a lot about my relationships and what went wrong. Now I am also wondering if all this analyzing is worth it and I should just (as soon as it is possible again) make new experiences, starting with trying to find new friends. I know I spend too much time thinking and worrying. I know I should do a bit more and worry a bit less.

    Anyways, thank you for your well wishes and thank you for always taking the time to respond! Compared to yesterday I am feeling a bit better, maybe also because I took a long walk today (the past three days or so I skipped it). Hope you are also o.K.!


    Dear anita,

    thank you for the recipe! I will try it some time. It sounds a bit like cooking spinach.

    Yes, I am doing o.K. During the last days I have been drawing consistently, slowly making progress with one of my projects. It still feels like too little, but I am doing better than before.

    Also, I did try out some dance workouts from youtube during the past days. That really made me feel a little better. I have always loved dancing, but as a child I didn’t have the possibility and later  in classes I always felt too self-conscious. So learning from videos is a good choice for me. Even if I look like a fool, nobody can see it! It also doesn’t matter. I am mainly doing it, because it makes me feel in tune with myself and to stay fit.

    I am used to being lonely, so I know how to entertain myself. But sometimes I also miss socializing. With the worries about everyday life, I didn’t really notice. But now I notice more. And I was thinking about a fantasy relationship… How I would cook for someone,spend time together, go outside for a hike in nature and just to be there for each other. How I would like to hug someone, be hugged, just be gentle with each other. But then I also feel that it is impossible. I tell myself: just give up, best to focus on drawing and a simple life, at least there is some hope there. And when I think at my attempts at relationships, I get more depressed.

    Relationships are so difficult for me. I know if there was the possibility, I would be so scared. I would need someone to be really patient with me. I would need myself to be patient with me. There is also this conflict in me about liking to be alone (which feels safe to me) and wanting to be in a relationship (which feels scary).

    I guess recently I was just too much in my own head. Sometimes I talked to my roommates or my parents, but we are also not that close. My best friend is always busy. She still works, even works more. She has her boyfriend, the people at her dormitory. She met a lot of new people there. Well, it’s no wonder, she is amazing. I am happy for her, that she is doing good, but I also miss her. And to be honest, sometimes I feel a bit jealous. Jealous because she has so much time to spend with others, but she barely calls me. Usually I am the one who calls. Also jealous because she is liked by everyone, while I was just the weirdo at the dormitory… But I know it is stupid to compare. We are different people and I am happy (sometimes surprised that she likes me) that I know her and that she wants to be my friend.

    She told me, that she often forgets to answer or call back people. I guess that’s just the way it is. It’s not personal. In the past we talked more, even daily. Now once a week, if I call her. But of course she has a lot of other people and things in her life.

    After the pandemic is over, or has gotten better, I should try building more relationships I think. It’s not fair of me to rely so much on my best friend for support. The thought of meeting new people is also scary, my comfort zone is being alone. Then I feel like I can be free, I can be me. With other people, that’s rarely the case. Only if I know someone really well, like my best friend.

    I try to remind myself that I also have some good qualities, that could make me a good friend.

    But it’s not really possible at the moment anyways, to get to know people. So I try my best to keep up my routine, draw daily, go for walks, cook, exercise… I know I can be thankful that I am safe and healthy. Best to focus on that! I am actually thankful for a lot of things. Thankful that my friends and family are safe and healthy. Thankful that my living situation with my flatmates is peaceful. Thankful that I live in a country with a decent health care and social system and a responsible leader. Thankful that I have enough money saved to live for a few months without worrying. Thankful that nature is still out there to explore and give me comfort. Thankful for music to listen to. Thankful for having more time for drawing. Thankful that I am getting to know myself better and feeling more at peace with myself than before. There is a lot to be thankful for.

    Hope you are taking care of yourself! And I hope the times of socializing with others again will come soon enough for you too. Have a nice day!

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Lily.

    Dear anita,

    it is spring here, so lots of herbs are growing. It’s the right time to pick herbs, and the stinging nettles are good to eat now. So far I used them for smoothies or tea. I also tried a soup but didn’t really like it. And I also made pesto and tried to make ravioli using wood garlic…

    During my walks I was really able to watch the different herbs grow slowly. It is nice to look at them, then look them up in my “plant handbook” (I don’t know the English name) when I come home. So I noticed a lot of new plants that I hadn’t noticed before.

    Going on walks helps, especially observing my surroundings, the birds and plants. When I go, sometimes I see some Runners or people with their dogs, but I try to maintain distance. Also, I go early in the morning, when less people are around.

    Also, I am drawing, finishing old projects. That keeps me from worrying too much. But sometimes I still get worried and sometimes I binge watched videos about Corona news.

    Hm, I am overall o.K., a bit worried, a bit lonely, but o.K.

    Hope you continue to be o.K. as well. At these times, little things like going for a walk or playing with a dog become more and more valuable.


    Dear Doseofreality,

    thank you for your response. I am very lucky that during these times I am healthy and overall secure. Not everyone has that.Some are struggling way more, healthwise, economically and psychologically. I am also grateful to live in a country with a reasonable enough leader and a decent health care system.

    I am working on changing my life already. I am trying to change my way of thinking and already I have made some progress. However it is easy to say and not so easy to do. This way of thinking is deeply rooted inside of me and to just discover that beating myself up or shaming myself is not helpful at all (on the contrary) was a big step for me. For such a long time I felt as if I was completely unlovable. Now I sometimes think: somebody could like me. Why not? I also have some good qualities.

    Well, I do not want to stay the same person. I want to become a person I can be proud of. But I also want to be just o.K. with myself and fully accept myself.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Lily.

    Dear Gav,

    thanks for taking time out to read and reply. I also am familiar with the behaviours you mentioned. But now I am feeling that I am becoming more o.K. with who I am. What helped me was therapy and writing in this forum.

    Slowly I am getting to know myself better. It was also very important to have compassion for myself, instead of beating myself up.Well, I am still worrying a lot about others opinions of me, but it is getting better. I try to remind myself, that others are busy with their own lives and will likely not worry about me 24/7!


    Dear anita,

    sorry I did not post earlier!

    I am doing o.K. I am healthy, working on my routine (not always succeeding, but sometimes I do).

    Not everything is going great. The 60% payment, my co-workers get it, but not me, because I have another type of contract. So now my contract is “paused” until the end of may, meaning I don’t have to work, they don’t have to pay. But at least I will still have a job after all of this, as long as the company survives this.

    This whole situation leaves me a bit insecure about what to do next. To be honest I have procrastinated on taking action and feel a bit ashamed of myself (I was so optimistic at first..). I think I need to set a time for myself, where I will journal about it to make a decision. Maybe make some calls to inform myself better. At least I have some money saved up to survive the next months.

    To be honest, I would prefer to use that time to just finish my uni projects, but of course, who knows how long all of this will last. My therapist said, there will be no decision that will be 100% satisfactory and that’s why it is so hard. But I will feel better, once I face the problems.

    Besides that, I am o.K., not sick and nobody of my family of friends are sick as well. Self-isolation is not so hard for me, I feel that it not so drastically different from my normal lifestyle. And I still talk on the phone to my parents and my best friend. And I also talk to my roommate. So I am not completely lonely.

    I am very thankful, that I get along well with my roommates. It could be so much worse! But I feel o.K. and at peace here. And I was also thinking about what you said above: “….getting to know each other slowly”- excellent, and I like the slowly part.”

    For me, getting to know others slowly is the only way. Even if others might find it weird, find me distanced… I just need that, to get to know people step by step, or I will only overwhelm myself and do things when I am not ready!

    I also try not to watch too much of the world news. I cannot do anything about it anyways. Of course I stay up to date on the current rules and the most important facts. But on some days, I watched the news the whole day and felt terrible after it.

    My days are like this: I get up at 7 and go for an early morning walk. I try to draw a bit in the morning and also in the afternoon. At the evenings I journal and write down what to do the next day. I am finding out what works and what doesn’t work. Sometimes I still fail.

    Thanks to my walks I have discovered my neighborhood, which I hadn’t explored at all before the pandemic. I am glad that we are still allowed to go for walks! There is a lake nearby, a brook, a graveyard that is like a big park… Nature is not far away at all.

    And I have looked out for herbs during my walks and really observed what is growing. I found wood garlic, dandelion and nettles and have used some of them for cooking. This weekend I want to pick more wood garlic and make some  pesto out of it. I love learning more about wild herbs.

    My conclusion is: I am o.K.: working on my routine, working on my art projects, but also need to make a decision regarding my financial situation.

    How are you doing? Are you still seeing Hunter the baegle? Dogs always seem to be so happy, they know what the good things in life are. And are you still going for your walks?

    hope you are o.K.!





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