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  • in reply to: Untitled #174669
    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    I completely agree with you about calm being good enough. I certainly know there are things i could be doing to bring about calm in my life that i am not doing right now (meditation, being in nature, etc.) That is very good point that when the anxiety is reduced there comes room for joy. Thinking back to when i have felt joy in the past couple years it usually came about when life was slow, not too many obligations, and i was able to really focus on caring for myself, and even had the energy and time to care for others which also brings me much joy when i’m in a healthy state of mind. This gives me hope and some clarity as to what i need to be doing for myself right now.

    Thank you

    in reply to: Untitled #174501
    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    Thanks again for your reply I when you said that the pain will eventually stop, that really resonated with me as it is something I try to be mindful of while i’m feeling both pleasant or unpleasant emotions, just to let me know how temporary everything is in this life. That was very helpful and I’ve been trying to apply that same thinking to my circumstances in life right now. What i’m hoping for is that once grad school is over I can get some relief in the form of financial security, being social again, and just pursing my interests.

    On the other hand i question whether i will actually ever get any reasonably long term relief from depression. In alot of ways i feel broken, I have a strong desire to be with people, but when i’m in social situations i will withdraw pretty hard or just straight up leave to go be by myself, (i’ve done this a few times in class this semester).  An old friend sent me a picture of myself and a couple other friends at birthday  party when i was 17, i looked completely miserable, anyone i’ve shown this picture to could tell something was obviously wrong. Shortly after that photo was taken i made a suicide attempt, started self harming and getting into drugs. I kind of need to know it’s possible to be content for more than a few days at a time for someone who has struggled. I need to know this to give myself hope and if im going to be doing therapy to help others have hope.  Of course i could go on surviving but i really want to believe that life can actually be enjoyable.

    Finzy

    Thanks for sharing with me and your support. Honestly what keeps me going is knowing how much pain it would cause my mom and sister specifically if i was to kill myself. Also, I want to be there for my younger cousins who my mom had been taking care of for the past few years in case they ever need me. Having been brought to my knees by life recently has forced me to ask for help and my family has been doing alot to support me, and my mom while were trying to stay on our feet. I know one day those kids will need someone like i did, and if anyone else in my family ever needs someone i want to be there.

    Outside of living for others, nothing is really exciting me right now. I’m cutting my bike racing season short this year because i need to take care of schoolwork and get to fixing my transportation. Racing has become much less enjoyable for me now than in the past couple of years. Though riding my bike is one of the best moves i ever made for my mental health. lately i haven’t had transportation to get out to the woods to mountain bike, or had the time to get out and ride with friends, so i’ve just been riding for work and that’s it. Cycling gives me freedom and definitely has helped my confidence in learning that anything i practice at i can improve in, i’ve tried to apply this to my mental and social issues but it doesn’t necessarily translate as well. While most people are like “thats cool you ride a bike im sure it keeps you healthy” i’ve definitely had times where i’ve been too focused on training and was using it as an escape or drug. I would do things like skip a group ride, or opportunities to socialize, only to spend hours alone on the road running from myself.

     

    in reply to: Untitled #172795
    noname
    Participant

    Thanks again Anita, I read your replies as soon as you write them, and come back to them when I need strength. It’s nearly 2 am right now, and I can’t sleep, I’ve been crying in so much pain for the past couple hours. I don’t know what to do to keep going. I was extremely close to texting my ex of 3 years, and my ex of 1 year because I’m in desperate need of love. I know she(3year ex) won’t respond though, as our breakup was messy, and I tried to kill myself. I’m so tired, I can’t sleep though, I don’t know where else to find the love I desperately need right now. I have been distant at work, in class, and in general. I don’t know how long I can continue living without feeling love. While I’ve felt greater pain, I don’t know that I have the strength to endure for much longer. I really want this pain to stop. I need a hug badly, I haven’t been held in over a year. I’m trying not to do anything to put my pain on others by alerting them to how bad shit really is right now. I don’t know there’s anything anyone can do, but just knowing there is another human out there who can hear my cry helps a lot, so thank you for reading this.

    in reply to: Untitled #171623
    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    Thank you very much for your reply, you have a profound ability to help target peoples needs, and what you wrote here helped me get through my week, i cannot say enough how grateful i am to have someone who takes the time to be concerned with me.

    This week I worked on trying to convince myself that I was lovable, that I am worthy. I hate coming on here with seemingly the same issue time after time, but I just cannot feel whole, or satisfied with myself. I see myself as someone who is scarred and damaged beyond repair. I just can’t pinpoint what exactly is wrong with me. I know there has to be something wrong with me that keeps me unloved. I also know that if i can’t learn to love myself there’s zero hope of anyone else loving me, which kind of makes me wonder what’s the point of living in constant pain and despair.

    I look at my coworkers, classmates, friends and family, and I seem to be the person who consistently ends up lonely. I must say when i’m honest with myself i do have hope that one day i could love myself and be loved. That hope is the only thing keeping me moving right now. But i feel as if i’m merely telling myself tomorrow could be the day so to lessen the sting of my present pain. I dont know how long i can keep this up.

     

    in reply to: Untitled #170477
    noname
    Participant

    Thank you both for your responses.

    I can agree that I probably do have too much going on, unfortunately quitting school is not really an option in my mind.  While it is a major source of stress I lack only 1 1/2 years before I’m done. If I was to quit now and go back to the work I was doing with my bachelors, I would soon want to be back in school asap, because the type of social work jobs you get with a bachelors are ridiculous in regards to pay and stress level. Right now school is my #1 priority because it would grant me the financial stability I’ve never had.  I have been looking for other student jobs at the university however, hopefully something works out for me.

    I’ve been contemplating talking with my dad, I have alot of anger and disgust towards him right now, though I still love him, I don’t know that I want to be around an abusive person who refuses to look inside themselves and make a change, or get help that’s not court ordered.

    I think whats hurts the most in regards to my parents, is that I never felt cared for. The lack of love which has been missing from my life (source of depression), is what motivates to me to want to date even though i have nothing to offer to anyone right now except my misery. At the same time i would hate to attract another unhealthy relationship which is why I am ambivalent about dating at all. But i need something soon. Like I said before suicide is off the table though i still have thoughts from time to time. I know i have a purpose which is what keeps me here but i don’t want to feel like a martyr, I desperately want to find some enjoyment in life.

    Im becoming afraid of myself again, I seriously considered cutting a couple days ago which i haven’t done in 2 years, i find myself screaming in frustration, and crying every morning trying to find the physical and emotional strength to step out of my door. I don’t know how but i just do it, with a fake ass smile on my face.

    I have tried to stop caring for my mom so much but she wears my sister out in the same way, and its taking its toll on her too, which I can’t stand to watch so I keep taking care of my mom to hopefully lighten the load on my sister. I don’t see that there are too many other areas where I can control my current stress level other than modifying my relationship with my mom, even then if i stopped caring so much i would just feel guilty, and maybe feel worse. It is so difficult for me to see my problems as important, my therapist labored over this with me, and i hate myself for not loving myself, bit of a paradox there, but i swear i try i just don’t always know how to go about it.

    Im sorry if im being pessimistic, it just feels like barely anything about life is in my control or ever really has been. I think back to a quote from Viktor Frankl often, that goes something like when life is completely out of our control all we have left is to choose our attitude towards a situation. I promise I’m trying hard to stay positive, there was a time when I didn’t care at all and would just let my negativity take over. I’m just very tired right now, and i think i’m reaching a point where i feel as if this dynamic with myself is going to go on forever because i’m trying but not necessarily feeling any happier about things.

     

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #162540
    noname
    Participant

    I hear you, I know medication works for some people, and they really like it, having worked with clients with severe mental illness, I think sometimes it is useful. Though, I believe my issues are more related to emotional needs, than any chemical imbalance, simply because I have experienced contentment lasting for months, when I was in group therapy. That experience showed me how important and transformative it can be to connect with people, which is what I really need (love). Also, I can feel the rush similar to a drug when I authentically connect with someone, and that feeling gives me confidence and lasts for days depending on How vulnerable the experience was. I do however believe that some people are biologically more prone to depression than others due to serotonin levels and I suspect I am one of those people. At the same time I think it just means I’ll have to work harder, and be more mindful than most to feel contentment. I am In general skeptical of most Western forms of mental health treatment due to the emphasis on “hard science” and logic that often ignores, the persons emotional needs, reducing them to a cocktail of chemicals. I am even skeptical of the profession I am pursuing, I often tell people my dream is when my future job (therapist) could be eliminated because that would mean we would be living in a more humane society where people wouldn’t have to pay someone for unconditional positive regard and healing. I’m kind of on a rant here, but I think it’s helpful for me to verbalize this and remind myself that I am human in the end, and that some of the pain I experience is a function of living in a less than human society, essentially another way for me to look at my situation more compassionately.

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #162510
    noname
    Participant

    I have pretty much always struggled with perfectionism, it was the reason I was/am so hard on myself, I was a very well mannered child, excellent student, overachiever etc. I did this because I always thought if I could discipline myself it would make my parents life easier, which it ultimately did, they never had to spank me as a kid, or tell me something twice, but it caused me to be hypervigillant of any imperfection I had which ultimately led to me starting to self harm out of frustration of never being “good enough”. I honestly thought I had begun to accept myself, I no longer hide my scars which took years to get to that point. I can see though that battle is not over, but trying to tell myself I can’t do it alone and I’m worthy of help/love is still a struggle just because I have always been the most composed rock solid person in my family, at work, or with friends.

    I refuse to take medication I’ve sertraline twice for about 3 months on two separate occasions and hated it. My personal opinion on antidepressants is that I might as well be self medicating with weed, less side effects, and I can use as needed. To me antidepressants just made me way to numb.

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #162242
    noname
    Participant

    Thank you Eliana

    I think the discrepancy I run into is trying to empathize with myself without feeling like I’m feeling sorry for myself. Because when I start trying to care for myself, yes I do feel like a victim, and I resent that, which makes me give up trying to care for myself, and I tell myself just kill the pain anyway you can and keep it moving. I kind of pointed that out in my first post. I feel like it’s hard for me to accept my flaws without feeling like I’m giving myself permission to keep making the same mistakes. That is when I feel like giving up on trying most. Especially if I don’t feel my life is meaningful. I try to find ways of creating meaning in my life, but it’s been difficult lately since all I do is study and deliver stuff on my bike. I miss helping people with their problems, that made me feel effective, but I know I’m not ready to go back to doing that until I can get my own shit right. Which has me questioning my decision to become a counselor on a daily basis.

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #162222
    noname
    Participant

    Thanks for the replies again.

    Anita,

    yes this is very exhausting and I’m not quite sure how to escape this cycle of guilt. I suppose i could try accepting it for what it is and that it may never ever completely heal and go away and just learn to live with it.

    I think my need for love is possibly too tall an order to for myself or anyone else to fill. I just want to feel as if i’m cared for but i realize i can’t just ask someone to do this. But the need is immediate, and overwhelming. I’m so sick of just living with hopes that tomorrow might be the day. I’m becoming inpatient, and childish in that respect. I honestly can’t see a reason why anyone would ever care for me, I mean why would anyone give a shit what happens to me when there are thousands of other healthier people out in the world.

    Just don’t know how to cope right now.

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #162014
    noname
    Participant

    A small update on my situation. Went to therapy this monday, and my therapist reiterated much of what was said here. Especially in respect to allowing myself to care for and feel compassion for the child who did not receive the love he needed. Also how the need for love and safety are conflicted within me. My mom also revealed to me that she was suicidal when i was a baby, and once left me and my sister alone while she tried to kill herself with pills in the next room. This explained alot for me, as to why i have the attachment issues i have.

    I’ve been trying to be more compassionate towards the hurt child in me this week that is desperate for connection, but so far I am still having trouble enduring the pain itself, I don’t know if I’m just not as resilient as I’ve been during tough times in the past, or if i’m just burntout on constantly trying to heal/improve myself. Either way my motivation has plummeted this week, and i’ve pretty much been pushing the pain down with weed just to get through the day. I know it’s not wise, because the pain comes right back, but I’ve kind of reached a point where nothing really matters too much to me anymore. life just feels like a treadmill of endless needs that are impossible for me to meet. Honestly I feel ungrateful when i’m depressed like this, I always think i should be happier simply because i’m fed, housed, and healthy but I tell myself this and it makes me feel worse because now I feel i’m undeserving on top of everything else. Maybe i’m far too attached the idea that companionship, intimacy, and closeness is a real possibility for me. I’m trying to convince myself to keep trying but i think the part of me that just wants to feel safe by withdrawing from people, and getting high is winning right now, and I don’t know where to find the strength to keep fighting anymore.

    I

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #160928
    noname
    Participant

    Eliana

    I do practice seeing other people as myself since i began to dabble in Buddhist teachings a couple years ago. I found this helped me to be more compassionate towards others, especially difficult or angry people. Also, it has helped me level with people meaning I no longer put people on a pedestal so to speak, or idolize them, I understand we’re all a little rough around  the edges.

    Despite the fact when I began dating this last woman, I went into it with the mindstate that no one else is going to make me happy (much different than in my past), that is my responsibility. I still feel the overwhelming need for support and love from other people. Taking responsibility for my own happiness certainly has helped me to be more relaxed when going on dates and meeting people in general than in the past. This was reflected back to me when she told me how nervous she was at first, and that I was quickly able to make her feel very comfortable being herself with me. That was good to hear, because I think it means I communicate authentically, and honestly. At least I can take that with me as a sign of growth and progress.

    Anita

    I talked to my mom this morning because i was a mess and having trouble getting out of bed. I admitted to her that I didn’t feel the love as a child, and still have trouble feeling it. She cried a little bit, but admitted that she knew this was true and regretted leaving me alone so much as a kid and not hugging or showing affection towards me and my sister, she said she looks back at pictures from my childhood and it’s clear to her how sad I was. She admitted to her and my father being inaccessible and unresponsive to my emotional needs as a child. She explained that it was even hard for her to allow my friends to come over when I was in high school, she wasn’t aware of how afraid of letting people into her home and close to her she was because of what happened to her as a child. Essentially I inherited her fear and unlovability she felt for herself because of trauma she went through.

    After this conversation I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me, even though it shouldn’t have took her explicitly telling me that I wasn’t properly cared for, it feels like I finally have the permission to stop blaming myself, and to really begin to love myself through empathy as you said. It finally feels like it’s not all my fault I grew up with all these issues, instead of me just telling myself it’s not my fault. I was just a kid after all, and that kid is still part of me. I’ve got to be kinder towards that part of me, and not be angry with it for being in need.

    Easier said than done of course but this is certainly progress, even though i thought i loved myself every so often something happens that tests me and brings my truest feelings to the surface. I’m positive i’m nowhere near done dealing with this, it’s likely i will still feel depressed, still want to give up, and still not love myself like I should, but at least now I know why I feel this way and how I should treat myself in those situation.

    For that I am thankful for this site, Anita, Eliana, and Tatjiana, you all have helped me gain some perspective, hope, and relief before I can see my therapist next week.

    Rich

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #160834
    noname
    Participant

    So now that I’ve sorted out mostly why I Don’t feel love, how can i open myself to being more receptive of love, and feeling lovable?

    Also I am very thankful for the responses here, this is giving me some sliver of hope that at least there is a possibility of someone loving me, even with all my issues.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by noname.
    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #160830
    noname
    Participant

    Thanks again for the responses, reading through these is really helping me externalize some of my issues.

    Anita

    As much as I hate to admit it I think your spot on in regards to me not receiving love. Though I know my parents loved me as a child and still do, I didn’t feel and receive it. Probably because they did not receive the love they deserved as children, and they did not know how to properly express love and care for my emotional needs as a child. I believe what Love meant to them was providing me with basic needs. As I grow older, I can see the co-dependence within their relationship, and it explains a lot for why I turned out the way I did, and my sister too in her relationships.

    As far as the guilt I feel for currently receiving love from my mom and sister, the way you explained it is very helpful and the guilt is indeed unjustified. Essentially what your saying is how could I know how to receive and feel love now if I was never taught how? If so that makes a lot of sense to me.

    For me its just hard sometimes to blame my parents for all of my emotional problems, because I know they did their best with what little emotional intelligence, and self awareness they possessed, yes they made a lot of mistakes, but I’m still grateful for them and wouldn’t have it any other way. If I never went through all that crap I would have never gotten into social work and counseling as a profession to help others in similar situations see what is possible. I’m hoping i’m going to be the one to break the cycle in my family.

    Tatjiana

    “you want to be loved, yet you think that’s completely incompatible with being a good person. Cause in your head, a good person is someone who gives, not someone who receives”

    Again spot on, not in regards to other people though this only applies to me. I know plenty of good people who receive, but when it comes to me there is a stark double standard I apply to myself. I don’t want to be a recipient because subconsciously I know how it feels to love (give) and not receive it back, therefore I give as much as possible. As far as the girl we aren’t going to continue dating unfortunately, i don’t know if that was clear in my first post. It really hurts me though because I think had her circumstances been different there could have been something great there. Which is not a feeling I have had with most women I’ve dated since my first girlfriend. The fact that I only got to see her twice before she called it off, hurts bad too, because it was giving me something to look forward to, and now I don’t have much to look forward to at this point. Work has been helping though being on a bicycle for work requires me to tune out my thoughts and be present, i just dread coming home.

     

     

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #160730
    noname
    Participant

    Eliana

    Thank you for sharing your story with me, it is often helpful for me to know I am not the only one struggling with these types of issues, and that healing is possible. In regards to RAD when my therapist first started seeing me that was one of his early tentative diagnosis. Although, I don’t really feel having a name or specific diagnosis is important to what I am going through, obviously something went wrong with my childhood in terms of lack of love. I still just feel so guilty blaming my parents sometimes, because they had their own issues, and I know they did their best, they just weren’t ready to be raising children.

    As far as how my early childhood has affected my current relationships (or lack thereof) I find myself getting really emotionally invested in whoever i’m dating, even something as short as a few weeks has the potential to completely floor me because I am so desperate for love, and the hope is what hurts the most. I don’t let my desperation show like I used to, i’m not blowing up peoples phones, or trying to spend everyday with the person. At this point I understand I need to patient and take things slowly if I really want a strong bond with someone. It’s just that right now I need some relief, that’s why I used to smoke so much weed, and cut myself, it was like a hug from the inside out. Of course that is only temporary however, and the problem returns.

    I’ve been learning to love myself over the past few years since me and my first Ex broke up, it has been tough but i have stopped cutting, i no longer smoke everyday, I don’t stay in bed all day, i take care of my body, meditate, reach out to people, etc. I’ve gotten really good at putting one foot in front of the other, even this morning I was sobbing while cooking breakfast, and getting ready to go to work, but i’m going to do it, and i’m going to show love today.

    Anita

    I guess sometimes I just need some attention, I need for someone to be like “damn, your pretty amazing for going through all that and still standing”. To Anita’s earlier point In a way I guess that is what love feels like to me, it feels like support, admiration, or recognition, I’m not sure if that’s correct or not, but that’s what i think love is.

    I don’t know what you mean by where it is and where it is not? I know love is within me because i share it as much as possible, love for myself is a little more difficult. I don’t quite know where love isn’t because I believe we all have love within us, just some have a harder time accessing than others. Though, I feel like I have the potential to love even when I’m depressed, does that alone make me worth being loved?

    in reply to: How to FEEL love? #160660
    noname
    Participant

    Anita,

    Yes that is correct whenever my family tells me they love me, I know they mean it, but then I start to feel guilty mainly because I feel as if it’s not enough and I need more than just the love from my family.

    The only time I can remember feeling love was with my first girlfriend of 5 years. She used to tell me she loved me at first I didn’t believe it, but soon I was able to feel it, I say the first year we were together was probably the happiest i’d ever been in my life, I loved having someone who cared how I was doing every single day, and I loved caring for her too. The best part about being in love was that I knew I had someone in my corner, who no matter how much i messed up always saw the good in me even when i couldn’t see it in myself. It also gave me something to look forward to when things weren’t going so well. There was nothing like that phone call right before bed to clear my mind and put things in perspective. That feeling faded throughout the years though.

    I can admit that I did not feel worthy of her love then, and I still don’t feel worthy of love now, although objectively I believe I and every being on this planet deserves it, I myself don’t feel worthy and have never felt worthy of love. I don’t think i deserve it, but I desperately want to love and care for others, (probably so they wont abandon me, i know this is a bad trait for a future counselor to have). Every person I interact with on a daily basis be it at work, in class, on the street, I always try my best to show them love in some way.

    Eliana

    Even though I love my parents very much, honestly I did not always feel loved by them, i mean they kept food on the table, roof over our head, etc. But the majority of my childhood was spent in isolation while my mom was depressed, and my dad worked way too much. I’m no stranger to trauma i witnessed some intense domestic fights, lots of broken glass and furniture, I’ve been knocked out cold by my dad once, arrested and harassed by police, had knives pulled on me, etc. Your average story growing up in the hood basically. It wasn’t even until a couple years ago i knew that was even trauma, i just thought it was normal, until i got to college and seen the huge gap between working class kids and middle and upper class kids.

    When I say loser, i was just using it as synonym for someone who has nothing going for them, a loner, an outcast, which I do consider myself to be honestly. I personally don’t use the word in reference to others (except apparently in my own head to describe myself as I am my own worst enemy).

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