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  • in reply to: Getting back in the game (dating) #153026
    noname
    Participant

    So I have really been having a tough week, just thinking about dating and making attempts makes me very depressed. I have been very angry with myself, something I have a long history with. I have been having at least two severe crying episodes per day usually before going to sleep and trying to get out of bed. The silver lining is that I somehow have managed to drag my ass out of bed and keep my routine (eating, exercise, classes, hygiene etc.) in the past I would probably have stayed in bed all day without eating as long as possible. I know my life has meaning beyond my own happiness, so I use that keep me going when things get tough as I’m prone to suicidal thoughts, and feeling hopeless.

    So in the past week the effort I have made in regards to attempted dating so far has been 1.) setting up an online dating profile, then deleting it as of this morning. 2.) thinking about people i would potentially like to get close to then coming up with reasons for why it wouldn’t work.

    It took years of work for me to get the point where I am now, I went from having about 2 friends that i could hang with to now having about 5-6. The thing is they are all male and i continue to notice that i a probably come off very impersonal towards women or quiet out of fear.

    Knowing my tendency to clam up around women, I am looking to backtrack quite a bit, and kind of put the goal of getting a date on the backburner, similar to what you guys were suggesting. I am asking for help and some potential measurable goals of interacting with women that could help me break out of this habit. When trying to come up with goals by myself I get overwhelmed which leads to self-hate, then depression. I feel very creepy complimenting women on their looks, or giving them any praise whatsoever, as i feel as if i’m somehow being another superficial man. So if anybody has any simple ideas i could try this week please let me know.

    in reply to: Getting back in the game (dating) #152618
    noname
    Participant

    Thanks so much for your replies and sharing.

    I have actually been focusing on making friends male or female, and deepening the relationships i do have, though i must admit i have no close female friends mainly because most of my interest tend to be male dominated, with the exception of my profession/classes which is female dominated field. I’ve never really felt comfortable asking a woman to hangout platonically because I feel there is always a tension there.

     

    in reply to: My spark is gone #146723
    noname
    Participant

    Thanks very much J and Anita,

    I have been hesitant to post lately, only because I feel my problems aren’t really that bad, and I have been trying to kind of pick myself up lately, as the therapist I have been seeing for the past 2 years is in the process of opening a new practice and I haven’t been able to see him either, even though I was only going once every couple of months at this point anyway.

    In regards to J, I agree with you that my spark or motivation is somewhere within me I feel it every now and then, mostly in the company of others, however as i’m quite introverted it is always a struggle for me to be around people for too long. I have been using this break to examine myself, and it has led me to understand how uncomfortable I am being alone, though I have almost reached a state of acceptance as of late, as we are undoubtedly alone in this life.

    To Anita, I have talked with my parents about our family dynamic growing up, and they both acknowledged that they may have put too much pressure on me as a child and neglected my emotional health in various ways. I forgave them and I feel they were doing the best they could as they both came from tough backgrounds as well. As an adult my parents have been more concerned about me than when I was younger, and it feels as if i’m finally being nurtured for the first time, I always tell people when they ask about my childhood that i was the adult in the house, in the sense that i took care of everyone’s feelings and acted as a mediator on many occasions, I was very calculated in expressing my emotions which honestly i can barely remember doing. Though while my parents care is better late than never, some of my unhealthy coping strategies are strongly ingrained within me, the most difficult one to shake being social withdrawal or isolation. What makes me feel most alive is being able to be vulnerable with people and having that reciprocated back. However that is very hard to come by for me, the only people I feel safe enough to be completely open with is my mom and sister, but sometimes i do find myself not wanting to open up to my mom because she tends to start to tell me about her problems because my dad wont listen, and i cant take care of her forever. The other people in my life keep things very superficial, and when I try to push conversations deeper up go the walls so to speak.

    I suppose I still haven’t made enough progress connecting with myself to the point where I can feel motivated to live vigorously without much social contact. I hate to admit it but I still have trouble with believing that having a romantic relationship will help restore my spark and magically solve all my problems though I know that’s bullshit. As much as I would like to have a relationship with someone I do not feel it would be appropriate if I can’t be happy being with myself. I’m not sure what I need at this point. But thanks for the help and kind words.

    in reply to: Have You Experienced a Social Hangover? #140923
    noname
    Participant

    When I saw the title of this post I was immediately thought absolutely yes! I’ve always been introverted in the sense that I need alone time to ‘recharge’ after being around people for long periods of time. I used to ruminate alot during that time on things such as what I could have done differently, did I say the wrong thing, etc. The rumination was not productive and during a period of my life I was experiencing social anxiety pretty severely. I’m now better able to let go of the rumination and spend that alone time recharging doing things I enjoy like reading, meditation, or exercise. It was a hard thing for me to learn about myself that I only need to be around people in short spurts, since our culture pushes the idea that people who keep to themselves are somehow flawed. I find people to be stimulation and too much of it is tiring because it requires me to put on my ‘social costume’ so to speak, therefore when I’m in situations that I must be around people for extended periods of time (I.e. a week long family vacation) I’ve learned​ to either schedule time to myself to decompress or just remind myself to be my authentic self, so that wearing my ‘social costume’ does not wear me out. Sorry about the length of this post it’s just something I’ve been thinking alot on lately especially for the next time I enter into a romantic relationship as they often feel to me as if my space is crowded. I’m curious to see others thoughts and strategies on this topic.

    in reply to: learning to love myself? #140041
    noname
    Participant

    Thank you Anita and Jerry, very sound suggestions. I think alot of this feeling goes back to caring for others as a child. I still have 2 years of school left before I actually start practicing therapy and I’m working hard to learn how to give myself what I need before then, I think truly feeling self love is essential before doing this type of work for a living. Thanks again!

     

    in reply to: What is there to live for #139893
    noname
    Participant

    Csaba, I think what you’re experiencing is not unreasonable to any extent. I’m 24 years old and have had similar experience with life after college. I’ve realized from my short work history that as a talented young professional I had to be patient, even though it is at times very frustrating knowing you’ve got the skills to do more. What helped me was to stop seeking validation from superiors and co-workers, and surprisingly more opportunities began to present themselves when I got my eagerness under control and calmed my demeanor. What also helped me was being okay with doing something I love (despite low pay) and living simply and modestly, removing myself from the mindset of consumerism which had me searching for happiness and fulfillment outside myself (i.e. cars, houses, electronics, etc.)

    If you don’t mind me asking what would your life look like if you had it exactly as you desired?

    in reply to: learning to love myself? #139883
    noname
    Participant

    Anita -That sounds like a very good practice for me, I would like to wait longer before having sex in my next relationship anyway, as the addict/escapist in me is always looking for opportunities to present itself.

    Thanks again for your responses if anyone has any thoughts on feeling deserving of love it would be appreciated. Though I have made a lot of progress in my self esteem and confidence, I had an experience last week that shook me and made me realize I still don’t quite feel worthy of love. One of my clients called me up to thank me for the work I had done for him through my job as a social worker (as it is my last month at said job) and to wish me well in my future. After I got off the phone I shut my office door and wept for a while, I had never experienced anything like that before, and felt as if I didn’t deserve any thanks (or love) for the work i had done, because I don’t do it for the thank you’s or to feel needed. I had a similar experience later that day when I dozed off in class and a class mate asked me if I was doing okay, hows life etc. I always felt as if its my job to care for others and it really threw me off when people who don’t have to, show concern for me. I’m not quite sure why I still don’t feel deserving of love even though I always preach that all people are deserving of love. I guess i’m trying to figure out what function this feeling has.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by noname.
    in reply to: learning to love myself? #139763
    noname
    Participant

    Anita, your spot on. Growing up my mom was very depressed and my dad had anger issues, one of my strongest memories from childhood was my dad telling me and my sister it was “our job to keep our mother happy” that’s alot for a 8 year old to take on, which contributed to my continuing lack of self care from that point on, trying to keep my mom happy and my dad calm was a very exhausting task. Ive worked through alot of my childhood coping mechanisms, but still find it popping up especially with women, which tends to trigger my “scared little boy” tactics to obtain love and safety. I’ve noticed Mindfulness almost always goes out the window whenever sexual energy is involved with me, yet other relationships in my life I’m able to very aware.

    Inky thank you for your response. I’ve definitely noticed an increase in interracial relationships here in the midsouth where I live, and very many of my family members have been in interracial relationships. I know it’s certainly a possibility. I guess what struck me is how I still harbor feelings of inadequacy, I feel as if I don’t really measure up to other men, as if I’m undesirable although I’m pretty confident that I’m probably what alot of women want/need in that I understand healthy relationships require vulnerability, and self care. Honestly some days I just wish I could flick a switch and turn off my desire for women because I find myself depending on it too much for my happiness.

     

     

     

    in reply to: learning to love myself? #139731
    noname
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply Anita. You pointed out a common pattern in my thinking I’ve been trying to improve, which is accepting imperfection in myself and others. I agree that all people are wounded to some degree. From merely existing suffering is inevitable. Even though the last relationship I was in was unhealthy I certainly learned alot about myself and what I’m attracted to, I’m trying to change the pattern of engaging in relationships with people whom I think I can help, which is really a selfish way of me obtaining love and security from others.

    Going back and reading my post again with your reflection also helped me realize being “fully healthy” without relationships is doing myself a disservice by not allowing me to explore the feelings that others bring up inside me due to their presence. I do think I need to take a break from romance but platonic relationships don’t always have the same risk/vulnerability involved that romantic ones do to allow for deep self exploration.

    Thank you

     

Viewing 9 posts - 256 through 264 (of 264 total)