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Richard

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  • #372838
    Richard
    Participant

    Hi Peter,

    You are spot on…my uncertainty has definitely moved in the direction of and resulted in depression, as well as anxiety.  I have struggled with both for most of my life.

    I have received professional help for both and recently saw my doctor to share with him what I am feeling.

    Your description of some of your sleep difficulties mirrors mine.  I actually bought a sleep sound machine several years ago.  Lately I have been listening to ocean waves as I try to sleep.  Lately I have been falling asleep on my couch with the tv on.  The tv seems to help distract me from worrying.  I wake up at some point in the night and I go to my bed.  The past few nights I have slept a little better, which is good.

    I like the idea that often Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  I agree, but struggle with truly internalizing and realizing that point.  I have been doing some cognitive behavioral exercises when I write down my thoughts.  The exercises are designed to help me challenge my thinking and recognized distortions.  The exercises seem to help a bit.

    I actually read The Alchemist a few years ago and recently recommended it to a friend.  GREAT BOOK!  I might re-read.

    Thank you again Peter for your posts and suggestions.  I greatly appreciate them.

    Richard

    #372837
    Richard
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your post.

    I definitely am experiencing anxiety.  Anxiety is something I have struggled with most of my life.  It has been particularly acute as of late with the looming uncertainty, specifically job uncertainty I am experiencing.

    You asked when was the last time I was embraced or held…it has been a really, really long time since I was last hugged or had any physical encounter with anyone.  This is primarily due to the pandemic.  Your question was perfectly timed…I recently was telling my partner that I could really use a big hug.  I am not someone who is particularly physically affectionate.  When I see my parents I more or less lean in for a hug but I do not usually really hug them.  But now with how I am feeling I think I could use a big warm hug.  Actually, about 5 years ago I was about ready to quit my doctoral program.  I felt completely lost and was so anxiety and depression ridden that I was barely sleeping.  My dad gave me a hug during that time and I wrapped both my arms around him and hugged him back.  He actually thanked me later for giving him a “real” hug for a change.

    I have been considering buying a weighted blanket because they are supposed to help with anxiety and sort of simulate a hug.  But I do not want to spend the money right now because of my employment uncertainty.  I have a giant pillow.  I am not sure how much it weighs, but the past few nights I have been laying it on top of me when I go to sleep.  I have slept a little better the past 3 nights.  Not sure if it is because of my pseudo-weighted blanket/pillow or if it is because of a combination of things I am doing or at least trying to do, such as meditate, journal, read TinyBuddha.

    I agree with what you say about peeling off the shame I am feeling.  It is something I really struggle with.  Even with my dad and my partner telling me I have nothing, NOTHING to be embarrassed about.  Still it is hard.  Yesterday I worked up the courage to tell one of my mentors and current boss (soon to be former boss) that I struggle with anxiety and depression and have for most of my life.  She was very supportive of me sharing.  I am trying hard to be ok with who I am and the feelings I feel.  It is an ongoing project.

    Thank you again for your post.

    Richard

    #372679
    Richard
    Participant

    Hi Peter,

    Thank you for your reply.  It means a lot to me.  I have already read it a couple of times and read it to my partner.  The quotes you provided are quite profound.

    I have told my dad and my partner that I feel embarrassed by how I am feeling and handling my uncertainty.  The quote you provided from the Life of Pi helped put my thoughts of embarrassment in perspective.

    Yesterday I began re-reading a book called Embracing Uncertainty by Susan Jeffers.  It seemed to help a little with the uncertainty I am feeling.  Last night was another rough night.  I seem to only be able to sleep for a couple hours at a time and when I wake up my heart is racing, and I begin ruminating.  However, last night I tried to do something each time I woke up and could not immediately fall back asleep, such as listening to some guided sleep meditations and reading a little bit of Embracing Uncertainty.  This morning I forced myself to get dressed and I went outside in freezing temps for about a 30 minute walk.  I was quite emotional on the walk and almost cried.  At least I am trying to do stuff to help or at least hopefully help lessen my rumination on and struggles with uncertainty.

    Thank you again for your supportive words.

    Richard

    #372609
    Richard
    Participant

    In my opinion, your step dad was WRONG when he told you that you were a messed up little kid.  That is not the way to speak to any child.  I feel like I could have greatly benefited from therapy during my childhood.  There are pent up feelings, hurt, and beliefs I carry inside.  I struggle with self-forgiveness.  I have read numerous self-help, psychology, and mindfulness books, and still am searching for ways to forgive myself and move past past-hurts.

    There is a guided meditation I listen to often called Forgiveness by Dan Ireland of Awareful.  I listen to it on an app called Insight Timer.  It almost always makes me cry.  I find it helpful.  Perhaps you would as well.

    From your posting, it is clear you did not have it easy growing up.  You had the courage to get out of there and enlist in the military and serve your country.  You have the courage to post about your struggles here.  Give yourself a ton of credit for being brave.  I hope you are able to find ways to forgive yourself.

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