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Being better at accepting depression

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This topic contains 172 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 days, 5 hours ago.

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  • #213329

    noname
    Participant

    I've reached a point with myself where no matter how much work i put in, no matter how mindful i am, no matter how motivated i am, I still get chronically depressed. I've made lots of progress in my life as far as dealing with depression and self harm, and im proud to say out of my 26 years here i've experienced at least 6 months of joy and peace of mind. But no more than that, as soon as it came it went and has not returned for a couple years now. I've got to a point where i've accepted that my wounds from childhood are so deep that even in my best form i wont always be able to keep the feelings of inferiority from hijacking my conscious.

    These feelings hit me hard about 2-3 days a week. Sometimes hard enough to where i wont eat, or leave the house, or even the bed for that matter. What i find so strange about this is that while i'm in pain i'm able to have enough awareness of my own thoughts and feelings that the pain is caused by distortions about how i see myself based on my past. Great. That doesen't necessarily help the crushing pain go away any sooner, or make me happy. Sometimes it makes me feel worse. I think to myself “you've done all this therapy, read all these books, tried all these groups and shit ain't working for you. You've even expanded your social circle from scratch, but you're still lonely and unlovable obviously, that's why you've slept alone 99.9% of your life…etc.”

    I'm at a point where i feel legitimately impossible to be close to. So im just looking for a way where i can accept the underlying lonely pain that persists no matter what i do. I'm hoping to learn to accept that i'm just going to be sad on a regular basis.

    #213349

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Rich:

    Welcome back. I read most of your posts in all previous threads. I will state my understanding as simply as I can, using quotes from your previous shares.

    “I have always had to care for my mom since she was depressed and suicidal my entire life”. This has been your childhood. To heal from such a childhood it takes no longer experiencing it. But it was only in September last year that you were still experiencing same childhood: “My depression is worsening.. life is suffocating me mainly due to my parents going through a divorce… lately I can talk no sense into her and she is in constant crisis”- your mother in September 2017 was still in crisis and you were still trying to help her out of one of her many, many crises.

    You continued (Sept 17): “she is in constant crisis and I'm exhausted… I seriously considered cutting a couple of days ago which I haven't done in 2 years… I keep taking care of my mom to hopefully lighten the load on my sister…if I stopped caring so much I would just feel guilty, and maybe feel worse”.

    You can't heal from a past that is still ongoing.

    Healing will take, I believe, cutting contact with your mother. I don't think you are prepared to do so. The price you pay for not cutting contact with her is the same old, same old depression.

    If you did cut contact with her, you would feel lots of guilt and distress. It would require more therapy to help you through such guilt. In such therapy, during no contact with your mother, you will learn, if healing is to occur, to place responsibility where it belongs- you felt unloved as a child (and still do) because your mother (and father) failed you. They are responsible for that, not you.

    It is only when you give them the responsibility that is theirs, that you can free yourself from the responsibility you never had. You were never responsible for your mother's depression.

    What I just stated you know on some level but deeper than that level, you don't know it. And it is that deeper level that maintains your depression.

    anita

     

    #213365

    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    Thanks again for your thoughtful reply, it is comforting knowing when i can't reach my therapist or don't feel comfortable talking to others that this resource is here, especially you. Thank you.

    Since you wrote me that in sept2017 i have very much stopped taking care of my mom. I've even been mid conversation with her and just abruptly ended it by saying “mom you need to talk to s0meone else about this.” when it feels she is looking for her answers through me. She even called me a couple months ago and asked if she did something wrong because i dont check on her as much. She is also starting to heal from her divorce which is good. I'm an hour away from most of my immediate family so doing too much for others is not really an issue right now.

    I have found myself ruminating over trauma and damage caused by my parents lack of self care, which left me also uncared for.  It makes me angry to see myself as a crying baby while my mom tried to kill herself, or being 3 years old hiding in a cabinet because my dad was destroying the house in anger. But what really makes me angry is the denial of these realities until very recently, it made me feel growing up as if I was doing something wrong because i wasn't happy but according to my parents growing up our home life was “fine” Now as an adult revisiting my childhood i see domestic violence perpetrated by my father on all members, emotional neglect, not to mention the horrors i experienced growing up in the hood.

    If i'm to be completely honest i get depressed because im straight up lonely, especially at night. I desperately want to share with someone my happiness when i feel it and my pain when i need soothing. Whats frustrating is I know that even if my desire to have a partner was reached I would then be in a constant state of anxiety from distrust of people based on being lied to and cheated on a few times in the past. I even had a dream last night that i was with a woman and she was cheating on me with one my friends. My way of dealing with life has always been fatalistic. expect the worse and i cant be dissapointed. Of course it keeps me relatively safe, but still disconnected from the joys of the world.

    I also feel very inexperienced when it comes to women at this point i've been in one 5 year relationship non-cohabitating, 2 that lasted a couple months, and more recently a one night stand that turned into a very intense week of closeness that felt like exactly what i needed though the woman also had bipolar disorder, been sexually abused, and sought sex to cope, she also moved for a job. Most women i meet just want to fuck, but ill treat them like queens regardless taking extra good care of them sexually and emotionally, they get addicted and then take advantage of me.

    The lonely feeling has only every really been quenched by romance for me. I feel guilty because i have made amazing friends over the past few years and i'm more social than i've ever been in my life yet i still feel alone and empty. It's hard for me to really want to share the truth with people because most people freak out and go into “fix it” mode or are just paralyzed by my truth for which ill bail them out by saying something like “but im fine” even though im really not okay right now. i've cut my self on two different occasions within the past 3 months.

    I've thought that maybe if i just feel the sadness let it be there and run its course that it will eventually weaken. My thinking about this now is that i dont just want to not be sad, instead i want to be at peace and experience joy. I don't know if i'm just being lazy by letting myself be sad and not fighting with it.

     

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  noname.
    #213369

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Rich:

    You are welcome. Better not fight the sadness and better accept whatever it is you feel. There is a valid message in every feeling you have.

    In your reply to me a few moments ago, do you mean to say that your depression is no longer about your mother, that your relationship with your mother has been resolved. And that your depression is about not having a girlfriend?

    anita

    #213383

    noname
    Participant

    Yes my depression has a lot to do (at least subjectively) with not having a woman around and feeling as if i'm at an age where a committed relationship may never happen again. I have very few single friends. It makes me feel even worse about myself that i cant keep any kind of romantic relationships alive for more than a couple months now without it falling apart. I have an underlying constant pain that even when i feel happy reminds me that i cant be loved

    #213385

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Rich:

    The “underlying constant pain … that I can't be loved”-

    Please remind me why you can't be loved..?

    anita

    #213431

    noname
    Participant

    I feel unlovable I think because just as I am I've never felt accepted by others or as if i were good enough. I only feel accepted when I help other people. When i need help people indirectly show that they can't handle it, or that I'm burdening them, or they just start talking about themselves.

    Also being cheated on and lied to tells me there's something about me that isn't worthy of being loved.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  noname.
    #213447

    noname
    Participant

    I cant edit the last post, but i know i probably sound horribly pessimistic, but its how i feel. I know it may not necessarily be true that i can't be loved, i certainly believe everyone deserves love.

    I may even be loved right now or have been loved in the past but even then i dont know how im supposed to feel it. I feel guilty for getting excited that someone else wants to see me, i feel as if i must have manipulated them somehow. It also feels uncomfortable putting my trust in anyone but myself at this point. And i dont even trust myself to take care of me anymore.

    I dont know where im going with this, the pain of lonliness feels unbearable but i know i can go on suffering like this the rest of my life if i do nothing, but i desperately want to be at peace.

    #213449

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Rich:

    You had an undoable job as a child, to heal  your mother from her depression. Your sense of worth was then tied to healing her. If you did, then, you would have been worthy of love. Isn't it so?

    Your ex girlfriend lied to you. But the most damaging lie in your life has been, is it not, that you can heal  your mother. And that you are not worthy of love until you do.

    You were worthy of love as a child  because you were loving. You loved your mother so much that you did your very best and more, to help her. You tried to please her and to  please your father. And later you tried to help many other people. You are lovable because you are  loving.

    Somehow got to get to this deep understanding, not merely intellectual understanding, but emotional understanding. Somehow got to have your empathy with the child that you were, not with your parents.

    anita

    #213473

    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    I do have much empathy for my parents less so for myself. Lately as the depressive episodes are becoming more regular again i find myself asking why do i get so depressed from being alone more than a couple hours. I get frustrated with myself and my constant fucking up. I feel like i've been going through this pain so long that its hopeless. I have cried alot over my childhood and lack thereof lately. From working with other traumatized individuals im beginning to understand that my problems were not as insignificant as my parents made it seem. I have been through some legitimately fucked up situations is what i've learned and my parents did there best to teach me how to hide pain through their behaviors.

    I do know that i'm still struggling to see myself as worthy, as i feel worthless most days. The only times i feel fulfilled is usually in the company of a woman. I tell myself “ah you must be worthy because someone is willing to be around you for more than a few hours” but when the relationship inevitably comes crashing down my self worth plummets and right now i've lost hope in romance, and im distrusting of most women in general. Im also very jealous of my friends who have no problem finding women, or maintaining relationships. It makes me feel so pathetic. My number of partners is miserably low for someone my age.

    Feeling loved is such an abstract concept to me, that i'm not sure how to go about feeling it.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  noname.
    #213585

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Rich:

    You probably know, as a counselor to be (soon to be certified) how important it is for a counselor/ therapist to express empathy for a client, correct? It is necessary if therapy is to be effective.

    For as long as your empathy is with your parents and not with yourself, healing for you is impossible. Even if you have a relationship with a woman for years, decades. There is no getting around  the necessity of empathy.

    If the relationship you currently have with your mother encourages empathy for her and not for you, then you should end that relationship.

    anita

    #213653

    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    It has been the hardest task in my life to have empathy for myself. Lately I've noticed strong feelings of awe and inspiration when working with clients, or coworkers, family and friends. I have trained myself to see others as empathetically as possible for their strengths and best qualities, my career choice has always necessitated this quality.

    However when it comes to me all of a sudden none of the rules apply. I struggle with being empathetic with myself out of fear of feeling sorry for myself. To some degree I understand self love or else I woudlve never accomplished what I have this far in life. The problem is my form of what I call self love is is probably criticism in reality. In my head loving myself looks striving for perferction, which is unrealistic. Then comes the shame telling me I was never good enough with lots of evidence I'm support to this claim. At that point I find myself unable to resist giving into the shame, and agreeing with the voice in my head telling me I'm worthless because I couldn't accomplish something.

    Unfortunately I'm not in a financial position to cut ties with my parents, I have begun to talk to my dad again because I bought a car from him I needed to survive school. I don't expect any kind of emotional support from either one of them anymore. I don't even talk about it anymore there's no point. My mom lives with my sister and my sister is one of my best friends so I'm going to see her, but our relationship has changed drastically since last fall I had to become very selfish in many areas of my life Including living alone now. My mom is not stressing me right now, and I'm not worried about it either, shell be okay she made it this long.

    What is stressing me is this empty lonely anxious feeling that doesent seem to let up. It rests in my stomach throughout the day. It's the feeling right before I have a breakdown but it's right at the surface. That's why I'm here. I don't need another complete breakdown right now. I can't afford it.

     

    #213657

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Rich:

    I need to get away from the computer for the next sixteen hours or so. Will read and reply to your recent post when I am back. Please have a moment of empathy for yourself today, be good to you.

    anita

    #213781

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Rich:

    Having read your most recent post this morning, my suggestion that you cut contact with your mother or with anyone in your family is a bad idea, because, like you wrote, you “can't afford” “another complete breakdown right now”. Too much distress in what I mentioned and no immediate-and-present danger in such contacts.

    You wrote that when you try to love yourself, that is to feel empathy for yourself, “then comes the shame” and you agree “with the voice in my head telling me I'm worthless”. When you hear that voice, instead of siding with it, side with the child, Rich the child, before the voice was introduced to him.

    The voice wasn't there from your beginning. In the beginning there was no voice. It came from the outside, and because for a young child there is no outside (not being a separate mental entity from parents), the voice became yours.

    Go to the time before that introduction of that voice into your brain. There was a child. If a different voice was introduced into his experience, the voice now would be saying something different to you.

    Say something different to this child. Introduce some new thoughts to him. Consider a different voice.

    anita

     

    #213793

    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    Thank you for your response. I will try my best at changing the way I talk to myself. But ive tried this in my head and it doesent make me feel any better most times. I don't understand why I fight the sadness so hard.

    It is so difficult to go through these battles alone. I feel in severe need of physical contact with another human. I'm just talking about a hug nothing more. I might get a hug once a month maybe and usually only when I visit my family. Yesterday I could not stop sobbing uncontrollably in my room it was EXTREMELY difficult for me not to break anything in my house or self harm. I cried until I was too tired to stay awake. I curled up in a ball on the floor wishing someone could here me but of course there was no one there.

    My motivation to take care of myself is weakening, as I have rarely been cared for in my life other than therapy and groups. At the same time it sounds like an excuse to me to be sad because I need human connection.

    I don't know if my sadness is justified. It's so hard for me to let myself cry for myself I was always told not to be a victim. I don't know if I'm just being lazy or if I really have a reason to be sad. Either way im lost in my mind as far as what the next step should be for me in terms of self care that will lead me to connection with people.

     

     

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