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Being better at accepting depression

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This topic contains 356 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  anita 12 hours, 24 minutes ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 331 through 345 (of 357 total)
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  • #329845

    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    You are welcome.

    “I’m so lost and confused right now, don’t know where to go to find what I need”

    When a child doesn’t feel loved or safe for years of chidhood, the child becomes desperate, and that desperation continues into adulthood. This desperation is too great to be satisfied. “nothing is ever what I need” because your desperation to be loved and feel safe is too great, an order too tall to fill.

    It is  not that love is too difficult to find, it is that desperation is impossible to satisfy.

    anita

    #329853

    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    So then what to do with this desperate feeling? Or rather how to soothe the desperation? I’m trying to be patient and find peace of mind, it may be a lifelong struggle I suppose, maybe the need to feel love is just my burden to bear in this life. I sure hope that there is hope that one day love might be more accessible to me when I need it. Again i am grateful for people like you and my therapist who feel like an endless well of compassion towards me, I’m glad you’re here for me and the others on this forum. i can function in this misery and hopelessness, even help others from this place, but I’d rather not. I’d rather live with peace and love

    #329855

    noname
    Participant

    Also I know you may not have all the answers right now but I’m suprised at how often you do. It is amazing the quality of help you give thanks again

    #329857

    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    You are welcome, always. I will take your question with me for the rest of the day and get back to you by tomorrow morning. Have a restful rest of Friday.

    anita

    #329951

    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    “how to soothe the desperation?”- maybe a dog, this is how lots of people soothe their desperation for love.

    “what to do with this desperate feeling?”

    My answer: you mentioned the word love hundreds of times in your writing over many months, and three times yesterday: “the need to feel love“, you wrote in your recent post, and “one day love might be more accessible to me when I need it”, and “I can function in this misery and hopelessness.. but.. I’d rather live with peace and love“.

    But what if you have the wrong definition of love. Maybe love is not accessible to you because love, as you perceive it, doesn’t exist?

    And, if you let go of wanting something that doesn’t exist, you will gain access to something that does exist.

    I will develop this thought (and try to  not read the following on a strictly intellectual level, try to take it in on the emotional level): this desperation was born in your childhood over years. You were not loved as a child, weren’t given hardly any attention at all. Lonely and alone, that is an unloved child. What happens in the mind of an unloved child through years of such devestation: he imagines being loved, he fantasizes about being loved. A child has great imagination and he entertains magical thinking. In a child’s mind everything is possible and anything imagined, can come true sometime in the future.

    Your perception of love was created in those years of great imagination and magical thinking, love was the most wonderful feeling in the world, something to look forward to and anticipate a whole lot. The more miserable a child’s life is, the more magnificent is his perception of how wonderful life can feel tomorrow, or sometime in the future.

    Again, the more miserable a child’s life, the more magnificent he imagines life can be.

    This kind of imagination carries the child through the misery of every day life. It motivates him to keep going. It therefore has an evolutionary purpose- survival.

    And so, the child imagines life and love to be the most magnificent emotional experience, a euphoric, heavenly, perfectly wonderful emotional state or condition, lasting and everlasting.

    Fast forward, this child has survived and is now a man. He still perceives love to be that grand. So he rushes to get that magnificent love-experience that he imagined all these years. He signs in to dating sites, meets this or that woman, and rushes to get that long-imagined super wonderful emotional condition. He rushes, excited and falls, because what he imagined all these years is not realistic, it doesn’t exist. There is no heaven, there is no euphoria forevermore. He is chasing what doesn’t exist.

    The man needs to relearn what love is: it is not that great, not that grand, not that wonderful.

    For as long as you keep the wrong perception of love, the wrong definition, you will remain disappointed and depressed, I believe. Change your perception of it, understand the correct definition, and it will become accessible to you. It will not feel as great as you imagined it to be. But it will feel better than your consistent depression and misery though. And there will be good moments, just not the greatest, grandest, and so forth.

    I wrote all the above without editing. I hope it is helpful to you once you consider this on the emotional level and understanding, not strictly the intellect.

    anita

     

    #330457

    anita
    Participant

    Happy New Year, noname!

    anita

    #330609

    noname
    Participant

    Happy new year to you as well Anita!

    My goal for this year is to work on my mental/emotional health and learn peace. I’m starting off by having a sober January and I’ve got some friends and family to join in as well. I want my relationship with pain to change this year. I’m tired of the chaos and it has to stop.

    In response to your previous post, I agree wholeheartedly my expectation of love is unreasonable, I remember daydreaming constantly as a child in school, and at home about being loved, and that child is still in me stuck chasing that daydream. You suggested I was looking for a thrill or emotional roller coaster ride a few weeks back and I couldn’t agree more. I’m serious about getting myself together, I really feel as if I have no other choice, I can see the outcome if I stay on this path of thrill seeking and living in a false reality. I’m honestly excited about learning calmness. Also, I hope love might be more boring, or calm than what I’ve had in the past, because that would mean something new which probably will mean healthier too.

    I’ve been wrestling with the idea that I just want security and something to attach to. I know the Buddhist would say attachment is the cause of suffering. So I’m hoping to learn to let go of expectations, and grasping so hard for what might not ever be there.

    #330617

    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    Thank you. I hope you are having a good first day of this year and decade!

    “I want my relationship with pain to change this year”- you mean to lessen your pain, correct? In order to not react to pain any which way, we have to endure it, or to tolerate it, and to be able to do so, we have to feel less of it. This is where emotional regulation skills come handy- to lessen strong/ overwhelming feelings, what you called later in your post today: “learning calmness”.

    “I hope love might be more boring, or calm”- it will be a challenge to be motivated to pursue a relationship that is not thrilling, finding comfort and contentment outside thrill, but like you wrote, it “probably will mean healthier too”.

    “attachment is the cause of suffering”, but it is also human, an integral part of every social animal. It cannot be eliminated, but instead… regulated, lessened when we are too attached.

    anita

     

     

     

    #333793

    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    I hope you are well.

    I’ve been meaning to post here for a the past week or so to let you know I’m doing well. I feel I often overlook the times when I feel peaceful and I’m striving to become more aware of them, so acknowledging them more often is in my plan.

    Not to say I’m void of any difficult emotions however, the longing to be loved is still strong, anger and disappointment towards my parents still resides in me, and feelings of loneliness are always close. I also slipped up and had a couple drinks last Friday night. I didn’t proceed to get drunk because part of the way through while at the bar I realized it was making me sad, and I wasn’t actually connecting with anyone so I left my friends and walked home alone and went to sleep. I think having increased my mindfulness made me realize how awful drinking excessively makes me feel.

    The more answers I find in life seems to lead only to even more questions. The question I’m stuck on now is the purpose of my grief? I have been grieving the loss of close relationships to old friends, realizing I only have 1 genuinely close friend right now that lives in my city being my roommate. I have other friends but I’m not as close to them as I’d like to be for various reasons, like their own (romantic) relationships, work schedules, and others I can’t think of right now. It makes me sad. I feel lonely.

    Wanting to accept and experience all of my feelings as much as they demand to be felt, has me questioning what is the grief doing for me? Im wondering if it is trying to help me let go of some kind of pain to open myself up to future opportunities should they present themselves, ones that I would otherwise be closed off to or wouldn’t recognize if I never felt the pain of loneliness or lost relationships. I’m not sure and would love to hear your input.

    Thanks again

    #333881

    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    You are welcome, good to read from you this morning. Congratulations for being mindful a the bar last Friday night, well done!

    “The question I’m stuck on now is the purpose of my grief?… what is the grief doing for me?”-

    – I think that it is doing nothing for you. You’ve been in a grief mode for a long, long time and I am not aware that it led you to a better place. I think that a better place to look at, for progress, is this word that I italicized: “anger and disappointment towards my parents still resides in me”.

    The anger at them is what keeps you stuck, reads to me. But I never suggest to anyone to.. delete anger, to suppress it, to void it with convenient thinking (e.x., the frequent they-did-their-best) or to meditate it away, or any such thing. Anger has to be respected for the valid message in it. I think that we keep experiencing the same anger until it is heard for its message.

    You are welcome to tell me more about your anger.

    anita

    #333891

    noname
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Lately I have been having car troubles, and phone troubles. I had to buy a new phone unexpectedly and a few hundred dollars in tools and car parts. While work is starting to pick up for me and im getting more clients every week money is still tight. All that to say most of the anger I’m feeling at the moment is towards my father for the way he’s been treating my sister, which lead me to completely shutting that relationship off. Not that we had been close, but I still would ask to use his garage from time to time, which i also put countless work hours in all kinds of weather to help build. So this time around I just did the work in my sisters driveway.

    What makes me mad, pardon my language is that my dad is such an asshole, and easily manipulated by people. Long story short he basically wont allow my sister over the house to see him without an appointment because of his new girlfriend. While i had given up on my dad being a father years ago my sister was still holding out and it’s tearing her apart to realize my dad is a shitty person. So once again im angry with him because he continues to hurt people i care about, though in the long run i knew my sister would eventually have to come to grips with the reality of my parents so in some ways im glad she’s finally grieving the loss of her expectations of our dad to be a parent.

    I also continue to find myself angry with society, for the damage i see harmful ideologies causing to people, myself included. I find myself angry with myself for a number of reasons, but mainly for continuing to not to love myself (i know it’s paradoxical and silly but its the truth) and continuing to long for friendships and romance. I’m angry and frustrated with myself because I find myself dissatisfied with life because of what i don’t have (mainly close relationships) even though i know i need to be grateful for the people i do have. I feel like i’m constantly getting in my own way, and i’m judgmental towards myself for needing people at all.

     

    #333901

    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    I agree: your sister will have to come to grips with who her parents are; no benefit to you protecting her from the reality of who they are. I suggest: withdraw yourself from trying to help your sister with her emotional problems because I think it is keeping you stuck and it is not helping her. You can’t possibly be her psychotherapist, you severely lack the objectivity required. (I remember my therapist of 2011-13 telling me that he couldn’t possibly have his own sister as a patient because he lacked the objectivity required).

    Let her interact with her parents however she wishes to and do not get involved. Choose if and where, when and how you interact with them. keep your sister out of it.

    So, if you want to talk here more about your anger, don’t tell me that you are angry at your father for how he treats your sister, tell me about your anger at him for how he has treated you. Make it personal, because it is. Same with your mother. If and when you want to, of course.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  anita.
    #333915

    noname
    Participant

    Anita,

    I would not try to be my sisters therapist, I realized a couple years ago our differences in our opinions of our parents was causing conflict, so i decided to just be supportive of her, and she does the same for me, in this way we have both learned to keep our relationship with eachother strong. I am grateful for that because i see alot of siblings who have disagreements about their parents let their relationships suffer because of it.

    The anger i have towards my parents is closely tied to my own self-hatred. I am angry no one taught me i was lovable. I am also angry my father & mother never taught me good social skills, leaving me alone often to figure things out. I am angry because i struggle so much as an adult because of what i was not taught.

    #333925

    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    By “no one taught me I was lovable”, do you mean regardless of a sentiment of love any one of your parents experienced for you at times, when you were a child, neither one of them practically loved you?

    And if so, what would your parents have done if they did practically love you when you were a child?

    anita

    #334213

    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    Exactly. My parents gave lip service to love though I did not experience what it actually felt like. I can remember countless times being left at school on days when my dad was supposed to pick me up. One time I was left at the bus stop for 2-3 hours when I was in grade school waiting for my dad to pick me up. The crossing guard waited with me thankfully. But that memory still hurts to this day. My mom was more reliable to at least be there physically, but other than that she was emotionally unavailable for me.

    I suppose had my parents practically loved me as a child they would’ve been concerned with my emotions. Also their love wouldn’t have been conditional on whether I was being obedient and high performing. I remember having an emotional breakdown on the pitchers mound at a baseball game in little league because too many people were telling me to do too many different things. I asked for a substitute and my dad got angry with me after the game for “being a quitter” despite being the best player on the team, and a reluctant leader through my character it wasn’t enough. It was never enough. I needed to know I was enough so badly, I remember my aunts and uncles were always so proud of me and to this day always greet me with a smile of gratitude. I can’t say the same for my mom, last time I saw her she was too busy being depressed to greet me with affection, not that I expect it anyway.

    While it is helpful to reflect on my relationship with my parents, I’m at a point where I just don’t care to much to talk about it anymore, I know I didn’t get what I needed and it makes me upset and I’m okay with that now, I’m relieved at this point that I no longer have to bear the burden of confusion of why I feel unlovable. Now my challenge is how to feel lovable no matter what my life circumstances may be. My confidence comes and goes, feelings of lovabilty fade quickly when they arise, and are usually externally dependent. I desperately want to feel loveable internally, no matter what. I reached a conclusion while thinking about this last night during a sweat lodge that no matter what i do, I cannot make myself any more lovable than I am or always have been. It is not some dependent variable as if life was a science experiment that depended on the right inputs to get love. It frustrates me to no end that I keep trying to accomplish and achieve to gain love just as I did my whole childhood. There is something in my heart that has been asking me to surrender to my pain lately, it’s coming in dreams, in my thoughts, and manifests in physical discomfort when I come into contact with women. I don’t want to try anymore. I just want to be okay with being who I am, and all the baggage that comes with it.

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