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Being better at accepting depression

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  • #377688
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    “Most people don’t listen very well, they want to fix”- this is me some of the time, probably.. maybe more than I think.

    I can’t think of an explanation, a suggestion, a fix-it idea that I did not offer you repeatedly and at length during our years-long communication, including what TeaK offered you in her recent post.

    But what if much of my input to you communicated to you that “your wounds are invalid and is your fault, if you just thought these thoughts or did this.. you wouldn’t feel that way”-

    Clearly, there is no point in me repeating myself, and you need something else (in the context of your thread), something as simple as: I hear you, noname. I can hear your pain, I see your pain, I can almost touch it.

    anita

    #377701
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear noname,

    I hear you – you feel that people are dismissing your problems and want to fix them, rather than hearing you compassionately and “sitting with you” in your pain. You say your therapist is good at doing that, but others, like your roommate, aren’t. It does seem to disturb you a lot, because it appears just having your therapist see you and validate you isn’t enough, but you’d need more people to do it. That’s why you need a support group too, which you’re afraid to attend to due to confidentiality issues.

    Now, the practical side of me – the problem solver – would like to offer an advice to perhaps look at online support groups, rather than in-person ones, so not to compromise your anonymity in the city you live. It shouldn’t be a problem to find such a group, since I believe quite a few popped up since covid…

    Perhaps you’re annoyed by this advice, and in general by people offering solutions, because there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to move on. Have you considered that? What would happen if you’d become successful in your career? Is there somewhere in you a fear of success, a fear of healing and moving beyond your past, which keeps you stuck in one place?

     

    #377740
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname

    Noname is stuck in hurt-and-angry, repeatedly crying, repeatedly throwing temper tantrums, because he wants his mother to finally see that he is hurting, to finally care that he is hurting, to finally love him, and he is not moving on until she does!

    The first time I tried to understand you was on March 15, 2017, on the first day you posted in your first thread. I offered you my developing understanding over four years, following reading and re-reading and studying your posts many times, for many hours. It is all on record here. Today, the paragraph above is my final analytical input/ my final offer of my understanding of you.

    I would very much like to read from you again and again and reply to you every time you post. It’s just that there will be no more analysis. It feels like a relief to me: I am moving on from being stuck on analyzing noname.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #377778
    noname
    Participant

    Thank you Anita, you have been very helpful to me for a long time

    #377781
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    You are welcome and thank you for expressing your appreciation. I like you, noname, so it is my pleasure to communicate with you and I hope to continue, for as long as you want to. I like you for never having been rude to me, no matter how badly you felt, I like you for your exceptional ability to persevere, to keep going and going when many people would have given up long ago. There is this something about you, at your core, that is indeed exceptional.

    anita

    #378203
    jess
    Participant

    To Tiny Buddha fam

    I’ve been following this page for a while.

    I’m just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and could shed some light on how to improve the situation.

    I’ve been feeling pretty shitty since I was 12. Nothing particularly happened I just lost interest in a lot things and became pretty insecure. It got worst in high school. when I was in grade 12 (I was 17). I decided to change for the better. I’m 21 now. so much has improved. I’ve reduced so many bad habits like stress eating, maladaptive daydreaming, paranoid thinking.  I’ve implemented journaling when I’m stressed, dancing, regular exercise, balanced diet.

    I have written thousands of pages unpacking my thoughts/emotions etc, letters to people etc. I’m genuinely so invested in trying to improve the quality of my life because I don’t see the point in being alive if you don’t at least try to enjoy it.

    my work is in align with what I want to do. I do feel some sense of purpose and enjoyment with what I do. The difficulty level isn’t too much for me.

    I have seen and felt improvements in my mood and behaviours. It is easier than it used to be.

    Unfortunately about every month and a half I slump/crash. literally for 2-3 weeks. I become incapable. I can’t study, I can’t focus, I become a recluse, all the purpose and enjoyment gets sucked out of my life. Everything in my life feels like a distraction or a shitty coverup for this deep empty feeling I have.

    It used to feel really physical. I was extremely fatigued, couldn’t get out of bed. It was hard to do the basic things. I implemented some healthy coping mechanism to help pull me out of the slumps. It does work, and over the years the slumps become less and less physically exhausting. They are mostly just emotionally draining. But it still interrupts my life, work, study.

    I’ve tried to look online to find something to explain this but I can’t find anything. There are a lot of articles written about slumps but i couldn’t find anything about experiencing slumps extremely regularly.

    Its still happens now every month or so and i just want to know what it is. I genuinely really want to address it but I just don’t know why it keep on happing all the time.

    I am a girl and it does not coincide with me period. So its not hormonal I don’t think.

    when I’m not in a slump i just feel mostly normal. Obviously normal for me still feel a bit grey and empty, especially when i don’t have ‘distractions’ around me but its still liveable, i still can look forward to things and have some aspirations.

    I don’t know if I’m just impatient and it takes a while to overcome these feelings and improve your life. Its only been 3 years since I’ve been proactively trying to improve my life. Maybe that’s really not that long in the scheme of things.

    but anyways if anyone know what it is pls share, i would love to hear your experiences

    #378223
    anita
    Participant

    * Dear jess: if you’d like other members, other than noname, to answer your post, please start your own thread by going to Forums at the top of the page, click All Forums, then choose a Forum, for example, Emotional Mastery, click it and scroll down the page.

    anita

     

    #378292
    jess
    Participant

    Dear anita

    ahh yess, my mistake. I will do that shortly

    thankyou also noname, because I related to your post and it inspired me to write my own post.

    thankyou

    #378551
    hypnos
    Participant

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

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

    #379110
    noname
    Participant

    Anita,

    I wanted your thoughts on something i’ve been thinking about with myself and the way my mind works. My birthday passed in the past couple weeks since i posted. Normally i’m pretty bummed out on my birthday because of “self reflection” and looking at my number of years on this planet and my perceived lack of growth.

    This year i was intent on trying to accept where i’m at with life and lay off the criticism. The problem i run into with being compassionate or non-critical with myself is humility. I don’t like to think of myself as better than anyone else, but i notice my mind oscillates between feeling cocky, and more frequently feeling worthless. I’m looking at this as the problem of EGO and who i think i am (for better or worse).

    When i mentally review some of the interactions with my parents i could see how their EGO’s rubbed off on me. One of the downsides to being a high performing person in pretty much anything I’ve tried (except self love) is that I was constantly being compared to others growing up and i still struggle with it.

    This came to me yesterday when i went on a group bike ride with about 40people yesterday, of which i had some friends who know me personally or from when i used to race bikes. What i noticed is

    1. Other people will brag on me and my accomplishments to other people and i dont really have to.

    2.When i receive those compliments my mind filters it one of two ways; either i tell myself “i’m really not as great as you think i am” or i think something cocky like “maybe i am actually special” or something self inflated like that.

    This inner criticism vs. inner flattery is really an interesting dichotomy that i’m trying to solve within myself. I want to feel good about self, but i also dont want to be an ass either. I’ve always valued humility in success or failure. I’m very much afraid of seeing myself as “special” because i don’t believe anyone is more valuable than another.  This also contributes to my imposter syndrome as a therapist. Obviously i lean more towards the inner criticism side of things because of my conditioning and highly competitive parents that used me as their golden child to hide their own insecurities.

    Having not been social in a long time, i kept talking to myself when someone would say something nice about me saying “stay out of your ego you are not special” because i can feel the cockiness being triggered. In summary i feel like the issue of my ego and who i think i am is what aile’s me on a daily basis more than anything. I also think this is the role substances have played in my life, they have allowed me to artificially relax my ego, and just not worry about how i’m coming off to other people. I got about 4 hours of sleep last night because i was having trouble ruminating on whether or not i rubbed anyone the wrong way.

    Any words of wisdom on seeing oneself clearly and without distortion would be helpful. Thanks in advance!

    #379111
    noname
    Participant

    Also i apologize if i’m taking this thread in circles i recognize this has gone on way too long, its kind of how the inside of my mind feels, like its going in circles. i just dont have too many sources for help these days.

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 17 hours ago by noname.
    #379116
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    You are welcome to post anytime and keep your thread going and going. It is definitely not too long. If you look at the first page of topics, there is an ongoing thread of 144 pages. Counting the pages of all your threads (counting..) only 38 pages. So, please, keep going.

    This is what I understand to have happened yesterday: you went on a group bike ride, received compliments and thought to yourself: “maybe I am actually special”. Next, your abusive inner critic, in the guise of Mr. Humility, said something like this (using some of your words): ‘you are feeling special, are you??? Well, you are not! Your idea of yourself is inflated!.

    Next, your abusive inner critic proceeded to deflate you: ‘you are not special, you are cocky and an ass for thinking that you more valuable than other people!

    My voice/ thoughts: when you felt special, prior to being attacked by the abusive inner critic, you didn’t feel anything that was wrong to feel. It is fine for any person to feel special from time to time. When people feel special they tend to be kind to themselves and to other people (it is when people feel less-than that they tend to be unkind to themselves and to others).

    The abusive inner critic took on something good (that feeling-special), and being the ass that it is, it attacked you, spewing nonsense about ego and humility, scaring you into being “very much afraid of seeing (yourself) as ‘special'”- while all along, seeing yourself as special will make you a better person!

    “I’m very much afraid of seeing myself as ‘special’ because I don’t believe anyone is more valuable than another”- I agree that everyone is equally valuable: we are all equally special in our ability to think and feel, imagine and hope and desire and dream.

    In addition to this basic equality of specialness, some people are better at performing certain tasks and are special in this or that area.

    In our daily lives we sometimes notice/ sense the specialness of this or that other person and we don’t notice the specialness of others. That’s okay, we don’t have the time and ability to sense the specialness of each and every person that crosses our paths. Sometimes we sense our own specialness- that’s natural and healthy. It’s a good thing.

    As a matter of fact, in my last post to you on April 15, I sensed your specialness and told you so. I genuinely felt it, it was an emotional conviction, a certainty. I still feel it now, as I remember having felt it on that day.

    anita

     

    #379124
    noname
    Participant

    Anita,

    thank you for your reply, this part couldn’t have been more accurate “when you felt special, prior to being attacked by the abusive inner critic, you didn’t feel anything that was wrong to feel. It is fine for any person to feel special from time to time. When people feel special they tend to be kind to themselves and to other people (it is when people feel less-than that they tend to be unkind to themselves and to others)”

    I wonder how to allow myself to feel special, worthy, or important?

    I know we’ve discussed this to no end, and I have been trying very hard lately to be kind to myself. Recognizing I will be 30 next year, I’m really trying to take some pressure off my achievement=self-worth dynamic.

    I fear I may turn into a caretaker like my father because of my lack of self-worth. One of my friends runs a non-profit bike repair shop, and was in need of mechanics, so I’m going to be volunteering there and teaching people how to fix bikes a couple days a week. I got excited at the idea of being able to help someone and see tangible results (unlike therapy where positive results may not be so easy to see in the present) I could see my ego getting inflated by feeling needed by others something I watch closely for in my therapeutic relationships. Also this is exactly how my dad is with being a mechanic. I can’t tell you how many people he would stop for on the side of the road growing up even if me and my sister were hungry and tired and just wanted to go home. We would watch him TAKE CARE from people under the guise of being a Good Samaritan and getting an ego boost. I fear that may be what I become as a therapist or through volunteering. Helping out of a selfish need instead of a love for people…

    Any tips on how to give care rather than taking it? It’s something I’m not sure if I’m currently doing or not

    #379128
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    You are welcome. “I wonder how to allow myself to feel special, worthy, or important?”- when you get punished for feeling special by the abusive inner critic, no wonder you are afraid to feel special. Got to disarm that cruel critic and replace him with a fair, empathetic and respectful inner critic.

    Regarding your concern about “helping out of a selfish need instead of a love for people”, as a therapist and otherwise, not wanting to be like your father who helped others “under the guise of being a Good Samaritan and getting an ego boost”-

    (1) putting aside the term “ego”, it is okay to enjoy a positive emotional boost as a result of helping other people, it’s natural and okay.

    (2) focus on communicating with the person you are helping truthfully. You don’t need to tell the person you are helping much of what you think and feel, but what you do tell him/ her, make sure it’s the truth, nothing pretentious. Better say less than more when you are in doubt about being truthful. Focusing on  what you say being truthful should help with your imposter syndrome.

    (3) unlike your father who placed other people first, helping them while you and your sister were tired and hungry- place yourself first, help yourself before you help  others. Once in a while, during the day, stop and ask yourself: how can I help you now? (think of the person asking this question as the replacement inner critic I mentioned in the first paragraph of this post)

    anita

    #379176
    noname
    Participant

    Yes I agree with being truthful as a cure to the imposter syndrome,  I notice the days i feel most burned out whether in my job or personal life is when i feel i’m being inauthentic. I don’t have all the answers for others and sometimes that stirs up the wounded part of myself (perfectionist & must take care of mom part) which makes my job emotionally taxing for me, especially when I’m having trouble getting in touch with the empathetic parts of myself.

    I am really trying hard these past couple of weeks to go easy on myself, im really tired of feeling stuck in my own way. One of the things hardest for me to deal with right now is loneliness and sadness. Last night i was driving home from the park and had another random crying episode on the way home.

    It feels like i will never be intimate with anyone ever. I know that’s probably not true because i have been sparingly in the past, but it is still a very real possibility that my life could stay exactly how it is, with good friends but no intimacy, no one to call during my lowest points. I’m not really sure how to solve this one either the sadness seems to kick in harder when i start thinking about solutions, feels hopelessly out of my control. I know you said recently having hope may be an issue for me, at the same time feeling hopeless is extremely scary and destabilizing for me.

    I tried to ask myself the question how can i help you now? as you suggested, and i went to my basement put on some headphones and listened to music for a couple hours until i was ready to sleep. Although, the longing for another person doesn’t feel resolved. I guess I’m just curious how to be alone and process sadness? I mean as social animals it doesn’t seem to me that being alone and sad is how were supposed to be doing it to be able to thrive. Sadness is my worst trigger to spiral into some dark places.

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