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Being better at accepting depression

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  • #379179
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    “it is still a very real possibility that my life could stay exactly how it is, with good friends but no intimacy”- I agree, it is a very real possibility (but not the only real possibility).

    As to the solutions to this very real possibility, you wrote: “the sadness seems to kick in harder when I start thinking about solutions, feels hopelessly out of my control”-

    – that may be why you randomly cry (“had another random crying episode on the way home”): like a child who is experiencing a problem/distress but feels hopeless to solve it, crying so to get the attention of an adult who is able to solve the problem for the child.

    “I’m just curious how to be alone and process sadness?”- continuing the thought above: maybe accept, radically accept, as the term goes, thoroughly accept that there is no one else there with you to solve your problem of loneliness, no one to see you cry and help you.

    anita

    #379181
    noname
    Participant

    “accept, radically accept, as the term goes, thoroughly accept that there is no one else there with you to solve your problem of loneliness, no one to see you cry and help you.” -This is sort of what i tried last night, my roommate was home and claims I can talk to her but is rarely present with me so i’ve given up on that relationship as a source of comfort. Which left me to be sad by myself.

    So your saying a possible solution is to just be sad? this makes sense to me because we don’t really control whether or not an emotion is triggered within us, rather controlling how we respond to the emotion.  My response to sadness 90% of the time is coupled with negative beliefs about why i deserve to suffer. I tried not to go there last night, knowing that could mean another severe depressive episode which i can’t afford. I tried to comfort myself by reaffirming my worth through self-talk, even though i barely believe it, I don’t feel like I have any other options right now but to fake love for myself until it feels real.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by noname.
    #379183
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    “So you’re saying a possible solution is to just be sad?.. My response to sadness 90% of the time is couple with negatives beliefs about why I deserve to suffer”- to radically accept something means to accept it without making a judgment about it. To accept your sadness without judging that you deserve it,  is to radically accept your sadness.

    You feel sad because you are lonely, because you need emotional/ social support and you don’t have it. Try to keep it at that, without judging yourself as unworthy of support. When you find it difficult to do, think of/ imagine the young child that you were, see him in your mind’s eye. Hopefully, seeing his youthful face, hurt and so very sad, will lead you to accept that young child’s/your sadness without judgment.

    anita

     

    #379238
    noname
    Participant

    I tried what you suggested above about not judging myself as unworthy for being sad, and my goodness is it difficult. I have to keep reminding myself non judgment of my pain is the only way forward at this point. I’m doing it though, I’m sad right now and just let the tears come as they will, feeling the discomfort in my stomach and trying my best to just be with it, and comfort myself by telling myself it doesn’t mean anything about me. This is really hard to do. My fear is that I may not be willing to keep doing this, to keep being in pain like this. It feels meaningless. Either way it does help not adding to the suffering through judgement, still no real relief in sight it feels like.

    #379240
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    “My fear is that I may not be willing to keep.. being in pain like this”- there is no benefit in pain unless there is meaning to the pain/ unless you can perceive a future benefit for you in feeling the pain. The meaning/ benefit is in your child-like cognitive understanding of your pain, of its origin, of where it’s coming from.

    I am not talking about the uncommitted, flimsy kind of rational understanding that you already expressed, dressed in academic terms and elaborate concepts. I am talking about the bare simple truth of what happened to you as a child (way fewer words and way more power in the few, simple words).

    anita

    #379264
    noname
    Participant

    “The meaning/ benefit is in your child-like cognitive understanding of your pain, of its origin, of where it’s coming from.”

    Yeah I think this makes sense to me. If I understand, you mean the benefit could be less suffering from the child like understandings of “I’m not good enough to be loved” and other beliefs and judgements like that…not necessarily complete alleviation from the pain of being alone?

    I was reading some of the Dhammapada last night and there was a line that caught my attention that read;

    “it is hard to leave the world and and hard to live in it, painful to live with the worldly and painful to be a wanderer. Reach the goal and you will wander and suffer no more”

    There was also a section on selfish desire and it’s relation to suffering. I’m not trying to overthink this and I believe I am starting to grasp the point you’ve been making to me over and over for years now. What I feel is that it seems like there really is no escape from pain, maybe some escape from the added suffering we put on ourselves through desire. I think I can take the pain and avoid the suffering if I can avoid the selfish desires to escape through women, drugs, and other thrills I chase. Am I starting to understand? Or am I still missing the point

    #379270
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    In my sentence: the meaning/ benefit is in your child-like cognitive understanding of your pain, of its origin, of where it’s coming from- I meant, like you suggested, that you will experience way less pain of being alone when you understand that you were good enough as a child, good enough to be loved. Much of the pain you experience is about wrongly believing that you were (and still are) not good enough.

    If you  believe that you were (and still) good enough to be loved, then being alone will not feel like a destiny and an eternity. Instead, being alone will have a temporary feel to it, as in: right now I am alone (as opposed to: I am forever alone).

    “I think I can take the pain and avoid the suffering if I can avoid the selfish desires to escape through women, drugs, and other thrills I chase”- for as long as you believe that you are not good enough to be loved, you can’t escape pain and suffering because believing this means that you will forever be unloved.

    Here is a 2 case scenarios to illustrate my point: (1) you hurt your shoulder because you lifted something heavy the wrong way. You put ice on it, then a heat pad, then ice again, you take an anti-inflammatory medication, you rest- it is all uncomfortable, you feel pain, then you feel better, then pain again, but you know that it is temporary. You may feel sad, but also resourceful (doing what it takes to heal) and hopeful that soon enough the pain will not be there anymore,  (2) you hurt your neck and shoulder in a terrible accident, having to go through surgeries, and the prognosis is a life time of significant pain. You feel pain and you know that it’s a life-time sentence. You know there is nothing you can do to heal, so you feel helpless to stop the pain and you feel hopeless and depressed.

    When you are unloved and alone and you believe that you are not good enough to be loved, it is like the 2nd scenario (you feel helpless, hopeless and depressed). When you are unloved and alone and you believe that you are good enough to be loved, it’s like the 1st scenario (you may feel sad, but also resourceful and hopeful).

    anita

    #379967
    noname
    Participant

    Anita,

    the past couple post’s you’ve made have been extremely helpful. I have been trying to remember this line you wrote “Much of the pain you experience is about wrongly believing that you were (and still are) not good enough.”

    You are absolutely correct that belief is where most of the hardships I cause myself comes from. I’ve had a good past 2 weeks since trying to live in the belief that I am lovable. I’ve also been riding my bike more regularly, and talking to new people and old friends instead of avoiding them. I’m also re-learning how to be sad and lonely without judging myself. It has all been helpful.

    While I feel pretty good, and have been social, eating right, sleeping, and meditating more regularly…I still feel like I may never feel as good alone as I do when I’m in love. I know whether or not I have a partner is not entirely in my control, but I want to cultivate that feeling of love even if I’m alone. I love how doing everyday tasks seem meaningful, or how I feel more creative, and connected to the world.

    My therapist years ago said something  along the lines of “the love is already present within us, when we’re partnered with someone who cares about us it awakens it in us” I would like to know if/how you’re able to awaken love within yourself even when isolated?

    #379978
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    Good to read that you had a good past two weeks: eating right, sleeping, meditating, riding your bike regularly, talking to new people and old friends, and relearning how to feel sad and lonely without judging yourself!

    “While I feel pretty good.. I still feel like I may never feel as good alone as I do when I’m in love”- hold in awareness that when in love/ when in a beginning relationship with a woman, you felt good at times but you also felt strong desperation, increased anxiety and anger. Desperation caused you to rush into premature relationships, and anger caused you to end them.

    “My therapist years ago said something along the lines of ‘the love is already present within us, when we’re partnered with someone who cares about us it awakens it in us'”-

    – I will change the quote to fit you personally, according to my best understanding: the love underneath the desperation, increased anxiety and anger is present within you. When partnered with a woman, the love awakens, but also the desperation and anger, and your anxiety increases.

    * If it wasn’t for the combo of increased anxiety and anger, you would probably be in relationships most of your adult life (not necessarily in healthy relationships though).

    As to your question: “I would like to know if/ how you’re able to awaken love within yourself even when isolated?”-  you can do this exercise: when you feel comfortable, calm, maybe sleepy, and you have the privacy, play romantic music and visualize yourself in love with a woman (a woman you never met), create a love story in your mind. You can type away the story, words that come to your mind spontaneously, whatever comes up.

    anita

    #379981
    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    thanks for your response. You are correct when I’m in relationships I do feel that anxiety and anger along with the love or attachment.

    I like the idea of visualizing love, I will try this tonight. I feel like my dreams have been doing this a lot for me lately. Dreams of love and connection seem to be the only ones I have or can remember. Sometimes upon waking up it can be tough realizing the connection I felt was in a dream. I have a harder time with pleasant dreams like those when I feel bad about myself, luckily the few I’ve had over the past weeks have felt comforting.

    #379982
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    You are welcome. If you want to post your visualization here (minus possible X-rated stuff), please do. I would like to read it.

    anita

    #380110
    noname
    Participant

    Anita

    I tried visualizing myself being loved a couple nights ago, and I have been spiraling into depression since that night. When I tried this it became overwhelming and I ended up crying myself to sleep. Upon waking up the next day I felt awful and still do this morning. It feels like being loved and accepted is the only thing on my mind. I also noticed the more stressed I am with money and my job my thirst to be loved increases. I’m very stressed this week, and the longing to be seen and heard is very strong with me right now. I feel like I need to give up hoping, but when I try to give up hope it feels like the belief I’m “unlovable” has won and is absolute truth. I’m not sure how to give up hope of finding a partner while feeling lovable

    #380117
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    The visualization exercise failed to deliver what I hoped it will. About love-

    May 20, 2021: “being loved and accepted is the only thing on my mind… feeling unlovable”

    March 15, 2017 (first post, first thread, “learning to love myself”): “I’m still struggling with self love, and feeling lovable”.

    I will do my own visualization so to present to you how I see the problem: imagine love to be a peaceful aquarium with colorful fish swimming back and forth in clear water with coral, rocks and aquatic greenery, to the sound of the bubbling water-  quiet, calming, beautiful to watch.

    Now, see noname wanting love more than anything, jumping into the water with a big splash, fish are forced out of the water, coral, rocks displaced, and you are left bruised and cold in the broken aquarium. You drag yourself out of the mess, dry yourself, replace the aquarium and find yourself miserably looking at it longingly from the outside, wishing to be inside.

    The splash in my imagery symbolizes your desperation for love plus your anger at the objects of your love. To enter and remain in the aquarium, you have to enter it gently and while in it, move slowly, so to not disturb the water (resolving your lifetime anger, managing your anxiety, and getting to know a woman before jumping into a premature intimacy).

    anita

    #380118
    noname
    Participant

    Thanks Anita,

    Your imagery is a wonderful illustration of my experience. Think it’s time for me to give up on being loved by another though, too destabilizing to my life to think about right now. Maybe I’ll revisit my emotional needs later when I have some material security. Until then I think I will need to be willfully avoidant of the topic to avoid missing any work because of despair.

    #380119
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    You’re welcome and thank you for complimenting my imagery. I wonder if having a real aquarium (or a video/audio on an aquarium playing in the background) will have a calming affect on you, not as a symbol of love but of calm, helping you to stabilize yourself and focus better on your need of material security.

    You want to “give up on being loved by another” for now, and I  hope you succeed. If it helps you to not re-visit this thread, you can. You can start a new thread free of any expression of the hope to be loved, and post only about what you want to focus on.

    anita

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