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Being better at accepting depression

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  • #391801
    noname
    Participant

    Anita,

    I have felt that sensation of being called to do something in life. It’s strange that you ask me this today because it’s something I have been thinking about lately. One of the things that I have enjoyed during long periods of time alone is the eventual tapping into something other than myself that fills me with vitality, purpose, and motivation. I used to wonder if it was some kind of grandiose thinking or mania that comes from being depressed for long stretches of time but there’s too much humility present in whatever it is im receiving, and these periods of silence and solitude in retrospect have been where some of my most creative visions and best life decisions have come from. It is a deeply spiritual experience for me that I long for through my numbed-out days. My call is to learn each day how to  get back in relationship with this part of myself? Part of the universe? God? So that I can manifest that love in the world. My daily drive is to learn to live in faith. I feel I’m at the edge of some kind of spiritual growth that I’m afraid of, if I can only let go and trust then I believe I can have a great loving effect on the world. I’m afraid of being powerful.

    I suppose erasing fears and living in faith is my call. I live out of curiosity to see what great things can happen if im not afraid. Easier said than done of course

     

    #391802
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear noname:

    I happen to be watching a Dave Chappelle stand-up comedy show, and I noticed that you just posted. I think that in what you just posted, is the way forward, the only way forward: “My call is to learn each day how to get back in relationship with this part of myself? Part of the universe? God?… erasing fears and living in faith is my call. I live out of curiosity to see what great things can happen if I’m not afraid” – this is it, noname:  getting in touch with what is greater than us.

    I will be back to you Mon morning. What is greater than us is understanding that on one hand, we don’t have any power, on the other hand, we have so much power. Both are excruciatingly true.

    anita

    #391805
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear noname:

    Tapping into something other than myself that fills me with vitality, purpose, and motivation… there’s too much humility present in whatever it is… I feel I’m at the edge of some kind of spiritual growth that I’m afraid of, if I can only let go and trust then I believe I can have a great loving effect on the world. I’m afraid of being powerful” –

    – about power and humility: I am very humble in regard to my personal power. I used to desire and daydream about having great personal power/ having a great effect on the world. I desired it so intensely because I felt so very powerless and in a great need to be valued by others. That desire brought me great misery.

    Tommy, a member on the forums, wrote the following yesterday (you can find him on the first page of lists of topics): “If one is open to love, then is one seeking love? If one is open to love, then will one find love?… I find love to be real. Whereas hate or anger is not real. When hate or anger comes up, it comes at first as urges and then it gets supporting thoughts to bolster its stay in the mind and body. Love just is. There is no need of thoughts to support its stay in the mind. Is love desires or wants? Personally, I do not believe true love is”.

    Developing this quote further: love just is. I can feel it now, as I am typing. It feels peaceful. I can rest in it even though I am experiencing big personal challenges at this time. But I can rest in Love this very morning. I am resting in Love that is not a feeling of desiring and wanting, nor is it a behavior of seeking and finding. Feeling it, resting in it does not make me powerful, it does not stimulate me into great action. All it does is giving me a place to rest from anxiety and worry. It places me in the mindset of saying and doing today what promotes love in others’ lives, and to avoid saying and doing what does not.

    My call is to learn each day how to get back in relationship with this part…So that I can manifest that love in the world” – manifest that love in the world by resting in it first, and rest in it again and again. This is the place to start your day, and to restart every moment in it. Remember, love does not seek (ex., a girlfriend), it does not desire (personal power, other people’s esteem, etc.). It just is.

    anita

    #391958
    noname
    Participant

    Anita,

    I hope you are doing well this week.

    It has been a difficult week for me.

    In regards to my fear of being powerful, i don’t mean it in the sense of controlling others or having status. I mean it in the sense of of a fear of feeling like I matter or have worth.

    This week has been a rollercoaster I meant to post here sooner in the week. I am meeting up with my mentor (old therapist) today for some tea. Hopefully i can get some guidance on where to go from here.

    As soon as i got in my car after my last client this week, i immediately burst into tears, and remained in a triggered state for a about 2 hours that night. Despite my clients actually making big improvements, and expressing gratitude for the service i provide, I felt awful hearing about their good fortune. The main trigger for me at work is discussions of money. Some of my clients make 2x-4x more money than me, yet I can barely afford to pay my bills each month on my therapist income. I didn’t take a single week off work last year, and I cant say enough just how exhausted i feel. Hearing about people who make double my income by sitting at a desk and sending emails all day is making me bitter.

    I’m starting to have regrets about choosing this career path, and im beginning to become jealous of other’s peoples good fortune, which leads me to ask myself questions like “what am i doing wrong? why don’t i deserve to have a saftey net? am i stupid? it must be because im worthless?” So this week has been a real challenge to remind myself my value as a human being is not determined by dollar signs.

    The other thing i haven’t really talked about is dating. I met this wonderful girl about three months ago with the intention of just being friends since she is polyamarous. We have spent alot of time together and she is genuinely a kind, vulnerable, and empathetic person. I told her last friday when i seen her that i wasn’t exactly feeling an attachment to her, but i really like spending time with her and hanging out. Sunday she told me she had covid, which is okay she’s doing alright, but i’m going out of town next week and she’s leaving for California soon. When it hit me that i wasn’t going to be able to see her i became very sad realizing i do have an attachment to her and will miss her. It also sparked up some jealousy, since she lives with her partner (whom i’ve met) and they get to see her where i wont.

    All this to say i’m quite a mess of a person right now. From my basic needs to my needs for love everything’s fucked. I’m so tired.

    On the bright side i have been very intentional in trying to soothe myself when these negative beliefs and heavy emotions are overwhelming me. There’s a real battle going on inside of a part of me that does not want to grow past the safety of telling myself i’m worthless and the mature part of me that knows i’m worthy and lovable. I need support at this point for the latter part.

    When i’m in these mood swings/emotional breakdowns i have been talking to the hurt parts of myself from the inner parent in me, saying things like “there’s nothing wrong with you, you are lovable, you are worth more than any amount of money, etc” all while having rapid flashbacks of painful memories. I swear I am trying, as bad as things may feel for me right now, i keep reminding myself i am leaps and bounds from the person i was just 5 years ago, i don’t cut anymore and i’m way more self aware, and i’m trying my best most days.

    I’m also wondering if cutting back from alcohol, porn, and weed while increasing the frequency of my meditation and journaling practices has anything to do with the intensity of the emotions i’m experiencing right now. I don’t feel numb at the moment, i actually feel very present with every inkling of feeling/thought/sensation that arises in me. I do feel like i need some kind of break although the next two weeks are packed for me, with a training and then taking my licensure exam the week after.

    #391965
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear noname:

    I hope that you have a pleasant enough tea with your mentor today, and that he will offer you the guidance that you need. I also hope that you rest this weekend because your next two weeks will be packed, as you mentioned.

    Congratulations for being “leaps and bounds from the person (you were) just 5 years ago“, and for your recent “cutting back from alcohol, porn, and weed while increasing the frequency of (your) meditation and journaling practices“!

    Hearing about people who make double my income…  is making me bitter… I’m beginning to become jealous of other’s peoples good fortune… ‘ So, this week has been a real challenge to remind myself my value as a human being is not determined by dollar signs” – your bitterness, jealousy and frustration is very common. I felt this way many times. It still frustrates me greatly that there are plenty of people who make their fortunes by taking unfair advantage of individuals’ honesty and goodwill. These are people who are primarily motivated by making financial profit any which way, whatever it takes.

    Which leads me to ask myself questions like ‘what am I doing wrong?” – you do not take unfair financial advantage of people, so you are doing the right thing. But in the minds of people whose primary value is financial profit made-any-which-way, you are doing the wrong thing for yourself.

    Am I stupid? It must be because I’m worthless?” – People who make financial profit at the expense of honest, genuinely good people, will answer with an affirmative to both questions.

    Why don’t I deserve to have a safety net?” – you do deserve a safety net, but like Clint Eastwood in the movie Unforgiven said: “deserve ain’t got nothing to do with it”. Millions of people deserve better than what they have…  but deserve aint got nothing to do with it.

    I met this wonderful girl about three months ago with the intention of just being friends since she is polyamorous… she lives with her partner (whom I’ve met)” – no more polyamorous women for you, I say!

    In regard to my fear of being powerful…  I mean it in the sense of a fear of feeling like I matter or have worth… There’s a real battle going on inside of a part of me that does not want to grow past the safety of telling myself I’m worthless” – I would like to understand this better: what is safe about you telling yourself that you are worthless? What is the danger in you telling yourself that you are worthy?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by .
    #392245
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear noname:

    Thinking about you this Wednesday evening, hoping that although your expected this week to be packed, it’s still a better week for you than last!

    anita

    #393774
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear noname:

    Almost a month ago, Jan 29, you posted: “Hearing about people who make double my income…  is making me bitter… I’m beginning to become jealous of other’s peoples good fortune… ‘ So, this week has been a real challenge to remind myself my value as a human being is not determined by dollar signs”.

    It so happens that I came across a reply you posted to another member on March 16, 2017, almost 5 years ago: “I’m 24 years old and have had similar experience with life after college. I’ve realized from my short work history that as a talented young professional I had to be patient, even though it is at times very frustrating knowing you’ve got the skills to do more. What helped me was to stop seeking validation from superiors and co-workers, and surprisingly more opportunities began to present themselves when I got my eagerness under control and calmed my demeanor. What also helped me was being okay with doing something I love (despite low pay) and living simply and modestly, removing myself from the mindset of consumerism which had me searching for happiness and fulfillment outside myself (i.e. cars, houses, electronics, etc.) If you don’t mind me asking what would your life look like if you had it exactly as you desired?”.

    I thought that maybe your own words from long ago will help you again today.

    anita

    #406655
    Anonymous
    Guest

    It’s been ages since we talked, noname. How are you???

    anita

    #425687
    noname
    Participant

    I didn’t realize i haven’t posted here in years! I’m doing alright Anita how have you been? The past couple years have been a rollercoaster. My cousin was murdered in march 2022 trying to help a friend, that has been on my heart everyday since. I miss him.

    I also have been in a relationship since April 2022, thats going okay. We definitely have our issues, but were both willing to work so it’s been alright, and overall a positive experience no matter what the outcome may turn out to be.

    Like always im continually stressed about finances. With the housing market being at all time high I dont know where im going to live next year. It has been extremely stressful and making me feel hopeless about life in general. The majority of my stress has to do with not having secure housing, and not being able to afford psychological help despite doing it for others. My day to day existence is overwhelming and unenjoyable but i have no one to blame but myself for being a therapist instead of an engineer or businessman. Oh well.

    I hope I can hold on, the lack of emotional and financial support is drowning me. Such is life.

    #425691
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    My goodness!!! This is you!!! I m obviously excited to see you back here but I am also sad to read that your cousin was murdered back in March 2022,  a month or two after you posted here last.

    Your last post here was on January 29, 2022, exactly 1 year and 10 months ago, being that today is Nov 29, 2023. On that day, you shared: “This week has been a rollercoaster“. Today, you wrote: “The past couple years have been a rollercoaster“.

    A year and 10 months ago, you were about to meet your old therapist/ mentor for tea and guidance. You were still a beginning therapist about to take your licensure exam in a couple of weeks later. You felt bitter about some of your clients making way more money than you did as their therapist, regretting that you didn’t choose a lucrative career instead of psychotherapy. You were still struggling back then, and needed support with feeling “worthy and lovable“. You wondered on that day “if cutting back from alcohol, porn, and weed.. has anything to do with the intensity of the emotions” you were experiencing.

    Today, you shared the very sad news that your cousin was murdered while trying to help his friend. He is on your mind and heart every day, and you miss him.

    You are currently in an okay relationship, “overall a positive experience no matter what the outcome may turn out to be” and still “continually stressed about finances“.

    You shared that the housing market is at an all time high. “The majority of my stress has to do with not having secure housing, and not being able to afford psychological help despite doing it for others. My day to day existence is overwhelming and unenjoyable but I have no one to blame but myself for being a therapist instead of an engineer or businessman. Oh well. I hope I can hold on, the lack of emotional and financial support is drowning me. Such is life.“-

    – Don’t blame yourself, noname. Please don’t. Empathy for yourself (not blaming yourself) will give you much needed relief from much of your stress. It will tune down the volume of the overwhelm factor. Directing empathy toward yourself is the emotional support that you need and have needed for so long.

    You ARE worthy and lovable and you deserve to rest in this truth.

    Anita how have you been?“- there are challenges in my life too and I am doing okay. As far as mental health, I am better than ever in my life, and a big part of it is directing empathy toward myself. Any time that I notice that I feel badly about something, if I figure that it is invalid guilt that I am feeling, or an exaggerated guilt considering a wrong I committed, or guilt that is not useful anymore and all it does is to make me suffer.. I am able to stop indulging in that guilt and to care enough for myself to .. wish myself to not suffer unnecessarily.

    Back to you: the housing market being at an all-time high is a sort of necessary suffering, being that you have no control over it. But blaming yourself for choosing a (notable, valuable) career is an unnecessary suffering.

    I am so glad to read back from you after all this time: you made my day, noname. Thank you!

    anita

    #425712
    noname
    Participant

    I am happy to hear you have been well, despite only having text communication, you have been an amazing support in my life when i feel i have no where else to turn. I am very grateful for you!

    While i have made significant improvements in my mental health, shame has been the most difficult thing to work with. Being in relationships triggers my shame the worst. At the same time i realize i need to be triggered to an extent to work on healing the wounded parts of myself. Unfortunately due to the high financial stress i have been under since the start of the pandemic i have been more isolated these past few years. Lately i’m having a hard time responding to calls, texts, emails etc. Everything feels exhausting.

    I also realized there is no respite for me in the near or distant future, I have no choice but to continue working day in and day out if i want to keep my independence. At the same time my stress levels are unsustainable. My goal is to be internally well no matter what my external circumstances may be. I have been slacking on my self-work, I dont meditate, exercise, self-reflect, or socialize as much as i need to. I’m not giving up though!

     

    #425723
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    You are very welcome and thank you for.. being you!

    (I will be adding the boldface feature to all the quotes in this post). Today, Nov 30, 2023, you wrote:  “While I have made significant improvements in my mental health, shame has been the most difficult thing to work with. Being in relationships triggers my shame the worst”.

    I wanted to refresh my memory about the origin and nature of your individual shame, so I read through our communication in your various threads. Your first post on tiny buddha was in March 15, 2017 . I replied to you on that same day. You were then about to turn 25 (now 31).  You shared back then that growing up, your mother was very depressed and your father had anger issues. “Trying to keep my mom happy and my dad calm was a very exhausting task“.

    Fast forward to today, “Everything feels exhausting… my stress levels are unsustainable. My goal is to be internally well no matter what my external circumstances may be. I have been slacking on my self-work, I don’t meditate, exercise, self-reflect, or socialize as much as i need to. I’m not giving up though! (Nov 30, 2023).

    I want to look at what has been exhausting you so much as a child and through your 20s  and what new awareness (in addition to you hopefully resuming meditating, exercising and positive socializing) can possibly help your self reflection and lead to lower stress levels/ to be internally well.

    What kept your stress levels high growing up, which naturally exhausted you, was what you wrote (quote above): trying to keep your mother happy and your father calm (while there was no one there to make it possible for you to be happy or calm).

    You shared over time that while you were growing up, your mother was depressed and suicidal. Lots of drama. Problem is that in your 20s- while we communicated- your mother and father kept the drama going in your adult life, keeping your stress levels high and exhausting you:

    “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 (your mother) and she is in constant crisis” (Sept 17, 2017).

    “When i do see my mom a couple times a month its usually all about her problems, because she is going through a lot right now ” (July 9, 2018).

    “I’m seriously considering not talking to my parents at all for good, I came home for Mother’s Day… and my mom became furious... Long story short my mom was threatening to drive the van into his house, and I grabbed her and wouldn’t let her get in the car, I told her to stop thinking about herself and think of me an my sister. She was very aggressive and rude towards me for trying to Deescalate the situation…  I was having a good week and started back on my path towards good mental health by meditating and journaling and exercise, then I come home for a day and I’m depressed all over again” (May 13, 2019).

    Whenever I see or talk to my parents all of the trauma and disappointment are re ignited in my spirit” (June 10, 2019)

    “I went to my sister’s yesterday to some work on my car. While I was talking to my sister my mom continually interrupts… and interrupts yet again… My mom went off and screamed ‘you’re always so F***ing disrespectful!’ I asked if she wanted to talk about it and she just went upstairs to her room and stayed there the rest of the day…” (Feb 17, 2020).

    “Me and my sister were downstairs in the kitchen thanksgiving day cooking food, my mom calls my sister from upstairs on the phone, crying hysterically with no explanation saying she wouldn’t be attending thanksgiving then rudely hung up on my sister” (Nov 29, 2021).

    * On July 29, 2017, you wrote to me: “I talked to my mom this morning … She cried a little bit, but admitted that she knew this was true and regretted leaving me alone so much as a kid and not hugging or showing affection towards me and my sister, she said she looks back at pictures from my childhood and it’s clear to her how sad I was… After this conversation I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me…  it feels like I finally have the permission to stop blaming myself, and to really begin to love myself through empathy as you said. It finally feels like it’s not all my fault…  I was just a kid after all, and that kid is still part of me. I’ve got to be kinder towards that part of me, and not be angry with it for being in need”-

    – Unfortunately, her apparent regret and admission of valid, true guilt was short lived,  or it was of no real substance (see Sept 2017- Nov 2021 quotes above).

    Unfortunately, your sister- who lived (and maybe she still does) with your mother- has not been on your side and discouraged you from having no-contact with your mother so that you are no longer exposed to her drama: “My sister told me she believes I have mistreated my mother over the past few years as well. She doesn’t empathize very well with me” (March 10,2020), and “My sister text me last weekend pleading to unblock my mom and talk with her” (March 26, 2020).

    Next, I am adding a few quotes from what you shared over the years, also meant for your self-reflection:

    “I have pretty much always struggled with perfectionism, it was the reason I was/am so hard on myself, I was a very well mannered child, excellent student, overachiever etc. I did this because I always thought if I could discipline myself it would make my parents life easier, which it ultimately did, they never had to spank me as a kid, or tell me something twice, but it caused me to be hypervigilant of any imperfection I had” (August 6, 2017)

    Feeling loved is such an abstract concept to me, that I’m not sure how to go about feeling it” (June 21, 2018).

    “”It has been the hardest task in my life to have empathy for myself… Then comes the shame telling me I was never good enough with lots of evidence I’m support to this claim” (June 22, 2018).

    “I still see my hopelessness as a defense mechanism because having hope leads to disappointment, so my learned baseline has become disappointed in advanced, making me pessimistic about relationships” (November 28, 2019).

    The thing I want the most I fear most” (November 22, 2021).

    anita

     

    #425797
    anita
    Participant

    Dear noname:

    How to FEEL love?” (summer, July 27, 2017), “Feeling loved is such an abstract concept to me, that I’m not sure how to go about feeling it” (summer, June 21, 2018)-

    – Winter, December 4, 2023: it is 12:51 pm here (adjusted to the time I am submitting this post), no sun in the sky, none is expected for the rest of the day, a day that ends with complete darkness by 5 pm. The wind is strong. I want to take a walk, my usual 3.5 miles walk, and I am afraid of mountain lions who roam this area at dusk..  it already looks like dusk in the early afternoon. It looked like dusk since morning.

    What is love? – is the title of a song with the lyrics: “What is love?/ Oh baby, don’t hurt me/ Don’t hurt me no more“-

    – isn’t the answer right there: don’t-hurt-me-no-more?

    Only you have to figure out who is hurting whom. When you react angrily to a person (your mother) who is hurting you, it is not disrespecting her, it’s about respecting you.

    It’s not about getting even, it’s about a hurt child in a hurt adult having been wronged for too long. Isn’t it time to make things right?

    I stopped all contact with my mother, something I never imagined doing.. for how could I have no contact with the number ONE in my life, the person without whom I couldn’t imagine being alive?

    I imagine that she is dying as I am typing this, being that she is old and probably physically inactive. How much I desired to be close to her, to be LOVED by her, to take care of her, to be taken care by her, a desire never to be fulfilled. A voice in me is saying: maybe now she will love me…  I see myself as a little girl running to her, short black hair, slender little girl body, running to her: here I am! Here I am, mother, LOVE ME!

    Never to happen. How do I know? I know because a woman who had no heart for a little girl running to her will have no love for a middle aged woman running.

    The little girl running is the little boy running, isn’t it? Running: here I am, mother, LOVE ME!

    “How to FEEL love?Feeling loved is such an abstract concept to me, that I’m not sure how to go about feeling it“-

    – Little girl running, little boy running, meeting mid-run, middle-aged girl saying to 30+ year old boy: stop running toward her, there is no love there. Turn your face/ your eyes- elsewhere and touch love: where it is, it’s always concrete. Where love exists, it’s always in the concrete form.

    The above are thoughts in a dusky Monday afternoon. No sign of the sun.. and yet, the sun will be back, maybe tomorrow.. the wonders of life!

    anita

     

     

     

    #426350
    anita
    Participant

    M e R R y   C h R i S t M a S,     noname!

    anita

    #426823
    noname
    Participant

    Thank you Anita for your Replies, I hope you had a good holiday.

    I’m sorry i take so long to reply here, my life feels like it moves way too fast for me to keep up most days.

    Lately i go through periods of doing well and feeling good about myself, back to anxiety and shame. I will probably break up with my gf of 1.5 years today. I have had 2 anger outburst towards her in the past month. This morning she was making rice for her lunch, and told me to watch it while she showered. If i didnt take it off the heat it was going to burn. When she left the bathroom i entered. She went to the kitchen and noticed the rice wasn’t cooked to her liking and came to the bathroom door to ask me what happened. As i started to explain she cut me off (big trigger for me, its what triggers most of my outburst with her, not feeling heard) and i yelled “fuck” to myself in the bathroom, I wanted to throw something but i did not. i went to the basement after and we didnt say anything else to eachother for the rest of the morning and she left for work. The last outburst i had with her while we were driving home for xmas was because i felt ashamed when i couldnt figure out how to get the hi-beams in her car work right. She just kept going on about how i dont listen right and i screamed while driving the car. I’ve probably had about 4-5 of these type outburst with her in the past 2 years. Something about the way she communicates with me triggers me heavily. I think i need to break up with her as it’s not getting better, and i feel far to anxious about housing, work, and transportation to be fully present with her.

    I am worried that i may never be able to maintain a healthy relationship with a woman in my life. I seem to be highly sensitive to criticism, and relationships seem to be full of criticism for me.

    I dont think i mentioned it, but i had a panic attack during a therapy session a few weeks ago. My anxiety has never been this bad before, Im used to being depressed not carrying this much anxiety. I’m struggling to save any money on my therapist salary, i will likely have to move in with my sister for 6mo-1yr this summer until i can afford to buy a home. I feel like such a failure right now. I did sign up for a marathon in april to try to get myself motivated to take care of myself again, which has been helpful as i’ve been running more the past few weeks despite the cold weather.

    Im worried about myself, I feel wound up all the time. Being a therapist has been difficult for me lately as i feel so emotionally drained and have a hard time being present with others.

    I need a break badly, a real break, not a few days off work.

    please tell me it gets better

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