April 1, 2022 at 3:41 pm #396691
Good to read back from you! You are welcome and congratulations for all your accomplishment in the last 10 days! Glad to read that you are feeling better than before!
“It sounds like I did a lot, but I still have a lot of free time where I feel overwhelmed with fear for my future… I feel a lot of fear to think to go back to my study and also about after graduating to apply for a job with my degree” – fear is primal, it’s a powerful force, I know it too well, I feel it today as I face my own life circumstances. But I am not going to let fear take over my day and the rest of my life. Every once in a while, I notice it, and I say to myself: oh, this is fear! When I call it by name (“fear”) it gets weaker.
“What I am planning is to build my resources again: hobbies and social circle. After that I will maybe see clearer what I will do with my study” – good planning, Sesha! I am proud of you, if I may say so!!!
anitaApril 2, 2022 at 8:33 am #396702
Thank you for your kind words.
I try my best to stop overthinking when I feel those fears. Usually I meditate or just try to get active. That help.
I hope that with time that suffocating feeling will weaken more. Sometimes even with good friends I can feel it internally. Then when I have to leave them those feeling come out. Then I feel really low.
SeshaApril 2, 2022 at 10:48 am #396706
You are welcome.
You wrote today, “Usually, I meditate or just try to get active. That help“, yesterday, you wrote: “Meditation helps, but probably I need to do it more often and regularly“- keep doing what helps, even when it helps only for a short while; temporary help is better than no help. Plus, building healthy habits by frequent and regular practice is helpful long-term!
You wrote today: “I hope that with time that suffocating feeling will weaken more. Sometimes even with good friends I can feel it internally. Then when I have to leave them those feeling come out. Then I feel really low” –
You mentioned that suffocating feeling in your original post: “Feelings of loneliness and worthlessness suffocate me… I lost my inner stable self” – I am thinking of your inner self as the part of you that has lungs and is able to breathe.
In your 4th post, you wrote regarding your parents figuratively pushing you: “It felt more like a constant pushing to reach high goals and ignore other needs in life like taking care of myself, socializing with people and other values in life than performance“, and later on page 2: “I was trimmed only to perform” – they pushed you away from your inner self and into the realm of performance… without your inner self joining you in the performance realm.
A definition of to push: “to exert force on (someone or something), typically with one’s hand, in order to move them away from oneself“,
Definition of to suffocate: “to die or cause to die from lack of air or inability to breathe, to feel or cause to feel trapped and oppressed“-
– your parents pushed you into a performance realm, away from your inner self who has the ability to breathe. There is air in the performance realm but with your lungs left behind, you can’t breathe it and you find yourself suffocated, trapped and oppressed.
“To see how others could jump let me question myself. The comparison with others makes me feel lonely and worthless” – the people who jump into the performance realm and flourish there, are able to do so because they can breathe; they have their lungs/ inner selves with them.
“It feels like I can never reach those high jumps like others did. I feel like I lost connection to society” – you can never reach those high jumps without your inner self joining you. The connection you lost is the connection to your inner self. Without this connection, no other connection is possible. For every connection to be made and maintained, you need to be able to breathe.
In your 4th post, you wrote: “Alone the emotions intensify but in such an unstable state I can’t seek comfort in others” – when one is separated from one’s inner self, one is mentally and emotionally unstable, feelings intensify. Stability and emotional regulation are possible only if one is connected to one’s inner self.
How does one feel and act when separated from one’s inner self? Answer: “filled with racing thoughts of self-blame, shame and worry… feelings of loneliness and worthlessness…anxious in everything… and with everyone… paranoid… tense and nervous around people… acted and talked weirdly and stressed… desperate for comfort… get very clingy… cry a lot… talk very negative about myself and others… get paralyzed… reject (possible solutions) and continue to whine“, etc.
You wrote on page 2: “I want to find a way to become free from my suffocating self” – it is not your inner self that is suffocating you; it is your separation from your inner self that is suffocating you.
“Everything has no meaning” when separated from one’s inner self.
“I am afraid to jump high, because I don’t trust my ability to jump high and survive. I am very anxious that I won’t have a safety net to catch me if I fall” – your inner self, separated, needs help to jump, it needs a connection to the rest of you.
On March 17, you wrote: “I really wish to feel that trusting connection one day… I am always somebody who strives to accomplish something. And to have nothing to work for drives me crazy” – a trusting connection to your inner self is what you need. Strive to make this connection and you will have something worthwhile to work for!
I hope you take your time reading and re-reading this post, calmly, patiently, taking your time doing so, reflecting, and once you do that, let’s talk about how to make this connection happen to an adequate, satisfactory extent!
anitaApril 3, 2022 at 4:55 am #396815
I agree with you. Temporary relief are better than no relief at all. For learning a new skill or improuveing something, constancy and patience is key longterm.
I also agree with your reflection about that suffocating feeling. All those feelings lead to the point of lacking the connection with my inner and stable self, which is also important to feel confident in myself. For sure the physical health is one of the most important base for feeling good. I would say with a more or less healthy habit with diet and sport I fullfill that aspect. Also to have some close friends to talk to or to meet up, help to feel accepted and to get new perspectives on life. But the tendency during the time I am alone, those suffocating feelings haunt me. I do try to distract myself with walks, playing the piano, watching movies/series ect. Unfortunately like sports I can’t distract forever from those uncomfortable thoughts.
SeshaApril 3, 2022 at 11:33 am #396825
“I would say with a more or less healthy habit with diet and sport… Also, to have some close friends to talk to or to meet up, help to feel accepted” – I agree.
“But the tendency during the time I am alone, those suffocating feelings haunt me. I do try to distract myself with walks, playing the piano, watching movies/series etc. Unfortunately, like sports I can’t distract forever from those uncomfortable thoughts” – these suffocating feelings are haunting you because they need your attention. They need you to attend to them, not to ignore them by distracting yourself.
Distracting oneself when distressed is healthy, but it is also healthy to attend to distressing feelings that are repeatedly and persistently calling for your attention. A combination of distraction from and attention to these suffocating feelings, at different times- is what is needed, I say.
Notice that you referred to your suffocating feelings as “those suffocating feelings”, putting a distance between you and those feelings over there. Bring these feelings to over here, close to you; they are very much part of your inner self, therefore, when you make friends with these feelings, you are also making friends with your inner self.
You use the term “my inner and stable self”. Thing is, your inner self is disturbed by these feelings, and so it is too often unstable. You want connection with your inner self only if and when it is stable?
If you attend to these feelings, make friends with them, express them authentically and respectfully, your inner self will gradually relax and become stable on an ongoing basis. when alone and when in the company of others.
What if next time you feel these feelings, relax best you can and let these feelings express themselves on paper, or on the computer screen… do you think it’s a good idea, maybe, something for you to try?
anitaApril 4, 2022 at 2:33 pm #396876
It makes sense to accept those “suffocating feelings” as part of my inner self. But every time they come out, they drain my energy, paralize me and make me a very uncomfortable person to be around. Especially in the morning when I wake up and in the afternoon when I get tired, those “suffocating feelings” are very present. That is the reason why I do have a tendency to want connection only with my “stable self”. It feels good to be calm and confident in my own skin no matter what happen outside of myself. Therefore those “suffocating feelings” are a barrier to me. It’s even more difficult if I have to interact with people, who I don’t feel comfortable with and I’m scared of their judgments.
I wrote down those “suffocating feelings” many times in my journal, but journaling does amplify those uncomfortable feelings and often makes me feel worse. When I talk openly with some friends I feel less alone, but it is just a temporary relief. I also tried t0 express my feelings by drawing. It sometimes helped. That is something I don’t do it regularly.
I don’t know how else I can accept those “suffocating feelings”.
SeshaApril 4, 2022 at 5:05 pm #396954
“Every time (the suffocating feelings) come out, they drain my energy, paralyze me and make me a very uncomfortable person to be around…. It feels good to be calm and confident in my own skin… Therefore those “suffocating feelings” are a barrier to me… I don’t know how else I can accept those “suffocating feelings”” – these suffocating feelings are very uncomfortable, they are causing you distress, they drain you, and they are the opposite of feeling calm, stable, comfortable, confident, energetic and refreshed. I am not suggesting that you start liking them, or that you stop disliking them. It is not possible to like (or to not dislike) discomfort, distress and pain.
By accepting them, I mean (1) Stop wishing that they will go away, this wishing in itself makes you feel worse,
(2) Don’t add bad on top of bad by panicking, catastrophizing, adding negative thoughts to the mix and making the experience worse for you, more distressing and more exhausting than it would be if you didn’t panic. It is similar to having a bad foot cramp: if you panic, you will feel worse and for longer. If you relax amidst the pain, the cramp will hurt but overall, you will not feel as bad, and not for as long, and when it’s over, you’d feel more confident because you endured it without panicking.
Let me know if my explanation is of any help, we can continue to talk about what accepting them means.
anitaApril 5, 2022 at 10:12 am #397034
(1) That is what I often do. Hoping that those suffocating feelings go away.
(2) I agree with you.
Your explanation make sense to me. I am open to listen to your suggestions of accepting those suffocating feelings.
SeshaApril 5, 2022 at 10:26 am #397035
To try to help you further, I ask: when you notice a suffocating feeling, what goes through your mind? Can you type away (without planning what you write), whatever thoughts go through your brain when you notice a suffocating feeling?
anitaApril 5, 2022 at 1:34 pm #397040
I will, but not today. I don’t want to dig those thoughts out at the moment. Maybe tomorrow when my energy level is ok again.April 5, 2022 at 2:14 pm #397042
I thought you won’t feel like doing this, of course. When you want to do this will be the time to do it. Try to keep yourself as calm as possible.
anitaApril 6, 2022 at 11:22 am #397162
I went looking for the nature of your “suffocating feelings“. (Synonyms of the verb to suffocate– to smother, to choke):
Wikipedia on Panic attacks states that these are sudden attacks of “intense fear and discomfort” lasting from a few seconds to hours, “shortness of breath and chest pain are the predominant symptoms…It is not unusual to experience only one or two symptoms at a time, such as vibrations in their legs, shortness of breath, or an intense wave of heat traveling up their bodies…
“Diagnosis: DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for a panic attack include a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort, in which four (or more) of the following symptoms developed abruptly and reached a peak within minutes: Palpitations, and/ or accelerated heart rate, Sweating, Trembling or shaking, Sensations of shortness of breath or being smothered, Feeling of choking, Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint, Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself), Fear of losing control or going insane, Sense of impending doom, Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations), Chills or hot flashes”.
merk manual. com: “Compared with those in adults, panic attacks in children and adolescents are often more dramatic in presentation (e.g., with screaming, weeping, and hyperventilation). This display can be alarming to parents and others…. over time, children begin to attribute them to certain situations and environments. Affected children then attempt to avoid those situations…. such as going to school, visiting the mall, or doing other typical activities… Prognosis is good with treatment. Without treatment, adolescents may drop out of school, withdraw from society, and become reclusive”.
These are your words: “feelings… suffocate me… My parents… feel overwhelmed every time when I get emotional, so they let me be. Many times, they just stand up and go because they can’t bear my emotions and my intense moaning. Now as an adult those intense moaning are not tolerable” –
– reads to me that you suffered from panic attacks ever since you were a child or an adolescent, and that the current expression of your panic attacks (being an adult in your mid-twenties), is the same expression as when you were a child or an adolescent (intense moaning as a child=> intense moaning as an adult).
Back to your words: “(My emotions) suffocate me…very intense… I didn’t know how to handle them neither do my parents. So they walked away and hoped that I calm down myself… Those intense emotions are scary and terrible for others too. So I have a tendency to avoid others” – you avoided others as a child=> you avoid others as an adult. Your parents didn’t know how to handle your panic attacks as a child, and they still don’t.
“When I am feeling those intense emotions, I am desperate for comfort. I think I get very clingy and vulnerable. I want that people don’t leave me alone with those intense emotions. I want support… I feel like I am acting like a child and that is not tolerable in the society. As an adult it is desperate and very irritating… When I am overwhelmed with those intense emotions I cry a lot and I talk very negative about myself and others. I get paralyzed and every suggested possible solutions I reject and continue to whine. Then I repeat those negative things again and again… My whining is unbearable and unhealthy. Even my therapist felt uncomfortable with my whining. It’s just too much..” –
– again, seems to me that your panic attacks as an adults express themselves similar to when you were a child: intense moaning, whining, crying a lot. As an adult, you act like a child who is experiencing a panic attack.
“I want to find a way to become free from my suffocating self… free from my suffocating emotions… . those ‘suffocating feelings’.. every time they come out, they drain my energy, paralyze me and make me a very uncomfortable person to be around. Especially in the morning when I wake up and in the afternoon when I get tired, those ‘suffocating feelings’ are very present” –
– panic attacks are draining and paralyzing…. and they happen to you more often in the mornings, when you wake up, and in the afternoons?
* There’s a lot under “Treatment” in the websites I mentioned; there are also books and workbooks for children and for adults, in regard to treating and managing panic attacks.
anitaApril 6, 2022 at 1:35 pm #397167
I tried to type away some thoughts. I am conscious that my written thoughts are not true and I do often contradict them internally.
When those suffocating feelings appear I can feel how my head feels tense almost like a headache. The outside world weighs so heavy on my shoulder. I can’t think clearly. Everything and everyone don’t matter to me anymore. Nothing has meaning. My friends and family just are sometimes nice to me because I have something to offer that interest them. If I wouldn’t be open and positive they will let me down. In time of crisis everyone would let me down anyway. I am the only person who I can rely on no matter what. I am my own most trusting ally but on the same time I am my worst enemy. Feeling that heaviness remembers me that I am worthless and unloved if I don’t have to offer something to the world. If I have no knowledge, I am not good in my performance, I don’t have soft skills or don’t have skills that are useful, I am a nothing. I used to be good in sports, piano and school. I used to work so hard and gave my whole time in my performance. During that time I was a loner and I still am. The difference is that I was constantly surrounded by people and I was constantly on the move so that I don’t have that much time to think or rest. Now suddenly I have so much time in my hand and don’t do anything worthy of my time. Weeks passed and I don’t feel like I am doing anything useful for me or others. I feel I’m wasting my life away. I can feel how scared and paralized I am while having those suffocating feelings. I feel like I don’t have any joy and energy to do anything. I don’t feel like I want to get up and face the world, but I do it anyway. It is my habits and routine that keep me moving. If there won’t be sport and some nice conversations with people, I would sink in a negative hole full of nasty thoughts about me and the world. It is tiring to spiral around the past and the regrets I have in my life choices. I know that the past can’t be changed so are the people. The only thing I can do is to move on and to learn from my past to make better choices for my own future. I know that I am responsible for my life, but I feel pressured and paralized on the same time. I can’t get myself together to do something about my current life even if I have the possibility to travel, taking classes or to take driving lessons to fill my time wisely. It drives me crazy that I have so many ideas and wishes that I could fullfill but I just shift it back and forth in my head. I am scared of the risks that come in my way if I decide to dedicate to invest my time and energy in those projects. Now I am here and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what gives me that thrives and courage to live a life that is meaningful.
Thank you for your time to analyse my suffocating feeling. I heard about panic attacks, but I am not sure if that really is in my case.
SeshaApril 6, 2022 at 4:12 pm #397183
Dear Sesha: I will read and reply to you Thurs morning, which is in a bout 14 hours from now.
anitaApril 7, 2022 at 1:38 pm #397220
“When those suffocating feelings appear, I can feel how my head feels tense almost like a headache… I can’t think clearly. Everything and everyone don’t matter to me anymore… In time of crisis everyone would let me down anyway. I am the only person who I can rely on no matter what… I can feel how scared and paralyzed I am while having those suffocating feelings. I feel like I don’t have any joy and energy to do anything” – reads like a combination of anxiety (ongoing fear), anger and depression.
“Thank you for your time to analyze my suffocating feeling. I heard about panic attacks, but I am not sure if that really is in my case” – you are welcome. You say that you are not sure that panic attacks are what you are suffering based on what you read in my yesterday’s post or elsewhere?
Did you read and consider what I wrote in my last post, about panic attacks (which are all about fear/ anxiety), and … what about what I wrote fails to fit with what you have been experiencing?