February 2, 2019 at 1:43 pm #278279
Thank you Anita, you always seem to help me settle my mind even if for the moment. I am trying not to be alarmed but it seems to be so frequent lately. The up and downs are draining. I am trying to figure them out and write them down so I can find a trigger or something. I had such hopes the other day we spoke and now no where to be found. That is so scary. How I can achieve this task of life this way? Surely everyone isn’t going through this or at least doesn’t seem like it. Right now my guess is that life is settling in, My mom past, my relationship failed and I found out I have being practically bamboozled most of my life by people who I thought loved me. I’d call this to say the least traumatic? I know I have PTSD and see a therapist through face time as much as financially possible. I have learned I have severe codependency traits so am working on boundaries and loving myself. This has been so difficult especially here in Chicago where all of my family resides and know me as being a certain way and now I am trying to be anything but that. But is that the right thing? Sometimes my mind tells me “just give in and be codependent it will feel better” my mind tells me to contact my ex and get that love back in your life. So many hard things happening to me. No wonder I have anxiety. My biggest fear right now is getting into a deep depression. So I try to stay on my toes but it is exhausting. I have yet to feel comfortable anywhere since being back here. I was used to my own place and space with my boyfriend and I was used to Florida. I haven’t even watched TV. It’s been 6 months. I am either bathing, reading about narcissism and codependency and looking at real estate trying to figure out what to do with myself. I really do not know what my next step is. Part of me is saying get away from my family and be alone for some time, and when I am in a better mood I think staying in Chicago is best because what will happen when I am all alone and have no one? Will I become isolated an depressed? I definitely catastrophize and have tried in every way to stop today. It is such an ugly feeling.February 2, 2019 at 1:57 pm #278285
I read just a bit of your recent post because I need to get away from the computer in a few moments. I will be back in about sixteen hours to thoroughly read your recent post, and anything you would like to add to it and will reply to you when I am back.
anitaFebruary 3, 2019 at 6:39 am #278335
Thank you Anita, Looking forward to hearing from you.February 3, 2019 at 6:50 am #278337
“I had such hopes the other day we spoke and now no where to be found”- fear deactivates hope, make it gone, for a while, moments or days, maybe months, maybe longer. Fear is a very unpleasant, very distressing feeling and it is draining, so when afraid, the brain desperately looks for solutions to what is bothering us so to calm that fear, to get rid of it and experience a relief from the torture of feeling fear.
What solutions does your brain come up with, let’s see:
1. “to contact my ex and get that love back”
2. “get away from my family and be alone for some time”
3. “staying in Chicago is best because what will happen when I am all alone and have no one?”
Let’s look at these proposed solutions: #1 is not a good solution because even though you had comfortable moments there and you have so little comfort now, if you go back there, you cannot recreate those past comfortable moments and extend them because you know too much now.
#3 is not a good solution because, again, although you had comfortable moments with your family in the past-
– “I have yet to feel comfortable anywhere since being back here”
– “I have been practically bamboozled most of my life by people I thought loved me”, which includes your family members, causing you PTSD
– “all of my family resides and know me as being a certain way and now trying to be anything but that”, which means being around your family makes you changing what you need to change about yourself very difficult, maybe impossible.
“But what is the right thing?”, you asked. My answer: move away from Chicago, away from all your family members, but not to your ex boyfriend in Florida, away from him too.
Fear is going to stay in your mind and life, it is not going anywhere. No solution will make it go away. The thought that there is a solution that will make fear go away is a delusion that motivates you to consider any possible solution and accepting it with the hope that fear will go away, an impossibility.
Key for you, for me, for any person, really, is to find a way to live with fear, to calm it down throughout our waking hours by exercising, guided meditations, yoga… calming music and so forth and to not panic, that is, to accept and expect this very unpleasant, very uncomfortable, very distressing experience of fear.
Because we have no choice. We don’t have the choice of living without fear.
It is difficult for you and will continue to be. Question is, will you do today what will help you be in a better place (feeling calmer regularly) in a year from now, or will you do what will take you to a worse place in a year from now?
February 3, 2019 at 7:05 am #278341
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
Hi, Anita. I agree with you about going away, but do you think the loneliness will create a deeper depression? Last night was so terrible for me. I would have to say it was the worst depression I have been in for a while. I am trying to get through the day today but feel so drained from this anxiety and fear that I know I must live with but it is so relentless lately. I now know that moving with my aunt was a terrible decision. I hate it now. I just want to be alone but am so afraid of that as well. I don’t know if moving to another state is possible in the short term so until then what should I do? Get an apartment here? Go back to my brothers place? I am so confused and in so much pain. It hurts. And I just want it to go away. Do you think I need medication for anxiety and depression? I have been resisting going that route but at this point I am scared.February 3, 2019 at 7:36 am #278345
Maybe it is time for psychiatric medication, specifically an SSRI is what is commonly prescribed still, as far as I know. When fear paralyzes us and we need to make changes, better take a prescribed drug, feel less fear, more confidence, make the changes, and then, when life is less demanding, get off the drugs.
We get depressed when we’ve been afraid/ anxious for too long. The brain and body are exhausted and kind of.. shut life down, close the curtains on life so that fear is minimized.
anitaFebruary 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm #278819
I have appointment on Thursday to see a General Practitioner. I’m hoping she can help guide on which way to go with medication. I am very scared of this but know I have to do this for myself. Today I woke in constant self doubt and hard to love myself at the moment. Is there anything specific you do in times like these? I have been able to at least get by by telling myself I love myself, to forgive myself and being kind to myself. But doesn’t seem to be working well today. I am going to continue on as hard as it may be. I had the same problem yesterday but was able to take my time and feel better. I had my brother and niece over for lunch. It was such a nice time and I felt some relief. But right before they left my aunt showed up and immediately my anxiety came back and the mood was lowered. I can tell my brother felt the same way. Is it possible she has a negative energy? This has happened to me a few times where I felt as though I was feeling good and as soon as I was around her my mood went down. But when I am down she sometimes helps to bring it up? I am having some trouble accepting I made the wrong decision to come here and having a hard time forgiving that because I was doing so well and lately my energy is so bad what if I don’t get it back?February 6, 2019 at 9:28 am #278985
Your aunt’s company is harmful to you. I wish it wasn’t so, you wish it wasn’t so, but it is.
“But when I am down she sometimes helps to bring it up?”- when we are low enough down, when we are very desperate, anyone can bring us up, anyone will do. It is similar to this: when a person is starving, she will eat anything at all, even food that causes her to feel sick later. For the moment, any food will do.
The fear, the ongoing fear, it is better if you are able to manage it without prescribed drugs aka medication but if overwhelmed, got to do what you have to do.
These are ways to manage that anxiety, to lower it, regulate it: aerobic exercise, such as a fast walk every day for at least 20 minutes, maybe twice a day when and as needed, other aerobic exercise such as swimming, other exercise (all exercise mindfully, so not to overdo it), hot baths, hot tubs, saunas, hot herbal tea, music, some movies, light socializing with strangers/ people you don’t dislike, support groups you attend in person, taking notes about your feelings/ journaling, mindful yoga or tai chi (slow motion martial art form), reading. This is all that comes to my mind at the moment.
anitaFebruary 7, 2019 at 5:20 pm #279257
I am wondering how you are feeling and what is happening, I hope you are doing well.
anitaFebruary 12, 2019 at 10:35 am #279903
Hi Anita, I went to the Doctor and was prescribed Zoloft. I have yet to start it because I am nervous to be on medication. On Thursday when I went to the Doctor I had a sense of calm so I decided I would again try to sooth myself and decide later on if I will take these pills. For the last 5 days I have been pretty calm but still not feeling great. It is weird that I haven’t experienced much anxiety but still feel depressed and unhappy. Am really unsure what to do. I sometimes feel like I am sinking in to who I used to be. Someone unhappy and full of self doubt. I continue to maintain my boundaries but it is difficult. My aunt hasn’t bothered me much these last few days, not sure if it is that I have been kind of numb or because I have accepted I am here with her at this moment. I am very confused today I will say that. Yesterday I was completely numb. I felt like what is the point of life? I have another Aunt who is very sickly and was rushed to the ER for a serious situation and I still felt numb. I feel badly but have low empathy right now. It is a bad feeling. I feel through everything I have gone through I am becoming numb. Maybe my brain just wants a break. I am also leaving to Arizona to visit my brother. (yes the one who molested me as a child and the one whose wife I dislike intensely) So I am so very nervous about this. I wonder why I made the decision to go. I think I did because at the time my other brother convinced me it would be a good idea to get away from the cold and see my nephew which I agree with but am so afraid to be around people who have hurt me so much in the past.February 12, 2019 at 11:44 am #279917
I was prescribed Zoloft myself and took it for a long, long time before getting off it and all other psychiatric drugs more than five years ago.
Being numb really is the brain taking a break from distress, shutting down. So don’t worry about not feeling empathy at the time. Empathy gets shuts down in the brain’s effort to not be distressed, as in: I don’t care, so I don’t hurt.
I don’t understand the trip to Arizona. Is there a way that once there, if you feel badly around your brother and his wife, that you can get a room in maybe motel 6 or so? And for how long will you be there?
anitaFebruary 12, 2019 at 12:06 pm #279919
Hi Anita, thanks for the response. I have read the reviews on Zoloft and some are not so great so I am a little nervous to start. I know you probably couldn’t recommend anything but do you mind telling me your experience with pysch drugs?
That is what I thought. I have been a little numb and it is no wonder after such a long state of panic and anxiety. I feel as if my brain is overloaded. I have experienced pretty much every emotion possible in the last 6 months. I honestly would rather have anxiety than feeling numb.
I know, I don’t understand it either. I have been able to make some pretty hard decisions since being here and I think I caved at this one. But also was looking forward to a break from reality here. I won’t be going alone but with my other brother and his girlfriend but they are staying in a hotel. I didn’t get one as I am trying my hardest to save but if worse comes to worst I will have to. I am really hoping I can maintain boundaries and continue to put myself as a priority. I will be there from 2-13 to 2-18. 4 nights and 5 days!!! I am very nervous now that the day is coming.February 12, 2019 at 12:52 pm #279921
Regarding my experience with psych drugs, Feb 1996-Oct 2013: my initial complaint to the psychiatrist I saw in 1996 was my obsessive thinking/ OCD. He prescribed Zoloft for OCD, increased gradually to 400 mg per day, an unheard of high dosage that I was on for years, later reduced to still a high dose of 300 mg per day. Because of Zoloft stimulating affect I took Klonipin 4 mg per day, an anti anxiety/ tranquilizer, and anti psychotic, Seroquel was added to the mix as a mood stabilizer.
My initial experience with Zoloft was a quick relief-It felt like Zoloft was a pair of scissors that cut off my obsessive thinking again and again, all day long. I felt better but I did not function better. Looking back, my functioning in life got worse and worse, from 1996 throughout 2011 when I started my first quality psychotherapy.
Getting off these drugs did not feel good. I tried repeatedly and failed. The last time, the only successful time, took a year under the care of a different psychiatrist. The most difficult drug to get off was Klonipin, incredibly difficult and included panic attacks that I didn’t experience before that time.
To get off Zoloft I was prescribed a different SSRI for about a year, one less stimulating, milder, I think, a less known one, forgot the name at this point.
I am concerned about your trip to Arizona. I think the change in scenery and weather is a wonderful idea. I wonder if you can arrange it from this point, to stay elsewhere, away from family altogether, away from both brothers, make it a vacation for you alone. It will cost some money but it may very well be worth it. What is more worthy than your well being, after all. A modest accommodation somewhere in the quiet desert reads good to me!
anitaFebruary 13, 2019 at 6:43 am #279989
Good Morning, Anita. Thanks for the details. It seems to be very complicated when deciding to go on meds. And that is what I am worried about. I don’t want to be on so many and then have to deal with weaning off of them. It seems sometimes more complicated than being depressed in the first place. Or maybe I am just seeing the negative end of it.
I am concerned for this trip as well. As it has crept up I feel very nervous about it. I feel like calling it off honestly but I spent 450 on tickets that I do not wish to waste. What can I do to ensure this doesn’t become a disaster? I am thinking of getting a hotel for a night or two on my own especially depending on the vibe. I have been setting boundaries with my brother through the phone these last couple of months and I can tell that he has been thrown off. I let him know the other day that I want nothing but peace on my vacation. I hope he can respect my boundaries. But then again if he is a narcissist as I suspect than everything is on his terms.February 13, 2019 at 7:14 am #279993
You are welcome. If you do take psych drugs, it will be a slow process: the doctor will prescribe a small dosage of a drug, Zoloft, let’s say, then have you call him or visit after a week or two (and a third, fourth call/ visit to follow), ask how you are feeling, side effects and so on, then either keep you on the same dosage or increase the dosage or prescribe a different SSRI or add another drug.
After some time you are set with one or more drugs of certain dosages. Over time if you feel worse, the type of drugs and dosages will be reconsidered, this one lowered, that one increased, and so on. Getting off the drugs is always difficult, gradual, same process, lowering, checking after a week or two, sometimes taking yet a new drug as you take less and less of the existing ones.
Regarding the visit to AZ, will you tell me how the visit came about, how your brother in Michigan brought it up to you, what he said about it, and what communication you had with the brother in AZ since the molestation and recently?