July 19, 2021 at 5:34 pm #383109
So what would you say are your disabilities? What aspects of every day life are hard for you? Are they learning disabilities or trauma based or both? Do you have anxiety or depression?
What does a typical day look like for you?
How often do you interact with your mother and father?
Lastly, what art do you do or are trying to do professionally?
What are things you like to do?
I’m asking to get a feel of your obstacles AND opportunities.
I’m so proud of you for all the work you’ve done on yourself. I wasn’t a psychology major, but I’ve learned a lot from researching and writing self help. Maybe it’s pulling you to help someone else. Someone like you.
You’re reaching your inner child. She is shining a light on the progress you have made. All you have to do is invest in self care.
I’ve become my own best friend. Like I said before, I’m living at home with my mom too and am on disability. I have no one really to turn to as a support system like friends or family for deep stuff. It’s lacking in my life too. But I do things that I like each day. I do stuff I enjoy. I live MINDFULLY. I took myself to Barnes and Nobles the other day, wrote a letter to my inner child then cried in the bathroom. I came out and read some self help books and felt relief. I had no one to share this moment with but I knew that I was developing a sense of self out of the madness. I was becoming more authentic and real with who I am and what I strive for, BECAUSE I know what it’s like to be without love or support. I am alone but not lonely now. Solitude has become my friend.
So something crazy happened to me recently. You know the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne? I emailed her team a sad email like “Why is there suffering in this world?” Well I got a personal response from Rhonda herself. A tease from the universe I guess. I have bipolar and she said her daughter has a mental illness too. She gave some encouraging words and I got to tell her my views on life and God. So…you never know who you’re going to meet!
I also was at a beach this weekend experiencing great grief for an ex. I was like “This is so overwhelming. How do I live without this person?” I got insights from that moment that I was able to put into an email once I received Rhonda’s when I got home that day. It was in synch in a way- my thoughts from the day at the beach and the opportunity to reply to an email from her personally.
Here’s what I thought of that day- I am not the only one who feels this way. Everyone is struggling in someone. We are all linked, all connected by our human experience of suffering.
Those people who hurt you did not get the best of you. They did not take away your beauty as a person or your potential. They may have made things harder, but you’ll find they affect you less as you walk this life with self-worth and dignity.
I do believe it is possible for you to get out of this situation. I do believe that life has more to offer you.
Your mom doesn’t know what she’s missing out on. She’s missing out on the most mature, honest, heartfelt, introspective and wise daughter…YOU. You are these things and more! She is missing out on a real best friend in you, not the forced emotional support you have to give her. She is missing out on those little moments where she gets to see you smile or laugh at things you love. She is missing it all. And that is her loss.
I know she’s in therapy but narcissists can manipulate therapists pretty easily. But it’s good she’s going at all. If you could write an unsent letter to your mom and dad, what would it say? Maybe make that your project this week. (You can share it here if you want to but don’t have to.)
Keep therapy searching. It’s taken five years for me to find someone who gives good feedback. so I guess it’s hard out there. Try it anyway. I got some good meditations from a therapist. one is a containment exercise where you put your negative thoughts and feelings in a container of your choice, imagining all its details then seal it away somewhere to deal with later or not at all. You can also adapt this into a “worry schedule” where you come back to your worries later. I discovered this on my own thinking “I’ll take a vacation from my thoughts. They’ll be here when I get back.” WELL it was worry scheduling and I didn’t know that term until I became a self help writer. Another is to go to your happy place in your mind and visualize it as deeply as you can.
Here is an inner child meditation a therapist once sent me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2OfD00e6Tk
You can search for more on youtube.
I love your openness to receiving advice and how responsive you are. I mean you are ON IT. For someone who is feeling held back in life, you have such a strong will. This tells me you are ready to heal. You are ready for life to change. You are ready for life to change you.
It’s beautiful that you’re chasing your dreams. We can’t know where that will lead us but it’s a very brave step. I’m proud of you.
You deserve love. A love that is warm and enveloping and open and honest. You deserve someone to uplift you and tell you how wonderful you are. You deserve friendships you can share your deepest hopes and dreams and fears without shame. You deserve a mom and dad who save you, not scorn you. You deserve it.
We all do. But often, life is unfair. So hold onto the goodness. Hold onto those moments that take your breath away. Look at the stars at night and see how small you are compared to the vastness of the universe but also that you are a part of it all. How splendid. Ask yourself, “What am I here for? What is my purpose?” It’s not what you do but who you are that matters. It’s not if you have a conventional life but a life of conviction. Can you live such a life? A life that you choose?
Because I see great things for you. You just have to keep holding on.
I’m going to reread Man’s Search for Meaning too. 🙂
SarahJuly 20, 2021 at 2:48 pm #383151
“So what would you say are your disabilities? What aspects of every day life are hard for you? Are they learning disabilities or trauma based or both? Do you have anxiety or depression?”
I have anxiety being out in a crowded space, interacting with strangers. Simple things as going to see the doctor, or go to groceries are taking so much energy out of me I tend to avoid them. I am also scared of phone calls, especially when they are formal and administrative. I freeze and my brain has a hard time functioning well in presence of a perceived authority.
I also feel anxiety when my friends are asking me to hang out. The kind that makes me apprehend before, be on edge when I’m out and need time to recover after I went out. I always felt like refusing/avoiding going out with my friends, but I learnt to say yes anyway since they are not bad people. If I said no every time I had anxiety at the idea of going out, I would probably never be out at all. So I am able to go despite that, it is just very difficult, and the perspective of that being my daily life again, while I know I was able to do it when going to school, doesn’t make me want to go on with life.
When I am at home, I don’t feel anxiety, unless it is triggered by my mother or a visitor. The latter isn’t a common occurrence, as we have a tacit rule of not inviting people home. I can be a bit jumpy though, at home or outside, sometimes I am just tense and my body reacts like I’m being attacked for no logical reason, even when I know I am safe. I noticed it as something unusual as I was at college, I felt silly to be so jumpy around people and a place I had no reason to be. I don’t remember if I was always like that but never noticed before.
I don’t think I have specific learning disabilities, as my school grade were mostly correct, but I have focus issues due to my anxiety. I have a hard time listening and gathering information when a stranger is giving them to me, or be able to process/react accordingly. It makes me slow, and more anxious. I had unprecise negative feedback about my efficiency when I tried doing temporary work at a factory, so I probably didn’t fit well because of that. Honestly, I can’t even consider jobs that require actual social interactions with customers AND coworkers. Coworkers are already too much of a worry for me.
For my seemingly depressive phases, they come in phases, during those my energy jar is lower, I feel like sleeping/resting despite having just woken up in the morning. I have a harder time gathering motivation for my usual chores and work. Though, phase or not, I usually have a hard time taking care of myself and my environment. More often than not it is a struggle to achieve all my daily chores without feeling like giving up halfway. I keep trying, but I feel bad when struggling with those. My low energy/motivation seems like laziness, yet I know I’m putting more effort I was able to years ago and I had made progress. It just doesn’t seem enough.
“What does a typical day look like for you?”
I woke up early, usually before the rest of my family (except my mother sometimes), and I eat my breakfast peacefully. It is an important ritual for me, I like a quiet peaceful morning. Sometimes my mother will join me, thankfully she’s usually in a good mood during the morning and wants a positive interaction with me. I give it to her, as I don’t mind her when she’s not awful. Most of the time, though, I’m alone and I like that.
After that, I try to work, unless I am in a bad mood or end up distracted. I like working in the morning when I have a full day ahead. If I have a successful work session it gives me energy and a good mood for the day. If not, I know I can still try again in the afternoon. I usually stop working because I have to make lunch. I try to do other chores as I go around lunchtime but I am only able to do so when someone isn’t distracting me around. It is more difficult to work on chores when my family is around being noisy.
The work of the afternoon is a bit depending on my energy level, if I can’t go at it I well rest before I work, if I can I’ll try working until I’m tired/interrupted. After that, I just relax and see if I feel like working more after.
That being said, when I am in a depressed phase my work time isn’t that clear, I procrastinate and I can be grateful for managing to get chores done.
I don’t do weekends and vacations. I struggle with those kinds of schedule. Because when I’m able to be on a motivated/productive phase I feel frustrated to stop and focus on something else. I can be very obsessive when I am in a good work dynamic. And when I don’t manage to be productive I am frustrated with that and want to keep trying until it works.
“How often do you interact with your mother and father?”
I only interact with my mother for practical stuff, except when she wants to talk to me personally, but those talks aren’t a daily thing. My father died when I was 14, I don’t miss him. I interact more with my siblings than my mother.
“Lastly, what art do you do or are trying to do professionally?”
At the moment, I am trying myself at scriptwriting. And possibly hoping to get also some money done as a freelance illustrator. I am intending to try myself at making a webcomic after I finished writing my current project. Or, if I find out this medium doesn’t fit I can still go back to more traditional writing as I used to do when I was younger.
I have several strings to my bow, and I am flexible with my possibilities. I just know that :
– I need to tell stories (this is where I find the most meaning and entertainment, stories are everything to me)
– I kind of need drawing/painting (for a relaxing purpose more than something else, it is less fulfilling than writing but it’s part of my meditation and I’m skilled enough to do something out of it)
“What are things you like to do?”
I like to read/watch stories, to listen to podcast/interviews/videos as I draw (listening to something helps me to stay focus longer, and I like being educated and listeneing to people). I feel alive when I’m staying stimulated and challenged, like creating and solving problems. So when I need something I enjoy figuring out how to do it myself. Like sewing, web programming…
Whether it’s for practical sake or just for the curiosity/challenge. Present me a new craft/art form and I’m like a kid in a candy store. Now I know what I want to do though, I’m trying to stay focus on my current project. Trying to keep myself reasonable, disciplined and everything.
“I’ve become my own best friend. […] I have no one really to turn to as a support system like friends or family for deep stuff. It’s lacking in my life too. But I do things that I like each day. I do stuff I enjoy. I live MINDFULLY. I took myself to Barnes and Nobles the other day, wrote a letter to my inner child then cried in the bathroom. I came out and read some self help books and felt relief. I had no one to share this moment with but I knew that I was developing a sense of self out of the madness. I was becoming more authentic and real with who I am and what I strive for, BECAUSE I know what it’s like to be without love or support. I am alone but not lonely now. Solitude has become my friend.”
I am glad you found your way to turn solitude and yourself into your friends. It sounds like such a relief. You have come a long way. It is nice. Our own company is enjoyable when we’re treating ourselves as a person, and when we’re taking care of ourselves, doing what we’re meant to be.
I think the thing that keeps alive the loneliness for me, is that I wish I was able to share my happiness with people. When I am alone, I more likely to be relaxed and happy. When I am with people, I am more likely to be cautious and sad, or anhedonic. It is unfortunate, because I see people enjoying themselves with other people, making them happy, and I wish I was able to make people happy too.
“So something crazy happened to me recently. You know the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne? I emailed her team a sad email like “Why is there suffering in this world?” Well I got a personal response from Rhonda herself. […] I have bipolar and she said her daughter has a mental illness too. She gave some encouraging words and I got to tell her my views on life and God. So…you never know who you’re going to meet! […] I got insights from that moment that I was able to put into an email once I received Rhonda’s when I got home that day. It was in synch in a way- my thoughts from the day at the beach and the opportunity to reply to an email from her personally.”
I didn’t know of this one, I’m adding it up to the pile. I am glad you were able to get a response and encouragement from her! The world is really surprising when we try to reach out. Sometimes, the universe can align so well, but it is also because you have given the universe the opportunity for it to reach you back. You took a step and were rewarded.
“Here’s what I thought of that day- I am not the only one who feels this way. Everyone is struggling in someone. We are all linked, all connected by our human experience of suffering.”
It makes sense, suffering is everywhere. We are all challenged one way or another, life is full of hardship we can bond over when we share them. Though, from my experience, it feels sort of alienating when you have suffering experiences that aren’t shared and understood by people around you. Not everyone will have the same wounds, and communication can be difficult.
But we don’t have to belong with everyone to find people we can be connected to.
“I do believe it is possible for you to get out of this situation. I do believe that life has more to offer you.”
I do believe though, as you said, that life has more to offer to me. And that I have also more to offer to life.
“I know she’s in therapy but narcissists can manipulate therapists pretty easily. But it’s good she’s going at all. If you could write an unsent letter to your mom and dad, what would it say? Maybe make that your project this week. (You can share it here if you want to but don’t have to.)”
Yeah, I’m pretty sure her constant lying and masking don’t help her therapy. But, well, better than nothing.
I wouldn’t have much to say to them. I would say I am sorry their life hurt them badly enough that they rathered choosing an escape instead of healing. That I wished they had a better environment, in which they would have had access to better support, and built a better resilience.
I wish they didn’t have to hurt people to feel better. I would thank them for the moment they were good, for the love they gave us even if they also killed it. I wouldn’t forgive them for the way they hurt us, but I would say I am thankful I was able to learn from their mistakes. It didn’t go to waste. I would promise them I will not walk onto their path, and will try to be happy. I wonder what kind of people they would have been, if they had access to therapy and healing. But we will never know.
While I keep standing by the fact they hurt us and it shouldn’t be forgotten/brushed off, and I wanted them gone from my life if they stayed like that, I will still try to remember the few good things we shared. It is only fair, as they weren’t entirely bad. I’m not spending time resenting or missing them though, because I am too busy healing from the wounds they left on me for caring more than that.
“Keep therapy searching. It’s taken five years for me to find someone who gives good feedback. so I guess it’s hard out there. Try it anyway. I got some good meditations from a therapist. […]”
Thank you for the advice, it seems helpful to be able to ‘cast away’ the worries/negative feelings for later without actually burying them. It seems like a healthy way to not be invaded but without letting them untreated forever. Thank you also for the meditation, I will search more when I’ll feel in need of them.
“I love your openness to receiving advice and how responsive you are. I mean you are ON IT. For someone who is feeling held back in life, you have such a strong will. This tells me you are ready to heal. You are ready for life to change. You are ready for life to change you.”
Thank you. I am still trying, for now. I am still very held back, but I want to try to change. I am still overwhelmed by all that trying though. It seems to be taking a lot of my energy, and I am a bit worried about that. I might be doing it wrong.
“It’s beautiful that you’re chasing your dreams. We can’t know where that will lead us but it’s a very brave step. I’m proud of you.”
Thank you. No matter where that will lead us, I want to have tried to go for what feels good and right. If it doesn’t work, at least I will not have to drown under the thought I didn’t try everything that was in my power to not only survive but learn how to live. Surely I’ll be more resilient because of that, even if I fail, my self-esteem should get a bit better. I believe we always come out with a gain when we invest ourselves into something. It might not be what we aimed for, but new experiences shape us. And those we chose are even more meaningful.
“You deserve love. A love that is warm and enveloping and open and honest. You deserve someone to uplift you and tell you how wonderful you are. You deserve friendships you can share your deepest hopes and dreams and fears without shame. You deserve a mom and dad who save you, not scorn you. You deserve it. We all do”
Thanks. I am getting a warm feeling when I am reading this forum, I am glad this place exists. It is so strange yet so good. And I’m very grateful for the thoughtful, caring responses you provide. And I agree, we all deserve it. I wish there were more people thinking like this in this world, there would be less suffering and more soothing. But this is why we’re trying to heal, right? To be able to share love and good things with the people instead of repeating the negativity and the hurt we received.
“Ask yourself, “What am I here for? What is my purpose?” It’s not what you do but who you are that matters. It’s not if you have a conventional life but a life of conviction. Can you live such a life? A life that you choose?”
Since I came to the conclusion I could not live a life I didn’t choose and stay sane/good, hopefully I will be able to live a life I have chosen. Or will go down trying. We’ll see.
I will not pretend I know myself enough to be certain of what I am here for or what is my purpose. I am always discovering more as I am discovering life. So I will stay on the general statement I am here to pursue what is calling me and feels right for me, what makes me more resilient, and stronger to the unavoidable suffering life got coming for us. Maybe strong enough to bring some good into this world as I go, or at least to not add more suffering.
“I’m going to reread Man’s Search for Meaning too. “
Do not hesitate to share your thought on this book as you reread it then.
I wish you well,
LinarraJuly 20, 2021 at 8:39 pm #383156
Here is another facebook support group you can try: https://www.facebook.com/groups/578363766251188/
I’m sorry you have experienced such pain and turmoil. I have had generalized anxiety disorder then found it was related to trauma.
What sort of catastrophizing thoughts are you having during your anxious moments? Maybe start by recording your thoughts. Let me know how I can help. CBT might be helpful but it doesn’t work for everyone. CBT is cognitive behavioral therapy which I’m sure you’ve heard of. Challenge those negative thought patterns by first identifying them and naming your feelings.
Meaning- I know you are fearful of social situations but what about them is scary to you? Let’s break it down.
Same goes for your depression. What thoughts are you having at this time?
If you can pinpoint your thoughts which are influencing your feelings, then you’ll be able to uncover irrational thoughts hindering your wellbeing. Maybe spend a few days taking notes unless you can recall very clearly. There’s worry journaling where for 20 minutes you just write everything that you are worried about like a brain dump.
I have focus issues too due to stress and learning disability. I have ADD but it’s also trauma related. I’m figuring out how to navigate that myself. It sounds like things are just overwhelming to you and you’re having trouble functioning.
I think it’s time to ask for help. Professional help. You’re not in complete control. Try to find a therapist who specializes in trauma. That would help. Be upfront about your needs for feedback. I have to self advocate sometimes with mine but it works. And if you don’t like them, give them like a month and then switch. Use it to vent if anything like you are doing here. You need an outlet and sounds like you aren’t getting one in your social supports.
There’s also exposure therapy. Make small goals for yourself. Instead of jumping to attending parties or talking on the phone, see if you can go to a public place for an hour. Things like that. Come up with some doable goals but also don’t feel bad about yourself if you don’t make them happen. You don’t have to work like a machine.
If you ever want anyone to read your scripts, I can be a good coach or cheerleader (not an editor though lol). I don’t give out my email but my website is http://www.sarahjeannebrowne.com Click on contact page and submit an email that way to get my email address. I’ll reply and then you’ll have mine to send a script too. ONLY IF YOU WANT IM NOT TRYING TO BE WEIRD LOL
I’ll reread Man’s Search for Meaning and let me know your thoughts as you do too- either here or on email.
I’m proud of you once again. You are doing great things by taking small steps.
And your mom situation- well, when you figure out your anxiety and depression, that will get easier because you’ll know what you need to thrive. She’s not providing any emotional support so it’s hard when you feel defeated. You are doing better than you think. 🙂
Keep thinking about purpose. It’ll help you through the depression. I know it helps me.
July 23, 2021 at 4:30 am #383292
- This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Sarah Jeanne Browne.
Thank you for the facebook group.
“I’m sorry you have experienced such pain and turmoil. I have had generalized anxiety disorder then found it was related to trauma.”
Does the past tense mean you were able to recover? I can see how it can be related to trauma.
“What sort of catastrophizing thoughts are you having during your anxious moments? Maybe start by recording your thoughts. Let me know how I can help.”
I don’t know what my thoughts are, I think I get anxious before I am even able to form a thought. Or my anxiety distracts me from my own thinking, I am not sure. Most of the time, I have no one to talk to about my anxiety who won’t brush it off in an unhelpful way, so I don’t bother putting it into words. I think it’s a general fear that something will go wrong and that I will not be able to control the situation well, though.
“CBT might be helpful but it doesn’t work for everyone. CBT is cognitive behavioral therapy which I’m sure you’ve heard of. Challenge those negative thought patterns by first identifying them and naming your feelings.”
I heard of it indeed. I have been searching for this type of therapy at first but wasn’t able to find an accessible one, where I live there are more psychoanalysts. So my researches on this one weren’t very successful. Still can try to challenge the negative patterns by myself though.
“Meaning- I know you are fearful of social situations but what about them is scary to you? Let’s break it down.”
Sometimes, it’s because I don’t trust myself to know what behavior is expected of me and be able to behave well. Sometimes, it’s because I fear something unpredictable will happen, like having a stranger trying to small talk with me. Or a friend asking a question I am uncomfortable with. Or having to face choices, I hate choices.
When I don’t know the person enough it is impossible to be comfortable around them, there’s always unpredictability and I dislike and fear unpredictability.
“Same goes for your depression. What thoughts are you having at this time?”
It is a bit hard to differentiate the thoughts that trigger my depression from the thoughts that are caused by my depression honestly. But there are thoughts like “It’s never gonna change”, “Whatever efforts I make doesn’t change my situation significantly enough”, “Does it even worth it?”.
A big one, that I don’t seem able to fight, is my apathy for a lot of things. They are a big reason why I don’t go out to begin with. I am pretty much uninterested in the things happening outside. Anything costing me money is a big no to me. And the things that are free, well. I can live without it, I have my own way to be entertained alone, in my home. Making the efforts to do things outside and taking the risk of making a bad encounter doesn’t seem to be worth it.
I know it probably prevents me from good encounters, but I don’t believe much in good encounters in the place I live. Neither do I believe I would be able to make the best of it anyway. I am very suspicious of anything that seems good, I am expecting a catch hiding somewhere.
I only go out when I am forced to. Or when I am forcing myself in an effort of trying to do the ‘normal’ thing. I don’t enjoy myself, I just don’t question it and deal with it until it’s done.
The only reason I would want to be cured of this is to not feel ashamed from being a shut-in or to not feel anxiety from going out after months of not being out. Or to not feel like ‘not going out ever again’ could be a doable option for me. It’s just about not having to deal with the bad consequences of this, not because I feel like there’s something worthing it for me out there. I have no motivation for all this. I just to the efforts because I’m trying to be rational, but I’m afraid if I don’t cure this at some point I’ll be apathetic to the point rationality will not matter. Faking normality will not matter. Healthiness could not matter. It’s to avoid ending up to this point I make effort. But that’s really the only motivation there is. And it isn’t enough…
“There’s worry journaling where for 20 minutes you just write everything that you are worried about like a brain dump.”
I’ll recall this next time I am worried. Thank you.
“I have focus issues too due to stress and learning disability. I have ADD but it’s also trauma related. I’m figuring out how to navigate that myself. It sounds like things are just overwhelming to you and you’re having trouble functioning.”
Yeah they can be sometimes. I hope things will go well for you as you learn to navigate these focus issues. It isn’t easy.
“I think it’s time to ask for help. Professional help. You’re not in complete control. Try to find a therapist who specializes in trauma. That would help. Be upfront about your needs for feedback.”
I will try searching more. I hope I will find it. For sure this time I won’t forget to be upfront about my needs as I don’t have the patience to waste my time by being unclear.
“There’s also exposure therapy. Make small goals for yourself. Instead of jumping to attending parties or talking on the phone, see if you can go to a public place for an hour. Things like that. Come up with some doable goals but also don’t feel bad about yourself if you don’t make them happen. You don’t have to work like a machine.”
Yeah, I am trying that. I don’t say no when my friends want to go out in public places for that reason. I am able to do it. I don’t have panic attacks or anything. I am just numb. Just like I had always been most of the time when being out. I prove myself I can still force myself and do it once in a while. But it doesn’t make me want to do it more. Even the beautiful stuff outside doesn’t worth it that much.
I guess my issue is more that I don’t want to, rather than “I can’t”.
“If you ever want anyone to read your scripts, I can be a good coach or cheerleader (not an editor though lol).”
Thank you for your offer, it’s nice of you. English isn’t my native language though, and since my scripts aren’t in English I’m not going to take you on this offer, but thank you anyway. 🙂
“I’ll reread Man’s Search for Meaning and let me know your thoughts as you do too- either here or on email.”
Alright then. I listened to it further. He mentions the notion of ‘provisional existence’, which is a term I never heard before, yet it describes very well how I felt during most of my time while growing up. I had this uncertainty I would still be live until adulthood. Once I became an adult, I understood it would probably be better trying to live a good life until death finally came, as it could happen later than I thought, but imagining the future is still a hard one to get around. Especially since I still can’t assure my own survival yet.
“Keep thinking about purpose. It’ll help you through the depression. I know it helps me.”
I’ll be trying. Sorry for the later reply than usual. I got a bit stuck figuring out the thought I had during anxiety and depression.
I hope you’re doing well,
July 23, 2021 at 9:50 am #383308
- This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Linarra.
I understand anxiety and depression. Lately, I’ve been waking up in the morning cringing over past manic self versus now stable self (I have bipolar). I was on a rollercoster and now I’m able to focus. It’s just hard because I wasn’t fully in control all my life and some of the choices I made impulsively. So I feel like that has impacted my self worth. My mental illness was kept contained just enough that it didn’t totally ruin my life. I had a breakdown in 2015 and went on disability then.
I went from having a lot of friends and things to do to being scared of everything. Everytime my dog barked at something outside, I thought it was crisis department coming to take me to the hospital again. I was so traumatized not just by traumatic experiences in my life but the experience of being mentally ill and its consequences as well. I realized who my friends were and that they were few.
I didn’t lose interest in doing things, as you have described. But I was scared of everything. I’m doing exposure therapy with myself now with driving and being out of the house. I try to get out of the house as much as I can. I like walking outside. I’m an introverted extrovert- I can be social but I’m also very independent. I’m very independent though disabled. My living situation isn’t ideal either so that does make it harder.
I’m working through similar feelings so you aren’t alone. I don’t have an answer as to how to manage your anxiety or depression. I think that a therapist is going to really be able to help you. But the fact that you were able to analyze it at all is huge. That means you can uncover what is really going on.
So…all those thoughts you told me you are having making you anxious or depressed, it’s time to challenge them. Write down the opposite of what your negative thoughts are telling you. For example, “The worst thing will happen if I go out.” Now write “Even if things go wrong, I will be okay.” Stuff like that. This is how to train your brain to go from negative to positive, all what CBT is about.
If you can do this for next time, that would be a powerful step towards healing. Even if you don’t believe the positive things, getting the words down is important.
Go to that facebook group I just sent you (the last one), ask to join and put some of these thoughts you shared with me in the group. See if anyone has any other advice.
Also you don’t have to want to go out all the time or be super social to be happy. It’s perfectly fine to live how you want to live. But if it’s FEAR holding you back rather than simple disinterest then that is something to be worked with.
I have yet to start rereading Man’s Search for Meaning. I’m excited to though. I reference it a lot in my writing.
And that’s fine about the scripts! What is your first language?
SarahJuly 25, 2021 at 9:00 am #383422
Hi Sarah 🙂
I understand, it is very difficult to recover from not being in control. Mental illness is traumatizing in itself, for both the causes and the consequences. I send you a virtual hug. What happened to you when you weren’t in control doesn’t impact your worth as a person. You are a beautiful person, kind, intelligent and compassionate. What happens when we aren’t in control isn’t our true self (cringing over the past definitely shows it wasn’t you, it’s not what you were meant to be).
Our traumas and our disabilities aren’t our faults. We couldn’t prevent it. It is our responsibility to recover though. We might have been powerless when things happened to us, but now we can regain this power, and not let these events and conditions define our future. These obstacles are ours to overcome, but they aren’t making us less worthy.
When we look back at our difficulties and some of our past, and when we forgive ourselves for our imperfections, it allows us to become more understanding and compassionate towards others in similar situations. It is always good for people to see that, despite the hurting and the difficulties, one doesn’t have to go down and pursue the hurtful path their present/past came from. One can recover and try to be kind instead of repeating the hurting toward themselves and others. And by going for this recovery ourselves we might show a hopeful path exists and can be found. It is never easy, but it is worth it. And you can be proud of yourself for pursuing this. It makes me feel better to know people like you are out there.
I wish you good luck with your exposure therapy. I’m proud of you for all the effort you’ve been putting into your recovery. I’m sure it will work out well for you eventually. I am sorry your living situation isn’t ideal. Yet you seem to do your best to keep fighting for yourself and your future, so I believe all your good choices and efforts will lead you to a better place.
I started challenging my negative and fear-inducing thoughts through journaling. I find it helpful to reassure myself and try to convince myself that I can make it through despite my circumstances. Allowing hope while staying realistic is helping me to believe it.
I can believe there is a possibility of a better future for me. It is possible I learn to become more resilient and recover. I can’t picture it in detail as it is very far from my current reality, but I can see the seeds of it. And I can try watering it and be active in the process of healing.
After all, I was never able to imagine before where I would be now, and I used to be very pessimistic. And I was able to survive, find answers, find possible ways to become stronger, gain back a little bit of control and self-esteem compared to where I was years before. The wounds and consequences are still there and influencing my life, but they are other influences, more positive, that support me and help me progress a bit. So it is likely in a few years I will be further in my recovery. I don’t know how much. But I still have time. As long I keep trying to get better it’ll be alright.
“It’s perfectly fine to live how you want to live. But if it’s FEAR holding you back rather than simple disinterest then that is something to be worked with.”
I do think so too. Even if it can be hard to distinguish if the disinterest is caused by anxiety or depression from real disinterest. I mean, what is “me not enjoying something” and “me not being in the right mood to properly enjoy anything too challenging”? I can only tell from my limited knowledge and experience, and it is of course biased. I know things like that can and will probably change during the process of healing. I am bound to try things out of my comfort zone anyway, for exposure.
I don’t want to overwhelm myself by trying too much too early though. It could be counterproductive if forcing too much creates a negative experience and reinforces my discouraging beliefs only because I didn’t do it the right way. But I am trying to not be entirely resistant to the idea of change.
It’s quite confusing though, to not know what part of me is ‘me’ and what part of me is the consequence of wrong beliefs and unadapted coping mechanisms.
Anyway. To go back to Man’s Search for Meaning, I can see why you reference it so much. It is very interesting. I’m not far from finishing my reading of it. I can see how logotherapy can be effective as a way to become more resilient and face life’s difficulties. I do believe in the principle behind it, even if it seems like quite a challenging exercise to find meaning and keep it (or let it evolve/change/twist itself when necessary) during the turmoils of life. It is worth exploring.
“What is your first language?” I am french.
I wish you a good day,
LinarraJuly 25, 2021 at 5:42 pm #383435
Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate them a lot! I’m learning to forgive myself for being imperfect. I think we have similar struggles and are making our way out of similar things. I think it’s very brave of you to keep trying to heal and to find yourself and find answers. I’m proud of you for that.
I’ve read to page 61 of Man’s Search for Meaning. It is hard to think about, all that suffering. Logotherapy or meaning therapy is a very powerful tool. What do you think your meaning or purpose is? I’ve asked before but maybe you could elaborate, even tell me more of your dreams with your scripts. What is your ultimate aim?
When I was in high school going through a hard time, a thought that got me through it was “One day I’ll help someone else with this.” Well that thought led me here years later at the age of thirty to moderate Tiny Buddha’s forum as well as other things to help others.
But I have learned this- it is important- No, it’s crucial- you must be selfish too with your time on earth. I am writing a Young Adult Fiction novel where my character loses a friend to difficult circumstances (human trafficking is a theme). And she wants to dedicate her life to one day be an FBI person who fights for those causes. But she also wants to be a singer and she’s grappling between the two goals. One, for her friend. Two, just for herself. She’s afraid of being selfish. My goal is to show people there are always ways to help but the self must come first.
In your instances of life struggles, your self has been put last by abusers and even by yourself. You must forge an identity out of the struggles you are facing. Get to know yourself, your thoughts, your needs as you are doing now in this forum. It’s very important that you journal some thoughts challenging your negative ones. You can share them here too. I think that exercise will help you with what we all have- a negativity bias. A negativity bias is one where we see the negative more than the positive. It’s not to say you’re situation isn’t hard. But it’s also tunnel vision- that is all you’re seeing sometimes.
You didn’t have someone pour into you “Good job. I’m proud of you. You’re amazing. You’re worth it” all your life so you must be the one to do it now. Reparent yourself. It will be hard to change the self-talk in your head from negative to positive but self-compassion is key to changing your life.
Start with self-compassion. You came here to fix your problems, fix yourself. But maybe that’s not the ultimate goal. There will always be something of an obstacle in our way from finding true happiness even once we’ve found it. Try to love yourself, to grieve for the little girl who didn’t get love, to tell yourself words of kindness, to stop worrying about what you should be doing and how you should be acting or where you should be right now. Stop “shoulding” at all. 🙂
Meet yourself where you are- human. Imperfect but beautiful. Flawed and powerful. Bent but not broken.
You are enough as you are even if you don’t solve everything you came on here to solve. That will remain true. So don’t fret if you don’t have answers for the anxiety or depression right away. Replace your negative thoughts with ones shouting “I LOVE MYSELF” everyday. Try those meditations I told you about, join the facebook groups…there’s so much you can do. But at the end of the day, nothing can make you happy unless you learn to love yourself despite feeling like you’re a mess right now. You have to see the good in yourself. You have to build the “self” back up so you can be selfish in a healthy way.
Your mom might have ruined your mental health, but she did not take away your strong spirit. You have enough to get through this time. You don’t know what’s going to happen next. The uncertainty makes it worse. But you have one thing- a life that you can decide everyday. As Viktor Frankl says the last of human freedoms is the attitude you have. What will yours be?
SarahJuly 26, 2021 at 11:51 am #383475
The beginning of Man’s Search for Meaning definitely holds so much suffering. Survivors have so much to teach us.
I am not sure the meaning I find in writing stories has a single big aim. It has a lot of small different purposes. Overall, I just like the process of creating stories.
There’s just so much beauty in exploring human lives and their journey through fiction. Each character and their stories have their own essence. Through them, we’re sharing bits of our findings, of our exploration of life and our understanding of it. Just like you want to show people how important it is to be selfish through your novel.
I find stories to be a powerful means of communication. There are feelings and experiences I wouldn’t be able to communicate as clearly otherwise, not the way I can through storytelling.
I like writing about very flawed characters, I find them beautiful in their uniqueness. I like figuring out how they try to cope with their difficulties, and where they find their strength. I especially enjoy writing on the dynamics of human relationships, and how characters find their place in the world and build their identity.
My current project is about two characters and how they encounter each other in their healing journey (in a challenging and loving way, but with some hurtful phases too). It happens in the fairy tale world, between an old witch with poorly healed trauma who thinks she shouldn’t be loved, and a child who’s neglected and acting recklessly, desperately trying to prove she’s lovable despite the disapproval she receives from people around. And it’s basically the journey of these two stubborn girls who need to heal from both the rejection and the equally traumatizing bad choices they make due to these rejections.
“In your instances of life struggles, your self has been put last by abusers and even by yourself. You must forge an identity out of the struggles you are facing. Get to know yourself, your thoughts, your needs as you are doing now in this forum.”
This is very true. It is definitely a good thing to acknowledge and change. I am looking forward to getting to know myself more, it should be very helpful to become stronger, and to nurture more self-love and self-esteem.
I agree with what you said about the negativity bias and challenging it. It’s just too easy at times to see the glass half empty, and it really doesn’t help with the mood. I definitely will try to put more praise positive reinforcement as I do efforts. And see all the encouraging signs.
I agree with self-compassion too. Love and compassion shouldn’t be conditional. We can do our best without menacing ourselves with self-abuse/self-neglect, and we don’t have to lure ourselves into the idea we will be worthy only once we achieved something. That’s not how it works. We need our self-love and self-compassion at every stage of our lives, and every step of our journey. We aren’t as strong or as resilient when we’re deprived of those, nor when we nurture the worries and negativity. We are worthy of love, we have always been, since the beginning, entirely, including our imperfections.
It is relaxing to think we are lovable as we are, and the rest of the journey and the solving isn’t something that changes our self-worth. It is a nice message to tell ourselves.
I definitely agree with your idea of selfishness. It is important. For long, I thought selfishness was bad, that I had to dedicate myself to my family, be the person they needed me to be, and it brought me pain and inability to build my “self” properly.
When I let myself be a bit more selfish after I hit the rock bottom and couldn’t care less if it would make me a bad person, I surprisingly didn’t become worse. I started to heal. And I learned later selfishness wasn’t bad at all. Being selfless hurt me and made me powerless, even unable to accomplish what I thought I had to do at the time. Being selfish made me regain control, it gave me more strength and positivity. I still had a lot to face but at least I was stronger because I could have my own back a bit more.
Despite the uncertainty of the future, I will not give up on myself anymore. And, as you said, I still have to get to know myself better, and build my “self”, because there’s no way I can know my needs and love myself in the right way without that.
LinarraJuly 26, 2021 at 2:04 pm #383481
Yes it’s hard to read about all the suffering but it’s amazing that one man captured it so intellectually and then powerfully pleaded humanity’s compassion and resilience through finding meaning in their lives. I look to Viktor Frankl as a great example because mental illness can be torment as well. Sometimes physical torment (eating disorders, self harm etc). I think a lot of people give up because they are overcome by their mental health issues. As I said before, it creates a “tunnel vision” where you only see the negative.
Sometimes, you just have to give yourself PERMISSION to be happy. I discovered recently that I needed validation and a reason to be happy. This is backwards. You need to let yourself be happy. I think happiness is a thing we can choose as well.
What happened to me to have this realization- a friend of mine who passed away, well her favorite number was 222. I believe in signs sometimes so when I see 222 it’s like a little hello or nudge that I’m in the right direction. Anyways, I was feeling down and then my friend messaged me at exactly 2:22am (this and many other 222 signs happen to me a lot). I asked him if he did that on purpose because he knows what that means to me lol I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t realize he did that. Anyways, that 222 made me think “Oh. I can allow myself to be happy now. Everything’s going to be okay.”
I then turned on happiness like a switch, a power that I never knew I had.
What are some things holding you back from joy and happiness?
What if you just decided to let go and surrender?
Try a day of that Or if not, an hour. I’ll challenge you to try it. I was like “oh okay I am giving myself permission to be happy” and that literally changed my life. I never knew it could be that simple, that I am the one holding myself back.
What if you had a friend on the internet say a girl named Sarah who moderates the Tiny Buddha forum also tell YOU that “Everything’s going to be fine. You have permission to be happy.” (This person is me hint hint lol)
Would you believe it?
What if you just need to let it happen?
Your fears are valid. Your pain is valid. But so are the things that bring you joy.
Finding yourself is part of that. You said your “self” has been hidden and that being selfish is hard. Well happiness is a selfish endeavor and a worthwhile one at that!
I love what you write about. We have a lot in common with how we analyze character development and world building. I am excited for your projects and for you to find purpose in them. I explore a lot of wisdom in my writing so as to help others. But I am learning to be selfish now and find myself too.
We are all in this journey together. No one truly has it all figured out. Finding yourself is a lifelong process but you can grow to be your own best friend.
I believe in you and know you are on your way to figuring out what it all means, this life- to you that is. It means something different for everyone. I can’t give you a magical 222 sign from the universe, but I can say that you have what it takes so keep going. 🙂
SarahJuly 28, 2021 at 1:59 pm #383598
I think so too. Mental health issues are a powerful enemy when not having the right tools or the right support, and usually it’s by looking to those who overcome it you can find some tools and hope, enough to try and see for yourself.
I think it is true sometimes, autosuggestion/permission can do the trick. I tried and it didn’t work. Or it almost worked, it almost got me in a positive vibe but reality came back. And I couldn’t exactly overlook it. I could cope with it, which I did, but giving myself the permission of being happy didn’t apply there. I will keep the advice for my better days though. I am glad this realization was life-changing for you.
I have more difficulty letting myself live my unhappiness than my happiness anyway. When I feel bad, I have difficulty releasing my feeling in a way that makes me feel better. I don’t let myself cry or grief properly. I bury it and sometimes it’s ok, sometimes it isn’t. Yesterday was one of those days, and it led to insomnia. But thankfully I was able to cry since I was too tired to control myself. I don’t know if it made me feel better, but it couldn’t hurt.
I think I have still a lot to figure out and heal before I can have more regular joy and happiness. Not that joy is entirely inaccessible, but it’s quite harder when dealing with issues or not knowing what you need to feel better. But that’s alright, I’ll get through this eventually. It’s just a long journey, and I’m still figuring out my needs.
I’m not feeling my needs concretely. Emotions (when I’m not burying them) do not always translate well into thoughts for me, and the only way I’m going somewhere through journaling is because I have intellectual knowledge and an analytical understanding of what is happening to me. Of want a normal human would need, and how it corresponds to my feelings. But it’s not very connected, even if it makes sense. And it is still very vague anyway, not practical.
My unsolved needs are probably what deprives me of joy so often. Because I can’t provide to myself what I don’t know I’m missing. But about vital things for my mental health. It doesn’t always hurt, but it is numbing.
Thank you for believing I have what it takes to keep going.
LinarraJuly 28, 2021 at 2:21 pm #383600
What works for one person may not work for another. That’s why it’s hard to prescribe anything for the healing journey. Only you know yourself and what you need. Or at least you’re learning about your needs now.
I would say based on your last message that self-compassion is the area that you need to focus on. Your inner child healing, letting yourself feel emotions and cry and inability to truly let go (due to my positivity trick) shows me you’ve been so neglected you can’t function.
Fierce Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff is what I would recommend in this case, more than the other books I recommended. So the Try Softer and Tiny Beautiful Things, keep those on backburner. Get this book and see if it helps you.
Kristin Neff has a lot of tools on her website too.
Most of all, forgive yourself for feeling this way. It’s okay my positivity trick didn’t work for you. I feel very reassured by my little 222 signs and thinking it’s all going to be okay. But that’s me trusting just to trust (and also my faith impacts this part of my experience).
Let me know if you decide to look into Kristin Neff.
SarahJuly 29, 2021 at 10:50 pm #383686
I understand, everyone is different, and even there we may be at different stages of our healing journey. Or sometimes it’s just not the right time. Do not worry, your positivity didn’t make anything worse, I knew better than not to push when I notice external factors wouldn’t make it successful. And I don’t feel bad for that, I know it’s not a problem. I just already have tendencies to avoid negative emotions so it end up like that sometimes.
I checked out Kristin Neff, read her website, listened a few interviews she done on the subject, and tried a meditation on her website yesterday. Her content is interesting and might be helpful. Thank you.
Unfortunately, I’m not going to hope for too many improvements in the few next days. My mother have been acting up, verbally abusing me actively again. She went as far as actually hitting me yesterday. Nothing too worrying, I was able to protect myself well enough and she stopped after my siblings tried to film her violence for evidences.
She is threatening to report us to social workers for ‘destroying her mental health’, which is quite ironical since she’s been the one starting fights. She said she got her back covered about the abuse when we pointed out the irony (probably lied/manipulated someone by twisting the reality again). I don’t think she’ll really do anything though, as it isn’t a fight she can attempt without going down too. She’s just afraid of us reporting her for her behaviour so she’s trying to have the advantage by turning the tables, but I won’t be afraid. I’m tired though.
My siblings aren’t coping very well, I’m worried about them. I’m doing well enough all things considered but I’m looking forward to the moment she’ll move on from her crisis and stop jumping me everytime our path cross.
I hope I’ll have better news next time we talk,
LinarraJuly 30, 2021 at 9:47 am #383700
Watch this film. It’s called the Gift of Trauma. https://wisdomoftrauma.com/movie/?fbclid=IwAR1oKGyFVOg9ka0BXb7zw3YM3pLPI9BA02KAIbwAGkphFmJuRpEd2XqDxeI
Try this link if that doesn’t work: https://wisdomoftrauma.com/movie/
I’m watching it now. It’s very powerful. I’m not sure how long it stays free. It might be triggering though.
I’m glad you found Kristin Neff. Her resources are very helpful. Her books and workbooks are good too. I have one of her workbooks.
I’m so sorry you are being abused by your mom. This is horrible. And you feel stuck there.
I have no words for what you are going through and can’t imagine what it must be like. I feel so horrible for you. I wish I could say something to make it better but all I have to truly offer is that you’re not alone in this.
It’s not your fault that she’s abusing you. You did nothing wrong or to deserve it.
If it gets bad, there are hotlines and resources on Tiny Buddha’s free resources page.
I can’t give legal advice or tell you how to handle this situation in the eyes of the law, but it’s good to have a plan should she do things again. Be a step ahead.
If you can appeal to her, do that. Don’t fight fire with fire in the moment or trigger her. Try to distance yourself.
It may come in waves. She might act out then go back to normal often.
Share your pain with someone in your life. Talk to them. Talk to a therapist now. I can’t help you with the abusive situation but a therapist might have more resources and ideas. It’s creating new trauma and retraumatizing you.
I’m again so sorry you’re going through all this.
I have a narcissistic parent as well. I have an abusive past with boyfriends traumatizing me. I’ve been raped. I’ve been poor and struggled. But I’ve never been hit by a parent. I don’t know what that trauma is like and don’t know how I would handle that. I don’t think I could. I know what it’s like though to feel lost and lonely and confused and upset. I’m here for you. You are NOT alone in this.
You’re so proactive, it amazes me. Most people would be like “yeah I’ll check it out” and never do. You are actually helping yourself and reading stuff and learning about life.
I don’t have any other books or resources besides the movie I mentioned.
I wish I could help more. I see now why the positivity trick isn’t working. My trauma is all in the past. Yours is presently still unfolding. I see now why it worked for me and not for you.
What would you tell someone else in your position? start there. Self-compassion. That’s the best I can come up with.
SarahJuly 30, 2021 at 5:04 pm #383721
I just watched it. It is very powerful indeed. It makes me feel better. It is very hopeful and shame-alleviating. Thank you for sharing it with me. I can think of some people to share it too, as they equally struggle with trauma. I’ll look into the Dr. Gabor Maté’s work a bit more, it made me curious.
I will equally look more into Kristin Neff’s resources. They sound practical and practical is useful.
Thank you for your compassion. I do know I didn’t deserve her abuse, she’s just lashing out her suffering on us and it’s mostly out of our control. There are things I could do to give her fewer things to criticize/abuse me about but, from my experience, it is not the healthy way to get there. These are things I could use improvement upon, but I want to do it for myself and at the pace my recovery allows me. I can’t push myself under the pressure of abuse and feel like it’s real progress when it’s done under rush and emotional neglect.
It is tiring how she tries to “fix” me. She’s ashamed of having produced an unfunctional kid (she liked it better when she could use me as a trophy and a personal success). I know I shouldn’t fix myself for her or anyone to deserve respect, compassion, and love, but it isn’t a great moment when someone is still trying to make me feel bad about myself and coming so strongly at me. She’s not sabotaging my healing entirely but it is a mood ruiner when it’s too recurrent. And the time I am resisting the abuse and protecting myself mentally against her is the time I’m not using to actually becoming more functional (for my own sake of course).
I am used to her aggressions and I am enough in control of my emotions to not fuel fire automatically (though she doesn’t need me to fuel it, she is paranoid and will hear what she wants to hear, imagine what she wants to imagine). Yet, even if I try to bring back some calm as much as I can, when she comes at me when I’m especially exhausted or when she’s been at it for too long, I tend to not have the energy to put up with her immaturity and aggressiveness in a way that would appeal to her.
I do talk and share the pain with some people, mostly internet friends who also had mothers who are difficult to handle. I don’t feel much like seeking therapy. I do not necessarily feel in a hurry. People are in a hurry in my stead and try to push me a lot lately. I don’t feel in a rush, personally.
I’m handling it fine myself, I don’t wait for the help of a therapist to help myself. The idea of retelling everything again is tiring, and the process of going through that repeatedly until I find a therapist who clicks is unappealing. If I were to chose what to spend my time on when I am going through rough times, I would rather do something that makes me feel alive and happy, which helps, instead of going through that therapy-seeking process that takes me more energy than it makes me gain.
It’s faster and more efficient to find the resources by myself and be proactive. I do not feel lost without a therapist at the moment. I think I have a good understanding of my situation, and of my possibilities, and the things I can do. It’s a slow process, but I am doubtful it’ll be enhanced that much by a therapist. I feel like by the time I find a therapist who can give me something I can’t already give myself by researching and being proactive, I’ll be healed enough to need a therapist even less. But if someday I feel limited with my resources I’m open to it. It just feels superfluous until then.
Otherwise, I am having normal reactions (being tired and having less energy) to abnormal situations (being abused). I’m not retraumatized, I am more jaded. Because I know how it works, I know how to be well defended. I may not able to feel joy when a period like this is lasting, but that makes sense. Anyone wouldn’t. But when it’s over I can resume my healing without being too affected, because nothing is new under the sun and I’m far enough in my healing to not regress that much every time sh*t happens.
I am sorry for everything you went through, and I’m glad these traumas are in the past so you can work through your recovery in better circumstances. Not being alone definitely helps, talking with you helps, the movie you shared did help me to feel less alone too.
LinarraJuly 30, 2021 at 9:17 pm #383802
I’m glad the film resonated with you. What hit me was identifying secondary emotion like anger and then getting to the root of it so primary emotions like sadness and disappointment. Then tying it all into self worth and trauma. I have a situation where I’m triggered a lot too and I get angry so I felt breaking it down helpful.
I’m glad you feel less alone and have a support system. I’ve only had inadequate therapists so I get it. Therapy isn’t for everyone either. For me meditation works. Today I listened to ocean sounds while journaling. This is my go to coping method because the sound soothes me as I calm myself and express things. I’m doing a lot of inner child work tho nothing has truly worked yet except for reiki and meditation. If you go on YouTube search “Asmr massage reiki energy plucking” I find energy healing very helpful and trust me I was a skeptic. I also pray a lot and my daily mantra is “I surrender!” To the universe or God or whatever you believe in.
I’m proud of you for making it this far and for coping the best you can with your mother. You need some type of emotional armor to get through it. Self compassion could work as that.
oxytocin is a love hormone that neglected kids get deprived of. But you can activate it through massage or self massage (look up methods), hugs or intimacy, deep conversations such as ours, petting animals and more.
My favorite thing to do is yoga with animals at a local animal sanctuary. I find the animals heal humans as humans heal the animals there.
I think functioning is difficult for everyone because there is so much pain and trauma in the world. It’s not your fault you feel this way. Perhaps your journey will help someone else.
You are covering a lot of ground with your journey of self discovery and gaining many resources. Just reaching out for help is a giant step! I admire your resilience.
Identifying your needs is another Journal prompt. What do you need from other people? How can you meet those needs yourself?
Lastly give thanks in advance for a problem to be solved. I thank God but you can thank whatever force you want. It tricks the brain into positive thinking. Act as if. Visualize it all better and receive those feelings even if it only lasts for a minute. This will help your depression.
oh and a minute of mindfulness is better than none. Try to be present for at least a minute a day where you observe and do not judge your thoughts. It helps to visualize them as leaves floating away from you in the breeze. This will help your anxiety.
Let me know how I can help further.