January 5, 2017 at 10:45 am #124618
My name is Julie and I’m 23 y.o. Here’s my story. Until recently I lived a normal life when suddenly all collapsed. I started feeling depressed. The depression got so severe that I had to resign from a job as every time I went to the office I started having panic attacks. I was shocked. It was something unusual. Something I could never ever imagined. I was in a love-relationship and it was ruined by my emotional and mental state. Every day was a struggle. I often thought about suicide and I can’t even imagine what it was like for my partner at that time. He did support me and did try to surround me with love, but it didn’t work. I would spend hours lying in bed not having a reason to get up. He would come from work and despite being tired would clean the apartment and cook for me. I blamed myself every single day for not being able to take a proper care of him in response. Eventually I decided to move back to my native town and live with my parents for some time as I didn’t want to be a burden for him any more. A couple months later we decided to break up. It seemed reasonable at that time. And I do know that’s a right decision since I figured out that I started the relationship because of my inner emptiness and my willingness to fill it. I know that is stupid and wrong. Now I DO know that. I am just starting to getting back on my feet both professionally and financially. But I find it hard to focus as the fear of loneliness seems to be my constant counterpart. For example, I am reading something and then suddenly a thought pops up in my head “Are you doing well? Chilling and reading, huh? But keep in mind that you are getting older and you are still single. What if noone is gonna fall in love with you? What if you stay alone for the rest of your life. Haven’t you seen or heard that 80-90% of your peers are either in serious relationships or are already married and about to have kids? You’re living a worthless life. You’re worthless. You are a failure”. Because of the thoughts of such sort I find it hard to concentrate and it’s literally killing me. I go to psychotherapy, but for some reason my depression is still there, with me, making my life a constant struggle. I can’t remember the last time I genuinely enjoyed something. It seems that it is a dead-end. I used to be an optimist, a cheerful person, believing in “everything’s gonna be allright”. But now..I can’t even imagine how my life gets better and how I overcome these terrible thoughts. Please, help me.January 5, 2017 at 11:30 am #124619
I would like to help you best I can (being a non professional member here). I have two (groups of) questions:
1. You wrote: “Until recently I lived a normal life when suddenly all collapsed.”- were there changes or events recently that caused the collapse; maybe seemingly small changes or events that tipped the scale?
2. How long have you attended psychotherapy/ how many sessions so far, what is happening in those sessions, did you learn in therapy anything there about you and about the collapse?
anitaJanuary 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm #124620
Dear Anita, thank you so much for responding!
Firstly, it all started (depression, panic attacks) when I moved in with my boyfriend. It all seemed fine, but then once I woke up in the middle of the night breathing heavily (panic attack). I felt at that time that I wasn’t in the right place, I wasn’t living my life, I wasn’t with the person I had to be with. Maybe it sounds a little bit incomprehensible, but that’s how it all started.
Speaking of psychotherapy, I’ve already attended 6-7 sessions (firstly twice a week, then I switched to once a week frequency due to my financial state). In those sessions I’m trying to figure out the reasons of such a state. I learnt that a lot of my insecurities stemmed from my childhood. I know that it’s such a cliche of childhood traumas influencing us as adults, but maybe that’s one of the reasons why I got depressed. My mother used to suffer from depression, locking herself in the bathroom and threatening to kill herself. She also isn’t that happy in a marriage constantly saying that love doesn’t exist and it’s all about getting accustomed to the other person. She got married because of the fear that she’d be alone. I can totally see that depressive state in myself now as well as the fear she’s always had. My mother was never there for me in my childhood. Thankfully I had my dad who has always been supportive, but I definitely felt the lack of mother’s presence. I remember how I would run up to my mother and say something like “the boy I’ve been playing with threw me into puddle” (or something like that, complaining etc.) and she’d always say “that’s your fault! probably you’ve done something that made him do this to you”. I’ve learnt that I don’t love myself. I am so empty inside and I’m so scared of my emptiness that I’m ready to be pretty much with anyone who shows interest in me. As being in a relationship I can avoid being on my own = staring into the emptiness. This is overwhelming, maybe. I’m just happy there is someone who can listen to my story. Thank you!
January 5, 2017 at 12:33 pm #124623
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Julie.
Do our experiences crate our thoughts or do our thoughts crate our experience? (read create… but I like crate)
I suspect it both.
We often have little control over the influence’s coming from the outer world however we can influence the stories and thoughts we tell ourselves and in way create the growth we hope for.
The first step is to become conscious of the stories you’re telling yourself and check them for cognitive distortions.
There is always distortions in the stories we tell ourselves so it would be a mistake to label or judge any findings as proof of being bad or stupid (which would be a cognitive distortion) The task is to become conscious of your stories and possible distortions without judgment so that you might respond to them vice react to them
You might enjoy ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ by Garth Stein
“In racing, they say that your car goes where your eyes go. The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free will regain control of his vehicle.”
― Garth Stein
“To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.”
― Garth Stein
“People are always worried about what’s happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are generally not satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have.”
― Garth Stein
“That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.”
― Garth Stein
“I know this much about racing in the rain. I know it is about balance. It is about anticipation and patience… [it is also] about the mind! It is about owning one’s body… It is about believing that you are not you; you are everything. And everything is you.”
― Garth Stein
January 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm #124625
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Peter. Reason: (lol typo crate instead of create, but maybe crate is still correct as our thoughts more easily box us in then free us
Thank you, Peter! I will take that into consideration!January 5, 2017 at 3:04 pm #124637
My mother too, threatened to commit suicide, repeatedly. There is nothing scarier for a child than to lose parent and remain alone. A child is so attached to her mother, that the concept that the mother will kill herself and no longer be there, is like ” staring into the emptiness” for a child, and then disappearing into that emptiness.
So, no, it is not a ” a cliche of childhood traumas influencing us as adults”- it is reality: childhood traumas most definitely influence us greatly as adults, especially in the context of intimate relationships. No wonder moving in with your boyfriend trigerred your anxiety.
The fear you experienced as a child, being threatened to lose your mother to suicide, and then, to add to it, her rejecting you when you reached out to her for comfort, blaming you instead, created your anxiety. Maybe you dealt with it best you could, distracted yourself, received some comfort from your father… but that anxiety was there, triggered and ignited in the new living situation with an intimate other.
Did your therapist tell you how she (or he) intends to go about the process? My therapist gave me a printed paper with his evaluation of me, objectives for therapy and his plan of how to accomplish those objectives. He gave me homework from session to session (giving me printed material to read, and/ or a guided meditation to do, and/ or a written exercise). The therapy was not a vague, wing-it kind of talk therapy, there was a plan to it. How is it in your therapy?
January 8, 2017 at 4:48 am #124818
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
I have several thoughts, so will just list them if that’s OK.
1. You are only 23. You are so young! Especially to be having these thoughts “Who will love you, you shouldn’t be reading a book, etc.” Those are Who Do You Think You Are? thoughts. You must banish them. Say “Whatever” or “If I’m alone, so what”. You are not defective or behind. Many of my friends are single by choice. Say, “I’m choosing to be single on purpose”. And whenever you’re in a relationship say, “I’m choosing to be with this person on purpose”. NOT because he’s the only one there, etc.
2. You are following your mother. This isn’t just a mental thought process you’re going through. Go to a doctor and have a thorough checkup.
3. Continue therapy.
4. Seek sanctuary in your routines.
5. Don’t live with anyone. Then when/if it doesn’t work out you have your own place.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Inky.