October 17, 2020 at 3:44 am #367905
I just started the journey with my therapist, she seems willing to explore my life story in depth and interestingly, wants me to stop downplaying my struggles just like you wanted. I’m excited to see where the road will take. Not gonna lie, this covid situation is incredibly depressing and fuels my anxiety and emotions, it’s hard to stay hopeful but yeah, wish health for each one of usOctober 17, 2020 at 9:50 am #367907
I spent a few hours this morning reading our past communication, thinking that maybe I can add something to what I already wrote to you before. After reading, I am genuinely impressed by all the time, effort, thoughtfulness, research and patience that I invested and practiced in my massive communication with you, how much I shared with you about my personal life experience.. there is absolutely nothing that I kept away from you in my efforts to be helpful.
Our communication started in your three short threads: July 29, 2016, March 24-25, 2018, and May 15-16, 2018, and continued in this very active, long thread: Sept 12, 2019- March 15, 2020.
In my closing March 15 post to you, page 26, I wrote to you: “Maybe if I don’t communicate with you anymore, maybe then, you will want psychotherapy. You can, if you want, copy all of our communication into a Word document, so that you have it as your own.. there is a lot in it- all that I had to give you. If you do seek psychotherapy, you can use our communication in therapy. I am now closing our communication… I hope you seek quality psychotherapy and get to experience a better and better life!”.
Seven months later, October 16, 2020, you wrote to me: “Currently I’ve started both psychotherapy and meds”- I was so glad to read this, that I answered you yesterday. In your most second, most recent post, you wrote: “I just started the journey with my therapist..”- I was so glad to read this, this morning- that I spent a few hours re-reading our previous communication, thinking that maybe I can add something new. To my surprise, there is nothing I can add. I’ve said it all, in so many ways, using different imageries, addressing topics from different angles, returning to them again and again. Nothing at all that I can add to what I already wrote to you in the previous 26 pages of this thread.
anitaOctober 17, 2020 at 11:01 am #367908
Yes, I’m glad too that I’m currently in therapy and and getting the help I need. I wasn’t on meds since my teens, and I just started again. I’m in such a bad place that anything that can relieve my mind and restore some sanity to my ocd is more than welcome. It’s a stressful, ugly year. Hope you’re doing well in the midst of all this
My name is Giorgia, by the wayOctober 17, 2020 at 11:15 am #367910
And my real name is still.. anita. It is a stressful, deadly year globally. But for so many, many individuals- previous years were just as stressful, even more. If you re-read your own accounts, you can see that for yourself. And that means, that indeed, your hope is in (1) keeping yourself as healthy and as safe as possible and (2) in taking the meds you need to take, and in doing the hard, long healing work in psychotherapy.
I am doing as well as I can manage to do, thank you.
anitaOctober 17, 2020 at 3:25 pm #367911
I look forward the day where we get our freedom back. Physical freedom and mental freedom from fear. I’m tired of hearing about death all the time. I struggle to make long term visions and dreams because globally it all look so dark and menacing: pandemics, revolts, climate crisis, conspiracy theories… I think the best way to handle it all is just let it go, and whatever will have to happen, will happen.
On a personal level, I still struggle with certain coping mechanism and turmoil but I accept it all way more. I understand that this is my way to cope with toxic in and around me, I am enough and I have the intention to stay on this course and to not longer abandon myself, or let myself in situations that kill me internallyOctober 17, 2020 at 4:18 pm #367912
I will be back to you Sun morning, in about 14 hours from now.
anitaOctober 18, 2020 at 10:32 am #367919
“I look forward to the day where we get our freedom back. Physical freedom and mental freedom from fear”- I have noticed early in the pandemic that as we all faced a new danger, a new real-and-present danger, most of us humans, if not all, were far from being free from fear before the pandemic. So many of us were prisoners of fear while free to be in big crowds, while not having Covid-19 to worry about.
“I’m tired of hearing about death all the time”- this is what the pandemic brought to our attention, death. Although death has always been a daily reality everywhere in the world, people dying from multiple causes. It’s just that the numbers were not brought to our attention every single day, multiple times per day.
“I struggle to make long term visions and dreams because globally it all look so dark and menacing: pandemics, revolts, climate changes, conspiracy theories”- and before the pandemic, and before the pandemic combined with climate changes disasters like the recent fires and hurricanes, and the civil unrest and dangerous, anti-science politics in some parts of the world- so many people struggled to make long term visions and dreams plans because .. personally and individually, it all looked so dark and menacing.
“I think the best way to handle it all is just to let it go, and whatever will have to happen, will happen”- you mean no more social distancing, no masks… that would mean more sickness, more suffering, more death than otherwise. Not a good idea, Georgia. What you expressed here is what is called “pandemic fatigue”.
connect. ucla health. org, 7 steps to reduce pandemic fatigue, reads: “Wrestling with intense emotions day after day drain your energy, causing pandemic fatigue. The fatigue can stem from a number of emotions you’ve experienced during the pandemic, including: fear, anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness… Take these steps to renew your energy and feel more in control:
#1. Take care of your body.. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep (at least seven hours a night) and maintaining a nutritious diet.. exercising every day is important too. Doing these things will boost your energy, lift your mood and strengthen your immune system.
#2. Limit your news intake: .. too much news can overload you with negative emotions and zap your energy. Take a break from the news for a day or two and see if you feel better… And be sure to choose an accurate source of information.
#3: Lower your stress: Focusing on activities that are calming or bring you joy can lower your stress level… Activities to consider include: breathing exercises, yoga, nature walks, reading, watching comedy.
#4: Connect with others: Humans are social creatures by nature… Make phone calls, arrange video meetings, chat on social media..
#5: Accept your feelings: .. acknowledge and name your feelings. Allow yourself to have them. Then refocus your mind and energy on things you can do to feel better. If your feelings are overwhelming or all-consuming- and getting in the way of your daily activities- reach out to a health care provider. Protecting your emotional health is just as important as caring for yourself physically.
#6: Try positive self-talk: .. Try catching those negative thoughts and replacing them with more realistic statements. For example, replace thoughts about acquiring Covid-19 with what you’re doing to stay safe.
#7: Create new traditions:.. For instance, you might set aside Sunday nights for self-care… focus on a hobby such as playing guitar or scrapbooking.. To socialize, you might make Friday your family movie night or picnic in the back yard every Saturday.. Be creative and come up with ideas that work best for you.”
“On a personal level, I still struggle with certain coping mechanisms and turmoil but I accept it all way more.. I am enough and I have the intention to stay on this course and no longer abandon myself, or let myself in situations that kill me internally”- yes, do accept yourself with compassion, best you can, including certain coping mechanisms, like OCD. Do not abandon myself, do not let situations kill you internally or externally, best you can.
anitaOctober 19, 2020 at 6:47 am #367943
By “letting it go” I mean just stop obsessing and checking that everything is under control and… What happens, it happens. I do believe in masks and in science and I’m hating people who are trying to make all this a conspiracy, adding anxiety and confusion to people. On the other hand, the “pandemic fatigue” is real. I feel like our lives revolve around the virus and how not to catch it. I try to limit my news intake and see the situation from a realistic (the virus exists and we must act accordingly) without allowing others to instill psychological terrorism in my mind.
For me, this is a very particular time. I always distracted myself with pleasure to cope: food, alcohol, vanity, daydreams. But I noticed that now, it’s that escapist pleasure that I’m losing. I can’t drink, because I take meds, I can’t enjoy food because I fear from phobia of swallowing and chocking, I’m slowly letting go of daydreaming and vanity because I want to face my struggles instead of cope like this, the same old way… I’m limited in many ways but at the same time, I try to see it all as an opportunity to embrace coming to term with myself truly and dealing with stuff, instead of running towards escapism and distraction.October 19, 2020 at 12:36 pm #367957
“I can’t enjoy food because I fear from phobia of swallowing and choking”- I looked it up even though I know that you can google yourself, and that you probably know the following, because I don’t think it can hurt you, and because it helps me understand your struggles better:
According to a website, very well mind. com, the name of this particular phobia is phagophobia. Coping strategies “generally focus on remaining calm. Some people find that watching TV or listening to music while eating provides a welcome distraction that makes chewing and swallowing a less intense experience. Some find that taking a sip of liquid with each bite eases the swallowing process, while others avoid foods that they find scratchy or hard. Finding your comfort zone is often a matter of trial and error.. Find a therapist who will work with you to develop a treatment plan that addresses your phagophobia and any related disorders…
“One 25-year-old woman, whose initial episode lasted one year, began to manifest phagophobia symptoms whenever she was under stress or had difficulty solving a problem. A treatment plan was devised for her in which she was gradually exposed to various triggering situations. Cognitive therapy was also employed along training to teach coping skills. After 20 sessions of therapy, she has been without symptoms for more than a year without relapse”-
-This is encouraging to read. Also, notice that not all distractions are unhealthy (you mentioned “food, alcohol, vanity, daydreams” as distractions that harmed you, and that you are understandably avoiding). I remember my therapist at the time, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, taught me “healthy distractions”- distractions that in certain contexts are helpful (what I italicized in the quote from the website, above).
I understand what you meant by “letting it go”, I too believe in masks and in science, and wish everyone believed in science- nothing more reliable than science.
I like how you put it: “I try to limit my news intake.. without allowing others to instill psychological terrorism in my mind”- psychological terrorism that includes, in my mind, conspiracy theories that deny and (unhealthily) distract from such realities as the pandemic, climate change, racism and political corruption.
October 21, 2020 at 2:48 am #368039
- This reply was modified 6 days, 14 hours ago by anita.
Currently neither my psychiatrist or my therapist are focusing too much on the phobia itself, more on getting at the roots of my anxiety and struggles you know so much well since we talked so much last year and even before that.
I try to be rational and telling myself that eating is safe but some days are better than others. I feel kinda regressed to a childlike state. I used to be very independent and liking to rely on myself, live by myself and minding my stuff but now I can’t eat unless I have someone else soothing presence near to me, eating alone frightens me. I constantly need other reassurance on many things.October 21, 2020 at 6:31 am #368041
Good to read that you have a psychiatrist and a therapist, I hope the two communicate well with each other, as well as with you, of course. When you mentioned “the roots of my anxiety”, what came to my mind was the concept of the Magnifying Glass, remember?
Also, good to read that there is “someone else soothing” present near you. I hope that this someone soothes you consistently and is mindful about containing her distress so to not add to/ magnify yours.
anitaOctober 22, 2020 at 8:12 am #368091
My therapist thinks my anxiety expressing itself so forcefully and through the need of reassurance is a subliminal way for me to feel like a child again and reach at my parents. I agree with her because I can’t eat without my mother near to me, since she’s the one who knows how to act if someone chokes.
I remember the magnifying glass, and I explained to my therapist that I actually don’t like to express myself with my mom because 1. She has to put herself at the center of the emotional show going on
2. She tends to magnify while I need reassurance
Note: lately I’ve been reading what I consider an amazing article on suffering from addictive daydreaming. It hit me right at the core. And that’s what I need. To feel seen, heard, to be able to relate to. Remember how I used to say that I felt like a weird creature no one could relate to? And you used to tell me that a significant need missed from my upbringing: the relational need, well it hit me how I actually use my daydreams to “exist” somewhere (like everyone else suffering from it does) and cope with that lacking need at the foundation of my upbringing.
I do have a theory that I obsess and daydream on distant crushes and people (remember?) cause my inner child feels familiar with that and gets really vulnerable and scared when people don’t react to me. Yeah, that isn’t a verb I choose randomly: react. People who are irresponsive disturb me and make me feel like a child again, and make me obsess over it and over themOctober 22, 2020 at 3:02 pm #368116
I lost electricity and internet most of the today, so I wasn’t able to reply to you. I want to reply when I am rested, Fri morning (which in my time zone, it is in about 15 hours from now). I did read your post earlier before losing internet, and it occurred to me to ask you regarding the Magnifying Glass Principle, specifically about your mother expressing her emotions in exaggerated ways- was anger in there, in the mix of her exaggerated emotion that she expressed?
I will be back to your thread Fri morning, my time.
anitaOctober 23, 2020 at 8:47 am #368141
Are you interested if my mother was angry throughout my whole life or in this time, more specifically?October 23, 2020 at 2:20 pm #368161
I was interested, when I asked, about whether your mother expressed anger while you were growing up with her, as a child and a teenager, and onwards, perhaps.