July 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm #39112SomwanParticipant
well, been struggling with depression for awhile now, its affecting everything in my life. i had a rough life so far, no matter how i look at it, my childhood ended when i was 7…that, being coupled with being raised in isolation with my moms abusive boyfriend, i never learned alot of things that people take for granted…like making friends, being a friend, how to hang out. still struggle with shyness, with the isolation im introverted and kind of antisocial. a lot happened in a very short time, way too much to handle on my own, it made me realize how alone i am…and how fragile the friendships i had were. my depression dosnt really have anything to do with the way my life went, or how it is now…if you’ve ever heard the song “whiskey lullaby”, that almost happened. kinda fell in love for the first time a few years ago, realized then how shyness affects my life, and that with missing out on so much in early years, that i dont know anything. dating, signals, flirting…no idea, and im thinking its too late to learn these things now. and please, no comments along the lines of “just be more confident”…im actually shy, not just saying it, its like claustrophobia and out of my control. needless to say, things happened, and i found myself lacking friends, found myself without any support or even company, and basically drank myself to death. wrote it that way for a reason. i almost died, ended up with a bit of brain complications…doctors arent willing to help in any way, been to a number of them. been 2 years now since then, and im still trying to recover from that. i lost my memory to the point i barely remembered my name, was a miracle i found my way to work…all there was was darkness…litterally.
thing i have been trying to get through now is whats going on with my friend at work. we used to be close, now its rare if i feel like a friend to her for even a few minutes. i think i understand too, i did put a bit much on her, going through what i have been, i had no one else to turn to. promised her i wouldnt go to her anymore, in hopes of salvaging at least a bit of the friendship we had. she’s trying to help, she saw how things went, and knows how few people there are in my life, and has been trying her best to help me make new friends. but i dont know how i can help her understand that it s not possible for me to do, things happened through my life, and i have a hard time trusting people. i view some people as friends, but cannot accept them as a friend unless they accept me…so far none of the people i’ve met have seemed too interested in bringing me into their life, she says they are my friends, but theres more to friendship in my eyes, a friend would call you up, or invite you out, and be there for you. while im always there for my friends, i cant do the other 2 things being shy for one, and second, its one of the many things i never learned how to do.
regardless of that, my main priority is recovery, im still not 100%, still sometimes forget where i am, or who i am. the only way i can see to get through the depression end of it is with the support of a friend, which is why i work where i do now in the first place, i work with my friend. unfortunately she’s had enough…i dont blame her. i’ll always see her as a friend now, but i really dont know where to go from here. i absolutely need her to see me as a friend, and not as a guy that had a crush, or a guy dealing with depression, or a guy that seems unwilling to make any new friends. im more than willing, but how can i make any kind of lasting friendship if nobody wants to be around me? so i have to recover. on the other hand, i see from her point of view too, she cant be there for me anymore, and needs to move on. thats the struggle im having, where to go from here that would be best for both parties involved. sorry that this probably went all over the place, i still cant think clearly.
one thing though, i’ve been to therapists and counselors throughout my life, didnt make my childhood any better, they actually made things worse for me. but in those sessions, i know how they go, they cant help…besides, i calculated it out, at 160/hr, it would cost around 10000 before i could warm up enough to get past my shyness with them to talk. its not an option, besides, only have $0.85 at the moment, yet another stress issue. i cant really afford to live working here, only reason for being there is to work with a friend, and be close to a friend at a time i need one more than ever.
um, to relate this to the title, i mentioned 2 things, i put too much on her, and im always there for my friends, i saw what was happening and have been bottling everything up for a while now….i know the consequences, like i said, alot happened at once, the bottle already burst once.
believe it or not, this is the short version.July 24, 2013 at 3:31 am #39118iris valeraParticipant
You said there are things you don’t know. maybe you don’t need a friend right now. why not try gaining wisdom from books? have you tried that? you will learn a lot of things from there. it will help you understand your world and what’s going on around you. before you can do things in actual, try to gain knowledge about them first. as of the moment, that’s the best i can tell you. i understand that you’re going through so much. so, if people can’t help you, maybe there are books that can explain what you’re going through. try it, okay?
IrisJuly 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm #39133SaraParticipant
Coming from a person who has also self-sabotaged my own attempts at therapy, one of the things I have to always ask myself is: “Am I really incapable of changing the less desirable things about me, or am I just sabotaging any chance at change because I don’t want to do the hard work or face that there are parts of me that are less than desirable?” This is something I encourage you to ask yourself. I know that I have been on both ends of a frustrating friendship. And one of my biggest frustrations is when I log so much time into a person who asks me for advice, or complains about their situation, but when I offer my advice or try to help-they don’t want to take it or say they are not strong enough to follow-through. Any relationship, in any form, is a series of give and take, compromise, cooperation, and mutual trust. I encourage you to think about whether you have offered this friend the same amount of energy that she has put into it. And vice versa. Friends come and go, and it is my personal belief that everyone comes into our lives for a reason. But everyone also reserves the right to leave a relationship when it no longer serves them. You are right in your intention to work on recovery. Until you feel whole, happy, and satisfied with yourself and your life, you may not even have much emotional space to offer to other people. I also work with clients who have various TBI’s. That is yet another level to your story and comes with an additional set of challenges. But that is all they are, is challenges. Nothing that cannot be overcome with good, hard work. On that note, think about challenging your current pattern of thought. What will it take to go from: I can’t change my shyness or nobody wants to be around me… to thoughts more like: are there tools I can learn to alleviate some of my shyness and what kind of person do I like to be around and what steps can I take to be more like that person? You got this, but you have to want to change. And you have to want a future, which is going to involve forgiving what you can from your past and not letting what has happened in the past keep you in a state of paralysis. My best to you, dear online friend.July 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm #39143MattParticipant
I’m very sorry for the pain and suffering you’ve gone through. It isn’t fair that a 7 year old child would have to go through such terrible abuse, and that the wounds would run so deep inside that the heart turns toward despair. I know for you it is beyond belief that you could pull out of it, but I know you can… and I know you hope for it. A few things came to heart as I read and meditated on your words.
It is very normal and usual for a wounded heart to become paralyzed with fear. With the crap that you went through, its no wonder why each step produces a ton of mental flaying. When there is no safe place for us, we have no refuge from the storm where we can go to find our courage. This does not mean you’ve been broken, its just you have some stones in your backpack that you’ll have to sort through and leave behind. Consider that all of us feel fear. Perhaps not to your extent, but fear traps all of us. This is where we develop courage. Courage is not an absence of fear when we do things, but it is the willingness to say “yep, this is fear” and do it anyway.
Right now, it seems like the bottle is full and you’re thinking of pulling the trigger. Those thoughts are ok and normal to have, they come from the inner pain. Consider that intense pain is with us, not as a punishment, but as a message that something is wrong. Its like when we place our hand on a hot stove, it hurts like crazy, but it also motivates us to get our hand out of the fire! This is like that, where the pain (isolation, self criticism, despair) is trying to help you throw your arms in the air and surrender. Because you don’t see a path toward joy, that surrender feels like suicide is inbound. However, you’re actually much closer to joy than you think. You know that what you’ve been doing so far has not worked out for you, so try something different.
First, you need to get your energy moving again. As you noticed rightly, somwan’s bottle is full. Consider letting it out. Scream, flail, beat on your pillows, jump up and down, curse and stomp. Your body is wound tight, and it needs release. And no, its not stupid, its an effective method well used by Zen teachers. Remember, time to do something different, right?
Next, consider searching for “Pema Chodron Smile at Fear” for a video about what we can do with our fear. Pema’s teacher Chogyam Trungpa has a book of the same title that is a great read, but with 85 cents it might be hard to pick up. If you find her words refreshing, consider searching for Matthieu Ricard and watching a few of his videos.
By the way, have you heard of Eckhart Tolle? He was in a place just like yours, had a moment of breakthrough and has become a leading spiritual teacher. Just sayin.
For the other difficulties, such as what to do about not having friends, your negative self talk, feeling you can’t do this and can’t do that (as opposed to “I don’t know how” or “I’m afraid”)… those stones can be unpacked from your backpack after you get that energy moving again. Scream, watch some videos, then post back on what you think.
The light is just over the hill, friend. You’ve already been walking this far, it is my hope and wish you see it through. I’ll do my best to help, as will the others in the Tinybuddha family, but those are your feet, so you are in control. Namaste.
MattJuly 25, 2013 at 12:12 am #39150gopipendyalaParticipant
it is clear that you had faced harder times still facing some.thats really not good but time gone is gone you have to come out of that.we can understand that it is really difficult to come out even then it is really important because you have so much healthier life ahead and what i can suggest you is that keep yourself busy in things you like.unless you choose a physical activity or any other kind of work you can not simply come out of that.what personally my policy is that we have to happy since we are alive.mr somwan again saying there is lot of golden life ahead of you keep yourself busy in the things you like.once you got that pace and acceleration you will forget every thing.until you taste the sweetness of life journey you have to act smart.we will pray for you……
gopiJuly 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm #39219SomwanParticipant
thank you all for replying, this is more positive of a response than i have gotten.
iris, i have tried reading books and searching for knowledge that way, its like my brain cannot absorb that knowledge, with litterature by the end of the second paragraph i’ve forgotten the first…even here i have to keep scrolling up to re-read and remind myself whats going on. i did a number on myself. i will though, i promise you that.
sara, its not that i’m incapable of changing, i’ve been doing that constantly…would be nice though if it was noticed though, i feel everyone that i am around have a firm idea of who i am, an image of who i am engraved in stone. with the friend i mentioned, i feel i need to walk on eggshells, positive change for me seems to have a negative effect on her…had a few conversations about how i made her feel uncomfortable, that was awhile back, when just forming a sentence actually caused physical pain, it always came out wrong. again with the friend in question, things i say are still taken in the wrong context. was proven a few days ago. while the response hurt a bit, i found a way to find it amusing to push past. and the less than desirable parts you mention…i am aware of those…some people find it in good humor to point them out. i can understand the frustration you mention, she tried to help and felt like she was failing, and couldnt / cant help anymore, did try to help her help me though, explained the damage i was trying to recover from, and said i just needed someone to talk to once in awhile to get through it, just the company of a friend. and promised her like i did here with iris that her help is more than welcome, just at the moment it is not useable until my recovery is complete…every bit of litterature or video she has sent or given me is stored until i am able to absorb the message…even have a list of where to find it just in case i forget. i do know i didnt give back as much energy as i should have, with everyone else i knew not around, everything that was happening built up, so every time i spoke with her there was something i really needed to talk about, just to talk and get it out…and that did help, but really wore her out. i know and i regret it every day. besides that, when i saw her down, i tried to offer my help, its always brushed aside, i told her i want to repay the favor but she wont let me. so i kinda feel like i’m not allowed to care about her…not allowed to care in general. before my memory loss, i did a lot of research on shyness, mine could very well be the life long inescapable type, i refuse to believe it, but have yet to have seen different. with that, you are right, a person whos steps to follow, i was following hers, just had a set back, i viewed the most beneficial way to overcome alot of my fears would be to join her at parties, be immersed in a social setting where even though i am way out of my comfort zone, there is a friend there, a small place of comfort to retreat to and regroup. i am trying to find a new way though, last couple times that small amount of comfort was missing.
matt, the stones in the backpack annalogy works. in a way, even though it has been horrible, and is still happening, damaging my brain the way i did, i found a beneficial way to use it to my advantage. each time a memory resurfaces (i have no control of when or where, usually something happens that triggers it), i get the joy of reliving it, as if everything that happened then is happening now. before it was brutal and i couldnt handle it. now i am embracing each one and studying it…for 2 reasons…first being these are all memories i had repressed, reliving them gives me a chance to accept that it happened and move on from that pain. the second reason is a little more negative, and probably not healthy…and i wish people would understand what it is i am doing when im doing it. i tend to block out the world when i am focused on that memory, focusing all my energy on feeling it to its fullest, found that helps a bit, the mind can only accept so much before it says “thats it, im done”. i feel it important to push past those moments as quickly as i can, because like i said, i block out the world, and i’ve noticed that everyone has judged my character based on it. even though i’ve mentioned thats whats happening, and what they are actually looking at is an empty shell, im not actually there. hard to explain it.
the energy not moving struck a note. i feel that, but on a much greater scale, with this illness i brought onto myself, its been like that energy dosnt exist. i’ve only just started feeling it again. without it i obviously dont feel like myself, and i cant be myself without it….same with memory, tried to explain that one too. mentioned i cant be myself without my memory when i was told to just be myself, and got the response that memory isnt important…its absolutely crucial, how can you be yourself if you cant remember where you came from. before this illness, i know that everything negative, every hurt, was what made me who i was. very little could hurt me, and i used each “lesson” in a possitive manner. memory is coming back, slowly, with noticing how the illness was affecting this friendship, for a long time i felt i was running out of time. feel im out of time now, and have been for a while. regardless, remembering where you come from is crucial…lost my train of thought. ..went on a rant. appologies. um, ya, memory is slowly returning, with it the energy that makes me who i am. i have recovered enough to remember how to smile and laugh again, view that as a step forward. i will check in the litterature and videos, thank you…again, its not that im not willing to, i’ve added them to the list. they will all be much more beneficial once my brain stops glitching. im hoping that happens sooner than later, lost too many years to this. will write a response to what i thought about them too, if what i feel is right, wont be too far ahead in the future. i do view it as a dont know how, and know that it can be learned. one of my fears is people accepting me in, trying to get to know me while im not myself…its happened already, at the time i really needed to talk, and trusted them to talk to…did view the guy as a friend…one of those bad moments where i was fighting to keep the hurt from causing an end (im well enough those dont happen anymore by the by). something i know i need to work on is my views of what a friend is, and possibly work on forgiving and forgetting. went to him for help, to vent, not only was he unwilling to listen, but spent at least 5 minutes screaming in my face everything he believed about me…i was lucky someone else was there and over heard it, and was there to talk to when he learned what i was recovering from. that guy understood, and in my mind is worthy of being a friend, but it was made clear after i was done he was just there to help, and didnt want anything more to do with me….sigh, sorry about dropping into rants. still have need to vent sometimes, that one has been festering since new years.
gopi, pursuing things that i like can be a bit of a task. was raised in isolation, pretty much littaraly held prisoner on a farm in the middle of nowhere. one thing i know i like is spending time with the friends i have, which has become a very rare occurance, and only really possible with one, and its not the friend in question…she pushed me out of her life, though says i can still hang out, as long as it is at her place…which is filed with people i dont know, and at the moment any negative emotion i am doing the best to avoid, shyness causes a very negative emotion where i feel even more alone…but thats not the whole of it, at the moment it spirals out of control. i feel alone, which seems to emit a negative energy from me, that forces people further away, which turns to feeling invisible, part of the furniture kind of deal, which turns to feeling like a creepy guy silently standing and observing, and ends with feeling completely unwanted and unwelcome. i know its mostly in my mind, working on that.
other than spending time with friends, i cant think of anything. dont enjoy doing anything alone, i dont know, i know i have a lot to work on.
to everyone, if it feels like im not willing to accept your help or advice, thats not the case, im taking things one step at a time. recovering my mind and memory is a daunting task, wont stop fighting even in the days i feel there is no reason left to fight. my responses are, not sure how to put it, i have a hard time articulating my thoughts and feelings, and maybe something in there might shine light on something overlooked that is meant to be said but wasnt…something along those lines, i take all your advice to heart and look forward to implementing it in my life. i lost alot to this, but found a reason to fight through that no person can take away, i fight to be a better friend / person. to be the guy i know i can be.
its confusing, for me at least, im here for a reason, i know its important, but have forgotten what it is i am trying to do….the fight itself seems to have lost purpose. just being able to talk/write to people helps on so many levels in this. knowing people care, its a step…its rare, thank you all.
as for an update with the whole friend issue. its odd. is really hard to do, i seem to get a much more positive response as long as i dont care. but again, will do anything for my friends, its torture for me because it goes against everything i believe,…i’ve completely forgotten what it is i am doing, or saying, i’ve lost more than spiritual energy through this, lost too much sleep to it too. cant comprehend whats going on. so im gonna stop talking and come back when i have more brainpower. asside from her, you guys…and gals..are the first to offer any real advice and guidance…ever…much appreciated. and from what i have read is much more effective than “be more confident”.