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  2. Yet again there's no such thing as a vacation when you're on your own but I'm doing well enough to do the things I have to do this week. It's another week of survival.
  3. Hi Trad, I'm glad you posted your questions because I think a lot of people have struggled with the same questions. I know I have. For me, personally, cognitive therapy psychologists helped me the most. I realize this type of therapy is not everyone. It is a very problem solving approach where the model is teacher/student rather than doctor/patient. One of the creators of this type of therapy used it on himself when he was a psychiatrist and professor. Sometimes in therapy there can be a sense that the therapist is in some sense, overtly or covertly, looking down on the patient. The therapist is the professional. The patient is the one with problems. There can be a kind of authoritarian aspect of this. In cognitive therapy, when it is done well and with compassion and empathy, . . . the sessions are more collaborative. The therapist offers ideas for the client to try, ideas that have helped others. Some things help or don't. And it goes on from there. One of the great cognitive therapists was a professor named David Burns. He wrote a book called "Feeling Good." It is a self-help book where someone motivated can try out cognitive therapy techniques for problem solving in their own lives. To be quite honest with you, I was helped more by books by cognitive therapists than by face to face therapy with cognitive therapists. Different people are helped by different types of therapy. I was once helped a lot by an elderly woman who was simply a counselor. Unfortunately, empathy and compassion are not things that can be taught in the university. A wise and compassionate and empathetic therapist can be really helpful regardless of his type of therapy or what college degrees he or she has. If a person lacks wisdom and empathy, even effective therapeutic principles and techniques can sometimes prove unhelpful. I think you might find some helpful information by Googling "How to Select a Therapist" on the internet. Since I can only speak of my own painfully limited and fallible experiences, I hope you get many, many responses to your post. I wish you only the best! I hope you will continue to post on the Forums. Your posts help so many people here! - epictetus
  4. Tired. But glad a skin issue I had has calmed down a bit. Going in for the follow up appointment today.
  5. Today
  6. @sober4life yes it's cute but I think I will change it back to my actual cat.
  7. The avatar you have makes me smile @watalife
  8. Artificial sweeteners probably are bad for you but they can't be worse than sugar. The constant worry about if this or that might be bad for us is probably worse for you than the actual substances.
  9. If that is the case go out with her again. The more you are around her the easier things will be. Nobody is comfortable the first time they meet someone.
  10. Hi @Trad England. Hope you had a decent weekend and that you have had some peace and rest from symptoms. You seem to have given a lot of thought to the state of your mental health care, I'll take a crack at responding to your questions/concerns. I get how you feel. I suffered with treatment-resistant depression for many years, my depression was unresponsive to all the medications in the various combinations they were prescribed. I doubted my diagnoses, doubted my doctors and myself. Now, if you're going to ask the question above it will do you no good at all if you're merely collecting evidence that psychology cannot help you. I'm not speaking of skepticism, doubt is perfectly fine. What I mean is justifying an a priori conclusion that you cannot be helped, viewing the landscape through the distorted lens of depression. I have no idea if that's what you're doing. I know that I have done exactly this and it got me nowhere. You realize the first part of the statement has nothing to do with the second part, the second part is a hasty generalization and in any case, neither constitutes a reason that a therapist cannot help you with your problems. It's clear to me that the idea of working with a therapist who is decades younger than you is a non-starter. That's okay, go to a therapist who has some gray hairs. I do (I'm 49). The masters degree, the age of the therapist, the type of therapy they specialize in - all are important. But the single most important thing with regard to success is the relationship between the patient and the therapist. Psychologists have a PhD and you're correct, in general they are experts in counseling psychology (some do research but that's not relevant to this discussion). Psychiatrists can specialize in counseling and some counsel patients but for the most part, their function is new patient intake and diagnosis, case management and pharmacotherapy - managing the medicines. Visits with them are 15-20 minutes tops and maybe just once every three months after a period of evaluation. Yes, that's their role. They don't root around in you trying to find underlying trauma and other reasons for emotional dysregulation. I think the confusing and impersonal healthcare system that we all barely get by on may be responsible for the misapprehension of what your mental health care ought to be. The answer to this question is you - you're the one who is going to have the realizations and then make the changes to improve your life. Everyone else involved in your care exists only to help you get there. How? As you know, brain scans, blood tests, medical instruments of any kind do not aid psychology they way they do general internal medicine. Psychology relies on gathering information supplied by the patient - who mostly isn't readily supplying it - but not because we are just being difficult. This is how I define psychotherapy. Therapy is a process (long, cannot be short) and it requires a therapeutic relationship. Like with a physician, this relationship is personal and requires privacy. But a therapeutic relationship is also built upon mutual trust, candor, and an overlap of learning by both clinician and patient. It's the learning that takes so much time. It is unlike any other medical or transactional relationship you can name. The therapy room is meant to be a safe chamber where a patient's feelings can be felt and expressed without the usual fear of social and physical consequences. For therapy to be effective, the patient has to be willing to learn how to tap into feelings and express them (most of us find this difficult to do) but it is not necessary to know why he's feeling them. The therapist knows that people don't easily open up and there's no way to pop the hood to have a look inside. A therapist is trained to observe verbal and non-verbal signs that indicate underlying beliefs and assumptions that may of may not be accurate. The therapist will also help contextualize feelings that arise. Contrary to most people's idea of what therapy is for, not everyone has a hidden trauma or pathological behavior, or diagnostic manual condition that needs fixing. Many people go just to learn how to identify feelings we have in our bodies and learn how to express them in a better way than we do. I want to spend some words detailing how important that is. Most of us never had a safe environment in which to learn how to deal with strong emotions let alone a role model who could show us something like conflict resolution that didn't involve shouting, hitting, breaking or isolating. But we can learn how and practice this in the safety of the therapy chamber. As I already mentioned, it's the learning that takes the most time. Therapy is an uncomfortable experience in so many ways. It must be uncomfortable because it's growth and growth is painful. We have learned behaviors that have got us through life like, shutting down our emotions, punching out or icing out people when we're bothered, censoring our speech and denying our needs - we will do one or more of these until we blow up. Maybe these behaviors worked for almost all of our lives but now, for some reason, these same skills are getting in the way of us being happy or thriving or just getting by. That's when they become a problem. I must apologize for the really long reply and if I was insensitive in my word choice I'm also truly sorry. It's very difficult to explain succinctly because I never had a relationship where I felt totally safe to feel strong emotions and to talk about them, rather than go nuclear. So, I first had to learn that such a relationship was possible with a therapist before I could actually work on what was bothering me. Does that make any sense?
  11. Have a nice vacation! I hope you'll enjoy it. There are always small positive experiences, for me the realization and accumulation of those makes any trip at least somewhat enjoyable. If you feel early warning signs of an emotional problem while visiting with family, it's perfectly fine to take yourself out of the situation: to go out and take in some fresh air, a bathroom break just to splash some water on your face. If you may be in a vehicle on a long drive, headphones. I get what you mean. Uncertainty is food for anxiety and can trigger compulsive behaviors to relieve the uncomfortable feelings. I've lived in that space. It's an echo chamber of suckage. There is always going to be uncertainty when meeting new potential friends, potential romantic partners too - and it can't be helped. But what you can try to do is dial down the stakes of what it will mean if you and they don't hit it off. Whether they do want to be friends with you or they don't, @idkusername465 is going to be okay. You will not be torn into a million pieces, this is not your best or last chance ever to make friends, you haven't staked everything on these relationships working out. You're probably not even 100% sure that you like them enough to want to be their friend. That must mean they're uncertain of your feelings, too. The sucktastic feeling of uncertainty is shared amongst you all, right? The worst thing that will happen is that your inner voice will deride you loudly as it has time and again. But this time it will be different because this time we can challenge it with evidence to the contrary. I think you're doing really well, evidenced as follows. Was the opportunity to make new friends a totally predictable outcome of your choice to participate in this program? Probably not. Was making an effort to meet new people something you imagined yourself doing a month ago? Maybe not. Did you think you might be a person other people might want to get to know? Go figure! As it happens, you are. Inner critic is loud but it is blowing a huge word balloon full of wrongness. 🗨️ All of the new, interesting, exciting, good and scary things are happening because of decisions you made; a path you traveled down in order to get to a better life in which you have better problems. It is totally understandable when a part of you wants to run back to where it felt safer, back to where you couldn't be hurt or disappointed.
  12. Rivers of Nihil - "Where Owls Know My Name" Lost in eternity's grasp Withdrawing further from what we have known This mentality that we've built It's breaking down
  13. very loudly singing (call the cops 😄)
  14. i felt nice with her and i think i like her
  15. That is completely acceptable and you might consider telling her how you feel about affectionate behavior. That is, if you'd like to get to know her a little better. It sounds like she was expecting a physical sign demonstrating your romantic interest. If it's too early for you to know if you feel a romantic spark, I think it's perfectly okay to be honest. How did you feel when you were with her? In addition to nervousness that is typical for a first date, can you remember any emotions while you were with her?
  16. I got terminated from my job today. TERMINATED. Ahahah omg I’m going crazy. One thing after another. AND I’m going to my sister-in-law’s funeral today. She passed away from cancer.. Scrolling through IG while feeling just lost and frozen and this pops up: “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” Marilyn Monroe Ahahah.. ok just keep falling part then.. just do that.. there’s so many more things that can fall apart in my life.. I’m just waiting for that to happen.. anytime now.. and then I feel guilty cos there’s so many people out there in a much worse state than I am.. ok my brain is just freezing again.. I can’t stand myself..why would people care about me loosing my job. Yea no one cares.. nothing matters really.. I can’t cry.. this state of indifference.. I’m just getting used to it..
  17. The way your parents are acting by your posts is completely ridiculous. They are probably giving you PTSD from the way they are acting. They would probably say they love you but this is a controlling paranoid abusive environment. I grew up in a similar type of environment and it still has me messed up today at 40!
  18. Hi Dante 6, I liked your post. Thanks for your honesty. Also, nice icon pic. Looks like a Buddha, striking the pose, but the youngest depiction I've seen I think. Maybe it's not the Buddha we're used to, Siddhartha, who would have been a bit older before he found enlightenment, according to most stories. Cool though. What you say tells me your cautious, and that's a very good thing. You asked for advice, and I'll be glad to give you my opinion, but I'm not one of those to ask on advice about how to act around females. Yeow! I'm 71, but from the 60s, so I'm not old fashioned. But, like you, my assumption is that most ladies prefer a gentleman. That's been my experience too. You want to be one either way. First dates for experienced daters is risky business. But, the young lady has no problem telling you how to improve your self . . . already. I wouldn't want to follow up given that. Date some more while your rolling. And I'd do just what you're doing. Second and third and so on dates people are more comfortable opening up and getting to know each other. Act like you think and know, as you are. You don't want to rush into a relationship with someone who is immediately comfortable with telling you how to be, and who you are. A hand shake, a hand on the shoulder, and a polite good night kiss are all that should be required of you on a first date. But, considering my own scatter shot results when choosing a significant other, girlfriend, or spouse: What do I know? Ha, best of luck. Relax and have some fun. Bulgakov the White
  19. MrMisery

    My Way

    I had a bad day today. This year feels like it's been a test, to see truly where rock bottom lies. I lose all I can, only to discover more to lose. It felt like there was nothing left of me a long time ago. Today I lost some more... and I feel whole. Let me explain... I'm sober, and it's a crazy trip. I spent years chasing a high like this.... this is incredible. It's not that I felt the alcohol was holding me back, it's just that my world view was different, and willingness to work out the ins and outs of my problems was much more limited. Now sometimes there's no choice but to face my demons, without a little liquid courage. Sometimes that means taking a fight with my demons that I'll lose, and learning from that. My pain is immeasurable, it's pulsing through me to a terrifying degree. I've lost so much. I am so hurt. But that's okay... it's happening, but I'm here, and for me right now, that's enough. I exist. That's plenty. I know what's in my heart, I know what's in my soul, I know how simple my problems are and I know how solvable they are. A little bit of clarity often makes things a lot more achievable, and immediately so. What's new is that there's no anger or fear along with the pain... I'm just hurt. But it's a driving force. It's the pain that's enough to scare me and challenge my conviction, and in doing so strengthen my resolve. It's the pain that builds me, not the pain that breaks me. It tests my ability to take a hit to my pride and optimism, and to lose all I thought I had, and to react with calmness and kindness, rather than panic. A chance to prove I'm more than muscle and impulse... I am a soul, defined by time and experience and memory, I am in control. My pain is fuel for progress. Reason to push beyond what were my limits. Pain is a dangerous fuel... but it is fuel. I am not satisfied with my state of life, and I need to change that. I will find peace, I will find happiness, and I will do it as me. Not hiding behind substance and booze, but with earnest thought and work. I will find my way.
  20. i am 28 and last week ive been on my first date ever. i was less shy than i thought i would be and more talkative. i thought it went well but few days later she told me by mistake that she thought i was distant, didnt send her physical vibes of interest in her.i think she meant being close to her and touching when i thought that its inappropriate to invade someones personal space for the first time we met and also i dont really have to courage to get physical with someone i know only from text messages. she said she wants to meet again, but iam not sure if there is a point to meet again. i still will be scared to be physical and even if i wont be scared i still dont know how to act\do these things. any advice would be appreciated
  21. I feel... neutral. That's usually good compared to most days. Was irritated all day for no good reason and woke up to stupid hallucinations again. Least they aren't the visible kind. Mine are just angry yelling of my name from my parent's voices. Dang. My parents ruined my own name for me.
  22. Nothing much today, just played a lot of Final Fantasy 13-2. Video games are great. Though my tastes in games might be a bit different than some of your guys' lmao. I finally stopped being too sad to wash my hair, and I also organized school stuff.
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