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Posts posted by Michelle38

  1. 8 hours ago, vega57 said:

    Looking inward, I mean really looking isn't very easy. I want to blame my depression for all negatives in my life and though it definitely has skewed my thought process there are times when I most likely am not able or should not have put all the blame on my depression for bad decisions, actions and choices. Many times I chose to separate myself from family, friends and society party I suppose because of it and partly because I just plain wanted to and now I'm trying to make up for a bit but I so much enjoy talking to new people so when I am home it does in fact bum me out a bit. I used to think that i enjoyed being alone more than what I actually do though there are times when I still need alone time and being with family only but I'm looking forward to the next time I go help my son inlaw. Now if only I could get paid in actually money instead of only some great time and food. Lol. 

    No it isn't easy.  Looking inward can seem to make it worse but actually is an important step in the healing process.  My healing really only began once I stopped running and really looked at my inner dialogue for what it was.  I finally let it be what it was regardless if they were thoughts I should or shouldn't have.  I was running like mad from the ones I thought I shouldn't have thinking that would keep me safe or that meant I was fine when really my internal emotional life was a total mess. But the honesty was important so i could finally say to myself that this is what I need to deal with once and for all.  It's a bit confusing at times and I felt myself going in circles trying to sort it all out but eventually things start to become clear. Just try to be gentle with yourself if you find you are beating yourself up with your inner dialogue.  We really can be pretty brutal on ourselves in ways we would never be with others.  Most of us in a lot of ways could stand to learn to give ourselves more of a break.  We really are doing the best we can.  Take care.  

  2. My depression is rooted in shame.  In a belief that who I am is bad based on early programing from my father who criticized not only my mistakes but also the things I did well which led to the belief that everything I did would be flawed and all my attempts would be failures.  Without a sense of pride I slipped into self rejection and identifying with my mistakes believing I myself was a mistake.  It took a lot of time to uncover this and in a lot of ways I no longer see my depression as the problem.  I thought my depression was a flaw in my character when the reality is the depression was trying to protect me from getting hurt.  If I hide out then I can't go out and make mistakes, get judged and turn on myself as a consequence.  If I turn on myself first than the judgment and criticism that comes at me won't hurt as bad because I will already be on the floor.  So my depression wasn't the problem.  Believing I was bad, a mistake and unfixable was the problem.  I'm now working on a new self image and a new way to relate to myself grounded in acceptance as opposed to rejection.  It is hard to break old habits but things are getting better and I now believe recovery is possible.      

  3. 8 hours ago, ejc said:

    thank you. I'm very grateful and teary eyed because you have told me more about myself in your responses than I ever could have learned from anyone else or even myself. I'm going to read this again and again. it's on point with everything in my life and what I. feeling. upon reading it I also learned things about myself that I didn't realize I was doing. you truly have a wonderful gift.  thank you. 


    You are very welcome and thanks for the kind words.  I will say I was absolutely stunned and yet not at all surprised by the things I uncovered during with my dream work.  Our dreams really are a window to our inner thoughts and emotions.  I sometimes wish they weren't so cryptic but with practice the symbolism starts to stand out.  Just allow yourself the time and space to process it all and soon things will be clearer for you.  Hugs.

  4. I didn’t address the dreams part of the elephant dream.  That was interesting.  You in the dream is likely your true self while the elephant is the heavy burden you are carrying that is causing you to lose your sense of self.  The true you still looks to the sky for your hopes and dreams.  Dreams big and open while the depressed you only sees colors (emotions), numbers (analytical side), and letters (words people say).  Losing sight of dreaming big may be partly what is keeping you depressed.

    One other thing I will mention just because it came to mind when reading your dream is there is a Buddhist analogy about who we are.  It states that who we are is the Sun, shining bright and strong for all eternity.  But sometimes the sun can get blocked by some very dark storm clouds.  Those clouds can seem to last forever and never break but the truth of the matter is, regardless how thick or stormy the clouds are who we are is still shining brightly and strong behind the clouds.  The clouds represent our clouded thinking.  We need not change who we are.  We are already perfect.  We just need to clear out the thinking that blocks us from seeing the truth of who we truly are.  So just because some men rained on your ability to feel loved that doesn’t mean the skies can’t clear reveling your true beauty.  You just have to be open to it and know there isn’t a thing you need to change about yourself because you truly are perfect just as you are regardless if there are a few clouded ideas about men lingering around.   


  5. I don't think anyone on this site can really diagnose you but I will say that guilt and self blame are sure fire ways to wind up depressed.  Taking responsibility for how others feel can stem from feeling like we are doing something wrong.  That in and of itself may not lead to depression but it can if we start to believe who we are is wrong or that nothing we ever do will be right.  I found a really good distinction between shame and guilt.  Guilt is when we feel bad about something we did where shame is feeling bad about who we are.  Shame can be good in the sense it can help us maintain our value system and avoid crossing it but when it turns into toxic shame is when we believe who we are is bad, wrong flawed.  When we start to identify with our mistakes, failings, or limitations is when our shame can turn destructive and lead to depression.  

    In any event, you sound a lot like me.  I have had a lot of self blame, self consciousness and worry about hurting others.  I was hypervigilant about my every move trying to never slip up and the mere idea that I may have hurt someone, even inadvertently, would cause me to beat myself up.  I had a father that was critical of everything I did.  But he wasn't just critical of the things I did wrong, which is fairly normal, but also of the things I did well and he always criticized in an angry tone so I did everything in my power to try and not make mistakes but no matter what I did there would be something wrong with it in some way so my whole self image was based on the idea that no matter what I did I would fail and have done it wrong.  Needless to say that is why I always felt guilty about how other people felt because I just assumed I did something wrong to make them feel bad even if I wasn't involved in anyway with their situation. So take some time to ask yourself why you feel guilty and what is that guilt saying about you?  Regardless if there is depression, it may serve you well to confront your feelings of guilt because they could be hiding a deeper self image issue that could lead to full on depression if not confronted.  

    There is no such thing as a perfect person but there is also no such thing as a perfectly flawed person either.  All of us have strengths and weaknesses but we each have value in our own way.  A healthy self image is rooted in having realistic expectations of the fact that we will make mistakes but knowing that those mistakes do not define us as a person.  I am glad you found this place and are talking it out.  Take care.  

  6. I have a similar pattern.  When I am out and about with others I can feel almost perfectly fine but when alone my head starts to ruminate. We obviously can't be out with others all the time so it is partly a matter of forming new habits when we are alone.  I can't say for sure but rather suspect that those who are like us tend to have some false ideas about who we are.  Our depression is rooted in negative views about ourselves or our ability to move through the world in some fashion.  It is important to listen to what the rumination is saying.  Hearing our inner dialogue and getting curious about why it is saying what it is saying is the best way to get to the root of our depression.  But once we have taken notice and allowed the thoughts to have a voice it becomes more beneficial to find ways to redirect our thoughts away from rumination.  We can counter the defeating thoughts with more life affirming thoughts.  Very often depressed people fall into the trap of unrealistic pessimism.  We often hear about unrealistic optimism but not much about it's opposite.  When we have unrealistic pessimism we think in black and all or all or nothing thinking.  If we aren't perfect or doing things perfectly or reaching some arbitrary ideal then we completely lack worth which is far from the truth.  But we have to take the time to root out these false beliefs and ideas and change them out for more compassionate understanding beliefs and ideas.  Challenging the false beliefs can help but if our brain is simply too dead set on putting us and our world down then simply refusing to engage it may be the best we can do at the time.  and on those moments finding things to distract ourselves can be helpful like listening to good music, reading a book, watching a funny movie or working on a hobby.  The point of it is to start to notice our inner dialogue and shifting feelings so we can head them off at the pass and redirect them so they don't take over our whole being.  It's called mindfulness and it does work but it takes time because our brains our creatures of habit and become use to responding in specific ways regardless if it is positive or negative.  But we can also retrain our brain to respond in more life affirming ways, it just take time and practice and getting at the hurt to heal it.  So good for you that you are noticing.  That really is a huge first step.  Now it is a matter of learning a bit more about yourself based on what you are noticing and then finding new ways to look at yourself.  Take care.

  7. Hi EJC,

    Our car represents our body and how we move about the world.  It is basically us.  The fact it needed repairs means there is some hurt you are working on.  The fact you were at the mechanics means you are making progress working on it even if you can’t see the repairs going on.  A model represents some ideal image we think we are supposed to aspire to.  Men are our active side so it could mean that you are learning to let go and laugh at the world’s expectations put upon people or you are putting down the ideal as a way to not feel bad about not reaching the expectations you think you are supposed to reach.   It all depends on if the posing was silly fun or mocking fun.  Your attitude in the moment is your attitude towards some ideal perfection that is really quite frankly unattainable but something that we are all fed growing up.  It could also possibly represent some ideal man you were told you were supposed to go out and find.  Your Soul mate so to speak and he isn’t showing up or he shows up and disappears but it is really just a fantasy.  Prince charming really doesn’t exist in the classic sense.  There is no perfect man out there.  All of us are human with faults and problems.  In any event try to gauge whether or not there was animosity in the teasing.   If there was then there may be some hurt feelings still there about not reaching some goal or about not finding your prince.  If it was light hearted fun and you really were just being silly then it would likely mean that you are getting past outrageous out of reach expectations which doesn’t mean we have to give up on our goals just on putting too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect.  Perfectionism is a slippery slope that can often lead to depression.   We become perfectionist when we find ourselves trying to meet someone else’s ideal of what we should be. 

    A warehouse is where we store stuff.  It contains the things we may be working on or stored for safe keeping for later.  In this instance there was a circus performing elephant.  I agree the elephant is you.  You perform in some way to please the crowds but it doesn’t make you happy.  It doesn’t truly bring happiness because you are living for others and not for yourself.  And just because we jump through hoops for others it doesn’t guarantee that we will get the same in return.  And so you may have found disappointment in life and based on the male model, in relationships and have shut yourself off a bit from finding true love.  The elephant as well could represent the heavy burden of depression.  Oddly enough, I discovered that my depression wasn’t so much a character flaw as I had believed but really served the purpose to keep me safe. If I hide from the world it can't hurt me.  It is possible your depression is keeping you locked up and hiding to protect yourself from getting hurt by others specifically the men in your life.  By some ideal soul mate that you can’t seem to find which may make you feel undeserving of love when really it is just some false fantasy that little girls buy into growing up.  In any event it seems as though you may be working towards letting go of pretenses to please others and hiding from the world to keep from getting hurt. 

    Interestingly enough without having read the second dream it seems to support the relationship angle.  Dogs are our best friends so the best part of us that has our back and wants only happiness for us.  Your ex who cheated and left you for another woman robbed you of your best friend side.  The ability to feel good about yourself and feel loveable.  Your impression now is that your ability to have a good relationship is over.  You will never have kids yet there is still a good 10-15 years for you to have them.  Every relationship is different.  Just because one guy left you doesn’t mean the next one will but we do have to leave ourselves open to it.  It sounds a bit as if you have closed some doors to your heart because of the hurt.  You should not have to perform in any particular way to attract your soul mate.  You are deserving of a soul mate relationship just the way you are and they could literally walk into your life at any moment.  That said, it sounds like you have some hurt to work through and some beliefs to process about your worth and who you are in a relationship.  With a family history of mental health issues it very well muddies the waters a bit for you but try to not decided being alone is definite.  Leave that part alone for now and work on your hurt and any preconceived ideas you have about what a perfect relationship is and who you are supposed to be and your circus performing self may be able to retire with another elephant perfectly suited for you.  Take care.

  8. 5 minutes ago, ejc said:

    wow. thank you so much. I'm going to re read this bc it does resonate with what my counselor said and what makes logical sense. it's just hard that my emotions are what control me right now. 

    I know what you mean.  My emotions can run away with me as well and it can be hard to not stop the train sometimes.  I have found Mindfulness to be pretty helpful.  I can't always stop beating myself up with my thoughts and emotions but it is slowly helping me turn things around.  Unfortunately a lifetime of thinking and responding to the world doesn't turn around overnight so just keep at it and working with your counselor.  You are making progress even if it doesn't seem like you are.  Take care.

  9. 1 hour ago, ejc said:

    I had a dream the other day but I forgot 90% of it. I do remember standing somewhere and an owl flying down and looking at me as it landed past me. 

    ive been having a lot of dreams about my failures and breakups.  I know it's processing emotions but I feel like I take 2 steps back by dreaming these things. they re open wounds :/

    Even if I only remember a small bit I look at it as the important bit so I still take it for what it is.  The owl is synonymous to wisdom, magic and insight.  So I think that the dream could be indicating that the truth and wisdom is looking you right in the face but you are letting it pass right by you.  Sometimes we have to hear things a lot of times before we believe it and take it on board.  This is especially true for people with low self image issues especially surrounded by feeling like a failure in life.  Yes, you have what seem like failures but they do not define you.  All failure is, is a chance to see what not to do next time.  All of us make failures but none of us is a total failure.  There is a thing a lot of people who are depressed to and that is cognitive distortions.  One of my go two ones was black and white or all or nothing thinking.  If I wasn't an absolute perfect success that means I am an absolute failure. The truth is I am neither.  I can't be perfect all of the time but I also don't fail all of the time either.  But only focusing on our failures is a sure fire way to loss faith in ourselves.  So take some time to try and give yourself some credit for the things you do, do well. Make a list of your positive traits so that you can start to see your potential and not just the things that failed.  That is the wisdom of the owl.  Once you do the failure dreams will stop.  Take care.

  10. Emotions

    I am discovering that a lot of my depression is rooted in toxic shame and fear of emotions.  Emotions can be difficult and painful and quite overwhelming when you have depression it is all you can do to get away from them.  Emotions, in an of themselves, however, are not so much the problem but rather how we respond to them that causes us trouble.  It can be hard to see this initially though.  I spent most of my life running from some darkness that was haunting me.  A dark feeling so intense it felt like death.  And so I spent most of my life trying to avoid it by denying it existed and I did Ok.  There were signs like random out of the blue urges to suicide, a dead spot somewhere inside me that was my constant companion and some reckless behavior that should have clued me in but I didn’t want to see it until I reached the point where the emotions started to spill out uncontrollably.    I spent two years in full on emotional meltdown and another couple of years pretty out of control but to my surprise I survived and learned that it wasn’t so much the emotions that harm but what we do in response to the emotions that put us in jeopardy. 

    I had a dream early on during my severe depression phase that was quite upsetting.  Water in dreams symbolizes emotions.  I dreamed I was standing on a crane in the middle of an ocean and I jumped making a statement requesting help for my boyfriend to understand.  At the time I was pretty shaken up by the dream but I do a lot of dream work and knew logically it was symbolic in the sense that there would never be a single crane standing in the middle of an ocean for me to jump off so I tried to reflect on what the dream was trying to say and realized that the dream was saying that the act of jumping into water (emotions) felt like I was jumping to my death.  For those of us who have spent a lifetime with strong overwhelming emotions that we desperately try to run from it does indeed feel like the emotions themselves will do us in but the truth is it isn’t the emotions but how we respond to the emotions that is the danger. 

    Emotions in and of themselves are simply our tool for regulating our life.  They are like a guidance system there to show us where there is harmony or discord in our life.  They can be strong and they can hurt but if we have impulse control and can regulate our physical responses then the emotions can be used to help us navigate our life as opposed to fear it.  I see now that emotions and physical restraint are not one in the same.  I just assumed that if I got angry or severely distressed that meant I was a danger to myself or others.  I don’t know that any of us can completely know how we are going to react in any given moment but what I realized is that having emotions doesn’t necessarily mean I will or have to respond physically and that helped me to liberate myself from my fear of my emotions.  I am now becoming empowered, mostly through mindfulness, to learn how to navigate my emotions and use them as a guide as opposed to a way to define my lack of worth or inherent badness because I had them. That doesn’t mean if a person is struggling with physical restraint they are bad, it simply means they may have one more task to tackle in gaining better life coping tools than just learning how to manage emotions but also need to learn how to refrain from getting physical as well.

    In the end our reactions and behavior do not need define us.  For a long time I thought that having anger and depression meant I was a bad flawed person.  But at any given point in time I can stop being angry or stop doing whatever I am doing that goes against my values or well being.  I realize now I never had the tools to do so growing up.  My parents were never taught good coping skills so how could they even know to teach me.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t learn them now which means I am not my emotions or behaviors.  I don’t know what I am exactly but I am learning that emotions and depression are not who I am but merely what I am experiencing.      

  11. I'm pretty good at dream interpretation.  I find them invaluable at helping me sort out my subconscious thoughts.  I try to work with mine daily.  They can be difficult and outright upsetting and distressing but I still find them full of insight.  If anyone has a dream that they want insight on you can post it or pm me and I can give it my impressions.  I can't make any promises to know exactly what it means but I can give it a try if you are interested.  Everyone is welcome to participate adding their insights as well. 

  12. 9 hours ago, JasonDark said:

    I have reoccurring themes but never the same dream...usually I'm driving over a bridge then it starts to narrow and the walls on the side disappear so that if I make one false move I go over the edge. I always go over the edge but wake-up before hitting the ground/water.

    Bridges mean transition.  You are trying to change but you are trying to do it without getting into your emotions.  You have walls up against them because if they came down and you fell into them it would feel like death to you.  This is fairly common for sensitive people and people who have suppressed and denied their emotions their whole life.  The more we suppress them the bigger they get to the point of overwhelm.  If you have a therapist maybe disucss how you can open up to your emotions in a safe environment.  Maybe gain some tools or tricks you can use to manage them when they want to come spilling out.  Mindfulness is a pretty good tool.  You might want to check into it.  Take care.

  13. 1 hour ago, lp44 said:

    Thank you for your input.

    I should have clarified I suppose. These are more than dreams. About 80% are legitimate flashbacks of abuse. It's horrible. It's every night. I have zero control over this.

    Sensible or not It's affecting every part of my life right now. I have no choice but to either just live it until it gets better or give up. It's not just a twisted production of my brain. It's my brain forcing me to relive something I don't want to.

    That is a bit of a different more difficult animal than simple nightmares.  I would assume you are working with a therapist who specializes in ptsd and checked into the different types of therapy?  Just keep looking for ways to resolve it and how it has defined you and hopefully the dreams will lessen.  Keep reminding yourself that it is the past and it can't really hurt you anymore beyond emotional duress.  I don't have ptsd myself so I really don't have an experience to offer but sending you strength to get through this.  You are not what happened to you.  It happened to you not because of you.  What happened was wrong but it doesn't diminish your value.  Remind yourself that daily.  Hugs.

  14. 8 hours ago, RockoBoy said:

    I have nightmares, typically where one of my family members is scolding me for a being a failure in life and a complete lazy bum; just saying I can relate.  Hope you feel better!!

    This is a clear indication that there is shame around your worth and feeling not good enough.  Your value isn't based on some arbitrary accomplishment scale that quite frankly is impossible to reach in most instances.  If you can work through this defeating false belief that you are a failure the dreams will stop.

  15. As difficult as this all is dreams are doorways to your subconscious and are trying to inform you of where your struggles are and how to get past them.  Try to not see them as an enemy but as a messenger.  I spend a lot of time reflecting on mine and it is helping me sort things out.  They aren't easy or fun by any means and I do tire of the constant distress I feel during them but they really are very informative.  Unfortunately the only way to resolve our difficult feelings, thoughts and emotions is to bring them to our conscious mind and that can be painful but if we don't they stay festering in our subconscious wreaking havoc on our well being.  Dreams are a way to bring it all into focus but they can be cryptic and confusing and upsetting so it is natural to not want to experience them.  In the end, though they can't hurt you, if you are too troubled by them try to ask before you go to bed at night to not remember them.  Get up quickly and distract yourself right away so they fade as fast as possible.   

  16. I am terribly sorry about your friend.  It does seem as though in life no one cares.  I wish your friend wasn't in so much pain.  I understand the amount of despair that a person needs to be in to reach that point of not just wanting to but needing to end it all and it is horrible.  I am glad you cried.  Not that I want anyone to cry but crying is good.  it helps the body process grief and you have a lot of it understandably.  I wish I had a solution to fix things.  I know there are a few groups out there trying to help veterans but I suspect it is way too far and few between that many get lost in the shuffle.  No one should get lost in the shuffle but depression is often not talked about enough.  I am glad you are here talking about your grief.  I hope that things get better and that your friend is in peace.  Hugs.

  17. I want to share a song I found by Disturbed.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

    It is a remake of the Simon Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence” and it touch me very deeply the way the vocalist sang with such passion.  He breathed life into the song that the original artists couldn’t because they did not have the life experience only someone who has been touched the darkness can know.  The Disturbed singer experienced the loss of his girlfriend through suicide and I can almost feel his pain about it coming out in the song.  I know, as well as many of you all do as well, how difficult it is to talk about our troubles and pain but if we don’t it only becomes a terrifying demon that tries to swallow us whole.  I have not spoken much with people about my depression shame except a select few in my life who I trust but I have found this site to be invaluable for helping me speak my truth in a safe place with people who get it.  I can talk here in ways that I can’t anywhere else and for that I am grateful.  Thank goodness for sites like this that allow people to talk who might otherwise be swallowed up by their silence.  It’s a true blessing.  May each and every one of you one day break free from your darkness. 

  18. A daily guided meditation to help retrain your brain to move past worry may help but it has to be done quite consistently for an extended period of time to work.  Our brains can be retrained to think differently but only after weeks or even months of persistent effort.  Try to find some meditations on worry and anxiety and just try to do it everyday and see if it helps.  Best of luck.  They are learning much more about the brain and neuroplasicity and that it can be reshaped in how it thinks.  Very promising. 

  19. 2 hours ago, One More Red Nightmare said:

    These are wise words, Michelle.  I wish I could live up to them.  I have not yet overcome my limiting beliefs about myself.  I may never overcome them.  The past haunts my every moment.  I can't live with the consequences of my mistakes.  I screwed up my own life.  I know, everybody has to move on and go forward.  Why can't I?  Either I will eventually do it, or I'll die.  I say that because my current state is not sustainable.

    Thank you for caring.

    That is the thing.  You don't have to live up to anything.  You just need to learn from your mistakes is all.  I had a father that was critical of my mistakes and the things I did good so I never developed a good sense of self worth and it of course translated into me feeling like I was simply no good as a human or soul.  And I have done some things I am not proud of either. Things that I wish I could take back but can't.  But tearing ourselves down really only magnifies the suffering and keeps us locked in a prison that we are the only ones who have the key.  It isn't an easy road back from such a great loss of your sense of self but it isn't impossible.  Focus on asking yourself why you can't live with your mistake?  It may have affected your life as you knew it but why is the rest of your life not worth living?  And the big question why can't you move on?  You have the answer inside.  And it might not just be related to this 'Big' mistake.  How we were raised has a huge impact on us even on a subtle level.  My father was critical but he didn't call me names or belittle me.  He seemed to be angry a lot and was yelling for us to be quiet but he never hit us and we were loud kids so I honestly did not put two and two together until my life imploded on me emotionally and I was bound and determine to see myself destroyed.  I now see how sometimes, the more subtle things that happen can undermine our behavior and well being.  So just take some time to reflect on these questions and your life overall.  Somewhere along the line you were taught that mistakes are never to be tolerated and making one is a sign of a bad soul.  Perhaps your religion plays a part but wherever the belief came from it simply is a misguided idea of what being human is about.  And you likely have many more misguided ideas that need to be untangled.  This is where therapy can help but for me writing in a journal was extremely helpful because I was able to get all my thoughts out, no matter how dark, so I could see in black and white, exactly what I was thinking and feeling.  Once I got that out in the open I was then able to start to healing process.  I'm still working on it but I am no longer out to do myself in.  So continue to ask questions of yourself.  You have it in you to move past this and forgive yourself.  The person you need the most forgiving from.  Stay strong.   

  20. I'm doing an online course on being brave in the face of vulnerability and learned the difference between guilt and shame.  Guilt is when we feel bad for something we have done and shame is feeling bad for who we are.  Guilt, embarrassment, and humiliation are generally temporary feelings that can arise from our actions or how we were treated but when we use it as a way to define who we are as a person is when it turns into the intense pain of shame.  You feel guilty for what you have done but the real damage comes when the psyche uses it as a way to prove you are worthless, unworthy and a bad person.  You have lost sight of your value but none of that is true.  You may never be perfect.  You may never live up to other people's standards or even your own to some degree but that doesn't mean you don't have value.   The difference between you and the people who were supposedly saved by Jesus's forgiveness is that they believed they could be forgiven. You do not believe it and therefore hang onto your guilt and shame.  If your wife has forgiven you why can't you?  You can't go back.  You can't get your old life back but you can move forward learning from your mistakes knowing odds are you would make different choices moving forward.  And quite frankly the fact that you want to condemn yourself proves that deep down you are a loving compassionate soul otherwise you would have not guilt in the first place.  That is the truth of who you are, not the idea that you are unredeemable.   Living in your past mistake isn't helping you to build a new tomorrow.   Release and move on. 

  21. I think the point is that being unkind to yourself isn't gaining you anything.  If anything it is dragging you down and keeping you stuck.  No one is perfect and no one is expected to be.  We have all heard the phrase "unrealistic expectations"  but may not have heard the phrase "unrealistic pessimism"  If we define ourselves by all our of failures and flaws our self view will be built on unrealistic pessimism, seeing ourselves through a negative lens that is distorted.  If however, we are able to give ourselves a break, we can see that our failures and flaws are really just building blocks to a better us down the road.  You have good qualities that are being overshadowed by the hyper focus on all the negatives.  Being kind to yourself is about making the choice to stop tearing yourself down.  If building yourself up doesn't 'feel' right at this point in time what is most important is to at least simply stop the hate train.  Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend who was self loathing.  Odds are you would not agree with your friend's self loathing assessment of themselves.  Instead you would likely try to point out the ways in which they were worthwhile.   If you treat yourself as a friend as opposed to an enemy you may find your mood and world lift a little bit helping you get started down the road to recovery.  

  22. You may be running into the over qualified end of things considering you are applying for minimum wage jobs with an advanced degree.  I was told once that you just put down the pertinent experience for the job you are applying to.  Instead of putting down the psychology degree for your minimum wage job maybe just reference the past minimum wage jobs you have had.  Then continue to look for entry level psychology jobs on the side. 

    It is tough. I give you a lot of credit for being as diligent as you are with your search.  I lost my job last year and I'm also struggling with the self esteem issue but the important thing to remember is that not getting a job is not a reflection of you.  It's a tough market and jobs are hard to come by.  I work in a very saturated field where more than at least a 100 people are applying to every job I apply to. That is pretty stiff competition so try to not let it get you down and be proud of how hard you are trying.  Something will work out when the timing is right and the right job comes along.

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