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Everything posted by Sophy

  1. I agree that this could be the case, but wanted to share that my experience of this has been reeeeally different My pdoc is the city's pdoc for: heroin addicts, meth addicts, homeless people, people with HIV and similar situations that other doctors find "too difficult". He is AMAZING. He's literally one of the best people I've ever met in my life - and I mean him as a human being, not as a pdoc. He's incredibly dedicated and a total inspiration. And he's got an incredible sense of humour. He actually LOVES having a few clients like me, that aren't homeless, addicted, in a DV situation, in jail, etc. He really needs a few patients that aren't worst-case-scenario type patients, just to kinda help keep him sane/ optimistic. Same goes for my social worker. She works mainly with people who have acute psychosis and who need major daily "care" to get through life. She too is sooooo grateful to have a few clients that she can talk to about things in a normal, adult way and who are "only" struggling with relatively minor crap. At the moment she's helping me sort out some disability claim stuff and helping me organise the paperwork so I can enrol in uni again. Sometimes I feel like maybe I shouldn't be using up her time/ the resources of this outreach place, but usually I only see her a few times per year, so I'm taking up hardly any time/ resources. For 2019 we've agreed to do monthly appointments, to really get a lot of my paperwork sorted out, once and for all. For her too, having clients who struggle with "less awful stuff" is a godsend and gives her a breather and helps her stay dedicated and motivated with her more difficult clients. So that's *their* perspective. And mine is: I love these 2 people. They work with such intensely challenging clients, and they both have a heart of gold. They're both so dedicated and inspirational. Also, because I know they've both "seen it all" I feel much more comfortable sharing my crap with them and don't feel so stupid for struggling with basic life stuff, that I feel I shouldn't be struggling with. If I struggle with stuff they go "Hey Sophy, you're not homeless and you're not an addict - YOU ARE DOING SO GOOD!!!" It's kinda a good change in perspective, that yeah... I'm not homeless, I'm not an addict... You know what? Things aren't as shit as they sometimes feel/ seem... ((hug))
  2. Well, because I'm a special little snowflake, I have all 3: a pdoc, a talk therapist and a social worker. My pdoc obviously does meds, but also all the "Oy I'm a doctor so listen to what I say" stuff, if I need his help with things like disability claims, or whatever. As a pdoc, he has the clout that makes others shut up and listen, so I want/ need him on my team. Then I have my talk therapist, who's kinda "theoretical". That's good and bad. It sucks for the more "practical/ pragmatic/ down-to-earth" stuff, but I still really need him for thinking things through on an intellectual level, to see where I'm getting stuck in my thinking or to analyse stuff. And then there's my social worker who has a heart of gold and helps me with literally anything that I get my daft brain tied up in knots with. She even accompanies me to scary appointments, if I really need her to. She's got that wonderful down-to-earth "what help do you need?" thing. But, I also don't discuss the philosophical/ theoretical/ analytical stuff with her, the way I do with my T. My insurance covers my pdoc and my T. My social worker is from a community outreach kinda thing, which is funded through other sources and hence "free" for me to use.
  3. Yah. Having friends who care sucks sometimes
  4. Hmm, if Cymbalta is actually working for you, I'd really, really stick to it and pay the $90. Not having a med/ having meds that work poorly could impede your ability to function well at work in a way that is much, much bigger than $90 per month. I've searched high and low over the years to find meds that help, and when I've finally found one, I do not change it, unless there's suuuuper compelling reasons to do so. Just my 2 c...
  5. Hey I will reply in detail later, but just a quick note on the "legal subjects" stuff... So two things I can think of, off the top of my head are: How does the American legal system work (from an outsider's perspective) cos it's obviously not the same as all other legal systems world-wide. So kinda a brief intro to "what is the American legal system" (if that makes sense). Torts. In non-common-law countries, there's no such thing as torts. And it's such a weird concept to get your head around. XXX
  6. That is wonderful news. I know you're still struggling with stuff, but it's so good to see you headed in a good direction. Wonderful news about the apartment! So glad. So, so glad you're doing okay-ish and so much better than 6 or 12 months ago. Lots of love xxx
  7. Well f*ck. And now those 2 posts above made me cry. You're a heart-breakingly good person @gandolfication Love you (hug) Gonna see if I can buy the book that foreword is from.
  8. Hey there ((((((hug))))))) Shit, I just scared the living daylights out of myself when I saw the old thread "closed for further replies". I won't say what I thought was the reason, but let's just say my adrenaline is still racing 10 minutes later and f*ck I'm relieved that wasn't the reason. Holy f*ck. A million hugs (((hug)))
  9. How you feeling today, River? While it's good to keep pushing yourself if it's just the usual "nerves", if you truly think the job is a bad fit and it's causing you grief, then there is no point ruining your health for it. Try and give yourself some time to work out which it is.
  10. Hi Mark, Dunno if I've understood it entirely correctly, but here's my 2 cents, in case they help: Seeing as you decreased your Zoloft dose (to zero) by yourself, I think it's "okay" for you to increase it again by yourself too. What I would do however, to keep whoever is dealing with your meds informed, is let them know that you "tried reducing your Zoloft dose, but it seems not to have have the desired effect, so you're increasing it again". That's how I'd approach it, myself. Make sure you increase very slowly, and be aware that sometimes "going back" to an anti-depressant med doesn't work properly... Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't... So that's something to keep an eye out for... I don't really know why that is, but I've heard it several times...
  11. I have found that by going to local self-help groups and mental health advisory places, you can get really good tips on which Dr's are excellent and which ones are best to be avoided. That helps take the hit-and-miss out of the equation a bit. The difference between a wonderful and a crap pdoc is huge, so that research is worth the effort, IMO.
  12. mmd, your last thread was closed because it was deemed inappropriate. Why are you on this forum? Could you please think about that and give us a good answer?
  13. I get some disability payments next to my income from part-time work. Today I got a lot of paperwork in to the gov dept that processes my disability payments. For the first time in 3 years, I am up to date with that paperwork. I got as far as 9 months in arrears with it at one stage, which was a nightmare. But it was just too triggering. Couldn't cope with it at the time, ignored it and focussed on staying sane. It's a big relief to have the paperwork in. No doubt, there'll be more fuss and headaches with it, but at least this stuff is sorted for now.
  14. Hi : ) Yeah, I'm okay. I'm dealing with lots of triggers at the moment tho, so that's emotionally unsettling and a bit draining. But I am coping, so I feel relatively proud of myself for that.
  15. Hey Cassis, long time no see. I was wondering how you were, the other day.
  16. Yeah. I'm just doing it for a while (12 months) to force myself to come up with other/ healthier stress-management techniques. I dunno about you, but I find "being nice to others" much easier than "being nice to myself". So with things like low-self esteem, I try to approach it like this: I think every living being on the planet has an inherent worth. I want every living being to be as happy/ pain-free as possible. Every living being on the planet includes "me". If I care about the welfare of chickens in mass-farming (which I do) then I have to care about me too. Because I'm a living, sentient being just like they are. Tuning into that "self-compassion" has been very challenging for me. But I knew if I didn't do it, I'd never get anywhere. There's some beautiful work by Kristin Neff on self-compassion - including guided meditations. Learning to like ourselves - even with our flaws - can be one of the biggest challenges of all. And a life changing experience. I'm still learning it too - I don't get it right all the time. But I have learned to love myself as much as I love my dog - and I love him lots. And to laugh about my flaws, at least on most days. I'm sure you'll get there too. Listen to your soul. Your soul knows that drinking is only a bandaid solution to feeling better about yourself. Yah, sometimes bandaids help for a bit. But only for a bit. And then you need to do the heavy lifting that makes your life be about what you care about. I definitely think you can do it and I believe in you. If your energy is low right now, that's okay. Try and find enough peace so you can re-charge your batteries a bit. Sometimes we need to be in a cocoon for a while and to grow on the inside and to ignore the world for a while.
  17. Yeah, I get it. I think this sounds like an amazing time to search for new meaning then. Maybe seeking non-selfish people to share your life with would be a good start. And finding a place that truly feels like "home", so you don't end up being homeless. It took me til 40 to find a place that feels like home. Previously, I just had an apartment where I lived, but it wasn't home. Learning to accept your flaws (we all have them!!) and to love yourself regardless might also be a pretty good goal. When our life stops "working" it often forces us to search *deeper* and *wider* for meaning. Often what we find there is so much more valuable than what we had to start with. These painful phases in life can *truly* make us better and stronger and wiser and deeper people than we were before, even if it seems like senseless pain and struggling at the time. Keep asking your soul where it wants to go. And make sure you listen. Cos in my experience, souls usually whisper, so it's easy to miss what they have to say. And, yeah, I've used alcohol to numb pain too at times. I wasn't drinking heavily last year - but drinking for stress relief just a bit too often.... : / So 2018 is alcohol-free for me!
  18. So - this is my last post for now ... ; ) I'd like to add/ express where I'm standing right now re meaning. As described above, I've gone through several stages of meaning/ point in my life. There have been common themes, that interconnect them, but they have been quite distinct phases. I am 40 now, and I would definitely say that each decade of my life so far has had a very different "guiding star" which has been the theme of that stage of my life. Currently, I'm in a bit of a weird phase (I'll explain why)... In my mid 30's, I could feel my "mid-life" phase starting. I knew I wanted to make deep and profound changes. I could feel the first chapter of my life drawing to a close and the second big chapter of my life starting. I did make all those changes (and it's been an amazing, intense, unexpected and wonderful journey). On this journey, I met the person who I thought was the love of my life. I've never, ever, ever been in love like I was with this man. This relationship changed my life and we were both sure we'd spend the rest of our lives together. I changed everything in my life to fit with this relationship. I left no stone unturned. I knew he was "the one" and my entire life melted with his and it became "our life". The thing is, he has mental illness too (depression, anxiety, BPD, trauma, agoraphobia, BDD, etc) and he refused to seek treatment for any of it - and to make a long story short - it smashed our relationship into a million pieces. It's the most spectacularly painful thing I have gone through in my entire life, other than childhood trauma. The last 2 years, I've just been trying to survive the breakup. I was sobbing daily, just trying to survive, survive, survive. I couldn't believe any of what had happened and didn't know how to keep existing. In that phase, the only meaning/ point to my life was "I will not let a relationship with a broken man ruin my life." I just figured that I had not done 20 years of therapy (including trauma therapy) to fix my life, only to have it smashed to pieces by a crappy relationship. I'm a fighter and I can be very determined and determination is what got me through that phase. I just REFUSED to have a broken relationship break my life. Now I am over that relationship, but there's still a weird "vacuum" as regards meaning/ point/ purpose/ goal/ etc. My meaning/ point of "surviving the breakup" has now dwindled away, as I have recovered and healed. But NOW, I have no idea what I want to "do" with the rest of my life! I have a job I like, I am doing a big non-profit project for stuff I love and believe in... But none of it currently *feels* like "this is it". Like "this is the meaning/ point of my life". That was robbed when my ex tore apart "our life" and now I need to find/ rebuild something new. From scratch. And I think that's normal. That's what we all need to do, in life, at different times. Is it hard? Yup Is it daunting? Absolutely And as you said, maybe you just don't have the energy/ strength right now, to create meaning/ purpose that is about you being "active" or "strong" or "giving". Maybe right now "healing" is all you can do, and that's okay IMO. Maybe right now "healing and then coming to a new phase that will have a new sense of meaning/ purpose again" is where you need to be at, and to be patient with that. As for myself, your question has made me be more aware that it's time for me to give serious thought to the question "what will be the meaning/ purpose of my life in the next 10 - 20 years" now that the love of my life no longer exists and "my life" is no longer part of "our life". I truly have NO idea right now. But I have to prod my soul, so that my soul gives me some answers. I have to ask my soul "where do you want to journey to next in this weird and wonderful universe?" I have to ask my soul "what are you hungering for? what should I seek?" I have to ask my soul "what are you dreaming of? what are you yearning for? how can I get as close to that dream as possible?" I believe the things our soul dreams of/ yearns for has MEANING. I think our soul is kind of "poetic" tho - so we can't necessarily reach those things LITERALLY in life - we have to be smart at deciphering the poetic metaphors of our soul and then finding real-life, pragmatic, workable ways of attaining those poetic metaphors. I like listening to my soul, to hear what it is whispering to me. It always has interesting things to say. Sometimes I think "OMG that is IMPOSSIBLE" But if I get creative/ flexible/ smart, I usually find a way of helping my soul reach its dreams in a way that makes my soul feel at peace.
  19. So, I think that's a very admirable meaning/ point/ goal. But I'd like to suggest an amendment: How about saying instead: The meaing/ point of life should be that we all give as much as we can and that we all contribute to making each other happy. And that whoever is feeling strong right now should be helping to look after whoever is feeling fragile right now. I think life is never just about "giving". It's about "receiving" too. Sometimes we are strong and can give to others. Sometimes we are fragile and need to receive from others. Seeing as you are fragile right now, maybe you could look at the developmental growth step of learning to "receive" when you are in need. And learning to spend your time with people who give to those who are fragile (including to you at the moment). Maybe the point/ meaning right now is to learn that you (or anyone else) can't ALWAYS be strong. Sometimes we are in need and we are fragile. Maybe the point/ meaning is learning that we are still valuable human beings when that happens. Maybe the meaning/ point is learning to live with the balance of give-and-receive. Maybe the meaning/ point right now is that you learn a bit about what "suffering" in life is about, so you can understand everyone else on the planet who has suffered and who is suffering. Maybe this will make you a more compassionate person, who knows suffering is incredibly difficult. Maybe the meaning/ point is learning how to find help and support when you need it. Maybe the meaning/ point is receiving good stuff so you can pay it forward to others, later on. There are so many possibilities. But they will in all likelihood be NEW. IMO you will have to create wholly NEW meaning for your life. It probably won't relate much to the meaning you had in your life, before you got depression. Like a snake shedding its skin, we can't cling onto the past developmental stages we have gone through. We have to let go of the past a bit, to move on in the present and into our future. Creating new meaning is a challenge, but also an adventure.
  20. Cool. I was just thinking about your question a lot and there's a few things I'd like to say, but I'm having trouble concentrating today, so I may have to write several shorter posts and it may come out muddled - sorry! The first thing is this: I think the meaning/ point of life is often quite "arbitrary". When we are young, often we kind of "adopt" whatever point/ meaning our parents/ family/ society has given us. Often, we'll just happily bumble along, following that meaning/ point, until we run into trouble. So for many of us, initially we'll have the point/ meaning to do okay at school, to get a job we like and that we are good at, to do well at life, to be a decent person, maybe to start a family of our own. Usually, we'll just follow some arbitrary point/ meaning/ goal like that - until we run into trouble. That could be health reasons, mental health reasons, financial, job-related, relationship problems, whatever. And then suddenly, our previous point/ meaning/ goal isn't achievable anymore or isn't relevant anymore or doesn't feel right anymore. I think the thing is this: the meaning/ point/ goal in life is a moving target. It's never just "one thing" for life, and that's it. I think as we grow as human beings, the meaning/ point/ goal has to evolve. And I sometimes wonder whether people realise that. Or whether they think just having one meaning/ point/ goal is normal and they can just follow that for the rest of their life. I think in life we naturally "out-grow" our previous meaning/ point/ goal. For example, if someone's goal/ meaning/ point has been to raise their children, then when their children move out and start their own lives, there's a big "hole" left, which needs to be filled with new meaning. Or when people whose meaning/ point/ goal was their job - when they retire, they need to define a new life meaning for themselves. Those kind of (non-traumatic) transitions are really challenging! So the kind of traumatic transitions we are faced with when dealing with physical or mental illness and financial or job-related crises or relationship breakups - they are sooooo much harder to deal with! The loss of your previous meaning/ point/ goal in life can feel very traumatic and empty. And depression/ anxiety can make it so much harder to sculpt and create a new meaning/ point. But I think that that is exactly what you have to do. Give your life a new meaning/ point that now incorporates where you are at. Mental health and illness has now become a defining force in your life, so any new meaning/ point is probably going to play a role... for example your new meaning/ point might be "overcoming mental illness" and learning to live in equilibrium and learning to like yourself. I'll reply to the meaning you named in your post, in my next post...
  21. I've discussed this a lot here and elsewhere in life. Unless you are religious, then a consensus many come to is that life doesn't have an "inherent" point/ meaning, you have to "give" it one. The point/ meaning you give your life ist the point/ meaning it will have. What do you think the meaning of (your) life should be?
  22. Relationships are hard. We all bring so much baggage and so many issues to the table. Right now, at 40, I don't want to be in a relationship either. Not so much because I've given up, but because, for the time being, I feel like I've learned what I can from relationships. I want to be on my own for a while - as you said, letting yourself-image have free reign can be a good thing too. It's sad when relationships fail because we're not quite where we want/ need to be - when they fail because of such a small margin, it's truly heartbreaking. Give yourself time to recover and keep working on your issues - it will benefit you, no matter what. Whether you stay single, start a new relationship, or even just in your friendships. And don't blame yourself. We're all given baggage to deal with and we all take it into relationships. Your ex will have had her share of baggage too and her not talking about it is part of her baggage. Often, when a relationship fails, people "blame" each other because it feels easier to get over the relationship in that way. So, while your clinging may have contributed to the situation, your partner probably contributed too - and now she's walking away from it saying "it was all your fault because of the clinging". It's easy to get stuck in a line of thinking like that. But I'm sure it's not the case. You're aware of your issue and you're working on it - that's all any of us ever do in life, so keep going and you will grow.
  23. Hey Arnold, Are you doing therapy for this? My last relationship was with someone exactly as you describe and yeah, it ended in a spectacular trainwreck. Unfortunately, my ex totally refused to get treatment and was convinced that if I loved him "enough" / "right" and let him cling 110%, then that was all he needed. If he had been willing to get treatment and I had seen some improvement (any at all) and there had been some hope and him being aware of the issue and dealing with it, I'd have stuck with him. It may just be my opinion/ perspective, but I think if there's a major issues, then it's much easier for the other person if there is some kind of tangible hope/ action being taken/ appropriate treatment being sought. I think we all have "issues". So a partner having issues is pretty normal. A partner not willing to actively work on their issues is really difficult, IMO. Btw, as I was breaking up with my ex, he did an 100% about face and went from hyper-clinging to ghosting. (It wasn't me that ghosted.) That was super weird and traumtic too. I understand he was acting out his own issues, but 2 years later I am still super angry at having been treated like that and having been "used".
  24. Today is weird. I keep hitting pockets of anxiety for "no particular reason". Edit: It was my blood glucose dropping weirdly again. So weird how this happens. It causes quite intense anxiety and depression and when I feel that low and upset, I always forget to think of blood glucose/ food. This has been happening for 10 + years. Will I ever learn? Or will it seem like a "mystery" everytime it happens? : P
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