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Atra last won the day on February 1

Atra had the most liked content!


About Atra

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    Silver Member

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    San Francisco, California
  • Interests
    Cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, podcasts, theater, opera, wine, food, crunchy-looking leaves on the sidewalk, walking, meditation, skepticism, travel.

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  1. Getting this off your chest is important, you did yourself a kindness by sharing what's weighing on you. I feel for your pain and I think you're brave for speaking openly about it, that's never easy, even anonymously. If you it feels better to write about it than to keep it inside, then please keep writing about it. From what you described you have a tough situation and some things about your life are undeniably more difficult because of it. It is unfair. It's not your choice or your fault that you are this way. Yet it says nothing about your potential or your character or your humanity. How much you suffer for it is not entirely a matter for others to decide, you have some control over the pain you are inflicting upon yourself. I'm talking about labeling yourself, judging yourself and predicting only a bleak future - which you cannot know. You simply don't know what you don't know about what changes can happen in the years ahead. The repetitive dialog of negative thoughts in your head is twisting a knife that was stuck in you. I don't have the same problems you do but I do have problems and time after time they have engulfed me. I haven't made them go away but I'm learning how to accept rather than resist what I can't change right now. Try to reserve a little energy for the self-compassion that you rightfully deserve. You may not believe you're worth it but you are. Like every human being you deserve love, not in spite of your condition but because we all deserve love. I also think you deserve a measure of respect for being resilient. If you do not receive respect from others, it is still something you can afford to give yourself. And in this support community, we've got enough compassion to share with you when you're struggling to find it within you.
  2. I try to inventory myself when I rise each day. What are my vulnerabilities? Did I not get enough sleep? How are my symptoms today, my mood? Is there anything that happened yesterday I need to let go of? What am l worrying about ahead of my day? Do I need to do some small things to take extra good care of myself? Also, what have I got going on that is good, that I can call to mind in service of balancing my mindset against the demands and confusion of the workplace? What can I give myself credit for, starting with getting out of bed and self-cares? What's a nice thing someone wrote or said to me?
  3. Terrific! I regard taking chances as is a sign that negative thinking, negative self-beliefs, fear and future-tripping have loosened their grip. Those are tough to resist so it is admirable that you overcame them. Wishing you luck with this potential new friend. Whether somebody decides they want to hang out with us is an outcome beyond our control but I believe the effort to make new connections means a great deal. Maybe success is measured by your ability to make efforts like this. Another milestone on the road to recovery.
  4. Hi and welcome. Thanks for introducing yourself. It sounds like you have some difficulties with mental health and depression is a enormous burden - I struggle with it, too. You've found a place here to share your thoughts and feelings openly and anonymously, to be heard and accepted, to be among peers who get what you're dealing with. Whenever you feel like venting, complaining, processing, questioning, crying, sighing, screaming - we are here. Hope to read more about how you are navigating life with depression.
  5. I won't judge your problems. Plus I wanna be hearing about the lows along with the highs you experience whenever you feel up for writing again.
  6. Olalla - Blanco White Mandolin-like charango supplies an uplifting melody. Brilliant wood-instrument percussion breaks inciting me to dance. Lamenting vocals yearning but fervently urge us "to believe in better times". Leaves me feeling sad, hopeful, uplifted.
  7. That makes sense, thank you. I don't have a close relationship with her. We talk and she can be sisterly and affectionate with me, even protective. Yet she doesn't get that I see her - the anxiety, the doubt, the inability to attach, all the struggling bits. I wish I could access the part of her that's so afraid of abandonment long enough for me to communicate that I see her and I accept her as she is and I know she wants to be a better version of herself. I worry that the abuse she's recieved is playing out in her relationship with my older brother. BrAtra doesn't manage his own emotions very well so he and his wife activate one another. Made traveling in Europe a challenge, though they tried really hard for my sake. @Nightjar Thanks so much for lending your ear and sharing your understanding of narcissism. I wasn't able to speak with her directly this weekend so I emailed my SIL. She replied, was understanding and thanked me for letting her know (that her behavior bothered me). I feel pretty good about having brought it up. I have a long history of people-pleasing and not setting boundaries.
  8. @Nightjar Thank you for the insight into possible reasons behind her behavior. I've noticed that sister-in-law's immediate reaction to behaviors of others that bother her is to try and make them stop. Sometimes that's appropriate but in this case (in my mother's home) it seemed out of bounds. In this case it appeared as if she decided that mom and bro's eating out of the serving dish was something happening to her rather than just behavior of others she didn't think was okay. When I'm bothered by behavior that's not directed at me I can choose to use distress tolerance techniques. Take myself out of the situation temporarily to dial down my emotions before I melt down, for instance. I do this out of acknowledgement that my distress is my own - even if other people are contributing to it. I cannot expect everyone to comply by behaving only in ways that make me comfortable, that's not reasonable. And you might be right that she was already wound up about something else, that's a keen observation. On a scale of 1-100, her actual baseline mood (anxiety) seems to be around a 50. Add drinking and behaviors of my brother that seemed to bother her, she might've been at 75 when this incident pushed her over the res line. I feel certain that she suffers from untreated and unmanaged anxiety that stem from her upbringing and she feels acute distress at what others might call ordinary distress. I want to be sympathetic and understanding of that because of my own mental health conditions while at the same time acknowledging and enforcing boundaries out of respect for myself and my family. I guess it's walking a thin line.
  9. Sounds like a successful launch, @Acarlay I'm glad to hear that the experience was tolerable, it even sounds like it was relieving. The most important factor that determines success in therapy is the relationship between client and therapist. Being able to work well together, mutual trust and knowing that this relationship is durable: it can withstand the stress when strong emotions come out. You won't be punished or avoided or abandoned because you expressed those emotions. Once you've had more visits I hope you'll let us know how it's going, we want to hear about the ups and the downs in the journey. Wishing the best for you.
  10. Hi and welcome. Thanks for sharing a little about your struggle with anxiety. I know I get tight when I start a new job, trying to learn and perform at the same time and everyone I'm working with is new to me. How would you describe that job-related anxiety you feel - fear of something happening? Worry about your co-workers or job expectations or meeting performance expectations? Anticipation of boredom or that you'll do something wrong? Concern about learning to do certain things the right way? Or something else entirely? It can help to name it.
  11. Family dinner Friday night with bro, sister-in-law, mom and dog. Brother organized the event at mom's, SIL asked me to make her favorite dish, mom and I cooked. I have a problem with my SIL's behavior during the meal and want to write about it cause it's been bothering me. She was raised by a narc mom and she has trouble managing own emotions, especially when something upsets her. Dinner turned out fine, we drank a lot of wine when SIL was bothering my brother, telling him he was serving the pasta wrong 🤷🏻‍♂️ and not to lick his plate etc - behavior I tolerate because it's their marriage and I'm not running for mediator. As the meal came to an end, mom and brother occasionally pick out pieces of macaroni from the serving dish and eat it. This custom of picking at a dish at the end of a meal is acceptable in my family, always has been. But my SIL de-compensated, announced with irritation and indignation something about not being able to stand it when we "do that", stood up, snatched the serving dish from the table and took it away into the kitchen. I had enough wine that whatever was going to come out my mouth about her behavior was going to make a bigger problem. But I will be seeing her tomorrow and I want to find a time when I can take her aside and say that this bothered me. What bothers me? I have emotional difficulties and I've worked real hard to self-manage, self-soothe and learn to take care of myself. I get a little upset when someone cant manage their own emotions so they feel it's fine to make everyone else do it for them. I dont like it when my SIL gets distressed and her way to cope is trying to control everyone else's behavior. But all the same, I empathize with her cause I know how difficult distress can be when the only skill you've learned that works is to blow up at other people. So I'm trying to plan what I will say to her so as not to activate myself - that defeats my main goal which is to show her another way - a more effective way - of communicating. "It bothered me when you got upset at dinner the other night and took the food away before everyone was finished eating. I'd like you not to do that. I understand you get upset when someone behaves in a way you disagree with but there is a better way of handling it than how you did. I like having these family dinners, I was glad you and brother arranged this, it was nice to include mom and do it at her place and I want everyone to enjoy themselves." Hopefully, I can avoid shaming, blaming, isolating her. Or let my anger loose for the temporary emotional satisfaction. I want to communicate that she crossed a boundary and ask her not to do so again. My relationship with her is important, she's my family now so I care what comes out of mouth. I care that she comes away from this talk feeling that she's acceptable, that she can make me upset but we can talk about it and it will be okay. From what I've seen of her family of origin, she's never experienced conflict resolution apart from emotional level 100 screaming, hurtful words and avoidance. If I can demonstrate a better way, it'll feel a lot better than giving her what she's always gotten from her dysfunctional mom.
  12. The Farewell (2019) Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) gets the lead in this comedy/drama about a Chinese family and their decision not to tell a grandmother she's got terminal lung cancer. I'd describe it as a movie about family ties and the familiar roles we play in our extended families. Awkwafina is terrific playing the role of Billi, a Chinese-American 20-something and daughter who loves her grandma. She desperately tries to keep a lid on her emotions during what she expects will be her last opportunity for a visit. The family invents a fictitious reason for gathering in China, everybody tries to keep it together and run interference. Much of the movie is subtitled but that didn't diminish the emotional rollercoaster ride for me and although I never had the chance to know my own gran, I was full of the feels at the end 😥 so I highly recommend ya see it - and bring tissues.
  13. This is fantastic, @idkusername465. It has been really cool to follow your journey. When you started by telling us how you felt stuck, disconnected but ready to struggle against avoidance did you imagine you might ever be having a pleasant conversation with a complete stranger on a train? - which wouldn't have been possible if you hadn't decided to enroll in this program - which wouldn't have happened if you when your enrollment was delayed, you gave up - which couldn't have happened if you decided the discomfort of a long train ride and being in a classroom with strangers was too much for you to tolerate - which wouldn't have happened in you shut down the conversation with the stranger by putting on your earphones - or any number of ways we avoid contact because of fear and distress. You know, it's easy to wave away each of the above by minimizing their importance or dismissing them with "that doesn't count" statements. So I'm here to tell you it's admirable what you've overcome and tolerated just to get to this point in your journey, and also cool that you're taking chances which is the only way to grow.
  14. The technician who put in my IV and monitored me during treatment noticed the essential oil I had in a necklace diffuser, she liked the combination. I mixed clove with cinnamon as both are relaxing aromas for me and I need that cause I have a phobia of needles, syringes and catheters. The diffuser projects the scent only about 1-2 feet around me, what I'd deem my personal space so I'm not "crop-dusting" while I walk or turning an elevator into a spice box. Just keep your distance if you don't want no warm spices all up in your face. 😊
  15. BrAtra recommended this show today, I just binged 5 episodes. A somewhat similar plot to 2016 movie Arrival - at least the half I've watched. Sackhoff is terrific. Yes! JayR Tinaco is non-conforming and absolutely gorgeous and I hope they develop hir character.
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