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Atra last won the day on January 1

Atra had the most liked content!


About Atra

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    Gold 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. 5.5 miles walking. I was ticked off when I just missed the bus, resigned to walking 2 miles home. However due to San Francisco street construction fu*kery traffic was slow and I kept catching up to that bus whist on foot. Had I rode the bus, I might have saved myself a measly 10 minutes, so I'm glad of the exercise.
  2. @Nightjar and @evalynn I'm following up on your feedback regarding my school application letter. I took your advice to heart, just radically accepted how getting started would be the hardest part and adopted your conviction that it'll get easier. And you were right, it did. I put on music. I got my thoughts focused by filling out the boring personal information portion of the application online. When I eventually opened a blank document I felt okay. Actually, I wasn't at all anxious after I wrote the first paragraph, it flowed and it was kinda fun. You also suggested an outline. Ironically, that was supplied in the admissions FAQ under "what do I write in my letter of intent?". This made it so much easier to restrain myself from writing a chronology, which is what my resume is intended for. I'll finish the letter tomorrow and then read it aloud to my career coach on Monday - per your suggestion. Thank you both for lending me your smarts! I appreciate the encouragement, your experience and clear-headedness. So you know I've got 99 other problems you can help me sort out if you uh... do you have office hours? 😁
  3. Facilitated depression/bipolar support group, moderately large turn-out though I was anticipating even more. Of course, my depression-mind is eager to assign meaning to this: I suck at facilitating, they're avoiding me. Ridiculous, narcissistic even. 🤷‍♂️ A couple of our group attendees were hospitalized this week for trying to end their lives. Hearing people share about that is activating, my own memories and feelings to account for in addition to irrationally feeling somehow responsible for everyone else's. One member shared about an assault that occured last year and I was super proud they did; they'd kept that to themselves, therapist and me. Unfortunately the cost of disclosing was reliving it and they needed extra care and attention due to PTSD flashbacks. Went out for coffee and socialized with group members. Did some shopping and shoved a sandwich in my face before talking on a video call with a peer from my Ketamine group. Then I worked on my grad school application letter until 2:30am. It's 3/4 done, needs editing and ya know what, I kinda dig it.
  4. Took my to her physical therapy appointment and then I got my monthly Ketamine treatment which was overdue. Ate lunch. Went out for drinks with friends, then dinner then a nightcap then home.
  5. I want to say that I appreciate and value the reactions and reflections to what's been written here 🙏. Conversations about our struggles to accept and receive love or kindness (or even recognition) interest me and perhaps the 200 or more views of this thread suggest that interest is widely shared. Do we want to carry on with the discussion? Let's see. I wish I knew exactly what it is about accepting love, good attention, compliments, that makes me super anxious. Maybe that's too deep a question, maybe an easier one is sussing out what kind of anxieties arise in us. I felt a burning coal form in my stomach reading this, it is so very on-the-nose. and... About myself, I call this the "beyond broken" anxiety. I get a deep, sinking feeling. This means I'm a burden as @DebbieDowner wrote; I'm somebody's project. I feel that wanting too. Aside from whether or not we truly love ourselves, what do you think it is about pleasing others that feels so good, what "flavor" of anxiety arises when we don't know if we can? Is it a sense of pride that we have so much to give? Yep. I need to be perfect - competent, at very least - the first time I do anything else I'm a loser. For me it feels like embarrassment and deficiency anxieties. Love and sex. Oh god just tell me what you want. Communicate your needs and I'll provide! I navigate sex by trying to create a safe space and then encouraging (grilling might a more honest word) a partner to divulge what to them is stimulating, fulfilling. Honestly this takes the attention off of me - because I don't want to stumble through answers to those questions! Believing in advance that my needs can't be met, I will instead settle for praise like you make me feel loved. You're a very attentive partner. You're good in bed. Sounds a little like (but isn't) fulfillment. Ego is not my amigo. Ego is ever-hungry, there is no fulfillment to be found there. Finally, I was listening to the Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast today and heard this conversation about acute anxiety, career success and people-pleasing: As soon as you like/love me the idea that you could let me down or that you'd realize that I'm not actually so great - that's actually at the heart of the paralyzing fear. I want them to keep liking me because it feels so good. I'd be on a high and I'd think, "great, now I never wanna do that again because I just wanna leave on a high note while they still like me." And I'll never be able to recreate that. I just got lucky there because my core message that's instilled in me is that I'm not good enough. It was a total fluke. Does any of the above conversation seem familiar? There was that one perfect moment when you performed well or the one relationship that is ideal, upon which so much rests. If you were to never try to recreate that, you can't fail, disappoint, cause another to realize they don't really like you that much. How the thought of that failure intensifies feelings. Anyone have a lived experience with that?
  6. Hi and welcome! Thanks for joining and introducing yourself. We can be a support, if you need that. Feel free to make use of this community to ask questions, post updates, complain, seek compassion and understanding, relief from isolation, share something you're struggling with and/or carry on reading and researching. In any event, we're glad you're among us. Wishing you some relief from symptoms and hope for sustained improvement.
  7. I have a week to complete my statement of intent essay for grad school. I'm fighting my perfectionist attitudes that are contributing to procrastination. It needs to be only 4-6 pages and it doesn't have to be my greatest work, just good enough to make my application more competitive. And yet my brain is doing that thing where it magnifies a fairly simple task by setting ridiculous standards of success. I have lots of time and I have help from my career counselor. I just need to start putting words on that blank page, right? Any tricks or processes you can share that you use to get a project rolling?
  8. Fauda (Netflix). Drama about conflict in the middle east. @JD4010 has a good idea here. I made an effort to keep my fundamentalist Trek beliefs compartmentalized in order to fully experience TNG, DS9, Enterprise and Voyager. I never once threw my shoe at the TV. I have my favorite of the sagas though I did enjoy each series for the stories, characters and backgrounds. I just can't see paying for CBS streaming but maybe I can sign up for a trial?
  9. Young man at the supermarket checkout asks, Dude, what kind of rock is that around your neck? I tell him it's a lava stone and it holds a scent that I find relaxing. He replies, Whoa so it's like, jewellery that like... calms you down? I nod and tell him I have an anxiety disorder, that my head is right now inside a 2-foot "bubble" of green grass and floral fragrance. Helps me cope in crowded places. His face lights up, Bro that's soooooo... wow like, you're in your own chill zone! And you made that? Guy made me feel like I'm kind of a big deal in some sorta bespoke-aromatic-necklaces-for-coping-with-mental-illness-conditons... industry? Whatever! I rode the good feels for a couple of hours.
  10. Lovely - TwoPlusFour 2 violinists, 2 cellists, pianist and percussionist fuse classical music with pop. Lovely, melancholic song.
  11. Took advantage of a rain-free afternoon. 4.7 miles walking. Up from 3.5 each of the past couple of days. Down from 6.5 this past Saturday. Holes in my trainers, wet socks from rainy days suggest now is a good time to spend money on new shoes. Expensive but I can't deny my feet are worth it.
  12. Been 5 days since I looked in on my mother so I picked up some lunch for her, stopped at the store to pick up cream for tea and we spent a nice afternoon. Shes recovering well from a broken humerus. Whilst there, I borrowed her scanner to digitize a couple of paper certificates of achievements I earned, uploaded those to my LinkedIn profile. I am hoping the admissions committee for the masters programs I'm applying to will see them. Later in the evening I attended the process therapy group for Ketamine treatment. Spent time with my K-pals and shared my grief and related feelings for the loss of persons I felt close to. The LCSW who facilitates the group helped me to refocus on self-cares. Ate dinner and watched some streaming television.
  13. Since you created some space to do so, I'll share my anxieties about getting real close to someone. I can't let myself fully love another person because I'm afraid once they see the real me, what lies beneath the veneer, that they'll abandon me. Of course, what I'm calling "the real me" is just a list of bits of myself that I don't like or am embarrassed about. It's a long list. When something good happens, something bad is sure to follow. This is untrue but it has happened enough times that my anxiety-disorder brain believes it is protecting me by convincing me to be joy-averse. Did this begin when I was child and someone put a Jack-in-the-box in front of me? Happy melody and then suddenly... Cherophobia. I don't need to wait for the puppet to spring out and startle me anymore, the melody alone now causes panic. This is a metaphor for how my last long-term relationship ended. Love means being vulnerable and I can't be vulnerable while protecting my most sensitive bits in armor. Take off the armor, you say... with a smile as inviting as a barbed wire fence? Do you understand you're asking me to remove the layer that helped me survive this far? I'm accustomed to regulating my erratic emotions all by myself but when I'm with a nurturing partner, they want to help me. I want to let them. I don't know how. I don't have a manual for that. Experimentation rhymes with frustration. And leads to isolation. Forget it just let me do it myself! I'm trapped between the fear of losing all autonomy and identity to the relationship and the fear of the two of us gradually drifting apart. It's the trash compactor scene from the original Star Wars movie. Thanks for creating space for me to express my struggles with anxiety and relationships, @DebbieDowner. I hope you feel less alone. 😅
  14. Hello, welcome @colcat! I'm glad you found us and chose to introduce yourself. Whether you wanna post or absorb information, you're a part of this community, it's a place you belong. I hope that evokes some good feelings even if it sounds a little corny. I appreciate what you wrote about not wanting to seem like you're seeking attention or wanting pity - it reminded me of my own black-and-white thoughts. If I ask for help I'm being needy. If I share that I'm struggling that's just me wanting attention. If I disclose about my mental health conditions I'm playing up being a victim. Just recently I realized how these thought patterns of mine were part of an inner monologue that sort of protected me, helped me survive a lot of bad stuff in my past. Now they're just in the way of me moving forward but to view myself differently, it is taking quite a bit of work. I can take care of myself and still need help and support from others. Do you think maybe this statement can be true?
  15. Snooza - Säkert! Swedish so I don't really know what they're singing. Five minutes more Snooze with me Snooze whit me Whatever you say I am pretty sure that your workplace will survive without you Five minutes more That is all i want
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