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Everything posted by Atra

  1. Some struggles regarding whether I'm good enough at this occupation as student: "I should be...", "Why can't I..." of judgment-mind. Remaining in quarantine conditions for so long, maybe my mind is eager to find something/anything to point at, as if to say, "But this is going great." But I can't be "great" every day and somehow improve with education. "It's great that I'm learning" might be a less perfectionist thought.
  2. Greetings. Living in my head was a very unhealthy arrangement for many years, I couldn't escape my the ruminating of my mind. Your experience reminds me of my own. I isolated because I couldn't function in the world when my body and brain was consumed by what had gone wrong. I was on threat alert all the time but especially when near other people. The worst of it passed, I don't know why. Spontaneous remission of symptoms happens, sometimes after an acute episode and it's not always clear why. That's an unsatisfying explanation when there is hope or belief that everything in the universe (and about us) is cause and effect. Perhaps you'll reach a conclusion that makes some sense of the improvement but if not, I hope you can turn your thoughts towards what to do now that your mind is less foggy. I decided to get help. The hope of help was not about never feeling that out of control again, rather, how can I extend the periods when I feel more like myself. When you've turned a corner before this episode, what seemed to work for you?
  3. Debilitating anxiety disorder of any kind is an awful condition to live with. It may be useful to think of it as an illness, rather than to beat on and bully yourself for not somehow overcoming it? I dunno. For me, it was a better problem to conceive of having a treatable illness than declare myself defective since forever. But how? There is you. And then there us this fear. It's easy to mistake the two as one; to fuse them. You didn't hit your "peak" long ago, that is a nonsense that makes sense only as a story you tell about yourself. At some point in life that story got promoted from a tale to make sense of things into a truth about you. Your struggles are facts. How you've endured and survived some tough years is to your credit. Maybe it's possible, if your symptoms were to lift just a bit, this feeling of impending doom wouldn't seem so overwhelming and you could function just a little better? Not me or anyone can function at a high level with a debilitating condition. And with that understanding comes a measure or self-compassion.
  4. Both. He's worthy just as he is and he can improve. What never seems to succeed in terms of caring for a loved one with depression is working harder than they are to treat the illness. The dysthymia isn't your fault and it's not his either, it simply is. How long until a treatment works takes however long it takes and a crucial element in making that journey is fostering hope. Wishing you and him some peace of mind, hope for change and acceptance of what is.
  5. Of course I don’t know enough about him to form an opinion, to me this sounds like depression plus attachment disorder. What that can feel like is a constant fear of being abandoned while at the same time, wishing you would just leave him. A childhood survival skill that's now getting in the way of adult intimacy. The cynicism makes sense, from a point of view: 1) the anxious wait for that day when you leave will finally be over, 2) reinforces the story that he's unworthy of a partner like you, which ends a confusing/uncomfortable debate and restores certainty, 3) there's a feeling of control when we can put ourselves through a torment of our own choosing--espescially if it means repeating a familiar pattern established long ago. "It never works out for me. Love and intimacy are for other people. I've learned the hard lessons already"-- there's no risk to being cynical about intimate relationships. Depression and anxiety for me is like viewing everything and everyone as a potential source of pain. I hope for him and for you that he's successful in unlearning the skill he needed to get through early childhood. Therapy is a hopeful sign cause we usually struggle to work this out alone. And I want to end this with praise for you, because you've been doing the mental wellness work yourself and it sounds like you're made such progress.
  6. I take a low dose of Nortriptyline (25mg) which doesn't seem to help but my pdoc and I decided to wait until after Covid before discontinuing. I can't tell if it's ever been helpful (my depression is med-resistant) but I experienced less side-effects than when I was taking SSRIs, SNRIs and NDRIs.
  7. Fantastic! You have a community and a spiritual home, that's two pillars of mental health support. Are there people in the community that you might see as future good friends or too early to know? Thanks for sharing the Ragamuffin Gospel what an amazing manifesto.
  8. As you know, Iboga and Ayahuasca are very potent hallucinogens. While I believe in the therapeutic use of psychedelic medicine for treatment of depression and other conditions, I also feel it's necessary to use them only with a trained guide and preferably with a psychotherapist. Psychedelic therapies require proper setting, intention and integration after to be beneficial and reduce risk. They can be very effective although Ibogaine can potentially cause great harm. I encourage you to explore this carefully and with help.
  9. Remission Recovery Relapse Remission (lasts a little longer) Recovery (last a little longer) Relapse (a little shorter). This is an acceptable life, for me.
  10. Yep, same. A turning point for me was accepting a different axiom: life is seldom a tidy affair. My hitherto best efforts have failed to prove that false, which puts me in the club of "the rest of all human beings who ever walked upright". Not especially bad company! Trying to find the strength to let go rather than expending all my strength holding on? That seems like a better problem to me now. I held to a very similar perspective. With some help from psychotherapy, I gradually reduced my false belief to a painful but more honest and self-aware admission, "I need to know [everything] so that I can control it." Control, like the belief that I can create certainty of a particular future for me, is an illusion. That's another new axiom for me, I guess. Learning to live with with uncertainty--or how to live with doubt, that also seems like a better problem for me right now. As certainties about my life go up, possibilities for my life go down. And yeah I maintain that there's still room for faith here. Because I believe that at times in our lives, each of us can transcend the confines of lonely flesh and temporal existence (however briefly) to experience That Which Is Unconditional and Infinite. Yeah I might like to live always in those moments of grace. But like the rest of us, I'm just working with parts I got from the factory. That's another form of acceptance: my humanity. Now if only I could learn how to love that... On the matter of the UU fellowship, what do you think about this people in this community, have they made you feel welcome? Do you feel you belong?
  11. Beautifully written. Thank you for this. And this part I find especially resonant with my core beliefs. By finding there is terrain in "Both-and" that can be navigated, I released my soul from confinement in "Either-or". Acceptance and change. A middle path emerges which was also always there.
  12. Thank you. I am learning, it's taking time to un-learn the socialization I breathed in. It makes sense to me that as a survival strategy, you learned to put a turtle shell around your emotions. I have done this but it made true and deep relationships hard. I don't know what is a better problem. Therapy has helped me figure out ways to share my feelings but also have boundaries. As you say, find safe people.
  13. I'm worried about a school project due next week. It's collaborative which means I don't have control over the work of others or their timeliness. That's good practice for me, chronic worrier. On the subject of peer support, I wonder if doubts about it's usefulness come from waiting around for something to eventually happen, something to change you. And that ain't peer support that's magical thinking. In my experience recovery doesn't involve a lot of waiting for someone who will arrive, say the magic incantation, gimme the pill and save me from myself. Your voice is the only one that's capable of making change in you, un-fuq yourself. And I want to be a part of that, to sit or walk or talk with you while you struggle every damn day, cause it ain't gonna happen inside your head or in mine. I need all of you to speak, to remind me of what works and to convince me that I'm worth it. Ultimately, work done one oneself is worth far more than labor for material reward. I believe that sh1t. But we can't take proper care of something we hate. Hating ourselves is looking into every mirror we pass and seeing the k1ller up close. We have to practice feeling good. We have to practice being nice to ourselves. (Pretty decent rant haven't had one for a while)
  14. I'm sorry to hear about the divorce.separation is hard for me to move on from too. And trust broken is so painful. There are many therapies I trust in that have helped with me address an underlying condition: avoiding authebtic emotional contact with people and stuffing my feelings down. How is it for you, expressing your full range of feelings--especially the uncomfortable ones like anger, sadness and pain? Is it difficult to find an outlet? For the past couple of years I've been re-learning how to cry, weep. It's difficult. And it's also a reliable way to release all those feelings i withhold. Wishing you some peace and resilience.
  15. Atra


    I empathize. I struggle with insomnia and staying asleep, have since adolescence. I learned that my father, mother and brother all have sleep issues. There are many things I've tried and they've all worked for a while, but then stop so I look for new techniques then go back to something that used to work. Recently, watching videos of someone restoring rusty, old things with no volume has helped me drop off. Something to do with watching repetitive movements relaxes me and turns off my mind?
  16. Welcome @peonies Glad that you found us. It sounds like you've had some ups and downs and you haven't settled on whether to commit to medication yet. That's a personal choice and hopefully this community can help you feel good about whichever decision you decide is best for you at this time. Nice to know that you found therapy is useful and I will also be glad to go back to in-person visits. Wishing you some peace and some relief from the depression and anxiety.
  17. Mostly school texts but when I have an hour, The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn R. Saks (autobiography about her extraordinary life with Schizophrenia)
  18. Detective shows... Hinterland, Grantchester, New Tricks. A bit of each but loyal to none.
  19. It could be you're asking 2 questions. What to do immediately afterwards when someone angers us. Later, what's effective in releasing stored anger. For me, they are related. My judgment about how I reacted or didn't react when angered is often what I replay in my mind afterwards. It is hard for me to let go of my anger when I ruminate. Talking with someone (friend, therapist, support group) who is able to put themselves in my shoes (empathy) helps me. So does doing physical activity to rid the stored energy. I'm also working on immediacy--how I react in the moment I'm angered. It's hard to tell if I'm angry because I'm reminded of something that happened long ago. Knowing what events in my past lead me to become so angry when someone says something has helped me to react in harmony with my values in the moment. That may mean realizing I have unfinished business in my past which is triggered by this person's words. Or, their words are offensive to my values or someone I value in which case, I should react appropriately with the emotion I'm feeling.
  20. I'm learning that with each developmental period I worry about what I'm losing. At the same time, with every decade there's something surprising that I never predicted so I couldn't possibly look forward to it. Existential questions remain but they also change as I age. The single question that persists seems to be, "Okay, so I didn't die. Now what?"
  21. El Ministerio Del Tiempo? Spanish made show about a gang of time travelers from different centuries who restore Spain's timeline. I'm watching The Expanse. Slowly. Ironically I dislike waiting a week for a new release so I'll watch it in my own time. Totally control issues.
  22. Spring semester school began this week and today I attended 2 classes (online). Technology issues made for a bumpy start though it felt good to see my classmates and be introduced to all we will learn this season.
  23. Thanks friend. I do believe change happens. Walking away from a job, a volunteer organization, a community or relationship--always a hard decision for me, as I value community and relationships quite a lot. This farewell is particularly painful because while I value transparency and authenticity (and I don't avoid conflict), if I disclose why I'm leaving the community it will cause divisions and drama. Consequently I'm forgoing goodbyes.
  24. Sent a brief notice that I'm leaving the peer mental health support group to which I've belonged to for over a year. No more facilitating meetings, volunteering or socializing in that community group. Also no parting shots, grievances/complaints publicly aired, grave warnings issued, detailed explanations provided or dramatic good-byes. This is a new and different way for me. It has been my custom to fight to the bitter end when I feel I've been wronged or when an injustice to others isn't challenged. A lesson I'm learning is most people dread drama (whether or not the cause is righteous), attracted instead to whomever can promise to restore order and stability no matter the cost. Gonna have to sit with some unpleasant emotions for a while, reflect on which of my core values compel me to resist uniformity of opinion. But the more painful part will be loss of a community.
  25. I use it daily and notice no harm to my mood.
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