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Atra

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  1. Sad
    Atra got a reaction from Epictetus in How Is Your Weather Today? #17   
    Slight improvement in air quality today but still very smoky from California wildfires. Many city services shut down since Friday and N95 filtratration masks sold out everywhere as they're needed by police and the elderly and sick. My lip reading class is cancelled tomorrow, city government advises everyone to stay indoors. 😷 This kinda sucks. 
  2. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Bulgakov in Feeling like a fraud   
    I've noticed it's a common expression here in the forums, why do you think that is? Is it a symptom of depression? Individual delusion? Mass hysteria? Are we clones of the "real us" like in my nightmare? 😜
    When my depression symptoms are raging, I feel like a fraud because I'm "not supposed to"/have no "great reason" to be depressed. Mental illness runs in my family, doctors diagnosed me, symptoms add up - none of that matters. I shouldn't be depressed so it's unacceptable.
    When my depression symptoms are in remission and I seem to be making progress in life, I wonder if that's phony too. What if I'm deluding myself? Have I bought into the self-help industry bullshit? Am I irredeemably broken and fated to be a pretender who's barely a convincing facsimile of a real person? That should be a song lyric. 
    Anyway! What's up with this? Tell me about you. 
  3. Like
    Atra reacted to Rattler6 in 3 Words Of The Moment   
    Hot
    Tea
     Nice
  4. Like
    Atra reacted to Floor2017 in 3 Words Of The Moment   
    Hang On Friend
  5. Like
    Atra reacted to Hertz in Create Your Own Minimal Poem For Today   
    Reverse ombilical cord
    Sucking and pumping life
    Out of the withering son
  6. Like
    Atra reacted to SugaredSloth in Create Your Own Minimal Poem For Today   
    I made the investment 
    You were meant to last
    I pushed you so hard
    You burnt out so fast
  7. Like
    Atra reacted to Floor2017 in I think I messed up our progress.   
    I don't know my friend, but only you know what is best for you.  Now, I myself much
    rather have somebody that I call a friend than not to have nobody at all.  In a friendship
    there will always be one that love more than the other or should I say one more trust worthy
    than the other one.
  8. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Nightjar in Create Your Own Minimal Poem For Today   
    I missed your birthday
    Missed your wedding too
    And you're wondering why 
    I showed up for something 
    But not your something
  9. Like
    Atra reacted to MaepleSyrup in I think I messed up our progress.   
    I honestly really appreciate you speaking out about a similar experience. A new perspective really helps make things easier to understand. I did see your post a little after you replied, but I did not have the time to sign in and reply.
    I have taken your advice and I decided to attempt to cross paths with them the beginning of this week actually. And it turns out, they actually wondered where I was. And the reason they left was because they felt ill and had to throw up. So all along, it actually was a misunderstanding.
    This is not the first time this has happened and there have been times where it actually wasn't a misunderstanding. Luckily things worked out in the end. But let's hope things remain the same.
  10. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Bulgakov in I think I messed up our progress.   
    Hey there Mae. I hope things have chilled with you some since last week sounds like you got the rug pulled out from under you. 
    Thing about true friendship is it's built on a foundation of trust and as you've said often that doesn't come easy to you. Real talk with a friend is being vulnerable, showing them something that they could use to hurt you now or in the future. When you get real people recognize it instantly. Some will come nearer some will run away and that's how you know if it's a true friendship. 
    We can't know what's going on with someone else unless there's communication. It's possible whatever is up has nothing at all to do with you. As humans, we always think it must be us but we got to consider the other possibility. 
    About 8 months ago I had a moment of clarity about my relationships with friends and family. I'd become so distant because I just didn't see the value in it given how hard it was on me to maintain relationships while depressed. I'd rather just be alone than have to work on it while struggling with mental illness all the time. 
    Then I saw something, it was a vision of all the people I knew and how they were less complete without me in their lives. I had no idea I was missed, I was completely without a clue how it impacted others. With that vision came an understanding that in relationships we don't get to see how others benefit just by our presence. All the ways we touch and influence others are for the most part, invisible. And it moved me, viscerally. 
    I don't expect you to get it. I do me and you got to do you. I figured by sharing this it might give a little perspective. 
  11. Thanks
    Atra got a reaction from MaepleSyrup in What am I doing wrong?   
    You're welcome Maeple! I really hope you can use the info. I have anxiety, it drives me crazy and coupled with major depression I could barely function. Getting my symptoms reduced certainly helped. Learning and practicing these thought skills helped me understand what was going on in my mind and gave me a tool to use so I didn't feel so hoplessly defenseless.
    I know what you mean about animals vs human beings. People are complicated, right? Socializing with mental illness is really freaking hard and friendships can sometimes be both confusing and demanding. We want our friends to see us, not just our anxiety but sometimes it's like we're invisible and only our illness is seen. 
    You can develop the habit of identifying distorted thoughts and challenge them, like in the above examples. It takes some practice and some compassion for yourself and acceptance that you are not your thoughts. Oh, and keep drawing despite what the thoughts say! Please let me know how it goes. 😊
     
    More info about the thought skills I posted, web search: CBT distorted thoughts. CBT challenging negative thoughts
  12. Thanks
    Atra got a reaction from MaepleSyrup in I think I messed up our progress.   
    Hey there Mae. I hope things have chilled with you some since last week sounds like you got the rug pulled out from under you. 
    Thing about true friendship is it's built on a foundation of trust and as you've said often that doesn't come easy to you. Real talk with a friend is being vulnerable, showing them something that they could use to hurt you now or in the future. When you get real people recognize it instantly. Some will come nearer some will run away and that's how you know if it's a true friendship. 
    We can't know what's going on with someone else unless there's communication. It's possible whatever is up has nothing at all to do with you. As humans, we always think it must be us but we got to consider the other possibility. 
    About 8 months ago I had a moment of clarity about my relationships with friends and family. I'd become so distant because I just didn't see the value in it given how hard it was on me to maintain relationships while depressed. I'd rather just be alone than have to work on it while struggling with mental illness all the time. 
    Then I saw something, it was a vision of all the people I knew and how they were less complete without me in their lives. I had no idea I was missed, I was completely without a clue how it impacted others. With that vision came an understanding that in relationships we don't get to see how others benefit just by our presence. All the ways we touch and influence others are for the most part, invisible. And it moved me, viscerally. 
    I don't expect you to get it. I do me and you got to do you. I figured by sharing this it might give a little perspective. 
  13. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Nightjar in Thanksgiving Anxiety   
    From the bits I've read about your life it seems right to make your own wellbeing the priority this year. Haven't you recently recovered from a serious health emergency? Your uncertainty of what to do is familiar to me, I was a caregiver for my dad before he passed and emotions in conflict tore me up. A couple of years ago I told my family I could not attend holiday dinner because my depression and anxiety were too much to manage. Some drama resulted but there was more drama when I absolutely freaked out on them the time before.
    Taking care of yourself is never unwise and you seem like you're a real good son to your mom. I'm sure you know that but I hope it resonates to read it. 
  14. Haha
    Atra reacted to Bulgakov in Phrases people need to avoid saying to depression sufferers   
    "Say, I'm sorry you're depressed.  You wouldn't happen to have a few bucks you could loan me?"  I hate that.
    Bulga 
  15. Like
    Atra reacted to ChrissyNoelle in Phrases people need to avoid saying to depression sufferers   
    Mostly from strangers on the Internet, but "Hey, I see you, you who have depression/anxiety/etc. I love you and others do too. I know what it's like. I'll be here for you."
    That never made any sense to me. Why would a stranger (most often times it's a celebrity or someone famous) want to help me? It feels fake to say "I love you and I'm here" to someone who you've never met, much less a lot of people at once. You don't know me, you don't understand and can never understand my exact situation. It's better if they take the approach of "I know you have people who love you", but to such a broad audience it feels exactly the same. I hate forced sympathy.
  16. Like
    Atra reacted to MarkintheDark in Thanksgiving Anxiety   
    That's more profound a statement than I've heard from almost anyone in the past (now) three months.  Thank you.  You've followed my posts and know that, indeed, ideation has been more of a companion to me the past month than I even like to admit, even as recently as the past week when I had to call a hotline just to keep myself together.
    And I'll apply it to my physical health, as well.  I've been required to do more in my situation than I ever should have been, particularly in the aftermath of my own health emergency, as @Atra put it.  (In short, being Mom's sole caregiver after her August MI wore me down so much that a rhinovirus from her exacerbated my own COPD to the point my immune system, due to advanced HIV, couldn't handle it, putting me in a situation where I had to be hospitalized for a week).  Fresh out of hospital, I was nevertheless still saddled with some time-critical tasks for her, albeit by phone, fax and internet, while I could barely get out of bed myself.  Effin' ridiculous.
    I guess this is the perspective I need.  What I THINK I can do or what I WANT to do is apparently nowhere near what I CAN do.  And I've a lot of frustration with that.
    Even a month out of hospital, both my T and doc have expressed concern that I've been pushing myself too much on this issue.  These are two of only three people whose opinions I trust.  As of Thurs - knowing of my ideation, as well -  my T wasn't shy about letting me know, despite my insistence on doing a face-to-face session for the first time in six weeks, he wasn't happy about any of it.  Hell, he went as far as to lay out all I had to do physically just to get to his office vs. doing a phone session (in my jammies, as he put it).  He all but insisted we continue phone sessions with perhaps an office visit once a month...lord, even into January.
    Maybe if I talk this out enough it will eventually sink in.
     
  17. Like
    Atra reacted to Epictetus in Thanksgiving Anxiety   
    Not sure if my opinion is even worth two cents, but I think your brain health should be your #1 priority.  Moral obligations cannot be developed in a test tube.  What a person of robust mental health "ought" to do in relation to an ill parent cannot be the same realm as  what a person suffering from mental illness "should" do.  That seems like comparing apples to oranges.  
    When my father was at the end of his life, I happened to be in a terrible mental health situation.  At that particular time, the most I could muster was to pray for him.  I was guilted and shamed a lot for this y family and friends. But I think of the story of a billionaire who gives $10,000 to a cause and a poor person who gives $10.  One can only give what one has.  Sometimes a little thing that a mentally ill person contributes is more heroic than epic sacrifices made by those of robust mental health.  
    Maybe I am wrong [I am often wrong ! ! !] but that is my two cents worth.
    You have done so much for your mother, MarkintheDark ! ! !  I do not think a person should feel guilty about trying to prevent their own hospitalization or worse, suicide.  But who am I to say?  Mental illness can be a terminal disease.   
    - epictetus
  18. Like
    Atra reacted to psycholuigiman in Am I toxic or are others around me toxic   
    Howdy, June. You've helped me out a lot in the past. I was beginning to wonder if you still had problems at all. This is an interesting issue. That word, "toxic" has a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people nowadays. I see it get thrown around so often that it has lost some of its meaning to me. I'm getting totally sidetracked though already.
    Anyway, I'd say that nobody in the world is pure. We've all got our personas that we think are best suited for society. Even if we have a kind heart, we know we shouldn't say or do certain things that we want to sometimes. Try to think of the "toxic" part of you as your shadow. It's with you always and can sometimes take on a shape that is much larger than you, making you think that it is all you are. It's not like that though. You're so much more than that. I hope that makes sense. I'm not very good with analogies sometimes even though I try to use them all the dang time.
    For what it's worth, I don't think being "toxic" around your friends makes you a bad person, nor do I think taking jabs at each other is bad either. I would think that your circle of friends and family ought to be the safest place to let your shadow out. After all, you can't suppress anything forever, so why not let it out a little bit around people who know you are more than that? I know I'm making low-brow jokes, taking jabs at my friends and family, and saying racist stuff for a cheap laugh around my friends and family on a pretty regular basis. That doesn't make me a racist or a bad friend, and by the same logic, you're not a bad person for saying bad things around your friends. Of course, it has to stop somewhere. There is a line that shouldn't be crossed and lucky for me, my friends will eventually tell me so if I cross it and I'll know never to go there again. My family won't even let me cross it.  If you still feel bad about it, I suggest asking your friends to set the record straight for you. Ask them in all seriousness if you've gone too far recently and if you need an attitude adjustment, and then go from there.
  19. Like
    Atra reacted to CloudsInMyChamomile11 in I hate my body and my face, why couldn't I have been beautiful?   
    I can so relate to the gaining a lot of weight around puberty and putting myself on a diet and exercising until I lost it all, reaching about 120 pounds at fourteen.  I also struggled with severe insecurity over my weight and other physical attributes for years and felt like I wasn't good enough.  Also, it's very interesting (but not a surprise because of societal conditioning) how so many women (especially non-black, non-ethnic women) aspire to look like Victoria Secret models.  It's never something I aspired to.  I just wanted to look like a much thinner and curvier version of myself. 
    Plus, I'm an African American female and never aspired to possess European phenotypes/physical characteristics but that's another story.  It's also interesting that as a bisexual woman, even though I've aspired to be pretty skinny, I don't find that kind of skinniness sexually attractive in other women.  I also don't find the majority of models personally sexually attractive, though I recognize some of their beauty on a superficial level. 
    But beauty is in the eye of the beholder which is all the more reason why I think it's best to learn to love what you have, regardless of phenotype or racial background, size and so on.  There is always someone in the world who will see the beauty and more importantly, VALUE, in who you are even if it's mostly on the inside (and hopefully it'll be someone who you want to see those things in you), and even if they don't, that's okay, because you've learned to love and accept yourself, all of yourself. 
  20. Like
    Atra reacted to CloudsInMyChamomile11 in I hate my body and my face, why couldn't I have been beautiful?   
    Sabiflitch, I can relate to some of the things you said regarding my depression and anxiety having gotten in the way of me being able to work.  But I want to address some of the other things you said.  You should know that this is all my opinion so take all I say with a grain of salt.  Being perceived as beautiful has upsides but it has many downsides.  These downsides diminish the value of being perceived as beautiful, greatly.  Basing the majority of your value on your physical appearance is a game that all women are bound to lose, in time.  There are many outside factors that pressure women into basing their total value on their physical appearance, as well.  Women want to please men (if they're straight) and so since many men and society pay a lot of attention to women's physical attributes over their internal attributes, women become conditioned to do the same.  But because there's a lot of contempt for women, it is never enough.  The expectations are set up to be impossible to achieve.  No matter what a woman does, she is looked down on in some way.  This is a game one can't really win, so why keep playing it? 
    Right now, for myself, I'm focusing on reaching intrinsically motivated goals.  I've had many painful experiences as of late where I felt like I didn't matter, was being looked down on, dismissed, overlooked, diminished and that there was contempt for me by others who I wanted to like and value me.  I also had achieved an intrinsic goal for myself but some others didn't see the value in what I had accomplished and treated me in a way and said certain things, that were very hurtful to me.  There will always be someone who will be displeased by some attribute you possess.  There are people who like small breasts and would look down on you for having big ones.  There are people who hate fake breasts.  Plus, you can't control how people are going to react to you or what people are going to think about you, no matter what you do. 
    Life is too short to base your value on what others value and appreciate.  Often times, people only value and appreciate those who are like themselves which is a bit narcissistic and conceited, if you ask me.  If your partner can't accept you as you are, then maybe he isn't the one for you.  It takes a lot of courage and strength to walk in this world on your own and live according to your own values, ethics and intrinsically motivated expectations for yourself but it's worth a try.  How physically attractive we were or weren't perceived, won't matter when we're lying on our death beds but how we lived our lives, overall.  Don't get me wrong, I like being perceived as pretty and attractive but I no longer want to base that much of my value on it.  I have many other attributes that I want to nurture and grow, right now and if certain MEN along with others don't value those attributes in me then frankly, f*** 'em, that's how I feel about that.  I hope we both can get to a better place when it comes to our self-worth and self-value. 
  21. Like
    Atra reacted to JD4010 in I hate my body and my face, why couldn't I have been beautiful?   
    Societal expectations for beauty are artificial. They are made up by some highly-paid marketing people behind the scenes whose job it is to condition us to a certain look.
    Remember the TV Show "Ugly Betty"? I despised it because the actress was NOT really ugly. She was this pretty woman who played an ugly woman and it was terribly insulting. But it highlighted the stupid crap that gets shoved down our throats via movies, TV, internet, etc.
    I work across the street from an online clothing company that markets to young, hip women. The models often come in for photo shoots. They are without exception tall and skeletal. Their ethnicities vary, but they all look like variations of a Barbie Doll. Honestly, the "grunt" female employees of the company are far more attractive to me because they look like actual real human beings. Not some creepy stick figures that are somehow supposed to be ideals for the rest of us to strive for.
    We feel pressured to look fake. Being an ugly person myself, I just don't care. I'm not "one of them."  Whatever, I've got a life to live.
     
  22. Like
    Atra reacted to BeyondWeary in Feeling like a fraud   
    Interesting! I think it is because I don’t have physical outward issues. So since I look normal, I’m expected to act normal and handle all my responsibilities just like I don’t have an illness. Also since depression is also a feeling that all people experience at times, it seems like I need to have a very good reason to be depressed. That puts so much pressure on me to take care of my life and my illness. It is all so much. 
  23. Like
    Atra got a reaction from BeyondWeary in Therapist judging me?   
    Hi Jeremiah. I regret I don't have similar experiences to share. My last therapist wore a well-practiced stare although it always distracted me when she glanced at the clock or looked away at all. I'm always looking people in the face so I notice those. 
    Your reading of her expression may be completely correct but as you're soliciting opinions, I'd like to offer another possibility.
    Times when I've stopped tallkng to ask/challenge someone what the heck they made that face for, nearly all of them replied "oh you made me think of something about myself, my past, this thing I read, etc. In nearly all the cases, their expression was triggered from rememberance and recall that had nothing to do with me. I believe self-reflection is an automatic thought response of humans and most of us cannot control facial expressions that betray our thoughts and feelings. 
    Speaking for myself, I always think it's all about me! You should be thinking about me not your... whatever!
    So, it's ok to stop and ask. Yes, It's kinda uncomfortable to do it but it's a momentary discomfort versus a much longer period of questioning, right?
    It's ok to ask her to stop doing that. She may have perfectly legitimate reasons for asking. Perhaps it demonstrates caring but if it's making you feel judged she needs to know it. 
    Therapist, doctors - I imagine they must have a much higher standard of self-care than I do but it's so not true. I have friends in those professions and they aren't amazing examples of health. 
    I guess if you like working with her enough, it's ok to ask her to change some behaviors. You'll keep in mind, I'm sure, that your therapist isn't meant to be your friend although in both cases the relationship is intimate. I hope it works out. 
     
  24. Like
    Atra got a reaction from BeyondWeary in Feeling like a fraud   
    I've noticed it's a common expression here in the forums, why do you think that is? Is it a symptom of depression? Individual delusion? Mass hysteria? Are we clones of the "real us" like in my nightmare? 😜
    When my depression symptoms are raging, I feel like a fraud because I'm "not supposed to"/have no "great reason" to be depressed. Mental illness runs in my family, doctors diagnosed me, symptoms add up - none of that matters. I shouldn't be depressed so it's unacceptable.
    When my depression symptoms are in remission and I seem to be making progress in life, I wonder if that's phony too. What if I'm deluding myself? Have I bought into the self-help industry bullshit? Am I irredeemably broken and fated to be a pretender who's barely a convincing facsimile of a real person? That should be a song lyric. 
    Anyway! What's up with this? Tell me about you. 
  25. Sad
    Atra reacted to samadhiSheol in The "what would you like to be doing" thread   
    Pretty much my sentiments too. No one should feel this way but here we all are. What a sad world this is.
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