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Ravenderr

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About Ravenderr

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    Science, technology, novels, film analysis, activism, broadway music and meditation.

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  1. Hey George, glad you’re feeling better. I remember something I read from “My Pocket Gratitude,” and the first set of gratitude exercises involves being grateful to yourself. If other people don’t appreciate you, then learn to appreciate yourself. It involves reflecting or listing all the work and effort you’ve done, and thanking yourself. I also remember the exercise that involves, savoring what people you helped feel, really imagining how it feels. The truth is a lot of people feel grateful for help everyday, but the person helped often assumes the other already knows how grateful they are, so it is left unexpressed. A good reason why being able to express a simple thank you can help. It’s nice to make the habit of gratitude in thank you notes or gifts at times too. Another gratitude exercise involves being thankful for how you managed to survive from hard times before, to reassure that you can do well now. First learned this type of thing from sites like Happify or Berkeleywellbeing. I find it very helpful.
  2. Well, I have heard of inner child work, and one doesn’t need a happy childhood for this. It involves going back to childhood memories and giving yourself the love as well as perspective you couldn’t allow yourself then. Someone may even write down letters to your younger self all kinds of advice, guidance and words of affirmation to help make peace with your past. It also involves trying things you enjoyed as a kid in the present, such as coloring or watching a certain childhood show. Maybe one’s childhood is mostly full of the bad, but I doubt you’d get this far without the slightest happiness, or comfort from anything. There are lots of articles with instructions around inner child work online if you are curious. It seems to be a subset of psychotherapy — therapy making sense of your situation growing up — and personally it didn’t solve everything in my life, but it did manage to help a lot.
  3. I am familiar with Zen Buddhist teachings and I find it helpful. Zen Buddhism is more of a life philosophy or a way of life, rather than a kind of specific need to believe in a certain type of God or list of gods, so it’s possible to be “Buddhist,” having other religious beliefs or practicing secular meditation as an atheist. More traditional sects of Buddhism have more specified beliefs, like reincarnation and similar ideas, but that is rather optional. The Dalai Lama (basically the Buddhist pope) has after all, preached just sharing secular Buddhist concepts anyone can agree on, rather than forcing people’s beliefs on them. I found the free meditation course Palouse Mindfulness by psychologists very helpful. They get enough money from live direct meetings for meditation, so they decided to give their course for free online with many guided meditations, as well as additional resources on the deeper philosophy, reasons and benefits from these practices. You won’t get direct guidance from them, but it’s amazing how much they offer for free there. Tiny Buddha is another site featuring articles by different authors with different problems in life, and how to work with it. I find learning more Eastern ideas very helpful — Eastern therapy seems to emphasize reflection, peace and cooperation while Western therapy seems to emphasize more action, excitement and independence. I believe both perspectives are very helpful to learn and in a time where different races are divided, getting to know both is very helpful. I suggest looking for “Popular Mindfulness book lists,” online if you’re curious. Lots of them online these days. Take care.
  4. You can search on “high functioning depression,” which is a type of mild depression seen in very highly successful people — with the pattern that the depression seems to come from the emptiness of other areas in life besides work. Though there are still cases in these types where it’s serious enough to cause suicidal thoughts, though it’s less common with these types. It often seems to happen more with the bipolar type depression particularly — where someone manages to have a very successful time, but stress triggered a sudden depressive episode that caused suicidal thoughts. I’m sure a visit online of “Famous people who committed suicide,” can show you more real life unfortunate examples. “Celebrities with mental illnesses,” is a less serious term to look at. Honestly, my depression growing up has pressured me to work very long hours in school growing up from all the criticism on not being perfect, rather than it making me lazy, and I’ve been suffering from some health issues now because of it. That is, my asthma growing up has gotten worse, and well I still accomplish a lot of work, but I have to slow down. These days I seem better though with a lot of mindfulness issues. People have different responses to insecure thoughts. Some people’s perfectionist thoughts of needing to be perfect make them give up trying much, and others overwork themselves trying to fix the issue. Whether it involves working hard in exercise, relationships, volunteering and so on — my reaction is more of the latter, honestly.
  5. I’m LGBT myself being bisexual and genderqueer, so here is some advice. Often in the LGBT community, it’s advised not to get out of the closet to close minded parents, or if you already have, not to press it on too much to them because there are too many stories of LGBT people receiving greater and greater punishments, or at worst, being kicked up in the house. I’m afraid you’re stuck with them until you are independent enough to move out. I’m sorry, but you can’t change them at this point. A lot of people in the LGBT get enough experience around that. A lot of people judge by appearance, and I’m lucky I look androgynous (gender neutral) in appearance and even voice already, but other types may come off more “strange” and receive more backlash. Best to just keep your distance and avoid them much as possible. Perhaps look for Einzelganger’s video “The Gray Rock Method : How to Beat Toxic People with Serenity,” which is common advice for abusive scenarios, when there’s not much option to separate from an abuser yet, whether it is family, a boss or a partner. Basically, act as unemotional and unresponsively neutral as possible, like a rock, and the less abusers will react over time. Remember, just keep your distance. Other videos in the channel can help. Take care.
  6. Sometimes when I feel this way, I like to think about the millions of other people feeling lonely in this world, and I don’t feel as alone. Really getting into the visualizations of how people from different backgrounds can feel alone, and somehow while still depressed, I feel a bit better.
  7. I’m sorry for your loss. I know a lot of people don’t take grief over pets as seriously as they do with human loved ones, but I’m taking your grief seriously. I believe you about the social media thing — I’m a huge tech geek being an engineer, and so much tech news these days seem to talk about social media business leaders not taking reports seriously, Facebook with the CEO Mark Zuckerburg especially. They get reports on posts and groups spreading ideas on white supremacism, animal abuse on video, and all kinds of horrible stuff that should be banned on these types of sites, but isn’t. Personally, I keep my social media contacts to close people to me who live far away. Maybe make use of deleting certain “friends” on sites, blocking others, working with privacy settings to prevent certain information that people could use against you, unsubscribing or unliking certain platforms, and so on. When worse comes to worse, it is possible to deactivate your account on various social media sites. My family asks me stuff about computers all the time, particularly older ones, and if you want instructions on this, I suggest looking it up online. Maybe try to find other ways to spend your time than on social media, except you know, the types of social media like this forum or other online mental health resources if you find it helpful. Lots of depression advice on Youtube for example, without even needing to make an account. Looking up the term “Information diet,” which is a term for learning to limit your time on social media to leave anything but the most important, can help. I especially like Cal Newport’s book, “Digital Minimalism,” if a large amount of your depression is caused by social media, and all the comparisons on it that can worsen mood. Blogs like zenhabits also help in clearing your mind in this modern world. Hope that helps. Take care.
  8. I read all of it. It is okay. I like in depth posts. It shows that you have a strong focus, a willingness to reflect, and the bravery to open about yourself in detail. I find that humility precious — the willingness to ask for help — goes very far. I actually agree with the above post from trait74. Perhaps it is best to try for a lower ranking career to earn wages, and perhaps look for another chance at better jobs when you gain enough experience. It’s a sad thing, but experiences like this with unemployment are very common, especially during the pandemic, and you are not alone. The truth is these days educational requirements are treated less seriously, and is just expected. It is career experience employers seem to take seriously now these days. So many people with Ph.Ds are working in places like McDonalds. I’m afraid that despite your experience, you have to slowly work yourself up the ranks with higher and higher jobs over time, not immediately. It might help to see this as not entirely your fault, but also society’s unfairness around you. Your way of expressing things sounds intelligent and hard working. Clearly, people have their own individual responsibility, but not all of it goes to you, but to society as well. I suggest reading on “The Myth Of Meritocracy,” articles like on The Guardian or The Atlantic online. Meritocracy, in other words, “Why the advice of saying you can achieve anything if you work hard enough isn’t really true, and how it pins much of the blame on the poor.” Perhaps it’ll help if you work on prioritizing mental health first than a job. Being depressed might be what makes you do so badly career wise, as stress can really worsen concentration and the results you give. You can’t just attack the symptoms without fixing the root cause, or it will happen over and over. Your mood doesn’t need to be perfect to have a good job, but try to work on it until it isn’t as serious, and when you feel ready enough to go back. Perhaps what you need, in other words, is a break from all this effort until you have enough energy to try again. You might lose the battle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win the war. Rest, reflect on the root causes, read on what might help, ask for emotional support, and maybe later you’d feel inspired to go after your dreams again.
  9. I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope the biopsy goes well for you. I’m afraid I’m not a doctor qualified to talk about these cysts, but I do know that taking care of your mental health also helps your physical health. I do have various relatives though who are doctors, and their experience is that people who get more stressed tend to have higher cortisol or the stress hormone — which exhausts the adrenal glands — and so there is less energy to be moved to the immune system. I say leave all the physical issues to the experts, and surrender into a kind of gentle self care for you to recover. People keep talking of serious illnesses in battle terms such as “Keep up the Fight,” or “War on (Serious Disease,” but it can honestly make the experience stressful for a lot of people. I remember when visiting a trauma support group years ago when my situation was so much worse, one response had a great effect to me, even now. This person said, “In many self help books, we’re taught to get out of our comfort zones — go into more and more risks, but for those with trauma, often our recovery is meant to discover how to move into our comfort zone.” This is not to say that something external in the environment is creating a place outside our comfort side, but in our heads as well. Progress for us has more to do with slowing down and learning to relax, than it is for working more and more. Remember that. If moving forward needs to be done, do so one step at a time and no need to make major changes all at once. Taking it slowly allows us to absorb certain messages in more depth than all the shallow discoveries people have, in a time where social media makes us hop to topic to topic. Take care, and remember when lost, feel free to gently repeat to yourself, “Let go, let go, let go. It’s okay.”
  10. I actually believe you when you say you’ve tried everything and your best around the idea of a job. I don’t know, but maybe there is a way to at least feel a little less stressed and gain the tiniest piece of happiness by looking for meaning in life outside of a good job. I do not promise complete joy, at least not immediately, but maybe you’re too tunnel visioned on the idea of a job. Sometimes fixing one area of life without fixing other areas of life that needs more attention first, just makes you fail over and over. Whether it’s childhood trauma to make peace with, unhealthy health habits or a lack of spirituality no matter what religious or secular beliefs you have that creates it. (I define spirituality as finding meaning in close relationships, a sense of not being alone and loyal to community, and being kind to others — it is not attached to one certain stance on religion.) Perhaps if you were less stressed in another area, then perhaps it would be easier to progress in a job. A lot of other areas of my life are in a horrible state, but my career life is great, so let me give you some advice if you’d take the offer. The truth is sometimes being better in a career involves not just trying harder, but slowing down. A lot of people can work hard, and it’s easy to replace someone like that. A lot would work hard for a lot less. What makes someone succesful instead has more to do with what they do differently in work. Studies seem to show that working too hard, too fast and working to exhaustion actually makes the efficiency in work worse. More progress is made from someone who gets enough of a break who can think clearly to make less mistakes than someone working so hard. So please, no need to pressure yourself. I doubt in all these years, you would not have made the tiniest bits of progress. A lot of motivation is made from celebrating your small wins and rewarding yourself for that, rather than being frustrated to only wait to reward yourself after a big achievement is made. You don’t need to motivate yourself through punishment, it’s possible to motivate yourself in rewards too. There is a time for punishment, but I wouldn’t resort to it all the time since stress makes it so that there is less energy for work. Perhaps it would help to just learn how to prioritize. Studies say human beings cannot really multitask well. If people learn to focus deeply on one thing at a time at work rather than having shallow progress in several projects at once, more progress is made. If you have to do many projects at a time, at least move on to something else only after a day or even a few hours. I’ll give you some prioritization skills that only takes a few minutes to learn. Look up the Eisenhower Matrix, the Pomodoro Method, music for concentration, to do lists, and relaxation techniques to learn how to slow down. Anyway, you’re not alone in this. Even with those I work with being talented, everyone is putting off projects extremely late, everyone is more tired, have worse ideas and so on in this pandemic. It is not your fault.
  11. I am also bisexual, really. Sometimes when you’re already surrounded by an accepting environment, what you need is just time, really. It sounds strange at first discovering you’re bisexual, I know, but time somehow just makes you get more used to it. If you’re not willing to come out in real life, maybe an LGBT support group online can help. Not much people like us here, so maybe check out some LGBT forums online as well. If you don’t want to talk about it yet, maybe just looking for content about LGBT people can help you make more sense of it. One good resource is to look for TED talk speeches on Youtube around the LGBT, considering Ted Talks is a good resource for speeches around different social and mental health issues in society in general. I also found inspiration discovering more about LGBT history somehow. You rarely hear of people famous in history who aren’t straight, and just as much as there needs to be an emphasis on women’s history and black history, there needs to be an LGBT history focus too. When I hear about other people’s stories, I don’t feel as alone, and I get stronger.
  12. I haven’t really ended up with narcissistic abuse directly myself, though I happened to have found people to help who experienced it, and by being entangled with it I ended up being part of the abuse as well. Those people were really close to me and helped me very much in life, so I had to do it. I guess . . I don’t really want to talk about it. I’m glad I did that, but I want to put it behind me, so I won’t be specific about the details. Other than therapy, it helps to educate yourself about narcissists as much as possible. A lot of people who have experience in narcissistic relationships often end up in such abuse again essentially because they don’t learn from their mistakes of falling for someone’s lies. Yes, victims need to learn how to trust people who could help them, but for their own good so they won’t be severely hurt again, they need to learn who to distrust as well. I suggest looking for these topics of interest in videos, blogs and especially books. 1. Signs of a narcissist. 2. Types of gaslighting. (Manipulation tactics.) 3. Types of childhood trauma. (Since those in such relationships often have had experiences in childhood that attracts them to abusers.) 4. Cycles of domestic abuse. 5. Cycles of narcissistic abuse. 6. How to tell if someone is lying. Whether in words, action or body language. 7. Self compassion or self love techniques. ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a good choice for this to help someone be independent to stand up for themselves. Get a therapist, or even just look for self compassion techniques, self care ideas or ACT workbooks as well. 8. Find a narcissistic support group. People usually call these types of victims “Codependents,” so if you would like to research about it, use that term. 9. Look for people with similar stories, so one doesn’t feel so alone. 10. It might help to look for assertiveness or conflict skills to help figure out how to stand up for yourself in a way that is not overly aggressive, but not overly passive as well. Hope your friend, or anyone reading with similar experiences, can benefit from this advice.
  13. I had issues with hypochondria or health anxiety too. Honestly, it’s cured now, but I still have other anxiety issues. Perhaps I can give you some advice in that area though. Other than, if you did not know the technical term of this — hypochondria — perhaps it’s time to research it. Yes, most people do not have this kind of anxiety, but there’s likely more people with it than you think. A more extreme kind of hypochondria may manifest in one of the subtypes of OCD, if you would like to look at that. Considering a pandemic is raging on, hypochondria is becoming more common, based on the articles by psychiatrists on Psychology Today. People don’t just think about possibly getting coronavirus, they start worrying about other diseases too. I think people are just more exposed to the possibility of their death, and it’s hard to deny after all that is happening. In health anxiety, there is a deeper part of this anxiety than just getting an illness. It has more to do with the fear of death, and not just that, but it often has more to do with dying a meaningless life. I somehow managed to get out of it by using my fear not to constantly research every disease, but to focus on active ways to make myself healthy. A lot of therapies seem to focus on changing your thinking, but a lot of long term ease is in focusing on solutions around the fear rather than repeating worries over and over. I know it’s hard to stop looking actively around symptoms, and I don’t expect you doing it all at once, but it really seems to help. Now about the fear of death and dying with regrets, I just . . . instead of making that a bad thing, I made it into something good. How? Fear can be a good thing, when it’s powered into action rather than avoiding solutions. It’s when we fear not taking action and its consequences more than the fear of failure, can a lot of people progress. And believe me, often doing nothing is all the more risky. Life somehow becomes more meaningful when you realize how little time everyone has. That’s why you have to make the most of it. People die on their death bed with more regrets of what they never tried to do, rather than what they have done. If you fail, hey, perhaps you can try again. As long as you’re alive, there is always another chance.
  14. Honestly, I’m part of the LGBT and I feel more genderfluid — sometimes more male and sometimes more female, being non-binary. It helps that my appearance is more androgynous or gender neutral. Though since I am feeling more male at the moment, I will answer your question. There is a good social skills site called succeedsocially that really helps develop basic relationship skills. After all, if you want to develop a good romantic relationship, you first have to figure out how to have good friendships. There is also a men’s magazine blog called Art of Manliness online that has a social skills section on how to look more charming in a kind of civil gentlemanly yet still strong way. There is also a men’s style section, and you’d be surprised how wearing the right clothes without needing to spend too much can make up for a lot of less liked parts of your own appearance.
  15. If you want something more than sympathy, I can perhaps offer some financial advice. I am a good problem solver after all. Though if you ask me why I’m in a place like this, it’s because my therapist tells me I need to get in touch with my emotions. So anyway, if you are sick of sympathy without solutions, I will give you the benefit of some logical solutions for once. 1. Go to Penny Hoarder. Best financial advice I’ve seen. A lot of get rich quick self help books don’t seem to work but this helps. There’s a free financial forum there if you think any finance nerds can help. 2. Look for a crowdfunding or donation site you might receive credit card help from. Crowdfunding is basically asking a little money from a lot of people, which adds to something bigger. If you cannot do this online, there can be a lot of success in asking a little from a lot of people, rather than a big sum for one person. 3. There are other free finance forums if you’re curious. /r/Frugal is another good one. 4. If you’d like to have some easy ideas to make money, look up, “100 ways to save,” or “100 ways to earn money.” Lots of advice there. 5. If you haven’t already, look for some nearby poverty non profits or local social workers to contact. Look for local volunteering areas and go there. Take care.
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