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  1. Not alone! I have a thing with shirt collars as well, but on the front of my neck. I've always thought it's because the neck is vulnerable and I don't like the feel of anything touching it. But it comes and goes, it's not there all the time. Reading is fine for me, but doing other tasks with people watching I often felt I'd mess up at, and often would because of that distracting thought. Drugs and alcohol, I've done my time there. I'd often have thoughts that I'll simply never give them up, which I discovered was not a permanent truth. Wanting to end my life, that was also not a permanent thought. I give that thought much less power these days, though it may still come and go. Intrusive thoughts, I've learned, can't easily be willed away. In a sense they have to first be accepted as is, then debated, and over time we can work at giving them less power. I think if we could examine other people's thinking, we'd be surprised at the strange patterns of thought people experience and how similar they are to our own. I wish you well in developing the skills to deal with these thoughts. In the last year, cognitive behavioral therapy has helped me deal with this better, and it's pretty straight forward to learn. And yeah you're far from alone!
  2. Hello, welcome. This forum is a good place to vent and relate to others. It is at least helpful in that regard. The people here are kind.
  3. I know it's hard to see now, but there is tremendous power in how you talk to yourself. Your internal dialogue is the story you write for yourself. It takes concerted effort, and lots of patience, but it is possible to start turning the dialogue around. Even if others may not understand or care about your suffering, you can care about your own suffering. You can eventually start to believe that it's okay to have flaws and make mistakes, and to accept the flaws of others as well. I didn't believe it either, but with practice it really starts to work. It doesn't mean you'll be happy all the time, I'm not, but it means you can accept yourself in the face of this chaotic world that doesn't always have time to care about you. Be kind to yourself. We can relate. We care about you.
  4. Depends, it's different for everyone. Reading up on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and constant vigilance will help most. It takes time and effort but it's certainly helped me. It works well with occasional meditation.
  5. If it has nicotine, in my experience it does not help. At this point I no longer use nicotine, so I can compare it to when I did. There may have been some short term easing of symptoms, but it was very short lived. As with any addictive drug, you have to constantly re-up, which I found frustrating. And I could hardly part with my vape, I was constantly using it. Some people are better at handling nicotine than I was, but I was a fiend. I was a former cigarette smoker before that. If it has no nicotine, that may be different. The flavors are nice, and it allows you to shift focus to the inhale/exhale/cloud. I don't have much to speak of on zero nicotine because I was in it for the nic.
  6. Welcome. I'm sorry to hear of your pain. We don't roll our eyes here. People often say suicide is selfish, and I can't agree. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. What good is it to shame people in such a position? Certainly some compassion would be more helpful. But I think a lot of people genuinely don't understand what it's like, and what people don't understand makes them uncomfortable. People are tribal creatures that need others to fit in and behave similarly. Whatever others think, the path out of depression is one of self acceptance.
  7. I know what it's like, looking to the future and thinking there's way too many years of monotony and pain ahead. I've felt the dread of nihilism, not wanting to live to an old age, and not really wanting to be part of this at all. I know that any obstacle or difficulty feels so much more agonizing when you're just not into this game of life. I may not know your pain exactly, but I know these kinds of thoughts. If you're feeling things are pointless or meaninglessness, that can also be liberating. We create meaning in the small ways we can. You care about other people. They do not always return the sentiment, but that brings more opportunity to bring that light into the world. Standing up for your principles is meaningful. And don't forget to care about yourself as well. You and I are still young(ish). We have many years ahead of us, and I do admit it intimidates me sometimes. I don't have the same goals in life that I feel many people have, my needs are few. So rather than look to the vast future, I do what I can to make the present bearable. It's not always awesome, but bearable, with a few good times packed into the week. I hope you find the means to do the same. You're not wasting anyone's time here.
  8. I think there can often be changes of opinion in oneself. I've always liked certain aspects of myself, but hated other parts and behaviors. So from a depressive point of view (as opposed to that of someone who hasn't hated themselves), it involves bearing in mind your positive aspects, and reminding yourself that you are worthy of respect from yourself and others during times you may hate yourself. For depressives it's an ongoing effort to catch yourself in the negative times and shift your thinking. It pays off eventually.
  9. The best advice I could offer is to try not to put pressure on yourself to make it happen. I understand that as you are a Christian, you place a higher level of importance of attaining such a relationship than someone like myself. But in doing so you may miss out on enjoying the day to day of it. I know what it's like to be hard on myself for making an awkward comment, but all you can do is learn from that and avoid it in the future. I've been single for a long time and I'm generally not bothered by it. But the best I've done in relationships is when I'm indifferent to the outcome of things, if that makes sense. Better luck on the next one, and remember, there's worse things than being single.
  10. Well if I had any meaning for this topic at all, it was just to vent and open up for others to do the same. So not off-topic at all. Not having children I can't relate, but that sounds heartbreaking. I've burnt off all my intimate relationships in the past, and I'm not really sure why. Maybe to avoid getting hurt. I've been alone for quite some time and am for the most part okay with it, but once in a while it hits me. I think the great challenge in life is to be okay with yourself, and to accept any situation you face. And being okay with yourself, regardless of what others think (and regardless of that incessant critical voice in your head), goes a long way for quality of life. Sometimes we assume others see the worst in us, when they really don't. At any rate, I hope you feel better and do something for yourself.
  11. I only wish I had advice for you. That is heartbreaking and sounds like a painful situation. The only thing I could add is, even if you don't know what to do, being there for your brother will continue to help. Be there to help him get the help he needs through specialists, and consider carefully their advice. Sometimes there are situations we want to change, but we are limited in what we can actually do. Maybe someone on this forum has some concrete advice for what to do, I hope so. It is a difficult path your brother is on. Being there for him when you are able is honorable.
  12. I guess it's just venting, not really looking for an answer. It's one of those situations where I just have to accept my situation and not beat myself up, which is what got me here in the first place. But instead of looking backward I can aim upward.
  13. One of the best things I've done for myself lately is stop paying attention to the news. I often wish that news could somehow be completely subjective and neutral, and not repeat the same negative stuff over and over. But that's what keeps people coming back, oddly enough.
  14. It's been almost a year and it still eats me now and then. I left my job, and why exactly I did this is hard to explain. There were many factors, it was a somewhat chaotic job with frustrating situations. Of course I had been battling depression without getting adequate help for it, and an ongoing sense of meaninglessness in life. The worst thing was that I would attack myself for any mistakes I made, and ultimately, that's when I left: I made a mistake (broke a piece of equipment) and wouldn't tolerate my incompetence anymore. I left my job of 3 years without notice. Now I've helped myself a great deal since I left. I'm actually doing quite well, I got a chance to do therapy, a lot of reading and meditation, and a medication has worked for me. I took the year and did some farming, which I truly enjoy, but it hasn't been enough for income. This is fine, I had enough money saved. Now I'm onto another job, and I'm happy that I got the job. But I seriously regret the way I left my previous job. It was a small company, the boss was a good guy - just a little disorganized and impatient, and way overworked. When I left, I tried many times to contact him but he has me on ignore. I never verbally attacked him or anything, I quietly left with a number of apologies. I never meant to be enemies, but I know I completely lost his respect and I don't know if I can get it back. He may have been one of my few friends had I not acted the way I did. There's a little more to it than this, but for now I'll keep things brief so it can be talked about. Has anyone just torched a bridge down like that because of depression? How did you deal with it?
  15. I like to haul my mountain bike up a mountain, then ride it down at speed hitting jumps and rolling over chunky rocks. I try to do this every other weekend, I love the adrenaline and that keeps me going. Just need to find some people who will join me.
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