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Stan Islavski

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  1. I’ll be the first to admit it’s incredibly easy to just run with negativity. I don’t know why. But it is. To combat that, I try to surround myself with more positive things. Which feels very difficult to do. But the trick to that is recognizing what exactly fuels your negativity. Once you know what that is, you can easily change it. Here’s one thing I noticed that was really pulling me into a pit of negativity. Some of my social media feeds were constantly sending me updates with negative topics. It’s because I was searching on those things for a few weeks. My feeds learned that I kept searching on those topics, and just started putting them at the top automatically. It had gotten to the point that it was all I saw when I opened social media. Once I realized this, I made a plan to change it. I followed/subscribed to a bunch of more positive topics that were interesting to me. After just a few days, those topics started popping up more frequently. Eventually, they completely overtook my feeds. So I guess the short answer is, it is quite easy to change your environment into something more positive. But you have to take the initiative. It’s not going to change itself. Identify things that bring you down. Toss them out and replace them with something more positive. Open your curtains. Get rid of the books on war and death. Get a pet. I am speaking generally based on the little bit you said. But the point is, you are in a negative environment. And you have already identified at least a few contributors. So... what else do you need to know? You have all the power to change it!
  2. How has someone lost your trust, and then regained it again? How did you allow them back in? I find it impossible to trust anyone that has failed my trust at some point. Even years, decades later. As a result, the number of true relationships I have can be counted on one hand. I just keep losing friends and family. Never allowing them to regain my trust.
  3. Meds never helped me get permanent relief from suicidal ideations, or depression in general. They have helped me function and focus on day-to-day things. But they never really offered permanent relief. Remember, all the doctors and therapists say that the best treatment is a combination of meds and behavioral change. I have found this to be true in my case. The only thing I can say (and I say this without really knowing the details of your situation), if your primary doctor has changed your meds many, many times and nothing seems to be changing, perhaps you might want to consider a different doctor. Some doctors stick to one type or sub group of medications just because they had luck with them on other patients (or it is all they know about). Finding the right meds can be quite a challenge for some people. If you otherwise like your doctor, perhaps do a bit of research on your own. Nothing is stopping you from suggesting a different med to your doctor. S/he may have a reason they didn't try it already. Or they may be open to trying it. Either way, I think the important thing to keep in mind is what I said at first. Meds are generally not a permanent solution. At most, you should only expect them to help you focus your thoughts and function day-to-day so that you can apply new behavioral patterns to your life. It is the new behavioral patterns that will offer extended (and potentially permanent) relief from your depression.
  4. I couldn’t agree more. You are putting yourself on the same level as everyone else. You are only looking at their appearance and believing they have a perfect life. This is not to downplay the struggles you encounter due to your physical appearance. But you are doing what others are doing to you - judging them by their appearance. I know plenty of people with a “perfect” appearance that are ungodly miserable people. No compassion. No empathy. All their relationships are superficial. And I wouldn’t bother spending a single moment with them. Don't let yourself fall victim to the same patterns that have victimized you.
  5. I won’t deny any of your claims against this world. It is judgemental and unjust. I have no idea how you feel. I can try to empathize, but would fall far short. I can try to sympathize, but that doesn’t offer you a whole lot of condolence. I have been rejected due to some aspect of my physical appearance, but I won’t pretend to understand your plight. What I can say is this: I learned a long time ago that (for some people) happiness comes in little moments. I am constantly tortured by depression and anxiety. And those moments of peace are sometimes worth the anguish. Beyond that, I would also like to recall a recent event. A few weeks ago my 8 year old son and I were at a festival. We stopped at a lemonade stand. One of the workers had (what I assume is) a birth defect. My son asked me why he had the face of a monkey. I sat him down and told him this: “You know how everyone looks different, right? He just looks more different than most. But deep down he is the same as us. We are all just trying to find our way in life. And don’t forget that.” My son listened, but pressed on about how/why this person looked so different. I said, “maybe he was in a car accident. Or maybe he fell off a swing and got hurt as a child.” Like I said, I assumed by the looks it was a birth defect, but regardless I wasn’t sure how I could explain to an 8 year old all the variables that could cause a birth defect. Then it hit me - the reasoning was irrelevant. So I said, “it could also be a birth defect.” He had no clue what that meant. And I was relieved because that meant that I had the opportunity to teach him what it means to me (not what it means to the rest of the world). I said, “birth defect is how some people describe something on a baby that is really different. Maybe they were born without a foot. Or maybe their ears are really crooked. But I want you to know right now and never forget, it is NOT a defect. It is just different. And that they are the same as you, me, and everyone else. Just trying to find our way in life.” To to be honest, I want to tell him that they suffer a lot more than others. But I think that’s a conversation for when he’s a little older and has a deeper ability for and understanding of empathy. I know that this will likely never give you anything tangible that can help you get ahead in life. This world is an ungodly $hi++y place with even worse people. But what I told my son I believe 100%. And I absolutely believe it is the correct message. And I hope that the opportunity I had that day will eternally cement in his head that the words “defect” in the context of a person’s appearance are harmful, mean, evil, and most importantly hurtful. And also that it in no way indicates a person’s ability to be just like him. I am not the best dad. Probably not even in the top 20%. But I felt good about having that opportunity before someone else did. And I hope it gives you a little peace - maybe even just a tiny bit. And that we’re not all that ignorant. A small percentage, yes. But not all of us. And (hopefully) more importantly, that we are taking those golden opportunities to also pass that compassion for others into our kids.
  6. Why try? I wish I could answer that for myself. All of us here have asked that at one time or another. Many of us still do. I’d say there’s a different answer for everyone. And I think some of us have given up. Or have at some point. I know I’ve gone through periods when I have completely given up. It comes and goes with me. I really don’t know what has kept me going. At times my son, other times just too comfortable with sadness and afraid to be happy, maybe sometimes there was some glimmer of hope. I guess what it comes down to, is what matters to us at any given moment - no matter how dark that moment may be. Things like family are easy to quantify. But sometimes I would go to the used book store, thrift store, or rummage sales and just look through collections of books, CDs, or DVDs or whatever. I would always walk out with something that gave me a little enjoyment. And didn’t cost me nearly any money. And in those moments, just digging through old collections, was enough to matter for a couple hours. That was one thing that worked for me. It was a simple and very inexpensive activity that kept my mind away from dark thoughts for a couple hours. And since I always went home with a book or CD that I enjoyed, it helped keep my mind occupied even after I got home and read or listened to music. I know that’s more than you asked for. But there can be and there ARE moments of peace that can be had for all like us. Maybe I’ll never be completely happy. But I do enjoy those moments. Even if they are far and few between at times.
  7. Absolutely. I have a deep affinity for things when “life was simpler”. But I also think I often confuse “when life was simpler” with “I wasn’t suffering from depression as badly”.
  8. Thanks. I don’t think it’s “brave” though. I think it’s chicken s**t. I can’t put an end to it, and I can’t fix it. So all I have left is to complain quasi-anonymously. If I was truly brave maybe I’d share with family or friends. But I don’t.. If I was truly brave I would continue to seek out a good counselor. But that has proven to be such a discouraging process that I can no longer bear it. If I was truly brave I would share with my wife. But putting the possibility of her dismissal in front of potential healing is weakness in its finest form. I like your analogy as our hearts as containers. I’ve always wondered why I lacked some basic human emotions such as love. That would certainly explain why.
  9. I used to know someone that found a lot of success having ECT. But I don't know much about it, and so will side with mmd. Please do some very careful and thorough research. Edit: I do want to ask though, is this REALLY a last resort? I am in no way downplaying your trials for the past year. But 1 year and you are already thinking of a last resort? I know nothing more than what you wrote here. But my gut reaction is: get a new therapist, and try different meds.
  10. My dad had depression and my mom had anxiety. That's what I know for sure. I can't say what other mental illnesses either of them had. They had 4 boys... all 4 have some type of depression AND anxiety. They also had 2 girls... both of which have some type of anxiety. One is much worse than the other. But they both have it. Is it genetic? Or is it learned behavior? I don't know. Jury is out on that. I don't always buy into the genetic thing. But whether or not it is genetic, we are a product of our environment.
  11. I visit the forums here when I'm feeling s**tty, but usually just read through the posts and respond with (hopefully) some positive thoughts. Lately though, I have nothing positive to say. I've written many of these and never hit "submit". But I'm going to submit it this time. So I apologize in advance for such being such a downer. This will likely be long. For the past few weeks my mood is the worst it's been in almost 20 years. I went off medication. And my irritability has soared through the roof. But, for better or worse, I also quit drinking alcohol. I started a new job and the whole situation sucks. I was at my last job for 6 years. I gave blood sweat and tears to that company. I was underpaid with the assumption that there was plenty of advancement opportunity. Between cutting operating expenses and creating new revenue streams, the company benefited over $500,000 from my employment. Year after year, my boss kept saying "management" is on the horizon. I finally had enough of it, and my division did nothing to try and retain me. Now I'm at a new company back at the bottom - doing s**t work that adds zero value. And in my 20+ years of professional employment, I've never worked with a team that was so complacent with mediocrity. I think that upsets me more than anything since I don't accept mediocrity very easily. I'm in a sexless, discouraging marriage. No emotional support whatsoever. I've even been told my problems aren't important. Funny too, that happened in my first marriage as well. I'm angry, hateful, and resentful of everyone and everything. My ideations of suicide, vengeance, and violent behavior are now constant and unstoppable. I don't know what love is. I'm not sure if I ever did, nor ever had the capacity for it. My dad died when I was 16. My mom died 5 years ago. I don't know that I ever felt sad for either one. To me, it is what it is. People live and then they die. I'm indifferent. I think I just expect that people don't stick around very long. That's how I feel about it. And that bothers me. I don't know if I believe in God. I was raised as a Christian. And if God does exist, I hate him for making me (and others that suffer the same as me). And I hate him for all the evil in the world. I think one of my biggest fears is if people don't want me around. I've experienced abandonment in many forms since a very young age. It remains the worst pain I've ever felt. And it seems to keep happening to me quite frequently. I can't forgive. I hold horrible resentment for people that have "wronged" me. Always have. Instead of having the ability to work through it, it just keeps adding up. As I get older, the pile of hatred and resentment just keeps getting bigger. There is a lot of old stuff that is buried in there. But none of it has lessened. A few years ago I came to the realization that I am a terrible person in some ways. I resent myself for things I have done, and can't forgive myself either. Probably never will. I can't graduate beyond suicidal thoughts. I don't think I've ever given it a solid attempt. I wish I could. But I can't and never could. Even if I wanted to I couldn't do it. And that bothers me. It's just extremely disheartening knowing that - if I ever wanted to end it - I wouldn't have the guts to go though with it. Today I passed a police officer on the way home from work and thought of ways I could get him to shoot me. People say they love me. I don't believe it for a second. I've seen probably more than a dozen counselors in my life. Most of them were worthless. One of them was OK. I'd probably continue to see her. But she moved her practice about an hour away. I'm so sick. And I just can't get better. Why? (that's rhetorical... please don't feel obligated to answer or respond)
  12. No. I don’t think I’ll be doing that this time. But thanks for the thought.
  13. I apologize for letting this out here. But I don’t think I’ve ever said this out loud. So you lucky ducks get to hear it. I hate the world and I hate my life. I don’t think it’s possible for me to hate them any more than I do at this moment. That is all.
  14. I'm intrigued by this. How do you do this without being shunned further? How do you do this without feeling shame? How do you do this without losing even more friends and family?
  15. I agree with holding ourselves accountable. Any person at any given age could have any level of emotional sensitivity. And since that sensitivity is the product of past experience, it is unfair to put the responsibility on them. ESPECIALLY a child. There is nothing shameful about acknowledging when we hurt someone’s feelings. They need to know that (no matter how absurd it might seem to us) their feelings are always valid. Only after they’ve been validated will they be open to possible correction. But when the emotions and feelings of a child, man, or woman are not validated there is no chance for rationalizing and modifying the reaction. Too many people get hung up on “why does that upset you? It wouldn’t upset me so it shouldn’t upset you. I don’t want to hear it. Just get over it.” They don’t want to hear it because they don’t have the capacity to understand it or empathize with it. I hate those people. I hate them for what they do to ‘us’. They are narcissistic sociopaths that have no place in any interpersonal relationship. At the risk of displaying my unchecked anger, I wish they would all die. I’m not a behavioral expert. But having lived in darkness for 30+ years I think I’ve enough experience to say that most (maybe all) of us are in this forum in part because our feelings were not validated at some in our lives. So as far as I’m concerned, you behaved correctly regarding the fork. F**k what anyone else thinks.
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