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About Polar154Sons

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    Toronto, Canada

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  1. I hope you had a fantastic day :)

  2. I hope you had a fantastic day :)

  3. Hey silverlight, I can empathize with your scenario (though I still have my dad around) -- it must be really rough for you. Considering what has happened to your dad, I'd make it too priority to deal with the emotional aftermath as well as the work-related anxiety issues. Although I haven't had many job offers recently (not that I've done many interviews of late), I still blow off shifts at my current job (fortunately, it's an extremely flexible work environment and all you need do is sign up for a minimum three shifts per week, though I've hardly made even that committent of late -- mainly because of a fear of possible panic attacks while there). I'm trying now to increase my own ability to work, which is involving a radical change in meds and a hunt for a new therapist. Not an easy thing. From the tenor of your post, it sounds as though you may be setting yourself up for a Catch-22: either you interview for, land yourself, and accept a high-flying position with prestige and good pay, or your completely eschew work altogether. The trouble is, that it sounds as if you're putting too much pressure on yourself, and thus sabotaging any possibilty of getting back into the workforce. Bear in mind that all jobs, all careers have a mixture of prestige, responsiblity, independence vs. structure, as well as other factors. Each person has to decided what environment is best for him/her, and, in general, the higher you climb the ladder, the more stress you face. If you love what you do, it may be totally acceptable to trade in peace-of-mind and minimal responsibilty for for the joy of realizing just what you can do in the world. Since I have no idea what kind of jobs you've been interviewing for, it's impossible for me to be more specific. In general, what you might want to explore a couple of issues in therapy: is your fear of failure on the job rooted in real performance issues that have come up before, or has the fear become 'disconnected' and taken on a life of its own? If the latter, then getting at the anxiety through therapy and meds, and in particular things like graduated exposure to fear-inducing scenarios as a way of increasing your tolerance for and ability to manage anxiety might be the way to go. The other issue that comes to mind is the possibility that your anxiety is telling you that there is a some sort of conflict within: part of you would dearly love to get these jobs, another part is 'not on board' and doesn't want the responsibility, the pressure, or some other aspect of these positions. Again, look to posssible internal conflicts as a way to find your way out of this dilemma. Iowa has some good suggestions around self-management of your anxiety. I second those. And best of luck.
  4. "He really did not sound like the right one for you and him not arriving for your appointment is terribly unprofessional. I am glad that you are now free to find one that is more compatable to you and that will help you in your recovery." I agree Trace. What I keep telling myself is that I'm actually coming out ahead by being free of (potentially) counterproductive therapy. Of course, that still leaves with the meds changeover scenario that needs to be dealt with rather quickly. "i'm glad that see that you are not seeing multiple therapist/pdoc as it can be hectic and unhealthy in regards to meds and opinions. it is best that you may want to seek therapist and pdoc that are in the same clinic so that they can both keep up with your progress and the meds that you may need. at least now you can search for someone that you will feel comfortable with and that is very important in therapy/pdoc is feeling comfortable." Secret, that's actually my first plan of attack (trying to find someone in-clinic); this time I'm planning to trust my gut (as much as a I can). Fortunately, I've lucked into finding an excellent GP who is not, as a friend of mine put it, a 'card-swiper', and makes as much time available as needed to deal with my issues -- somatic and otherwise. She's a gem. I'll keep you guys posted, and thanks again for your feedback.
  5. I know it's been some weeks since this topic was active, but I've got an important update: I had my last session with my P-Doc last Tuesday; he failed to show up for our regular Friday appointment (we were meeting Tuesdays and Fridays); despite my leaving two voice messages asking for an explanation (as well as whether we're still actually continuing to meet), there was no reply. For that reason, I've assumed therapy with P-Doc is over and it's time to move on and find a more compatible therapist. POPI, Sheepwoman, CH1980, darcness and beautiful -- you all expressed concern about the difficult dynamic between me and P-Doc; at the same time, our 'relationship' was volatile, and while he initially focussed on the abuse issues I faced as a child (and seemed supportive of my efforts to deal with the fallout), soon afterward we re-focused on my work-avoidance issues, the tenor of the sessions changed, and as a result it seemed that he simply wanted me to 'do the right thing' (go in at least 29-30 hours a week to pay my bills), and despite numerous times imploring me to no be so hard on myself (because getting in's what I'm struggling to do), I felt as though he was distracted and not 'always there' during a number of our sessions -- with the result I found myself 'clamming up', especially during our last two meetings. I didn't want to admit that things were going off the rails, but, in hindshight, his 'dropping off the map' was probably a good thing, freeing me to find a better therapeutic match. The only thing I regret is not trusting my gut, but because of huge emotional overwhelms, sometimes I completely discount bad vibes and continue in a problematic situation, when the best thing would be to bail out and move on. Unfortunately, under his stewardship I've also had a complete meds switchover, so I've got to deal with this issues in the next couple of weeks. Again, thanks again for your feedback!
  6. You can say that again. I fell in love with acting when I was 19 and submersed myself in it ever since with occasional hiatuses. I'm convinced it is the only job in the world that I could go to work LOVING what I do. I love rehearsals. I love studying the script. And of course, I love the performances. It never gets old for me. I never understood what was preventing me from going to NYC or LA to pursue acting professionally until a couple of years ago when I was diagnosed with dysthymia. This isn't the place for it but I'd like to drop quite a few expletives directed towards this depression disorder. I feel like its absolutely ruining my life. I cannot pursue anything. As avoidance, I put myself through school all the way through graduate school, in a field I'm not particularly good at (possibly the depression talking) and I'm just wasting my life away at a crap insurance job. The least I could do and probably the best option for me would be to at least pursue a career in the field I studied in school but I have such a persistent feeling of unworthiness. In fact, that was my brilliant master plan. Go to school, get a good paying steady job (HATING waiting on tables) and pursue my dream of acting on the side. With dysthymia...you CAN get up every day and you CAN tie your shoes...but it prevents a whole heck of a lot of other things. Like living. Heck, I can't even get myself motivated to stick with a gym regimen anymore. Really, this sh*t is no joke. So, if anyone has any advice or stories similar to mine..PLEASE share...I need some motivation. Oh and yes, I have seen therapist...and currently have one. But she never really focuses on the negative thought process or how to reverse it. And, I do take Wellbutrin. Though, I haven't given it a fair shot. I took it for 1 month a while back then stopped. But, I started taking it again 1 week ago. I relate so much to this post. I was never diagnosed officially, so I am wondering if I have the same thing. I see this post is over a year old, would be interested to see if things have changed for you. My dream (which I have NOT shelved), is to be a writer/actor, with the emphasis on the former, and the latter a way to pursue the thespian side of creativity as well as bring in most of my income. Unfortunately, things haven't worked out quite that way, although about 14 years ago I sold my first (and so far, only) short story and have also done a lot of extra work on film/TV sets as well as some (non-union) background on commercials and the occasional music video. It's a start, but for the past few years I've been backsliding because there's far less acting work to go around (Toronto used to be extremely busy, but all that's changed what with US productions shooting back in the States); as far as the writing goes, my self-confidence has gone into the toilet, what with other writers seemed to be able to churn out novels and short stories (in other words, not one-trick ponies, as I fear myself to be.) They also seem to be able to handle rejection better, not personalizing it to the extent I am, and thus 'stay in the ring.' I'm fortunate in that I've got a flexible job fundraising for non-profits as well as opinion-polling. The company has been very generous in accomodating me (I was off work for two-and-a-half months earlier this year, and have only been into work sporadically since mid-July), but I'v basically been surviving by way of support from friends and family, which can't last forever. I have to push myself to get back in so I can begin to turn my life around.
  7. Classic Rock (Especially The Who, circa 1969-70, the Live at Leeds/Who's Next era); Space Rock (Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Can, Steve Hillage); Post-Punk bands like Magazine and PIL; Grunge like STP, Nirvana, Soundgarden; Old-School prog like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and Jethro Tull, Neo-Space Rock like Ozric Tentacles; Neo-Prog like The Mars Volta. 70's fusion like Miles Davis circa 'Biotches Brew' and Weather Report. Chamber pop like Nick Drake.
  8. Thanks (belatedly!) for the warm welcome.

  9. Hi there Polar154Sons, Thats some name you have ;0) I think an extra benefit of this forum is that as we meet people who suffer from similar anxieties when trying to help them we are also end up helping ourselves... When i read your post there I heard many echoes of myself... without knowing you and making complete assumptions (sorry) based on very little info i would say your a pretty intelligent person...from my experience intelligent people can often suffer from anxiety due to their mind racing through every possible outcome to future situations... if your prone to negativity then its a whole ever decreasing circle... i remember a line from a film called "Naked" where the main character approaches a homeless guy who seems extremely agitated and is shouting... the main character says to him "whats it like being you... a bit hectic is it?" You have to see the film to really appreciate the line.. i guess its only in context that its funny... but in truth life seems to be more hectic for some than others... if you've been out the social scene, like myself, the best way to get back in, i think, is just to get back in... you see? easy as that! ha not really i know... i have found that the lexapro has got my anxiety fairly well under control and now i can feel the flood of frustrated energy flowing from me... instead of drinking playing computer games every evening i now sit reading... listening to music.. writing... when i have been in the social situations i have been fine... i focus on who is in front of me . i realise that all my fears were just my mind doing a kind of mental mastubation... not reality... or rather a reality i have chosen to create... not a fixed reality ... i am the same person i was 2 months ago but now i can talk to people perfectly well without over whelming fear...i'm not particularly christian although i am spiritual... i think all religions are generally pointing in the same direction its just mankind and our mental chatter that gets in the way... but the christian idea of judge and be judged is pointing at a truth that we create our own world by our actions and mental state... from my experience of having had to do the dreaded social thing recently and being totally scared witless the reality is never as bad as the imaginings of an over active mind... remember when you think about the future situation it is totally outside of your control because it is not here... it will never be here because it is always in the future not now... every possible imagining can thus take place. Its not reality... I have found getting into the body more... instead of living just through the head... has helped me a great deal..i totally agree about our lonliness being self generated... mine stems from an overly critical mind and a few other things... the world is totally subjective... nothing has any inherent value only that placed upon it by us... meditation... listening to the power of now by Eckhart Tolle profoundly changed my life when i first heard it.... but now i'm kind of rambling... Spending time on your own is restful if you suffer from anxiety because you don't have the burden of people making you scared... Don't have too high expectations... give yourself a long time plan to get up and running again... baby steps as you say... it sounds cliche but love yourself also... try not to be too critical of yourself...none of us are perfect... we all have our issues... when inside is beautiful outside will be... not sure if any of that was helping or made sense but i just wrote it straight off... thanks for the compliment! cheerss Whitman M. le Whitman, Just for the record, you're making a whole lot of sense; as a matter of fact, you come across as grounded, and perhaps more so with each post. By that I mean you come across as comfortable in your skin (for the most part). And you're absolutely right -- intelligence sometimes just means worry becomes self-reinforcing, a negative feedback loop. I think I'll mess up and look 'dumb', not 'witty', 'dull' -- there are a billion nouns to describe feared social suicide, and I'm sure I've used at least 95% over the course of my life. Basically a recipe for self-immolation and scaring myself silly so I don't make an effort to reach out. Another factor for me is that, granted, I may be intelligent, but there's this nagging fear that my depression and anxiety will, in the end, leave me little like a babbling ***** -- kind of a premature Alzheimer's phobia. So what do I do? Try to hard, put pressure on myself, and then bail out of trying at all. Not a good thing. i remember a line from a film called "Naked" where the main character approaches a homeless guy who seems extremely agitated and is shouting... the main character says to him "whats it like being you... a bit hectic is it?" You have to see the film to really appreciate the line.. i guess its only in context that its funny... but in truth life seems to be more hectic for some than others... This actually made me laugh -- I came up with the perfect context in my imagination. Getting into your body more and reducing 'head living' time makes sense. When I was younger, I was a lot more spontaneous, and not constantly judging how I might or might not being getting across to people, especially in a social situation. Now it seems like I'm always judging myself, monitoring what I say or do for any hint that I might be 'slipping' -- not being witty, intelligent -- it's like I'll only accept myself for half the 'human condition' equation. Again, you seem to pointing me in a 'kinder, gentler' direction -- which I know instinctively is true. But if I go for that, it's almost as if I'll have to battle the inner critic just to get the opportunity. Argh! In any case, the frightening tableaus I create in my mind, are, I know from experience, for the most part, far, far from the 'reality on the ground'. I'm my own worst enemy (There's a great line from Grouncho Marx where he says: 'I'd never join a club that would have me for a member.' It's hard to beat that for a description of self-hatred.) i realise that all my fears were just my mind doing a kind of mental mastubation... not reality... With that kind of fear load, sex is definitely 'off the table' (Sorry, just couldn't resist commenting on that -- I'd say more like 'Mental Guantanamo', but I know exactly what you're getting at.) Anyway, what this all comes down to is that, yes, you're making sense, and I'm actually finding that your 'mellower' take on being present and 'in the moment' (and this conversation coming out of that) s having a kind of therapeutic, soothing effect on me. Thanks, and I hope my verbal self-indulgence is having some resonance for you. ;) Thats some name you have ;0) It's basically a riff on a two of my favourite novels (Catch-22 and Fahrenheit 451, with some transposing of numbers and letters.) Again, hope the good vibes continue to come your way! P154Ss
  10. Hey Whitman, My own loneliness is in many ways self-generated -- in my town right now, there are cool indie bands playing every night of the week, theatre, jazz and film festivals, opportunities to get together with good friends, but I've bailed out and kept my own company for the last few months - my 'social life amounts to the odd get-together with friends, as well as getting out on my bike for long rides almost every day. In my case, loneliness and isolating myself is like a siren call -- seductive, but restorative only in moderation. Spend too much time alone, and my social 'reflexes' begin to atrophy, but still I give into the fear of possible rejection, telling myself I'm not an asset out there because I detest the feeling of depleted and just not having the energy to push through and connect with people. For me, depression amounts to depleted energy, impairs my ability to concentrate, and results in, as William Styron put it in his memoir documenting his own struggle with the 'black dog', a kind of 'excruciating paralysis'. The net result is social withdrawal So, what's the truth here? Am I the architect of my own loneliness, or are my anxieties founded in a real risk of social rejection? The answer it seems, is that I'm creating a false dichotomy; the answer's not making the stark choice of total isolation or frenetic socializing and partying -- it's in taking baby steps ('A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step'). And Whitman, you've taken some critical ones: (1) Trying to get the boozing under control (your liver and mood will thank in spades for this!); (2) The Lexapro sounds like it's starting to kick in; (3) Your already starting on the road to healing after painful breakup -- I've been there and it's like your very sense of self gets ripped apart. Anyways, kudos -- and hope this good streak keeps on coming. I also really like the way you turn a phrase: I'm still lonely... and sadness and despair stirs deep in me.. tidal... I'm sure Walt would be proud too! Polar154Sons
  11. Hey Lizzy, What's up? How are you doing?
  12. From my own experience, sometimes I 'shut myself down' emotionally in order to avoid an overwhelm, or flooding of emotion. I've done that because when the flooding happens it's as though the experience completely 'shuts the door' on rational thought -- in other words, it's a little like going crazy. Maybe that dynamics in play for you too -- or maybe not. At this point I'm just putting out ideas, seeing if any resonate for you. And finding a good therapist is NOT easy -- there are a number of factors that have to come together in order to make it a healing experience. Things like: (1) Can you trust this person? (2) Do you understand the feedback you're getting (are you guys on the same wavelength?) (3) Is the therapist going to challenge your defenses in a way that allows you see how you might be getting in the way of yourself moving forward? (4) Is the therapist flexible enough not to be rigidly committed to a single therapeutic model (like CBT, Psychodynamic or Behavioral methods), but willing to try new approaches as the need arises? I'm also assuming you want to get better (at least part of you does), but don't be surprised if another part of you is resisting (and you may not be aware of which part that might be). And I also tend to (emotionally, not intellectually) 'split' experiences into black and white, good and bad, positive and negative. The trouble is, if you start making major life decisions based on that kind of split, you're in store for lots of trouble. Usually, there's gray in the world, so it takes time to parse out all the angles of a problem or issue. There's really no way around that. The fact that you did trust your old doctor is encouraging; it means there'a a very real possibility of finding another one like that, or maybe the option of re-approaching the old doctor, either to work with him or her again, or maybe just get a referral. Keep all your options on the table. Again, hope this helps, Ian
  13. I know that I have, from time to time, got into a really bad headspace where basically the world (and everyone in it) gets labeled 'bad', 'awful', 'it sucks', 'it blows', no one's there when I really need them. And when I'm not in that headspace, but in a good or normal state, I start to see things clearly, and basically the world is ambiguous: good and bad, wonderful and appalling, and mostly, somewhere in the middle -- in other words, shades of gray. There are trustworthy people out there, and those who are altogether bad news and you should literally put a continent between you and them. The trick is getting to know them, without prejudgements, hoping for the best, but knowing you can pull away if the worst arises. And that means they have to EARN your trust gradually. There's really no way around that, unfortunately. And in helping yourself, what I've always found most personally helpful is to feel the feelings you have, then try to take the issues apart, analyse each the best you can, then see what you could change on your own, and what's left over (maybe most of what you discover) should be taken to a therapist. The important thing is that the DETAILS count -- you can't really begin to move forward without at least some sense of what the real issues are. Hope this helps, Cheers, Ian
  14. Finding a good therapist is akin to finding a good job -- use all the resources you can think of: online services; referrals from friends and/or trusted others who are currently in or have been in therapy; listings in academic institutions, referrals from a GP; lists from a private insurer. In Ontario, Canada (where I live), Psychiatrists (MDs) are covered under a provincial plan (so are of no cost to you); Psychologists (PhDs) will bill you directly -- it helps to have some some health insurance in this case. In the UK, I believe many therapists and therapies would have at least partial coverage under the NHS; in The States, you probably will have to pay out of pocket, or have a private insurer. In any case, there are other folks who could advise in more detail. Best of luck! Ian
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