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gandolfication

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Everything posted by gandolfication

  1. @mmoose, Thanks for this. Really thoughtful and insightful, especially about about answering with a #, to "how are you doing?" I'm gong to start doing exactly that with the people I am close to and trust. That's wise and slightly amusing at the same time. Bonus. And to your last points of having some additional positive, or at least adaptive responses, yes, one is gratitude. Today, I got up, did my morning routine, with some mindful yoga (I know that's a bit cliché, but god for a reason - it works), and intentionally skipped running, so I'm in very little pain today, and feel more grounded than I otherwise would. I really just got a shot in the arm here from your response, and thank you for it. I hope you have some joy and beauty in your day as well. -g
  2. Not much to say here; just going to do my best to make the most of each moment, and this day.
  3. How many of us know that feeling. And those thoughts. Failure. Inadequacy. Not being enough. Not worthy of being loved, or anything. Deserving to die even. Those are my repeating refrains. Besides depression's other sources, I was literally taught this from our form of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity. What's heartbreaking about it, is, its a cruel hoax. If we can learn to be willing to fully accept ourselves, we will then have the most important thing. Self love/compassion. It is both immediately available as close as this moment, and also it does take intentional practice of subtle skills. Like so many things, a mysterious paradox. If we could (can) see reality as it actually is, we would realize that we are just....human. That's not a statement of comparison, just common humanity. If we could see into everyone's head, we would know that people go through this because they're human. Yes, some more often, consistently, and worse than others. But ultimately, No one has an easy road. We were told by various forces of nature, nurture, culture, society, mass media, social influences, etc., that we were, that we had to be special. We had to compare, and be the best; and at least measure up to expectations we adopted from somewhere, to be happy. It was always a lie. We are enough. Right now. Nothing more. Even the parts we don't like or want to change. Each of us is enough. I'm telling myself constantly, that I'm obviously a worthless person because I'm broke, and can't provide minimal security or stability for my kids, I was self-absorbed, and let their parents' marriage break down, and I haven't been a good father. That the chronic physical pain I've now had for 5 years is made worse by me through anxiety and resistance (which it is probably). Even that I feel desperately lonely (which is easy in a loveless marriage for 20 years). These are all interpretations, judgments, opinions. Meanwhile, my kids just look at me and love me, and do wish I would look up and look out more and see the love that's right in front of me. They think of all the things I do with and for them. They don't know how worried I am about us; not really. My youngest 2 still intuitively appreciate that each new exquisitely vivid moment of life is a gift to be danced in, and they're willing to let the rest of life unfold as it will. I'm not lecturing anyone; just hoping I can and deciding I will embrace this a little today. Anyway, @sober4life, I'm sending you lovingkindness today. May you have peace, love, ease, and wellbeing, even if just a little, today.
  4. I heard this extraordinary song by George Carlin, in the HBO docuseries about his life. He can be heard singing it on YouTube. Had to share it here. Everything is Okay Anyway Everything is OK anyway, Everything is OK anyway, Well, if the sun comes out each day, Everything must be OK, Yes, everything is OK anyway. If all we ever had was total war, And peace and love and giving were a bore, What if we cried and died all day, You can still hear someone say That everything is OK anyway. Volcanoes, earthquakes, floods and tidal waves, And Man is forced to live again in caves, But if all we had was fire, You'd still hear the cavemen choir Singing, 'Everything is OK anyway.' Yes, everything is OK anyway, Everything is OK anyway. What if kids come out to play, Everything must be OK, Yeah, everything is OK anyway. If no one was allowed to jump or run, If no one was permitted to have fun, And if it rained hard every day, You'd still hear someone say That everything is OK anyway. Everything is OK anyway, Everything is OK anyway. Well, if you do not miss your pay, If you hear what I will say, You will know that on this day I have seen a little ray of... ... forgetfulness
  5. I think most people feel overwhelmed a lot in life. Certainly all of us who have any form(s) of depression and anxiety do. A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with a lawyer friend of mine. When I asked how he was doing, he said, "overwhelmed, but not miserable." I liked that. Its what I'm trying to adopt even in times when I don't quiet seem able to get up into the positive end of the range of how I'm feeling and being. I know so many people here have life experiences and circumstances that in many ways are tougher than mine. But perhaps we'll have walked some of the same paths. My marriage of 21 years is falling apart. We're going to divorce, but don't have the $ to separate right now, so it is a living hell in our small apartment, and it is heartbreaking especially to see the toll it is taking on our 3 young kids who we both love. My wife has become extremely angry and mean and nasty, including toward my oldest daughter. It's tearing my heart out, and I don't have any brilliant fix (I just keep showing up, being present, willing to listen, and love them, and am practicing compassion, mindfulness, and regulation in the midst of it, which is really difficult for me). A couple months ago, I left my job as a magistrate at the court presiding over our mental health docket, to return to private practice, with a complex litigation firm. I like the work, and the people mostly, but holy god it is overwhelming. Out of one fire, into another frying pan. I'm just doing my best, taking one day at a time, and I remind myself that if this doesn't work out, I had a good time and got really good results in my previous solo practice. I'm very lucky to have an exceptional therapist who is also my best former law professor. I empathize with people who suffer with chronic pain, as mine has flared up and stayed pretty constant the past year (probably in part because I now get up a 4am every day and exercise. I haven't missed 1 day, 7 days/week, in one year now. I feel great except for he incessant, distracting, sometimes nearly debilitating pain...and I know I'm still adding suffering to it by resisting, avoiding or perversely attaching to anxiety, etc.) It is hard to see things to look forward to that are worth living for. Most likely years of chronic stress, and bipolar disorder colors my whole worldview and experience vis a vis thoughts and impulses toward suicide. I practice defusion when they come, as they will. Well, I have to get back to work. I hope everyone here has a good Friday, weekend, and has some peace, love and happiness in your lives. - g
  6. @surfcaster, I love that quote you have by Robin Williams.
  7. I don't post on this thread much. I grew up being indoctrinated into fundamentalist evangelical Christianity which contributed to a lot of guilt, shame, excessive negative self talk, perfectionism and other problems later in life. I'm reading a really interesting book called Buddhish: A Guide to the 20 Most Important Buddhist Ideas for the Curious and Skeptical As a set of philosophical ideas, I really like it, especially the chapter on renunciation of the self, and the self as an illusion (which I may post more on later because wow, what a mind-bending description of this the author gives). I love the idea of there being no self at all. Impermanence of all physical things doesn't seem quite as exciting, but it seems like a correct observation, and I find it amazing that people had the foresight to notice these things back before smart phones and TV.
  8. That is so good to hear. Really happy for you, and I have no guilt about feeling some vicarious schadenfreude toward your former CEO on your behalf.
  9. I certainly understand this from my own experience too. The only distinction I'll make, and it can be a really big one, is that we are able to recognize and address the delusion that our actual "worth" as members of the human pool is the same as our bank accounts or lack thereof. Isn't true. Never was. Never will be. But we were taught and bought in to this delusion. I try to remember and have less of it.
  10. ug, I hate evictions. I know DR courts are in some ways the worst, but it sounds like the case to reduce spousal support when you have no income is a good one. Good luck on that and I presume finding a new gig to get by. You can do it. And please do call.
  11. Thanks Epic, and sorry to hear that. Hope you heal well.
  12. @JD4010, I'm glad you're past COVID it sounds. You're a gutsy guy who's been through a lot already. I'm sorry to hear that you're facing what you are, I know that must be really difficult. I hope the legal battle isn't an eviction. Anything you can do to get help? Call me if you want.
  13. There's a lot I like about that realization and letting go of comparison. I have long thought that kind of everyone deals with something on the mental illness continuum. That's a little strong though now that I've had help understanding my own more, and seeing a lot of other people in really severe and acute mental illness distress. Happily, and even though I never really thought I could or would do anything like "recovering," (a term I sort of don't' like because its so broad), I can now say how much difference I realize it makes now that I know how and am just living a better, richer, life, more open, aware and actively engaged in it.
  14. I've been posting here since 2011. I've had bipolar disorder since then and some other irritations like generalized anxiety and mild ADHD. I know many people here feel like they've tried everything. I'm one of them. To say that I have tried a lot of things and put a lot of work into recovery and living my best life would be a titanic understatement. Another time, I'll list all the numerous different tools, modalities, resources, treatments, etc. I've been doing a lot of writing I hope to put up on a blog here (some waiting for approval) from a lot of years of reading, research, working with a lot of really dedicated experts, and now partly also from my role as a jr. judge in our mental health court, where I am again fortunate to be able to pick the brains of a large number of expert psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. I have made a lot of really strong progress in the past couple years, and have really transformed some things and am in the process of transforming more, mainly from the past 6-7 months. I look forward to talking about here more again. One reason the past 7 months have been so momentous (even through a lot of tumultuous life change), is that began working with a new therapist, who was my best law professor in law school. She went back and got her LPC and started as a therapist a few years ago, and very fortunately for me is even better at this profession. Best in town from my perspective and experience. Anyway, I hope I'll be able to share some strength, experience and hope here in the coming days and weeks. It has taken a lot of hard work again, but I would not be where I am without the help of these other people I hope everybody here today has some happiness, peace and love in their lives. -g
  15. JD, sorry to hear you were hospitalized with Covid, but I'm glad to hear you've had some good come out of the (bad) deal. I'm sure it is really difficult. You can do this. I wish somehow all of us could at least remember the reality that our inherent worth is not in any way related to our bank account or our "success" or even actions in life. I am well aware with you how quality/enjoyment/happiness, etc. in life most definitely is helped by having means and money up to a certain level. You can get back to having a life you decide is meaningful, worth living, and even joyful (even in the midst of our pain). I know because even with all my own constant "problems," neuroses, insanities, and pain and suffering, etc., I'm actually doing it more now than pretty much ever before....with and from a lot of help and work. You'll get there. Please let me know if you ever want to talk about anything or if I can help in any way. Best, - g
  16. Moments like these, I ask myself, why do I stay?

    And the answer always only seems to be the fear of pain it takes to leave.

    The act of annihilating body and self is heavy if really faced.

    Too, leaving the family that probably would be shattered.

    It seems so unlikely, but others feel just the same as this.

    Desperately wanting to be dead.

    At least not ever having to be awake again.

    Unbearable.

    Unwanted.

    ****ed in the head.

    A misery unique each moment.

    Why write?

    Is there any value?

    All the things I try to believe in - not one lasts.

    Some see how thing are real and matter anyway.

    I don’t seem to.

    Like Samson asking, I wish the walls would fall in.

    Finally.

    Finally, no more.

    The real insanity is that I still won’t give myself permission.

    And for that, I hate myself the more,

    And the world I live in.

    What a waste of time and space.

     

    Please come oblivion.

    I’m sorry, I feel the guilt and shame of despising this world, this one only now.

    It is a strange belief to think the only way I can get the love I want, is to be gone.

    I usually know how to rationalize; but there is no rationalizing this.

    It simply is.

    I do not see a love worth living for.

    I forget why I stay

    Although I see my absurd felion above, Mr. Spot.

    And this building’s not high enough, and the windows don’t open.

    Life is such an unrelenting trap.

    We should have been given a choice to be alive in the first place.

     

    I want to accept things; myself and others.

    Something’s wrong, and it can’t  be fixed.

    Someone please turn out the lights.

    Perhaps I could pay someone to do it for me.

    The light is too bright and loud.

    I’ve kept trying; really I have.

    I have resources and privilege.

    My troubles on paper aren’t so great.

    There’s no excuse; I also do not need one.

    Just I can’t solve the pain of being myself.

    Everything hurts, almost all of the time.

    Things feel good or neutral just enough to remind me of how bad they usually feel.

    I believe this is a mirage, but there feels nothing left to ruin.

    There’s no law, no impetus that can force me to stay.

    It is a self-imposed prison, for which I hate myself all the more. Down to the bones and back through the other side.

    There is no good thing about me, ultimately.

    So, if morality means anything, it means my life is unworthy to live.

    And meaning means nothing.

    In the funhouse light of judgment and despair.

    But it is no less real to the feeler. 

    All that’s left is disgust.

    I can’t escape the escape from the noisome me.

    What if I let go

    And nothing happened.

     

    I dream of being hit by a large truck

    Nothing would even be my fault.

     

    These thoughts are sound and fury signifying nothing.

    And there’s no one left to call.

    The welcome has been long worn out by this prodigal son who never grew up

     

    Just one moment of courage and then all is over.

    Release me.

    I am tired of being bound up in this.

    No more.  Nomore.

    Please

  17. @JD4010, I'm sorry you're going through this. This must be so difficult it for you. We are here for you. It's nice to see you've gotten a blog page up here (I tried putting one up a few days ago; it's still under review). I'm pulling for you. I don't want to be that guy who thinks he can help others 'solve problems' with unsolicited advice, so I hope I can say this with the understanding you're welcome to take with however large a grain of salt or disregard it altogether. Over and over in my life as I've gotten older, I too have been out of work with a family, with increasingly dim prospects of being able to get any kind of decent job, with a family to support. I went walking into fast food restaurants in DC trying to convince them I really wanted this job. They wouldn't even consider an interview. I thought my whole value and worth was whether I had a job (and could do it with near perfection). It's not. Of course a job and income/stability are important. I have to think that in this current great resignation labor shortage, that if you can get guerilla on it, e.g., try knocking on a few doors, making some calls in the service industry, you could at least get some paying job, even if it was temporary. Not saying it would necessarily be great. I hate to see you on the edge like this (I know the feeling well and never feel like I'm that far from it, though there's a big difference). You're too good a person. The world would be a less good place if you weren't in it. For myself, I'm going to go out on YouTube (and Netflix) and watch some stuff by Berne Brown about shame and some of this stuff - there's a great 3 minute clip of her talking about shame on YouTube on the Oprah show. It's still my dominant (primary emotional) source of distress. I guess my view of things now is that whatever events actually happen in my life and however hard they might be, I at least want to let go or loosen up some of the crippling feelings/beliefs of shame/inadequacy/embarrassment, etc., (which then also translate into fear and anger for me). If that resonates, I wish the same for you. F*ck life's hard parts. F*ck it. It doesn't matter. You matter. Sometimes when I get like this, I try my best to step back, kind of center down, and just stop all my constant striving. It gets unhealthy for me. Just this morning, I was trying to hear and learn again to just sit with the discomfort. Tolerate it. I don't get on DF that often or get live notices these days, but feel free to message me any way you want. I didn't mean to hijack your blog here (yes, I kinda did though : ). Hope you find some peace and enjoyment today. I bet its legit cold up your way.
  18. I started one yesterday - I'll see if it's up.
  19. We constantly hear about mindfulness and living in the present moment these days. I've been reading a lot and doing good therapy for the pat 6 months and have made a lot of meaningful change in my life, even while most of the time is still very scary and painful and difficult. So, here is my take on this subject for myself today:
  20. My wife called me a few minutes ago,  hurting a lot (we both are), but also telling me she's calling her lawyer to direct him to file a 90-day stay of conciliation while she and I work to repair our relationship.  This postpones the need to hire my own counsel or move forward and do anything with the divorce lawsuit.  It was good timing, as I was within the next couple minutes getting ready to call one of the divorce attorneys I know  and had discussed this with to schedule a consult and hire her.

    So, big, good day for me.  I have I believe some really hard things to work on; for the first time, I know I can do it.
    One of my closest friends said to pray for her happiness twice a day (which I had kind of already been doing for 2 weeks now), and to pretend I'm a character actor acting like the nicest person I know.
    Act as if until you are is the idea; if we act in a certain way consistently enough, soon it's just part of identity.

  21. I have been in these exact situations so many times. It is painful and scary. One thing I would share is that against all odds, the thing that a lot of people told me -- essentially that it can get better - that things will change, is true. And we have a lot of agency to do things to increase the odds that they do get better. I know that sounds simplistic. It is not easy. It is worth it. You can find something that works better for you, and feel good about yourself and your job again. It is possible and doable, even if it likely will take significant time and work. You have to hold and and keep getting back up the best you can in the mean time. Sending positive thoughts your way.
  22. God, how we all know this feeling. If the dull, pointless, or at least boring meetings themselves didn't wear us out, the pretending to be interested would. I guess I'm fortunate right now to be in a role and with a group of people where I am genuinely interested in providing the best professional service we can, so that even when things get tedious (often), I at least am intrinsically motivated to do my best at them. This hasn't always been the case.
  23. You're not a loser. You have a real illness. The good news is there is a lot you can do, and that others can do to help you. It's hard to generalize or reduce to a list. Personally I think a good therapist is essential. Mostly, good self care, including sleeping, eating, exercise, and a good support network in and outside of work (I recommend not disclosing the illness to people at work though). Medication if it helps. I have long thought that a critical resource we need in the U.S. and the world is an in-house professional who combines confidential psychotherapy and executive or job performance coaching. This would take out the problem of a therapist being unable to advise and help you with your particular job stresses, while a coach cannot do psychotherapy which is equally important. Some very large companies have such a person, but it is rare still. The modern work world is stressful and difficult for almost everyone, not just we the depressed. But with depression, you have to take a proactive approach to being kind of your own amature advocate, and learner, and reach out and grab onto whatever other help you can. Otherwise, it won't get better. This site can be a good resource actually.
  24. Yes, this. This is what I was trying to describe above, but this is well put. I identify with it a lot. thx.
  25. @missyyx, In the 11-12 years I've been reading and writing on this forum, my experience has been that this is the number 1 struggle that people with bipolar disorder have - finding and keeping a job. This has certainly been the case in my own life. I've lost job after job. It wasn't due to lack of intelligence, or work ethic, it wasn't really due to lack of social skills (though sometimes I get tired of putting on a happy face), or knowledge or ability. It is still hard for me to define exactly how my manic depressive illness contributed so heavily to not being able to keep all these jobs, but I do not question that it has. Here's what I believe I know or what I at least think it is for me: I go all or nothing. I don't like smalltalk if I can avoid it, and if I'm going to do something, I want it to be as close to perfect as possible, which is a recipe for inefficient, avoidance and disaster, especially in the modern work world. I crave novelty more than the average person and get bored easily. I have trouble staying engaged especially over any long period of time if things don't interest me. I enjoy abstract thinking, ideas, and crafting things (e.g. writing, projects, speeches, etc.) that are aesthetically pleasing rather than just functional to get the job done. I take risks that aren't ultimately prudent or worth while (like writing this note on my work computer right now). I have a tortured relationship to money and therefore don't really find it motivating. With the depressive cycle, I often rapidly and persistently come to view work as absolutely meaningless, that we're just "slaves to money then we die," to quote the Bittersweet Symphony. Conversely, in periods of hypomania, while I may have a blizzard of activity and even accomplish a lot, I can get carried away, overdo it, color outside the lines of what's expected and behavior that is considered appropriate enough for the modern (especially micro-managed) work environments, etc. I'm sure there's more, but these are the ones I seem most aware of at this point. Well, I'd better get back to work on some things that unfortunately are really boring in a lot of ways.
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