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Everything posted by SailingAway

  1. I totally understand, Liliah. It's wise that you took some time off for a bit. Yup, that's a good attitude! One day at a time...keep on keeping on! :)

  2. Hi there, It seems like you are very concerned about how people perceive you. I can understand why it is important to feel accepted in a classroom or by your peers in general. The difficulty with this experiment is that you are placing your happiness and self-esteem in the palm of their hands. It is likely to be a disappointing venture in the end because you are fabricating a persona that you assume everybody will like and be drawn to. However, you feel extremely self-conscious when individuals say something negative to you. That is where the mental illness starts playing games with your head. People's negative remarks WILL be exaggerated in your mind at this time. Depression can make you feel very vulnerable to sleights or what you perceive to be as an insult, whereas a non-depressed person would easily disregard the comment and move on with life instead of ruminating about it. Be very careful where you are going with this. I would be cautious about trying too hard to fit in and be liked. These people are not entirely reflective of who you are. Even if these people do not like you, for any stupid reason whatsoever, that does not mean you are a loser. I would focus on getting well, rather than trying to fit in. Once your mind is healthy again, it really won't matter what these people think about you. You will learn that integrity means being who you are, being alright with feeling down if you're down, and not being forced to play 'the funny guy' when you just don't feel like it. You are entitled to feel down, and you are entitled to excuse yourself from social stuff that would otherwise aggravate your condition. Seek help for your depression, and everything else will eventually fall into place. This should be your number one goal. These are my sincere and genuine thoughts. They are not meant to put you down in any way. I was in your situation a few years ago, and this is the wisdom I have learned from my own experience. I'm just paying it forward, my friend.
  3. Excellent post, James. I am very inspired by your efforts to overcome mental illness. I too am overcoming depression, although I am taking the proper treatment and psychotherapy to help me re-establish a healthy mind. I used to run several days throughout the week. I recently bought a treadmill which I will use to jog, since it is crummy weather right now. A gym membership will likely be in the near future, and I will scout the gyms to find a good fit for me. I like your suggestions about watching anything positive or funny on Youtube. That has also been a strategy for me. A popular website that I frequent is called TED. Many inspirational speakers talk about their difficulties and how they overcame adversity. One of my favorite speeches was by J.K. Rowling, her speech to Harvard grads, I think. Another fave speaker is Neil Pasricha, who wrote the book THe Book of Awesome. His speech might seem too trite for people going through major depression, but once you start feeling a little bit better, I advise members here to watch his speech online, and take it with a grain of salt. It is very uplifting and gives one perspective about gratefulness. Anyhoo, that is all I have to say. Keep up the good work, and I hope you never go through another period of depression, if not for a very long time. SA
  4. This is a tough question to answer. In retrospect, I struggled for several years with undiagnosed mental illness. I always thought it was just me being moody at times. Once the illness started escalating in recent years, I began to feel like it was taking over my life. I started generalizing things and catastrophizing (sp?). Now that I have it under control with ongoing therapy and treatment, I am very grateful to be alive today. Do I think my mental illness ruined my life? No. Not entirely, at least. I believe I have many more years to live a fulfilling life. If I continue to fixate on the past, I will never move forward with integrity and hope. I can use the past to reflect and learn from, but I will not fixate on it. My mental illness helped put many things into perspective for me. Throughout this ordeal, I was able to establish a very supportive relationship with my parents, my cousin and niece, and a coworker. They've been there for me, and I will never ever forget it. When hard times fall in their path, I KNOW that I will be there to help them in whatever way I can. I am a survivor, not a victim.
  5. Insomnia coupled with vivid dreams. And shopping carts that don't work when the wheels make that 'clickity clack' sound.
  6. Reminding myself that depression does not define who I am. BTW......so many good responses on this thread.
  7. Hey there, I think you have a legitimate reason to feel very sad. It is difficult to be alone and I know there are multitudes of individuals who go through what you're feeling. I think it is excellent that you understand the reason that why you are sad is due to loneliness. I experienced that feeling when I moved to a different province, and also throughout my university years. I can't even begin to tell you how painful it was, feeling like an alien of sorts around my peers, and believing that nobody cares. To tell you the truth, many of my classmates and peers did not know about my loneliness. They were too busy with their own lives and struggles. The thing is, people can't read your mind. They may notice that you don't participate in social activities with them, but people are not entirely sure as to why unless you let them know. I know it is hard right now, but you don't want to get yourself in a rut where you're isolating yourself as well. Try to find a place where you can meet people with the same interests, as LindaHurt has also mentioned. Sometimes I browse through a meet-up website to find people who share my hobbies. Even going out for a walk with one person can really boost your spirits. Also, it's good that your coworker called you about borrowing your parking spot. That could be a good doorway to a friendship, perhaps?
  8. Hello, I have tried two medications: Wellbutrin and Pristiq. Both resulted in severe side-effects. I went into a drug-induced mania shortly after. It took me a while to come off the medications, with the guidance of my doctor. I don't take traditional prescription for my mood disorder. Recently, I started taking EmpowerPlus, a multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement. It's been about a month now, and so far so good. Disclaimer: if meds are working for you, then go for it. In my personal experience, they haven't worked. To each his own.
  9. Thank you Trace and Sheepwoman. I think the fog is lifting.
  10. Thank you so much for posting this information. I have added it to my favorites list. :) Great thread! SA
  11. Is this a turning point in recovery? I just read some of my older topics and posts....and I noticed a great deal of paranoia in them. It really disturbed me. I could not believe I had felt so strongly when I wrote them, and it seems so unreal and so harsh. Even though I was supported by the kind people of this forum, I still felt disturbed after reading what I had wrote several months ago. The tone of some threads seemed like I was on the defense, overly sensitive, overly suspicious, and mistrustful. I am hoping this means that I am making progressive steps towards recovery. I just don't want to live my life being suspicious about innocuous remarks, or feel persecuted by people I care about, or people that I work with. That is not a life I want to lead. I am currently taking prescribed treatment, and am being monitored by my doctor and clinical counselor. I am hoping for the best.
  12. Hi Linda, It's good to hear a positive return to work story. It actually helped me put things into perspective. I think it's better to give people the benefit of the doubt. I don't think my coworkers would be nosy at all. The two women I know in the office seem to keep to themselves, but have been kind to me when I worked there. I don't expect any sympathy card, whatsoever, but I think it has the potential to be a non-stressful transition back to work. The everyday routine at my job is going to help me focus and distract myself from the negative thoughts. Thanks again
  13. I'm going back to my job in a couple of months. I'm a little nervous because I'm working at a different department in the company. I used to be a sales rep, but luckily was transferred to the administrative department. I know two people there, but not too well. I feel like I'm starting a new job, really, even though it's at the same office. My manager spoke to me last week about the temporary transfer. He said that my sales position will be filled by a temp, and that I'd have an opportunity to reapply within six months. It was very good of my manager to offer me this, but I more than likely won't go back to my former sales duties as I was just not that good. I think that office work suits my personality much better. So....we'll see how it goes. I'm trying not to worry too much. At least it's a familiar environment and I don't feel so out of place. The people there know me, and seem to be understanding of the fact that I was off on a stress leave. I didn't disclose much about my mental issues with anybody there except my union rep and the labor relations officer. Does anybody have more advice they can offer me? What were your experiences like? Thanks so much!
  14. I can understand your point. Depression can make us over-think sometimes. I read in a journal article that rumination is a problem with depression. It's like having a tape recorder or video recorder replay a stressful event over and over in our heads. In my opinion, that is what depression does.
  15. Thanks for the validation, Trace You are right. There were probably people there who felt the same way but didn't show it. I think I was very self-conscious too, considering the mental state I'm in. I did notice some of my relatives were overcompensating by bragging a fair share about their lives. It was hard to tolerate. Catching up with relatives, in terms of 'what have you been up to', has always always been so tunnel vision to me. Meaning, it's like reading the end of a novel and skipping the middle part of the story which describes the trials and tribulations of the character before the happy ending. At least the people in my family never discussed the ordeals they went through to get where they are. But then again, I guess it's hard to bring that up with anybody you haven't seen in years. Everybody's got a story to tell. Unfortunately, family reunions sometimes aren't the best venues to share your stories. People just skip to the good parts. Interestingly, I am more in tune when people discuss situations in which they were struggling and how they overcame. Maybe I feel this way because I can bond with them, and be able to share in their happiness too. But in family reunions, we're all actors wearing a mask. Related by blood, but otherwise no real connection. What an irony. Still, I'm glad I survived it without many battle scars. It made me realize that under the surface, these people have their own personal struggles, just like myself. They did their best to put on a brave face despite it all. I can learn from that....definitely.
  16. Sure, Gemstar. I'll answer your questions the best way I can. Can I ask, what sort of questions did they ask when they first contacted you for the telephone interview? They said they'd call to interview me... waiting and ruing that, am freaking out about it. That's the inquisition I'm talking about. Ok...this was quite a long time ago....probably five months ago. But I do remember some of the questions. The person from GWL called me on the phone and asked some general questions about how long I'd had these symptoms. She was asking how I'd been coping with my daily activities. For example, how often do you shower? What is your appetite like?
  17. Hi Gemstar, Good to hear from you.... Well.....it's a little early for me to comment on the progress of my claim, I suppose. It's only been two weeks since the psych assessment, but I'm not too worried. I think I did everything I could to provide evidence about my disability to my doctor, the psychologist, the clinical counselor. It's just a matter of time. Yup, I'm with GWL too. I don't think you should worry about stating who your insurance company is. Yeah, it can be a bummer sometimes when the insurance company rejects your claim. I heard this is typical because it's an insurance company and they likely don't want to pay. At least that's what my labour relations officer told me. I wish you a lot of luck. Just be sure to dot your i's and cross your t's. Meaning, get the proper diagnosis first from your psychiatrist, see your doctor regularly, and keep in close contact with your case manager throughout the entire process. I had to use EI the first five months of my illness before I could apply for LTD. I think it's normal to dread the psychiatrist assessment. It is actually not that bad. They do ask you questions chronologically beginning with your childhood. So, I think it would be wise to be truthful and explain in detail your current symptoms. They're there to help you, to rule out other diagnosis or to determine whether you cope with more than one. I think it's best to be honest and straight forward in these sort of exams. I was assessed by a psychologist, and it took about five hours. I had no idea it would require that length of time, but it was necessary. The interview process was fascinating to me, because I didn't feel pressure or looked down upon by the psychologist who was assessing me. I guess I always assumed it would be difficult to talk to a stranger, but it was not so. She and I had a good rapport, fortunately. I just hope that is enough information for GWL, and that they'll approve my claim. If I have to appeal again, I will. It can be hard to wait for LTD. I've run into some road blocks along the way, in the sense that I'd be worried about my finances. I had to swallow my pride and ask for financial assistance from my loved ones. Luckily, I've had financial support from my family, and I'm residing with my cousin and my niece who live nearby. Mum has also helped with the rent, and I put away quite a bit of savings too for emergencies. I'm not entirely up the creek. I'm also looking forward to going back to work gradually in November this year. I had spoken with my manager about my return to work, and he is transferring me to a different department. I was overjoyed. My union rep really worked hard to help me find a more suitable work environment so that I don't decline when I go back to my job. My manager was a little tougher to convince, but he relented when he spoke with my union rep and LRO. They really advocated for me. So....I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Keep in touch by PM if you have further questions or concerns about LTD. I've learned a lot from the people who responded to this thread as well. I'm sure they wouldn't be averse to hearing from you too! But let me know if you have more question. I'll try to answer them as thoroughly as I can, or I can refer you to somebody who has those answers. :) SA
  18. This is just retrospective thinking.....I had to write about it because it's starting to bother me just a little bit. Have you ever noticed how insecurity reigns in family get-togethers? I attended a reunion two weeks ago.....and boy oh boy......what a long night. I made sure I took my prescribed supplements before I began socializing with distant and not-so-distant cousins. It was just like a high school reunion. People were bragging about their lives, their accomplishments, etc etc. I couldn't believe I endured twelve hours of that. I did more talking than I usually do....as I am quite introverted. It was draining, to say the least. There were probably 50 people in my mum's house, and most of them I hadn't seen for over 15 years. After the last family member left.....I pretty much let out a sigh of relief.....sat down on the couch.....and just shook my head. I was so tired of tolerating the petty competitive conversations throughout the entire night. It was my worst nightmare come true.....and I survived intact. I have to remind myself that this is part of human nature. Nobody is perfect. Maybe my family members wanted to feel proud about their accomplishments. I have to remind myself that some people in the room had gone through their own periods of grief, suffering, trials and tribulations, and also set-backs. Maybe they deserved an audience? Usually, I'd end up thinking about scenarios and replaying it in my head. Over the next week, I had a few instances wherein I remembered one or two conversations that didn't really go as well as I'd hoped in the family reunion, and I feared that I would keep reminding myself of the conversations, sort of like my own mental torture. But...it didn't unravel that way this time. I think it's because I know I won't ever see these family members again for at least another five years. I also realized that some of my cousins had gone through their own difficult times in the recent past, and perhaps it was their chance to redeem themselves and report to everyone that they are doing well now. I guess nobody wants to be referred to as the black sheep. There was so much insecurity in that room....I felt like I had to be careful with what I said....egos were very very fragile that night. And personally speaking, I was also on the defense, trying to hide just how serious my mental health situation is. I never disclosed much, except to say that I took a short sabbatical from my job. Ah well, I revealed a bit of the truth to them because I really didn't want to be afraid and live in fear that these people might look down upon me. I guess it was my opportunity to be real, and not to feel ashamed for going through a tough time in my life. Nonetheless, I slept with a clear conscience the night after the family get-together. Anyhow, respond if you relate or if this has happened to you in family reunions. I never find them easy to tolerate. I always think it's a one upmanship show. I shoulda brought the popcorn, sat back, and observed more. Ah well....another ten years and we'll have a go at this again.....lol Thanks.
  19. Thanks for adding me to ur friendship list. May your day be peaceful. :)

  20. Hi Soapy, just wanted to say hello and may your week be peaceful. :)

  21. HI Sheepwoman, Three months is a long time. :( Is that an average wait? Why does it take that long? Regards, SA
  22. Gemstar, I will definitely keep in touch with you if I'm having another bout of this. Your support and kindness has been a ray of sunshine to start my day. I am very very grateful for your friendship. True true......about not being in a relationship! I am single too right now, only because I want to enter a relationship when I am well again, or at least able to monitor my moods and am better at coping with splitting. There's hope for both of us, I truly believe that. We will reap the rewards of our efforts one day, and I will be there to celebrate! It is wonderful that you have a good support network. I have one friend in real life whom I connect with online. She has moved away to a different province, but I always look forward to her emails and wisdom. I have a strong link with my sisters and also my cousin who lives near by. Without them, I'd be a royal mess. That is why I am taking precautions not to ruin these precious relationships with my mood swings. I will continue to practice compassion for everyone I meet in life. You truly have a gift with writing and reassuring others. Thank you so much, Gemstar!
  23. Thanks Sheepwoman. Yeah, my insurance company will cover for further therapy sessions if required. I am still waiting for a decision about my claim. The meeting with the psychologist went ok, I guess. I was interviewed by two people, one was a psych student who was shadowed by the psychologist. I didn't mind. Initially, I was nervous speaking about my emotions and what had transpired over the last four years. There were some long pauses, that's for sure. We began with a long interview which lasted an hour. They just took notes and asked questions about my life in chronological order beginning with my childhood. I forgot to mention a few things, but was able to call them back a day later to add my information. Anyway, they later progressed to doing a personality assessment, and then screened me for other diagnosis. I guess it was their way to rule out if I had additional disorders, or whether I was indeed BP II. I told them my family has a history of BP II on my mother's side. Well, no word yet about my assessment. They psychologist will be forwarding the information to my insurance company. Then my insurance company will call me and let me know if they approved my claim. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
  24. Gemstar, Thank you so much for the well-informed reply. I too am a child of a BPD mother. She has not openly admitted her own diagnosis, but I have traced several of her behaviors since I was a child, and it matched the BPD characteristics to a tee. I think I have mimicked my mother's behavior patterns. Unlike your mother, my mum has not been to therapy and continues to deny her disorder. But, nevertheless, I continue to try and cope with the emotionally driven behavior pattern I subconsciously adopted. I agree with much of what you wrote. It was excellent advice. I think your method of paying attention to mood swings, thinking about it before you react......I think that's brilliant. I will definitely try to model this coping method, but I know it will take me some time to control my moods. I have noticed that I am quicker to realize that I am splitting. Thank you for the compliment, BTW. :) I eventually want to be quicker to apologize when I am in the wrong. Hopefully my awareness of splitting means that there is hope for lasting change. I can see a bit of light at the end of this dark tunnel. I won't give up on myself yet. Thanks for reminding me about compassion and the 'grey'. Compassion can not exist on the same plane as anger, rage, or hatred. I am returning to prayer and meditation, as this has helped me in the past. I was a kinder person several years ago when I practiced my faith. In combination with the supplement I am taking to regulate moods, and the prayer/meditation, I think I am on my road again to recovery and maintenance. Thanks again.
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