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aiw's Achievements

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  1. Did it help with your depression even though you didn't have the honeymoon effect, Spiritual Wanderer?
  2. Just wanted to bump this question since I'm in the same boat right now....
  3. Ha! Yes... Maybe too much. When I consider neuroplasticity I feel very encouraged about our ability to change. Sometimes it seems like genetic code is destiny but I read recently that even identical twins develop different genetic profiles throughout their lives. Then of course, there is experience. It doesn't seem like people have that much control over who they are. I can think of only a handful of people who have made major changes. Sometimes it seems like trying to change is just an exercise in frustration and self-denial, but complete acceptance? Not something I can afford to do considering how I've been recently.
  4. I've been up and down with depression for just over a year now and am finally starting to come out of it. The organic depression seems to be lifting but I'm still having trouble every day. My days and nights are reversed despite my daily decision to change them. I usually don't fall asleep till 7 or 8 in the morning and when I wake up I often feel hopeless. I'm still very apathetic and I've cut myself off from people completely (not that I was ever surrounded by friends). Although the despair is lifting I still don't like myself or how I act very much. I don't want to continue with no purpose or ambition, all alone but what has become debilitating this year is tendencies I've always had. So really my question is, do we get to choose who we are? How much is dictated for us genetically or by childhood experience? Are there really people who have transformed themselves? The stock answer is 'accept yourself' but there are many elements of myself that I don't want to accept and 22 seems awfully young to give up on the life I want to lead. Have people here or in your lives chosen to be different and actually succeeded?
  5. I think a new GP is definitely in order. For a lot of reasons you really, really shouldn't hide any medication or illness from your doctor, especially if he is prescribing medication. Personally, I wouldn't want care or medication from someone I didn't trust. Talking to pdoc about a new gp is a great idea. He will probably have a list of people to recommend.
  6. One thing I did that helped a lot is adopt a dog. Pete is not only a great support for me when I can't get out of bed, he's also motivation to get walking everyday and go to the park. I find it much easier to be motivated to take him out than I would be just going for myself. If you have a dog walking/running everyday is great for both of you. I wouldn't recommend adopting a dog unless its something you want to to anyways and the exercise motivation is a bonus. The other option is fostering if you want an animal around but can't commit to a 10+ year commitment and only want one for a few weeks or months. Not a solution for everybody, but it really worked for me.
  7. darkmoney, I'm so sorry to hear about Morpheus. I know its cold comfort but 15 years is a good long life for a cat and it sounds like it was a happy one. All pets are loved but its true that some just hold a special place in your heart. I remember losing our childhood dog suddenly and how wrenching it was. My current dog has a mysterious illness and may not be with us long so I understand your position and feel for you. Do what feels right but it may be a good idea to mourn the loss a little before jumping right in with a new cat. Maybe when you're ready volunteer at a cat rescue or foster, no one will replace Morpheus but it will give you a chance to meet with many cats and find the right connection. I'm going to say a prayer for Morpheus and Pete (my dog) tonight.
  8. My parents marriage of 27 years and 4 children broke up 2 months ago. I'm really sorry you and your wife are going through this. Without getting into details here (there is another thread on the forum that details what happened) my dad knew the marriage couldn't work many years ago. Instead of dealing with it directly and fairly with my mum he tried to hide what was happening and ultimately was found out. The way that it happened, the years of deception have made sure that I will never respect my father the way I did, that he's not half the person I thought he was. It would have been so much better for our family if he had been honest with us and himself. Breaking up a marriage will always be terrible and painful, but at least it allows the people involved to start fixing whats broken and be honest about their lives. It was so unfair for my father to make my mom live a lie for so many years, to mourn a marriage she didn't even know was over. I'm glad you have the strength to be honest, I think in the long run its the best choice for everyone involved.
  9. I think facebook was specifically engineered to make me feel terrible about myself. I blame Mark Zuckerberg... what a jerk!!!! I'm only half-joking, fb is the ultimate performance, the ultimate in egoism and rewards the most superficial. Yes, I do have an account but I use it very rarely. Dont let the machine get you down!!!
  10. Yep, I'm right there with you. My brother is at home right now and he's always been the ultimate schmoozer, relaxed in every social situation, people just like him and want to be around him, including me.... Sometimes I just want to smack him for having it so easy!!! I've also been feeling like I just want him gone so I don't have a window into the life I'm missing out on, BUT I think thats the sad part of me talking. The part that says, you deserve to be alone, nothing can every change. I don't know about your bf but my brother is supportive, he doesn't understand whats happening to me (I don't think people really can unless they've experienced it) but he does his best to help. He suggests things we can do together, he actively gets me to participate in things and I always feel better afterwards. I think on the whole its good for me to be exposed to that energy, it helps me understand it and hopefully one day create it for myself. I believe people can change, I've had some pretty shocking examples of it in my life recently so I figure, its possible. For them and for me, slowly slowly.
  11. Paul, It sounds to me like your thoughts about yourself centre on one incident that you deeply regret. I honestly think part of what is making it so powerful is that you are keeping it such a tightly guarded secret. I know you're afraid of being judged harshly but I'm not sure anyone could be harsher to you than you are being to yourself. The stuff I keep secret is usually the most toxic, irrational thoughts, and the fact that they're secrets means they can never be challenged and instead control things from the shadows. I think you should consider sharing this secret, along with your immense remorse with someone you trust. Could be family, close friends, counselor, psychiatrist, internet forum or even (and I have done this once or twice) strangers. I am usually very surprised by what comes back, no one has ever been as cruel to me as I am to myself, most are kind and supportive. Guilt on its own is not valuable. In fact it can suffocate the person and the people around them, it just causes more pain. Guilt is only worthwhile as a motivator for change. You have clearly already decided that whatever happened will not be repeated, now maybe take the next step to make it right. Try to heal yourself and use the situation to create some good in the world. I look at it like this, someone who has done something bad owes a debt to the world. They contributed a negative event/feeling etc. That debt can't be paid with guilt, it can't be paid by torturing yourself and causing more pain. It must be paid in "goodness", in love and good deeds. Just my philosophy of life but I hope it helps a little and I hope you get yourself to a better place, you're not alone in a struggle like this.
  12. I also have really generalized "automatic thoughts" with no clear trigger. Lately I've been trying something new, every time I become aware of a negative thought I take one small positive action in that arena. For example, "everyone hates me"... message my closest friend. Or "I'm so fat"... take the dog for a walk. Its hard to be disciplined about it but its helping. I'm also finding it easier to do bigger and bigger things when I run across a particularly stubborn feeling. I think a lot of my horrible thoughts about myself exist because I let them stay in the dark and never challenge them. I'm still struggling but I'm making progress, I've found it easier to do than to master the intricacies of my own mind, its difficult to be the thought-sheriff in your own brain!
  13. Those are big achievements!!! Congratulations and dont forget to celebrate! I don't think you need to feel guilty about taking a hiatus, I'm back myself after a bit of a break. I think thats one of the great strengths of DF, its here whenever you need it but can be put on the back burner when other things come up. I know you're nervous about moving across the country but its also a big opportunity. You should be able to meet people pretty easily through your classes and it can be a fresh start for you. I moved across the country (a 5 hour plane ride) for my undergraduate degree. I was 17 and really nervous but it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I proved to myself that I can be independent and build a life for myself, even though I too have some social anxiety and depression. Trust yourself, you've already accomplished a helluva lot.
  14. In the last year I've really come face to face with a lot of the horrible things I say to myself. One of the worst is the idea that I have to 'earn' the right to exist, that unless I'm a genius, talented, beautiful, loved by everyone then I'm entirely worthless. I struggle with that concept with myself all the time but I find it much easier to defeat it when I apply it to other people. My mom (or yours) for example, she won't go down in the history books but she is still an incredible and worthwhile person. Who cares what "history" thinks of her, I KNOW she matters. I don't know you so I won't say you're a special snowflake but consider what you would say about people close to you, its likely that they think the same about you.
  15. Hmmm, I like the idea that we are the forces of nature manifested. We do all experience things differently. It would be fascinating to experience the workings of someone elses mind, but since that is firmly out of reach, you're right, compassionate discussion is the best and closest thing to really understanding someone else.
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