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"Never enough.  Bad.  Worthless.  Irremediable."  

These are the predominant messages I tell myself nearly every moment of every day.  They hover mostly in a semi-conscious netherworld, not quite conscious or intentional, but still registering at some level, and always affecting the way I think and feel about myself and thus life.

I have been told, and learned that mindfulness and self compassion are the antidotes, and I believe this.  I have experienced it, even though it seems impossible to remember and retain.  Mindfulness is intentionally being present right now without negative criticism.  Self compassion has been defined as common humanity, mindfulness, and self kindness.  For me, a more useful definition is remembering that the love i want to give to others, I also give to myself.  

I tend to ask why questions, when I would prefer to ask (and answer) what and how questions.  Instead of why is life so painful all the time, replace it with, what do I want to be like, and how do I make the littlest bit more that way, just now?  If I can focus on that, and just do one thing differently, then there is hope.

I just got back from court, and 'won' a case, but don't really feel good about it.  I'm sure there's a psychological term for this, I'm going to guess dopamine depletion or something like that.  I'm not truly anhedoniac (unable to feel pleasure), but its just much fewer and further between, and I know there are neuroscientific reasons for this and that depression and stress cause it.  This court case is compounded because its a form of case that doesn't help the weaker party, and I never like that.  Generally, and with a few exceptions, even when something goes right, or I do something 'good,' I at best feel a partial sense of momentary relief.  Exceptions include good physical exercise, and sometimes doing things for others (aka unselfish acts), especially with and for my kids, who are the meaning of life to me.  These usually actually feel good to me.  Sometimes writing something that I end up thinking is good, feels good (which is is why I am here now as a self-conscious form of escape and coping).

A couple months ago I had bought a weapon to end my life, and I think I was pretty close to using it. Life has fallen down around me in so many ways, I don't want to recount them here, and most people here can relate and have their own similar experiences anyway.  I stayed close to a couple friends and sold it back.  Things have been tough for a long time.  They're going to be tough for a lot longer.  I need to believe I actually can provide myself with some hope.  That I can change from being so self-absorbed to being more self-compassionate, which is also other-oriented and unselfish.  The love (or lack thereof) I give to myself, I also extend to others, and it in turn, redounds back to myself in what I believe is a virtuous cycle.  It works both ways.  (Even this post, I feel, I sense is too self-absorbed as usual, but I don't know...it's at least putting it out here to start).

I started a new medication, Latuda a couple weeks ago.  I'm hopeful it can help augment other actions I'm trying to take.  I've been listening to a very good book on the power of movement and exercise to heal us - this has always been one of the few reliable things that helps me if I can make myself do it.  After a good re-start a couple weeks ago, some bad weather and spinal pain flared back up conspiring against me; but I know neither will be there all the time.

I generally don't feel up to the task of doing almost anything these days, much less running a law practice and business, most of which is just very difficult.  After court, feeling depleted, I wanted to sleep.  I had to prepare last night, and didn't sleep well afterward.  Normally, lately, I'd have slept in my car and tried to just zone out.  It's a terrible habit, and is purely a bad coping escape mechanism.  Instead, I went home and got my gym bag.  If I can make it to the gym over lunch, I can feel better, and it can build.  It's a start.

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@gandolficationI agree with @Epictetus. You're heroic struggle is definitely inspiring.

I especially enjoy reading your strategies. I hope you haven't copyrighted them because I've been known to "borrow" some for my own approach to dealing with all of the shit.

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23 minutes ago, JD4010 said:

@gandolficationI agree with @Epictetus. You're heroic struggle is definitely inspiring.

I especially enjoy reading your strategies. I hope you haven't copyrighted them because I've been known to "borrow" some for my own approach to dealing with all of the shit.

Thank you both for your kindness.
 

I hope you have a good weekend.  Epic, you being good to the bugs out in the desert?  (do I remember that right?)

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@gandolfication

I have three pet bugs right now:  an adult male cricket who came into my house when it got cold outside, a ladybug that I found crawling under the door when it was snowing, and two "baby" cockroaches. 

Since I am in the very high risk group for the SARS-COVID-19 virus, I am wondering whether my cricket, lady bug and cockroaches are going to outlive me.  lol

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@gandolfication One thing that really helps me is remembering that "bad" is not forever.  Those kinds of feelings we all know about since we're on these forums, especially the kind that come when hope is given up...

..they're not actually true because, really, all I have to do is continue to exist through this present second.  Hey look.  I did it.  🙂Lol.  You did too. 🙂 Again.  And again.  And again.  If I just keep doing the best I can for each second, then the seconds become minutes, and when they have passed, all that remains for me is the very next second. 

You. Are. Not. Selfish. for what you posted.  Even if you were, so !÷*×($;#(@ what???  Doesn't make you any dang less important to me, or any dang less loved by your children (based on what you've said). 

Also, by the way, in posting about some of your thoughts, you have inadvertently helped me.  No good deed exists in isolation.  I hope you can see that your willingness to be open here, to express the vulnerability in your experiences, is a selfless act. 

It will be beneficial to everybody who comes across it, and who knows how many will see it?  But beyond even that, it will long outlast the very short time it took you to post it by living on in the hearts of the readers who are similarly touched by it.  You don't know how far this one good act will travel. 

I, for instance, am going to be a different and better person now because of what you said, and I will carry your words in my heart to others in the compassion that I give them.  You understand me?  I will keep this one small piece of your compassion inside me, and by me it will spread to others, and your good act will never die because it goes on to live and become part of that great big grand cycle you spoke of in your original post.  

Love you.  Thank you.   I love you.  

--Best wishes, Jane93

Edited by Jane93

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@jane93,

Thank you.
I'm humbled and very grateful today for your post, and what a needed, hopeful experience it was reading it just now.

There's a lot of great wisdom and kindness in that.  I was struck by how our social custom is that it is too forward or inappropriate to tell people you meet that you love them, and how disordered this is.  So, back at you today.  I love you too.  

I had to look back at what I'd written on March 6.  As nearly everyone here including I presume you, will easily understand, life with depression/anxiety (bi-polar in my case), is sooooo unpleasantly up and down.  I moved to a new office environment in July, hired a paralegal, have grown my practice significantly, and maintained just a whole lot of extremely hard work, disciplines, habits, goals, etc.  It's been hard.  Anxiety has been pretty constant.  I get exhausted and burnt out too often. 

Anyway, even with all these really good things, life has felt (and thus continues to be?) so enormously difficult.  It never lets up.  I try, and I do a lot of guided meditations, I try to read (not enough), spend time with my kids, exercise, get enough sleep - you know, 'self care' (a term I'm still not 100% at peace with, although I realize why its important).  But I work 70+ hour weeks, and there's no end in sight.  After re-launching to great effect, getting some good case results for clients, this solo law practice/business just continues to be so enormously difficult and challenging for me (and for most attorneys).  I'm exhausted in every way, and and a lot of things about it, particularly the adversarial system, just tend to aggravate and reinforce almost all of the natural-conditioned impostor symptoms and self-loathing and negative self-criticism that most of us here know so well.

But anyway, back to your post.  I don't fully understand what it is.  I can hear and/or even read those words a thousand times, about loving ourselves and just being in this second, and be as content or happy as we can (and it feels and seems like I really have).  And then I read them from a real person I know, like yourself, and its like the first time I ever heard them.
 

So, thank you again.  What a gift.  I am so glad to hear and hope that the exchange benefits you and perhaps others, in the same way it has me.

Thank you!  I needed this

 

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