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Old 03-15-2019, 02:35 AM   #21
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Heart Re: You Have to Believe

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I hear ya about the volunteering thing. Unfortunately, my day job requires me to deal with people who are far worse off than I am anyway. I love what I do. I love helping others.

One truly sad factor of all of this is that, on paper at least, I have a great life. I have people who love, care about, and support me. I have every material item that I want. I love my job. I'm pretty healthy all things considered. I could quit my job today and travel the world with a friend on her dime. I "should" be happy. I'm not though.

Silk Chaos: does it help how you feel - at all - to be able to chat with these people who care and have been through similar? Not saying it should help, but wondering whether there is anything inside you that wants to feel comforted/ or that could feel comforted?

***************************************************************
If you suffer from depression, than perhaps that underlying challenge doesn't change any more than my PTSD changes. If I was born blind it might be the same. I can't live my dreams. But, say, 5 out of 7 days in my week give me enough buzz not to be eaten up by the negatives.

***************************************************************
If a counsellor told me "you have to..." that would be unproductive for me! If someone wants to help me, they need to give space for me to notice what works for me personally; I need old warriors to strengthen my sense of responsibility, not "you have to..." Grrrrrh.

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Old 03-15-2019, 06:09 AM   #22
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Huh? Things will get better? Meh.... Evidence dictates otherwise.

15 years? Nah, more like 45. Where's the improvement? That's what I'd like to know.


I hope, for my sake, that I don't live for 45 years.

I can't imagine myself at an age where I'm late 40's/ early 50's, and thinking.. well people are still telling me what they told me as a teenager, but **** all's improved

a lot of people are also of the opinion well, you have to be the improvement you want to see, hmm, maybe to a point, but their's a lot more than that
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:14 AM   #23
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Silk Chaos: does it help how you feel - at all - to be able to chat with these people who care and have been through similar? Not saying it should help, but wondering whether there is anything inside you that wants to feel comforted/ or that could feel comforted?
To an extent, yes, it helps. It is a way to release the frustrations in a healthy manner and receive validation because they know what I go through.

I have comorbidity between C-PTSD, combined ADHD/ADD, and severe depression.

The reason that she told me that I have to believe is because if I can't believe that continuing treatment will make a difference, there is no reason to continue.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:53 PM   #24
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CepheidVariable - thank you for both your courageous posts. You make me feel as if I'm not alone in finding the courage to soldier through each day. Sometimes I want someone to find my work and courage beautiful, so I'm giving you the appreciation I would like in my own life. One thing that resonates for me in your posts is that you are working in the real detailed stuff, and avoiding your mind tripping you up into black and white extremes. KUDOS & GRATITUDE & WALKING SIDE BY SIDE WITH YOU THIS MORNING.
Thank you. It means a lot to hear this and know that I helped someone feel better.

Your work and courage *is* beautiful. Especially when it's an internal struggle against our own problems. The things and times that no one else will ever truly know in their entirety. Without any guarantees, and many days without any real belief. It says something about the potential of the human spirit for itself and others. I always thought of it as admirable. But it is beautiful too.

And thank you for your kind words about me.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:38 PM   #25
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To an extent, yes, it helps. It is a way to release the frustrations in a healthy manner and receive validation because they know what I go through.

I have comorbidity between C-PTSD, combined ADHD/ADD, and severe depression.

The reason that she told me that I have to believe is because if I can't believe that continuing treatment will make a difference, there is no reason to continue.
I went through a lot of unhelpful therapy -- for years. So if it doesn't seem to be working, I would suggest to keep trying different approaches and therapists. But, unless it's making things worse, you might want to keep going to the person you are with until you find something better so at least things don't deteriorate.

I'm glad to hear you are finding the forums somewhat helpful. And maybe you will pick up some ideas here. I finally started trying some, for me, unlikely things because at that point I had little to lose. Frankly, other than being miserable, what else was I going to be doing with my time?

I hope you are finding today at least tolerable.

But feel free to complain, if you don't.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:42 PM   #26
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Sorry you are so unhappy Silk Chaos.

I don't agree with your therapist's suggestion that you should "believe something better will come along." From my perspective that would place in you in a very passive position in life which would be less likely to create the happy life you wish to live. Happiness doesn't typically come to us. We seek it in various ways. Like finding a partner for example. If we don't go on dates, we'll never find a partner. At some point, we decide that we're ready for one and start searching.

I have lived with depression since early childhood. I've done CBT and tried various meds. Meds never helped me; just made me ill from side effects. I haven't taken them for years. CBT was very helpful. Though it didn't get me quite as far as I wanted to go. What has changed for me recently is a different approach to my feelings and unhappiness. I am finding daily mindfulness and meditation extremely beneficial. My partner has noticed that I am "happy" more often and my moods are more balanced overall.

If you have been going to therapy for years and you feel that you are as miserable as when you started, the problem could be one of two things. Either you have the wrong therapist for you or the type of therapy you have tried does not mesh with your needs. How does that strike you? I'm a big believer in switching paths if the one I'm on does not seem to be helping.

How do you define happiness? Is that a silly question? Something I have asked myself a lot. Because nobody is happy all of the time, right?....not every moment of every day. That's not possible. For me, happiness is some positive moments in each day. These can be small things. An enjoyable food or beverage. A soft blanket or long hot shower. Connecting with and supporting others on PC. Completing tasks on my checklist, either at work or at home. Giving my partner a hug or doing his laundry. Sending my stressed out sister a kind message with a hopeful guided meditation for her to try. Going for a walk outside. Being near trees or water for a while.

Have you ever seen the documentary 'Happy?' It's available on Netflix. It helped me a great deal. There is research from all over the world on what makes some people happier than others. There are also practical tips on how to increase our own happiness levels. If I recall correctly, researchers broke down that 40% of our subjective level of happiness is self-determined. That's aside from genetic factors and socioeconomic status.

I've changed my thinking. I used to think of myself as a broken depressive with a genetic imbalance which meds didn't "cure." So I went through a long period of feeling doomed. Then I started researching other ways of thinking about unhappiness...I stepped away from the medical model. I figured well I'm still alive so I've got to try something new because I don't want to feel this way forever. I took a holistic approach. Thus far, it really seems to be helping. It's not like flipping a switch. I actively work on it each day. I think of it as building my happiness skills. I think all humans need to do that. There are very few people who are simply born optimistic and always look on the bright side of things. The rest of us have to train our brains to look for the positives every single day.

One study indicated that people who practice daily gratitude had a 25% increase in their subjective happiness level after 3 months.

You said "Things are what they are and there is no changing them. I try to not worry about that which I cannot control."

There is a lot of power in not worrying about that which we cannot control. However, it is not helpful to tell ourselves that nothing will change. Life by its very nature is always bringing changes. Nothing is static. The only guarantee that you will never find happiness is if you tell yourself it's impossible. That's a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy. I lived that way for years....subsisted really rather than lived. It was horrible. I'd rather spend the rest of my days working on building happiness than assuming it's impossible.

Write down what would make you happy. What do you want in life? A new job? Close friends? A pet? Fun hobby? Social group? Partner? Write it all down and then pick one or two. Or the one that is most important to you. Then write down ways of bringing that into your life.

My thoughts are from a place of care and regard for you based on my own struggles. You do not have to agree I care that you are unhappy and I really hope you can find peace and joy in your own way.

Last edited by SilverTrees; 03-15-2019 at 08:56 PM..
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:47 AM   #27
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Sorry you are so unhappy Silk Chaos.

I don't agree with your therapist's suggestion that you should "believe something better will come along." From my perspective that would place in you in a very passive position in life which would be less likely to create the happy life you wish to live. Happiness doesn't typically come to us. We seek it in various ways. Like finding a partner for example. If we don't go on dates, we'll never find a partner. At some point, we decide that we're ready for one and start searching.

I have lived with depression since early childhood. I've done CBT and tried various meds. Meds never helped me; just made me ill from side effects. I haven't taken them for years. CBT was very helpful. Though it didn't get me quite as far as I wanted to go. What has changed for me recently is a different approach to my feelings and unhappiness. I am finding daily mindfulness and meditation extremely beneficial. My partner has noticed that I am "happy" more often and my moods are more balanced overall.

If you have been going to therapy for years and you feel that you are as miserable as when you started, the problem could be one of two things. Either you have the wrong therapist for you or the type of therapy you have tried does not mesh with your needs. How does that strike you? I'm a big believer in switching paths if the one I'm on does not seem to be helping.

How do you define happiness? Is that a silly question? Something I have asked myself a lot. Because nobody is happy all of the time, right?....not every moment of every day. That's not possible. For me, happiness is some positive moments in each day. These can be small things. An enjoyable food or beverage. A soft blanket or long hot shower. Connecting with and supporting others on PC. Completing tasks on my checklist, either at work or at home. Giving my partner a hug or doing his laundry. Sending my stressed out sister a kind message with a hopeful guided meditation for her to try. Going for a walk outside. Being near trees or water for a while.

Have you ever seen the documentary 'Happy?' It's available on Netflix. It helped me a great deal. There is research from all over the world on what makes some people happier than others. There are also practical tips on how to increase our own happiness levels. If I recall correctly, researchers broke down that 40% of our subjective level of happiness is self-determined. That's aside from genetic factors and socioeconomic status.

I've changed my thinking. I used to think of myself as a broken depressive with a genetic imbalance which meds didn't "cure." So I went through a long period of feeling doomed. Then I started researching other ways of thinking about unhappiness...I stepped away from the medical model. I figured well I'm still alive so I've got to try something new because I don't want to feel this way forever. I took a holistic approach. Thus far, it really seems to be helping. It's not like flipping a switch. I actively work on it each day. I think of it as building my happiness skills. I think all humans need to do that. There are very few people who are simply born optimistic and always look on the bright side of things. The rest of us have to train our brains to look for the positives every single day.

One study indicated that people who practice daily gratitude had a 25% increase in their subjective happiness level after 3 months.

You said "Things are what they are and there is no changing them. I try to not worry about that which I cannot control."

There is a lot of power in not worrying about that which we cannot control. However, it is not helpful to tell ourselves that nothing will change. Life by its very nature is always bringing changes. Nothing is static. The only guarantee that you will never find happiness is if you tell yourself it's impossible. That's a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy. I lived that way for years....subsisted really rather than lived. It was horrible. I'd rather spend the rest of my days working on building happiness than assuming it's impossible.

Write down what would make you happy. What do you want in life? A new job? Close friends? A pet? Fun hobby? Social group? Partner? Write it all down and then pick one or two. Or the one that is most important to you. Then write down ways of bringing that into your life.

My thoughts are from a place of care and regard for you based on my own struggles. You do not have to agree I care that you are unhappy and I really hope you can find peace and joy in your own way.


this is a good post, with a lot to think about

I agree with a lot you are saying- especially the part about people have to find their own happyness, and that diffrent things make diffrent people happy (and it may not be the same for everyone), and that's okay.

now, if only I can work out the part about what I want from life (I still don't know that), I can work towards being happy

right now I wouldn't say I'm happy (I wouldn't even say I'm content), I'm here because... well, because I don't hav much of a choice
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:11 PM   #28
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this is a good post, with a lot to think about

I agree with a lot you are saying- especially the part about people have to find their own happyness, and that diffrent things make diffrent people happy (and it may not be the same for everyone), and that's okay.

now, if only I can work out the part about what I want from life (I still don't know that), I can work towards being happy

right now I wouldn't say I'm happy (I wouldn't even say I'm content), I'm here because... well, because I don't hav much of a choice
Thank you for sharing your truth RagingVortex.

I am sorry that you don't feel happy or content.

It's okay not to know what you want in life. That's the stage before finding out! I still have quite a lot of figuring out to do in my life too.

This may sound counter-intuitive but you could try something...think about what makes you feel sad, disappointed, or hurt in your life. Write it down. That can actually be a way to figure out your values if you reverse the items on the list. For example, if you feel sad when you spend a birthday alone...that means you value connection with others...so you could make it a goal to build some new connections. Or if you feel hurt or disappointed when you friend talks about their wonderful partner, that likely means you would value having a partner of your own. Do you see what I mean? Also, feel free to PM me any time. For a hug or to share an idea or anything. Peace to you and thanks again for writing
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:25 PM   #29
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Thank you for sharing your truth RagingVortex.

I am sorry that you don't feel happy or content.

It's okay not to know what you want in life. That's the stage before finding out! I still have quite a lot of figuring out to do in my life too.

This may sound counter-intuitive but you could try something...think about what makes you feel sad, disappointed, or hurt in your life. Write it down. That can actually be a way to figure out your values if you reverse the items on the list. For example, if you feel sad when you spend a birthday alone...that means you value connection with others...so you could make it a goal to build some new connections. Or if you feel hurt or disappointed when you friend talks about their wonderful partner, that likely means you would value having a partner of your own. Do you see what I mean? Also, feel free to PM me any time. For a hug or to share an idea or anything. Peace to you and thanks again for writing


I see what you mean, and I think you raise a good point

question:
how long do you think is too long not to know what you want from life

it just popped in to my head when you mentioned it- their has to be a cut off point where you just think, well, right, I best get it sorted now
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Old 03-16-2019, 05:11 PM   #30
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I see what you mean, and I think you raise a good point

question:
how long do you think is too long not to know what you want from life

it just popped in to my head when you mentioned it- their has to be a cut off point where you just think, well, right, I best get it sorted now

You raise important questions Raging Vortex. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of absolutes. For me, to say that a person has to know what they want from a life after X amount of time could be quite a limiting or even pressuring absolute.

That said, I understand your point and it is worth thinking about. From the mindfulness movement, there is valuable emphasis on living in the here and now. People who dwell on the past often feel depressed. People who dwell on the future tend to feel anxious. Those who focus on the present tend to feel more peaceful.

So, with regard to your question Raging Vortex, in this very moment, what can you do to make yourself happy? Clue: what does Mind, Body, or Spirit need or want? Anything at all? Fresh air. A healthy meal. A walk or dancing to some music at home. Cleaning or tidying up your home. Call a friend etc etc

Another thing to think about....what you want in life is likely to change, right? Depending on the day or your age or your job or various other life experiences. For example, for many years I have been a workaholic. Work was a very important value of mine. However, over time I was questioning this because my values have shifted...I was finding that I was working too much and lacked balance in my life. I wasn't happy. Now I am thinking I need to step back and focus more on building friendships and hobbies and quality non-work time.

It may sound like a cliche but I find it really comforting: "Life is Always Now." Easier said than done, but try not to regret your past. Try not to worry so much about the future. Your life is happening right now....what do you need or want right now at this moment?
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