The hard work of surviving emotional depression and anxiety.

brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
First of all, my apologies if this seems like one to many threads on depression and anxiety.  I know we have several but I'm hoping we can focus here on the hard work of making out way through the tangle of these mental health issues.

My anxiety and depression were at their worst from late 1993 through the end of that decade.  I believed, that because they were for the most part caused by the distress of extreme and painful sound sensitivity (hyperacusis) and intolerable tinnitus, that there was little hope for me to overcome my issues.  I nearly died a couple of times as a result. 

One summer day, in 1996, I was visiting my folks and I was emoting to one of the neighbors who was a family friend.  She was a woman about my age and I believed I could speak freely with her about my feelings.  Suddenly she just blurted out, "Brian, you need to get a life."  Oh man, that stung! I was devastated by her bluntness.  In retrospect, I believe she really did care about me and basically what she was saying was, "You need to do whatever it takes to pull yourself together."  But the thing is, she could have helped me more by being less blunt or at least starting with some empathy and then stressing the need for me to get down to the business of finding my way.  Eventually, I did find better coping methods and although I doubt I will ever be depression or anxiety free, I cope far better than I did in those days.

What I'm trying to say here (in what I hope are much kinder words than just "You need to get a life"!) is that ultimately what gets us to a better place is doing the hard work of finding and utilizing effective coping skills.  No one else can make us better.  We can (and I think should) receive empathy and caring from those who truly care about us and we would do well to not beat ourselves up. There are certainly times where we should go easy on ourselves, and give ourselves credit for any progress we make.  But at the same time, we would also do well to challenge ourselves to try harder, look for different strategies, get down to the business of healing ourselves.  As hard as this sounds, that work is hard to do.  But like anything worth accomplishing, the hard work pays off and the more we do it, the more we feel less negative about the hard work.  The hard work becomes our friend and savior.  And the sooner we do it, the sooner we get to have a better life and enjoy the things that bring us pleasure.  I can't emphasize this enough.  And lest anyone believe I think I have all the answers or am without pain or at times fall away from what I know to do, no, it is ongoing.  I have to remind myself of these things all the time.  At the same time, I've also reaped the benefits of the work.  And I'm still here and glad of it!

So let's support each other both with care and empathy as well as with encouragement to get down to the work we need to do.  Empathy is good and necessary but our own work is our salvation.

Would love to hear anyone share thought about all this.
The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
-Anne Lamott
***********
M.I.T.S.



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Comments

  • ShynerShyner Posts: 1,226
    Hard work breeds self worth. 
    I'm working as we speak. 
    Wilco has a song that says
    What do i do when there's no lawn to mow
    I dread tomorrow morning. Anxiety. 
    I don't want to let you down but i don't know what i can do without work. 
    I'm on social security and can only work so much. 
    Again you are right we can only help ourselves. 
    It's comforting you being here with all your knowledge. I'll just sit back and read on. 
    Thanks to anyone who cares. Love to all
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
    Shyner said:
    Hard work breeds self worth. 
    I'm working as we speak. 
    Wilco has a song that says
    What do i do when there's no lawn to mow
    I dread tomorrow morning. Anxiety. 
    I don't want to let you down but i don't know what i can do without work. 
    I'm on social security and can only work so much. 
    Again you are right we can only help ourselves. 
    It's comforting you being here with all your knowledge. I'll just sit back and read on. 
    Thanks to anyone who cares. Love to all
    I didn't work much during my worst years either, Shyner.  Looking back on that time, I realize my most important job was getting myself into a better place.  That's probably the most important job for all of us though I know work (as in a job) can also be very therapeutic as long as it's not bringing you down.  Nowadays, I work as much as my body will allow.

    I care, Shyner.  Love to you too.
    The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
    -Anne Lamott
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.



  • curmudgeonesscurmudgeoness San DiegoPosts: 2,174
    It is work, absolutely -- constant mental and physical effort. It's not like getting over a cold -- these issues don't just resolve themselves on their own. I've found that near-constant physical activity is as important for me as rewiring my brain is. People who don't know what it's like think I am joking when I say that I run for my mental health as well as my physical health, but it's no joke. I'm like a shark; I have to keep moving.
    All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
    It is work, absolutely -- constant mental and physical effort. It's not like getting over a cold -- these issues don't just resolve themselves on their own. I've found that near-constant physical activity is as important for me as rewiring my brain is. People who don't know what it's like think I am joking when I say that I run for my mental health as well as my physical health, but it's no joke. I'm like a shark; I have to keep moving.
    Yes, "movement is life"!
    The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
    -Anne Lamott
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.



  • camsjamcamsjam Posts: 242
    Well said everyone above. I was going to say in America finding comfort and empathy from others can be difficult but based on posts from members in other countries it seems like mental issues are misunderstood around the world. It does help knowing there are others out there fighting their own battles who care and understand what a struggle it can be to get through a day. I guess we are the REAL Strangest Tribe. B)
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
    camsjam said:
    Well said everyone above. I was going to say in America finding comfort and empathy from others can be difficult but based on posts from members in other countries it seems like mental issues are misunderstood around the world. It does help knowing there are others out there fighting their own battles who care and understand what a struggle it can be to get through a day. I guess we are the REAL Strangest Tribe. B)
    Here's to the REAL!

    The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
    -Anne Lamott
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.



  • RogueStonerRogueStoner Sunny AZPosts: 1,578
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 11,385
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • RogueStonerRogueStoner Sunny AZPosts: 1,578
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 11,385
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    :pensive:
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    Excellent, RS!  Good show!
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    A god sense of humor always help!  Slap away!  (Sorry,, Dankind :lol:  )
    The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
    -Anne Lamott
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.



  • RogueStonerRogueStoner Sunny AZPosts: 1,578
    brianlux said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    Excellent, RS!  Good show!
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    A god sense of humor always help!  Slap away!  (Sorry,, Dankind :lol:  )
    :rofl:   I wasn’t referring to Dan. Not that he doesn’t deserve a good bitch slap, but I’m a little busy with one closer to me. 
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 11,385
    brianlux said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    Excellent, RS!  Good show!
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    A god sense of humor always help!  Slap away!  (Sorry,, Dankind :lol:  )
    :rofl:   I wasn’t referring to Dan. Not that he doesn’t deserve a good bitch slap, but I’m a little busy with one closer to me. 
    :bring_it:
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • RogueStonerRogueStoner Sunny AZPosts: 1,578
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    Excellent, RS!  Good show!
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    A god sense of humor always help!  Slap away!  (Sorry,, Dankind :lol:  )
    :rofl:   I wasn’t referring to Dan. Not that he doesn’t deserve a good bitch slap, but I’m a little busy with one closer to me. 
    :bring_it:
    :kiss:  :smiley:
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
    brianlux said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    Excellent, RS!  Good show!
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    A god sense of humor always help!  Slap away!  (Sorry,, Dankind :lol:  )
    :rofl:   I wasn’t referring to Dan. Not that he doesn’t deserve a good bitch slap, but I’m a little busy with one closer to me. 
    My bad! 

    uuuuuuuuuh oooooooooooh, does that mean I'm in for a good sound bitch slap?

    :worried:  :cry:
    The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
    -Anne Lamott
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.



  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 11,385
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • RogueStonerRogueStoner Sunny AZPosts: 1,578
    brianlux said:
    brianlux said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    Excellent, RS!  Good show!
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    A god sense of humor always help!  Slap away!  (Sorry,, Dankind :lol:  )
    :rofl:   I wasn’t referring to Dan. Not that he doesn’t deserve a good bitch slap, but I’m a little busy with one closer to me. 
    My bad! 

    uuuuuuuuuh oooooooooooh, does that mean I'm in for a good sound bitch slap?

    :worried:  :cry:
    Yup. I’m on my way!  ;)
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
    dankind said:

    brianlux said:
    brianlux said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    Excellent, RS!  Good show!
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    A god sense of humor always help!  Slap away!  (Sorry,, Dankind :lol:  )
    :rofl:   I wasn’t referring to Dan. Not that he doesn’t deserve a good bitch slap, but I’m a little busy with one closer to me. 
    My bad! 

    uuuuuuuuuh oooooooooooh, does that mean I'm in for a good sound bitch slap?

    :worried:  :cry:
    Yup. I’m on my way!  ;)
    Oh it hurts so BAD!  Do it again!
    :rofl:
    The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
    -Anne Lamott
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.



  • RogueStonerRogueStoner Sunny AZPosts: 1,578
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:

    brianlux said:
    brianlux said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    Excellent, RS!  Good show!
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    A god sense of humor always help!  Slap away!  (Sorry,, Dankind :lol:  )
    :rofl:   I wasn’t referring to Dan. Not that he doesn’t deserve a good bitch slap, but I’m a little busy with one closer to me. 
    My bad! 

    uuuuuuuuuh oooooooooooh, does that mean I'm in for a good sound bitch slap?

    :worried:  :cry:
    Yup. I’m on my way!  ;)
    Oh it hurts so BAD!  Do it again!
    :rofl:
    :rofl:
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 11,385
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:

    brianlux said:
    brianlux said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    Excellent, RS!  Good show!
    dankind said:
    I finally made an appointment with a therapist. I know it seems like such a simple step but I’ve been avoiding this for a very long time. But I’m ready and willing to learn and do the work required to cope and perhaps heal some day. This time, the moment I felt my depression lift in the slightest, I forced myself to start doing the things that help...exercise, eat better, spend time outdoors, etc. Yesterday was bad but overall, I’m feeling better each day. I’m hopeful. 

    Great timing with this thread, Brian. Thanks. :)
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    The main reason I’m going now is so I don’t bitch slap someone. It’s getting close. 
    A god sense of humor always help!  Slap away!  (Sorry,, Dankind :lol:  )
    :rofl:   I wasn’t referring to Dan. Not that he doesn’t deserve a good bitch slap, but I’m a little busy with one closer to me. 
    My bad! 

    uuuuuuuuuh oooooooooooh, does that mean I'm in for a good sound bitch slap?

    :worried:  :cry:
    Yup. I’m on my way!  ;)
    Oh it hurts so BAD!  Do it again!
    :rofl:

    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • ShynerShyner Posts: 1,226
    My stomach hurts. 
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
    Shyner said:
    My stomach hurts. 
    I hope that's from laughing at all the craziness above and not from nerves.  If it's nerves, I hope it settles down soon.  When I'm anxious, I sometimes get a cranky gut.  I try to do some deep breathing and drink more water.

    Hope you're feeling better!
    The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
    -Anne Lamott
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.



  • RogueStonerRogueStoner Sunny AZPosts: 1,578
    Well, therapy did not go well. I couldn’t even finish the session. I couldn’t breathe. I’m sure she’s a wonderful therapist but it was not a good fit. I really need to trust my intuition more. Could’ve saved myself a drive and her valuable appointment time. Normally, this would confirm my fears and I’d give up. But not this time. So, back to my search for a therapist. That was a really rough couple of hours but I won’t let it spoil my day. :)
  • camsjamcamsjam Posts: 242
    Great on you RS! The search for someone you can really relate to and trust is very daunting and I hope you find someone who is able to help. It took me a few tries but I did have a great therapist. Now I've relocated my search begins again but I am determined not to give up also. All the best! Hang in there.
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
    Well, therapy did not go well. I couldn’t even finish the session. I couldn’t breathe. I’m sure she’s a wonderful therapist but it was not a good fit. I really need to trust my intuition more. Could’ve saved myself a drive and her valuable appointment time. Normally, this would confirm my fears and I’d give up. But not this time. So, back to my search for a therapist. That was a really rough couple of hours but I won’t let it spoil my day. :)

    camsjam said:
    Great on you RS! The search for someone you can really relate to and trust is very daunting and I hope you find someone who is able to help. It took me a few tries but I did have a great therapist. Now I've relocated my search begins again but I am determined not to give up also. All the best! Hang in there.
    I totally understand where you're both coming from.  I've gone to counseling a number of times over the years and had real mixed luck finding good ones. 

    Years ago when I was at my lowest and almost did myself in, I was told I needed to see a psychiatrist.  I was thinking I would get some counseling but, no, this guy just wanted to have me take strong meds.  The second time I saw him I started talking about the botched relationship that was a big part of my woes and the guy scolded me saying, "I don't want to talk about that.".  I think I actually said, "Well then, fuck you."  I know I walked out of his office and slammed the door.

    Another time, I was telling my therapist (a different one)  that I believed it would help me if I could have my own space in the house I was living in and think of it as my space.  He chastised me harshly saying, "You're in a relationship.  What makes you think you have the right to have your own space?"  Can you believe that shit?

    So yes, it really takes some searching to find a good one.  My suggestion (and this is from having work as program assistant for a counseling training program which itself helped me to find my way to firm ground) is to seek out a counselor who is at least familiar with names like Virginia Satir and Carl Rogers and who is competent in utilizing what is called "client [or person] centered therapy". (Wikipedia has a good basic description of that kind of work).  That at least will give you a clue that the therapist understands the value of "the client's perception of the therapist's genuineness, the therapist's unconditional positive regard for the client, and accurate empathy."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person-centered_therapy

    I hope you both find someone good! 

    The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
    -Anne Lamott
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.



  • Thoughts_ArriveThoughts_Arrive Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 12,006
    Well, therapy did not go well. I couldn’t even finish the session. I couldn’t breathe. I’m sure she’s a wonderful therapist but it was not a good fit. I really need to trust my intuition more. Could’ve saved myself a drive and her valuable appointment time. Normally, this would confirm my fears and I’d give up. But not this time. So, back to my search for a therapist. That was a really rough couple of hours but I won’t let it spoil my day. :)
    What made you feel she wasn't the right therapist for you?
    Adelaide 17/11/2009, Melbourne 20/11/2009, Sydney 22/11/2009, Melbourne (Big Day Out Festival) 24/01/2014
  • Thoughts_ArriveThoughts_Arrive Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 12,006
    brianlux said:
    Well, therapy did not go well. I couldn’t even finish the session. I couldn’t breathe. I’m sure she’s a wonderful therapist but it was not a good fit. I really need to trust my intuition more. Could’ve saved myself a drive and her valuable appointment time. Normally, this would confirm my fears and I’d give up. But not this time. So, back to my search for a therapist. That was a really rough couple of hours but I won’t let it spoil my day. :)

    camsjam said:
    Great on you RS! The search for someone you can really relate to and trust is very daunting and I hope you find someone who is able to help. It took me a few tries but I did have a great therapist. Now I've relocated my search begins again but I am determined not to give up also. All the best! Hang in there.
    I totally understand where you're both coming from.  I've gone to counseling a number of times over the years and had real mixed luck finding good ones. 

    Years ago when I was at my lowest and almost did myself in, I was told I needed to see a psychiatrist.  I was thinking I would get some counseling but, no, this guy just wanted to have me take strong meds.  The second time I saw him I started talking about the botched relationship that was a big part of my woes and the guy scolded me saying, "I don't want to talk about that.".  I think I actually said, "Well then, fuck you."  I know I walked out of his office and slammed the door.

    Another time, I was telling my therapist (a different one)  that I believed it would help me if I could have my own space in the house I was living in and think of it as my space.  He chastised me harshly saying, "You're in a relationship.  What makes you think you have the right to have your own space?"  Can you believe that shit?

    So yes, it really takes some searching to find a good one.  My suggestion (and this is from having work as program assistant for a counseling training program which itself helped me to find my way to firm ground) is to seek out a counselor who is at least familiar with names like Virginia Satir and Carl Rogers and who is competent in utilizing what is called "client [or person] centered therapy". (Wikipedia has a good basic description of that kind of work).  That at least will give you a clue that the therapist understands the value of "the client's perception of the therapist's genuineness, the therapist's unconditional positive regard for the client, and accurate empathy."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person-centered_therapy

    I hope you both find someone good! 

    I love Carl Rogers' approach.
    Learned about this in my degree.
    Adelaide 17/11/2009, Melbourne 20/11/2009, Sydney 22/11/2009, Melbourne (Big Day Out Festival) 24/01/2014
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 11,385
    RS, I'm sorry that it wasn't a good fit. The first one rarely is. I absolutely despised the therapist I had as a kid, and nobody cared. So I had to keep seeing the condescending cockpony for quite a few years.

    I also canned my most recent therapist several months ago and have been putting off finding another one. She wasn't a very good listener, and everything that came out of her mouth was just incredibly stupid. There was no foundation on which to build even the tiniest bit of trust. I have serious doubts that I'll find a decent one here. 

    The therapist I found during my college years, however, saved my life. And the one I had in Brooklyn was intelligent enough and caring enough to meet the challenge that I can be as a patient. When I was dead set on blowing up everything that I had built up to that point in my life, she kept me from doing so by appealing to my overly analytical and rational nature and merging it in a very healthy way with the chaos that I was feeling. 

    Everyone here seems to be about a quick fix (CBT, etc.), but goddamn it, I have to live with myself and the terrible choices I have made for an unknown amount of years to come, and their dumb jedi mind tricks do absolutely nothing to take the sting out of that.
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 23,251
    dankind said:
    RS, I'm sorry that it wasn't a good fit. The first one rarely is. I absolutely despised the therapist I had as a kid, and nobody cared. So I had to keep seeing the condescending cockpony for quite a few years.

    I also canned my most recent therapist several months ago and have been putting off finding another one. She wasn't a very good listener, and everything that came out of her mouth was just incredibly stupid. There was no foundation on which to build even the tiniest bit of trust. I have serious doubts that I'll find a decent one here. 

    The therapist I found during my college years, however, saved my life. And the one I had in Brooklyn was intelligent enough and caring enough to meet the challenge that I can be as a patient. When I was dead set on blowing up everything that I had built up to that point in my life, she kept me from doing so by appealing to my overly analytical and rational nature and merging it in a very healthy way with the chaos that I was feeling. 

    Everyone here seems to be about a quick fix (CBT, etc.), but goddamn it, I have to live with myself and the terrible choices I have made for an unknown amount of years to come, and their dumb jedi mind tricks do absolutely nothing to take the sting out of that.
    In a crisis situation, maybe a "quick fix" is a good thing- something to keep you alive.    But, yeah, for the long haul, I'm not sure quick fixes are not the best way to go.  I've never done well with "Jedi mind tricks" either. I'm also too analytical and concrete in my thinking to benefit from visualization or meditation or mantras, etc.  What I learned from my work in human services was that I had to build coping skills that came from my own work, not something handed to me or doled out in endless visits to "talk" therapists.  I'll very likely never be free of depression, anxiety and a tendency toward having manic depression (I prefer that term over "bi-polar" which to me is the same thing), so what has to work for me is using the tools I've learned any time I feel myself going into the spin cycle. I have to lean on my own learned and developed skills and not depend on weekly visits to the shrink.

    But that's just me.  Visualization, meditation, mantras, and that sort of thing work well for many people and I would never discourage someone from trying them.  (I've tried them myself but do better with other things like focusing on work, reminding myself that down-turns are not forever, breaking up the spin cycle with my own will, etc.)  An maybe some here do better with regular on-going counseling.  That has to be an individual choice.  No one can make that for us.  I think the important thing is for each of us to be cognizant of what works best for us, not what works best for someone else, and then pursuing that choice of path with as positive an attitude as possible. 


    The reason I never give up hope is because everything is so basically hopeless.
    -Anne Lamott
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.



  • RogueStonerRogueStoner Sunny AZPosts: 1,578
    Thanks, everyone. I used to think of therapy as just talking to someone (who was being paid and thus had to listen, lol). Sure I felt better but it didn’t help me function any better. Now I’m going to therapy to learn actual skills. I’m open to trying things but I’m also older, wiser, know myself better and am not afraid to speak up. For example, I’m happy to try meditation to relax but I know it’s not easy for me and I will need more concrete tools to use when situations come up. I mean, if I’m talking to someone and get anxious, I can’t just sit down and start meditating, can I? Though that would be funny. I may do that someday. 

    I mostly just have a ton of PTSD to work through and then learn to do things, process things in a different way. I need to reprogram myself, rather than continue with the programming that my mother, my childhood has left me with. This way, I can hopefully make better choices in the future and live a fulfilling life. 

    My challenge will be finding someone that can listen, not judge, at least try to relate or understand, be able to handle my particular sensitivity and beliefs, put up with my twisted sense of humor, and still be very direct with me and call me on my shit. That’s a tall order to fill. 


    Well, therapy did not go well. I couldn’t even finish the session. I couldn’t breathe. I’m sure she’s a wonderful therapist but it was not a good fit. I really need to trust my intuition more. Could’ve saved myself a drive and her valuable appointment time. Normally, this would confirm my fears and I’d give up. But not this time. So, back to my search for a therapist. That was a really rough couple of hours but I won’t let it spoil my day. :)
    What made you feel she wasn't the right therapist for you?
    Mostly just a “gut feeling”. Something told me she wouldn’t be able to relate to me at all. 
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