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box girl, asking for helpful words and encouragement
November 4, 2002
11:36 pm
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LiliBlondie
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Hi, I'm new here and I'm just looking around for help. I've never participated in this kind of discussion boards before.
Anyway, I've decided that I need serious help but I don't know where to start. My mother is a mental time-bomb and my father is a cardboard Halloween mask. They have been divorced since I was nine (I'm 21 now). I thought of telling them I'd like to get counseling but am not too sure about that. Mom would make an overly big deal about it and Dad might say, oh, you're going to be fine you just need to do this and this and this and it will fix everything. Something like that.
The reason I need help is that I do not love myself, I do not take care of myself, I do not like myself, although I try, and some days I do find some kind of happiness. Music and God are my only sources of well-being, and they keep me alive, but I am at a point where I'd like to be more than only a mere survivor.
Also I have extreme social anxiety, which doesn't do much for my self-esteem.
Sometimes I think I am manic depressive (my uncle is), but I don't know. I don't want to diagnose myself, I just want to feel alive and to get out of this little box that I guess I have glued myself in. Someone was talking about that in a different discussion, I read it, about being in a box. That's me, long-time box inhabitant.
Any suggestions as to what to do, where to go, anything? I never thought about getting help before because I just felt like it was my own problem to deal with in my own way, but my own way is unhealthy because I don't have the energy or the cash to take the best care of myself. Help, please, someone, thank you.
Lili

November 5, 2002
2:12 am
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gingerleigh
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Music...ahhh, one musican to another, I can tell you that you can find the most wonderful peace and joy in music, as I am sure you know. Not sure what kind you engage in, but the more you can play with a group of people, whether it be a rock band, a wind symphony, an orchestra, choir, or acappella group, something. Dig deep into that and enjoy... ahhhh...

As for the counseling... I'm a firm believer that everyone should try it at least once. Any reason you have to tell *anyone* that you are trying it? Give it a shot, see how it feels, see if it's something you want to continue.

November 12, 2002
8:21 am
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LiliBlondie
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Well, sorry I didn't respond earlier. Thanks for the encouragement. Still, I have problems with your solutions. I would like to not tell either of my parents, but the problem is I have never sought therapy before and I don't really have the money. I'm still dependent on them, and am on their insurance.
I'm definitely around people my age all the time, being a senior in college and living on campus. My roommate and very close friend was the one who told me I ought to get professional help, but she has always had the luxury of parents who were supportive of the idea and willing to pay for it.
Last night I had a dream that I started taking Paxil. It was kind of funny because it slowed down my motor abilities and speech. I don't want to take drugs, really. I have been reading a lot online about social anxiety disorder and am sure that I have it to quite an extreme degree. This is when you are very scared in social situations and you procrastinate just to avoid social situations that make you feel ill just thinking about them. Frustrations from this problem can cause other what they call "bleed-over" problems like depression, eating disorders, etc.
I have close friends and I talk to my family, but feel awkward talking to strangers or speaking in public or to people I just don't know very well...people are always telling me, Oh, I was shy like you once, but I grew out of it. And I just think to myself, that's nice that you did, but I don't think it's going to happen to me. I'm not going to "grow out of it." But I found some websites where there are people who are a lot like me who are getting treated with comprehensive behavior-cognition therapy which can permanently fix the problem. Only problem is, I live in West Virginia and go to school in the southern part of the state where people are pretty narrow-minded about everything and there aren't a lot of opportunities, it being a poor state and a poor area of the state. My parents have some money but like I said, I don't think they're going to believe me or want to go along with my idea.
So, I talk about all this and expect a miracle answer I suppose.
Is all therapy expensive? Does anyone know of somewhere for me to start? If I saw a way to fix my problem, I would.
gingerleigh, I agree with you. Music is my *escape drug*. I study piano at college and play in the jazz ensemble as well as the organ for my church choir and I sing in the college choir. It is my life and if not for music I might have either killed myself or lost my mind by now.

November 12, 2002
3:25 pm
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gingerleigh
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Hiya Lili,

My father was from a very small town just outside of Charleston, and I've visited there often in my growing up years. The town was small, and the people were honest and loving, but everyone knew everyone else and it could be more stressful living there sometimes than living in Dallas or San Francsico because at least in those cities you can hide away, not everyone knows you, and you rarely see the same person on the street twice.

There was a special on the Discovery Channel last night that talked about CBT and its benefits (and drawbacks). Meds were helpful for some of the people, especially those who refused to face their fears (one person had Body Dysmorphic Disorder and basically said he would rather cope with his disorder by running every day than do CBT and face his darkest fears --- "NO WAY!" I believe was his actual quote). Basically, from what I gathered off the TV snippet is that CBT teaches you to contruct more positive responses to things that usually cause you to respond in a way that is harmful to you (i.e. hair pulling, cutting, hand washing, compulsive counting, etc.) It sounds very valuable if you choose that route.

You said you are in school... have you talked to any of the counselors there? If you are enrolled, most schools have programs that are free to students. It's scary, but go talk to someone, you might not be as "far gone" as you think you are. You might want to try the meds, you might not. If your counselor sends you to a doctor who recommends them, you can always refuse and get a second opinion.

Are you able to perform your music in public? For me, music has always given me power. Even if I can't speak well in public, I can always play in public, especially in groups, even if it starts out a little shaky, I can always pick back up and get into it. Do you feel confident when you play?

November 12, 2002
4:01 pm
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LiliBlondie
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I can play music and once I get into it and forget about the people who are watching, it's all about the music and not really about me anymore. Does that make sense? I guess a part of me is being expressed, but it can be like religious experience and all become one. Sometimes I get really nervous, but no one ever really notices because I appear so calm beforehand. Playing music is wonderful--I'm very good at it, just as long as I don't panic or become too timid. Unfortunately, daily life cannot all be handled in a manner of performing music (an interesting concept though, maybe I will think about that some more 🙂 )

There is a counseling center here. If I will ever work up the courage to actually call and make an appointment. And when I get there, what am I going to say? Well, time to go to class...more later possibly.

November 12, 2002
4:14 pm
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gingerleigh
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You say, "Hi, my name is Lili, and I'd like to make an appointment. What is wrong? Well, I'm really overwhelmed and really want to talk to someone." They will probably ask you a few questions to make sure that you aren't in any immediate danger, and schedule an appointment for you.

When you go in for your appointment, you can say "I don't know where to start. I'm scared and unhappy, and I need to talk to someone about where this is coming from." Or let the counselor take the lead and see where it goes. Only rule is to be honest... if the counselor asks you how you are, do not say "FINE". Lying to yourself or to the counselor just because you think it's what they want to hear won't help... I've been there, done that, and it got me nowhere until I could be brutally honest with myself and ADMIT how I feel.

Would you promise me that you will make an appointment and try it once? Please don't speak in "if I ever"'s... someday is today, sweetie. And the sooner you start this, the sooner you can get out and experience everything that the world has to offer, free, and without fear.

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