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Stumped
December 21, 2002
2:47 am
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Alive. That's cool. Emotions fluctuating from extreme to extreme, ok uncool. Seeking the correct resources to get better. Cool. I've done it before. I'm doing it again. It takes time, right? Baby steps to getting better. But it's hard.

I am disillusioned, grieving not just over death but over the loss of illusions as well. I want them back. I want the relaxation and security of not knowing, not caring, not realizing.

I hear over and over that I will never get over my traumas. I was in therapy last week. Skipped this week. New therapist, she almost started to cry during my session. "Those are heavy burdens to bear"...."Why can't you let go?"....So what? I'm just frustrated, I suppose. Long process. I feel like I've been in the process for ever now. 4 years going on eternity.

I must have been an asshole in my last life, eh? Is this just karmic justice? Suffer as I have made others suffer? I get down. I am down, still. Lexapro didn't work. Scratch that, go back through the cycle. My friend went through 13 antidepressants. I am just so filled with sorrow, an immense, deep, enduring sorrow that I can't shake. No walking in the sun, no long yoga sessions can make it leave me. Like this headache I've had for so many weeks now. It will leave for a few hours, after yoga, or a few tylenol, but it always returns.

I am sad that it takes so long, so hard to "get better". I am frustrated with my slow progress. I am fearful of the realization that I will never, ever be OK. That this is my cross to bear. There is a certain hopelessness to this fear. No, I will not commit suicide. I will trudge onward. In the mud. This is the longest, I think, that I have suffered a dark depression. This is the hardest one. The darkest one, yet.

What else can I do? I journal. I reminisce about good times. I schedule daily interaction with friends or family. I play with my pets, take my supplements like a good girl. I take my medicine. I have small goals. To hold down a full time job. To be a productive member of society. To be able to shower and close my eyes. To be able to sleep at night and not feel like someone is right behind my back, watching me all the time. To feel safe enough to sleep alone, undrugged. Simple hopes. I want to have a slightly normal appetite. I want to be able to live more than 6 months at a time without having a total breakdown. Little goals.

Why is it so hard? I don't know what else to do.

December 21, 2002
7:01 am
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Cici, good morning kiddo..

6:30 am here, brain is still asleep but I wanted to just let you know I'm listening to you.

In reading your post, my first reaction was to say Oh Cici, it will all go away someday and you will be fine..but I don't know that. I only know what I know from life.

Depression is such a nasty, insidious
parasite. It does stay "in check " for months at a time and then springs out at you just to let you know it's still around, down deep in there. I'm sorry you're in such depths now and having such a difficult time finding a way out.

From my own experience?....there are so many more meds today to try and yep, it's a pain to start all over with another, and then just the disappointment of the latest one not working as you had hoped, it's all just so tiring...just so tiring.

It may take a very long time to go away. It may take trial and error, but I still believe with the proper meds, counseling, and most of all love, companionship, compassion, you'll be able to fight it when it does come along, and fight it with alot more energy and resilience. And then it may just creep back into it's depths and stay there for longer periods of time until you find youself consumed by life's OTHER trials..children, children and their issues like school, personalities, activities, your husband and his career, your career, ....do you know what I mean?

Keep walking in the sun, keep doing the yoga, keep doing for you, it will kick in. One of the things about those meds is that they do take away some of the highs along with taking away the lows, you just need to get used to them and work with them.

You're so young, you have so much to look forward to and all those goals I believe are going to just happen someday. The demons may still be there way down deep, but you won't really have time for them and pretty soon you will have all the power and energy, not them. That's what I hope for you kiddo, just keep on keepin on, it may not end up "happily ever after", but how about happy enough to live a good, normal life....there are so many of us out here doing just that most of the time...

Sometimes my "shadows" from the past turn on me and I plummet, somehow I manage to claw my way out. When my children were young and at home, I found a way to focus on them and have no time for the depression...it gets a little more difficult these days because of my changing lifestyle now, but I know I can put them down again, I know I have before and I know I can continue to do it...it's like a rhythm you get into. Hang in there with us kiddo.

December 21, 2002
7:06 am
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Here's another thought, have you tried volunteering somewhere? Like maybe a couple days a week at a soup kitchen or something? Sometimes it just puts it all in a different perspective.

Gosh, in reading my first post to you, I think I should have waited and woke up first...did it sound as blah to you as it did to me?? blah, blah, blah...oh well, take out the "blahs" and just try to get the point I was trying to make... *smile*...*HUGS*

December 21, 2002
11:27 am
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cici
I have to say I don't know all about your situation but I hear your pain and relate to your frustration, sometimes seems like no hope is around. Trudge onward in the mud and someday you will be a wise woman with all the hell your heart has been through. Hard time of the year!!! ready for spring here already. Love to you.

December 21, 2002
4:10 pm
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Thank you for that, Alena. Compassion is currently in short supply. There is only so long that you can drag your feet before those around you get tired of having to lift you up. They are all very concerned at first, but slowly the associations drop off, one by one, until I am alone more and more.

But what ails me is a fear that there won't ever be a time where there will be children, or a job, or other things to take my mind off this. It seems as if, with every "episode" - it gets worse.

A few nights ago, around 2am I found a box of things I had packed away before I was kicked out of my Mom's house the very first time. Just textbooks, books and notebooks...but also a journal. Funny to see the writings of the ME before drugs, before the second rape, before everything. I still see the kernel of me-ness there, but I realized that something deep and enduring has changed. I had already been molested, physically abused throughout my childhood, mentally and psychologically abused, and raped at 12. But I still held up my head. i still had hope, I guess.

There is something gone from me now that I know will never come back. Some spark, some kind of vitality, that was snuffed out somewhere along the way. Like a favorite shirt you pull out of the closet and put on, only to discover a big hole on one side or in the armpit. Something once whole...is decaying.

I feel like I'm already decaying. My body looks different now. I am pale, there is no color in my skin. I used to be naturally brown from my ethnic heritage. My skin seems to be heavy and full, it sags down. There is a gray color to me. My eyes are empty. My fingernails are thin, they break and chip and bend. Nutrition, I suppose. My appetite wanes. Telltale signs of depression, I suppose. but I feel...dessicated. Dry. Empty. withered with despair.

I had big hopes, big dreams formy future. Graduate school, research projects. Now, I just want to hold down a job. How pitiful. I used to be able to quote De Quincy and Shakespeare. Now, I mumble and stumble, and half-eroded, sad mimicry of a human being.

December 21, 2002
8:38 pm
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Does Anxiety cause your lips to go numb?

December 21, 2002
9:08 pm
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Cici, I know what you mean about lack of compassion, but isn't it mostly lacking from those who have never been in your shoes? If you have never been there, in those absolute black depths, it's unimaginable, hence the impatience. And I still think that many uninformed people have this zany idea that if you just "pull yourself up by your bootstraps...snap out of it"....but we know it doesn't work that way.

A mild case of "the blues" is one thing, and that's what some people think is depression. Lucky them, and ignorant them. I had 2 people in my life 20 years ago who stayed with me through it all, and they must have been angels because neither of them had ever been hospitalized for depression as I was,so God bless them for hanging on to me, my husband wasn't one of them. I guess I can see how different people have different levels of inner strength. That's the forgiving part of me now.
I forgive those who left me in the dust, and I honor those two who helped me stay alive.

Remember that you have never taken these kinds of drugs before,have you?
They do mess with your mind, and thus some of your functions. They take a while to find the right one and if you feel numb or out of it, or not a part of the former you, it takes time.
Things will get better Cici. They WERE better, weren't they? This is another lowpoint in your life, you just have to keep fighting the good fight and find the right combo of counselor and meds and some inner Cici who says I've had *f-king* enough of this, I need to live.

I know you've heard all of this before by Ladeska or your counselors along the way, but you have so much to live for and things will get better. You will find someone who will help you put the past BEHIND you and out of your daily life.

You are STILL you. You may see some physical changes, you do have a physical condition you need to care for, please eat what you're supposed to eat. Cici, it may seem as though it's all bad now, and it probably is, but it doesn't have to stay that way honey. You are still you down deep in there. You're just not taking care of you. When you feel a little stronger, take care of yourself. You take care of you, don't expect anything from Aaron or your family, just start out by you taking care of you, you are the best one you can depend on, and you CAN do it. Zippy little Cici is still in there, just medicated and hurting and depressed.

That's what I believe Cici, and you know I'm not a professional, just speakin from my heart and from my experience and how I got through it.
I know you're a super intelligent, classy young woman who has studied this thing immensly...just try to role with it...don't fight the meds, don't take it too personally if they don't measure up to what you would like from them, deal with it when you are stronger. For now, just keep on doing what you're doing.

There may BE a certain spark or vitality that is gone, okay, but you don't know that you wont get it back. We don't know the future, we can guess, and I'm not trying to sugarcoat this, but really, you don't know what the future holds. I like to think that it holds good things for you when this crisis is handled and you have things under control again. See, remember that? Remember how depression makes you think only negatively? That's where you are at now......>>>>>>>>>>this is where I'm at now>>>>>>>>>positive thinking. You have no way of knowing anything for sure little girl.

But I know you have way too much to lose by not conquering this. I don't have any Shakespearean quote for you...how about this one, one of Robert Frost's poems..."It's not the length of the happiness, it's the height".....kinda deep,eh?
((((((((((((((((Cici))))))))))))))))

December 22, 2002
5:49 pm
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🙂

December 22, 2002
6:58 pm
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Cici.

Life is an ongoing struggle to 'eat' the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in this 'garden of eden' and not be 'eaten' in the process.

However, besides sustenance for the body, we appear to crave sustenance for our ever flagging 'images' of 'self'.

A lack of either results in suffering; yet a predominant lack of both at some time or other throughout many lifetimes is inevitable.

Yet we crave to live our lives and few are willing to forego them and/or abstain from rebirth.

The illusion that ultimate satisfaction can be somehow rung from our human experiences is very strong indeed. It sustains us in our constant seeking for Mr or Ms Right, for the secure job, the secure home, peace of mind, emotional security, a good self image, high self-esteem, etc, etc.

Yet we are doomed to ultimately lose this 'survival' battle in all its forms whatever we do. But the amazing thing is that we re-embark on life's journey each time eternally optimistic that this time it might somehow be different.

Ought we be depressed about the nature of our lot in this life? No, I think not. But no god is going to manifest and save us. If there were we would not be here in this predicament in the first place.

But we can awaken and save ourselves. Many have done this in the past and many will do so in the future. You especially of all people, with your fine intellect, are a prime candidate to let go and say 'f..k it all' and let go of the struggle to 'maintain the unmaintainable'. The more we think we have to gain or lose the more we feel compelled to maintain the struggle.

What is it about you and yours that your unconscious is struggling to 'save' and 'protect', do you think?

December 23, 2002
2:29 am
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((((Cici)))))

I hear your struggle and can feel your pain. I myself have been struggling too and it's scarey to think we can never recover.

That little light within us seems to fade but it doesn't, it's just clouded by our own thoughts and the negativity of day to day life. Until we break through and see that tiny flicker of light again and grab hold of it we must walk throught the mud first or a couple times to be able to appreciate it's radiance.

Rebuilding our lives is hard but it only makes us stronger and more compassionate to everything and everyone around us.

I'm not very religious but I know in my heart that we are all made from love from God and this world covers up that love with all the hatred so we must find it deep within our souls. God is all we have and knowing he is there no matter what gives me some peace of mind. Knowing that he has control and no matter what happens in our lives, whether it be a test or a lesson to learn he is there to watch over us.

I also believe that we are meant to go through certain struggles, sometimes repeating them until we learn them. But knowing that we can find our own happiness and not have to worry about worldy things to make us happy is the most important thing.

Look up at the sky and the stars and imagine yourself on earth and how small we really are. If we were up there looking down, there are so many people, we are so little and insignificant to the vastness of the universe. So tiny, yet we feel so large and our thoughts overcome us. We are all in this together, pain suffering whatever. Everyone is different and go through different struggles but we all want one thing and that's feeling connected and having a purpose and feeling loved. There are not alot of people that go through pain and suffering and I respect anyone that has, I am more compassionate since I've been through it myself. Not many people can understand or have learned anything.

You will get through this and so will I. Just know that your NOT alone. Keep fighting Cici, you will get through all the mud and find a beautiful place at the end!!!

December 23, 2002
7:09 pm
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Cici, Its damn hard to keep it going, and I wish I could give clues to you as to how to shake this, but sometimes you have to let it dominate until its done, or until your sick and tired of being sick and tired. I swear I was where you are at for over a year, and damn if I knew how it broke, like a fever. Just know that if nothing else you are loved and celebrated here, just as you are. I hope that you soon find that spark that re lights your fire. You have so much to give, so much to receive. Please promise you won't give up. never surrender.

December 24, 2002
12:03 am
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It's a long struggle to inding ways to know, to be aware. I think, giving up the ties that bind is what frightens me. No. The World frightens me. The knowledge that I am a grain of sand in a tumultuous ocean.

Someone said to me that illusions are comforting. The loss of your illusions is a painful process in and of itself. They are, no doubt about it. I suppose in some sense, I feel unprepared - I am frightened by the intensity of my own emotions. This sensation, of being foreign to myself, of aware in a way that is disjointed...

On God....I am reading Douglas Coupland's Life After God right now. There is a passage I really relate to - I see sometimes a great mass projection onto Jesus and God. God is Love. God is Compassion. God is a Rewarding Career. God is a Forgiveness. All the things you would like, magically projected onto this being. In this way, I sometimes feel the way a person who had been beamed to this planet, who couldn't have sex might feel...you hear how great it is, people talk about it all the time, but there's a connection missing. I just can't get it. Same with God. I feel like God is so beyond me that I can't really like rely per se on God. God is just there or whatever, like a higher knowledge or ultimate awareness or whatever...and being Buddhist reflects my own internalization that whatever it is, it's up to me.

Like, the Five Remembrances:

1. I am of the nature to grow old. I cannot escape old age.

2. I am of the nature to have ill health. I cannot escape ill health.

3. I am of the nature to die. I cannot escape death.

4. All that's dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them. I cannot keep anything. I come here empty-handed and I go emtpy-handed.

5. My actions are my only belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.

----

At times I feel like my head has cleared a bit. Time off has given me perspective. Strangely, without money to spend I am less worried about money. Or maybe this is just me naturally working things through in my own head, who knows.

December 24, 2002
4:00 am
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Cici.

Yes!

December 24, 2002
10:26 pm
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Christmas Eve. Strangely adult. quiet evening with no presents or mass or hoop-la. Dinner tomorrow. Life goes on, endlessly, restlessly - whether I fear or not. Whether I would like to take part or not. I heard an interesting point today. Time, in essence, is meaningless...and yet, time is everything. Kind of like a zen koan.

My sense of time changes with adulthood. Things seem less intense. I wonder sometimes, though, if this is the natural process of becoming calloused to life, and I fear that maybe as I feel less and less I will lose the ability to feel. But maybe that's a good thing.

Another year passes and I seem to get more and more used to this certain brand of isolation, having friends, family, lovers...and yet knowing that I come and go from this world alone. It's taken me long to make such little progress. It will always take long, because whenever we are in a moment, it sometimes seems to stretch to eternity. The nature of suffering, I suppose.

December 25, 2002
4:07 pm
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Cici.

For me the nature of suffering is about unfulfilled wishes, expectations and desires.

These desires are usually centered around my physical, mental and emotional well being.

With good health, good food, shelter and regular exercise, my physical wellbeing is generally OK so I have a lot for which to be grateful in this regard.

My 'mental' well being is usually centred around my evaluation of both the image that I have of myself and the image that I believe others have of me. Both these images are figments of my imagination. They both wax and wane dependent upon my moods and circumstances.

My emotional wellbeing largely depends upon my mental wellbeing. So the 'games' that I play in my head with my imagination in determining who I am, largely govern how I feel.

Phew! But who is the 'real me' that was born alone, lives alone in my head and dies there; this waxing and waning, imagined self-image?

Comfort can be found in searching for and finding the 'right' answer to this question. But that is a very personal journey that everyone of us must make for ourselves - if we wish to be free of suffering, that is.

December 25, 2002
11:36 pm
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I found myself watching Spike Lee's documentary on Jim Brown, a running back for the Clevland Browns back in the 1960s. Jim Brown, a relgious man, mentioned the "people of the worlds that exist in your head" - perhaps alluding to the existence of the extension of the identities of those who remain in your memory. But I'm reading Gaia's Body right now, which is a book examining the sciences that prove that the entire planet is a system which could, in essence, be considered a living being in and of itself.

So, we are creatures that exist is a consciousness of a planet, maybe. And creatures exist within our own heads. I also watched "Journey to the Center of the Earth" recently and the crusty odler man pondered - what is that is what the world is? Just levels on levels on levels, extending upward and beyond our comprehension....

Reality is a bizarre thing to ponder. And the consideration that your own pondering is what creates your reality as an independent being, a creature designed to explore, experience, retain, remember...like sponges, our brains are. To becomes aware of reality beyond "Self" is to extend your brand of experiencing beyond this tendency toward sponginess...eh? To stop the constant effort to retain...to cling.

Like my toddler nephew, who simply experiences without the connotations that we adults have. He is zen, har har har.

What a strange Christmas. I feel like I'm meandering through a labirynth, luxuriating in a constant change of experience. Constant change. Constant flow of time. I'm back in that river thang, like Siddhartha, Herman Hesse. Egads.

December 26, 2002
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Hi Cici!

Through all of my thinking and philosophizing about life, time, meaning... I've discovered something to be true for me.

Love is what it's about. My truly real and positive contributions are the loving interactions I have with myself and others.

And it's not an easy task, because I'm ever letting go of the ill-conceived pre-conceptions about what it means to be successful as a human on planet earth. The thoughts of what success is, and the thoughts that I must be a success. It's freeing in itself. And it means bypassing walls and traps I've developed when I reach out to myself and others. I stumble all the time, but I get back up each day and try some more. I'm getting better and better. You will too.

((((CICI))))

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