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Identifying our feelings
March 21, 2006
5:32 pm
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In order to love ourselves I believe we have to be MASTERS in knowing what we're feeling and meeting our needs. This I believe is the only way to inner satisfaction. Its hitting me home right now, I'm really seeing what it means. Any one who doesnt agree?

Real nice page about different types of feelings:

http://www.cnvc.org/feelings.htm

This is what we have to train in. Only by knowing our feelings, we can start responding to them (which is the best step).

So again, we have to be MASTERS at knowing what we're feeling.

Isnt this the first step to healing for everyone here? Yes?

The next question is HOW to be masters at knowing our feelings. Come on friends, prove me wrong, give me some debate. Lets find out if I'm right or wrong.

March 21, 2006
5:54 pm
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Guest - I think that it's great that you get so excited about finding something that you think will work for you.

But often, what works for you ISN'T the ONLY answer for everyone.

You say "isn't this the first step to healing for everyone here?"

No - it's not.

Many of us are WELL aware of our feelings - I know I am.....but often - it's what I do with them that makes me "unhealthy". I know how I feel.

What my recovery entailed was finding out why "current" situations hurt so bad - meaning - what happened in the past that made simple issues today seem like they were bigger than they were....also - how to react in a healthier way - and how to communicate my feelings better - without acting like a five year old throwing a temper tantrum.

So - while I congratulate you for getting insight into recovery methods - I will have to say that NO - your idea is not true for everyone....and that in this line of work - there NEVER will be a one size fits all answer.....it's just too complex.

March 21, 2006
6:09 pm
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I mean, knowing our feelings is the FIRST step to recovery.

If you already are good in knowing what you're feeling, the next step is to know why you're feeling that way. The 3rd step is knowing to correctly deal with those feelings.

How's that.

Co-depedendence means us getting out of touch with ourselves and that includes, not knowing what we're feeling and/or how to deal with the feelings.

March 21, 2006
11:57 pm
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I thought the fisrt step was actually recognizing and admitting you have a problem. I mean, until then, you can't begin to recover, because you don't even know you have anything to recover from!!

And you know what, ALOT of people die without EVER geeting this!!!

So, no, I do not agree that identifying your feelings is the FIRST step. Alot has to come before that, at least in my experience.

But Yes, once you get to a point where the numbness, overwhelming rage, or complete depression gives way to all of the underlying feeling that are being masked, then yes, correctly identifying a feeling, and learning how to properly react to it is EXTREEMELY important, and in my opnion and experience, it is what takes a life time to do.

Just my opinion,
Free

March 22, 2006
12:21 am
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I agree, KNOWING and accepting that there's a problem is the absolute first step that must happen first. Good point.

I wish there were simple steps for us. I'm trying to find out what works, atleast for me and others if it applies to them.

March 22, 2006
12:25 am
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Guest said:

"I wish there were simple steps for us"

Guest guest,

Who are you refering to when you say "Us"?

Also, have you heard of the 12 steps? They are pretty simple, and you can apply them to just about ANYTHING you wish.

Erica

March 22, 2006
9:01 am
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I havent understood how the 12 steps thing works, or if it works. Also, I dont like them because they make a lot of references to God and I'm an athiest. I wonder if there's an athiest version of the steps.

March 22, 2006
9:02 am
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The 12 steps should be secular so people can choose how they view the steps.

March 22, 2006
10:44 am
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guest - you have only been to one meeting, correct?

so, you really have not given the whole 12 step program a chance either, right?

you are making assumptions based on one meeting - and without a complete understanding of how it works.

It takes MANY meetings to accomplish "some" understanding....some people take years.

Yes - they use the word GOD alot - or higher power.

But, I have three women in my meetings that began as atheists - and they are WICKED successful - because they were able to learn what "god of your understanding" meant to them - and pick a "higher power" - that had nothing to do with religion.

One woman picked nature as her higher power - the trees, the weather, the flowers, etc....

the whole point in 12 steps is to believe that you are just a "little tiny part" of a whole big world - and that there is "something" out there that has a "plan" for you - and that could be anything - could be a god, could be the wind - could be "fate" - whatever it is you want to believe.

But you HAVE to believe in something....cuz if you believe that your recovery rests in your hands and that you are the only one able to control everything and everyone you come in contact with - you will not succeed.

I did not believe in god when I went to my 12 steps...in fact, I avoided it for four years, before admitting a willingness to try....and when I went - I didn't choose to believe in god....but DO believe that there is "a force" bigger than me, than us, and that it has my best interest in mind - and that if I let "that force" work its magic, my life will prosper....and it HAS.

are you a star wars fan? maybe you can believe it's the "force" like they do.....are you a nature buff? perhaps you can believe it's "nature".....do you believe in magic - perhaps you can believe in that....do you believe in leprecauns or fairies.....you can believe in that.....the ideas are endless - and if you admit at the meeting that you don't believe in god and struggle to put your faith in something "invisible" you will learn that you are NOT the ONLY ONE strugglign with this - and even people who DO believe still struggle with turning over their will and lives to this "invisible force".

But you aren't going to get the benefit of this understanding from one meeting....or two or three....they say to try six or more before giving up.....and I can say that I did and it was WELL worth it.

March 22, 2006
2:41 pm
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My higher power is my true self, the one who can love me. I dont know how well it would work though, this concept. Anyway, I'm tired and cant think.

I have a tiny belief in myself that I'll be able to overcome my problems in a heroic exceptional way. Its because I was able to look at my religion critically, something people from my background are not able to do. I made leaps in that area and might able to make leaps in my personal growth too. Its different though yes. There, I rebelled. Here, I dont have anything to rebel against. Except against the negative thoughts.

oh my gosh i'm so sleepy. aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh

How many meetings did you go to? I wish I knew what each of us has done and is doing for themselves so we have an idea. I'll probably be going to the Sunday meetings for now for the CoD group, it had many men. Want to ask them about inner child work. Kathy said it helped her a lot, someone in my real life in the DA group said too. I'm sure it'll help me too.

March 22, 2006
3:18 pm
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I went to meetings for four months.

March 22, 2006
3:24 pm
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ok. and that was weekly CoD meetings right. thats not bad. I can do that but then you take the meds too. I'm doing the Remeron for now but dont like the meds.

I think i'm feeling crappy cause i'm sleepy and tired. Where did my nice sleep go, sniff. I used to have it nice, dont know what happened to it. Two more hours to get home so i can take a nap.

March 22, 2006
3:30 pm
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I went to meetings for four months - and made "little" progress....

I started taking meds - and did so well, I dropped the meetings and have tremendous success...and am able to apply all that I learned from the meetings.

I also go to my meetings sporadically when I feel I need the support and don't feel like I am getting it at home - or need help with a situation....I just celebrated my seventh month.

I also take meds to sleep....without them, I am awake all night and a zombie the next day....insomnia is new to me as well - I used to fall asleep within minutes of laying down....now, no matter how hard I try - I dont' sleep.

Yes, I am on meds - and will happily stay on them for life....wish it didn't take seven tries to find the right one, but glad I did find it - my quality of life, emotions, health, thinking and well being are better than I ever experienced before.

March 22, 2006
4:07 pm
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Sometimes I'm more accepting of meds, thinking our life is really short so any long term negative effect may be negligible. I'm trying all I can. I want to do the inner child thing. May attend the Bradshaw seminars in May where I might meet him.

So its all crazy then. looks like our ways of recovery are as different as we are as a person but then again, I'll hold on to saying that self-love and acceptance is really the key. If we treat ourselves very well, then everything should be ok.

You've said you had/have problems in self-esteem, see thats what the problem is for you. If you too had high SE, I think you'd be ok and not have depression. Depression is anger at ourselves. If we treat ourselves well, we wouldnt be angry at ourselves.

Mmmmmmm. i'm a zombie alright! I'm so sleepy. eeeeeee.

March 22, 2006
4:16 pm
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That's just it - I cannot control MY depression....you are running on the premise that I can.....and I believe it's not possible - or it would have happened YEARS AGO when I first started my efforts towards recovery.

I am not angry at myself - never have been - I was always angry at everyone else....in my mind - life sucked and everyone was against me.

I NEVER felt it was my fault or that I was a bad person for it....I felt it was just people being unfair.

My self esteem issues are ONLY because I think I am not pretty....or rich....beyond that, I know how smart, loving and wonderful I am....I just got brought up to believe I was too fat to find a good looking guy.

But I have a good looking guy and am still fat - so I defeated that theory, didn't I?

I always treated myself well - just not by your definition.

It's others that I didnt' treat well......my anger was NEVER turned inward.

And I will continue to exert my statement that no amount of recovery would bring me to the level of joy I experience now that I am on meds......no cognitive therapy would have gotten me this far....and simply because my brain isn't wired to feel the joy - whether that wiring is damaged by my upbringing or I was born with it is irrelevant....it is damaged and only meds will fix it.....and make me able to apply all the cognitive stuff I have learned.

Don't diagnose me....I have been careful not to diagnose you....I trust my doctors and only *I* know the difference in my thoughts - and how the meds help....and until you feel that way yourself - you simply cannot understand....I know, because prior to finding the right med - I really didn't know this level of joy - and couldn't dream that I would feel this good....I felt that I was "healthy" minded prior to the meds - I now know the difference.

March 22, 2006
4:31 pm
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Alright then, i guess, different things work for different people and everyone's case is different. Interesting. hmmmmm.

I asked the doc about myself and he said I do have depression.

I'm just feeling real crappy cause of this lack of sleep and zombie state like you said. This is a big downer for me.

March 22, 2006
4:56 pm
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I think that's the point I have been trying to make ALL ALONG - recovery is not a one size fits all - and each person is different.

If they weren't, there wouldn't be a hundred different books in the self help aisle - a hundred different meds - and a thousand different therapy styles.

Everyone is different and what works for you isn't going to work for me.

Interestingly enough - my BF used to think like you - and now he realizes how right I was about the advice I gave him.....when he was ready to really recover - he followed the same path I took - and it worked for him too.

As I said - once upon a time, I thought like you - and then I hit the end of my rope - and opened up to the possibility that something different would work - and here I am today, six months later and loving life.

You will find your way in your own time....and maybe it will be the way I think it will - and maybe it will be the way you think....time will tell.

March 22, 2006
5:24 pm
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I feel resistant to accepting that one size doesnt fit all. Anyway it doesnt matter. What matters is what you say, that I'm able to get it working on my own terms. Whether they're for everyone else, doesnt matter at that point. All it matters is that it works for ME.

But I guess it makes sense hm, that everone has a unique set of problems as they are unique people as well. Unique problems, so unique solutions.

March 22, 2006
7:20 pm
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Hi again, Guest. I've been reading all your many posts, even though I haven't posted for some time now, due to problems & depression of my own.

Ali's & Kathy's replies to you have helped me enormously. THANKS for your insights & wisdom, girls! xxxx

Here comes a suggestion for some 'homework' questions to answer from me. They were designed to ease you gradually into forming an honest, but hopefully positive & 'solid' self-image. (Just ignore them if they don't feel helpful.)

Who Am I?
1) Describe your physical appearance in 7 adjectives.
(The number is to contain & limit focus in the exercise, so that it doesn't become overwhelming. 7 is a significant & popular prime number to most people, rich with mythic symbolism, which helps things feel special & even magical.)

2) To home-in further: close your eyes for a minute & ask your body, mind & heart how you are feeling right now. Give the first - or most important - 7 things you think of, as succinctly as possible.

If you are feeling calm & interested in what this exercise might reveal, then give 7 words or phrases for EACH of the physical, mental & emotional stuff - IN THIS MOMENT. (Subject to many future changes w circumstances.)

3) Finally for this first 'go' : try to give 7 of the most important features of your personality & character ... of who you are inside ... !!!

_____________________________________

I think I feel like trying it myself now! I need to 'ground' myself after several v depressive, lonely weeks ... I need to 'find myself' again, through identifying & expressing these things. So here goes:

1) Tall, slim, gazelle-like, green-eyed, aquiline, graceful, awkwardly energetic.

2) Hmmm ... difficult. I'm usually v unaware of my bodily state. ok ...

BODY RIGHT NOW: 1 full-up, 2 v slightly tipsy, 3 tired, 4 supple, 5 stretchy, 6 un-grounded, unreal, 7 just realised my breathing is wonky.

MIND RIGHT NOW: 1 active, 2 sharply focussed, 3 analytical, 4 confident, 5 burdened by too much in my mental 'in-tray' to process, 6 impatient, 7 full of new ideas ready to use.

EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW: Aha, now it gets tricky! But since I'm asking Guest to do it, I must try it myself too. ok: 1 excited, 2 engaged with all this self-awareness stuff, 3 afraid of what it may reveal, 4 afraid of any adverse reactions I might get on here! 5 hopeful that it may help me, Guest & others, 6 intensely lonely, 7 yearning & longing for emotional & physical cuddles & comfort (though warm & friendly, rather than sexual right now.)

There. That was honest.

BUT I'm afraid I just cannot do number 3 yet - the big self-definition thing! It's far harder than I had envisaged! I must & shall work on it.

Now - your turn! I'd love to see if you, or Ali, or Kathy or anyone else would like to join in & try these exercises in focus, identification, definition & expression pertaining to Selfhood.

Love & blessings - gazelle.

March 23, 2006
12:55 pm
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Hi gazelle.

A 3rd of adults are lonely :(. Hmm. We're not alone eh? So we're not alone in being lonely - doesnt give us comfort though. How sad. Have you tried dating sites?

your questionnaire is hard. Right now I'm feeling lack of sleep and you know, I think this is the thing thats mucking me up totally :((. I hate this. Everything seems bad, relationships, job hunt and personal growth seems hopeless in times like these. I'm not used to losing sleep like this.

I feel lazy to do the questionnaire.

>> They were designed to ease you gradually into forming an honest, but hopefully positive & 'solid' self-image. << Its responses would change too, depending on my mood. I have to do something about my sleep. I think this is the thing that destroys my day and makes everything seem hopeless. >> 3) Finally for this first 'go' : try to give 7 of the most important features of your personality & character ... of who you are inside ... !!! <<< I dont know. Its a hard question for me too. Its on higher levels. I have to grow more before I can answer them. I guess I was able to answer 2, saying I'm feeling tired and sleepy and hopeless, just wanna lie down, wish I could.

March 23, 2006
12:58 pm
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also - worth mentioning.

sleepiness is a sign of depression....it's a HUGE symptom.

Perhaps the remeron is causing the sleepiness or lack of sleep...perhaps the depression.

It sounds like a trip back to the doctor is in order....cuz until you get the sleep and depression in check - you won't be able to focus on much else.

March 23, 2006
1:04 pm
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I know, this sleep is killing me. I never used to have sleep problems in my life. They started in November, I dont know why.

You're right, I have to fix my sleep. Its a vicious cycle. But you know, when I'm at home after a little nao, I feel better and not depressed like this. PEople do say Remeron makes them sleepy. He said I could try Welbutrin as well. Know what, I think I'm going to tell him to let me try normal sleep medication or just things for sleep that I can try. Maybe its restless leg syndrome.

I feel if my sleep was full, I might be able to deal better with everything. Sadly I dont see him for another 2 weeks :(. He's a busy guy. I can also contact local counselors, have to do that too.

March 23, 2006
1:10 pm
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Doctors may tell you they aren't available for regular visits for two weeks - but doctors ALWAYS have slots for "emergency" situations.

Plus, many can do an evening phone consultation or talk to you at lunch about the situation.

Your sleep issue is something that needs addressing NOW - not in two weeks.....

how long have you been on the remeron?.....has it been long enough to know if it's working or not?

I recommended ambien or lunesta for sleeping - I take ambien and I get a full nights sleep that makes me feel so much better.

It is also said to avoid napping if you are having trouble sleeping at night - cuz it's screwing with your sleep cycle.

There is a natural supplement - called melatonin that helps restore the sleep cycle....most pharmacies have it over the counter.....alot of people use it who have jet lag and trouble sleeping.

Also - if you haven't tried it yet - benedryl has the same active ingredient as sominex - the most common sleep aid over the counter....some people can take it, some can't.

There are some tea formulas like "sleepy time tea" that have calming herbs to help you fall asleep.

Getting your sleep under control will help with the depression - but also - fixing the depression will need to happen for long term well being.

Also - you said this has been going on since november - when did all the stuff with the girl start? is there a link?

March 23, 2006
3:01 pm
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I met her in november too. I felt in the begining there was a link. I used to get up at 4 with my mind racing. My mind doesnt race now so I should be able to sleep. Maybe my sleep cycle just got messed up cause I met her, and now I can go back, but need to fix the cycle.

i think the last 2 days have been really bad cause i havent taken the med early. Today i'll try to take it at 7, the early time.

I've been on Remeron for only 2 weeks, so I dont know. He did say I could try Welbutrin.

I'm totally messed up right now, dont feel like doing anything.

i'll remember the melatonin and mention it to the doc.

March 24, 2006
2:45 pm
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guest,

I've been down a long rocky road with lots of trying different doses and times to take my medication and finding the right medication for me.

Sleep is so important. Have you called your doctor about this? You don't have to wait until your next session. Call him today.

I have gotten to where I'm at today by the use of MANY different types of tools for recovery and healing childhood wounds.

Not one method alone would not have done the trick. Its been like peeling away layers of an onion.

It all started for me with Lifespring where I learned about taking personal responsibility for my life for the first time. Its also the place where I overcame my discomfort with prolonged eye contact and hugs. It was the very first big awakening for me.

Then I got involved in co-counseling. I did that for a couple of years. It was very healing.

I went to a number of different inner child workshops.

Then I started therapy and still go to therapy.

My first therapist inssited that I attend 12-step meetings for adult children of alcoholics.

During that time I got involved with people interested in inner child healing and working on John Bradshaw's booh, 'Homecoming...'

I also went to a five day intensive workshop on healing the inner child at the Caron Foundation in PA.

Today I use something from each different avenue I followed during my journey of personal growth and inner child healing.

My favorite technique is healing the inner child.

I think the very first step is awareness that there is a problem. You can't do anyhting about something you don't know is hurting you.

And learning to replace unhealthy behavior with life affirming choices.

I still don't always know what I am feeling but I have made leaps and bounds in healing my childhood wounds and learning to love myself nonetheless.

I have found that a big part of learning to love myself comes from how I treat myself and how I let others treat me, also the kinds of choices I make. when I make choices that give myself the message that I love and care about myself, I love myself all the more.

So for me its my behavior and my inner world that determine how I feel about myself.

I love the web site with the long, detailed list of feelings. I even printed it out.

I;m not saying indentifying feelings are not important. I think they are very important because feeling your feelings is very healing.

love,
kathy

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