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Mental Wellbeing 2


Xray the Enforcer
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On 7/26/2022 at 4:19 PM, Toth said:

I guess that I'm still hurting very much about my ongoing isolation and continue to be clueless about how to get real life friends. Having spent the last three weeks at home isn't helping in that regard and given that I'm screaming this here out into the void, it seems I also have severe trouble processing any of that because of my lack of vents. And all this together caused me today to pretty much shut down and not do anything at all as I was crippled by my awareness of that extreme isolation. Life sucks.

I'm so sad for you.  I wish I had advice, but knowing nothing of where you live and so on, I don't.  Other, than, often it seems, animals help.  Even working in a stable, learning how to care for horses, is good for that sense of isolation -- but one has to like horses, presumably, to make this work?

This shouldn't be THE REASON to find work or activity at a stable, but stables tend to have a lot of women coming in and out, riding, working, boarding, etc.

If the only reason one goes to stables to meet women, that won't work out at all.  For one thing, the horses always, always -- or should -- come first, in everybody's minds. :thumbsup:

Horses, particularly those who have been raised and trained and treated right, are damned interesting all by themselves

Edited by Zorral
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Controlled vents are okay. One of my friends and I had complaint passes for those days. I call a distress line sometimes. The only thing I could not support was her beginning to attack her husband because she was on a drug cocktail for OCD. Could explain once…apologize for heavens sake, but I was not going to be nice about that!

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I had an idea for an app long ago. I thought you should be able to rate songs according to the dominant emotion that is evoked with a value from 1-10. Then you could start with what you do not actually want to unload on someone who doesn’t deserve it. 

I have a broken ankle so I’m just making playlists. I have my angry one, headed by Lily Allen’s f you. I really liked Randy Rainbow for his cynical take on bad gun control. Tom Lehrer is always good and is also funny. Like colonel Bogies March because it’s defiant. Love Earl and others by the Chicks. Pumped Up Kicks is evil. The Wall works. 

Funny has The Blackfly by Wade Hemsworth…it’s clean for kids over 4. Pubic Hair by McClean and McClean and it’s dirty

Lively has Blondie, Straus, Hair, Gotta get up, Abba( for exercise) any swing.

Depresso: Back to Black, Beethoven’s fifth, cough syrup, Leonard Cohen

Rexation or meditation is mostly Deuter, but also some Simon and Garfunkel

Love Ojibway Country by Grit Laskin

True Love: Stand by Me and Pete’s dragon by Helen Reddy( it’s make you cry maybe)

 

I did my share of recycling music and adding lyrics appropriate to our classroom work. The society for creative anachronism has a clever word for this method.

The idea is that you make your own playlists and if it works right by expressing your real feelings, you do eventually get tired of your emotion and feel free to move on. Only do it if it helps. I have books about it.

 

 

Edited by HoodedCrow
Mistakes
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On 7/26/2022 at 1:19 PM, Toth said:

So it's summer break and I'm even more starved of social interactions as usual.

Are there volunteer opportunities available to you?  You might find likeminded people and working with them could possibly help you to come out of your shell a bit.  Might be worth a look.

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On 7/28/2022 at 11:18 PM, Zorral said:

I'm so sad for you.  I wish I had advice, but knowing nothing of where you live and so on, I don't.  Other, than, often it seems, animals help.  Even working in a stable, learning how to care for horses, is good for that sense of isolation -- but one has to like horses, presumably, to make this work?

Uhm, first, sorry that I hadn't replied to this and thanks. Though... well, I'm not a horse guy I guess. Seeing myself more as a gender swapped old cat lady.

Also not sure about the tangent about women being there. Is that in response to that previous post of mine where I had voiced my discomfort picking up hobbies for the sole purpose of meeting people? As I said, I find such an attitude extremely disingenuous and avoid it to not feel scummy.

On 8/5/2022 at 9:21 PM, LongRider said:

Are there volunteer opportunities available to you?  You might find likeminded people and working with them could possibly help you to come out of your shell a bit.  Might be worth a look.

Well, there is only one week left of my holiday and admittedly, even looking back I don't think working is exactly what I want to do with my free time when in a regular work week I don't have any of that.

So in the end I did spend all of it at home, mostly reading, writing, working out and studying. I must admit, after a while the loneliness stopped bothering me, though the days have become stupidly short.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maintaining my mental health has been a constant struggle in my life for almost as long as I can remember and lately it seems an impossible and losing battle. I feel so exhausted, Sisyphean: I push the damn boulder day after day pouring all my energy in to getting it up a little way and then keeping it there, and then every fucking time it just rolls back down and leaves me feeling more powerless than ever to control my situation.

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1 hour ago, Poobah said:

Maintaining my mental health has been a constant struggle in my life for almost as long as I can remember and lately it seems an impossible and losing battle. I feel so exhausted, Sisyphean: I push the damn boulder day after day pouring all my energy in to getting it up a little way and then keeping it there, and then every fucking time it just rolls back down and leaves me feeling more powerless than ever to control my situation.

Poobah -- I'm stealing your sig, it's very me :)

Edited by Wade1865
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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh great. So the first week back in school was... so far really weird. After five weeks of intense isolation the first conferences among 60 colleagues were extremely draining and I caught myself being very standoffish. I feel particularly bad about a colleague wondering whether she should have brought some chocolate she bought during holiday to give to me after she had already given out treats to the other colleagues and I, embarrassed that I did not have anything in return, pretty bluntly said there is no need, causing another colleague to laugh his ass off. Wanted to apologize, but she's now called in sick already.

Edit: Okay, oddly enough, I did catch her today and apologized. She did note they were worried witnessing me acting like that, so... well, I did slip up quite a bit there....

Meanwhile on the home front I'm absolutely disgusting. My mother is as happy about things as I have rarely seen her... and... I keep catching myself resenting her for it as I withdraw to myself and barely respond to her talking to me. It's just too suffocating. Of course she's only irritated at me acting stupid for no reason, given that from her perspective nothing is wrong and I'm unreasonable for worrying.

Edited by Toth
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As an academic who wants to support others with their mental health, and also have my own ups and downs, every now and again I look at the academic literature to see what the recommendations are for anxiety and depression.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is still the most 'evidenced' method, though an alternative if you want to try something different is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Of course for many people just having any counsellor/therapist to talk to is a great help (e.g. person-centred).  But it can be hard to get or afford a counsellor, so it is good to know that 'bibliotherapy' has also shown positive results (as have some online self-help courses but I haven't researched those yet).

From the academic literature, David Burns' book The Feeling Good Handbook is one of those cited in the scientific literature which has helped people with depression (and was a huge comfort to me when I had depression).  Don't be put off by the cover - persist with it slowly and work through the exercises to get the effect (I recommend getting the paper not e-book version so you can fill in the exercises more easily).  It is quite old now so I'd ignore the section on drugs at the end.  The most recent book of his is called The Feeling Great Handbook.  I'm about to send for this so I haven't read it myself yet, but it seems to contain similar content to the original book but adds his most recent thinking/findings, so that's what I would recommend now. 

https://feelinggood.com/books/

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm sorry if this isn't the right place to post this, a lot of people here are making great progress and I hate being a downer. I just need to get some things out and feel like someone may see them and I'm sorta known but still somewhat anonymous here so it's a bit easier to say.

Lately I'm thinking about killing myself a lot more than usual.

I know. It's awkward, not the sort of thing you can just say to people. If they aren't looking at you with unbearable pity and sympathy in their expressions they'll be getting confused and upset, or maybe guilty, and either way they never look at you the same after. And then there's the "more than usual" bit, you're either suicidal or you're not, right? They don't understand, normal people never think about death or the idea of not wanting or not bring able to be alive, and suicidal people well they're easy to spot, obviously crazy, they look bedraggled and they cut themselves or go stand on bridges or whatever, and then go get locked up in padded rooms, you don't just think about dying semi frequently and then keep grinding away at existence, so I must be full of shit. And they all want me to do a bunch of work for them, to let them know it's not their fault, to explain everything, to reassure them and make them promises that I can't and won't give. 

It's not that there aren't a few good things in my life. It's just that there's a lot more that I can't cope with, that things that I have to deal with keep happening and I can never get a break to recharge so I've long since run out of resources with which to deal with them and I see no light on the horizon so I keep digging myself further and further in to metaphorical debt and growing more exhausted, that I'm crushingly lonely and I treasure the moments when I get to see friends too much to poison them with all this. I look at the world, the political landscape, the direction my country is taking and see no hope there. My closest friend and his husband are planning on moving back to Scotland in the next few years and I don't blame them, I'm glad they're able to escape Tory hell but I'm stuck here and hearing about their plans was pretty devastating for reasons that should be obvious. 

I usually say that there are better days and worse days when asked, but what I mean is that they're all bad but some are more or less bearable and lately it's all trending towards less and less. Today's been one of the worst in a long time. I have no idea what tomorrow will be. 

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1 hour ago, Poobah said:

I know. It's awkward, not the sort of thing you can just say to people. If they aren't looking at you with unbearable pity and sympathy in their expressions they'll be getting confused and upset, or maybe guilty, and either way they never look at you the same after.

Well... let me start out saying the thing that everyone says who stumbles across someone having these thoughts: That this is serious and that you should look up a therapist or at least dial an emergency number of your country. UK, right? Something like this here: https://www.spuk.org.uk/

Having put that out of the way... Well, I certainly can understand the feeling of helplessness about your personal situation, of events outside of your control crushing you and also how you mention looking around the political landscape and feeling like we are heading for disaster in every way. Those are all valid concerns, and yet... well, I don't know if it can help, but back when I was a student dreading every day because of the incessant bullying at school when I had that suffocating feeling that there was no way out, my mind thankfully always looped back to the thought that death is such a dreadfully final thing that strips you of all opportunities of what you could still experience. There is so much knowledge out there to learn, so many places to see and skills to gain, so many stories to experience in books and games, just so much stuff to do. What I'm saying is: Make plans! For tomorrow, for next week, for where you want to see yourself in 10 years, in 20 years, in 30 and thereafter.  There is more than enough stuff out there to fill a lifetime and then some and I'm sure you'll find some of them you either always wanted to do or as of yet not knew you always wanted to. It mustn't even be something grand. For the moment maybe even just picking up a good book might be a start.

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On the board you always seem like a fine person @Poobah, and I'm sure everyone that reads this thread is only wishing you good things. 

Seconding the advice to reach out. You mention that there are various burdens in your life right now; I don't exactly know what they are, but possibly organisations like the ones mentioned upthread or others might be able to support you through at least some of them, or even remove some of the load from you? 

The news is shit. I said to my previous supervisor last year that I felt as if there'd been no good news since 2016. Sometimes I think about trying to tune out of it, but I know that the habit of following the headlines is too deeply ingrained in me. If I had more belief that I had something to offer, I'd probably try becoming active in a lobby/campaign/party, just to fight back a little against the passivity of being a receptacle for horrible news about the world that I have no control over. 

Edited by dog-days
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30 minutes ago, dog-days said:

The news is shit. I said to my previous supervisor last year that I felt as if there'd been no good news since 2016. 

I agree with everything dog-days said - just wanted to add two antidotes to all the bad news (which is also getting me down):

Upworthy (American site with cheering anecdotes and advice).

Positive News (UK site with good news stories and positive perspectives from all around the world)

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