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Xray the Enforcer

Mental Wellbeing 2

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I'm so sorry to everyone in this thread who is dealing with loss.  This past year, it seems like we are wading in it and I'm so tired of it.  Just tired.  Anyway, sending tons of prayer, good thoughts, and energy to each of you.  

I'm in a sort of okay place (I wrote 'pretty good' and deleted that) but feel myself ready to topple off into depression at a moment's notice.  Between my dad's health, the news, and all the people I know who are dying from covid or have lost loved ones to covid, I'm just doing the best I can.  My dogs, cat, birds, knitting/crochet, friends, and precious husband are getting me through right now.  I'm taking better care of myself, and trying to avoid those things (like the news) that I know will trigger anxiety and depression.  

So today, I'm hanging in there.  

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I feel like talking about how I let out a lot of emotions to process them a few days ago, but the whole thing sounds weird :P. I think I'd unintentionally bottled up many emotions over something that's played out over a few months, and I'd also been upset on and off about something that happened on NYE that is connected to it. I had a moment a few days ago where I just felt emotional and tried to deal with it in a different way than how I had been. I Googled about emotional detachment because it was a technique that had been helpful for me in the past to process emotions. Found an article on "dealing with difficult emotions" that ended up being very helpful. As to detachment, it suggested saying something like "this is [emotion]" as you otherwise let yourself emote. I followed the other suggested steps (I did cry). I felt better afterwards, and didn't realize I still had pain over some of the things I emoted. I'm not really upset about the NYE thing anymore, and it hasn't pained me to think about some of the things I was sad about (with/without realizing it) from months ago. Well, I felt angry about the latter drawn out situation over the past few days, but I think that was probably healthy and normal as I move on...

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Damn it. I think today was one of the most horrific days I ever had, period. And it's all so fucking irrational because there was absolutely no trigger for it. The whole day ever since I woke up I was just sliding from one anxiety attack to the next and it never ever stopped. I managed to only prepare four lessons over the course of the entire day, I was awfully slow and couldn't focus at all. And the worst part is how insanely vulnerable I was to noise. I was constantly agitated by the clatter of my mother bustling through the house, frightful when she walked in and riled up by her usual use of baby-speak to me.

I cannot remember I ever reacted this extreme and this physical to all of this. Just a couple of hours ago when my mother came in again I ended up dealing with a burning sensation in my heart and my arms uncontrollably shaking. My chest still hurts when I inhale deeply. This is... I don't know what this is, but it for sure isn't a good sign. Shit, shit, shit...

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Lizard Queen has some good tips, Toth. 
There are a lot of ways to deal with anxiety, so I would try to find a couple of techniques that work for you. There are auditory, visual and kinesthetic methods, but generally, pick a few, ( some of them take a few seconds) and test them out on a non lesson plan day. Practice them often and it will reduce overall anxiety. Labeling. sensing, tracking your emotions in a neutral way would help. The Rumi poem about the guesthouse can be helpful. Is there sadness, fear, anger, hope, hope?


Here are some methods, breathing with a long slow out breath can stimulate a relaxation response. Orienting by slowly naming objects in your environment helps( I believe that it changes ones focus from ones own disturbing thoughts and feelings without blocking them entirely) . Doing even one yoga pose can help, as long as it’s not too difficult. Tai Chi is great but there is a learning curve. Ordinary exercises like a runners stretch might help. Mindful walking is neat, but just interrupting your thought with some exercise or body attention can be grounding. Some animals “ shake it off” . Really. There is writing about how animals shake after trauma to reset themselves.
Listening to music that matches your mood can give you a sense of attunement. Play angsty music and as your mood changes, be willing to listen to something else. Moods always change, even a little. 
Images can help, if something comes to mind. Letting air out of a tire, is an example.


Here is something that works for me. Try a relaxation technique in the morning, find some tiny ones to use as needed. Write a “to do list” which includes some easy things that you would do anyway. You might think of some self care things. Cross them off as you finish. If you did anything towards that goal give yourself a checkmark. Think” progress not perfection”. 

if you have any notion of something greater than yourself, it is time to employ that. It can be as logical as recognizing the Fabric of Space/Time. I believe it relieves negative rumination.

There is an idea about using your positive qualities( I would give you a lot of credit for creating lesson plans on an off day.) Use reinforcers...on yourself! You know yourself best.

When you are feeling up to it, you may want to come up with a plan and problem solve with your mom, so you won’t be interrupted. No rush. We can’t control what other people do, but there are usually steps to be taken. Non violent communication skills are tricky but worth learning. I can’t do this well, but it helps!

If you are too jacked up, strategies may not work well that day. That feeling of  helplessness is frightening all by itself.  No one needs a specific reason for anxiety these days. There is a lot of global and personal threat to get through. I wish you well:)

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My psychiatrist believes my depression and anxiety may be related to untreated ADD.  We're going to work on it and maybe see how I do on a low dose of meds.  Meanwhile I will keep seeing my therapist as well. 

Psychiatrist has prescribed Wellbutrin and recommended 'bright light therapy'.  This appears to be a...bright light that you set up above or off your field of vision.  It's supposed to affect peripheral vision and help with depression.  Not sure if I am going to do it.

Lastly and most importantly...my sincere condolences to all experiencing loss as has been described in this thread or kept personal and private.  Also support and strength to everyone in the thread and elsewhere trying to work out these issues. 

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So, I finally hit my break limit. Since about mid-November I’ve been going to therapy 3 times a week. I don’t even know how to go about talking about things, because to me it just sounds so bizarre that it sounds made up.

 I’ve talked here before sometime last year about some stuff that I won’t reiterate, but during a therapy session last week I made what I thought was an innocuous comment about losing time while I’m driving, and after that session last Friday and sessions every day this week, it appears that I’ve been suffering from some type of dissociative disorder since I was about 5 years old. 

I guess more testing and appointments with specialists are coming up. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t appear that I’m suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, but it’s very likely that I’m suffering from a combination of Dissociative Amnesia from my childhood and Depersonalization Disorder.

Needless to say, this has been a shock for me, and added to that I was fired from my job because of the breakdown I had and one of my friends died of a heart attack a few days ago at the age of 39. 
 

i don’t know why I’m talking about it here, except that I haven’t been able to tell anyone about it. I don’t even know if anyone close to me would believe me.

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2 hours ago, The Great Unwashed said:

i don’t know why I’m talking about it here, except that I haven’t been able to tell anyone about it. I don’t even know if anyone close to me would believe me.

It's totally okay to talk about it here, that's what threads like these are for :)

It also sounded like you needed to tell someone, which I think most people will understand. Good luck with the tests and appointments and I'm sorry about your friend. :grouphug:

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8 hours ago, Raja said:

It's totally okay to talk about it here, that's what threads like these are for :)

It also sounded like you needed to tell someone, which I think most people will understand. Good luck with the tests and appointments and I'm sorry about your friend. :grouphug:

Thank you. Indeed, talking to a therapist about it is far different from talking to anyone else about it.

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On 1/14/2021 at 6:26 AM, HoodedCrow said:

Lizard Queen has some good tips, Toth. 
There are a lot of ways to deal with anxiety, so I would try to find a couple of techniques that work for you. There are auditory, visual and kinesthetic methods, but generally, pick a few, ( some of them take a few seconds) and test them out on a non lesson plan day. Practice them often and it will reduce overall anxiety. Labeling. sensing, tracking your emotions in a neutral way would help. The Rumi poem about the guesthouse can be helpful. Is there sadness, fear, anger, hope, hope?


Here are some methods, breathing with a long slow out breath can stimulate a relaxation response. Orienting by slowly naming objects in your environment helps( I believe that it changes ones focus from ones own disturbing thoughts and feelings without blocking them entirely) . Doing even one yoga pose can help, as long as it’s not too difficult. Tai Chi is great but there is a learning curve. Ordinary exercises like a runners stretch might help. Mindful walking is neat, but just interrupting your thought with some exercise or body attention can be grounding. Some animals “ shake it off” . Really. There is writing about how animals shake after trauma to reset themselves.
Listening to music that matches your mood can give you a sense of attunement. Play angsty music and as your mood changes, be willing to listen to something else. Moods always change, even a little. 
Images can help, if something comes to mind. Letting air out of a tire, is an example.


Here is something that works for me. Try a relaxation technique in the morning, find some tiny ones to use as needed. Write a “to do list” which includes some easy things that you would do anyway. You might think of some self care things. Cross them off as you finish. If you did anything towards that goal give yourself a checkmark. Think” progress not perfection”. 

if you have any notion of something greater than yourself, it is time to employ that. It can be as logical as recognizing the Fabric of Space/Time. I believe it relieves negative rumination.

There is an idea about using your positive qualities( I would give you a lot of credit for creating lesson plans on an off day.) Use reinforcers...on yourself! You know yourself best.

When you are feeling up to it, you may want to come up with a plan and problem solve with your mom, so you won’t be interrupted. No rush. We can’t control what other people do, but there are usually steps to be taken. Non violent communication skills are tricky but worth learning. I can’t do this well, but it helps!

If you are too jacked up, strategies may not work well that day. That feeling of  helplessness is frightening all by itself.  No one needs a specific reason for anxiety these days. There is a lot of global and personal threat to get through. I wish you well:)

Thanks :) (this is the article I followed, if anyone is interested: https://www.gottman.com/blog/6stepstomindfullydealwithdifficultemotions/)

And thanks for your own tips (they were directed at Toth, but of course anyone could use them)!

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What is it with me and Mondays, recently?

I feel so exhausted, I just... can't...

I managed to get outside for a walk for a few minutes both Saturday and Sunday, but it was a goddamn effort. Of course my mother once again panicked and tried to frantically stop me. "You can't just go out after being inside for so long, you will get sick immediately!" Took me several hours to make up my mind and ignore her, but of course even when walking around the neighborhood I couldn't stop the ruminations. And I lost so much time! I'm extremely behind schedule, I still have to prepare four lessons despite having to correct everything from yesterday now. Though... I suppose there isn't too much to correct.

I spent the whole day yesterday answering questions about the days lessons even though the majority of students didn't bother to do them at all, especially those I specifically invited last week to use the goddamn chat because utter silence and then just saying "I don't understand it" two minutes before the deadline expires isn't helpful in any way whatsoever. I'm just so mindnumbingly bad at this job... and once again I several times got the accusation in the mails of my students that I don't "do real lessons" because I'm not trying to do video conferences, justifying their lack of engagement. I can't exactly admit that I can't do video conferences because of how much anxiety I'm suffering from at home and that I would cross a line I shouldn't cross for any reason whatsoever if I decide to expose myself at the place where I'm the most vulnerable.

And then come the technical problems. Yesterday night I was trying to scan two book pages for tomorrow's lessons, it took me five hours and ended with no scanned pages, a permanently disconnected scanner as I messed up reinstalling the drivers and a broken book that I threw to the ground in frustration before punching my head until I felt dizzy and then listening to my mother's mockery half an hour later at 12 pm why I'm not working anymore if I'm complaining about my lack of progress. I went to bed at the brink of crying and got some thrown awake several times thanks to really weird nightmares involving egg sacs filled with maggots infesting the whole flat... and me trying to carry them outside without harming them. XD

On 1/15/2021 at 10:53 PM, Lizard Queen said:

Thanks :) (this is the article I followed, if anyone is interested: https://www.gottman.com/blog/6stepstomindfullydealwithdifficultemotions/)

That's... that's written with couples in mind, huh? I must say I squinted quite hard at the checklist. I am already extremely self-reflecting to the point of defeatism, so I don't see how being aware of my emotions isn't going to make things much worse because I am painfully aware of my feelings and where they are coming from.

On 1/14/2021 at 1:26 PM, HoodedCrow said:

Listening to music that matches your mood can give you a sense of attunement. Play angsty music and as your mood changes, be willing to listen to something else. Moods always change, even a little. 
Images can help, if something comes to mind. Letting air out of a tire, is an example.

I was using music kind of a lot these last weeks, but I mostly used it to try and drown out the background noise of my mother that drives me constantly crazy, but instead the music distracted me as well, so I don't think it's a good idea. I don't need more distractions, I need focus to get onwards with my work in a humanly possible manner.

And then there are moments where I just feel like giving up. I'm a complete failure anyway. What have I achieved with my life? I'm three months away from my 28th birthday and I'm still stuck with my mother, still don't know how to have sensible relationships with people, spend every wake hour worrying about my job and still loose track of the mails I haven't replied to two weeks ago as more urgent work piles up constantly, only make lessons that make my students hate me because I'm drained of all creativity that I still had three years ago when I still had fun brainstorming cool learning situations and there is no way out of any of this for me because I don't have any off-days whatsoever and whenever I do have some holidays I cram them chock-full with all the stuff I wished to do all year long so I end up doubly exhausted AND despairing about how I should have spent the time preparing my lessons.

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Toth, I’m sorry that all these difficult situations are happening at once.

Inappropriate baby talk is highly disagreeable. I vouch for you.

 

 

 

 

 

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@Toth I’m very sorry to hear that the situation hasn’t improved. It is entirely your decision how you handle these issues and you obviously have the most amount of information about the context. Still, if you don’t mind my unrequited advice, I think that saying no is a great thing. To your mother, to your students, to your employer.
It does not benefit anybody that you work 16 hours a day to manage your workload. It is also not shameful, unprofessional or in any way wrong to need and ask for assistance if there’s too much work, and from what you describe, it clearly seems so. Maybe they could take a little off your shoulder, or supply you with tips and tricks how to reduce the time spent on these tasks? 
Either way, I hope you find a way to improve the situation in any way that’s helpful for you. Great to hear you went on a walk!  I personally find walks incredibly beneficial both physically and mentally. 

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Well, thanks and sorry that you have to read this nonsense.

2 hours ago, RhaenysBee said:

It does not benefit anybody that you work 16 hours a day to manage your workload. It is also not shameful, unprofessional or in any way wrong to need and ask for assistance if there’s too much work, and from what you describe, it clearly seems so. Maybe they could take a little off your shoulder, or supply you with tips and tricks how to reduce the time spent on these tasks? 

The thing is that it is entirely on myself that I need so much time for my work. Other colleagues deal with the same workload or more and it's just me being an idiot that prevents me from finishing this stuff in a timely manner.

And then the quality... I guess I become more and more aware at my current school how much of my self-worth I'm getting from the job I'm doing. Which... is kinda logical, given how I have nothing else, really. Having a positive impact on people is all that I crave and it's getting to me that all I'm getting is outraged mails about how my lessons are too difficult and instead of engaging with my offers to ask questions in the chat, some just demand better tasks and leave it at that. I know I'm at a difficult school when it comes to the catchment area and it just shows how much I fail at accommodating that with my preparations.

Anyway, enough complained for today. Another break that I didn't need. I need to get going.

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I don't know what's worse for my mental health...back a few months ago, when there was no vaccine, or now, when there is a vaccine but it is totally unavailable, yet there are doses that have to be discarded because the distribution is such crap. 

I need to get off the mental treadmill of looking to see if we are in Phase 1B, yet, and also quit looking around the state for a potential vaccination site if one does open up. "Chilling out" and "waiting" is not my forte.

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All is finally going alright and well for me. Yay! This dreadful and dreaded feeling would overcome me; that feeling seems to have gone away. It came up all the time. Now, I feel like nothing can stop me. It's the first time in my life that I actually feel like doing things. Anything. It seems to be a miracle. But I am on medication, so I cannot shirk that. The psychiatrist I see greatly seems to have made an impact on me. She said, "I like peace", and I never forgot it. As I go along the way of coming around that life isn't even bad, I write in journals. I seem to like that. It may take a while to get a job, but that doctor, she made strides in my wellness that I was always hoping for. 

That's my two cents on what my state of mind is. Others might seem to diminish it. Just needing to take the daily shower is the next step. I've lowered the bar from stopping cigarettes to showering every day, see? The new start on life...it's only going up, and I can feel it in my bones. 

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5 hours ago, Toth said:

Well, thanks and sorry that you have to read this nonsense.

There’s no need to apologize at all. The purpose of this thread is to unload one’s shoulder and there’s no judgement passed on how sensible that load is. Simply put, vent away, it helps. 

5 hours ago, Toth said:

Other colleagues deal with the same workload or more and it's just me being an idiot that prevents me from finishing this stuff in a timely manner.

This is exactly what I meant when I said they might be able to help you with HOW they manage to do the same work in a shorter time. Just methodology or time management or technical assistance or short cuts, best practices, synergies. It’s entirely up to you, but I can’t imagine that discussing the challenges with colleagues couldn’t help. It’s up to you of course. Good luck and I hope you find a way to make things easier!

 

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Overloaded is not fun, Toth.  My physics teacher wanted to talk about the theory of relativity, but instead he taught the basic curriculum, and gave bonus readings that counted. That’s when I read the paper given to us and felt a little slow for reading it twice before I got it. I felt proud too! There was a bonus question on the exam of the variety “ who ages faster” and some conditions. The sweat hogs remained untroubled.
Several classes did it that way. 
 

My high school librarian was very pleased by my taking out classics.Even a high school library I could look up chemical formulas, read all Austen, etc

perhaps you could hand out supplementary material liststhat is only for keeners. I liked that my writing classes had lists...so that we could read and compare techniques.

I don’t know if that is your style.

There are a few teachers in my family and it was good that I knew about all the extra effort. There can be a lot. It does get easier and you will find out lots by trial and error. 
My most fun class was probably the one where our favorite teachers debated the character of Prince Hal. It was great to here other points of well argued points of view.

When the pandemic is over we will not have that awful fear on top of everything else.
I don’t know what you teach, but more power to you.

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23 hours ago, Toth said:

That's... that's written with couples in mind, huh? I must say I squinted quite hard at the checklist. I am already extremely self-reflecting to the point of defeatism, so I don't see how being aware of my emotions isn't going to make things much worse because I am painfully aware of my feelings and where they are coming from.

It works for individuals too :).

Well, as I've understood it -- identifying your emotions in a detached way (such as with "this is sadness" or "I am experiencing fear and worry", instead of just going with the emotional flow or personally identifying with it (for example, "I am sad")) helps you to put your head over the water when you're emotional. You won't be as caught up in your feelings and whatever they are compelling you to think and feel. The article author exemplified this when she wrote about keeping a centered/healthy detachment from her emotions while her husband was seriously ill -- she told herself "I know that I am experiencing anxiety and fear right now and I don’t know what will happen, but I am going to just ‘be’ with it.” She was able to avoid going into some painful, counterproductive thought processes as a result.

This detachment should dull the pain of whatever you're going through, and ground you a bit more. Well, perhaps to the contrary in some cases, you might become more emotional after identifying and acknowledging an emotion because you hadn't allowed yourself to feel it beforehand (you might have been blocking it out, whether you meant to or not). That's still good -- that means you are now letting that emotion out to run its course. That's what the acknowledging and accepting part is about -- just letting yourself process your feelings so they can leave your system. The detachment piece helps you to keep aware that you're just experiencing an emotion, and it's not going to last forever and the nasty things it could be telling you aren't necessarily true. 

Edited by Lizard Queen

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Thinking of growing out my hair really long, to be about mid-back length. What I have, it seems to silly. I thought I could make myself see that I do have a beautiful face. And I sort of think it. I regret it though. But it's been a semi-journey because I used to have to lie about it. Never did I honestly think I was good-looking, or pretty, or anything positive. 

But I guess a positive body image is the start of a new year. I finally saw it in some pictures, what others I think seem to think. I just think I look like a toad. An overweight toad. I really need to lose weight, or put up with it. Self-confidence does go a long way. Maybe if I get over not seeing what others see, I can start with a whole new figment of the imagination of myself. 

I enjoyed the way the photos seemed. I honestly did not recognize myself. Like a whole other person was looking back. There were some really awesome ones. 

I think that if I can find some self-esteem, then maybe the burden of what I got might lessen. A self-image that might seem to make sense to myself. One thing does not mean one other thing. As the year goes by, I hope to find a little bit of a different point of view. It would really help me. I seem to disgust myself on all levels of personhood. 

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@Toth, I agree with Rhae. Ask your colleagues for help or tips, it will do you good to see that others deal with the same issues and you are not as isolated as it might seem.

I understand your students would probably do better if you organised some videoconferences though. It is somewhat uncomfortable at first, because it feels like you are inviting your work into your bedroom, but one gets used to it. I am not sure how you do your lessons, if you just send the materials in written form to them - most students probably won't understand that. They need face to face interaction and explanation. Maybe try doing it through video just a few times to try it out, and ask your coworkers for advice beforehand so it won't be as intimidating. (Your school probably has some guidelines about how to deal with online schooling, right? Are there rules about how often you have to do videoconference lessons? You probably don't want to get in trouble with your boss for not interacting with students. But in any case, they should also provide some training for that.)

Even more important is that you shouldn't consider yourself bad at your job just because your students don't participate. Your job is to teach, but you cannot do their work for them, and learning and participating and asking questions about what they don't understand is their job. It is really hard not to measure your worth as a teacher by the achievements of your students, but sometimes you can do everything and there will be some students that won't learn. It does not mean you are bad at the job, tell yourself that any time you feel your students are failing because of you.

Download the app Tiny Scanner on your phone if you can. It is much easier than these big chunky scanners and works just fine. ;) 

And I am sure you have achieved a lot in your 28 years! You have a stable, full time job. You are probably saving money now that you are living with your mother, so you will be able to move out soon after the pandemic restrictions are lifted. These are positive things that you can concentrate on. :) Good luck!

Also this:

On 1/19/2021 at 9:32 AM, Toth said:

"You can't just go out after being inside for so long, you will get sick immediately!"

Wait, what? Are you supposed to just ... stay in till the rest of your life, or how would that "no going out" work?

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