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How cruel we can be

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Ommatech

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The reason I am writing this is in part to warn people of the dangers of doing practices without analysis or forethought, some people just present practices because they want praise or recognition without really thinking of the long term consequences of practising such a thing, if you are in any doubt of a practice presented anywhere it might be best to send some logical thought even if it appears good, because when you are in a state of desperation you are willing to try just about anything. if a practice is making you worse then stop doing it.

So what I am about to say is a single method that worked for me alone just for some relief and ease in daily life. The more common sense you have the more you protect yourself from misery. and also every person must find their own way. Be very wary of anything on this forum that is advertised as a miracle. In my experience the best results are gradual and do not happen in mere days. If someone method is not benefiting you and harming you then stop even if someone has said that it works for them because if it is harming you then either you have a wrong perception or they are ignorant and talking rubbish and in my experience, people rely on their ignorance whilst talking rubbish(please forgive my language) for praise or recognition.
For that reason I have tried to be as clear as I can with the things that have been of benefit to me and I hope that they can be beneficial to you also. If not, don't do yourself any harm - the last thing I want is you working against yourself.


Here are some questions.


What prisons have you made for yourself?
There is no secret that freedom is one of the basic conditions for happiness, if you are not free then you cannot practice the things that allow you to be happy, we generally create a lot of prisons for ourself in one way or the other, usually through seeking luxury or sometimes even the opposite. It is very easy to keep ourselves imprisoned and constricted and so it is necessary we know what prisons we make for ourselves, because if we know the prisons we make for ourselves then we can begin to free ourselves.

In what ways are you self destructive?
One of the problems I had was justifying my self destructive tendencies on my mental illness instead of taking the responsibility and doing something about it. It is always beneficial to be a bit less self destructive. We can be self destructive with regards to our friendships and relationships, our spending habits and even our sex lives, there is a certain joy that comes out of realising you are less self destructive than you were before.

In what ways are you being cruel to yourself?
Generally we torture and torment ourselves until we feel numb so that no one else can torture and torment us. I was guilty of this abusive thinking for the longest time before I realised how little sense it made. Even our inner voice is usually quite harsh. It pays to be kinder to yourself. Begin to think of the reasons for this. It does not pay to make yourself sick through maintaining your cruelty.



Some things that helped me


Recognising practices that are bringing you into misery.
If I were to continually hit my hand with a hammer for no great reason then I would be very aware that I was practising something that was harming me, but some practices that harm us often go unrecognised and only become aware of them when we cannot go any lower. A good quality is being able to recognise that it is not beneficial and bringing you into misery you before you reach the lowest so that you can do something about it. You should not believe something simply because someone says that it does you should conduct your own investigation and then assess the results after a reasonable length of time. What one person says might be lost In translation or he could be saying it without realising that it has negative results, as a consequence we must take great care when deciding which practices to undertake, it is better to avoid undertaking negative practices then it is to take them and then go back. Thus more common sense is always a good thing.


Not trying to get back to the past
You should not concentrate on a time before. It makes a lot of sense to learn from the past but it makes no sense to try and get back there or crave it - because life is only possible in the here and the now.
It is quite tragic when people stop living for trying to get back to the past and so we must not put our lives on hold or allow ourselves to stagnate. I did this and realised I had regretted years of my life because I was not really there to enjoy it. Be mindful of everything you do and joy will begin to come naturally.


Getting a good focus,
A focus is what enables us to do things, the problem is when we get mental illness we focus solely
on bad things. It becomes apart of our identity and we are reluctant to let go of suffering long after it is necessary. A bad focus makes your life revolve around something bad. We end up working against our well-being and ourselves and this gets us down in every sense. Please make your focus a good one.


Joyfulness
I find that Happiness can be like a plant which needs to grow over time, if you are constantly attacking its roots or not giving it the right conditions it needs to survive then it will not, if you are constantly killing yourself in various ways then happiness will not stem. But if you take care of it well, give it the right conditions then it will grow well. So don't destroy your own happiness at the roots. Do something that makes you happy because a lot of time can be spent in misery not because of what we have done but because of something we haven't done
I find that like a plant it is necessary to practice patience, strong trees do not grow because you force them to grow, they grow because of the right conditions for them to grow strong and well.

Clinging to misery
When we get used to our misery we want to cling to it because it is comfortable, we might not even want to let it go, this is problematic as you can imagine. It doesn’t really benefit us to cling to our misery, sometimes even when you have the opportunity to be happy you do not take it for fear of letting go of your misery, we might even have to reason ourselves into a non ignorant bliss. Reason has worked very well to help set the conditions for me to let go of misery.

Be as pleasant as you can be
A lot of good qualities arise from pleasantness, good qualities naturally make bad qualities and habits diminish, I have found that when I am pleasant I am more inclined to make wise decisions and head on right paths. The more pleasant thoughts I produce the easier I find it to deal with life's struggles.

Influence people for the positive.
In any given situation we can influence people for either the positive or the negative if you influence them for the negative then they will do negative things, in their own lives, which (if you are selfish like me) have an impact on yours. If you start influencing people for the positive then they will be more inclined towards positive things which you will be a part of and you begin to come out of your comfort zone a bit to enjoy yourself.

No more limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs cause us so much grief, they limit our joy and freedom, we make ourselves feel worthless and unloved by even ourselves, ''I am not worthy'' ''I cannot do anything right'' ''I do not deserve happiness.'' they are very detrimental to flourishing and happiness and yet we cling to them like they are helping us. Recognise and understand your limiting beliefs, it is the only way to begin to alleviate them.

Recognise and understand a self defeating attitude.
It is said that we only have victory when we cannot defeat ourselves. This primarily means that we are very sensible and in part that we are able to recognise and understand when we are being pointlessly self defeating. A self defeating attitude brings us down unnecessarily. We get up, we knock ourselves down, we get up, we knock ourselves down. Eventually we see no point in getting up and so we stay down. If I were to kick my door off its hinges every time I put a new one in place I would eventually stop putting a new one in place when in truth most sensible thing to do would be to stop kicking the door.

Don't work against yourself.
So much of our misery is caused when our minds and our bodies work against themselves. Recognise and understand it when you do it, if your hand was punching your own face you would know something is wrong, but just because how you are working against yourself is less obvious to others you pretend it is not happening. What good is outward appearance if you are causing yourself misery on the inside?


Righteousness
I find that having a great moral compass stands you in good stead for many things in this life. Great ethical conduct is sorely underrated in today’s society for bringing well-being, ethics in part mean not putting others into misery and that means that you are less likely to do things that will cause you to regret. If you are aware of the causes of regret you will not do the things that make you regret.


Don’t make it easy for others to hate you.
If you make yourself in such a way that others cannot help but love you then you are in a good light in the eyes of all - including yourself, and this means that everything is easier to deal with, the more warm-heartedness you put out the less you deprive yourself of what you need, the easier it is to live in joy and grace and that makes for a good life and not just a good day.



So here are some of the things that helped me, I hope that they can be of some benefit to you. Please be wise in all of your endeavours and learn through joy.
Remember: Analysis leads to wisdom.

On that note here are some teachers who's words of wisdom inspired me (videos available online) highly recommended.

1.Sadhguru, founder of the Isha foundation
2.Thich Nhat Hanh, founder of Plum Village.
3.Robert Elias Najemy, founder of Hollistic harmony
 
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happygolucky

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Be mindful of everything you do and joy will begin to come naturally.
I find that like a plant it is necessary to practice patience, strong trees do not grow because you force them to grow, they grow because of the right conditions for them to grow strong and well.
Thank you for your post... I have read it several times and your words above are very helpful to remind me that a flower doesn't struggle to blossom. A flower doesn't need patience, but for some reason us humans do, and I think more so in this fast paced, get-er-done, need it now, got to have it now, society.

I struggle with just letting my natural self come to the top; probably, because I've fertilized my ground with toxic thoughts for so long that I... {well thank God, I just caught myself about to give an excuse}! That's one acidic thought out of the way {congradulations, happygolucky}... oh but there is so much {don't go down that path, like this guy says, it's cruel} OK... I get it {keep practicing it, there are no miracle cures, keep changing the toxic ground, one thought at a time, and soon you'll be swimming in a rich loam, where your natural happygolucky will naturally come to the top to dance :) }
 
calypso

calypso

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Please.....give me a break!!! Oh yes, lets all be happy little souls and not think negatively. I think you will find we are a tad more intelligent than you are giving us credit for. Give it a rest!!
 
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happygolucky

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Thank you Calypso for your thoughts, I know there is a bigger picture and there are as many ways of thinking as there are people; I appreciate other points of view.

My point of view was that I'd rather come up from the vicious cycle of negative thinking and smell the roses once in a while (by reading/feeding myself something positive), then to live in the miry clay of my negative thoughts where I tend to live 24/7. I congratulate myself when I can live up to my "handle" for a few seconds because it does not happen too often.
 
tabbykitten

tabbykitten

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Oh wow. Let’s all play “jolly hockey sticks”.
At least you both admit the suggested path is not easy. Please though, as Calypso has said accept that we are intelligent human beings around here.
The cruel ones are those who suggest sufferers of mental illness are at fault through wrong practices and wrong thinking. While I agree that a proportion can be helped by learning to rethink, very many more will only be traumatised by any such suggestion.:curseyou:
 
calypso

calypso

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happygolucky, I was answering the original post, not trying to upset you at all. I apologise if you thought I was. Please don't let that put you off posting. I think Tabbykitten is answering the original poster too. Its hard with the written word to get this right and maybe in future, I will be more specific so as to be clear who I am talking to. :flowers:
 
tabbykitten

tabbykitten

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Calypso guessed correctly, I was responding to the original poster and not you happygolucky. I am lucky enough to have good times. And to be able to “cope” with my mental health issues for much of the time. My problem is though that I have had horrible experiences in the past from people who don’t understand the deep trauma of longstanding mental illness. I know you do understand and I can see that you have a particular way of approaching things - which includes realising how other people feel.
Sorry if this is a bit waffly. Definitely not in a good place at the moment.
 
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ubolt

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Everyone has anxieties, insecurities, and doubts. Everyone has fears and regrets, lows, disappointments, grief, everyone talks to themselves. Everyone feels frail and vulnerable, have or will have their hearts broken if they can let love in. Everyone has failed, everyone has made mistakes. Many people are hard on themselves and struggle to accept who they are, where they belong in a culture that perpetuates the idea that happiness is important and if you don’t constantly experience it the problem is with you, not with the unrealistic mentality that we’re sold.

What’s wrong with being human? From Dickens characters to the life of Van Gogh, the greatest authors, artists and musicians throughout history have given back more to the world then any contemporary self-help guide. As pessimistic as a nihilist may be, the words – ‘the thought of suicide is a powerful comfort: it helps one through many a dreadful night’ offer real insight and value, and are themselves a comfort.

It is not abnormal to have these thoughts and feelings, it is a normal part of intelligence, of the human experience. For ourselves, if we can’t accept that it is normal then we will have trouble accepting ourselves and developing our own deep sense of security, and it is only from a deep sense of security that a person can better manage these feelings when they naturally occur, to feel capable, to more readily return to a state of contentment, and dare I say it, to achieve those moments of happiness, all the more valuable because of their rarity; such is the experience.
 
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calypso

calypso

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I think I was annoyed because its an organisation saying the first post, not a person who has experienced real mental health problems! "Lets give the loons a little patronising advice" is how I read it.

Ubolt, I think we all agree that all people have a lot of what you say. Serious mental health problems aren't just from us not accepting that its normal to have ups and downs. I am diagnosed with bipolar and I feel I just don't have the brakes that others are born with. I don't go up and down, I go into orbit and then sometimes too depressed to move much. I stop eating, stop doing anything and can't even talk much. As I get better, I rise enough to be dangerously suicidal. I ended up on intensive care in 2012 for 2 weeks. That wasn't just "not accepting" my life.

But, I totally respect your point of view on this.
 
tabbykitten

tabbykitten

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I just found the original poster on this thread patronising. Explains it a bit if, as I understand what Calypso is saying, that this is an organisation.

Seems to be more about feeling depressed or anxious though and not descriptive of some of the awful day to day experiences a lot of our forum members have to face. Don’t think I will be contributing to this thread any more - finding it a bit triggering!!!!
 
U

ubolt

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Serious mental health problems aren't just from us not accepting that its normal to have ups and downs.
Hi Calypso, I completely agree with you, symptoms of serious mental issues don’t arise or continue from a person not accepting themselves, sorry, I didn’t mean to imply they are or diminish your experience with bipolar. I feel frustration for the original post too; in my opinion I don’t think a person should have to turn themselves inside out and twist around a new dogma just to find some peace with themselves, especially people who are vulnerable as was highlighted in the original post (irony?). I don’t believe the original post is particularly healthy or helpful, nor did I appreciate its tone.

I just wrote from my personal experience (paranoid schizophrenia) for people in recovery who may have wondered like I, if their thoughts and feelings during their anxieties and lows are normal or a part of their illness. As my symptoms resolved it took a little while for me to begin accepting again what is normal for me because it’s been several years since the onset of symptoms and four since the first diagnosis. The best things that can help me now are the tiny but real increments I make towards feeling secure and confident again by accepting all that I am and what I’ve experienced. I think that’s healthier than adopting the kind of blanket approach that was suggested in the original post.

Not having brakes with high and lows and moving into depression or mania I guess you would feel at the mercy of where you moods take you and it would take a lot of work and effort on your part to consistently manage the more severe aspects. I have a lot of respect for people in situations like yourself who have to work hard just to maintain a balance.
 
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Emmarose35

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im not sure where the original post is subjective and where it is objective-
I feel it had a directive - authoritive tone yet is coming from a subjective place in parts - it's v confusing .....

It is speaking to me as 'you' ....

The original reason that the person has written this post it seems is somewhat of a duplication - I feel
The way this post is written is co dependent and could be unhelpful to
The reader
 
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