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    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

My life so far.

JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
First psych telephone appt today. It went about average I think. He was fine. I - as expected - babbled a bit as seems to be my newish thing. Probably presented as semi-cheerful.(*) I guess I don't really speak to people that often right now so I'm probably worse at it than normal. The telephone's a barrier. You can't see judge visually which creates ambiguity. My self-critical onboard commentary makes mountains out of ambiguity. Hopefully covid restrictions ease and I can get off telephones soon. My house is barely even private so I'm between thinking of an answer, listening to them, listening for others approaching....

I'm pretty embarrassed by and ashamed of all of this now. Not just the last 5 weeks, or the last year, or the last five, or the last thirteen, but just everything. Like it was too beyond help to even admit to. That's a bit absolute to lay down and my workbooks tell me this is the point to challenge the negative thought so, for the record, consider the challenge here. ''Good and bad in everything....etc....yadda yadda'', but, as a general score, there has never been a time where I considered myself as coping well.

That worries me because I think most therapy is of the type where a guy gets redundant, his marriage breaks up maybe, he has a mental breakdown, then maybe two years later he's worked his way back. He knows he coped in the past and so has a recognizable goal. I'm not even sure what I am or should be. And I also have more sympathy for him because he got two bad hits from the bag of life in succession. Before that, he built a good life. I, meanwhile, devised some comfortable trap of my own making through weakness (insert non-pejorative term here) that's contributed to the set of problems I am now. Not entirely true. Maybe mostly. There wasn't really a coping period entirely, just relative to what came later. The point is, I've kind of settled into my own jail cell, and that's not a very dignified position. At some point, someone is going to ask why I haven't left the jail cell, how hard I've tried, don't I want to leave....and I don't know what would win in that battle between the need to detach and be outside, and the need to connect. Detach would certainly win in the past and might even now, but the need to connect is big too, and growing as I get older.

I'm going to be bringing childhood anxieties into a discussion about a dysfunctional and depressive 44 year old. Do I want to say I avoided cracked slabs, or devised little counting procedures when I was a kid, or go through every little weird behaviour as it seems to me, then add in the entire lack of adult life......no. Absolutely not. But the converse of not saying. Then blundering through some self-help books that barely touch me. Then having it all inside ready to explode again. I'm going to have to sit across from adults (or talk on the phone), many of whom are younger than me, and tell them my entire life never really was entirely functional, that I've had extreme avoidance, control, self-esteem and image feelings all my life, lay out all the failures and dysfunctionality, lack of life experiences, and somehow retain enough dignity from it all to walk out the room at the end with a backbone. I'm not sure I'll be able to do that but I hardly have any choice now. I'm not sure why I feel I need to be able to do that. Or that I'm due it. It all makes me feel a bit juvenile and as though I have some arrested development. I just feel so ashamed about everything. On the other hand, I absolutely long for some sort of absolution and help and new voice in it all. Of course I do -- I'm a solitary, neurotic voice, that climbs the same places every night or so. I just don't think it's going to be that easy for me. I guess that's why I've been so eager to impress CPNs and the psych. I must think I've less chance of feeling more ashamed further down the line if I quickly trust them.

It's not even adolescent in nature so much as something that seems incredibly basic and I wonder why it isn't there. And, if it isn't there, (this basic, functioning, kind of 'normality' where a person picks a direction, works at it, has goals and everything, with some sort of belief and self-esteem to achieve it), then how do you put it in? You can't undo the past. Nor deny the facts. Reroute thoughts I guess. How difficult is that going to be with my level of introspection and recent racing thoughts? My brain can barely follow a two-way conversation, never mind change its own thinking pattern. So I'm taking small steps and remembering small things.

Lesson 1 - If a thought seems especially cruelly expressed or unfair then label it as self-attacking and immediately challenge it.

* Stress 6, Rumination - high, unclear focus, self-critical doubts
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
Energy levels have turned around. I'm now sleeping for long periods. 11-12 hour sleeps recently.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
Depression and anxiety way down. If 3 is my perception of others normal, then I'm a 5.

Amazing how severe the last...however long...looks from here.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
However...have prep to do for 2 appts today. So off I go to do that.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
Depression and anxiety (let's call them 'stress' together) both down still. The biggest challenge right now is not diminishing what's written here, burying it, then letting it erupt again later.

It's early stages so CPN and others all happy with me. I've done the basics and already feeling improvements. I could be doing more but I'm doing things.

Today I'm tidying the garden, going to the local dump, and cutting the grass if the rain stays off. I've also been fairly sociable, talking to people online a bit, more than I would usually, through an online music-sharing community that I've been using for music suggestions for years. I usually don't engage at all. Now I have friends of a fashion in Australia and Germany.

My MH books are-

What is stress?
Controlling your body
Controlling your thoughts
Controlling your actions
Controlling panicky feelings
Getting a good night's sleep

Looks like control is on the menu.
 
Q

quilteddown10

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
95
Location
UK
Depression and anxiety (let's call them 'stress' together) both down still. The biggest challenge right now is not diminishing what's written here, burying it, then letting it erupt again later.

It's early stages so CPN and others all happy with me. I've done the basics and already feeling improvements. I could be doing more but I'm doing things.

Today I'm tidying the garden, going to the local dump, and cutting the grass if the rain stays off. I've also been fairly sociable, talking to people online a bit, more than I would usually, through an online music-sharing community that I've been using for music suggestions for years. I usually don't engage at all. Now I have friends of a fashion in Australia and Germany.

My MH books are-

What is stress?
Controlling your body
Controlling your thoughts
Controlling your actions
Controlling panicky feelings
Getting a good night's sleep

Looks like control is on the menu.
Sometimes the jail is in your head...sometimes it's your head in the jail.

For years, I thought I belonged to the former category...only to discover I actually belong to the latter.

I am inside the jail I thought was inside me.

Sometimes, when my captors aren't looking, I allow myself to slip outside...breathe the fresh air and smile at the sky. But I know what's coming. I know as soon as they awake I will find myself back behind those bars with a dull ache in my heart and stomach. I turn out the light once again.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
Don't know about the jail cell. I'm full of dodgy analogies about storms and boats, climbing mountains, desert or arctic wastes, and whatever else. Probably too many. I should pick one and stick with it. Or do away with them entirely.

I got a fair bit done today. Cleared out the garden waste. Basic interactions. Now alone; felt strangely emotional rereading this in a different frame of mind. Not agitated or driving down to a self-hating end; just really sad at the accumulation of......and at this point the word escapes me....'stress' maybe?

So today's score on the 'stress' index, where a 6 is my average (probably), and a 4 is the general society average (my perception, so subject to error) is......a 5. I got stuff done. Emotions still a tiny bit erratic when alone but maybe that's not a bad thing. It wasn't like emotion out of nowhere.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
Did less today. Sleeping a lot now. Just woke up. Stress fairly low. Comparable to yesterday. Uneventful day.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
Stress...again, I'm saying about average. Moves about a bit but 5.

I came back from the takeaway there, drove down the next street, then came to the end to be presented with a man lying in the road and a woman sitting over him. I thought heart attack or something and stopped. It was only then I noticed he was young and I immediately thought ''blind drunk''. I don't know how long the woman had been there before me. Anyway, she wanted him off the road, and me being the kind of person that jumps into these situations usually at my own cost, I helped her and another older man that appeared just then, to get him off the road.

Once on his feet he suddenly became a bit feistier. Then he didn't want to sit down again, but couldn't stand, so I was holding him up, with both of us (the other guy must have smelled the guy's breath and decided better of it all) trying to convince him to sit down.

At this point, he started on both of us. The woman was stunningly pretty. Like maybe the most attractive woman I've ever seen up close and I'm not exaggerating. It was only when we had him on the pavement that I realised that, and the drunk guy (possibly opiates too because she mentioned that) realised it too because he started asking whether we were a couple (in other words). Then he thought we were undercover police. Then he had his hand around my throat pretty much out of nowhere as though he suddenly realised he didn't want anyone in his personal space. That's okay if you can stand or will sit down. At this point he's like a deadweight to me. He backed off when I told him to get it off. Not because I'm imposing but because as soon as someone puts their hand on your throat it just crosses a line whether he's drunk/drugged or not. Then he had his hands down his pants and was turning on her. Had to get between them. Still not sure if he was making a lunge or just unbalanced and trying to pee. Could have been either, in all honesty. He was that drunk.

The police then showed and we could go. I can still feel his hand on my neck. He had a good grip. The police took one look at him and he was in the back of the van before I'd even driven off.

#########

And that reminded me of other times when I tried to play Good Samaritan and it backfired. When I worked nightshift I'd often get hungry in the middle of the night. One Friday - we worked Sunday to Thursday - it was..well, actually Saturday, about 2am, I thought I'd go to this chipshop in the nearby town which stays open until 3am on account of the nightclub.

On the way, a guy runs in front of my car as though he's being chased in a slasher movie. I stopped instinctively. He was from Liverpool. He was a mess. His friend, his friend's GF, and himself had been attacked. Someone had hit his friend with a weapon. The ambulance had taken the friend and the GF to the hospital. Weirdly they'd left him. Sounded suspect but since the hospital isn't too far away....jump in. Hospital here we come.

We get to the town with the hospital. I then realise I've never entered the town from that direction and had no idea where I was going. So I stop to ask some random guy walking. He's blazing drunk. ''Oh, I'm just going there!''. Okay, jump in. Now have Liverpudlian slasher victim and drunk local in tow. Finally drop them off. Good luck. Off my hands.

Driving back a drunk driver runs a red light and hits me side on. My car does a 720 degree turn into a barrier and gets written off. My only ever accident.

Karma is a weird thing. In a movie I'd probably get her number in the first event and some warm glow of a deed well done in the second. Instead I got my car written off and a sore neck! (actually two).
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
But if you do a good deed in the hope of a reward (even some vague notion of karma) then is it really a good deed? It is in a sense to the person; but to yourself?
 
Q

quilteddown10

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
95
Location
UK
Stress...again, I'm saying about average. Moves about a bit but 5.

I came back from the takeaway there, drove down the next street, then came to the end to be presented with a man lying in the road and a woman sitting over him. I thought heart attack or something and stopped. It was only then I noticed he was young and I immediately thought ''blind drunk''. I don't know how long the woman had been there before me. Anyway, she wanted him off the road, and me being the kind of person that jumps into these situations usually at my own cost, I helped her and another older man that appeared just then, to get him off the road.

Once on his feet he suddenly became a bit feistier. Then he didn't want to sit down again, but couldn't stand, so I was holding him up, with both of us (the other guy must have smelled the guy's breath and decided better of it all) trying to convince him to sit down.

At this point, he started on both of us. The woman was stunningly pretty. Like maybe the most attractive woman I've ever seen up close and I'm not exaggerating. It was only when we had him on the pavement that I realised that, and the drunk guy (possibly opiates too because she mentioned that) realised it too because he started asking whether we were a couple (in other words). Then he thought we were undercover police. Then he had his hand around my throat pretty much out of nowhere as though he suddenly realised he didn't want anyone in his personal space. That's okay if you can stand or will sit down. At this point he's like a deadweight to me. He backed off when I told him to get it off. Not because I'm imposing but because as soon as someone puts their hand on your throat it just crosses a line whether he's drunk/drugged or not. Then he had his hands down his pants and was turning on her. Had to get between them. Still not sure if he was making a lunge or just unbalanced and trying to pee. Could have been either, in all honesty. He was that drunk.

The police then showed and we could go. I can still feel his hand on my neck. He had a good grip. The police took one look at him and he was in the back of the van before I'd even driven off.

#########

And that reminded me of other times when I tried to play Good Samaritan and it backfired. When I worked nightshift I'd often get hungry in the middle of the night. One Friday - we worked Sunday to Thursday - it was..well, actually Saturday, about 2am, I thought I'd go to this chipshop in the nearby town which stays open until 3am on account of the nightclub.

On the way, a guy runs in front of my car as though he's being chased in a slasher movie. I stopped instinctively. He was from Liverpool. He was a mess. His friend, his friend's GF, and himself had been attacked. Someone had hit his friend with a weapon. The ambulance had taken the friend and the GF to the hospital. Weirdly they'd left him. Sounded suspect but since the hospital isn't too far away....jump in. Hospital here we come.

We get to the town with the hospital. I then realise I've never entered the town from that direction and had no idea where I was going. So I stop to ask some random guy walking. He's blazing drunk. ''Oh, I'm just going there!''. Okay, jump in. Now have Liverpudlian slasher victim and drunk local in tow. Finally drop them off. Good luck. Off my hands.

Driving back a drunk driver runs a red light and hits me side on. My car does a 720 degree turn into a barrier and gets written off. My only ever accident.

Karma is a weird thing. In a movie I'd probably get her number in the first event and some warm glow of a deed well done in the second. Instead I got my car written off and a sore neck! (actually two).
I get it now.

The hard-boiled narrative...the Singing Detective.

Of all the forums in all the world...
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
Stress...again, low in comparison to weeks ago. Let's go 5 again. I'm a model of consistency in recent days.

I texted an ex girlfriend from years ago. We ended in poor terms. I felt guilty about it for a while. So added her as a friend an facebook, caught up with her, no intention on trying to start anything, just wanted some peace of mind and to 'fix' whatever wrong I felt. Was also curious about her. Have had times in the past when I worried about her. She seems to be doing okay and was far less critical of me than I had been.

I'm a bit sore today. Nothing major. Got a mark on my throat and my wrist is a bit bruised. The guy was twisting a bit when I was trying to hold him up.

I definitely know that woman from somewhere and my suspicion is that she was one of the people who stepped in to help when my dad collapsed a few years ago at a local pub. He had an infection and possibly suffered a mini-stroke. Not sure. He collapsed anyway when going outside to smoke. Then it was all a bit of a blur. A nurse jumped in to help. My mum and sister were there too and they have nursing backgrounds. I was just stunned. I didn't even attempt to help (what could I do?). Just watched on.

Going for a walk for an hour. Will try to do this each day from now. It's a gentle start to more exercise.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
266
Location
Scotland
But before I do, note to self. Don't let guilt accumulate, especially not undeserved guilt. I'm too self-critical (and prone to attack myself) to allow that dynamic to build up, so from now on if I feel guilt then I take active steps to alleviate it.
 
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