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  1. - Top - End - #301
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by TechnOkami View Post
    Ahpffsh.... I feel as if my "woes" aren't worth talking about compared to a slice of the stuff I just read.
    I know the feeling. But we all have small problems too, and sometimes it helps just to talk about them even if it's just to vent about the little things that bother us.

    Well, I guess a good place to start on my personal problems would be linking you guys to this thread I made a while ago.

    tl;dr version: lost in life, no direction whatsoever

    That simple statement holds true to this day. I really don't know what I should be doing or focusing on. I'm currently a sophomore in college, and I've tried English, and to be frank it really didn't settle well with me, for whatever reason. I still like to write creatively, but in terms of obtaining an English degree for myself, I just don't see myself as an English Major. Writing for me has become more of a hobby if anything (I tend to participate in the many Roleplay games here on GitP, for example), but I don't think I could make a living as a writer.

    I've found that my passion for Art still holds strong, incredibly strong, and I think I'll be focusing on that, or at least trying to. However, I've found that my extremely passive and chill personality inhibits motivation for me, and if anything I'm motivated to be relaxed/chill/lazy because I enjoy being so. I don't like being stressed. Despite how huge of a hindrance this tends to be for me, to be honest, I've come to terms with how I am. I honestly like being calm and chill, unstressed, lazy, ect., and it's not something which I intend to forcefully change. This is my personality as far as I'm concerned, and though it might be helping my personal issues, I don't really want it to change (as weird as that sounds).

    Most of all, however, I think I'm scared. Even if I get an Art degree, will I be able to make money at it? Will it let me make a living for myself? I honestly don't know, but I fear most that my life will come crashing down around me if I pursue what I truly want to do, and I won't be able to get up afterwards. I know this sounds (defeatist?), but it's how I honestly feel at this moment with my life. Even though I see a direction of sorts that I can finally start stepping towards, I'm scared stiff that I "won't make it" sort to speak.
    I won't weigh in on whether you should follow your dreams and try to become an artist or whatever, but if you decide you don't want to take that risk you could look into what sort of career options there are around art that don't involve actually making it yourself. You say writing comes naturally to you, so could you see yourself becoming an art critic? Or maybe working in a gallery?

    To use myself as an example, I have much the same problem as far as a lack of direction and being afraid to try and make it as a writer or something like that, except that instead of being in college, I graduated about 7 years ago and STILL don't have any direction.

    Recent events in my life made me realize that I need to get moving somehow, so I thought about what else I could do with my love of books other than write them. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I could work in a library, so now I'm looking into going back to school to get a Master's in Library Science.


    Incidentally, this segues nicely into my own current problem, the reason I came into this thread. Compared to some things people are posting it seems rather minor, but it's bugging me nonetheless. In order to apply to grad school I need two letters of recommendation attesting to my academic ability and professional promise. Professors, academic advisors, supervisors, whoever.

    So I wrote an email to two of my old professors, the ones I had the most classes with and enjoyed the most. I also did well in both of their classes. Today I got back an email from my favorite professor, with whom I had about seven classes during my time in college. I was greatly saddened to learn that he doesn't really remember me. His records show that I got good grades but didn't participate much in class (which is probably why he doesn't remember me).

    He's willing to write the letter for me if I want him to, but since he doesn't remember much it wouldn't be a very glowing recommendation. He suggested that I And if THIS professor, whom I had a class with almost every semester I was in college, doesn't remember me, then how could anyone else? With no one to give me a very good recommendation as far as my academic career, I'm now worried that I won't be able to get into grad school and thus pursue the career direction I've finally figured out after so many years.

  2. - Top - End - #302
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    smile Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Velaryon: I had a similar problem. My solution was this: I applied to the general humanities graduate program. This allowed me to take 3 classes at the graduate level in the department I would eventually send my "real" application to ... and it also allowed me to see if I was ready for grad level classes ... and it gave me three recommendations.

    Not all universities have this option, and in those that do, not all departments participate. But it's worth looking around.

    If you can't find a grad program, you can do the same thing by attending a relevant class at a community college or similar institution. This will get you recommendations and also show you are "up to date" in your studies.

    Finally, you can still use the professor's recommendation. You are not the only person who is going to grad school after a hiatus, and the people who read these applications get that. Is it ideal? Hell, no. But it doesn't doom you to failure either. Give it a shot.

    Blue: Please don't lose hope, dear heart. It will be hard for a while, I won't deny that. But it does get better.

    Counselling and medication are not "cures", they are therapies. That means you have to stick with them. You don't stop when you start to feel better.

    Since you have asked what to do, here is what I would do: tell your parents you want to see a psychiatrist on a regular basis. Your parents love you and want the best for you, but few parents are able to see that their functioning kids need help! You must tell them you need this.

    Sometimes even loving parents have a hard time admitting that depression is as debilitating as it is, or believe it can be beaten with a "mind-over-matter" strategy. If that is the case in your home, you might need someone your parents respect to advocate on your behalf.

    Meanwhile, help yourself out by keeping a diary of your moods and thoughts. You needn't go on for pages. Just rate your mood on a scale of one to ten, note any physical pain you have, and jot down any significant thoughts, like being stressed out over a test or feeling bleak because the whole world seems evil. Also note if your mood changes during the day. That will be very helpful to you later.

    Keep in touch, Blue.






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  3. - Top - End - #303
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
    I do realize that I need help. But where do I get it? I've talked to my parents, and while they genuinely care about me, the only advice they can offer is to fill up my schedule and keep myself busy. While I'm sure that will distract me from my depression and lift my mood, it doesn't deal with the underlying problems, and won't lead me to be emotionally stable. Counseling hasn't helped in the past, and medication doesn't seem to have any effect. I've dealt with depression in the past, and then, I always seemed to come out of it stronger than before. But now, I'm really losing hope that I'll ever be better. What do I do?
    There's different kinds of therapies and different kinds of therapists. I went to two therapists that didn't help a bit before finally finding one that did, and then, when she finished her postdoc, finding one that worked better. You're at uni now--they'll probably require you to have health insurance that covers mental health treatment, at least mine does. And they'll probably have fairly good counselling services, as college is stressful even for people who have no history of psychological issues. If the therapy isn't helping despite sticking to the techniques you're being taught, tell the therapist, and if that doesn't work, change therapists.
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  4. - Top - End - #304
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Blue: I will re-iterate what others have said. Not all therapies work for all people. I've seen 4 therapists, 2 helped, 2 didn't. Don't give up, just try again.

    I can't believe how long it's been since i posted on GiantITP forums. I am posting mostly because I need to vent and a kind ear to listen and/or advise. If anyone has advice I'm more than willing to respond via PM.
    In brief my life has gone downhill quite quickly over the past couple months. I lost my job last december (contract position, with very very specific skill set). Last month my roommate decided to move out. As of 1 month from now, I'll be jobless and have no where to live. I also have taken Taekwon-Do for over 7 years. The place I am a student has had so many students leave over the past year that we are struggling to continue to stay open. I also am dating one of the students who's a junior rank and can't let my instructor know. I'm under way too much stress and that makes my depression flair up (I've had treatment for it, and normally its under control)

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    smile Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    This morning I found out my cousin died. I am still waiting to learn how.

    I haven't heard from him in years, so I guess part of what I'm feeling is regret. We lived far apart (he in Ireland, me in the US) and we were also distant in age and perspective (he was twenty years older than me, and a Catholic priest) and neither of us are good at keeping in touch ... But the last time I went home, we spent several days together sightseeing and having fun. It makes me happy and sad at the same time to recall it now.

    My uncle died at the end of last year after a series of strokes. (He's no direct relation to my cousin who died.) He lived in the US and when I travelled to our hometown to visit him in the hospital (and again for the funeral), I realized that there are several people in my family who are not in good health. So I'd planned on going up to visit them this year. I made plans twice, and had to cancel both times.

    My own mother died when she was not much older than I am now.

    So I feel sad my cousin is gone. I feel a kind of anticipatory sadness that this is something I'm going to have to deal with more and more frequently. I feel frustrated that I have not been able to spend more time with the ones I love. And I feel a little anxious because of course this makes me consider my own mortality.


    -Monkey
    Last edited by MonkeyBusiness; 2012-07-18 at 07:08 AM.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    *hugs Monkey tightly*

    The thing about a death in the family is that it really forces you to look closely at the relationship you had with that person and also at yourself. When my gran died I realised I hadn't seen her for a very, very long time because (and I'm ashamed to admit this) I'd been avoiding her. My job at the time involved me working with elderly people day in, day out and all the stresses that sort of job entails. I loved my gran, I really did but when I did see her it was almost impossible to switch off the "work" part of my brain. This was several years ago and I still feel terrible about it even now.

    My favourite apeling - if that taught me one thing, it is this. Don't plan to see someone, just do it. You may not get another chance.

    *hugs again*
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    Posting schedule likely to be erratic for the next few weeks - sorting out some personal stuff.

  7. - Top - End - #307
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    @Blue Ghost: You should probably be looking more towards mental health professionals, e.g. psychiatrists. Just be advised that you may end-up spending a fair amount of time being 'passed around' before you find something that helps.
    I can't promise you it'll get better, but it may well stop things from getting worse - or at least it may give you a safety net of some kind if they do. That may not sound like much, but believe me it is still an important thing.


    @Monkey: My condolences.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    I hate how people treat anti-depressants as some magic cure-all. It always makes me feel guilty and bad for not being on them, even though I have reasons and I think I made a rational choice given the circumstances. I feel like people hear that I'm not on meds and just start acting like I'm not trying to take care of myself at all.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I hate how people treat anti-depressants as some magic cure-all. It always makes me feel guilty and bad for not being on them, even though I have reasons and I think I made a rational choice given the circumstances. I feel like people hear that I'm not on meds and just start acting like I'm not trying to take care of myself at all.
    Huh, am I the only one that has had the other experience? Usually I have seen shaming of medicated individuals for not being able to 'get over it' or whatnot. Regardless, that's gotta be really unpleasant, and it's indicative of their lack of understanding of how psychiatric medication works.
    Last edited by blackfox; 2012-07-20 at 03:07 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #310
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by blackfox View Post
    Huh, am I the only one that has had the other experience? Usually I have seen shaming of medicated individuals for not being able to 'get over it' or whatnot. Regardless, that's gotta be really unpleasant, and it's indicative of their lack of understanding of how psychiatric medication works.
    I've seen both attitudes. You can expect flak regardless of what you do, I'm afraid.

    I've also had it suggested to me that the reason I came-off unhelpful meds was because I was somehow deliberately fighting against them or willing them not to work in some way. Because presumably that's why you voluntarily agree to go on meds.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    I've seen both meds and non meds work on the same person. Friend of mine went onto depression meds after years of struggling with black moments. She later on got hold of a Wii-fit and exercised each day, and came off the meds because they gave her the same level of happiness as exercise did - and she didn't want to be on meds forever.

    My uneducated non-medical non-depression suffering person kinda thinks of meds as being a temporary solution, honestly, but I've not met anyone with severe enough conditions to need to be on those sort of meds forever.
    "I'm just going on motive and opportunity here and the fact that if the earth got swallowed by a black hole, I'd look suspiciously in your direction first."
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I hate how people treat anti-depressants as some magic cure-all. It always makes me feel guilty and bad for not being on them, even though I have reasons and I think I made a rational choice given the circumstances. I feel like people hear that I'm not on meds and just start acting like I'm not trying to take care of myself at all.
    Meds are...interesting. A lot of the time, they don't seem to do much at all, unless you come off them, in which case you crash harder than you would believe possible.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra_Ikari View Post
    Meds are...interesting. A lot of the time, they don't seem to do much at all, unless you come off them, in which case you crash harder than you would believe possible.
    I dunno, I've been on a couple that had some noticeable side-effects. They may not be entirely board safe to discuss though.
    The withdrawal though, yeah you are going to notice that.Especially if you're on, say, Venlafaxine. That is not something I'm going to be forgetting any time soon.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    The biggest trouble I have is the blunting effect. I cannot stand having my emotions dampened, even if it does make me feel less depressed.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    The biggest trouble I have is the blunting effect. I cannot stand having my emotions dampened, even if it does make me feel less depressed.
    Huh. Never really had that experience, though I've only ever been on one drug. Mostly what it does is it causes me to not react with the same kind of intensity to things--i.e. something that would have caused me to fly off the handle unmedicated instead just causes me to be annoyed or nervous.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by blackfox View Post
    Huh. Never really had that experience, though I've only ever been on one drug. Mostly what it does is it causes me to not react with the same kind of intensity to things--i.e. something that would have caused me to fly off the handle unmedicated instead just causes me to be annoyed or nervous.
    That's kind of the problem - I just stop being able to react intensely to anything at all. So I don't get as upset or angry when things go wrong, but I also can't get really excited or passionate about anything.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    That's kind of the problem - I just stop being able to react intensely to anything at all. So I don't get as upset or angry when things go wrong, but I also can't get really excited or passionate about anything.
    That is how my kid reacts to his ADD meds (that I'm not entirely sure he really needs). He kindof becomes a zombie. Not bothered by anything, but not enthusiastic or excited about anything either. Breaks my heart, and super bummed I can't get custody. Especially since he only shows the symptoms of ADD when he is with his mom (I never have any problems with him at my house, and he goes unmedicated when he's here).
    Last edited by Crow; 2012-07-21 at 01:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    That's kind of the problem - I just stop being able to react intensely to anything at all. So I don't get as upset or angry when things go wrong, but I also can't get really excited or passionate about anything.
    Oh, bleh. I've never had that cut the other way for me, though I have talked to other people for whom it did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    My uneducated non-medical non-depression suffering person kinda thinks of meds as being a temporary solution, honestly, but I've not met anyone with severe enough conditions to need to be on those sort of meds forever.
    When you need most of a sentence to describe how poorly-informed your opinion is, maybe you should just not post it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worira View Post
    When you need most of a sentence to describe how poorly-informed your opinion is, maybe you should just not post it.
    I'm offering an opinion based on the people I've met/lived with who've been on such meds. Thanks ever so for letting me know that my opinion doesn't matter. Much appreciated. Helps my already amazing mood ever so.
    "I'm just going on motive and opportunity here and the fact that if the earth got swallowed by a black hole, I'd look suspiciously in your direction first."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    I'm offering an opinion based on the people I've met/lived with who've been on such meds. Thanks ever so for letting me know that my opinion doesn't matter. Much appreciated. Helps my already amazing mood ever so.
    I've never said a single thing to you on this board, ever, Castaras. But I will say this:

    In a venue like this, where opinion is arguably the point, your opinion matters. I hope your day/mood improves for you.
    Last edited by Crow; 2012-07-21 at 05:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Heh, and this morning along I come to try get rid of the whining out of that post... Thanks Crow. Appreciate it.

    And very mini rant, spoilered because it might be a little squicky to those who aren't used to female biology.

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    Been on this pill for just over 6 months, and the last few months it's done nothing but mess me around... Should be 3 weeks on the pill, one week with no extra hormones for the bleeding... but instead, my lovely body decides to start a week early two months ago, a week early last month, and half way through my second week of doseage this month. Hasn't helped my moods at all (last night's black moment was almost certainly thanks to this happening this morning... thought I saw some spotting, but that's normal considering I ended up taking one day the pill a couple hours later than I normally do), and is just another added stress on top of what is already quite a stressing time for me. Off to the doc tomorrow to try and sort out the cause of this - and most likely, go onto a new pill that my body will have to spend ages getting accustomed to. Yay.
    "I'm just going on motive and opportunity here and the fact that if the earth got swallowed by a black hole, I'd look suspiciously in your direction first."
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    "You're like Pinkie Pie powered by a nuclear reactor."
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    wimmin' are weird
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    with many thanks to Avi for the siggatar

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Indeed. The wonderful disadvantages about having fully functional lady bits.
    Last edited by Castaras; 2012-07-22 at 05:34 AM.
    "I'm just going on motive and opportunity here and the fact that if the earth got swallowed by a black hole, I'd look suspiciously in your direction first."
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    This weekend once again showed me that I can't talk to people and thus must seem like a terrible boring person.
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    My godfather came on Saturday to visit me. I really like him, he's a great person and it's a pity we meet so rarely, only one or two times a year. I was happy that we had found a weekend where I wasn't too stressed with school stuff and he didn't have to work (he is a nurse so he has to work often on weekends) but I felt already awkward before he was here because we would be alone for about 4 hours until my father came home and I'm terrible at talking with people and he is not so talkative either. So it came as I feared, after a bit of taking about school, what I plan for the summer holidays ect., we sat there and were silent. He tried to restart the conversation some times, but I'm just not able to keep talking. We went for a walk through the forest then, so it wasn't so bad that we didn't talk much, but as soon as we were back home, we once again only sat there and didn't talk about anything, until he decided that he needed some sleep and I should wake him when my father came home. I was glad and felt terrible at the same time.
    I was reading a book when he came back, my father still wasn't here. We shortly talked about books, but even that didn't last long for because our book taste is so different. We were just about to start reading each one's own book, when my father came home. My father is the exact opposite to me. He happily started chatting with my godfather. I was relieved that the awkward silence was over, but also so sad that I hadn't managed to entertain my godfather for four hours.
    That's just an example like it's always if I'm supposed to talk with someone. There are only few people I can talk with: my parents, my sister and few of my friends. With everyone else, my mind just seems empty when I try to talk to them, teachers, friends, my grandparents, everyone. Or the few things I could say seem so irrelevant.
    It's worst if I'm alone with someone. If there are other people it isn't so awkward because then I just sit there and listen and it isn't so obvious that I don't talk.
    I think my parents don't realize this problem, because I have no difficulties talking to them, they think I'm just shy. But I'm not shy (well, maybe I am, but not really), I can talk to strangers, ask strange people for the way or whatever. I just can't keep a conversation going, can't chat with people, talk longer than a few sentences.
    This makes it also hard for me to get to know new people. All of my friendships exist only because my friends were stubborn enough to keep talking to me and didn't turn away bored, or I know them forever, from when talking wasn't important and we just played together. Last year I was at a meet-up of a ffrp-community, with lots of nice people with similar interests to mine, and I felt lonely all four days because no one was able- no one tried long enough- to break trough my 'speechlessness'.
    And so starts a vicious circle. Someone tries to chat with me, I'm not able to respond, they think I'm boring and leave me alone. Then I start dreaming and when then someone starts again talking to me, I am again not able to talk to them because my thoughts are somewhere else. My thoughts always are far away, as soon as I am not directly part of a conversation, sometimes even then. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in another world ( currently mainly in the world where my stories are set.) . That leads to the frequent question of my friends "Lucy, where are you?", because of course they notice if I seem absent. I usually respond "Somewhere else". And then they talk to each other, not actively excluding me, but not including me, so I feel lonely again. I feel lonely when I'm in the company of my friends (or parents, or anyone. The single small exception is my sister, but she is so rarely at home). And then I start dreaming again, in my head, in my world, I have friends who fully understand me and help me, I have someone who loves me and I can love, in my dreams I'm not lonely. So of course I have no real interest to pay more attention to the real world. So when my friends address me, I'll be all "Huh, what?" -> "Lucy, where are you?". Vicious circle.



    Now I just wanted to get the problem of not being able to chat off my chest and while writing this I realized how lonely I feel.
    Last edited by Lycunadari; 2012-07-22 at 11:27 AM.
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  26. - Top - End - #326
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycunadari View Post
    This weekend once again showed me that I can't talk to people and thus must seem like a terrible boring person.
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    My godfather came on Saturday to visit me. I really like him, he's a great person and it's a pity we meet so rarely, only one or two times a year. I was happy that we had found a weekend where I wasn't too stressed with school stuff and he didn't have to work (he is a nurse so he has to work often on weekends) but I felt already awkward before he was here because we would be alone for about 4 hours until my father came home and I'm terrible at talking with people and he is not so talkative either. So it came as I feared, after a bit of taking about school, what I plan for the summer holidays ect., we sat there and were silent. He tried to restart the conversation some times, but I'm just not able to keep talking. We went for a walk through the forest then, so it wasn't so bad that we didn't talk much, but as soon as we were back home, we once again only sat there and didn't talk about anything, until he decided that he needed some sleep and I should wake him when my father came home. I was glad and felt terrible at the same time.
    I was reading a book when he came back, my father still wasn't here. We shortly talked about books, but even that didn't last long for because our book taste is so different. We were just about to start reading each one's own book, when my father came home. My father is the exact opposite to me. He happily started chatting with my godfather. I was relieved that the awkward silence was over, but also so sad that I hadn't managed to entertain my godfather for four hours.
    That's just an example like it's always if I'm supposed to talk with someone. There are only few people I can talk with: my parents, my sister and few of my friends. With everyone else, my mind just seems empty when I try to talk to them, teachers, friends, my grandparents, everyone. Or the few things I could say seem so irrelevant.
    It's worst if I'm alone with someone. If there are other people it isn't so awkward because then I just sit there and listen and it isn't so obvious that I don't talk.
    I think my parents don't realize this problem, because I have no difficulties talking to them, they think I'm just shy. But I'm not shy (well, maybe I am, but not really), I can talk to strangers, ask strange people for the way or whatever. I just can't keep a conversation going, can't chat with people, talk longer than a few sentences.
    This makes it also hard for me to get to know new people. All of my friendships exist only because my friends were stubborn enough to keep talking to me and didn't turn away bored, or I know them forever, from when talking wasn't important and we just played together. Last year I was at a meet-up of a ffrp-community, with lots of nice people with similar interests to mine, and I felt lonely all four days because no one was able- no one tried long enough- to break trough my 'speechlessness'.
    And so starts a vicious circle. Someone tries to chat with me, I'm not able to respond, they think I'm boring and leave me alone. Then I start dreaming and when then someone starts again talking to me, I am again not able to talk to them because my thoughts are somewhere else. My thoughts always are far away, as soon as I am not directly part of a conversation, sometimes even then. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in another world ( currently mainly in the world where my stories are set.) . That leads to the frequent question of my friends "Lucy, where are you?", because of course they notice if I seem absent. I usually respond "Somewhere else". And then they talk to each other, not actively excluding me, but not including me, so I feel lonely again. I feel lonely when I'm in the company of my friends (or parents, or anyone. The single small exception is my sister, but she is so rarely at home). And then I start dreaming again, in my head, in my world, I have friends who fully understand me and help me, I have someone who loves me and I can love, in my dreams I'm not lonely. So of course I have no real interest to pay more attention to the real world. So when my friends address me, I'll be all "Huh, what?" -> "Lucy, where are you?". Vicious circle.



    Now I just wanted to get the problem of not being able to chat off my chest and while writing this I realized how lonely I feel.
    Wow, Ive never heard someone else have almost the same exact problem I have. What helped me with the conversational thing, is when a silence seems to be coming, or has already started, ask a question. It can be about them, about their job, their home, anything. Seems to help.
    Last edited by Crow; 2012-07-22 at 12:30 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #327
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycunadari View Post
    This weekend once again showed me that I can't talk to people and thus must seem like a terrible boring person.
    Spoiler
    Show

    My godfather came on Saturday to visit me. I really like him, he's a great person and it's a pity we meet so rarely, only one or two times a year. I was happy that we had found a weekend where I wasn't too stressed with school stuff and he didn't have to work (he is a nurse so he has to work often on weekends) but I felt already awkward before he was here because we would be alone for about 4 hours until my father came home and I'm terrible at talking with people and he is not so talkative either. So it came as I feared, after a bit of taking about school, what I plan for the summer holidays ect., we sat there and were silent. He tried to restart the conversation some times, but I'm just not able to keep talking. We went for a walk through the forest then, so it wasn't so bad that we didn't talk much, but as soon as we were back home, we once again only sat there and didn't talk about anything, until he decided that he needed some sleep and I should wake him when my father came home. I was glad and felt terrible at the same time.
    I was reading a book when he came back, my father still wasn't here. We shortly talked about books, but even that didn't last long for because our book taste is so different. We were just about to start reading each one's own book, when my father came home. My father is the exact opposite to me. He happily started chatting with my godfather. I was relieved that the awkward silence was over, but also so sad that I hadn't managed to entertain my godfather for four hours.
    That's just an example like it's always if I'm supposed to talk with someone. There are only few people I can talk with: my parents, my sister and few of my friends. With everyone else, my mind just seems empty when I try to talk to them, teachers, friends, my grandparents, everyone. Or the few things I could say seem so irrelevant.
    It's worst if I'm alone with someone. If there are other people it isn't so awkward because then I just sit there and listen and it isn't so obvious that I don't talk.
    I think my parents don't realize this problem, because I have no difficulties talking to them, they think I'm just shy. But I'm not shy (well, maybe I am, but not really), I can talk to strangers, ask strange people for the way or whatever. I just can't keep a conversation going, can't chat with people, talk longer than a few sentences.
    This makes it also hard for me to get to know new people. All of my friendships exist only because my friends were stubborn enough to keep talking to me and didn't turn away bored, or I know them forever, from when talking wasn't important and we just played together. Last year I was at a meet-up of a ffrp-community, with lots of nice people with similar interests to mine, and I felt lonely all four days because no one was able- no one tried long enough- to break trough my 'speechlessness'.
    And so starts a vicious circle. Someone tries to chat with me, I'm not able to respond, they think I'm boring and leave me alone. Then I start dreaming and when then someone starts again talking to me, I am again not able to talk to them because my thoughts are somewhere else. My thoughts always are far away, as soon as I am not directly part of a conversation, sometimes even then. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in another world ( currently mainly in the world where my stories are set.) . That leads to the frequent question of my friends "Lucy, where are you?", because of course they notice if I seem absent. I usually respond "Somewhere else". And then they talk to each other, not actively excluding me, but not including me, so I feel lonely again. I feel lonely when I'm in the company of my friends (or parents, or anyone. The single small exception is my sister, but she is so rarely at home). And then I start dreaming again, in my head, in my world, I have friends who fully understand me and help me, I have someone who loves me and I can love, in my dreams I'm not lonely. So of course I have no real interest to pay more attention to the real world. So when my friends address me, I'll be all "Huh, what?" -> "Lucy, where are you?". Vicious circle.



    Now I just wanted to get the problem of not being able to chat off my chest and while writing this I realized how lonely I feel.
    If you know in advance someone's going to be there, try planning something to do. For example, you can learn some card games, and when the conversation lags, ask if someone wants to play. Or if you want to hang out with people, suggest something like a movie. It's often easier to interact if you're all focused on doing something, especially if you can ask specific questions ("So what did you think of <<x scene>>?) afterward.
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  28. - Top - End - #328
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    smile Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Castaras:
    I'd like to second Crow's opinion. You rock.

    Also, sorry to hear about your hormonal conundrum. That is no fun. My issues with my own monkey bits were different, but the frustration of trying to resolve those issues (and often not being taken seriously by doctors, no matter how painful the condition)is one with which I sympathize. I hope your doctor is respectful (it sounds like you have a good one) and works to help you find the right pill for your body. Good luck.

    Lucy: May I give you a hug? Here's one if you want it: *hug*

    May I suggest that your friends do not like you in spite of who you are, but because of who you are? I do not know you very well, but I recognize you from other posts, and you strike me as very lovable indeed. I imagine your friends love you for your sweet, dreamy self.

    It is hard, however, to be a quiet, dreamy person in a world that values chatterboxes. As Crow suggested, it helps to ask the other person questions, because people love to talk about themselves. For you, the key might not be to talk more, but to listen actively.

    A few things that help in conversation are:
    - avoid questions that can be answered with a yes or a no;

    - make observations or ask questions that encourage the other person to tell more details about her story ("That sounds scary/embarassing/fun/etc" ...)

    - make eye contact, and nod or make "listening noises" ("uh-huh", "mmm", "wow") to show you are listening;

    -be the first to end the conversation. ("I'd love to keep talking, but there's something I need to do. Do you happen to know where the bathroom is?") For some reason, people are more likely to come back to talk more if you end the conversation, rather than allowing it to die.

    But the most important thing is to not worry if a silence happens. If it does, take a deep breath. The silence is not happening because of you. Continue to make eye contact and smile, because that is what tells the person you want the conversation to continue, not your words. Eye contact also works as an anchor to prevent you from drifting into dreamland involuntarily.

    Remember that without quiet people, talkative people would have no opportunities to function! You are participating in the conversation by being the listener. And ultimately people value a good listener more than an unstoppable chatterbox.

    -- Monkey
    Last edited by MonkeyBusiness; 2012-07-24 at 11:42 AM.
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  29. - Top - End - #329
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    So maybe this is minor, but I just feel lately like it's so incredibly hard to get people to notice what I'm saying. I feel like I'm either too quiet or too aggressive - there's just no in between level. I get told people didn't notice and I need to speak up more, but when I do I get told to calm down, people already heard me. Just seems to be a no-win.
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  30. - Top - End - #330
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    So maybe this is minor, but I just feel lately like it's so incredibly hard to get people to notice what I'm saying. I feel like I'm either too quiet or too aggressive - there's just no in between level. I get told people didn't notice and I need to speak up more, but when I do I get told to calm down, people already heard me. Just seems to be a no-win.
    This really just sounds like...people like to blame others for communication failures instead of recognizing that they played a role in the problem? I dunno, I'm also in the same situation pretty often. *shrugs, hugs*
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