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  1. - Top - End - #451
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Mostly I'm writing this because I need to put it on paper in pixels, but advice rarely hurts. Spoilered because I know stories of depression can trigger others.

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    So, I have depression. Also fibromyalgia, and scar tissue in my trapezius muscles in my upper back from surgery. They had to cut through them to get to the spine, and I can't stay standing for very long and I certainly can't do anything that requires a lot of bending over. I had to give up my dream of becoming a doctor when I realized there was no way I could handle a 24-hour shift as a resident. Thankfully I found a new dream, but I think that's gone too.

    I graduated with a BA in biology May 2011. A year late because I had to take time off to recover from surgery. I had intended to go to grad school and pursue a PhD and teach/do research. I got a grant to do my own research the summer before my last year, and it went well enough that my advisor wanted me to keep working on it and publish. But that fall (2010), my health collapsed. Major fibromyalgia which triggered horrible depression. Or maybe the other way around; it's hard to tell sometimes. I'd sleep through classes (not a huge problem) and meetings (huge problem).

    Eventually, my advisor called me in for a talk. He couldn't write me the sterling recommendation he had planned because my health was interfering with my productivity too much. I nearly broke down in tears, but he was right. If I could show that I can handle >40-hour weeks, he said, he'd reverse his position.

    Fast forward to January. I wasn't taking classes because I'd gotten enough credits, but I hadn't graduated because I took a couple incompletes. Specifically on my thesis, an extension of my summer research. I fell apart again. My depression was so bad that I started dissociating, basically riding around in my body, unable to control it. I didn't answer emails or phone calls from my advisor. I didn't leave the house (my parents', since I wasn't taking classes). The only thing keeping me from killing myself was the fact that it would devastate my family, and as much as I wanted to end my existence, I couldn't do that to my family.

    I snapped out of it in March. I whipped out the thesis in a week of frenzied statistics and writing, and got it to my advisor in time for him to grade it. I got an A, and honors.

    I walked in May, and my advisor and I planned to keep working on the thesis. I did for a while. I enrolled in a graduate-level class at a nearby state school that fall, and aced it. But then I fell apart again. I had to have a minor surgery, and the narcotics brought back the depression with a vengeance. I didn't tell my advisor. I couldn't. Even when I had a cgood day and could drag myself out of bed to work on my thesis, I was too afraid to contact my advisor. I had ahrdly anything to show for the months I hadn't talked to him.

    And that went on for months. And it got worse. I looked for work, but to no avail. I started volunteering at a science museum, and that was fantastic. Until a week ago. They were having a reptile show, and, as usual, they were short on handlers. So I got a double shift. Shouldn't have been a problem; it was only six hours, and I had a lunch break.

    I barely made it. I had to stop on the way home and take a nap. A cop knocked on my door to make sure I was okay. I told him I was, but I don't think he believed me, because he drove by a few more times before I finally felt up to driving the remaining thirty miles.

    And it was on those thirty miles that it hit me. I don't know if I can ever hold a job. I mean, I have fibromyalgia. I know that maybe half of sufferers never have full-time employment, but I thought I would be one of the lucky ones. I'd made it through college, right? But I didn't spend a lot of time doing school work in college. I hate to say it, but I'm kinda brilliant, at least when it comes to academic stuff. I could bang out a ten-page essay in a couple hours. Revise it once in fifteen minutes, and get an A. I didn't have to study, because I remember almost anything I read or write down. College wasn't work.

    So I'm living with my parents. My one goal in life, to get my higher degree and be a professor is probably unreachable. I don't know what kind of jobI could possibly do with my limitations. And my relationship with my advisor, the person who, aside from family, supported and believed in me most, is probably in tatters. I don't know for sure, because I haven't talked to him in a year.

    And then there are the little things. Like that I'm overweight for the first time, when for the first 20 years of my life I had to force feed myself to maintain 118 lb. on a 6' 1" frame. That my weight makes me more depressed, but the depression makes it impossible to diet or excercise. That my cat needs to have two teeth pulled, because I thought her bad breath was inconsequential and so didn't realize I needed to bring her to the vet until I went to brush her teeth and her gums bled profusely. It'll be $500 to take those teeth out. My parents, thank the gods, are going to be able to help; I don't know what I'd do if they couldn't. But she still has to wait until my dad gets paid on the first of the next month. She's baring it so well, despite the horrible pain she must be in. She's so sweet. I feel like a horrible kitty-daddy, and the fact that she still loves me and cuddles with me every night makes me feel even worse.

    I really don't know what to do. I'm on meds, and seeing a therapist. It helps, a little. Not enough I want to kill myself, but I won't. I can't, really; I can't hurt my family like that. But I feel like I'm living a mockery of a life, with no feasible goals and nothing I want to do.
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  2. - Top - End - #452
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    smile Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Jeff,

    You need to do the one thing you say you cannot, which is to ask for help. This is a good beginning.

    A psychiatrist will not make all your problems magically go away, but can help you manage your depression. A support group of others with fibromyalgia will help you to feel less alone, and can share valuable coping strategies. Again, it won't make your problems go away, but it can make things better.

    I encourage you to go back and talk to your advisor. Even if you are no longer in the program, it might help you resolve some things. If you are still in the program, or can return to it, get information about support on campus. This is vital.

    It can be hard to ask friends for help. I've learned some ways are better than others. When done right, it can strengthen the relationship. If you think this kind of advice would help, let me know.

    I have to scamper, but I hope this quick note helps. Take care.

    -Monkey


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  3. - Top - End - #453
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Seconding Monkey's suggestion about talking to your advisor. It seems the two of you were good friends, or at the very least had a strong rapport together. I had a friend I lost touch with many years ago and every so often I'd think about trying to find a way to get in touch with him. A couple of weeks ago I bit the bullet and found a way - and he was absolutely delighted to hear from me again, even though I'd recently been through a rough patch.

    Speak to him, because I think he would be glad to hear from you again. He might be able to offer much help with regards to your other problems but it's always nice to have a friend when you need one.

  4. - Top - End - #454
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Jeff,
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    I rarely post in this thread, for...legal reasons mostly, though I always read it. I couldn't look past this story though, mainly because mine is veeeery similar. I also have fibromyalgia, and I certainly have some kind of anxiety disorder (though never technically diagnosed by anyone but myself).

    I was able to manage in school, mainly because similarly I can crank out papers like nothing else, and didn't really have to put time and effort in. My job over the last 3 years was flexible and part time, usually no more than 3 hours at any given time, and that worked out just dandy healthwise...even though I hated the job. Since January though, I've started a new job which has steadily increased until I'm now working probably a little more than 40 hours a week. It is kicking my butt. I am completely exhausted all day, every day. It's broken up and flexible and I only have to see my coworkers once a week, which makes it much easier to fake that I'm functioning well. I manage to get everything done, but only because I have dropped pretty much everything else out of my life. I don't do any housework. I don't cook. I barely play with my son, when he's even here. I don't do anything on any of the number of hobbies that used to be my life. Hell, I don't even play WoW anymore. The only things I seem to have the energy to do is work, sleep, and sit like a zombie in front of the computer scrolling through facebook.

    Anyway, the point of this is...*hugs* I know how you feel and if you want to talk, drop me a line.

    Also, a good adviser is hard to find and can be invaluable even years later. I would definitely talk to him.


    Also..so, my stuff, well, more stuff than what I already mentioned in that response... Apologies for getting all rambly and long.
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    So, Zeb and Pickle have been gone for two weeks. Haaaating it. Though I have read like 5 books. They, however, are really enjoying South Dakota. I knew Pickle would, he always does, but Zeb is seriously considering the possibility of us moving there. My parents have been hounding me to move back there since Pickle was born and my excuse was always, Zeb doesn't want to and Zeb can't find a job there that lets him keep his clearance. Then, lo and behold, my mom finds a job for a sys admin that requires a security clearance 20 minutes from their house. He hasn't gotten it yet, but he applied and if he does, it'll kind of be a done deal. They also already have a really good job lined up for me in an already established private practice. Which all sounds great, and it'll be nice to be near my family.....but....

    I don't want to go. I'm happy. Or mostly happy anyway. Would be happy if there wasn't always the money anxiety that comes from trying to live on only my income. We have a really great network of friends here that has taken me years to build up and feel comfortable with. (I'm not the best at making friends) Zeb'd been really getting into the homebrewing (beer, not d&d...have to specify that here. ) community here. (basically non-existent there) We were just planning to start gaming with a group again. My best friend and Pickle's best friend are moving back into the area in November.

    And then there's my job, which is the biggest issue. I looooooooooove them. I don't love what I'm doing, per say, but I love the company and love the people I work with and for. And they love me, like ridiculously and, in my mind, kind of irrationally. But they have plans to put me in charge of all of these things and make it so I don't have to do clinical work, or much clinical work and can do mainly program development and research, which would be awesome. And I applied to a postbacc program to take the science classes I need for med school with the intent of starting med school in 2-3 years. And everyone at this job is super excited about it and making all these plans to allow me to keep consulting part time during the program, with the intent of expanding to another location with me as the medical director/owner once I graduate. And I hate the idea of not being able to do that. And if I do end up needing to move to SD...I have no idea how to tell them.

    Though, I don't know that all that would happen even if I did stay here because I haven't even gotten into the program yet. And the medschool thing does completely screw with our long term plans of eventually moving to TN and opening a brewpub. With that in mind, moving to SD would probably make the TN plans more likely to be a reality, or at least a less distant reality.

    And then there's the worry that was kind of expressed in my post above that I won't be able to keep up with this job and faking that I'm doing as great as I am, but the bigger worry is if I come to SD and have the same problem in that job. I'm not sure I will, because I do much better when I have an office and structure, which I would there. But if I don't...two of my relatives work in that office and everyone is around me and, well, I'd much rather have people I'm barely acquainted with see me fail than if I did it in front of my family. Though there would be a lot more support there. Bleh...I don't know.

    In any case, I'm a ball of anxiety and worrying about this, and about a bazillion other things, constantly. And I know there's really no point to it as nothing can even be decided yet. But it's making me very tense and stressed and sore and I just needed to whine about it for a bit.
    Last edited by Alarra; 2012-09-21 at 10:45 AM.

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  5. - Top - End - #455
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Thank you, Monkey, Succubus, and Alarra. Your responses really helped buoy me today. I'm doing a bit better tonight, so hopefully this'll be the low point and I'll start recovering. It helps that I got an appointment with a different vet who I'm told is not as expensive with surgeries as my normal one. It probably also helps that my psychiatrist added a second antidepressant to my regimen.

    I'm definitely going to contact my advisor as soon as I can compose something without either bawling or having my heart rate jump 50 bpm, though my anxiety is hitting me so bad I'm worried I may have to treat it the way I do introducing myself to women: get drunk. With a sober proofread before hitting "send," of course.

    Alarra, normally I'd say "I hope x happens," where x is the best outcome, but since there isn't a single best outcome here, I'm just going to say that I hope whatever does happen makes you, Zeb, and your Pickle happy. And send you hugs in return. *hug*
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  6. - Top - End - #456
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    smile Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Jeff,

    I was thinking about you yesterday, and it occurred to me that you are a skilled writer, and one with something to write about. I think you'd excell as a writer.

    I realize this is not what you dreamed about. But do consider it as a "for now" kind of hobby. It might provide some insight and direction.

    Meanwhile ... do I really need to tell you not to hit the sauce? Let yourself feel the emotion. Yes, it sucks. But alcohol is really just a kind of procrastination. if you don't deal with them sober, the emotions you get drunk to avoid will come back again.

    So, please don't.

    Alarra,

    The tough choices just never stop, do they?

    My feeling is this: just because someone has gone out of her way to make one choice "easy" or "obvious" does not make that the right choice. It seems to me that there is a lot of what might be called moral pressure here. Turning down work is often seen as sort of sin against society, particularly when work is hard to find (as it is) and when one has a family (as you do). And there is some truth to this, because one must make a responsible choice, even if it is difficult or not the path you dreamed you'd take.

    I can't say if moving to SD is a good or bad choice for you. I have no crystal ball, and I can't see your future. But here are some things I do know:

    Turning down work is not a sin. You are meeting your responsibilities, even though it is hard. That's the ethic that matters.

    People who love us often say they are trying to help us. But they help they offer is not always the help we need.

    Sometimes the best help is no help at all.

    Divide and conquer is a tactic often used in families. You and Zeb need to be a united front on this, even if you are living in separate states for now. It's not fair, or a good idea, to say we can't because Zeb ..."

    If you have a plan, it is best to stick to it. Your plan for school sounds like a good one.

    Moving home is not a defeat if it helps you do what you really want. It is if it will cause you to stall out as you follow your plans.

    Inertia is the hardest force to overcome. The best choice is the one than provides the most momentum for the next choice.

    Most important: you can't see into the future. All you can do is constantly reassess how well your plans are unfolding. If you are making progress, even if the progress is slow, that is good.



    -Monkey






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    Last edited by MonkeyBusiness; 2012-09-22 at 11:20 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #457
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBusiness View Post
    Jeff,

    I was thinking about you yesterday, and it occurred to me that you are a skilled writer, and one with something to write about. I think you'd excell as a writer.

    I realize this is not what you dreamed about. But do consider it as a "for now" kind of hobby. It might provide some insight and direction.
    I have (and still am) considered(ing) it. I'm currently working on finding an outlet for an essay I wrote on the things they never tell you about going to school with a disability, and while I write in fits, I do keep returning to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBusiness View Post
    Meanwhile ... do I really need to tell you not to hit the sauce?
    No, you don't. I was mostly joking; I have a gene variant that makes getting properly drunk very uncomfortable. While I've found some alcohol helps take the edge off my social anxiety enough to introduce myself to people, I think the anxiety I'm feeling about talking to my advisor is undullable.

    On a more positive note, I may have made a contact about a job today at training for the new museum exhibit I'll be volunteering at. The exhibit is about race, and we had a lady from the YWCA come in to talk about how to talk about race. It's a topic I'm very interested in, and she was impressed with my knowledge and enthusiasm. I hope I'm not reading too much into it, but she asked whether I was in school or working (I'm not) and said to call her. Fingers crossed, I guess.
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  8. - Top - End - #458
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    smile Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Jeff,

    Regarding writing: excellent!
    Regarding sauce: I'm relieved.
    Regarding crossed fingers: That's awesome. I'll keep mine crossed, too.

    I hope you'll tell us how things continue.

    -Monkey


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  9. - Top - End - #459
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    I was redirected to this thread when I posted in the Relationship thread. They said there that my situation was more suited to this thread...

    -----

    My girl is really stressed... And I don't know how to comfort her.

    I'm in California. She lives with me, but is away finishing up her degree in Indiana. Her parents are in Texas.

    It's been hard enough to comfort her over Skype with normal things... She's got an unfortunate combination of bipolar (type 1), reactive hypoglycemia*, school stress, and leaning her emotions too heavily on physical touch from me before going. She's taking medication for mania, depression and anxiety (this one being an anti-psychotic) as well as a handful of supplements.

    Now her mother's having health issues... It seems to be related to memory. She's in her 60s and has been vegan for most of her life, priding herself on her good health from it (despite her bone problems that would likely be better if she had dairy...) She refuses to see a doctor about it as she doesn't want to "waste" money. (My girl's parents don't have any kind of decent health insurance. They run their own restaurant equipment repairing business and easily work more than 40 hour weeks. She does the office/financial side of things.)

    My girl's final stretch of speech pathology education is being done in a nursing home. She sees these people degrading and sees all the medical stuff that's helping them. It's frustrating her immensely. My girl's brother is going to try to convince their mother tonight.

    It's interrupting her sleep, and effecting her diet. This is all a great way to throw her into an bipolar episode, so I worry about my girl. Even with the meds, her emotions are still of a multiplied strength to begin with.

    I just don't know how to comfort her. If she goes into a strong enough bipolar episode to disrupt her from finishing (She'll be done mid-December), then she won't get a 3rd chance to finish, which I think would just make things even worse for her. As long as she has me, I don't think she'd go fully suicidal again, but things could get really bad.

    I will be seeing her this coming Friday. I took a couple days off and bought plane tickets (before all this happened). Once she's in my arms, she'll be a lot better. Just holding her does wonders for her. I'm only going to be there from Friday to Monday though. After that, I don't see her again until mid-December, immediately before the first anniversary of a commitment ceremony we had.

    *Reactive hypoglycemia means that she reacts (emotionally) to what she eats. The more processed the food is, the more she'll react. White sugar causes the worst reaction. Wheat bread that isn't whole wheat causes much less of a reaction, but still some. It seems to make it more difficult for her to think. She describes that state as being "confused". Another way this can be triggered is by not eating often enough (every 3 hours on average, small portions), or not eating the right ratio of protein/fat/carbs in any particular meal.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Hmmm.

    Well, I don't think any of us on here can really help with bipolar stuff to any extent - we're not allowed to offer medical advice in that regard.

    That said I think the one bit that rings through this is that your sweetheart is really stressed out right, so anything you can do to help bring that down will have a positive knock on effect with the other issues. When you told her you were flying out to see her, I'm willing to bet she perked up immensely. Having something to look forward to can help you get through rough times.

    I don't know how feasible this is but you say she's finishing her final year of her medical exams. Have you thought about whisking her away somewhere for a holiday? It doesn't have to be anywhere exotic or expensive but a chance to retreat from the woes of the world together for a little while and cuddle can give her something positive to focus on. Then, when you're talking on Skype of an evening you can plan your trip together. Get her actively involved in the planning so that she has a pleasant distraction to focus on from time to time.

    With regards to worrying about her mum, human beings are remarkably stubborn creatures when it comes to looking for medical help and if they feel like they're being pushed into it, they'll resist it all the more. Trust me on this one - I work with hard of hearing people and telling sweet little Mrs XYZ that she's going to need a hearing aid rapidly turns her into grouchy little Mrs XYZ.

    You have adopt a more gradual approach with these things. Sometimes it helps if there's someone else talking with her about the health issues - maybe little things they've noticed that the two people involved in the "discussion" have not. One thing that does spring to mind - you say she doesn't eat any dairy - perhaps calcium suppliments might be able to make up for the missing minerals she needs. I doubt it'll be enough to fix the problems (I'm not a doctor so I'm not going to make any kind of guesses in that regard) but it'd be a small step in the right direction.
    Last edited by The Succubus; 2012-09-25 at 03:50 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #461
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Well, I'm taking the woman who has been like a second or possibly third mother to me in for surgery today. Fingers crossed that this improves her condition rather than putting her in the grave.

    Kinda freaking out, mostly because of the logistics hassle if anything goes wrong and the communication blackout from when I go into work afterward.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Good luck Coidzor. I hope it goes well for her.

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Belay that, my car just died instead and I had to get them a cab.
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    smile Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Coidzor:
    I've been thinking of you all day. I hope the surgery goes well. Please let us know how she does, and how you are doing.

    Thajocoth:
    I read your post very carefully. I'm sorry your girlfriend (and you) are going through such a challenging time. It's clear you care very deeply for her.

    I want to think about this a bit longer before replying in full. It's a complex situation. But in the meantime, I just wanted to say I wish you the best.


    -Monkey




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  15. - Top - End - #465
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBusiness View Post
    Coidzor:
    I've been thinking of you all day. I hope the surgery goes well. Please let us know how she does, and how you are doing.
    Thankyousorry.

    Surgery went well on the whole. Apparently it was open and shut.

    All I know is that the car has power so it's not an issue the would likely be resolved by giving it a jump and I'm tired after a 10 hour work day that just dragged on like nothing else. Finally got a shower though. Actually was rather nice.

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    I managed to get so light-headed and out of it that my inhibitions started slipping in addition to my performance and physical endurance. It was odd and very weird when I felt myself sliding down into some kind of "cave-man" self because as near as I can figure, I didn't have the mental resources to not do so. Or at least, suddenly becoming enormously enamored with my female coworkers when previously I hadn't had much interest in them when I was trying to do my work and not really in that kind of state of mind is a new thing to me. Don't get me wrong, they're not bad looking, but I don't much like such... powerlessness/loss of control.


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    And I just realized that in 12-13 hours I've had a small bowl of cereal (maybe or maybe that was yesterday ), a few chips and reese's pieces, and a cup of green tea at around 5:30-6:00 AM, a poppyseed asiago bagel cheese and tomato sandwich at 1:30 PM, and a light cheese tortilla wrap just now at 6:25 PM.


    Actually, come to think of it, about how often do we need to eat when we're actually active?
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    @^: This is a man in dire need of a decent meal. Yeah, you can survive on bits and pieces like that but the whole "lightheaded" thing is your body saying "FEED ME SEYMOUR!"

    I wouldn't read too much into your thought processes at the time. =)

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    Yeah, low blood sugar can do all kinds of wonky things to your brain. If that happens to you a lot, I'd suggest carrying around a high protein/fat snack with you. I prefer Clif bars, but even just nuts will do.
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    My therapist today suggested I read up on avoidant personality disorder. I math... a significant number of the symptoms on it. One more thing added to the list of things crashing down on me right now, like not having enough hours at work, being alone, and depression. On top of that, basically none of my friends ever really want to talk to me about any of it, always responding with the same "I'm sure it'll get better," which is not helpful at all.
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    I think I have a trigger, and it's broken dishes/ruined food.
    Freaked out in public about it last week, then I figured out where it came from from, as well as what other problems the original incident has caused.
    I have a trigger that even Social Justice fanatics will agree is stupid and can't be accommodated (at some point in the near future, when I eel better about the whole thing, that is surely going to be something I'll be proud of), caused by a stupid incident* that everyone else has rightfully forgotten, and it comes with big motivation problems.
    What the hell. My brain had enough issues I was aware of like that.

    And now I'll have to learn to deal with that. I'm the only one who has a right to feel pity for myself. I'm going to actually do something about that and suck it up and stop freaking out in the most inane situations.
    Any of you reading it, if I ever notice you start avoiding to mention broken dishes or put trigger warnings for that, I'll be massively angry against you. I you dare do that, I won't ever get better. I'm not posting here for people to treat me like I'm mentally disabled, I'm only posting here to vent. Broken stuff are a fact of life, like hate, death, injustices, stupidity, and everything else. If I can deal with the everything else, I can deal with broken dishes.



    *
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    For those curious, it is a genuinely pathetic incident that had to do with me having to deal with my AND my mother's depressions and being treated like crap when I was a zombie and still in high school. No actual abuse involved.
    The poster previously known as Musashi.
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    Musashi,

    It's not a stupid trigger. The whole point of a trigger is that it shouldn't freak you out, but it does. Yeah, we put trigger warnings on some stuff and not others, but that's just because some things are more likely than others.

    If you're seeing someone for your depression, I strongly urge you to talk to them about your trigger. There are medications that specifically treat PTSD (which, from a lay perspective, it sounds like you might have) and there are CBT approaches to help reduce the strength of your triggers.

    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Thankyousorry.

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    And I just realized that in 12-13 hours I've had a small bowl of cereal (maybe or maybe that was yesterday ), a few chips and reese's pieces, and a cup of green tea at around 5:30-6:00 AM, a poppyseed asiago bagel cheese and tomato sandwich at 1:30 PM, and a light cheese tortilla wrap just now at 6:25 PM.
    [/SPOILER]

    Actually, come to think of it, about how often do we need to eat when we're actually active?
    *grinn
    I'm fasting today..a jewish thing.. no food or drink for 26 hours..the fasting actually starts just before dinner-time the night before..
    this is usually not a problem for me.. trouble is I forgot all about it yesterday, and skipped lunch (and of course, dinner).. so I haven't had anything since breakfast yesterday and have to wait until 20.00 to eat and, more importantly, drink again
    I'm in the weird place where I'm not actually hungry and not so thirsty either..but food and drink is all I can think of
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff the Green View Post
    Musashi,

    It's not a stupid trigger. The whole point of a trigger is that it shouldn't freak you out, but it does. Yeah, we put trigger warnings on some stuff and not others, but that's just because some things are more likely than others.

    If you're seeing someone for your depression, I strongly urge you to talk to them about your trigger. There are medications that specifically treat PTSD (which, from a lay perspective, it sounds like you might have) and there are CBT approaches to help reduce the strength of your triggers.

    Good luck.
    When it is that mundane and harmless (as opposed to mention of gruesome acts that are most frequently the subject), then yes, I consider it's stupid.

    I'm not seeing anyone. I really, really don't want to waste money again telling my life and reliving the embarrassing parts to a complete stranger who might or might not help me in the end; it's something I feel I deal better on my own. (Yeah, I know, that's hypocritical considering the advice I give sometime, I'm aware of it. <_<)
    Maybe I'll reconsider it once I've got a stable income.
    Same for medication. Had to take it for my depression; it was quite necessary, but it turned me into a narcoleptic zombie. As long as I can function in society without angst (which I can!), I'm going to avoid it.

    Still, thanks for the advice and compassion. There are very few people IRL who would understand this or not treat me like I'm stupid or crazier than I actually am.
    The poster previously known as Musashi.
    Quote Originally Posted by on Dwarf Fortress succession games
    I have no idea where anything is. I have no idea what anything does. This is not merely a madhouse designed by a madman, but a madhouse designed by many madmen, each with an intense hatred for the previous madman's unique flavour of madness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dwarf Fortress 0.40.01 bugs
    - If an adventurer shouts and nobody is around to hear it, the game crashes
    - War Dogs appear to run from themselves in terror
    - New tree generation frequently causes birds to explode

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    I tend to think of triggers as being mental landmines. Often they're buried deep but can still have your leg off if you're not careful. Broken dishes doesn't strike me as being a weird trigger at all. One of my own triggers is dancing. A lot of really embarassing stuff floats up to the forefront of my mind when I think about dancing.

    *can't remember if you're one of the folks that feels uncomfortable abotu being hugged but hugs anyway*

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    Okay, you have a point. That's a good simile.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Succubus View Post
    *can't remember if you're one of the folks that feels uncomfortable abotu being hugged but hugs anyway*
    With all the hugs I give and my avatar, if anything, I'm the one who triggers people and doesn't know it. No, seriously, if I triggered someone, tell me, else I can't know if I cross the line from "ahah I wouldn't want to meet that avatar in a dark alley at night but it's still nice" to "I'm going to lie down and try to forget" D:
    Thanks.
    The poster previously known as Musashi.
    Quote Originally Posted by on Dwarf Fortress succession games
    I have no idea where anything is. I have no idea what anything does. This is not merely a madhouse designed by a madman, but a madhouse designed by many madmen, each with an intense hatred for the previous madman's unique flavour of madness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dwarf Fortress 0.40.01 bugs
    - If an adventurer shouts and nobody is around to hear it, the game crashes
    - War Dogs appear to run from themselves in terror
    - New tree generation frequently causes birds to explode

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    TRIGGER WARNING NON-EUCLIDEAN PIRATES not really obvs
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    Coidzor:
    I learned to hide packages of peanut butter crackers in my car and desk, for those times when I suddenly realized I'd lost track of eating. Juice boxes and apples are also handy for giving blood sugar a boost quickly.

    If you are prone to forgetting to eat, or putting off eating "just a few more minutes" that turn into a few hours, then it might be a good idea to get a cheap digital watch with an alarm, and set it for intervals of two or three hours. Be sure to have something on hand to eat when the alarm sounds.


    Mushashi:
    I used to have anxiety attacks whenever I heard a dish break or a door slam .... or anything that sounded remotely like dishes breaking or doors slamming. So I don't think it is weird at all.

    I'm sorry you have a trigger, but I'm glad you know what it is. Mine wore off it time, helped by knowing what it was, and why it was ... but mostly from confronting my anxiety on its own. It's clear you are determined not only to rise to this challenge, but to stomp it into oblivion. I have this vision of you, flinging Spode frisbee-style.

    Sholos:
    Being diagnosed is such a mixed blessing. On the one hand, one now has a name for all the things that were causing trouble. But a name can feel like a label. And that can be discouraging.

    From your reaction, I'd guess you feel pretty overwhelmed by this, especially since you have so many other things to worry about right now. I assume you went to the therapist because because you hoped doing so would help you feel better ... and now that goal seems farther away than you expected, and to involve more work. Is that an accurate represntation of how you feel?

    I don't blame you at all if it is. But I hope you can also see how a diagnosis is sort of like a "you are here" arrow on a map. You might not be where you hoped you are, but you can start finding your way there.

    Hang in there.

    Thajocoth:

    Here's how I see the situation you described:

    You are a loving person. Your lady-love is grappling with serious issues. She worries about her mother (or whatever the issue du jour is), and that triggers a whole cascade of issues that cause her to lose her grip on her own life. The consequences of losing the grip are significant, including (in the past) suicidal potential, so of course you step in, to offer comfort and support. But this has become a cycle. Even if you did not live so far away, it is not a cycle that can go on indefinitely.

    There are many things that need to happen. But the most basic one is that somehow there needs to be an exit strategy for this she-melts-you-comfort ride you two are on. It might seem okay to delay making that plan, because other issues seem more urgent (such as girl friend not melting down and failing out), but really the opposite is true. How you and she choose to cope with these issues now builds the shape of your future together.

    I get that she is vulnerable, I really do. That makes it all the more important to emphasize her control of the situation when she is in crisis. It is vital to ask yourself, when offering comfort, how you can frame your response in a way that helps her actively regain control, rather than passively accepting help.

    In this regard the conundrum regarding her mother is actually helpful. Although the issues that affect them are different, the core challenge that your girlfriend faces is the same one that her mother faces, and which is a gauntlet they both are failing to recognize and pick up: they need to take responsibility for their own health.

    You can gently point out to her that, just as she worries - because her mother has no plan to take care of herself, and is too far away to run to help - so you worry about her. This puts you and your lady-love in equal positions. Ask her to discuss with you her plans for getting through the final months, so you don't have to worry, and so you can maximize your help to her.

    Example: she has hypoglycemia. What is her plan for dealing with that? If she does not have one, prompt her: how can you help yourself remember to eat? Encourage her to think of ways to meet this challenge, then ask how you can help her make this plan work. (You might make a run to the grocery to buy some ready-to-eat healthy snacks, for example.)

    This approach gently puts her in control of the situation ... not you. And *that* is the first step to her beginning to rise to meet her challenges, and overcome them. Loving couples take care of each other, of course ... but caretaking becomes a liability when it is one-sided, which is what you seem to describe here. Even when one person has a severe challenge, there needs to be reciprocity.

    Meanwhile, do not let the conversation become derailed over mom. Mom is not the issue. The issue is the plans your girlfriend is making and keeping to keep herself in good mental and emotional health. Your challenge will be to transition from caregiver to equal partner. This is surprisingly hard, even when you want it with all your heart. I recommend that you find a therapist for yourself, to support you through this.



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    So I recently had to quit my studies due to a mixture of not being able to pass some subjects, high costs and mild depression.

    Then just earlier today I get a call from my boss my contract isn't being extended and tomorrow is my last day on the job.

    As a bonus I am unable to see my friends during the week because they all go to universities halfway across the country.

    I also am likely to not get a new job anytime soon because most companies look for employees of lower educations and I've been marked as overqualified by one online recruitment site already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    So I recently had to quit my studies due to a mixture of not being able to pass some subjects, high costs and mild depression.

    Then just earlier today I get a call from my boss my contract isn't being extended and tomorrow is my last day on the job.

    As a bonus I am unable to see my friends during the week because they all go to universities halfway across the country.

    I also am likely to not get a new job anytime soon because most companies look for employees of lower educations and I've been marked as overqualified by one online recruitment site already.

    FML
    Cripes. That sucks. Still, some places will still hire overqualified candidates, so that's at least a ray of sunshine in what looks to be a pretty cloudy sky. Also, sometimes temporary online employment is not too bad, if it can be managed. It's mainly stuff like editing documents and the like, but not too bad otherwise. In addition to that, you can try volunteering at places like a library or school, which can lead to a position there(ex. library assistant in the case of a library, although granted it's not the best salary).

    Sounds like you're in a rough place right now, but it'll hopefully get better, as most things do. My PM box is open if you need anyone.

    Edit:

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    So, this is kind of hard, but here's the deal:

    I'm out on summer break, which for college, is roughly 3-4 months. Given this huge space of time, a good thing to do would be to get a job. My parents have been pushing for this, and they are 150% correct on that front.

    However, here's what the problem is: I'm sort of terrified to interact with people I don't know, even if it's only a few. This is bad enough to the point where if I'm alone in public, unless I have something distracting me, I get the shimmies and the shakes, to put it mildly. I get over this just fine if I just talk with them for 10, maybe 15 minutes. After that, I'm totally cool with being around those people.

    However, that's not really viable for a summer job, where I would most likely have to interact with not only more than a few people, but likely dozens upon dozens of people, something that makes me almost panic to think about. I've racked my brain for options, and I've come up with nothing. What should I do?



    New Woe/Semi-Update that branches off new one:
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    Got a summer internship, worked out fine, although my employer did express that he would've liked it if I'd been more confident and "friendly". So, that worked out fine.

    However, now that I'm back in school, there lies a new problem. I'm hanging around the local geek club/society again this year. And I just learned they all think I'm an *******. Primary reason why? Because the same thing that causes me the trouble described in the woe above makes it nigh impossible for me to start a conversation with people I don't know. Which is most of the club so far. I'm fine with someone approaching me, but I can't start a conversation unless I know the person. I've tried throughout the years, and progress has been made in that area, but it's still really hard for me to start a conversation with people I don't know. Sure, I can have something to say and go up to someone and try to talk, but then I get terrified and my mouth won't open, causing it to be pretty awkward when I try to start a conversation with a person I don't know. Since most of my friends hang around that group a fair bit of the time, if I want to hang around them too, I still have to attend the club with them. So, what can I do to try to communicate that I'm not trying to be an *******? It's really just weighing on me.


    Yeah.
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    I guess I don't really know where to put this so I'll put it here.
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    So I just found out today that a guy whom I had interviewed and hired as a graphic designer several years ago and had worked with was one of the people shot and killed in that recent workplace shooting rampage up near Minneapolis.

    I guess I was never really very close with him, being his supervisor and all I was sometimes at a distance, but I worked with him on a day to day basis and had to do his training and reviews and such. I remember various odd things about him. I remember he blushed easily when he was embarrassed or angry. He had a good sense of humor and he was a snappy dresser. He did good design work and he and his wife were just trying to get by - juggling cars and such for work - early marriage sort of stuff. I recall him being happy when he was hired and I remember that he got on well with everyone at work and that he left to, if I recall correctly, move up to the Minneapolis area.

    Poor Jake. You didn't deserve this. Rest in peace, friend.

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    *hugs Trog*


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