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  1. Just wanted to check in today with some new things that I have learnt about myself. Since the start of January, I have been in the grips of another wave of psychosis. This time it seems to have been triggered by psychological things, rather than medication. I have just found my way out of it, thankfully. The thing that 'kicked' me out of it was another psychological factor. It is good to see the whole episode in my rear vision mirror. What a waste of time, energy and money. So, what I am learning now, for the second time, is that if someone was interested in me romantically, I would KNOW about this. They would do a lot more than visiting my page or displaying something meaningful on their page. They would talk to me directly rather than writing stories about how they feel about me. I would KNOW about this. And if for some reason they were not capable or willing to talk to me directly, then they are not worth my time or energy. This seems to be the big lesson that I am learning today. Even though I thought of Turtle a little bit during this latest bout of psychosis, it seems that my previous work in this area really worked, because when I reach baseline, and mostly even during the episode, I perceive that there is no connection, or it was imagined. Now, this has helped me to learn the same thing with the original problem person - Super Mouse. It makes me realise that all these subtle signs that he is interested in me are nothing more than p*ss weak. They don't mean anything without the actions and direct words of a person to back them up. Now, I just have to integrate this understanding into my attitude and my behaviour. It would be nice to finally solve this problem. I hate that it keeps cropping up, even 20 years later. Illness is hard and it is a pain, and it is messy and no fun, but at least it provides a good opportunity to learn about what is at play in my psychology. Hope you are well! Chai :-)
  2. I don’t know what depresses me more: The fact that I think the reason I feel so much more comfortable alone and the reason why I think I have an avoidant attachment style is because my mother always left me alone. Or the fact that the reason why men yawn and never find me interesting is because my father has never taken an interest in my voice or my stories. My mother still does leave me to my own devices. I am on holidays with them now but I often feel like they are just off doing their thing and have abandoned me. She would rather cut me free than sit with the discomfort of feeling like I don’t want to be there. The same thing probably happened to her. I think that is why she just puts her head down in isolation and gets on with it. In the present moment I need to think about what the healthiest course of action is. I have a plane booked tomorrow to fly back to Melbourne. I was going to stay and help but this afternoon I feel like I don’t have anything left and I need to go. To be alone, perhaps! Rationally, I think I need to talk to my mum, and tell her I understand where she is coming from but it damages me. I just want to cry my heart out. Family time can be so confronting. I know that to rewire my brain I need to overcome the anxiety and stay with my friends a while. That is what re wiring is all about. I also can’t expect my mother to do this work for herself - she has to want to. She needs to see the need herself. People don’t change, just because you ask them to. I feel so sick. Thankfully I have a tiny bit of alone time before a family dinner. Decompress. Thanks for any thoughts.
  3. Hey Bubbl12, Despite the assurances above, there has been significant research done into the fact that porn is highly addictive and the fact that it can skew ideas of women's body image. Like any addiction, the only way to get real control is to quit. I have seen documentaries about how people who watch porn do indeed treat it like fast food, but to the extent that they can't derive pleasure from real life sexual experiences any more. I don't use porn a whole lot, but I do still consider myself 'addicted' to it. So, I try to masturbate without porn as often as I watch it, to build those neural resources and networks. I actually have better orgasms when I am not watching porn. Can anyone else relate to that? As for the changing of careers. I understand the issue. I have changed careers numerous times, and even now I still dream about 'following my passion' and changing again. To be honest, I think it will never be enough. If I changed careers now and started studying psychology, I would get there and find that (of course) it has just as many negatives and issues than my previous occupation. No job is perfect and I think that mostly, the strength and confidence comes from being competent and that means working in a field for some time. The good news is that I do not have to give up my passion for psychology (or art, or nutrition, or health, or photography, or the environment), I can simply engage in these things as hobbies. This is actually even better than devoting my career to one of these paths. Sometimes turning a hobby into a job can kill the love of it, or turn it into 'work' which is not as fun as 'play'. I am planning to still study psychology and to use it in conversations with friends and family to help people to come to their own conclusions about what the best next steps are for them, but I don't plan to give up a career that is going pretty well to change (again), at least not for a good number of years yet. In terms of developing that sense of mind, or willpower, I would suggest mindfulness practice, as it helps us to stay focussed and committed despite the challenges that come up. You have chosen to do music teaching, so my advice would be to just stick with that. Start building, and gain some ground. Good luck with your personal journey. You do seem very analytical, so I think this will help you to always grow and find new heights. Cheers, Chai :-)
  4. Hi Nopenope45, I can really relate to your dilemma on some level. I have kept the fires burning in my heart for someone who I am not in a relationship with and to be honest, I am pretty sure that he has absolutely no interest in me. All these years, I was encouraged by perceived attention online, but only this year have I really made any progress with letting go. It can be difficult to do. I fully understand that. The way I did it was to cut all emotional ties and to stop checking up on him on social media. Eventually, with this separation, I was able to start to rationally understand that there is nothing between us, but it took that space (no contact in other words), to heal and to make a start to move on. I think that you could use some further separation, either emotional or physical. Is there something that triggers you, or keeps the flame alive? Maybe it is time to let that go?
  5. Hi pachzevel! How are you going with this? Are you hanging in there? How are your exams going? Cheers :-) Chai
  6. Thanks Jibralta! You definitely have a point about challenging psychology and feeling down. I was just thinking last night about how intensely difficult it was to 'reach out' to my work colleague during my illness, as just one example of how my illness made things difficult. I really hope that you are right in terms of the preoccupations, and that they will get better with time. Like the example with reaching out to my work colleague, when I was 'in it', I couldn't see how it would ever get better. I have had these kinds of preoccupations for years with this person, so it may be a deeper issue that needs addressing. From what I have read 'beliefs' can be harder to cultivate than either automatic thoughts, or assumptions. Will let you know how I go!
  7. Hi pachlevel, Good for you for reaching out and putting your thoughts and feelings down. It takes a lot of courage and self awareness to do that! With regard to your boyfriend, he sounds like he is quite judgmental. I guess we are all on a spectrum of this, but some of us are more judgmental than others. I personally find it to be a very unattractive trait, but after your exams, you should come to your own conclusions. Please know that these comments that he makes are no real reflection on you, or your worth as a human being, they are simply HIM being him. In my experience that tendency to be judgmental can soften with age, but I am still struggling with my own judgment sometimes even now. It is going to be up to him to learn to grow out of it. No matter what you do, you won't be able to change him. So, I would advise against calling him out on it, until the exams are over. Please know that you are at the beginning of your adult life and you will meet other men. Every relationship you have will teach your mind that you don't need to react to the relationship and the anxiety will reduce. This (current) relationship has been a fantastic way to help train your mind not to suffer from anxiety in the future. Every time we get exposure to the things that cause our anxiety, we get better at managing them! In terms of your anxiety for these exams, I agree with the others above. Also, anxiety is actually CAUSED (physiologically) by fast, shallow breathing, so I would advise that twice a day for every day from now on that you sit quietly, breathe deeply in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four and release your breath for a count of four - and do this twenty times. This is the fastest and most effective way to both treat an anxiety attack and to train your mind to better deal with anxiety in the future. Best of luck with your exams! It is exciting that you are studying vet science!! Interesting :-) Cheers, Chai
  8. I have become increasingly frustrated by the fact that I can't seem to disassemble this 'belief' that Turtle has feelings for me or pays me attention. It has come to a bit of a head, because all the boundaries I put up on my blogs / social media / other websites, did what they are supposed to, and I get the sense that 'he' is leaving me alone. This fact has caused a bit of grief and loss, because I have finally had to come to terms with the end of the (fantasy) relationship, but I figure this is all a step in the direction of acceptance. Except for that lingering 'belief' that he is around / visiting my Instagram profile / has any kind of feelings for me. I am not sure where this comes from, but perhaps that is not important? I was getting more and more frustrated with my psychologist and myself for not being able to work out what this interminable tendency I have to create relationships out of thin air, when I found a chapter in a book on rewiring minds that talks about challenging 'thoughts' on the top level, 'assumptions' on the next level and 'beliefs' at the core level. My ears pric*ed up, as I am sure you would understand, and what I have learnt is that I think CBT uses reframing of thoughts to challenge the troublesome thoughts, assumptions and beliefs. So, if I 'think' something along the lines that Turtle is engaging with my world, I can actually reframe that (after the fact), and use my words (thoughts) to come to another conclusion. 'It is likely not Turtle here at all. It is nice that someone is taking an interest in my world, but it is more likely a random stranger who is viewing my page.' This kind of thought reframing results in a bit of a depressed mood, but I think that is because feelings follow thoughts, and I am basically challenging that high note that Turtle cares about me, so that makes sense. It is early days but I am hopeful that if I continue to keep reframing these thoughts, assumptions and beliefs, I might heal from this fantasy relationship. It makes sense! Cheers :-) Chai
  9. Hi there RedNovice, I think it is great that you had the courage to post on this forum. I am sorry that things are not going so well with you and your husband. My opinion is that you could really benefit from therapy. It is simply amazing how therapy can transform lives, and from what I am reading in your post, there are some issues that may be best be worked through with a trained professional. I just want to ask about a couple of things in your post that jumped out at me: - the fact that you had imagined an amazing night with your husband - expectations can cause so many problems because it sets you up for disappointment. In my therapy, I have learnt a lot about mindfulness and living in the HERE AND NOW - it can help to avoid a lot of that kind of pain of regret or expectation, with other benefits besides -will it make you feel better to 'tell your friend that she spoilt your evening'? I don't see how engaging in negativity with your friends is heading your life in the direction you want it to go in? The biggest factor with all of this, is that you can't change your husband. People do not change, unless they are on a path to changing themselves. Acceptance is observing without judgment, but it sounds to me as though your husband does not value you, and the best course of action in this case is to build your confidence by engaging in hobbies, interests and friendships outside of the relationship. Once you feel confident in yourself, you may be able to build and maintain some boundaries with your husband and find your 'no line' or ways you will not tolerate being treated. My first step would be therapy. Your relationship sounds damaging and stressful. I am sorry you are going through this. Take care and stay in touch! Chai :-)
  10. So the next thing that happened was that the last remnant of my heart has started to break today. I think it might be the last piece, because it signals the start of actually 'letting go' in fact. What happened was that I was inspired to record a video-log of a topic of interest to my hobby in nutrition. I was filming after a couple of wines on a Friday night, and while the audio was good, some of the video (my first attempt at multiple angles) left a bit to be desired. So I downloaded it into audio, and this morning I uploaded it to my Soundcloud account. I guess I didn't expect at that point for my loyal audience to jump to attention, but an hour or so later I embedded this audio 'podcast' as it were into my blog. That was maybe 10 hours ago?! Not a single person has listened to my podcast. I can only assume that my loyal audience of one (sometimes two or three), but one core person has taken the hint with me shutting down my personal blog, and putting up a privacy wall on my personal Instagram, and he isn't following me around the Internet anymore. That is a GOOD THING right? That really IS a good thing, when I consider it on balance. I wasn't happy, and it was never going to get any deeper. He was never going to open up to me, so why throw my heart over a cliff? Why engage and get involved emotionally with someone who has nothing of themselves to share? I wasn't happy. Even when I had his/her attention; I wasn't happy. I am noticing that over different periods of the day my heart sinks a little lower, and hits the bottom of my soul in some moments. Especially just after I 'check' to see that no one cares about my thoughts about making or breaking habits. It is scary, but it is real. And what this recent experience with mental illness has shown me is that when I get lower in life, when I get through a blip, or some kind of challenge, I actually rise higher than I was before. There will be sorrow and perhaps I will feel sad for a while, but that is understandable and all healthy if I am actually prepared to face the fact that I am on my own and he is not around. c'est la vie :-) perhaps! Hope you are doing well xx
  11. Hey, I know I could be better at thanking you for your support! It was a busy week I guess! On the advice of someone who messaged me privately though, I have started writing about my journey from the beginning of my illness, which is a really great exercise in developing awareness and language around all those weird and wonderful things that happened to me! Thanks again for your support :-) I am so happy to hear that my story doesn't sound too depressing! It lifts my spirits to read that :-)
  12. Thanks, and thanks again. About three weeks later and I am feeling a lot more positive. I am really incredibly lucky that I respond so well to medication and that I can come back to some pretty high level of functioning. Work is getting easier, and I am using all the spare time that I have from dropping out of uni for the semester on learning more about some specific aspects of my job and also psychology. I have also learnt many more ways to 'relax and recuperate' from this forced period of recovery. I have found that art therapy, exercise, mindfulness, reading about psychology and writing and of course talking to friends are some very rewarding hobbies. With regard to 'Turtle', I stayed true to the cause of ending that. My blog was closed weeks ago now, and I have upped the privacy on my social media. I am also just not writing as much (publicly) as I was before I got sick. When I started to move into this stage of my recovery phase, and was considering what to do with my personal blog, I had the sense to cast my eye over the hundreds of draft posts that I wrote this year. One thing was clear to me. . . I wasn't happy. Even if Turtle was giving me his 'attention' and even if I wasn't then suffering from a psychotic episode, I definitely wasn't happy. It was that realisation that made me decide to close the site and to move on. It has been hard at times, and I have gone through some pretty intense grief, which felt like a repeat of the LAST time I broke this connection, but this past day or so, the sunshine is starting to show from behind those clouds. I am starting to feel happier and particularly happy that Turtle is not in my life and that the connection (or perceived connection) is broken. There are still some enduring blips, such as seeing that 'someone' has visited my psychology instagram profile overnight, but I am hoping that this will fade, as have the numbers of malicious attacks on my blogs have faded into non meaning now, that I am recovering from my psychosis in earnest. The guy who I considered was 'Turtle' starts playing football next week, but I feel that to be true to myself and true to my healing I need to promise myself not to visit the Facebook page of the football club to watch his progress. Now that I write this, I think to myself just how fun that would be, to see him in some way each week, but in my heart of hearts I know that he has nothing for me specifically and no part of his heart belongs to me. So, I think I should just leave well enough alone. The situation with Super Mouse is pretty much back to how it was previous to the psychosis. I no longer consider that he has any interest in me, or that anything he says has anything to do with me or my life in any way, even if I do only listen to the songs with the numbers that make sense to me on his page. I will start to see a new psychologist in the new year, so maybe she can help me to find my way through these lingering connections and associations. Even when I am relatively well, I still maintain some form of (innocuous) connection with 'music man'. I am not sure if that is so terrible, but I do like his music. I am listening to one of his albums from about 2005 now, and it does add some kind of happiness to my life, even if I don't consider any of it to be personal. It sounds depressing I guess, but I am getting a lot of insight into my own psychology and I am starting to thrive again and do well at work. I feel very lucky to be able to have such a meaningful and rewarding job that I can really get my teeth into and thrive.
  13. Thanks so much for all your replies. They are really appreciated. And I think you are right. This is my issue with my lack of boundaries regarding the amount of information that I share and what I consider private. It is not my Mum's fault at all. This afternoon after reading your replies, I did a search for support groups in the city that I live in, but I couldn't find anything that was in person support groups. I did find some online spaces that specifically deal with mental illness, so I am going to start there. I don't want to burden my friends too much with some of the more challenging aspects of my disease, but I do want to open up a bit more to some kind of 'support network' in the hope that it will help me to learn to manage both my schizophrenic symptoms and my prodromal ( want to research this further) depression. Thanks again :-) You really helped me out with your perspectives on this! Cheers :-) Chai
  14. Hey Kathy, Sorry you are not feeling so good at the moment. A move is a hugely stressful event in your life, up there with divorce and losing your job, so it is understandable that you are feeling stressed out. It will likely take you some time to settle in. I would suggest that you will need a good three months to really feel comfortable in your new space. Adding your boyfriend to the mix is obviously going to make things more stressful, especially as you haven't lived with him before. Going out until six in the morning and not coming up with the rent money sounds pretty unreliable. If this continues, you might want to consider other ways of making ends meet for your mortgage. I don't believe that money is a good enough reason to put up with dodgy behaviour.
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