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Stuck in a rut, could you lend me your ladder?


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Hi guys,

 

I need some honest advice here. Ive been feeling extremely anxious and depressed lately. Ive been through major changes over the last few months. I cut myself off from all my "friends" of four years. I realised that I was in co-dependent/abusive relationships that were affecting my physical/ mental health but was too scared to leave. I only left when I was on the verge of loosing it and started having panic attacks, so I moved away, and Ive lived alone for the past seven months.

 

Im feeling really lost and lonely, I feel like I should have made more progress by now, Ive had to move back to my parents' place to save money and also to try things out in this city.

Im still learning to love myself and develop a relationship with me so I know my self esteem could be a lot better.

 

I dont have confidence in my ideas. When I come up with an idea for a painting, i sketch it e.t.c but it never comes to fruition, i seem to sabotage my ideas thinking it would never turn out good anyway. I can see this pattern in every aspect of my life, I never finish anything I start.

Im feeling extremely lonely and lost inside myself, I cant seem to connect with anything or anyone, Im just numb.

I know im a good person, I like myself, But i just cant seem to open up to people, I seem to keep people at arms length even though Im aching to feel connected to another person.

 

I dont have any good relationships/friendships. My phone never rings. I feel really bad about myself, I dont remember the last time I went out a day/night out with friends, Its been nearly a year since ive done that. I dont remember my last girly day out, or girly shopping trip, or a trip to the beauty salon with a mate. I really miss things like that.

 

Ive put on 20Ibs in the last month, which I worked so hard to loose. I was working out everyday, got myself lean and toned and Ive undone all that in a month!!! I feel soo unatteractive, I cant even look guys in the eye. Im eating foods I dont even like, foods that make me feel ill... and I dont know why.

 

Part of me just wants to stay secluded but I know theres more to life, I want to experience life, love, joy, sadness, anger everything. I want to LIVE not just coast through life. I dont know what to do,.. somethings got to change,. ... I need help.

I get so frustrated knowing people are out there, living life, loving, laughing, and just being, while im literarily tearing my hair out from anxiety and worry and lonliness and anger. I feel like theres this glass pane between me and life, I can see what I want, I can see my goals, I just cant touch them.....

How do I smash through this? Ive got to get to the other side.

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Dear Red Flower (that is a beautiful name by the way, reminds me of a poppy field),

 

The "glass pane" feeling is typical of depression. You feel glassy and drained all the time. You crave for company, warmth, affection, yet you keep people at arms length. I don't know if you have considered this fact--that you may be suffering from a sort of depressive breakdown? It is quite natural to go through this right now, because you have literally cut the chords with your past existence. It is indeed the growth pangs.

 

Even before you start making friends, you will have to first do little exercises that build self-confidence. Take it one small step at a time. For example, if you love painting and sketching, you can decide that you will paint a series of three small paintings. Then put all your effort and soul into it, and complete that "assignment." Notice how it makes you feel different about life.

 

Another thing you could do simultaneously with your painting exercise is journaling. It is summer time, go out and sit in a garden or a park that is neither secluded nor crowded. Then try to write and describe every little sight, sound and sensation. This is to train your brain to think in the Here and Now. If you keep doing it for 2-3 weeks everyday, even for 10 minutes a day, you will have a huge shift in your mental energy.

 

Another trick, don't ever let your slide into physcial sloppiness. Dress with extreme care even if you are at home, and keep your surroundings spick and span. This trick works everytime you are in deep funk. It teaches your mind to mirror your physical world, and like your dress and room your mind also declutters and spruces itself up.

 

These are only suggestions for beggining steps..

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It sounds like you have been very brave - well done on getting yourself out a hole!

 

Bad feelings tell us something has to change.

 

The good news is that all these things you are not happy with are things that you CAN change.

 

Dust yourself off and start putting yourself in positions to make things happen.

 

Even sitting in a park and doing some painting puts you in a position to connect with people. Start being proactive. Make a list of the things you like to do or would like to do and then one by one tick them off that list. Purpose will put a stride in your step so start making plans... no matter how big or small... hope heals depression.

 

Eliminate most negative thinking... it may be difficult at first but practice makes perfect.

 

Start moving towards being the person you would like to be, starting right now...

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Thanks for the tips Siberia, yeah I find that once i see that Ive put on weight I dont dress as nicely or do my hair as nicely because I dont feel like Its worth it.

My room also reflects my state of mind, so Im sure you can imagine what its like at the moment! I'll try the here and now excercises, i do have a journal but im not consistent in writing in it, I guess its something I should start again.

 

BTW, whats a depressive breakdown? Is it a depression caused by being depressed about being depressed or an emotional breakdown caused by depression?... If that makes any sense?

 

Thanks ScubaDiva for the advice,. Ive already made a tick-list of things I want to do and achieve..

I guess I push myself to be superwoman all the time and I dont realise how hard I am on myself until I breakdown....

 

Just writing things out on here has really helped..

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Red Flower, By depressive breakdown I meant how your life comes to a standstill or buckles over because of depression. Some people go to therapy, some try meds, some take matters in their own hands and try to change the blueprint of their life. Of course there is a self-propogating seed in depression--D leads to more D..

 

Take it one day at a time. Clean up your room, iron your clothes, dress up carefully even if simply and give special attention to your hair, take your time with each of these activities and be deliberate about them--as if they were super important engineering puzzles.This may sound superficial but it is not!! You are simply training your brain to take the mundane seriously. You are training it to not obsess with future.

 

Trust me, if for now you can simply spruce your room and personal appearance, and show up at a park and/or cafe to do your sketching, journaling, and painting for at least a couple of hours everyday, within 2-3 weeks you will see a sea change in your life...

 

The trick is to do it everyday though, else it won't work.

 

Also, while journaling, note down every small detail you noticed that day--from the color of sky to the sound of cars. The smaller the detail the better.

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