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Oscillating amidst the vastness of unknowing


Ralph

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Take that, required title! If I have to write something, it might as well sound like lyrics from an emo band.

I am oscillating though. Sometimes everything's fine then next minute it feels like it would be so much easier to finally.. give.. up. I realized if I quit taking my meds I'd probably be back in that place of feeling suicidal again. This is not without its charms. Oblivion. It's what I wanted out of alcohol, after all. So attractive to me but I know it would hurt others.

Instead I'm trying to push myself to get better and making progress but in the bad times it feels like such a damned chore. Yeah I'm not in a concentration camp or famine-struck, civil war routed, godforsaken desert so I should count my blessings, shut up and be responsible. Whatever that means.

I'm not being sarcastic; I genuinely feel guilty that I've basically got all I need, but am a different person on meds than off and I don't want to deal with that. I've asked other people not to give up so I guess this is my opportunity to learn what I was really suggesting. I am not sure I'm going to make any more suggestions for a while.

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"Yeah I'm not in a concentration camp or famine-struck, civil war routed, godforsaken desert so I should count my blessings, shut up and be responsible. Whatever that means.

I'm not being sarcastic; I genuinely feel guilty that I've basically got all I need,..."

Ralph, I've spent a lot of time in this head-space too. We can ALL find people worse off than ourselves so we feel guilty to be wrapped up in our own misery. But so often those words are delivered by those who are so much better off than us. And that just sounds so hypocritical and patronizing.

I think the bigger problem with that line of thinking though is that it's a very negative way of viewing the world, ie: Like we should be thrilled to be alive because it could be so much worse? Not very motivating. We need to turn it around and start believing that it could be so much better. We need to focus on the good, what would make us happy, our goals, our dreams, our talents and our potential contribution to the world.

I find I get into trouble when I start comparing my life to others' lives. The best we can do is to play our best game with the hand we are dealt.

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Athena I didn't mean to say we should be happy because others have it worse, but when my depressed self tries to find something to be thankful for, it comes out in the negative, as in "at least I'm not..."

The point being most people have genuinely horrible things going on in their lives: lost loved ones, marital betrayal, custody fights, job loss, etc. I am luckily not facing any such problems and still I feel overwhelmed. It's like no matter what, even if I had no problems at all, I'd still feel like this.

The notion is simultaneously scary and sobering. I wonder if this is how I feel when I'm doing okay, then how will I handle life's major problems? In the mean time, how can I make a more positive contribution to the world? These are just things I'm trying to figure out.

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Sorry, Ralph, maybe this is not the right thing to mention here and I really don't want to make you feel bad, but... I think you also "have it bad", although there are people who "have it worse", maybe you just "don't yet see" your problem as a big problem because you're comparing it to what you suppose to be "bad". The most serious problem I see in your life (I know I might be wrong, of course) is that you miss your partner. You seem like trying to ignore it to some extent because you need to do it to avoid being too frustrated and sad because of it. It's admirable how you can do it, but the problem is always here, even when you don't think about it :(.

And you also miss a good friend who would accept you as you are :( - with whom you wouldn't feel "like an alien" (as you feel among other people - the "normal-ones", as you've called them).

Yes, you can always say that it's "incomparable" to, for instance, to concentration camp or famine, but... I think it at least contradicts to you saying "I'm doing okay" (in the sentence "I wonder if this is how I feel when I'm doing okay, then how will I handle life's major problems?")

And ad "how will I handle life's major problems?": I think that life's major problems often change the person having them so much that he/she is facing them the way he/she would never suppose him/her-self to be able to do... So this is something we don't have to reflect a lot in advance...

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...when my depressed self tries to find something to be thankful for, it comes out in the negative, as in "at least I'm not..."
It's not so bad when you say it to yourself because you can't patronize yourself - you are simply trying to feel better - which is the first step to helping yourself. Wayyyy better than wallowing in misery, which unfortunately seems to come naturally for many of us.

The funny thing is depression, mood and anxiety disorders don't discriminate based on success/wealth or lack thereof. Here's a surprising comment from Brandon Marshall:

I want to be the face of BPD.

I've accomplished more than I ever dreamed of. Not only did I become a Pro Bowl player, I became one of the highest-paid football receivers. I graduated from college and am pursuing a master's degree. I am married to a beautiful, educated woman. I have a dream home, two nice cars, and three beautiful dogs.

But I haven't enjoyed one part of it. And it's hard for me to understand why.

I'm not using this example to remotely suggest this is what you suffer from, but rather because BPD individuals tend to be suicidal so it doesn't get much worse on the depression scale.

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Lala you are so right about missing my partner. I used to think of him as my connection to the outside world because he helped me keep my act together and we could socialize as a couple.

And I know better than to worry about what "might" happen. It's a waste of energy but sometimes I don't even know I'm doing it.

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The funny thing is depression' date=' mood and anxiety disorders don't discriminate based on success/wealth or lack thereof. [/quote']

That's interesting. I always thought of depression as being a reaction to something, not as a problem in itself, prompting me to hunt for why I was having problems. Kind of like blaming bad diet for a physical illness.

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I always thought of depression as being a reaction to something, not as a problem in itself, prompting me to hunt for why I was having problems.

I've understood it this way: Depression can be either a reaction to something that happened, or a problem itself (patophysiological changes in the brain induced "biologically" - there are some meds (not psychiatric-ones) or some illnesses that can cause depression, for instance) causing other problems. In any case, the primary problem causes other problems which then make the depression more severe. Kind of vicious circle, but... identifying the problems and coping with the chemical imbalance by meds destroy together the circle and open the way to healing.

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I kind of look at depression as a matter of degree. If you are sad for a day or two or if you get down from time to time but otherwise are basically happy - then you are not depressed. If you are really down for several months, years or a lifetime and are rarely happy, then you are probably depressed. This more chronic, deeper, hopeless despair, which you can't get out of yourself is what I call depression.

I don't so much look at it as an illness or a label, but an ingrained state of mind. You want to take a different path but you have gone down the same path for so long, you've created a rut so deep, there are walls on each side of you that you can't climb up. That's the point at which you need help. You can't get out by yourself.

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