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A forum for storing Coping Wisdom


Mark
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All,

Appleby thought it would be a good idea (and I agree) to have a place to discuss and list out for later reference methods for safe, positive coping that members can recommend to each other.

I'll start this forum out by pointing out our rather large online self-help book, "Psychological Self-Tools" which is more or less a compendium of self-help methods. It's not a completed work and it is not exhaustive, but it contains some good, if abstract, information on methods for coping with different sorts of general problems.

As you have other ideas for good coping methods (and hopefully more concrete ones that are easy to implement, please jot them down here so that we can create a storehouse that people can come back to during a time of crisis.

Mark

A list of chapter headings and links in Psychological Self-Tools appears below for quick reference:

Self-help: what is it?

Understanding the nature of your problem

Overview of Bio-Psycho-Social Theories

Meeting Basic Needs

Changing Behavior and Thought

Changing Your Mood

Changing Your Knowledge

Changing Your Relationships

Changing Your Identity and Motivation

Crafting Your Unique Self-Help Plan

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  • 4 months later...

Tried reading this article. Now I feel mentally and emotional drained.

I felt it was basically telling me I can’t trust advice from anyone except well proven sciences. And then I have to ‘use my own judgment and that of someone I trust and consider wise’ to work out whether I can trust that or not.

If I had this kind of solid judgment within me and someone around who I felt was wise enough to help - then I don’t think I would be a member of this particular site in the first place.

It seems to me that any attempt to mend myself , no matter where I turn , I just feel more and more frustration.

I don’t mean to criticize the efforts of the people here trying to help. I’m just SO SO SO frustrated and I’m thinking ’just accept that you’re a freak and live with it - or die with it- just stop expecting it to get better’!

I have just realized that - the more I look for help - the more advice I’m given - the worse I feel. I feel more and more and more misunderstood and I hate it.

I was in a much better place before reading yet another self help guide - I know I didn’t finish it - but I just can’t.

LR

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felt it was basically telling me I can’t trust advice from anyone except well proven sciences. And then I have to ‘use my own judgment and that of someone I trust and consider wise’ to work out whether I can trust that or not.

That's a great summary of one of the early chapters of the Psychological Self-Tools book. There are a lot of different people and institutions out there who want to influence your decision making, and you have to use judgment (as much as you have it to use) to sort out what is useful vs. what is not useful. It is best to seek out help methods that have scientific support (e.g., which have been systematically evaluated and found to be helpful). However, even here where this seems like a simple thing to do, it's not because there are still a variety of people who are trying to influence you and not all of them are going to be telling the truth. Some will claim to be scientific when they really aren't. And even among those who are speaking for science, there are contravercies - the evidence is not always black and white and different people come to different conclusions. And then there are whole classes of human decisions that are not possible to treat scientifically at all - they are moral and ethical questions and you have to make decisions you can live with. So it's just difficult and I don't blame you for getting a headache.

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Loneranger: You're wiser than you know.

One of the reasons I was often disappointed by therapy is that I expected it would be like visiting Buddha--that suddenly, they would deliver to me, with all their great and powerful wisdom, THE answer behind the curtain.

There's a few things other people can help you with. (For me, the only thing that really helped was treatment for PTSD). There's other areas that only you are qualified to help yourself with, because no matter how much you tell a therapist/psychiatrist, there's some things only you know and are sensitive to.

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I'm reading a great book right now:

"Dewey" by Vicki Myron

The book's title is taken from the name of a cat the author, Myron, finds in the library drop box on the coldest night of the year and decides to adopt as the library cat. Soon the entire small town adopts him, and Dewy instills a new optimism in the small midwestern farming communtity which is struggling to survive in the midst of coroporate takeovers of surrounding farms and economic hardship in general. He even becomes nationally, even globally, known.

The author survived being on welfare, divorcing an alcholic husband, a masectomy and breast cancer.

The book isn't just about Dewey, it's about human survival.

It's a quick read, but will leave a lasting impression.

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2002to2009

Thank you for your comments - but I feel anything but wise. I’m far too confused to feel wise in any way.

I wish that I had never had any contact with religion in my life. Maybe I wouldn’t be a very nice person if I hadn’t - but then I would probably fit right in!

What is PTSD?

My problems started at 14 - I’m now 44. I struggle with all relationships. Family, friends, partners. I’m better on my own - but - that’s not what I want. I want to be involved in other people's lives . But then other people’s lives look so much better than mine - and I just get jealous and feel so out of touch.

Self help is a no go area for me from now on. I will not touch another self help book because they make me want to kill myself!

LR

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Loneranger,

As I read through your comments and the responses given by other people I came to realize that I am not at all certain of what your problems are? What is it that you are struggling with? What was your childhood like? What disappointments have you experienced?

You point out that the more you search for answers the more people give you advice and the more you reject that advice and the more you find it empty. OK, fine. But what are the questions for which you are seeking answers? I must admit, and it is not a criticism of you but I find myself confused. Can you clarify???

Allan:confused:

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Hi Alan

I will try to clarify if I can.

My problem seems to be feeling fine one minute (kind of ‘normal’) then suicidal the next.

Negative emotions very quickly overwhelm me (usually over something quite small - things I feel others would cope with quite easily). Positive feelings are hard to find. If found - hard to maintain.

I long to be a sociable person - but mostly feel very disappointed having spent time in company.

Recently - my worse problem (my biggest struggle) has been trying to work out whether I love someone or not. I’ve been trying to work this out for over 3 years. I still don’t appear to have the answer (this is driving me - and him - crazy).

I feel that I don’t really know who I am - I feel that opposing forces work from within me. Part of me wants something and another part doesn’t.

I mostly feel sad (cry a lot). I’m thinking this is so that I feel alive - because if I’m not feeling sad then I’m kind of feeling empty and numb. All in all just nothing feels good (most of the time).

My childhood was kind of lonely. Spent most of my time shut off from people - doing my own thing. Didn’t feel connected. As a very small child (under the age of 4) I hated to go out. I would apparently scream and fight and tear my mothers clothing in an attempt to not go out. I was labelled a very naughty child (when I was very small). Later I became very quiet and withdrawn (at around 5 or 6 I guess). I had very little attention from anyone (now that I was quiet).

When I was 11 my parents split up. My dad was unfaithful. He got someone pregnant . I didn’t understand. I knew nothing. I had no understanding about relationships or how they work. I guess I feel now that I should have been sympathetic and supportive toward my mother and angry at my father - but like I say - I had no understanding of the situation. It all kind of meant nothing to me. It didn’t hurt me at that time.

Then after a short time of what almost felt like happiness (just me, my mum and my sister living together for a few years) my mum’s new man suddenly moved in! They got married while my sister and I where on holiday. When I was 17 he tried it on with me. I told my mum. He denied it all. My mum and Nan believed him and not me.

I was a very frightened and nervous teenager. I started to have some panic attacks at 14. I started to play truant from school and sneak alcohol from my mum’s cupboard. Now I was labelled naughty and a trouble maker again.

I wanted to lash out as a teenager. I wanted to be daring and have adventure in my life. I tried but I failed. I was just to nervous, shy and felt like an idiot most of the time.

I moved from the north to the south of England at the age of 20 (with my mum and step dad).

I met a guy and after 3 years of dating we had a son together. I did not feel that I wanted to marry. He was a gambler and used to steel money from me and lie to me. We split when my son was 3. I found it very painful. Although he wasn’t good for me I felt too alone without him. I had no friends in the south and hadn’t kept in touch with friends I had grown up with.

I spent 12 years as a single parent.

I met my recent partner/ex-partner on the internet (now that my son was 15 and starting to do his own thing). I Fell very much in love with him (hadn‘t felt this way about someone before). We were going to marry. I then got to hear something about him that he hadn’t been completely honest about. I called the wedding off. I was very, very hurt, and afraid. I gave him a chance to explain. I accepted what he told me (really tried my best to anyway). I started to swing from feelings of intense love for him to no love at all. I can even find myself feeling scared of him at times.

There was a period in the relationship where he left me a number of times. Then he asked me to marry him again. I said I couldn’t - but I would try again in the relationship. I keep pushing him away then pulling him back and pushing him away again.

I am confused and scared. I don’t know if it is love or just weakness that makes me go back. I don’t want to spend another 12 years alone. If being sociable was not such a problem for me I wouldn’t think that I may just be being needy. Recently I have felt anger toward him. Last night I felt that I hated him (that was a first). Today I have felt love again and right now (5:30 Saturday 9th may) I feel nothing again.

On-line tests have shown me to be Borderline and Avoidant. I don’t know how accurate they are - but I’ve tried a few and get more or less the same results.

One more thing I want to say is that showing my emotions feels like something that I shouldn’t do. I feel that I am always having the wrong emotions. I feel - rather like Goldilocks - that they are too big or too small - or - too hot or too cold - but never ‘just right’.

Anyway - I hope you don’t fall asleep reading this ;) (I struggle to read some of the longer posts myself - I get bored and start to switch off).

Hope it’s all a little clearer now.

Regards

LR

P.S. I started to add this line to my message - ‘Part of me feels that despite the setbacks the relationship has some potential’ and I got a knot in my stomach. I could not finish writing this statement. I guess that says a lot - but it scares me - it upsets me - it makes me feel sick. I just want to love and feel some peace in my life - but my gut feelings (and I guess that’s what I must call them because of where I feel them) are hurting me very much.

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  • 6 years later...
Guest ChinaDoll

Hi Alan

I will try to clarify if I can.

My problem seems to be feeling fine one minute (kind of ‘normal’) then suicidal the next.

Negative emotions very quickly overwhelm me (usually over something quite small - things I feel others would cope with quite easily). Positive feelings are hard to find. If found - hard to maintain.

I long to be a sociable person - but mostly feel very disappointed having spent time in company.

Recently - my worse problem (my biggest struggle) has been trying to work out whether I love someone or not. I’ve been trying to work this out for over 3 years. I still don’t appear to have the answer (this is driving me - and him - crazy).

I feel that I don’t really know who I am - I feel that opposing forces work from within me. Part of me wants something and another part doesn’t.

I mostly feel sad (cry a lot). I’m thinking this is so that I feel alive - because if I’m not feeling sad then I’m kind of feeling empty and numb. All in all just nothing feels good (most of the time).

My childhood was kind of lonely. Spent most of my time shut off from people - doing my own thing. Didn’t feel connected. As a very small child (under the age of 4) I hated to go out. I would apparently scream and fight and tear my mothers clothing in an attempt to not go out. I was labelled a very naughty child (when I was very small). Later I became very quiet and withdrawn (at around 5 or 6 I guess). I had very little attention from anyone (now that I was quiet).

When I was 11 my parents split up. My dad was unfaithful. He got someone pregnant . I didn’t understand. I knew nothing. I had no understanding about relationships or how they work. I guess I feel now that I should have been sympathetic and supportive toward my mother and angry at my father - but like I say - I had no understanding of the situation. It all kind of meant nothing to me. It didn’t hurt me at that time.

Then after a short time of what almost felt like happiness (just me, my mum and my sister living together for a few years) my mum’s new man suddenly moved in! They got married while my sister and I where on holiday. When I was 17 he tried it on with me. I told my mum. He denied it all. My mum and Nan believed him and not me.

I was a very frightened and nervous teenager. I started to have some panic attacks at 14. I started to play truant from school and sneak alcohol from my mum’s cupboard. Now I was labelled naughty and a trouble maker again.

I wanted to lash out as a teenager. I wanted to be daring and have adventure in my life. I tried but I failed. I was just to nervous, shy and felt like an idiot most of the time.

I moved from the north to the south of England at the age of 20 (with my mum and step dad).

I met a guy and after 3 years of dating we had a son together. I did not feel that I wanted to marry. He was a gambler and used to steel money from me and lie to me. We split when my son was 3. I found it very painful. Although he wasn’t good for me I felt too alone without him. I had no friends in the south and hadn’t kept in touch with friends I had grown up with.

I spent 12 years as a single parent.

I met my recent partner/ex-partner on the internet (now that my son was 15 and starting to do his own thing). I Fell very much in love with him (hadn‘t felt this way about someone before). We were going to marry. I then got to hear something about him that he hadn’t been completely honest about. I called the wedding off. I was very, very hurt, and afraid. I gave him a chance to explain. I accepted what he told me (really tried my best to anyway). I started to swing from feelings of intense love for him to no love at all. I can even find myself feeling scared of him at times.

There was a period in the relationship where he left me a number of times. Then he asked me to marry him again. I said I couldn’t - but I would try again in the relationship. I keep pushing him away then pulling him back and pushing him away again.

I am confused and scared. I don’t know if it is love or just weakness that makes me go back. I don’t want to spend another 12 years alone. If being sociable was not such a problem for me I wouldn’t think that I may just be being needy. Recently I have felt anger toward him. Last night I felt that I hated him (that was a first). Today I have felt love again and right now (5:30 Saturday 9th may) I feel nothing again.

On-line tests have shown me to be Borderline and Avoidant. I don’t know how accurate they are - but I’ve tried a few and get more or less the same results.

One more thing I want to say is that showing my emotions feels like something that I shouldn’t do. I feel that I am always having the wrong emotions. I feel - rather like Goldilocks - that they are too big or too small - or - too hot or too cold - but never ‘just right’.

Anyway - I hope you don’t fall asleep reading this ;) (I struggle to read some of the longer posts myself - I get bored and start to switch off).

Hope it’s all a little clearer now.

Regards

LR

P.S. I started to add this line to my message - ‘Part of me feels that despite the setbacks the relationship has some potential’ and I got a knot in my stomach. I could not finish writing this statement. I guess that says a lot - but it scares me - it upsets me - it makes me feel sick. I just want to love and feel some peace in my life - but my gut feelings (and I guess that’s what I must call them because of where I feel them) are hurting me very much.

Ah. She explained it very well. The push and pull. The intense emotions that are never just right. The intense lonliness. I was bored most of my childhood too. I was shut away from people, a princess on her lonely tower. I despise Rapunzel. Nobody who was locked up could be that cheerful!

Yup, this settles it. I am borderline. But I have the added burden of being highly sensitive too.

I hope this person is happy wherever she is now.

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I love that I'm sensitive and I also admire this trait in others. I hear you, though, that being sensitive doesn't always make life easy for us. I think of darkness and light and how both can and do exist as the same time. My daughter is highly sensitive and it's true that this causes her difficulty at times, but that very same sensitivity plays a huge role in her ability to create beautiful art. In that, her heart and her light shines through her sensitivity. Perhaps there is some way for each of us to connect with our sensitive side that feels positive?

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Guest ChinaDoll

I enjoy the sense of wonder that it brings. Les Miserables evokes so many emotions in me. I love it! Being sensitive make you appreciate beauty more.

If I had a better voice, or a slightly more coordinated body, id go find me a theatre group to put on a musical. Lol!

Ive been meaning to explore more of my artist side. Starting HS, it was all science and math for me though a part of my soul screamed for the arts. Maybe all this extra time on my unemployed hands can be used for that. :) I'm thinking about embroidery. Lol!

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