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raven
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Hello.

I'm really just trying to work myself around this site, so if this is posted wrong or something then idk

Man, this is going to be a long post.

I consider this my first real attempt at a completely anonymous help source. To elaborate: I've talked to some people about the things that I have been experiencing/thinking/living. I have a very helpful counselor that works for the school that I am now leaving... She was a very good outlet for me during school hours and helped me feel secure there (that's saying a lot, I guess). I am fourteen years old and going to be starting my freshman year here in a couple months, that fore-mentioned counselor cannot be. The relationship that I have with her is under some pretty restricting circumstances, if you couldn't tell. The obvious reason being that I'm not going to be able to see her as often, and second because counselors usually aim more towards goals and won't be evaluating my feelings and all that jazz. The thing is, the counselor I'm more comfortable with was willing to talk about my feelings, regardless of whether or not they were school related.

To sort of temp-remedy the situation she had me talk to a counselor who worked with the middle school once a week and at the high school the rest of the week, to make me feel like I had someone to talk to that I'm familiar with. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the effort and care put into the whole thing. But I know that because I'm going to be in a high school setting counselors are going to want to talk more about my success and involvement in school.

Now, I'd missed a whole ton of school this last year(I'm on summer break now). So much so that I'd gotten to my fourth truancy letter, which equals court where I live. My principal was very kind and understood that I'd missed school because of my ever-increasing state of depression. She talked to me and we decided that I'd attend court on the agreement that the judge would be able to find an outside source for help, in other words: a therapist.

So, bringing it back to the counselor thing, I'd been seeing a therapist with my comfort counselor was out of maternity leave. We'd talked about the aspects of a high school counselor and what they would and wouldn't talk to me about. So we established a pretty clear difference between a therapist and a counselor. The therapist would be a little more anonymous and would hopefully help me sort out my feelings and allow me to find ways past the depression.

Swing back further into the year around Octoberish. I'd had a pretty nasty episode and began sleep and antidepressant medications. Everything with that is working out pretty well, but we're still trying to find the correct therapy to assist me in my seemingly infinite adventures in pursuing happiness.

I really need some advice in what to look for in said adventures and, hopefully, everyday life. I know it's a lot to ask for... requesting that someone over an internet chat group to nit pick their way through my personal current accounts to try and aid me through the freakin canyon of depression.

But, before my wits leave me, I'm gonna talk about some things that have been bothering me lately.

1. I feel like I'm dreaming, basically just under the surface of reality. I'd give anything for a list of ways to get my life to become real and important to myself. The more awake half of me is so different from the one I assist everyday... I feel like there are a million different supposedly-mes and I don't know who "I" am (whatever that means, man). I just want to become myself.

2. At times I romanticize the idea of never being attendant in the waking, real world. I know the real world sucks but this couldn't be much worse, honestly. All in all, the whole complex has turned into some freaking proverbial, twisted, knotted up network of anything and everything inside and outside of my life.

Do I chalk the whole thing up to be depression? Is this just me? Am I way too far up my own a-hole?

I don't know. I feel like if I could identify the whole thing it'd be the most liberating event to take place among me and every other me that exists in my head (heck, best case scenario the sense of all the other mes will obliterate).

A final thing I think that is important: "I'm never leaving this temporary life" (<-- even more nonsensical junk)

Sincerely,

B

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Hello, B., welcome :)

I'm sorry I don't have much time left now so I can't react to your eloquent post as much as I'd like to.

It seems to me you might benefit from reading books like these (I recommend especially these due to my experience ;) ):

1) http://www.happinesshypothesis.com

It's really not a "psycho-pop self-help book"; it nicely and rigorously summarises a lot of scientific literature and shows many "ways to happiness", unveiling their flaws, the dangerous misconceptions most people have, ... and it also points out to "scientifically approved" ways how to make one's life happier.

2) http://www.yalom.com...r.php?nav=books

Yalom's books are (also) very eye-opening, well-written and bring deep insights into our hidden fears, psych. protection mechanisms, ...

Try this short story from his newest book: http://www.yalom.com/documents/TheCrookedCure.pdf

What do you think?

Take care!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you so much for this, it is truly humbling <3

Thank you for the recommendations. I love having all the space for interpretation in literature, even in a fairly direct concept. I really can't thank you enough.

I hope you're doing well, take care :)

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Hi, B.,

I'm pleased to see that you've found my propositions interesting! I really hope you'll got some helpful insights there...

I really need some advice in what to look for in said adventures and, hopefully, everyday life.

It occurred to me that if you're looking for some advise, besides reading books you may also try some lectures where psychologists present some findings (and advises) to general public. I think this is a very good place to start ;):

https://www.ted.com/topics/happiness

...try and aid me through the freakin canyon of depression

At the same time, I must say (to prevent your possibly too hight expectations (?)) that these books and talks can be very insightful and inspiring but none of them offers a "miracle solution", so... perhaps you'll be disappointed and won't see this all as "an aid". I think the most important in therapy is the human contact, the relationship you build with your therapist.

How would you characterise your relationships with your current therapist and counselor?

Having said that, family and/or friends and/or "even" (sometimes only) internet communities are very important in the process of healing, too. To "open up", communicate, and receive some support and feedback can be very helpful. I wish you to find this, too.

But, before my wits leave me, I'm gonna talk about some things that have been bothering me lately.

1. I feel like I'm dreaming, basically just under the surface of reality. I'd give anything for a list of ways to get my life to become real and important to myself. The more awake half of me is so different from the one I assist everyday...

May I ask you when you feel "(more) awake"? And how often?

I feel like there are a million different supposedly-mes and I don't know who "I" am (whatever that means, man). I just want to become myself.

When I think about your age, it seems to me that this may be "just a normal adolescent way of searching for one's identity" (which, the "identity", isn't even fully formed yet!). Moreover, I have to say that... many of us, adults, don't think we know "who we really are". For some, this is distressful, but there are people who accept "trying to know oneself better" as a life-long journey and they don't suffer because of "not really knowing". How does this relate to you? I think it's one of the reasons why you could look at this problem differently: Perhaps it's actually not a something "bad" or "something wrong with you". Another, more important, reason could be that such direct pursuit of... "self-finding" (-I hope you understand; I sometimes struggle with English (as you can see) ;)) may be counterproductive. Similarly to the pursuit of happiness. When you focus on happiness, you won't find it. Happiness isn't but a by-product of a "good" life (which includes good relationships and activities that you consider / feel to be meaningful). Similarly, you can't find out who you are just by sitting and thinking about it. You have to experience life and watch your emotions, reactions, thoughts, ... to find out "data about you".

Here is a quote I recently noted from this book (because it that illustrates how the “direct pursuit” of happiness, leading inevitably to failure, became widespread):

Jean M. Twenge: Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—And More Miserable Than Ever Before. Free Press. New York, 2006.

[…] the most important thing is “how you feel and being happy.” It’s a statement most young people take for granted. Dan Atkins, 17, says in Growing Up Digital, “My basic philosophy toward life is, do whatever makes you happy.” But when I asked my mother (born in 1943) about this, she said, “In the early 1960s, most people would have said the most important things were being honest, hardworking, industrious, loyal, and caring about others. I can’t even remember thinking about whether I was ‘happy’. That’s not to say we weren’t happy—we just didn’t focus on it.”

This topic also reminds me of this interview:

http://www.cbc.ca/ra...lives-1.3139487

The psychologist there explains also that our character traits don't really define us, we can in some situations act "out of character", ... (He mentioned also that it's not good to "try to be someone else all the time" (it leads to illnesses). It occurs to me that perhaps when you don't know yourself much, it's not so dangerous, at least if you don't "resolve" it by just trying to be how somebody else wants you to be (=perhaps too different from what's natural to you).)

2. At times I romanticize the idea of never being attendant in the waking, real world. I know the real world sucks but this couldn't be much worse, honestly.

I can relate to your feelings and opinions about this world very much :(. I don't know what to say as for me, it's a too "rich" topic; I should have much more time to "discuss it". Perhaps later ;).

However, this is a very important information as it may explain very well your first concern: You are aware that being "awake" is "normal", so you "shouldn't dream like that", but you fear of the real world is too big so it prevents you from living fully. I hope this is one of the topics you're focusing on in your therapy!!!

And, BTW, this is also one of the main topics of Existential therapy founded by I. D. Yalom (whom I mentioned above). Perhaps one more reason to read some of his work (but perhaps later in your life (?))...

Do I chalk the whole thing up to be depression? Is this just me? Am I way too far up my own a-hole?

I don't know. I feel like if I could identify the whole thing it'd be the most liberating event to take place among me and every other me that exists in my head (heck, best case scenario the sense of all the other mes will obliterate).

A final thing I think that is important: "I'm never leaving this temporary life" (<-- even more nonsensical junk)

What if those "mes" (or I should rather write "yous") have some function? Perhaps they are all parts of you and you just need to accept integrate them?

My last question for today: You wrote: ""I'm never leaving this temporary life" (<-- even more nonsensical junk)"

Who thinks that and who's criticising it (by saying it's a junk and nonsense)?

I hope this isn't overwhelming to you... :o

Take care!

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woah. you seem so intelligent and introspective for a 14 year old. I hope you're making some ground on your issues. From my perspective, I feel like I want to shake you out of it -but if only it were that simple. you're on the right track seeking help for sure. im trule sorry this is afflicting you. I think you're caught in a deceptive thought pattern and obviously that is something that's difficult tontine your way put if without outside support.

it's probably hypocritical for me to give you advice, or anyone for that matter? but here goes:

you're going to die one day.

sounds like terrible advice but hear me out. once you can truly comprehend that, at least for me, it puts a lot of the bs in perspective. NOTHING will ever be perfect. this is life. but wasting your days not being the person you want to be is silly. it's not easy to change, but in the face of this truth how can you not do anything but be the person you genuinely want to be?

I can tell just from your post that you have a lot of potential. I hope you can find the strength to be who you truly want to be. and take a lesson from me; make sure you're a good person along the way.

hope you're well B.

B.

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