Still trying.

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    • #327956
      David the Gnome
      • Total Posts: 3,230

      I have been struggling to maintain some level of optimism, of positivity.  Remembering what I have to be grateful for – a home, food, a family and fiance that love me.  The stars at night, the sun on my back.  Such things have become like mantras for me when I struggle.

      My garden has even finally begun to sprout, which is great.  Yet times like right now, everything hopeful and positive, everything good or beautiful seems to vanish.

      My mind starts to think fast, like a hamster running on a wheel.  Except that they are repetitive thoughts that become repetitive words that I just keep repeating to myself.  Every image or thought I form seems ugly, painful, dark.  Or even worse, utterly pointless.

      It is like depression and anxiety overwhelm me all at once.  I go from being okay to lying in bed, arms and legs shaking, some times my head thrashing uncontrollably.  I will fall asleep after a time, when I wake I will block out those feelings from my mind again – for as long as I can until the cycle repeats.  Facing them head on does no good, either.

      I do not know specifically what ails me.  There are many theories, but few complete facts.  I do know that there is no cure – and that the best I can hope for is to hold on in times like this and wait for it to pass.

      This ridiculous storm of emotion, sadness, I dont even know how to describe it.  Suddenly though, I feel as if all hope and light has left the world.

    • #327962
      • Total Posts: 8,843

      It is pretty amazing what a collection of interconnected neurons is capable of. But maddening (literally!) sometimes as well. Stay safe, David. This too will pass.

    • #327969
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 21,790

      Just found out we’re going to be furloughed without pay for two weeks. Now, it’s not all at once. They’ll reduce our pay by about 2 hours a week for 9 or 10 months, it still amounts to a 5% pay cut, which is significant for us. If nothing else, disposable income just went down for thousands of families so local businesses trying to recover are going to be hurt as well, along with all of their employees.

      This was so easily avoidable, but every single progressive Democrat in Congress let us down by refusing to hold Wall Street interests hostage in order to demand temporary UBI, as was done in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Canada and other countries.

      On the bright side, I won’t be burning any vacation time until I take my two weeks furlough off, which can be done in one great, big block. That means that, limited budget and all, I can still afford a long road trip.

      Northern Maine is now officially in range, and Mrs. Barbarian has never been to New England at all, much less Maine, and wants to see it. Beware, the barbarians may literally be at your gates this summer.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #327974
      Snort McDork
      • Total Posts: 5,012

      You will find similar stories that could help you cope.

      You are not alone. I’m a cannabis patient for just this reason.


      I'm Snort McDork and I approved this message.

      "I like Birdy Num-Nums"

      If you come for Nina Turner, Your ish better be airtight like Tupperware" -Rashida Talib

    • #328081
      Mr. Mickeys Mom
      • Total Posts: 6,220

      The variability of intensity, frequency and duration of clinical depression is something that everyone should at least experience, even for a little time in your life…  Then (and only then) will everyone have a good understanding that when you are depressed, it DOES NOT appear that it will stop unless YOU stop.  That’s when I got scared and sought treatment, which for me, lasted about a year. I’ve always been aware that it could happen again, but as I aged, D the G, it subsided… The thing that keeps me centered is exercise. It is simple large muscle movement that will likely be of some value.

      The “three prong approach”, which is exercise, anti-depressants, and psychotherapy, is mostly successful, but I’ve also developed a belief that you can get by with informed and patient friends, plus activity. Scale it to whatever you can do to do what you can and keep connecting with your community here. We are a tribe, D the G.

      Oh, also, expressing yourself in song or dance or music is SO helpful, too.

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      Hell, no... I'm not giving up...

    • #328166
      David the Gnome
      • Total Posts: 3,230

      You know – don’t worry, be happy!  Trying some music therapy for a bit…

        That, my friend, is what has gotten me through a lot of shit.  Knowing it will pass in time – but in the moment, it does not feel as though it does.  No amount of reason, logic, self talk… whatever, really makes a dent until the mindfucking stops.  That is basically how the panic attacks go – on awakening, I usually feel better, but always a bit less… hours pass, maybe a day, without another one – and I feel okay, maybe close to normal, then comes another.  Shit is what it is, it sucks, but I have much to be grateful for, even so.  The mind is indeed an amazing thing – but for the most part, when I try things like meditation, what I end up feeling most is bored.


      You will always be welcome in my neck of the woods, my friend.  I apologize in advance for the redneck idiots you will meet should you come to the County.  Engaging them in conversation about politics will likely prove… futile.  Yet, there is incredible beauty to be seen.  I think of all the times I drove between the lake (my parents home) and my (now) fiancé’s place.  The leaves, the colors… in the fall, they will more than take away your breath.  Starry nights, the majesty of a moose or a black bear… from a safe distance, of course.  Some find the loons at night upon the lake to be a beautiful, haunting sound.

      If and when you are going to be heading up north, let me know when.  Perhaps we can meet up somewhere, would be good to actually meet one of my dearest friends face to face.


      I am not sure if I am a member of that one or not – will check shortly.  It is hard to read the pain of others, it is hard to see it in their eyes as they speak.  Yet, that is one of the things I wish we had more of in my area.  A support group, some such thing… I am not organized enough to manage such a thing myself – and the mental health facilities and organizations are severely limited.  I smoked a lot of pot when I was in my twenties, but the anxiety is even more of a problem for me than the depression – when smoking pot started giving me panic attacks, I had to stop.  As for cannabis and such – the type without the thc content, it didn’t really have much effect as far as I could tell.  Of course, I am on several medications, which could be why.


      When I was in my teens and twenties, it all but totally consumed me, most of the time.  Around twenty nine I learned how to manage it somewhat better… but it has been one hell of a process and learning curve.  In places like my own, it is, even for all the modern literature… still very poorly understood, even by many in the mental health field, in large part because their education and training is so limited.

      I have spent time in crisis centers for suicide attempts, twice in my teens, a psych ward – once in my teens, and a couple more visits to the adult crisis unit in my twenties.  Every time I learned – but I learned, what I gained, came more… hmm, randomly.  From other patients – and there are two strong memories of helpful counselors that stand out.  The others tried – but they really just didn’t get it.  Unless it is something that you yourself have experienced… it is hard to understand.  It is like a bird trying to teach a fish to swim, or a fish teaching a bird to fly.

      Most of my life… starting in something like the third grade, I have been in some form of talk therapy or another.  None of the therapists I saw were well versed in psycho analysis, or biophysical, biochemical reactions that have much to do with anxiety and depression.  In my not so humble opinion – it is because they are not taught with the intent of being able to heal.  They are taught with the intent of passing patients along to psychiatrists who can prescribe medications – some times they work, some times they don’t.  The thing is… psychiatry, quite literally (old translation) means “healing the soul”.  Until that is better understood in general, most types of talk therapy will prove ineffective.

      Of course, this is all my opinion – as a lifelong patient rather than an expert in any kind of field.  It has now been about a year and a half since I saw my last therapist.  She was a really fantastic person – and I enjoyed our sessions a great deal.  We got into EMDR a little bit, which seems really bizarre, but helped some… until we started touching on things in my mind that are better left behind closed and locked doors, at least for now.

      Exercise is truly one of the great ways to feel better.  The problem there is that it also requires a significant amount of will power and effort.  It has been years since I did so regularly – though I suppose I do something every other week or so now that counts.  Some days, I get it into my head that I will start doing yoga, or walking on the treadmill every day again – it lasts for a few days before I have a really bad day, or a few really bad days, in which I feel totally incapacitated and just say fuck it.

      Music is often a source of inspiration for me – or just listening to a sad song, at times, that seems to say what I feel.  Usually I have to look for a while to find anything decent, as most pop music of today (IMO) sucks really bad.

      The thing about depression, or anxiety and all involved disorders – is that it just isn’t really understood yet.  It can strike at any time for any reason – or for no reason at all.  I’ve had a couple of relapses triggered by situations in which I felt like my life was in danger.  I’ve also had a severe relapse coming off of medication – even under the guidance of a psych nurse practitioner, a general physician – AND a therapist.  You name it, I’ve probably tried it at some point – dedication… maintaining a routine, is the hard part.  If you can do it for a few weeks, it becomes easier, but I’m not there yet.

      Lately I have pondered a great deal about community.  Much of what is missing from my life is the presence of other people, I know that this contributes to my depression and anxiety – but I also have severe social anxiety and agoraphobia… which makes it so god damn hard just to go grocery shopping, especially now with this covid madness.

      Some times I idly daydream of a community in which people…. truly have empathy for one another.  Where hugs between neighbors, even strangers, could perhaps be common.  Where people would not need to constantly worry about the intent of every neighbor, but trust their intent.  Kindness, sharing… some times, just listening to someone or saying thank you – can make all the difference in the world.  So, too, can the physical touch – and not in any romantic or sexual way, just a hand on a shoulder, a pat on the back, whatever… somehow it helps.

      What I see most places I go is the opposite.  Strangers everywhere, all suspicious of one another, all deep in their own heads, struggling with their own problems.  Every now and then there will be, too, the fake smiles and superficial corporate words that seem to go with pretty much every place of business these days.  That stuff often just makes me want to surrender.  Small talk can help break the ice, but when done repeatedly is a damn waste of time and effort.  Corporate talk is just stupid and pointless.  It’s like saying, “I’m lying my ass off, but its company policy to tell you to have a nice day – it is also why we put “have a safe and happy <holiday> on all signs these days!  We just don’t have the nerve to say anything real!”

      Ah well, I’m ranting.  I do that.

      Thank you all, for now… I think I will go play a video game and shoot some zombies in the head.  Somehow, that helps a bit.  Not sure why – at 36 I really should develop better habits, but in my defense – I DO have a garden now.  Sort of.

    • #328438
      Snort McDork
      • Total Posts: 5,012

      Check out some of the songs I posted and tell me what you think.

      can’t possibly the only one who likes my style of music.

      Check it out sometime.

      I'm Snort McDork and I approved this message.

      "I like Birdy Num-Nums"

      If you come for Nina Turner, Your ish better be airtight like Tupperware" -Rashida Talib

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