Struggling

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Taylor42
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:42 pm

Struggling

Post by Taylor42 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:53 pm

Hello all,
I have had anxiety and depression all my life and I have been really struggling lately. I haven't had a job in a year because of my depression and anxiety and have been feeling vey hopeless lately. I feel like I am not getting better with everything that I have been trying. I just got a new psychiatrist and new medication that I have been on for a week, so well see how that works out. I could just really use some hopeful or helpful words. I have been feeling very alone and scared that I will never get better. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Thank you
Tay

Bryce_in_TX
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Re: Struggling

Post by Bryce_in_TX » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:13 pm

Taylor42 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:53 pm
Hello all,
I have had anxiety and depression all my life and I have been really struggling lately. I haven't had a job in a year because of my depression and anxiety and have been feeling vey hopeless lately. I feel like I am not getting better with everything that I have been trying. I just got a new psychiatrist and new medication that I have been on for a week, so well see how that works out. I could just really use some hopeful or helpful words. I have been feeling very alone and scared that I will never get better. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Thank you
Tay
Hi Taylor,

I understand very well the feelings you are experiencing right now. I had the same problem with not being able to hold a job. I hope your experience works out better than mine did. I was let go of a job in 1997 and didn't go back to work until 2004.

I was beating myself up every day for not being employed. I reached out to two psychologists for help but they weren't any help. I felt worse about myself after meeting with them. I found the Stresscenter's program in late 1999. I worked with it for several years before I was at a point I felt like I might could work again. I was finally able to get back in the workforce in early 2004 thanks to the program. It wasn't easy after going back to work but it got easier as time passed.

I hope you have the program and are working with it. I suspect you are beating yourself up every day over being unemployed. That has to stop. It won't happen over night, but it can happen. Once the negative thoughts going on in your mind stop you will feel better. Your emotions will stabilize. Your depression should improve. And you will feel hopeful again.

I hope the new medication helps, but the truth is that negative thinking creates emotional illness. Don''t stop your med. That's not what I'm saying. I was on depression meds while working with this program. I couldn't have worked with it without the meds. But, after stopping the beating of myself up the meds were greatly reduced.

Lesson 3, on Self Esteem is a Key Lesson on learning what steps to take to begin to combat the negative thinking. Being aware of your thoughts daily is important. When negative or sad thoughts enter your mind that really bother you, write them down in a journal. Keep doing that throughout working the Lessons in this program. Once you have some written down, try to come up with some compassionate, loving, truthful thoughts that you believe that will counter the negative ones. Write those down. Rinse and repeat. I mean each time those negative thoughts come up, write down the loving ones. Renew your mind with the loving thoughts each time the negative ones come up.

Put up a stop sign and stop the negative thoughts from beating you up. This isn't always easy to do and sometimes we fail. But this is the concept. Stop the negative thoughts and remind yourself of the loving thoughts instead.

Learning to love yourself is like learning a new language. It will take time to master. Forgiveness to yourself and others is an important concept with this process. Forgive yourself for what you consider to be failures or mistakes. That isn't always easy either, but it is another concept that takes times to master.

Your were born with God-given worth. You deserve to get better. Learn to love yourself unconditionally, not based upon performance or lack of performance. Hoping tomorrow is a better day for you. You do deserve to feel better.

I hope your week goes well for you. Keep posting. There are some good people on this forum.
"Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can."

Napoleon Hill

Taylor42
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Struggling

Post by Taylor42 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:22 pm

Hello Bryce,
Thank you so much for responding. I have read your post a bunch of times when I am doubting myself or having a rough time and it always make me feel a little bit better. I am trying really hard not to get down on myself for not having a job but it is VERY hard for me. I beat myself up and then start the downward spiral of negative thinking. I have to stop being so hard on myself but I'm my worst critic. Catching my negative thoughts and writing them down is very hard. Im writing negative things down alllll the time and then starring at the page struggling to find positive ones. It really is like learning a new language. I really don't know how to start loving myself. I definitely need to work on my self worth, self confidence, and self esteem. I just honestly don't know how or where to start.
Again, thank you sooo much for taking the time to reply to my post. I really appreciate it.
Taylor

Bryce_in_TX
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Re: Struggling

Post by Bryce_in_TX » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:48 am

Hello Bryce,
Thank you so much for responding. I have read your post a bunch of times when I am doubting myself or having a rough time and it always make me feel a little bit better. I am trying really hard not to get down on myself for not having a job but it is VERY hard for me. I beat myself up and then start the downward spiral of negative thinking. I have to stop being so hard on myself but I'm my worst critic. Catching my negative thoughts and writing them down is very hard. Im writing negative things down alllll the time and then starring at the page struggling to find positive ones. It really is like learning a new language. I really don't know how to start loving myself. I definitely need to work on my self worth, self confidence, and self esteem. I just honestly don't know how or where to start.
Again, thank you sooo much for taking the time to reply to my post. I really appreciate it.
Taylor
Boy can I relate to having a rough time and not making progress in stopping the self criticizing. Thank God, and I mean that, there is this program and Dr. David Burns. Both are great resources for getting better and feeling better.

I would pay attention to whatever Coach Chris says. She is very skilled with CBT and the program.

I would concentrate on Lesson 3 first, then lesson 4.

My Workbook on Lesson 3 states, "Practice going one hour or a whole day without saying anything negative or complaining. Note your experience."
"Practice for one day saying as many realistic, positive things about yourself and others as you possibly can. Note your experience."
"In your journal or on a sheet of paper, make a list of at least ten positive things about you and your life."

So, what about it, Taylor? Can you list ten positive things about yourself and about your life? I know when I felt like you are feeling now I couldn't. I didn't feel like I was worth anything to anybody. I was and am married to the most beautiful woman, inside and out, that ever walked this planet. I have the most wonderful Son that a Dad could ever imagine. And I felt like I totally failed them as a Father and as a provider. I could not get my darn sleep cycle stable enough to work for someone. I tried, and tried, and tried, over and over and over again. I was a worm. That's the way I felt.

Much of what I was thinking was untrue. Yes I had made some serious mistakes and yes I had hurt both of them due to the struggles I was having and especially the way I was thinking and felt about myself. Sometimes I thought they would be better off without me. In truth they may have been better off without me around, but all the counsel I received from family and professional counselors was that that wasn't true.

Not being able to work just added to the suffering.

Anyway, I was hurting terribly and I needed someone to understand what I was going through. I was praying daily, "God, please help me. Pleassssssssssssssssse help me. I am lost and I don't know how to get out of this. Please, please, please."

Then one day I opened up our local newspaper, around November, 1999, to read the local high school basketball team results from the night before. As I turned the pages, I came upon a full page ad from StressCenter. I was stunned and didn't know what to think. I thought about what I was reading and decided to call about the program. It was expensive for me but they let me pay for it in monthly installments. So, in late 1999 I began working with the program and was introduced to CBT. A little later I joined this forum which was very active at the time. I found a few friends on the forum and one in particular that loved me unconditionally. Every time I would post something about the struggle I was having with my thoughts, she would encourage me and just accept me as I was. That and the program helped heal me.

The truth, dear Taylor, is that you have worth that is given to you by God. It can't be taken away by anyone or anything. It doesn't depend on having a job. Self worth and self acceptance aren't earned. They are a gifts given to us by our Creator. Your negative thoughts about yourself are a symptom of an emotional illness that you need recovery from. Those thoughts don't alter the truth of your worth. But, they do cause you to not believe the truth about yourself.

Let's work on the list of ten positive things about yourself. More than likely intelligence is one of them. Being sensitive and caring might be two more. So, there is a potential three. The truth is that when we are so negative toward ourselves that thought process blocks out anything positive coming into our minds.

Learning to love yourself unconditionally, not based on performance, is like learning a new language. It's foreign to us at first. But, as we seek to learn how to do this on a daily basis it starts to take hold and it becomes more and more familiar to us.

As Lesson 3 says, "Interrupt....Interrupt....Interrupt....refocus, restructure, replace, regroup, reevaluate, redesign.....reward!"

"It is impossible to have positive feelings with negative thoughts."

"Whenever you have learned something new you had to seek instruction. Learning to think in positive, productive ways is a skill that takes instruction, guidance and practice."

There is so much wisdom in Lesson 3. One more that helped me was to spend time on a weekly basis doing something that gave me good feelings. That might be a hobby or watching a good movie, working in the yard, spending time with a loved one or a friend. Just something that provides you with good feelings and thoughts.

Would you treat a good friend the way you treat yourself with beating yourself up with negative thoughts? No? Then learn to be that good friend to yourself. You deserve to get better. You honestly do.
"Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can."

Napoleon Hill

Bryce_in_TX
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Re: Struggling

Post by Bryce_in_TX » Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:32 am

I would suggest getting the book, "Ten Days to Self Esteem" by Dr. David Burns. He has so much good information in that book and he is a very compassionate, caring person. He has many suggestions on how to counter the negative, distorted thoughts that people with anxiety and or depression have. He goes into detail about what to do to counter the negative thoughts, including a daily mood log, what to do with the log, and what kind of thoughts to counter the bad ones.

Example: On page 53 a person by the name of Tyrone has lost his job and is beating himself up for having lost it. On the mood log, under the column named "Negative Thoughts" Tyrone has listed the thoughts: "I'm a born loser", "I'll never get another job", I'm letting my family down".

Dr. Burns states that the replacement thoughts for these negative ones should be (1) affirming, (2) valid and realistic, (3) truthful.

Here are the thoughts he came up with to replace the negative ones: "I'm a human being who's out of work. Lots of people are in my predicament these days. I lost my job and that's a pain in the a__, but it doesn't make me a loser. Several of my buddies are out of work, and they're not losers."

Dr. Burns goes on to say, "Its natural to feel disappointed when something bad happens, like getting laid off when you need work. Tyrone has a right to feel sad. However, he's going too far when he calls himself a loser who will never get another job. Those exaggerated thoughts double his trouble, because now he's got two problems for the price of one. He's not only lost his job, he's lost his sense of self-esteem. The purpose of this exercise is not to make Tyrone feel happy and delighted because hes been laid off. That would be ridiculous. No one can feel happy all the time. We simply want Tyrone to think about the situation more realistically, so that he will have a sense of self-respect while he's looking for a new job."

You can feel a sense of compassion coming from Dr. Burns from what he says.

IMO, forgiveness plays an important role here. Tyrone is not forgiving himself for the job loss. He's holding it against himself, the way a mean spirited person would, and beating himself up needlessly. So, forgiveness plays an important role in the process of getting better. You have to forgive yourself for things you consider are mistakes or errors you have made. Else, just close the book and forget about getting better because you never will as long as you hold things against yourself.

On the negative thought "I'll never get another job", that's a pretty easy one to counter. Say something like "That's all or nothing thinking. Just as when my first girl friend and I broke up I thought it was the end of the world. I didn't think I'd ever find anyone else. I was told 'there are other fish in the sea'. I didn't believe it at the time, but they were right. It's the same thing here. It's all or nothing thinking and totally distorted. Of course I'll find another job. It will take a little time but I will find another one. "

The next thought, "I'm letting my family down", is a little harder for me. I think what is needed here is compassion and forgiveness. Something like, "I'm sorry you're down on yourself, Bryce. But, you love your family and want to provide for them. You'll find another job and things will get better. Go easy on yourself, forgive yourself and work at getting better and work at finding another job. I believe in you, Bud. One day at a time."

This is all one step at a time and often times it's baby steps. My experience with forgiveness is that it is a "process" that takes time to work through. I can say, "Bryce I forgive you for losing your job" and mean it, but 5 minutes later I can be beating myself up again over losing it. So, each time that part of my brain wants to "go there" and start beating me up again over losing the job, I have to immediately recognize what is happening and the other part of my brain has to step in and say, "Oh no. No, I won't allow you to beat me up anymore. No, I have forgiven myself for the job loss and that's that. I am forgiven. I am forgiven."

I have to keep on going through the same process of repeatedly forgiving myself until that cycle of unforgiveness is broken and I stop "going there" and stop trying to beat myself up.

So, are you serious about getting better? Do you want to get better? I know you are and know you do. So, just try to put into practice what the program is teaching you. Just try, work with it, and be loving and patient with yourself in the process.

Ok, I'll shut up. I do think that obtaining other resources besides just the program is a good idea and is encouraged from within the program itself.
"Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can."

Napoleon Hill

lockdo
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Re: Struggling

Post by lockdo » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:07 am

I hope all is well with everyone. I have been doing this for awhile now. This pandemic is a crazy but I am hanging in there. 8-)

Taylor42
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Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Struggling

Post by Taylor42 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:40 am

I will definitely look into the book and unfortunately session 3 is the only one I don't have. I lost it awhile ago.
I have always said im going to try the mood log but I never do. I feel like I would be writing things down all day long.
I am having a really hard morning right now and can't stop crying. I am just so anxious and so depressed all the time I feel like I will never get better and now I really do believe that. Its so hard to make myself not believe negative exaggerated things. I am just so sick of my life I feel like im going to explode. I am so overwhelmed with negative thoughts, depression, and panic attacks. I really don't feel like I am worth anything and Im embarrassed of myself. I just keep thinking to myself I can't do this for another 40 years. Im sorry for being so down, I am just having a pretty hard time lately.
Thank you so much for responding. Your advice makes me feel a little better and I want to try the mood log today. Again, thank you.
Tay

Bryce_in_TX
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Re: Struggling

Post by Bryce_in_TX » Fri May 01, 2020 4:31 am

Taylor42 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:40 am
I will definitely look into the book and unfortunately session 3 is the only one I don't have. I lost it awhile ago.
I have always said im going to try the mood log but I never do. I feel like I would be writing things down all day long.
I am having a really hard morning right now and can't stop crying. I am just so anxious and so depressed all the time I feel like I will never get better and now I really do believe that. Its so hard to make myself not believe negative exaggerated things. I am just so sick of my life I feel like im going to explode. I am so overwhelmed with negative thoughts, depression, and panic attacks. I really don't feel like I am worth anything and Im embarrassed of myself. I just keep thinking to myself I can't do this for another 40 years. Im sorry for being so down, I am just having a pretty hard time lately.
Thank you so much for responding. Your advice makes me feel a little better and I want to try the mood log today. Again, thank you.
Tay
It takes courage to open up like this, Taylor. I'm sorry that you're having a rough time. Turning this around is done by one step at a time. In regards to a mood log, there are "themes" that show up in the log when it is kept on a daily basis. Over time a person can see or identify the most bothersome thoughts as they will resurface over and over again. The idea is to take what might seem overwhelming to you and break it down into manageable steps. Try working on one thought at a time.
Its so hard to make myself not believe negative exaggerated things
I do understand. I've been there. The suffering is real. It's okay. Don't put more pressure on yourself. There are several books out on panic attacks and anxiety that could supplement the program. Lucinda has written several. Dr. Burns wrote one called "When Panic Attacks" and I'm sure it's a good one.

I will never be harsh, rude, or unkind, Taylor. I think you need a lot of encouragement and compassion. You can get better. Yes, you have immeasurable worth. Please go easy on yourself. You don't deserve to be treated like you are treating yourself. You have a whip out and you are using it on yourself daily. I hope that you will lay it down and begin to be kind and compassionate towards yourself.

I also hope that if you get to a point of feeling suicidal that you will seek professional help. This isn't something to take lightly.

I care about you, Taylor. I know the kind of emotional suffering you are experiencing. If you have the relaxation tape, I'd try listening to it at least once a day and twice if you can. The tape is one tool to begin to create/build a relaxation response within yourself that can aid in calming you.

It's also very possible you need a prescription medicine that will calm you and help you feel better. That's between you and your primary care physician.

When I was trying to get better I came up with "mantras" to say to myself, things I would repeat to myself over and over again. Like "I love you Bryce. Whether anyone else believes in your or not, I do." "You deserve to get better. You deserve to feel good about yourself." "I'm pulling for you, Bryce. I'm in your corner."

These are statements that have the potential to create positive emotions within yourself over time. At first it felt very strange to say these things to myself and I didn't believe them. That isn't the most important thing at the beginning. The important thing is to be consistent in repeating the statements to yourself daily.

I hope that today you will try and be loving toward yourself. Try and be compassionate, patient, and forgiving toward yourself. You deserve to get better.
"Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can."

Napoleon Hill

katieshrp@yahoo.com
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Re: Struggling

Post by katieshrp@yahoo.com » Fri May 01, 2020 1:21 pm

I totally understand what you’re going through Taylor. I stopped my medication two months ago cold turkey and didn’t expect the depression and anxiety to come full force from not tapering down carefully but it’s been really hard. I know what you’re going through. I’m starting the program over again and struggle with negative thinking. I’m trying to remember how much better I felt after doing the program two years ago and recovering completely. It was my fault I stopped abruptly taking meds this time so I have to be honest with myself but then I need to forgive myself for past and present and that’s hard. It takes the journal and program activities. I also need to replace my relaxation tape. I noticed you don’t have tape 3. Does anyone know if there’s a way to replace individual tapes?

Bryce_in_TX
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Re: Struggling

Post by Bryce_in_TX » Sat May 02, 2020 2:02 am

I'd contact the Stresscenter to see if you can get a tape or a disc to replace the lost one. I got another relaxation tape some years back after I lost the first one.
"Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can."

Napoleon Hill

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