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#61 AnotherMind

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 12:32 AM

Breathing slowly and counting breaths a great idea - we can do this. Ive put on my green overalls and am braving it in the studio - just numbly making something. Radio is on, tactility and sound. Not listening to my own thoughts!

 

we will get better.


#62 AnotherMind

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 12:42 AM

It's amazing how depression seeps into every fibre of your being - it always leaves me stunned how much depression hurts.

 

breathe


#63 FiveNotions

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 05:07 AM

AM, is this depression or anxiety? Have the "strange thought" episodes returned and/or are you having thoughts of harming yourself?

Are you there alone?

Please call your doc immediately!

#64 AnotherMind

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 05:22 AM

Hi FN

the 'strange thought' episodes haven't returned (are you referring to what resembled pyschosis?).

 

I think it's just depression and anxiety - I managed to calm myself down today, but for the past week I feel like Ive been clinging on with my fingernails.

I am having some personal problems that arent helping  - my mentally ill, reculsive mum has recently had a turn, so Ive been trying to support her and deal with her aggression - a big trigger for me. :mellow:

 

The pain in my body is really interfering with my mental state too. Been waking up in agony and drenched in sweat - which I suspect is discontinuation...??

Oh well - tomorrow is another day.

 

I just feel like I'm of no value to society whatsoever - and it pains me.


#65 thismoment

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:30 AM

Hi AM

 

I'm sorry to see you suffering so. I really don't know what to say except that I know a little of what you are feeling.

 

"I just feel like I'm of no value to society whatsoever- and it pains me."

 

I think being of value to society is an ethic worth emulating, but as you know, the order of these ethics is constantly changing depending on circumstances. Right now, being of value to society has no meaning and virtually no worth. Please let that one go.

 

Talk to me.


#66 AnotherMind

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

TM-

youre right about the fickle nature of value - I can see that. I just feel profoundly groundless -

 

FN - I think Im reeling from so many changes so quickly due to my breakdown last year.

My job was very all-consuming (working as a mentor/teacher in disability) - and Im still really hurting and dazed because when I cracked (after multiple assaults by clients) there was no support . I recieved no compensation, and after all the retoric around being "an invaluable staff member...amazing contribution..."etc, etc - the day i walked out of that building I ceased to exist. Not one phone call in 9 months - Ive been swept under the carpet because the organisation are terrified of admitting they neglected duty of care. Six employees have left under similar circumstances now .

Similarly when I dropped my theatre and academic committments I suddenly went from being someone of value (the exciting new thing) to a nobody. I thought relationships were deeper than that - apparently not.

 

Ive struggled my whole life (as every human being does) to work out where I fit in with people. Sadly I had an incredibly weird and psychologically strange upbringing  -  its left me very, very unsure of my value as a person...and all this hypervigilance around people has just worn me out -

Im haunted by the knowledge that my social skills are very precarious  - I see how incredibly eccentric and destructive both my parents are and how damaged my beloved brothers are by all those years of manipulation  - and I cant see anyway out.

 

To be quite honest I feel terrifyingly alone - I have no idea what my context is anymore. And I dont feel I have the strength to build a new one because my body and mind are currently broken.

 

But everybody's story is full of complexity and sorrow. maybe Im just weak.


#67 FiveNotions

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 09:06 AM

AM, well, let's stick with just these few things for right now.....

You are of value to God, who created you, and who gave you your amazing gifts (the same ones that are also your crosses...as it is with each of us)

You are of value to Your Self....yourself....because our self loves life and fights for it, clings to it, no matter what.....because we are created to live and love...that is our intrinsic human value....

You are of value to your partner, who loves you and who you love.....

you are of value to each and every one of those disabled students to whom you reached out, taught, mentored....yes, even to the ones who attacked you....

You are of value to each and every one of us on this forum.....you have given, continue to give us ...share with us...your unique gifts of love, perception, ability to create beauty, humor, and yes, your pain and suffering.....

--------
Frankly, I think that you have a tremendous amount of anger right now towards the job and the people there you left after the attacks....and anger at the theater and academic communities and people in them .....

And I think you are turning that anger in on yourself, thinking that they've behaved this way towards you because there is something wrong with you.....

WRONG.

Turn your anger out wards...right back at them....because your anger is just, it is righteous.....and it is them who are in the wrong....

Be pissed off, and let yourself talk pissed off and act pissed off.

Never, ever, try to rationalize evil!

Consider taking legal action against the teaching position...contact the others who left....join forces with your allies, not the enemy....

Fight back. You are not a victim!

--------
We love you, we value you, we need you!

#68 thismoment

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 09:41 AM

AM

 

You're not weak; you've just being struggling to resolve Pi (3.14159265359 . . .) and there is no reward, meaning, or self-worth to be found in that exercise. 

 

Here's what I mean. 

 

Perhaps you've been taught (as I was) to assign value to outside of yourself, and therefore self-worth is derived solely from feedback. It's a Catch-22 because those of us trained to put our own selves second (or even shed the self completely) often choose careers helping others. But part of the catch is (understand this in context) many homeless, disadvantaged, profoundly disabled, and abused persons are among the most selfish people I have ever met- and that's completely understandable. They have nothing to give you; it's all gone- taken, stolen, lost, broken, forsaken. 

 

I think you are engaged in a struggle to rescue your self, which appears to be on life-support: just do that AM; nothing else matters. Your post says you were abused in a job that you hoped would show you appreciation; you received no support or friendship from co-workers following your departure from both your job and your theatre and academic world; you want to fit in, be valued; you feel alone; you are unsure of your context (that's an esoteric finger-trap with which I am familiar!). AM all of this places the burden of your health outside of yourself. 

 

"I can't see any way out!" There is no way out, you have to get in. This is the platform from which to launch therapy. Please consider this.

 

Take care.


#69 FiveNotions

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 10:23 AM

AM, ThisMoment writes wisdom.... there isn't a "way out".....that's what got us on these meds in the first place...me, anyway....I wanted an easy way out....so I wouldn't have to "deal" with my own "stuff"......I wanted someone, some thing, else to rescue me.....

So get in there and fight, AM.....you are not a victim...unless you allow yourself to be...being a victim means turning all the power over to others...the outside forces....

Fight....dive into therapy.....turn and face, fight, the Balrog, like Gandalf did.....and emerge victorious....the same person, yet transformed..... from "the Gray" into "the White".....

When I was a kid I was weak physically and emotionally.....(I still am in many ways).......back then I was always getting picked on by the other kids...the ones who I so desperately wanted to accept me as their friends....my dad gave me a pair of red boxing gloves for my 8th birthday, and gave me lessons in our back yard.... he told me to never run from a bully, never to kowtow, never to change myself to try to suit anyone else.....but to defend myself.....(perhaps not a universally wise "rule" but in my context at the time it was).....

A month or so later I was once again picked on by one of the bullies...a boy quite a bit bigger than myself....much to his surprise (and my own), I rounded on him with a right upper cut to his jaw and knocked him flat on the schoolyard....

I went home with a note from the school about my behavior....the official party line, but the teacher called my parents and said privately that the kid had it coming, and how amazed she was that he'd finally gotten it from tiny little me....

Mom did, however, take the boxing gloves away from me ......and yelled at my dad .... and they both had shit eating grins a mile wide at the time......For years, all through law school and as a lawyer, and during my lousy abusive marriage.....I had those gloves hanging on my bedroom wall.....as a constant reminder...I'm not a victim......(lost 'em in a later move, still miss having them to remind me...)

Get in there and fight this, AM!

#70 AnotherMind

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:11 PM

FN and TM

some very asute comments. Thankyou. I'll have to process them slowly - as my brain is totally addled.

I guess I felt that I had very much gotten 'IN' and now I'm life-winded.

 

FN the comments you made about love resonated - the client that kept assaulting me did so because I was the staff member he trusted the most and so he would turn to me when he was distressed and out of control- and understanding this, I kept verbally reporting what had happend but only made a formal complaint twice - the real problem was that we were staffed at a ratio of 4 workers to 45 clients with complex behaviours.  most staff are women, most clients male, many on the autism spectrum. :(

 

(Ive connected with other staff members who had experienced this - 2 of which tried to take legal action and they said they wouldnt recommend it as it deepened their anxiety and they came away with nothing. )

 

The eerie thing about working in that environment was that is resembled growing up with a parent with a mental illness - I never knew when my mother would turn, never knew what to expect day to day. She would go from being my beloved mum to someone in a dark room, her face covered in sticky tape because she feared gravity and venting hostility and spleen.

 

The only thing that pulled her out of this state was my 'achievements' and ability to make her laugh. If I lapsed under pressure I was told I didnt deserve my gifts, that they should have gone to someone of 'stronger character'.

 

I did my job in that heightened state of witt and compassion til I literally broke my back teeth.

 

Right now I feel Ive monumentally lapsed under pressure - and failed everyone.


#71 AnotherMind

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:20 PM

I have contacted a lawyer to see what my options are re:work.

 

Ive spent the day fretting about whether Ive misused this forum - so I do apologise for my diatribe.

 

Clearly Im pretty unstable in the wake of Cymbalta - the physical pain and sleeplessness are turning my thoughts into anxious mulch.

 

I do appreciate your kind input people  - much wisdom and insight here.

 

Too many good people suffering.


#72 AnotherMind

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 02:55 AM

"There must be a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them."

–Sylvia Plath

 

 

 

p.s beautiful post FN (just re-read & comprehended)


#73 FiveNotions

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 06:52 AM

Not sure I'd spend too much time with Sylvia Plath right now if I were you, AM......she decided that she had one of the things that a hot bath wouldn't cure....and she pulled the plug on her own bathtub, so to speak....

Step away from all the people, places and things that exist in the darkness and shadows....they are a syren call to you, luring you, lulling you, mesmerizing you.... they are the false voices of the Balrog......who waits to destroy you.....if he lures you, he knows you will come willingly...will not fight.....so you must also fight the things of the darkness that lure you....

Make a choice...a willful, intentional choice...each morning, each moment....to stand and stay in the sunshine....away from all shadows....

If you want to read about living a life of love and beauty and sunlight in the midst of hellish suffering....read the biographies of people like Therese of Liseaux or Elizabeth of the Trinity.....those are just two that come to mind....I will give you some other suggestions for what to read...as compelling, more so...and more beautiful than Sylvia Plath....and all with happy endings....

You must make a conscious act of WILL to have a happy life.....and keep remaking that act of will.....until it becomes simply who you are....

#74 AnotherMind

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:00 AM

Lol - yes I thought of that when Id posted Sylvia!  Whoops.

 

and yes it's true - the mindfulness of positive living.

 

Though sometimes it has to be said, that turning and facing the blackness head-on is the only way to pass through the squall.


#75 AnotherMind

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:28 AM

How are you today Wagtail?


#76 FiveNotions

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:49 AM

AM, I missed your post up-thread about fretting you'd misused the forum....

Stop that thinking and talk immediately. That's the shadows whispering to you! You've done no such thing!

TM may correct me on this, but I'd say that mindfulness of positive living and turning to face and fight the darkness head on are highly compatible.....but my image isn't that I fight the darkness....that's just darkness...a room without light.....I can walk through it in darkness, no need to fight the darkness because it isn't real...or, if I choose, I can turn on the light or open the window...again, just a choice of how I move through the darkness....

The Balrog I talk about turning and facing and fighting is the demons within ourselves...the alter self that wants to consume us....remember the Balrog and Gandalf were, I believe, of the same species....the one was the dark aspect and the other the light aspect.....so essentially, Gandalf was turning to face and fight and ultimately conquer, his own opposite self.....that's why only he could fight the Balrog....and he ordered the others to "flee"..... they couldn't fight Gandalf's personal demons, only Gandalf could do that.....

#77 AnotherMind

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:25 AM

Yes  FN- mindfulness of living and facing the darkness are highly compatible - you have a point.

 

I think the hard part is the depression (whatever that is) - when I wake up and that black dog is curled on my chest - it's hard to identify that I have a choice - Im scarcely cognizent...I have days when I cant even speak  - and lack the wherewithal to find my way out.

 

There have been two suicides in my family due to depression - they haunt me like crazy - and on a bad day I cannot differentiate between my own story and the family myths of deep fatalism (so pervasively reinforced by my indomitable mother). Can you believe my mother lives alone in a shack in God-foresaken, freezing Tasmanian forest, has little grip on reality and has still managed to publish five books in the last 3 years?!  LOL.

 

Thanks for reprimanding my doubt - you wouldnt believe how pervasive my tendency to shame is. It's the monkey on my back.

 

My terror is that when Cymbalta has run it's course - I will be no better off - just another apple fallen from the family tree.

(And if thats the case - I'll just have to deal with that and make the best of it.) 

 

Anyhow - how are you FN? Do you feel things have improved for you?


#78 FiveNotions

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:52 AM

AM, do you have a therapist? If so, are you going frequently to work on this stuff? If not, get a therapist, please.

Spending three years in intensive therapy back when I was in my 30s was the best money I've ever spent (at two to three sessions a week, I maxed out my insurance in just the first month or two of the year, paid full freight for the rest).

Dealing with all my shit was totally the Battle of the Balrog for me..... that's why I kept those red boxing gloves hanging on my bedroom wall!

I'm doing much better, thanks for asking.....just started my 8th month off....the huge physical symptoms...bad optic neuritis, very bad insomnia, etc have pretty much faded...I still get tired, physically and emotionally, very easily.....but that I can manage.....what I'm dealing with now are the cognitive issues....identifying what the drug ...being on it and getting off it.....seems to have done to my memory, reasoning ability, etc.....and with that has come low level anxiety.....I went into that huge tailspin the first week in June, ended up on Valium , with Clonidine as a backup.....the Valium seems to be working, in very low doses, and I've only needed the Clonidine a couple of times....for me, the anxiety lessens each time I clean up a crapalta mess...like filing the 6 years of taxes I failed to file..... ;-)

I think each of us is very unique in what we are left to deal with after the poison....and I think a lot of that has to do with why we were put on it in the first place...as I've said elsewhere here, my reason is that I had a drug induced psychotic episode caused by a reaction to the Teva co.generic of wellbutrin....cymbalta was added afterwards to "glue me back together"..... So I really should not have stayed on it more than a few months, while my brain got back to functioning from the bad wellbutrin....instead I believed the docs when they said I'd have to take it for the rest of my life.....

I still take wellbutrin...and it, the brand, has always worked very well....I no longer am at all sure I even need to be on it.....so, after a year or two of being off crapalta, I will see about also getting off the wellbutrin...

#79 AnotherMind

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:05 AM

FN Im so glad the major physical stuff has faded for you. What a journey youv'e had. Sorting out what the cognitive legacy is will be complex I imagine.

 

 

I do have a pysch - but have tremendous trouble trusting him. (it's a pattern Im afraid - I hate therapy, find it hugely destabilising) But I am seeing him again soon because stuff is welling up and I acknowledge it's too big for me to handle on my own.

 

Again - I am really sorry if Ive raved.


#80 FiveNotions

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:34 AM

Intensive therapy is indeed totally destabilizing...but only temporarily....it has to be in order to be effective....we have to break down all the rigid structures and defenses ...the fences...that we've built haphazardly inside ourselves to try to cope with the pain we've buried inside....it's a tangled mess in there....and it means being willing to go at yourself with a sledgehammer ... and do so with patience and love....and the help of someone who can walk and talk you through the process....

my own experience is that the first three to six months were the hardest....the learning to talk about everything...absolutely everything....and to begin to practice new behaviors and thought processes....to build new paths, let the old bad paths taken grow unused and finally disappear....

it's like yanking a huge bandaid off a pus filled, festering wound....it hurts, the pus flows all over everything and there's the open wound staring you right in the face.....then, it's out in the open...to air and sunlight and examination....and with the proper intensive treatment....the wound heals....

yes, it leaves a scar...and that scar is a badge of courage and character that we carry with us forever as a reminder that we fought the Balrog...and emerged victorious and transformed....

I figured it this way....I had a choice....to continue living in the daily soul killing pain and suffering that I knew so well, like an evil friend who would never leave me.....

Or to endure a brief period of a pain and suffering that was going to heal me and allow me to live the life God intended me to live....

Put another way, AM.....not doing anything is also a clear choice...by not engaging yourself fully in therapy you are choosing, making a conscious choice, to stay sick. It is the choice to play the role of victim.....the irony is that it's you who is victimizing your self.....

You've had the strength and courage to exist with all the suffering you've been doing... why not use that strength and courage to live, not exist, live...a life of health and happiness?

What's it gonna be? Entirely your decision.

I know you can do this!

#81 FiveNotions

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 10:00 AM

PS......as a first step towards healing....might I suggest you change your avatar pic.....the one you've got now is pure Sylvia Plath, about to pull the plug on her bathtub..... I challenge you to find a new pic....one that symbolizes your life without the Balrog ;-)

#82 FiveNotions

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 10:10 AM

It's amazing how depression seeps into every fibre of your being - it always leaves me stunned how much depression hurts.
 
breathe


Hehehe..... I just noticed this......you said "depression hurts" .....

Do you realize that you've perfectly internalized, and are now repeating as though it's your own thought......the Eli Lilly direct-to-consumer marketing for cymbalta... their whole multi-million dollar ad campaign was themed "depression hurts".....

They focus-grouped that phrase...and found that it was the one "sound bite" that when presented to people with depression was the most readily remembered and subsequently used by them to describe their feelings...and each time they used or thought that phrase, they subconsciously associated it with cymbalta...as the "cure" for "depression hurts".....

#83 Wagtail

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 06:52 PM

Not sure I'd spend too much time with Sylvia Plath right now if I were you, AM......she decided that she had one of the things that a hot bath wouldn't cure....and she pulled the plug on her own bathtub, so to speak....
Step away from all the people, places and things that exist in the darkness and shadows....they are a siren call to you, luring you, lulling you, mesmerizing you.... they are the false voices of the Balrog......who waits to destroy you.....if he lures you, he knows you will come willingly...will not fight.....so you must also fight the things of the darkness that lure you....
Make a choice...a willful, intentional choice...each morning, each moment....to stand and stay in the sunshine....away from all shadows....
If you want to read about living a life of love and beauty and sunlight in the midst of hellish suffering....read the biographies of people like Therese of Liseaux or Elizabeth of the Trinity.....those are just two that come to mind....I will give you some other suggestions for what to read...as compelling, more so...and more beautiful than Sylvia Plath....and all with happy endings....
You must make a conscious act of WILL to have a happy life.....and keep remaking that act of will.....until it becomes simply who you are....


FiveNotions , you leave me breathless with you advice & knowledge . You write so eloquently I admire that quality , it's something I have always desired .
I am going to seek out both books & read them , thanks for recommending them . The help you're giving AM is heartfelt but always very right . Maybe you have missed your calling , psychology would come naturally to you I think ... :-)

#84 AnotherMind

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:54 PM

Perhaps I shouldnt have posted while I was in the pit of despair -

 

With all due respect FN - Ive never seen the Cymbalta marketing here in Aus, I was just trying to find words for what I was experiencing.

 

I appreciate that you are passionate about therapy and that it has worked for you and I accept and appreciate your words as an offering of support -

 

I do have support people FN - with my current pysch we have an arrangement where I contact him when it becomes critical because in his opinion talking therapy isnt helping me either - there are some core physical issues that need to be sorted and addressed at this time instead.  Im currently using mindfulness and CBT - I also drawn great strength and comfort from Buddism.

 

I havent been idle all these years - I have continuously sought to live well and creatively.

 

I believe help can take many forms and that we must experiment and refine what works for us throughout our lives.

 

Im sorry if my depressed posts sounded tinged with 'victimhood' and resistent to change - its not the case, it's just the voice of the black wave that catches me from time to time.


#85 FiveNotions

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:28 PM

Whew... I just don't want you to be giving up when you've come so far, have left Cymbalta behind...

And I apologize if I went overboard on the therapy...yep, it worked for me..but nope, it doesn't work for everyone.....and thank you for explaining a bit more about what you've experienced with it...and the other things that have worked/are working for you .... please continue to share about those things here on the forum...if you feel comfortable doing so ....we need to know as much as possible about what options there are, what's worked and not worked for some of us, etc...

I've learned things here that I never knew about ...like mindfulness...Chinese Traditional Medicine, etc...and that's given me confidence that I don't have to feel trapped into just "taking the pill" that the docs all want to hand out....that's part of how I ended up on crapalta...I didn't know I had choices, options...

#86 gail

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 05:40 AM

 

I believe help can take many forms and that we must experiment and refine what works for us throughout our lives.

Well said AnotherMind, full agreement here.


#87 gail

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 05:46 AM

FiveNotions , you leave me breathless with you advice & knowledge . You write so eloquently I admire that quality , it's something I have always desired .
I am going to seek out both books & read them , thanks for recommending them . The help you're giving AM is heartfelt but always very right . Maybe you have missed your calling , psychology would come naturally to you I think ... :-)

Wagtail, yes to that. FN has definitely a way with words. I also wish I had that gift.

 

To that, thanks FN for all your support, your time and for being the person you are.

 

We can feel in your writings that it does come from a place named HEART.


#88 MichB

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 09:46 PM

My goodness! This was a hell of a thread. I agree with everyone that said this original post should be up for all to see. So hoping my comment bumps it so others will read.

Thinking of everyone in these forums tonight!!
Big hugs! 😘

Mich

#89 Wagtail

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:51 PM

Well I've been doing everything right Taking my 5 mg Valium 3 x day & I Clonidine @ night , one of my Valium is taken @ night around the same time as the Clonidine .
But I still woke @ 3 am with dreadful anxiety & put up with it until just now which is 5.30 am Sydney time .
I saw my therapist on Monday & she was sure that I'm not suffering from a return of my depression but rather anxiety caused by trauma from childhood which she is going to work with me on learning coping teqniques.

I have no idea what's causing this debilitating anxiety ATM , I just took my first Valium for the day 2 hrs earlier than normal . I've been trying all the usual calming teqniques from counting my breaths to self talk & mindfulness but still Im shaking all over & you all know the awful feelings I'm feeling .
I just don't know what else to do ....I hate this so much ...

#90 TryinginFL

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:10 PM

Oh Wagtail,

 

I am so sorry...

 

Please call your therapist as soon as time permits. 

 

Love, hugs and prayers, my dear friend,

Liz





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