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  1. #461

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    Taking more risks feels so scary for me.
    That I can understand. I don't like risks either. (Ask me about my dating site experiences sometime . . . an unending series of risks that hardly EVER pay off. Bleah.) And yet . . . human interaction is a risk that we all have to take, because it's something we all need to have in order to thrive. It really is one of our most basic needs, however introverted or private we are.

    I don't know whether it makes you feel any better to reflect that a lot of us are in this together -- that this world is full of people taking risks that are sometimes very hard, painful, and scary, but that have to be taken. I hope that at least it helps you feel a little less alone. *hugs*
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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  2. #462
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    You've raised some great questions here, Gazpacho.

    Personally, I seem to attract people who are looking for a sympathetic ear. They seem to flock from far and wide! I don't know why; I've heard that this often happens to INFJs like me, but I couldn't say why it happens. It's not like I wear an "INFJ" sandwich board. However, for whatever reason, they keep coming, and I do my best to help. I'm not perfect and sometimes I mess up, but I do try. My faith helps me a lot -- it reminds me that I'm not carrying people's burdens all by myself, but that there's Someone much bigger and more capable than I am, who's helping the person in trouble and also helping me to be a good friend.
    Same here, and I too am an INFJ. I always joke I could be a life coach if my current career doesn't work out. I think people appreciate that I don't judge.

    My approach is, I try to find the motivations of people who need a pep talk. Give them a direction, a first step to take so they aren't overwhelmed. Having a first step puts power into their hands, and that's SUCH an important component to happiness, having that autonomy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    That I can understand. I don't like risks either. (Ask me about my dating site experiences sometime . . . an unending series of risks that hardly EVER pay off. Bleah.) And yet . . . human interaction is a risk that we all have to take, because it's something we all need to have in order to thrive. It really is one of our most basic needs, however introverted or private we are.

    I don't know whether it makes you feel any better to reflect that a lot of us are in this together -- that this world is full of people taking risks that are sometimes very hard, painful, and scary, but that have to be taken. I hope that at least it helps you feel a little less alone. *hugs*
    I met Alf on an online dating site. I was very discerning, so I minimized the risk as much as I could. But you're right, there's always a risk when you try something new. And it could be about anything.

    Not reaching out means you're protecting yourself, but you're also blocking yourself from support and help. Sometimes the hazards aren't worth the rewards, but really, the only way to find out is to take that risk and reach out.

    You're right Wyliefan, we're all in this together. I hope you don't forget that, Gazpacho.

  3. #463

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    If it weren't for FSU, I really would have absolutely nothing, and absolutely no one to talk about these problems with.

    Here is what I can't stop wondering. If I knew you in real life and told you the same things, would you be as supportive? Would you check in with me every few days to know how I was doing? No one has checked in with me in real life. No one, including a few people who do have more than an inkling of my mental illness. I bet in every one of your lives, there is someone like me. I bet every single one of you knows someone who is severely depressed or otherwise impaired by a mental illness. Some of you may not know that person's problems. Others I'm sure do know, or at least suspect, that the person is having a very difficult time in terms of mental health.

    Are you doing anything about it? Or do you sit back and passively wish that person well?
    You ask important questions here, and in the rest of your earlier post. And, you make a good point about needing to trust someone to get their help.

    It's easier to just post a supportive message on an internet forum than actually give someone suffering from a mental illness time and energy. That said, I would reach out to a friend or family member suffering from a mental illness and help to the best of my ability. Which is why what Liljen says here is so important:

    Better even is to ask a few people, so that the 'burden' of supporting you doesn't fall on any one person and overwhelm them. It's very possible that any of the hotline numbers we've posted could connect you to people in your community who can help with this kind of thing.
    Are willing to receive help and support from someone you trust?

    A dear friend of mine and neighbour who has now passed away suffered from mental and physical illness in the last few years of her life. In the mix was the fact that she was going blind. She wouldn't take any help and spent all her time in front of the TV with her sort-of partner. I would go to visit her and she wouldn't take her eyes away from the TV long enough to have even a brief conversation with me. The only quality time I spent with her that last year were when she was in the hospital, and had no TV - sad.

    Myself and other friends tried hard to help her. I did a number of things, such as tried to reconnect her with her grandson, from whom she was sadly estranged, and offered to be her advocate for getting supports such as help with cleaning the house. The only help she would take was having meals brought to her. Various government resources were trying to help her as well, and she didn't respond to them. She just got more and more depressed, and withdrew more and more from the world. She was so ashamed of the mess in her apartment that she didn't want anyone to see it, or to see her. Instead of getting help to have a shower, she just didn't shower.

    I guess I'm saying you would benefit from having an advocate. If there is no one person in your life whom you trust, some on this forum have would make some calls for you and try to help you organize community support.

    I don't know where you live, but perhaps support is available to you. Here (Vancouver BC), you need to fight for it. The government is stingy with its resources and isn't going to offer to send someone over to help a person with mental or physical illness clean their house. But if you have a physician who is willing to go to bat for you, you can get a whole bunch of supports in place. If my experience, it begins with either a doctor or a community network.
    Last edited by Japanfan; 04-21-2014 at 06:46 AM.

  4. #464
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    Gazpacho,
    You have brought up some very valid points.
    I have had trust issues and tend to be a loner myself. I don't always feel worthy of having other people around me. It is very scary.
    Myself, I do try to check on those in pain. I have a dear friend who lives in California (I am in Minnesota) who is schizophrenic who I speak to by phone often. I also have a co-worker's daughter was recently diagnosed as schizophrenic and I see what it has done to he and his family. I do everything I can to help support him.
    As for Bi-polar...that is a very scary thing. Another person who I connected with on a skating website has gone thru hell with it.
    Suicide is one of the hardest thing for people to understand. I have heard people say "oh...that is the easy way out" etc... I am sure you have heard the same. But it is not. One of my dearest friends husbands committed suicide in 2003. He was one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever met. I was in shock. We found out afterwards that our friend was aware of his depressions, but they never let on.
    I am sorry if this is kind of rambling, but I just want you to know that I do care about you. I wish I could help more than that, but please know that you do matter to me. Please keep reaching out. Please keep "talking" to us here.
    You are special!!

    Janet
    Peace & Love, Gypsy
    Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.


  5. #465
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    Gypsy, I agree suicide is not an easy way out. The level of anguish that would lead a person to end their life is exquisite. However, it is permanent. Not easy, but unchangeable. So, as painful as it is, as hopeless as it feels, it can get better. And to deny yourself the chance to see that is devastating.

    Gazpacho, I understand trust issues. Being OCD, I have terrible trust issues. And because I know my OCD lies to me, I frequently don't trust my own thoughts. I suspect you feel that too.

    Okay, tough questions again. do you have any family near you? Do they know the level you are suffering? Do you trust them? And here's the real tough question: Are you able to trust anyone? Sometimes it is the person most invested in helping us that we resent the most. When I was deep in my eating disorder and my parents tried to get me help, I became very secretive and hated them for interfering. My eating disorder embarrassed me, humiliated me, and when the tried to help me, it felt like they were shoving it in my face. They made me realize that it was not the secret i wanted it to be. Oddly, now, it is not a secret from anyone. I will openly tell people that I have been anorexic, bulimic, and am OCD. I realize that if I tell people, I might just tell a person who needs to know they are not alone. They might just open up. and I might just be able to help them get help. There is no shame in mental illness. It is an illness. I remember a time, when I was a child, my grandmother and all of her sisters were diabetic (type 2, which can be preventable). No one was allowed to know. They were afraid that no one would want to marry into the family if they knew. There were other disease that were kept secret too. But, today, with the exception of some STD illnesses, the stigma is gone. We recognize that people can't help getting sick. We have not reached that point with mental health and with STDs. That is a societal problem. But, there are many people who are "enlightened". many here, and I am sure there are some in your immediate life.

    Assignment: Sit down and really think about all of the people physically close to you. Think about who you might be able to trust, pick the top 2 or 3. Give them a chance. In giving them a chance, you take a risk, but that also gives you a chance. A chance to take a risk and hopefully win.

    And just so you know. I am speaking for myself because I cannot speak for anyone else. But, I would bet a lot of money that all of the posters here feel the same way. We are not just posting every few days or every day and forgetting you. I think about you a lot. And I genuinely believe that every poster in this thread does too. We are not unique, you must have a person in your life who will be that for you. You just have to let them.

    As always XOXOXOXO

  6. #466
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    Crusin,

    I do agree that it can get better. I know sometimes it does not seem like there is hope.

    I do also know someone who attempted suicide (she jumped from a bridge). There was a small fishing boat near where she jumped and they saved her. To this day, she has still gone thru some very dark times fighting with her depression, but has said that was the luckiest day of her life. She was so grateful those men were there.

    There is always hope. Even in the darkest times.

    I agree that taking risks is very scary, but risks in life are something we all take every day.

    Mental illness is something that many people do not understand. Hopefully someday that time will come. It is such a struggle for someone with mental illness to just live day to day and each day can be a challenge.

    It sounds like you have gone thru a lot yourself.

    Myself, I have an opposite eating disorder. When I start to lose weight and people start to notice...it triggers me to start eating. I use it as a defense to just stay away from other people. I have real self-esteem problems and that way when people disappoint me, I use my weight as an excuse. I also was sexually abused as a young teen and it was my way to make sure I didn't get any attention from the opposite sex. It is a vicious cycle and a constant struggle.

    That is one of the reasons I come here. This is a strong community and the people here really do care.

    I too think about the people here who are struggling and want them all to know...I care.

    So, Gazpacho, please try to find someone you can take a risk on. {{{HUGS}}}
    And {{{HUGS}}} to you too crusin and all on this board who needs one!!!

    Janet
    Peace & Love, Gypsy
    Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.


  7. #467
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    All of Gypsy's post: What a beautiful, thoughtful, giving post. (((Gypsy))) you have gone through your own little hell. I am so sorry you had/have to suffer like that.

    I suppose I identify with suicide because my mother's sister did kill herself and my own mother tried. Fortunately, my father found her in time. I was in my early 20s. Not a child, but it was devastating. To think my mother didn't want to be there for us was very hard. Blaming ourselves for something we really had no control over was also hard. She never tried again, but we lived in fear of upsetting her after that. She was forced to stay in the psych unit of the hospital for 2 weeks, for evaluation. Then she went home. They strongly suggested she get on going help. But, she refused. Sadly, the illness was never treated and she lived most of her life unhappy. I suppose that my experience showed me just how fragile we are. Whenever I have had suicidal thoughts, I remember how I felt when we lost my aunt and when my mother attempted it. It is like cold water in my face, and I get control. This is probably coming across as very simplistic. It is not, it is very complicated and there is much more to the story. But, it would take up an entire thread.

    Gazpacho, please believe that there are people in your life who would grieve if something happened to you. There are many people who value you, love you, cherish you. Figure out who they are and let them in.

    What is important is that many of us, who are posting here, have struggled and suffered. There are all sorts of mental disorders that bring us extreme challenges, and typically no one understands. If we are lucky, we have someone or someones in our lives who force us to get help. If we are not, we have to find someone who can help us dig out of the blackness in our heads. Trust is the most significant word in all of this. It is hard to trust someone else, when you can't trust your own reasoning. How do you know if you can trust someone when you believe your thoughts are flawed? I know it is hard, the hardest thing you will ever do, but you must try. I really believe that there are people in the world who will surprise you, who are trustworthy, and good, and caring. And, I believe that they are in the majority. We just have to trust ourselves enough to trust someone else.

  8. #468

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    I am pretty much in tears right now after reading the last several posts. So many of us have experienced such great pain and hurt and yet there is still so much willingness to help and support and offer kind and caring words.

    I too know how hard it is to trust, as my husband does not understand my depression, anxiety and lack of self esteem issues. So I have to hide them from him. Which just adds to my anxiety! I do have a couple of close friends, but I am only comfortable sharing some things with them. I also have a family member who totally gets me, but she lives a thousand miles away.

    I do a lot of CBT, and journaling, which works when I really really work at it. Of course, the dragons are always in my black closet, and sometimes they escape, but I am eventually getting better at beating them back. But for the most part, I deal with my stuff alone.

    Gazpacho, I really hope you can feel how much we care and want you healthy and whole again. Please try to find someone you can reach out to.

    Judi

  9. #469
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    I just want to say how blown away I am with the sincerely beautiful posts in this thread. It really lets me believe that there are so many wonderful people out there. I think most of them may be right here on FSU. Gazpacho, we care, and we need you. We will do whatever we can within our logistical limits. XOXOXO

    Quartz, I am so thankful that you do have people in your life who get you. My best friend really understands me. Knows when to step up and knows when to let me work it through alone. Unfortunately, she lives in KY and I don't get to see her often. But, we talk almost every day and she is always in my heart. She went through a really bad case of post partum depression. She lived in Miami at the time. I went down and stayed with her for two weeks to help her get settled in, rested, and into a routine. I had a 4 year old and a 2 year old at the time. So, though I wish I could have stayed longer, I had to get back to my kids. But, I'd do anything for her, and I know she'd do anything for me. Everyone deserves at least one friend like that, I am blessed!
    Last edited by cruisin; 04-21-2014 at 05:31 PM.

  10. #470

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    I'm happy you feel comfortable sharing with us here on FSU, Gazpacho. We're with you.
    Adding my support to this.
    I'm grateful for the care shown by the FSU circle.
    Last edited by skatesindreams; 04-21-2014 at 08:32 PM.

  11. #471

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    Quote Originally Posted by quartz View Post
    I am pretty much in tears right now after reading the last several posts. So many of us have experienced such great pain and hurt and yet there is still so much willingness to help and support and offer kind and caring words.
    ^^This. Gazpacho, I hope this in some ways answers your questions, and I hope you keep asking them because they are really important.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  12. #472
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    Gazpacho, please touch base with us. We worry when we don't hear from you!

  13. #473
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    Good question Gaz.

    My brother: his wife left him years ago. He went into a depression for years. He lives on the west coast. I'd spend hours on the phone with him in depression, panic attacks, or rage. Hours. Sometimes just listening, sometimes making suggestions, sometimes in silence but he'd ask if I was still there every so often. He had a gun to his head more than once. I talked him into letting his neighbor confiscate his ammo. At least until he bought more. He got better with meds, therapy, and time. Then his relationship with his son fell apart so he relapsed. His son grew up, they got over their issues, and he's doing really well now. They live together and, it is working.

    My roommate: she was about 13 years older than me, no relationship, had given a baby up for adoption and regretted it (child of a date rape). She ate herself into oblivion before we met. Spent 3 years trying to be there for her, but I was 21-23 and needed to have my own life too. She rejected therapy. I found my own place, she moved into work housing, but we still got together a lot. She found Scientology, and it worked for her for a long time. She moved to CA, then home to Atlanta, and we lost touch. We'd talk once every year or so. She wound up 400 pounds, and died at 65 of organ failure after a long illness, her family was with her. Not alone. A small comfort.

    Close friend. She's prone to depression, but her husband is a doctor, and he helps her manage it. But her young son began behavioral issues (cutting, anger, suicide attempt) and he is now in a special school. That set her off again. We text, FB, email. She doesn't return phone calls. She's coming to visit next week though. She loves shows so I got some tickets.

    I do have a busy life so I am sure I have let others fall through the cracks. Or didn't even see it. I have had at least 4 friends/acquaintances commit suicide or overdose. Two had moved across the country (pre cell phone/internet) and we lost touch so I didn't know what they were going through. The other two were in and out of rehab, but their issues were complicated by drug addiction. One was one of my best friends. I helped send him to rehab, saw him a lot, but it just never took. He had a crack related heart attack. I hope I did what I could for them all, but I recognize that all I can do is be there.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  14. #474

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    I'm so sorry, Gazpacho. I wish I could do more to help you. I don't claim to know exactly what you're going through but I've had some of my own struggles. Some days are good and I feel worthwhile and like I'm making some progress, but other days really suck. I hope you have more good days and can cherish and gain some strength and hope from them. My moods and confidence tend to be fluctuate quite a lot. I have my own issues and judge myself harshly for them sometimes, and am very sensitive to being judged by others, so I try to be completely non-judgmental and try to listen to and understand people even when others rush to judgment (sometimes to a fault). I'm not always good at giving advice or knowing what to say or do but am always willing to lend a non-judgmental ear.

  15. #475

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    Gazpacho, we are here to listen and support you, in any way we can.

  16. #476
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    I hope I did what I could for them all, but I recognize that all I can do is be there.
    It sounds like you did everything you could. You are an amazing friend.

  17. #477

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    How are you, Gazpacho?
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  18. #478

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    Thinking of you, Gazpacho.

  19. #479
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    Gazpacho, please check in. XOXO

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    Gazpacho .. still praying. we care about you ... we want to know how you are doing.

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