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Forums / Long term support over the journey / feeling so lonely and isolated

Topic: feeling so lonely and isolated

  1. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    15 May 2016
    hi everyone, I feel kinda guilty posting here because I haven't been active on the forums for a month or two. I guess I just need to vent and reach out a bit as I can't seem to stop crying today. i guess the main thing is i feel overwhelming loneliness. its horrible because my life outwardly is going so well, in terms of doing things and studying in an area that i love. but it seems my loneliness is something that always comes and haunts me, or plagues me or is just my reality in life. i'm okay with being alone and spending time by myself. but i struggle to maintain many close friendships. its like i'm getting worse at it the older i get. and i seriously have so few people in my life that matter and hardly anyone i can ring up and ask to catch up with. and it seems i al always the one initiating contact with others, no one really makes an effort to spend time with me. i keep having something go round and round in my head, something that a friend said to me that at a certain point in her life she realised she didn't like who she was and she decided she had to change. in many ways i think i'm a caring, funny and sensitive friend, i'm good at encouraging people and being kind. but i suck at meeting my own needs and i think i often don't really share my mind or heart, i sort of withdraw. and when i'm stressed or sad or whatever then i pull back further - when this is when i most need support. sometimes i can feel really awkward in group social situations at night, and feel so out of place, and not know how to make small talk. i'm just so tired and distraught at not having a full loving life. am i a horrible person? what can't i seem to hold on to friendships? i was thinking to ask my one close friend for her honest feedback on why i suck at friendship cause sometimes it is much more obvious to other people, but i don't want to freak her out or put strain on our friendship. so yeah. i guess just many many tears of alone-ness. and the sad thing is i don't know how to solve it. maybe i am just a horrible person who is destined to be perpetually alone? and it is horrible that this was the trauma of my childhood - from about age 7 to 12 or so i lived in a home with an alcoholic dad and older sister and spent so much time in nature climbing trees and swimming - on my own. maybe i never learnt how to properly be around people and its gonna hinder me forever? sorry to be so self absorbed right now :( thanks for reading
    5 people found this helpful
  2. Neil_1
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    16 May 2016
    Hi there hope4joy,

    Welcome back to Beyond Blue, thank you for posting and what a lovely positive name you’ve given yourself.

    Things are going very tough for you and from what I can read, it seems like you’re trying to largely battle all of this on your own.

    I can’t quite read anywhere where you’ve been to a GP or to any counselling; perhaps medications to assist you? These are usually the first ports of call – well, perhaps after coming here.

    But when we suffer from these kinds of issues, you are not on your own with the struggle to maintain close friendships – it is very difficult to do so, however, I do like your idea of chatting to a close friend; someone who you trust and feel safe with.

    When we’re young and we suffer trauma and other awful situations, it is true that they can very much come back to haunt us as we get older; or that they were always there, but only when we’re older that we’re able to recognise it.

    I’m wondering whether you work at all?

    Do you have close family?

    You mentioned about being a horrible person – that is what these issues WANT us to believe, but it simply not the case. You are not a horrible person, you’re just someone who has these mongrel symptoms, that none of us want, and as such you fight day in, day out to try to suppress these feelings. This is where I believe that we need additional help to try and work through these negatives so we can include and get some positives into our life.

    Would love to hear back from you.

    Neil
    1 person found this helpful
  3. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    17 May 2016 in reply to Neil_1

    Hi Neil,

    thank you so much for your caring reply, it brought me to tears to know that somebody cares.

    im not really sure what else to write here. I do have a psychologist I'm seeing weekly and a GP although I don't chat to her much about mental health. I've found uni really disappointing and stressful this year which has impacted my mental health considerably. I'm at this horrible point where I can't do a major essay because my cognition is so bad, I'm constantly crying and in my emotional brain.

    You asked about medication - I've tried it in the past with limited success but have an appointment next mon to see what my psychiatrist suggests. Often the side effects outweigh the small benefit for me. At times like this though I wonder if I am better on mess. It's awfully confusing. The last one that worked made my hair fall out amongst other things.

    so yeah sorry to be so glum. I'll just re read your reply and see if I missed something. The way you writes make me think you know too well the battles with mental health/illness Neil?

    I do work but just casually, I love my job actually, I'm a support worker. And I study full time. As to family no I don't have anyone in my city.

    i guess it's just scary Neil when you feel yourself on a slippery slide downhill and not able to prevent it. I even swore at a friend the other day which I've not done before, shows what stress can do.

    anyway enough from me, thanks for your support. How are you tracking?

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Neil_1
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    18 May 2016
    Hi Hope4Joy,

    And keep hoping and keep fighting – there will be joy and light – cause it isn’t always darkness that surrounds us. Though we fight and struggle there are times when sunshine does appear – ok, it might not be for very long, but for those times that it does, for me, it makes all my fights efforts, all worthwhile. I guess that’s a little snippet from me, which I know you asked a little; and that’s really awesome of you to do so – it tells me what a wonderful person you are; to be dealing with your own troubles, but still be lovely enough to find out how someone else is doing.

    With regard to writing – and being here, you are free and able to write whatever you want. Hmmm, maybe if I asked more direct questions, that could help – so you’d have actual things to answer. :)

    I really feel for you with regard to your Uni and essays that you are to do. I stopped school at end of Year 12; but then went to TAFE for a year to study secretarial studies; but nothing as major or as intense as Uni – I’m just not made that way to be able to do something like that.

    Do you feel that you’re in this constant dark pit or are there times (say, in a day or even are there days in a week) where you feel that little beam of sunshine come through and you feel a bit uplifted? If yes, are you able to capture those times and perhaps dedicate them to some effort on your Uni project?

    Oh boy, that was an unfortunate side-effect from your last medication. The thing is, there are so many medication options out there, so I really hope that your psychiatrist is able to prescribe another kind – and for them to let you know what the possible key side-effects might be. With some, there aren’t many at all – but it really does depend on the individual.

    I found that I had to keep trying till I found some that gelled with me. The thing is with meds is that they are only one part of the mechanism to help combat the symptoms we experience. We need to have other things in place, just as you have with professional help. But also to reach out and search for things that you enjoy – hobbies, sport, physical activities, eating properly, drinking loads of water.

    Hope to hear back from you.

    Neil
    1 person found this helpful
  5. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    22 May 2016 in reply to Neil_1

    Hi Neil,

    Thanks for your reply, its really nice to be able to pop back in and write and say hello. I've thrown myself into work these last few days. I work casually and normally just do two shifts a week but I need to save at the moment and decided to say yes to whatever came my way, which made for working about 15 hours over the weekend, which is huge for me. I know it is distracting - to avoid uni and my feelings - but I feel I needed it and it was a good call this time around. Plus logistically its nice to now have some money coming in. I work with children and I really like the companionship and silliness... i do a lot of impromtu singing and dancing... which is good for my spirit. For some reason around adults i'm all stiff and tense and anxious, but around kids i can relax, be myself and have a little fun. its still tough feeling tired, but there are plenty of nice moments too, and some outrageously funny ones too... mostly through the dancing!

    but yeah, its sounds like you're a real optimist Neil. that is quite something, a precious attribute to have. Has mental health / illness/ been part of your life for a long time?

    i was on my morning walk the other day (i've re-started and they are helping my mood... i have a knee injury so had to stop for a good few weeks) and i was thinking what it would be like to live a life without mental illness. It brings tears to my eyes just typing it. To think how amazing me and life could be without this constant struggle, constant burden. Sure there are good times but they are also framed on either side by tougher times. And i know that everyone has their difficulties in life. I just hate that all i can do it to "survive" life so often... not flourish or go forward... just get by. I have BPD too which means I am super sensitive in all my relationships and disassociate really easily under stress, esp if i'm depressed. But sorry this is all starting to sound very negative.

    Yeah I think you're right that it is important to cultivate hobbies and positive activities alongside the medical-care side of things... because they are what bring joy into life.

    Hmm, i'd like to hear more from you but am not sure what to ask. Maybe one thing to ask is if you have any hobbies or things that more often than not bring little flecks or big pools of joy into your life Neil?

    I might stop here for now,

    Kind wishes.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Neil_1
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    23 May 2016
    Hi H4J,

    Thanx for your latest response and it was pleasing to read about your work with children and how impromptu activities with them can and does take place. I think you find it so easy in front of children, is that it might be that they haven’t developed that judgemental side yet? Whereas with adults, we (or perhaps not the global we, but let’s say, a lot of us) are concerned with what others might think of us, if we do something a bit spontaneous which is not something that is normally done. I hope that makes sense.

    Whereas if you do something “out there” and silly in front of children, more often than not, you’ll probably receive laughter from that.

    Hmmm, an optimist? I can’t say I’ve ever had that term used towards me before – most terms are usually unprintable! ;) ;)

    Yes, I’ve had my illness for a long long time and have suffered from PTSD for about 25 years and I believe it’s as strong and nasty now as it ever has been – despite years and years of counselling, self-help arrangements; so I just manage it as best I can each day, and have my meds that I take each day and night as well.

    Getting out and about is awesome and it really can have such a positive effect – on our mood, on our inner feelings and wellness, and not to mention that the more one does it, the more easily you’ll be able to do it and perhaps even extend to longer walks, etc.

    My children mean the world to me (18yo son and 15yo daughter), so having them close by is a great help for me. Even, just knowing that they’re close by, without even having one-on-one communication – just knowing they’re happy and safe in our home and doing whatever it is they enjoy, is great.

    I also attend my gym 6 days a week; keeping fit is crucial for me; and lifting weights is also a fantastic release for me.

    Music also is a good escape for me – well, not an escape but different tunes is good to occupy the mind.

    I love almost all sports, so that is another biggie for me – a bit old to play anymore, but love the following etc.

    Neil
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  7. hope4joy
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    525 posts
    28 May 2016 in reply to Neil_1

    Hi Neil,

    I think you're right, kids and some teenagers don't have that judgemental side yet... and I can feel so free and safe in their company... free to be myself. I hope I can bring that more and more into my life with everyone... my psych reckons its possible at least! Its certainly a long road recovering lost parts of ourselves from childhood trauma/ early experiences. And yes, kids just laugh so easily! That is very rewarding and enjoyable for putting on silly antics! Its really lovely to hear that you have children - a son and daughter - and that they mean so much to you. I know what you mean about the companionship just from someone being nearby but not needing to talk or interact necessarily, but just having their company. I guess thats another reason i've thrown myself into work, so i need not be alone. But i just had to cancel my plans and work for today as I've landed the flu. And I know if I rest early on I can often reduce the duration. I hate the way my mood drops when I'm sick and I can get sad that I need to take care of myself (no one else is here to do that) but i'm just reminding myself that this is why my mood is a little lower, so not to buy into it. I find that can help a lot at times. There's not always a reason for mood, but it helps me when i can put it down to something and not react or freak out so much.

    Well yeah I think the way you talk about your experience with mental health is very positive, well that is how its come across to me! And I don't mean your experience necessarily, more your attitude. It seems like you help so many people on here which is a wonderful thing.

    You mention that you go to the gym a lot. My equivalent is morning walks and yoga. I've noticed that because I've been busy at uni and with a knee injury i stopped going to yoga much and it really impacts my mood. The high intensity exercise (I do a very dynamic yoga) seems to help me in check by burning off excess unwanted emotions! I wonder if its also why i've gotten sick - as i find yoga increases my immunity. So i'll be back into it as soon as i'm over this cold... for now its resting in bed mostly for a day or two.

    What sort of music do you like Neil? I listen to a fair bit - from pop ballads to folk to calming instrumental mostly. I like songs with empowering positive sort of messages... I limit how much sad music I listen to cause it really impacts my mood.

    How has your week been? Hope to chat again soon :)

  8. Neil_1
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    30 May 2016
    Dear H4J,

    Thank you for your latest response and wow, thank you so much for your kind words, re: my attitude to mental health, etc; that really meant heaps to me.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve picked up the flu – that’s never a good thing and as you rightly say, it not only can bring you down, it does do that as well. When we’re not feeling all that flash when we’re well, then to score an illness on top of that, that just plummets us way further down. It makes everything feel so much worse, and yes, as you said, your whole mood drops.

    I hope you’re able to knock it on the head before it becomes too full on for you. Rest if you’re able to is a great thing and loads and loads of water. Trying to flush all the gremlins out of the body. Vitamin C and if you don’t mind, garlic is another good thing. Anyway, that’s enough from Dr Neil for the moment.

    That’s awesome about the yoga and the walking – two very healthy things not only for the body, but as you’d be aware, the mind as well. Healthy body, can really mean or help to promote a healthy mind.

    My music is fairly varied, I think, but if you ask my kids they’d say not. They’re really into metal, my son especially, big time; which I just can’t get; the growling of supposed lyrics is way too much for me. The heaviest I like to listen to is “Disturbed” and I do really like them. But I really enjoy the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.

    Hmmm, good question about how my week has been – I guess that depends on when the week starts? So being cheeky, I’ll say the week starts as of Monday, and so I’ll say my week so far has been going not too badly. How ‘bout yours?

    Neil
  9. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    4 June 2016 in reply to Neil_1

    Hi Neil,

    I'm listening to 'the sound of silence' by disturbed as i type this, I always like to hear new things... although i have heard this before. beautiful vocals. and yes i agree, heavy metal is about the only music genre i can't get into... it just doesn't make sense to me! and sometimes i find jazz a bit hard too, although sometimes i can get it.

    Thanks I've done all i can to rid the cold and it is getting better, just a little cough and runny nose left. Going to yoga a few days was hard but really helped clear out my lungs. I have been eating loads of garlic, lime juice, salt-gargles and eucalyptus inhalations... whatever i can think of.

    i worked 11 hours today - no break - so feel pretty tired. my mood is also pretty low... just loneliness i guess. i'm putting almost all my energy into uni - i just need to get through the rest of this uni semester. one more big assessment then i'm done. i've started new anti depressants a few days ago, so hopefully it works.

    i'm not really sure what to write, to be honest i'm just so flat. i find it hard to accept that this depression will be with me for a long time more, i hate it. sorry to be so bleak.

    i hope your weekend is going well,

    Christina

  10. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9388 posts
    4 June 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi Christina. It has been a while

    Your kindness and openness is your asset. Uniqueness your gain. From memory you have BPD. By chance my younger cousin has it to.

    She is often on Facebook and is almost screaming out for understanding. So I replied to her today. I said...

    To get others around you to understand you they have to be very kind, very much a listener and very perceptive. It is rare. So in my case with mental issues I am slowly surrounding myself more with others that have similar issues or possess a unique quality or understanding which includes some patience.

    In return they would get my efforts. This means that my everyday knock about bloke I'd being slowly squeezed from my life. Why,? Because such friendships in my experience rarely work. Why won't they?

    Because "birds of a feather flick together". In your case having a girlfriend that needs you at times when low means she will try to be around when you need her. I say try because sometimes we are to unwell to return the favour. So we need to be understanding.

    Talking about music...my wife and I are in our van in Carnarvon WA while it'd raining. We are searching YouTube. Our fav ones are

    Elvis I'll remember you

    Elvis unchained melody

    Gerry and the pacemaker's ferry cross the Mersey

    Leon Burger Sarah

    Hope you like them.

    Your depression. We had car trouble in NT. Our friends left us ..no abandoned us when we hsf car troubles. I had depression for 10 days about it. We are no longer friends.

    Its hard. We feel so low that we have no projection that we will be better soon. So have some faith it will come good.

    As for your ad's. I lost my answer to your other thread. After many attempts I found one that worked. It also had the least side effects. So your psych might say something, sometimes we need to let it fly over our heads.

    Have faith. You are a wonderful kind person. There aren't many better.

    Tony WK

  11. MisterM
    MisterM avatar
    475 posts
    5 June 2016 in reply to white knight
    I don't know what to say but I send you hugs.
    I know the feeling of loneliness as I don't have many friends and feel like I chase people more than they chase me.
    I am naturally shy and quiet so that makes it hard for me to attract people.
  12. Neil_1
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    6 June 2016 in reply to hope4joy
    Hi Christina

    Whoa, an 11 hour work day (and no breaks), that does not sound good at all – and not good for anyone, let alone if you’re doing it tough on so many different fronts. I hope that was just a one off work wise.

    How long till your big assessment is done and over?

    Not sure if you were inundated with rain on the weekend; where I am, we had 44mm on Satday and then 76mm on Sunday; Sunday was just steady rain all day. But nothing as torrential as other areas received.

    No need to apologise at all either … being low and down and bleak – it’s all part of who we are, which is not good; as we know. But we’ve gotta keep striving for the positives and you just never know when they will turn up.

    Neil
  13. QldMouse
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    239 posts
    6 June 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi Christina and Neil,

    I just have to say how inspirational I've found your exchange. I'm new, but just reading the way you two have been communicating gives me hope. Clearly you two are wonderful, caring people. Christina you sound lovely, and I have been where you are, I hope the sunshine breaks through the clouds and brings you warmth real soon.

    All the best.

  14. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    6 June 2016 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony,

    thank you for expressing such a heartfelt reply. I popped in here yesterday at a real low point and cried so much after reading your reply, and the kindness of another member. I wasn't able to reply just then. And it gave me so much energy. I am really struggling to finish my last assessment and such kindness, well it gave me a burst to keep going, and I got a draft together this afternoon, which I so needed.

    And yes thank you, perspective is important. It is hard to imagine that depression will ever lift once it sets in, but time and time again it always does. So maybe I can believe that even if i don't 'feel' it to be true.

    I'm now playing the songs you suggested and am quite excited to be listening to Elvis, I've not heard much of him. Unchained melody is wonderful! Music is a magical thing. I'll now go and read your reply again...

    Hmm, its powerful what you say about needing to build up a network of people around oneself that really cares. I'm glad you've having this more and more in your life. Its horrible the way if we were used to being treated badly as a child/ young adult, that we then keep replicating this... and don't realise that friendship can mean so much more. I have two really special friends I met through different psychology courses and I love them so much. I can be me around them. But you're right, there are many times we can't be available to support each other, or to be a good friend, because of our own mental illness. But the good times are worth it.

    I think for me another common thing in my best friends is an interest in art/ beauty in the world - because that is how I see the world - all in a play of light and shapes and 'artworks' everywhere. And a sense of humour/playfulness - I have a very strong inner child and play nurtures this part of me.

    What about you Tony, what aspects do you think are most important in your dear friends?

    And I'm sorry to hear about that friend letting you down and abandoning you when your vehicle broken down... that sounds really thoughtless. So many people these days can only think of their own interests, it is a special find to find truly generous and caring people.

    (I like the Leon Berger song too, esp with the scratchy record sound in the recording)

    As to my songs, one that has given me a lot of inspiration this year is this track on youtube:

    John Butler, Dan Sultan & Missy Higgins - From Little Things Big Things Grow

    I guess it gives me hope.

    Kind wishes to you Tony,

    Christina

  15. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    6 June 2016 in reply to MisterM

    Hi Mister M,

    I appreciate you popping by here. Yeah, its a tough gig sometimes keeping friendships. Lets hope we just continue to get better at it as we get older! And in the short term, it is lovely to have this community to help break the isolation and to share those painful lonely moments with too. I always feel so embarrassed to tell people in person that I'm feeling lonely, I somehow take it as my failing. When really they'd probably just feel concern or empathy for me. I hope you're still managing to plough through the last of this semesters workload Mister M, we're almost there.

    Take care,

    Christina

  16. hope4joy
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    525 posts
    6 June 2016 in reply to Neil_1

    Hey Neil,

    its nice to hear from you :) Yeah I think such a long day is overdoing it, looking back. I'm needing to save up lately so have been working a bit too much and weekends are a much better rate of pay. I have another long day next sat, 6:30 till 5pm, and something on that night. But i've arranged to have an hour break in the middle, so that ought to help a bit. Its hard finding balance.

    And yeah, we had lots of rain here. It was beautiful really, in that there wasn't any damage in my local area. I find heavy rain and storms soothing and sort of cleansing. Actually I find the same with the beach and rivers and water in general, it somehow can help me let go of emotional pains and become lighter and freer. And I think I just like mother nature going a bit nuts and asserting herself on our very orderly lives. Of course its no good if people are hurt/ stuff is damaged. Did you fare okay? How do you find storms?

    And thanks for accepting my bleakness and blackness. And also the reminded that the good and bright is always just around the corner, at least in small doses.

    As to uni assessments I got an extension, so it is now due on June 15th. So not long to go at all. My psych reckons my mood will pick up after this pressure is over.

    Whats happening in your world Neil?

    Christina

  17. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    6 June 2016 in reply to QldMouse

    Hi QldMouse,

    thank you for such a heartfelt reply... thanks for sharing the beauty inside of you.

    And i'm intrigued by your profile name. I have a dear friend who goes by the name of Mouse... though not of the Qld variety! But I wonder, what is the meaning for you? No worries if it is too personal.

    Yes, lets hope the sun breaks through soon. How are you doing QldMouse?

    Christina :)

  18. white knight
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    9388 posts
    6 June 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi Christina,

    What a great reply, set of replies actually to several responders.

    If we evaluate this for a moment...your pattern over the last few days is not uncommon for us all.

    Firstly we are low, even desperate so in your case, or my case when in a remote town we seek help. We post here, why? What are the basic reasons we do so? Because we are from the same flock, we can relate. And we are compassionate.

    Then you get several replies all of which have their own unique qualities.

    Then to your credit you follow every word and reply.

    What has happened? A few things

    Change of focus

    Time since feeling down

    Attention you desperately needed. Guidance. Friendship.

    Imagine you are dizzy from problems. You spin around in the middle of an intersection. Collectively posters here stop you spinning and point you to the right road. It is you however that takes that first step to feeling better. You might return to that intersection again but you'll know which way to face for that journey forward because you've been there before.

    That's my theory but its far from perfect.

    What I do know is that we are all humans and as humans two of the greatest gifts one can give to another is an ear and a helping hand.

    I wish I could wipe your tears, sooth your drained mind and cushion lives bumps for you. Such level of care is in a lot of people. Find them, nurture their friendship and have faith in life for it's positives.

    But be aware people are also near you that will turn against you. Just like my friend that deserted us on a remote outback road.

    Discard them as quick as you can and keep going on your journey. Its sad that some people are so nasty but we cannot help them. We are too busy with our own kind.

    Like you

    Tony WK

  19. Neil_1
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    7 June 2016
    Dear Christina,

    Great to hear back from you and thank you so much, not just to me, but to everyone who you so thoughtfully replied back to. In you doing that, I sense what a wonderful caring natured person you are – when someone reaches out to you, you reply back to each one individually. That really stamps you as one of those people who are so kind and compassionate – and you’re doing this all the while, while you’re still struggling with your own issues. Mega kudos to you.

    And the posts have been coming in and it’s been awesome from both sides – your responses as well as the others who have been writing to you.

    I noticed in one of your responses to Tony about how you see the world – in lights, shapes and artistry; and dare I add in colours as well. That is an amazing quality to have and I had a psych once upon a time say to me, “Can you perhaps look at things in your life for the beauty that is there?” I told her back that for a lot of the time I already do that – more so in colour, I love the colour of different things. I also do check out cloud formations a lot and to see what different pictures, patterns that produce – that can be never-ending.

    For me, I love storms – although not the real violent ones, those ones with damaging winds, etc; but just a regular kind of storm, with good rain and masses of lightning, really enjoy those. I’m a bit nerdy when it comes to weather, as am always on the lookout for how the weather will be, what’s coming, etc etc.

    My world continues to keep on going; have my work, I attend my gym 6 days a week, trying to keep as fit as I can – though if I were to win Powerball or the like, then I would be able to concentrate 100% on my fitness and really ramp things up. Ahh, dreams. But for the moment, it’s just the same old, same old, wow, when you read it like that, that sounds ultra boring.

    Ps: to QldMouse – I really enjoyed reading your response as well.

    Neil
  20. QldMouse
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    239 posts
    7 June 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Thank you Christina,

    I find getting positive, lovely comments like yours quite shocking. My bad, it is not what I'm use to.

    I was scrambling for a nick and Mouse was taken, maybe by your friend? So I put Qld on the front and bingo, got passed that screen. Was not in such a great frame of mind when I did it, so it means "Mouse" not "Man". Scared, timid, feeling small ... you get the picture.

    How am I doing? thank you for asking. I'm ok, hanging in there, had some good help in another thread.

    You are clearly an amazing lady, I suspect your close to my daughters age and she is also amazing. Be proud of yourself and the power you have within you. You can conquer the world, and it definitely needs more people like you and Neil in charge!!

    (waves at Neil). Really enjoyed reading your posts.

    Thank you awesome people.

  21. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    8 June 2016 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony,

    I enjoyed reading your theory and I can see the truth in it, and that with time patterns become stronger and more familiar and then more automatic so that we spend less and less time waiting at the intersection. Its hard because depression and other states encourage us to be alone and to isolate, whereby we get bogged and stuck in the same headspace, when what we need most is like you said, someone to listen and someone to help out. I guess we're lucky that we can be such good friends to others, and that in time we'll have more of these types of friends ourselves. I think you're right, you can often see more of a person's character when the chips are down, and how they respond. I think for me what I need is to become more active in friendships and to let people know how to meet my needs sometimes - i can still be very passive at times and expect them to know what i'm needing or how i'd like them to be when i'm upset. This is a work in progress at the moment!

    Its very nice chatting to you Tony :)

    Christina

  22. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    8 June 2016 in reply to Neil_1

    Hi Neil,

    thanks so much for sharing about how you see the world - through colours - and cloud formations. Yes- this is it! Seeing the world in terms of beauty. Sometimes when I'm driving along and I see the most vibrant flowers (often the rich pink purple bougainvillea) I have to stop my car and take a quick photo or video! Smart phones are so handy for that. When I'm feeling good this experience is even richer, although it never truly leaves me. Do you have a favourite colour that really delights you? I find I go through periods of being attached to a particular colour... often it is red/pink or green. I am also very partial to smells - anything natural - like lemon-scented gums or the bark of stringy-barks are two delightful scents. And now perhaps I'm sounding quite odd! But i do find these simple things so enjoyable time after time.

    And its good to hear that life is carrying on smoothly for you Neil. I guess anyone's routine would seem boring because there is so much repetition... and I think thats okay. What did you mean by saying you'd invest more in your fitness if you won the lotto... what sorts of things would you like to do? Me personally would get an hour massage every week... that would be bliss!

    Wising you a good day,

    Christina

  23. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    8 June 2016 in reply to QldMouse

    Hi QldMouse,

    thanks so much for your reply and for explaining where your profile name comes from. I'm sorry to hear about you feeling timid. I know the feeling when life and everyone in it seems so overwhelming and frightening. I think I'm perpetually a bit anxious and hyper vigilant, but hope I can turn this down over time. Is your anxiety a new thing or something that has been with you a long while? And sorry if you've discussed this in another thread, my energy is still quite low so i'm just staying in a couple of threads at the moment. That sounds quite bizarre, like I'm a sewing machine or weaving frame or something! :)

    And shame isn't it that we can so easily give compliments but find it hard to receive them. Thank you for you kind words QldMouse, you're a kind generous person to offer them. And how nice to hear that your daughter is such a great person. Perhaps she has been inspired by her parents! :)

    Wishing you a good day QldMouse,

    Christina :)

  24. QldMouse
    QldMouse avatar
    239 posts
    9 June 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi Christina,

    Thank you for your lovely comments and kind words, yes you are sure correct about compliments and I would say wise advice. We do seem to get much better at giving it and compassion to everyone except ourselves.

    I asked my therapist about that and she said "why do you think that is" ... it must be a different plane of existence from the rest of us?

    I certainly understand your hyper vigilance, are you forcing yourself to get out into clubs and groups? It is super scary but it works, I've discovered I actually can solicalise. Who knew?!?!

    My anxiety and poor self image go back to childhood, and I'm in my late 50's so ... yup. I'm just starting to feel that I have some value, but its hard. My few relationships from my mum onwards have all reinforced my low esteem, fear and shame. Sorry to distract your thread, but if your anything like me you'll go to any lengths to change the subject and not talk about ourselves.

    Hasn't the weather improved!! :-)

    Be well, be happy, and continue to be wonderful.

  25. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    10 June 2016 in reply to QldMouse

    Hi QldMouse,

    Yeah I hear you about how change can take an awfully long time, and that it is a step by step thing. I'm in my mid 30s and have had the realisation that I needed help/ to change since I was 29. It was like before that I had no self awareness and was asleep and just caught on the merry-go-round of life and then suddenly a light switched on and I entered my body again and realised how much pain and difficulty I had in life. So its been all sorts of counselling things since then, kind of like peeling back the layers of an onion analogy. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever stop - and I guess we can probably go on learning forever. But I don't feel like i'm ready to stop counselling yet because I still have such a negative view of myself at times and I still struggle in meeting my own needs and taking up space in friendships, which ultimately can make them feel very unsatisfying and cause me to not invest much time. Gosh I'm not sure if any of this makes sense QldMouse!

    So yes your comment that I'm happy to change the conversation quickly is very astute! And part of it for me is that I don't know how to hold a space, I just say whats wrong in one sentence or a few and then don't know what else to say. I'm not good at repeating myself or going around in circles out loud... which is what my friends seem to do when they want help on something... although I can in my head.

    With being hyper vigilant, um well sadly I have that all the time. Its sort of how I approach life mostly. But I agree with you that forcing oneself to socialise does work, especially when habits kick in and it feel natural. Sometimes i struggle most with going to events at night but if I get into the habit of it, it becomes much easier and I sort of just go on autopilot - which in this case is helpful! It sounds like you're making big progress with being sociable. What sorts of social events do you like to go to?

    And don't be sorry to share about you here, the threads belong to everyone and its nice to chat and share. I'm just wondering, did something prompt you to start making these changes recently? Its great that you are starting to see value in yourself... that is very much a step in the wholehearted direction! It reminds me of one of my favourite TED talks (I'm not sure if you know them, they are conferences of inspiring people help around the world, and recorded and online for free) by Brene Brown about how vulnerability is the key to living a wholehearted life.

  26. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    10 June 2016 in reply to QldMouse

    And yet feeling vulnerable can be excruciating and something I usually run away from. Yet it is what leads to joy and wholehearted-ness. Hmm, I'm having trouble explaining it QldMouse.

    Wishing you a good day - and yes the weather has improved markedly - its almost like summer again!

    Kind wishes,

    Christina :)

  27. QldMouse
    QldMouse avatar
    239 posts
    10 June 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Hi hope4joy,
    The more that I look at your nickname, the more it resonates with me. We all hope 4 joy in our lives don't we.
    Wow, your mid 30's you lucky lady, your almost in your prime!! What a great time you must have ahead, my life didn't kick into high gear about then and it was twenty years of rollercoaster. I suspect there have to be some dips to make the peaks in life dramatic, but I really hope you have great peaks of joy ahead of you.
    Oh brother do I understand the first paragraph, sorry sister!! It makes perfect sense. I'm pealing the onion layers off but wish it didn't cause so many tears. Have you seen "Shrek"? When Donkey and Shrek are talking about layers ... Can't get that out of my head.
    Wow, so much of what you say/type is so familiar. Changing the subject, yes you get very good at not addressing the "how are you" or worse the "how are you really" question. You are so right, other people spout their issues over and over until you can mouth the story yourself. I also do a rubbish job of explaining my challenges. Interesting but havn't a clue what that means.
    With being hyper vigilant, um well yes, er ... I have always been that way. My early life was a bit violent at times so it was important to know where all the bolt holes and exits were at all times. I still have triggers that I can't seem to reprogram. At times I have driven myself to events, but not in the past year. The last few years have been a steady decline, I thought a period several years ago was rock bottom, but 2015 beat it hands down. This year has really been up and down, so sadly no I'm not making progress. Sorry if I mislead you, it is so much easier to give advice than take it isn't it. :-(
    Did something prompt me, not comfortable sharing that but things got a bit dark and I scared myself. Taking deep breaths, yes I've moved on from that a wee bit but have a long way to go I know. At times you just get so tired, then so tired of being so tired. I've seen several people saying that here.
    It is funny you mention Brene Brown. She is hilarious on TED isn't she. I got a reading list from my therapist and "The Gifts of Imperfection" was underlined and highlighted. I have it, but find it a tough read. Her TED talk was interesting, but I have a bit of aversion to religion. My mother was very religious and it didn't stop her causing me great hurt and harm. So I suppose I have another issue there.

    ..../

  28. QldMouse
    QldMouse avatar
    239 posts
    10 June 2016 in reply to hope4joy

    Feeling vulnerable is excruciating, and even though your twenty something years younger I think I could out run you to get away from it!! I hope it leads to joy and wholehearted-ness. No your not having trouble explaining it, not at all. Your coming in crystal clear. I've read your posts and just keep nodding and going ah huh, yes, yup, oh
    yeah. How many others I wonder are out there doing the same thing, the thing I'm liking here is that I now think there are quite a few.

    Thank you so much for this.

    Go enjoy the return of summer and have a wonderful weekend. :-)

    (cheeky double posters aren't we!!)

  29. hope4joy
    hope4joy avatar
    525 posts
    13 June 2016 in reply to QldMouse

    Hi Qld Mouse,

    I'm just popping by quickly to say hi!! I look forward to reading your post and replying soon. I've had my head in my studies... am on my very last assessment... due wed but i'll try to submit it tomorrow... and wow, then i've made it through the semester! Off to my psych app now. Chat soon,

    Christina :)

  30. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Neil_1 avatar
    4232 posts
    14 June 2016
    Hi Christina

    Wow, Tuesday today, so you’ve got one more day left till the end of your semester – this must be a wonderful feeling to have. I hope you’ve done really awesome with all that you’ve submitted, etc.

    And then to read QldMouse’s mentioning Shrek and layers … that is always a crack up, as that is one of my fave movies. Just love it. So many quotable lines out of it. :) An absolute feel good movie.

    Colours? I do like orange; and I really enjoy a spectacular sunrise or sunset. They are awesome.

    Boring can sometimes be a real stress reliever … as in, if it’s deemed as a stock standard routine and you feel comfortable and at ease with everything, then it can be ‘just nice’ or ‘just good’. No particular need for spectacular or living on the edge type of excitement. But hey, these times I think have their place as well, but just not all the time.

    Invest more in fitness, in that, well for (a) I wouldn’t need or have to work again and that then draws me to what I would do. Well I’d do everything that I could to get fitter and build myself up more. Cycling, running, buy a kayak or canoe and get more fitness that way – anyway for the moment, just a pipe dream, but still something to dream about. 

    How about you, have you ever thought about what you’d do if you won a massive Lotto prize? Apart from your weekly massage! ;)

    Neil

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