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Mad Hatter tries not to self destruct


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16 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

No no the things that I got all the points for are getting distracted, procrastinating even fun things, being late, having a working memory of a goldfish, time being exceedingly wobbly, losing things, starting all of the hobbies and never sticking with anything, consistency and schedules being dark magic, not being able to focus or focusing all too much*... (LOL that looks so bad when written out)


Yeah, I scored 152 for essentially the same stuff. Plus constantly singing to myself, being unable to hear anyone in loud parties, and some adrenaline-seeking hobbies.
 

7 hours ago, KB Girl said:

bloody hell woman some emails are big things. There is someone still waiting for an email from me since february last year. 


I will vouch for the fact that some emails are big things.

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9 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Yeah ok.. I like and approve of lazy Sunday’s, that doesn’t sound negative to me, it just sounds wonderful. 

+

8 hours ago, Defining said:

NSFW example:

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Lazy sex. No one is in a rush, but also no one really wants to put in a lot of work. Things are less focused, but sometimes that's the most satisfying type. ;)

Or a lazy afternoon is, IMO, a good thing - just taking it easy is a totally legitimate choice.

Fair enough, but in both those cases it's not the person that's lazy, it's the activity/event, which makes a huge difference. :) And I still think there are better words, like leisurely or relaxed or chill, because as @Elastigirl says it's really important to be able to take rests without feeling guilty and lazy.

 

9 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Perspective? You are comparing apples and oranges. I have Jaap to help me with all that, I work an average of 2 hours a day, the baby is 10 months old, I have unloaded the dishwasher twice this year and apparently unlike your body my kids will just tell me when they’re hungry and they come with hugs and the black magic of imposing a schedule. I even follow the babies nap schedule and in the evening Jaap will send me off to bed.They take care of me. You on the other hand are going through a very rough patch all by yourself in the darkness and with a severe lack of hugs and you are still alive and haven’t gotten fired and you keep supporting your friends and you keep coming back to go another round even in the face of all hopelessness. You taught me about dance parties and celebrating the small wins with a list of positives and bloody hell woman some emails are big things. There is someone still waiting for an email from me since february last year. 
Im not insulting either of us by mentioning one of my symptoms. If I’m a superwoman, and I’m cool with that, then so are you. 

I never meant is a comparison (though I realize that's what I wrote) :) I just think you're hard on yourself. This is also only one period, I'm considering all the other years we've known each other. And even then, just because you have family that takes care of you doesn't mean that you're lazy. You take care of them too! Sometimes less, sometimes more (when it comes to "productive" tasks)

 

But I don't know, I still don't think lazy is very useful. Like this is technically the definition of laziness:

8 hours ago, Defining said:

Personally, I think it's only negative when being 'lazy' is no longer a choice, and is instead either a habit and/or an outcome due to energy levels/stress.

 

Which is very different for admonishing yourself or someone else for being lazy, which is almost always how it's used. For me personally I think it hits home a bit because to me it's closely related to the word "quitter", which I've been told many times during my childhood, and it hits a bit of a sore spot.

 

4 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Wow, just got caught up on 6 pages.  I am so behind....

 

I love your pics from when it was -22.  I would gladly trade for our -20, which looked exactly like every other temperature but was just miserably cold

 

Also, I am really enjoying the ADHD quiz video you shared.  It was taking too long, though, so I came here to update first and will get back to it soon :D 

Nope, not making that trade. :D The snow and prettiness is the only thing making it bearable. :D 

 

Haha points for you! :D 

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2 hours ago, PaulG said:

Yeah, I scored 152 for essentially the same stuff. Plus constantly singing to myself, being unable to hear anyone in loud parties, and some adrenaline-seeking hobbies.
 


I will vouch for the fact that some emails are big things.

Haha, I'm glad you're still functioning. :D I also have the loud party thing, and come on, surely everyone wants to go to space! Had I taken the quiz today I would also have got extra points for losing my gloves, and apparently a pair of pants... It's a mystery.

 

Oh I agree. This email wasn't one of them. 

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On 1/17/2021 at 3:10 PM, Mad Hatter said:

 - Cutting my hair

Oh I have been playing with this idea. I feel like in quarantine I have really mastered the messy bun and I love it lol but the amount of hair is driving me nuts. Plus I kind of want to play with some blue hair dye. 

 

Also those pictures from really cold day were beautiful ❤️ thanks for sharing. I hope you moisturized after lol. 

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Question to therapy people: do you need super specific goals? I've been rather restless this week and I don't know if my level of irritation with this guy is appropriate or, uhh, an outlet of said restlessness. :P 

Quote

What I said to him was:

 

1. I'm tired of the DO ALL THE THINGS I'M SO EXCITED I BREAK MYSELF phases followed by I can't leave my bed phases. But I also don't know if I can change it (or honestly if I even really want to!), or if should learn to live better with it. I don't even know what my baseline is, I don't know what tools are available, I don't know what outcomes are reasonable. So how do I set a goal here? I told him I'd like it to affect my life/productivity and confidence less, but apparently that wasn't good enough.

2. That scheduling, consistency and balance are fairy tales in my world. I've tried so so many things. Practically nothing has really worked besides "I feel like it" or "I must do it to avoid bad things". Which is not ideal when combined with point 1.

3. I hate my job but I don't know how to get out of it and change careers (especially because of the erosion of confidence caused by 1 and 2). It felt like he insisted on me having goals and knowing what I want out of life in order for therapy to be useful and he wants to me really think about it. Which is a legit question, but I have been thinking about this for the past YEAR, and all it did was spiralling me into an existential crisis. His reply was that well maybe it will come to you in a dream after this conversation. HUH? Up until that point he hadn't said anything outright stupid, so maybe I'm overreacting? But it is a really stupid comment right?

Surely with these 3 main things that's enough? Or does it need to be more specific than that? Do I have to decide on specific goals, when I'm completely frickin' lost, like shouldn't he able to help out with setting appropriate goals? I'm also confused about goals since there's not a specific "this trauma happened" or "I'm constantly depressed" thing. I don't know how to set goals for something that changes. (This is what puts me off therapy in general, how do you measure something like that?)

He seemed alright at first, but I left really annoyed (though it could be my mood), so I guess that's a no. (Though I also heard you should give the therapist a few tries before deciding?)

 

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21 minutes ago, Rookie said:

Oh I have been playing with this idea. I feel like in quarantine I have really mastered the messy bun and I love it lol but the amount of hair is driving me nuts. Plus I kind of want to play with some blue hair dye. 

 

Also those pictures from really cold day were beautiful ❤️ thanks for sharing. I hope you moisturized after lol. 

Messy bun is still my go to. :D I just cut the ends because they started looking a bit trashy haha. I do approve of blue hair dye though! I miss having colourful hair. But I also don't miss bleach...

 

Yep, all the greasy moisturiser! My skin is quite sensitive and cold does quite a number on it so I have to.

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1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

Question to therapy people: do you need super specific goals? I've been rather restless this week and I don't know if my level of irritation with this guy is appropriate or, uhh, an outlet of said restlessness. :P 

 

That's a difficult question to answer. I look at therapy (like a lot of other things) way I look at working out: If you walk into a gym without a plan and just do whatever random stuff you feel like, your progress is going to be a lot slower, with less to show for it, than it would if you have a clear goal in place and a workout plan designed to help you meet that goal. But the person who does random exercises without having a plan in place, will still benefit from the exercise, and they will see a lot more progress than a person who doesn't work out at all.

 

If you're struggling with what your goal is, I would suggest that you revisit the reason you started looking for a therapist in the first place.  Once you find that Why, it'll be easier to find a goal.

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

Messy bun is still my go to. :D I just cut the ends because they started looking a bit trashy haha. I do approve of blue hair dye though! I miss having colourful hair. But I also don't miss bleach...

 

Assuming your hair is long enough, I've noticed that a high ponytail will hide nearly anything ;) 

 

One of the things I've enjoyed about quarantining is the effect it's had on my hair. Between the lack of hair cuts and coloring, and the healthier diet and regular exercise I've started doing, my hair is both longer and thicker than it's been in years. I do miss the ability to dramatically alter my hair color, that my hair stylist provided, and I'm a bit annoyed at the split ends that are starting to reappear, but overall my hair is thriving in quarantine. :) 

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23 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

See above gif. 🤣 I've  been doing this for two decades now, I must know what I'm doing. 😆

 

🤣🤗

 

 

50 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Question to therapy people: do you need super specific goals? I've been rather restless this week and I don't know if my level of irritation with this guy is appropriate or, uhh, an outlet of said restlessness. :P 

 

Hmmmm. Hmm, hmm.

 

Did you mention your tendency for nihilism to the therapist?

 

I googled "therapy goals exampes adhd" just because most that came up without adhd were for depression and anxiety

 

https://www.addrc.org/setting-target-goals-for-adhd/

 

https://www.navigatingadhd.com/uncategorized/develop-measurable-effective-adhd-treatment-plan/

 

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/how-to-determine-therapy-goals-that-are-right-for-you/?utm_source=AdWords&utm_medium=Search_PPC_m&utm_term=_b&utm_content=118051370367&network=g&placement=&target=&matchtype=b&utm_campaign=11771068538&ad_type=text&adposition=&gclid=Cj0KCQiAjKqABhDLARIsABbJrGm_xyqAANumG_VPln6GLn60RvNjd05EIOUm0gxz9WVLqpV87aQKdFwaAjSMEALw_wcB

 

I feel like a self-esteem goal might be the most useful to start with, since all the other ones require too much to know "what you want out of life"?

 

It might help given you being called a quitter and (of course) internalising this thought, 

 

which you kept proving and proving by managing to travel abroad & not asking people for help, and maybe trying a bunch of different things because you want to find the one thing you think you can not-ever-quit (?) (which is kind of an unsettling thought to me as well)

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2 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Question to therapy people: do you need super specific goals? I've been rather restless this week and I don't know if my level of irritation with this guy is appropriate or, uhh, an outlet of said restlessness. :P 

I've never tried cognitive behavioral therapy, and must admit I've never had more than a passing curiosity in trying it myself. But I think it's AWESOME that you sought out help.

 

That being said, I also contend with the 'don't know my why' conundrum, and would also be irritated personally if a therapist insisted that I HAD to state an ultimate 'reason' rather than focusing on specific pain points. I can see how that could be productive for some people, but certainly not for all.

 

In that case, while you may want to give it more than one session to decide, everything I've heard also suggests that the personality/fit of the therapist and patient is important to be productive. Unsure how you're arranging things, but maybe the online/text based options could give you more flexibility in trying to find a better match?

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57 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Question to therapy people: do you need super specific goals? I've been rather restless this week and I don't know if my level of irritation with this guy is appropriate or, uhh, an outlet of said restlessness. :P


It doesn't sound like your guy is super flexible? I wonder if he's inexperienced. He seems to have a fixed idea of how things are going to go. That's not how my therapists worked. Sometimes I would just talk about things that were bothering me, other times we dealt with a very specific problem. I am slightly concerned that your therapist has not given more attention to your phases, which kinda sound manic/depressive. I think he should be ruling out specific conditions, and trying to get you a diagnosis. Just my two cents.

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4 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Question to therapy people: do you need super specific goals? I've been rather restless this week and I don't know if my level of irritation with this guy is appropriate or, uhh, an outlet of said restlessness. :P 

Quote

Appropriate. That's a really stupid comment.. also, it's his job to help you define/discover/set your goals. 

Wish I could say otherwise because I don't want you to give up on this thing, but meh. 

 

4 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

That's a difficult question to answer. I look at therapy (like a lot of other things) way I look at working out: If you walk into a gym without a plan and just do whatever random stuff you feel like, your progress is going to be a lot slower, with less to show for it, than it would if you have a clear goal in place and a workout plan designed to help you meet that goal. But the person who does random exercises without having a plan in place, will still benefit from the exercise, and they will see a lot more progress than a person who doesn't work out at all.

 

In a good gym you should be able to walk in with a vague idea of wanting to be fitter and then have the staff help you with fleshing that out into real ideas and goals and a plan. 

 

3 hours ago, Athena said:

I feel like a self-esteem goal might be the most useful to start with, since all the other ones require too much to know "what you want out of life"?

We call that an "available flavours of tea" goal, you pick something out of the flavours you know, but it's not what you really want or need. A therapist should be able to help with going beyond that. 

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2 minutes ago, KB Girl said:

In a good gym you should be able to walk in with a vague idea of wanting to be fitter and then have the staff help you with fleshing that out into real ideas and goals and a plan. 

 

Obviously. And if we're continuing to compare physical health to mental health, a good therapist does the same thing good gym staff does - finds out what you want to change and works with you to make a plan to facilitate that.

 

@Mad Hatter, a thought for you?

 

In your quote/spoiler where you outlined why you were annoyed with the therapist you mentioned three areas where you want to see improvement. You commented that you believe 3 is made worse by 1 and 2, which makes perfect sense. Is it possible that 2 is also made worse by 1? And is it also possible that 1 is caused by... what?

 

Perhaps the swinging back and forth between exceptionally high energy and exceptionally low energy also is made worse by something, something as yet unknown?

 

I could be completely wrong, but I think it's worth considering the possibility.

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31

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5 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

Obviously. And if we're continuing to compare physical health to mental health, a good therapist does the same thing good gym staff does - finds out what you want to change and works with you to make a plan to facilitate that.

 

Yes exactly :)

 

5 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Surely with these 3 main things that's enough? Or does it need to be more specific than that? Do I have to decide on specific goals, when I'm completely frickin' lost, like shouldn't he able to help out with setting appropriate goals? I'm also confused about goals since there's not a specific "this trauma happened" or "I'm constantly depressed" thing. I don't know how to set goals for something that changes. (This is what puts me off therapy in general, how do you measure something like that?)

In dutch we call it the 'hulpvraag' which is basically the problem you need help with, and you've described that quite well..

Setting goals for something that changes isn't impossible, you start with finding out what's important to that person in whichever phase they might find themselves and then working on flexible self regulation to manage the highs and the lows.

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Current challenge: KB Girl dusts off her competition skills

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@Scaly Freak and @KB Girl thank you for the discussion on therapy vs gym, that's very helpful. I feel like I'm being asked to say decide on how much I'd like to deadlift and how many pull-ups I want to do, when all I know is that I want to get a little fitter. Which is overwhelming when I have zero knowledge about training, or ideas on what might suit me. And the thing is that I've never had big goals in life. I've always been more of a let's see what happens kind of person, which makes it even more difficult.

 

5 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

If you're struggling with what your goal is, I would suggest that you revisit the reason you started looking for a therapist in the first place.  Once you find that Why, it'll be easier to find a goal.

I'm just so tired of always fighting against my brain. I'd like to understand it better. But that's too vague. 🙄

 

5 hours ago, Athena said:

Did you mention your tendency for nihilism to the therapist?

I actually don't really believe nihilism is my norm. Even when in depressed phases. This year was the result of excessive thinking about what I want to do with my life plus lockdown plus sadness. Normally those questions are not even things that I consider, because they're largely unanswerable. Terrible for science. 😛

 

5 hours ago, Athena said:

Thank you so much for the links! 

 

Perhaps. I'm kinda put off by the idea that they'll make me do affirmations and icky things like that instead of solving any underlying issues. But I do think it needs addressing. Maybe you're right in that it's an easier end to start from. But I have no idea and I feel like the therapist should be able to help deciding if it's the right end. But I'll read through your links and see if I can get any wiser. 🙂

 

5 hours ago, Athena said:

which you kept proving and proving by managing to travel abroad & not asking people for help, and maybe trying a bunch of different things because you want to find the one thing you think you can not-ever-quit (?) (which is kind of an unsettling thought to me as well)

I've given up on the "one thing" a long time ago. 😄

 

4 hours ago, Defining said:

I've never tried cognitive behavioral therapy, and must admit I've never had more than a passing curiosity in trying it myself. But I think it's AWESOME that you sought out help.

 

That being said, I also contend with the 'don't know my why' conundrum, and would also be irritated personally if a therapist insisted that I HAD to state an ultimate 'reason' rather than focusing on specific pain points. I can see how that could be productive for some people, but certainly not for all.

 

In that case, while you may want to give it more than one session to decide, everything I've heard also suggests that the personality/fit of the therapist and patient is important to be productive. Unsure how you're arranging things, but maybe the online/text based options could give you more flexibility in trying to find a better match?

Yes I think you're right, it's not a great start. I also wonder if there is a sliiight chance I might get more easily triggered by men who tell me what to do? 😛 Maybe it is just people who tell me what to do and insisting on it when it doesn't make sense to me. It's not enough to draw a conclusion, but so far both males got strikes, and the woman didn't.

 

This session was via video, which works great for me, and it opens up a few more options. I haven't seen text based here, but it sounds like way too much work anyway. 😄

 

4 hours ago, Harriet said:

It doesn't sound like your guy is super flexible? I wonder if he's inexperienced. He seems to have a fixed idea of how things are going to go. That's not how my therapists worked. Sometimes I would just talk about things that were bothering me, other times we dealt with a very specific problem. I am slightly concerned that your therapist has not given more attention to your phases, which kinda sound manic/depressive. I think he should be ruling out specific conditions, and trying to get you a diagnosis. Just my two cents.

He said he's very experienced. And he did say that if I wanted to we could also just talk about stuff, but that the therapy would be less effective. Just as Scaly said. So I guess that's fair. He did actually also bring up bipolar. But like the ADHD quiz it's easy to match symptoms for a milder form (admittedly those two are apparently easily mistaken for each other, especially in women) and I have no idea what's "normal". Maybe there really is something a bit wonky with my brain. But maybe I just suck at being a human? After all I am keeping jobs (by a miracle currently) and I have a degree in physics (though I hardly worked for it) and I have a flat and relationships and I've never jumped out of balcony because I thought I could fly. And everyone has ups and downs. Though I think they're usually for a reason. But still. 

 

You're right though, if I had a diagnosis it might at least give me a better starting point for understanding my brain. But I also don't want one because it'd mean my brain is broken. Then again the alternative would be that I just suck at life. 

 

2 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Appropriate. That's a really stupid comment.. also, it's his job to help you define/discover/set your goals. 

Wish I could say otherwise because I don't want you to give up on this thing, but meh. 

Ok good, thanks for confirming. 😄

 

1 hour ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

@Mad Hatter, a thought for you?

 

In your quote/spoiler where you outlined why you were annoyed with the therapist you mentioned three areas where you want to see improvement. You commented that you believe 3 is made worse by 1 and 2, which makes perfect sense. Is it possible that 2 is also made worse by 1? And is it also possible that 1 is caused by... what?

 

Perhaps the swinging back and forth between exceptionally high energy and exceptionally low energy also is made worse by something, something as yet unknown?

 

I could be completely wrong, but I think it's worth considering the possibility.

It is definitely true over the long term, I just can't keep up with the same schedules in the different phases because my energy levels are crazy different. The challenges have made that really obvious. 🙂 But it's the same thing in the short term. It doesn't matter if I'm in a good mood or not, I still hate schedules and all that. But for different reasons. 

 

As for triggers, I've never been able to pinpoint them. There's some degree of seasonality (not only winter), but other than that it seems pretty random. Or maybe not random but cyclical. It's hard to tell. Either way it feels unpredictable and out of my control. 

 

1 hour ago, KB Girl said:

In dutch we call it the 'hulpvraag' which is basically the problem you need help with, and you've described that quite well..

Setting goals for something that changes isn't impossible, you start with finding out what's important to that person in whichever phase they might find themselves and then working on flexible self regulation to manage the highs and the lows.

A concern is that on good days I don't want to self regulate. 😄 (And then I get injured. Or burned out.)

 

Huge thanks to all of you! Loads of food for thought. Uggghh why is this such a pain??

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1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

actually don't really believe nihilism is my norm. Even when in depressed phases. This year was the result of excessive thinking about what I want to do with my life plus lockdown plus sadness. Normally those questions are not even things that I consider, because they're largely unanswerable. Terrible for science. 😛

 

Ohhh okay :) (Though, to be fair, when thinking about your Big Why I guess you are, kind of 🤔 But you simply don't need such a Thing to CREATE meaning (outside of lockdown conditions) 🧐 One day at a time. You tackle the things in front of you! Super awesome.

 

The big overarching global/universal Why is unanserable, while there are actually live people right there, and ALL the shiny things to pursue and explore all around you. :))

 

But Yeah, ever since I have become more sciencey (reading up on things here and there even if most legal people try to do without, pff)

 

it's actually been easier to deal with big life questions :D Before, I kept trying to find the why behind All the Terrible Things, and Stupid Chance Determining Where You Are Born etc.

 

Now I am just content to focus on Answerables :)

 

Which is great because, my initial reaction to seeing the world again after climbing out of the Vortex/Abyss is that I just decided to ignore it all, but given my character and personality and whatnot, that wasn't a realistic decision 🤣

 

I HAVE been getting a lot better in not-thinking-about-it by observing what people that aren't prone to that stuff in general do, so I am going to continue hanging out with you 😄

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

Perhaps. I'm kinda put off by the idea that they'll make me do affirmations and icky things like that instead of solving any underlying issues.

 

I did not read the whole content of the links. I sure hope it's not just affirmations as an option XD And I also hope (sitting) meditation is not the only thing you are advised 🤔

 

 I am thinking more... Learning how to spot harmful thought patterns and

 

how to know truths and so on, the stuff you struggled with when you were asked to say smth about yourself on 70 years time or what was it?

 

A.k.a. how to co-operate with your smart assy brain :D 

 

Of course, the therapist must not be as easily beat as that one 🤣

 

When talking with my career coach about some big life stuff, she asked really good questions and suggestions and all that, but I basically needed a sounding board anyway. She was a Very Good Sounding Board, haven't had one like that before ! It was cool!

 

If I was actually questioning and sceptical, I am pretty sure I would talk people in circles too. No  I am sure. I have done it a couple of times, when I was in the deep. ;D  Not with therapists (in person), though.

 

 

Quote

But I do think it needs addressing. Maybe you're right in that it's an easier end to start from. But I have no idea and I feel like the therapist should be able to help deciding if it's the right end.

 

Yeahhh, agreed. :) I just did not want to comment since I have zero therapy experience :) As always, it was useful to read what KB girl & Scaley wrote.

 

Quote

But I'll read through your links and see if I can get any wiser. 🙂

 

Yeah, if they start talking about affirmations CLICK AWAY FAST before they turn you off 😜 I got interested too so I will share when I read them or if I find any other useful goal setting resources :)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

@Scaly Freak and @KB Girl thank you for the discussion on therapy vs gym, that's very helpful. I feel like I'm being asked to say decide on how much I'd like to deadlift and how many pull-ups I want to do, when all I know is that I want to get a little fitter. Which is overwhelming when I have zero knowledge about training, or ideas on what might suit me. And the thing is that I've never had big goals in life. I've always been more of a let's see what happens kind of person, which makes it even more difficult.

 

"Fitter" is really vague though. I know we're really stretching the metaphor past its usefulness here, but being "fitter" can mean stronger, more flexible, less overweight, higher endurance... and so on. But you don't need to know anything about training to make up your mind about what result you want. That's what the gym employees are for.

 

I'm going to stop the workout metaphors and suggest that you don't need to be able to understand how the brain works, to feel like there's ways it could be made to work better for you. All you've got to do is decide what "better" means for your situation. Easy to say, extremely difficult to do...

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

I'm just so tired of always fighting against my brain. I'd like to understand it better. But that's too vague. 🙄

 

 

It's not the most measurable goal l've ever seen, no. But it's honest, and that makes it a great start. :) 

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

He said he's very experienced. And he did say that if I wanted to we could also just talk about stuff, but that the therapy would be less effective. Just as Scaly said. So I guess that's fair. He did actually also bring up bipolar. But like the ADHD quiz it's easy to match symptoms for a milder form (admittedly those two are apparently easily mistaken for each other, especially in women) and I have no idea what's "normal". Maybe there really is something a bit wonky with my brain. But maybe I just suck at being a human? After all I am keeping jobs (by a miracle currently) and I have a degree in physics (though I hardly worked for it) and I have a flat and relationships and I've never jumped out of balcony because I thought I could fly. And everyone has ups and downs. Though I think they're usually for a reason. But still. 

 

A person can be very experienced in their chosen field, yet still struggle to find common ground with a new client. My suggestion is to give it more time, if you have the option of more free sessions. Especially if you have had negative experiences with therapy in the past, because they would have influenced your first meeting with the new therapist and colored your perception of both the situation and the person, as well as possibly have introduced bias in your reactions. Can you insist on "just talking about stuff" as a way to get to know each other and help you get used to talking to him, before moving on to more serious conversations?

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

You're right though, if I had a diagnosis it might at least give me a better starting point for understanding my brain. But I also don't want one because it'd mean my brain is broken. 

 

Having a medical condition doesn't mean anything is broken; "broken" implies an injury. We have weird glitches in our brain software, and good therapists provide workarounds that help us run the rest of our brain programming without the glitch breaking anything. :) 

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“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

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6 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

He said he's very experienced. And he did say that if I wanted to we could also just talk about stuff, but that the therapy would be less effective. Just as Scaly said. So I guess that's fair.

 

Okay, well maybe he really does have experience that goal setting works well. Can your goal be to figure out why you have these up and down phases and why scheduling and consistency feel so difficult for you, and ways to make them easier??? Or maybe the goal could be to stop having those phases and to find/trust your feelings about what you want out of life, and to feel in a good position to work steadily on the things you decide you want? Or maybe he's pushing you because the act of setting goals for yourself is helpful somehow. So maybe I shouldn't be making suggestions, lol.

 

6 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

He did actually also bring up bipolar. But like the ADHD quiz it's easy to match symptoms for a milder form (admittedly those two are apparently easily mistaken for each other, especially in women) and I have no idea what's "normal". Maybe there really is something a bit wonky with my brain. But maybe I just suck at being a human? After all I am keeping jobs (by a miracle currently) and I have a degree in physics (though I hardly worked for it) and I have a flat and relationships and I've never jumped out of balcony because I thought I could fly. And everyone has ups and downs. Though I think they're usually for a reason. But still.

 

We name and diagnose things that interfere with people living their lives. That's why they say depression is common but not "normal", although you could point out that depression, given its commonness, is in fact a pretty normal human experience. In any case, it doesn't matter if we call it normal, wonky, or ask whether everyone has it, the point is there is something that is impacting your quality of life moderately seriously, and the therapist should be helping you find out if it is amenable to treatment or behavioural change. The idea that you might "suck at being human" doesn't add any information, it's just a way of describing your current difficulties that frames it as a permanent, pervasive, personal flaw rather than a temporary difficulty that can be addressed.

 

For what it's worth, I spent years wondering if my depression/anxiety/fatigue was real or if I was just lazy. Those questions never stopped until I finally experienced a few longer patches of normality (recently) and felt first hand the difference it makes. My family pointed out that I actually do want to do things, and I do go for it when I'm not exhausted. But depression was my normal so I had no idea how wide the gap between me and normality was (I'm probably still not there yet). I underestimated how severe it was and attributed everything to my personal failings-- to "sucking at being human". The thing is, in the end, whether I called it laziness or depression, I still had to do the things that were most likely to help me get better instead of worse. The only reason it mattered is that calling it laziness made me feel guilty which sapped my energy, so I probably would have been better off framing it as an external condition separate from my sense of self.

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

The only reason it mattered is that calling it laziness made me feel guilty which sapped my energy, so I probably would have been better off framing it as an external condition separate from my sense of self.

 

Oof.  

 

A good friend of my mom's shared that she experienced a lot of the things I did, so I shared with her about my thoughts about me having (high-functioning? can you call it that, since I don't forget to eat and have been able to ground myself for long periods of time to not be rushing or late for things etc?)

 

AD(H)D, and she said... Wouldn't that be looking for an excuse?

 

???? No, it's like now. I am simply applying all the things I find that sound useful and are recommended for the diagnoses. If I would get myself checked and get a diagnosis, or lack thereof with explenation why I don't check enough boxes (or severity of) I could have someone with expertise give me some tips, make a plan of action, something!(*)

 

For now I will keep threading on bc the symptoms haven't been able to spiral. Which they might have done if I lived alone 😋 Esp. these days. 

 

Spoiler

 

(*) She wasn't convinced though. I suppose like me, she has a good net around her. Her husband and her job (she is a medical prof) give her the system she needs to manage them symptoms).

 

Also, the taboo about mental conditions in the Balkan is reaaalll. Most don't get the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist, for one. And say "pff friends are our therapists". And drinking of course! That goes super well :) Well, sort of. In less wealthy countries with a bad social net, you kinda have to keep calm and carry on, I get it. But still, sucks to see it. And see the useful myth be carried along for international moves, where it is not as useful aynmore...

 

 

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

For what it's worth, I spent years wondering if my depression/anxiety/fatigue was real or if I was just lazy. Those questions never stopped until I finally experienced a few longer patches of normality (recently) and felt first hand the difference it makes. My family pointed out that I actually do want to do things, and I do go for it when I'm not exhausted. But depression was my normal so I had no idea how wide the gap between me and normality was (I'm probably still not there yet). I underestimated how severe it was and attributed everything to my personal failings-- to "sucking at being human". The thing is, in the end, whether I called it laziness or depression, I still had to do the things that were most likely to help me get better instead of worse. The only reason it mattered is that calling it laziness made me feel guilty which sapped my energy, so I probably would have been better off framing it as an external condition separate from my sense of self.

 

This makes so much sense. I guess it's kinda like when you are on hormonal birth control since you were a teenager and then stop using it and are suddenly a totally different person... And get to know yourself for real. 

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11 hours ago, Athena said:

Ohhh okay :) (Though, to be fair, when thinking about your Big Why I guess you are, kind of 🤔 But you simply don't need such a Thing to CREATE meaning (outside of lockdown conditions) 🧐 One day at a time. You tackle the things in front of you! Super awesome.

True true. But when I feel at my best I don't need a Big Why. I don't even consider it because it's irrelevant when I'm busy, you know, living.

 

Thank you for the encouragement! 🤗

 

11 hours ago, Athena said:

If I was actually questioning and sceptical, I am pretty sure I would talk people in circles too. No  I am sure. I have done it a couple of times, when I was in the deep. ;D  Not with therapists (in person), though.

Such a lawyer. 😄

 

11 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I'm going to stop the workout metaphors and suggest that you don't need to be able to understand how the brain works, to feel like there's ways it could be made to work better for you. All you've got to do is decide what "better" means for your situation. Easy to say, extremely difficult to do...

Maybe I don't need to understand, but my science self wants otherwise. 😄

 

11 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

A person can be very experienced in their chosen field, yet still struggle to find common ground with a new client. My suggestion is to give it more time, if you have the option of more free sessions. Especially if you have had negative experiences with therapy in the past, because they would have influenced your first meeting with the new therapist and colored your perception of both the situation and the person, as well as possibly have introduced bias in your reactions. Can you insist on "just talking about stuff" as a way to get to know each other and help you get used to talking to him, before moving on to more serious conversations?

Unfortunately it's all out of pocket for now until I can get the public health insurance. Then that will cover only about 60% of the cost. But ok maybe I shouldn't be too hasty because of one thing. I should also explain to him that I've developed a bit of a goal aversion due to constantly failing at them. He did say we could also just talk, so maybe I can do that to see if he's willing to answer questions. 

 

11 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

Having a medical condition doesn't mean anything is broken; "broken" implies an injury. We have weird glitches in our brain software, and good therapists provide workarounds that help us run the rest of our brain programming without the glitch breaking anything. :) 

Fair. 🙂

 

5 hours ago, Harriet said:

Okay, well maybe he really does have experience that goal setting works well. Can your goal be to figure out why you have these up and down phases and why scheduling and consistency feel so difficult for you, and ways to make them easier??? Or maybe the goal could be to stop having those phases and to find/trust your feelings about what you want out of life, and to feel in a good position to work steadily on the things you decide you want? Or maybe he's pushing you because the act of setting goals for yourself is helpful somehow. So maybe I shouldn't be making suggestions, lol.

All of the above? I feel like I said all that, but perhaps I didn't state is specifically enough as goals, just as things that are bothering me. 

 

6 hours ago, Harriet said:

The idea that you might "suck at being human" doesn't add any information, it's just a way of describing your current difficulties that frames it as a permanent, pervasive, personal flaw rather than a temporary difficulty that can be addressed.

I knoooow. But I still feel it.

 

6 hours ago, Harriet said:

For what it's worth, I spent years wondering if my depression/anxiety/fatigue was real or if I was just lazy. Those questions never stopped until I finally experienced a few longer patches of normality (recently) and felt first hand the difference it makes. My family pointed out that I actually do want to do things, and I do go for it when I'm not exhausted. But depression was my normal so I had no idea how wide the gap between me and normality was (I'm probably still not there yet). I underestimated how severe it was and attributed everything to my personal failings-- to "sucking at being human". The thing is, in the end, whether I called it laziness or depression, I still had to do the things that were most likely to help me get better instead of worse. The only reason it mattered is that calling it laziness made me feel guilty which sapped my energy, so I probably would have been better off framing it as an external condition separate from my sense of self.

I feel this hard. And I'm so glad you're better now, because I honestly don't know how people go through depression when they don't know it can and will get better.

Also listen up @KB Girl haha, this is what I'm talking about when I say that the word lazy can be very damaging. 😉

 

3 hours ago, Athena said:

Wouldn't that be looking for an excuse?

Honestly I feel this too.

 

3 hours ago, Athena said:

???? No, it's like now. I am simply applying all the things I find that sound useful and are recommended for the diagnoses. If I would get myself checked and get a diagnosis, or lack thereof with explenation why I don't check enough boxes (or severity of) I could have someone with expertise give me some tips, make a plan of action, something!(*)

But I guess this is in fact a better approach.

 

4 hours ago, Athena said:

(*) She wasn't convinced though. I suppose like me, she has a good net around her. Her husband and her job (she is a medical prof) give her the system she needs to manage them symptoms).

This is so important though. I have a job that tolerates my ups and downs, and friends that don't hate when I'm flaky. I can get on time for important meetings by setting 4 alarms, my life and friends are very stable. Just a few examples. Environment is huge. But then again, how much energy is it still sapping, and how much am I avoiding because of it? I don't know!

 

4 hours ago, Athena said:

Also, the taboo about mental conditions in the Balkan is reaaalll. Most don't get the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist, for one. And say "pff friends are our therapists". And drinking of course! That goes super well :) Well, sort of. In less wealthy countries with a bad social net, you kinda have to keep calm and carry on, I get it. But still, sucks to see it. And see the useful myth be carried along for international moves, where it is not as useful aynmore...

To be fair, I know that psychiatrist does meds, but the difference between psychologist, therapist, psychotherapist etc is very confusing. And differs between countries. But yes, therapists are not friends (and that's a great thing) and it sucks that mental health still carries a stigma. It's a question of time. At least one positive aspect of the pandemic is that it's sped up the process! 

 

2 hours ago, Epsilonte said:

This makes so much sense. I guess it's kinda like when you are on hormonal birth control since you were a teenager and then stop using it and are suddenly a totally different person... And get to know yourself for real. 

But what is the real you? I feel like two different people at my extremes, and both of them feel just as real.

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Yesterday's update before I forget. Actually I already forgot if I managed a daytime walk or not. 🙈 But I did go cliiiimbing! I had so much fun catching up with people. And I climbed a blue problem! Very nice ego boost (ssshh let's ignore the fact that this set was particularly easy) My body doesn't quite remember how to coordinate itself to generate power, which is a rather strange feeling, but it'll come back. Afterwards we went out for burgers and cards and it was such a glorious moment of normality. I had the strangest most delicious chocolate raspberry marshmallow sour, like a liquid chocolate cake but also tangy. Oh and the plus side of getting annoyed at the therapist was that it spurred me on to dance around the pole for a bit to get rid of the agitation. 😆

 

Daytime walk          

Other self care           Therapy. Climbing. Friends. Pole.

Don’t disappear          

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22 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

I feel this hard. And I'm so glad you're better now

 

Thanks ❤️ I hope you figure out something with the therapist. We can theorise all we like here on the internet, but maybe it just takes a few tries to know if he's going to be a good match.

 

Quote

because I honestly don't know how people go through depression when they don't know it can and will get better.

 

Well, there are literally two choices, and I wasn't up for option B.

 

ETA what is a marshmallow sour? I am intrigued.

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3 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Thanks ❤️ I hope you figure out something with the therapist. We can theorise all we like here on the internet, but maybe it just takes a few tries to know if he's going to be a good match.

Your theorizations are super helpful! I love hearing all of your suggestions and perspectives. For example, right now it forces me to pick apart the difference between gut feeling and knee-jerk reaction. 😛 And how best to approach the next session or next therapist.

 

5 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Well, there are literally two choices, and I wasn't up for option B.

Right. Same. That's why we keep trying.

 

5 minutes ago, Harriet said:

ETA what is a marshmallow sour? I am intrigued.

Technically a beer, but to me sours are more like adult sodas. 😁

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1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

But what is the real you? I feel like two different people at my extremes, and both of them feel just as real.

 

This is a really good question. Probably both of them are real, but maybe there is a third one in the middle that is a bit easier to live with? ^^ 

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

But I did go cliiiimbing! I had so much fun catching up with people. And I climbed a blue problem! Very nice ego boost (ssshh let's ignore the fact that this set was particularly easy) My body doesn't quite remember how to coordinate itself to generate power, which is a rather strange feeling, but it'll come back. Afterwards we went out for burgers and cards and it was such a glorious moment of normality. I had the strangest most delicious chocolate raspberry marshmallow sour, like a liquid chocolate cake but also tangy. Oh and the plus side of getting annoyed at the therapist was that it spurred me on to dance around the pole for a bit to get rid of the agitation. 😆

 

Love this! Yay for pole! And climbing! Sounds like you had a great day. :) 

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

Well, there are literally two choices, and I wasn't up for option B.

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

Right. Same. That's why we keep trying.

 

Yessss 🤩👏🤘

 

Lots of useful & fun things to do since I am put on this floating space rock anyway.  Option A all the way, dammit. A+ (with zestiness) as often as possible.

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