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My diary of random thoughts

Thread starter #145
Accept you have PTSD, and get to work on it.

@AnnieMae - spinning your wheels isn't going to get you anywhere.

You get help to get out of the nightmare.

You confront the thought, understand that not everything is lost, and you start rebuilding.

Google to learn more about financial planning.

Honestly? You decide to focus on yourself. f*ck them.

Well, this happens to a lot of people. A lot of the time. Maybe it helps to recognize that? Find stories of other people who have climbed out of the holes in their lives? There are plenty of people here trying to do that every single day...

Learn how to recognize cognitive distortions.

You need to try and understand - when you constantly write about how dire it all is, and you never work on finding the small things that are NOT disasters, just for today - then you won't ever be able to see anything except the hole you're in.

What do you want, here? Validation? Sympathy?

Because you can't be supported if you aren't interested in trying, at all. Often, it seems like that.

I'm just one person, and that's my opinion - that's all. I won't kick you off the site because I'm frustrated you aren't challenging yourself. All I can say is I wish you'd get help. Either get it from yourself, or get it from someone in the 3-D world...or better yet, get it from both those places, and get it from here.
It is hard to “push” it out, I guess you would say. I do work hard on it and have discussed having therapy more often. It is just weird because it feels just awful. I know I have to “pull myself out” but it is hard. I’ve learned about gaslighting and all this other stuff, and even though it makes sense, it is really hard to stop it. As far as finances, I just really need to learn to stop spending money. I do save, work at an investment firm, but spend mire money than I should. Right now, as I am writing this, I feel normal and not like 🤯. I just wish this emotional weirdness would go away. Thank you for not kicking me off the site.
 
I know I have to “pull myself out” but it is hard.
I hear you.

What specific strategies or techniques have you learned to use, to help with this? A very easy pitfall for many sufferers is thinking that the solution is to tell themselves to "stop thinking about it", or something like that. But it's nearly impossible to just not-do something...Most people need to know what they are doing instead.

Most CBT depends on this. And many other types of recovery and therapy do as well.

So - what do you do, when you need to pull yourself out of a tailspin?
 
Thread starter #147
I hear you.

What specific strategies or techniques have you learned to use, to help with this? A very easy pitfall for many sufferers is thinking that the solution is to tell themselves to "stop thinking about it", or something like that. But it's nearly impossible to just not-do something...Most people need to know what they are doing instead.

Most CBT depends on this. And many other types of recovery and therapy do as well.

So - what do you do, when you need to pull yourself out of a tailspin?
I try to stop thinking about it. That is the suggestion of my therapist.
 
I try to stop thinking about it. That is the suggestion of my therapist.
Is your therapist trained in trauma? I ask because PTSD basically exists due to avoidance so that seems like unusual advice. I think there's validity in finding things outside of trauma to focus on, but avoiding it totally probably isn't a solid long term plan, in my experience and to the limits of my knowledge
 
Thread starter #149
Is your therapist trained in trauma? I ask because PTSD basically exists due to avoidance so that seems like unusual advice. I think there's validity in finding things outside of trauma to focus on, but avoiding it totally probably isn't a solid long term plan, in my experience and to the limits of my knowledge
Yes, she is. I also spent a lot of time with another therapist that specializes in trauma and anxiety, and he tried to reel me that I had ADHD because I looked at my purse when he grabbed it. He said that was not normal. It has been 6 years and I focusing on pain and talking and journaling about it has been a nightmare. My ex basically disappeared off the face of the earth because he doesn’t want to pay me my money. I would have to pay an attorney to take him to court because he ignored me. I’m starting to see that I am basically a dumbass that attracts all of these guys that take advantage of me. This is the stuff that messes with me. If I keep talking about it or focus on it in EMDR, it just gets worse. I also don’t trust a lot of things that some therapists say because of what they have done. It sucks before this, I felt like I had good judgement. I do have a question for you all - how would you suggest dealing with it? We have talked about all of the “why” I feel this way, and we talk about how psychology and family plays a part in this, but I personally have a hard time believing it. 😔 And just because my ex is a psycho/narcissistic, doesn’t give back all of the opportunities I missed while I was being manipulated and now I don’t think they will ever come back....
 
I try to stop thinking about it. That is the suggestion of my therapist.
I know you said your therapist is trained in trauma (which is good) - but either she's not giving you any actual tools, or she's giving them but you're somehow not taking it in.

Example: Lets say you're thinking this:
I’m starting to see that I am basically a dumbass that attracts all of these guys that take advantage of me.
And you start feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. There are two ways to address it: Distract or challenge.

Distraction will consist of specific actions you can do that will shift your focus away from those feelings. There are easily a hundred different distraction techniques. You just need to find the three or four that you can rely on, and you'll learn which ones work better depending on the situation. Could be, get up and do some vigorous exercise. Could be, crossword puzzle. Could be, watch a show or listen to music, podcasts. Could be, read a book. Could be, try out a new recipe. Could be, do some basic chores....goes on and on.

Your goal is to interrupt the harmful thought, and re-direct your mind to an absorbing task. Once you start the task, your goal is to stay on it for at least a minimum amount of time that you've predetermined. One of mine right now is, knit at least 10 rows on this project I'm doing....takes some experimenting to figure out yours. Just search "distraction techniques" on this site, you'll likely get lots of good ideas to try.

Challenge will involve you examining the thought in a specific way that is designed to (a) occupy your mind differently, so instead of thinking the thought and feeling the bad feelings, you're dismantling the thought and feelings take a backseat; and (b) to slowly, over time, change your beliefs around the thought. There are many different tools for challenging thoughts. Thought Records, Cognitive Distortion Reframes, Radical Acceptance, there are more that I'm not coming up with right now.

Your goal is to shift how much you believe that thought is true. That might be a very small shift, and it will most certainly be temporary - but that's a victory towards long-term change. Science knows that the brain can be trained to change. It will change according to how it is used. The concept is neuroplasticity.

Because you're right about this:
We have talked about all of the “why” I feel this way, and we talk about how psychology and family plays a part in this, but I personally have a hard time believing it.
The "why"s are always so compelling...like, if I just can understand why this is happening, then I can change that thing. But "why" is only useful occasionally. It's more helpful after you've gotten into what/how/who.
If I keep talking about it or focus on it in EMDR, it just gets worse.
This is true. And lots of threads in the Therapy area about it. Doing any formalized trauma therapy will make your symptoms come right up to the surface.

But if there's one thing I've learned, both from my own experience and from observing members here - it's that there's ultimately no way around it. PTSD, specifically, exists because of a memory or set of memories that are not being stored in the brain the way they were meant to be. They have not changed with time or distance the way they should. They are still vivid, the feelings are still very present, and they are running in some kind of loop nearly constantly. They can be way in the background if a person is a good compartmentalizer...but they are always there. Essentially, an aspect your past - specifically, the traumatic event - is remaining active in your present.

This is what makes complex PTSD more difficult to resolve. There isn't just one memory - a singular event - that is out of place. There are multiple trauma events. They will all need to be addressed, in a thing called "trauma processing".

Trauma processing will cause a thing called memory re-consolidation - essentially, those memories that have remained stuck in the wrong place will get absorbed back into the set of memories that make up your past. They do not disappear. But they stop poking at you day-in, day-out. And that goes towards making those feelings and thoughts less powerful, and therefore easier to challenge OR distract from.

And if the majority of what I've written here are concepts you've never spent a significant amount of time on in therapy, then you need a more talented/skillful therapist. I hope some of this helps.
 
Thread starter #152
I know you said your therapist is trained in trauma (which is good) - but either she's not giving you any actual tools, or she's giving them but you're somehow not taking it in.

Example: Lets say you're thinking this:

And you start feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. There are two ways to address it: Distract or challenge.

Distraction will consist of specific actions you can do that will shift your focus away from those feelings. There are easily a hundred different distraction techniques. You just need to find the three or four that you can rely on, and you'll learn which ones work better depending on the situation. Could be, get up and do some vigorous exercise. Could be, crossword puzzle. Could be, watch a show or listen to music, podcasts. Could be, read a book. Could be, try out a new recipe. Could be, do some basic chores....goes on and on.

Your goal is to interrupt the harmful thought, and re-direct your mind to an absorbing task. Once you start the task, your goal is to stay on it for at least a minimum amount of time that you've predetermined. One of mine right now is, knit at least 10 rows on this project I'm doing....takes some experimenting to figure out yours. Just search "distraction techniques" on this site, you'll likely get lots of good ideas to try.

Challenge will involve you examining the thought in a specific way that is designed to (a) occupy your mind differently, so instead of thinking the thought and feeling the bad feelings, you're dismantling the thought and feelings take a backseat; and (b) to slowly, over time, change your beliefs around the thought. There are many different tools for challenging thoughts. Thought Records, Cognitive Distortion Reframes, Radical Acceptance, there are more that I'm not coming up with right now.

Your goal is to shift how much you believe that thought is true. That might be a very small shift, and it will most certainly be temporary - but that's a victory towards long-term change. Science knows that the brain can be trained to change. It will change according to how it is used. The concept is neuroplasticity.

Because you're right about this:

The "why"s are always so compelling...like, if I just can understand why this is happening, then I can change that thing. But "why" is only useful occasionally. It's more helpful after you've gotten into what/how/who.
This is true. And lots of threads in the Therapy area about it. Doing any formalized trauma therapy will make your symptoms come right up to the surface.

But if there's one thing I've learned, both from my own experience and from observing members here - it's that there's ultimately no way around it. PTSD, specifically, exists because of a memory or set of memories that are not being stored in the brain the way they were meant to be. They have not changed with time or distance the way they should. They are still vivid, the feelings are still very present, and they are running in some kind of loop nearly constantly. They can be way in the background if a person is a good compartmentalizer...but they are always there. Essentially, an aspect your past - specifically, the traumatic event - is remaining active in your present.

This is what makes complex PTSD more difficult to resolve. There isn't just one memory - a singular event - that is out of place. There are multiple trauma events. They will all need to be addressed, in a thing called "trauma processing".

Trauma processing will cause a thing called memory re-consolidation - essentially, those memories that have remained stuck in the wrong place will get absorbed back into the set of memories that make up your past. They do not disappear. But they stop poking at you day-in, day-out. And that goes towards making those feelings and thoughts less powerful, and therefore easier to challenge OR distract from.

And if the majority of what I've written here are concepts you've never spent a significant amount of time on in therapy, then you need a more talented/skillful therapist. I hope some of this helps.
We definitely talk about distractions, more so because if I forces on the issue (criminal charges, seeing who I really am - a nerd, not good enough), then I am constantly angry and depressed. But if I accept these things, I am still unhappy, but I move forward, but am overwhelmed. I’m so sorry, this is really hard because I literally lost all sense of myself. I remember having to sleep in bed with my sister at one point because I was freaking out so bad. And I didn’t even sleep. There are a few things that make this hard for me, and they are reality and cognitive: 1- the fact that the criminal charges are there forever, 2- the fact that I cannot find someone that I share both physical and mental attraction to like I did with my ex. 3- and whenever someone mentions mind games, I become so offended, but then I know that as soon as I let my guard down, I am going to be in a bad relationship again. I am sooo attracted to fun, outgoing guys that don’t take shit from anyone, but then I get freaked out because my ex did the that and messed up my life by purposefully messing with me.’
 
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Thread starter #153
Do you have ideas about specific things you want to change?
I want to be a supervisor at work. I want friends, a house, a significant other. The thing that sucks the most is I am alone and I don’t want to be alone. I want a meaningful relationship, but I will never have it again. It always feels wrong when they stay, and right when they leave. So messed up. I am working on my finances, saving and investing. I am working out to lose weight and stay in shape, but afraid that I will eventually lose all of that. I know how I am when I am alone- just not motivated. I need people around me to help me actually do things, and no one does that. Messed up, I know. I set goals for myself and give up on them, which is dumb. I wasn’t like this before all the trauma
 
I've been reading you since you started this diary. And nothing has changed.

It seems you want to do this recovery thing with no pain. Yet you are IN pain now. There is the pain of being stuck, which we have all experienced. And then there is the pain of healing. And most of us are doing that part now.


You have been given support, suggestions, people sharing their own experience in healing. And the list goes on.

What do you need from us? Everyone here is in some kind of pain. EVERYONE. But we have chosen to heal. No matter how much it hurts at the time, or how long it lasts. What do you need from us?????
 
Thread starter #155
I've been reading you since you started this diary. And nothing has changed.

It seems you want to do this recovery thing with no pain. Yet you are IN pain now. There is the pain of being stuck, which we have all experienced. And then there is the pain of healing. And most of us are doing that part now.


You have been given support, suggestions, people sharing their own experience in healing. And the list goes on.

What do you need from us? Everyone here is in some kind of pain. EVERYONE. But we have chosen to heal. No matter how much it hurts at the time, or how long it lasts. What do you need from us?????
So, how do you make the pain go away, then?
 
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