January 13, 2011 at 3:30 am #88972
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 13, 2011 at 3:30 amPost count: 14413
I have had impulse control issues all my life, I got diagnosed 2 yrs ago and take ritalin, and it seemed to work on the brain overdrive, but the impulse control issue is really kickin my butt.. I have lived with my girlfriend for almost 8 yrs now and have had some control over it at times and at other times I really fail, it is surfing to sites that are inappropriate for me. I try and stay away, and for the most, I do, it is just at times, I don’t think before I start. I realize it quickly and stop, but the damage is done, I do this in conversations too. I interupt with things I find interesting, but they don’t always follow the conversation and usually end up feeling kind of stupid. It is usually some topic I saw on the news or something I’ve found funny or interesting in my day, but is just off-topic. I was wondering how any of you handle that kind of urge to be the center of attention or is it something I can work on. I really hate that feeling and what it does to me and the people around me, it can be very uncomfortable for me and many involved. If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with this situation i would really appreciate any feedback;
BREPORT ABUSEJanuary 13, 2011 at 4:39 am #99207
SaffronMemberJanuary 13, 2011 at 4:39 amPost count: 140
It took me a very long time, but earlier in my adult life I determinedly trained myself—one type of situation at a time—to hold myself back from speaking or reacting right away. It started with my job. I had decided that I would systematically practice answering with one or more agreeable stock phrases right away whenever a superior spoke to me or asked me to do something. (“OK, let me look that over,” “No problem; when do you want that?” and the comment “Right then.” were my standby answers.)
I made these like a reflex. They gave me time to re-examine and edit my natural response (or to decide better of it altogether). Basically, if it came off the top of my head, I didn’t say it. It almost killed me to keep quiet when funny observations and personal reactions were flying through my head, but I finally developed the habit.
Once I did, my career took a permanent turn for the better, and that encouraged me to train myself in the same habit when speaking with certain relatives who I found generally unpleasant. And it went from there. Now in most situations of consequence, I’m well into the habit of internalizing my first reaction (saying it to myself mentally), then taking the time to turn it over in my head and evaluate whether to let it out or toss it. I’m still floored by how many first-thought responses I toss on examination that I would have just verbalized in the past with disastrous consequences. The technique doesn’t work 100% of the time, but life is a heck of a lot better.
If I’m overcome with an emotional reaction because of some injustice or perceived slight (I still implode when I find myself in any “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” situation), I now recognize a certain tightness in my throat as a signal NOT TO ACT and to exit the situation as soon as possible with as few/nondramatic words as possible. I still find this a challenge every time, because emotional flooding is so damned compelling. But I’ve saved a lot of face over the years and, in memorable cases, been able to return to the injustice at hand and put someone in their place in a classy manner.
When I’m with my friends or when I discover a kindred spirit, particularly other ADDers, that’s when I speak off the top of my head. And I’ll tell you, those moments are like taking a long cool drink of water after a week of thirst. I often lament the lack of fun in holding back my personality a large part of the time, and I don’t always feel like people at work or at large really know me. But it’s WAY better than how it used to be—always kicking myself for things I’d said or feeling ashamed about overreactions I’d had. I’m saying there is a trade-off. But it can be done.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 13, 2011 at 5:18 am #99208
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 13, 2011 at 5:18 amPost count: 14413
my psychologist has me practicing ‘mindfulness’- being aware of my thoughts, where i am physically and mentally, being present in the moment, etc. it aint easy, but like with anything i think its 50% sheer bloody willpower and detirmination to succeed, and 50% consistant practice (and making it a habit as a result).
when i’m in meetings or groups now, i always have a notebook and pen open infront of me, and i doodle as i listen- keeping my hand and a little bit of brain busy helps to stop me from interrupting, and keep me present mentally. i also try and take a nice slow calm breath and count to 3 in my mind before i speak, and to work in sentances that must end when i need to take a breath inwards- no rambling and spewing words with no end and then falling over from lack of oxygen.
wrt the computer issue, you could try and actively put a physical barrier between you and the bad websites- by blocking the IP of site addresses that you’ll go to without thinking, removing them from your favourites, setting your search engine to ‘safesearch’ and even adding software like netnanny to your system. of course you can get around things like that if you really want to visit a naughty site, cos they’re blocks that you’ve put into place and you can remove, and you could sneakily use proxy servers, etc, but working around that visable barrier that takes a few seconds to breach might give you enough time and involve enough concious thought and action that your brain will clue in and give you a quick mental slap around the head and take your finger off the mouse.
another thing you could do is put a keystroke logger or a history recording program on your computer, that your girlfriend has the password/remote access to the log records of, and you don’t. you could agree that for anything shady thats recorded, she gets something that causes you a degree of discomfort to give (all the laundry done for a month, dinners cooked and served by you for a week, to spend a few hundred bucks of yours on a shopping spree, etc). and put a big reminder postit note of this agreement on the edge of your screen. that way you know that whatever you’re doing, she will know about it, and you can’t hide your tracks- plus you have a solid tangible consequence attached to your action. kinda feels less desireable and exciting to be looking at something when you know big brother (or girlfriend) is watching and will yell at you later, and have your guts on a plate for the rest of the year.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm #99209
annieaMemberJanuary 13, 2011 at 8:34 pmPost count: 47
Thanks for the encouragement Saffron…I have been practicing myself and like you catch myself sometimes, but not in every situation. But it is different a lot of the time…guess I will keep it up. I took a Mindfulness workshop and that too helped keep me in the moment..it was a good refresher of things I have learned in the past which is sooooADD ….REPORT ABUSEJanuary 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm #99210
MelissaTexMemberJanuary 13, 2011 at 9:29 pmPost count: 14
Jeneticallymodified – Thanks for the suggestions, but what if part of the thrill for the ADDer of looking at “naughty” web sites is knowing that he most likely will get caught, and can get into a good, knock-down, drag-out, fight about it? What does one do with an ADDer who seems to get his batteries charged from especially nasty arguments where he has really put his partner in her place? When you catch him doing something that isn’t just “mindless” or “thoughtless”, but outright predetermined, complete with lies to cover up. . . and he gets rip-roaring, soul-bashing, angry at YOU for having a negative emotional reaction to the perversion, betrayal, and lies? And what do you do when you’ve already tried NetNanny and history recording programs, and the ADDer just goes to an adult video store and watches his rented porn on the DVD player while you’re away at work?
Is it *normal* for ADDers to be this willfully hurtful? Is it normal for an ADDer to do something disagreeable, and then swear – mere minutes later – that he didn’t just do or say what I witnessed him just do or say, and then go into an instantaneous rage? Is it normal for the partners of ADDers to be required to be emotionally neutral automatons responsible for recording every conversation, every promise, every action or inaction, just so that they can replay Reality back to the ADDer when he adamantly denies it. . . and even then I am told that I am insane and controlling and out to “get him”. I am at my wit’s end. I am suicidal. I have moved into the spare bedroom and stay in there whenever he is home because I can no longer survive his lies and emotional abuse. Other responders say focus on the positives, downplay the negatives. What if all I get is negatives? What then?REPORT ABUSEJanuary 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm #99211
SaffronMemberJanuary 13, 2011 at 9:57 pmPost count: 140
@Melissa: Forgive me for jumping in, but what you’re describing sounds like one of two situations. Either you’re dealing with a partner who actually has Aspergers (a lack of “theory of mind” and an egocentric memory that can masquerade as paranoia and gaslighting behaviour) or your ADD partner has serious oppositional defiance tendencies and more than his share of immaturity.
Living with either type of person can be extremely detrimental to a partner’s mental health. You need to get out of there. And you need to do so quietly and safely, with support. It’s not going to get better. BTDTREPORT ABUSEJanuary 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm #99212
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 13, 2011 at 10:51 pmPost count: 14413
melissatex: thats not about impulse control then, so much as its about a masochistic streak, emotional gratification and power games, and a porn addiction. there is a total difference between the inability to appropriately manage impulse control due to an organic mental disorder, and being addicted to something and thriving on the anger, chaos and distress you can inflict upon those around you.
people with ADD can learn to change their behaviour. they generally can kinda see whats normal in others, where its a problem for them, and they try and seek help. they don’t want to keep screwing up. there is something big going on in there thats WAY beyond just ADD- i expect involving an addiction. i really do think you’re dealing with an addict (trust me, i’ve known enough addicts that i can smell the behaviour patterns a mile away).
frankly, if that person truly WANTS to change, and is READY to change (which i doubt they are and will be, if their life is still relatively manageable- they’ve still got a large degree of control over their environment, and are functional on a practical level- not living on the street- why would they want to quit?!) then they need to phone a sex addiction helpline, or get onto a website like: http://www.sexaa.org/ , and arrange to go and get therapy and help- and be prepared to throw the computer away, and the DVD player, if needs be.
but anyway- regardless of whats normal and not normal for someone with ADD, you need to look after YOU, melissa. no other adult on this planet is more important than you, or your responsibility to care for, than you are. do not forget that.
as someone who was raised by a parent with an addiction, i’m gonna be frank, and you probably won’t like it (cos part of the whole cycle of addictive behaviour is partners getting manipulated and having their heads messed with so much that they can’t tell their arse from their elbow even with a large map of the body and illustrated guidebook to arses and elbows) but hopefully you’ll reflect on it anyway.
-you need to go and get help for YOU. pronto. do not dare let this person and their problem crush you, because it will if you don’t get help for yourself. not out of hate, or out of any failing on your part, but cos they’re an addict, and addictions are destructive. addicts destroy lives, and people around them.
-you cannot help your partner, or fix them, or sort out their situation. you’re really not that powerful. nobody is. thats upto them. you can however save YOURSELF. and you should.
-there is no magic behaviour, response, strategy to enlighten them with, tactic, or special way you can get them to stop doing whatever they’re doing. trust me, been there, tried that. when they want to stop, they’ll get help. until then, you’re wasting your time and energy, and making yourself feel more and more like a failure by trying to rescue them, or your relationship.
-whatever you try and do interaction-wise to make things better when you’re in a relationship with an addict, you’ll inevitably get screwed over, and fail, and feel more useless than you already did- because regardless of what they’ll claim, an addict cares first and foremost about their ‘fix’ (in this case porn) and they will lie, cheat, steal, pass the blame, swear black is white, manipulate, do whatever it takes to keep doing what they’re addicted to doing.
-whether there is love there or not from them, you’re basically functioning as a tool or a crutch to your addict right now. you enable them to keep functioning as an addict and endulging in their addiction- by giving them someone to blame, maybe by helping pay the bills, by being a punchbag (verbally and/or physically) and by absorbing the anger they’re throwing about, giving their self esteem a boost, and so on. this isn’t what a relationship is about.
-their behaviour is not about you or anything you’ve done wrong- its about that need they have to control, manipulate and continue with their behaviour. i know i keep covering this, but partners ALWAYS blame themselves. don’t. you’re not in charge of his life. you didn’t do this.
honestly, if i was in your place right now, i would be heading straight for the door and not looking back. if you love each other, he decides to get into recovery as a result of your leaving, and if after some time (i’d say at least a year) ‘clean’ and some couples therapy, you decide to get back together, great. but regardless of what happens for him, you have to move on with your life. you can’t continue like this. i doubt you want to at all.
practically, you might want to sort some stuff out before making a move (get your legal papers- birth certificate, insurance, etc sorted out and in your pocket, close or freeze shared bank accounts, make sure the mortgage on a shared property is safe and you are financially not in a pickle, etc) but you need to prepare to make a move of some kind. even if its just to an al-anon type support group where women who are going through a situation like yours help each other to cope and get stronger. you can talk to a womans refuge advisor over the phone about that sort of stuff. but you need to make some kind of move. now- while you still have the strength to grab hold of help and drag yourself out of this hell-hole.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 14, 2011 at 12:38 am #99213
MelissaTexMemberJanuary 14, 2011 at 12:38 amPost count: 14
Thank you, jeneticallymodified and Saffron. Yes, it’s an addiction. He has been to a 90-day program at The Meadows for it, over 10 years ago (a couple years before we met & started dating). He has been to SAA. Attended for years. He – briefly – saw a counselor. He has read books. He calls people he knows from SAA when he feels the “urge” coming on. . . and then still goes and hunts down porn, as if the phone calls had never happened.
He also used to play World of Warcraft for up to 90 hours a week, and still talks longingly of the game. He buys into every Get Rich (or Emotionally Healthy) Quick scheme that comes his way. He’s never met a shortcut he doesn’t love.
And I can’t boot him right now because I *am* in a financial pickle. I am unemployed (drawing only $1600/mo in benefits, which will end in May); I have no savings; I have already sold everything of value to help keep us afloat; the mortgage – which is mine – is only 14 days late at the moment, but I would be in foreclosure in a heartbeat without his additional income.
And I’m having trouble finding a support group that will work for me. I am atheist who sees huge problems with the traditional 12-step model. I believe it has done more harm than good. So Al-Anon or COSA are out for me. What little support I have gotten from family and friends has been: “Get a job, and get him out of your life.” Well, duh. But there’s no help for the day-to-day insanity. Help to keep me from spiraling deeper and deeper. No one wants to listen to someone whine incessantly about the lunatic they are tied to. I also suffer from clinical depression, have for all of my life. So my work history is sketchy; and finding – and keeping – a job for more than two years seems to be an impossibility for me. I buckle under the stress of having to perform like a normal person day after day after day. Yes, I’m on meds. Yes, I’ve had years of counseling. Yes, I have my own self-help books and books on neurology and psychology and neuroplasticity. But nothing every truly gets rid of the depression that eventually has me calling in sick to work many days in row because I flat don’t have any mental or physical energy left.
Anyway, the advice, “Get a job and get rid of him” is spot-on. It’s just a tad over-simplified. And, “Get support,” is correct as well. . . but the support available is terribly limited if you don’t happen to believe in the super-natural, especially here in Texas.
I am majorly open to suggestions on all of this. Because you are right, I cannot continue like this. I have told my boyfriend that, right now, there are only two possible outcomes: I manage to land a job that will support me 100%, financially, and he is out of my life and my house; or I will end my life. And right now the latter is *very* much the more likely scenario of the two.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 14, 2011 at 1:58 am #99214
SaffronMemberJanuary 14, 2011 at 1:58 amPost count: 140
Good call, jeneticallymodified.
Melissatex, your predicament isn’t much different to that of women who are bound by sharing children with an abusive partner, and the insurmountable obstacles (exhaustion and financial dependency among them) to leaving that can go along with that. I’m impressed by the realism of your description and clear-headed perspective about the corner you’ve found yourself painted into. You sound like one smart cookie. Do not give up please. Look, I *viscerally* get where you’re coming from in frankly and soberly considering suicide as an alternative to being trapped with no end yet in sight and enduring waves of emotional torture in your own home. And as a fellow atheist, I can’t imagine how crappy it would be to have to choose between religious support and no support.
But I really want you to keep playing for time, and doing whatever you have to on a daily basis to keep yourself sane. No doubt you’ve considered this, but is selling your home an option? Have you equity? I know, I know—it’s your damned *home*. But in my case, I eventually had to make the decision to walk away from most of my belongings and my home, and I started over. A couple of girlfriends helped me with the getting out and the transition, since my family is remote and splintered—once they knew I was ready to leave, they did whatever they could to help.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 14, 2011 at 2:46 am #99215
MelissaTexMemberJanuary 14, 2011 at 2:46 amPost count: 14
Saffron – I have maybe $10K in equity. And I owe the IRS $5K more than that, all of which they’d come looking for as soon as a Sale contract was signed. My monthly mortgage is $1000, which is just a couple hundred more each month than apartments rent for around here. I also have 5 cats that I am absolutely *not* willing to part with, as long as I’m alive. If I hadn’t gone fully over the edge by then, that would surely do it.
I have one girlfriend in town, but she is as financially destitute as I am, and also suffers from depression. Actually, let me rephrase that: I have one friend. Period. I have several online acquaintances and online renewals of decades-lost friendships from grade school. But none is a “true” friend, close enough to take on me, my 5 cats, and my baggage.
My mom lives with me, as well. She is 65, in fair physical health (though in decline), has been sober via AA since 1981, and is bi-polar [medicated, now] and blindingly narcissistic [despite meds and extensive therapy]. “Sober but not sane” is an apt description for her. I took her in 6 years ago when she was about to lose *her* house, through foreclosure, because she had been in a years-long depression and hadn’t worked in forever. She had also disconnected from her AA community, which is a religion to her. She, too, is unemployed. And though she has since reengaged with AA (she just got picked as a replacement for the local Board when one member left), it is clear that she would sink into another life-threatening decision if she had to live on her own again. So I have to take her into consideration, too, when thinking about selling this house or losing it outright.
And thank you for the “smart cookie” compliment. I am a member of Mensa, and have had whole periods in my life, lasting many many months where I could find solutions to any problem that presented itself to me – not mania, just high-functioning normalcy. But not now. My “intellect” is failing me. That’s why support would be such a relief. I’m to the point of, “Please, just do my thinking for me. Tell me what to do that will make this better, and I’ll do it.” With the caveat, of course, that it can’t be anything to do with gods or “higher” powers, nor something that would clearly do me more harm than good. (i.e., like any set of instructions from my boyfriend). I have enough left of me – in me – to recognize insanity and abuse. I just can no longer *do* anything about it. I don’t have anymore solutions.
Thank you – both you and jeneticallymodified – for taking the time to read and respond in such detail. I sincerely appreciate it.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 14, 2011 at 3:48 am #99216
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 14, 2011 at 3:48 amPost count: 14413
sounds like you have a whole giant can of worms open and slipping out all over the place. ;( i understand depression- i’ve been medicated on and off for 16 years now, i’ve been suicidal, i’ve dealt with abuse, chronic fatigue, etc, so i get struggling. i think the worst part of it -beyond the constant negative self-talk- is the feeling of complete and utter helplessness that accompanies the exhaustion, inability to think straight, and desire to get under the bedcovers and hide. you have my sympathies.
that said- ok, so we see the problems, great. excellent first step. so maybe you can’t fix them all, or fix many of them right now, but what CAN you do for yourself? there is always always always *something* that you can change in some small part of your life, if you look hard enough for it (and thats something you have to decide to do) and change brings well… change.
on a very basic level, it looks like whats holding you where you are right now is your mental health, your mum, 5 cats, and -$5k, yeah?
can you call the cops next time the husband flips out, and have him hospitalised on mental health grounds, and when he’s gone, take in a tennant to help pay the mortgage? get a restraining order to keep him out of the house? theoretically… have you looked into it? what’d happen if you told the IRS you couldn’t pay, realistically? if you sold up, filed for bankruptcy, and let them squabble over and take whatever they could scrabble together, and just walked away from it (taking cats in a carrier, a heavily medicated mum by the ear)? would your mother be eligable for supported housing through any low-income pensioners groups if she was homeless, could you get somewhere to stay from any womens crisis/shelter groups, mental health groups, etc? have you spoken to any crisis support agencies or a social worker about whats theoretically out there in terms of support, grants, etc if the poop well and truly hits the fan? you have? ok, get out the yellowpages and do it again. keep doing it.
i’m incredibly non-religious myself, but i can find *parts* of 12 step programs that work for me if i actively seek them out, and part is better than nothing. just getting out of my bloody bedroom is better than nothing- even if i move from hanging out with one group of crazies in my home to another more supportive- all be it religious- group of crazies with some funny ideas about faith, for a few hours a week- at least they know how it feels to live with a difficult person, at least you can offload there, at least the background noise pulls you out of your own mind just a little bit for a little while. even if mentally you’re saying ‘spaghetti monster’ whenever they say ‘god’, if its support, and its free, i’ll take it- i don’t care what the giver beleives nor what i have to smile sweetly and go along with- if it gets me somewhere better than i am currently, i’d take it. sounds simplistic, but you do what you have to do- thats as complex as it gets when you’re dealing with survival, and want to survive, deep down.
the biggest thing thats made a difference to my depression was dragging my wickedly fatigued arse out of the house just once a week, to do voluntary work. sounds lame, its not. 4 hours a week around generally sane people, doing something with value- i look after shelter-cats looking to be adopted- they appreciate my attendance and the cuddles, so do i. yeah, it was crazily hard to begin with. and sometimes i still don’t wanna get up and go, but i know they’re relying on me, so i do. and low and behold a few months later i have friends for the first time since i’ve moved to canada. we don’t agree on every topic, but we talk, and it keeps me saner. i doubt i could move in with them right now, but i’m not entirely isolated- i don’t ramble on about my issues, but i get a smile, a hello, the odd compliment, i’m not alone. its gonna keep getting better if i keep practicing and working at making it better.
have you tried every form of therapy out there- including cbt, taken every med you can get a sample for, tried combinations of meds, etc? no? keep chipping away at it. go and plead for more help from a doctor, any doctor, every doctor.
you can *always* do something, and right now you do have more than 2 options open to you. yes, you have some barriers, but you’re also doing a good job of actively putting some more up along with the pre-existing ones. i’m sorry, its cold, but i can’t fix it for you. but if you’re managing to type, there is *a* job you could do- even just part time, from home, if set up right, or from a shelter if you got a grant to buy a laptop, or whatever.
there are a lot of people out there offering help- maybe its not a perfect fit for you, maybe you have to tollerate the presence of an invisable sky-dude to get it, but its a hand to hold onto, so grab it, and do not let go.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 14, 2011 at 5:03 am #99217
SaffronMemberJanuary 14, 2011 at 5:03 amPost count: 140
All right, I see. And of course I’m wishing that your mother could bring in an income. And I also now understand, given her narcissism, why you have a history of depression and are sensitive to futility. I’m guessing (I don’t know) that you never got to really feel taken care of. So part of you mentally takes the whole world on your shoulders, and life understandably appears overwhelming, exhausting and ultimately futile some of the time. And I’m also guessing, again really presumptuously, that you learned to be so bloody independent that you didn’t manage to build a real support system.
So you have until May. So hang in. And set SMALLER GOALS that will build on each other and will buoy you. You would do better, in terms of building up your personal energy, with shorter-term, tangible goals that challenge you but bring results.
It was 14 years ago when I started over, but it was all step by baby step. I remember, too, how the emotional exhaustion made my head feel like garbage. But I also remember that every time I got through a baby step and some little window forward had opened, it gave me new energy. So if you can’t leave, then you’re looking at small steps here, and not for one big grand solution. It’s far too exhausting and self-defeating to consider everything only in grand-overall-scheme terms—as capable as you are of doing so. When you’re in a complicated bind, you’re bound to toss in the towel too soon when you succumb to grand-solution thinking. So you need little goals that will kick away at the futility with their littler results.
It was through persistently blitzing temp agencies that I got my foot in the door and found my way back onto my own career track. So that’s what I would ask you to do. Focus for now on just getting a contract somewhere. It won’t stretch out forever before you and have you questioning whether you can stick with it in the long run (you macro thinker, you), and working one or more contracts will lead to other things.
You’re also going to have to force yourself to reach out and get to know other people (in person) when you finally get back out there. But you knew that.
As far as your partner goes, you’re just going to have to use the Tao with him for the time being.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 14, 2011 at 5:38 am #99218
MelissaTexMemberJanuary 14, 2011 at 5:38 amPost count: 14
jeneticallymodified – Thanks for the only smiles I’ve had in several days!!
First, the negatives:
* The house is mine, and we’re not married, so I could boot the boyfriend without getting anyone else involved. I’ve run the numbers and even at $700/mo rent (a high rate for one bedroom and use of common areas), I still wouldn’t be able to meet my minimum survival requirements (lights, food, mortgage, heat, etc.)
* I’ve already told the IRS I can’t pay, and they’ve put me on temporary “Uncollectable” status. The fines and interest continue to rack up, but at least they aren’t cleaning out my checking account (anymore). But they did tell me that any change in my income status – from whatever source the money comes from – then they’ll put be back on Active Collection status again and – whoosh – there goes my equity (or whatever).
* I’ve called women’s shelters. I don’t have kids and I’m not being physically abused and, technically, I own my own house, so I do not qualify for their assistance. Also, neither they nor any other assisted living organizations allow pets.
* My mom would not survive for very long in an indigent’s assisted living house. Maybe one of her AA friends could take her in.
* 12 Step lunacy is just as abusive as what I get from my boyfriend. It’s damaging to 95% of the people exposed to it. It’s not just the god part, either. Hey, I live in the South, I “smile and nod” daily at proclamations of god’s love – and wrath – just to perform simple functions like make it through a grocery store checkout line. It’s that *plus* the other “disconnected from any sense of reality” nonsense that goes on in those meeting rooms and fellowships that spins me into just as much of a depression and spiraling loss of sanity as my boyfriend’s own disconnects with reality. I’m glad you’re one of the 5% that gets some good from it. But there – literally – has to be another way for me.
* I have tried, I kid you not, EVERY psych med (except the major anti-psychotics) on the market, and not just the ones labeled for depression. Some I got the full complement of side effects within days; some did nothing at all after several months (except put me through withdrawal Hell getting them out of my system); some worked fairly well, but then stopped working, even at the highest “allowable” dosage. Throughout the years (I have been on psych meds since 1992) I mastered the art of free drugs: through doctor samples, pharmaceutical manufacturer’s patient assistance programs, and through tax-funded clinics. And on top of all that are all the studies that have come out showing that anti-depressants are equally effective as placebos. Ditto any form of therapy. What the research now shows is that *any* mode of treatment can be successful, if the patient believes that it will. A pill, talk therapy, physical exercise, chanting in a sweat lodge. . . doesn’t matter. Just have the patient be convinced that it will help.
* I have tried every form of psychotherapy that is recognizable by the APA. I have darn near memorized “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” and have several – worn and used – copies at my house.
Now, the Positives:
* I have not yet got on the phone with any crisis support centers (other than the ones for abused women) or with a social worker. That is definitely something I can do.
* Volunteering at a cat shelter: *This* made me laugh out loud. See, I was talking (emailing) my sole friend last week when she was in a really bad spot. She lives alone and only goes outside of her apartment if it’s an absolute necessity. I was telling her that she needed to find a reason to get out. Find someone or something to help. Like cats. I lived in San Francisco in the early 90s and volunteered at the SPCA. I, too, socialized kitties so that they would be adopted quicker (and to help them find the right match). It was nice because I didn’t have deal with people constantly. (It was during yet another period of very bad depression). It was healing because I was with cats, whose company I prefer greatly to that of humans. I told her it would be the perfect thing for her, because of the low(er) incidence of human interactions, versus other volunteering endeavors. I completely didn’t apply any of what I was saying to ME! Sheese! I told you my brain hasn’t been working right. I will make calls to [no-kill] shelters tomorrow. I know myself well enough to know that it would be hard to get me out of the house to do something to take care of myself, but I can more readily do that for cats in need.
* Self-imposed barriers: I’ll spare you the details, but I had this exact same conversation with the exact same friend a few days after the cat shelter conversation, over her supposedly wanting to quit smoking and how she was actively putting up barriers to keep herself from being able to do it. (Again, lots of laughter on my end while reading your post!).
* I have a couple decades of good business experience, most of it in business-to-business software sales (alas, never for more than two years with the same company). I absolutely could earn some money and be productive by working from home. . . I just don’t have any idea at *what*; nor the mental capacity or self-belief to find out what, and to then pursue it with the vigor needed to convince someone to hire me. Again, any and all suggestions are welcomed. I’m not kidding or being overly-dramatic when I say that my brain just isn’t functioning very well right now. The more specific the suggestion, the better, even if it doesn’t fit. Crimeney, at least it’s getting me thinking, picturing alternatives. I didn’t even have *that* capacity eight hours ago!!
Thank you, sincerely, again.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 14, 2011 at 6:19 am #99219
MelissaTexMemberJanuary 14, 2011 at 6:19 amPost count: 14
Saffron – Please, feel free to be presumptious any time, because you hit the nail on the head. I understand that I fit a fairly classic pattern, but it’s still spooky when you wrote a nice summary of my life in your first paragraph! And, yeah, from the get-go I was responsible for my mother’s bad feelings about herself. A bi-polar, narcissistic, and *drunk* single mom does not make for the most caring and compassionate of parents. She had her own version of those parents, too, mind you. As you know, this stuff doesn’t come from nowhere. It’s oh-so-carefully taught and learned, generation by generation. Hence, my decision to never have kids. It had to stop somewhere.
I, obviously, “married” my mother when I invited my boyfriend to move in with me. I have been aware of that for quite some years now. I have advanced far enough in personal growth to recognize when someone was blaming me for their own bad feelings, but I haven’t advanced far enough to live consistently as a “normal” person would, in order to take care of myself in every respect. . . and to have been able to end this relationship a long time ago. I have had. . . let me count. . . maybe eight jobs in eight years? And somewhere between 18 and 24 months of that time I was unemployed. Not a very good track record for depending on oneself to make the mortgage.
I couldn’t agree with you more on Baby Steps. My current problem has been not even being able to conceive of any to take. You and jeneticallymodified have helped me immensely on that today. I am adding, “Call temp agencies” to my list for tomorrow, even if it’s for just the very tiny Baby Step of finding out how best to arrange my lack-luster resume so that the agency can farm me out successfully. (I don’t dare contemplate that the call will lead to a gig, however short-term & “insignificant” it might be. That idea, and all it would entail, is big enough to scare me off the whole venture before I even start!). My mantra will be, “Micro. . . micro. . . micro. . . ”
I have been terrified of contacting potential employers because the software sales community isn’t all that big, and I’m afraid of ruining myself with several companies, and having word get around. I’m also afraid of ending up doing the same thing again, with the same results I’ve had over the past 15 years in Sales: Fabulous start, “lots of potential”, and then quitting before I can be fired. . . or actually being fired for just having so many freaking absences. A temp gig, on which *nothing* of any importance hangs, is so much easier to digest. So much easier to reach for.
And I have have this damned “disease” long enough to know that reaching one goal, even one so small that it’s not noticeable to anyone but me, makes it easier – and possible – to reach the next one, and the next one, and eventually leave the pit behind (until the next time it swallows me, anyway; but that’s a whole different conversation!). In the past six months I have just not even had that one tiny goal to reach for. Until now. And now I have several. All very doable. All independent of one another; failure in one doesn’t effect my efforts or results in another, leaving me [emotionally] safe to continue pursuing them.
Have I said Thank You?REPORT ABUSEJanuary 15, 2011 at 4:22 am #99220
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 15, 2011 at 4:22 amPost count: 14413
they’re doing good stuff with Electro-shock-therapy around here, apparently… i’m half serious- dunno if you’re tried THAT one (i was dubious myself, but apparently times have changed and so have methods and so on- and besides- if the threat of being electrocuted isn’t an incentive to feel better, i dunno what is!).
maybe let the temp agency work out what they think’d work for you work wise, then once you’re actually doing what you’re not yet gonna think about doing, then you can network and bounce some ideas off your own and other peoples heads. when you’re actually in the middle of the board, its easier to see what you’re working with, and the puzzle pieces tend to fall into place a bit easier, you know? maybe it’ll be something completely different to what you’ve done before. who knows, you might end up working a paid gig at a cat shelter, or finding something new and interesting to try through them. keep an open mind and all that.
does your local government or a local chairty offer any schemes/programs to help you look at your skills and personality type, and the different career routes or jobs you might be suited to? i know a few places around here do! if not, you can still do that stuff online.
your brain will unfog a bit once it gets out of the house, in the fresh air, and doing different stuff. mine always does. there seem to be a fair few sexual addiction forums online where you could get specialised support from others going through the same stuff as you are. this one looks relatively active: http://www.psychforums.com/sexual-addiction/
its funny how everyone is good at helping everyone but themselves. i’m equally guilty.REPORT ABUSE
Impulse control, how do you get a handle on it2011-01-13T03:30:26+00:00
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