Please help w/coping exercise

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mogli
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 11/25/2006 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
 
I need some help...I wrote in this week about how stressed out I am over my job.  Turns out, I am going to be losing my job in a month, long story.  Anyway, that news was extremely devastating to me, as I am sure you call all imagine.  I know all of you undestand how vital it is for us to keep our stress as low as possible and when things like this happen, it is a huge risk factor for our symptoms to become much worse.
 
My boyfriend (who I adore and live with) doesn't seem to understand that, fully.  He knows this fact, about the stress, but I don't think he understands it to the extent I need him to.  I need him to comfort me through this, but that's not what's happening.  Last night we got into a huge fight which left me feeling even worse about myself than I already do, feeling guilty and extremely down on myself.  And that is what I need some help with.
 
Right now I do go to a BP support group once a week in my area.  I am tyring to work on some exercises to change "thought distortions", specifically on the negative thoughts I am having about myself.  Over the last few years I have had the worst luck w/jobs.  And now losing this one, I am more down on myself than ever.  I keep thinking over and over how I'm not good enough for any of these huge companies I've been working for and with the fight I had with my bf last night, my thoughts have gotten really bad about myself, as a girlfriend. 
 
We were supposed to go to an xmas party last night at his friends house, but I ended up breaking down about the stress I'm under right before we were ready to leave.  I expressed to him (thru tears) that I was under extreme stress and that I needed him and he got angry/frustrated...then I said I couldn't go to the party b/c I was upset, and he told me that I "always do this" (always bail on our plans).  That statement is something that I cannot get out of my head.  I feel like he was looking down on me.  And I now feel horrible about myself.  We did make up, but I'm not feeling good about it today.  I try really hard at going out w/him and I try really hard here at my job.  But no matter what, I feel like I have all the guilt and shame in the world on my shoulders, and along with all of the stress, I am barely able to go on.
 
I am supposed to be focusing on this support group and all the coping skills to get better, but with all of this it's so hard.  But I've made the decision that today I am going to try and work on my group exercises and concentrate on me.  I just need some help in turing these negative thoughts about myself around...Thanks for reading, sorry it was so long, and thanks to anyone who replies.
 
Hugs, prayers,
mogs

LadyDragonfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/25/2006 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I am studying to be a mental health counselor, so naturally I think everyone needs therapy! LOL

Though seriously, I think you are right to concentrate on YOU. I think you might benefit from a therapist. I am a Rogerian and I'd suggest we find a therapist who is also Rogerian. With this technique, the focus is on building a strong sense of self. It is about exploring who you ARE not what others want you to be. It is also about accepting yourself and appreciating yourself, as you are.

The reason this is so very important to the bipolar sufferer is that this therapy is not concerned about "labels" like bipolar which is a label. It is about a positive self-image, something that those around us rarely allow us to have. I think it is easy for others to think we are "broken." We are not "broken" we have a chronic illness that needs treatment. Sometimes meds do not work and we are left on our own, to feel less than whole, less than we deserve. I think it is very easy, too easy, for those around us to blame us for everything that happens. Do you really think that because someone lives with a bipolar sufferer that they don't have responsibility for their own problems? Those without bipolar disorder aren't perfect.

Not everything that happens in your life is your fault. It isn't all about you! Remember the bumper sticker sh** happens? Well it does whether you suffer from bipolar or not.

You are a person, unique and wonderful in your own right. You are not a disease process.

I wish you luck in your job front and in your relationship. Keep coming here for support.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Only on occasional Indocin and Naprosyn. Lupus with significant balance difficulties and frequent falls (getting over a recent concussion). Vegan and loving it!


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 11/25/2006 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for your response...I am trying to look up this Rogerian Therapy you are talking about on the internet.  It doesn't seem that that are any of these therapists here in my area. 
 
I was hoping that you could maybe provide me with a few techniques or things that you have learned in this type of therapy that could help me work through today's exercise?
 
Thanks again so much.
 

CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 11/26/2006 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mogli,

I'm so sorry -- do you want to talk through the reasons you're losing your job here? It might help you to do so -- however long the story! -- and I'm sure we can help you with our "outsiders" perspectives.

I do think it can be very hard for people who don't suffer from any anxiety or depression disorders fully to "get" what we go through at bad times -- but I also think that this is something that can be worked on. Lady Dragonfly is right that therapy would be a good idea. I also think that couples therapy might help -- somewhere where you and your fella can go and talk through issues with a third party (and someone who understands bp and can help explain some of its different aspects to your partner). Has he ever read up on the condition? I would really recommend that you get hold of a book that can help him to understand. I always recommend David Miklowitz's "Bopolar Disorder Survival Guide" because it's so clear and is great for sufferers and oved ones (including strategies for dealing with just the kind of thing that you're talking about -- relationship and job stress).

Don't lose faith in yourself hun: you struggle with this condition every day and that's more than most people ever have to do. -- You're having a bad time, but that doesn't make you bad.

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Moderator, Bipolar Forum


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 11/27/2006 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Rosie,

Thanks so much for your reply. The last two lines of your message are exactly what I need to hear..words of comfort, I swear, nothing helps me more.

So, the job issue (I also saw your job issue thread that you posted...that's great, thanks for bringing attention to this issue).  I have lost many jobs due to my illness, meaning I either cannot perform and I lose it, or the management somehow found out about my illness and took advantage of that to get me out.  In my current role, I am in my 4th call center.  Have been here almost a year and was hired as a temp.  I had to prove myself over the last year in sales, and have come literally 25 pts away from that goal and b/c I didn't meet it, I am not getting hired on with this company, therefore I will no longer bere after December.  I have worked harder than I ever have before at this job, under extreme pressure and stress.  I acutally don't even know how on earth I have done it, any of it.  I do have a lot to be proud of, it's just hard to accept the fact they won't give me a chance to succeed in a less stressful situation (I believe I would be able to peform better without the "temp" thing hanging over me).  As a temp employee, I have absolutely NO rights here, believe me, I looked. 

As far as the therapy, it is very very limited in my area but I am looking.  I would like to have my bf try to be more involved with my recovery (I was going to say illness...but I used recovery instead).  After our argument, I realize he really said some hurtful things and that he's not trying to understand this.

Anyway, thanks again for all of your support, I feel like things are completely falling apart, and I am overwhelmed in trying to keep them together, almost all alone.

Hugs, prayers to all of you,

mogs


LadyDragonfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/27/2006 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Mogs, your bf doesn't have this illness, he is looking in from the outside. Completely different perspective. It is NOT an illness where you can just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep on trucking.

Reality check for you though...You know, "normal people" (normal is a dryer setting, why be normal?) go through stress and upset when they lose a job they have worked at as hard as you have. They can feel like their lives are falling apart. They can be anxious, scared, worried. They can feel overwhelmed. I will put to you that your reactions are NORMAL and not because you have this bipolar monkey who lives with you.

I have been reading your posts. You aren't threatening to end it all, you are looking at therapy to give you support you badly need. You are not looking for ways to prolong your suffering. You are also using that magic word...recovery!

I think you have it more together than you are giving yourself credit for. I am proud of you for not giving up, for looking for help and support. My friend, I think you are managing quite well.

You know, if you kick yourself when you are down, you are going to end up with an extremely sore backside, so don't do it.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 11/27/2006 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Lady,
 
Those thoughts of giving up are there, trust me.  The only reason I don't is for my family and b/c I do love my bf and our life together.  And I guess I do have a little "survivor" in me.  I've been in a depression for over a week now, and it's been really bad. 
 
I just feel that this stress w/the job AND trying so hard to cope is too much and that's when I get scared and overwhelmed.  When I started my shift tonight, I had a panic attack, was crying between calls and honestly needed to go home.
 
I just realized though after this weekend, after the things my bf said to me, that things might get really rough for us down the road if he doesn't try to read on this or talk to me, or whatever...Honestly, he really sort of came down on me the other night with what he said, and it was awful b/c he is the best, he treats me so wonderful all the time.  He's the best thing that has ever happened to me.
 
Anyway, I know anyone in my situation would be stressed, it's just scary b/c it makes my symptoms so much worse I feel I have no control...I wish so much this derpession would lift so I could feel better.
 
Thanks again for your support.
 
 

LadyDragonfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/27/2006 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
ohhh now that bf of yours has my dander up! I worry he is trying to make you the scapegoat for things when I know he is human (I mean you didn't say he was from Mars or something) and NO HUMAN is perfect. You are right, he needs to be better informed.

I still don't think you reactions are way out there, I think they are pretty much what most of us would go through, bipolar or not. Depression is only natural in this place you are at.

I am feeling something else here. You know, a lot is made of tight medication control with bipolar. Like what, we aren't supposed to feel or have reactions to things that happen to us? Umm I think that any thinking feeling human being knows you can't just sail through things, that IS crazy! ALL OF US feel out of control at times and as another poster said, feeling bad doesn't make you bad. There is how you feel and who you are. I think bipolar people can only see how they feel and they don't know who they are. It is a combination of societal pressure and emotional damage inflicted on us because of our brain chemistry difficulties.

I'll tell you again, my friend, please don't beat yourself up!!!! It feeds depressed moods and only serves to further damage a positive self-image. I am trying to tell you, the glass is half full not half empty. I KNOW you can get through this and I am sending you positive energy that this whole mess is going to be a blessing in disguise and something so much bigger and better is on the horizon...TRUST IT.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 11/27/2006 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Ah, thank you again, my goodness I don't know what I would do without this forum.
 
So, tonight at work, through reading your comforting responses I have been working on what orignally started my post, that exercise from my support group.  Trying to turn these negative thoughts about myself and my situation around.  It's a hard thing to do...
 
This illness really is an everyday battle and I am truly proud of myself for fighting everyday.  There we go, one positive thought down, that's a start.
 
As far as my wonderful bf, I don't expect the world from him when it comes to what I am going through, but I do expect a little more support in this and a little more understanding.  And I believe for him to be able to do that, some work needs to be done.
 
But, I need to find some peace and relaxation through all of this stress.  I'm going to keep working through these exercises and maybe that will calm this stress for me.
Thanks for the kind words, and postive energy you've given to me, I am going home tonight with that and I think I will be able to sleep actually.
 
Nite nite, mogs
 

LadyDragonfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/27/2006 10:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Suggestion to you for coping. I have found this hugely helpful.

Part of learning to value yourself is taking care of yourself. It is self-nurturing activities. I can't tell you what to do, but after I am finished here, you'll know what is right for you.

Remember how important you are. Remember how valuable your good physical health is (I am battling pericarditis and pleuritic chest pain with lupus. I wish I had thought more of this, not taken too much for granted for too long). Remember that you are human and although you make mistakes, you still deserve good things. Don't withhold rewards, waiting to improve something in your life. Give yourself those rewards NOW because NOW is when you NEED them. You deserve to have your NEEDS met, and I don't care how bad you are feeling about yourself, you deserve all the good things that can possibly come your way.

I will tell you, in therapy, self-nurturing, self-caring came extremely hard for me. I didn't see where I had "earned" the right to feel good about myself or just to physically feel good. It was a struggle that I have overcome. I am making enough money to have the odd little treat on payday...a warm new jacket for $10, a set of purple Christmas lights, a fancy cup of coffee...and these I have done in the last month to be nice to myself.

When I am stressed, I have a bubble bath by candlelight. When my lupus has me down and out and exhausted, I have a cup of my favorite tea in bed. I wear perfume when I am feeling down. I plan a special lunch to have alone when I am feeling depressed. I take time to go out and walk in the sunshine and enjoy our beautiful planet. It seems small, but I have an appreciation for myself and my place in the world. These are not rewards for "good behavior" but things I do that truly lift my spirits and make me feel loved.

So, what things lift your spirits? How often do you allow yourself these things? When are you ever truly good to yourself? You deserve every good thing that comes your way...make a few more good things happen for yourself.

It helps.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!


LadyDragonfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/27/2006 10:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Lastly, mogli...if you click on my name on the main list of posts, you'll see an email address there. Feel free to use it.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 11/28/2006 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Lady, thank you so much for your support.  I feel like I can't even begin to thank you enough actually.  You've really taken the time to reach out to me and it has meant a lot.
 
I have printed out your posts to read them while I am trying to work on things.  Today, I am low, again.  It feels like there is no end in sight.  I know that having to come here to work everyday is what is affecting my depression.  If I didn't have to come here, I would be coping much better.  Having said that, I don't want to lose this job b/c I feel I am too ill to find another one.  Bottom line is that I have to work.  And it is getting in the way of me feeling better for so many reasons...It's 3pm - 11pm night shifts, it's full of pressure and stress...On the other hand, there are a lot of things I do like about this job (the people for example).
 
AH!  As for your last post, I do try to do some of things you mentioned (for myself).  Of course in a depression like this those things take a lot of effort, and I usually feel so much guilt after I do those small things that I sometimes fall into a deeper depression.  However, having said that, you couldn't be more "right on" with all that you said.  Doing those things for ourselves, especially when we are depressed, are so important.  There are some times when doing those things do make me feel a little better, even if only for awhile.  It's definitely something that takes a lot of practice.
 
I am so depressed today, I just want to go home to bed....
 
I have your email address, thank you so much.  Because I don't have a computer at home I can't access my email very often, only about once a month, and I can't access my email account from here at work.
 
Anyway, thanks for everything again, really.
 
 
 

LadyDragonfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/29/2006 5:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Mogli, you are so welcome. Reaching out, trying to listen and target something is practice for my future career. I should have my Master's in counseling psychology in another year. I am not sure what kind of therapist I will make, that remains to be seen. If I can do you even a little bit of good, it is so worth it to me and gives me hope for being able to help others in the future. Just email when you can, we'll figure it out.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!

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