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Thread: Practical strategies to cope with being alone?

  1. #101
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I wouldn't have a depressed partner--one of us with those tendencies is enough. I mentioned that to a relative, who seemed insulted.

    Chronic depression is one of the most life-sapping conditions there is. The same relative later remarked to me that they think they had been robbed of a good part of their life by the "black dog." And that's with medication.

    So unless you happen to meet a sex-positive African-American minimalist who can take or leave religion and children, enjoys dogs, and likes the idea of being the companion of a morose, moody, glass empty and dry as the Mojave kinda guy, you should probably cultivate the joys of solitude. Or any joy at all.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Perhaps some cases of depression and anxiety cannot be cured.
    Based on a couple of PTSD people I know, that is an accurate assessment. One has a service dog, just to make him get out of bed (to let the dog out and feed it), just because of that.

  3. #103
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    therapists often have no special insights (in fact in some areas they can be so lacking in life experience - say since they are often self-employed that they have never worked for a bad boss - that the average person has more). I mean this is all hypotheticals but I think ideally one might be better off just finding someone else who has done what one is pursuing (say a career or business direction etc.) or is in a situation one is in but further along (say one found oneself a single parent they could use a someone else who had done that who kids were grown etc..), and on many things one's friends are as likely to have good insight as any therapists (say one is wondering if they should stay with their partner - their friends and their own counsel is likely to have as much wisdom into that as any therapist).

    And if one can't find anyone to learn from, then it still doesn't meant that one will necessarily be helped by therapy much. But if renting a friend makes life better then it's neither illegal nor immoral.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  4. #104
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    therapists often have no special insights (in fact in some areas they can be so lacking in life experience - say since they are often self-employed that they have never worked for a bad boss - that the average person has more). I mean this is all hypotheticals but I think ideally one might be better off just finding someone else who has done what one is pursuing (say a career or business direction etc.) or is in a situation one is in but further along (say one found oneself a single parent they could use a someone else who had done that who kids were grown etc..), and on many things one's friends are as likely to have good insight as any therapists (say one is wondering if they should stay with their partner - their friends and their own counsel is likely to have as much wisdom into that as any therapist).

    And if one can't find anyone to learn from, then it still doesn't meant that one will necessarily be helped by therapy much. But if renting a friend makes life better then it's neither illegal nor immoral.
    I spent a year in master's level social work classes. Many of the people I was in class with wanted to be therapists. And I got the feeling that many of them had more than enough problems of their own they have not been able to deal with. Sometimes I think it is the blind leading the blind.

    My first therapist was a nice lady, benign in every way. And generally not helpful, though she was polite and nice.

    My second therapist reminded me more of a hairdresser dolling out gossip and "words of wisdom."

    The third and current therapist certainly has her own set of problems. But while she may not be able to see the "kick me" sign on her own back she seems to be able to tactfully point it out for others. Again, lots of my peers in the atheist community see her and sing her praises.

    But for me, yeah, it is mostly a rent-a-friend.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  5. #105
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    Based on a couple of PTSD people I know, that is an accurate assessment. One has a service dog, just to make him get out of bed (to let the dog out and feed it), just because of that.
    Some people are FUBARed. Maybe something happens -- an accident, an illness, tour of duty in a war, etc. but either way, they are just broken and that's it.

    I'd venture a guess that some folks are born this way.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  6. #106
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    Chronic depression is one of the most life-sapping conditions there is.
    Tell me about it...

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    The same relative later remarked to me that they think they had been robbed of a good part of their life by the "black dog." And that's with medication.
    You lost me here. What do you mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    So unless you happen to meet a sex-positive African-American minimalist who can take or leave religion and children, enjoys dogs, and likes the idea of being the companion of a morose, moody, glass empty and dry as the Mojave kinda guy, you should probably cultivate the joys of solitude. Or any joy at all.
    1. Sex-positive is great! A fairly reasonable and normal sex life is fine too.
    2. She does not have to be black. I have had long term relationships with women of other backgrounds. And I am expanding my preferences.
    3. If she is minimalist that'd be amazing.
    4. Again: Religion is not that big of a deal as long as it is live-and-let-live.
    5. Not having kids is a deal breaker. No doubt.
    6. Harlan and I are a package deal. No negotiations on that.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  7. #107
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej
    You can either wallow in your misery or do something different than you have been doing.
    Come at me with some bright ideas, bro. I am all ears.
    This thread is full of "bright" ideas, pretty much all of which have been swatted away like a mosquito at a picnic. Won't consider addressing a chemical imbalance (even temporarily) with drugs; raising the walls of defense and then retrenching when certain life preferences are discussed; not apparently actively searching for help in finding a new job/career/location/hobbies;... There's "something wrong" with each suggestion or they seem to be received with a "maybe I'll think about it" or they're ducked entirely.

    I understand that may be the depression talking. Having been a "glass half-empty" kind of guy and not well-rooted for most of your life hasn't helped. But that can change if you want it to. It won't be easy because the depression zaps that kind of energy. But I think it can be done if you're willing to fight the depression on whatever front it presents itself.

    A member of my family sounds much like this -- she hasn't been happy with her life for years but there's always some reason why she "can't" change status quo. She can. She chose the life she's living and she has the time, energy, and money it would take to at least embark on improving things. I'm no psychologist but my suspicion is that this person has been in the trenches for so long that she is scared of the idea that she can function with substantial control over her own life. At this point I'm quite willing to help support her if she chooses to address her life in a sustainable manner. But it's getting harder to listen to why nothing is even worth a try. And I regret that so much of a life has been wasted this way.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  8. #108
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    "Black dog" is a phrase used to characterize depression, often associated with Winston Churchill. Similar to a black cloud hanging over your head.

    I think it's possible that some are born depressed; certainly there's a hereditary tendency toward it. i'm just optimistic enough to believe it can be overcome (by natural means, most likely)

    “When you've got it, if there were a magic wand across the room on the table that would make you happy and give you everything you want, it would be too much trouble to cross to cross the room and pick it up.” Dick Cavett on depression That's probably what you're up against, and why suggestions are generally deflected.

    Asking another person to solve what may be a life-long problem--if only by her presence--would be daunting to any but the most dogged and self-sacrificing woman. Think about that. What, exactly, are you bringing to the relationship that would offset a lifetime of acting as a psychiatric nurse and sounding board for your uber-gloomy world view?

  9. #109
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    APN and UL: you two are birds of a feather. Gloom and doom and therapists are all rent a friends, nothing will help, the world is stacked against me, etc. Focus on what is in your circle of control and work on that. Or not-just complain and moan because really that is much easier. Read the books -Man's Search for Meaning, Night and All But My Life and what these people went through yet how they came out on the other side and had good lives. All of what we go through pales by comparison. Therapists are people too and have there own problems but that does not mean they can't help others. Many therapists are employed by hospitals, clinics, etc and are not self-employed. But just keep wallowing instead of doing the hard work of changing.

  10. #110
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I think UL made some positive changes over the past year. He lost weight and upped his cooking skills. At least, those are things I am getting from his posts. He also stopped big time fishng, not that that was a negative thing.

    About the minimalist thing: I have a friend who I met 30 years ago the same night I met DH. She is a real clutter bug. She has, what I consider to be, a strange obsesssion with physical objects, like dog equipment and camera equipment and household kitchen tools and decorative items. She is not a stupid person and she has interests and hobbies, all revolve around dogs and taking pictures. She had dozens of rolls of undeveloped film back in the days of film cameras. She couldnt afford to develop it. I think the dog hobby is good because It gets her out into the world even though she is always in the edge financially but I never u derstood constant focus on taking photos. She is trained at the professional level for it but did nt do anything professionally with that training.

    Anyway, many years ago she married a nice guy and that marriage lasted less than five years. He talked about her stuff filling up their small house. It seemed to be a major factor in their split.

    So, from this it seems minimalism isnt a small thing that can be ignored for luuuurv.

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