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Thread: This is dark and possibly upsetting

  1. #31
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you are in such a dark place, CL.
    When I retired, I was gifted with "The Book of Joy" by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. I am an atheist, and I didn't think this book was going to be my cup of tea. I actually got a lot of value from it, especially when I was dealing with some health issues of my own and then my mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis. It was the chapter on acceptance that I found really helpful. "Acceptance - whether we believe in God or not - allows us to move into the fullness of joy. It allows us to engage with life on its own terms rather than rail against the fact that life is not the way we would wish." The book also said "Acceptance, it must be pointed out, is the opposite of resignation and defeat.... We are meant to live in joy...This does not mean that life will be easy or painless. It means that we can turn our faces to the wind and accept that this is the storm we must pass through. We cannot succeed by denying what exists. The acceptance of reality is the only place from which change can begin." I personally found this to be a useful and compelling message.

  2. #32
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    Chicken Lady, Big Hug. It IS hard.

    *******since my post was not helpful, and I continually get a message that this website is “not secure” - I have removed my personal story.
    Last edited by mschrisgo2; 2-17-20 at 11:57pm.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    It’s easy to get lost in other people’s problems and want to fix things. I only lasted 4 years as a social worker because the only jobs available in our town which wasn’t big were in child protection. It broke my soul. The other time I got lost in trying to help was when I got involved with dog rescue. I finally realized I couldn’t rescue them all.

  4. #34
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you've hit such a rough patch, Chicken Lady.

    You've been given some solid options here, even if not all of them are to your taste. I would echo mschrisgo2's suggestion to get a medical workup. There may be a health problem or there may be medications working at cross purposes. If nothing else, you've ruled out a physical ailment.

    After that, well,... I really would recommend speaking with someone outside of your family/friends circle who can at least listen attentively and occasionally point out a different way to look at what's going on in your life. As others have mentioned, a counselor does not "fix" -- only you can do that -- they simply ask questions about you, your values, your feelings, and how they apply to situations in your life. As observers, they have the ability to identify things like commonalities in behavior or how situations X, Y, and Z seem to be manifestations of the same conflict. That kind of insight can make a real difference in you figuring out what you can do to best approach the situation(s) at hand.

    I am just coming off a year of counseling over a family situation (and some external issues) that, at a couple of points, had me thinking seriously of checking out permanently because it seemed easier than continuing to fight (wasn't sure I was going to write that.) I was Mr. Fixit -- and things weren't getting fixed. My counselor helped validate me and how I felt about these situations, and helped me understand for myself that I had done all it was possible to do. There even were some approaches I engaged during the time I was in counseling (to no avail). There was an element of me accepting the situation and, honestly, I'm still wrestling with that a little. But the counseling helped me tremendously in seeing the situation for what it was/is.

    Without trying to play junior psychologist, I will ask these questions:
    - Rather than recount all that you have not done or cannot do, can you view life in terms of the things you do, accepting that you may never see the positive difference you have made (and are making) in scores of students and others in your life? How many souls have you lifted up, validated, given an outlet, modeled kindness, simply been there for?
    - Can you believe yourself to be a positive influence on the world and vow to continue to be a positive influence? This may mean practicing greater self-care or establishing more or firmer boundaries. That, in turn, may mean pulling back from other commitments or modifying some personal values to make it all fit into your day. In this respect, it's like being a potter: you can learn the basic skills for the activity and make functional pieces, but there always are additional skills to master and experience to be gained. Improvement does not end. Yet no matter how much you might improve (and, at some level, I'm guessing, it's very difficult to improve), you still are a potter. Does it matter that your work doesn't sell for thousands of dollars or get featured in the news? No. It does not take away from your being a potter that you are not the pinnacle of the craft and that there still are things you could improve upon.
    - What are you living for? Is it your role to be the constant empath? Are you the person responsible for making everyone become as self-actualized as possible? If those are not your roles, is it possible to accept the role of helper, of someone who assists others, of someone who takes on a portion of the job of assisting others in life and does it to the best of her ability (which, as stated above, is constantly improving through education and experience)?

    One of the reasons I so much enjoyed computers as a career is that they're so much more predictable than people. Sometimes I find people absolutely baffling -- how they think, what they do, ... Yet computers will never create anything that will take your breath away, the way people can. Because people do what people do, which includes flashes of insight and brilliance along with the behavior that really makes you wonder. You can never really know why another person does what they do; so much is hidden inside them. And, sometimes, even if you know why they're doing what they're doing, there is no intervention you can stage to make them change. I laud the effort and heart you've put into what you do. But you're dealing with some things you can never know and never change. Please don't take on the responsibility for that.

    Peace.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  5. #35
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Steve: I'm sorry to hear that you have been in such a dark place too. You are such a reasonable and helpful voice on the Forum, and I can only imagine how much value you bring to the people who know and love you in real life. So glad that you sound to be through the worst of it. Wishing you well.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post

    I am just coming off a year of counseling over a family situation (and some external issues) that, at a couple of points, had me thinking seriously of checking out permanently because it seemed easier than continuing to fight (wasn't sure I was going to write that.) I was Mr. Fixit -- and things weren't getting fixed.
    As a surviving family member of a brother who elected to die by suicide, may I congratulate you on overcoming that demon and choosing life. I hope the pain has been worth surviving.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    So glad Steve that you got help and are doing better. Life can be hard. I know 3 people that have lost children and still were able to go on but it was tough.

  8. #38
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    Steve, I’m glad you are alive. I am also glad you are doing better.

    Thank you to the people who chose not to diagnose me with a mental disorder (and even better, prescribe medication) based on their unqualified assessment of posts that explore only one part of my life. I’m pretty sure I’m not depressed - I mean, I’m seasonal, so I’m a little depressed, but it’s mid February, so that is starting to ease up. I’m sad, and angry, for perfectly good reasons. If you don’t think kids in pain should make a person sad and angry, I don’t think we have enough common ground for you to bother weighing in. I am not sad and angry 24/7. Just too much.

    mschrisgo2, thank you for your thoughts. My thyroid has actually been checked several times (most recently in connection with the anemia) because my dad has hypothyroidism. Having watched his struggle - I know what a difference it can make and how simple it is to both overlook and fix.

    steve, I do try to give myself credit.

    i ruminate and obsess on the failures because I want to learn from them. In pottery, I would go to friends or teachers at the professional studio.

    so my biggest take away from this thread is the message many of you keep trying to tell me that if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll keep getting what I’m getting. But what I’m doing is going to a group of people who don’t know how to help me and don’t seem to understand what I am saying, and with whom I don’t seem to be able to communicate clearly - for help with problems outside of their skill set - because I like them and I feel like I can talk to them and I don’t know or feel comfortable with very many irl adults.

    so I am going to keep getting suggestions for therapy and medication and books to change my spiritual outlook and assessments of my mental state.

    apparently nobody has books on communicating with and supporting teenagers, or creating positive environments, or activities or ideas to help make their lives better... or thinks that I need them. See, this is where I want to do something different, so that maybe I get something different. Or at least feel like i might. Because if I feel like I am doing something, other than more of what isn’t enough, I probably won’t be sad and angry so much, because I will have removed the sense of complete helplessness.

    i can’t throw pots like Ben. I never expect to throw pots like Ben. But when I go to the studio for help, people don’t say “well, you’re unhappy with your work because you think you should be able to throw pots like Ben. You just need to accept that you are never going to throw pots like Ben. I’m sure you throw perfectly good pots. We just need to work on your attitude.” Even if I say “I hate my pots. My shoulder is sore and the wheel is making me miserable and I just want to throw everything I made in the scrap bucket! I wish I could throw pots like Ben.” They laugh and say “me too. Let me see your pot. Have you tried this...”

    so, I will stop asking this group to help me change things like my time management (which has gotten better mostly because I quit doing all the things I don’t want to do which I couldn’t even see and which no one asked about since they were busy pointing out that the things actually on my list were too many) and my skill set for repairing the world. Or anything else that relies on self reported data since I am clearly a bad filter, and stick to philosophical topics like salad spinners. Or not, as I don’t have time for that.

  9. #39
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    Is this the type of thing social work training would involve? I don't know if teachers are cross trained and to what degree. It seems though that the school should provide more resources than just leaving it every teacher for themselves. Any therapist has had suicidal clients I'm sure, some maybe minors, ask them how they deal with it, professional to professional.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Everyone that commented on this thread cares and was trying to be helpful and basically you peed in their Cheerios. If you don’t have a depression problem I don’t know who does. But carry on repeating the same behavior and expecting different results.

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