losing my peace of mind

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, May 21, 2009.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I have had 6 weeks of great mental peace (other than not sleeping) since I moved - and now I feel the internal frustration building again. I cannot keep up, it seems, with work, not to mention life - and I feel mad all of the time, and frustrated, and I can sense the depression creeping back in.

    I cannot trace my unrest back to any one event. I had to travel to UT for 3 days this week, and I do not know when my next day off is. Matt is not doing so well. I miss H. But those are all somewhat normal things for me.

    It seems like the move initially alleviated the depression and anger - but my normal, dysfunctional ways have crept back in? But I do not know how. I tried so hard in the beginning to keep the anger and negativity away from my soul - but slowly I have absorbed it back.

    I want to find that permanent place of Zen in my life. I do not want always feel annoyed at the world, or be sad. What is the secret to living in a place of peace?
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Steely, I think that accepting that bad things happen to good people and that you are not defined by the things that happen can help you stop the destructive thoughts that lead to depression. I like the way Steven Covey puts it---do you want to be a person who makes things happen or do you want to be happened to----I think that peace comes from being satisfied and happy with who you are---not determine by what you are doing or who you are with. The key to being happy is within you---not out in the world. You won't find it in work, in a place, in another person. I think we expect "things" and "people" to make us happy----and when the newness of those things wears off or when the people disappoint us, we are unhappy again. We have to look beyond those things---the beauty of nature, the treasure of friendship, the grace of a creator, the smile in a child, the passion we feel for our chosen career---we find or choose to be happy----I once read a book Happiness is a Choice---there was a whole series of Choice books---it really helped me change my views. I also love The Secret--the whole idea that you create the world you want for yourself by visualizing what it is you want---okay, it sounds hokey the way I worded it, but it works for me.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I like EW's response. I could never be that glass half full kind of person because I "awful-size" too much. I always feel like nothing can ever really go right for me so I just know its going to go wrong so I awful-size it.

    I expect that the downturn with Matt left you feeling weakened, down, worried, and wondering if things will ever really get better.

    We become so enmeshed with our kids and our emotions become so entangled with their emotions. When they feel good, we are on top of the world. When they tumble, we slide right down that hill with them. I have been on that ride for many years. I am valiantly trying to keep off it now.

    I think once you can find new interests and hobbies, get set in your work schedule and get your sleep issues settled, things will settle back into track for you.

  4. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Hugs. Like Janet said what are you doing to find new things for you? things besides work. Take care of you!

  5. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    You have a piece of mind? You're one up on me. Here's a little tune that my friends in Vegas did.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58z_boMD8pE"]YouTube - The 215 - "Everything's Zen"[/ame]

  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I suggest that you find a special place in a park or side of the road where you can go sit and think about nothing but the beauty before you. The world is a BIG place and realizing its mass sometimes brings me back to a peace that tells me it will be OK. For me, there has to be water involved in my appreciation of the vastness of the world. It does not have to be a super large body of water. Even if I can see the other side, I wonder what the people there are doing.

    Even the search for such a spot may just bring peace for you.
  7. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Steely, I would highly suggest that you seek out a counselor and medication. This has been going on way too long. I'd hate to see this move that you made to make you life better go sour. You made the right decision to move on with the move, now you have to make the right decision of moving with your mental growth.

    I would also suggest that you may be lonely, too. I think it might be good for you to get involved in the community somehow. Go to church or volunteer at a local soup kitchen or women's shelter. You have to find something to put your enery toward, other than closing yourself up in the blanket of someone who has passed. I don't mean that to sound insensitive....you just have to move on. It's okay to miss her, but it's not okay to be depressed for this long.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Just a few cents from someone who is still fighting with a similar problem... You have been having trouble sleeping... I know when I have problems sleeping for a prolonged period of time I get witchy and negative. Loneliness adds to it. I have a counselor, I have a great regular doctor who listens, and he's the one who suggested Lexapro.

    The counselor has helped immensely. It's not just that we talk about what's wrong in my life either - last September we got into a debate about Obama - it's that he's someone else to talk to besides my family.

    The medications have helped too. Mostly the effect I am seeing is that I get better sleep. I have less trouble falling asleep and I don't wake up multiple times every night. So the quality of my sleep is better. I don't think I'm necessarily getting more sleep.

    Steely, I've always been a glass-half-full kind of person. So when I get negative I know something's up. And any kind of stress - even good stress - can get you down like nobody's business. I agree with busywend about deliberately appreciating something... And Loth about loneliness. Just because you have people around doesn't mean you're not lonely.

    It's spring in Arizona. Some of the cacti and desert flowers can be absolutely gorgeous. And when it rains on the mesquite and creosote, you get a unique smell that can't be found anywhere else. It's at once pungent and weirdly clean. If you could bottle that... I'd pay a fortune for it.

    One last thing... I'm glad you came to all of us with your feelings! We may be all over the world, but we're here for you. Even when you can't see us.

  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hugs, Steely. I know how you feel and I have to agree with everything everyone has said, in particular, Loth. It's time for you to being taking steps to fill your life more. Doing for others is a great way to take a small step outside of your comfort zone and occupy your mind and spirit. I hope you're able to find a way to continue moving forward rather than slipping back. Perhaps you could consult with a counselor who also does Life Coaching - there are many whose practice overlap - and she/she can help you find what will both enrich your life and fulfill your need to feel purpose on a higher level.

    You have a lot to offer others, don't let it go to waste. Gentle hugs~
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    You know - when I read your post I thought ut oh. I thought ut oh because you aren't in a place yet where you can read your own words and see what is happening in your life. I on the other hand see red flags. I debated whether or not to even say what I was thinking - but a post takes on and asks for all advice /well wishes so here goes.

    One of the first things I learned when I was in Narcanon sitting and listening to the people there who had done drugs and were clean - was that they moved a lot. A LOT. Why? Well I'm a prime example of that - my x moved us 44 times in 11 years. FOURTY FOUR. I'd barely get unpacked and we'd be moving again, and again, and again. Now granted you aren't having drug problems - but you have problems that arent' going to go away by moving either. THAT is why people with problems move a lot. They move or they shop (retail therapy) and the move gives them a clean slate, a fresh start, a place where they can start over and it is FABULOUS once you get past the stress of a move. YOU as I recall, had problems just moving and had to be air lifted - right? That is serious. But if you don't DEAL with the problems - you can move 100 times get that little euphoric feeling but when you wake up some day those problems and things you thought you dealt with well enough are still there. AND THEY WILL STAY THERE as long as you give them permission to ruin and roam in your head. How do you stop that? Well - I'm not a therapist - but that's what they are for. Bad thought hearders - lol. They help you round em up and send 'em packing.

    So you move, and you NEEDED to move - but now it's 6 weeks and the problems you had before you moved H's death, M's Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and behavior are still there - with you. THEY didn't move anywhere. THOSE are your TWO BIGGEST problems. You've never gotten over the tragic loss and feelings of being robbed of your sister. How could you? Loosing her to suicide was immensely hard - she was your life, your love....and she left without saying good bye. I can only imagine loosing a sister. I lost an uncle who lived with us and took his own life in the kitchen - I didn't think it bothered me until - things started happening that I could NOT get rid of. And we moved, and moved, and moved....and nope - the uncle in the kitchen thing STILL got me. And DUde - well yeah - see DUde has been in a bunch of Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s and group homes and he's a lot better and in a lot better place mentally - but I AM STILL THE MOM, I STILL WORRY - but I worried myself into a stroke a couple years back - and that was it. I had to HAD TO FOR MY HEALTH find a way to deal. So I got therapy.

    No one wants to hear it - no one wants to talk about it. But the cold hard truth is - IF you have problems and block them out or SELF-COPE thinking "I'll be okay eventually" and eventually you are NOT? THen your self-taught coping is NOT working and now it's disrupting your life to the point where it's in your daily thoughts, bugging your sleep - and it's the same problems you had in TX.....(they just had a lousy mover so they got there 6 weeks after you did). YES all this is painful to talk about - but think about it differently - like.....

    If a memory is painful and I "cope" with it, and it still bothers me - how many times a day/week/month does it bother me? A LOT? Okay - A lot. So if I went to therapy and talked about this painful memory - and found out HOW I can help MYSELF cope - then I'd deal with it ONE MORE TIME and be done as 0pposed to dealing with it like a cycling style thought over and over and over with NO solution. SO deal with it? ANd find a way to move forward or DON'T deal with it and make a boatload of excuses why you can't get yourself to therapy - (and some I know are legit) and deal with it and then it's done. IT will ALWAYS be a memory - but it will just be that - a memory - NOT a painful daily occurence of racing thoughts that you have no control over. THATs depression -

    I'm sorry friend - I've sat back and watched and listened and heard and if I didn't give a dang I'd never say a thing. But you wanted to know how to keep your peace of mind - and I'm telling you what I see - you keep giving a piece of your mind to every problem over and over - and eventually you are not going to have a mind left to give. Why not give the problem to a professional who can guide you in fixing these thoughts and your mind once and for all so that instead of being sad all the time - you can have that sad thought, or miss your sister, or cry about your child - and then get on with your day. Therapy is all about learning how to move forward and not stay in the past. But it also gives us the skills to be able to recall the sad things - deal with them and make more room for happy things.


    I hope you find your happiness path......

  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Um......wow. Did you guys forget I have been in counseling every week for 6 years? Did you forget I am on Lexapro at the highest dose? Loth & Star you knew that.

    Where are my friends here on CD?

    Star I totally get what you are saying about moving to escape the pain. You are right. I moved however - to be in a new place - that had no old memories - I did not move to run from things.

    My problem is not that I am sitting around obsessing over H or Matt. H died. I get it. It is sad. Like I said in my original post, it is nothing new. Nor is Matt struggling in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Nothing new. My problem is not absorbing the negative energy that comes at me day after day from stressful environments.

    I don't know. That is all I will say. I have few problems compared to most. So I am sorry I burdened you all with this. Obviously I have whined way too much on this board, and I have now become annoying. So I will refrain.
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    OK, Missy, enough of that. You have not whined too much. At least not lately. ;)

    Are you talking to your therapist about your changing mood? This seems like a very good opportunity to explore what the process is that brings you from comfort to panic. Don't let it get too far away from you so that it becomes a chronic thing you're trying to fix instead of a changing thing that you can slow or stop.

    I'm sorry that I haven't written before, I didn't know (and I still don't) whether I have anything of value to add. But don't let this seem to you that you are just whining. I know that you want to feel better, and that your sisters here want to give you a little bump into recovery.
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Steely, These last 6 weeks have been a great break for you. You have felt what it feels like to shed a lot of stress. I am not sure what is going on but have a feeling:

    1. Lack of sleep. Have you tried any of the suggestions to make your room more comfortable? How is that going? It will take a long time to catch up on that lost sleep. When you are tired, everything seems like more of a struggle.

    2. You mentioned not keeping up at work. Has the company placed too much on your plate as a new employee? You may need to step up and say, "Wait a minute please. I need more time to understand what I am doing before adding a new task or twist." I know that can be super hard to do.

    3. How have you been at leaving work at work? Do you transition well into home life and not giving work another thought? That is hard to do when you are in a new town and don't know anyone - work is all you know.

    4. Have you found a hobby or activity in your new hometown to do? How about friends? Meet any new ones that you can go for a walk with or out to dinner or a movie?

    5. In other words, are you bored? Do you need a challenge outside of work to focus on? Or are you doing exactly what you want to do outside of work?

    Six weeks is not very long to really settle into a new place, new town. You need to find something that will help you meet people. That is hard without kids in school. How about a community organization? Anything you would like to join or help with? Is there a college or community classes that you can take a night course just for fun to meet people?

    You have not become annoying. We are your friends. Remember, though some here do not know you very well, and those who do know you better still don't know you as a face to face day to day friend so can only go on what you type. We do not see your face to read body language or hear your voice so that you can go into the details you would with a face to face meeting. As you try to cover everything from details to emotions, we are trying to pick up on it to help. The chances of "hearing" something in a wrong way is possible.

    We all hate watching you suffer. I would suggest that you take a cue from where you were 7 weeks ago and start letting go even more. Ignore the negative thoughts or better yet say to them "Go away". I know it is impossible at times. My difficult child will say, "Mom, you think it is easy for me to just stop thinking like I do. I don't want to feel like this but it is not as easy as you think to stop it." I do hear your struggles. I do know if it were easy you would have been able to conquer it. All I can say is keep trying and I know it gets wearing. At least you are away from your old job.

    While you still enjoy your new life, try starting a content journal. Every day, write about what went well for that day - beautiful weather, finished a project, found everything you wanted at the grocery store, what made you smile, ect. Writing down positive thoughts may help defeat the negative ones? In the morning, read those from the day before. Mark the favorite days or content items and reread those every morning as well.
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thank you Andy and Witz..........of course you help and are valued in my life and journey.

    The bottom line is that I have endured pain after pain my whole life - and at age 42 I am trying with every ounce of strength I have left in me - to break free from that dysfunction. I will succeed somehow. I know that I am not caught up or obsessing over H's death. There are many days I do not even think about her. I know I am not obsessing over Matt - I barely miss him sometimes.

    In order to stay on this board however - I need people not to stereotype me or put me in a bottle. Everyone here knows what it is like to live a lifetime of pain and try to break free from that........
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Witz brought up the very thing I was thinking. Maybe it is time to talk with your therapist about what is triggering the falling back into old behavior/feelings/panic/overwhelmed so that you can learn to cope with that or if possible avoid it to stop the programmed response.

    The brain is awesome. But it can also get caught in a loop. And when it does the response is so automatic that it just happens, like a reflex when the doctor hits your knee with that hammer thingie. And yes, I mean that literally.

    When that truck hit me, it did something to my brain wiring. No, not just the phsycial injury......although that was part of it. But my brain got literally stuck in fight or flight mode.

    I'd be going along fine, minding my own business, life just as fine as can be, and out of nowhere I'm flinching and ducking, my moods are all over the place, couldn't sleep, couldn't concentrate. It got so bad I really did not want to leave the house and was certain I was losing my mind.

    Honestly, I had no control over it. And it made my life miserable.

    After a few sessons with my psychiatrist (exceptionally smart man), we got to the bottom of it. I had to literally teach my brain to switch off the fight or flight mode. Hardest thing I've ever done. Scared the you know what outta me. (I thought psychiatrist was a little off his nut) But I reached the point of such desperation that I forced myself to work the treatment we came up for it.

    After about a year, I could finally switch it off. Oh, I'm not cured. psychiatrist and I both believe it may be something I'll be dealing on and off. But now I know what to look for and know how to turn it off again. HUGE difference.

    This high stress situation dealing with mother in law keeps flipping the switch back on. And I have to make a concentrated conscious effort to turn it back off again each time I recognize the behaviors. Like last monday I literally forced myself to get into the car and go to school. I forced myself to ignore the panic threatening to take hold and just do it. I force myself to interact with people because I know when the switch is on it is the last thing I want to do. Enough of this and it recedes again and I'm fine. Depending on my stress levels I can be fine months and months........Under high stress it can be moment to moment.

    I wonder if you're not having something along the same lines. Couldn't hurt to talk to your doctor and see what they think.

    medications didn't make me better. They just controled the symptoms, and often didn't do such a hot job. Knowing what it is, what triggers it, and that I can get thru it makes an enormous difference.

  16. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Steely, you goofball. Of course you have board friends. You know you're always a phone call away. Shoot...I'm 8 months in and couldn't make the change. You're a pup.

  17. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I thought that you were going to counseling, but are you still out there? I didn't know you were on Lexapro. I'm sorry, it's hard to keep track and it's not in your profile. Does it need to be increased or medication change?

    You said you missed H, so I thought that what was what you were telling us is the problem.

    I still think you should get involved in something in your new community. Even if you volunteered once a month or once a week, it would get you out there to meet new people and feel a part of your new town AND volunteering always makes you feel good.

    I didn't mean to sound insensitive, just trying to give you a kick in the pants. That's what I do to my friends when I think they need it. I don't sugar coat things. You know that. I just don't want you falling back after all the good progress you've made.
  18. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Ah, Steely! Hang on tight! I don't know why, but when I read your posts I can barely breathe, it all feels so familiar to me.

    My idea of horror is to be the last human being left on Earth.

    Did you ever find out why you had that scary episode by the side of the road?

    Please keep on posting.
  19. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Yoooohooo, Steely, where'd you go?
  20. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Oh, Steely...