Tag Archives: sad

Emotional Detachment Can be Good for You

Time away to process her thoughts

 

(By Esther Neptune on keen.com)

 

Valentine’s season is right around the corner!  Every year, I listen to friends describe the hopes, dreams and expectations they have for this wonderful month of love. But what happens if those expectations are unmet?  How do you deal with the negative emotions that result?

Learning how to detach from your emotions, and look at them under the microscope, can help maintain your love for self in the wake of disappointment.  This can apply to situations outside of our love lives as well.

What is Detachment?

The Oxford Dictionary defines detachment as “a state of being objective or aloof.” Objectivity calls us to think outside the box of emotions and consider life as it is, rather than how we would want it to be. Aloofness is a state of tuning out emotionally and is more avoidant than objectivity.

When is Attachment Unhealthy?

We are all attached to people, places, goals, ambitions and statuses in our lives. To some degree, this is normal and healthy. It becomes unhealthy when potential loss creates negative emotions that interfere with our daily lives.

For example, let’s say you went out on a date and got to know a very interesting person. You exchange thoughtful conversation and have a great deal in common. You haven’t felt this connected to anyone in years!

After the date, you don’t hear from the person for three days. You are frantic, anxious, and obsessed with when you may hear from him next. Relief hits when you hear back. However, the cycle has potential to start over again if those fears aren’t addressed.

 

How Do I Know if I’m Too Attached?

Let’s start first by examining what happens in normal attachments. When you care about someone, it’s healthy to wonder from time to time how they are doing. It is also healthy to send out intentions to the Universe on their behalf for their well-being.

Excessive attachment is when a person, status, or goal becomes your entire reason for being. These issues may be rooted in childhood. For example, a young lady struggling to win approval in her career as an adult have been chided by her parents for not bringing home a report card with straight A’s. Feeling the failure of this disappointment, she continues to beat up on herself, which further depletes her energy.

How Do I Practice Detachment?

  1. Take Inventory

The first step is to do an inventory of people, places, and things in one’s life that may have become all-consuming. Try to be as candid and honest with yourself as possible while making this list. Remember that you can’t change what you don’t bring to light with yourself.

  1. Analyze Your Attachment Patterns

After taking inventory, analyze the patterns of who and what you attach most to. Are the people in your life that you gravitate towards those you can “rescue” or “save?” Or are you repeatedly drawn to emotionally unavailable people? Are the jobs, goals and careers you pursue either too easy or too difficult?

  1. Ground Yourself

Develop a relationship with a Higher Power of your own understanding. This can go outside the boundaries of religious tradition. When a person makes this decision, it lessens the degree of unhealthy attachment.

  1. Be Inspired by Everyday Life

Take a walk. Go shopping. Go out to eat and mingle with the wait staff. The bottom line is to make sure you’re doing something daily that breaks the mold of your routine. Choose to incorporate activities that don’t hinge on expectations of anyone else. Embrace the uncertainty rather than hold onto the “certain,” because life is never certain!

  1. Practice Daily Self-Love Rituals

Remember that if you choose to love yourself first, healthy attachments with others will naturally follow. Choose to do one loving, positive thing for yourself daily.  Get a massage, take an Epsom salt bath, exercise, eat well!

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How it Feels to be Suicidal

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I have come back from the brink of suicide. I have visited that place several times. During the depression years, before I changed my life circumstances and also found a med that helped, I felt mostly heaviness in my chest and was hopeless, tired, and apathetic. During those 6 years, I “knew” I had no future. I couldn’t hold down a job for longer than 12 months, so I’d be on government aid and not enough of it to actually live a semi-comfortable existence. Severe depression is crippling and scary. I was often afraid I would never find my real self again. Was she in there somewhere or had this helpless slug of a woman taken over completely?

“When I was suicidal, it was because every single day was literally the worst day of my life.”                                                                                                                                Thoughtcatalog.com (13 Heart-Ripping Testimonies of How it Feels to be Suicidal)

I married at 19, and it lasted 25 years. We had two fantastic children who are now successes in their careers and family lives. For reasons that are saved for another blog, I ran away from home and husband at age 44. I ran wild for almost a year before my mind slowed and reality appeared. I was without a degree, training for an occupation, and had no previous work (to speak of) to complete a decent resume. Employers want to hire 20-somethings or 30-somethings. I was past prime, and it showed by the employment rejections. Depression became worse over each year until I came very, very close to speeding my car off of a high , multi-level interstate system. I drove, cried, and considered my options for type of demise. However, there was a tiny flicker of light still within me because before I chose the moment I could jump in front of an 18-wheel truck traveling 70 mph, I turned the steering wheel and exited the freeway. It was my gynecologist’s office exit. I knew Sally would try to help me. She was always empathetic and helpful. It worked, and the emergency feeling lowered to  just plain depression masked with humor. Always crack a joke and no one will know you hurt inside, right?

(In same article on Thoughtblog.com, the following testimonial was given)                                “I understand that feeling of utter hopelessness that can so easily consume a life. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for most of my life. My mother suffers from bipolar disorder. As a result, both of us have struggled with suicidal tendencies. It’s hard to go through life when your own brain has turned against you. Getting out of bed is a struggle. Taking a shower is a struggle. Looking in the mirror is a struggle. Ah, I wish I didn’t understand. Honestly, for a long time I thought that suicide was the nicest thing I could do for myself. I knew it was selfish to put my loved ones through, but at the same time it was so goddamn difficult to stay alive just for the well-being of others. I could easily rationalize it and say that they were better off without me. God, depression is a bitch. It has taken so much intense therapy and self-reflection and, yes, even medication for me to realize that giving myself a chance to heal was the kindest thing I could do for myself. So I guess I’m trying to say that I empathize with suicide victims. When your own mind betrays you it’s hard to get back up again.”

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Today, 8 1/2 years from the time I ran away from home for a different life, I’m on an antidepressant, remarried to a kind man, keep 4 precious kitties, and enjoy my family and friends again. I live in a house again and not a tiny apartment or noisy duplex. I get to decorate this home and even have the desire to do so. I now drive a 2 year old car instead of a 15 years old one with no sun visors or key fob. We’re going to Hawaii next month and to New York in December. Life did a 180 for me, and it happened quickly! Before meeting my current husband, I had zero hope of gaining the strength to break up with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, moving out of an undesirable location, or having a regular income. Then, a new friend helped me leave the codependent relationship I was in, and I soon (and unexpectedly) found love. Life is settled. The depression isn’t crippling and no more suicidal thoughts. But guess who has moved into my home?! Perimenopause! Ugh. I’m dealing with up and down mood swings – like way down. I still take an antidepressant and keep Xanax on hand for anxiety or insomnia. I’m very thankful that summer is at its end. Not so many hot flashes!

If you find yourself in a depressed state that doesn’t fully leave and that often (or always) confines you to your house or bed, have hope. I’ve been there and stayed there for years. However, you can find the strength to change your life situation – even if you were like me and saw NO way to do that. It just took someone who took charge and helped me jump a few hurdles to make changes for the better. My one take-away from this blog is this: don’t try to kill yourself. It turns out that “they” are correct . . . nothing lasts forever, and you will be happy again. Yes, it’s an every day climb but it’s very worth it. It’s your very existence we’re talking about, right?

I’m here if you need to talk or have questions. Leave a comment, as well. Love to you!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-8255

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Sadness Has Shades – A Poem

 

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A painter uses color, texture -tangibles – to express herself.

I use words. My mind purges its stresses on white pages.

I sometimes think in gray.

Cloudy skies are the shade of sadness.

Sadness has shades, if you didn’t know it.

I’ve had sadness in blue shades. Blue, more intense than gray.

Gray has no passion, is sleepy and without great expression.

Blues offer bite. When dark, it’s angry sadness.

Light blue leaves room for improvement. Hope.

Black. Ever felt black?

Absorbing all light around you. Reflecting none.

Lack of light is black. I’ve felt black. I’ve lived black.

Black was the height of sadness, and all was dark.

Are you beige? Beige is boring. Not ugly but boring.

I lived beige for several years. It was a color of denial.

Same old. Same old. Beige. Sad but denying it.

Currently, I feel green. New growth is everywhere.

Soon it will be spring. Life has changed.

Green feels nice. Cooling and hopeful.

No sadness blankets this life.

But now and then, I do have other-color days.

Life is, after all,  a rainbow of colors.

Sadness can be in many colors and shades

But joy can, too.

Coloured air balloons

 

 

Toxins in My Tears – A Poem

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(photo from deviantart.com)

ARTICLEhttp://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/05/29/7-good-reasons-to-cry-the-healing-property-of-tears/

Maybe if I cry hard enough for long enough, I can get rid of ALL of the toxic feelings inside my chest.

Maybe that knot will go away. Just maybe the gnawing will subside.

There are toxins in our tears. Did you know that?

Tears of stress or grief . . . release toxins and bacteria.

I should be clean enough to stop the pain I carry but it hasn’t happened. How do I cry enough?  I’ve shed more than my share of tears. What IS my share?

So, I fight the inner feeling that makes me think there is no beauty in the sun on the autumn lawn or the soft music coming from my laptop.

The fall leaves don’t matter – yellow or red. Used to be my favorite season. Now, I wonder if I’ll see another autumn and realize I don’t really even care.

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I am better today. That was yesterday.

Oh, the difference a day makes.

Romantic Relationships – Are They Really Worth The Time?

Cracked heart

 

Have you ever felt emotional pain so great that you thought your heart were crushing in on itself and pulling the perimeter of your chest wall with it? (mix a writer and a scientist, and that is the sentence you get)

Ever know that the “right thing” was to leave a relationship but it didn’t mean you weren’t suffering heartache from that residual love still in your body? I say “body” because I don’t WANT to feel this way. An attachment (not all together a healthful one) was formed, and now breaking it is more than just “deciding” in my mind to do so.

I see his glaring faults. I see his strengths. These used to weigh differently on my scales of decision but still . . . we all weigh and measure our partners, determining the value of the relationship. Yesterday, we rounded a new corner in this continuing saga of separation. I was biding my time before this point – trying to delay the upset of the actual physical separation, which includes much emotional pain, too.

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I admit something that embarrasses me and makes me feel pathetic – I can hardly stand being alone. I’ve always been that way but hate the trait. Still, it is what it is. I have been in varying states of aloneness over the last 6 months but it is time to face the ultimate one – being physically alone and having no clear prospect of that changing.

I’m not sure why I can’t locate the “right” man for me. I don’t ask for much, really – nothing out of the ordinary. He just needs to be kind, honest, and loving. He should be affectionate and not ignore me. I need for him to be financially stable so I am not expected to solve all of his problems. I have a lot to give a partner. I am these same things that I ask for in a mate. I am very nurturing and kind. I’m generous and a loving soul. I’m honest.

Sounds like I’m writing a singles ad. Yuck.

Are relationships really worth all of this struggle? I have so much love to give – for me to be unable to share it seems a sad waste.

Romantic Relationships Make Me Sick

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Relationships, the romantic kind, make me sick.

My marriage started out wonderfully and lasted that way for almost 20 years. The last six or so were the years I failed to see the pings, knocks, and engine light being on. By the time I actually saw the problems in our relationship, it was far too late to do much about it. Not that we could have fixed anything if we’d caught it several years before . . . it just would have been nice not to have been blindsided by the truth when it hit.

Now divorced for almost five years, I have a boyfriend. We started out wonderfully (sound like the paragraph above?) but are pinging and knocking. The engine light isn’t on but I wonder how long until I’ll either need to take this rig by a shop or sell it.

Romantic relationships make me ill. I’ve had severe depression, much anxiety, and ongoing apathy about my future – all since I woke up and realized life isn’t fair and won’t stay static. Everything’s always changing. I don’t like change unless I initiate it! So, I find myself wondering if this man who’s living with me is a person I’m supposed to be with.

I stopped going to church, something I had done three times a week for two decades, almost five years ago. Actually, I lost all faith. That is saying something big, as I was a Christian to the bone. It just died, and I can’t seem to get it back. I long for those days when I had faith . . . when I was sure what life was and was sure who God was. I was sure the Bible held all the answers I would ever need. Then, the “break” happened. My mental break from the life I was in. Boy, what a mess I made of everything. Anyone whose life touched mine was affected; those poor, poor people.

So, back to the romantic relationships ~ I’m so disappointed that this one doesn’t seem to be working out. We had so much fun and so much the same types of feelings and interests. Now, the small things he does (or doesn’t do) irritate me, and he is a different man than the one I got to know and love a few years ago.

I’m wondering if I should go to a church service in the morning. Mother’s Day is tomorrow. Services will likely be busier than usual. Maybe I’ll wait.

I came home from running errands to find my love interest is gone. His son is living here for a while, and they are gone. No note, no text, nothing. This won’t last for long. I’d rather be alone than living like this.

Relationships, the romantic kind, make me sick.

Do Not Give Up!

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Change – it happens every day. Whether change is positive or negative, it does one thing every time . . .  it makes you re-evaluate your current position and either find a new path or alter the current one.

Let’s talk about big shifts ~

1) Some changes happen quickly but take a long time to work through afterward.

2) Other changes occur over a longer period of time and allow you to acclimate to those changes as time passes.

Abrupt changes are tough. They slam you in the face and say, “HERE! Sort through THIS!” That’s what happened to me when I realized my marriage of a quarter-century was slow-swirling in the bottom of a shallow well. A sudden realization of the enormity of my problems and the likelihood they’d not be resolved while in the marriage . . . well, it made me sick. I became mentally sick and there was an urgent need in me –  I ran away from home and didn’t go back.

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Let’s talk about metamorphoses. I knew what started my mental upheaval. It was my first child moving out of our home. The two “kids” were my life – literally. That nuclear family had cracked down the middle and was threatening to drop me into the abyss of whatever lie on the “outside” of that shelter. After seeing, for the first time, that I had to make a radical revolution in the way I lived, my mind went numb. Autopilot kind of took over.

So, those of you who are new subscribers (about 80 of you), now know a little about my recent past. Here’s a quick lo-down –

Year one – Manic behavior. Spent a lot of money, promiscuous (had a boyfriend at the same time I was going through divorce), flunked out of college twice, drank (I’m not a drinker), smoked (yuck), did other stuff I shouldn’t have (nothing serious), and other classic symptoms of mania. Started anti-anxiety drugs. Aimlessly wandered. Felt blind.

Year two – four – Mania settled and  depression visited. Depression is a sneaky thing. At first, I had “bad days.” I couldn’t hold a job, couldn’t keep my mind working, so instead of finishing nursing school, I became a nursing assistant. Was so disappointed in myself. Just attending a few classes a week was tough. Gained  40 pounds, and tried half a dozen antidepressants. None worked well. Finally, I didn’t leave the house and barely left my bed. I didn’t attempt suicide but came extremely close twice. My support system kept me from leaving life. I was eventually on Bipolar II drugs.

Year five (present) – I have weaned off of all meds because I chose to do so (first time in five years!) with the help of my new doctor.  I have FINALLY found a counselor that I click with. I’m back in college and making As and Bs!! My decision-making is better, my memory is better, and I leave the house on a regular basis. 😉

I want to share my life with you because it’s been such a strange and difficult ride, and I hope it might shed light on some of your own problems. Three different people (friends and my mother- who doesn’t give accolades where they aren’t warranted) have called me courageous and brave. I didn’t see those traits in myself until recently.

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It can be done, my friends. Wherever you find yourself at this moment . . . if you aren’t happy or healthy or satisfied . . . things can change. If I can go from Life A to Life B (two completely different existences, I promise you), then you can, too. It wasn’t a quick accomplishment. It wasn’t seamless. But, by gosh I am doing it. The little flicker of light inside me that REFUSED to give in or give up – well, it got me through and brought me to the other side. It’s where I am feeling thankful, stronger, and full of hope for the future.

Just a year ago, I was a patient with a Psychiatrist. I took mood stabilizers and antidepressants. I read about my disorder and saw many of my symptoms as classic. Just a year ago, I cried in my king size bed, avoided people, and wished to die every day. Just a year ago, I hated everything I was, saw no redeeming value in living, and planned how to make my savings last so I could continue being disabled and disconnected. It’s all I had.

Note: Not everyone who is going through a difficult life-change necessarily has developed a permanent mental disorder. I was just grieving the loss of my life and staring in the face of a new one that I didn’t know how to live.

Change . . .

It’s evil ~ and it’s heavenly

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