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Old 08-26-2007, 09:45 PM   #1
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experiences and the present....

i found a good workbook filled with exercises one can do to find out about one's thoughts, feelings, perceptions, behaviors, etc...and how the past events in our lives have influenced these thoughts, feelings, etc., that we experience now. it's basically realizing that unless we face all the aspects in us that grew from our past experiences, we'll never really be able to leave those experiences behind. like everyone says, one has to face one's negative thoughts to replace them with positive ones (but this doesn't only include negative thougths).

i realize this idea is not at all new, but it's something to try and to revisit once in a while. it's a good reminder, and it's good fodder for thought.

so here's one thing i did. i found it to be useful, emotional, and it lead to other thoughts/questions. if anybody wants to try it....

--look at some events in my life that have changed me a lot. choose what i consider to be the five most important . ex: a death of a loved one, a bad marriage, being cheated on, being falsely accused, etc. then, ask, 'how does this make me feel now?' it's important to be very honest in answering the questions.

1. Event: My grandparents' deaths. the people i loved most than anything in the whole world (my first set of parents) no longer exist.
How do i feel now?
somewhat lost; do i matter? really and unconditionally to anybody anymore? no one to talk to freely--without censuring at least some of my thoughts and feelings. alone.

2. Event: Growing up with my parents (from about 10 yrs. onward). Having been called names; made to feel stupid; no good; that i wouldn't amount to anything, etc.
How do i feel now?
insecure; low confidence; unsuccessful; not good enough; not knowlegeable enough; out-of-the-loop

3. Event: Unrequited love. Unwanted. spent five years of my life with someone whom i thought i'd spend my life with, only to be let down.
How do i feel now?
afraid--that others would leave me too, even if they say they love me; afraid of being "faulty" somehow; not good enough for someone; insecure in relationship.

4. Event: Coming to the u.s. when i just turned 12. Adapting to and assimilating; learning a new language; getting out of my 'shell' of shyness and insecurity.
How do i feel now?
feeling as though i don't belong 'here or there' though i'l be 37 in two months, and i've spent most of my life here. by 'there' i don't mean back where i came from....just not really knowing where i'm supposed to be in this world. uprooted. feel like i need to build some roots for myself. at the same time, i feel like i belong everywhere...

5. Event: Being picked on in elementary school because of different style of dress, etc.
How do i feel now?
still vigilant about presenting an ok appearance to this 'world'; wanting to blend in; belonging.

well, that's it for now.
tomorrow or some other day, i may list the five smartest /best things i've ever done in my life up to now, and the payoffs for those...what good things i got out of those...i'm sure i can find some!

while doing this exercise, i just couldn't believe just how much 'baggage' i still carry around with me!!!!!!!!!!!!! i mean, it's loads and loads and loads of it!! how much negativity and lack of 'light' there is ---still---and how many times "not good enough" shows up in my answers. darn!!!!
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:48 AM   #2
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Re: experiences and the present....

WOW Dakota, this is good stuff!!!!!!!!

 
Old 08-27-2007, 07:07 AM   #3
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Re: experiences and the present....

thanks, sannah!!! you are sooo good at empowering people, at validating them (and yes, when we're down, we all need some outside validation, until we're capable of getting it from ourselves). thank you so much!!!! you are a wonderful person!!!!
your sis in spirit,
d.

p.s. i put that down there, thinking it may help others--if they would like to share their experiences, but i know many pple are private, and it's ok to be so. just an idea.

thanks again!!!
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Because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle...

 
Old 08-27-2007, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: experiences and the present....

Dakota, I just read your other thread and I am going to answer it here. You said that you think that you will need meds the rest of your life. Dakota, what you have written on this thread is plenty to work on. Dakota, I truly believe that if you do all of this work you will be free! Changing jobs is a good start. All that you have written on this thread concerning the develpment of your thoughts and feelings, I see all of this stuff as wires that are very tangled here. If you can just untangle all of these wires (thoughts and feelings) you will be free! About your cycle and your downturn that follows. This is the way that I see it. You are barely coping and hanging on and then your hormones start to fluctuate and then you just can't cope. I see people as having a solid foundation or a not so solid foundation. If your foundation is not very strong it doesn't take much to unsettle it. You have a lot of info here to strengthen your foundation Dakota. Of course, I would love to help you!

 
Old 08-27-2007, 07:35 AM   #5
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Re: experiences and the present....

so glad to hear that, sannah!!

cant wait!!!

now i have to go to the dentist, AGAIN!!!!

i'll prob. log in later, but i also have some errands to run.

thank you so much!!!

hugs,
d.
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Be kinder than necessary,
Because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle...

 
Old 08-27-2007, 09:00 AM   #6
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Re: experiences and the present....

Dakota, I am so pleased for you! You seem to have come a long way and are doing just fine, thank you very much!
The book must be really interesting, it is a pity you cannot list the details.
However, it all makes sense once one is digging into past feelings and experiences. This is what happens with psychotherapy as well. Things start being put in perspective and a lot of understanding and maturity follows.
Once we know where we have been, we also know more or less where we are going, right?
Good luck with your inner journey. We are all on a journey of some sort and we are all learning and will continue learning until we die. We just hope and beleive that by that time, we would have become much better persons...
Good luck.

 
Old 08-27-2007, 09:47 AM   #7
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Re: experiences and the present....

Dakota,
You are making such great progress!!! It is wonderful to see, D!
You've always worked really hard to try and understand "who you are"....but I think because your life circumstances are changing for the positive, it is giving you even more motivation, to not only understand, but accept things and change what you can!!!
So proud of you girl!!!!
Caroline xo

 
Old 08-28-2007, 10:20 AM   #8
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Re: experiences and the present....

hi thalia,

thanks for writing! i've seen your posts to others and you always sound so optimistic. i also think we share some aspect of "faith" ... and i like that. you know thalia, when i was completely and utterly alone (or my perception of being so), but really, when there was no one around me, and when i couldn't take it anymore--at all-- i found myself on my hands and knees praying to him, because there was no one else. and I felt too weak to help myself. He was the only one who understood me completely, without trying judging, criticizing, complaining that i feel the need to talk too much, being tired of hearing me "whine," and so on....after a good and hearty cry and prayer, i always felt a sense of peace, and i was able to go to sleep calmer, knowing i was not really alone.

anyway, that's just to show you something about one of my coping styles...

about the book i'm working through now; it's basically a workbook to "Life Strategies..." by Phillip McGraw. i'm sure you can find it online at a second rate price, since it's pretty old, but not that old. it has exercises and self-tests in there to help people identify the cause of of their problems and then to confront them. it's very simply written and it's like doing self-therapy in a way. like i said before, i was thinking that when i go to my next therapist, i'll take it with me and work with it...and with her/him.

since you sound so optimistic, would you mind sharing how you "got over" your depressive outlook? or, if you're not "over" it, as many of us here are not, yet we still manage to be somewhat optimistic, what are some of your coping mechanisms to keep you going in life?

i hope you're doing well today.
fondly,
dakota
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Be kinder than necessary,
Because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle...

 
Old 08-29-2007, 04:31 AM   #9
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Re: experiences and the present....

Hello again Dakota!
Thank you so much for your kind words and your loving attitude! I am sure I am not half as nice as you think, but I am trying and... not always succeeding!
I cannot say I am over my depressive moods, because I believe this is part of my character. I am just too sensitive...
But, because of years in therapy and the proper medication during some very difficult times, I have managed to gain control and have more understanding of what causes and spears on those moods ( especially my panic attacks). Thus, I can defuse them most times and if not, I have learnt to minimize the effects by diverting my attention elsewhere.
When I am depressed or panicky, I just allow myself to be depressed or panicky and I treat myself with KINDNESS.(eg. sleep more, talk less, read, pray, eat sweets etc)and do not "beat up myself with a stick", or call myself self- degrading names, or think that I deserve what I get....When the dark mood passes, I get on with life until next time, but at least I am not scared and I know that I can cope.

But what really helps me cope, as it does with so many people, is my strong faith that no matter who I am, no matter what I have done, and what I will do, He loves ME.... .He died for me, He wants me to be with Him. He wants me to trust Him like a baby and let Him guide my life. And this is what I do. I let Him be my Daddy!!!! And He is!!! I speak from experience! The peace, the love, the hope that comes to me after praying, especially during difficult days, rival no other.... And any kindness or love that people say I have comes from Him... He gives it....So if you have a Daddy who loves you and cares for you, why should you worry about the present, the past or the future, no matter what it brings?

That's it really. Nothing much. Same as everyone else.
Hope that helps.
Hugs

 
Old 08-29-2007, 05:03 AM   #10
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Re: experiences and the present....

Good Morning Dakota, how are you today?

 
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