larajeancovey23 wrote:Just same shit..distract yourself with happy things
What techniques have you been working on with your therapist in order to do this? Is your therapist helping you practice mindfulness? Have they been walking you through CBT techniques? Maybe you have grounding exercises to practice?
It doesn't sound like you're very impressed with the guidance of your therapist. Are you generally happy with this therapist? How long have you been seeing them? Do you feel like you've made progress with this therapist? What are your goals with this therapist? Have you discussed these goals directly with the therapist? Do you feel like you have any control over what discussions to have with your therapist or do you feel like they always speak over you and dismiss your concerns?
A good therapist will listen to you and let you do a bit of guiding your own sessions and setting your own goals for what you want out of therapy. They will help offer you multiple techniques for coping and moving past unhealthy behaviors. They will assign you homework to help practice and employ these methods. If you're not getting anything out of therapy, then it could mean it's time to shop for a new therapist and find someone you connect with more who better aligns with your personality and can help push you to succeed in working towards your goals more than your current therapist may be.
The Anxiety and Depression Society of America has reviewed and suggested some mood management and thought training apps
that help practice some techniques, as mentioned above. They're always best used in conjunction
with your therapy, but they may be useful tools for you. I also have a couple people in my personal life who have suggested the app Pacifica, which is free.
In a bit of a different line, I use the app Insight Timer for guided meditation, which allows me to put aside some time of my day and ground myself and re-focus or re-center my train of thought when I'm going down a negative spiral. It has thousands of free meditation sessions. Some are just music, others are guided. They cover all sorts of topics from sleeping to anxiety relief to relaxation to setting intentions and more.
I thought about you when reading about these apps because it sounds like you don't really have a good handle on techniques that can help you break negative spirals yet. For example, you mentioned earlier feeling like you're somehow a failure and unlikeable because you've had a bunch of dates that don't work out and been ghosted a few times. However, a healthier way to think about these experiences would be to stop framing them as personal failures and instead re-frame your thinking to something like: "these dates did not work out because myself and my dates were not compatible people. We were not interested in the same things. We were not looking for the same things in a relationship. Although it hurts to be ghosted, it was good in the long-term that this did not work. I would not have been happy with a partner who could just ghost me, and they couldn't be happy with a partner looking for a long-term commitment."
It would also be healthy to think about what you learned from these experiences. Did you learn more about what you want from a relationship? Maybe you learned that a particular mode of looking for dates isn't the right one for you. Did you learn more about what sort of things to perhaps screen for before agreeing to go out on a date with someone (for example, if you're on a dating app, perhaps you skip over anyone whose goals for a relationship are simply "have some fun", which may be code for looking for shorter-term relationships)? Maybe you would do better if friends set you up on blind dates with people they thought you might get along with. Maybe, if you're using a dating app, you would do better if you spent some time cleaning up your profile and being more specific about what you're looking for. Or perhaps you've learned that dating is just too exhausting for you right now and you need to spend some time working on your mental health and self-esteem and perception of dating before you return to dating.
In recent posts, it also is sounding like you have a bit of an issue with instant gratification. You want committed, fulfilling, long-lasting relationships but you don't want to spend time getting to know people or bond with them or do fun things with them. You just want to immediately settle down because this gives you some picture of happiness and contentment. You are focusing on your physical fitness journey right now, but literally no other hobbies appeal to you and you're not interested in trying any new things because everything takes time to learn and get good at and you don't want to put in any time. To be very frank here, it also sounds a bit like you are focusing on being in a long-term relationship over putting in the hard work to develop healthier thought models and finding responsible coping mechanisms, because you think that will be a quicker and easier way to achieve your goals and find peace.
As someone with depression, I do completely understand a lack of interest and motivation in pursuing old or even new hobbies. I'm getting from your posts that you're kind of exhausted of doing this. But this is exactly when a change of pace can do us really well. Maybe instead of picking up a new hobby on yourself, you can focus on doing something new that benefits other people. What volunteer opportunities are in your area? Could you volunteer with an animal shelter to help walk dogs? Could you volunteer with a soup kitchen? Maybe there's a weekend cleanup effort to clean up local walking trails or rivers? What volunteer opportunities does your local hospital have openings for? Do you have a local senior center that's looking for volunteers to socialize with their residents? Do you have a car - can you help deliver meals for meals on wheels? Both my city website and a local nonprofit for my city lists volunteer opportunities near me. Some might be more exciting, some might be more like admin assistant sort of tasks, but doing something for a cause you support could be very fulfilling and give you new perspective. Could you make a commitment to regularly volunteer [x] times a week for the next three months or so? This would give you a specific task and help show you how commitment can bring a sense of satisfaction and gratification. Mindfulness practices could also help you over this hump.
You're also sounding a bit lost because you feel like you've got some goals that are on track (going to school for journalism, for instance) and so nothing else is seeming interesting to you. Perhaps it would help to stop and re-evaluate your goals. Set yourself some specific goals that have a range of short-term and long-term payouts. Try to avoid goals with too many external factors (for example, getting married, because this isn't something you can particularly control too much). Since you're getting a degree in journalism, maybe it should be your goal to get a couple months of real life journalism experience aside from your degree. Is there a newspaper at your school that you could go out for? If you're already on the paper and uninterested in it, maybe it's time to see if you can write for a different section. Perhaps you want to look for a journalism internship out of school, like with your local city paper. Or maybe you could start your own blog. You could report on local issues, write about topics you know a lot about and have something to say about, do criticisms or editorials of pieces that newspapers are publishing that miss some facts or don't consider a specific perspective. Maybe you could even do a series where you interview people in your life and around your school about their relationships, their thoughts on relationships, what relationship advice they have, what relationship troubles they've had to help give you more perspective and perhaps realize you're not so alone in your relationships woes. You also mentioned an interest in music. Have you written much music before? Maybe you could make it your goal to write an album with [x] amount of songs on it. You could do lyrics or not. You could practice the songs and go all the way and record them and put them together. You also mentioned an interest in working out, even though you're currently resting for a tattoo. Do you have an exercise plan? Have you ever written one for yourself before? Maybe you could spend this time until your tattoo heals to write out some of your own exercise routines.
Negative habits and thought patterns are hard to break out of, yes, which is why it's important to start with a plan of how to recognize these negative habits and practice (and keep practicing) how to break out of them and move forward. And we have to be willing to put a little bit of effort forth. We can't say no to everything that might help because it seems hard or even because it seems boring. We've got to at least give it a shot so that we can find the right methods for ourselves.