Venting Our Despair & Supporting Each Other

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Picket's picture
Picket
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Mar 2 2012 02:22
blackout wrote:
Ah, I'll be back when I have time.

Edit 15 hours later: Sorry that sounded really flippant, I meant I'm busy with something and will respond fully when I've got a chance.

Still waiting mate wink

Right now I feel absolutely alone. My family is dying and decaying round about me. My friends are scattered over the globe. My long-term partner has just told me she has felt responsible and guilty for me and is unable to actually be a source of companionship to me. This angers me a great deal as I could say the same about her except I feel mostly love for her not responsibility and have frequently offered real companionship to her. That seems to be a dead end.

At the moment libcom and another unrelated forum are all I have that actually let me be honest with world around me.

I do not see much of a future just now. I am sure I will come to terms with things over time but at the moment I just need to left of this steam. Thanks!

Bedtime, goodnight!

Pikel.

wojtek
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Mar 2 2012 02:44

Big hugs man, is there anyone you can talk to? A close friend? Dare I say a consellor? x

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no.25
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Mar 2 2012 02:47

It'll get better Pikel, just hang in there.

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Picket
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Mar 2 2012 02:53

Thanks people it makes a huge difference just to know people can be bothered to post a positive reply wink Wojtek I'm not keen on councillors I must say, my ex has been keen on me doing that but to me out seems like a substitute for the real deal which is proper friendship and companionship. But you never know it might come to that.

<3

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Mar 2 2012 18:37

I've been crying my eyes out for a week since learned of the death of my friend, comrade and mentor Will Barnes.

What's helped is taking the 2 1/2 mile walk from my apartment to the beach, where I can stare out at the Pacific and be alone with my thoughts in an amazingly beautiful natural setting. Listening to Bob Dylan has helped lots too.

I'd only known Will for 5 years, so like in Dylan's "Song to Woody":

"Here's to the heart and the hands of the men
That come with the dust and are gone with the wind."

Goodbye, dear comrade.

Fleur
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Mar 2 2012 06:40

I just wanted to send out some support to Pikel. I haven't got any solutions to offer, but I know from my own experience that depression is isolating and it feeds on itself, undermining your confidence and your own ability to engage in the world. I also know that you can get better, a little bit at at time, so don't give up.
I wonder if you might cut yourself some slack - it sounds like you've been through a serious relationship break-up and that's something that's bound to be leaving you with some major emotional bruising. Sometimes emotional pain is a reasonable response to bad shit going on in your life at the time. The bad shit isn't always going to be there.
I'm new to libcom, I don't want to throw around advice to someone I don't know, i just wanted to say take care of yourself.
Yeah, I know it's not as good as a hug from a friend, but it's the best this stranger on a different part of the planet can offer. x

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Mar 2 2012 10:09

Pikel, I'm really sorry to hear that.

In terms of counselling, I don't know, I think it can be pretty useful. I mean I have no idea what your issues are, so forgive me if I'm speaking out of turn but while of course it isn't a substitute for friendship or companionship at all, it can help you be alright with yourself, which ultimately you need to be as your relationships with other people can't fix that.

Hieronymous, like I said on the other thread, my sincere condolences

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Picket
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Mar 2 2012 12:31

thanks folks and points well taken.

@ Hieronymous - I know, unfortunately from personal experience, what it is like to lose a close friend, it's shit, no other word for it. Time is the only thing that makes more bearable. Hold on in there.

wojtek
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Mar 2 2012 12:34

Not that it's related to anything, but I was watching 'Take Me Out' with Paddy McGuiness last night and there was this girl who said she wanted a bloke who didn't show any emotion/ wasn't 'emotional'. I'm sorry, but WTF what an insulting sexist thing to say, god I hate this ridiculous binary bs!

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Mar 2 2012 17:56

I too saw that Wojtek. Anyway, Im sorry to hear that Pikel, but remember, keep your head up, try to keepm positive. As regards to counselling, I have no experiences with it and don't know any one that has ton be honest, but I think it might be a bit helpful, but its up to you etc, do what feels right. My regards to Hieronymous too, may he R.I.P

Caiman del Barrio
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Mar 2 2012 18:23

Pikel do you have any creative outlets? I find writing to be icnredibly cathartic personally, but any sort of creativity could help: music, art, sport, etc...

To be honest, sitting on the internet may not be the best habitual/default activity if you have emotional issues. I certainly don't find it helps when I'm udner the weather (doesn't help Libcom either really... embarrassed ).

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Mar 2 2012 20:25
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
Pikel do you have any creative outlets? I find writing to be icnredibly cathartic personally, but any sort of creativity could help: music, art, sport, etc...

To be honest, sitting on the internet may not be the best habitual/default activity if you have emotional issues. I certainly don't find it helps when I'm udner the weather (doesn't help Libcom either really... embarrassed ).

Caiman, this is a useful post thanks. I have several potential creative outlets but I don't use them as much as I should. I like to write although it doesn't often go very far. I like to make electronic music. I can't draw and I'm shit at sport but I do like to ride my push bike, though it's been a while since I've been on it, I am a bit fat for the lycra at present wink

These are definitely things I should be focussing on more.

I have other things to say but they are so depressing I think they are best kept to myself just now!

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no.25
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Mar 2 2012 21:05

Sorry to hear about your comrade Hieronymous, I enjoyed reading his self-introduction that you posted.

The Pacific can be awe-inspiring, keep losing yourself in it for awhile.

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Mar 4 2012 10:51

I can only repeat what others have said.
A counsellor is not a replacement for friends, a counsellor takes the pressure off them. I've found myself in the position of having to be a counsellor for a couple of people because they've needed it and it has ruined the relationship. I've also lost a good friend who helped me through a lot fo shit too. A counsellor is detached and trained to cope with it and they do not have an existing relationship with yoyu that will be permanently affected by their helping you. They don't replace friends they offer something that friends can't or often can only do so at great cost to the relationship.
Obviously we still help each other but beyond a certain point it doesn't help.
The internet is often no help when it comes to these problems. Getting the fuck out of the house is the best thing. A routine is important, exercise is important and some kind out outlet is important. Find a few things you like to do and make real time for them.

Caiman del Barrio
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Mar 4 2012 16:33
Pikel wrote:
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
Pikel do you have any creative outlets? I find writing to be icnredibly cathartic personally, but any sort of creativity could help: music, art, sport, etc...

To be honest, sitting on the internet may not be the best habitual/default activity if you have emotional issues. I certainly don't find it helps when I'm udner the weather (doesn't help Libcom either really... embarrassed ).

Caiman, this is a useful post thanks.

I'm really glad and this is a really good thread.

Quote:
I do like to ride my push bike, though it's been a while since I've been on it, I am a bit fat for the lycra at present ;)

LOL I've also found bike riding very helpful and i'm trying to encourage myself to use it more. I don't have lycra although anyone who knows me will be able to draw comparisons with my sartorial preferences (lol)...

In short, you don't need lycra and if you have a low body image, then that's possibly contributign to your malaise so a bit of exercise could do wonders.

Quote:
I have other things to say but they are so depressing I think they are best kept to myself just now!

Au contraire i think this is pretty much the exact remit of this thread. wink

Fleur
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Mar 4 2012 17:53

i think there's been some good stuff posted here. Doing something creative is a good idea, gives you something you enjoy to focus on, helps you filter out some of the ambient noise going on which is getting you down. Everyone's life can be shockingly short of tangible achievements at times, so working on and producing something for your own pleasure can be really satisfying.
Exercise is excellent too - I'm probably the least sporty person on the planet and I've found it really helpful and mood enhancing. Nasty and painful to start with, but it's really worth sticking with it. As for the lycra thing, never worked out why anyone would spend a bundle on posh cycling gear, it only gets covered in oil and shit off the road.
As for the counselling thing, I have found that talking to strangers is often useful, because you don't have to worry about upsetting them, offending them, giving them TMI that friends don't need to hear. Generally their job is not to tell you what to do, which you might get from someone involved in your life, but to give you chance express the the stuff that is going on in your head and consolidate your thoughts.
Don't want to tell you how to live your life, just wanted to share what's worked for me.

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Mar 13 2012 05:36

Glad to see this thread is still going. (Although best of all would be if it fizzled out because we all stopped being depressed ever again!)

Pikel, holy crap. Things sound just awful right now. I think therapy is worth a try. It hasn't helped me but research shows it does help some people. You sound very lonely and isolated right now so I would make connecting with others my number one priority. In another post I mentioned meetup.com. I recommend this website to a lot of people and wish everyone knew about it. People organize "meet up" groups through this website based on common location and interests. There are meetup groups in cities and towns all over the world. In my city there are over 800 meetup groups ranging for all types of things. Some examples of types of groups...
- Singles meetup (if you're looking for a rebound fling!) wink
- "Depressed but Enthusiastic" meetup (people with depression going out and having fun together, so it's like a support group but instead of sitting in a circle talking about their problems they go out and do fun stuff)
- Dogwalkers meetup
- Indie film geeks meetup
- Socialists meetup
- Stitch and bitch meetup (knitting circle)
- Basketball meetup

Almost any interest or activity has a meetup group to match it. And if one doesn't exist for what you're looking for, you can create a group and wait for people to join. Meetups are usually free and if there's a fee it's for the activity (like the cost of a movie ticket) rather than so somebody can profit.

I don't know what was going on in your relationship so I can't make a fair judgement, but based just on what you told me, I think that's a shitty reason to break up with someone. I think part of being in a loving relationship is being there for someone to help them through pain. To me, being able to be there for a loved one is a privilege and pleasure, not a burden... within reasonable limits, of course. I can understand if someone feels overwhelmed by the amount of pain that their loved one is dealing with and/or amount of support they're expected to provide, but in that case the thing to do is to say, 'Hey, I can't giving as much support as I have been, but I still love you and want to be with you, and will continue to support you to an extent, just not as much as I have been because it's making me burn out.' Why go to the extreme and end it? It seems really mean! sad I think I speak for all of us when I say we hope your next partner is more caring and supportive!

Hieronymous, I wish I knew what to say to make things better, but what really can be said in a situation like this. My heart goes out to you. Well, I also want to say that I don't think life ends at the death of the body. I know it's really odd, even taboo, for an anarchist to be anything other than atheist/agnostic. But in my defense, I don't believe in any religion and I'm agnostic on whether or not there's such thing as God. There is, however, a significant body of literature indicating that there is life after "death". PM me if you want a short reading list (again, nothing religious, don't worry). Here's a documentary on "near death experiences" (NDEs): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1vWoUoiaP4

wojtek, that pisses me off! Tragically, masculinity in its more extreme/pure form is constructed as being damn near sociopathic. And it sounds like that's what that woman wants, a sociopath. Goodness help her if she actually gets what she's looking for! I for one am attracted to real human beings with feelings.

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Mar 13 2012 10:54
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"Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death."

How many times has a nazi been quoted in this site in positive way? wink
--
I tried using the NHS's IAPT service last year and it didn't help me that much. But it was free and it was nice to have somebody to talk to that knew nothing about me and that wasn't judgmental. It was annoying the whole "you're only sick if it's stopping you from working" part, but the therapist I got was really nice (and smoking hot, too - macho comment).
In terms of activities, I got back to playing the guitar after a 8 year or so gap and it's been tremendous to be able to create "beauty". Music might not be the thing for you, but you'll be surprised at what you can do once you try to give it a go.
I also started to get back into physical activities. I think there's a strong relation about mental and physical states. If you're down mentally your body shuts down and feels lazy and soft. This then reinforces the feeling that you're down and it feeds back into itself until you find yourself having duvet days in which neither body or mind gets up to much. In that sense, I found that doing things, anything really, can help a lot. Sometimes it's just doing the cleaning and hoovering around the house or going for a long walk. This gets the body going and the mind follows. Also, you'll get a sense of having done something which makes you feel more in control of your life. This then gets you in a positive feedback loop which hopefully can attenuate the terrible feelings you're having.
It's also helped me to realise that, if I've been happy and able to do things in the past, then I can still be happy and do those things as I'm the same person. It's just a phase and it will come and go like everything else in this life.

dohball
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Mar 13 2012 21:27

Hieronymous, i am sorry for the untimely death of your friend.

Pikel, a while ago on some other thread i almost mailed to say i think you can do better than your relationship that you just talked about. but i didn't because it seemed maybe inappropriate and/or presumptious. i'm not passing comment on a woman that i'v never met or assuming to know who has been lacking or the wiser party at what times. just that you deserve to be with someone who passionately wants to be with you, loves you, finds you fascinating, on a profound level (if not in all the details!) shares your yearning for a better world and appreciation of what is beautiful in this one - even if only for one night!

I think people are right to remind you that on a personal level you do have a number of difficult and saddening things all happening at once. it seems the stronger approach not to be denying the pervasive force of the emotions that come from this..i echo what others have been saying; i think its good to try to find energetic ways to support yourself and also seek out support.

counselling is such a complex one. i know people who have been helped, people who have been hindered and people who have been wounded by it. i think on the NHS you find counsellors who are trained in a variety of methods and for anyone considering this avenue it can be worth researching the different methodologies. also the relationship with a counsellor is personal on some levels and it can be worth trying another one if you meet someone who you just don't get on with. i think always tho it leaves you with something else to sift through as it is unusual to find counsellors who share your political insights.

i personally have done some 're-evaluation co-counselling' several years in the past and found it very helpful and empowering. you take turns in being counselled and then in counselling the other person. i can't be bothered talking about this at great length but if someone was interested in doing this i would recommend seeking out 'international co-counselling' as opposed to the 're-evaluation' sort. a brief look on the internet would make it quite clear why i say this! however my own individual experiences of it were probably much more akin to what people experience when they do the 'international' variety. apart from one regular co-counselling arrangement (i had with someone i had no other contact with) i actually did it with friends i already had who also got into it for a while.

& i remember you were thinking of changing yr job/studying again? i think if you gravitate more towards what you feel more interested in, workwise, studywise, creatively, in terms of shared political activity you will organically meet more people you connect with...both in terms of friendship and shared sex.

personally i have also drawn succour from acupuncture, herbal remedies, massage and homeopathy occasionally over the years. these were more to help with physical health problems (which they did) but then our physical wellbeing is inextricable from our emotional states. if you can afford to pay for a treatment you feel drawn to it can be really good. i also love saunas..

also finally try not to shut yourself off from the wild beauty of the world. walk, run or cycle out of doors not in the gym.

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Mar 13 2012 22:39

Can I just quickly take the opportunity to warn people not to derail this thread into a discussion about homoeopathy. If you want to discuss this please start a new thread.

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Mar 13 2012 22:43

thanks Steven, I'd been triggered smile

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Mar 15 2012 06:02

Hey,

I don't want to go in to the details but I have been down in the dumps for some years now. Music is my profession but I get depressed by the commercialism and the soullessness of it all. Every now and then I have a really good day though. One thing that I enjoy doing a lot is when I'm alone getting high and reading a good book. I recently read The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and I love how my brain creates images to go along with the story. I guess this is a sort of creative outlet that I have.

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Mar 15 2012 06:02

double post

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Mar 17 2012 09:39

I want to make a heartfelt thanks to all of you for your support of not only me in my time of grief, but for the effort of all of us supporting each other. To me, that's what communism truly is.

Here's some of my advice about dealing with depression, grief, stress or any other ailments make it difficult to cope in this sick world.

I changed my routine to deal with the pain of losing my close comrade Will Barnes. Here are some of the things that really worked:

1. Meditating. I don't always reach a true meditative state, but sitting in silence for 10 minutes when I wake up and 10 minutes before going to bed really helps me get in tune with my feelings in a way where they don't seem out of control. This really helps me start the day calmly, as well as helping me chill out and stop my mind from racing with thoughts before going to sleep.

2. Get enough sleep. Being tired causes stress. Practice good sleep hygiene, which means trying to sleep when it's dark and be awake and outside when it's light out. For me, it's important to segregate my apartment so I don't read in bed and try to associate my bedroom only with sleeping. This sets a pattern where my mind associates my bedroom with only peaceful sleep. This might sound weird, but it helps make my circadian rhythms healthy.

3. Social contact. When you're feeling down, don't isolate. Even if it's painful, get out and try to be around people. Call friends to meet for a walk or for coffee (but if, like me, you're hyper-sensitive to caffeine don't drink it too late in the day). Tell trusted friends what you're feeling and most likely you'll find sympathetic ears and just talking through things is usually a catharsis in itself.

4. Get out and go into nature. This had been said before, but being out of the neurotic chaos of urban space can help. Being around trees, bodies of water, or undeveloped natural settings is healing. For me, it connects me with my emotions and I find remarkable clarity in my thinking. Sunlight is how we get vitamin D, which is crucial for brain health. It's also the perfect place to cry, scream, pound the ground, or whatever else is conducive to releasing pent up feelings.

5. Exercise. From participating in triathlons to sex to dancing to long walks, find a way to work up a sweat and get your heart pumping. Working out releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that resemble opiates in creating feelings of well-being.

6. Avoid sensory overload.Turn off the TV, radio, music player, internet, cell phone, and put down the printed word and just find ways to be alone with your thought and feelings. Try to appreciate silence. Return to suggestion #1 and try meditation, or find simple tips for "mindfulness." Since the advent of the mass media, most of us have short attention spans and there's lots we can do to develop our powers of attention and to find ways to bring our awareness to the present moment. And rather that passively consuming media, try expressing yourself and exercising your imagination instead. Journaling is great, as is writing poetry, playing music, drawing, painting or any of many, many types of art and creativity.

7. Eat well. This is a no-brainer. Avoid all processed and industrial food; don't eat anything that's been drastically altered from its natural condition. Processed food has all kinds of synthesized additives that are completely unhealthy. This crap is poison and not only kills us and shortens our life, but it makes us feel like shit. Speaking of junk food, try to see how constant stimuli -- TV, the internet, text messaging -- is the mental/spiritual equivalent of eating industrially processed food: if offers all kinds of convenience but its promises are empty and never realized; they are ultimately unsatisfying and potentially harmful.

8. If you're depressed, try to avoid self-medicating. When you're in an unstable emotional state, avoid alcohol; drinking when depressed is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Many substances might give an immediate sense of pleasure, but most disconnect us from our true feelings and are at best just a temporary escape. We've still got our problems to deal with when we come down.

9. If it's too unbearable, seek help. Counselors are often extremely good at listening and asking questing to elicit where pain is really coming from, since we unconsciously repress feelings we feel incapable of dealing with -- often for good reason. I've been lucky because when I've needed serious help, my town had a free clinic that had peer counselors. Which meant people trained in "non-judgmental listening." Once, after a particularly bad breakup, I went to a Buddhist couples counselor who taught me deep-breathing meditation techniques for the panic attacks I was having. I learned this excellent coping mechanism, so I only saw him once -- and still use this method when facing unbearable stress. Don't hesitate to see a professional counselor if nothing else seems to work.

10. Give it time. As someone said above, bear with it and with time the pain of losing a loved one -- like a breakup or grieving a death -- fades. Thanks for that advice about my comrade who died. Strange as it seems, just saying the pain will go away helped me see it in the context of life and death. I read in a self-help book about grieving that being grateful for what the friend gave you also helps; focusing on what my friend gave me really made me see that some gifts will stay with me for the rest of my life. Sadness was slowly replaced by appreciation.

Sorry if I'm repeating what others have said, it is useful for me to write all that down to remind myself what has worked in helping uplift me out of despair.

wojtek
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Mar 20 2012 19:35

I've tried meditating and the whole hippy thing (I don't use that term in a derogatory manner), but my personality won't allow it. sad

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Oct 3 2012 16:26

BUMP.
Anyone want to hear some hideously gushy love poetry I did about my crush tongue Ive also got a rap thing which itself was adapted from a spoken word thing tongue

wojtek
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Oct 13 2012 22:02

how do i calm down without weed/ tobacco? so agitated

radicalgraffiti
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Oct 13 2012 22:23

i don't know. alcohol?

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Oct 13 2012 22:37
wojtek wrote:
how do i calm down without weed/ tobacco? so agitated

I'm on my 5th beer and listening to Wooden Shjips on headphones, I feel pretty relaxed.

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Feb 20 2013 12:23

So, I haven't read this whole thread and apologize if this idea has already been floated, but would it make sense to create some sort of guide on dealing with politics and depression?

I ask not because I've suffered from any serious depression in my life (I haven't, although most of my close friends and family have) but because there have been a few threads on libcom lately by people who certainly are. It might be good if we had something we could point folks towards when these issues come up.

I'm not medical a health professional, but I imagine there's enough direct experience on libcom where we could offer some advice. Also, I think it's good to put these things (a) in class context and (b) be able to offer advice to folks who are politically active--which in itself is pretty damn depressing sometimes, even if you're not prone depression yourself.

Thoughts? Any volunteers to get involved?

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