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Re: Not sure what to do

Thank you so much for your advice and messages!! @scared01 @WheresMySquishy @Bee @Eden1717 

I have been studying for exams the last few weeks and kind of shut myself off from the world with stress and now that it's all over everything has kind of hit me. I don't have any social supports here and am feeling pretty down and lonely at the moment so THANKYOU. Logging on and reading all your messages has brought tears to my eyes and reminded me there are people that care so thanks, I really appreciate it ❤ 

I spoke with the other psychologist yesterday and she has helped me to try and see things from another perspective and thinks a lot of my stress about my actual psychologist leaving me is to do with my anxiety etc. and that if she was worried about my attachment she'd have addressed it sooner. Like you guys though, she has told me I need to be as honest as possible so I'm going to try my best on Tuesday to tell her how much I am struggling 🤞 

I'm also trying my best to fight the thoughts in my head and branch out to make connections with others rather than just my psychologists but I always freak out and don't think they'd want to hang out with me outside of work or uni.. do you guys ever feel this way or have any advice on how I could just build the courage to ask them? 

I just feel so alone and know that sitting around home is going to make me worse but just don't know how to reach out in person?

Re: Not sure what to do

I wanted to respond to part of your message separately if that's okay @Bee cause I have a couple of questions if you don't mind sharing? 

It didn't really occur to me that maybe I'm struggling so much to tell her things because I physically struggle to talk about things.. I know that is definitely a thing for me too. I've always been the type of person that bottles everything up and then when someone asks me how I am I flip it back on them so I don't have to answer. I just hate talking about myself and am scared I'll just bore people or scare them away if I honestly tell them how I feel? 

When you write things out for your psychologist how do you write them? Like do you just write dot points of things you want her to question you about or do you fully write it out? Cause I'm more of a writer too and have written her things before but then been too scared to give them to her so thrown them away.. 

Also, and I know this is super personal so you don't have to respond, but have you ever self harmed or tried to end things? And if so, how did you communicate that to your therapist? I find that's definitely one of the hardest things I can't seem to bring up with her at the moment because I don't want to freak her out. But at the same time I really want to tell her because I need help?! I'm so sorry if that's too personal, please don't feel like you have to reply!! 

Re: Not sure what to do

Hey @MB95 

 

Congratulations on getting through your exam period; that can be so stressful so well done Smiley Happy. I love your proactive approach to 'fighting the thoughts' in your head in order to try and establish new connections.  That is both really brave but also insightful.  First of all you are reaching out on this platform; that's a wonderful start Heart

 

The feeling of others 'not wanting to hang out with me' is very common.  I promise you that other people are also be thinking 'no-one wants to hang out with me'.   I have before too Smiley Happy However, one of the best things you can do is practice making connections .  Even if you make one connection from every ten attempted, that's a new connection right?  Best thing to do is start slow and build from there.  It really is a practice.  The first time you try and meet someone you may stuff it up a bit.  By practicing however, you'll get better at it Heart

Re: Not sure what to do

Thanks @TOM-RO 😊

I'm trying my best with the thoughts but it's so much harder than my psychologist makes it sound!! I'm at least starting to notice them now, it's just the fighting back that's extremely difficult - who would have thought?! 

 

I really love the way you look at it, that every one connection out of ten is still a new connection - I hadn't actually thought of it that way before so thanks. Have you got any suggestions on how I could get out and meet people? I'm thinking of volunteering at a few places but it's either with elderly people or young kids so not like I can ask them to hang out 😩 I don't know why but I always avoid situations with people my own age.. 

 

Also wondering if I do ask some people from work or uni to hang out how you'd bounce back if it doesn't work out? I find that's when I give up and don't think I'm worthy of having friends. I'm one of those people that cares way too much and is always the one to make the contact but then when they don't make it I get upset and give up? 

Re: Not sure what to do

Hi @MB95, I hope you don't mind me jumping in here. A lot of people physically struggle to open up, especially when the topics are deeply personal or sensitive. It is about figuring out what works for you but this may be one of those things that gets better with practice. It can feel uncomfortable and scary at the start but as you continuously share your thoughts and feelings, you can begin to feel more safe and reassured. Writing things out is something that can absolutely help and it is really up to you with how you write it - no way is more effective or suitable than another, so just do what feels natural to you Smiley Happy

You could also relate this to talking about thoughts of self-harm and suicide as well. It can be a challenging and uneasy topic for some to navigate so I do understand your concerns about mentioning this topic. As a health professional, they have a lot of training and experience in mental health so discussing these types of things is really something that they are used to and often prepared for. When thinking about having this conversation, you can approach it however feels most comfortable. You could be direct and say/write 'I feel like harming myself' or 'When I have a bad day, I feel sad and then I feel like killing myself'. Given you mentioned having these thoughts, I was wondering if you are feeling this way at the moment?

Volunteering would be a really great way to meet new people. Even though you may not be volunteering with young people, you may meet other volunteers who are young. If not, it can still be a great social connection. You may not be able to hang out with them in your personal life but it doesn't always mean that the connection cannot add to your social life. Making new friends is pretty challenging but also quite a common concern, as @TOM-RO mentioned. When reaching out to others and not receiving the response we hoped for, it can be helpful to keep in mind that it is more about them than it is about you. What I mean by this is that people behave accordingly to their own circumstances, thoughts and feelings rather than their interaction with you. Some people may be feeling tired, overwhelmed, withdrawn or busy and this may influence their response. Lastly, I just wanted to add that it is amazing that you are asking these questions and reaching out for support. It can be a nice warm feeling to know that you are not alone Heart

Re: Not sure what to do

I don't mind you jumping in at all @Taylor-RO, in fact I REALLY appreciate that you took the time to read my message and respond. I'm feeling extremely isolated at the moment so it's just nice to know that there's people out there willing to help, so thank you. I really mean that. I feel pretty worthless so recieving messages like these makes me feel less alone and gives me a bit of a boost ❤

 

When you say people struggle to physically open up, what do you think the normal timeframe would be to start opening up? Cause I've been seeing my psychologist for a few months now but I'm still so scared to tell her things.. is that normal? Like it's got nothing to do with her, she is amazing and definitely the only person I want to talk to about things because I trust her, but I'm also scared to bring stuff up in case it's too much and she leaves me?  

 

I have been feeling really off the past few days and just so numb that I want to self harm to feel something but I'm also scared because I don't want anyone to find out I'm doing it? I also know I'd probably land myself in hospital if I did which scares me because I hate hospitals and then would have to be answering to health professionals I don't even know and my family would probably find out so I'd rather just avoid the whole situation. But then I just get so angry at myself and feel like a coward because I don't have the courage to self harm or worse? Like is that normal? Surely not!!! I just feel so pathetic. Like if I can't follow through with my thoughts then I shouldn't be having them at all but I can't seem to stop them no matter how hard I try? I don't know. It's so stupid I know. And I'm sorry, I just needed to get it off my chest cause the feelings are pretty strong at the moment. I'm safe though, so please don't worry because like I said, I'm a coward when it comes to actually following through on my thoughts anyway. It's just constantly being haunted by them that's driving me mad!!! 

 

Thanks for your advice on the reaching out and making connections through volunteering though, I really appreciate it and you make some really valid points. I don't mean to sound like such a downer! I'm really trying but just can't seem to escape my thoughts at the moment and it's just draining what little energy I have to fight back. But I am taking your adcice on board so thank you. 

 

Thank you so much for jumping in and connecting with me, I really need it at the moment so thanks. I'm not entirely sure how this all works but I noticed you're from Reach Out? Just wanted to say you guys are all doing an amazing job and to keep up the awesome work because it really does make a difference so THANKYOU ❤

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Re: Not sure what to do

Hi @MB95  

 

I am just catching up on posts, you have really blown me away with how vulnerable and brave you have been. You sound so resourceful and your self awareness is so high.

 

From what I can hear you have been really active in speaking with your psychologist about what is happening for you and I agree with @Taylor-RO you share what you are comfortable with.

 

I can hear that you are feeling in limbo right now and that can be really exhausting, you are doing so well to be open with yourself as you navigate this. I know you said you feel like a coward but as I said before you have shown so much bravery here, and that by sharing your story it helps others as well. 

 

Volunteering can be a great way to meet people, there are more options online too now so that can really help with access. This community is here not just to listen but to connect as well, which I can already see is happening from the discussions that have been had on this thread Heart 

Re: Not sure what to do

@MB95 I can relate to so much of what you're saying... I've been through some similar stuff. I'm sorry that things are so hard right now...

 

There isn't really a "normal" timeframe for it to happen with.

Personally, it took me maybe... somewhere between 3 and 6 months I think to open up fully to my school psychologist, and even then it was only after a friend intervened and told her what I needed help with.

Do you think you could tell your psychologist why you're struggling to open up? 

 

 

Self harm is definitely more trouble than it's worth.

We have a thread of alternatives to self harm here: https://forums.au.reachout.com/t5/Getting-Help/Self-harm-coping-strategies-and-alternatives/m-p/3536...

 

A lot of people struggle with feeling numb, so some of the self harm alternatives are specifically for that. Holding an ice cube is a particularly good one, because you'll definitely feel something but it won't be harmful.

 

Honestly I think you're not alone in being angry with yourself about that.

For me though, the anger didn't go away after I self harmed. I just became angry that I hadn't made it worse. It was.. really unhealthy. 

But you're not a coward. It sounds like you're dealing with a lot right now, and like you're doing your best to manage with it. Which shows a lot of strength if you ask me.

 

And yep, @Taylor-RO is from RO (and does do an amazing job).

Re: Not sure what to do

Really? Thanks @Claire-RO. I certainly don't feel brave but it's nice to hear you think I am. I've tried to contact a few mental health organisations like lifeline, beyond blue and the suicide line recently but honestly, I'm not entirely sure what it is about Reach Out but it's the one place that's made me feel safe to express how I feel and actually listened too. I think maybe it's because we can all relate to each other on here and that you guys from Reach Out listen rather than try and shove advice down our necks. I'm just so thankful this platform is available because after contacting all 3 of the others and not getting anywhere I was really struggling but for once I feel like I'm being heard and forming connections with people that actually understand. Nothing against the other organisations at all because I know they do an absolutely amazing job but just wanted to let you guys know how much of a difference this is making for me. Reading these messages is whats really keeping my head above water at the moment and I'm just so glad this exists!! 

 

So thankyou for your message, I really appreciate it. I saw it earlier at work on my break when I was feeling really down and it was just the boost I needed to get through the rest of my shift. A little reminder that I'm not alone, so thanks ❤

Re: Not sure what to do

Thank you so much for reaching out @Tiny_leaf, and I'm sorry to hear you've struggled with some of the same stuff. It sucks hey?! 

 

Did you ever feel stupid or guilty for not being able to open up to your psychologist right away? Like I just think she is one of the kindest, caring and most patient people I've ever met so there's definitely no issues with trusting her but I'm so scared she's going to refer me on or not want to work with me anymore. She knows I've got issues with attachment and doesn't really give me a reason to think she's going to leave (apart from my eating - she said once she's assessed it she might have to refer me out) but for some reason I just can't get myself to believe she isn't going anywhere and so I can't fully open up to her? Did you find it easier to talk about things once your friend intervened? I don't know, I just feel terrible because I know she's a good person and she wants to help me get better but it's just so hard to tell her things because I don't want to let her down and I don't want to lose her as my therapist!! It's taken me years to actually build up the courage to go so I really don't want to fuck this up!!! (Mind the language 😩) 

 

Thanks for sending me the link for the self-harm stuff, I'll have to check it out!! My psychologist gave me a similar sort of thing by the sounds of it and I've been using an elastic band on my wrist but I don't know.. it doesn't seem to do a whole lot for me. The numbness is still there and like you mentioned, the anger kinda just gets worse! It's such a stupid cycle and one I really wish I could break!!!