• Quote of the Day
    "People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet."
    Sa'Di, posted by David Baxter

Philos

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Hi folks,

I haven't needed a psych forum for quite a while (nearly a year), so I think of myself as pretty lucky, however Xmas has just floored me.

We opened the presents etc, and then I had to retreat to my room. I'm very good at hiding my head stuff, and I don't lash out at anyone, just have to isolate, and yet here I am needing to talk to someone who knows the score.

The intrusive thoughts started a couple of days ago, old memories of the bad times with birth family, especially at Xmas. Rejection and abandonment memories, all that kind of thing. I am completely estranged from birth family on both my father's and mother's side, so Xmas hits hard every year.

I have a loving wife and daughter, and they give me everything a person could want, but of course my illness is a different thing, from another place, and it is again intruding.

Tough times. If anyone has a bit of support to offer, I would be appreciative.

P.

PS - This post might be in the wrong place, but I'm not thinking too clearly just now.
 

David Baxter

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It is a difficult time of year for many people, Philos. Any losses you've ever had, anyone you miss, any regrets you have... they all seem to intensify during this holiday, maybe because there's so much stress and it's hyped so much as a "happy family" time. It's hard not to look around you and be very aware of who or what is missing.
 

dark

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I don't care for the holidays, consumerism, expectations and/or hype.

I miss my younger sister (died in 2003 of cancer at age 43) and my brother in the 80's (died of cocaine overdose at age 32). I'm the only one left and oldest 'kid' with my parents. No, our relationship is always strained with forced conversation; always superficial. I don't trust blood relatives, especially extroverts that aren't honest on any level.

Anyway, on a brighter note - happy holidays to all, especially my fellow atheist introverts!
 
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braveheart

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Welcome back.

I can relate a lot. I isolate when I feel overwhelmed, but need people intensely.
 

Retired

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Philos,

I have a loving wife and daughter, and they give me everything a person could want, but of course my illness is a different thing, from another place, and it is again intruding.

The strongest point in your favor is your understanding that it is the illness of depression which is affecting your thoughts and feelings.

It is unfortunate you are separated from your birth family, but during these difficult times, take advantage of the dear friends and family who love you to provide the immediate support you need.

We're here to help, so feel free to keep a line of communication open with us on Psychlinks.

Don't give up the battle against the illness. With therapy and support there is light at the end of the dark tunnel.
 

Blaze

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It is a difficult time of year for many people, Philos. Any losses you've ever had, anyone you miss, any regrets you have... they all seem to intensify during this holiday, maybe because there's so much stress and it's hyped so much as a "happy family" time. It's hard not to look around you and be very aware of who or what is missing.

What David said is so true. Christmas time is a hard time for everyone who has lost a loved one or is away from their family. As an adopted child, I know exactly how it feels to have lost your birth family. Being with my current one means I have a better life (as I am sure the same with you) but I still feel an emptiness inside of me at times.

You seem to be surrounded by people who love you, and while it is hard sometimes you should sit back and think about how different your life would be without them. Sometimes that really helps me to feel better about having those loved ones in my life. Perhaps you should also talk to a therapist or counselor about the issues with your birth family. They could possibly help you to learn to put those things behind you. It's a tough process, but you'll be healthier in the end :)

Good luck to you, and have a good Christmas! This place is a wonderful network of support and understanding.
 

Philos

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Philos,

The strongest point in your favor is your understanding that it is the illness of depression which is affecting your thoughts and feelings.

Thanks, everyone. It's amazing that you folks can be around on Xmas day and ready to help out. Awesome.

TSOW,

What you say is spot on. I think that 50% of the battle is being able to spot the thinking when it goes bad, rather than blame someone else and cause a load more trouble. I have been able to do that for quite a few years now. Of course there is still the other 50%, and I know that I'm not alone with this very common illness.

When we have a longish remission (as I have had) it is tempting to think that we are normal again, and to start taking it for granted. I knew it was coming back when I noticed I wasn't on the same wavelength as my wife and daughter, who are just now in the other room watching TV and laughing and having a joke. You know, maybe it is an achievement that I haven't brought them down? In the bad old days, my father would bring everyone down, and put them in an anxiety/fear state when his demons kicked in.

It's not like that anymore.

P.

I think we all need people on a lot on different levels, just not my parental aliens!

darkmeat,

You made me laugh! That's a welcome break in the clouds.

P.
 
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Blaze

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You know, maybe it is an achievement that I haven't brought them down? In the bad old days, my father would bring everyone down, and put them in an anxiety/fear state when his demons kicked in.

While it isn't always good to bring people down with your problems, there is still a fine line between informing and allowing support, to having other suffer along with you. I am sure that your wife would be more than supportive if she knew that you were having a tough time today. You can inform them that you're having a tough time without causing them problems as well.

I used to keep all of my problems hidden away from loved ones as well. The biggest problem is that they will come out eventually, usually in a more negative way than if I had just told them earlier. I think it would do you a lot of good to at least talk to your wife about how you're feeling. You'd be surprised how easy and how much better you will feel.

Good luck.
 
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i would definitely say it's an achievement you haven't brought them down. well done :yahoo:

christmas has been hard for me the last few years and i certainly affected the spirit in a negative way. this year is different, even though i did feel sad there isn't all the anger and negativity. i am very glad for that. you're doing the right thing by focusing on the positive in your situation today.

i hope the rest of your day goes a bit better for you. at the very least you know you are not the only one who struggles with depression at christmas time, many of us have been there and we understand. you aren't alone :) take care.
 

Retired

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You know, maybe it is an achievement that I haven't brought them down?

Would you say that it's because they love and support you? It sounds like they understand the nature of your illness and appreciate that the way you feel is because of the illness and does not reflect on them. Would you agree, Philos?
 

Philos

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i would definitely say it's an achievement you haven't brought them down. well done :yahoo:

christmas has been hard for me the last few years and i certainly affected the spirit in a negative way. this year is different, even though i did feel sad there isn't all the anger and negativity. i am very glad for that. you're doing the right thing by focusing on the positive in your situation today.

i hope the rest of your day goes a bit better for you. at the very least you know you are not the only one who struggles with depression at christmas time, many of us have been there and we understand. you aren't alone :) take care.

ladybug and everyone,

The immediate crisis is over for me, and I just have the sad feeling that you mention. I slept a lot yesterday, which is usually a sure sign that I am in a down phase.

Now that I know what's going on with me I'll come here for a while and hopefully offer some support as well as getting it from you folks.

We had a family chat at home yesterday, and I managed to have some of the Christmas meal before sleeping. Both my wife and daughter are OK with me, there are no worries there. It's just that I seem to be looking at them from a great distance, or through some glass somehow, and I know that is a key depression symptom.

I have some jobs to do today, and I just want to get back into my daily routine, slow and steady.

Thanks again everyone; it's appreciated.

P. :2thumbs:

Would you say that it's because they love and support you? It sounds like they understand the nature of your illness and appreciate that the way you feel is because of the illness and does not reflect on them. Would you agree, Philos?

Steve,

I do agree. However, when the depression strikes, my understanding that they love me is only intellectual, I don't feel it inside. This is the thing with depression, it takes away the feelings that most people rely on as an emotional grounding.

I've had some therapy over the years, and one therapist told me "love is the ground of our being, and you have no ground for your being." I thought this was a bit harsh. OK, I know that the depression cuts me off, but it's not permanent; it comes and goes, and when it's gone I do know what love is like.

When we are in depression I think that we have to do it by the numbers, which is a weird feeling, but it's all there is during that time. I'm just grateful that I can still taste a cup of tea, or sleep; it's as basic as that.

P.
 
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dark

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Well, I survived another Christmas day with my superficial phony parents. Again, we're only allowed to talk about jobs, health issues (nothing too deep or comprehensive), the weather, sports (which I'm clueless) and political / entertainment newsworthy items... like reading the newspaper.

My mother asks the same questions over and over..."what time do you get up in the morning"... (I'm an early riser morning person and certainly know that's nauseating to most people). She also asks ... "how much overtime are you currently working and are you still exercising at the YMCA?". She knows the answer to all these questions and it's just another awkward attempt to make some sort of connection. My dad asks things like... "how much is gasoline in the Seattle vicinity and what gas mileage does my car get or how many miles is on my car"? He's always seems disgusted I don't pay attention to such trivial bull s**t. Then he follows with..."it must be nice having money".... like what the hell was that and all the resentment?

Since my beliefs are extreme left-wing and theirs right, they seem to make me feel like an outsider - I get the impression they've never acceptable my "causal" non-conformist lifestyle or views. There's no middle ground either.

My relationship with my folks has always been frustrating and strained - what's worse, the situation never changes.
 

momof5

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Philos
I'm so sorry that you had a bad day.

What we really need to think about is what the reason for the season is. Caring, giving, sharing.

I think that we all have memories that pull us down this time of the year. For the most part I have managed to put mine into perspective and think about the present, the now.

If I keep going to the past, then I am letting the past win, and I don't want that to happen.

I know we all have triggers, and I think we need to learn how to get around them, or go head into them as our strenghts let us do so.

The was supposed to be a happier christmas this year as my son and his wife were in from california.

I ended up slipping on ice, doing a whiplash, but not falling and have been in horrid pain. Along with getting a cold.

It is depressing as I dont' know when we will all be together again, and I wanted to cherish this time with them.

I tend to push myself. And I have done a lot of that increasing the pain levels so that nothing is killing the pain that I am feeling.

Otherwise this would have been a great, No, it is a great christmas. I have good children, I'm lucky that God helped me to raise good ones. My youngest is the one that tends to give the most problems as he and his dad don't get along, and that is exhausting.

Anyhow, you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I pray that you will get through the rest of the season with thankfulness in your heart for the family that you have now. Cherish them. They are your life now.
 

Philos

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momo,

From your helpful post that one word stands out so much. Yes, we are here 'now' and not in the past, whatever that past held for us. I always know when it is the depression for me because the past looms.

One therapist told me that my past is not going to happen again, so why fret over it? She was right of course.

Good luck in the New Year, and I hope your whiplash pain eases. The thing about physical pain is that when it is gone, it is gone.

P.
 

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