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Response to butdiduvote (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2017, 03:06 AM

28. Okay. That's all perfectly, completely understandable.

You are not alone.

1st, that therapist? That's not acceptable behavior. Our job, as therapists, is to treat your concerns with dignity and respect. Personally, I would have fired her on the spot, then demanded my records, and then reported her fail to her licensing board... but I know what she's supposed to be doing and not supposed to do, and don't have a lot of patience for screw-ups. (And yes, that's a reportable fail -- it's diminishing a client's perceived experience and concern.)

2nd: Do you have a copy of the self-care checklist? Here, if you don't. http://www.popsugar.com.au/smart-living/Self-Care-Printable-39312165
Self-care is the day-to-day routine. I add singing to that list -- I strongly suggest at least 5 minutes of singing a day. And not just mumbling under your breath singing -- I mean Ethel Merman on Broadway belting it out. (You can do it when you're alone -- I'm not asking for performance, just the action. Don't do it while driving, though.) The reason is because 1) breath control -- singing requires deeper, more sustained breathing. When we're anxious, we tend to breathe shallowly, so we don't get all of the carbon dioxide out of our lungs and that causes a level of stress; 2) singing uses a different sector of the brain than either the internal monologue or speech, which means singing limits the bandwidth to those other two (and shutting up the internal monologue is very good for anxiety) and 3) most of us who are anxious have issues expressing ourselves. We don't do so loudly and at length. Practicing sustained volume while singing helps prime us for expressing other needs.

3rd) Focus. You have an issue that matters to you. It doesn't matter to anyone else what that issue is. Pick it, and start setting limits in your news feeds and media consumption. If you only read news pertaining to your issue, that's fine. It's better for you to concentrate on one thing you can work on and accomplish it, than to be overwhelmed by too much input. And it's better for the cause, because you're accomplishing your part of the task. Also, set a limit on the amount of time you're going to work on your part. Most people have around 36 free hours a week, after we take out sleeping, working, transport, eating, basic exercise. You're anxious and need to be working on your self-care, so I'd say no more than a half hour a day, or 4 hours a week to start. Whatever split is easier for you. (You'll ramp up as you feel better.) Set up guardrails and boundaries. Outside of those Activism hours, you do things that are restorative for you. If you have an art or craft, practice it. Find the joy in the things you love, because that joy will carry into other aspects, and eventually will help you feel better prepared to step up.

4th) Limit. The people around you who are diminishing your needs and concerns? They're not helping. If you're not saying the things to them that you've got in quotes above -- which you should be saying -- then at minimum, try this: "I do not want to hear your opinion on my candidate again. I am well aware of what you think. I find your opinion reprehensible. If you cannot respect me on this, then you no longer need my time and attention." And stick to that boundary. If you need to move because you're stuck in a red place and feel trapped, that's a goal to work towards. If you need to find a replacement circle of people who aren't dismissive of you, you'll find them -- either through activism as you feel more able to ramp up, or through other activities.

5) I'm betting your sleep is disrupted -- sleep, depression and anxiety go together and when one is out of whack the others follow. The easiest one to fix is sleep. If you're not sleeping well, talk to your GP or NP about a z drug (not a benzodiazepine and not melatonin, because neither work well for sleep when you're dealing with depression and anxiety and both can make the anxiety worse). If you need Ambien or Lunesta or Sonata or mirtazipine for six months or a year, that's okay. All of them are now generic. A therapist would be best, but you know your time and money limits. Trust yourself on this one. Your doc may suggest an antidepressant; it's worth a shot, even without therapy, or if you're already on one, it might be time to alter your dosage or which one you're on. And those migraines? Those need to be considered. Chronic pain exacerbates depression, anxiety and sleep disruption. Which make you more prone to more pain. It's a nasty feedback cycle.

6) Come talk again in a few days. Give self-care and focus a few days, get medical consultation in motion, figure out what your boundaries and limits are. You're welcome to PM me at any time. I can't be your therapist, but there are a lot of techniques and tools that you can use on your own to help stabilize yourself.

We're going to get through this. It's going to be hard work and it's uncharted territory, but we have the tools and we have all of the playbooks for civil rights and gender equality and protecting the vulnerable. We can do this. They're just men, and pathetic, shallow, sorry specimens at that. They're not exceptionally intelligent, and they don't have nearly as much power as they think they do, and they're pissing everyone off. They want us scared and depressed and isolated and overwhelmed because they're not competent enough to accomplish what they want. There are more of us than there are of them, and there are more of us every single hour.

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LineReply Okay. That's all perfectly, completely understandable.
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