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Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:33 PM

Help. I feel so guilty and I cannot shake it.

When this all started, I was making jokes about trying not murder my boyfriend while being holed up with him for weeks. Someone pointed out to me that I should consider myself lucky, some people are separated from their loved ones. That has thrown me into a death-spiral of feeling guilty that I just cannot shake.

Please don't pile on her, I'm not saying she was wrong in pointing that out to me. She's a sweet person and did not mean that in a disparaging way at all.

My reaction is my own.

But, man did that mess me up. Since then I have not allowed myself to "have fun" in any way, I feel so terribly guilty for being so lucky to have shelter, food, weed, family...all my needs are taken care of and I'm safe. But I just feel guilty for it. There are SOO many people losing jobs, businesses, homes - how did i get so lucky? I don't deserve to be in such a good place, any more than anyone else does or doesn't deserve it. How am I so lucky? WHY am I so lucky? I don't deserve to be. And I cannot shake it.

I can't concentrate on anything, neither chores nor anything fun. I just escape into sleep, DU, Facebook and TV. I'm an artist, I can't allow myself to go to my studio and create, cause that just seems so elitist and out of touch.

I am so lucky to have everything I need, I'm not suffering in any way. I am blown away with gratitude, but I feel so guilty for being so lucky.

How do I shake this? My brain understands that I'm serving no one by sitting home in the figurative dark just chewing my nails and worrying and fretting, but my heart doesn't. My brain understands it does nothing for anyone, except exacerbate my anxiety and stress. But when I think ok, I'll let go of it, I just spiral deeper. I'm in a loop of wanting to allow myself to breathe freely, be ok, even go create art - and then falling right back into "i don't deserve that".

How do I give myself permission to be ok, and not feel guilty. Ordinarily I would go volunteer to help in some way, but in this particular case, I can't. We're both high-risk and we'd both be in deep doo-doo if we caught this. So, short of volunteering, how do I shake this guilt, and enjoy life?

thank you for listening.

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Reply Help. I feel so guilty and I cannot shake it. (Original post)
pnwest Apr 9 OP
Miguelito Loveless Apr 9 #1
pnwest Apr 9 #13
ZZenith Apr 9 #2
pnwest Apr 9 #3
ZZenith Apr 9 #10
pnwest Apr 9 #12
ZZenith Apr 9 #20
pnwest Apr 9 #21
ZZenith Apr 9 #27
pnwest Apr 9 #30
SheltieLover Apr 9 #51
Tweedy Apr 9 #47
ZZenith Apr 9 #48
Tweedy Apr 10 #62
ZZenith Apr 10 #64
Tweedy Apr 10 #65
pnwest Apr 9 #54
Tweedy Apr 10 #63
Kali Apr 9 #4
pnwest Apr 9 #14
Phoenix61 Apr 9 #5
pnwest Apr 9 #18
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 9 #6
pnwest Apr 9 #22
FirstLight Apr 9 #7
pnwest Apr 9 #23
flying_wahini Apr 9 #8
pnwest Apr 9 #25
LakeArenal Apr 9 #9
pnwest Apr 9 #26
guillaumeb Apr 9 #11
pnwest Apr 9 #28
guillaumeb Apr 9 #59
pnwest Apr 9 #60
nocoincidences Apr 9 #15
pnwest Apr 9 #32
Arkansas Granny Apr 9 #16
pnwest Apr 9 #33
barbtries Apr 9 #17
get the red out Apr 9 #19
pnwest Apr 9 #34
redwitch Apr 9 #24
FirstLight Apr 9 #29
redwitch Apr 9 #38
pnwest Apr 9 #36
redwitch Apr 9 #42
pnwest Apr 9 #44
cayugafalls Apr 9 #31
pnwest Apr 9 #35
Jirel Apr 9 #37
pnwest Apr 9 #41
pnwest Apr 9 #39
SheltieLover Apr 9 #40
pnwest Apr 9 #43
SheltieLover Apr 9 #46
SheltieLover Apr 9 #49
GemDigger Apr 9 #45
Maraya1969 Apr 9 #50
NoRoadUntravelled Apr 9 #52
pnwest Apr 9 #55
mzmolly Apr 9 #53
appalachiablue Apr 9 #56
customerserviceguy Apr 9 #57
pnwest Apr 9 #58
customerserviceguy Apr 10 #61
pnwest Apr 10 #67
cwydro Apr 10 #66
CrispyQ Apr 12 #68
pnwest Apr 12 #69

Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:37 PM

1. You, personally cannot change the world at large

but you can help little pieces of it. Share your food, help out people with a few bucks to make rent, pay bills, etc.

Miracles are sometimes the smallest of deeds.

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Response to Miguelito Loveless (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:55 PM

13. Thank you, I did that and it's good to be reminded that that counts!

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:37 PM

2. What would you advise a good friend to do in this case if they came to you seeking wisdom?

Not being snarky, I am sincerely interested in knowing.

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:38 PM

3. I can't think of any response other than to commiserate. Truly.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:48 PM

10. I can commiserate with you, being in very similar circumstances.

I have a studio that most people can only dream about and now have all the time in the world to be in there creating but the spark had gone completely dormant. It would seem that art is very low on the hierarchy of needs once the situation becomes dire, and an artist needs to have a baseline of security before the impulse to create can really get flowing. BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF! The world will still need beauty when you find it within again, and you’ll have deeper reservoirs to draw from.

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:54 PM

12. And yet, it's noticeable how many people are TURNING to art at this time. There's

a FB meme about cutting funding for the arts, and yet so many are turning to art and music right now. It should not be low on the hierarchy ever.

I too, have a studio and all the time I've been wishing for and I should be absolutely prolific right now. My muse is screaming at me, I have ideas...just not permission.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #12)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:01 PM

20. It will come in time.

The Muse is a cruel mistress but she understands and is remarkably patient. Witnessing the process when it’s not going as we intended can be excruciating. I have no way of proving this, but I suspect you are on the cusp of a very prolific and meaningful period in your life as an artist. Breakdowns always precede breakthroughs in my experience.

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #20)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:04 PM

21. Your understanding me is making me cry....I've been in a creative slump for a long time, and it's

good to hear my muse again. Maybe, maybe the universe is telling me this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now, since I can't do anything else - and when I have some new art, perhaps I will have some new pieces that will lift someone else's spirit.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #21)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:09 PM

27. I have mad empathy for you.

I’ll leave you with a quote my friend dropped on me once that’s saved my bacon a few times:

“My being miserable does nothing to alleviate the world’s misery.”

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #27)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:12 PM

30. Perfect. That's exactly what I need to take into my heart. Thank you :)

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Response to pnwest (Reply #21)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:56 PM

51. Yes!)

Art is wonderfully healing! Great suggestion! 😁

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:39 PM

47. Nonsense

Sorry but if artists needed stability to create this world would be an infinitely sadder place.

Milan Kundera wrote under soviet occupation.

The Good Soldier Svejik was written by a Czech when the Czech's were cannon fodder and non-entities in the Austro-Hungarian empire

And it isn't exclusive to Czech's

Goya painted during the Spanish Inquisition; as well as during the Napoleonic occupation of Spain.

I could go on and on and on.

One could argue that some of the best art comes from oppressed people, oppressed by governments, oppressed by plagues, even social morays.

What about Vincent Van Gogh's adult life was stable? Well, yes, there is his brother Theo.

Bottom line is simple: times of trouble are precisely the time to make art that bares the soul and reveals humanity in all of its resplendency and madness.

Stop fretting about what you have. Instead, think of what you want to say, show, reveal to the world about this moment, or about the world we have all lost.

Of course I understand. We are all in mourning. Even if our bare necessities are covered, we have lost so much.

To walk on the wind tossed beach in the rain right now would be bliss. It would be free, available to anyone where I am via inexpensive public transit.

Yet, none of us can take that walk. None of us know when we will be able to take that walk again. A walk on the beach is not a loved one struggling to draw breath. I know that awful sound well from long before this virus. It is not dying alone, losing your home or starving.

Nonetheless, that walk on the beach gave life its sweetness, its exuberance, its serene beauty. We are left only with the terrible beauty of life to be viewed through a window, behind a closed door.

Of course, we are in mourning and of course we feel guilty about it. Now, sit down and write, sing, play or paint this moment.

Trust me. It is the art that comes in this moment that will help humanity cope.

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Response to Tweedy (Reply #47)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:42 PM

48. Ah yes, the Drill Sargeant approach.

Not without merit. Patton used it to great effect.

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #48)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:51 PM

62. Just the facts approach

Another example -- Dostoyevsky wrote Crime and Punishment after spending years in a Siberian gulag.

If I am a drill sergeant, the drills are remarkably off the count, meandering and lacking habitual repetition.

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Response to Tweedy (Reply #62)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:55 PM

64. I am well aware of art history, thanks.

It would seem the phrase “It would seem” can be difficult to grasp.

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #64)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:58 PM

65. Not in the least

Although the notion that this one here is remotely disciplined enough to be a drill sergeant did give me a good chortle.

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Response to Tweedy (Reply #47)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 06:51 PM

54. Ok. I will do just that.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #54)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:53 PM

63. Do!

The art you create today could actually save a life tomorrow.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:39 PM

4. you could buy your guilt off

make a few donations or xtra ones if you already do some

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Response to Kali (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:56 PM

14. I have given a few dollars. Good reminder.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:39 PM

5. This isn't a sprint. It's a relay race.

It’s not your turn with the baton. There will
be plenty for you to do later. For now, rest, take care of yourself, and enjoy what you have.

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Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:00 PM

18. It's not my turn with the baton, and the above post saying I personally can't change the whole world

...those thoughts together are beginning to feel like absolution. I do volunteer for a lot of things, and maybe it's OK that this time it's just not my turn to have to be the do-er. Thank you, this is helping...

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:40 PM

6. You are doing good for your community just by staying home

because if you keep doing that you are very unlikely to get sick - meaning you are one less person who could spread the disease to others if you caught it, and (especially if you are a high-risk person) you are also one less person that an overburdened hospital would have to take care of. I'm in kind of the same situation - I'm old-ish but otherwise healthy; I'm retired and live alone and have no reason to go out; I have groceries and other things I need delivered. I, too, feel guilty because I'm not really suffering, except from fidgetiness and boredom, but I know that staying inside is the one thing I can do to keep from being a burden to others. You might also help a little by donating to charities that need it, if you can afford it. Otherwise, try not to feel guilty - because you're just fine doing what you're doing.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:05 PM

22. very true, even tho it seems like nothing, by staying home i'm one less drag on the

healthcare system by not getting sick - and not spreading it to someone else.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:40 PM

7. I get it...

I'm struggling, but nothing different than the usual. A lot of our daily stuff hasnt changed since I was on disability and homeschooling prior to the SHTF.

It's a process. I keep telling myself that. It's like the stages of grief...guilt is part of it, and so is depression.
Hell, I told myself that now is the perfect time for me to finish so many projects... and Instead I am sleeping till noon and not doing shit.

You are ok, and while there are always going to be people who have it worse than us, there;s also the other end of that spectrum too. So just know your own path through this is YOURS.

we're all in this together, but we also have to figure out what each day means for ourselves.

Thanks for just sharing your feelings, because it makes me feel better that I am not the only one dealing with my own emotional bullshit.

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Response to FirstLight (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:06 PM

23. thank YOU for sharing as well. You are def not the only one with emotional bullshit. Hugs.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:42 PM

8. All of us have done this. Learn to forgive yourself for not being Perfect.


I have made several mistakes, some with much more grave consequences.

Reach out to your friend and make sure she doesn’t feel like you were flippant with her.
Remember all of the bad responses people have given you in the past. We are all humans
and
flawed.

The ONLY thing we have is our Love for each other. Use it to help others.
Time spent kicking yourself just reinforces the negativity in your head.

And then forgive yourself.

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Response to flying_wahini (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:07 PM

25. Great idea, I just messaged her and asked how he is, if he's safe and well.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:46 PM

9. Replace guilt with gratitude.

I live in Paradise. We are retired. Our money comes through the internet.
We have everything we need and more.

Everyday we wake up to a beautiful world filled with exotic birds and reptiles.

We have legal weed, two people who really like each other. A perfect dog and even a pool.

Do you resent me? I feel such awe and gratitude. I hope it’s good Karma that I did something right to be so lucky.

All my loved ones are virus free. But before this started two loved ones have been diagnosed with stage four cancer.

Everyone will have hard times in life. Be grateful that this isn’t one of your personal bad times. Keep positive thoughts because they are contagious.

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:08 PM

26. No, i don't resent you at all, I'm in the same place. I also feel much awe and gratitude.

I will try to focus more on the gratitude than the guilt.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:50 PM

11. If you can, donate to a food pantry.

And if you are able, exercise. Exercise stimulates endorphins.

It is brave of you to bring this subject up for discussion.

Could you channel these feelings into your art, and post the result online?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:11 PM

28. brave? more like desperate. I didn't have anywhere else to turn, and DU is such a great

community of smart, wonderful people. I knew there would be a mental health group. Thank you for being part of it!

I DEF need to exercise more.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #28)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 09:16 PM

59. Definitely brave.

Exercise is vital for the body and mind, especially done with another person.

Good luck, and please post updates.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #59)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 10:15 PM

60. 😊 thank you

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 04:58 PM

15. Show your gratitude

to someone who works every day for you. Your pharmacist, your mailman, your grocery store clerk....

I gave my mail carrier a summer sausage this week and he was so happy to get it because he loves to eat them with crackers. It was easy for me, but it meant a lot to him. I always give him something on Boxing Day, too (December 26).

The quickest way to cut yourself loose from a Pity Party is to do something for somebody else.

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Response to nocoincidences (Reply #15)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:13 PM

32. I will look for just such an opportunity! Thank you!

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:00 PM

16. Don't beat yourself up over a silly remark that you made that obviously does not represent

your true nature or feelings. You only hurt yourself and no one benefits from it.

The fact that your words have caused you so much grief shows that you are a caring person. For now, until you can help others again, care for yourself, stay safe and stay well.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #16)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:14 PM

33. You are very kind. Thank you.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:00 PM

17. you can volunteer from home

for the Poor People's Campaign. here's the email I received today:

Dear Barbara,
This pandemic is a LOT. Our people are hurting. But we can take action even as we follow state and local guidelines that prevent our being together during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Here are several opportunities in the Triangle area to care for the most vulnerable among us, and to continue organizing for a Digital Rise Up on June 20th. Please RSVP Now!


1. Our Movement keeps on organizing--and we need YOU. We are making phone calls to every one who has joined the Poor People's Campaign, to check on their well-being during this pandemic, and to share information on how to be connected to our DIGITAL JUNE 20th 2020 Mass Poor People's Assembly. Can you help us make calls? Every Wednesday and Saturday in April we are training phonebankers: REGISTER HERE for a half-hour training that works for you, and our NC Volunteer Coordinator will contact you. Invite your friends to get trained as well--we have thousands of calls to make!

2. All Triangle Circle folks are welcome to join Raise Up NC's all-member meeting this Thursday April 9th at 1pm and/or 8pm! Kenia Alcocer, an organizer with Unión de Vecinos (also known as LA Tenants Union) and a leader in the California Poor People's Campaign, will be the featured speaker. Use this link to register and attend.
3. Our coalition partner El Centro Hispano is assisting families who are being impacted in Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. You can support their efforts HERE.

4. The Immigrant Solidarity Fund run through Church World Service has expanded to help our undocumented neighbors in Orange, Durham, & Wake facing economic hardship due to COVID-19. You can donate HERE; be sure to check the box for “Immigrant Solidarity Fund”.


5. The Poor People's Campaign has released a new Fact Sheet: Who is left out of the COVID-19 Legislation. Please Sign our Petition to Congress and President Trump to demand a moral stimulus package that addresses the roots of the double pandemic of poverty and COVID-19. And for faith leaders, there is an interfaith litany which can be read in religious services, organizing events, and shared widely. The Litany is our Campaign's moral statement and response to this pandemic. This video version read by faith leaders from across the Campaign is very moving.

6. Thursday, April 30, 8:30pm EST: April Mass Meeting - Everybody's Got a Right to Live:. Join our second live digital mass meeting featuring leaders from Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. More details on how to join are coming soon--Save the Date!

Friends, our nation needs a Moral Revival more than ever before. Please share the opportunities and links provided here with your networks, your family, your friends.

Forward Together, Not One Step Back!

Triangle Circle, NC Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

************************

once i made a flip remark about "crispy critters" after hearing about a wreck on the freeway. turned out the person did indeed burn to death in his car. I can't take it back, but i still kick myself for it sometimes even though I was instantly remorseful for having said it.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:00 PM

19. I am very much like you

I carry guilt off and on for being alive, since better people than me have died. But then I literally think “Dick Cheney is Stick alive! He contributed to God knows how many deaths, he is a war criminal, Bush too!” This is how I just explain to myself that there is a lot of chaos in the world and when we get lucky we get lucky, and you and I aren’t even war criminals!

I can think I am worse than Manson for getting chided for a small comment or joke, I am not going to dump on your friend, but she was more than a little controlling in her comment to you, but realizing other people aren’t always perfect in what they say REALLY helps me at least come back to one piece after taking myself apart.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #19)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:15 PM

34. I have this as a recurring issue as well. Maybe we need to learn to translate the

word guilty and understand it as compassion.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:07 PM

24. I started a howl from your porch group in my village.

Shared the suggestion with my neighbors that howling at the moon together might just make us all feel better. So two nights ago people did it. We’re howling again tonight for a beloved neighbor who is home now from the hospital, recovering from the virus. His wife and son are in quarantine with him. He just got released from hospital yesterday so he missed the first howl.

I felt very silly and shy when I stepped out on the porch but howling feels pretty awesome. I honestly felt better.

If you have a porch or balcony or even just a window you can open please join us tonight. We are howling at 8 pm Eastern Standard Time.

And when you are finished put your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug. You deserve one!

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Response to redwitch (Reply #24)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:12 PM

29. That's awesome, how do you coordinate that?

I dont really know my neighbors at all, living remote rural area and about every other house is a vacation rental...

I guess there are apps for that now ...i suppose putting a note in people's mailbox would be frowned upon

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Response to FirstLight (Reply #29)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:18 PM

38. Community page on Facebook for my village and my personal page.

Friends in another state did howled too. I am hoping to get a worldwide howl going eventually!
We need the silly.

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Response to redwitch (Reply #24)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:17 PM

36. I thought about doing the 8pm howl, but my neighbors would call the men in white coats...LOL

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Response to pnwest (Reply #36)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:24 PM

42. Just thinking about howling makes me happy.

My mood changes constantly now. We are all on such a roller coaster of emotions and it is affecting sleep too. Give a little howl if that’s more comfortable but don’t forget the hug!
Just getting through the average day now deserves a medal and a ticker tape parade!

Take a few moments to send loving thoughts and energy to our medical professionals and first responders and send some of that loving energy to yourself too.

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Response to redwitch (Reply #42)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:25 PM

44. I'm in awe of those brave people, for sure.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:13 PM

31. Looking out for yourself and being safe during this time is not about being lucky.

You worked hard to get where you are and there is nothing wrong with being safe.

You seem to be denying yourself a very cathartic exercise, Art. Forgive yourself for a moment and create.

There are things in this world that are beyond your control. You should not be burdened with the worlds problems.

The world deserves you at your best. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to do Art.

Tell yourself you deserve to be happy.

Stay well.

cayugafalls

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Response to cayugafalls (Reply #31)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:16 PM

35. Thank you :)

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:18 PM

37. Realize you're being far more affected by anxiety than you think.

You got guilted, even if it was not meant badly. You are thinking about the worries of so many even less fortunate people, which is causing YOU to empathize with that. Put together guilt and anxiety brought on by the plight of so many, and you're feeling all that anxiety personally.

Are you "lucky?" Maybe in part. Right now, we're all like people in a divorce - under the best of circumstances, none of those folks is going to be as well off (materially) as they would've been had they either stayed married, or never been married. Same with everyone in this crisis. Maybe the top 1% will be as well or better off now or right after. Everyone else is having to give up important things, whether that's through income insecurity, or through loss of freedom, being stuck in place regarding goals, and fear.

You've given up something very important - your freedom, your feeling of security to leave your house, and finally sufficient sense of well-being to be able to function creatively. You're probably feeling some guilt about that latter part, also. That's a well-known phenomenon when creative folk get stuck, and rail at themselves about having all sorts of time to do art, but they feel unable.

So, how to unstick yourself?

First, give yourself permission to have all the feels. Don't try to be creative or productive for a few days. Be good to yourself and your BF. Just give yourself time to feel this until it starts feeling really old, and like maybe you don't need to do it any more.

Stay off social media, especially Facebook, for a few days. There are so many panicked, anxious, shaming, etc. messages out there, they're probably feeding your anxiety more than you even realize. Let yourself have some quiet. Read a good book instead. Look up subjects that interest you online, and learn about them. Maybe play some video games (preferably not things that can feed anxiety like timed games, violent games, and so on) until you're sick of it. If you're in the mood, take an online class or take up an app like DuoLingo. Or just sleep a bunch, if you're not sleeping now. If you can get out onto a balcony or a yard or something, and the weather isn't awful, get some nature time in. Do those things that can give you some solace without increasing stress or anxiety.

WHEN you're ready, decide to do something positive. It doesn't have to be anything big. It might be going online and getting connected with a group trying to help out others. It might be a group fundraising for artists getting very little work right now, and all you need to do is help get the word out. Maybe all you can do is get a backload of laundry done. Just as long as it's a little, positive thing.

When that feels okay-ish, try creating something. Just a teeny little something. We all hit those moments when it all feels too overwhelming, and any little artistic endeavor feels herculean just to get started. I was feeling similarly a few days last week, and I made myself go out to the wheel, and throw freaking test tiles. Nothing really creative there, but it still required hands and skills and process and will. And it was NORMAL. Now I'm back on track, not pushing it with crazy ideas that I want to build, but doing prep work on glazes and the design of a tea kettle.

Just love yourself. Don't feel guilty for feeling stuck, my goodness! Don't feel guilty for having a roof over your head. You have only the strength you have today, and tomorrow that may be different. Just make a difference in the life (yours) or lives (yours, your BF's, maybe others) you can touch by being kind, and then let the rest slowly work itself out. You WILL be able to help more people, just not this minute, under these circumstances. Trust yourself that you will, when you are able.

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Response to Jirel (Reply #37)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:23 PM

41. wonderful advice, thank you so much.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:21 PM

39. Thank you so much, everyone - there's so much here to think about, so much that's helpful.

It's not my turn to suffer, and it's not my turn to help. It's my turn to be grateful, stay out of the way, and I am allowed to enjoy the blessings of my circumstances.

I feel the shadow lifting already.

Thank you.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:21 PM

40. Hi Pn

I'm glad you reached out to the group & that so many have provided such wonderfully helpful insights.

We are fortunate to have this forum for sure!

Sooooo... You might try starting a gratitude journal. To do so, list 3 things you are grateful for each night before bed. Number them for visual effect. Add 3 more the next night & so on. After adding your 3 things to the list, reread the entire list. (Best to keep items short for this reason. i.e. food, water, sunshine, my health, etc.) This is important to do at bedtime because as we fall asleep, our brains are reviewing the day & working to encode memories. 👍

Next, I would ask you to consider that you are doing what med experts have asked us to do to help: stay home! 👍👏👏👏

Finally, you might consider what you would tell your best friend if s/he sought advice on how to deal with this situation. You would be kind, compassionate, supportive, & caring, right? Try extending the same courtesy to yourself.

It is called SELF-COMPASSION

Try googling or look here at this site:

[link:https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/try_selfcompassion|

This is a hot topic among therapists these days, as is learning to live mindfully, in the moment, to reduce depression & anxiety.

Loads of great info online about this too.

I hope this helps in some small way.

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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #40)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:24 PM

43. it helps in a large way! I will check out that link. thank you.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #43)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:34 PM

46. Please also know

that we are here for you & know that many of us feel "useless" because we are sitting home. So you aren't alone feeling this way!

And we are all grieving together, yet separately in our own homes, for the loss of lives, and grieving what was once a normal lifestyle.

You are not alone!

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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #46)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:43 PM

49. Here is link to info on mindfulness

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:27 PM

45. Take it from someone who beats herself up for days at a time, (points at self)

When the most innocent comment that you say to lighten your mood and it unintentionally hurts someone it is hard to let it go. That is the empathetic part of you.

Beat yourself up for 24 to 48 hours and let it go. Feeling bad is ok but time to stop beating yourself up. You didn't mean harm.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 05:54 PM

50. Our modern society puts so much emphasis on doing.

You have probably heard the saying, "You are a human being; not a human doing"

I have found so much solace in the past several years by following and trying to implement long ago teachings of Indian gurus. It is so different from what I learned growing up in a conservative Christian and so much easier. Those ideas of sin and guilt do not even enter into these teachings.

I have also learned that my misery never helped anyone. And I can help heal people just by healing myself and thus being a vehicle, so to speak of positive vibes. I also think you can send "vibes" to people; as in blessing them or wishing them well and this positive energy helps them and you. People ask for positive vibes all the time and we do that. And you can do that just sitting in your home. I believe that as you send out positive vibes you also send them to yourself. A friend of mine used to say "Spend a 1/2 hour everyday blessing other people and you will be astounded at how blessed you feel"

I wish you the very best. I think we are all here to learn lessons and your lesson right now is being learned as you stay at home.

Here is a really cool video about Ramana Maharshi



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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 06:29 PM

52. There's another way to look at it.

Everyone deserves a home and the means to meet their needs without worrying about where their next meal will come from, where they'll sleep tonight, whether they'll have enough money for medicine or a doctor visit when they're sick.
We all deserve that. You deserve it because you're part of 'we all'.

You are an empathic person. Naturally your thoughts go to those suffering in the midst of this pandemic. How can they not? We're all connected. The suffering of others impacts us on all sorts of levels. In the case of sensitive personalities, it is felt even more so.

But maybe, instead of thinking you don't deserve all the good that's in your life right now, what if you said, they don't deserve all the suffering in their lives. They don't deserve to lose their jobs. They don't deserve to be hungry. They don't deserve to work without PPEs while caring for sick people. The list goes on and on. They don't deserve what's happening to them. The losses on so many levels could have been avoided or at least lessened. They don't deserve that. No one does.

And remember, you could live in a shed with no electricity but it wouldn't lessen the suffering of those who are going through this. Feeling guilty is draining your energy and you're going to need it. We all are. We've got work to do. This administration has got to be out of the White House come next January.

And isn't that why we're here on DU? Isn't this going to increase our resolve to do everything we can to take back our government in November? Enough of this!

Every single person here right now is here for such a time as this. You are here now because life has put you here. Now, don't worry about what you should or shouldn't be doing. Life will let you know. In the mean time. The point is not whether you deserve good. The point is that our brothers and sisters don't deserve the bad. They don't deserve the bad. They don't deserve the bad.

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Response to NoRoadUntravelled (Reply #52)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 06:56 PM

55. Thank you, that perspective is immensely helpful.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 06:35 PM

53. Unwarranted guilt is a manifestation of depression.

Label it depression and get your mind elsewhere - music, art, reading, television... anything but stewing about it.



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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 08:19 PM

56. As suggested express your gratitude & help others a bit if

you can. Let service people know you are appreciative, maybe give/tip them some extra funds; donate goods or contribute funds to a food bank in your area. Many are in great need now. Check local news outlets for resources & campaigns. All the best.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 08:22 PM

57. Were you raised Catholic or Jewish?

It could be hardwired.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #57)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 09:03 PM

58. Oddly enough, no! LOL. But my mom was

real good at A) making me feel guilty - usually for not being perfect, and B) making sure I learned to expect slightly less than the best of anything, so life would be less disappointing. Her big life lesson to me was learn to accept “ok” and “so-so” that way I’d never be let down by expecting great and not getting it....so, there’s that.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #58)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 12:10 PM

61. Just like

I learned to reject the religion that I was brought up in, you will have to learn to reject your mother's outlook on life, and find your own that is more optimistic. It's not that she was a bad person for her view on life, it was probably based on what she had to work with. My parents were strict Catholics, and were raised that way, so it was all they knew.

I wish you the best on this.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #61)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 10:04 PM

67. Thank you - this conversation has been hugely helpful.

I’m grateful to everyone in this thread...

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 10:03 PM

66. I'm making wellness calls for my county.

Calling elderly people who may need help during this time.

I bet you could do something like that, and you’re completely safe doing it. Believe me, they are so happy to hear a friendly voice on the phone!

Call your county senior nutrition program or Council on Aging, and I’ll bet they’ll be thrilled to have your help.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Apr 12, 2020, 02:57 PM

68. Some of your current situation may be due to luck, sure,

but I'll bet a lot of your good fortune was you making good decisions over a period of time. Let go of the guilt and try to find ways to help out in your community. Donate to a local food bank. If you have mask making supplies, offer them to someone who is sewing masks. There's a social website called nextdoor.com where you can communicate with people in your neighborhood.

Also, sometimes, you just gotta tell your brain to shut the fuck up.



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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #68)

Sun Apr 12, 2020, 04:38 PM

69. I've turned a corner since posting this thread. Everyone's advice has been SO helpful in

giving me other ways to think about my situation. I love everyone here!

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