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Trapped in my own head


Hello, this is my 1st post but I'm so glad to have found this forum as a way of reaching others who can relate to me. I have been dealing with (diagnosed) anxiety and acute depression for about 2 years now and it's a daily battle. I have found different coping methods and strategies that help me to get out of my own head at times and also started practicing setting a daily intention. These methods have helped me but I still have my moments where I struggle and beat myself up over non-important things. Today has been one of those days and I don't have many people that understand me or can relate which is why I am here. Today I've been feeling very lonely even though I'm surrounded by co-workers and have a few close friends, I'm divorced and feel like i am missing companionship. I have been on several dates since my divorce 3 years ago and have even had a few boyfriends in the time since. But I feel like i can't seem to keep a partner for very long and it really takes a toll on my self esteem. I feel like I'm desperately looking for someone to fill voids in my life and I know I should find other activities or hobbies to make myself feel whole but it never seems to work out. So every time I meet a guy, go out a few times, I want to latch onto him and have him be my partner. I know that if I liked a guy and he was dealing with anxiety/depression i would stand by his side no matter what!! I feel like i give way more then i receive and as soon as a guy behaves other then I would expect I feel rejected and as of he isn't interested in me. How do I stop my thoughts from being so negative?

19 Replies

Your negativity is serving you in some way. It may be an escape tool that you can use to avoid intimacy or responsibilities. It is something that you need to discover and find a different way to get. This will take time, honesty, and courage. The gains will be worth it.

Pris1980 in reply to gerg

I agree with you Greg. I have been working on myself and my thought process to not give into these negative thoughts. I have always been an overthinker and most of the times feel alone in that arena. It makes me happy to know there are others out there who are just as o we analytical and hard on themselves as i am. I have been working on being more patient and positive with myself as well. I appreciate your input, thanks!

Hidden in reply to Pris1980

I live in my head. I'm afraid of the anxiety the fear and I can't stop. This has been going on for 5 years. I'm afraid of the fear.

Pris1980 in reply to Hidden

I know how you feel. A good friend gave me useful tip on how I can start controlling that negative voice in our head. He said we have 2 voices in our head, a higher voice and a lower voice. The higher voice is the one that keeps us focused and able to live our lives and is positive. The lower voice is the negative one that chips away at out self esteem and makes us feel worthless. He told me in order to start working on taking control of this to give the lower voice a name. I called mine "Steve". No particular reason I just happened to like that name. So every time that negative voice (Steve) would come into my head I would tell him to leave (get out of here Steve or shut up Steve). My negative thoughts were irrational and It's a way to start recognizing how often that negative voice pops into our head. And when u start to recognize it you can actually start to take control of it. It takes time and work but I know for me it was a good start. Hope this helps ! It does get better, but be patient with yourself.

alfie19 in reply to Pris1980

Brilliant Thank you this is a good explaination I do the same but could never separate the voices until after reading your comment. I have seen many Counsellors and no one has ever told me to try this. It has always been two voices inside my head and at times I did not know where to turn for help always afraid of what others would think of me. Had many talking therapy sessions over the years but I find the answers are deep within us we just need to take time and listen to our minds and bodies and do some deep thinking ask God for forgiveness for our bad thoughts and always forgive yourself. Now when I get a bad thought I sit down and read or watch TV or listen to the radio if the thoughts won't go away I write them down on a notepad keep them or throw them away like posting a letter. This off loads the mind. Sometimes I write in a journal when asking for God's help. Then when words come into my head i write them down its like the Angels are replying to my questions. This can be quiet a comfort and uplifting experience.

hi! i have the same feelings. it sucks. what i have learned through my experience is that you cannot depend on anyone but yourself to lift you up. I can't depend on my friends and family. In terms of negativity, we all face it. We all take things personally. But there are two types of people: ones that transform it to baggage and ones that only pay attention to it temporarily. I wish you the best, and I am sure you will find your soulmate. Good luck

Pris1980 in reply to km147

Thank u KM. You are right, I can choose to learn from it and not let it harden my heart which is ideally what I am working towards. I used to be much harder on myself but bc my anxiety doesn't like when I think too far ahead in the future I have learned to live in the present moment. It does take daily practice and reminded though, but it is worth it! Thank you for your thoughts!! Glad to know I'm not alone!!

gerg in reply to km147

We must be the ones in control. Don’t give that away without understanding the risk. If there is any question, err on the side of retaining control. Others may not hurt us intentionally, but our interpretation of intent may make it seem like they are. I fully trust only my dog.

Not_your_victim in reply to gerg

To quote John Green, referenced in my post, “This town ain’t got any men worth loving so I might as well love my dog.” That quote always makes me laugh.

This is helpful! I like what you said about the negativity. Sometimes it isn’t a choice, I really struggle controlling my thoughts, but I have found that writing my negative thought down and then reframing it is really helpful. (Such as “I can’t do this” to “I can try my best”) It doesn’t stop the negativity but it changes them after the thought occurred.

I, too, struggle with interpersonal relationships. And it is so challenging as an extrovert to feel lonely. I feel as though some of the problems we experience are due to the negative stigma attached to mental health.

Lastly, I really despise giving advice because I hate when people plague me with their platitudes (“Things will get better” “look on the bright side” “everything will work out”) and unsolicited advice but I will share what has helped me- I have found listening to audiobooks have been really helpful in pulling me out of my head. Especially YA books- John Green (author of The Fault in Our Stars- although he has other books that are even more amazing than that book) is my favorite at the moment and the way he phrases things, it’s like he is living inside my head!

Good luck!

Thank you for the reply. I like how you say you reframe your negative thoughts, that's a great idea! I've just now started to learn how slow down my thoughts in order to have the patience to work on them. My thoughts are usually non-stop and consuming! I've been practicing mediation which has been a huge help but again it takes daily work. I've noticed that one of my big anxiety triggers is not getting enough sleep at night. The next day I'm a wreck!! I have all these negative thoughts and stories in my head and I give into them. Even though I know they care not real they surely feel that way! I too listen to podcasts or audio books in my car, it helps me to focus on some thing other then the traffic or wrecklesa drivers! I also think it would help if I had more friends, not acquantainces, but people who I could actually reach out to or spend time with. I find it difficult to make friends the older we get.

Please explain as I have been told to improve on my interpersonal skills and I do not know what that means so perhaps you could help me.

alfie19 in reply to km147

Brilliant reply. Let go of the rubbish with the wind.

It is very hard not to take things people say personally when they have said it to your face.

How do you overcome this please as I take things to heart and get hurt.

I relate to a lot of what you say. However, finding a loving partner won't make your symptoms go away. I deal with depression and anxiety on and off. Within the last year I met someone who shares my love of the outdoors and we have a great relationship. However, even "being in love," I still get sad and upset. I need to deal with my own mental health problems, and my partner, while being supportive, he isn't going to make them go away. I suggest finding things you love to do and taking good care of yourself - sleep, exercise, diet..that's what I try and do. But I know it's hard.

You seem to focus on the belief that coupling with another (even accepting of someone mentally unstable) will be the salvation you crave. You need to get that EVERYBODY has their moments of doubt and uncertainty. It is literally impossible to be happy all the time. Take that pressure off yourself. Feel what you're feeling and shift your focus to anything that gives you a reason to wake up in the morning. Your wellness must begin with you. I have found that taking a risk has been a big game-changer. It's when you stay in your head and play it safe saying to yourself, "I can't" or "What if I fail?" - then things never change. When you take a risk you are investing in yourself. Often it's a very good thing to go for it, no matter how big or how small. At least you have made the effort...and you can be proud of yourself for trying.

Pris1980 in reply to annieb56

Thank you for this!! What you said makes alot of sense! I'm so happy to get other perspectives bc I usually think I will be able to come up with all the answers on my own, so it's nice to hear other points of view. You are also right that I need to focus on myself and build more confidence in myself, I just don't always know how to. I struggle with this daily and i experience extreme highs and lows with my feelings. When I feel the high intensely I don't mind bc I feel over the moon happy and like I'm on top of the world. When I feel the lows so extreme I feel awful about myself and I feel worthless. I also feel alone in these intense feelings like no one else experiences these highs and lows. So I beat myself up thinking that no one will ever love me the way I want, it makes me sad to even think about. I sometimes wonder if anyone will ever accept all of me. I even feel pathetic for saying this and admitting it but I'm hoping if I get it out in the open I will be able to better understand my feelings and learn better ways to not place so much importance on these negative feelings.

annieb56 in reply to Pris1980

I'm dealing with similar emotional chaos with my daughter who says the same things as you. She is currently in a relationship she knows isn't what she really wants but her mind questions who else would love her, so her anxiety is actually causing her depression. Vicious cycle. As her mom, it's very clear what is going on here, and I have the benefit of experience to know that decisions based on fear are always wrong. We have always had a great relationship, and her father & I would do anything to help her. Someone else pointed out that when we obsess on the negative we're getting something out of it. You were married once, so I have no doubt whatsoever that you have the ability to be loveable. Your confidence is shaken. Understandable and EXPECTED. Congratulations, you're normal. Cut yourself some slack and look at this as an opportunity to create the life you want. It's never too late. If you're thinking this way in January 2019 (and you might) stay aware of the messages you're telling yourself. Cognitive therapy is great. Meds can be useful. But ultimately you are the captain of your ship. I wish you a wonderful year ahead.

Pris1980 in reply to annieb56

Thank you again for your input! I'm sorry your daughter is going thru some thing similar, I know how tough it is to break away from a relationship even when u know it's not right for u. Thank u for kind words of inspiration...i was taking meds and bc of a lapse of insurance i had to stop...but im hoping to get back on very soon!! They were helping so in the mean time I've been trying other methods of coping such as does help for the most part I actually set an intention every morn and it sets the mod for the rest of my day! I still have my moments but that seems to help. Thank you for telling me I'm loveable, it brought tears to my eyes when I read that. Sometimes it feels good to be reminded. But I too suffer from depression that is also triggered from my anxiety...its a terrible cycle to be caught in and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. I hope we can keep in touch since u have so much wisdom to offer. I need that guidance...i feel lost at times since I don't have a family I'm close to and my lost my mother a few years ago. So thank u for being so nurturing

Hi Pris 1980

Yep I separated from my wife about 15 years ago and at 55, I've given up trying to find someone to fill the voids. I really miss going out to restaurants etc but .......

It's great that you're still trying. Dating will always be a bit of a lottery, it always has been and always will be. If the guy lets you down then it's HIS LOSS, not yours. I'm afraid us guys, are not perfect. There are some of us out there that are pretty good, we just take some finding.

Have you tried the internet for social groups in your area? In Manchester we have quite a few. I used to belong to a group called Social Circle. They had many different social events and people of all ages and backgrounds. I guess going to the first one is the hardest, but you could always take a friend. The evenings usually start with some ice breaking games and you'll soon be making new pals and perhaps .........?

Good luck

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