Anyone interested in being a CBT buddy with me?

Dear All

I am hoping that this request does not contravene the rules and regulations .....

Like so many of us I feel lonely and isolated due to chronic pain, largely because I feel too ill with the pain and having no motivation to go out and about to actually see people. This is partly due to feeling so damn negative about myself. I have taken medical retirement and have chronic pain in my jaw, mouth, face and head. I have reached a point where I cannot take any more opioids as they have stopped working and have had a very negative effect on my thinking. Since having to stop work as a Probation Officer, a job which was interesting and stressful, I have started to get more and more depressed and even have suicidal thoughts from time to time; when I feel that there is no future for me and that the thought of living like this is all too much. I have asked for help and am waiting for an appointment to see a Counsellor. Please don't be alarmed I have worked with so many people with suicidal thoughts that I know that my thoughts are based my pain and I wouldn't action these thoughts.

From what I understand pain follows the same pathway as depression and therefore the two are inextricably linked....

Due to the complexities of chronic pain Self help is one of the main resources for us reflected by this wonderful site. To this end I have been looking at Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, as from all accounts, this is a very good in tackling depression and focusing on the positive. To help me motivate myself to sit down and type in positive things about myself that exist outside of my pain, I was wondering if there was anyone? or perhaps a few of us? who are interested in using CBT and we could either exchange email addresses or use a space of this site to share our positives.

I do apologise for my lack of computer savvy and ignorance as to what we can and can't do on here.

This is just an idea. ... which is still half- baked ... but in the spirit of self help and support I thought I would put it out here and see if anyone was interested? I would welcome any replies feedback or observations .....

Love and healing light x

30 Replies

  • hi there bunnytwo if you need someone to chat and to help you though your painful days of depression i'm here, i've been in the same boat, now its my turn to help someone else, i must admit my pain isn't in my mouth its from top of my head to the tip of my toes or to put it straight i'm a real pain in the body, i hope by receiving this it might give you someone to chat to, and if you just feel like moaning then go for it, i'm all ears, please do me one favor i know its not easy but try a put them thoughts of ended it, i've been there and i want to help if i can, its a sad world in which we live in but we have to contend with it for now. take care speak you soon, sorry i'm Alan by the way, so i hope to speak with you again take care Alan

  • Hi Bigalan

    Thank you for your reply .. I appreciate it .. it would certainly help if I had someone I could send my CBT notes to as it would make them more powerful. The thing is I know what I need to do... in theory and I would be able to say all the right things to some else with my old professional hat on but I wake up and think ..what happened to me ..and feel that I am now useless. I am plagued with negative thoughts and seem to tune in to all the awful things happening in the world. I have always been someone who has liked their own company but now that my head is full of pain I don't.... I just feel lonely. This week I have gotten so low that I have eventually told my partner and brother that I actually think that I would end my life as I have lost hope that the pain will never go. I feel so upset that I can no longer work as I it provided me with a purpose,status and a good wage.. I feel that I am not contributing to the community which is important to me. I am a qualified Social Worker who feels that she will never be able to do some good in the world. Thing is when my pain kicks in I feel a wave of depression instantly and think Oh no..... here is another day wasted .I have spent literally half my life in bed since February .. Its good to hear you speak in the past tense about your depression Alan that's hopeful ?On a positive note I have reached out and so my better management of my pain has started. My pain has effected my vocal chords and I have a very weak voice for the past 12 months which has really knocked my confidence as I was formerly a right chatter box .. I have vocal exercises to do but am too low and in pain to be bothered and so I remain stuck in a rut. This has helped already .. Have a nice evening Alan .. I thought your user name could either read Big Alan or Bigger Ian ?? sorry just me being silly I do still have a sense of humour deep down amongst all this c**p.

    .... as they say it's good to talk

  • hi there that's what i love a person with a sense of humour, if you need any help i still suffer from depression, and would love to help you in anyway, sharp or form. that's what friends are for people, like me that's been there and blow the t-shirt to bits.

    i would be glad to write down any notes from you on what you day feels like and how you are feeling, at what moment did something start to change, how did it make you feel. if your voice isn't has strong as before then letting me know how your doing each day by emailing me if you would like my email address i don't mind you having it, then i could then write down just how your feeling at what time did it start, then email you or if you want me i can write it on paper and post it to you.

    one thing i want you to remember your not on your own and by being on this site you have people like me that and are willing to help in anyway i or we can, like i always say to people i help that's what i'm here for.

    kindest regards

    BigAlan or Alan which ever you want i'm here for you ok.

    take care look forward to helping you if needed.

  • Do you know I really like this idea. I've been doing ok after an initial dreadful period of depression but now its returning. My pain remains the same but with some additional aches attendant on older age and with it the feelings of being unable to keep on trying.

    How do you think this would work ? I've passed the stage of wanting to show how much it hurts and how miserable I am ( I had that phase) and into being determined not to go into the black place again.

    What causes your pain by the way ?

  • Hi there deejames

    CBT is basically the link between thoughts feelings, and actions and re framing a negative with a positive. Perhaps I am at that stage of wanting to show how much it hurts and being very miserable. My pain stems from a jaw dysfunction from having a tooth removed in 2010.. May I ask you what did you used to do/think when your depression was absent ? Perhaps you could repeat that now ...

    Kind regards

  • The depression about the pain never really went away but I worked extremely hard to keep it on the fringes. I'm just tired now of the effort and the energy it takes to get through each day. There is also a bit of boredom as there is little variation in my daily life.

    I stopped lying in bed for even a minute in the morning because that's when the grief and fear came flooding in. I spoke out loud to myself to pain away the thoughts. I made promises to myself" I will not think about suicide today".

    And I did practical stuff. I spend much more time during the day lying down so redid my bedroom. Still doing it . Some nice lighting, new blind, always making the bed properly even though I was going to be back there in a few hours. The OU course.

    As I say its all hard work and its getting harder. I'm 65 and my contemplates have left me behind however "kind" there are I fell I have little to give.

    Oh s**t Ive fallen I to the trap of self pity. Time for some positive action.

    Take care


  • Great way of thinking, I feel I might have got to your stage as well....Coz no one else can feel your pain, and maybe not see the pain in your Face...And when someone ask 'How are you' as all they want to hear is Fine....not to have to stand and listen to the moaning....So Yes we have to help ourselves really coz no one else can wave that magic wand and make all the pain go away

  • Just read your second post bunnytwo. ( Have you got a name that wouldn't bring up some very silly images ?) I've been waiting for talking therapy for six months but you seem to have some knowledge of the CBT system.

    I'd be quite willing to just be the recipient I initially , by the way.

    What's helping g me at the moment is doing an OU access course. Its gone a way to restoring my self worth but when it finishes there will be that big gap again.

    You sound relatively young which I guess makes it even harder to not be able to work.

    I await your reply with interest


  • Hi Dee

    Your OU course sounds interesting .. what are you studying ... I forgot to mention that CBT is also about goal setting. I used to use it with my Offenders when I worked as a Probation Officer. I am almost 54 by the way and was a PO for 20 years so I am nearing what used to me the old retirement date for women ?

  • I'm doing an Arts and Language access course on the theme of Protest. Nearly every degree course requires an exam which I just couldn't sit through. That and residential school ( not an option) .

    Its worth the money to feel that a) mind is still functioning at a challenging level b) its something that has no connection with my pain

    I think I've set goals albeit informally. We talked a lot about goal setting when . I did my my Pain Management course. You might well be offered that when you finally get an appointment tment with them


  • Hi im going to be starting cbt soon to try help with the severe anxiety and depression that comes with the pain😕

  • Hi Bunnytwo

    I can very much relate to what you are saying having chronic pain with subsequent depression.

    Yes, I think that the self help route is good and at the end of the day it is us who have to chage our thinking patterns.

    I did a mindfulness course in my Pain Management Unit which I found even better than CBT. It does need an open mind and dedicated practice until it becomes second nature. I have come across a wonderful book called "The Mindful Way through Depression" by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal & Jon Kabat-Zinn. The authors are the originators of the mindfulness movement in hospitals. It can be easily adapted to deal with chronic pain and I have really bebfited from it.

    I hope his helps too.


  • I agree. Mindfulness practice is highly beneficial.

  • Sorry I possibly did contravene the rules by my reply which was deleted. I do, however like this idea. Worried about it now.

  • Hi there Beauty I really appreciated your response , but please don't worry we are all learning the rules ..... If I can I would like to chat with you x

  • Not sure how to now. I felt sure I sent a private message. We can write on the message board I know. I felt telling you my email address was not wrong. I did also tell you my two web sites to prove to you who I was. But never mind about those. I honestly did not think of it as advertising at all. I love my Tai chi that helps me so much. It is personal I know as some get helped and others don't.

  • You are advised to use PM (Private message ) to make contact by clicking on the other Members name at the beginning of their post. Then only the two of you can read what you write. Once you feel you are ready to go to another level of trust the us PM to exchange email address.

    Please be aware: not all people are who the claim. Not all people are what they claim. Take care not to divulge personal info that could be used against you or to steal your identity.

    Kind regards, Rib

  • Tai Chi. Yes yes yes. Only wish I could still do it. Try to get a decent individual teacher not a franchise though would be my advice.

  • I love teaching it, it helps me and also most all my class are disabled in some way. Meet on Monday mornings so don't have any young ones. I have an ND and that helps me to adjust each form to what each person requires. Have got people with broken backs walking and someone who needed an operation n her shoulder and arm. When she got to the consultant for the second time she did not need it. It works but I agree you have to find the right teacher. I am told I bother more than most. Fine so why don't others bother.

  • Just curious . whats your school and what forms do you teach. I used to do Yang style and I also did a bit of weapons work. Still got my straight sword hanging from the kitchen ceiling. I occasionally get it down and do the openings moves of aform before sadly hanging it up again.


  • I will l reply in private messages. I added my web site the other day and had the message deleted.

  • Can you post me your web site.

  • I have done this in messages but they were deleted the other day when I tried to help Bunnytwo. So not sure if they will get to you or not.

  • Thank you everyone for you supportive and heartfelt replies .. does any know how we can privately message people as I had some very constructive responses which are no longer here? Or do we exchange email addresses? Or does everything we say need to be on an open forum? If that was the case perhaps we could be allocated a section by admin for CBT?

    When I was first on sick from work in September 2012. I practised the view that we can only think about one thing in our brains at one time and so I thought positive things and it worked. I made sure that I got up at 6am and walked the dogs and rode my horse. Saying to myself I am going to be in pain anyway so I may as well do the things that will give me a lift. My friends were impressed by my positive approach to my pain. However, as hours have turned into days and the weeks into months and the months into years I feel that I have lost this fight. After I left my full time job on health grounds I worked for agency and worked at both a Probation Office and Police Station for 18 months on a part time basis. However when the Tramodal stopped working and the side effects kicked in I spent every day I was not at work in bed recovering.Very reluctantly I signed off sick and have been stuck in what I have read is a pain cycle - True to form I have had a really bad day today after having a better day yesterday.I have not been able to respond to your replies until now as I have been in bed all afternoon . I felt so positive this morning that I had actually made something good happen with all the helpful and supportive responses. Sadly, it didn't last and by 12.00 I felt so poorly with the pain and feeling depressed I ended up in bed for the rest of the day exhausted. I think this is where to depression kicks in as I know the good days wont last .... someone mentioned ( sorry brain fog) about going through a grieving stage and I guess that's where I am at.. Does anyone else feel that the pain is grooved in to their brains that it feels like one has a brain disorder?I feel in a very scary place from the life of connection that I used to have. Thank you all for your responses and support .. I am sorry to be so negative as it makes me feel guilty and ashamed that it some how my fault and that I am being punished. Be I share these things in the spirit of self help and peer to peer support as God knows we are the ones' that know about the complexities of pain .. I raise my cup of tea in honour and solute of my dear comrades in pain ..

    That said, when I was listening to my Mindfulness tape today ... Its suggested that we don't refer to it as pain ... as it just re enforces the pattern .. Perhaps we should call ourselves The Undefeated or the Survivors .. Everything I had read re pain is really depressing so perhaps we as a group need to redress this ... I know that by the responses some of your are interested ... So here would be a taster of my CBT work ..

    I wake up and think I am Unless, My beloved career is over, my joy is over, I am lonely.

    I re-frame this I am a good and kind person. I am a survivor , I am linked to "friends" on the site who are compassionate, intelligent and understanding .. there I am beginning to feel better already ..

    PS for those of use near each other perhaps we can meet up ..?

  • If you want to contact a person privately just click on their "name" at the beginning of their post. Once you have done that only the two of you can read the messages. If you want to exchange email addresses then do it in one of these PM (Private message).

    A lot of members communicate about non - Community topics in this way.

    Kind regards, Rib

  • Thank you Rib you sound like a wonderfully positive person in spite of you challenges keep on rockin'

  • Thank you. I do more Rolling than rocking these days but it is good to keep active 👍


  • Hello bunny,

    you sound like a lovely person and you have reminded me with the conversation above just how challenging we all find dealing with pain. Im not a great fan of CBT or mindfulness for that matter but I know I'm in a minority... What it mean't for me was trying to think about pain differently but it led instead to boom and bust thinking... forcing goals upon myself, it actually became a torment and I ended up feeling worse!

    I am just trying to accept the pain as limiting instead. bad days, good days no need to judge or label them at all.... Boredom, loneliness - everyone feels that too. Apparently, there is an epidemic of loneliness not just for people with pain. I feel better just accepting life is pain and not trying to distract myself from it or dress it up as something else... all the thinking is exhausting....

    Anyway, sending you friendship vibes and best wishes :)

  • Yes I also have turned to CBT for depression, and Yes I do think it helped, most things help but nothing used to work long term for me...but when I realised that my Depression went away sometimes, it gave me the notion that it may go away full time...Not been too bad over last 4 years even tho my general wealth has got worse, and I live in constant pain of the Neuropathic kind. From my ear right down to my big toe, on the right hand side of my body...I can't tell the difference from Hot or Cold water or heat, only that cold water seems to almost sting or burn, and make me feel like I've put half my body in the freezer. AND the ironic thing is that I used to coach people Living with Pain and suffering Anxiety & Depression....Using relaxation methods, looking at sleep hygiene and other avenues.....So I'm now best placed to use these methods on myself....but alas nothing works Full time, but even getting maybe 5 mins in bed feeling Less pain, makes me feel a little hopeful..I have been like this for 4 years now, the years before I lived in pain, but nothing like this.... I'm amazed that I can actually sleep a few hours at a time now...I can only think that the brain gets used to these unusual messages that it gets from the pain receptors..I also trained in Mindfulness, not for me initially, but for my clients....How ironic that I now need all this training for myself....its not perfect, but it helps.

    Its so much easier to talk other people thru relaxation, to ignore their pain, than it is, to put it into practice for myself...but I try

  • Hi jennSp

    This is precisely why I thought perhaps we can help each other .. Like you, in a ways, I have many skills and know what to do, but can't apply it as I am too close to it .. I agree that it's ironic ... Physician help they self springs to mine .. !!

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