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Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Have a Very Small Expertise

Thank you so much for your reply and encouragement. I know it may take time and that it will get easier. I pray that it will soon, and I’m committed as I want to choose happiness, I do choose happiness over this hell.

But right now it's so painful that my head feels like it's exploding. I keep telling myself, at least I got out of bed this am, went to th gym and trying to occupy my day and keep my focus elsewhere. But it really really is painful today for some reason....Y_________

DearY_____

I suggested before that you read Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning. Taylor Caldwell's book Growing Up Tough is also a good one. You need to start thinking about other people, even if you don't know them. Or, you might start writing your own book. A journal. Or even some fiction of your own. You need to discover what is your talent, your craft. Maybe you are a painter. Have you ever tried to do oil painting? Many people read detective stories for a distraction, or biographies, and find them good company.

You are limiting yourself to keeping company with very little other than your depression. You are still not convinced that you don't have to suffer the pain that your brain is digging up for you. You can refuse to suffer by turning your brain onto some other line of thinking. No matter what you do, yoga, volunteer work, reading, or whatever, nothing works if you are not thinking about what you are doing and, instead, are constantly turning to self-focus in a deadly fascination with what you are feeling. It is not necessary to be so fascinated by what you are feeling. It is a terribly destructive bad habit. You should start ignoring what you are feeling.

The pain is all self-generated even though it feels like an overwhelming force. It is not an overwhelming force. You are more than your brain. You are you. And your brain is your brain. And your brain is supposed to be your obedient servant, not your master. You are continuing to give your brain the wrong directions. But don't get discouraged, either. You have made a stand and sooner or later, if you are earnest about it, you will prevail. A. B. Curtiss

Dear A. B.

I feel like I've been slapped in the face by you. I am really giving all my effort at this the past few days. I'm just not there yet, and haven't been successful at "snapping out" like some have. And I have started to look at distractions and good company activities. Ive read VF s book before but will reread it and the other book you suggest. I will prevail, for sure! Y______

Dear Y________

I'm sorry if I was too rough. I don't want to discourage you by pushing too hard. I am on your side and want the best for you. I do know how painful it is and I want you out of it as fast as possible. If you stick to it you will be successful. I remember someone saying once, "It doesn't matter how long it takes you to learn a song, It matters how beautifully you sing it."A. B.

Dear A. B.

I knew your intentions are only to help but I was just about to write that I felt you were being too harsh. Thank you for this last email, it deeply touches me that you want the best for me and am on my side, and know the pain. I will prevail and get out if this! Thank you for all your advise and wisdom always.

With gratitude and love, Y_________

Dear Y________

I must not forget that I have a very small expertise to help people out of depression I do not know everything about them. So the best I can do since my expertise is limited, is to accompany you on your journey (which I have already taken) and point out the small obstacles, rather than rudely drag you over to my path. We each have our own unique journey to take and we all must be careful how we come to one another's aid. But your letter did remind me of something that happened in graduate school many years ago.

I fellow classmate said she went in to talk to her professor. When she went in for her conference, the first thing he said to her was "Someone has hurt you very badly and you better get over it quick." She said she was totally shocked.

So I guess I was kind prepared for my own conference with the same professor. He said to me "You are a very afraid person." My answer was "Yes, I know. And he responded very kindly, "And that can change.

Now, after all these years, I wonder if my classmate felt a little bit like you did after my last email. A.B.

2 comments:

Ginger said...

Y., I have felt a sting from many of A.B.'s remarks as well. I have taken the occasional abrasiveness in stride. For me, it's probably therapuetic, as I DO need to develop a thicker skin anyway!

A.B. has SO much of value to impart, and is so generous to share her wisdom so lavishly. I DO think she has our best interests at heart, but she doesn't mince words.

You have to love the fact that she is unflinchingly honest and straightforward. Even if she's off base once in a while, I still always appreciate and value the fact that she's speaking from her truth, and with her heart.

How often do we encounter such unvarnished feedback? In addition to being brilliant, helpful and generous, I have to add "trustworthy" to the list of A.B.'s attributes.

I can always trust that she's being straight with me. That's a rare gift.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ginger, you are right. It probably hurt because I know she is right but it was also so far from where I currently am, and I felt despair and a sense of abandonement because I could not see myself constructing a meaningful life outside of this. But you are right and I so appreciate her dedication in helping people out - she does this all free if charge and puts in so much time, effort and energy which is so touching. To answer your other comment from the other day, I do go out of the city on weekends - usually to the beach during this season with my BF and friends -- only a very few know what Im going through so I do go through a resemblance of normal socializing on the surface and it was nice to stare at the ocean this past weekend. Thanks so much for your comments, it's really nice to communicate with you and get your support :) Y