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Monday, October 28, 2013

Negative People Bring me Down

Dear A. B.

Both replies yesterday were very helpful.  I am so grateful that you responded so quickly.  That was my concern with grief--crossing the line to biochemical imbalance/depression.  Your description of continuing the day's tasks while being gentle with oneself/others and the quote makes sense and feels doable.

SAD puzzles me more--I can see where I need to "catch my thinking"--yet I also feel a distinct physiological difference with shorter days.  Do you think that the full spectrum light makes a difference?  Yesterday when I was waiting for a Starbucks coffee--the person in front of me paid for it and told the young man waiting on me that she liked my dogs. In spite of the grief I felt on that dark day--my mood lifted immediately--giving me hope that it is possible to continue to shift my focus. 

Your choice of words--lost, abandoned and unsafe made sense to me.  As an "incest survivor"--I think that I may have a very strong association with the dark and those words.  I don't recall actually thinking I feel lost, abandoned and unsafe--but it does seem to trigger some strong associations. (neural pathways?)  

Another challenge I have encountered as a recovering person is how to keep myself from going "down" the path of depression when listening to the news (which I can limit) and social interactions.  Without the buffer of meds I have become quite aware of how negative most of my family sounds when they talk.  I have tried "shifting" the focus to different topics.  (I have been amazed that even "lighthearted" topics shift quickly to what's wrong or not "good enough.")  I even had a relative who was upset with me for not "listening" to her problems.  So the dilemma is how to be compassionate and respond in a thoughtful way while not going "down" internally.  

You have so many great techniques in the book--Brainswitch (which I am currently rereading) perhaps there is one that deals with this area. If not, perhaps you would consider writing a book that deals specifically with relationship/communication issues!  I have a friend who simply avoids all of her family!  

I understand if you don't have time to respond to this email.  Please know that I appreciated the time and thoughtful responses.(which I have copied to reread.)  Sometimes after reading a book I feel like continuing the "conversation" with an author.  How truly generous of you to be available to your readers.

Mahalo Nui Loa


Dear S,

I remember when I had a back injury and a friend came over to cheer me up. She had one story after another how somebody she knew or some relative had "something similar" and had died, or become paralyzed of ended up in some kind of dire straits or another. I could feel myself feeling worse and worse. I couldn't believe it and could hardly wait until she left. 

Some people don't really communicate with you, they just verbalize what's going on in their own heads and use you as an audience for their monologue. You have to be very proactive to keep the conversation half-way reasonable or tune-out and hope they go away soon. Some people are never going to learn how to "share" stories. That's really how human beings communicate, isn't it, we tell each other our stories. And some people, sadly, are only interested in their own stories, or in how they are going to critique your story. For this problem, I refer you to what I think is the highest wisdom: The Desiderata

Here is first paragraph again although it appears elsewhere on my blog, I'm sure:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, 
     and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender 
     be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, 
     even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, 
     you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

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