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Emperor G_D

Old Powerlifters don't just die...

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2 hours ago, Emperor G_D said:

I'm hoping the supply chain irons itself out, because this feels BAD.

 

 

The supply chain will resolve itself in a couple of weeks because the issue isn't a problem of supply....there's plenty of meat and bread and milk.

 

There's been a huge uptick in demand but nothing structural has changed....there are not suddenly twice as many people living in the Bay Area.

 

Eventually, people will run out of freezer/refrigerator/shelf space and have to start consuming all the stuff they bought rather than buying more.

 

We're going to be okay Sam. 

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20 hours ago, Emperor G_D said:

In the last 2 years, my wife and I finally got to start breathing in between paychecks. We started being able to set aside cash for emergencies and for our kids and their trips and projects and whatnot. We've been steadily paying off bills and credit cards. My car is only a few payments away from being fully owned by me. We've got cash on hand, now. Things have been looking really good to pay off more stuff, save more money as other bills are paid off, and maybe get ourselves into a situation where we can actually move in a year or two into a place we want to be when our youngest is ready to move to middle school.

 

That has all pretty much evaporated. My wife's largest contract just ended. That's the contract that pays the difference that the $900 rent increase made to us. Fine. It'll probably be a few weeks before she returns, unless the doctor folds-which is also a possibility; given the way things are going. Her other contracts could easily go away temporarily or permanently as well. I have a promotion that I have been working on, and there are annual company raises that are in doubt. Hell, my bonuses are probably zeroed out, too. My RSUs might as well be printed out and used for toilet paper-and that's shit I was counting on being there when the time came. 

 

I'm so very, very disappointed. I'm doing my best here, but sonofabitch. 

 

I know that most of these things will either resolve, not come to pass, or change in-flight. I know that. But still-I can't shake the loss that was me standing on the edge of some of the best footing I've had in decades. 

 

We're seeing scarcity-literal scarcity-in my area. We couldn't find meat(any meat-no ground beef, no chicken breast, no whole chickens, no pork). We ended up hitting multiple stores and even then, had to improvise. I've never had to live in this way. I'm hoping the supply chain irons itself out, because this feels BAD.

 

The US's trajectory wrt illness numbers, as well as serious cases looks BAD. Basically, we're looking worse than some of the less modern and less civilized nations. It will probably continue to get bad until people get over their pride and realize that they are fucked if they continue to do beer bongs on the beach with random people, or go to the gym. It's a guarantee to get worse unless our leaders stop feeding bullshit to their constituents. 

 

I broke down yesterday. This is all too much for me. I'm having to limit my access to the internet, now. The data of the pandemic is great. My first love is pandemic illness from a subject standpoint (odd obsession, but it is what it is). Hell, I've said for decades that this was coming. But now here it is. It's awful. Always knew it would be.

 

Re-reading this, it's like a first-world karen whine. I'm almost too disgusted to press the "submit Reply" button.

 

 

Sorry to hear, buddy.  It's a crushing experience when you're right on the cusp and then the rug is pulled out from under you.  I was in that spot last fall and then Adrienne lost her job.  I was like two months away from being able to start paying my student loans back with the option to start saving additional money with the eventual goal of just saving up about 35% of the balance and then just buying them out and being free.

 

She had 3 promising interviews this last week one of which she felt she was gonna get and now the whole fucking state is shut down and these non profits that do their events are probably gonna have events cancelled so even if she was the top choice for the one position, who knows if that job or for that matter, even the organization will exist in 3 months.

 

It's just one big scam it feels like in this country.  You do everything right.  I paid my student loans for almost 15 years and then I have a hard year and they're emailing me once a day and calling 3 times a day threatening to take me to court.  They've made as much money off me as they loaned plus about 10% but my balance is now back to more than the original value.  My missed payments with them have tanked my credit rating by literally 200 points so if I ever need to buy anything like a car I'm fucked.  Hell, I'm even afraid of trying to rent a new place with my snazzy 545 credit rating which used to be 755, which we are going to have to do in the very near future, like in 2 weeks as we may finally have a way out of our slumlord situation before lease end.

 

I remember seeing about 2 weeks back the notification from the college in Norway recalling their students from countries with inadequate health care infrastructure should return immediatley and they specifically mentioned the US.  I can't help but shake the feeling this place really is a second world country with a fancy veneer.

 

Anyway, I hope you guys pull through this okay and get back on track as quickly as possible.

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JB, I know things haven't been easy for you and Adrienne, too, and I hope you continue to be able to smooth things out. I know she's been impacted by the quarantine, but hopefully there will be tons of opportunity once we emerge from this.

 

Like I said yesterday-I'm sure some of this is melodrama on my part. Staying positive isn't in my blood and the way things are-well, I'm having a hard time finding silver linings.

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53 minutes ago, Emperor G_D said:

JB, I know things haven't been easy for you and Adrienne, too, and I hope you continue to be able to smooth things out. I know she's been impacted by the quarantine, but hopefully there will be tons of opportunity once we emerge from this.

 

Like I said yesterday-I'm sure some of this is melodrama on my part. Staying positive isn't in my blood and the way things are-well, I'm having a hard time finding silver linings.

 

The problem with life is that life now a days is just a shit proposition.  I know there's always that contingent that says "but life is better than it has ever been".  And that's true in a lot of ways but just because life was total ass in the past centuries doesn't mean it can't be better and that we shouldn't be allowed some malaise.  I could argue serfdom wasn't so bad.  Their lives were hard during the planting and the harvest but they had much more free time the rest of the time.  But medicine and such was obviously orders of magnitude worse.  But in America it's out of the reach of entire classes of people so there's that.

 

My comment isn't even a woe is me one.  I still have a job in an essential industry.  We'll keep it America centric but what most people don't seem to understand is that millions in this country, potentially tens of millions are gonna be destroyed by this.  This has the potential to wipe out a whole generation, a generation who was barely holding on in the first place.

 

So many of us made decisions when we were 17 based on what we were told what would allow us to build a life.  We just didn't know they were lying.  If I were to do it over I'd go into the service when I was 18, put in my time and get the GI Bill.  But that pushed back against by everyone I was supposed to trust.

 

It's just all shit and bootstraps in the overwhelming majority of cases are a lie.  I'm really hoping for accelerationism at this point.  Of a societal epiphany or catastrophic collapse.  I don't care which one if I'm being honest

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Man, this subforum is a fucking ghost town.

 

Still not working out. It's hard for me to get into doing anything without a barbell, and I don't own one of those.

 

I walk mostly 6 or 7 days per week. I'm getting pretty good at it, and go out for 30-45 minutes at a time. My calf/ankle/heel pain is pretty bad. I've started hitting my feet and lower leg pretty hard with a roller (a theraband flexbar), and I can say that on today's 2.6 miles of walking and running, my lower leg, feet, and heel didn't feel like actual dogshit (this is inaccurate, because actual dogshit can feel like nice, warm pudding), rather it feels like death (but probably not like death either, because I've never been dead and I assume that being dead doesn't hurt).

 

Anyways, you get the point. lol 

 

I've recovered mostly from my near catastrophic moment a few weeks ago, but I'm obviously still a bit stressed. My wife is back to work at 2 contracts, but lost one (it was only about $200/month to us), my kids are in distance learning which is basically a joke at this point, but the schools have to make them do something to justify the "P/F" they get on their 4th quarter report card. 

 

Things are a new normal of boringness, mask-wearing, solo trips to stores for my wife while the rest of us hang out at home, bored as fuck. 

 

I'm down to 333 today, which is still shit, but after being at 350 for at least the last 2 years on and off, 333 is better. I believe I weighed 337 at my powerlifting meet in 2017, and 335 while I was hitting the gym with reckless abandon in 2018 when I squatted 670. That 335 required lots of lifting, and decent dieting.

 

The liraglutide was good for me while I titrated my dose to .6mg and 1.2mg, and 1.8mg, but now at 2.4mg, I'm feeling pretty ill. I'm on week 2 at this dose, and I'm supposed to be at 3mg, but I can't move from here until the side effects fade a bit. 

 

My blood pressure is looking real nice lately, in the 120s-130s/70s-80s. That's real good for me. Normally I'm more like 140s/80s-90s. 

 

Anyways...just bored I guess.

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Holy shit. 2 months of low activity has cost me. I did KB swings today. did 5 sets of 20. Then I did rows with my KB, curls, triceps extensions, and shoulder presses. I'm totally gassed.

 

Still walking daily. Instead of lots of front-end activity with an epic walk in the AM, I've broken it into a shorter walk in the morning, and a mile after dinner. Weight is up from the last update, but it's probably some bad decisions and some water that cost me. I was 338 in the AM yesterday.

 

I met with a weight clinic doctor yesterday. She threw all kinds of shit at me. Small plates (which is really something I should do, because I am an overeater), she wants me in the sweet spot of ~100g/CHO (makes sense), she suggested a bunch of different drug combos which I pretty much rejected for various reasons-Fentermine/topamax combo (topamax would probably work, but could have some pretty extreme sides, and I can't take RItalin without feeling shitty), Wellbutrin (lowers seizure threshold). I think that's about what they have at their disposal.

 

She suggested bariatric surgery, but I'm not at all there yet, nor do I consider it the solution for most people-especially people like me who aren't 500 pounds. 

 

Oh yeah, she told me to get a therapist for my anxiety. She's probably right to suggest it.

 

So I'll stick with the liraglutide, the exercise and trying to shift my brain to eating smaller quantities via psychology. I'll be skipping breakfast and breaking my fast with 2 eggs, and following that up with a lean meat of some kind. 

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I'm sure I am not telling you anything you don't already know but have you tried just logging everything that you put in your mouth for a while?

 

I've found when I do that, even when I am making no conscious attempt to hit a certain calorie goal, I am usually stunned by how many calories I am consuming and just the awareness alone tends to lead me to consume less.

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I am not in the right place or space to do that right now. Years of doing that with limited effectiveness tell me I need something else-at least for now. 

 

I'm experiencing what I would describe as 'diet fatigue'. You try hard and you try harder and you do all the things and you fail to succeed, and you try again a different way and try  and fail another way and after a while, you end up tired of being tired, if that all makes sense. I really need someone else to tell me what the fuck to do, because I'm burned out on trying to figure it out on my own. I'm giving my will over to the doctor for a while. Hopefully I can do some things and feel like my efforts pay off and that will turn into me having a more positive outlook on things and I will be able to take charge of myself again.

 

I also have a ginormous roadblock and that is the types of meals consumed for dinner-the biggest meal of the day in my house-normally aren't separate constituents. I'll have to make some adjustments to have that work. 

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On 5/12/2020 at 2:25 PM, Emperor G_D said:

Holy shit. 2 months of low activity has cost me. I did KB swings today. did 5 sets of 20. Then I did rows with my KB, curls, triceps extensions, and shoulder presses. I'm totally gassed.

 

Still walking daily. Instead of lots of front-end activity with an epic walk in the AM, I've broken it into a shorter walk in the morning, and a mile after dinner. Weight is up from the last update, but it's probably some bad decisions and some water that cost me. I was 338 in the AM yesterday.

 

I met with a weight clinic doctor yesterday. She threw all kinds of shit at me. Small plates (which is really something I should do, because I am an overeater), she wants me in the sweet spot of ~100g/CHO (makes sense), she suggested a bunch of different drug combos which I pretty much rejected for various reasons-Fentermine/topamax combo (topamax would probably work, but could have some pretty extreme sides, and I can't take RItalin without feeling shitty), Wellbutrin (lowers seizure threshold). I think that's about what they have at their disposal.

 

She suggested bariatric surgery, but I'm not at all there yet, nor do I consider it the solution for most people-especially people like me who aren't 500 pounds. 

 

Oh yeah, she told me to get a therapist for my anxiety. She's probably right to suggest it.

 

So I'll stick with the liraglutide, the exercise and trying to shift my brain to eating smaller quantities via psychology. I'll be skipping breakfast and breaking my fast with 2 eggs, and following that up with a lean meat of some kind. 

Sam, whats going on with your anxiety?  

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Just now, Emperor G_D said:

 

What aspect of it are you curious about? THere are so many, of course.

 

Any event(s) that seem to have shifted the condition to something you were able to manage to a recommendation of therapy (which is not bad and par for the course that managing it is always ups and downs).  Your posts seems to shift around the lockdown period.  Just curious if there are any certain triggers or just a general, slow decline in how you feel. 

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2 minutes ago, AlwaysForward said:

Any event(s) that seem to have shifted the condition to something you were able to manage to a recommendation of therapy (which is not bad and par for the course that managing it is always ups and downs).  Your posts seems to shift around the lockdown period.  Just curious if there are any certain triggers or just a general, slow decline in how you feel. 

 

An unknown germ causing mysterious illnesses and deaths? That's my anxiety jam, brother! Add to that a decline in my ability to ritualize things (always doing the same things every day, schedules and expected daily events) and you've got a nice meaty gruel of anxiety and stress. I believe the doctor is connecting some of my emotional issues with my lack of weight loss, and she's probably right.

 

My stresses always end up concentrating physically. It starts with my RHR, and that anxious feeling in your chest/stomach. The backdrop of that just sets the tone for being keyed up all day, and after a few days or weeks, it's fatiguing-as you well know. When I can't sit down and relax and bring my heart rate down at the end of the day, it becomes a worry and that worry festers the longer it goes on. 

 

I tend to try to manage it with breathing and relaxation. Meditation has never been a success for me (probably the ADHD-a noisy mind is sometimes impossible to quiet). So I take the occasional dose of ativan and that tends to work after about an hour.

 

I woke in the middle of the night a few weeks ago with a panic attack. I don't know what kicked it off-could have been an apnea-and I had all the expected symptoms-tachycardia, hyperventilation, stomach issues (I had to get up and take a shit), and some panic/flight, clamminess, and cold limbs. Took about an hour and an ativan and my poor wife to keep me together and get me back to sleep. Thankfully this has never happened before, and I hope not to repeat it.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Emperor G_D said:

 

An unknown germ causing mysterious illnesses and deaths? That's my anxiety jam, brother! Add to that a decline in my ability to ritualize things (always doing the same things every day, schedules and expected daily events) and you've got a nice meaty gruel of anxiety and stress. I believe the doctor is connecting some of my emotional issues with my lack of weight loss, and she's probably right.

 

My stresses always end up concentrating physically. It starts with my RHR, and that anxious feeling in your chest/stomach. The backdrop of that just sets the tone for being keyed up all day, and after a few days or weeks, it's fatiguing-as you well know. When I can't sit down and relax and bring my heart rate down at the end of the day, it becomes a worry and that worry festers the longer it goes on. 

 

I tend to try to manage it with breathing and relaxation. Meditation has never been a success for me (probably the ADHD-a noisy mind is sometimes impossible to quiet). So I take the occasional dose of ativan and that tends to work after about an hour.

 

I woke in the middle of the night a few weeks ago with a panic attack. I don't know what kicked it off-could have been an apnea-and I had all the expected symptoms-tachycardia, hyperventilation, stomach issues (I had to get up and take a shit), and some panic/flight, clamminess, and cold limbs. Took about an hour and an ativan and my poor wife to keep me together and get me back to sleep. Thankfully this has never happened before, and I hope not to repeat it.

 

 

Reading your reply gets me anxious, I do get it.  

There are a few general things people will tell you that are supposed to work because they read it. Things like breathing and mediatating might not be the best for you right now.  Your mind is racing with fear.  The ADHD is probably not helping as you mentioned.  

 

I completely get the RHR issue and the other pyshical symptoms.  Just look at my post history, with them is probably all those symptoms.  My high RHR got me to a point where I wore a heart monitor for over a week last decemeber and even when it was going nuts, my heart turned out to be fine.  Yes, I have a higher than I'd like RHR but I also know that its something that I can address with proper diet, cardio etc.  Knowing that helps check that box and I'm not afraid of it (right now).  When it goes nuts, it still bothers me, but it is what it is.  I'm pointing this out as a way to identify what is in your control and what isn't as a way to manage the fear portion. 

 

On the panic attack, there are parallels with the chest symptoms.  A panic attack feels like death but won't actually kill you but when you are mental like that, you don't know it.  What I try to do now is tell myself, its going to end just like it always does.  Then I don't think about it again. 

 

The trick for me, and you know I was a mess for over 2 years, was to separate what was in my head, what my obvious stresses were and try not to conflate them with how I felt.  Remember too, I have (and you might have) some PTSD.  If you start feeling that chest pound, its going to cause a mental reaction.  Don't try and stop it.  Don't even think about what the cause it.  You feel like shit, after some time you'll feel better.  

 

Meditation is a mixed bag because everyone just focusing on "being present" What does that mean if you feel like you're dying. I tend to use it as a vehicle to focus on what I know will pass and what I can vs. cant control.  Its a tool, not a cure.  

 

I lend folks like us a hand now in some IRC chats now and this is an example that seems to answer the why now questions, both mental and physical.  Imagine you are just a bowl and over time the bowl fills with fear and stress.  Sooner of later, the bowl overflows so you feel like death.  So can't just dump the entire thing out, you have to start a little at a time.  A good mindfulness teacher can help with that of course.  

 

On pills, I never found pills besides clonezepam that helped me.  Remember that mess I went through with all those SSRI's?  Everyone told me to stay on them, they would work.  Dude they made me MENTAL which just added to shit because everyone said they would work.  Nope, the bottom line is I was in a pressure cooker with money, a bad boss, a stressed marriage, etc etc.  

 

I think we both do IT right? I havent gotten a raise in 2 years.  I've missed a director position because my company got sold and then the new company mapped me to a lower level.  Now the promotion cycles are haulted.  I am in security now and at least 2 positions below what I should be.  I practically function as the ISO of my company.  The place cant run without me yet I am probably 60-80K underpaid.  It was a HUGE mental shift to change my thinking to appreciate what I had vs what I knew I deserved.  It's much harder when you need to money of course but the mental aspect of it is like hating someone and waiting for the person to die.  I agree with Ben, in the end, we'll be ok.  

 

I'd suggest making a checklist of some sort of everything bothering you.  Then seperate the things you can control and just work on one.  It doesn't really matter which one as long as its forward progress.  That starts to empty the bowl.  The rest of the things you list which you think are negative, or low energy, you need to give yourself a break on.  That is the handshake you make with your higher self.  You'll do this one thing but you will will not worry about the others.  

 

I hope some helps, remember this is coming from the guy who was hiding in his car to have a panic attack that would last all day, go to meetings and ball up on a coach.  I was a fuckin mess.  Thats why I started doing the YouTube stuff.  Sure during the editing I seem straight but before the video I'm on ice.  After I have to relax and stretch.  Everyone seems like they have it together but we all largely wear masks.  I'm in pain 24 hours a day and my new boss has no idea but my bowl is alot emptier than it was before.  

 

At minimum I wrote this because sometimes it helps to know people share the same physical symptoms and arent dead :) It wasnt that long ago that I was waking up everyday with my extemities shaking.  Turns out, it was just stress.  

 

 

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Yeah, breathing and meditating aren't really terribly effective. At least meditation is always a flop for me, and mindfulness isn't my thing. lol Breathing can help in the moment, and I pay lots of attention to my breathing when I notice it's not right and I'm holding my breath totally unconsciously-then I seek to correct it. My back problems complicate my anxiety problems because the chronic pains can be confusing/compounding. Again-I know you know how this is. My pain is all centered in my ribs, so lol. If ever my spinning mind reaches for a reason for heart symptoms and my back is hurting-ready-made heart attack. 

 

In spite of all that I know, I can't quell thoughts like that. In fact, let me relay a story from this week to show how my brain doesn't work right at times. 

 

I went out to pick up some food on Friday night. I wanted to hear the new BodyCount album because fucking BodyCount. I was wrestling with my phone and spotify in my wife's car and not paying attention. As I approached the corner to turn, my lack of care and attention combined with the fact that I've driven less than 10 whole miles in 10 weeks led me to make some bad decisions. I hit the curb and went over the motherfucker. The car was fine and I continued on-embarrassed as shit-but I began to convince myself that since I didn't get out and look at where I ran aground, I could have actually hit someone. Queue some sneakingly increasing amount of doubt and I just couldn't wait to get back home to ensure that there wasn't a cyclist or pedestrian laying in my wake. 

 

It's not too much different than leaving for a trip and not being able to remember locking the door or leaving a burner on (or in my case whether I packed my medications), but it can be a bit less logical at times.

 

My stressors aren't jobs-based. I work for a large company that is a major subsidiary of IBM (Red Hat). I'm on a good team in a good division in a pretty niche position.My role is pretty necessary for the success of the company. My stressors are sometimes relationship-based, but mostly have something to do with what I am doing or not doing for myself or my health. I'll write out a list to see where things fall, but my biased opinions of where they will fall are that above.

 

You and I are definitely akin to one another. It's good to know people like you and others exist. Unfortunately, my daughter has begun to show symptoms, so I need to figure me out so I can figure out how to get her to do the same.

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15 hours ago, STENDEC said:

Sam have you tried cognitive behavioral therapy?

 

Its got a really good track record for managing anxiety/phobia/panic disorders.

 

I haven't tried anything, because that is part of my personal syndrome. Do nothing, freak about *thing*, continue to have escalating fear about *thing*, continue to not act. You would think acting would be the solution, but action isn't as easy as just doing it for me.

 

I had a CBT book and Audio recording around here for years that I never unwrapped, listened to or read. I believe I got rid of them after 20 years (and the recording was on cassette, that's how old it was) of not using them. lol

 

As I've mentioned before, I'm at a point where I have to hand things over to a person to tell me what to do, because of my lack of agency.

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Find yourself a good CBT therapist Sam. I worked with a guy when I was having so much trouble with my hyper-arousal insomnia....most of it seems self-evident when you are sitting there listening to someone say it but until I was actually sitting there listening to someone say it, I didn't realize it....made a HYOOGE difference for me.

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28 minutes ago, STENDEC said:

Find yourself a good CBT therapist Sam. I worked with a guy when I was having so much trouble with my hyper-arousal insomnia....most of it seems self-evident when you are sitting there listening to someone say it but until I was actually sitting there listening to someone say it, I didn't realize it....made a HYOOGE difference for me.

Yep. I agree, sometime I use mindfulness and CBT interchangeably largely because CBT adopts a lot of techniques from eastern teachings.  Some people think mindfulness is like the monks and shit sitting there for hours at a time.  There are times I can do that but half the time I just hit a good string of guided meditations and fall asleep.  

 

On your stressors, I know what the relationship stuff can do.  Honestly, I should have been divorced years ago.  I know its coming, I think we were waiting for the kids to get older and now COVID.  Everyones bowl fills up differently so the driving incident might have been different if the bowl wasn't already overflowed.  That understanding is CBT training.  You guys might even remember when I started therapy, I posted it here.  I only stopped because the girl quit but she was awesome because she saw through the bullshit in the world which is something as a creative person, I struggle with.    

 

The biggest thing we have in common are physical symptoms are triggers.  Again, so can see it in my post history and I still struggle.  For example:

1) Working on makes my heart race, I get dizzy (My head thinks I have a heart problem and Im going to die).  Reality - my neck and Fibro are acting up, I have atrophy and my nervous system is fucked.  The traps and neck are causing the pressure and by BP is going up from lifting and the pain. 

2) When I take the elevator to the third floor and get off, I get really dizzy.  (My head thinks I am going to die because Im dizzy) Reality, my back and neck both have major issues compounded with Fibro which causes vertigo.  It wasn't until I started visiting group with stenosis and Fibro that I understood that.  

 

Both of these examples start the merry-go-round. They both can trigger all those chest symptoms and panic.  Remember for me, panic can last for days and not hit until a day later.  Now imagine, I either go downstairs to get threatened by a boss or go home and have it out with the wife.  See the bowl filling up?  Cutting it off at head means I get off the merry-go-round.  In other words, I have tools now to prevent that from happening.  In both scenarios, I can mostly prevent that from turning into panic, but HIGH STRESS, HIGH Pressure can still sink me.  That is the price I pay for staying in a high-pressure job, in a bad marriage etc.  Those are environmental, which is another HUGE key.  Understanding an environmental trigger, even while still in it can help the head settle down.  

 

"Oh, my boss is screaming at me, I feel like death." Reality - Yes, its fight or flight, you are supposed to be that way.  When things settle down, I should examine if this is the right thing for me long term.  

"My Wife who is miserable wants a divorce, I feel like death." Reality - Also fight or flight, it's too much to process.  Reality - We just aren't right for each other, I need to examine if this is a healthy relationship.  (Full disclosure) - She just can't handle and admits she did not sign up to marry someone with chronic pain.  I can judge that all I want but its just low energy bullshit.  

 

Most of what I've written is basically CBT.  The success of it matters largely on how suggestible you are.  Im not realigious, but I can be spiritual.  This is another really important thing about meditation.

 

Guided meditation takes on a few forms:

Body scans - I couldn't make sense of these at first.  You'll hear the guide basically go through each body part, softening and smoothing it.   I finally realized that it works because its a distraction.  If I zero in on each body part or whatever, I am fully present. They still arent my favorite.

 

The everything is going to be ok dear - I HATE these. I can't connect with them at all.  Its basically all feelings.  Just doesn't work for me.  

 

My first session after my intake, my therapist gave me a link to some things to try: https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/

This is where I encountered body scan for the first time and all the touchy/feely ones.  There is on (I think is soften, smooth, allow) that makes you visualize the physical discomfort.  THIS HELPED! You basically assign a color to the discomfort (I picked red).  So for me it was chest tightness or that weird pounding nervous chest.  You know, the one where you feel like you are going to die.  Anyway, you soften the edges so I just used white and then would slowly fade it to pink.  Now I knew some of this could work. 

 

The Spiritual or educational ones - These hit home.  I found this girl, Michelle Zarin and did her 20/20 for peace.  It starts at like a minute or two a day.  She's not preachy, it's just something about it where I can literally see nothing but black and I am tuned out to the world.  Sometimes it takes multiple sessions for me.  Here is a link to all her stuff.  https://2020meditateforpeace.libsyn.com/

 

I found Michelle on a free app called insight timer.  There are 5000 meditations there.  Remember though, I was able to talk about what was working while in therapy.  She was able to narrow down my connection issues and some of what drove the way I thought.  I don't think I would have gotten nearly out it without being able to talk through her with things.  One thing I got out of it too was to help translate what other people were saying to me that were triggers.  Like forever my Wife has accused me of being a narcissist.  I finally brought her to a session (I would try to discuss my sessions at home but again, bad marriage so not helpful).  My therapist told my wife he's not a narcissist, hes suffering from extreme anxiety and PTSD from stress and pain.  

 

So this builds the foundation (for me) for the LONG road back.  That's important Sam, its a long road back and filled with many ups and downs.  I went mental for an entire summer because of bad meds.  I would have been better off just leaving the job.  It's a hard thing to realize you may have some environmental things you need to remove because you cant change them.  

 

Last on this kid, remembering what I said before about just addressing one thing at a time.  One of my kids is going through a lot and asked to see a therapist (at 13).  Shes depressed about girl stuff, body image and whatever, but as soon as this COVID clears up, I'll get her into somewhere.  I am an expert on anxiety, but I am not trained.  I can give advice but let the professionals do their job and I will help guide her on what works for me.  That would be my suggestion, you can't have the pressure of fixing a kid (which is subjective because you are conflating what you see in your kid to what you experience) at a time when you aren't right.  

 

I actually think it can be cathartic in an odd way for you guys to do this together.  

 

*I have an 8 week mindfulness course I took through work, it starts slow and it's like 2GB but I can throw it on google drive or something.  DM me with an email if you want.  Also, look into an app called curable.  It's like CBT for pain management, but you might find it useful.  

 

Remember, this is going to get better and when you are in a movement, it's just a physical sensation.  If that doesn't work, get it checked out for no other reason than to calm that anxious mind but I think a good CBT therapist is top of the list.  

 

 

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