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TOPIC TITLE: What is it?
Created On 5/26/15 7:53 PM
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channafofanna
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Ive been pondering this for a while. What exatly is remission? What is "being ok"? What does it feel/look like? Will we ever feel like normal people or is our ok a different one than those with mental health? What does it mean to be "better" or " cured"? How do we know when we get there? Can anyone help me answer these questions?
 
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wishtobehappy
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5/26/15 9:16 PM
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Good questions Channa.

I'm not an expert and am still searching for the answers myself, but I don't think 'remission' or 'cured' apply to emotional and spiritual health.

Here is what I've learned from experience (just ditch it if it's too philosophical ):

The world is in rhythm, and humans are in a constant state of flux. Sometimes things go smoothly and we feel good for a stretch of time, and other times we find ourselves back in the dumps, feeling stuck again. We might feel like we're back to square one, but in reality, we're not in the same place we were in originally. We've acquired coping skills, and knowledge, and are a lot better equipped to deal with it. It's also like a spiral - we feel like we're back in the same place, but in reality, we're on a higher level than before.

In short, life is about growth, and there are always new stumbling blocks tripping us up. The key is to find the right tools to deal with our challenges, so we can achieve balance and healing, and find inner peace. Good luck. Hope this was helpful.
 
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MoMo
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5/27/15 12:11 AM
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It's a good question I Gotta think about the question more

One thing I'll say is that In terms of evaluating the effectiveness of a treatment, If you're not sure that you're doing better, then the treatment was ineffective - I was told this by my psychiatrist.
 
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channafofanna
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Thanks guys for the responses.
But whats it like to feel "better" or "normal"? How do people without mental illness feel? How much better can I hope to feel? How do I know when I am feeling my best?
 
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TBear
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So I have been pondering this one as well....sorry if I am too wordy

Mental Illness and mental health to me are on a spectrum that everyone we encounter is on. How well we are able to function in our environment and relationships determines whether or not it is called a mental illness. There are some which have a major chemical imbalance and some which start with environmental incidents that then effects the brain and chemicals of stress and mood.... but all have their moments of good and bad mental health. Someone who is basically "normal" can end up mentally ill if they go without sleep for an extended period of time or have an extreme trauma ....

So then what is healing but a path upon which each person travels - there is no destination of I am healed - there is dealing with the present moment with acceptance and traveling to where you want to be. Getting to where you want to be may be the therapeutic goal but it is only another place on the path of your life. I have found that when I shove aside my fear or my anxiety or my sadness, in impatience of why haven't I healed yet - it makes my life much worse. Instead of running from the feelings and wishing they did not exist, I believe healing is being able to realize the present sadness or fear and hold it with compassion - I think that in so many ways that is healing. because then - with compassion - I can deal with what I am holding - be it with medication or therapy or change of behavior. If I fight who and what I am with self hatred, then I cannot travel the path of healing and health.

There really is no "normal" then, only the individual paths that each of us has been handed to travel. Yes, there is the "norm" of society and community that we strive to live within - but self acceptance is the beginning of a path and there is no destination of healing but the present moment - the present choices - that is all we have power over.

I like what Wish said that life has its cycles and everyone is changing - growth is the path we want, and it begins here and now.
 
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channafofanna
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6/6/15 10:25 PM
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Not too wordy at all. Thanks!
 
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ForeverYoung
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6/15/15 12:51 PM
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Wishtobehappy I luv your answer!
 
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wishtobehappy
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Thanks
 
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mouse
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I wish there was a "like" button here like on facebook. But since there isn't, here goes...."LIKE" to the answers provided. I don't know what cured looks like but i hope I'll know when I get there.


-------------------------

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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Newlywed
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Hey this is a little long so if you dont have patience to read then don't.... I sent this to my therapist a couple of months ago when i was feeling really good about life. I never thought it'd happen so I was inspired to write a piece and let people going through tough times know that it WILL! Good luck!!! I promise you'll get there <3

One day when I write a book called The Storm's Girl or some other ridiculous name that'll trick readers into picking up this literary piece of nonsense - one chapter will be devoted to clearly expressing that moving forward from depression is a slow process. Relatively anyway. Of course the exact amount of time differs from each individual to the next, whether it will be weeks, months, or years. However, that isn't the focal point of this lovely sentiment. Depression may start off as a bad mood, loss of interest, or millions of weird thoughts, but before you know what's happening it turns into a lifestyle. A scary, dark, cheerless, disconsolate lifestyle – yet it feels like one you can't get out of. You believe you took the wrong step down a narrow one way street and you see no place to make a u-turn. You don't realize that it isn't actually a one way road - just a restricted one. It takes you a long time to understand that you can turn around. Navigating the about-face will be really difficult and it'll feel awkward and uncomfortable. You will surmise that you were, in the end, supposed to continue going forward on that awful road. You had become accustomed to those constraints and adjusting to the new scenery is much harder than you'd ever expected. This view is beautiful. There's sunshine and flowers - yet you don't feel secure. There are so many decisions to make; you're no longer on a narrow path. It doesn't feel right to enjoy the beauty, to experience all sorts of emotions and sensations. You're used to the comfort of floating through time in a state of oblivion. It's a terrible, twisted comfort. It's painful. But it comforts nonetheless. Then one day, as you're walking along, you stub your toe – your immediate reaction isn't the usual, "Ouch! I just want to die!" it's, "Ouch! That hurt - but hey, check out those flowers, they're so beautiful." so you pick a few and continue along your way. Similar scenarios begin to repeat themselves. You don't even notice the change. Until one day you just do. You blink four times and think wow, there are still days that I fall and stub my toe seven hundred times - but even when I am on the ground I can notice the cute little lady bug that happens to be crossing the path.
And this is the slow process of moving forward that all must be told of. It's oh, so slow – and then suddenly, it's ever so fast. You're not quite sure when and how you landed up on the beautiful path you're now traveling...
It'll take time, but you'll be able to enjoy the beauty of the sunshine. If you too are on this road, it’s my duty to give over this message – although I know you won't believe me until you find your own self dancing in the rain...
 
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wishtobehappy
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6/16/15 8:42 AM
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Wow! That was really eloquent. I think your book could actually turn out to be a bestseller
 
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Newlywed
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6/16/15 9:08 AM
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aww thanks <3
 
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channafofanna
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Wow!!! Thats amazing!!! Not only was it written really well, but it kind of made me feel hopefull in the teary eyed hopeless kind of way... ( of ocurse the teary eyed hopeless part is my depression , not cuz of anything you said =) )
Its amazing! It really spoke to me where im at... so thanks!
 
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Newlywed
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You'll get there - I promise!!!
 
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channafofanna
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Thanks
 
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channafofanna
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I know you guys answered me already a while ago, and Ive really been trying and all that, but I cant stop thinking that maybe Im there. Maybe I am as good as Im going to get. Maybe the way I am is as happy as Im going to be. And that depresses me a lot, becuase as much as Im better right now, Im still not. I dont know if this makes any sense but I cant shake the feeling. Like Im doing all these skills and working hard and doing stuff and I feel better, but its not good enough for me. Like I feel better now, but if this is as good as it gets I dont want to live. Not in a suicidal way, but in a " this isnt good enough for me to warant another 100 years" way. And Ive been trying to take it day by day and realize that I dont have to live for another hundred years, but just for one more minute, this minute, but my mind keeps wandering to the fact that yeah, this is good. Im good. But its not good enough. I dont want to live like this forever.
 
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wishtobehappy
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I completely get you on that one Channa. I've had the same thoughts many times. I do think that as time passes, you can start feeling even better and experience a lot more joy, but the blah moments and the downs are part of the package too, and as good as life gets, those bleak moments are inevitable.
 
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channafofanna
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Im just so tired of it all...
 
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MoMo
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I know that what keeps me going is the hope for a better tomorrow and the hope that just as I got from the pitiful depths I used to be in to where I am now that over time I'll get better and better to the point where I'll be happy to get up in the morning...
 
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MoMo
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Most of my very sad moments come from a bleak outlook about my future so in a way depression feeds on itself.
I find the opposite as well, when I have a good day it feeds on itself my prospects for the future seem better and my mood lifts...
 
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MoMo
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A therapist used to tell me that why wouldn't I assume that just as I progressed from where I used be that I'll continue to progress to a place I can only imagine.
 
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Newlywed
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6/26/15 5:21 AM
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MoMo I like that. It's true. Life is a uphill climb, and the more we climb and the harder we work the more beautiful our view will be. If you are feeling better than you once were, you WILL continue to feel better and better. Something that helped me is when I got involved in different groups or organizations. When I felt really down it helped to volunteer at a kiruv school on Sunday or call the chesed organization of my community and ask if anyone needed a ride somewhere or if the bikur cholim room in the hospital needed organizing or patients needed visitors.... These kind of things helped me focus outward instead of inward. They made me feel good about myself and my existence and distracted me from negative thoughts. Just an idea that you may find helpful.... xxx good luck!
 
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wishtobehappy
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6/26/15 9:14 AM
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I like your answers Momo and Newlywed.
 
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MoMo
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Thank you Wish!
 
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wishtobehappy
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How you're doing Mo?
 
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wishtobehappy
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Newlywed, how's your husband faring?
 
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channafofanna
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6/26/15 4:39 PM
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But im stopping treatment so i guess its all downhill for me now depsite what you guys are saying.. And im so far gone i dont even care....
 
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channafofanna
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Thanks for the suggestion but I already do chessed regularly. It helps ,but like always, not enough...
 
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MoMo
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Then why are you stopping?
It doesn't sound like you've reached where you need to be!!!
 
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channafofanna
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Im not where I need to be at all but its not realistic for me to contiune treatment: its a money issue and stuff is going on with my faimly and i cant continue being sick anymore. i had my time and now i have to go back to pretending to be ok. i dont really have a choice in the matter...
 
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wishtobehappy
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Sorry about your family Channa. Family issues stink. Can you get someone who takes insurance?
 
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MoMo
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Channa,

Sounds really rough - I'm so sorry.

Is it possible for you to make it very clear that you aren't where you need to be?
Like tell it very clearly (or write it) to everyone involved in your care?

Because you can't go on being sick that's why you need more time in treatment!!!

Whose decision is it?
Do the deciders know that you aren't ready?
Is there any way to persuade them to give you more time in treatment?

It feels like surgery is being cancelled halfway through cause the family has other things going on and money stuff. If surgery was started it needs to be taken all the way through - nothing else matters.....
 
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channafofanna
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So the thing is it was my desicion. The toll my treatment is taking on my family is too big, both emotionaly and monetarily. They cant afford it anymore and my parents need me to be supportive and lean on me cuz of some things going on. Theyre leaning on me so I need to go back to being ok. My mother even cried to me and said she cant deal with it, that its too much on her everything thats going on. Not in a selfish way, but in an " i cant take this anymore " way. My family is in too much pain and so I need to go back to being ok Ive been honest for the past few months, showing in small amounts how Im really feeling , but my time is up. I need to go back to the perfect supportive noraml daughter again. It wont work any other way.
My treatemnt team knows the situation and theyve expressed concern for my wellbieng once I stop, and honestly im scared of what wil happen to me too, but theres not much else I can do. Right now Im just trying my hardest not to throw everything away and say that since I cant stay in treatment I should just give up on my meds, sleeping and eating well etc but its a stuggle when I feel like its the end. Im just so not ok right now and I dont know how to stop this downward spiral... I cant help feeling like this is the end. Like Ill never have support or help ever again. Im just going to close up and be worse than where I started beucase I only half healed. And I dont have any palns. I dont know what Im doing once I get out. What Im doing with my life. Nothing!!

Im sorry for this whole rant guys. Im just exploding inside and im just collapsing under the pressure and lonliness and pain and depression and i just cant do it anymore!!! I cant!
 
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MoMo
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I hate to say this but stopping treatment when you're only half healed will cause your parents and family a lot more pain in the long run!!!!!

You aren't doing them any favors by terminating treatment before you feel ready and pretending things are ok - that will hurt in the long run a lot lot more.

As a member of this support group abd someone who really cares please do everything you can to stay in treatment you need it!!!! You're not on your own two feet yet but if given more time you'll get there!!!

Getting to a place where things are more settled and secure for you will ultimately be the single best thing toy can contribute to your family!
I am davening that you find the courage and strength to withstand the temporary pressure to "appear healed"and that you continue fighting to be honest and open and real even though it's causing temporary hardship to the people you love cause in the long run it'll be so worth it!!!
 
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wishtobehappy
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Wish I knew what to say to make you feel better. It sounds like a no win situation. Try to hang in there. Things can and have turned around for the better in the bleakest situations, and you never know where the solution can come from. It would probably be a really bad idea for you to drop out now and sink to the bottom. Is there anyone outside your family who'd be able to cover some of the costs? Any wealthy relatives? An organization like Bikur Cholim maybe? In the meantime Stay strong!!
 
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MoMo
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Channa at this point are you truly capable of being the source of strength for your parents?

Your boat is barely afloat can you really use your boat to save others or will it sink your ship as well???
 
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channafofanna
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I know! I know its stupid and Im only thinking short term but I made my desicon and Im just done My family is falling apart and I need them to feel ok about me. I know its not in anyones best intrest in the long run but maybe this is as good as Ill ever feel anyway. Maybe thats what life is going to be for me, pretending that Im ok when Im dying inside. Maybe thats all there is.
I know that its hard to belive but I can support my family while feeeling this bad. Ive done it in the past and Ive already started taking on the role of supporting and helping my parents. And I realize that it may be my aving others from drowning that is ultimatley making me sink, but i cant let them drown, not becuase of me.
As to getting money from someone, its kind of irrelivant cuz Im already decided. I already gave up. Im already feeling hopeless. Im already done and I dont care. It scares me and im hurting a lot but I decided Im done. i dont even care about anything anymore. Im feeling so hopeless and alone and I know that its just going to get worse. Its like Im almost back at square one again only now there isnt any hope or belif that things can change. Im not even looking for things to turn around anymore. Im just done.

Im sorry Im being so hopeless and dumping this all on you guys, Im just falling apart and I cant do it anymore! Im sorry! Thanks for listening, and please dont worry about me. Ill be ok. I always was and I always will be, even if Im not.
 
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wishtobehappy
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I'm so sorry you're going through this Channa. ((((((hugs)))))).

Just don't give up. Things can turn around. They won't always look this bleak. You won't always feel this bad. Try to remember that.
 
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MoMo
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Channa it's not too late I'm on a campaign to change your mind - is that possible?
I know someone in the program who felt hopeless for many months and things finally turned a corner 9 months in and when he left treatment he felt really good about good prospects and he's doing well...

I have this gut feeling that it's the same with you - you just need a bit more time. No this isn't as good as it gets. It's not exactly good now you feel hopeless and already sorta gave up on the future... You could be doing so so so so much better than that!!!!

Why is it too late to galvanize the support you need to continue treatment? What about setting up a meeting with family and the providers?

I'm sincerely concerned about you and want what's best for you!

You might be able to offer temporary comfort to your parents but sacrificing your recovery to do that is actually harming them down the line when you're gonna need to enter treatment again because you cut it off too soon this time...

Am I being helpful?
my intentions are good.
 
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keep climbing
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Channa, I "get" where you are. I really do. I used to be the savior for my mother and siblings-they needed so much and I was able to help them (or so I thought). And I did help them for years until I started unraveling and getting worse and worse. Now I am the one who needs the most help and is unwell. With me, though, I wasn't aware of what was going on inside of me-my body held everything inside completely until it crashed. Had I known what I was doing to myself, I would have stopped because NOTHING is worth more than health. In fact, the Torah says "chayecha kodmim" and we have an obligation to take care of ourselves first. That is part of healing-understanding that I am the center of my universe, and I deserve the care that I need.
 
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mouse
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Channa, you're in a rough spot. I get that. However, what would happen if you ceased to exist tomorrow??? Would your family survive? I mean really, would they survive???? They would because they HAVE to. As much as you are an integral part of your family and you support them emotionally, if you were not there for them emotionally they would still survive. I'm not sure if my thoughts are clear but I hope you get what I'm saying. Either way, an emotional support who is shaky isn't the best choice. Help yourself so you in turn can help them. It's like being on a plane with pressure change. First you put on the mask then you help person next to you. You are not much help without the mask. Financially, your parents need to sort it out. Perhaps you indeed need to find a job to help pay. Or, perhaps your parents have the financial means to help you and wish not to. (A dumb but possible thought.) My bet is that a large chunk of their pain is your pain. As a parent I can honestly say it hurts a ton to have a kid in pain. I hate when my kids cry -- even if behind closed doors. I know when my kids are crying -- even if they think they are in a private place where no one can see. It's a sixth sense of moms (and probably dads too.) A lot of their pain will be resolved when your pain is resolved. Consider family counseling if you aren't already doing that. I've heard it helps a lot.


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All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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wishtobehappy
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Keep Climbing and Mouse, you expressed it really well. I wasn't sure how to say it myself.

I had a similar experience with my own family. My mother started leaning on me for support at some point and I became her listening ear and sounding board. The only "good" daughter she had, when everyone else was considered bad. At some point she'd cry to me a couple of times a day about things that were going on. Same thing with my siblings. I am the oldest, was always the family doctor, the guilt ridden and responsible one. The one everyone turned to when lost. The dysfunction got bad enough until I cracked up from it all. I cut off from all of them afterwards for a long time. They were very hurt. Now I have a pretty healthy relationship with my siblings, but no relationship with my mother at all. I call once a week to wish her Gut Shabbos and meet her only at Simchas. It's the only way I was able to maintain my sanity. I don't think she forgave me yet.

Channa, your family will survive without you. Keep Climbing is right about Chayecha Kodmim. It cannot be stressed enough. May Hashem give you the strength to make the right decision.
 
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channafofanna
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Wow. The amount of responses is overwhelming! Thanks guys!

I'm just feeling so suicidal and hopeless right now that I dont see the point. At first I was scared that my leaving treatment would make me kill myself somewhere down the line in life, but now that Ive kind of accepted that im going to kill myself nothing much matters. IVe been talking about it a lot today in therapy and my program and stuff and I just cant stop crying about it. I just dont know what to do anymore. Im not sure what to decide . Originaly I thought that my staying in treatment would mean staying for an extra month or two, but the impression i got today from my team was that theyre really worried about me and think I may need a lot more than that. And thats a long time not to be in "real life". Im 21 and way behind my peers in everything. I have no friends , no degree, everyone my age that I know is basically married and I cant just stay in intensive treatment forever. I know I need to take it day by day but its hard not to get caught up. Another part of me is wondering if maybe I am ready to leave. Maybe I am ok? Maybe I can go on with my life now and be ok? I just dont know. As of now I am thinking that I willl agree to taper off of treatment ( vs just stoping cold turkey like I planned to do in two weeks from now) so hopefully that will set some of your minds at ease ( espessialy since ur responses helped me agree to do that. After that, I just dont know. Im hoping that maybe Ill die in my sleep or an airplane will make a crashlanding in my bedroom or something. The sooner the better.
I know this was a bit discombobulated and noncohesive of a response to all of ur awesome responses, and im sorry about that. Thanks for listening though! and being there. I really appreciate it
 
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MoMo
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6/29/15 10:03 PM
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Oy I'm sorry you're going through all this!!
I relate to a lot of it...
Keep us posted!

Also, it might be hard for you to see that you are relatively so so young. So what that you're not holding by marriage yet! It's not a race!

You'll get there on your own time iyh, and the fact that it wasn't as soon as this one or that one won't make any difference!

I hope I'm helping and not making you feel worse...

It feels like everyone here really cares about you...
 
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MoMo
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6/29/15 10:08 PM
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Channa,
Are you sure it's best to taper off instead of staying on for a few months longer?
 
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mouse
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6/30/15 5:30 AM
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Momo....that was strange...as I read what channa wrote I was thinking the same thing. Getting an MRS. is not a race. I didn't get married till my late 20's. And you know what????? I'm now glad for it. Although it is difficult to see all my friends marrying off children and stuff and my kids aren't even out of grade school, I have a more stable marriage than many of my friends. I had time to enjoy single-hood. Something that I think is key to enjoying marriage -- knowing that I didn't miss being single. Although 21 seems "old" (I've bbeeen there) it's not. Going iinto marriage without a full deck is really not what you want. You want a healthy marriage with a healthy partner and to contribute in a healht way. THat can only be if you're healthy. Shannah Rishona is difficult enough as is -- a mental health issue can just drive everytihing into the ground. Perhaps you should plan for "after treatment." Enroll in some courses -- either in college or somewhere. Try to get a part time job doing something you may enjoy doing. Looking ahead to where you want to be may take away some of the hopelessness and push you away from suicidality and towards healthiness. It helped me a lot. I got my Master'ss like that. I was in and out of hospitals but then started to plan for the future. I did it at first one day at a time. Then one test at a time. Then one course at a time and before I knew it, I was DONE!!!! Maybe you don't believve hashkafically (is that a new word????) in college but you can perhaps find a job that will go with your hashkafa. Just a thought


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All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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keep climbing
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6/30/15 7:33 AM
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((((HUGS)))) Channa, we are with you. You are not alone in this!
I agree with Momo and Mouse. There's no rush to get married. Our society pushes it, but it's not for everyone. Doesn't it seem like there's a track we have to follow, and if we fall off, that is the end of the world? Truthfully, everybody is struggling-the difference is that some troubles are obvious and others are hidden.
 
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mouse
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6/30/15 7:42 AM
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True KC about that everyone has difficulties. I guess some people have a heavier burden than others.


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All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
 
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wishtobehappy
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6/30/15 1:59 PM
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Everyone's replies are really convincing so there's not much more I'd add other then emphasizing how right you all are about the marriage issue.

Channa, I got married really, really young (lots of pressure involved) and as a result, had to deal with whatever you're dealing with now, on top of being a wife and mother to two little kids. It was not fun to say the least. All I could think of at the time was where I'd want my kids placed after I was dead, because my parents' home was a bad choice, and I didn't know who my husband would marry. And at my lowest, I didn't even care what would happen to them at all. So taking care of yourself is the single most important thing right now. As hard as it is for you to believe that right now, things WILL get better, and years down the line, when you're happily married and settled, you'd be happy you put your future on hold now, in order to get yourself to a better place. Nothing else is as important as your health. NOTHING. Neither a job/degree, nor marriage, and certainly not peer pressure. Hang on tight!!!
 
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channafofanna
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6/30/15 10:06 PM
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AHHH! I typed a whole long response and then it got erased!!!! I hate when i do that!!!
Anyway.. now thati already gave the long story, even if it got deleted before i can post it, im just going to stick with the short one.
basically my mood sudenly shifted so i started thinking clearly again, and so while i still have the same thoughts as i posted above, i am now able to think in realiztic and rational terms and so while im still in my ok state ( i get really depresse for like 2-3 weeks and then sudenly my mood lifts and im ok for like 3 days and then im back down again for seemingly no reason, weird cycle, does anyone else get that? regarless it proves how depression can really color thoughts and life gray becuase as of yesterday i was like " im dropping out of treatment and going to kill myself" and now, while i wouldnt mind dying, im trying to think of solutions) im planing on figuring out some realistic options and weighing the pros and cons of each and talking to my treatment team and supportive people in my life (aka you guys!) about them and going from there. Im thinking right now some sort of compromise might be in order but i stil need to think about it...
So thanks guys so much for being here for me, as you always have been, and I will definitley keep you posted . And apologies for this post not being as "good " as i wanted. I just wrote everything out really well before and it makes me SOOO annoyed when it gets deleted!
Ps: no worries. I am not in any way looking to get married in the new future. I know full well that I am not ready to get married and i am a firm beliver in needeing to be stable to start dating, but that doesnt stil mean i feel the pressure everywhere i look...
So yeah... thanks guys for being so awesome!! Ill keep you posted on what happens.
 
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