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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Kate* Offline
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Cured an incurable optimist - February 18th 2017, 10:44 PM

She won't admit it yet, but I think I cured my therapist of her incurable optimism, or I'm at least in the process of it. I'm going to stay with her because this last session went much better than the last one did, but she agrees that vocational rehab and SSI are my only real options. I was hoping that my belief that I would never amount to anything was irrational and part of my depression and suicidal ideation, but it might actually be true. She says this is a good thing and I should feel vindicated because I've been telling people my failure to function isn't my fault and that even when I couldn't be trying harder, I still fail, but I just feel like it's the ultimate proof that I have been right the whole time and despite my intelligence and ability to get a 3.7 at the master's level, I'm never going to have a life. I've been suicidal off and on since I was 13, the main reason I held on and kept fighting when this stuff kept happening to me was that I wanted to believe it was all going to work out somehow and be okay and that even if I ended up with something I never imagined doing, I could still be a productive member of society. She says this isn't a failure, next session, I'm telling her she can explain that to my parents. I don't see how going from almost having a masters degree in my dream field (with a 3.7), that was desperate for professionals, to being stuck in voc rehab if I'm lucky, and stuck dependent on the government if I'm not is not a complete failure. I wanted and should've been capable of more than this. What have I been fighting so hard for if I'm not actually going to succeed at anything?


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Re: Cured an incurable optimist - February 19th 2017, 04:21 PM

I have the same problem too.

I get SSI and my family supports me. I want to be successful and it irks me that I'm not. I want to find a job in my profession and it irks me that I still haven't found one. I define success as being able to support myself, which I can not at this time.

I feel I'm not who I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm supposed to be doing; therefore I should be treated like a drug addict, since they're not who they're supposed to be, they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing, they're just... OK I actually have no idea what a drug addict does, they just do drugs, and that's bad, but I take medication, and that's good?

How do I tell what's good and what's bad? What's right and what's wrong? What am I supposed to do? Where am I supposed to be? God doesn't send me emails. Get with the program God, this is the 21st century! Send me a text once in a while. I need some guidance here. My God isn't being who he's supposed to be. He isn't doing what he ought to be doing.

I hope my therapist has an answer to that one.

I love it you're trying to cure your therapist! (LOL)

It's Sunday. I guess I should go to church, so I can find this God I don't believe in, who doesn't text me or send emails. (Actually I've been getting a lot of spam texts from unknown numbers recently, I wonder if they're from God? Probably not. They're not very helpful. The grammar and spelling isn't very good. I'm pretty sure my God speaks English and has a college diploma.)

I wonder if normal people who don't suffer from mental illness have the same thoughts?
   
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Re: Cured an incurable optimist - February 25th 2017, 04:38 AM

Hi, Katie!

First off, I'm glad you wrote this and decided to reach out. I am sorry you are struggling right now and I hope I can help. Reading this made me want to hug you for what you've dealt with. Facing the idea that you will be a failure and never succeed due to one or more disabilities is crushing. It can significantly affect your self-worth and motivation.

When you begin running into walls time after time and options are eliminated it is understandable to begin feeling like you will never succeed at anything. And that optimism is useless or false, but that isn't true. Life can change in the blink of an eye, and opportunities can come up in the blink of an eye. You never know when you may come across an opportunity and get a chance to do something you really want to do. Even if it isn't what you had planned from the start, you may become very passionate about it. Then again, it can be agonizing simply waiting which is why I encourage you to think about what you are passionate about, what you do enjoy, what you can see yourself pursuing.

On another thread I saw where you had mentioned wanting to write a book; do you have any ideas you are passionate about? Perhaps you could begin coming up with characters, story ideas and concepts. Writing a book could both be fun and who knows? It could turn into a career down the road assuming you publish it because I imagine you have good writing skills and creative ideas. Aside from writing a book, are there any other hobbies or careers you are passionate about that you can see yourself pursuing?

SSI and vocational rehab can be beneficial, but it doesn't mean you will have to depend on it for the rest of your life. In my eyes, you are capable of achieving your goals. I mean, look at you, Katie; you say you have been suicidal on and off since age 13. I know you said you held on because of your hopes that everything would work out. Despite anything that happened, you were determined and you had hope within, and I believe that hope is still alive even if you have to look for it. No matter what your reasons for holding on, it still takes an incredible amount of strength to continue forward regardless of anything negative. I'd say that's pretty extraordinary.

Not only are you intelligent, but you're strong-willed, determined, and capable. You've overcome a lot and fought through it all for what matters to you. In my eyes, that is productive - you took your hardships and turned them into determination; you took your hardships and used them to help others whom are in the same shoes you still are in or used to be. Not only do I believe you can be a successful woman, but also a productive member of society who makes a positive impact on other people's lives. Additionally, I feel you will meet someone special who appreciates who you are, and loves you for who you are.

There are many wonderful experiences worth holding on for. You're worth it, Katie. You deserve to experience the positive parts to life and I believe there will be many. In the meantime you can always reach out to us here at TeenHelp. You can reach out to me. I just want to reassure you that everything will be okay, and remind you that you are capable and strong with lots of potential. In addition, you're an inspiration. You deserve good things so stay safe and be kind to yourself. Take care!
   
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Re: Cured an incurable optimist - February 25th 2017, 06:24 AM

I saw my therapist this week. She says I shouldn't be treated like a drug addict because I'm not a drug addict.

Yea technically she has a point there.
   
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Re: Cured an incurable optimist - February 25th 2017, 06:44 AM

Thank you! I'm feeling much better. I talked to my mom and she doesn't think I've failed completely at life because of this. She says the reason she hasn't been pushing me to get a job like there's no tomorrow is that "Life is too short to be stuck in a job you hate." But, I feel like that's all I'm stuck with now.

One of the major problems I keep running into is that my impairments are so broad and my interests and abilities are polar opposites. So, I want everything I can't have, and I'm good at things I either hate or can't make a living at. So, this isn't as easy as pick something else and go for it, because I would just run into the same problem for either the same or a different related reason.

I did manage to get an article published, but to keep my diagnosis and identity protected in the Google Age I don't want to post a link here, since a quick search could bring up all my posts for someone like an employer. I will say that if, God forbid anyone else finds themselves in similar shoes, they'll get what I never got because of that. If I wrote a book, it would either be an autobiography or a self-help book.


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Re: Cured an incurable optimist - February 25th 2017, 04:51 PM

Hi Katie, it is great to hear that your mum was understanding of your situation and isn't viewing you as a failure.

I don't think it is unusual for people to feel stuck because sometimes, our perception of what we should be doing has been greatly influenced by the expectation of our society. We end up questioning what is wrong with us when life throws us obstacles that forces us to deviate, or take a detour from the norm. A lot of mental health sufferers never choose to be ill, just as no cancer patient would ask to have cancer. Yet, it can be hard for us to acknowledge that we are ill and need time to get better or to learn to live with it that it sometimes makes us perceive ourselves as failure because we don't seem to be strong like others to "get over it". All of us who have suffered from mental health problems know that it is not as simple as "getting over it" and sometimes, we have to be nice to ourselves and tell ourselves, it is okay that we may take longer time to get to our dreams.

I am not sure about others but I know what it feels like to be good at something that you have zero interest in but feel like you can't excel in what interest you. Give yourself the permission to take time to explore new things and keep an open mind. You can also ask yourself about the strengths you have that make you good in these areas and see how you can use that strength in areas that is of your interest. I am good at science because my strength is in analysis and being curious on understanding how things work. I hated science but I was interested in working with youths and now, I am working in the social service (e.g. social work) and i love it and am good at it. I used my strengths in my work because in social work, you are making assessments on the needs of your clients, you need to be curious to want to find out how to help your clients. My advice would be to ask yourself what are the strengths that make you good at these areas and how can you use these strengths in another area that interest you. Though of course, sometimes, some things that may just have to remain as a sideline. For me, I love art but I know I am not good enough to make a living. Yet, it doesn't stop me from turning to it for stress relief.

And I am happy for you that you have gotten an article published! It is certainly not an easy feat. This shows that you have strengths in you and I am guessing you must be good at writing. So, don't give up on yourself and believing that you can be a productive member of society in our own way. You have hung on for so long and it would have taken a lot of courage and determination to still be holding on. Tell yourself, "I can do this! I just need to give myself some time to get better first."
   
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Re: Cured an incurable optimist - February 25th 2017, 05:30 PM

The masters degree was in counseling and then I was diagnosed with something resembling Aspergers. My time in the program, and the way it ended proved extremely tramatic, and the disorder will never go away. Basically, I want to help and work with people more than anything and my brain won't let me do that, or much else.


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