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Chaotic_ Offline
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Being More Open - October 3rd 2017, 08:42 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of suicide, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread therefore might not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

So something about my counseling appointment this time seemed different, in a good way. I finally feel like I really connect and trust my counselor and that he genuinely cares about me as a person and because of that I feel like I need to be a bit more forthcoming with him.

I've been having issues with intrusive suicidal thoughts, I made the deal with myself that I'm not allowed to even think about doing anything unless I cut ( I know that is super not healthy ) and IF I cut I have to tell my counselor that I did so. I don't know why but I feel like it's important that he knows this random deal I have with myself.

With that being said my urges to cut are off and on. More on than I'm used to, we haven't chatted a lot about that as it makes me feel vulnerable, but I want to talk to him about it because I need to learn to be vulnerable again, and he's honestly the safest person I can think of. I need to practice vulnerability and I want to start with him.

This is probably going to sound dumb, but with that vulnerability I really want to learn to be able to cry in front of people. Right now, I don't I hold it in and I want to learn that it's okay, but I don't know if I should say anything or just wait for it to happen....if that makes sense?

Lastly along with my depression and anxiety, I have these really strange things I avoid nobody know's this besides my fiance. But I can't see the the numbers 9 and 11 together, it makes me think something bad is going to happen. Which sucks because I live in apartment 9 and right under that is 11 so I always have to block looking at those numbers before leaving my apartment and it's ridiculous and dumb. Time wise if I see it, I have to look away, and look back at a different time a certain amount of times or something is bad going to happen. The number 13 scares me. I avoid ending anything in ER even if that means having to write said word backwards, or else I think someone or myself will end up in the emergency room. I avoid the color blue for the most part. I literally will hop over the blue handicap lines in parking lots, and I freak if I touch them. This is literally just the basics it doesn't dreadfully impact my life but I think it should be talked about.

I also just wanted to talk about it on here.
If anyone has any advice on what or what I shouldn't mention to my counselor that would be great. I'm going to e-mail either tonight or tomorrow.
I'm not into the ideas of medication, I'm a natural and holistic person, as is my counselor, so I would prefer not to hear advice like that, thanks.
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Re: Being More Open - October 4th 2017, 01:23 PM

It's really good that you feel you are connecting with your counsellor, and that you trust him too. Naturally, this may bring about changes in how you approach counselling- wanting to be more honest and vulnerable about things. This is great progress!

Even though your deal with yourself isn't the healthiest, it is good to know that if you cut, then you have to tell your counsellor. It sounds like your counsellor is a valuable support to you and I can definitely see why you feel you want to start being more vulnerable, but with him in particular.

It's not dumb at all. When we tend to avoid crying in front of others, we might not get to express our emotions enough and may just keep them inside. Without others knowing how we feel, we then might feel we lack support and have to deal with things by ourselves. Crying in front of others can bring up all sorts of emotions, and we may wonder how others might react. You could wait to see if you can cry in front of others, or your counsellor, but you may also find that talking about it- why you hold things in, and how you want to be able to cry in front others- could be very helpful.

It sounds like you have certain 'rules' that you live by and even though you feel they don't dreadfully impact your life, I do agree with you about talking with your counsellor about it. At the very least, it would mean that you are allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable since the only other person that knows about these things is your fiancť. Hopefully, you will find it freeing and perhaps can work with your counsellor on new strategies for dealing with things that you struggle with.

I think with counselling, you get out what you put in. There really is no 'right or wrong' or what you should and shouldn't mention. If it bothers you, or you want to change something, as long as you feel you trust your counsellor, then it's always worth talking about and exploring. It can be scary opening up and being vulnerable but it can also be very liberating and empowering

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Re: Being More Open - October 5th 2017, 09:04 AM

Very interesting! Thank you very much for you honest post.

I did enjoy the part about numbers and colors.

I'm not an expert but it made me wonder if you've read any books on Asperger's, or Autism? Or your counselor may have a better guess at what the category name is. All I recall is I've heard of this before, you're not the only one, and it may be related to Asperger's or Autism or something else I forget the name of.

Anyway knowing you're not the only one I hope is helpful.

I don't think medication will help this. It's just your brain is wired a bit differently.

(There is no "correct" wiring; however, there's helpful wiring and unhelpful wiring. If it's unhelpful, and hindering you, then you may desire to work to change that wiring to something more helpful and less hindering.)

The only medication would be what I call "cover up" mediation. Or "Band-Aid" medication. Something that just covers up the problem, like putting a band-aid over it, but it doesn't really solve the problem, it just covers it up. (Which isn't necessarily bad. When I'm suffering I say give me anything to ease that suffering while we work on finding a long term cure.)

The long term cure would be to rewire your brain so it's less hindering. Right now there are emotions attached to certain combinations of numbers, and words with certain endings, and all those things you mentioned. It's this emotional connection that's hindering if it's not helpful. Sometimes it's helpful to have an emotional connection with something, like people are often afraid of spiders and snakes, which was apparently helpful during evolution to be afraid of those things. If it's helpful to be afraid of certain numbers, then that's a good thing. If it's not helpful at all, and just a hindrance, then you can decide to focus on changing that.

Until recently it was thought to be not possible to change the brain, to get it to rewire itself, to unwire anxiety, and unwire irrational unhelpful thoughts. Western medicine tends to just throw pills at everything, or a surgeon. If it can't be fixed with pills or surgery, then Western medicine pretty much throws up its hands and gives up. You get the "Sorry can't help you there is no cure" speech.

More recently people are beginning to realize that Eastern medicine has been treating these kinds of things for thousands of years, which Western medicine gives up on.

Anyway today the thought is the brain is plastic (I have no idea why they chose that word), meaning it can change, and people can coerce their brain to rewire itself into a more helpful configuration. People can unwire unhealthy ideas and wire in more healthy ideas.

The kicker is though it's not a passive thing. In Western medicine the patient just shows up and the pill or surgeon does the rest. The patient just lies there, and is told to "rest and get better". (Of course then they tell the patient to exercise, because it's good for you, but I rarely do.) In Eastern medicine the patient takes an active role in their recovery. The exercise, or they do mind exercises, which over time actually help the brain transform itself. Emotional connections can be weakened by focusing on them and becoming aware of them. Just noticing the emotional reaction within yourself, and becoming aware of it, and diving into it, just becoming acutely aware of how it feels, and just noticing that. The idea is you dive into the emotion. Most people try to go the other direction, to run away from the emotion, because it's an unpleasant emotion, and there's a huge desire to get rid of an unpleasant emotion. The Buddhist way is to do the opposite, go into the emotion, and it becomes weaker as you become more aware of it. Especially if you know that emotional connection isn't helpful, and you want to unwire it, then you actually can unire it, just by wanting it to happen.

Well that the short explanation. (Sorry it was so long.) There's a great movie called The Temple Grandin Movie, about Temple Grandin. Another movie is Mozart the Whale. They don't specifically address the numbers and colors issue, but they address similar things along those lines.

Best wishes and thank you again for sharing. Very interesting.

Oh yes and counselors are great to talk to, especially if they understand cutting, which isn't always the case. I suggest asking him his feelings about those things when you're in a good mood. (But be careful as sometimes just talking about it can be triggering. Only you can judge that.)

It's great that you are feeling more comfortable with this counselor. Yes they know it can take weeks or months to establish trust between a patient, and they patiently spend a lot of time just building that trust over weeks and months. (Trust is also the emotional brain slowly changing and accepting what becomes familiar. If you see the same counselor many times he becomes familiar and the emotional brain relaxes as it remembers past good experiences with this person. So it does take a history of past encounters to create those memories and feeling.)
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