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As a young woman suffering from several psychiatric difficulties, I've often had a lot of strain in my past and current relationships. My parents and I do not see eye-to-eye on several things, though that is normal for most. However, I have gotten a lot of flak from making careless mistakes and tend to argue or bicker constantly. My work environment, though not something too bad, often makes me feel anxious, worried, and undesired. Only a few of my coworkers actually talk to me, perhaps because I'm not too great with the "social" aspect of speaking to people on their level. My friends are not always attentive of my anxiety and depressed moods, though I love them dearly since I understand they are internally good people who don't always have time for every moment I experience adverse emotions. My boyfriend is very supportive, but I am often too scared to show him the darker sides of my personality for fear that he will not recognize me as the woman he fell for. But none of that compares to how much I loathe my own sense of being alive... Often, I'll look in the mirror and curse my being born, wishing that the days would stop moving by so that I could finally just get a hold on my life... I blame myself for everything, yet I will go out of my way to stop another's suffering. Maybe I just feel as though this is what I deserve... I believe that I'm a terrible person sometimes, and I don't deserve the things I have gotten out of this life, especially not the love of a man so tender and sweet as my boyfriend... His jokes, sweet nothings, and embrace are things I wish I could accept as something I have earned, but I am never satisfied with myself. My parents have done their best to raise me, and they've done a lot for me, but I don't feel like I deserve such love... I rarely sleep anymore, with these thoughts running through my mind. Always the same thoughts and queries... 

Now that I've given even background... My questions are rather straight-forward. What can I do to obtain balance in my life? How can I let my loved ones understand my pain without becoming a burden? What kind I do to find relief?

Emily asked this
January 17, 2012 at 6:33 PM

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(My apologies, "What can I do to find relief?")___

Emily answered
January 17, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Emily,

Nobody every really knows how anyone else feels. We're all so unique that even if we could each experience life in exactly the same way, we would process those experiences differently. At least I know that when I am depressed, it makes me angry to hear "I know how you feel," because really - how could they possibly? Yet, I can honestly relate to what you're going through.

I get the feeling that your parents have always put a lot of pressure on you and while I'm sure their intent is to help you become the best you can be, that well intended criticism makes you end up feeling like nothing you do will ever be good enough.

Real love isn't something you should have to earn. You are worthy simply by virtue of being you. When you feel like that's not the case, remind yourself that the actions and thoughts of others are not a reflection on you, but a reflection of the person they came from. Don't allow others to define your worth for you. Define that for everyone else.

Your coworkers - that must be really tough! We're at our jobs for 40 hours of our waking life every week and we're social creatures. We suffer without contact with people. Yet again, don't take the actions of your coworkers as a reflection on you. It can be awkward when you are first really getting to know someone. It's a vulnerable place to be in and it's hard for them to approach you too. People never really bond until they've opened up to each other a bit. Give them a chance to get to know you. Share your opinion when you have one a subject being discussed. Compliment people when they've done something you truly admire. If all else fails - bring in goodies from home! Who doesn't love the person that does that?! ;)

"What can I do to obtain balance in my life?"

Really, what you need to realize is that there are two sorts of people. There are people that get hurt - the ones that internalize everything, that feel they are responsible for any good or bad thing that comes their way. Then, there are people that get angry - the ones that externalize everything and feel others are responsible for it all. Ideally, you should be a balance of the two, but for now, seeing as you seem to have the first one mastered, remind yourself that it is okay to be angry about being mistreated. You are NOT responsible for or in control of everything!

"How can I let my loved ones understand my pain without becoming a burden?"

It's difficult, but you really don't want to be in a relationship with someone you can't be honest with and trust. Ultimately, like I said earlier, we only bond when we open up and reveal who we really are. You do need to make an effort to get better and allow yourself to be soothed and comforted, but if he can't respect your honesty and support you, you deserve someone that will.

"What can I do to find relief?"

It's really hard when you're used to being hurt and being victimized to get out of that mind set. It's odd to say, but being happy is actually a skill. When we're depressed of anxious, we tend to gravitate toward things that echo and ultimately, elongate that feeling - we read sad books, listen to sad music, watch sad movies or shows, we dress like were sad, act out like we're sad and talk to people that are also sad.

What you need to do to find relief is the opposite of that.

I'm not saying you should deny what you are feeling, but after you have acknowledged the source of your pain (remembering that you are not responsible or in control of all things)find and act on a solution if one can be found, or if there is none, let it go. Get rid of the things do more to deplete you than empower you. Read funny, happy stories. Listen to happy music (and dance while you're at it!) Watch funny, happy movies and shows. Dress like you are happy. Act out like you are happy. Talk to people that are happy.

Practice being happy and you will get better at it.

I hope this helps, -Erin

Erin Froehlich answered
January 18, 2012 at 9:01 AM
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