Your first step

Discussion in 'Strategies for Success' started by SuperTed64, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. SuperTed64

    SuperTed64 New Member

    As I'm sure we all know, the road to recovery is a long, hard, and difficult one, but one that is still able to be walked, I'm trying to do what i can to get on the road, trying as many different things as I can to get started.

    What i wanted to ask was what was your first step on the road to recovery from the edge, what point did you start feeling better and were actually making progress?
    SunShine1973 likes this.
  2. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid Safety & Support SF Supporter

    From the edge? I went over it sadly and am lucky to still be here.

    I am now on 3 medications, I do some group therapy and I see a psych every 6-8 weeks as well as my key worker. I am in transition to another depts care right now and we are still trying to get the medication right so that my mood improves.

    Right now, I can honestly say, I am no better than I was when I tried to take my own life. The one main difference is management. I now know of some techniques that can help me manage better on a day to day basis. I dont "feel" any better. I still think about suicide, I still have a lot of negative thoughts and emotions, but via DISTRACTION [which right now works best for me] I manage better.

    I read, I write, I listen to music, I watch a movie, I cook, I go out, I do just about anything that means I dont have to think or allow the bad thoughts to take over. This place has been a absolute gold mine of distraction for me, its why I am here really. I care about all our members, but in fact, this place is helping me tremendously by just giving me something to do.

    So I am on that road, just, but on it all the same and I intend to stay on it. I am learning almost daily about mental health issues and how to deal with them. I am learning how to put certain techniques into practice if I see the chance to do so. It takes time, patience and effort, but what alternative do I have? Oblivion?

    Best of luck in your own recovery. There are many things you can try, but you need to find what works for you and what works for you might not work for me. The home page of SF has some resources and there are links to be found in the forums as well. You might want to check a few of them out?
  3. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    When I started going to therapy, and then when I started to take meds for anxiety. Those were both big turning points in my road to recovery, and I'm doing pretty well right now.
    Frances M and iam like this.
  4. Just Lost

    Just Lost Member

    I'm on the same yellow brick road/wall!
    Frances M and SunShine1973 like this.
  5. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Looks like I'll have some company on the road then ;)

    Its all about one step at a time, not running before you can walk etc etc.
    Frances M, SunShine1973 and Just Lost like this.
  6. SunShine1973

    SunShine1973 Active Member

    Thanks for asking this question and thank you to those who have replied too it's been good for me to read this thread thank you
    Frances M likes this.
  7. JustCan'tQuit

    JustCan'tQuit Well-Known Member

    A whole string of traumas led me to the brink, including (way back when) moving to a big city from my very small town and then, within a year, stumbling across a fresh murder victim, being threatened with injury or death myself and, later, getting raped. None of this was in any way my fault, but I blamed myself for the latter. Really couldn't keep it together after that.

    Sought help from the mental health system and didn't realize they didn't know beans then about trauma. (Certainly not amongst civilians.) Spent nearly two decades labelled with conditions I didn't have, drugged to the eyeballs. Struggled with unrelenting depression and near-constant suicidal thinking. Lost everything I had: self-esteem, career, relationship, income, independence, choices, hope.

    Became more and more sensitive to the drugs and finally ditched them altogether (expecting, of course, to have to go back on them within a month). (I did it gradually and was monitored.) Got through the withdrawal symptoms (which weren't bad) and found my depression lifting for the first time in almost 20 years. Expected it back at any moment, but it never came. After a year undepressed, I had to accept that the drugs had been keeping me sick. That in itself triggered profound anger and grief, which took years to resolve. (Did some research at the time and discovered meta-studies showing that the drugs are a great help to about a third of users. The rest they don't help much, if at all, or make worse. Just could not believe it.)

    That was a few years ago. I didn't make the blazing recovery I'd hoped for, because I turned out to have another illness that was causing serious fatigue. And my confidence had been destroyed. I was also experiencing trauma-related memory issues. But I did force myself out into the community, and after a while, I stopped feeling like an alien. I did build a relationship (though it wasn't healthy and had to be ended). I recently went back to school, and I'm just starting to get some part-time work.

    I still have PTSD, though, and when trauma memories get triggered, I feel as though I've made no progress at all. That's what brought me here. The abyss can still open up under me.

    But--I'm light years ahead of where I was. Even when drugged, I tried to give myself credit for whatever I managed to achieve, no matter how little it was. I kept a "have-done" list instead of a "to-do" list, because it was less pressure. I set tiny goals and stubbornly held on to the person I had once been. I wanted that person back. I reminded myself that I hate unhappy endings; I didn't want one for myself. Sometimes I focused on the people who had caused me so much harm and thought about how smug they would be if I died. That was a great motivator to keep going. Besides that, my family had already endured a suicide, and I didn't want to inflict another on them. I also knew, first-hand, that suicides are not respected--and I didn't want to be remembered with contempt. Didn't want to hurt my still-living parent. Or abandon my pet. Or traumatize the first responders.

    I tried (and failed) not to obsess over the past. I also tried (and usually succeeded) not to think too far into the future. I tried not to look ahead more than a week or a month, because I was incapable of believing in a better future. But I did focus on trying to make my life better anyway. I reasoned that if I couldn't stand the future that was stretching before me, I had to try to improve it. When I wasn't well enough to do that, I at least tried to make my attitude to suffering better.

    I began to think of depression as "demoralization," because it contained the possibility of getting my morale back. I also thought of depression as "depletion," which gave the hope of repletion. I began to think of anxiety as my mind's way of trying to protect myself. I found some rather old-fashioned material by Dr. Claire Weekes (the audio material, especially), and it proved to be non-pathologizing, helpful and bracing. I made a point of viewing PTSD as an injury (which it is), not a mental illness.

    Yes, I still have issues, though fewer. When under tremendous stress (as I have been for months now), I find myself with flashbacks again. Any kind of abuse sets them off. So does entrapment. But this site calmed me down, as I realized my struggles aren't rare. It's hard to see so many people are suffering--I wish I could magically cure every one of you--but it's been helpful to be reminded that suffering is just part of the human condition.

    Anyway, that's my tale. Just keep going.
    SunShine1973 likes this.
  8. SunShine1973

    SunShine1973 Active Member

    Thanks for your input just can't quit I'm glad you have found this site and I enjoy reading your input gives me hope
    JustCan'tQuit likes this.
  9. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    Hi @SuperTed64

    I'm happy that you're at a point where you can put your all into recovery. It's not easy to get there and hard to keep up, but there is always hope. My struggle to management/recovery lasted about a decade after diagnosis and therapy/meds. There are some very clear turning points for me, and they happened within those ten years:

    - switching from traditional therapy to art therapy (learning to paint, appreciating the medium as well) and spiritual therapy (new age, Reiki, Body Talk)
    - legally changing my first/last names, disowning the toxic family and friend base, and moving to another province to restart my life
    - getting of all meds after 7 mind-numbing years (not knocking meds for those who need them, they just didn't work for me at all)
    - experimenting with nutrition and natural remedies/methods to find what helped me manage depression/anxiety/ptsd/borderline on my own without medical help (again, not for everyone)
    - deciding that I wanted to be in a relationship after being celibate for 20 years; this pushed me to lose weight, better my health, go see a dentist, improve my finances and face my fears of dating (at age 45!)
    - accepting a life of solitude (i.e. no friends/family needed) just my bf and pets, moving to the mountains, enjoying a hermit life in Nature

    After all of these things, I was able to find gratitude in everything I do. I found that I had more energy, more positivity, more motivation to be happy and more enthusiasm to try new things and develop new hobbies and passions. Of course things are not perfect and it's still a challenge a lot of the time, but I'm much stronger now and willing to make more efforts to be well.

    I wish you the best of luck discovering what will work for you. :)
    SunShine1973 likes this.