actually admins, mods AND members select Classic Posts (see above posts) you just email the admins @ forumosa.com so they can edit the Classic Posts list. Like most things on Forumosa, we count on you to tell us what you needkate.lin wrote:It's near the end of 2007. Will admins or mods select the classic posts of 2007?
This long and winding post may be relevant to you. Forgive the presumptuousness if it isn’t.
I don't do culture shock and I don't really care where I live, having left my parents when I was 7. I have regularly dealt with severe depression since my early teens. I believe it to be partly hereditary, with an (un)healthy dose of the usual kind of traumas that children often experience.
I have generally been 'against' treatment for a lot of my adult life because psychiatrists, counsellors and psychologists are generally horrible, awful and stupid and they did me some serious damage as a teenager, but nowadays, the drugs actually do work. I got to the point where I really didn’t have a choice, though. Good therapists are out there, you just have to hunt around for one that is not mentally retarded...
The causes and the symptoms of depression are not anyone’s ‘fault’, but you can learn to recognise them and manage them so you can feel at peace in your own skin. Part of this is just learning to notice and accept your feelings without judging them. Don’t get into stupid dialogues with yourself; ‘I’ve been in bed all day, I’m so lazy, I’ll never get anywhere, my life is a mess’. That’s wrong. You slept all day because you were ill and tired. Get over it, it’s no big deal. Now smile and go and do something you want to.
All behaviour has its reward even at a simple biological level. You are doing X because you are trying to make Y feel different. The next step is to think of positive ways to change Y, instead of sleeping, getting irritable, drinking, or whatever the X things we don’t want to do are. The real trick is learning how to recognise your ‘Y’s and internalise those new ‘X’ actions.
Consider getting treated for depression. If you are severely depressed, you can't 'cure' it yourself. If you seriously think you are clinically depressed, treatment will give you back your mind, your energy and your intelligence enough to figure out what you need. If you weren’t depressed and were simply in a funk, the process will clear your mind, anyway.
Culture shock is real and it’s hard to figure out whether you are depressed in reaction to your environment or not. If so, changing your environment will help, obviously. My advice to you would be to give yourself a time limit to stay or leave. But really, it’s not such a big question as you think it is. You might be focusing on this as a side issue. Maybe you aren’t, I don’t know you.
Do what makes you happy. I don't mean 'in the big scheme of things', I mean, right this second. It's different for everyone. I read, walk in the mountains, take baths, listen to music, write. I used to feel upset when people told me to socialize more, or go and commune with nature, because they didn’t ‘get’ how utterly impossible that was for me at the time. It made me angry when people thought I would lose this racking emptiness by looking at trees, even though I know they were trying to help and reach out. Protect and look after yourself.
I absolutely can't bear to be around anyone, when I am at my worst. I am pretty awful to be around, also because I feel so fucking awful in every single cell of my body that it is torturous to even look at others. Don't let other people make you feel guilty about that. You have your needs and they have theirs and if these don't coincide, get them out of your path. Their needs are probably not more important, at this particular point in time.
When you are depressed, people can and will be cruel and disappointing. This is because they can control their moods fairly easily (so can I when I’m not having a depressive episode) and so don’t always grasp that you are not choosing to be depressed, even though some of the more negative aspects of your behaviour such as apathetic, irritable seem like a choice (‘You will be depressed if you stay in bed all day!’).
At the same time, try to be kind to the people who fail you. Depression has taught me the importance of good manners. Although I fail to be kind to people I don’t like or don’t know, because when I’m ill, I’m the only person I have any sensitivity towards, I know how other people’s rampant arseholishness affects me and try not to do this to others, unless they are on my permanent and non-negotiable shitlist.
Others will be wise and kind. My best girl poured peppermint tea into me and made sure I ate broccoli and took me to the spa-pool while I stared into the mid-distance and pulled my hair out, strand by strand and understood that the last thing I wanted to do was talk about it. My best boy did my laundry and stood up for me. They made an unbelievable difference.
What you can do for yourself
Exercise is important and has a big effect on your mood but don't go overboard because you'll deplete your energy too much if you aren't eating or sleeping. Moderation in all things is important. Don't beat yourself up about it if you don't have the energy or motivation. A ten minute walk or a couple of minutes of stretching is better than nothing.
Drink a lot of water, eat well. No sugar, alcohol or caffeine. Again, don’t beat yourself up if you ‘slip’. Take B vits, Iron, etc. The water is really important; you probably really underestimate how much you drink. It’s boring, but eating and drinking well or badly have more effect on you, physically, mentally and emotionally than you realize. No 7-11 sofa picnics. Record your intake, if this is a problem. Don’t judge yourself, just write it down and note the circumstances that led to the drunken bender, the 6 espressos or whatever your ‘poison’ is.
Entertain yourself with the books and DVDs, trashy TV, films, computer games, make stupid posts on forums, go to look at temple carvings or whatever you like. Don’t feel guilty about this; you need to recharge your body and mind. Make playlists or CDs you can listen to, if you like music.
Relax, if you can. Breathe so your belly goes out and then breathe out, all the way, for as long as it takes to breathe in. Everyone has their own way to relax. I do yoga. I don’t really enjoy it always but it makes me breathe and stretch and the discipline of a routine is good for me.
Journals and lists help you reflect on who you are and what you want. You are not your past, your location, your emotions, your intelligence, your partner, your children, your family, your home, your body, your job, your possessions or anything. All of these things can be wonderful but they can also be prisons. They can also disappear in a flash. You are what you are right now and you can change that, with a little help and self belief.
If you need someone to make arrangements for you to see a good doctor or counsellor, PM me. I know that this is an almost insurmountable obstacle, if you can barely get out of bed. The person who helped me most did this for me when I was completely incapable of doing it myself.
Tai-Da has some good docs, if you are in Taipei, but you will need to make an appointment. The Community Center in Tianmu has some counsellors which may suit you.
Sadness is just a feeling that comes and
WARNING: VERY LONG. SORRY.
Well, I took the poll option, "Is giving to charity becomming redundant?" To mean, are you so poor you need charity!
I grew up in abject, gritty poverty, righ here in the States. We almost never had electricity, seldom had running water (we "borrowed" our water by the bucket full from the neighbor), and the only meals we ate while in school were the free lunches at school. Durring summer months, my brother and I collected cans and pop bottles from the neighborhood dumpsters and cashed them in. We ate on an average of a dollar and a half a day and split that food between us and our mother.
That is simply unimaginable to most people, but it was my life. There are many reasons for this. As I was a child/teen durring these years, I had nothing to do with my situation and did not understand it.
I remember feeling simply astounded that there were people who could eat at McDonald's whenever they felt like it. Kids who always had clean clothes and who were never hungry when they went to bed. People just had no idea what they took for granted. I used to wish that those people could see me. They never seemed to.
As an adult who grew up that way, I have some very strong feelings about giving to charity. As a child, I used to swear that I would never have anything I didn't need even once I had the money to buy those things, because I knew there were people in the world who could eat for a week for what some people spend on one meal in McDonald's. Of course, that's not how things have worked out for me.
When I had money for things, I found that I honestly didn't desire many of the things that people seem to "need," especially here in America. I don't have any desire for a large t.v., or one at all, actually. I do have one, though. I would not have bought one, but once we moved back to the States, everywhere we went there was t.v. and my son got used to it. At first, I bought the t.v. and only vidios for my son, but I found that I missed the t.v., too, after living with others who watched it all the time. Still, though, if I'm home alone, it's never on and I don't allow my son to watch general t.v. without me. (In Taiwan I didn't own a t.v., so my son had very little exposure to it.)
But I don't get caught up with the best car, or the best clothes. I do, however, NEED clothes that are appropriate for work, so much nicer than I'd had growing up. And, like Maoman, I love books and prefer hard back. I also really like jewlery and I think that is directly related to having none as a kid and going to school with girls who wore rings on every finger. I also have found that many times the quality of fine things, such as guchi bags, is much better than average. I have one guchi which was a gift. I love it. I would not likely buy another one, as I just can't see spending so much an a bag that you noting left to put into it, but I can see why people do.
So, I don't spend a lot on indulgences, but I also do not give to charity organizations. I just do not believe those organizations help very much, as they never helped me. But I will give to street beggars. Not all, but most, and for a couple reasons. One, I just don't know that person's situation, or who might be depending on that person for food or shelter. I used to never give to the small boy who begged in the sub way in S. Korea, as I was sure he was being made to do this by a parent who used the money for drugs or alcohol, but I did buy him meals whenever I saw him. Yes, the parents could and should clean up their act and care for the kids, but they are not and will not. For some, maybe they simply can't. The child is still suffering and if I can help him/her, I will try.
Also, I have a son. As a mom, each time I see someone begging I feel like I want to give simply because, God forbid it, my son my someday need something and I hope someone will give to him. I gave 20$ to a man who sat outside the local gas station with a sign that he needed gas to get to work. Gas was more than three dollars a gallon and I was almost in that position my self. What if that were my son? So I gave him the money. Was he lieing? I don't know, but that's not one me.
Finally, I believe that a good way to look at this kind of thing is that the most important person in the world is the person you are with. The first person to help is this person. So, when I lived in ren-wu I always stopped at 7-11 and baught a meal and a drink for the homless man who liked to sleep near the building. He would pretend to be asleep, but would grab the food as soon he thought I was far enough away. In Korea, I always bought the best tangarines in the world from the grandma who sold them on the street and paid more than she asked. I pretended not to understand the price and refused to take the change.
I've sponsored kids to go to camp and bought them school clothes. I know that the kinds of giving I do will never make a true change in a person's life. But I believe that with very little acception no amount of giving will. In order to change a person's life, you must change the person. After all, a child who grew up like I did doesn't usually every break out of the lifestyle of need. I'm an unusual case and I can't even explain all of what makes me different. However, I don't try to change their lives, just to improve it for a moment or two. I'm only human, and I'm only one. I think a moment or two of improvment is a good goal.
And trust me, anyone who ever did give anything to improve my life, I have not forgotten. I may not ever have known their names, but I remember them, their faces if I saw them, and what they did. And you better believe I knew when they were only doing it for themselves. Using a person never helps them, no matter what their situation is. You may bandage one kind of problem, but you alway cause another kind of wound.
Anyway, I always think why the people are where they are is not my business. It's my business to do what I can, if I can do anything. That's it.
Now, I'm in a situation again where I'm having trouble making rent. I know this is only temporary, but it's still tough. So, for now, charitable giving is indeed redundant, but when I can again, I will. I have a responsibility to my fellow human. And as a Christian, though a very imperfect one, I'm moved greatly by thinking of Christ's words that we do to Him as we do to the "least of these."
elektronisk wrote:I nominate this post by Elegua. A post like that can make your day.
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