Indecision makes me frozen with anxiety
I am an alcoholic. Things escalated when I lost my job of 13 years. I live alone in an old mobile home. I spiraled into a devastating depression. I no longer showered, cleaned any of the house, through garbage on the floor. I fell frequently, tripping over junk - one could no longer see the floors. I reached out to my ex (we were divorced 20 years ago) and he offered to let me stay with him. I moved in and he moved some of my belongings in his home. I have since discovered that he is also an alcoholic. While I was the type that was highly functioning, he is the type to fall down / pass out drunk. I have a month of sobriety under my belt, mostly due to the fact that I observe him in his drunken state and saw myself as others would see me. I felt mortified and all the rehabs I had been to had not shown me the light as much as seeing my ex and his alcoholism and his denial of same. I am grateful that he sheltered me and to an extent, gave me the impetus to stay sober. I now want OUT of his home. I still have the nasty old mobile home, but I am so scared of returning. While it could be cleaned up over time, it is in a state of really bad repair. I live in a really cold climate so I think most of the bugs should be dead since the place went unheated. It stinks really bad and there is still food in the fridge from over a year ago. I don't have money or enough good credit to move elsewhere. If I move back into the mobile, I fear I will fall off the wagon again. I am just about to start a new job and I just can't lose another job. If I did, I would just have to call it quits. The other problem is that at this mobile where I had lived for 15 years, I often had auditory hallucinations that the doctors say were brought on by my drinking. I am so unhappy right now, so indecisive, and yet, I feel I am making positive strides just by not drinking. Can someone please give me advice? Thank you so much for listening. I have no family to contact and so rely on the kindness and wisdom of strangers.
Stop Drinking Already...
You said, “ I have no family to contact and so rely on the kindness and wisdom of strangers.”
OK, here’s the kindness:
“I shall pass through this world but once.
therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do,
Let me do it now,
Let me not defer or neglect it,
For I shall not pass this way again.”
OK, here’s another saying for you,
“We learn when we fall down. We die when we don’t get back up.”
Ok, you said, “and yet, I feel I am making positive strides just by not drinking…”
Did you say positive?
What has helped me is a column on being positive that I read some years ago.
You said, “I felt mortified and all the rehabs I had been to had not shown me the light as much as seeing my ex and his alcoholism and his denial of same. I am grateful that he sheltered me and to an extent, gave me the impetus to stay sober. I now want OUT of his home.”
OK, while you “saw the light” when you saw your ex-husband as an alcoholic, I saw the light when I read this column on being positive.
It said, when going into a problem, be positive that you can solve it.
Well, that sounds pretty simple, but it was a miracle to me. I didn’t know it, until I read that column, but I had been going into problems thinking I couldn’t not solve it.
That is my unconscious, which I couldn’t see, thought I couldn’t solve it. My conscious wanted to solve it, but the part of my brain that I couldn’t see was tripping me up.
But when I saw that column on being positive when going into a problem, I felt like I had seen the light, as you say.
From then on, when I went into a problem I told myself, the problem it’s not the problem. You are the problem. Your thinking. You are thinking uncon. that you cannot solve the problem, and it is coming true.
After reading the col., I said, next time you have a problem, don’t worry about the problem. That is not what is tripping you up. It’s your approach to the problem. You think you can’t solve it. You are your biggest enemy.
I said, next time you have a problem, get the column on being positive down off the bullitan board. Don’t even think about the problem. Just read the col. On being positive when trying to solve a problem.
A few days later, I had a problem. Someone came in and said, “The car won’t start. It‘s in the backyard” and walked out.
I thought, “How are we going to get a wrecker into our narrow back driveway? If the car was on a highway, a wrecker could get to it.” I then thought, “I’ll wait till my wife gets home, and ask her how to solve this problem.”
Then I thought, wait a minute. The column. Get down the column.
So I went to the bullitan board, got down the col., and started to read it. I said to myself, “Don’t worry about the problem. It’s your mind that’s the problem.”
So I stated reading the col. I got to the 4th paragraph. I thought, “Jones Garage.”
What was “Jones Garage”? It was nearby repair shop that had a small wrecker on the back of a pickup truck, that got a car out of our backyard a couple of years ago. I had forgotten about them.
I had given up on the problem. Until I read the column. When I read the col, it took the neg. out of my uncon., and I solved the problem without even thinking about it.
I saw the light.
So, I would say to you, think that you can solve this problem, and the next one, by going into with a pos. frame of mind, esp. your unconscious.
I now tell myself when I go into a problem:
“Think positive, think positive, think positive….”
to try and drive out any neg. thinking in my uncon. which I can’t see. Then, once I have done that, I think of the problem as an afterthought.
I stay positive until I give myself a chance to solve the problem.
One thing I tell myself, is,
“One problem at a time, and be positive about that problem.”
I don’t try to solve all of my problems all at once. I just try to solve the one that is most important to me at the moment.
Another thing I try to tell myself sometimes is, “Looking for a helping hand? What about the one on the end of our arm.?”
This is to remind me of the time when I was depressed for 3 or 4 weeks or more and didn’t do anything about it until I had a nervous breakdown.
’m thinking about the 3 or 4 weeks when I didn’t do anything to help myself, except to complain about others not doing anything for me.
But yet, I wasn’t doing anything for myself. What a jerk. What a waste of 3 or 4 weeks when I wasn’t doing anything to help myself. Such as, trying to find a psy. to help me with my, in this case, with my dep.
In your case with your dep. And you’re alcoholilcism.
if you can’t afford a psy, maybe there is a free clinic somewhere.
Look up in the phone book, or, the net phone book (for your hometown and state, the service you want (psy), and write down any phone numbers that apply, then call the numbers. Then write back here and let us know what happened.
It’s up to you. It’s not up to some brilliant doctor who doesn’t even know you or your problem.
Another saying:”The person you have to defeat is the person you have to look at in the mirror every morning.”
It took me awhile to even think about thst. It’s not those mean ole people in my life, it’s me whose caused me the most problems. I have to overcome that person.
Here’s another thing:
Until you get a job, maybe you could do volunteer work helping someone else. Maybe working with children, in a library, hospital or school setting, teaching them to read, or helping them with their homework.
You could volunteer in a senior citizens home, listening to their stories, their experiences, write them down, and maybe give copies to their children, if they have children. This would put you around people who could use help, and it could help you, also.
This could also reverse the flow of energy, from worrying about yourself to seeing problems that others have, and worrying about them. Again, this would reverse the flow of energy. It’s the same amount of energy, it’s just going in a different direction.
I have as many problems as you do. I’m just not talking about them right now. And by not dwelling on my problems, the flow of energy is going from me worrying abou my problems, to me worrying about your problems.
I haven’t reduced my problems, I’ve reversed the energy flow. It’s going out towards you. I don’t know if I’ve helped you or not. I don’t even know you. But I know you’ve helped me by telling the board what your problems are and making us feel important.
So, it’s like how much do we owe you for being such a nice person?
I have a helper. I have so many problems I can’t walk across the street. She used to take drugs when she came to help, tranquilizers.
She said her boyfriend she lived when made home-made meth, and died of a heart attack from that at 46. She said she stopped doing drugs when she saw him die from drugs, just like seeing your ex woke you up.
My housekeeper hasn’t t had any tranquilizers in 6 months, and got custody of her grown challenged son this past Christmas, cause they gave her custody since was drug free.
Every now and then during that first six months she was here, she would say, “One problem at a time, and be positive about that problem?” And I’d say, Yeah.”
You say, “now want OUT of his home. I still have the nasty old mobile home, but I am so scared of returning. While it could be cleaned up over time, it is in a state of really bad repair.”
I don’t know about that. I don’t know what your funding situation is. I think you’re right to get out of those situations, but as for the specifics of how to do that, I don’t know. If you can get un-depressed, stay un-alcoholic, and stay positive, those are good directions, but as for the specifics, I don’t know.
Write here again and let us know more about what the possibilities are that you’ve come up with.
Here below, in my own words, is what the column on being positive said, when trying to solve a problem:
There are people who can solve problems very well, and there are those who cannot.
But solving problems can be learned.
The most important thing to remember about trying to solve a problem is your attitude going into the problem. The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.
If you think you have little or no chance to solve the problem, you probably don’t, not because of the problem, but because you are stacking the deck against solving the problem before you even start to try.
As such, the problem is not the problem, you are the problem. Take yourself out of the mix, and concentrate on the problem, with first having the belief that you can solve it.
Let’s say you’re in a place of business that is on fire. Your conscious mind want to get out, but your unconscious is negative (which you don’t see because it’s in your unconscious). That could be your biggest problem: you don’t see the negative in your unconscious.
If your conscious wants you to escape the fire, but your unconscious is negative, thinking you can’t solve this problem, every time your conscious thinks of a solution (“Open the door and go outside”), your unconscious says: “That won’t work, because….” and it comes up the flimsiest of reasons (“…the door might be locked.”).
Your unconscious comes up with these putdowns of possible solutions, because it has been programed to where everything must be negative, so it is forced to downgrade all possible solutions.
And until your conscious and unconscious are going in the same direction (win or lose), you can’t move, because half your brain is going to the left, and half your brain is going to the right. A possible solution to that might be, “Dive out the glass window. You might get cut, but you might survive.”
That satisfied both the conscious (“I want to get out”) and the unconscious (“But I can’t allow myself to solve the problem in a positive way.”)
So, you must retrain your unconscious. I do this by saying to myself when I have a problem, “Think positive, think positive, think positive,” as I pave the way for my conscious to come up with solutions, while trying to damp down my unconscious, which may be negative and preparing to downgrade any solution my conscious comes up with.
(I found this works, and I’m able to solve problems much better.)
Dear PJVL9: Thank you so much for your insightful response. Your comments about positive thinking have really hit home with me. As you mentioned, I am taking baby steps in that direction. You are so right, I am like a vehicle stuck in a deep, muddy rut. I keep spinning my tires, sinking deeper and deeper without giving any thought to other solutions and in a sense, giving up. Staying sober is a number one priority in positive thinking and helps take a bite out of depression and the ultimate crippler, self-pity.
After being unemployed since May 31, 2015, I surprised myself by not only putting a resume together but also sending it out! I have two job interviews this Monday!! So many attempts at self-improvement in the past were met with sabotage and stonewalling because of my negativity and self-doubt. I'm not sure what's gotten into me lately, but I will say I have been praying a lot.
I have printed out your reply to read throughout the day so I can quiet the self-talk in my head saying "just give up already - you're garbage". I hope your words will help someone else out there. If anyone cares to indulge me, I would love to keep readers posted on my success ..... or lack thereof. (Think positive, think positive!)
Thank you for your response. I told you that you are helping us as much as we’re trying to help you. But we didn’t expect this.
Did you say “self-pity,” which you called the “ultimate crippler”?
I happened to have experience in that field also.
I was at a self help meeting one time. When it came my turn to talk, I poured forth with a list of my problems, said in a “it’s hopeless” tone of voice.
When I got through, the woman who was patiently sitting beside me looked up at me and said, “Oh, you were having a pity party. We’ve all done that.”
Well, I was partly embarrassed because she had said that in front of these other three people, calling me, in effect, a big baby.
Then, I thought, well she did say everyone has done the same thing, so she didn’t single me out.
What she had done, since she said it in such a nice way, was gotten through my defenses; she was making me look at how much of a fool I was, a grown man for wallowing in self-pity, and she was telling me that in front of three other people.
But all I could do was look at was her eyes, and the understanding expression on her face, and her caring tone of voice. You know, a female. And my psyche just caved into that.
That’s been 15 or more years. And now, whenever I feel sorry for myself, I see that woman’s face, and I hear her voice, and it doesn’t work. She messes up my pity party, and I stop. It’s no fun anymore.
I don’t know if that woman was an angel, or what.
I wish she could be sitting next to you whenever you’re having a pity party. She would get into your psychic, also.
Also, with your difficulties, it can make you better at helping others. For you can tell them, “Guess what happened to me one time?”
You said, “I have two job interviews this Monday!!” You’re not going to make me cry.
You said, “If anyone cares to indulge me, I would love to keep readers posted on my success ..... or lack thereof. (Think positive, think positive!)”
Yes, we would like to know, so keep us posted.
Oh, I forgot to give you something that you dropped in your letter-