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my life story

Jun 17, 2010 - 2 comments

As a kid living in the country with a big family I am thankful of my childhood! But moving to a small town and starting public school (6 grade) is where my inferiority/superiority complex began, and was the beginning of an ongoing social, personal anxiety. But even throughout my teens I seemed to be able to have my desire, outgoingness and appreciation for life outweigh my insecurities. Although, when I turned 21 and began college, my first semester I gradually developed anxiety symptoms that led me to think I was dying of some physical disease and faced my first nervous breakdown. Even though I now know that the cause was anxiety, at the time I felt that, "I do not have a psychological problem", and I couldn't fathom my physical symptoms being caused by my mind. But it was my mind, I was concerning. My concerning, or worrying, was caused by trying to start a relationship with someone I connected with very well. She liked me as much as  liked her! But Because I was so insecure sexually at the time, It was hard to bring myself to "fully introduce myself to her", and when I was going to give it my best shot I decided to masturbate before visiting her, cos I thought I would last longer, and I knew she wanted sex. It turned out that I was too nervous to ejaculate and now guess what? I didn't only have a shamefully small penis but it didn't even work anymore. So this was the beginning of the onset of concern that lead to me thinking I was dying. Among all the endless, seemingly neurological symptoms I developed, I also developed a small limp as I walked and the endless doctors I saw tried to reassure me it was not physical, but that I had anxiety. I didn't believe this for a second, and for 3 months I contemplated on how I was going to kill myself before I became crippled, which I thought was happening to me. I thought I had MS, a brain tumor, you name it! But here's the dilemma, I wanted to jump off a cliff, but by the time I would reach this stage of hopelessness I would be crippled and wouldn't be able to get to a cliff. Since then I have joked saying that I guess I had High standards. Ha ha, right. But I was terrified at the time.
This went on for three months until one day I ejaculated in my friends steam room all alone and immediately began to feel liberation, and I got fully better! Yeah, sex means a lot when you are just 21 to a lot of people, and even my grandpa once told me that it doesn't matter how serious the problem is in reality, it is how serious it is precieved, that taking a doll from a child can cause equal psychological trauma as the loss of a loved one at an older age.

For years I was better, but then at age 24 I smoked some marijuana (weed) and had a reaction so bad that I thought I was becoming paralyzed on my couch, I thought of it as a spell. And for the next 3 months, once again, I was up against another "nervous breakdown". This time was the first time in my life that I felt that I was losing my mind. And I was nearly diagnosed with Conversion Disorder, but in my case it was still just Psychsomatization. Sorry for the big words but basically these are psychological conditions where you "convert" psychological fear into real physical symptoms, like with anxiety. Actually, it was learning about this from a psychiatrist that made me realize that my mind, and not a disease, could be causing all of this. Actually, I became convinced that it was psychological and very hopeful, and this one realization of what was happening to me, that it was all psychological, began a rapid process of healing, and once again, without western medicine as I have never taken out of fear of drugs, I was fully cured. Again, like the time before, this lasted 3 months and I got through it! Yes I searched the internet for self diagnosis both times, which educated me, but instilled more fear, as psychological illnesses and physical diseases share the same exact symptoms! So I really could have had anything!!

There was much learning that came for me with facing these episodes, and even made me a better person I believe. As I say today that "love is made on the background of pain". But things once again became bad again!

The Spring semester of 08 I was accepted to go on a Semester at Sea, where I traveled with an intercultural on-board community on a ship around the world! I/we traveled throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. It was so fun, and enriching, and I loved my experience, and the world liked me and I loved the world, meaning all the cultures of people I met. But at the end of the trip, while still on the ship, I began to do some serious self reflection. I Fell in love with other cultural ways of life and values and became ashamed of my own culture here in the West, and since then I have been facing so much self doubt, identity loss, ego loss, and loss of appreciation for who I am, who my family is, and how we see the world and live our lives. This has been at the heart of my concerns which have led into another nervous breakdown for me. Well, what made me go extremist in my views on the "collectivism" (family closeness) that I saw in Asian and African cultures, was that I naively fell in love with an Asian young woman. But because I saw so much unattractive "individualistic" (egocentrism and family disagreement) characteristics in my own self and life, I became so ashamed of myself, and since then have been on an inner dialogue about romanticizing collectivist cultures and demonizing my own individualistic culture. And of course with this perspective that relationship I so valued never worked out. We are friends however. I should say at this time that I am seeing more of a mesh of these qualities being in all culture's, as apparently all humans struggle with the "human condition", facing mental illness, war, greed etc. So, I am less ashamed of my life and culture, 2 years later!, and I see the same beauty here in the US as I do around the world, so to a good extent I was not seeing things correctly. Actually, it is a Buddhist belief that all suffering comes from not seeing things correctly. And though I have developed a kind of mental illness, regardless of the deep despair and fear I face, I continue to tell myself that once I see things correctly I will be fully cured again! And this is what gives me hope! I really believe I can get better, even though it seems impossible at times.

So in the Summer of 09 I had this third nervous breakdown which was gradually developing for the 2 years since returning home from my trip. Actually, before my actual nervous breakdown I noticed I would become very stressed at times, like when I saw other peoples lives working out well. See I was kind of depressed, and obviously bothered and concerned ever since retuning home to the US, but at that time I was just trying to make sense out of it all and I was coping! But being so unsure with myself, and so unappreciative of my life I was naturally distancing myself from others.. I was waiting for the day that I "came to terms with myself" and asked that young woman if I could visit her. A year had passed and I still couldn't bring myself to tell her that I liked her. Also, she has been living in the US, on the opposite side of the continent from me for the last 5 years of her life, so a relationship was not very unrealistic! Though she grew up in Hong Kong!
But then one night, after masturbation, I had sensations, almost like an overwhelmed continued bad orgasm which was going through my legs especially (very similar to my first nervous breakdown experience). It was subtle, but enough for me to start dwelling on!!!!  I guess I was at my breaking point with everything. Because that night I was also writing my essay to get into Naturopathy Medical school, as I was wanting to become a doctor (I know, more lofty ideas, right?!). I guess I just couldn't take it anymore and my ongoing built up hopelessness and concern decided to express itself through my body, giving me physical symptoms, once again!
Of course, I did not anticipate this, but it makes sense that it happened.
Once again I thought I was losing control over my body and thought that I may become crippled, as I was weak especially in my legs. Yeah, I "had enough", I "lost my grip", I was having a "nervous breakdown"!!!
Of course this was my reality when I woke up the next day, and now a year has gone by and I am still not really better!
Just a few days after this 3rd nervous breakdown, to continue the story, I stopped into the hub in downtown Johnson VT where I was attending school, and interacting with people just messed with my head. I remember leaving there and walking home feeling so detached and concerned, not just about the weakness sensation in my legs, but during my walk home I began to have a more psychological reaction. I felt like I was now struggling for my sanity! And this ongoing struggle to keep my sanity and become well again has been, to some extent, my life ever since. And though this has terrified me and caused many bad reactions (physiological and emotional), I somehow continue on, believing that inner peace, happiness, sanity, love, appreciation, and overall goodness are possible, and everyday I strive for these things. Sometimes I actually feel well, and almost liberated, but this doesn't last very long, and though I have been doing ok these days, I still am waiting for the day that things make sense to me and I am free! Actually, I truly believe, with all my heart, that the suffering I go through is a result of me not learning the lessons it is trying to teach me, or because I am unable to realize the beauty that suffering brings. It's a very philosophical concept, but I basically believe that all the suffering in life can be relieved once we understand the nature of reality, we can be cured of our illness, and freed from suffering. I'm not Buddhist, but this is a very Buddhist belief, and maybe there is truth within it, seeing how Buddhism is one of the worlds most widely practiced religions/belief systems. So as far as treatment goes, I will never take Western medical drugs because I think they would cause me more harm, and I have always thought that I can cure myself through wisdom. And though this time appears to be more serious, I have already done this twice.

Now i will explain my condition, my symptoms and what I experience. Ok first of all I was diagnosed with depression by a psychiatrist. Another doctor said, "you want a diagnosis, you are scared". My family doctor said I have anxiety, and said "you share a lot in common with the rest of humanity... everyone struggles with their relationship with the world...". But now I will try to diagnose myself. I believe i have been struggling with a mental illness. I have isolated myself so much that I only ever interact with people "in passing". I don't make plans because I'm afraid that it will cause WAY too much anxiety! I sometimes get so anxious that I need to escape from interacting with people and try to ease my mind from such an unrelaxed state. and I am afraid that people will see me like this! I am not in full control over my emotions. Sometimes I feel extremely anxious. sometimes I get upset with the fact that all of this has happened to me and I don't have the support. I sometimes cry, though less these days. I was living in my car for my last semester (Spring 09) ( I graduated college :))  and now I am staying with my brother but still sleep outside, usually in my car cos as weird as it sounds but our neighbors have a cow that gets out and roams around in the mid of night, so I just stay in my car and not in my tent, it's safer. I also get, when very stressed a swelling of my veins in my temple and side of forehead. This upsets me as much as it scares me because I value how my forehead looks, and sometimes when this happens I have a hard time swallowing and feel like I'm gonna drop dead. My doctor assures me it is anxiety. It is amazing how my head veins will basically completely subside (disappear), however, they can bother me and even cause a kind of migraine headache, which may or may not coincide with my anxiousness, both which are my most serious conditions these days and can last for a day or so at a time. To some extent this anxiousness is always there which is why I tell myself that "im still trying to get better". My doctor said this sounds like generalized anxiety. Sometimes I will get sensations throughout my body, I know classic anxiety, but the weakness I get in my legs sometimes just reminds me that I may become crippled any day. Because I often get stressed I have this habit of pressing my fingers against my head where I feel constant tension. Though I am seemingly doing a lot better these days, I have had many serious problems within this last year. From feeling like I was losing my mind to being curled up on a pond deck thinking that I was becoming fully paralyzed. And though I have been doing almost alright these days, I know that I could fall back into despair and have another reoccurring episode, and I am still insecure really. But I guess I hide it well cos people seem think I am fine, and young woman show they are attracted to me, which is probably the main thing that has given me hope! However, I can never make a commitment or even suggest hanging out with anyone because I am really not well. Although, I think it would really help me to be in love with someone who understands me. But the last thing I could handle is getting close to someone and then having them disappear from my life. I really feel so alone inside, still! I only interact with people, besides family, when I see them. I actually have a hard time even calling most family members to make plans to stop by.. it's too stressful.. seemingly way too stressful! But I usually do pretty good with in passing interactions, which is how i live my life these days. This would work if I had a family of my own, but instead, I am alone. And the fact that I have no-one i can rely on is why I am so messed up and afraid, and lonely even though it seems like I'm getting used to it. But my main goal in life is to find true love, someone, or some people who i can fully appreciate and love, and who can understand me. That and I am still trying to understand all of these things that have been bothering me for so long. Alright, what am I leaving out? Well my daily life these days is getting up in the morning, try to go to bed and rise with the sun, eat healthily, find as much organic farm work as I can so I can continue to survive, and have purpose. I get a cinnamon raisin bagel every morning with extra creamchese and have a nice relationship with the young woman who makes my bagel for me. She is really nice/sweet and always tells me to have a great day, and she's the only one in that bakery who knows what extra creamchese means. What part of extra creamchese do you not understand, haha! Oh yeah, I sometimes get in a funny mood where I lose focus of being humble, and I will start thinking to myself cynical, humorous, absurd thoughts about life in general. But I am getting better at stopping this cynicism and absurdity because I know it is not practicing compassion, and it even begins to cause me stress anyway. So I have a sensitive mind, don't know a better way to describe it!
I am living in Bristol VT right now which is actually treating me well so far, and I didn't think it would because I thought I needed a place where there were more people. So I am very thankful of that!  Oh, I drive around in my little Toyota Tercel which gets 40 miles to the gallon, but of course my lifestyle could change any day! If it wasn't for good food, fruit and all, I would have probably lost hope by now. And even though I am struggling spiritually, I am usually doing ok, and am still motivated by life. I am very compassionate and non-confrontational. I hate confrontation, I can't handle it. And I can't handle criticism. I want peace in my life and with others. And I need love. Also I should mention that I wish people had a high sense of morality, as this has been the nature of my concerning. I have been critical of my family and culture and self for not being good enough people. This has been the nature of my illness! But I should also say that I am not always right, but I think I can also get away with saying that I am not always wrong either. I guess I just wish things could be better! I like to visit natural beauty places like a trip to the ocean, the forests, the beach, and I like going in the river. I like gardening for work, I like thinking about love, I don't do any drugs or alcohol, I'm high enough! I like being real, and am attracted to other peoples suffering because i can relate and want to help. And with the exception of all the craziness in my life especially within the last year, I love life so much! I like real and honest interactions and am trying to be this way myself. I like peacefulness!

So I am still trying to get better, on my own, and with the support of others who can relate. I created this group because I think that we, here on medhelp, hurt and suffering and looking for something better, can find exactly what we are looking for, right here! I am hoping to make real friends and get real support, and so I am setting the stage for this to happen, so that we don't feel alone. Everyone is brought together by something. For some people it may be football, for others it may be sex, for others it may be love, for some it may be all three, but the point is that there is compatibility, and we will only ever really find what we are looking for if we make our selves be known, and be open with who we really are and how we feel about things. I believe it is not too hard to achieve this. We just have to be honest, and open!
ok, this is a good enough self description for now, I will change it as I change, and hope that I can meet some wonderful people here! People who I can relate to and maybe over time become very close friends, to make thoughts of suicide or hopelessness that much more non-existent. So please feel more than free to write to me if you want. And remember, we can be honest, because that's the only way we will ever find each other!! I look forward to hearing your story, no matter how unwanted you think you may be, or how crazy you think you are, and I hope you can speak from your heart and just let it all out. I think it will be very beneficial :)  And I'm sure your story isn't as long and boring, and scattered as mine. Also, I read on all the forums and hear all your stories, and there are no stories that I am afraid to read. I actually appreciate your stories so much!! I am trying to learn that there is no need to be afraid of the scary things that many of us experience, because I think there is hope for everyone. So I really hope that you can share your story in detail and tell what you think has caused your condition, so that we can help each other, support each other, and be there for each other!

With all the love that my heart can possibly cultivate,

Ash


Comments
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by beachbunn1986, Nov 04, 2010
your life story touched me deeply i completly understand isolating yourself away from others i have had a crazy life i was molested by my step father for many years and developed an eating disorder when i was 11 to 20 i was hopitalized twice and put in a pys ward for trying to kill myself i was very lonely .i felt like i was screaming and no one could hear me and no one cared i moved around alot the only place i felt happy was in florida with my ed (eating disorder) it became my best friend. i met my husband 5 years ago i was very sick and wanted to love him but my ed was winning i got better for my hubby but still felt lonely i had my son and my world changed i never knew i could love someone so much. but with all the baby issues iv had in the past 2 years i find myself falling back into old habits ed has found his way back into my life and i feel alot like a failure as a mother and wife.i think we all have insecurties and its hard not to give in . for me i feel empty inside and i continusley punish myself. i know none of this prob makes sense!! sorry its like 4 am and iv been up for some time i guess im just trying to tell you that i complety understand what you have and are still going through. :)
LaDawna

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by ROSYouralright, Aug 15, 2013
Thank you for sharing your story. It is beautiful and I'm so glad that you have found support. You will help many with your story.

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