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Thread: Mental Health Discussion

  1. #781
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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    So weird confession here... I think I've talked about this before but I consider myself very gender fluid. I've done some research to figure out what exactly I can define myself as but I've struggled. I go back and forth from being feminine and wearing feminine clothes and painting my nails and even wearing bras, to then totally flipping and not feeling feminine at all. Going back to wearing masculine clothes, not wearing a bra, etc.

    It's been confusing. I think I'm either non binary or gender fluid.

    But anyway some of you know that I also quit my job last week. That's probably worth a whole different post, but regarding this topic specifically there's a pro and a con to that. The con is, my workplace was actually a REALLY safe place for me to dress how I wanted to and not be judged, at least I don't think I was. The people I worked with had no issues with me wearing leggings or cardigans. And most were very supportive. The kids I worked with also had no judgments and any time a new kid came in and made a comment the other ones would totally swarm them about it like "yeah what's wrong with that, guys can wear leggings you got an issue with that?". That was cool. And now as I look for new jobs, particularly in a public school district, I know I'm not gonna to be able to be anywhere near as open about the clothes I wear. And I'm worried about that.

    However...with that said, he's the pro. Since I quit my job I haven't felt near as feminine much at all. Still a little bit, but it's not as much. I think part of that is...I do believe it was a defense mechanism in a way. Or at least a defense mechanism amplified my already confusing gender identity issues. I think I mentioned in this thread back in the summer, but in June I was falsely accused by a former resident at my job of raping her during an overnight. I never worked over nights, and I didn't even talk to this girl when she was at my facility. It got cleared up after three weeks and I was back at work. Accusations in that setting are common because of the trauma the kids have coming in. However, an accusation like that...it has a lasting impact on me. I think part of me wanted to go over the top to appear "less manly". If I dressed like a girl, maybe a kid wouldn't see me as much of a man and therefore not see me as a target to make a false accusation up at.

    Now that I'm gone, maybe I don't have to put up that front as much?

    I still don't know though because it's only a matter of time before I swing back the other direction. But either way it's a relief I won't be in that vulnerable position any longer.

  2. #782
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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Amazing of you to share all that Sulley.

    Doing what is best for you is the right thing. Do as you feel comfortable.

    We all know that gender acceptance issues are still huge in society so hearing you had a group that supported you, especially in your line of work is amazing.

    Continue doing you and continue doing what makes you comfortable and you'll find the you, you want if that makes sense.

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    So glad you have posted this! You should embrace however you feel at any given moment and do what makes you happy. Being your authentic self is so important. It’s hard though, believe me I know. There’s so much abuse and comments that can have an impact even in accepting areas. Thanks for sharing! X
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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Love and respect Sulley, glad you feel comfortable talking about yourself here. We're all ready to listen if you need us.

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    I don't have much to say, just venting, I guess. My mental health has been in the shitter for the last several days. Got a lot going on, and I guess it's getting to me. I have some good moments, but for the most part, I'm struggling to even get out of bed most mornings. Ah well, just have to hope it passes soon.

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Sometimes the key to survival is just getting up in the morning and forcing yourself to brush your teeth when you really just want to roll over and tap out.

    Frustration, annoyance, anxiety, depression....pick your poison. Most of them force you into places where you'd rather NOT do anything. Your off days become day long naps if no one is around to make you do more. Meals can be skipped. Showers and taking care of yourself can become unimportant because "you aren't going anywhere".

    Find ways to get up and get busy anyway. Spend an hour taking a shower, shaving and taking care of yourself on a Saturday. Make yourself work on a hobby you've been putting off. Make a phone call. Complete on of those nagging projects you need to make your place look nicer.

    Whatever you do....do something. The mind will take you on a ride if you don't keep it busy during your weak moments and days.

    I hope this is helpful, Tommy. If it isn't, just know that you are not alone in this.



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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Thanks, White Ryno! Sorry I'm just seeing and responding to this. To be honest, I haven't even much cared to be online to do anything but work lately. Things aren't necessarily "better," but I am to the point where I'm at least functioning. I'm gonna take the slow progress.

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    I've got a career path conflict I'm working through and I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons.

    I basically have two job options right now. Keep this in mind...I am halfway through my special education masters degree. On August 31st, I start my student teaching where I have to be in the classroom every day until December 14th. Also, I've had serious reservations about becoming a teacher. I don't know now if it's what I want to do anymore, and I've yet again he drawn to casework.

    So here are my options.

    1. I have an offer to work as a Foster care case manager. I'd be working directly with foster Families, checking on kids and making sure they're safe, advocating for their rights, going to court hearings, etc. It's a full time gig, and it'll be a lot of driving. Maybe driving 40-60 minutes to visit them at their homes. And also a lot of paperwork. But, foster care has always been a passion of mine. It's not secret my number one goal in life is to foster and adopt a kid. This job would give me insight for that, and it'd make me as a prospective adopting parent look better. The con? I don't know for sure if I'll be able to keep doing this job come August 31st. I might be able to schedule my visits around my student teaching, but it'd be very hard.

    My other option? I can work as a substitute teacher. Basically on call and filling in for local school districts. It'd be less driving, and a bit more "at my own pace". On top of that, it'd give me inside the classroom experience, and it'd allow me to network within school districts. It'd also give me one last chance (along with my student teaching) to see if teaching IS right for me. Cons to this? First of all there's no guarantee I'd get work every day. Which, I'd be okay even if it's 3 days a week. I worked just 3 days a week for the last two years while I've been in grad school and I'm okay with that. But also? Right now there's like SO many substitute openings each day. With the teacher exodus, it's like wide open. So I probably can work every day if I want to. BUT, come summer time... I'll be out of luck. And come the fall, I definitely won't be able to substitute while I'm student teaching. So I'd need to figure out something for then or just have money saved up. Like I said, I might have that same issue with the fall with both options. But still, July and August of no work will hurt too. I could always do doordash in those times too.

    I'm feeling drawn to the foster Care job. But I also know it's going to be a lot of work. Part of me wants to do the substitute job just because it'll be easier, and it won't be a hard commitment like this other job is. But at the same time, the foster care job is more secure. The sub job will help give me more insight into if I want to be a teacher and allow me to network that field, but the case manager job will hopefully scratch the itch if me wanting to work in that field and give me some real clarity on if I'd rather do that than teach.

    I'm struggling at the moment with it. I'm not sure which is the better option. I haven't actually been to the foster care job office yet. Part of me wants to postpone accepting the offer and asking for one last interview at the office. Get a tour of the place, and a feel for the commute. I also sort of want to be upfront about my student teaching. I haven't yet broken that news. Is that something I should tell them?

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    I think rather than worrying about breaking the news to a potential long-term employer, I'd focus more on deciding what you'd like today.

    Substitute teaching isn't a lot of money (at least not enough to love on). Having been a teacher for a year, its more a side job. All of my subs had either : 1) A spouse that paid most of the bills 2) Just starting out and working two jobs or 3) a retired teacher picking up side money. It will give you a feel for the classroom, but it can be rough. Kids can be brutal especially to subs. With your Case worker background, I don't think that would be a problem, but the pay around maybe 50-120 a day? Its not much.

    I understand your stress with the case worker job. If you feel drawn to it.... maybe think on it. If you are not ready for a long term choice, why not pick a job like retail or waiting tables and sub on the side. That too would be a lot of work, but both of those jobs have really flexible hours.

    Or maybe just punt... Take a year. Work the best job you can find, make as much money as you can and then make a more thought out choice? I started over at 31 and joined the military. Its never to late. I kept feeling like I was on a clock, but now I make a good living and I'm glad I didn't rush into something I felt forced to pick.


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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    I guess with that sitution you go with what feels best Sulley. WR has a point about giving one a year too. I kind of fell into my current role after just applying skills I already had and it's been the best working decision i've made. I have a more flexible working pattern now whist i'm still keeping an eye on people haha!

    Mentally i'm shattered atm, can't shake it off either.
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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    I'm sorry you're feeling that way, Baldrick.

    Those drops are tough to live through, but just remember that its cyclical. Bad days eventually give way to good days.


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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by White Rhyno View Post
    I think rather than worrying about breaking the news to a potential long-term employer, I'd focus more on deciding what you'd like today.

    Substitute teaching isn't a lot of money (at least not enough to love on). Having been a teacher for a year, its more a side job. All of my subs had either : 1) A spouse that paid most of the bills 2) Just starting out and working two jobs or 3) a retired teacher picking up side money. It will give you a feel for the classroom, but it can be rough. Kids can be brutal especially to subs. With your Case worker background, I don't think that would be a problem, but the pay around maybe 50-120 a day? Its not much.

    I understand your stress with the case worker job. If you feel drawn to it.... maybe think on it. If you are not ready for a long term choice, why not pick a job like retail or waiting tables and sub on the side. That too would be a lot of work, but both of those jobs have really flexible hours.

    Or maybe just punt... Take a year. Work the best job you can find, make as much money as you can and then make a more thought out choice? I started over at 31 and joined the military. Its never to late. I kept feeling like I was on a clock, but now I make a good living and I'm glad I didn't rush into something I felt forced to pick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    I guess with that sitution you go with what feels best Sulley. WR has a point about giving one a year too. I kind of fell into my current role after just applying skills I already had and it's been the best working decision i've made. I have a more flexible working pattern now whist i'm still keeping an eye on people haha!

    Mentally i'm shattered atm, can't shake it off either.
    Thanks guys. I actually ended up getting a phone call from an entirely different job that I applied to a few weeks ago, but for a different position that was opening. It's part time, and I'd basically be doing 1:1 treatment and services for kids in their home. And it's all local, so the driving would be way easier than the foster care job. If I go this route, I'd be able to do this job AND probably substitute teach as well. I think it's the best route for me. I have an interview for it Monday, so we'll see. As much as I'd love the foster care job, I just don't think it's fair for me to make a commitment like that to a full time role when I know it's not going to be forever. So like how WR said, I'm basically punting. Getting some solid part time roles that are perfectly on board with my schedule and plans for the rest of the year, and then I'll relook at things once I finish up my masters degree.

    I'm sorry Baldrick that you're not doing well at the moment. Like WR said, it's cyclical. I was feeling very similar just last week, honestly one of my biggest lows I've had in a good while. But I'm starting to crawl out of it now and seeing the light again.

    Frank Sinatra has a song that really hits home for me all the time, and it's called "That's Life". He says sometimes you're flying high in April, and get shot down in May. Which feels so true a lot of the time, where one month you're doing great, and then the next you're shot down and hit rock bottom. But then he says, he's gonna change that tune when he's back on top in June. Knowing that it's not going to last forever, and he'll be back to being on top in no time. I try to remind myself of those lyrics a lot.

    The light is around the corner, Baldy!

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    I think my depression has come back again. After some relief for a few weeks, it's sort of hit me again. To the point where I don't want to be around anyone at all. It's weird because I used to be a very social person, and now I feel like the opposite. I don't know if that's a permanent change or if it's just temporary.

    Best way I can describe what I'm feeling is like...an emotional migraine. Not a migraine in the sense that I have a headache or anything. But just an overwhelming feeling of emotions, stress, and depressiveness that makes me want to isolate.

    I can't even blame it on being unemployed anymore as I have a job now that I love. So I don't really know why I'm feeling what I'm feeling. Which probably makes it worse.

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    It’s been a rough couple of days for me and my fiancée. We got a phone call at work to say our youngest cat (3 yo) had been run over and passed away from the injuries. I know to some people pets are just pets, and to others they’re more than that. We fall into the latter category, our cats are our little family. I’ve never gone through grief like this before, I’m quite lucky to get to 33 and only experienced elderly relatives dying once they got ill and you knew it was coming and you can be at peace they aren’t in pain anymore, so the shock that first day was really surreal to deal with. That’s died down a bit now and I’ve accepted it, but I’m feeling a lot of emptiness when we’re at home and things aren’t what they used to be like. She was the noise maker in the house so it’s very quiet atm.

    We still have our eldest cat, so he’s being spoilt rotten atm. We’re throwing ourselves into wedding planning now to try and focus on something positive and saw a venue we really liked last night. But yeah, it’s been a shitty week.
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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    I'm really sorry to hear that Ed. It's the worst feeling in the world. Pets are definitely more than just pets, especially I find when you're our age and don't have kids yet. Losing our family dog was the worst feeling I've ever felt, so I can sympathise completely. Especially for such a young pet, that's heartbreaking to hear.

    It definitely will get easier over time, despite the hurt right now. Just know that to her, you were her entire world and she would have loved you and your fiance dearly.

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    It’s been a rough couple of days for me and my fiancée. We got a phone call at work to say our youngest cat (3 yo) had been run over and passed away from the injuries. I know to some people pets are just pets, and to others they’re more than that. We fall into the latter category, our cats are our little family. I’ve never gone through grief like this before, I’m quite lucky to get to 33 and only experienced elderly relatives dying once they got ill and you knew it was coming and you can be at peace they aren’t in pain anymore, so the shock that first day was really surreal to deal with. That’s died down a bit now and I’ve accepted it, but I’m feeling a lot of emptiness when we’re at home and things aren’t what they used to be like. She was the noise maker in the house so it’s very quiet atm.

    We still have our eldest cat, so he’s being spoilt rotten atm. We’re throwing ourselves into wedding planning now to try and focus on something positive and saw a venue we really liked last night. But yeah, it’s been a shitty week.
    Hey Ed, I'm really sorry to hear about your cat. I can sympathize with you on a deep level. I've had an almost identical experience with losing my cat Mochi (which is where my username originates) when I was about 13 years old (I'm 25 now for reference). It has left a trauma and emptiness that, despite years passing, won't ever go away. Humans love animals, and animals love us. It's a very special relationship and bond that's built over time. Growing up, my family was very dysfunctional at times. Quite often we would have a hard time showing love and being loved in general. Whether we were stressed, angry or just simply tired -- like most humans we took it out on each other. But that love that was left in our hearts at the end of the day, we showed it to our pet. In a lot of ways Mochi held us together -- not just as individuals, but as a family. We treated our pet better than we treated each other at times. But what always remained the same was our common love for our loveable furry friend. It's not as nuanced or complicated as a human/human relationship, but it's loyal and pure we love them because it's so easy to love them. And when that goes away, it hurts. Here's a few things that I learned and things that helped me within the first few weeks and years later after losing my friend. Take from it what you will considering everyone grieves differently, of course:

    - Your emotions are valid. You're absolutely right. To some people animals are just that. Animals. But to others like you and me, they're more than that. Never fall into the mentality early on like I did asking myself: "it's just a pet, why am I even getting so upset?". I was trying to bury my emotions and the pain associated with it. I was scared and haven't ever experienced that kind of hurt up until then in my life. However, your emotions are valid. You're getting upset in a way that honors how much your pet meant for you in your life. Accept it and let yourself grieve properly. By doing that, you'll soon start to realize that people around you understand and can relate to this loss a lot better than you'd think.

    - Do not rush or try to bury your emotions. Share them. I mentioned it above briefly but it's really important. Embrace the memories and don't bury anything. I think you're doing a great job already, by sharing here on this forum and getting that pain that's inside of you, out. It doesn't matter where and how you do it. Whether you choose to share pictures somewhere, or let your emotions out like you're doing here. It's a great first step. By sharing photos and memories with my family, we were surprised that some of our memories were universal while others were unique to each individual person. You can either let the memories consume and haunt you, or you can embrace the memories and associate them with happier times you once had. I suggest doing the latter, as it's a safe long-term strategy that will really help you heal over time.

    - Trust that eventually it gets easier. The common thing I found myself thinking is "What am I going to do without my pet?". Getting used to your daily routine without them is quite possibly the hardest thing you'll have to do. You already mentioned the emptiness you felt as she was the noise maker in the house and that it's very quiet right now. My only advice with this is that it does eventually get a little easier. You'll have to trust that. The common saying is that time heals all wounds. While this may be true to an extent, I'm a firm believer that grief never ends. I mean, I'm 25 and losing my cat happened 10+ years ago and I find myself still grieving. Grief never ends, it just changes over time. You start to adjust and learn to live with it and rebuild the shattered pieces around you until you're eventually whole again.

    To this day the small things always stir up a deep well of sadness inside of me. Whether it's knowing they won't greet you when you come home anymore, or the house being just a little quieter now. The last thing I have to say is, try to find some comfort knowing that you got the opportunity to share this amazing life together. The real tragedy would have been to miss that opportunity altogether. Pets are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. At the end of the day you got to share that with your pet, and with time you'll begin to adjust and enjoy the many happier parts of life like your wedding for example (congratulations btw)! Continue to spoil your other cat, and focus on the positives and things that are in your control and best of luck to you with your wedding planning!

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Damn Ed, im super sorry to hear that news. sending positive vibes to you and your fiancee.
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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Hemmlock View Post
    I think my depression has come back again. After some relief for a few weeks, it's sort of hit me again. To the point where I don't want to be around anyone at all. It's weird because I used to be a very social person, and now I feel like the opposite. I don't know if that's a permanent change or if it's just temporary.

    Best way I can describe what I'm feeling is like...an emotional migraine. Not a migraine in the sense that I have a headache or anything. But just an overwhelming feeling of emotions, stress, and depressiveness that makes me want to isolate.

    I can't even blame it on being unemployed anymore as I have a job now that I love. So I don't really know why I'm feeling what I'm feeling. Which probably makes it worse.
    I can relate to this a lot. My depression has come back in full swing as well.

    I haven’t been taking care of myself at all. Going to work, wearing the proverbial happy mask, abusing alcohol, not eating-drinking-or sleeping right. It’s all catching up to me.

    I’ve avoided anti depressants for years cause of excuses like side effects and bad experiences. But I think I might need to try something new. I’m so close to quitting my job and just giving up. I don’t feel like being around anyone or doing anything and I can’t shake it. The thoughts of self harm and suicide are getting harder to suppress and ignore.

    You nailed it with the emotional migraine that won’t go away. You’re not alone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    It’s been a rough couple of days for me and my fiancée. We got a phone call at work to say our youngest cat (3 yo) had been run over and passed away from the injuries.
    I know what that’s like. I had 2 cats years ago, and I still miss them every day. I’m sorry for your loss.

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Well it's been brewing for a while but today the mental health has blown and read it's head fully. Hopefully all will be good in a few days

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    Re: Mental Health Discussion

    Take care Baldy, hopefully you feel better in a few days.

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