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Linda D.
Linda D., Psychotherapist, LMSW, CASAC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 710
Experience:  LMSW, CASAC
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I'm having a difficult time today. Trying to remain positive

Customer Question

I'm having a difficult time today. Trying to remain positive and be grateful for what I have. Still, after so many years of being alone, I'm not sure I have the mental strength to maintain my sanity. My family is becoming more supportive and have reached
out, offering to comfort me, listen and just vent. For this, I should be grateful, more optimistic and "happy". Or, at least feel better than I do. I have a friend. One friend. A previous helper who assisted with my disability needs. We speak occasionally
through email. I vented through her about the passing of my father, and she stood tall, supporting me and continues to reach out and actually share. She lives in New York and am in Chicago. Beyond that, I have few if any prospects, besides familiar relationships
I have with my personal attendants. Sometimes, I cry out in the loneliness. These relationships have gotten me through sometimes serious emotional setbacks. But, they are temporary. I feel alone. I'm in my house with my live-in helper. I should be grateful
for that. People don't have that luxury and are forced into assisted living or worse. Why can't I see what's good? The positive. Do I want 100 friends. No, but I want people who sincerely ***** ***** me, reach out to me, miss me and want me around. The scary
thing is, I don't feel things will change. I'm extremely anxious and fearful. My ability to get out to socialize and make friends is limited. I'm afraid of the future in so many ways. Where will I live? Do I have the financial resources to even survive? is
what I have now the best I can expect? I don't believe it's healthy to live through my personal assistants, as if their friends. They will one day leave. I'm in my room now staring at the computer. How do I move forward?? A help would be appreciated. Sorry
to unload. Hopefully I didn't overwhelm you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for sharing who you are and what you are going through. I hope just sharing this with me helped you a bit to not feel so alone. Believe it or not there was a time when I also experienced such profound isolation and confusion. I would like to share some of the things I have learned professionally and personally that can help. First, as much as possible we have to train this amazing machine we call our brain. It can often spin out of control with negativity and ego. I like to teach clients to put up a red stop sigh in their mind when they start to notice negative self talk. Feeling our sadness, anger, frustration and grief are all essential to being human, but negative thoughts take away our energy to move past our feelings. Putting positive messages around us actually has an impact on the brain. There is a saying. " that which we cast our eyes upon we become." It is powerful to surround ourselves with positive messages and images. Secondly, we must also try to forget about two days of the week. Only two. Yesterday and tomorrow. We really don't know what the future holds. I hear lots of fear and anxiety about tomorrow and that may be preventing you from seeing what you may be able to do today to increase the quality of your day. In graduate school I read a book by Ram Dass and he shared this statement. "all suffering is perception." That sentence profoundly affects the work I do with others. It speaks of hope that if we can change our perception of a situation, we may be able to change the outcomes. You sound like a passionate, insightful person who may really benefit from seeing a therapist or maybe be part of a group where you could not just get the support you need but possibly also help others through your experiences. You have gotten this far and I suspect you have skills and gifts you may not even realize. I hope this helped. This is the first time I have answered a question here. I'm not sure if I gave you enough info. Please forgive me if I was too wordy, you touched me with your honesty, which as a therapist I think is really healthy. Sincerely, Linda