Your Attitude About Aging Could Add 7.5 Years to Your Life

Your Attitude About Aging Could Add 7.5 Years to Your Life

One thing this article seems to be saying is that a problem you have in life is not your problem per se, but how you choose to view your problem – a perspective I’ve begun to appreciate in the last few years.

(Link): Your Attitude About Aging Could Add 7.5 Years to Your Life

April 23, 2022
By Haley Goldberg

When Yale professor Becca Levy began conducting her decades-long research on the psychology of aging, she would routinely ask people to think of five words to describe an older person. In the US, the most common answer was “memory loss.” In China, it was “wisdom.”

As her research would find, the answer to this question had major impact. Your answer could fundamentally change how you age — even adding 7.5 years to your life.

In the new book “Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long & Well You Live,” Levy draws on decades of research and interviews to show how positive age beliefs are key to enjoying our golden years — and maintaining our health.

“In study after study I conducted, I found that older people with more-positive perceptions of aging performed better physically and cognitively than those with more-negative perceptions,” Levy writes. “They were more likely to recover from severe disability, they remembered better, they walked faster, and they even lived longer.”

Continue reading “Your Attitude About Aging Could Add 7.5 Years to Your Life”

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

A link to this article, from a site and Twitter account called “Truth Over Tribe,” came through my Twitter feed today.

I don’t think I am following these guys; this was a suggestion by Twitter that appeared in my timeline. The “Truth Over Tribe” site says on their site that they are “too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.”

Okay… I’m somewhat in the same place. I’m a conservative who occasionally disagrees with other conservatives, but I sure don’t agree with many positions of progressives.

After having skimmed over some articles on this site – the site owner and author seems to be a Patrick Miller – he seems to lean left of center.

I can tell he’s left of center from some of the commentary and language he’s used – for one, in the article below, he puts his Intersectional Feminism (a left wing concept) on full display by talking about how “self care” was really started by black people, white women love it, and these days, only white woman can (financially) afford it. (Though I didn’t quote those portions of his article below, but they are over on his site.)

(Does Miller realize that left wing darling BLM (Black Lives Matter) is misleading people financially or that they spend more on transgenderism than on race related issues?)

At any rate, let’s get on to the article on this site that alarmed me, and I will provide a few excerpts, and then I will comment on them to explain why I feel this piece goes horribly wrong:

(Link):  Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness

Excerpts:

by Patrick Miller

“To be happy, you need to leave toxic people behind.” The preaching Peloton instructor continued, “I’m talking about people who take more than they give. People who don’t care about your dreams. People whose selfishness impedes your ability to do what you want to do.”

 Oh crap. She just described my two-year-old. I guess it’s time to cut him off.

This is the gospel of self-care. The notion that the most important person in my life is me, and anyone who impedes my happiness is an existential threat to my emotional and physical well-being. …

… What’s the Religion of Self Care?

Continue reading “An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful”

More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World 

More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World 

I did a blog post about this about three weeks ago:
((Link): When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship).

I had more I wanted to say about this.

This guy’s blog post – Joseph Burgo’s post – about “The Toilet Function of Friendship” that I blogged about previously really hit home with me…

 especially since I am a recovered codependent who, over 35+ years during the time I was codependent (and used to have clinical depression and had low self esteem), kept attracting abusive, mean, nasty, self absorbed, pessimistic, depressed, emotionally needy and psychologically wounded or personality disordered people to me,

…and the comments left by people at the bottom of his post were also very eye opening or informative.

I wanted to discuss a few comments visitors left to his post, above all, a post by someone calling herself “Rachel,” and a comment by “Fletcher.”

I’ll probably save Fletcher’s and Rachel’s comments for last.

I notice a lot of the people who left comments below the post on Burgo’s blog say that they have been on the receiving end of this situation, where they attract negative or hurting friends who cope with life’s stress by “dumping” and venting about their problems to a sympathetic listener.

I too was in that position for many years, and it left me resentful, exhausted, and with nothing to show for it.

I’ve always been a very good, attentive listener.

I’m not the sort of person who attempts to pivot every conversation back on to herself, so… meaning…

If you’re my acquaintance or friend, and you stop by my cubicle during the work day or call me at home to confide in me about some problem you are having, I used to just sit there and let you talk for how ever many hours you wanted to rant and confide.

Even if I was wanting to get off the phone after 20 to 40 minutes, I was reluctant to end the phone call, so I’d sit there while the emotionally needy friend or family member droned on and on and on (or ranted and ranted in anger) about whatever problems they were having.

(I used to never, or very rarely, put time limits on people when they would complain to me, which left me utterly exhausted.

In my codependent years, I felt guilty if I tried to end people’s “complain and gripe” fests prematurely (because I was getting physically tired listening, or they were interrupting my work or whatever the reason), and I was afraid they’d break off friendship with me if I refused to allow them to use me as their “emotional toilet” or “free therapist.”

Only in the last few years, as I reflect upon my past, do I realize HOW UNFAIR this was to me.)

My habit was to just sit and listen thoughtfully, to nod my head in sympathy as you would rattle off your life’s stress to me, whether it was about your lazy, selfish boyfriend, or your ex-husband who wouldn’t pay child support, or your jerk boss making your work life awful – whatever it was.

And when I would finally speak up, after listening to you vent, I would only make empathetic, non-judgmental comments.

Back in my codependent, people pleasing days, I would tell you I was sorry you were under so much stress, and I hoped your situation would improve. I would validate your feelings, validate your situation, so you would feel heard and understood.

I rarely, oh so rarely, would give people who talked to me to complain to me, advice, judgement, criticism, or platitudes.

All of those relationship habits and qualities of mine that I had for many years made me very, very attractive to needy, angry, depressed, narcissistic, pessimistic, or unhappy people.

I now know better.

I think it does take a lot of life experience to get here, to be able to look at my past, to see where my Mom and church were in error to teach me as they did, (with their teachings being largely responsible for turning me into an attractive target for hurting, angry, or emotionally needy people), to see clearly the patterns of behavior.

Most of the people who used me to get their emotional needs met (but who seldom met mine in return) had very deep psychological problems or maladaptive coping skills.

Some had clinical depression (which I also had myself for over 30+ years), some may have been Covert Narcissists, some choose to cope with pain, disappointment, or anger in life by complaining to someone else – and I was often that “someone else.”

Some of these people have deeply entrenched psychological issues, and there is no amount of me listening to them and consoling them that is going to heal them. That concept took me much later in life to figure out, and that point was confirmed in various articles or books I read by psychologists and psychiatrists in the last few years.

These types of people really need to see a psychologist or licensed therapist over a period of weeks or months to work on their inner problems and relational styles that lead them to cope with their frustration or anger in life by constantly “dumping” them verbally on to a trusted friend for months or years.

If you are a people pleaser, an empath, or a codependent (whatever label you use for yourself), you need to accept that you will not get your needs met by ignoring your own and running around meeting other people’s needs, if that is one of your secret motivations for why you help others or act as their “emotional toilet” or “free therapist.”

(Some codependents think it’s not acceptable for them to get their needs met; they got the message from their family or church while they were growing up that it’s supposedly “selfish” for one to get one’s own needs met.

And no, it is not selfish to get one’s own needs met, or to expect people who say they are your friends to sometimes meet your needs in return. It’s part of a normal, healthy childhood or adulthood to get one’s needs met.)

If you’re a people pleaser, a codependent, you will have to be more intentional about when, to whom, under what circumstances, and for how long you will show someone else care, compassion, concern, or give them financial assistance.

Because if you do not learn to get comfortable with putting limits on your time, compassion, finances, and energy, you will be exploited and taken advantage of by many people who never (or rarely) meet your needs in return. All these people over decades will drain you dry and leave you exhausted.

I do think there are some times in life where it’s appropriate to grant people more emotional support than usual and not expect much in return.

But such occasions should be exceptions, such as, if your friend is in the grieving process over the death of a loved one, in such occasions, it may be acceptable to allow them to complain to you for hours over two to four years as they process the loss.

But if you have a friend who more or less contacts you regularly to complain a lot about every issue (and I mean the non-exceptions – just to rant about how they hate their job, their boyfriend is inconsiderate – your more tedious, normal life situations that are not as stressful, as say, a death in the family) – or maybe the same two or three (trivial, mundane) issues repeatedly – you really need to put limits on that person.

Most people who do this venting are only using you to get their emotional needs met, and they will NOT return the same non-judgmental emotional support to you that you granted them for weeks or years.

SAMPLE COMMENTS

From the (Link): Burgo blog post, some comments left by some of his blog visitors:

Tracey

by Tracey
Dec 10, 2020

Wow! What a powerful article and one I, too needed to hear and to equally recognize both sides.

I have ‘friends’ who dump on me that I should un-friend, but I have been loathe to do so for myriad reasons.

Continue reading “More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World “

Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You Special by Freddie Deboer

Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You Special by Freddie Deboer

Before I get to the link and excerpts to the essay by Deboer, which are below, I wanted to say this:

I had clinical depression for around 35 or more years (I was diagnosed by one psychiatrist, and it was verified by more psychiatrists as I got older and moved from state to state), I still have an anxiety disorder, and I used to have social anxiety disorder, so I know what it’s like to deal with mental health issues. I had to deal with these issues largely all by myself for years.

I also know that most people who’ve never had depression, anxiety, or any other type of emotional or mental health conditions are clueless about it, and they tend to be insensitive about it, or make insensitive comments and suggestions.

But in the last few years, I have seen people – usually people in their teens or 20s, and some of the adult, far left mental health professionals – almost act as though having depression (or whatever mental health condition) makes them unique little snowflakes and deserving of lots of attention and pity.

This attitude and behavior makes me want to barf.

I used to have a friend named Mary (not her real name) who I met online (who I now suspect is borderline – borderline personality disorder), and while I briefly mentioned to her early a time or two in in our friendship that I had depression for years, I never made a big fuss out of it, nor did I tell her for years that I also had suicidal ideation.

(I mentioned having depression to her a time or two after Mary began sharing with me that she had mental health issues.)

It was not something I was proud of.

I spent years researching depression and how to get rid of it. I also read up on tips on how to get rid of anxiety. I did not like having either condition. I did not use either as pity ploys or to get attention from others.

But this suspected BPD friend of mine, Mary – who was a drama queen – often would come on to our forum where we participated to complain about how life was so unfair, and she was going to kill herself.

I took her suicide threats seriously for many years – until around the 6th or 7th year of this. It was then that my intuition was telling me she was using such threats as attention-getters, as pity ploys.

It became a predictable pattern with her: about once every 8 to 9 months, she’d storm on to the forum complaining about how life was so terribly unfair, and how she was going to go kill herself.

So after several years of this, I stopped addressing Mary’s posts where she threatened suicide. Once I stopped doing that, she would come to the forum later, behave sheepishly, and admit she was being a drama queen and just wanted attention.

I do see more and more people in the past few years wearing their mental health problems like some kind of strange badge of honor.

They feel that having a mental health problem makes them “special,” “unique,” and they want attention and sympathy for it – this is never how I approached having anxiety and depression, so I find this very foreign, weird, and off-putting.

Unlike today’s mental health sufferers, I didn’t get a sense of identity or purpose from having depression or anxiety, either, nor did I want to, because that is not a healthy thing to do.

I also didn’t go around frequently, loudly, broadcasting all the time that I had depression and anxiety. When I did discuss it (online), it was under a pseudonym.

I have grown to dislike the word “neuro-divergent” that these people who act like fragile, attention-seeking snowflakes have developed. One can no longer just say that she “has depression” but one now is expected to say that she is “neuro divergent” or “not neuro typical.” It is to barf.

I’ve met people over my life, whether they have clinical depression, a personality disorder – whatever it may be – and some of them absolutely use their mental health problems (which may be accompanied by a personality disorder) to as a way to get attention and compassion from others.

It’s almost as though they don’t really want to be healed, be cured, and move on – no, they take a perverse sense of comfort in having whatever mental health problem, and they may even use it as an excuse about why they supposedly cannot get up and move on in life.

I’ve written posts on this topic before, so I won’t go into detail here, but during the years I had clinical depression and was very codependent (a people pleaser and a good listener),
I kept attracting other clinically depressed (or other types of troubled) people to me, and while I was there for these people, offering them months to years of emotional support, most of them offered me little to none in return. I’ve since learned to detach from such troubled people, which I’ve written of before in other posts.

(Link): Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You Special

Excerpts:

Why do neurodiversity activists claim suffering is beautiful?
BY FREDDIE DEBOER
April 29, 2022

Marianne Eloise wants the world to know that she does not “have a regular brain at all”. That’s her declaration, on the very first page of her new memoir, Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking.

The book catalogues her experience of a dizzying variety of psychiatric conditions: OCD, anxiety, autism, ADHD, alcohol abuse, seasonal affective disorder, an eating disorder, night terrors, depression.

By her own telling, Eloise has suffered a great deal from these ailments; I believe her, and wish better for her.

But she would prefer we not think of them as ailments at all. And that combination of self-pity and self-aggrandisement is emblematic of our contemporary understanding of mental health.

Continue reading “Mental Illness Doesn’t Make You Special by Freddie Deboer”

Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher

Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher

(Link): A relationship expert reveals the best ways to get over someone

Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and author of “Anatomy of Love,” says heartbreak has physiological effects on our minds and bodies. There’s a scientific reason it hurts so much.

(Link): Why Breaking Up is So Hard, and How to Cope

Excerpts:

by Kelsey Chun
Feb 2020

There’s science behind a broken heart—but recovery is possible

…  Research has shown why our biology makes breaking up so hard for us, but thankfully it has also provided some helpful tips on what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

… one can better understand the unfortunate aftermath if a romantic relationship should end; it’s something akin to a drug withdrawal. Dr. Fisher and her colleague Lucy Brown also did research on people’s brains after they had just been broken up with, and their findings are in line with Dr. Fisher’s previous research.

While looking at images of their exes during MRIs, three brain regions light up in these heartbroken people: the first is the same brain region that lights up when someone is in love.

Dr. Fisher explains the meaning of this in her TED talk [(Link): The Brain In Love], “When you’ve been dumped, the one thing you want to do is forget about this human being and then go on with your life, but no, you just love them harder.” That brain system is the reward system, and it only becomes more active when you can’t get what you want—a loving partner.

[Self Care Tips After a Break Up]

…While manicures and shopping sprees are certainly nice, real self-care is about taking care of your own emotions, which often looks like being kinder rather than harsher with yourself, letting yourself cry, or saying “no” to activities that might overwhelm you more easily.

On the other hand, self-care might also include doing more, such as getting involved in more activities, hobbies, or projects.

Continue reading “Studies on Falling Out of Love and Breaking Up and How to Recover From a Break Up – Research by Dr. Helen Fisher”

Woman Who Lost Leg to Rare Cancer on Track to Complete 102 Marathons in 102 Days

Woman Who Lost Leg to Rare Cancer on Track to Complete 102 Marathons in 102 Days

You’ll notice that rather than sit around indefinitely feeling sorry for herself, sliding into resentment, bitterness, spending every day griping, complaining about her situation, or blaming God (or whatever circumstance outside of herself) for her ordeal, or rather than trying to get attention via wanting others to endlessly pity her, she eventually decided to go on and live life – she enjoys running now.

Every one has bad things happen to them in life, and when those bad things happen, we do need to permit ourselves some time to grieve and feel anger about those things, but at some point, whether you sit in self pity and hold a victim mentality, or go forward to enjoy life in spite of that bad thing that happened, is a choice you make.

And nobody can force you into it.

(Link): Woman Who Lost Leg to Rare Cancer on Track to Complete 102 Marathons in 102 Days

April 15, 2022
by AP

BOSTON — Jacky Hunt-Broersma runs like a woman possessed. And in a way, she is: The amputee athlete is trying to run at least 102 marathons in 102 days.

Last month, a little more than two-thirds toward her goal of setting a new world record for back-to-back marathons, the South Africa native posted something on Twitter that got people talking.

“The first thing I did after my run today was take off my leg. Felt so good,” she tweeted. “Marathon 69 done. 31 marathons to go.”

…All on a carbon-fiber blade that’s been her left leg ever since she lost the real thing below the knee to a rare cancer.

“You make peace with pain,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think my pain threshold is probably quite high at the moment. It’s one step at a time.”

Continue reading “Woman Who Lost Leg to Rare Cancer on Track to Complete 102 Marathons in 102 Days”

Positive Thinking May Improve Your Emotional Health, Study Finds 

Positive Thinking May Improve Your Emotional Health, Study Finds 

(Link): Positive Thinking May Improve Your Emotional Health, Study Finds 

March 8, 2022
By Julia Musto

Being optimistic may help to improve a person’s emotional well-being, according to researchers.

A study from the Boston University School of Medicine published Monday in the Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences followed 233 older men from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study over an eight-year period.

The participants first completed an optimism questionnaire and reported daily stressors and positive and negative moods on eight consecutive evenings up to three times over an eight-year span from 2002 to 2010.

Continue reading “Positive Thinking May Improve Your Emotional Health, Study Finds “

Are You Stuck in the “I’ll Feel Better When” Cycle? by Diana Hill, phD

Are You Stuck in the “I’ll Feel Better When” Cycle? by Diana Hill, phD

This article (below) makes a lot of sense. I sort of stumbled on to this sort of thinking on my own in the last few years.

It helps to be content in the present, and to live in the present, too.

If you sit around with the attitude that you cannot be happy unless or until “X” happens in your life, well, if “X” never comes to pass, you’re condemning yourself to a life time of misery.

If you worry too much about the future or sit around feeling sad about things from the past, you’re never going to be happy. I’d rather enjoy each day, rather than worry or fret about the past or the future.

I don’t want to arrive at the future, look back with regret, and see how much time I wasted each and every day ruminating on past disappointments, or that “X” never happened for me.

Of course, I still fail at this at times, but as I’m getting older, I’m getting a little better at living in the present – not worrying all the time about the future or feeling sad or angry about the past.

If you’re someone with depression, or a tendency to have a pessimistic personality or attitude, if you want to guarantee you’ll never move that depression or sour attitude even an inch and actually ever enjoy life, then, by all means, continue to fixate on what you don’t have in life, or feel like you were owed and never got – that will keep most people trapped in a bad attitude, or depression, rather than enjoying life.

(Link): Are You Stuck in the “I’ll Feel Better When” Cycle? by Diana Hill, phD

Excerpts:

October 2021

KEY POINTS

    • When it comes to big aspirations, it’s beneficial to reflect on the good within more minor accomplishments along the way.
    • Often people’s “feel better when” comes from their mind’s capacity to imagine what will happen in the future.
    • Know when good enough is good enough. Try not to waste energy on maximizing things that don’t matter.

      We are often caught in the trap of believing that we’ll feel better at some point in the future when life circumstances change. Clients will frequently tell me (and I’ve told myself):

“I’ll feel better when…”:

I’m done with school
I find my life’s partner
I have a baby
I’m less anxious
I lose weight
This work project is done
The pandemic is over

But what happens when that future never arrives, or if it does, you’ve already moved on to the next “I’ll feel better when?”

Continue reading “Are You Stuck in the “I’ll Feel Better When” Cycle? by Diana Hill, phD”

Emma the Ex Friend, Part 2 (I Won’t Play the Codependent or Rescuer Anymore)

Emma the Ex Friend, Part 2 (I Won’t Play the Codependent or Rescuer Anymore – Some Life Lessons Learned)

January 27, 2022

All names have been changed below.
I have also omitted or changed identifying details as much as possible so as to keep people’s identities anonymous.


Point 1 (Intro)

This post will stand to correct some of the false comments made to or about me by the crackpot, who calls herself “Donna Hazel,” (🤡) that visited this blog about two months ago, who has no understanding of what transpired between myself and my ex friend “Emma” (not her real name) over a several year period
((Link): Re the Crackpot Part 1 and (Link): Re the Crackpot Part 2),
and also to correct some of what Emma told me – some of which I briefly covered in this previous post, (Link): “Emma Responds

Emma did not want “emotional support” from me, though she framed it that way to me. As time went by, it became apparent to me that she was seeking pity and validation for her victim mentality.

“Emotional support” is not the same thing as pity. Enabling someone in their victimhood mentality is not healthy for that person.

I cannot save someone who does not want to be saved, nor is it my job to save someone else; each person has to take action to get help for himself or herself.

This lady approached me for friendship after she found my blog and my social media; I did not approach her.

This “Emma” person didn’t want a normal or healthy friendship, but rather, a relationship based on bonding over negativity, and further, one has to support her in her belief that she is a helpless victim in life. If you’re not willing to do that, she has no use for you.

The relationship I had with her felt transactional in nature at times – so long as I supported her self pity and agreed with her in some fashion that she’s a helpless victim and that life is always terrible…..
She was fine with things, and she found me useful – but once I began gently asking her to take more responsibility in her life, or ask her to consider if maybe doing so would help (something I did for myself, which helped me quite a bit), she quickly became angry and wanted me to defriend her on social media.

That is not normal behavior, nor the behavior of someone who wanted to have a normal friendship. She didn’t value me for me, but rather, what I had previously been doing for her – which was, feeling sorry for her. She was looking to have her negative and self pitying attitude validated by me – that was my value and my role.

Preface.

Years ago, when I was still very codependent (because my mother raised me to be codependent), I had a boss at a full time job who was a bully, and this woman boss, Lilly (not her real name), used to make my work life hell.

For the first year to year and a half of Lilly’s workplace abuse of me, I did not defend myself from her abuse in any way.

I did not so much as even politely verbally hold Lilly the boss accountable for her abuse of me, because I was raised by my mother and the evangelical, Southern Baptist culture I was raised in, never to be assertive.

Speaking up and having boundaries was considered by my mother, and the faith I was raised in, to be inappropriate, unloving, unfeminine, and selfish.

I also had extreme anxiety about confrontations for years.  I usually would not stand up to bullies because I was afraid of retaliation from them.

So I endured my supervisor’s workplace harassment for about a year, or a bit over a year, in silence. No push-back from me.

In the second year of the workplace abuse, when my anger finally out-weighed my fear of the boss, fear of confrontation, and whatever codependent brainwashing from my mother and the Christian faith, I began standing up to Lilly the abusive boss.

I was never mean-spirited, cruel, or unprofessional when confronting Lilly, but I did begin firmly yet politely pushing back and letting Lilly the abusive boss know I did not approve of her mistreatment of me.

Lilly did not like me finally standing up for myself, and she began depicting me as though I were the problematic one.

Lilly began acting as though I was in the wrong and she was the innocent victim – all because I merely finally began practicing normal, healthy boundaries with her, rather than sitting there quietly and enduring her bullying behavior towards me.

Once I began standing up to her, Lilly began speaking about me in front of others in the office as though I were a “trouble maker” who “has problems with authority figures.”

The truth is, I stopped being a doormat with Lilly – I had not become a “trouble maker” or a “problem employee” and so on, but she deceitfully began spinning my new-found boundaries and courage to confront her as me being a bad worker or a bad person.

I found myself in the same situation as that one a couple of months ago, when I did a blog post about how clinically depressed people can make decisions for themselves, and they can make choices.

I mentioned ex-friend “Emma” (not her real name) as one example of that situation in that post.

I was then torn apart by a visitor to this blog calling herself “Donna Hazel” (🤡) in the comments under that blog post (and in other replies that I did not allow to be published to this blog),
where Donna Hazel acted as though Emma is a poor, innocent, widdle lamb of a victim, and I was the villain and the “great big meanie” who was just being so heartless to Emma, and I was taking advantage of poor, poor, put-upon Emma.

Not only was that all untrue and a very weird mischaracterization of the post I had written, but the actual situation was flipped around.
(I will explain what I mean by that as this post progresses.)

Continue reading “Emma the Ex Friend, Part 2 (I Won’t Play the Codependent or Rescuer Anymore)”

Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

(Link): Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

Excerpts:

The most satisfying lives are those which involve challenge, fear and struggle, says psychologist Paul Bloom

Jan 23, 2022
by Paul Bloom

The simplest theory of human nature is hedonism– – we pursue pleasure and comfort. Suffering and pain are, by their very nature, to be avoided. The spirit of this view is nicely captured in The Epic of Gilgamesh:
“Let your belly be full, enjoy yourself always by day and by night! Make merry each day, dance and play day and night… For such is the destiny of men.”

And also by the Canadian rock band Trooper: “We’re here for a good time / Not a long time / So have a good time / The sun can’t shine every day.”

…But I think hedonism is an awful theory. My latest book, The Sweet Spot: Suffering, Pleasure, and the Key to a Good Life, makes the case for a different theory of what people want.

I argue that we don’t only seek pleasure, we also want to live meaningful lives– – and this involves willingly experiencing pain, anxiety, and struggle. We see value in chosen suffering.

Continue reading “Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor”

Chronic Pain and the Self Pity, Depression Trap

Chronic Pain and the Self Pity, Depression Trap

If you are someone who is currently in the grieving process because someone you love died within the last five years, some of the tips below by Dr. Trunzo (article: “The Best Life Possible”) about acceptance in regards to chronic health conditions may be useful to you as well in regards to your grief, so please scroll down to read that.


Don’t forget to see my two previous posts about Covert Narcissism, as those posts explain that sometimes, people with Covert Narcissism will either exaggerate or lie about physical or mental health illness to garner sympathy and attention from others, and they often have a “victim mentality.”

In particular, in (Link): this post about Covert Narcissism, scroll down to find the section entitled “The Psychosomatic.” (That section is located about half-way down that page.)

You’ll notice that a lot of the tips and advice in the first article below, which was reviewed by a medical doctor, echo and repeat the same set of tips and advice I have given to (Link): people I’ve known before, people who insist these tips do not work (though some of it worked for me or for other people, in regards to clinical depression), or they dismiss this advice as being nothing but mere “platitudes” or “pep talks,”, or, (Link): some of these people dismiss this type of advice on other grounds.

Recap on my situation:
I was diagnosed with clinical depression by a psychiatrist at a young age, had it verified by three additional psychiatrists as I got into my 30s.
I lived with depression for over 35 years, and largely found my way out of it (on my own), and I can tell you that escaping depression involved doing some of the very things mentioned in the articles below.

Other than lower back pain I’ve dealt with since a teen, I’ve not had chronic physical pain.

Chronic Physical Pain & Mental Health

From my research into the topic of chronic pain and mental health, I’m finding articles by people (some doctors, some lay persons) who live with a chronic pain condition who do talk about the possible slide into self pity, how to avoid it, and how to manage any depression that results from, or accompanies, the pain.

So obviously, things can be done to change here – it’s not as though a person is doomed with no recourse if they live with a physical health problem to necessarily stay in a hopeless, despondent emotional or psychological state (this is also true for physically disabled persons who (Link): must use wheelchairs)

(Link):  The best life possible by Joseph Trunzo

Excerpts:

Living with chronic illness is hard. But there are psychological techniques that make it possible to thrive even when ill

‘Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.’
John Wooden (1910-2010), NCAA basketball coach

by Joseph Trunzo, professor of psychology at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and a clinical psychologist. He is the author of Living Beyond Lyme: Reclaim Your Life From Lyme Disease and Chronic Illness (2018).

—- — —-

Before Donna got her diagnosis, she thought of herself as a musician, a busy professional, a volunteer, a mother, a grandmother. After she got her diagnosis – Parkinson’s disease, at age 58 – she thought of herself as a patient.

The time she used to spend engaging in the things that gave her life meaning was eaten up by doctor’s appointments, diagnostic tests and constant monitoring of her symptoms, her energy, her reactions to medication. Her sense of loss was profound and undeniable.

Unfortunately, Donna’s experience is all too common. Heart disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, depression, cancer, asthma, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease: the list goes on.

I would guess that most people know someone close to them who is suffering from one of these debilitating chronic conditions, if not struggling with a diagnosis themselves.

However, as a clinical psychologist, I see many people trying to navigate the daily vagaries of chronic afflictions. I’ve worked with people who have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer, Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, Lyme disease, obesity, all manner of cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, brain injuries, paralysis and many other illnesses.

Naturally, I also see people on a regular basis who are dealing with chronic mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, bipolar disorder and so forth.

The causes of these conditions are varied and multifaceted. The underlying factor for all of them, however, is that, in the absence of a cure, people want to live the best life they possibly can, regardless of their affliction or disability.

While each person and each condition presents its own set of challenges, there are some unifying principles in helping people who are suffering from chronic illnesses to live better, more meaningful lives.

In my practice, I approach these issues from a therapeutic perspective known as acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT (said as the word, not the acronym). I encourage anyone dealing with similar issues to learn about this approach, as it has been helpful to my clients and countless others.

…Generally, living as rich and meaningful a life as possible when you are struggling with a chronic illness requires a great deal of psychological flexibility.

With chronic illness, rigidity in your thinking and behaviour is the greatest barrier to living well with your illness.

Continue reading “Chronic Pain and the Self Pity, Depression Trap”

Life Lessons After Recovering from Codependency – I Can’t Save You, and I No Longer Want To

Life Lessons After Recovering from Codependency – I Can’t Save You, and I No Longer Want To

This will be a repetitive, somewhat rambling (and very long) post, because this involves a huge pet peeve of mine.

I very much resent any one lecturing me or accusing me of not being compassionate enough, or not giving enough “emotional support” in some situation or another, when they refuse to factor in what I’ve been through in my life and why I now do what I do.

I refer to this highly pertinent fact:

I spent over 3 decades of my life being very codependent. I was pathologically un-selfish, giving, and supportive of and to others to my own detriment.

It’s absolutely perverse and demonic to accuse a recovering codependent (such as myself), who has finally begun developing healthy boundaries, of being selfish or not being “giving” enough in relationships.

You’re accusing a former codependent of the very opposite things she spent decades doing, behaviors which caused her setbacks and harm in life. timeClock

I have since learned what a huge mistake that is (to live codependently), how toxic it is, and how much harm it caused me over my life.

I am now more picky and choosy about when, to whom, for how long, and under what conditions, I will grant other people non-judgmental emotional support or other types of help.

And it took me into middle age to figure out – just upon thinking things over, noticing patterns in my relationships, and from reading some books by psychologists  – that a big reason I kept attracting so many damaged, depressed, hurting, self absorbed, strange, or angry people is precisely because I was so giving, loving, and I didn’t put limits on anyone in any fashion.

For years, I was a very shy, people pleasing, undemanding, compliant, kind hearted, sensitive, caring person, and by my late 20s to early 30s and older, I kept wondering why when I did finally make a friend or two, that I seldom attracted normal, mentally healthy, fun, well-adjusted individuals who would meet my needs in return.

Attracting Disturbed, Angry, or Miserable People for Over 35 Years

Instead, I kept attracting selfish people, abusers, bullies, constant complainers, pessimists, self absorbed people, people with personality disorders, or people who were depressed, and while I was giving all these people a lot of my time, attention,  affection, emotional support (or sometimes money), they never thanked me for this, and the vast majority never met my needs in return.

It took me years to figure out why I kept attracting so many mal-adjusted or emotionally injured people into my life.

Continue reading “Life Lessons After Recovering from Codependency – I Can’t Save You, and I No Longer Want To”