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Re: [REBT-CBT-FORUM] Re: [Stutter_Less_With_REBT] Re: Labor PAINS!

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  • Jeffrey Klayman
    Good evening Rex. Well, I must have been channeling you the past several days because I have turned around considerably since my postings of last week and
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2011
      Good evening Rex.

      Well, I must have been "channeling" you the past several days because I have turned around considerably since my postings of last week and earlier this week.  I have in fact confronted all the issues you raised and while not specifically coming up with Roger Ebert  (although I am well aware of his condition and what he has had to contend with medically the past 10 years) I have suddenly (seemingly) come to terms with my conditions and issues and seem to be putting them into perspective.  I have gotten up the past tw mornings for the first time in months without tears upon opening my eyes to face another day of trial and frustration. 
      I've begun NOT just to carry all the books, notebooks, affirmations etc. that have become part of my personal REBT entourage but have actually opened the books, read out loud, wrote self-challenging questions, approached strangers every chance I've had at my local Starbucks, gym, guitar class etc.
      And I've enjoyed the conversations and smiled and more than tolerated the secondary symptoms of my stuttering (head shaking, eye tics) etc.  They are fine and they will improve as I improve but I'm not MUSTing them away for me to continue my life.
      Much more tom'w.  Have a hungry kitty to feed and laundry so I can sleep on some clean sheets tonight.
      Bless you and all for getting back to me on this latest episode on my road-and the road is long and winding but infirnitely exciting if looked upon in the spirit of what may lie ahead.

      Rex Alexander wrote:
      Fri 9 Sep 2011, 8:26 am
      Good Morning Jeff, Bob, all,
      Most liabilities have some or many payoffs.  Sometimes those payoffs, consciously or unconsciously, are so rewarding that we are reluctant to relinquish the problem.  Obviously, that makes it harder to work on.  Both stuttering and, to use the term broadly, "procrastination" have many advantages as well as disadvantages.  So, yes the sort of psychoanalysis and casual cost-benefit analysis you present here Jeff can be useful.  The more important question is, at least from the standpoint of CBT-REBT, is what are you going to do with that insight?  What are you going to do about it now, today?
      Generally, I am hostile toward moral lessons such as "I thought I had it bad because I had no shoes until I saw a boy with no feet."  However, they all have a grain of truth and can sometimes be useful if not used as musterbation and self-downing.  
      Roger Ebert, is a beloved cultural icon to my generation, someone of great importance to the arts, who has built a legacy of film criticism and analysis based upon honesty, integrity and kindness that film students and professionals in the business, historians and educators and ordinary people alike  will make use of for generations to come.  
      Mr. Ebert had his lower jaw removed to treat thyroid cancer.  He can no longer speak, eat, or drink, and failed surgery to reconstruct his jaw has left him with pain and  limited mobility and a distorted appearance that is quite frankly shocking and disturbing to look at considering how much a part of the culture his prior image has become.
      Yet Mr. Ebert has not shied away from "speaking" and writing about his condition, nor from being photographed, and--although with some prosthetic help--is back on teevee as a sort of "dean" to a new generation of young  "At the Movies" reviewers.  He has written his autobiography which is supposed to be comprehensive, candid and revealing, which I look forward to reading. Mr. Ebert's  writing has become more prolific, and although he previously eschewed "social media" he has taken up blogging with a passion which he feels has enabled greater honesty and connections with others than when he could speak.  
      Please, Jeff, do not use the example as an excuse to indulge in guilt and self-downing!  I think we can safely speculate that the  "moral lesson" from an CBT-REBT standpoint is  that  Ebert either did not have or relinquished any dire need  and demand for love and approval, and because he understood or learned that disfigurement, disability and physical limitation do not diminish or disfigure his true self, and because he approached his situation with "shame attacking" rather that withdrawal, that ironically he is now  more loved and more productive than before. I suspect his writing is better having such a deep reservoir of personal tragedy to draw upon.
      Personally, I can't imagine what it would be like to suffer and survive such trauma, and I wonder if I would have even 10% of the guts and humanity to deal with it as successfully as Mr. Ebert.  Still, Jeff,  I have no doubt that he would happily write you a check for whatever millions of dollars you specify if he could have just your stuttering to contend with rather than live with  half a face!
      Look Jeff, you have depression-anxiety, and you stutter.  Because your problems are so "impacted" and overlapping, it is difficult to tell where one starts and the other stops.  They may be distinct, separate issues, but in any case, they undoubtedly feed on and into one another. Believe me, I am  not trying to minimize the distress and personal challenge that these conditions present you with.  OTHO,they are just not that big a deal either.  It's not the end of the world.  "Everybody" is depressed and anxious these days.  Everybody is on prozac.  It is very nearly fashionable in Hollywood. And if they are not depressed, they are in rehab!  So put away your violin, stop dwelling on how unfortunate your circumstances are, and do something, some little thing today.  Yes, this stuff SUCKS!  Accept that is so, and get on with some baby steps.
      Jeff, can you live with the possibility that you will always have some depression and anxiety to deal with, and that you may always have some residual stuttering to manage?  If you can--if you can with honesty and humility--accept that POSSIBILITY--then you may begin to experience some real traction, and be on the road to recovery.  And who knows, ironically, paradoxically, through approaching it with   ACCEPTANCE, you may just get a complete remission of both conditions.  But if not, you will be strong enough and exercise enough humility to accept progress rather than demanding perfection.  At that point it will be easy, it won't even matter much,  because honesty, acceptance and humility are what brought to the process in the first place!
      I know you are overwhelmed with reading suggestions, but there are two brilliant sections in Burns's "Feeling Good . . ." that are very apt and you might find very helpful:  "Dare to be average!"   (I love it!), and something to the effect of "How to counter the urge to do nothing!"   Most people don't regard fatigue, inertia and withdrawal as "urges" like the urge to take a drink or eat ice cream, but it is very illuminating if you think of fatigue, inertia and withdrawal  in that way.  The choice of words and interesting juxtapositions in those titles tell you something about the content of the sections, and  the titles themselves are a  little bit jarring to your assumptions and preconceived notions about dealing with depression, and can lead your thinking, emoting and behaving in new, positive  directions.

      > Sorry for delay in reply.  You are spot on.  YES! I've often
      > thought about this very issue.  and YES, there is something I'd
      > have to face if I was functioning better.  My writing or inability
      > lately to get back to work full-time on a play that's attracted
      > much national interest over the years from various competitions
      > etc.  I do fear that more than living in the pain and it is in fact
      > 100% (okay 90%) self-imposed.  As long as I focus on stuttering
      > 24/7 I am "forgiving" my inaction, inactivity in doing anything
      > else with my life.  I mean,
      > how can I do anything when I stutter so badly??  Clearly, hiding
      > behind a facade of helplessness, woe-is-me, poor Jeff.  I am in
      > touch with all that, but at moment, can't seem to translate these
      > insights into action to overcome this.  I am NOT "MUSTerbating" on
      > this point but obviously this is at the core of my current pain and
      > grief. More anon. Must run Thanks again Robert for keeping me on my
      > toes. jeff
      > Robert Bayer wrote:
      >> You are welcome for the reply.  I hope that what Rex and I have
      >> wrote will be and encouragement to you.  I'm wondering is there
      >> something you are trying to avoid?  Might there be something that
      >> you will have to face if you were functioning better that you are
      >> trying to avoid?  Perhaps there is something you fear more than
      >> living in pain?
      > Bob
      >> On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 6:20 PM, Jeffrey
      >> Klayman <jskd133@...>
      >> wrote:
      >>> Hi Robert,
      > Thanks so much for reply. 
      > In fact, I am NOT doing any affirmations.  I'm just carrying tons of
      >>> support stuff with me day and night but cannot or WILL not open
      >>> the material and do anything.  This is what is perplexing and
      >>> frightening.  It's as if a "voice" is repeating like a  Mantra
      >>> "Nothing will help, nothing will help, give up, give up. Live
      >>> in pain, live in pain etc."  I know enough about REBT to
      >>> understand that this is not "real"-it's the message I am
      >>> feeding myself.  But how ot combat this has eluded me thusfar.
      > I'm sure more will come later
      > ciao for now
      > jeff
      > Robert Bayer wrote:
      >>>> Hi Jeff,
      >>>> As you have wrote you have already taken the first steps out
      >>>> of
      >>>> despair by writing.  To the affirmations you keep repeating I
      >>>> would add a reminder that you have been in despair before and
      >>>> come out of it.
      > I am wondering why you think you should be applying a
      >>>> massive
      >>>> effort to get well?
      > It seems to me that it is sensible to try to improve your
      >>>> mood
      >>>> but what is your evidence that a massive effort will be more
      >>>> effective than a easier road.  Sometimes the easier road is
      >>>> the quickest way to go. I am confident that you can continue
      >>>> take sensible steps to turn things around.  I'm rooting for
      >>>> you.
      > Bob Bayer
      > On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 3:51 PM, Jeffrey
      >>>> Klayman <jskd133@...>
      >>>> wrote:
      >>>>> p.s
      > I constant in this nightmare is my 24/7 guilt that I haven't gone a
      > new
      >>>>> kitty as a companion for my 2 year old Misty.  I feel I
      >>>>> MUST get another cat because she's lonely and bored just
      >>>>> being with me and I"ve always had 2 cats in the past but
      >>>>> I've made some attempts at adopting a kitty a few weeks ago
      >>>>> and gave up after a few tries (no males
      >>>>> available, not the right temperament etc.) Intellectually I
      >>>>> know I am totally projecting my own feelings of loss,
      >>>>> abandonment onto her.  I have no idea what Misty is
      >>>>> feeling/thinking.  She might be perfectly happy just being
      >>>>> with me but every time I leave the house even for a few
      >>>>> hours, I am compelled to rush home to reassure her that I'm
      >>>>> still here.
      > Yes, toally IRRATIONAL--I'm not defending any of the above-just
      >>>>> explaining and trying to "Rarionalize" my current state of
      >>>>> despair.  Yes, I keep repeating "This won't kill me" "I can
      >>>>> tolerate this" -"This too shall pass! -but it's not
      >>>>> passing.  Only increasing in intensity and desperation. 
      > I need to start doing a baby-step that I can do.
      > I cope right how by lying on my sofa and putting on classical music
      > but
      >>>>> then thoughts keep rushing through my brain that this is
      >>>>> "laziness, escape" and not a productive way to live and
      >>>>> that I should be applying massive effort to get "well"-to
      >>>>> get out of this nightmare existence,
      > Again-apologies.  I need to express this as a first step in
      > accepting
      >>>>> that I need help.
      > jeff
      > Jeffrey Klayman wrote:
      >> Hi all-an SOS from ole stuttering Jeff.
      > Totally out-of-control panic/anxiety last few days.  And I can't
      > even
      >>>>>> begin to any work on myself (until this email).  I leave
      >>>>>> my house and carry Ellis'book, worksheets, stuttering
      >>>>>> manuals, everywhere I go like a security blanket, but I
      >>>>>> DON'T DO A DAMN THING WITH THEM because I just don't know
      >>>>>> where to start to address what's going on. 
      > My friend suggested Holiday blues and that's part of it-long weekend
      >>>>>> and feeling that everyone is with friends, family doing
      >>>>>> fabulous fun things to celebrate and end of summer and I
      >>>>>> wake up alone and scared and terrfieid.  I can't write, I
      >>>>>> can't read, I escape to movies just to escape but that's
      >>>>>> just mindless escape to kill hours before night comes and
      >>>>>> then I can take a Klonopin and try to sleep for a few
      >>>>>> hours.
      > Sorry to confesss/admit all this.  I've had all the tools/support
      >>>>>> anyone could ask for. But I can't seem to pull out of
      >>>>>> this rabbit hole of despair, hopelessness. 
      > Anyone to suggest ONE thing to do today to start the long, long road
      >>>>>> back.
      > Thanks all
      > jeff
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