Waiting for the fun to start

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Papa Coco

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Waiting for the fun to start
« on: August 30, 2021, 02:33:08 AM »
Motivation to do anything comes and goes.

When I feel motivated, I can accomplish almost anything. But motivation is a fickle friend. It stays a while and then it vanishes again. This past week Iíve been almost paralyzed by my apathetic sense that ďnothing matters so why do it?Ē I recognize it as some form of depression but I have no idea how to beat it.

For as far back as I have cognitive memory, Iíve been waiting for something to happen that will solve all my problems and make me finally feel happy. I donít know what Iím waiting for. But I keep thinking that I can't truly be happy until some mysterious, miraculous thing finally happens, and that if I just wait a little longer, when that mysterious, miraculous thing happens, Iíll magically become my happy, productive, healthy self and I'll stay that way for life. Whatever this mysterious event is, I keep believing it'll solve my lifelong problems.

I know it's trauma. But I don't know where to go from here.

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bluepalm

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2021, 03:41:31 AM »
Hi Papa Coco, I hesitate to respond to your post in case my experience is of no relevance to your situation and I apologise if that's the case. In the grip of depression it is sometimes dauntingly difficult to find meaning in anything.

However, your description of waiting for something miraculous resonates. I remember sitting in the yard behind my family's house, watching the corner of the house and waiting for 'a man from the government' to come and take me away. I was waiting and hoping for a miracle to remove me from my situation and give me to a family that wanted children, where I thought I would be happy.

No one ever came. So slowly I stopped hoping for a miracle and instead focused on the only thing that was in my control as a young child - my education. I recognised quite early that education was the key to my escaping my circumstances. It was my focus on learning that led to my getting into university at a time when few women went on to further education. And upon escaping my marriage, after a period of wishing desperately that someone would rescue me and look after me, I went back to university again and forged a professional life that gave me a sense of purpose and therefore the possibility of happiness. Later in life, when I left my profession, I went back to university again to learn and follow yet another path.

Each time it was a new journey and a focus on learning and a fresh outlook that saved me from succumbing to the depression that has dogged me all my life. So for me, learning something new has been the key to finding purpose and a feeling of pride in achievement and in my ability to take the initiative to solve my predicament, both of which to my mind equate (not to 'fun' by any means) but to a quiet kind of happiness.

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BeeKeeper

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2021, 12:44:01 PM »
Papa Coco,

Yes, waiting for "fun" is best friends with "if/only." Together they take us out of the unsatisfying, less than present, and push us into the better future. Yes, it's magical thinking, yes it's a symptom of depression. I've experienced this all my life. Your question is where do you go from here.

As bluepalm states, the focus that helped her is on what she could control. In her case, education. In my case, it was not quite as elevated, I chose care-taking. Still, it served the same purpose, doing something within our control. I've since seen that care-taking is a form of submission and fawn response. But those little steps to come to a healthy choice are sometimes necessary.

Now, although I too am vigorously pursuing education, it is with a different goal. For me the ultimate goal is personal reciprocal relationships and "connections." As a child, I was undersocialized, and then as an adult, I became deaf which put a wrench in the works. Now, I have partial hearing from implanted electronics, but that doesn't mean I am skilled with communication. I still have to learn the skills I missed. The point is: in your times of calm and temporary enjoyment, what is most important to you? If you can come up with one or even two ideas, yeah!

It's nearly impossible to "figure out" how to motivate yourself out of a depression, but in those moments of gentle self appreciation, see what comes up. All the best to you on your journey.

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rainydiary

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2021, 01:18:01 PM »
Papa Coco, I relate to the feeling and experience you are sharing.  I too am waiting for that one thing that will make me feel ok.  I see you taking steps toward finding ways to be present and joyful in each moment.  I think those moments will start to add up and come together more often.  I am here walking this path with you. 

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Papa Coco

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2021, 04:14:58 PM »
Thank you all for chiming in. Itís always a relief to know I'm not the only one (again) with yet another ghost that's been living in my head for 60 years.

The details of our lives may be all different, but the reactions seem similar. Iíve spent all morning pondering all your responses. I think I see where the trauma of waiting for a rescue started. Iíd spent most of my childhood waiting to graduate 8th grade so I could be set free from the sexual and physical abuse I was taking at Catholic school. I wasnít allowed to fight for myself, nor was I allowed to ask family to help me stop the abuse, so the hatred and mob-bullying was allowed to freely destroy me all it wanted. Waiting for my ďsentenceĒ to end was my only plan. Rather than stand up for myself, I learned to hide and dissociate into my imagination while I quietly waited for the graduation date to save me.

It worked, which had the unintended consequence of training me to believe that waiting for a rescue was a good solution. So then I thought that waiting to turn 16 so my driverís license and an after-school job would liberate me from my family each day. It worked, so then I thought becoming 18 and getting a real job would liberate me from my family altogether. Then I thought starting a family of my own would stop the loneliness in my soul. Then I thought retirement would be the silver bullet that let me relax in a stress-free life.

But in the end, no matter what rescue came and went, the release was temporary. Like they say, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Add to that the fact that with each failed rescue I'm starting to lose hope in the next one. One of my favorite quotes is: ďHope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.Ē ― Friedrich Nietzsche.

I guess this is about controlóor rather having been falsely taught that I will never have control over my own life. Your responses show me that others feel this way too, but there are things I can do to overcome it. My sense of waiting is not about needing a rescue, itís about needing to deal with the trauma of believing in the lie that Iím powerless to fix my own problems.

I just remembered a cartoon drawing I saw once, of a person reaching out from the bars of a cage, begging to be let out, but what the person didnít realize was there was no back to the cage. He only thought he was trapped. I guess thatís trauma. Believing the lie and becoming my own jailer.

I'm off to do more thinking about this.  Thanks again everyone.

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Dante

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2021, 01:21:00 AM »
I too am waiting for that one thing that will make me feel ok.

I somehow missed this when it was posted, but came across this tonight.  All I can say to this is ďme tooĒ.  I thought if I can find one thing interesting or one thing I could feel proud of, it would make the difference.  Instead, all Iíve found is a failure to even find one thing.  Glad Iím not alone.

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rainydiary

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2021, 02:38:05 AM »
Dante, same. For a long time I kept striving for the next thing.  I didnít realize it was me trying to prove that I wasnít broken and flawed and bad and unlovable like my upbringing taught me.  This is shifting now that I have gotten better at listening to myself and going from there. 

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Armee

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2021, 04:34:11 AM »
I don't know what I intend to say here...

Just what you know...that there is nothing we can wait for that will change how we feel. I'm just thinking about how I don't feel like I'm a depressed person, and my present life is truly perfect. The only thing I have been waiting to change has happened and now it is truly 100% as I want it. And yet my mood is still so subdued. I still get triggered and still have nightmares and still have a blah countenance. The external circumstances are so inconsequential...even our attitude and thoughts....I'm a grateful person. But it is slow difficult work to rescue these brains of ours from their traumas.

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Dante

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2021, 12:06:35 PM »
rainydiary - you hit it exactly.  I keep trying to find the one that will help me to feel better about myself.  I'm not going to find anything until I feel better about myself.

Armee - I completely resonate with the "I don't know what I intend to say here..."  That's the best summary of every post I try to write for me!

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Kizzie

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2021, 12:50:46 PM »
This past year or so after my H's stroke, my S's and my own depression I was in such a dark place and the thought that kept coming to me was "No-one's coming".  I thought it was about no-one coming to save me, but now I think it's the hope, the waiting for others to show me the care and concern I never had and don't know how to find for myself except in my little family, all of us who were struggling and couldn't give that to one another.

I take care of myself and my family, always have but I had sunk into deep despair and thought I might actually sink out of sight.  We all made it through thankfully  but looking back the despair seems like it was more about not having the 'normal' support, love, encouragement to deal with really tough times that non-survivors typically have. I don't need anyone to save me in the literal sense of taking care of me, but in giving care to me, caring about me. My circle is tiny, mostly because I am so afraid of letting anyone too close still. 

Not sure if that make sense really, but there's a distinction there that feels important.  :Idunno:

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Dante

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2021, 03:41:44 PM »
Pretty much this.  Thanks, Kizzie.  I don't need saving in the physical sense, I'm pretty independent - I've had to be.  Like you, we all care about and save each other in my own little family circle, but we all have our own issues and dark days where all we can do is help ourselves.

But caring about me, yeah, that.  I don't need parents to feed me or clothe me or solve my problems.  I just need someone to care whether or not I just melt away.

I don't feel hopeful.  For a long time my magic "thing" was if I just could make sense of the past, everything would get better.  With the help of this group, I've done that.  And things aren't better.  If anything, they're worse.  I'm still actively self-medicating.  Only now, I don't even have the false hope of the one thing.

Wow, that last paragraph wrote itself.  I didn't even plan before I started writing for it to come out that way, but I guess that's the gist.  When the silver bullet missed the mark, and I can't say anything other than no longer self-medicating (so take away the one thing that "works"), what's left?

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Armee

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2021, 03:58:02 PM »
For what it's worth I haven't found "the one thing" it's a bunch of things that add up to things being mostly ok most days. For me the most effective was slowly slowly learning to trust people and to let them into my world a little.

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Dante

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2021, 05:42:48 PM »
Anything but that, Armee!   :)

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Kizzie

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2021, 01:39:59 PM »
My post was quite a downer, my apologies. I am opening up here more and more and that does seem to be helping the hole in my heart, that deep wound and despair I was feeling.  I think I wanted the hole to go away completely and I'm not quite sure that happens for us, but maybe a goal in recovery is to allow ourselves to grieve and integrate the hole into the whole of our being (vs allowing it to predominate)? I don't know, just noodling.  :Idunno:

What I did come away with from that awful period: traumatic stress like my family and I were under makes it difficult to recover/heal; and, connecting more with others, opening up, is one way I can fill that hole.  As you suggest Armee, a large part of that latter bit is learning to trust, part of which for me has been to challenge those fear reactions that come up when someone is getting a bit close for comfort. It's a wrok in progress but I have had a few small successes which gives me hope.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 01:45:31 PM by Kizzie »

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Kizzie

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Re: Waiting for the fun to start
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2021, 01:44:48 PM »
Quote
I don't feel hopeful.  For a long time my magic "thing" was if I just could make sense of the past, everything would get better.  With the help of this group, I've done that.  And things aren't better.  If anything, they're worse.  I'm still actively self-medicating.  Only now, I don't even have the false hope of the one thing.

I had a thought when I read this Dante - maybe it's important for us to let go of false hope to make room for true or realistic hope for a new thing(s)?