The will to live

  • 18 Replies
  • 2719 Views
*

Rrecovery

  • Member
  • 198
    • View Profile
The will to live
« on: May 08, 2015, 02:53:00 PM »
I havenít had a will to live as long as I can remember, at least 30 years.  I am not suicidal.  I am willing to live, but donít really want to and havenít most of my life.  Iíd really like to fix this if possible and have been working at it.  I become healthier and my life becomes better in many ways, but I have no more of a will to live.  I know people who have suffered/are suffering more than I have/do and they have a will to live.

Weíve all been through *; most during our formative years.  Iím curious if there are others who are not suicidal but donít experience a will to live.

Iíd also like to hear from people who have a will to live; can you describe what drives your will to live?

*

bee

  • Member
  • 127
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2015, 06:22:55 PM »
Most of my life I've viewed the future as "I have x number of years to get through." Is this what you mean? I used to think everyone viewed life this way. I brought it up casually in conversations once and was surprised that it was such a foreign concept that people thought I was joking.

I believe that others think in terms of "I only have x number of years to do all the things I want." Or something like that.

I have had glimpses of the second way of thinking, but the majority of my life I would describe as plodding.

I have to say when I have felt, as you say, a will to live, it was such a contrast to my normal way of being that it was a bit unsettling. It felt untenable, maybe that feeling goes away after awhile.

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 7351
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2015, 07:22:16 PM »
Whenever I watch a apocalyptic show like Walking Dead, I find myself wondering why the survivors are trying so hard to live.  I don't think human beings were meant to simply survive, there has to be some thriving and most of us haven't had that much if any of that.  As you say Bee it's more of a plodding through life, struggling against the inner and outer demons. I find this surprising in myself given I have a great marriage, wonderful son, good career, but most of life has been about working, struggling - surviving.

I get glimpses of the good stuff more these days and find myself saying "Oh so that's what thriving (joy, playfulness, contentment, relaxation ....) feels like, hunh. Well OK I see the point if you can actually have more of this in life.  Now, how do I get to more of that?"

Maybe as we peel away the layers our will will begin to kick in more?   :hug:

 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 07:37:08 PM by Kizzie »

*

keepfighting

  • Member
  • 409
  • I'm not broken just bent
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2015, 09:09:16 PM »
Most of the time, I feel like I'm more existing than living a full life.

The thing is, that I was raised by Narents who made so many demands on me that I never had time to for myself, to find out what my interests or even my needs are. I became a co dependant; always relying on someone else to provide me with a purpose in life.

Now I'm trying to discover what my interests are, what moves me, where I want to volunteer/join in; where my particular set of characteristics is wanted and needed.

I get glimpses of the good stuff more these days and find myself saying "Oh so that's what thriving (joy, playfulness, contentment, relaxation ....) feels like, hunh. Well OK I see the point if you can actually have more of this in life.  Now, how do I get to more of that?"

 :yeahthat:

I've not had many of those glimpses yet - still too afraid to trust the peace and simple joy - but the few I've had make me want to go on looking for them. I hope we can all get there...  :hug:

*

Rrecovery

  • Member
  • 198
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2015, 02:02:25 PM »
I feel very grateful for the replies to this thread.  I was apprehensive about posting it; it is this heavy burden that I can never speak of because it disturbs people and/or they don't get it at all.  So thank you  ;D

Bee: Most of my life I've viewed the future as "I have x number of years to get through." Is this what you mean?   Yes, that's exactly what I mean.  And the plodding, good word.  I persevere, am successful in my field, am generally respected and liked, am physically fit, am an artist and a musician - yet it feels like plodding - except for brief/fleeting moments here and there.

Kizzie: Whenever I watch a apocalyptic show like Walking Dead, I find myself wondering why the survivors are trying so hard to live.   I am amazed at how common it is for people (even those who are suffering in horrendous ways) will fight to stay alive.  I'm glad.  I like knowing that life feels so precious to most people.  I wish it could feel that way to me.  My self-esteem is rock solid, but this is the one thing I know about myself, my dirty little secret, that I tend to hide and feel bad about.

As you say Bee it's more of a plodding through life, struggling against the inner and outer demons. I find this surprising in myself given I have a great marriage, wonderful son, good career, but most of life has been about working, struggling - surviving.  I'm sorry to hear you deal with this too, but you sharing it with me feels very helpful, I am not alone; indeed I am in very good company. 

What you said about surviving vs. thriving makes sense.  Perhaps that's it; I'm still in survival mode, even though my life is blessed in many ways.  I feel like at any moment I can be plunged into a miserable existence I can't escape from (like my childhood) so I can't relax and enjoy the ride.  Perhaps if I can address this, I could have a will to live.

Keepfighting: I'm glad you are trying to discover what your true interests are, knowing and living these out certainly helps with the enjoyment of life.  still too afraid to trust the peace and simple joy - but the few I've had make me want to go on looking for them. I hope we can all get there...    Me too  :hug:


*

Rrecovery

  • Member
  • 198
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 01:32:11 PM »
This is a quote from marycontrary on the thread entitled " How do we know we're not borderline?"

I read on a site whose link I got here the differences between the two. The biggest thing is that with CPTSD, your belief in life itself is shaken to the core. Being so abused and betrayed, it is easy to see how a person might question god's prevalence, or even existence itself. Might even think god hates you, that you are the butt of some evil practical joke by a sadistic higher being. You ego has been shattered.

Also, there is an added paranoid sense with the CPTSDs over the BPDs. CTPSD has a fear of everything trying to hurt them. Like they have lost everything. Been abandoned by god, the family, maybe the political state. Pure BPDS,  fear abandonment by other people, not necessarily abandoned by god. CPTSD has been abandoned, like biblical Job, by everything, including god.
 


I believe that this is at the core of my lack of will to live.  I do not trust Life; it has proven that it cannot be trusted.  When a person proves to me that they cannot be trusted, I'm done with that relationship.  So I guess I have done this with Life; it proved it can't be trusted so I'm done with that relationship.  I don't wish to hurt anyone by ending my life, also I am very helpful to others and care enough to continue helping, so I stick around.  But I'm not here for me.  I want to to be completely DONE with life.  So I plod through my days, knowing eventually it will be over.

I see that I am very broken in this way, and I want to fix this.  I deserve to experience Life in a different way and I am determined to get there.  Somehow, I must reconcile what happened to me when I was powerless to do anything about it, with Life being trustworthy and worthwhile.

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 7351
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 05:57:03 PM »
Thanks you so much again for having the courage to write about this Recovery.  I was just rereading the thread and realized I've never said this to anyone before, even my H whom I love and trust more than anyone on the planet (and that's why I never told him), not even in therapy because it sends up a big red flag about possibly being suicidal.  And yet I have carried this thought arounbd for years, that it would good just to have life over and done with.  It's not about wanting to take my life at all, it's about being tired out from having CPTSD and constantly struggling with fear, pain, expecting it, guarding against it as you say Rrecovery - it's wearing, exhausting at some deep level. 

FWIW I do take the flashes or glimmers I get every now of what  life is like without the weight of CPTSD dragging me down every moment as a hopeful sign that my will may have been beaten down, but it's not gone and maybe is slowly beginning to reignite as I recover - like an unhappy engine on a really cold day that turns over but doesn't catch for a bit.  It's intriguing enough that I am beginning to wonder what's around the corner, maybe it isn't just more of the same,  of days that basically I  just have to plod through.


*

bee

  • Member
  • 127
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 09:25:09 PM »
I read on a site whose link I got here the differences between the two. The biggest thing is that with CPTSD, your belief in life itself is shaken to the core. Being so abused and betrayed, it is easy to see how a person might question god's prevalence, or even existence itself. Might even think god hates you, that you are the butt of some evil practical joke by a sadistic higher being. You ego has been shattered.

Also, there is an added paranoid sense with the CPTSDs over the BPDs. CTPSD has a fear of everything trying to hurt them. Like they have lost everything. Been abandoned by god, the family, maybe the political state. Pure BPDS,  fear abandonment by other people, not necessarily abandoned by god. CPTSD has been abandoned, like biblical Job, by everything, including god.
 

I've never read this before. I totally relate. Life is a thing to be survived, but not really looking forward to death either because, if there is a god we are going to have words. I used to believe, until I got away and was able to see what she had done to me. I want nothing to do with any higher power that lets that kind of thing go on. I feel like I have been abandoned by everyone/thing. I am on my own, and it would be a mistake to ever rely on someone/thing to have my back.

It is helpful to know that this reaction might be related to CPTSD. It means at some point I might be able to see things differently.

*

Rrecovery

  • Member
  • 198
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2015, 04:13:44 PM »
Thanks you so much again for having the courage to write about this Recovery.  I was just rereading the thread and realized I've never said this to anyone before, even my H whom I love and trust more than anyone on the planet (and that's why I never told him), not even in therapy because it sends up a big red flag about possibly being suicidal.  And yet I have carried this thought arounbd for years, that it would good just to have life over and done with.  It's not about wanting to take my life at all, it's about being tired out from having CPTSD and constantly struggling with fear, pain, expecting it, guarding against it as you say Rrecovery - it's wearing, exhausting at some deep level. 
What a blessing it is to share this and be understood and to know that it has allowed you to share this burden with me and others who struggle with this profound weariness - exhaustion on a deep level.  What feels interesting right now is that sharing this has shifted this a bit for me already.  One thing I'm aware of is that I seem to be conceptualizing my life through the lens of the pain and difficulties and not balancing that out with remembering the "good times" fun, laughter, adventure, successes.  Though they were the exceptions and the really tough times have been the rule, they are there and it's worth it to keep this in mind.

FWIW I do take the flashes or glimmers I get every now of what  life is like without the weight of CPTSD dragging me down every moment as a hopeful sign that my will may have been beaten down, but it's not gone and maybe is slowly beginning to reignite as I recover - like an unhappy engine on a really cold day that turns over but doesn't catch for a bit.  It's intriguing enough that I am beginning to wonder what's around the corner, maybe it isn't just more of the same,  of days that basically I  just have to plod through.
I love this! It's not that I have no will to live but that it's been beaten down to where I can't feel it.  I, too, have glimmers of life feeling different.  So grateful to be sharing this journey with you.  :hug:

*

Rrecovery

  • Member
  • 198
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2015, 04:25:19 PM »
I've never read this before. I totally relate. Life is a thing to be survived, but not really looking forward to death either because, if there is a god we are going to have words. I used to believe, until I got away and was able to see what she had done to me. I want nothing to do with any higher power that lets that kind of thing go on. I feel like I have been abandoned by everyone/thing. I am on my own, and it would be a mistake to ever rely on someone/thing to have my back.

It is helpful to know that this reaction might be related to CPTSD. It means at some point I might be able to see things differently.
I can relate to how you are feeling towards a god that could allow this level of suffering.  I felt that way for many years and know how painful it feels.  I can tell you that this absolutely can shift.  Feel free to PM me if you want to hear about how this shifted for me (I'm currently spiritual not religious). 

Cptsd certainly colors the way we see and experience life, and I'm glad for all of us that as we recover we can see and experience things differently.  Thank you for posting bee; it's very comforting to know I'm not alone in this  :hug:

*

Rrecovery

  • Member
  • 198
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2015, 01:55:21 PM »
I'm actually feeling a will to live!  It feels bizarre to say this.  Last week I was hitting bottom with all of this so I went to a shop that sells legal psychoactive herbs.  They told me to get off the 5-HTP because it's not meant for long-term use, and try Kanna (an herb from Africa). You can smoke it, snort it, or use it sublingually.  You only use a pinch of it.  I smoked a pinch of it just for the heck of it and BAM, instantly not-depressed, and it lasted for about 4 hours.  Since then I've been using it sublingually twice a day and have come alive.  It doesn't make you "high" as in altered or incapacitated in any way. It just makes me not depressed.  OMG!  It is considered an SSRI.  I can't take pharmaceutical SSRIs because they give me terrible IBS.  The sublingual method bypasses the g.i. tract.  Both of my parents had depression and never got it treated.  I definitely may be one of those people who have a biological depression no-matter-what, unless it can be chemically treated.  I hope and pray this won't bother my g.i. tract (it shouldn't).  I'm just coming to life!  I enjoy being alive!  There are things I WANT to do!

*

Kizzie

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • 7351
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2015, 03:35:12 PM »
That's wonderful Rrecovery  :hug: That's interesting that it doesn't give you a high feeling, but instead seems to act as an antidepressant for you and so quickly.  It will also be interesting to hear how this helps you as you go along as I know the lack of will thing is a really tough one.  Do you feel more positive about your knees issue yet or is too early days for that?



*

Rrecovery

  • Member
  • 198
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2015, 02:22:34 PM »
Hi Kizzie, I am feeling better about my knees, like I KNOW that I will return to my sport eventually. I no longer think that at my age (56) it's probably unlikely.  But the biggest change is that I enjoy living, just day-to-day living.  So if I don't return to my sport, there's still so much I enjoy, even every day mundane chores have a pleasant quality.

I believe I'm feeling like normal (non-depressed) people.  I believe this based on listening to people.  I am a very spiritual person, but unmedicated I never FEEL the love, peace and joy that most people with my outlook and habits report feeling, e.g. I can "know" I have a lot to be grateful for, but I cannot FEEL gratitude.  Now that my serotonin levels are adequate, my 30 years of recovery work is coming to fruition in an experiential way - amazing!  I have created a good life during those 30 years, but I still could not enjoy it.  Now I can!

Since starting the Kanna I've come off of: 5-HTP, DHEA, Passion Flower, and Lemon Balm that I used to treat the depression and the insomnia it creates.  I'm also going to come off of Theanine and Doxilamine Succanate (an antihistamine used for sleep).  When I was on pharmaceutical anti-depressants I didn't need anything else for sleep, but I've been on a buttload of stuff these last 3 years since my g.i. tract couldn't handle the anti-depressants anymore.

I have been thinking about the chicken and the egg.  Why were my parents so troubled?  And their parents?  Could the genesis be untreated low-level depression that made life little more than a chore?  Can this kind of suffering create personality disorders?  I give myself a lot of credit for living such a functional life, and helping/contributing to the world in a positive way even though I felt pretty miserable.  That's what 30 years of therapy had bought me.  Now I get the whole reward - enjoying life, FEELING happiness, peace, joy, gratitude, contentment, good-will.  WOW!!!

Thank you for your support and interest  :hug:

*

Widdiful Falling

  • Member
  • 163
  • There are hills and valleys in life. Keep going.
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2015, 06:49:52 PM »
Wow! I'm glad to hear that this has had such a profound impact on your life! I'm glad you're feeling better in such a big way. I can't imagine mundane chores ever feeling pleasant. If they did, maybe my house would be clean!  :bigwink:

I like your chicken and egg question. In my family, I can point to a probable beginning to its troubles. My great-grandfather on grandmother's side was a survivor of the Armenian genocide back in the early 1900s. From what my M told me, he had some issues that most likely stemmed from that. My grandmother wasn't allowed to be home a lot of the time that he was, and so she had to raise herself. She became pregnant when she was a teen, and barely raised my M, who became pregnant when she was a teen. I can at least point and say that my troubles stem from ethnocentrism and teenage pregnancy, two issues that are generally acknowledged as problems. I think this makes it easier for me to conceptualize because the ill effects of these issues have been known for a much longer time than the consequences of emotional abuse.

*

Ladybug

  • Member
  • 24
    • View Profile
Re: The will to live
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2015, 11:14:00 PM »
Thank you rRecovery, so very much for this post. To you, and everyone who replied - I too feel this way. I have felt this way since I got out of my mother's house at age 18 (now 32). I began therapy (4th session tomorrow) in hopes of diminishing this awful feeling of not wanting to die, but also not wanting to live. It would just be easier not too. To others this would sound incredibly selfish, but they don't understand fatigue on this level. Has anyone had success in beating this using therapy?


Thanks you so much again for having the courage to write about this Recovery.  I was just rereading the thread and realized I've never said this to anyone before, even my H whom I love and trust more than anyone on the planet (and that's why I never told him), not even in therapy because it sends up a big red flag about possibly being suicidal.  And yet I have carried this thought arounbd for years, that it would good just to have life over and done with.  It's not about wanting to take my life at all, it's about being tired out from having CPTSD and constantly struggling with fear, pain, expecting it, guarding against it as you say Rrecovery - it's wearing, exhausting at some deep level. 




Kizzie I relate to every word above.

This Kanna - not something that can be picked up at the local health food store, eh? Should we chat more about this under the "Medications" section? I'm very interested to know more.