If things were different, what would you want from your life?

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BigGreenSee123

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If things were different, what would you want from your life?
« on: October 04, 2015, 04:24:19 PM »
I find myself in a new and interesting part of the healing process. Following a particularly challenging couple of months I feel like I am finally seeing a bit of the payoff. It makes me nervous to even think this let alone say it aloud - I am still waiting for it to all fall apart. I have seen this process, over and over, move one step forward and two-thirds of a step back. But, regardless of how the future plays out, my current circumstances have led me to feeling like I'm in some wide open territory.

As of the last three or four days I've felt a fair amount of symptom relief. I feel hope. I feel like there may actually be a chance for things to change. Which is great. But I have also stumbled on this weird hole left where all my issues were. I spend so much of my time managing my feelings - either internally (worrying, ruminating, trying to drum up solutions for my issues) or externally (drinking, sleeping, watching a ton of TV) - and have done so for years. But now that these have receded a bit I feel there is a great blankness left in their place. I sort of feel like, okay, great, so I don't have to watch TV all day to stave off depression...but then what do I do with myself? :blink:

I am not at all upset I am here, in this subjective space. I hope I am able to stay long enough to start to recognize what I want for my life beyond always trying to make myself feel sane. But I must admit I am a little concerned that I have spent too much time distracting myself, that my wants have been stifled for too long, or out of fear I have toyed with my own motivation too frequently that I am now beyond repair. I guess I am afraid I will never know what I want. But I am hoping this is another unfounded fear and, like all things, it will just take time for new goals to develop.

I am curious to know, can anyone relate to this experience? If so, any suggestions for proceeding - how do you figure out what you want? Or, if not, what do you imagine your life might look like if you were free from symptoms? Is it difficult to imagine such a possibility?

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tired

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Re: If things were different, what would you want from your life?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 11:20:28 PM »
I have to help people somehow.  That's what my joy seems to depend on and now that I can sometimes step out of my head that's what works.

I've also noticed since I stopped talking to my mom that I feel free to be myself.  I started by arranging my home how I like.

I guess it's a matter of removing obstacles and the rest happens and I only notice it afterwards. The obstacle for me was loyalty to my mom but I am only seeing that now.  So my advice is do what's best for you and what's right and the fun things will happen naturally.

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woodsgnome

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Re: If things were different, what would you want from your life?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2015, 02:26:56 AM »
BigSeeGreen123 wrote:

 "...it will just take time for new goals to develop...any suggestions for proceeding - how do you figure out what you want?"

Coming out of an awful childhood, I found what most appealed, and went thataway. While I had certain goals en route, looking back it was more important for me to establish values as guideposts to frame my path. Then I built specific goals around those values. Didn't always work out as planned; but at least I somehow survived when plans fizzled.

My chief value and/or need was simply peace. Whether that came in the form of guiding wilderness canoe trips, gaining expertise in historic role-play/theatre, interacting with kids in a pre-school setting, or writing, the activity didn't seem to matter so much as being true to my need for peace. Plus, similar to what Tired said, I felt I wanted to help people somehow. Other than having enough (barely), money didn't make my list of values

Maybe it was sort of an engaged peace, or passionate equanimity, a yearning to be at peace but engaged where I could be with others (much as I feared people in general; still do). Other values like honesty and integrity factored in, but peace remained the steady value behind it all.

Perhaps that sounds a bit presumptuous. Obviously, I still have deep cptsd symptoms in the mix, but I've also apologized too much for this over the years. Even when the peace verged on escapism, it was also a desperate need.

Tired put it this way:

"I guess it's a matter of removing obstacles and the rest happens and I only notice it afterwards."

That was basically my experience. It can be uneasy to go that route. The fear is--things went so bad before, might they do so again? Actually, my experience has been that many did seem wrong turns. Just within the last day there was such an event, made me want to quit...again. It wasn't pretty, not what I wanted, but tonight it's better, and I've found the peace again...it's always been there when I needed it.

So that's what I found; I searched out the values that seemed to matter the most for me, and went that route. It's turned out to be where I needed to be. In cptsd terms, I gave up looking for the cure but continue following the peace as I build on the healing.

BigGreenSee123 also noted:

"I feel there is a great blankness"--I used to have dreams about blankness, felt I needed to fill them; now realize that maybe that was supposed to be...not so I could fill up the space, but have room to roam around in.     

« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 12:20:51 PM by woodsgnome »

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arpy1

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Re: If things were different, what would you want from your life?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2015, 12:21:07 PM »
wow,  that is really good, the whole thing about values. i spent most of my life holding others' values and living to their agendas. i don't think i have ever formulated many of my own values about things. i think it's time i did (at 58  :stars: !) i think that's a really good place for me to start actually. thanks for this thread!

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caliluvin626

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Re: If things were different, what would you want from your life?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 10:18:53 PM »
Im lost in this * i'm gonna be 40 and i was diagnosed with c-ptsd last year. I was exposed to decades of abuse from both of my parents which didnt stop even in my adult life it was just a different form of back stabbing sabotage malicious behavior abusing my kindness for weakness. I'm unemployed no friends about to lose my apartment I feel like i have a terminal disease and its finally close to the end. I see so clearly how destructive this cancer of self hatred and internal anguish has completely destroyed my ability to push on.

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tired

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Re: If things were different, what would you want from your life?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 12:56:49 AM »
There was a time when my psyche and my life felt like a tangled mass of junk you might find if a tornado blew through the garage.  Theoretically anything can be untangled. Theoretically if you had a hundred pieces of strings tangled together they could be untangled if you had enough time.I tried for years and now I'm at a place where I can get up, not feel insane all day, and go to bed sort of ok with life.  I can look at the still remaining tangled piles of crap and say to myself I'm not going to get to that so I'm going to ignore it.  Like my mom. In ignoring her.

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BigGreenSee123

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Re: If things were different, what would you want from your life?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 02:55:43 AM »
I can certainly relate to what's been said about values. Honesty, curiosity, kindness... I think it might be useful to refer to these guideposts as I figure out where I going. I know that there are times when I am not motivated by anything, but the notion of doing something to help someone else still sparks something in me. I would like to contribute, somehow, to someone else's life in a positive way.

I used to have dreams about blankness, felt I needed to fill them; now realize that maybe that was supposed to be...not so I could fill up the space, but have room to roam around in.     

I like this idea a lot. I didn't consider the blankness from this perspective. I don't know how long it's been since I've felt enough freedom and safety in my life to just explore (frankly, I'm not sure I have ever felt this way). I, too, try to fill up the space; but maybe it is time to roam.

After posting the other day I continued to think about this, continued to ask myself this question. One thing I realized as I was kind of finding myself growing anxious about this was the feeling like I needed to be productive, accomplish something. I was bored and I think it freaked me out a little, odd as that may be. I know I have a habit of pinning my self-worth to my accomplishments, though. So I wasn't entirely surprised by this turn of events. It was like I was trying to determine the rest of my life on the couch in my living room. I realized that's not how it works. Instead, I changed my question: what do I want from my day? So I applied for a meditation retreat that I've been wanting to go to (and I was accepted ;D) then I went outside because it was sunny. And it was damn good. I am still not sure where I am headed but I think taking it moment by moment is a better approach.

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Dyess

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Re: If things were different, what would you want from your life?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2015, 08:50:20 PM »
Good question, first I would want my Dad back (lost to suicide almost two years ago) then I would want to be happy, move out in the country, have a good job. But having my Dad back would be my first wish.