Unable to set goals

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voicelessagony2

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Unable to set goals
« on: January 06, 2015, 05:40:30 PM »
I have always struggled with goal setting.

Maybe "struggled" is not the right word, since that implies some sort of activity or work... I guess I never got to the point where goals were important enough. My only goal all my life has been to survive, beyond that is just a mystery.

Now, I'm really desperately trying to make goals for myself, but it's triggering my avoidance mechanism and I find myself busy with 1,000 things that scream for my attention every day, and so the actual task of sitting down to analyze and write goals gets delayed again and again.

My first priority is recovery, but I need to work also, and if I am ever going to get ANY kind of job, I need to start working on goals in that direction. But every time I think about it, I get overwhelmed with anxiety and go straight into avoidance.

My interests are all over the place. Remember that movie "Spotless mind" or something with Jim Carey? At the end they went into his room and there were pictures & notes all over the walls with strings connecting everything (I think that was the movie I saw that in) that is what it's like in my mind. I see all these important connections, but I am absolutely unable to communicate them to ANYBODY, it is all trapped inside my head. On the rare occasion I try to describe any of it, I fumble with words and utterly fail to make even one small connection to where somebody else can understand.

Anybody else ever struggle with this? Are there any success stories where someone was able to bring order and make sense out of SOME of that mess?

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Kizzie

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Re: Unable to set goals
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 06:31:33 PM »
Maybe just pick one of your career interests, the one that grabs you the most and focus on that because passion for something can take you a long way.  Make a pact with yourself that you're just going to explore it and see what you think, and that rather than pressuring yourself, you're going to see it as an adventure into new territory.   One step at a time is much easier to swallow and follow then the pushy approach we often take with ourselves of "I must do something, fix everything RFN!"

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marycontrary

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Re: Unable to set goals
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 07:09:21 PM »
I work from home, and I do empathize.

You have to set a schedule and stick to it, eliminating all distractions. It will be very hard at first, and you much be very kind and forgiving to yourself. Like a diet, start out with 15 minutes, then 30, 60, etc....do not try to eat an elephant in one bite.

The reason you are having a hard time is that some circuits in your frontal lobe got scrambled. Like learning a language, you have to do a little at a time to retrain.

Again, I have been there. Godspeed. You can do it!   

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alovelycreature

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Re: Unable to set goals
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2015, 01:48:33 AM »
I actually ended my struggle with this today! I have been meaning to get back into meditation/yoga for years. I started today.

I did yoga for 5 years and meditated often, once for a period of 2 months straight daily for 30 minutes. When I go back and read my journals during that time, I realized I was much more confident, courageous, and outgoing. The reason why I stopped was because I became incredibly depressed. I stopped all this 4 years ago. I have thought for the past couple years, why the heck did I stop!? So for the past couple years, I decided to let my IC verbally beat me up about how much of a failure I am.

Well, today I am fighting back!! I have been doing yoga over month. Today I started meditating again. I was terrified to start. I hate meditating. It hurts your body, it's hard to focus on the present moment no matter what techniques I use. But no matter how irritating it is, I know how good it makes me feel after I do it.

I found an app called Care.com. It has meditation programs on it. So I set a silent 15 minute meditation. I can't believe how fast it went by. I had a horrible night terror last night and spent a lot of my day ruminating, crying, feeling on the verge of panic. Now it is all gone and I don't see it bothering me anymore. I feel relaxed.

So my goal is 15 minutes a day for one week. Then 20 minutes a day the second week. Then 30 minutes a day for the third week. Then I'll make a new goal after that. I have a reminder on my phone to make me meditate, because I have memory problems.

My IC:  :pissed:       Me after meditating and creating my 3 week goal:  :woohoo:

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wingnut

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Re: Unable to set goals
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2015, 03:17:52 PM »
Congrats, lovely! Meditation is a powerful tool - if you research mindful meditation, it even rebuilds gray matter.
I need to check out that app. I love the calm that comes out of meditating, but I have a hard time getting it into my daily routine. It needs to become as routine as flossing..
I believe it truly will help with your healing. Keep it up!

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marycontrary

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Re: Unable to set goals
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2015, 01:02:07 PM »
There are all sorts of meditation techniques, not just the ones where you sit cross legged. You can meditate while standing in line at the store! You can meditate about the impermanence of things. One of the first successes with meditation I had 15 years ago was becoming less materialistic, as more stuff=more stress at all levels. It really helps with recovery. And it is FREE!

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coda

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Re: Unable to set goals
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2015, 03:43:19 PM »
To me, fear and self consciousness are the hallmarks of family related C-PTSD. The urge to retreat, give-up and hide overrule any natural impulses for momentum. The evil twins of powerlessness & hopelessness pervade every plan, every hope. Perversely, they feel safer and more familiar. The more we think of being happy and right with the world,  the less possible it seems -- even once we understand we'd we better off doing something/anything.

Meditation has worked wonderfully well for me at times, but practicing it still requires a modicum of optimism and self discipline and I cannot summon it when serious depression hits.

Hands down, the best period of my life came when I went out every single day and walked for about 20 minutes. I did it very early in the morning, and that helped to minimize my worries. I bathed, dressed and got outside before I could talk myself out of it. After that, the world itself didn't seem so threatening. I took pride in the achievement, small as it was. I found just putting on my shoes made it easier. Start small, all the best things come from that. Shout down your monsters or tell them you'll be back later.