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Feel better, but making no progress in life.

HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
323
Location
London, UK
Dear all,

About a year and a half ago I first started experiencing problems with my mental health. I went undiagnosed an untreated for about a year and during that time I've been though hell. I rapid-cycled through 6 mood episodes and was twice on the verge of psychosis. Needless to say, my mental health wreaked havoc on my life which culminated in me dropping out of university. Since then my personal and professional life has ground to a complete halt. I couldn't hold down a job, I couldn't study sometimes I couldn't even face seeing my friends.

Since getting help, my mental state has massively improved. I have been stable for the better part of 5 months now and I know that the only way is up. However, this improvement has not been reflected in any meaningful impact on my life. I'm still unemployed, I struggle with motivation and ability to keep up with the ordinary demands of life. I feel like my mental health problems have got me stuck in a swamp and although I do not feel like I am drowning anymore, I still feel unable to pull my way out of the swamp.

I have tried to set myself goals and adhered to them with various degrees of success. I am currently trying to re-apply to uni and have been sticking to a regular routine of exercise and sleep. But most of the time, I still feel as though I am not doing enough and just grasping at straws. Meanwhile, most of my friends have either graduated and have jobs or will graduate in a years time. I'm just left behind. The only thing I really smile about is thinking about better times in my past, before all this happened. I cannot envisage a better future for myself or that I will ever be able to get back to the place I used to be in my life.

Sorry for ranting, but if anyone has any advice on how to get out of a rut and how to truly get back your life post-mental illness would be much appreciated.

regards,
-H
 
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
2,079
Location
Canada
Getting well is progress. Would be good to be working, I'm trying to get there.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
5,203
Location
Nashua NH
I think you should give yourself a bit of a break, reign in the expectation and appreciate where you are. You sought help when you needed it and are doing better now. That is HUGE. Some
people never reach out, never get the help they need or improve much. That you can say you have recovered and are doing better is GREAT. I would pull back from comparing yourself too much to others. You have an illness that has held you back in life, they don’t. Learning about your illness and how to manage it you have been building a foundation to a more stable future. Take things slowly and with baby steps. Try not to judge yourself too harshly because I’m sure that others aren’t. They just want you to be better. I think you are doing the right thing by applying to get back to your studies. Making small goals and following through on them is GREAT. Chart your own course and do what you can to follow it. Wherever you would like to go I’m sure you will get there in time. xo, j
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
323
Location
London, UK
I think you should give yourself a bit of a break, reign in the expectation and appreciate where you are. You sought help when you needed it and are doing better now. That is HUGE. Some
people never reach out, never get the help they need or improve much. That you can say you have recovered and are doing better is GREAT. I would pull back from comparing yourself too much to others. You have an illness that has held you back in life, they don’t. Learning about your illness and how to manage it you have been building a foundation to a more stable future. Take things slowly and with baby steps. Try not to judge yourself too harshly because I’m sure that others aren’t. They just want you to be better. I think you are doing the right thing by applying to get back to your studies. Making small goals and following through on them is GREAT. Chart your own course and do what you can to follow it. Wherever you would like to go I’m sure you will get there in time. xo, j
Thanks jess, I appreciate the kind words. I really do appreciate how far I have gotten and I am very grateful that I have come out alive at the other end of all this. Maybe I'm judging myself on my past benchmarks, which is unfair, but I just find it depressing how stagnant and unproductive my life has become. I know there are no quick fixes to this but baby steps don't seem to be getting me anywhere, maybe i have to take a leap of faith. I need to come up with a game plan for getting myself where I want to get but its hard when I can't even envisage a better future for myself.
 
B

Bipolarbear808

Active member
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
26
Location
Hawaii, USA
Hey HLon99,

I can totally relate to what you said. Last year I was 2 semesters away from my degree. Long story short, I ended up having a break down and spent Christmas and New Years in a Psychiatric Hospital. Its been 11 months and I'm still working on getting my medication and life balance routine stable before starting school full-time again.

It sounds like you're doing really good and doing everything you're supposed to be doing. I agree with JessisMe; you should give yourself credit for overcoming a lot in a short period of time. School will still be there when you're ready to go back, but right now you have getting better is your priority.

Best Wishes!
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
323
Location
London, UK
Hey HLon99,

I can totally relate to what you said. Last year I was 2 semesters away from my degree. Long story short, I ended up having a break down and spent Christmas and New Years in a Psychiatric Hospital. Its been 11 months and I'm still working on getting my medication and life balance routine stable before starting school full-time again.

It sounds like you're doing really good and doing everything you're supposed to be doing. I agree with JessisMe; you should give yourself credit for overcoming a lot in a short period of time. School will still be there when you're ready to go back, but right now you have getting better is your priority.

Best Wishes!
Thanks for the encouragement and its good to know that I'm not the only one in my position. I know I should not be comparing myself to others, but seeing all my peers supersede me in every way this last year and a half is still a very bitter pill to swallow. Its not to say I'm not happy for them, but I guess I can be a little competitive sometimes and I feel like I constantly being driven by some internal expectations which I always struggle to catch up with. I need to start thinking more realistically and come up with a plan that is actually going to work.
 
K

keith74

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
147
Location
Canada
H,
I think it is great progress that you've been stable for awhile. As you know, I'm helping my wife get to that point while she comes down from a manic episode and stability sounds really nice right now.

I know one thing that sometimes triggers my wife is when she starts to compare herself to others. That type of behavior is unhealthy for anyone, not just people with a mental illness. I always encourage her to try not to get all wrapped up in what other people are doing. Everyone moves at their own pace. Some people start out fast and then stop progressing much more shortly after. Some are late bloomers that take awhile to get going. It doesn't really matter as long as you are satisfied with the progress you are making. If I remember correctly, you are still pretty young and have your whole life ahead of you. My wife hit many bumps in the road as a teen and through out most of her 20s (many manic and depressive episodes which impacted and slowed down her studies and career). She didn't really get a good handle on things until her early 30s when I met her and we had a great run for 10 years until this current major bump that I hope we can get through. Even now she is coming to terms about unresolved issues that she needs to address.

I've only been a recent member on this forum but always found your posts very insightful. I believe in you. Something in my gut tells me you are going to get though this and once you get going, you'll take off.
 
Tawny

Tawny

Well-known member
Forum Guide
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
4,469
Location
England
There is no rush, no set sequence, so long as you keep going forwards at your pace.

mental health comes first though.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
323
Location
London, UK
H,
I think it is great progress that you've been stable for awhile. As you know, I'm helping my wife get to that point while she comes down from a manic episode and stability sounds really nice right now.

I know one thing that sometimes triggers my wife is when she starts to compare herself to others. That type of behavior is unhealthy for anyone, not just people with a mental illness. I always encourage her to try not to get all wrapped up in what other people are doing. Everyone moves at their own pace. Some people start out fast and then stop progressing much more shortly after. Some are late bloomers that take awhile to get going. It doesn't really matter as long as you are satisfied with the progress you are making. If I remember correctly, you are still pretty young and have your whole life ahead of you. My wife hit many bumps in the road as a teen and through out most of her 20s (many manic and depressive episodes which impacted and slowed down her studies and career). She didn't really get a good handle on things until her early 30s when I met her and we had a great run for 10 years until this current major bump that I hope we can get through. Even now she is coming to terms about unresolved issues that she needs to address.

I've only been a recent member on this forum but always found your posts very insightful. I believe in you. Something in my gut tells me you are going to get though this and once you get going, you'll take off.
Dear Keith,

Thanks for the words of encouragement, it really means a lot to hear that someone out there believes in me. I struggle because even though I feel like I'm doing the right thing I keep hitting dead ends. All my life I've second guessed myself, but maybe all I need to do is have a little faith and persevere.
 
K

keith74

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
147
Location
Canada
I'm sure there are many others who believes in you. My wife really struggled with the same thoughts all throughout her teens up until her early 30s. It took a lot of patience and perseverance for her to get through those times. And even when she thought she did, turns out there was still more work to be done (which reared its ugly head recently) as many of those same ideas came back to the fold. Not sure if you have been doing things like CBT and mindfulness, but she is really focusing on that and she says it is helpful to get over some of the negative emotions she has. Hang in there - I know you will get through this fine.
 
maggie0123

maggie0123

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
128
Location
Canada
Hey HLon99,

I really hope this helps, but first I hope you would not mind that I share a bit of my experience. I'm currently an undergrad at uni in my third year, I think I've told you this in our previous messages. The first two years of uni was hell for me, I wasn't failing classes but I ended up being an average student and I hated that. I felt like I sucked not achieving the grades I wanted to, I got B's and C's and then one or two letter Ds in my transcript during my first two years. On my first year I gained around 15-20pounds and grew really terrible acne, I felt so ashamed of myself. I was very stressed then, I would binge eat, and then starve myself, and I would go away from my friends because I hated myself so much. Luckily, I was able to pull off my weight, and when I went back to uni on my second year I weighed around 142lbs on average.

It took me a lot of challenges and switching routines so I could finally be able to understand how to manage my time at uni with my extracurricular, add that to having terrible social anxiety and depression that I didn't know how to work around yet. I'm doing way way better than my first year, and started to understand myself more and what I value in life. Luckily, quarantine has really been helping me figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and I have been with myself a lot. I put new things into my routine, I walk, bike/jog/do weights around 6-8pm at night, I journal,read more and being on this forum really helped me and deleting my social media accounts, especially Instagram. I'm around 137lbs now, and it hasn't been fluctuating so much as it used to, I no longer binge eat as much, and I even hate how ice cream and most process food tastes, but I don't mind having burgers and fries once in awhile.. But about a few times a week, I still feel terrible about myself, and get depressed, anxious and suicidal, but I try to challenge my thoughts I try to feed my brain with something it craves, and recognize what it wants, if I'm thirsty, or hungry, or tired I give it what it needs.

Anyways, getting to understand myself and how my mind works really helped me figured out what I value in life...Just a few weeks ago actually, I had an "epiphany" that I really wanted to go to law school, I had a vague idea what I wanted to do most of the time I was in college, but I knew my career had to involve a lot of writing and reading since I am a Philosophy student. Therefore, finding a career that aligns with what you value really helps. But first, I think recognizing your strengths would really help you figure out what you want to do for yourself. and add that to what exactly are your personal values, is it wealth, prestige, personal development, intellect? and write them down. But it really takes a lot of thinking.

I also do not think you are not doing enough with your life. I mean reapplying to university, and asking yourself what you really want for yourself shows that you are doing something and trying to figure it out. I know it is harder than being said, but you should not put too much pressure on yourself. The best thing about what you are doing is that you are taking responsibility for yourself and your life, some others don't even try, it's good that you are self-aware. I remember you told me, you used to be a straight A student in high school, that shows a lot of what you are capable of, and maybe finding your niche and working on your strengths is key to finding a career you enjoy to achieve the "good life"

I hope this helps.

Best,

Maggie0123
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
323
Location
London, UK
Hey HLon99,

I really hope this helps, but first I hope you would not mind that I share a bit of my experience. I'm currently an undergrad at uni in my third year, I think I've told you this in our previous messages. The first two years of uni was hell for me, I wasn't failing classes but I ended up being an average student and I hated that. I felt like I sucked not achieving the grades I wanted to, I got B's and C's and then one or two letter Ds in my transcript during my first two years. On my first year I gained around 15-20pounds and grew really terrible acne, I felt so ashamed of myself. I was very stressed then, I would binge eat, and then starve myself, and I would go away from my friends because I hated myself so much. Luckily, I was able to pull off my weight, and when I went back to uni on my second year I weighed around 142lbs on average.

It took me a lot of challenges and switching routines so I could finally be able to understand how to manage my time at uni with my extracurricular, add that to having terrible social anxiety and depression that I didn't know how to work around yet. I'm doing way way better than my first year, and started to understand myself more and what I value in life. Luckily, quarantine has really been helping me figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and I have been with myself a lot. I put new things into my routine, I walk, bike/jog/do weights around 6-8pm at night, I journal,read more and being on this forum really helped me and deleting my social media accounts, especially Instagram. I'm around 137lbs now, and it hasn't been fluctuating so much as it used to, I no longer binge eat as much, and I even hate how ice cream and most process food tastes, but I don't mind having burgers and fries once in awhile.. But about a few times a week, I still feel terrible about myself, and get depressed, anxious and suicidal, but I try to challenge my thoughts I try to feed my brain with something it craves, and recognize what it wants, if I'm thirsty, or hungry, or tired I give it what it needs.

Anyways, getting to understand myself and how my mind works really helped me figured out what I value in life...Just a few weeks ago actually, I had an "epiphany" that I really wanted to go to law school, I had a vague idea what I wanted to do most of the time I was in college, but I knew my career had to involve a lot of writing and reading since I am a Philosophy student. Therefore, finding a career that aligns with what you value really helps. But first, I think recognizing your strengths would really help you figure out what you want to do for yourself. and add that to what exactly are your personal values, is it wealth, prestige, personal development, intellect? and write them down. But it really takes a lot of thinking.

I also do not think you are not doing enough with your life. I mean reapplying to university, and asking yourself what you really want for yourself shows that you are doing something and trying to figure it out. I know it is harder than being said, but you should not put too much pressure on yourself. The best thing about what you are doing is that you are taking responsibility for yourself and your life, some others don't even try, it's good that you are self-aware. I remember you told me, you used to be a straight A student in high school, that shows a lot of what you are capable of, and maybe finding your niche and working on your strengths is key to finding a career you enjoy to achieve the "good life"

I hope this helps.

Best,

Maggie0123
[/QUOT
Hey HLon99,

I really hope this helps, but first I hope you would not mind that I share a bit of my experience. I'm currently an undergrad at uni in my third year, I think I've told you this in our previous messages. The first two years of uni was hell for me, I wasn't failing classes but I ended up being an average student and I hated that. I felt like I sucked not achieving the grades I wanted to, I got B's and C's and then one or two letter Ds in my transcript during my first two years. On my first year I gained around 15-20pounds and grew really terrible acne, I felt so ashamed of myself. I was very stressed then, I would binge eat, and then starve myself, and I would go away from my friends because I hated myself so much. Luckily, I was able to pull off my weight, and when I went back to uni on my second year I weighed around 142lbs on average.

It took me a lot of challenges and switching routines so I could finally be able to understand how to manage my time at uni with my extracurricular, add that to having terrible social anxiety and depression that I didn't know how to work around yet. I'm doing way way better than my first year, and started to understand myself more and what I value in life. Luckily, quarantine has really been helping me figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and I have been with myself a lot. I put new things into my routine, I walk, bike/jog/do weights around 6-8pm at night, I journal,read more and being on this forum really helped me and deleting my social media accounts, especially Instagram. I'm around 137lbs now, and it hasn't been fluctuating so much as it used to, I no longer binge eat as much, and I even hate how ice cream and most process food tastes, but I don't mind having burgers and fries once in awhile.. But about a few times a week, I still feel terrible about myself, and get depressed, anxious and suicidal, but I try to challenge my thoughts I try to feed my brain with something it craves, and recognize what it wants, if I'm thirsty, or hungry, or tired I give it what it needs.

Anyways, getting to understand myself and how my mind works really helped me figured out what I value in life...Just a few weeks ago actually, I had an "epiphany" that I really wanted to go to law school, I had a vague idea what I wanted to do most of the time I was in college, but I knew my career had to involve a lot of writing and reading since I am a Philosophy student. Therefore, finding a career that aligns with what you value really helps. But first, I think recognizing your strengths would really help you figure out what you want to do for yourself. and add that to what exactly are your personal values, is it wealth, prestige, personal development, intellect? and write them down. But it really takes a lot of thinking.

I also do not think you are not doing enough with your life. I mean reapplying to university, and asking yourself what you really want for yourself shows that you are doing something and trying to figure it out. I know it is harder than being said, but you should not put too much pressure on yourself. The best thing about what you are doing is that you are taking responsibility for yourself and your life, some others don't even try, it's good that you are self-aware. I remember you told me, you used to be a straight A student in high school, that shows a lot of what you are capable of, and maybe finding your niche and working on your strengths is key to finding a career you enjoy to achieve the "good life"

I hope this helps.

Best,

Maggie0123
Dear Maggie,

Thank you for sharing your experience, a lot for me to take home there. I think for me right now its more important to set some short term achievable goals, rather than considering more 'global' things like career moves, don't think I'm at that stage yet. But yeah I agree finding new avenues and activities like exercise and hobbies is the right move.

Its also very encouraging to hear a success story. I have been discouraged by many stories of people continuing to struggle despite years of treatment and have lately been stuck in a rut of thinking that I will never manage to climb out of this hole, so hearing a different perspective gives me more hope for the future.

Thanks for taking the time time to respond and its been nice to catch up. Stay in touch. :)

All the best,

-H
 
maggie0123

maggie0123

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
128
Location
Canada
Dear Maggie,

Thank you for sharing your experience, a lot for me to take home there. I think for me right now its more important to set some short term achievable goals, rather than considering more 'global' things like career moves, don't think I'm at that stage yet. But yeah I agree finding new avenues and activities like exercise and hobbies is the right move.

Its also very encouraging to hear a success story. I have been discouraged by many stories of people continuing to struggle despite years of treatment and have lately been stuck in a rut of thinking that I will never manage to climb out of this hole, so hearing a different perspective gives me more hope for the future.

Thanks for taking the time time to respond and its been nice to catch up. Stay in touch. :)

All the best,

-H
Hey HLon,

Ohh, yes it's your own pace. And you're welcome, I wish you all the best. :)

Maggie0123
 
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