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Living in the Moment.

UnderR

UnderR

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"If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present."
-
Lao Tzu.

I was reminded of this quote after I had a little pep talk with my dad earlier. Anxiety was worse than usual today and I needed to talk to someone about it. Talking with him helped me calm down and he gave me a new perspective on things.

Living with anxiety, I'm controlled by fear, more than anything, I fear and despise not being able to know things. We can never know what's going to happen in the future and that's something I'm afraid of.

My dad basically just told me 'fuck the future' albeit in a more mature way. He said that the future isn't something we can know and not something we can change in a meaningful way so it's better to reflect on what you have now rather than think about the future.

Kind of a hard pill to swallow honestly, if I could change the way I think just like that it would be amazing, but it did help somewhat in giving me a bit of perspective. Thinking about the future too much is painful and futile, better to focus on myself now and leave tomorrow's problems to tomorrow's me.

Just some thoughts I have, not sure if it might be useful to someone but I felt like sharing regardless.
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Lao Tzu sounds like he was a smart guy, but I'm not sure that quote means anything. It's good you can talk to your father.
 
UnderR

UnderR

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Lao Tzu sounds like he was a smart guy, but I'm not sure that quote means anything. It's good you can talk to your father.
Eh, a quote's a quote, I guess that one just struck me as significant.
 
Maitri

Maitri

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Eh, a quote's a quote, I guess that one just struck me as significant.
Yes, words are just words, but I've found that sometimes something I've heard before a few times suddenly "grabs" me, seems more significant, makes a more existential impact.

I think you did right to share.

"Living in the Now" can just be some New Age slogan, the reality is possibly transforming, maybe not so much fuck the future as preparing ourselves for it in the best possible way.

I always seem to have some sort of quote or verse popping into my dustbin of a mind.....here we go...

Yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow only a vision
But today well lived
Makes ever yesterday
A dream of happiness
And every tomorrow
A vision of hope
 
UnderR

UnderR

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Messages
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Location
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Yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow only a vision
But today well lived
Makes ever yesterday
A dream of happiness
And every tomorrow
A vision of hope
I like that, I think it's quite meaningful. :geek:
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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I WISH I could live in the now. Not since I was a very little kid have I felt free enough to.

I do agree that I am depressed and anxious because I ONLY live in the past and the future / alternative daydream future.
 
D

Dazed & Confused

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I don't agree with this quote because I have depression and anxiety at the same time.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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I don't agree with this quote because I have depression and anxiety at the same time.
So do I, but for me, my anxiety causes my depression.

Also, you can have both depression and anxiety at the same time and you can also live in the past and the present at the same time. I know I do.
 
T

tiltawhirl3

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Yesterday I watched a bunch of TED talks about compassion and worldviews and it also talks a lot about being in the present moment. It was very uplifting and hopeful.
I am really trying to hang on to that mindset.
 
D

Dazed & Confused

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So do I, but for me, my anxiety causes my depression.

Also, you can have both depression and anxiety at the same time and you can also live in the past and the present at the same time. I know I do.
That is very interesting about your anxiety causing your depression. Can you please explain a bit more about that, how it happens? I'm wondering if that happens to me.
 
L

Laudanum

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You can be depressed as well as anxious about the future.

A thought occurred to me to today that I am always focussed on the ultimate destination of my journey, rather than appreciating the journey itself. If you focus too far ahead, so many variables can have changed to make it inaccurate, so if you are trying to deal with problems in the future by worrying about them now it is pointless because other issues may have taken precedence by then.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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You can be depressed as well as anxious about the future.

A thought occurred to me to today that I am always focussed on the ultimate destination of my journey, rather than appreciating the journey itself. If you focus too far ahead, so many variables can have changed to make it inaccurate, so if you are trying to deal with problems in the future by worrying about them now it is pointless because other issues may have taken precedence by then.
This is so right. I must try and remind myself of it when I try and think / worry / plan / try to control 1-10 years into the future!
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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That is very interesting about your anxiety causing your depression. Can you please explain a bit more about that, how it happens? I'm wondering if that happens to me.
Yes! I somehow didn't realise which one caused the other until 2 specific things showed me. Now it's so obvious!

I remember a psychiatrist asking me back in 2018 which one I thought came first, or caused the other, if any. And I honestly didn't know. Looking back, I feel silly because I pride myself on being so self aware!

Oh well. So anyway...

1. In 2017 I was SO anxious about life events (on top of my already high base level anxiety) I went on Xanax. It was SUCH A RELIEF. I felt relaxed, almost content (which I could barely even remember how that felt), I had an appetite, AND I felt interested in things, I felt engaged in what I was doing, and I felt motivated. One night at midnight I finally hung some framed pictures up on the walls that I'd been putting off doing for 6 MONTHS.

I noticed this, and I noticed that no antidepressants had ever been that effective, and I wished they'd make Xanax as a pill you could take everyday, more like an antidepressant, that would never develop a tolerance.

So at the time, I just assumed XANAX had some special antidepressant qualities to it that worked for me. But I never linked its effects to the fact that it took away my depression BECAUSE it took away my anxiety. So I was kind of looking at it a bit backwards.

2. In 2020 I tried Effexor, and every 2-3 days I would feel TERRIBLE!!!! I would feel paralysed with anxiety and not want to do anything. I'd just lay on the couch, feeling stressed (by what, I didn't know), bored, discouraged, dull and yep...depressed. Because I felt so bad, and felt TOO bad to do anything. Or to even WANT to do anything. I couldn't enjoy anything. And it wasn't just a case that I DIDN'T enjoy or want to do anything - I literally COULDN'T enjoy or want to do anything. Because I simply felt too "stressed" (anxious, fearful, full of dread and doom) to.

And that was very depressing. And I realised that over many years of feeling like that (but mostly not to such an extreme extent. The Effexor amplified my already high anxiety into horrendous levels), I had grown to be chronically depressed because of it.

So...yeah. Those quite specific experiences showed me extremely clearly that the anxiety was causing my depression.

Also, I realised I wasn't depressed before about 10-15 years ago. I still had interests, some motivation, enthusiasm, enjoyment and desire. I didn't sleep all day. I had an appetite. But, I've had anxiety since I was 4 years old. So that WAY pre-dates the depression seeing as I'm 43 now.
 
D

Dazed & Confused

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Yes! I somehow didn't realise which one caused the other until 2 specific things showed me. Now it's so obvious!

I remember a psychiatrist asking me back in 2018 which one I thought came first, or caused the other, if any. And I honestly didn't know. Looking back, I feel silly because I pride myself on being so self aware!

Oh well. So anyway...

1. In 2017 I was SO anxious about life events (on top of my already high base level anxiety) I went on Xanax. It was SUCH A RELIEF. I felt relaxed, almost content (which I could barely even remember how that felt), I had an appetite, AND I felt interested in things, I felt engaged in what I was doing, and I felt motivated. One night at midnight I finally hung some framed pictures up on the walls that I'd been putting off doing for 6 MONTHS.

I noticed this, and I noticed that no antidepressants had ever been that effective, and I wished they'd make Xanax as a pill you could take everyday, more like an antidepressant, that would never develop a tolerance.

So at the time, I just assumed XANAX had some special antidepressant qualities to it that worked for me. But I never linked its effects to the fact that it took away my depression BECAUSE it took away my anxiety. So I was kind of looking at it a bit backwards.

2. In 2020 I tried Effexor, and every 2-3 days I would feel TERRIBLE!!!! I would feel paralysed with anxiety and not want to do anything. I'd just lay on the couch, feeling stressed (by what, I didn't know), bored, discouraged, dull and yep...depressed. Because I felt so bad, and felt TOO bad to do anything. Or to even WANT to do anything. I couldn't enjoy anything. And it wasn't just a case that I DIDN'T enjoy or want to do anything - I literally COULDN'T enjoy or want to do anything. Because I simply felt too "stressed" (anxious, fearful, full of dread and doom) to.

And that was very depressing. And I realised that over many years of feeling like that (but mostly not to such an extreme extent. The Effexor amplified my already high anxiety into horrendous levels), I had grown to be chronically depressed because of it.

So...yeah. Those quite specific experiences showed me extremely clearly that the anxiety was causing my depression.

Also, I realised I wasn't depressed before about 10-15 years ago. I still had interests, some motivation, enthusiasm, enjoyment and desire. I didn't sleep all day. I had an appetite. But, I've had anxiety since I was 4 years old. So that WAY pre-dates the depression seeing as I'm 43 now.
Thank you very much for explaining. I will tell you what I have noticed about my depression and anxiety.

I'm 50 and I've had depression since I was at least 14. My anxiety seemed to start when I was 29. This happened when I stood up to my family for the first time in my life. BUT I think I have always had anxiety, since I was a child. I think I just became aware of it when I stood up to my family.

I think I have suppressed my feelings of fear, anger and sadness for most of my life.

Also, when I don't stand up to people I get depressed and when I do I get anxious.

Also, I think my anxiety somehow stops me from feeling my feelings because once I finally get present to them and express them my anxiety is gone.

Yes, I think it would be fantastic to have no anxiety.
 
S

Selfhealing

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South West England
I fear the future but only because I did not prepare for it in the past.
May I get the opportunity to prepare for a future where my basic human needs are met.
Where I am content.
Where I am an asset to the world and leave the earth a better place than when I came to it.
 
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