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Who am I? What job should I do? How can I find out about myself?

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Luke29

New member
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Surrey, UK
Hello Everyone,

Many thanks in advance for taking the time to read my post and for any advice and help you can give me.

I was recently diagnoses with EUPD/BPD - but have suffered all my life with the core traits.

I am now in weekly art therapy sessions and have been in therapy before for a total of 5 years. Standard psychotherapy - not the specialist therapies for BPD as I can't afford them here in the UK.

I currently out of work - I was made redundant but I know that my career path up until now has been wrong for me and I have been on autopilot just trying to pay bills and it has ruined my mental health being in invalidating environments. I have a Fine Art degree - but my passion for art has completely gone since I graduated and have worked in art galleries. Just gone.

I would really like to find out who I am. What job I can do next and find hobbies and interests.

My art therapist has told me to write a list of things for these 3 questions:

1) What I like?

2) What I want?

3) What makes me feel good?

I am grateful for my therapists help. But when I sit down and try to even think about this - part of me is resisting the idea of even sitting down to think about these questions, because the feelings of not knowing who I am at nearly 30 years old is too painful.

I just draw a blank. I don't know who I am. I feel connected when I am around certain people and alone when I'm around others but I don't have a type of person - it's like a force or energy that is positive or negative, not a set of traits.

The same for work. I don't know what kind of job I can do, I know that I can't do either of my 2 past jobs (customer service, or technician) but aside from that I draw a blank. I like animals and nature but would I want to work full time in that area? I feel like it's a no. I want to help people but could I do it full time as a nurse or counsellor? No again.

Every time I try and come up with some kind of answer for who I am and what job I could do I get the negatives saying no don't do that. It's like a constant push a pull between feeling empty of any answers and then when something comes up instantly it feels like the wrong answer.

I'm feeling really stuck. I see others having careers and setting goals in life and having friendships and hobbies and relationships. I feel like I'm stuck behind glass just looking in - can't ever reach the same place in life as them. It's a painful feeling - like I'm stuck and always will be stuck. Like I will never know who I am or find a job I fit in with.

This push and pull between not having any answers and then realising it's not for me is really making me want to give up.

I would really appreciate anyone who understands this issue to give me some help if you have any - or just to know you are there and you understand my problems and pain.

Thank you in advance and I hope this wasn't triggering for anyone who read my message,

Take care and be safe, I hope to read your replies soon if you are able to help,

Luke :)
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,140
Hi Luke, I'm no expert in this, but I will give you my opinion/suggestions... Firstly in my opinion we are the product of our values (the values we lead our life by). You mentioned connecting with others'. Try writing down the values that you share/connect with these people. Next when thinking about a career change, what does your gut instinct tell you (and don't allow the negativity to put you off). Instead make a list of what needs to change to follow your gut instinct, and work out for yourself if it's a possibility, and how you would feel in this new position/field... Hope this helps :)
 
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Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,574
Location
London, ON
I have a Fine Art degree - but my passion for art has completely gone since I graduated and have worked in art galleries. Just gone.
That's actually a little bit funny to me - I'm an artist, couple degrees, and, yeah, working in a gallery would kill my creativity. Working as a designer ruined my urge to do my own work.

I went through nearly ten years of doing no art at all - like, I didn't even doodle. Slowly, the desire came back, and then it was a few years of feeling creative, but my skills had rusted so much even trying was frustrating.

I'm doing a fair bit now, though. Here's the thing -the styles and techniques I use now are quite a bit different than when I was 20 and 30. Yes, I use older styles and such, but I've gone from only doing realism.illustrative stuff, to more expressionist/impressionist.

Part of my practice now includes mindfulness as part of the style.

And, I now get the urge to do some stuf like I used to.

I find painting helps me organize and review my thoughts, and keeps me calm and feeling productive.

Have you tried changing styles? Do you think your art therapy could help you relax your thoughts enough to maybe get some insights into your issues?

And - for what it's worth, having BPD often means feeling empty, or having no sense of purpose. It's rough, I know. But try to think of things like this - the disorder is why you can't settle on a goal. It makes you want one, but it carries an automatic "I don't want to change" overlay with it.

I've found, sometimes, just doing anything as a goal kinda breaks that block down. Validation helps us seek more ways to be validated.
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,140
@ Nukelavee are you following your gut instinct and if so is it making you happy :)
 
L

Luke29

New member
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
3
Location
Surrey, UK
Hi Luke, I'm no expert in this, but I will give you my opinion/suggestions... Firstly in my opinion we are the product of our values (the values we lead our life by). You mentioned connecting with others'. Try writing down the values that you share/connect with these people. Next when thinking about a career change, what does your gut instinct tell you (and don't allow the negativity to put you off). Instead make a list of what needs to change to follow your gut instinct, and work out for yourself if it's a possibility, and how you would feel in this new position/field... Hope this helps :)
Hey man :)

First of all - thank you very much for taking the time to read my post and to give me your advice.

I'm going to try these tips out and see if it leads anywhere. It's just one of those things - trying to focus on something that feels like it won't go anywhere. But I'm going to listen to your advice and try and be positive about it!

That's actually a little bit funny to me - I'm an artist, couple degrees, and, yeah, working in a gallery would kill my creativity. Working as a designer ruined my urge to do my own work.

I went through nearly ten years of doing no art at all - like, I didn't even doodle. Slowly, the desire came back, and then it was a few years of feeling creative, but my skills had rusted so much even trying was frustrating.

I'm doing a fair bit now, though. Here's the thing -the styles and techniques I use now are quite a bit different than when I was 20 and 30. Yes, I use older styles and such, but I've gone from only doing realism.illustrative stuff, to more expressionist/impressionist.

Part of my practice now includes mindfulness as part of the style.

And, I now get the urge to do some stuf like I used to.

I find painting helps me organize and review my thoughts, and keeps me calm and feeling productive.

Have you tried changing styles? Do you think your art therapy could help you relax your thoughts enough to maybe get some insights into your issues?

And - for what it's worth, having BPD often means feeling empty, or having no sense of purpose. It's rough, I know. But try to think of things like this - the disorder is why you can't settle on a goal. It makes you want one, but it carries an automatic "I don't want to change" overlay with it.

I've found, sometimes, just doing anything as a goal kinda breaks that block down. Validation helps us seek more ways to be validated.
Hey! :)

Thank you for giving me an idea of how this has affected your life - the lack of creativity for a long time and then a slow return to a different wat of being creative.

Do you have the BPD label too? Or are you just interested and know about the subject?

I have changed styles - but the art therapy just feels like an outlet for past traumas - I don't know if it is helping to help or just picking at old wounds?

I'm going to try and be more positive and maybe just set goals and try them - it's the fear of failure and being stuck in a job I don't like and having to quit and start again. You know?
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,140
Sorry what I offered was just a opinion... rather than listen to me, I suggested you listen to your gut instinct. What I would suggest though is safeguarding your security, financial and otherwise... The values that you are connecting with others' could have some meaning, perhaps now or in the future (again just my opinion). If possible, go with what makes you happy (as long as it's not at others cost) :)
 
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Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,574
Location
London, ON
Do you have the BPD label too? Or are you just interested and know about the subject?
I have BPD. Diagnosed about 22 years ago, started to really work at dealing with it about 10 years ago.
but the art therapy just feels like an outlet for past traumas - I don't know if it is helping to help or just picking at old wounds?
Part of the thing with BPD, is that it can be based in past traumas. A lot of our negative traits are flawed coping strategies. So, coming to terms with past trauma is a big part of feeling better.

I know how you feel, though -I have issues I just don't want to face, because I know to start will be painful. So - it's not just you.
it's the fear of failure and being stuck in a job I don't like and having to quit and start again. You know?
Yup, I do know, lol. There's that "do I have to time to try something new?" I try and tell myself I have more time today, then I will tomorrow.

Fear of failure is a huge thing, and, so far as I can tell, the only way past it is to do things you can succeed at, and just up the challenge level over time.
 
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