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BellaPippin

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Welcome to Anxietyland. Come for the knowledge, stay because of paralysis by analysis.

It's been a tough week. I feel lost. I received my Associate's yesterday, which I paid cash and took me forever but it's out of the way, ready to be used for a transfer if I ever choose to do so. I'm between therapy sessions but right now I need the point of view of people with fastlane mentality.

You see I know I want to be financially independent, I've got a plan for it. I'm gonna start with my multifamily home and be a landlady. That should at the very least give me extra income and maybe help me become part-time. Then I'll work on snowballing that. No rush, all ok.

So my meds are having a reduced effect lately and last Saturday at the therapist she suggested it's because I feel lonely and that triggers anxiety, but it's not clear what kind of connection/relationship I'm missing. She made me draw a flower. One petal was good friends. Ok, I got that. The other petal was my boyfriend. He's a great support. Ok. When it came to the family petal, I realized I wanted to exclude my parents. My house is kinda toxic, but that's another story.

So then... that was it. I only had two petals. My family here is my cat, and my best friend. Stuff is missing, I feel a void and I feel I don't belong. Chicago isn't the problem, I love this city, winter and all. I just don't "belong" somewhere. Anywhere. I'm not part of anything good. I'm grateful this job is not stressful at all and I'm very comfortable while I build my fastlane but I'm also sick of wasting 8-5 here.

Fast forward to the actual issue. Where does my drive for entrepreneurship fit in all this? I think it's because I feel part of my purpose is to give (another petal), but my goals keep changing constantly. I just don't know which way to go. I like sustainability and sustainable energy. I like philanthropy, so I've come up with a couple self-sustainable venture ideas to help homeless people. I like art, so I could go to school and become an art teacher, and encourage expression in kids, or an art therapist and help people with mental health issues, less impact but one at a time. My living would come from my real estate so I would go to school because I want to learn about either self sustainability, art, or something. Or just hire professionals for my ventures idk. I like the idea of growing food and giving it to the food depository. I could study political science and try to help pass good laws but that's a job.
When I was helping the Chicago Chapter of the UN Association, I liked volunteering. I served a higher purpose to help a better future. People seemed to appreciate me being there. But along with the fact I was leaving my relationship I got overwhelmed and stressed as I got into the director's board and I sort of meltdown quit in a very abrupt fashion, which still embarrasses me because I feel I let down a lot of people.

I guess my question is I know I can change lanes but which exit you take? What trade-off do you make, because you only have one life and can't do it all? I'll do the decision matrix thing and post what I get when I can...

Sometimes I do think that people in the slowlane at least don't have their minds worrying and rambling about this stuff. Their monotone, prescripted existence distracts them from the existential questions that drive me crazy. I'm scared one day I'm going to end up like Van Gogh and just... well you know how he ended. With two ears though.

Sorry for this long rant I'm having a particularly tough day. ):

B
 

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ZF Lee

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Thanks for sharing.
Really brave of you to find out what you need to improve on, and look to take steps to make your life happier.

Chicago isn't the problem, I love this city, winter and all. I just don't "belong" somewhere.
You've mentioned you did quite well in voluntary organizations.

Perhaps you still do belong somewhere, just that you've got to attend different meetups related to your interests, and find good people to connect with.
When it comes to building better trust and rapport with the few select ones, don't rush into it, but take the time to know their needs and find ways to help them in small, practical ways.

But along with the fact I was leaving my relationship I got overwhelmed and stressed as I got into the director's board and I sort of meltdown quit in a very abrupt fashion, which still embarrasses me because I feel I let down a lot of people.
Don't beat yourself up over it.

As long as you explained yourself later, and show that you still care for them, it'll be alright.
Judging from your language, I see you've already done good things for the the folks, so they should actually be more concerned about your well-being, rather than hating you for your slip-up.

Sometimes I do think that people in the slowlane at least don't have their minds worrying and rambling about this stuff. Their monotone, prescripted existence distracts them from the existential questions that drive me crazy. I'm scared one day I'm going to end up like Van Gogh and just... well you know how he ended. With two ears though.
If there was a fire in your backyard, would you dash it out quickly?

Or just leave it to burn away, while listening to Justin Bieber on your earphones? ;)

If you can get to know of immediate problems, such as stress or a lack of purpose, by all means, go solve them.

I don't think Slowlaners totally ignore life problems though. They do take note of things like lack of savings and an uncertain world, but their means and tools are limited, and might not take in the full picture of things.

Which is of course...natural. No decision will have 100% certainty of working, but there are many ways around it!

Don't worry about Van Gogh. His life and decisions were a lot more rougher than most of us.
You have already made more correct moves for yourself than he did, at this time of age.:)
 

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The flower is just a tool. Don't get trapped in the petals. Pull off all the petals and it becomes a stem, independent, self-reliant, and it's perhaps ugly, skinny, green, and has no purpose other than it might have some roots and you plant it in the ground, you feed it, give it some sun, give it some rain, and it starts growing. It gets some nice leaves, it grows taller, and sprout new buds with many petals.

There's two kinds of flowers. Annuals that you have to buy every year, and at the end of the year you throw them out because they'll never grow again. I always didn't like wasting my money on them because they were one time use. I love Perennials. They're King. They spread all over the place and make new shoots of flowers all over the place. They grow every year, they die every year, they're reborn, and keep on expanding in the flower garden. Well depends on what flower, but usually you can share them with friends or who ever.

In a flower garden you have cultural diversity. You have the Rose Bushes, of all Varieties and I go wild with rose bushes. They climb all over buildings, fences, and just need to be pruned. They have thorns, they make you bleed, but represent the human nature. They wilt and look terrible and depressing when they die, but absolutely beautiful alive. They have geometrical shapes in every type of rose and all different.

In your experience right now you feel kind of like the climbing rose, thinking you need some kind of support to hold you up. Where some rose bushes just stand right up by themselves next to their neighbors.

I used to have this dog that loved my little tiny rose bushes. You always have those obstacles in life where a dog comes along and pulls them out of the ground and runs around the yard with them for whatever dumb reason, or you have some person come in your yard and cut all your climbing rose bushes down until they're nothing without asking after it took you three years to get them laying just right over the trellis.

Life is quite similar. Petals are first buds, they blossom and spread out, and than they die and fall off. If Petals are your relationships and support team, they will do the same. People come and go out of your life. Some stay for a day, a month, a year, a few year, a life time. You really have no control over your support team. Just like the Climbing Roses, they thought they would thrive hanging on to wall, a trellis, the ground for little rose bushes, but some event occurred to prevent them from thriving momentarily until I caught the dog and decided it wasn't a good idea anymore for those specific plants. And I set personal boundaries with people and told them to stay out of my bushes with out my permission.

How many petals you have at one time, doesn't matter. You can have a rose on a bush with two petals, but it still continues to grow, develop, and go through the natural process of death and rebirth with the seasons.

Regardless...you have to learn to understand your self-worth isn't dependent on how many people support you in the experience. You have to support yourself at times in life. You have to understand being an Entrepreneur is about standing by yourself, making your choices by yourself, not always leaning on someone else to motivate you.

Medications usually help you calm the nervous system for the most part. Adjust certain chemicals in the brain and bring them into balance. You're cognitive thinking won't be cured by medication. Anxiety is never 100% gone with medications. It sedates the Nervous system and makes it more comfortable for you to tolerate whatever it is your experiencing in your environment.

It doesn't make your social issues, social problems, or life lessons go away. You still have to do the inner work on the emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, sexual, and financial level.

The flower method she uses is a tool to help you. There are tons of methods and techniques we all use in finding the authentic self.

If you volunteer in your community, you can find purpose in helping others in various non-profit human service projects. You can get work experience as well. When you help others naturally you feel good about yourself. You're adding value to the community.

Entrepreneurship might be a bit stressful right now at this point until you get a bit more methods, techniques, and tools to help you along on the journey. Those are long-term goals to reach for.

Reaching self-mastery is key of emotions, thoughts, and feelings. We've all learned Psychology, Emotional Regulation, Adversity, Resilience.
It's a process and not something which happens over night. You're in full control over your life if you choose to work at it every day.
 

Patrick Jones

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Volunteering can be a nice thing. And it can also be a selfish thing, serving to provide you with attention and a feeling of worth. In that case, it'll just be another addiction. Like alcohol, shopping, etc.

I have experience with therapy and feel that its job is to make me healthy, not to give me purpose in live. Just like an orthopaedist's job is to fix my knee so I can go running, while practising for the marathon afterwards is fully my responsibility.

Over the years I've become much more "ego-aware". The first question on my mind is "what do I want?". Then I take care of that. That means I spend a lot of time in a way I enjoy, in a way I chose. Then I still spend a lot of time on helping friends and family. It is easier, because I know my needs are covered.
Just like in the airplane: Put your own mask on before you assist others.
 
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BellaPippin

BellaPippin

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I don't think Slowlaners totally ignore life problems though. They do take note of things like lack of savings and an uncertain world, but their means and tools are limited, and might not take in the full picture of things.
Sorry. I didn't mean that they ignore them... I was referring more to how they take the whole "go to school, make a family, buy a house, retire" as a given and don't look into it much more than that. When I say I don't like the 9-5 they respond to me "but that's life". Whereas we see more things to do with our time here. Maybe that makes it clearer.

Thanks for your advice. :)

The flower method she uses is a tool to help you. There are tons of methods and techniques we all use in finding the authentic self.
Thanks a lot for your whole post. I do so well with analogies for some reason. I don't feel lonely in the sense I relate people to my self worth. In fact I told my therapist that I have two good friends, my bf as "close circle" and I'm fine with that many. I'm not extroverted but I am still skilled socially and do have acquaintances. During my time at UNA I networked and even gave a talk at a conference retreat, I've had meetings with members of the House of Reps for Illinois. I had a bit of people come and go, besides my ex. Few friends that taught me a lesson and they are not a part of my life anymore. The friends I just catch up with every once in a while because they are in Argentina. It's more of that there is something else I'm missing. My experiences the past year have only cemented even more the notion that I am able to do anything I set my mind to on my own. I've no doubt of that. But I'm missing a purpose, an environment, a situation, I don't know what it is. ):

I've been focusing on self-care. I've been painting, chilling, seeing my friends. Keeping stress away like the plague. I'm also finding it tough to slowly pick up the rhythm without risking relapses. I think about volunteering and immediately think how that is going to cut into my schedule again, or become a get up - work - extra activity - dinner - sleep Mon-Fri and feel claustrophobic. I go back and forth between this "I wanna be a productive member of society and help the community" and "I want to be in my own house, take care of my garden, paint all day" basically be 70 year old lady in my 30's. .__.


@Patrick Jones Thanks you've got a good point. The reason I've volunteered in the past it's because I'm just a gift giver, whether is help, things or my time. I enjoy that. I know it sounds super altruistic but it makes me feel happy when I assist others, when I give a treat to a kid, etc etc.

It's also true that there's been times where I spent too much giving to others and neglected myself.

Your comment is a good reminder that it's not I can't do a lot of things I just can't do them at a time. Do you set yourself a time in which you say "I'm treating myself from now on" or just let it run its course until you feel it's time to switch?
 
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MJ DeMarco

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My therapist hat is in the closet so I won't digress, but some books that might help you understand your thinking, the egoic mind, and the uncovering of a "truer" self...

The Power of Now, Tolle
The Untethered Soul, Singer

Sometimes I do think that people in the slowlane at least don't have their minds worrying and rambling about this stuff. Their monotone, prescripted existence distracts them from the existential questions that drive me crazy.
No, but they probably sweat bullets every time the stock market goes down, or they get called into the bosses' office unexpectedly. And they cry when the Chicago Bears lose a football game.
 

Patrick Jones

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Your comment is a good reminder that it's not I can't do a lot of things I just can't do them at a time. Do you set yourself a time in which you say "I'm treating myself from now on" or just let it run its course until you feel it's time to switch?
Taking care of myself is my baseline, it's the default setting. It's what I aim to do when I get up in the morning. Be it sitting lazily in the café for half an hour or working at the desk for my business. It's something I'm doing for me.

What took me a long long time to realize is that I'm in charge of my life. No one else is, it's solely my responsibility. And it is also the only life I'm responsible for (as I don't have kids yet).

Somewhere at the back of my head was always the fear of being reprimanded. Not for anything special, there was just the lingering feeling that I might not be "doing the right thing". In that regard, shedding myself of that feeling, I grew up very late. Now I'm 37, long past childhood, and now I decide what "doing the right thing" is.

I still love doing things for those close to me. Be it buying a jar of extra-yummy salsa verde for my girlfriend, or spending hours on tailoring a hoodie for my mum. But I always make sure that I myself am well first. If I am not well, I can not take care of either myself nor others.
 
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BellaPippin

BellaPippin

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No, but they probably sweat bullets every time the stock market goes down, or they get called into the bosses' office unexpectedly. And they cry when the Chicago Bears lose a football game.
That's very true, too. It just sort of doesn't affect them until it happens though. They aren't worrying all day about being in the grinding machine. Or if they are doing something worthy with their lives, or questioning why they only have two weeks off out of a whole year. They kinda sleep better than me at night because of it. Of course this is a total blanket statement but I'm sure you get my point.

I've heard about The Power of Now a dozen times at least, not sure why I haven't read it yet (but I have quite a bit of "be in the now" "meditate" and "mindfulness" reading under my belt) I'll check them both out. Sometimes just the reading about it part already helps me temporarily.

Thank you MJ.

Somewhere at the back of my head was always the fear of being reprimanded. Not for anything special, there was just the lingering feeling that I might not be "doing the right thing". In that regard, shedding myself of that feeling, I grew up very late. Now I'm 37, long past childhood, and now I decide what "doing the right thing" is.
I can relate, a lot. Not so for being reprimanded but my parents always pushed for more. It's always "I Made X" "Oh, not Y too?" "Ok, and now what else?" I guess I know I make the rules now but my subconscious hasn't got the memo yet.
 

ChrisV

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Lol, stupidity isn't the key to happiness. Actually statistically IQ positively correlates with happiness.

I had MDD for 10+ years and I resolved it within a week using the techniques listed in this book:

(Click each item on the checklist on the right to go to the corresponding questionaire)


People always come back to me ranting and raving about that book:

25605

25606

If that doesn't do the trick find a good therapist trained in CBT and IFS.
 

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I would like to ask what is the deep reason that made you think that suicide or self harm might be a possible solution?
 
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Jon L

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One thing I picked up on was a feeling of perfectionism in what you wrote, like you have to pick that 'one best thing to pursue.' I can relate to that, a lot. The truth, though, is that there is no such thing as the 'best option.' Even if there was, you change and everything and everyone around you changes - every single day. What was best today won't be best tomorrow.

So, pick a good option today. Pursue it, and see how it feels. Here's the thing, though: stick with it for a while. If you and the circumstances change, incrementally modify it to bend it in the direction you want to go, but don't totally change course. In all, be kind to yourself.

The best thing you could do for yourself with all of this, though, is to work through this stuff with a good therapist. I'm doing that, and it is really helping. Before you make a major decision, talk it through with your therapist to make sure you really understand your motivations for doing so.
 

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Bryan James

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I can't recommend enough the books of Dr. David R. Hawkins, who was himself a therapist. Very brave of you to be so forthcoming and honest and best of luck to you on your journey.
 

Matt Sun

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If you want to feel diferent, do diferent things like:

vegan diet
cbd oil , great for anxiety
mushrooms microdose
meditation
love yourself 24 7, and that includes loving your family even if they are toxic, love them as you can
practice compassion for others
 

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