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I'm looking back at the year 2017 and I'm trying to give it a summary. What has happened? What was good? What was bad? What did change?

Early 2017 was the time where I finally decided that I wanted to start living life. I decided to fix my problems, to be a good person and to not run away from life anymore. I told myself to either end it now or to finally start and really try changing. So I began a journey that was very, very difficult and still is very difficult. Even more difficult than what I experienced before, which was thriving in "I can't" and mental illness. My old lifestyle was easy but worth nothing.

My first step in 2017 was thinking about my past. I took many drugs that time of the year and kept getting horrible trips about my past. I wanted to purge it all out of me. I wanted to force myself to finally feel and to finally experience life. Later I will have to notice that this also was called running away from life. Anyway, I was very motivated and didn't want to push away my past and my feelings anymore. I didn't want to push away my life anymore. Needless to say that this damaged my mind a lot. I became even more depressed, an emotional trainwreck, paranoid, many panic attacks happened around this time... it was a horrible time, but I did the first steps to reintegrate my past into me. I was lucky to have family, a therapist and friends there for me. I remember nights on LSD and Weed, where my emotional pain felt unbearable. I knew it was the drugs. I knew it would go away. But I also thought that this pain really was inside of me. What I didn't realize was that I'm allowed to take my own time and to be gentle with myself.

Soon I noticed how very damaged my mind got and that purging out stuff from my subconcious is not helpful anymore. I wasn't able to process anymore. I wasn't able to take it anymore. I was overwhelmed, had very pushing suicidal thoughts again, felt severly depressed followed by states that I secretly called manic phases (I know it's far from being manic... I was in a very uplifted, very optimistic mood then). This couldn't be right, so I started cutting down on drugs and also started cutting down on going to drug parties (Psytrance/Goa parties, maybe someone knows them). Not going to drug parties anymore was a big deal for me and took a lot of time for me to really want. I barely had any friends most of my life and on drugs and at those parties it's easy to become "friends". You felt connected, like a family, unity, love, acceptance, peace, harmony, ecstasy, euphoria, but just for a few hours. What followed was huge emptiness, pain, loneliness, anger, fear, panic, hate, isolation, depression, paranoia, self-hate... this wasn't life. This was another lie.

I started forgiving myself for not being perfect and for making mistakes. I started accepting myself for what I am and for what I was. I started to meditate every now and then. Slowly I learned how to feel and how to find out more about myself without the use of drugs. With drugs I purged everything out of my subcouncious in a very abstract way and without them I do it slow and much clearer. I still believe that both forms can be useful, depending on the situation. I don't regret anything. :p
Now I really started to grow. First I started to feel all the hate for myself, then I accepted that hate and then I saw... oh, my face isn't that disgusting. Oh, my body isn't that horrible... :)

Until the middle of 2017 I already knew much more about myself. I finally started seeing my own personality, my goals, my dreams, what's important to me, my past, my self-hate, my pain (sooo much pain), my fears... but nothing else changed. I wasn't happy, not at all. I felt so stuck with all of this pain that I discovered. I thought "Okay cool, there it is, but what now? This is horrible,it makes me want to die!". I knew I had to experience more of life to heal more. I pushed myself to finally get a fucking job. Oh I was sooooo scared of that, I procrastinated this for months. I thought I was too stupid to do anything right and I still was scared of life. So, so scared. But I got a job! And it was good. I did my job well enough to not get fired. I earned money. I was able to buy good clothes, stuff for my apartment and I was able to pay back some debts. What I didn't know yet was that I'm able to work any "possible, normal" job and that I don't have to be stuck with a mean, stressful work-environment. Leaving bad situations and not feeling bad about it was a recent discovery... :) And I started my drivers liscence and it was good, too. I started to go to the gym and it was good, too. I sarted to feel my body and my muscles. I started to realize that I'm a human being. My body finally was there with me and didn't just carry around my brain and pain. These things seem simple here now, a simple sentence, right? But It was SOOO hard to do these things and things didn't go perfect at all. But I learned from all of these things. This was life.

At the end of 2017 my drug-use got less and less. I learned that it's okay to fail and that it really means falling down and standing up again to try something else. I connect more and more dots from my past and things made more and more sense. I started to see how extremely important family was and that many of our emotional problems come from our childhood. I learned a lot about my family and their own pain. Now I was able to connect so much more. These days my mood is okay to good most days! NEVER EVER could I have ever imagined that. I'm also learning to meditate, awarness is very helpful. I still have issues with my sexuality, I have issues with love and being loved... I still feel anxiety going to work every day, I still feel huge shame about things like my laugh, I still can hardly get to sleep some nights because I feel so much pain. But I feel like a human being again. I feel. I cry. I laugh (when I'm alone and feel super ashamed afterwards, but that's not the point...). I get mad and angry and I punsh things. And I also feel happy and relaxed and grateful and funny and beautiful and hot and connected other times. That's life.


2017 was an amazing year for me. A hard year, but I learned so much and grew so much. :heart:

My goals 2018 are:
- keep eating healthy and working out
- keep learning to meditate
- trolling less
- learning to love myself
- learning to accept the parts about myself that I still hate or feel ashamed of
- learning to accept touch and love a little bit more
- it's okay to say no. Listen to your belly
- finding a way to deal with my anger
- No need to be afraid

Post your 2017 or comment mine :)
 

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I wish you luck and blessings for your journey in 2018! It sounds like you're on an amazing track. :)

My 2017 was very...abstract. I could mark it by chapters in a book, but the titles would be nonsensical and all encompassing at once. Every month, there was a lot going on in many different aspects, good, and bad (still good, but it hurt).

One of the defining themes for 2017 is healing for me, though. Identifying, acknowledging, and expressing the reasons for why I've been so screwed up for the past decade. I can finally say I am done with the breakdowns though. I've gotten to the root cause, and I never thought I would be able to cleanse that part of myself and be able to start again. In fact, one of your 2018 goals is something that I share as well. Learning to let others love me, in their own language as well as mine. Not simply letting them confide in me, but giving them a chance to play that role when I need somebody to listen to my tangled thoughts. And not shying away from every touch that comes my way, because it keeps me feeling alive.

2018 will be about the little things that define myself and my world. I don't want to make them all public now, and would rather work on them quietly, but I'm excited about the year ahead, and the opportunities that have been put into place to help me accomplish the goals I have. :)
 

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@neutralchaotic
Thank you, it sounds like you are on a good track, too! :)
Healing is a very good word, that summarizes many of my goals, I guess. Amazing that you got do your root cause already. A crazy feeling whenever you find out about that root stuff, right? :p
Do you know what your issues with closeness and tocuh are (if you want to share)?
@TallGreen
Ohh hahaa, I know years like that as well lol
 

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@neutralchaotic
Thank you, it sounds like you are on a good track, too! :)
Healing is a very good word, that summarizes many of my goals, I guess. Amazing that you got do your root cause already. A crazy feeling whenever you find out about that root stuff, right? :p
Thank you. <3 It's an amazing feeling, immense relief. :blushed:

Do you know what your issues with closeness and tocuh are (if you want to share)?
I'm not exactly sure, as I was pretty affectionate as a young girl. I think I've just generally felt burdensome when showing closeness to others, because of fear of no reciprocation. It didn't stem from any serious issues, I just grew really closed off and sensitive to everything. I've kinda set out on a quest to find more touchy-feely friends (my family is relatively affectionate so I can build that bridge again with them easily). My extroverted friends don't mind when I reach out to them physically and that's really nice, so I guess I need to find more of them. :tongue: I'm less jumpy, and each touch is less of a 'shock' to my system compared to the beginning of this year to now, so my barriers are coming down. :)
 

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I was part of these challenges, one of which was a book challenge 2017-- and it made a huge difference in how I spent my time, in fact made my personal life quite productive and just more. Really living life for myself. I'm going to increase it in this last month

I'm hsp, and I can safely say I'm now acclimated too to the people here of planet earth. It took many years, and I just had rapid progress only beginning near the end of last year. Was all I needed to finally become normal. Facing fears, finding out more about who I am.

I guess that's it. These are the biggest strides I've made this year.
 

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I struggle with all these issues year after year. And I made better progress than usual this year and have not backslid. So that is good.

But the biggest challenge I faced this year was a series of medical tests, procedures, and events that nearly killed me. 2017 started innocently enough with an endoscopy in January. In February I had a colonoscopy and had a rather large polyp removed. Now I am on the three year plan for colonoscopies. In March I had double inguinal hernia surgery, which hurt like hell because there was already lots of scar tissue there from having had the same thing when I was an infant. All these things were running me down hard but I kept bounding back. In mid April, my wife and I were out for an evening walk in our neighborhood and I collapsed in front of the rec center. I couldn't put any air into my lungs and my body quickly refused to respond to my will. I was lying in the parking lot vomiting and sweating profusely. I knew I was dying. In the ambulance the paramedics said I had no detectable pulse or blood pressure but I didn't lose consciousness. In the emergency room I was stabilized but I shivered uncontrollably for over an hour. Finally, I was admitted to the cardiac ward and my wife allowed to sleep on a cot in my room.

The cardiologist came in the next day and performed an angiogram, which showed that my coronary arteries were clear. I did not have a heart attack. His hypothesis is that I had an allergic reaction and that caused a coronary artery vasospasm on one of my coronary arteries collapsed it, mimicking a heart attack and indeed, almost killing me just as dead. The emotional aftermath of that has been difficult at times. And the allergists I have had to see to try and figure out what allergen caused it have not been much help. All their tests do is add more unreliable data to the process. I didn't realize that allergy testing was so inaccurate. One of them is telling me that I have mastocytosis, a rare disease of mast cells that has no cure. They say it could happen again at any time for any unknown reason. Basically, I'm a time bomb. The cardiologist thinks they are full of it and while I trust him, I don't know what to think. I keep going through test after test and never getting any answers from them and now they want me to have a bone marrow biopsy. I suppose I will submit to that as well, but I'm getting really tired of all the tests that only serve to increase uncertainty.

What I have learned is that life is too short to be anything other than your true authentic self. I'm not worrying about the kind of shit that has been vexing me all my life. In that, I think the change in perspective has done me some good. We are looking forward as a couple approaching retirement and planning an active life of travel and skiing in Japan and around the world. More than ever, I am a skier first and am not interested in listening to any doctor who says I should not go out into the backcountry to ski because this could happen at any time. That is more reason for me to go. It's who I am and what I do. I'm gonna live my life, not sit around and wait to die.
 

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Rode out a manic state until the end of February. Shit got a little weird during the summer, and I think I might have had a low level depression. Everything just seems like fog. Fall was interesting too, I usually get creative and shit but that never really hit that hard. Most of the year actually felt like some in between state, not quite manic, not quite depressive. Which is weird, because maybe that's what normal feels like.

I met her a while ago, but started talking again during the summer. By late August, early September, it hit me out of nowhere that I was really starting to fall for her. Shit just blindsided me, because I wasn't even expecting to fall for anyone, wasn't even looking. Then I started talking to her more and everything just fell into place. Like if I had a checklist, I'd be checking off shit I didn't even know I was looking for in a woman. It also forced me to confront a lot of shit I'd been burying. We made it official in November, after I realized the train had left the station and there wasn't any stopping it. It's crazy how fast your life can change in a matter of months. A year ago in October, I had a breakdown and was thinking about ending it and shit. Then in one year, I'm falling for someone in a way I wasn't expecting to at all.

I also got a new puppy in September. That's been a fun experience. I also went on a vacation for the first time in years, which was another fun time.

I also strengthened my bond with some really amazing friends, as well as made some new ones. I think, aside from meeting the woman I'm with, that's been the greatest success this year. They're a bunch of real solid people.

I think I've grown in my faith too, which is nice to get back into that. My writing has also improved. I also made peace with my ex and finally got over her after more than a year. In addition to that, I've gained greater clarity of what I want to achieve with my music.

Mostly, like most years, the greatest gains were made in the last quarter. Winning a writing/editing challenge, cool times with the puppy, gaining greater insight and clarity into who I am as a person, entering a new relationship, deepening friendships, and gaining a greater sense of my ultimate vision.

Goals for 2018:

Make sure February goes down smoothly, handle logistics and make sure goals are on track for 1st quarter and beyond.

Build up resources.

Execute beginning stages of main plan.

Maintain and grow relationship.

Get in shape.

Take skillset to the next level.
 

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Hi, @Buttahfly, thank you for sharing. It is so encouraging me. You did well. You did well... I am just a stranger but I am proud of you. Hug you...
 
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Sounded like a really awesome year!

My 2017:

Personally, it was a pretty good year. I spent January in outpatient group therapy, sorting out a 2016 from hell. The silver lining is that I have a (mental health) diagnosis and a good medication setup. A really weird analogy but I'm going to compare my dating life to my career(s). Before I met my wife; I took a very long time to even start dating, and when I did I latched onto the first girl who would give me the time of day. That didn't go well; and I learned to be more casual and particular. I met my future wife shortly after that. When I was in accounting and now teaching, I'd take any job that would hire me, regardless... In 2016 I quickly flamed out from my first teaching job in part because it was a horrible situation. Now? I'm subbing, which is the least committal way for me to use my degree XD. But in the future, I'm going to think long and hard about what classroom job I take next.

I also needed to stop being so hard on myself, especially because I was projecting that onto my students. It's subbing. I posted an SOS message on a Facebook teachers group and a teacher pretty much said: "I only want the sub to stop the kids from burning the building to the ground". That's figurative, of course, but since my rock-bottom assignment that got me on that Facebook group I've learned to relax. I'm not a pushover; students need to do their work. But I'm not yelling at kids either. To be fair, I need to see myself in another bad classroom again to 'stress-test' my new mindset.

Family-wise (another problem from 2016); I'm more content to not put much emotional stake in mine, as sad as that sounds. They aren't terrible people, but like most family dynamics a lot of denial is in play. It's difficult to be confrontational, I get that. But I didn't get much support with my diagnosis, instead more denial. They always choose supporting their denial than supporting me. So I'm learning not to place my heart in them anymore. Fortunately, my wife has a wonderful loving family and I enjoy myself more in their company.

Events-wise: I bought a house with my wife, which is still really strange three months into the ordeal. I like having space; I'm at home in suburbia, we have great neighbors. It's scary, but my wife loves her new job and that makes me feel a whole lot better. And I finally get to park my car in a garage! That's such a big luxury not to have to scrape ice or heat my car before driving anywhere.

Drinking... Well, I successfully took 30 days straight off of it, which is really good for me. I'm also dealing with my feelings/stress more than just looking to the bottle for a short-term solution. Instead of getting drunk I go into my room and cry it out. I feel like this is major progress. I have a weird relationship with my drug of choice; I'm as much of an 'enthusiast' as you can be without showing alcoholic behaviors.

Anyways, what was the worst of my 2017? It's just a dark freaking time out there in the world. I like to always point out to ways that the world is getting better, and try to think of things as mostly one sides' propaganda against anothers, but jees. I also feel like having strong opinions make a 'useful idiot' so I don't trust mine. I'm going to throw spoilers on this one:

 


Bush Jr. annoyed me, and there was certainly shitty things happening during his 8 years. The war for oil being one of them. And I know Mrs. Clinton was an extremely unlikable and politically unsavvy candidate (not to mention DNC pulling a Bret Hart screwjob on Bernie Sanders). But to hear what shit-stain says on a regular basis and knowing HE's the president is scary. I'm 33, this shouldn't be scary. American government is a Oligarchy behind a fasade of democracy, always has been, but what he represents and that fact that so many people stand by him really dims my view on humanity. I WANT to be more positive on us humans, but it's getting harder.



Anyway, 2017 has been a year of me alternating from sticking my head in the sand and looking at current events from major world affairs to just relatively tiny youtube dramas. I feel like it's a perverse adrenaline hike for me. I need to make a decision on my approach; either research every issue with zeal, or for my mental sake ignore everything and never look back. I don't do anything with the information anyways, other than challenging and developing my opinions.

Growth for me in 2018: the usual; want to read more, need to lose weight and get in shape. But I really need to push towards preparing myself for a classroom job next fall. Being a sub puts us in precarious financial shape, and if I'm prepared a classroom job could be very rewarding. I need to stop being addicted to my laptop; whether that's the Internet or video games.
 
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