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Conflicting feelings

sputniksputnik Posts: 81 Budding Regular
edited February 12 in Health & Wellbeing
Hello, I haven't posted on here for a little while. Sorry, it's gonna be long :grimace: Maybe someone here can relate, but even if not it just helps a bit to get it out there.

I have two conflicting feelings today, one being 'inspired, hopeful, expansive, emotional, poignant' and the other 'confused, defeated, hopeless, frustrated, overwhelmed.' (I mean that's lots of feelings but they're kind of grouped into two in my head.)
The former feels like life is amazing, kind of TOO amazing as there's so much out there, and I want to do and understand so much, and the opportunities and potential seem infinite and exciting, but that drags me into the second feeling, cos I start to think I'll never get to do any of those things, it all feels too overwhelming, I'll forget the 'excited/inspired' feeling and go back to my usual, familiar dissociated and brain-fogged ways yet again within days, and waste my whole life. I want to withdraw and open out at the same time. I also don't want to let the positive feeling get out of control and turn into racing thoughts and anxiety like it has done sometimes in the past when I've felt this way, when all the thoughts get so complicated and confusing and I can't turn them off.
I feel like it's always all-or-nothing, I can't have an in-between. Whenever I make a breakthrough in understanding why I function the way I do and how I see the world, and that these are not the only options available to me, it's like it sets off this chain reaction where suddenly the shackles are gone and I feel more free than I ever have before, but then it's overwhelming cos I feel like I have to relearn and rewrite all the 'rules' I had already established a long time ago, and how do I go about that when I don't even know where to start, etc.
Plus there's this crushing anxiety that I'll forget this freer mindset and the 'route' to it, even if I write down all my observations now to remind me later, I may not understand them in the same way because I'll be reading them through the lens of my narrower-mindset. Like leaving a message for someone, and when they look at it it doesn't make any sense, or doesn't convey what you wanted it to... except the 'other person' is just me in a few hours/days/etc time.
I know this isn't a useful way to think, and I can't force myself into mindsets or feelings. It's just really hard when I have these glimpses of 'if I could see the world like this as a default, I think I could actually feel safe enough to move on with my life', and then it's just gone again and I feel as blank and worthless and repetitive as before. And then I think 'was that glimpse real, or was it some kind of delusion?'. My mind feels so chaotic, I feel like I'm searching for an object in a cluttered room full of things, and I'm not even sure what I'm looking for.

(GIF incoming)
u2-i-still-havent-found-what-im-looking-for.gif
:mrgreen:

Anyway, I was writing all this in my journal and I had a feeling I wanted to post it here. My main thought about it is 'too much thinking, you're stuck in your head', so I'm gonna try and get busy doing something practical and leave these thoughts alone for the rest of the day. It helps a bit to have written some of them down, especially as I usually can't keep hold of these thoughts long enough to translate them into words. I feel like my mind is so flicker-y, it darts from one place to another and I can't remember or understand where it's been, all in a matter of a few seconds :confounded: Like a TV screen cycling through images so quickly, you can't comprehend any individual image, it's just a blur. Anyone else know what I mean?
I know you fought hard as hell

but let this sink in

you do not have to fight by yourself


~ lyrics from Willow by The Little Unsaid
lunarcat522amy02AnonymousToeJJLemon18toffuna101Amy22

Comments

  • amy02amy02 Moderator Posts: 74 Budding Regular
    Hey @sputnik thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, I hope it helps somewhat to get things written down and vent. From what you describe it must be very overwhelming for you to switch from one extreme to the next and I can really hear how it is so stressful. I definitely relate to you when you say you have periods of inspiration but then go on to feel defeated - sometimes it's so pressurizing to feel your best or be the most productive. Just remember it's so normal to have periods up and down and you are not alone in that <3 It might be useful to relax your thinking and try and take each emotion as it comes - good idea about trying to do something practical. Do you have other things that you do to help you feel grounded/calm when you get overwhelmed?
    sputnik
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 833 Part of The Mix Family
    I think I can sort of relate to this, my brain is a chaotic mess so I know how that feels lol. But then I get to the point of thinking about thinking, and then I’m overthinking my own overthinking and it confuses me so much. 😂 I suppose I just try to distract myself and use up ‘brain power’ on other things, like doing brain puzzles or studying or something, just so my thoughts can kind of slow down a bit?
    Also I guess instead of focusing on huge goals and things you want to do, it might be better to just try and think about a first step? That way it’ll feel less overwhelming and more achievable?
    JJLemon18sputnikAmy22
  • JJLemon18JJLemon18 Community Champion Posts: 1,876 Extreme Poster
    Oh I do know what you mean! The more motivated you get - the more you realise how hard it all is, and how many options there are, the number of possible paths you can take... means that you end up not taking any, cause it feels like too much :/
    sputnik wrote: »
    Whenever I make a breakthrough in understanding why I function the way I do and how I see the world, and that these are not the only options available to me, it's like it sets off this chain reaction where suddenly the shackles are gone and I feel more free than I ever have before, but then it's overwhelming cos I feel like I have to relearn and rewrite all the 'rules' I had already established a long time ago, and how do I go about that when I don't even know where to start, etc.
    That sounds an awful lot like me since last year! Its like the whole world has opened up to me, and now I understand 'life'! But in turn this also opened me up to dissociation, anxiety, and other stuff.
    Really wish it was easier to find the in-between, where you can be making good enough progress to feel like you're achieving something (and not missing out), but not so much thats its too overwhelming to handle.

    Btw, I don't want to repeat everything you've said, just wording it differently, as a way to prove to you I understand. As I'm going through your post it feels like I'm just ticking off a list with "aha, yup, same... etc" as I relate to a LOT of it.
    But I am aware that I don't know exactly what its like for you. Even though our struggles might be very similar, I know they are totally not the same. I don't want to seem invalidating by saying 'me too' to everything you say. If that makes sense. But trust me, I do understand a lot of it <3
    sputnik wrote: »
    Plus there's this crushing anxiety that I'll forget this freer mindset and the 'route' to it, even if I write down all my observations now to remind me later, I may not understand them in the same way because I'll be reading them through the lens of my narrower-mindset.
    This makes sense. Looking back on old photos of younger you smiling, you can feel a part of that childhood joy that you felt at the time, remember a bit of what its like. But that doesn't mean you can become the childhood you again, its in the past after all. Though it still is part of you in a way.

    I'm not to say whether writing down your thoughts and feeling, trying to capture a certain mindset, is helpful or not. I don't know. On one hand it really does seem like a great way to try and capture some of those good feelings. But I also feel like doing so removes you from the present. Instead of enjoying these feeling in the moment, you try to push them away to the future, immortalize them forever. Which is not really possible unfortunately.
    sputnik wrote: »
    It's just really hard when I have these glimpses of 'if I could see the world like this as a default, I think I could actually feel safe enough to move on with my life', and then it's just gone again and I feel as blank and worthless and repetitive as before. And then I think 'was that glimpse real, or was it some kind of delusion?'.
    I've had this one car trip were out of nowhere I felt SUPER motivated and I felt like I could take on the world! I wanted change. And to remember that moment I've written a note in big capitals right in the middle of my phone home screen... i've not thought much of it since :/ That message came accompanied with so many emotions, so much drive for a better life! Yet after the trip ended, I feel nothing from it anymore. And I have moments like these way too often. Wonder if thats what its like for you too.

    As I was writing all this I came up with something stupid, probably very stupid so don't take it too seriously. What if we treated anxiety as a good thing? Hear me out. Life without anxiety would be boring, and everything would be too easy. What if we treat it as just another emotion that we have, like sadness - which seems like a negative emotion yet its okay to be sad. Sometimes we purposefully want to be sad, by listening to sad songs for example. Maybe treating it as a friend can help us overcome it? Idk haha, just a thought I had.

    Sorry for such a messy reply, brain is all over the place. But okay. Take each day as it comes. Embrace everything good that happens. And learn from everything that goes wrong. Take small steps and I promise things will get better! Sending lots of hugs :)

    Now. What was I looking for?...
    Believe in me - who believes is you
    AnonymousToesputnikAmy22
  • sputniksputnik Posts: 81 Budding Regular
    Hi guys sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Thanks so much for all your kind words, I really appreciate it <3

    @amy02 Thankyou, yeah it gets very overwhelming! I try to ground myself with movement, distracting myself with something or listening to something calming, mostly. I sometimes speak to my dad on the phone too.

    @AnonymousToe yes exactly! The whole thinking-about-thinking rabbit hole, it's really unnerving. Sorry you struggle with it too, and thanks for sharing. That makes sense about using up brain power on other things, when you have so much going on it your head it needs to go somewhere! I have such a strong urge to make sense of the thoughts that I get majorly tangled up in them. I guess if I had more to do in my life in general I'd probably be a lot less focused on my own thoughts, but yeah it's complicated. Good point about making a first step - I'm currently waiting to hear back from a place about getting some 1-to-1 support, am hoping it will be useful :+1:

    @JJLemon18 Eyy thanks for your reply, I'm always surprised by how often we seem to share similar experiences! It's really comforting to know someone else gets it (although I'm sorry you experience it, at the same time). It's such a paradox, see-sawing between one extreme and the other - and then when I feel blank and foggy again, I wish I was overwhelmed again :sweat_smile:
    I really get what you mean when you talk about the car journey, I get those kinds of moments a lot too! For me it's almost like creating an idea of what my life could be like, and then it sort of feels possible just cos I've imagined it, if that makes sense? Not that it can't potentially be like that, but in reality it's not gonna be exactly the same as how I imagine it, or as easy most likely! (Or maybe easier, in some cases). I dunno if I'm making sense any more...
    Despite the frustration/disappointment when those moments of motivation end, I feel like they're still a good sign, y'know? Like your mind gearing up for change, just I guess more gradually than you'd like it to be.
    I like what you said about treating anxiety like any other emotion, I think that's very true - I think 'negative' emotions are only negative because we often don't know how to channel them in non-destructive ways. They just need to be heard and understood, really. And anxiety is just trying to keep us safe, even if it overreacts a lot, it doesn't have to rule us. Feeling emotions as sensations, that needn't control you, is something I'm veeeeeeery gradually understanding - I think, anyway...
    You've given very sound advice, as ever <3 thank you!
    I know you fought hard as hell

    but let this sink in

    you do not have to fight by yourself


    ~ lyrics from Willow by The Little Unsaid
    AnonymousToeAmy22lunarcat522
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