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I am setting myself up to fail.


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I finally just realized what is going on, why I never REALLY make any progress with therapy and why I never seem to go very long with normal periods. I set myself up to fail because I don't want to let go. I don't know who I am without my mental illness. I realize Bipolar is a lifelong illness, you never get cured but you can get better...I've never wanted to get better, I just never realized it. I've been in therapy and seeing a psychiatrist since I was 12, I feel like I never got to develop a sense of self outside of my mental issues and diagnoses. Who am I without the crazy episodes, without the erratic behavior, the depression, the mania, who am I? I have finally realized it, and it's really hard to admit it. I don't think I'll ever be able to admit it to anyone I know personally, my family, my friends, or my psychiatrist. I would feel so ashamed. I sometimes purposely sabotage my recovery so I will relapse and once again be immersed into the mental illness and everything it comes with.

I've also found myself so self-involved during my group therapy. I won't talk or suggest advice to other people, I only want to talk about myself. I feel so bad about this, but I will sit there and feel like my pain is worse than others, and I truly hate that I do that. Of course it feels worse, it's MINE, but I can never get that fully through my head. I don't say that to people's faces or disrupt the group, but I never get anything out of it, I zone out when other people talk and I only pay attention when I can talk about myself. When I talk to people one-on-one, it's a lot easier for me to care, because then I can also say things about myself. If that makes sense. I really do want to care, sometimes I am just so...inside my own head.

The thing is, I believe I just revel in this pain and madness because I don't know who I am without it. When people ask me things about myself, it's really hard to come up with anything. What do I like? I can name some superficial things, but what do I really like? Who am I really? I feel like because I was so young, at the age when you figure out who you are, when I was getting put on meds, being diagnosed etc. that I never got the healthy development, or that phase where you learn who you are inside.

I just...don't know how to change this. How to WANT to change it. I want to want to change it, if that makes sense. My life is going to suck HARD if I am constantly just sabotaging myself because I want to stay stuck. I do have goals for myself, and I know I won't complete them if I am always sick, but how do I get to the point where I want to change that?

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God I understand this so much...it's sooo frustrating! I don't have Bipolar, but I have my own issues... It's like I hate to be miserable, I love when I am happy and stable (usually happens in the summer) but I eventually self sabotage and even when I am miserable about it, part of me is relieved and I have a feeling of being RIGHT and AT HOME. It sucks. I also just like to talk about myself too, something else I hate. Meh :( I don't have much advice, but just letting you know I understand.

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God I understand this so much...it's sooo frustrating! I don't have Bipolar, but I have my own issues... It's like I hate to be miserable, I love when I am happy and stable (usually happens in the summer) but I eventually self sabotage and even when I am miserable about it, part of me is relieved and I have a feeling of being RIGHT and AT HOME. It sucks. I also just like to talk about myself too, something else I hate. Meh :( I don't have much advice, but just letting you know I understand.

I usually don't love being stable, I mean it's great that I don't feel miserable, but I hate it also because I feel like I have nothing else to do or be. I'm glad you understand though, that really helps to know I'm not the only one.

Commit to intensive therapy.

Can you get DBT services in your area?

I'm pretty sure I can, but I don't know how well I'd do because I've been told it's all groups and I just never get into groups of any sort. I guess I could try one of those workbooks, DBT workbooks I've heard about. I've been doing well with keeping a mood journal so maybe I'll be able to keep up with that, is that a good idea? Or can you do individual DBT?

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I posted something somewhat similar on these boards about how I thought i want to be depressed. I've also wondered who i would be if i shed the idea that I'm crazy and all the baggage that comes with that. I've felt a lot of the same feelings you express here. It can be pretty confusing.

Truthfully I think you want to change it. Wanting to want something is basically the same thing as wanting it the way I see it. There's really no need to confuse yourself.

For me I feel like I'm never going to have all the motivation that feels necessary. That's part of being depressed. You feel like you don't really want anything and yeah it feels like you want to stay stuck. But I don't think you really do.

And the point is to kick ass and work hard even when you don't feel like it. I know it's hard but it's worth trying because what have you got to lose? Nobody really wants to do it when they're depressed. You just have to do it anyway.

I hope this wasn't harsh or irrelevant to what you posted. I just know that you can find yourself outside the illness. It's never too late to develop and grow and find what you truly love. It's likely that it will take hard work though. And I think finding who we really are is a damn difficult task since we're always changing. I kind of wonder if there's a "true self" in there at all to find.

Anyway good luck. I hope things work out and that you get better.

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you can do individual dbt anna

Thanks, I will look into that as soon as I get to see a therapist, should be very soon.

I posted something somewhat similar on these boards about how I thought i want to be depressed. I've also wondered who i would be if i shed the idea that I'm crazy and all the baggage that comes with that. I've felt a lot of the same feelings you express here. It can be pretty confusing.

Truthfully I think you want to change it. Wanting to want something is basically the same thing as wanting it the way I see it. There's really no need to confuse yourself.

For me I feel like I'm never going to have all the motivation that feels necessary. That's part of being depressed. You feel like you don't really want anything and yeah it feels like you want to stay stuck. But I don't think you really do.

And the point is to kick ass and work hard even when you don't feel like it. I know it's hard but it's worth trying because what have you got to lose? Nobody really wants to do it when they're depressed. You just have to do it anyway.

I hope this wasn't harsh or irrelevant to what you posted. I just know that you can find yourself outside the illness. It's never too late to develop and grow and find what you truly love. It's likely that it will take hard work though. And I think finding who we really are is a damn difficult task since we're always changing. I kind of wonder if there's a "true self" in there at all to find.

Anyway good luck. I hope things work out and that you get better.

I don't really see it the same way, I don't exactly want to change, because it's scary and I'll have to develop another self if I get well enough and stay that way, you know? I know that it will have to happen at some point, but I keep prolonging it, and I'm running out of chances, I think. I wish I wanted to change it, but I don't know how. I guess that's going to come from therapy, as others have suggested, and I'm going to really have to work on it. Sounds like that's what you're saying, too. I'm not depressed though, but I do feel similar when depressed. Right now, I feel great, but I know it's not a normal, base-line mood.

I don't think what you said is harsh at all. I agree we are always changing, but I believe most people have a core sense of self, where they know who they are inside and most are satisfied with that, they don't have to define themselves by mental illness or anything but who they really are, who they've discovered they are over the years. Sure, things change, but I believe some things are consistent. I guess to find my self, I'll have to do what I never did when I was younger.

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For a good year or so after I was diagnosed, I felt this way too. I think the loss of one's core identity can be supremely intimidating and can result in a person reverting back to their pre-treated self. This is the main reason I went off meds twice... the other times were due to my skewered belief that I didn't need the meds anymore.

But I have understood and committed to the belief that I need treatment to be whole and healthy, and that the lack of treatment only dissolves my ability to be well and stable. This understanding took time.

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For a good year or so after I was diagnosed, I felt this way too. I think the loss of one's core identity can be supremely intimidating and can result in a person reverting back to their pre-treated self. This is the main reason I went off meds twice... the other times were due to my skewered belief that I didn't need the meds anymore.

But I have understood and committed to the belief that I need treatment to be whole and healthy, and that the lack of treatment only dissolves my ability to be well and stable. This understanding took time.

That sums it up pretty well. I am getting a therapist soon, hopefully, so I will be able to work on this issue. I do think it's time for a change. It's not only affecting me but everyone around me too, and that's just not fair.

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