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Old 02-03-2019, 05:36 PM   #1
bipolarsojourner
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Default Putting the past in the past

I spend too much of my life living in the past. Things in the present remind of 20 things bad things in the past. Itís painful. It's not fun. It's like being stuck in a bog that keeps getting deeper.

A few weeks back I showed my wife a text from a female friend, I'm male, that simply read, "Iím looking forward to seeing you tomorrow." Seemed innocous enough, right? Wrong. She tore at my support structure, questions some of my beliefs, and criticized some of my actions. Every tear, question or critism that she had done in the past, came flooding back. My pain multpied on top of multiplication. I hurt.

I spend a week in fear and anxiety. Each day, hurt a little bit more. By end of the week, I was talking finalistic about she and me. It's been years since I felt that way. Just goes to show how chronic fear and anxiety suck.

We eventually came to an understanding that sheís the only one I wanted and most of my support structure is women since that's what comes to the depression support groups I go to.

Then, the other day I got a card from a female friend in appreciation for the work I do in the support group I attend. I was touched. I wanted to show my wife. The pain of a few weeks ago and along with every other time she had hurt me in someway, came rushing back.

Remember I said I spend too much time in the past? This was a case and point. I tried to figure a way out of my prison. And then, in one of those moments, a thought popped into my head:
One way to change the past is to change the present.
I thought about I could change the present. When I got home, this what I said to my wife:
Sometimes I doubt myself and the job I do. A little bit of acknowledgment and recognition helps. I got this touching card tonight.


She read it, and warmly accepted it. That was in stark contrast to what had happen just a few weeks back.

By saying what I said, I told her were I was at, the importance of the card, and it was about me, not her. By changing the present, I had changed the past. I left the past behind, where it belong. Leaving the past behind worked. Some might call that mindfulness, I'm fine with that. I call it my first of hopefully may victories over the past.

Going forward, I will try to live with this thought in mind:
One way to change the past is to change the present.
The past is a tricky beast and Iím sure the past will get one up on be sometime, again. Now I have a new tool to minimize the power the past has over me.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:13 PM   #2
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Smile Re: Putting the past in the past

Hello bipolarsojourner: Thanks for sharing your success. I believe this is your first thread here on PC. So... welcome to Psych Central. Perhaps "one way to change the past is to change the present" could serve as your signature statement here on PC. It's an inciteful thought. I hope you find PC to be of benefit.
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Old 04-30-2021, 05:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Putting the past in the past

Quote:
Originally Posted by bipolarsojourner View Post
I spend too much of my life living in the past. Things in the present remind of 20 things bad things in the past. Itís painful. It's not fun. It's like being stuck in a bog that keeps getting deeper.

I don't know if you still read this site... Anyway this is the exact same symptom I started having lately. My interpretation is: now that I am past people who poisoned my life for a while, the bad stuff is finally coming up and I don't know yet how I am going to get through all of it.

I read on with your post and I see your wife was not acting nice with you...

Then you talked in a way to make her feel good or something that helped her not misunderstand the situation (i.e. she didn't think you were just trying to make her jealous, for example) and not do toxic behaviour, yeah?

Anyway tbh...the only way I was able to deal with these situations in the past was remove the toxic negative person from my life. Both from my life and from my mind in a sense. While that on its own wouldn't make my mental health (incl trauma/depression symptoms) better, it did remove burdens that I had no resources to deal with at that time. Like, I don't have the way to approach it like you do it because no one ever talks like that to me so it's not even been modelled for me.

Complicated stuff, this mental and emotional health stuff.

Hope you got to an even better place since then though.... Just saying that this post was great for me & thank you for it. Like... It's really cool you were able to pick an approach that was positive and all that. It requires mental and emotional strength I am sure.
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Old 05-01-2021, 07:39 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Re: Putting the past in the past

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alive99 View Post
I don't know if you still read this site... Anyway this is the exact same symptom I started having lately. My interpretation is: now that I am past people who poisoned my life for a while, the bad stuff is finally coming up and I don't know yet how I am going to get through all of it.

I read on with your post and I see your wife was not acting nice with you...

Then you talked in a way to make her feel good or something that helped her not misunderstand the situation (i.e. she didn't think you were just trying to make her jealous, for example) and not do toxic behaviour, yeah?

Anyway tbh...the only way I was able to deal with these situations in the past was remove the toxic negative person from my life. Both from my life and from my mind in a sense. While that on its own wouldn't make my mental health (incl trauma/depression symptoms) better, it did remove burdens that I had no resources to deal with at that time. Like, I don't have the way to approach it like you do it because no one ever talks like that to me so it's not even been modelled for me.

Complicated stuff, this mental and emotional health stuff.

Hope you got to an even better place since then though.... Just saying that this post was great for me & thank you for it. Like... It's really cool you were able to pick an approach that was positive and all that. It requires mental and emotional strength I am sure.
Thanks for your kind words. I am glad you found encouragement in my words. I hope you find a way to practice it in your life and are able to integrate it into your life.

As such profound thought do, especially with short term memory struggles, this thought, sadly, had rolled off the back end. Well, maybe not. I have a cranky pants super that I've cowered to in the past, being an authority figure. Yesterday, I refused her shot twice.
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Old 05-01-2021, 03:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Putting the past in the past

Quote:
Originally Posted by bipolarsojourner View Post
Thanks for your kind words. I am glad you found encouragement in my words. I hope you find a way to practice it in your life and are able to integrate it into your life.

As such profound thought do, especially with short term memory struggles, this thought, sadly, had rolled off the back end. Well, maybe not. I have a cranky pants super that I've cowered to in the past, being an authority figure. Yesterday, I refused her shot twice.

Thanks for your reply too. I do think with recovery from depression it takes time to get into these new practices... That's what I'm experiencing myself... that it takes time because the brain has to deal with so much (both internally and externally, like people in our lives) and so it keeps forgetting all of it. So it's great that you aren't giving up there. We all keep going & good luck
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Old 05-01-2021, 03:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Putting the past in the past

it is hard to live in the present

for me though it's because not much has changed in tterms of my situation.

in the past I was abused by family and teachers, and now in the present I'm abandoned and abused by people still.

plus I don't have family and they wish that

Possible trigger:


and I have a **** mental health team. not sure it could be any worse if it wanted to be (my team, I mean). they are so uncaring

and I do nothing with my life these days because of all my pain. and memory issues. and all the other crap that's going on.

blah
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