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Old Jul 03, 2023 at 11:15 AM
  #1
 
Does anyone else just have this complete inability to plan for/picture the future?

We were discussing this in therapy on Friday. Kinda a combo of upbringing (constantly being in survival mode) and actively having SI for me right now.

It's really interfering with my life. I'm not working towards any long term goals at all, and I really never have.

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Old Jul 03, 2023 at 12:56 PM
  #2
 
Yeah I do. It's because, I think, we humans don't have as much control as we are led to believe. Crap happens all the time, hitting us like a ton of bricks. Then you think, "What now?"

I was taught to "prepare" and "plan" but that goes only so far. I'm always thinking "What if?" but it could be because I was hounded to do that growing up, plan for the "if's" in life.

What does SI mean in this context?

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Old Jul 03, 2023 at 01:12 PM
  #3
 
I understand that. I tend to plan in survival mode but never seem able to build plans that have more longevity.

I try not to beat myself up. I plan a lot around my mental health and anxiety. Will this job be a trigger? Will I be able to cover rent?

It would be nice to plan around other tangible goals that dont involve my anxiety but rather how can I grow professionally, and build upon my social life.
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Old Jul 03, 2023 at 03:40 PM
  #4
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddyBoots View Post
Does anyone else just have this complete inability to plan for/picture the future?

We were discussing this in therapy on Friday. Kinda a combo of upbringing (constantly being in survival mode) and actively having SI for me right now.

It's really interfering with my life. I'm not working towards any long term goals at all, and I really never have.
You're not alone in this. Plenty of folks face similar challenges, and it's brave of you to bring it up in therapy. The good news is that with support and some self-discovery, you can start making progress. Take it one step at a time, mate. Start small, set achievable short-term goals, and gradually work your way towards the bigger ones. there's no rush everyone's journey is different.
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Old Jul 03, 2023 at 08:36 PM
  #5
 
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Originally Posted by nonightowl View Post

What does SI mean in this context?
suicidal ideation

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Old Jul 04, 2023 at 08:50 AM
  #6
 
Even when younger & getting my Accounting & Computer Science degree they were always talking about your "FIVE YEAR PLAN". Dang, even a "1 YEAR PLAN" never turned out like I planned, why waste time on a 5 year one. Changes constantly happened in my life so adapting with only focus on my big goal (degree & career.....whatever companies were hiring when I graduated) was the only focus & that had a few glitches along the way too.

At 70, I sort of plan a farm project a year ahead to work on saving up $$$ for & lining up the reputable people I want to do it. Other than that, the free spirit in me just adapts & wings it daily & changes my mind when a better idea comes up or a higher priority issue.

Future farther down the road, I have my own beliefs about that so never worry. Feel safe on my farm in rural US. Much safer than I ever felt when I lived in the city when I was married to someone I never trusted to take care of himself let alone us. Quite self- sufficient here & surrounded by a community that is also

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Old Jul 04, 2023 at 05:49 PM
  #7
 
I've heard it said that depressed people have a lot of difficulty imagining themselves in the future.

I'd say that's true in my case.
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Old Jul 04, 2023 at 06:21 PM
  #8
 
Absolutely get that. Sometimes all I can focus on is making it through one day to the next. I haven't thought about 'the future' in a very long while, mainly because I don't really see one, at least not one that I want. It's existing not living, but sometimes that's the best we can do.

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Old Jul 05, 2023 at 08:54 AM
  #9
 
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Originally Posted by nonightowl View Post
Yeah I do. It's because, I think, we humans don't have as much control as we are led to believe. Crap happens all the time, hitting us like a ton of bricks. Then you think, "What now?"
Yes, this. ^

I've never been much of a planner, because life has taken me where it wants to go, rather than the other way around.

That's not to say that I don't work toward goals or have structure, it's more of an adaptation to go with the flow. It rarely feels set in stone and like something I feel confident counting on coming to pass.

Maybe this is something different, but I've always ascribed to the notion of "not all who wander are lost."

FWIW, I grew up in a very chaotic home, so can see this as an effect of constantly being in survival mode.

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Old Jul 05, 2023 at 10:10 AM
  #10
 
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Yes, this. ^

I've never been much of a planner, because life has taken me where it wants to go, rather than the other way around.

That's not to say that I don't work toward goals or have structure, it's more of an adaptation to go with the flow. It rarely feels set in stone and like something I feel confident counting on coming to pass.

Maybe this is something different, but I've always ascribed to the notion of "not all who wander are lost."

FWIW, I grew up in a very chaotic home, so can see this as an effect of constantly being in survival mode.

I only plan short term, such as what I want or need to do today or this week. For me life has taken me where it wants also, now where I want to go.

I've heard the expression "not all who wander are lost". But also heard "He who hesitates is lost." Contradicting, in a way.

My environment growing up was very structured and routine, very unlike real life. They sheltered me way too much. You can't always keep things structured and orderly in life, which is what I found out the hard way. I'm not good with change and the constant adaptation is draining. Yeah this is how our species survived, with adaptation. But it's always a struggle.

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Trouble thinking about the future

Hmmm....looks like some good tips in here.


Trouble thinking about the future

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Old Jul 05, 2023 at 10:28 AM
  #11
 
I think about my future a lot. I feel like my future looks bleak. It seems like every morning before getting out of bed, I have dreaded thoughts about the future. But after breakfast and then getting busy, I feel a little bit better. But still, my bleak future stays on my mind.

I feel like I should leave the area where I live because I'm living slightly above my means. But I don't know where to re-locate to. I'm retired, older now, and never been married. So, lots of times, I feel like good times and fun with other people are all in the past; and those kind of times will never happen again. I only have a small handful of friends and they are not of the best quality. And they may be not around in the near future. My family has dissolved so there will never be any kind of getting together with them.

I feel like I'm "borderline" as far as wanting to depart from this world. I feel like I'm too young to go but yet I sort of feel like I'm ready to go now. I imagine in ten years from now, I will definitely be ready to depart.
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Old Jul 05, 2023 at 10:50 AM
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I think about my future a lot. I feel like my future looks bleak. It seems like every morning before getting out of bed, I have dreaded thoughts about the future. But after breakfast and then getting busy, I feel a little bit better. But still, my bleak future stays on my mind.

I feel like I should leave the area where I live because I'm living slightly above my means. But I don't know where to re-locate to. I'm retired, older now, and never been married. So, lots of times, I feel like good times and fun with other people are all in the past; and those kind of times will never happen again. I only have a small handful of friends and they are not of the best quality. And they may be not around in the near future. My family has dissolved so there will never be any kind of getting together with them.

I feel like I'm "borderline" as far as wanting to depart from this world. I feel like I'm too young to go but yet I sort of feel like I'm ready to go now. I imagine in ten years from now, I will definitely be ready to depart.
Same here. I don't think about the future a lot but don't feel optimistic about it in spite of societal pressure to do so. And to be optimistic about this country.

No real friends here except one, who's a thousand miles away in another state. No family left and my estranged brother has been vicious to me once our parents started declining in health. So I obviously don't count him.

Not afraid of death anymore. And I think the WORLD is dying, look at this planet. With all the apocalyptic events going on, it seems to be the world WANTS to end.

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Trouble thinking about the future

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Trouble thinking about the future

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Old Jul 05, 2023 at 06:19 PM
  #13
 
I feel very much like you, will and owl.

I'm in the departure club...

The world is too depressing for my sensitive soul.
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Old Jul 06, 2023 at 01:00 PM
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I feel very much like you, will and owl.

I'm in the departure club...

The world is too depressing for my sensitive soul.
Yes, the world is a scary and depressing place to me now. The extreme weather is enough to take, as it effects ALL life forms and stuff like our crops, our roads (some have buckled in the heat!), the energy we use to try to cool off, etc.

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Trouble thinking about the future

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Trouble thinking about the future

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Old Sep 15, 2023 at 03:08 AM
  #15
 
I believe I was born missing the bit that engages the ambition gear. Always thought I had plenty of time to sort things out. Always thought I'd wake up some morning and everything would make sense and begin falling into place. I spent a long time unconcerned about my path before I noticed I was really having some difficulties with life and direction.

My conscious struggle with mental health started when I finally began noticing that there would be no revelation or change. I always tried to do what was expected. I WANTED to do what was expected. All I wound up with was 30 or so menial jobs in a dozen towns and countless weekends in bars believing I had time.

Looking back at my life now I can see how the illness developed and could even see some reasons why. There was also a genetic factor. My family helped piece some things together when the issues were finally addressed. I had been having certain difficulties ever since I was a child but they didn't begin to truly cripple me until much later.

Pardon that ramble. The topic struck me. I hope you're doing well Muddy. Participating in therapy is for sure a good thing.

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Old Sep 15, 2023 at 07:26 AM
  #16
 
Planning for the future is something I've always struggled with even though I did a lot of things that looked "right" on paper.

In my 20's and 30's I did a lot of things to bring me the security I thought I wanted so I got an MBA and my CPA and for years I did have a great career. The problem was I was miserable and had some pretty bad mental health issues which led to a nasty addiction.

When that all blew up, I lost the career and went into survival mode. I used up all my savings supporting myself when I couldn't work and eventually lost my housing.and wound up on provincial disability payments.


Fast forward a couple of years and I'm finally in a stable place again. I have stable, affordable housing although it's not ideal, I have a job I like that pays ok, and I'm still getting some disability insurance payments. I'm starting to think and plan a bit for the future although it's only in an 18 month horizon and is mostly focused on housing and getting into my own place again. I'm also focusing on trying to get healthier so that I can eventually move back into full time employment in a couple of years.

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Trouble thinking about the future
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Old Sep 15, 2023 at 04:46 PM
  #17
 
I used to not be able to do that when I was highly symptomatic. I now plan ahead and think a lot about the future. It is like I am a changed person. Thinking about the future and planning for it are, in my experience, a learnable skill. Of course it also depends on whether we are symptomatic.

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Old Sep 16, 2023 at 09:26 AM
  #18
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuddyBoots View Post
Does anyone else just have this complete inability to plan for/picture the future?

We were discussing this in therapy on Friday. Kinda a combo of upbringing (constantly being in survival mode) and actively having SI for me right now.

It's really interfering with my life. I'm not working towards any long term goals at all, and I really never have.
the only thing I know about the future is that

Possible trigger:


beyond that, (as in what to do with my remaining time on earth), no clue
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Old Sep 16, 2023 at 04:05 PM
  #19
 
Hey MuddyBoots.

Yes, envisaging ones future knowing things may not go to plan, may be quite off-putting to even making a plan to begin with. I can understand that.I think the idea is to start by asking yourself, realistically, "What do I want from life?" "What are things I've always wanted to do, achieve or attain, that I don't have now?" Then you basically imagine how your life will look or be having attained those things in the future, obviously and that's it. You should be smiling to yourself at that point. Yes, there might or will be setbacks along the way but that's where the saying "get back on the horse" will need to be drawn upon. The willpower to keep going. The initial plan may need tweeking along the way too, some goals may change and that's okay, it's "flexibility, but that is essentially it. The envisaging happens in the mind and in the imagination based on you as a person, who you are - what is in your heart.

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