Feeling In Need of a Change...
This is my first time posting. I’m not overly sure of where to start. But I know things have to change as, at present, I feel like an imposter has taken over my mind, body and soul. I feel constantly angry or sad and I feel exhausted and tired most days.
This year has been a constant challenge. It’s taking its toll. I am a Mother of two girls aged 4 and 12 and am married. I am in my thirties and am currently in between jobs. I’m on workcover due to a workplace incident that involved workplace bullying. This resulted in being diagnosed with PTSD, Severe Anxiety and Stress and Moderate Insomnia and Depression.
Even though I’ve left the toxic job and that chapter of my life is firmly finished, I feel like other things keep taking the place of the stress I left. We have had numerous health issues, financial issues and issues with our family and friends.
My partner and I have very little friends, we don’t go out often and we don’t have much intimacy either. We have both put on weight this year and are desperate to rid ourselves of the negativity and weight that weighs us down constantly.
I am finding it so difficult to start. I’m a perfectionist, I need fresh starts to be specific and perfect and when they aren’t I feel like a failure. Then I tend to spiral right back to the negative.
We tried to distract ourselves and give ourselves something to do within a Community setting that incorporated animal welfare with the community. At first it was great, we meet lots of new people. But soon it just added to the stress we had tried to distract ourselves from and the people we were surrounded by were no better than the bullies we had both faced in our workplaces.
I feel like if we don’t deal with the demons within us they will just follow us where ever we go. Which is why I want to so badly change things.
I see a Psychologist. I have a list of things I want to change in my life, introduce exercise, meditation and healthy eating into my life. Swap stress and negativity for fun and adventure and I want to love me again so I can give the love and support to my partner and children, they deserve that.
I am addicted to technology which I do desperately just want to be rid of it and live in the moment.
How do I start? How can I make my new start achievable?
Thanks so much for reading.
Welcome to the forums! Thank you for sharing what you're going through and I applaud you for not only reaching out but to be so committed to making changes. I can see and feel your dedication from across the screen and can tell that you are seriously invested into this process.
Your question, 'how can I start' though, I'm not sure that there is a right answer. When there's so many aspects of your life that you're looking at, I don't know that there really is a step one. I do understand though your need to have things specific, although I do wonder about the idea of a start being perfect! Is a perfect start really realistic?
One thing that you might want to explore is SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). Using these as your steps can help in a way that it is specific but also that it does set you up for success.
The other idea could be to write things down. Getting things out of your head can be useful enough, but this way you can start to look at what the changes are and what they'll look like for you. If fun and adventure are important for example, what might that look like in your future self? What are the things you might be doing?
I hope this gives you something to think about! There's a lot that comes to mind while reading your post but there is a word count 🙂
Hello Suz, and a warm welcome to the forums.
People who want to be perfect doesn't necessarily mean they want to be a perfectionist, but rather avoiding being a failure and this behaviour can affect their MH, as it has done with me in the past, but now and for a long time I have been able to overcome this, only because of how old I am and experienced it many times growing up.
Nothing can be perfect simply because there is always something else we believe we should have been done, so that's what needs to change.
Can there be anything that's 10/10, that depends on who you are, but to be trained into believing that 8/10 is a good result, your psychologist may help you with this.
Please get back to us and ask any question you like.
Hi Suz, welcome and thanks for all you have shared.
You have so much on your plate, it's not surprising you are feeling what you're feeling. Bullying is a terrible thing and can have such devastating consequences. I too have trauma after bullying. It is not easy to live with by any means and can really lower your self-esteem.
I've noticed that because I myself am oversensitised following my own experience, even though I am no longer in that particular situation I have continuing stress. For me that is a sign I still need to heal from what has happened, and from reading your post it sounds like you also need healing.
You and your husband both sound motivated to make some positive changes. Have you thought about anything you could try together? I know you mentioned you are going through financial difficulties, but perhaps committing to time at the gym could help, plus you may meet people. Otherwise, you could even commit to daily walks together, even just starting with 15 minutes. You would get some physical activity as well as time on your own.
The desire to have things perfect can be very destructive, as honestly nothing in life is perfect. We will invariably mess up and fail. You are not a failure when things don't go according to plan. Perhaps you could try to think about your expectations and whether they are realistic. I personally have quite a bit of a perfectionist streak in that I want to try and please others all the time, so think I need to be "perfect" in order to do that. When I make mistake I beat myself up, but lately I've begun to realise my expectations for myself are way too high. Set clear goals for yourself that you know you will be able to achieve. If you can't walk for 15 minutes, walk for 10. You will achieve a manageable goal and will get that sense of accomplishment too. In terms of your technology use, the same thing could apply. Don't say 'I am not going to use technology at all'. Try and set yourself a time limit, or use technology for something constructive (listen to a podcast, watch a motivational video, read some recipes or instructions for things you enjoy doing). This may help.
I am just wondering, could you share a little more (if you feel comfortable) about how your community work added to your stress? It might be a sign you need to try another outlet.
I am so glad you are seeing a psychologist and that you do have that motivation to change.
Best of luck.