Staying/Getting/Doing Well – Moving goalposts or fixed target?
Hi, this is my first post, though I have been reading the forums for some weeks. I’m probably expressing myself badly when I say that I have found reading about other people’s journeys reassuring. Finding a community of people who “get it” even when they have a wide variety of experiences and lives lived is not something I thought I would ever find.
Though people talk about getting well & there is a section Staying Well, I’m curious as to what this actually means to other people and how they manage their expectations. I noticed some people refer to being well as ‘being like themselves before they got ill’, whilst others don’t express an exact aim.
My idea of being well has changed over the years. I was first diagnosed as an 8 year old child back in the late sixties. The doctors told Mum that the voices in my head & the sudden crying bouts were because I suffered from ‘nerves’ & I was given meds to calm me. Of course such things were not discussed back then & I was told not to talk about it to anyone, not my school friends nor siblings, just Mum. For decades after my idea of being well simply meant being able to hide my illness from others.
A number of events in
my life caused my illness to worsen, until some years ago I became so ill I
needed to be hospitalised for my own safety. This lead to my current diagnosis
of Major Depression, Anxiety & PTSD. I’m no longer in that dark place, but each
day is still a battle (though I can now believe in a future). For now only my
siblings & one friend know about my illness, though some things they still
So, what does ‘being well’ mean to me, it is ever moving goalposts. If you had asked me 5 years ago would I be as well as I am now I would have thought it impossible as I couldn’t envision a future. If you had asked me last week (during one of my down periods) I would have said my progress was all an illusion & I was fooling myself that things can get better.
For now my idea of being well is being able to believe that things can change for the better, that I will one day be able to manage the everyday things like housework, caring for myself & caring for my dog & maybe, just maybe I will even be able to enjoy myself.
**I took the tip to give myself time to write my post by writing on a word doc & then paste it.
Dear Paw Prints~
I had a look at the most recent post of yours I can find and simply see someone giving and caring and sensible support. So whatever you are referring to either escaped my notice or happened elsewhere.
PTSD does a lot to the brain, and forgetfulness and getting muddled are par for the course. There is even a thread about exactly that somewhere here.
Unfortunately the mind does not forgive these lapses for what they are - symptoms of an illness - but tries to attach the same sort of blame and guilt that would be too much even for a totally well person.
When I finally went out on the street people would say 'Hello' and I'd no idea if they were a student I'd started studying with, a friend of my partner, or someone I'd met under less favorable circumstances when I was a policeman. As you can imagine thinking up an 'all purpose' reply was difficult.
Mistakes and error of judgment happen. It is natural, will happen, and will in time get a lot less. The biggest ingredient in helping someone is care and concern, and I'd be most surprised if you did not have those when you tried to help.
Please stop saying sorry, YOU do not deserve it. You deserve admiration and praise for trying under difficult circumstances. It will be fine
Dear Paw Prints~
I think I finally found the cause of your discomfort, misunderstanding the initials BPD. OK, I've done that too. In fact many have. It did not matter as things turned out, the poster was able to continue on getting support and I think realized you cared.
Hi Paw Prints,
Thanks for your post. I think you've sparked a really interesting discussion.
Initially, the idea of being well felt like a bit of a fantasy of a life where I wasn't bogged down with depression and anxiety (and trauma). I was inspired by 'happy people' who seemed to have their lives together; practiced self-love and laughed a lot.
That was what I really wanted, but realistically it was just not an option for me. Now, 'being well' is constantly moving goalposts. While I sometimes think about an ideal future, for me I try not to look too far ahead. Just enough to see that there's hope for the future and things that I can feel in control of.
You mentioned in your first post that being well looked a bit like housework, caring for your dog and yourself. Sometimes that can be a day to day thing. If you're feeding your dog and yourself (I hope so), then that's being well. Maybe it can be a combination of things - moving goalposts (that feel achievable) as well as long-term goals or ideas.
Hi Paws and everyone ☺
Just popping it to let you know you're in my thoughts and that I care about you.
I know you were hopefully not now having so e struggles recently.
You're so lovely giving tremendous support to others and myself. Just want you to know it works both ways if you feel up to talking I know I wouldn't be the only one listening and here for you.
Take care 🐾 you're valued and very appreciated ☺
Thank you for popping in. I'm OK just really teary & struggling with motivation to do anything. My sleep is messed up & so is my med taking, which I know is not helping & is probably a big part of it all.
I haven't seen my psych since last August when she went overseas for 2 month, & looking back things started slipping then. It got worse after I was triggered in late Jan, which is why I ended up on BB hoping this would help.
I know what I need to do, I'm just struggling to find the motivation to do any of it.
Hey Paws and readers ☺
It's awful feeling how you are isn't it.
Well done that it sounds like you've found a couple of reasons for your feelings. It certainly can throw you into a spin not having the security of a hoping good psych close by.
I wonder this may sound a bit silly but if you talked to them as if they were in the room may help with some release. Or you might have covered this already writing or typing your feelings. Anyways of letting stress and pain out are good otherwise it festers.
I hope you've found bb to be of help I love we're talking about it, it's what we need to be doing and so much easier when you're around people that get it. Here's as you'd know maintains a high level of respect which is how it should be everywhere. Shame so many were asleep in that class lesson 😊
Is there anything I can do to ease your pain at all?
I'm always listening Paws sometimes rare not posting but know I and others are close by ☺
I hope the trigger in January which must be a very hard one eases off for you.
If and it's entirely your call you want to talk about it you can here but no probs if it's too much.
You probs know but in case the no: here's 1300224636 and we can email to or webchat details are at the bottom of the page in Red L) side.
Hope you enjoy some down but not depressed down ☺ on your balcony.
Maybe you'd like to do some deep breathing with me and anyone else interested.
In nice and calmly over 5 secs hold for 6 and on out say R*E*L*A*X and feel your head & shoulders relaxing on out they get mighty tense in our hard times.
See you later Paws ☺🐾👋🕊
🐧 how cute is this. There's an add on TV not sure what for 😆 a heap of Penguins walking along. A mother and it's cutey little babe looks up for food... Mum gently moves her longish beak up along its back to gently nudge it on ahead. So beautiful. Come to think of it, beak doesn't sound right but I think it is.
I'm sitting here trying not to be upset, but the tears are flowing. I know logically there is nothing to be upset about, it's just my mind reading into an innocent request a meaning that was never intended. I know how silly they are & I'm hoping by putting it in writing I can stop the negative thoughts.
I have an elderly relative who I am very close to. Before I moved to the country I would visit her often & we still speak on the phone every few weeks. For various reasons I haven't visited her since my move, but rang her this week to see if she would be home on a given day so I could visit (It's a 4 hr drive each way). She was delighted that I could come & then she asked me to see if my younger sister could come too.
One thing I had drummed into me as a child was that whatever I was doing or wanted didn't matter, other people mattered much more. I've never felt is was done maliciously, it was simply how it was, I was never good enough to matter about or spend time with. I was always the odd one out with different interests to everyone else.
I know that inviting my sister doesn't mean that I wasn't wanted alone, but when she asked it, all the hurts & fears from my childhood came flooding back. I'm feeling worthless & a waste of space. I know it's silly to feel like this when nothing of the sort was meant & I'm no longer that child, but the tears wont stop.