Difficult life transitions
Anyone going or gone through one recently?
I'm personally just processing with a pretty 'new' one (happened 6mo ago) major transition situation. For me it was moving out of my parents' house and together with my spouse. Seems that giving up my old life, old 'me', old home and safety that my childhood family provided me has been difficult and it has taken time even sure that was also something that I wanted. Even I've proceeded a lot, it feels still difficult at times, especially if something unexpected happens. Also some smaller changes or situations which can make me feel uncomfortable some way can introduce me feelings of insecurity and anxiety. I guess that this is normal since my new 'life' and new 'me' haven't grown to be strong enough at that point since the process is still going on. I guess that increasing my self-confidence to fully firm point will take still more time and work. Plus I know that I'm naturally very reactive person, which probably explains a lot why this has been difficult for me.
Don't take me wrong, this is life that I've always wanted. As I said, I and people around me also think that I've proceeded a lot from it where I was when the transition process started. Starting from the point where I just saw insecurity and all kind of unrealistic pitfalls that my mind created in this 'new, dangerous world', where I wondered and dwelled on my past (our family and I went through some hard life stages when I was kid but I'm familiar with them and acknowledge them) I reached the point in which I decided that I've to take this in my own hands and be responsible for my life (noticed that part of that dwelling stemmed probably from it that I didn't want to take responsibility for my own feelings but stay still a 'baby' for a while and let someone else take care of that), stay positive, be grateful of the life that I've wanted, try to actively accept that life has changed, go ahead and focus on this day and creating wonderful future for me. This has helped me a lot and I've times when I'm more firm and self-confident. I still encourage that type of thinking which sure takes striving since it's not the most typical way to me to react. But I can't make anyone else responsible for that and once I've managed to orientate myself toward this life and positive sides in it, I really want to encourage it.
Now I've still situation that scares me a lot in my hands. My fiancé has been very great support for me during the transition, just being there, listening, supporting and being part of my daily routine, which has been important thing to me too while creating this new life for us. Now he is going to take a trip abroad. It's just a weekend but it scares me even I sure support him to go. My rock will be thousands of kilometers away and this also breaks my routine which has been very important to me while going through this transition. My spring term at college also ended around that time which means that I've a lot of free time in my hands, tho I'm going to do also some self-studying and work with my thesis now. Sure, these changes are also a great chance to learn about myself and gain independence which I think is extremely important since depite of the transition process, my business is not to be dependable on my fiancé, that's not good for you or your relationship and you cannot live your life as a responsible adult if you live your life making someone else responsible for something that belongs to you. As I said, I'll try to keep this attitude. One spot that I should develop more is also my tolerance toward 'difficult feelings', including anxiety, insecurity etc . Great oppoturnity to work also with that part of me, but scary again. Sure I've planned things for that weekend so I don't have to be alone.
One of my issues that need to be improved is these already mentioned feelings of insecurity and anxiety since them can feel very strong/lasting at times and for example realizing that my fiancé is leaving soon has introduced daily unsureness and anxiety in my life again, after I managed to make me to get accustomed to in my new life and started to feel kind of safe.
Luckily, I'm not alone with that. As said, I've my fiancé and my family supporting me, as I've talekd about that with some of my friends too. I've also kept talking with our student health care psychologist since I've felt that it's might helpful. I also tried medication for a while at earlier stage on that process but it wasn't right solution and all people around me (the psychologist, my mother, my fiancé etc) supported it that it wasn't might the right solution when I wondered what to do, after I tried and ended up to the decision that it didn't work. Thinking it more, also I feel that it wasn't right, I would've missed some important lessons about myself and it how to really grow and deal with these situations if I had chosen that path. I've some meds that help sleep and/or relieve anxiety that I can take if I really need, but for some reason I feel a bit bad if I need to take them. It kind of makes me feel sad and gives me feeling of it that I'm somehow sick, even I know that I'm not sick but just going thru a life transition that is difficult for me. Even I feel bad, I've tried to think them more as a painkiller that you can take if your head hurts, if I've needed to take one every now and then. Also dealing with few of these upleasant feelings is challenging since I easily slip to feel that them are bad for me and make me a bad person. If that happens, I recognize tho that it's something that my mind tries to make me believe and I try not to listen that or not to believe it since these feelings are normal part of life and don't make me bad. Maybe I'm also scared of my own feelings. Tho, I already once managed to settle also this part of me down and make those feelings a normal part of me, but somehow I managed to slip a bit when I became scared of my fiancé leaving. Anyways, I guess that this is again very great oppoturnity to learn to deal with these feelings & grow as a person.
I've been a bit confused over whole the thing myself so it has been hard for me to estimate this all at times but due to my psychologist, this thing has probably just been a growing-up crisis which has offered maybe too much for me to deal at once. Also my mom (who has some basic psychological knowledge) think that it's because I'm going through this transition. None of them have really been worried about me since I've still managed to deal with my daily life and go ahead and these have been just some 'too big feelings'.
So, how do you deal with transition processes? What makes you feel easier when your new life situation makes you to feel insecure and anxious? For those ones who've gone through some process like that, how did you manage to gain self-confidence again?
Just for adding, maybe that's so challenging because this is the first major transition for me and somehow I also really enjoyed about safety and life that my parents offerd for me. But luckily seems that I keep processing. As I said, I actually felt already pretty confident after I really started to work with the situation but somehow it just feels pretty scary to face these new challenges that challenge your already-formed or forming routine (like fiancé leaving) after you 'ground has been shaken' and you have already disengaged from your past but haven't created firm new self-confidence yet. Sheesh that doesn't feel nice even it just means that I just need to keep growing!
I didn't copy the whole test, but as you can see "marriage", which is basically what you are doing, is a high stress life event...
Well, the copy didn't work - here is the link... http://www.cliving.org/lifestresstestscore.htm
I'm glad your back. I read your post this morning but I wanted to give it a lot of thought. I also posted in the MOD Private forum.
For ME... I would like some time to read your post again and hope that I have that opportunity.
For YOU... It appears to me that you have already made a couple of HUGH steps moving forward.
Congrats and... keep doing and moving ....... forward.
With support from Sereno and MY team.
Honestly, I can definitely sympathize with you in difficult life transitions. I'm not getting married lol, but in less than a week I will be graduating from my two year community college and will be going to university in the fall. I'm also someone who struggles with anxiety and depression and I do take medications just to keep me on the right track. But I'm dealing with a whirlwind of feelings right now and am trying to be "brave." But I am getting so emotional about this last week that it's gonna be hard. :p
Are you a religious person at all? When I get in a crazy funk like I am now, I go to a place where I will not be interrupted by people and have a talk with God. I rant and rave and cry and ask for signs and ask for strength...sometimes I'm at it for quite a while, but letting it all out without getting wishy-washy in front of people really helps. I'm one of those people that hates crying, and I'm not good with extreme emotions either.
Another thing that helps me immensely when I'm really emotional is going and riding my horse and focusing on it. I felt so rotten on Thursday, and after I had a lesson, even when my horse bucked and I almost went down, I felt SO much more content and happy despite all of my concerns.
And...just believe in yourself. It's something that's not easy, trust me, but it's something we have to do. I have stepped out of my comfort zone so many times in the last few months that it isn't even funny. I'm making decisions I didn't think I would make - not bad ones necessarily, just the ones that aren't always "safe." Personally, I think they'll come back to bite me in the butt, but I have no control of the future, and I'm tired of always playing it safe with my life and staying in my comfort zone. I know I sound pretty extreme, and trust me, what I have done would not be extreme in most people's eyes, but it's extreme for me.
Let the pieces fall where they may, and if it's meant to be it's meant to be. I have three songs that keep me going -- Carry On, Try, and Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain). They just remind me that even though things hurt and get scary, things will always get better and you will make it through.
In a matter of a few months, I will be moving out of home, living in a new place, having loads of independence, taking on a new workload at school, getting a new job, leaving friends and family behind, moving in with friends, and I'm pretty sure I made a choice that is going to leave me hurting, and I can no longer change that choice -- I just have to wait to take the fall. But...I'll get through it somehow. And so will you. :D
Again, can completely relate.
I really feel for people that have anxiety. I had never had it, and franky had no clue what "it" was until I moved to a completely different environment that did not agree w me, to say the least. My solution was to leave (i.e., move again, which was stressful in and of itself). But, while I was in that environment, although there was zero real danger, I did not feel "safe", and I noticed you used that word ("safe") a lot. I dealt with it by doing what I had to do - afraid. That sounds meaningless, but I don't know how else to put it. And, working w my horses really helped, I think b/c there is a "routine" of sorts, it requires focus, and they are "family". I hope it all works out for you. It sounds like you have a lot of support (family, friends, fiance). With support...you are safe.
FM: Thank you for the test. That's what I've thought it being too - for me having information over thing helps a lot and I've actually printed out few pages in which they've some basic knowledge about steps that you usually go through while processing with a major life transition and something positive about coping skills. And knowing that anxiety, unsureness, insecurity etc are part of the process and them will pass when the situation has been settled down. I also found some knowledge/research over it that when you leave your childhood home, strong emotional reactions like temporary depression, anxiety, swinging moods, sleeping problems in beginning of your new life journey are not rare at all but quite normal. For me it was a double change from childhood home to a common law wife. Not extremely usual in Finnish culture. May also it explains things a bit that during the time that I heard about it that I'm going to move, I had also another stressing life event going on. This made me still wonder a bit since seems that people don't talk about transitional challenges a lot if they experience them.
Sereno: thank you for your support. I keep going forward. Changing my attitude has been really important. I once talked about this with my mom and she told that since a little girl, I've been Sally Suspicious toward new issues and transitions have been difficult for me plus dealing with uncertainty, anxious or otherwise 'difficult' feelings has never been the easiest task for me. And viewing myself in new, confusing light and wondering who I really am. But recognizing that I'm the only responsible one for my life has been kind of liberating and now I can try to improve these parts that aren't the most strongest for me and my face the next transition situation being more serene. I also experience that 'the world around me' has probably started to fallen on its place since even the fiancé leaving is scary and I feel very unsure about myself, I also feel that most of time there's probably already something steady around me or I've gained some sense of control compared to times when the transition happened. May I can start to rebuild my self-confidence on this 'new world', and engage myself to this new situation. One of the hardest thing is to remember that these feelings or anything that I go through don't make me less valuable as person. But as to this, I'm again the only one who can decide over it what I think about myself. And I know that feeling low about yourself or losing your self-esteem is part of the process as well and it will pass. Even it was a huge disappointment to me when I started to feel anxious again after I managed to settle down things a bit. But I guess it's understandable in light of the situation that I explained and as I told, this is still pretty new thing to me. May it's also something to do with it that I've a lot of time to be alone and bored at home just now and may I don't feel self-confident enough at that point to be that much alone, even before knowing that there will be a minor transition again with fiancé leaving I had reached the point in which I felt pretty comfortable also at home. But I can always try to organize something for me (even it's a bit difficult in my small home town which I don't have that much people or activities around me. But that was also my choice to stay in that small town).
Corazon Lock: I wish you good luck with your upcoming studies. I really hope that the situation that I'm going through will offer some courage to you. I hope it courages anyone who reads this and goes through transition process some kind.
MM: Even this is mainly what I wanted and I feel very grateful about them, it still includes few issues that I'm not all satisfied with. For example our apartment is not on the best area that I like, or the choice to stay in this small town was also something that I wanted and still want but at some point, moving in some bigger city would've been exciting and given me new experiences. But I've mainly the life that I want now and on every step during your life, there are things that you aren't all satisfied with. It's part of your life. You can focus on good that you have or you can focus on bad and what you've unhappy with and I think that my feelings about safety will be mainly related to the new environment and change itself, expanding my mental world, renewing my views over myself and realizing that now I really am responsible for my life, alone. Which, I guess, has also caused it that when I experience something that I don't like or feel good with, I react it with unsureness. Sure, if you really experience major unhappiness with your new environment as you were experiencing, you should change it.
I always liked the line from John Lennon's song " Beautiful Boy", "Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans".
Life is an ever changing journey. Transitions are hard, especially for those of us that like a lot of "security"-ie~sameness & routine. Take a deep breath & take each day for what it's worth-just another 24 hours and it's your "gift" to open & savor. Your SO is going away for something he has to do in his life, right? How long will he be gone? Do you have calls scheduled? Give yourself a treat while he's away-maybe a food he doesn't like, a nice relaxing bath, w/lots of lotion afterwards,a closet purging, if you like that kind of thing-something that makes you feel good. You'll get through it and find your own coping stratagies.
Sorry if you misunderstood my post, and I can see how you might have. I didn't mean you should change your environment :). I meant, most people do not really understand anxiety b/c I don't think one can unless they have ever experienced it. I personally had no idea what anxiety was until a specific environment (namely dense forest, high humidity) caused it. So, yeah...I now understand that for others that have it that it makes no difference how "safe" something actually is, if it makes them feel unsafe then it just does. Since it sounds like you have people around you that try to understand, I think you will get through it just fine. But, you asked what others did to get through it, and what I said is what helped me get through it the most - which was doing what I had do afraid or not, as opposed to avoiding doing stuff or going places.
It's only a week, so you can count the days down more easily than say 40 days.
As for your anxiety, that is a tough one. My friend recommends taking medication perscribed by your doctor. I think finding a "vacation" routin would do you good. Whatever you do, do not call imh daily. Call him every other day. Wean yourself off of worrying every minute.. it's not healthy for you. Plus waiting a day more will give you lots of things to talk about too :)
As for moving out.. I'm doing the same. But at least you already have met someone and are going in a committment dirction. I'm moving out from a different country to the States in a state I've never been in. More than 7000miles away from my family. They don't even know it yet, because due to their ways of being unsupportive and plain mean about things, I have decided not to tell them until I have more than enough funds as a cushion.
It will be okay. I know you will be fine.
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