I want to transition from overwhelmingly negative to overwhelmingly positive

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#1
I know that I need to take action to make this happen. I'm looking for suggestions.

A little background about me: DISCLAIMER: it's a bit negative: I am a recovering addict with bipolar and Asperger's Syndrome (which is now usually referred to as mild Autism Spectrum Disorder.) I also experience anxiety and depression for short to long periods of time. I don't like labels and I don't want to let them define me but the symptoms I have will usually present themselves as me being seen as rude and hurtful when I'm not intending to be whatsoever (I think I'm misunderstood, perhaps because of misinterpreted body language and less than perfect ways of wording what I'm trying to convey or the tone I use inadvertently) and often completely unaware of it and then often getting very upset about my exceptionally poor ability to interact and socialize with other people.

My addiction(s) stole many things from me including my childhood, adolescence, young adulthood (I'm almost 24,) potential relationships and my self respect and happiness among other things. It almost took my life at least twice. Perhaps unexpectedly, the thing I miss the most is my driver's license. I wasn't able to get my driver's license for the first time until about a week before I turned 21 and I kept it for approximately 6 months before losing it and I won't be able to get it until I'm 26 at the soonest. As if being born as somebody with "disabilities" that make keeping a job extremely difficult to say the very least wouldn't be enough, I have no transportation to find jobs and get to them. I know that I made mistakes and I'm paying for them. I live with my parents, brother and sister and my relationship with them is poor due to the problems I have and it affects my family negatively. They love me very much and vice versa and I can tell because nobody else could put up with me for very long. Also, I live a few miles away from town and I have a bicycle but I haven't had much luck finding jobs. I want to move forward but I don't know how. I think I need help from somebody who is willing to bear with me as I cope with my issues and try to improve my life. I have met a few people who were willing to do just that while I was hitchhiking around the country (the single greatest and probably the only major achievement in my life, I'll post a pic!) but they are in a lost chapter that I wouldn't be able to reopen.

That is the short version, there's no way I could show you the big picture through words alone but I'm trying to paint it for you the best I can without going overboard.

I am blessed in many ways but I feel too trapped by my circumstances to even bother being grateful for them at this point in time. I hate myself and my circumstances and have very low self esteem.

I believe that I have a massive amount of untapped potential that is eager to be unleashed.

I want to let it flourish but I need to find a way to fuel this fire so to speak.

A few goals I have are getting a gym membership (which I cannot afford at the present time) and eating healthy to get my health and weight back in check.
Reading books to learn practical things I can apply to real life like anything from speaking well to proper posture.
Gaining skills/obtaining a good career that I can balance with my hobbies like traveling and the outdoors.
and much more, but I'm ready for bed so maybe I will add more later.

If you could imagine yourself in my position with the disadvantages I'm up against, what would you do? Or what would you recommend?

Thanks, Justin
 

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RicardaK

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Aug 8, 2018
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#2
Hi Justin,

first of all: you´re on the right path! Your willingness to change and learn is the best start. Don´t be so hard on yourself, personal development takes time and courage. I´m sure you´re determined enough to reach your goals.
I love that you started with nutrition and physical movement, high five for that! Make sure you cut all processed sugar and caffein products out of your diet as I found they promote anxiety.
Everything else is really INSIDE work.
Let me tell you: You´re not your past! Stop identifying yourself with it!
I´ve been through child abuse, mental abuse, depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Still, I worked hard on myself the last 3 years and now everything that happended before those 3 years feels like a past life. Because I´m not identifying myself with it anymore. I do not go out anymore and tell people what I´ve been through, because that´s not me anymore. It´s not my identity anymore. What I do tell them is how I got out of it all, how my life changed completely. How happy I am now.
Besides Looking after your body it is choosing a positive mindset every single day. Always seeing the positive aspects of everything you´ve been through. Do not see your past as something bad because I´m sure it taught you a lot and made you the man you are today. Never see your past as your enemy.
What many people do not know: you can literally rewire your mind into a positive mindset. And absolutely everyone can do that!
 

VEM

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#3
Hello Justin

I think you should continue doing many of the things you're doing right now, learning as much as you can about ways you can deal with autism spectrum disorder, being a recovering addict and being bipolar.

Definitely do not start doing drugs again. I think right now that is the main goal you need to be focused on. If you can stay clean that will help improve the relationship with your family because they will see you're making an effort and being successful at it. Considering you have ASD and you're bipolar; abusing drugs is like you pouring gasoline on a fire you're trying to put out. Please don't go back to using.

You also mentioned having anxiety and bouts of depression. I have never believed that drugs are the go to
remedy for a detrimental mental condition and that prescribed medicines alone will be effective in managing the condition but I definitely feel that you need to be prescribed something to deal with the anxiety and depression. Usually bipolar disorder is treated with a multi pronged approach of medications, therapy and counseling. Along with medication I'm sure a doctor will recommend to you that you participate in some type of therapy and counseling. These practices will help you with improving your social skills and in time you will find a job.

You must get the medical help you need and DON'T GO BACK TO ABUSING DRUGS. Concentrate on those 2 goals and that will improve your situation greatly. Try and have some patience too about this whole process
of turning your life around. Understand that its not going to be something that happens in a few weeks time.

We are here for you Justin, keep in touch with us. We want to know what's going on with you and provide you with the motivation and inspiration you will need in dealing effectively with your condition.
 

Visitor

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#4
Justin, it's okay to not feel okay.
Sit with this and wait till you can see its truth.

...If you could imagine yourself in my position with the disadvantages I'm up against, what would you do? Or what would you recommend?...
You already know the answers but you do not see that now.
Here is a simple way to help you discover what to do.

Ask yourself "What would a person in recovery do in this situation?"
OR ask yourself "What would I tell my best friend to do in this situation?"

Usually the first thoughts are the correct ones. Others thoughts down the track usually get compromised for easier softer options that won't work for you. The correct ones usually require one to face their fears of change and of failure. Be okay with them too. It's okay to be afraid, or to fail. The road least travelled is one of growth and maturity.

Recovery is not easy, or else everybody would be doing it. So expect it to be tough, and if you do, and take a risk, you will often find it easy. (fear knocked on the door, but when answered fear was not there).
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
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#5
I know that I need to take action to make this happen. I'm looking for suggestions.

A little background about me: DISCLAIMER: it's a bit negative: I am a recovering addict with bipolar and Asperger's Syndrome (which is now usually referred to as mild Autism Spectrum Disorder.) I also experience anxiety and depression for short to long periods of time. I don't like labels and I don't want to let them define me but the symptoms I have will usually present themselves as me being seen as rude and hurtful when I'm not intending to be whatsoever (I think I'm misunderstood, perhaps because of misinterpreted body language and less than perfect ways of wording what I'm trying to convey or the tone I use inadvertently) and often completely unaware of it and then often getting very upset about my exceptionally poor ability to interact and socialize with other people.

My addiction(s) stole many things from me including my childhood, adolescence, young adulthood (I'm almost 24,) potential relationships and my self respect and happiness among other things. It almost took my life at least twice. Perhaps unexpectedly, the thing I miss the most is my driver's license. I wasn't able to get my driver's license for the first time until about a week before I turned 21 and I kept it for approximately 6 months before losing it and I won't be able to get it until I'm 26 at the soonest. As if being born as somebody with "disabilities" that make keeping a job extremely difficult to say the very least wouldn't be enough, I have no transportation to find jobs and get to them. I know that I made mistakes and I'm paying for them. I live with my parents, brother and sister and my relationship with them is poor due to the problems I have and it affects my family negatively. They love me very much and vice versa and I can tell because nobody else could put up with me for very long. Also, I live a few miles away from town and I have a bicycle but I haven't had much luck finding jobs. I want to move forward but I don't know how. I think I need help from somebody who is willing to bear with me as I cope with my issues and try to improve my life. I have met a few people who were willing to do just that while I was hitchhiking around the country (the single greatest and probably the only major achievement in my life, I'll post a pic!) but they are in a lost chapter that I wouldn't be able to reopen.

That is the short version, there's no way I could show you the big picture through words alone but I'm trying to paint it for you the best I can without going overboard.

I am blessed in many ways but I feel too trapped by my circumstances to even bother being grateful for them at this point in time. I hate myself and my circumstances and have very low self esteem.

I believe that I have a massive amount of untapped potential that is eager to be unleashed.

I want to let it flourish but I need to find a way to fuel this fire so to speak.

A few goals I have are getting a gym membership (which I cannot afford at the present time) and eating healthy to get my health and weight back in check.
Reading books to learn practical things I can apply to real life like anything from speaking well to proper posture.
Gaining skills/obtaining a good career that I can balance with my hobbies like traveling and the outdoors.
and much more, but I'm ready for bed so maybe I will add more later.

If you could imagine yourself in my position with the disadvantages I'm up against, what would you do? Or what would you recommend?

Thanks, Justin
Hi I'm Logan. I read your post and the other replies. I would say that the part about not seeing yourself as your past is true. We are not our memories, we are our routines. These you have to change yourself; finding and expecting someone to aid you is maybe unlikely, these issues to a greater degree are your own burden and you have to own them. The problem with finding friends to unload on, you will tire them and worst of all, you will more likely use them as an excuse to boast to, rather than making any real changes. You might end up just enjoying the conversations that go no where, and use it as an excuse to lie to yourself about your real progress. It is good to talk but do not get hooked on it.

I cannot say much about Bipolar, but you will likely need certain medication to keep that balanced. However if you develop a strong awareness, it can be possible to work through the down periods, so that you feel on an even but natural mind set. You might feel tired, low and irritable, but rather than this becoming a full blown emotions, it is down to you to spot this and avert it; but this will require you to become aware when the down periods occur and use it as an opportunity and see if you can relax posture and breathing and do a task or something, and see how well you perform. You can only do such control with small determined steps over a period of time and any medication should still be used on the advice of your doctor and let them know you are doing such methods.

I am thinking of an example of such a method … So let us say someone has really upset me, the thoughts now are going around my mind, and I have two things to do, one resolve the issue itself, and that will be a self talk on action needed now or in the future to better or prevent this getting worse. It might not be the full, "I fixed it, rather this is the next fix until then we will talk or do the next thing when we see if this works etc", Options and not being trapped in situations will calm the mind. However the thoughts will still race and bubble up, so once we have done all the thinking or actions on what is needed to correct things. We simply have to cut it off and ignore. Now that can be done, but will be much easier if you redirect to something positive that needs doing. They call this the Elephant in the room, hard to ignore, but screw it, eventually it will walk away, lol might leave a big turd, we can clean it up. The trick is patience and distraction. This can be a task, and so we focus strongly on it; like a self-test.

We know the storm is brewing outside, so in here we ignore it, are satisfied good preparations have been made and nothing else is needed other than to avoid it and get on with other things. We say this to our self if we start looking at the storm and return our attention. We wait and do not care for the storm, and if our task runs out we find another. In a funny way that storm can be used to get things done. Perhaps we don't have tasks remaining, but we do have interesting topics or self debates we could have. Maybe we want to think about ways to get the bike going better. Maybe plans for moving to a city when we get to a certain goal.

I would say as hinted in the last line, you need some goals, become self aware of interactions with people and spot triggers and aspects of your lack of discipline on controlling parts of the conversations.

Some examples. Learn to discuss a conversation you really like, and as soon as someone speaks, stop talking or allow gaps for people to speak, ask questions, and see how well you can hold yourself without interrupting them. Better still end the conversation half way and bring it up at the part you left off. Might sound crazy all this, but these will form routines when repeated and create a better behaved and focused you.

When you do not feel like talking become aware and attempt conversations that interest the other person even showing pretence of interest be patient with them and let the subject matter run out.

remember when replying if you feel bad, be aware of your manners and words you use and use better words, so as not to annoy people. The above examples you could create many yourself, and create a whole new you. Sometimes you would be acting, hiding your irritability; other times you would simply be controlling the flows. Make goals! Start with the big issues, makes sure your sleep is routine and eating and then find actives hobbies interests and then build relationships. When you create balance and get some more friends, the easier it gets. Soon the bird can fly the nest. Trust me, stop making excuses, you can do it! Fail once, try again, we learn by failing you can do this, you have already shown the willingness; the rest is repetition and slowly steering the course. Be patient, have fun! Let us know how the weeks pass and if this was helpful.

Regards Logan.