Life on Pause

My life is on pause at the moment.

It makes me feel helpless.

Like I’m not in control of my life.

Let’s stop for a second to give you a brief summary of my situation.

On the last episode of Anne’s Life…

  • I have chronic neck pain, slowly making my through the health care system to get a diagnosis. But the waiting list for specialists is long!
  • I’m taking a break from the university after getting my bachelor’s degree – I also want to get a master’s degree, but it’ll have to wait at least one year
  • I don’t have a job yet
  • I don’t have a home. Long story short, I can’t move into my new apartment until December, so all my things are stored in boxes while I temporarily live with my parents

(If you’re new here, you can read more here and here)

That last point, in particular, makes me feel like my life is on pause while I’m on some absurd holiday in the middle of nowhere where you can only hang out with your family in the evening (because they have a, you know, life during the day).

At least there’s free internet!

Yet I feel like my life has turned back a couple of years; I’m back to being a lazy teenager leeching off of my parents. I’ve lost the independence I grew while living alone in my own place for four years.

The worst thing about it?
I’ve been in this spot before

I think of the things I want to do, the projects I want to bring the life, and they are consistently followed by the thought “I can’t wait to do that after I’ve moved to my new apartment” or “it’ll have to wait until the move”.

Or I want to do something/need something, just to realize it’s packed away in a box somewhere.

I’m also in a long distance relationship, until we can move in to together – another aspect of my life that’s been put on pause.

My life has been put on pause for a few months

But the worst thing about it?

I’ve been in this spot before.

It’s a long story, but in 2013 I studied Molecular Biology at another university. It was not for me, but I stuck around for half a year – while I also, by necessity lived with my then-boyfriend. I wasn’t a good relationship, it did nothing good for my feeling of self-worth. In that period, I fell into quite a deep depression. I dropped out, the relationship ended, and I moved home to my parents. There were some rough months, while I slowly rebuild myself. I went to the gym often and exercising helped me regain keep my sanity.

I worry a lot about falling back into the dark pit now.

When I think back, I just remember feeling so bad about myself when I moved back home.

But when I look at what I just wrote, it’s more clear that I was in a bad place before and it’s wrong to just blame the loss of independence/feeling like a freeloader/feeling like I’m not achieving anything.

However that feeling of “not achieving anything” is quite strong at the moment.

The feeling of being stuck is only increased by the chronic pain – because it limits my energy and what I can do. I’ll feel restless, go outside for a walk or bike ride, and then I’ll be in more pain for a few days (which isn’t exactly fun either).

I worry about how that will affect my ability to work or the types of work I can do – because I certainly don’t want to not work and get caught up in a hell of bureaucracy.

The essence of the fears

Basically, all these fears can be boiled down to

What will become of me? What am I going to do with my life?”

Now I can recognize the thoughts for what they are: worrying about the future.

A 100% normal thing, that everybody does to some degree. The specifics may change, but the uncertainty of the future can make anyone worry.

Worrying about the future is not the same as being depressed. As long as it doesn’t become excessive, it’s completely normal behaviour. And that’s what I remind myself of.

Along with:

  • My family is pretty great, and I’m fortunate to be allowed to stay here, and that I enjoy spending time with them.
  • Blogging is a great way for me to feel be productive while I’m not able to be productive in other ways
  • Not being a student anymore is not the same as not doing anything with your life (it’s just weird getting used to not being a student!)
  • I can’t control every aspect of my life but doesn’t mean I can’t control anything. Focus on what you can do.
  • I’ve dealt with dark mental periods before, and I can do it again
  • I have people who care about me in my life
  • I know this is temporary
  • I am not alone

And most importantly: I am good enough

…. and so are you!

Gif that says lots of love, Anne xx

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