Some good news and some bad news

I’ve been pretty quiet on the forums this last week. My natural habits want to say “Sorry” but I’m not going to, as I’ve needed the step back for a few days.

I have a hard time with birthdays. It’s always a day of grieving for me. I mean, not entirely. But a portion of it is usually me just releasing some feelings and crying it out. It’s always easier to celebrate in the days that follow opposed to before or on the day. So I’ve been really quiet lately.

I have a lot of struggles that I have been working through lately and I decided I wasn’t going to spend too much energy writing them out. But here’s some good news that happened this week:

I got to spend my entire birthday weekend with my guy. Which was great. We went out for coffee and then had lunch with with his dad. Played some board games. Next week we are going on a trip with his mom to celebrate since she was out of town for my actual birthday.

And then a friend of mine back home is helping me pay for plane tickets to go and visit her for 20 days. So I’ll be back in the Seattle area for almost an entire month! After not being there for 5 years. So that gives me something to look forward to.

And for the bad news: I haven’t had a chance to put any time on my art. Which really frustrates me. I’ve been having a lot of pain and discomfort in my wrists. Making writing, typing, playing games, painting and even small things like using the phone or holding a cup of water very painful. Any use aggravates it. So that’s been a bummer. Trying to take it easy. I am going to keep working on my art, of course, just in small doses so not to over do it. But only when I feel my wrists are up for it. I don’t want to make it worse. Especially since I am unable to see a doctor.

Anyway, I’m glad that you guys are enjoying the link list I saved for you. I will still be posting on the forums but maybe just a little less than before to take care of my wrists.

I hope you are all doing well. Be gentle with yourselves.

  • Kitty

Hey Koyangi,

Interesting that around your birthday you tend to have these moments of grieving…it’s almost like it forces you to pause and self-reflect – to see that time is passing, that your life continues to move forward, even though in the daily experience of life it is hard to see…and to look back and see that more life has been lived that you can’t get back…to know you are further into your limited time here and that you have things left that you haven’t accomplished or things you regret or can’t do anymore…it also reflects on the positives and the beauty, but the pain of regret or the pang of mortality comes immediately and more naturally than the celebration. What are some of the things you grieved? What were some of your unmet expectations for yourself this past year? What were some of the things you are carrying that you haven’t resolved?

Amidst the sadness, it sounds like you’ve had some great highs in your close relationships and things to look forward to – and overall it seems like you are pliable enough to allow yourself to feel those things and snap back without having it take you down or out. That’s an awesome strength to have.

Hope your birthday overall was positive and that Seattle goes well!


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Thank you SO much for taking the time to read and respond to this. I really appreciate it.
I think you are right. There is a lot of pain that I am going through on a regular basis in regards to having no family. Most days I am able to focus more on all of the good things and people I have now, but my birthday seems to be a time where, no matter my more positive perspective and thought process on it, I still am overcome by sadness and just need to let it out. The good thing of it is, it’s not as negative and bitter as it used to be. I have a good relationship now who’s family are very accepting and supportive of me. All whom, not just on my birthday, but every day make me feel loved. So it’s just sadness now. Not anger. Not hate. Just an emotion I guess I need to release. So I try to allow it and then when I’m ready, do whatever it is we’re going to do. Often it’s easier to celebrate in the days after. My energy can be pretty spent after a good cry, but I don’t think this has to be a bad thing. I call it grieving because I’m in a better place about it then I used to be. And even those who have lost someone important may grieve sometimes even long after the actual event. Especially near the days of losing them. Maybe one day I’ll be able to stop feeling so sad but for now, it feels like a major improvement. It’s not so toxic and I don’t let it control me anymore.

There are a lot of things that have been left undone. Not just in the recent year but many before it. Due to me trapping myself. But I am working on that. I’m always trying to move forward and be productive with my life and mental health. It took me a long time to find the strength to do so. So I am often sad that I’m as old as I am but in a place in life you’d expect a newly graduated high school student or college student.

But like I tell most people here to, I try to set healthy realistic goals that will help me work towards the things I want and focus energy on the things that make me happy. In the last couple of years I made a lot of progress. It’s been a very good thing. My life has completely changed for the better. In the process I lost things that were important to me that’s slowed me down but I’m trying my best to remain focused. There are just a lot of days where I struggle.

Anyway. It’s all a work in progress. Thanks again.

Yeah it’s really helpful to ALSO look back and see “Even though it’s still a struggles, it’s less of a struggle, and that’s great improvement” – great perspective!

What do you mean by “you’re in place in life you’d expect a newly graduated high school student or college student”?

And by “trying to move forward” have you taken time to not just move past, but to address and heal from those things in your past?

Always in progress, friend…me too

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I guess just the fact that I am 34 years old now and I am still lost and unsure of the direction my life is going. The future is a fog. It’s so unknown. I’m living with my boyfriends parents. I’m flailing around trying to decide how I want to take the next step for my future and success. You know, when you get out of highschool and college there is that unknown sometimes of what to do next. I feel like I’ve been kinda stuck in that for a while.

However, as of the last two years, I’ve finally pushed towards the steps to get me out of that cycle. In my case a bad relationship that was trapping and idle. Now I feel like I have more potential in my future and it doesn’t seem so dark.

I guess I don’t fully know how to explain that. I just always feel like I have a major late start in life and Im more in the place a newly graduated student should be. Not a 34 year old person.

But I guess that is probably also an unhealthy outlook on things since we all unfold our lives at a different pace.

I have spent a lot of my life trying to move forward. Trying to get out of the things that were holding me back or emotionally causing stress and anger. I have spent YEARS moving FORWARD but not not a lot of that time actually went towards HEALING. Which has been a lot of my focus since November of 2016. For once in my life, now that I’ve taken a huge step forward, to also take the steps to heal.

It’s all a really large process. I guilt a lot and often feel like a failure. It also bothers me that Im not “normal” in the sense that I can’t carry a regular job or be consistent in a “normal” job environment because of my severe anxiety, burn out, sensory overload, health issues, physical limitations etc. It makes me feel broken. But I am trying my best to make things work for me, my life and my relationship in a way that feels good, is healthy and brings happiness. And I try really hard not to focus so much on what others think about how I live my life.

ANYWAY. That was sloppy, messy, choppy and lengthy. I apologize. I am really not good at explaining what I mean especially in short.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

re part 1:

  • I have a “OMG IDK WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO DO WITH MY LIFE” a couple times a month…from what I’ve heard from mentors, they experience that introspective worry or doubt occasionally as well, and they are decades older than both of us. You’re definitely not alone in that feeling.
  • Also, it sounds like you’ve already identified that it’s not a healthy perspective so…what are some positive outcomes of the time between college and now? Yes you’ve experienced pain, but how have you noticed you’ve grown as a person because of it? How have you noticed your heart develop compassion for others? What have you learned?

Re: part 2

  • what specific things have you been doing since Nov 2016 to heal?
  • in what ways have you seen yourself make progress in your healing?
  • in what ways would you still like to see yourself make progress?

I never went to college actually. I didn’t even make it through Jr. High. I was tutored for a while but I struggled. Later I went for my GED. Was too far behind to get that so I tried to get my diploma online. Which also didn’t work out. I have learning disabilities but didn’t have enough support. I also am autistic but was not diagnosed till I was an adult. The same with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD. So my schooling suffered.

But since Nov 2016 I have been free of a toxic and unhealthy marriage/relationship of 15+ years. That relationship was all I knew outside of my environment I was raised in. So the way the relationship was seemed normal to me. I felt trapped and miserable for years and felt like I was not loveable. But I also had no idea the diagnoses I battled with. So it made it worse. Nov 2016 was when I finally took that step to come away from everything I knew and decided to fight for my life and my happiness

  • I got a family and life counselor
  • I sought out a therapist
  • I sought out a psychiatrist
  • I started seeing a doctor and all of the different specialists that I needed to see for my current health issues. Which there are a lot. I was in appointments on a regular and weekly basis. Physical therapy included.
  • I was diagnosed with Bipolar, Autism, ADHD, Agoraphobia on top of my PTSD and severe anxiety. And finally started receiving treatment and medication.
  • I finally fought for a divorce and got through it after living separated for 2 years.
  • I found a healthier relationship.
  • I cleaned my life of unhealthy and toxic people.
  • I started losing weight
  • I learned that my marriage and the toxic environment was making me feel like a monster and act beside myself. I said and did things I’m not proud of.
  • But I also learned that I don’t have to let that control me. I’m more at peace and more relaxed now that I’m away from all of that. I’m much happier even though I still battle with depression and mental health issues. It’s way different than it was previously
  • I learned that I can be loved. That I do deserve happiness even if sometimes I feel otherwise. That I can have and hold a healthy relationship and have a better future
  • I’ve learned to let go better
  • I’ve learned to not let things get to be as much as I used to. Though I slip sometimes
  • I’ve learned to be less angry.
  • I’ve learned how to better control the symptoms of my bipolar disorder with being in a healthier environment
  • I’ve learned as a whole how to reach out and be open with what’s going on by having an relationship I can trust and communicate in.

As of January I lost my health insurance so I lost

  • All of my doctors
  • All of my therapy
  • All of my medication

I do cannot work a regular job in or out of home. As I have major sensory issues, severe anxiety and agoraphobia which makes it hard to be around people, crowds, loud noises, a lot of activity, lights and anything majorly contributing to sensory. I have learning disabilities and have a hard time focusing, learning new things and maintaining a hold on new information. Especially with numbers and complex words.

So I’m adjusting. Trying to learn to live without the things that were helping my health mentally and physically. I’m learning to live without medication for pain, anxiety, sleep and mood balancing. I also have PCOS. So not having my medication for that and my hormone issues has been very hard. I grow unwanted body/facial hair, have weight problems among other things that make living without treatments very difficult.

I’ve gained a lot of weight back that I lost between now and January. A lot of the progress I had gained between Nov 16 and January of this year feels like it was lost

Now I’m just trying to relearn how to live. Trying to learn how to move forward. Which is difficult. But I’m trying. I don’t always know how. I spend a lot of time in bed, go days without showering, I isolate and don’t go out much.

But I’m making myself go stay with a friend so I can be out. Be active. Be with someone who encourages me and helps me move forward. I’m trying to take the steps to heal. It’s just hard.

But it has been really good to be in a better environment and a better relationship where I have better support and understanding all of the time. My partners parents are allowing us to stay with them right now. They are very kind and loving of me. And that makes all of this that much easier than where I was before.

So while I’m struggling, I’m in a better place. So each battle and each stress I go through is a hell of a lot easier to face than it was 3 years ago.

One day at a time.


This is an incredible list, Koyangi – I think this would be worth revisiting…maybe on your birthday next year, to talk about all the ways you have learned and grown over the past year. It’s helpful to reflect and not just see the things you feel stuck in or the pain you feel is unresolved…but to notice the gap between where you once were and where you are today…honestly, it sounds like this has been a revolutionary time of your life! And the key is to just focus on your story and no one else’s. You mention multiple times that “you aren’t where you feel someone of your age should be”…but in the context of your story, Koyangi, it literally sounds like not only are you on track but you’re making tremendous headway to becoming the type of person you hoped you would be. You’re fighting for your heart and health, and this is a beautiful recollection of your struggles and triumphs.

I have a sticker on my desk that says, “The most important thing about a person is not what they do, it is who they become.” I often find myself feeling down because I compare my “doing” to someone else’s “doing” and feel inadequate. Or my “doing” to my expectations of my own productivity, or my perceptions of what others believe I should/shouldn’t have been able to accomplish. But the truth is, that is an inferior priority to the man I am becoming. And when I center my thoughts there I lose a lot of the anxiety that I associate with my daily life. It is a freeing perspective that I am exercising lately. I wonder what perspective might help you hold onto a more positive outlook on yourself and your progress, because truly, from where I sit, you’re doing amazing.

Now, it sounds like January was a huge hit…losing so much of your support systems…what other things can you put in place to help you back up? You’ve already got your relationship, his parents, and a friend. You’re leaning into Dyllon’s community as well as here. Have you thought about joining some kind of in-person trauma/recovery group? I’ve found that recovery groups can be an excellent (free) …not replacement for counseling, but similarly helpful…and in this case, it’d be an excellent thing to join because you lost your therapist, and this could be a way to re-engage the growth and healing of your heart!

I don’t know much about the physical nature of your struggle and what the medications / PT were providing, but I think the greater point I’m trying to make is…if you focus on the benefit those services were providing as opposed to focusing on the services themselves…you can find free alternatives that provide similar benefits to your life!! And I’d love to see you persevere in finding those supportive benefits in your life, even though it’s harder than having insurance cover professionals…you are worth it, and it might be a fun adventure!

Anyways, overall points: you’re right on time in your story, and you’re taking huge strides. You have hope! You are worth it.


Wow, thank you so much, Nate. Everything you have said and asked in these posts has really helped me a lot. It’s helped me reflect on the success I have accomplished even if some of it isn’t how i quite want it yet. It’s still a lot accomplished. And I know you’re right about not comparing myself to others success. I even tell others this, but it can easily be forgotten when applying to my own life. I beat myself up for not being “normal”…and not being able to function how others do.

I’m learning to be more accepting of myself. I’m trying to learn to love myself. Dyllon mentioned in a tweet recently that we should say we love ourselves. And that has been hard for me. It’s a goal to be able to say it. But not to just say it because someone said to, but to mean it.

I hope by next year I’ll be able to look back on this and see more growth.

And I’m going to try to see if I can find local groups that are available. I guess I didn’t even really know that was a thing, especially something that would be free. It’s hard for me to be around people. Due to my anxiety. But I’d be willing to at least try if something was available and I know my partner and his family would support that and help me get there.

Thank you again for taking so much time to talk to me and give me perspective. And for being patient with me.

Happy to, friend :slight_smile: If you would like for me to help you find a group near you, I’d be happy to help. Shoot me an email, and we can discuss what you’d like out of a group and look at ones near you.

Next year, tag me in your “this is how much I’ve grown” birthday post :smiley:

Proud of you, Koyangi.

[email protected]

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Just wanted to let you know this whole conversation has been really inspiring. So many good questions asked, so much support and community. You guys have so much wisdom. Proud of you for all that you are accomplishing and how much you are trying to get better despite so many hardships. You have courage and strength and I know it’s hard right now but someone things have a way of working out even if it’s really hard to see the bigger picture. Keep chugging along and hold onto hope. Really hope you can find a group or find resources to make things easier. Rooting for you. You have amazing insight and have a beautiful soul.

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