Mental Illness and Lost Time (

Lost Time

I feel like I’ve lost many years.

Whether to mental illness, toxic relationships, traumatic events, or a combination of the three, I can’t help but feel that I have wasted so much time.

I am 31 years old. I’m university-educated. I’ve had a few solid jobs. I’ve lived in three countries and visited too many to list. I’ve lived with others and alone. I’ve beaten alcoholism. I’ve quit smoking. I’ve survived suicide attempts and I work hard on recovery. I’ve survived tragedy and trauma.

But I am 31 years old. I’m back in the same bedroom in which I grew up. My health, both physical and mental, is poor. My social life is non-existent. My world is small with no sign of expansion.

I feel like I don’t have a purpose. I feel like the past decade of my life was meaningless because I have almost nothing to show for it except for persistent night terrors, overwhelming anxiety, and a malfunctioning body. I feel like I’ve lost so much time and I feel like the days, weeks, years are running away from me faster than I can keep up.

I surrounded myself with self-help books and positive quotes; “It’s never too late to start over!” and “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop!”.

Lost Time (

But I have stopped. And with each passing day, I feel more and more like it is too late to start over.

I don’t even know what starting over would look like for me. I have fleeting ideas of what I want my life to look like, but pessimism quickly takes hold…

I can’t do that because…

That won’t happen because…

I don’t have the skills to…

I’m not X enough to…

I feel so trapped. Trapped by my circumstances; trapped by my own mind.

I don’t believe in myself. That’s the essence of the whole thing. I just do not believe in myself. The self-doubt and self-criticism are too deeply ingrained and no amount of “positive thinking” helps.

And as time goes on, I feel this sinking pit in my stomach that I am wasting my life.

You would think that would encourage me to make changes, right? But no. Instead, I am frozen with fear, shame, and regret.

Lost Time (

I don’t know what to do.

I’ve been asking the CMHT for Compassion-Focused Therapy for months now and I’ve only just been placed on the waiting list for an assessment to see if I am eligible for the therapy. They said it could be months more before I even get an assessment appointment, and it’s not guaranteed I will be accepted.

Right now, I just feel like I’m in limbo, whilst time continues to fly past me.

So much lost time; losing more each day.

Lost Time (

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  1. This hurts my heart. I know these thoughts; they are so familiar. Except I am twenty-years on and have a few more years of them. I’m struggling with that currently, in fact.

    Because if you look at the accomplishments on paper, some of them are pretty impressive. But then we go and get stuck on the things we can’t do or have to do differently some or most of the time and then call that failure. I’m coming to believe that it is a result of a combination of things: the lies my mental illnesses tell; the truth that I do have different requirements; and the weird demands society puts forth about what constitutes success that we collectively buy in to.

    Which doesn’t help you feeling awful. But I do love your writing and look forward to reading your work. I hope today has good moments. Blessings. ❤️️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried to write down some positive affirmations yesterday and some of them I just couldn’t write some of them down because I didn’t believe they applied to me. That negative voice is very strong. And our system fails us. I literally wrote about time in my journal last night. I am finding my journal is my retreat right now. I feel like once I write that thought down honestly as hard as it is, it quiets that voice for a while and I can stay in the moment. I find it to be almost impossible to stay in the moment because everything reminds me of something that reminds me of something and I’m gone. Going to read more of your blog. I don’t feel so alone. We are survivors
    We have already survived the worst.

    Liked by 1 person

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