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I don't know who I am


Ralph

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Should I be an addict or clean? Am I sexually active or prude? Accept things where they are or risk it all for a chance at something better, but also a chance at something significantly worse?

No matter where I stand the grass always looks greener on the other side. It seems when I do something I feel like doing, I regret my impulsive act, but then when I don't do something then I regret the missed experience.

Then it occurs to me I'm beating myself up now that there's no one else around to do it for me. I promised to myself not to become an abuser like the adults I grew up with but I'm abusing myself anyway, which leads to more regret. Sheesh I'm good at this. There has to be a distortion in there somewhere because I keep turning it around to regret. Or maybe some deeper regret that I'm not facing.

I wonder how the people who say they live with no regrets do it. Do they just not feel regret for their own mistakes, or do they somehow know themselves so well that what they do still looks like a good idea in hindsight?

I also wonder if there is any answer to the question of personal identity. How do people figure this out?

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From the viewpoint of expended energy, regret is simply a waste. No amount of regret, or worry will change the past. However, with each new experience, the potential to learn and grow exists. Why not refocus your energy on what can be learned, rather than "what if". The fences you peer over are only constructed in your mind. In reality there is but a path, and the only way to travel that path, is to move forward.

Not to take away from the sincerity of this comment, but its true. I got it straight from the horses mouth!

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Well, there's an obvious answer (kinda) for personal identity: I guarantee that you're you. That's a unique and permanent identity, yet it's free to change whenever you need it to.

Is that okay with you?

I'm not trying to be funny (most people can tell, because it makes them groan). Clearly, you question whatever you do. I'm not sure if it's a sort of perfectionism (could I have done a bit better, so that I won't regret) or whether as you said it's a form of self-abuse (whatever I do, it can't be good) or whether there's really much difference between the two.

Could you let it be okay, whatever you do? Without that nagging voice, I bet you end up doing "the right thing", and better yet, it'll be what you define as "right" rather than the nagger's definition.

I can't say that I live without regrets, but I can say that I spend a lot less time than I used to, dwelling on them.

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In my experience I couldn’t figure it out by myself. It had to “emerge” in my consciousness as a part of my relationships with other people, but also specifically, in my case, because I had a relationship with a therapist who KNEW how to have healthy relationships with people, which I did not.

There are several unique characteristics of my current therapist, though. She has had extensive training -- a Ph.D., internship and 2-year post-doctoral fellowship working in a mental hospital with a focus on trauma and dissociation. I do not think that I would have been able to get my current sense of self and others if I had been seeing a therapist trained in CBT. Maybe, depending on the person’s personality, but I doubt it.

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If I have to find it out through relationships with others I'm in trouble. I'm still pretty socially isolated. My therapist is also just CBT.

I think much of this comes from being insecure in my current position. I've made some bad decisions in the past that have come to haunt me, now I regret it and second guess anything else because I have no plan, and I have no plan because there's nothing that I actively want to do, besides die. Except I do want to live for something, I just don't know what that something is.

That poor kid looks terrified. Made me chuckle though.

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Ralph I currently have no regrets but I use to. I have been told that I am a wierd person but I am very happy with life right now and it is in complete shambles. I will tell you how I do it...

I visualize-that whatever I missed would have gone wrong-that whatever I did was stupid enough that I will laugh about it later, then I project myself into "later" and laugh about it now. That is how it started but now I don't have to, lack of regret just comes naturally.

Also when things would haunt me or when people say/do bad things to me I just pick a favorite stupid line from a movie and say it out loud-Now, be gone before somebody drops a house on you too. (The Wizard of Oz)-Curse you tiny toilet (Despicable Me)-What the Hell was the point of that! (Night at the Roxbury)

It's okay to borrow mine or make up your own. I swear it helps:)

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I guess the point is there is no use crying over spilled milk. The past is the past and can't be changed but the opportunities of the present or future can sure be missed by constantly looking backwards. So I guess my line could be keep moving forward (meet the robinsons). It's hard to remember this though when down in the dumps.

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