who am I?
October 2, 2011 9:18 AM Subscribe
I feel like I just have moment-to-moment mindsets; that I have no underlying unitary will. Help?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
This is something I've struggled with a bit my whole life, but more and more as I get older and it matters more. I'm in my mid-twenties. I feel like I live exclusively in the moment my head is in and have no perspective outside of that. When I’m happy and confident, I feel like everything is going great and I come up with all sorts of plans for the future. When I’m down, I don’t feel like doing anything. When I’m doing something I enjoy, I get a feeling of THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO and can’t think of anything else. For example, if I get a wack-ass idea in the middle of the night that I NEED to get a working holiday visa and go live in New Zealand, I’ll frenetically research that instead of doing my grad work due the next day, because what’s the point if I’m going to New Zealand next month? Of course the next day in class when I’m loving how great school is, that completely falls away. Or I’ll listen to a song that reminds me of a prior period in my life, and I’ll get intensely nostalgic for that period and feel the need to somehow get back there, even though I generally like my current life. Or on the flipside, the second something is going bad in a job or some other situation I get a panicky fight-or-flight reaction and need to change things NOW. Basically this all has led to a life where I am constantly flitting through jobs, relationships, and even countries because I am always feeling the moment and completely unable to grip a perspective outside of that.
A few family members have bipolar and I was diagnosed with ADD (which I now medicate) and a side order of hypomania.
I feel like there is no overriding ‘me’. All my desires are mediated through the moment. For example, I am debating applying to an additional job that would make me extremely busy, even more so than I am now. When I’m in a good mood and feeling energetic, I know I should apply because it is the perfect job for me, and I would love it, and it makes sense in so many ways. When I’m feeling tired, I know I should definitely not apply because it will leave me sapped and it is a crazy, ridiculous idea. See what I mean? How do I work through this? No decision I make will ever be right because I am always of two intense minds about everything. On the occasions that someone has asked me “are you happy?” in a general life sense, I have truly no idea how to answer. It’s almost an absurdist question to me. I’m happy when I’m happy. I’m not happy when I’m sad.
Right now I’m poised to have to make some serious decisions about my career and other life choices, and I don’t necessarily feel like I have what it takes to make them.
Has anyone struggled with this sort of thing and has any advice? I know it’s sort of the condition of my generation, but I think I have it more than most people. Thanks.