Family Magazine

Mind Dump: Past, Present, and Future

By Gingercouturier @GingerCouturier

A new blogging friend of mine gave me some advice the other day when I indicated I was having trouble turning my thoughts into words. She simply said, “Don’t think, just write.” I suppose I will, since I have so many things that are going through my mind and I believe the chaotic thoughts are really preventing me from getting anything out.

In this blog, I wanted to talk more about domestic abuse and the ways that I have been effected by it. The problem with that is I have PTSD, and sometimes when I start thinking about the ways I’ve been effected by domestic abuse, I find myself in the past. I don’t want to push myself into remembering times that trigger flashbacks, but at the same time, I do want to get it all out. I want to address the painful memories and move forward, but without causing an anxiety attack.

This makes me think about my therapist and how she doesn’t focus too much on my past. We might refer to it when discussing current challenges and why I cope with things the way I do, but we never really get into the nitty-gritty of situations that have occurred. This leads me to wonder if it is dangerous for me to re-live old events. I mean, there has to be a reason we don’t talk about that stuff. What’s more interesting, thru my research on PTSD, I’ve found evidence that the way to heal and move away from a PTSD diagnoses is to not have the flashbacks.

Am I harming myself by talking or thinking about the past? Am I supposed to just block all of that out? What if I don’t want to? Should I want to?

Another topic that I want to talk about here that weighs heavily on my mind is Fibromyaligia. There are so many writers who discuss fibro that I wonder if I should even bother to talk about it, too. Sure, maybe my perspective is different, but what do I uniquely have to offer that readers can’t find elsewhere? Just my experience? Everyone experiences the condition differently and what works for me most likely wont work for everyone.

I like to think I have some great ideas about coping with Fibromyalgia, but there aren’t a lot of them. Furthermore, I haven’t lived with the condition long enough to be an expert. Also, having fibro and focusing on it is kind of depressing. I really would like to be on the positive side of the condition, but to be honest, there aren’t many (if any) positive things about chronic pain. Something tells me that I am just not trying hard enough to find them.

I also have a lot of thoughts and feelings on my son, that I’d like to write about. I find this subject to be extremely hard to discuss though. It is a topic that is a little too personal and I don’t even know where to begin. I feel like I might be able to attract more readers when talking about ADHD and ODD, but again, I am not an expert and can only talk about the topic from my point of view. I am also very new to dealing with this child’s personality with a different approach from what I’ve used for 12 years.

I’m still not quite sure I’ve found the exact science to being effective and don’t think I should quite yet be handing out advice. Things have improved significantly, but we are still very far off from where I want it to be, and I don’t have full confidence over this topic yet.

I often feel stressed out because of the topics I’ve chosen to write about. They are all pretty heavy and can be quite negative subjects. And though I don’t think I approach them with negativity, they just aren’t what one would consider fun, amusing or lighthearted reads.

Do focusing on these topics help me grow as a person, or is it keeping me trapped in a once very unhappy frame of mind? If I don’t talk about these things what else will I discuss?

In all the articles I’ve read about successful blogging, I’ve found that most suggest having a niche. That’s all well and good, and really it makes a ton of sense, but what if you don’t have a niche? I mean what is my niche? Abuse, fibro, mental health? Now I’ve begun taking photos?

I feel as if I am all over the place, and though the different topics I talk about do all relate to one thing, that one thing is me. I can’t be a niche. Realistically, that’s just foolish. Sure, if I were keeping a private journal or just tracking my progress as a human being, without trying to attract readers, that would be fine. But that is not my goal.

So what is my goal? I think about this often, and ironically, I tell everyone I know that they need to have a goal they are working on achieving. You can’t get to point Z if you don’t know what that is, after all.

While I do have long-term goals, at this point, they are more or less just dreams. I say this because I haven’t set definitive short-term goals which point me in a solid direction or position to achieve what I ultimately want out of life. And while I think it is good to have big dreams, I also know that they don’t amount to more than a hill of beans if I don’t start actively pursuing them.

Is this blog going to help me achieve my dreams? When I think about what I want to achieve… Yes, I believe it will help me. But, as of now, it doesn’t feel like it is and I am not positive on how to use it as an effective tool. Though my readership is growing, little by little, I am not satisfied with the rate, and I am not always pleased with my stats.

Having a realistic look at the facts, I am told that while I am doing well, I am not doing good enough. 

Am I talking about things people aren’t interested in? If so, what are people interested in and am I able to talk about those topics? Am I not consistent with what I write? How can I stay focused on the topics I’ve chosen? Am I not a good writer?  What am I doing to improve? Do I really even want to talk about this stuff? If I don’t then I am not coming across as sincere and passionate. No one wants to read something that is dry, forced, or ineffective.

What am I good at? I know that I am good at a lot of things and I consider myself very lucky for that. If I try at something I am almost always pleased with the results because I am fairly successful in all I do. The problem is though, because I am pretty good at everything, I don’t work hard enough to just excel at only one thing. I also get bored rather quickly and find it hard to just focus my efforts in one area.

While this might sound like a ridiculous problem to have, it’s not, simply because  it can be quite frustrating. 

Being okay at a lot of things is far from being excellent in just one area. Having a lot of interests and a curious mind is a wonderful way to live, but it can also become a hinderance. Because I often move from thing to thing, I find my desires are often spread thin, and this creates too many distractions.  Not being able to highly achieve in any one area often leads me to wonder if I am even really very good at anything, or if I’ve just convinced myself that I am.

I want a purpose in life and I want to make a difference in the world. But how? What am I doing to achieve that? What am I doing to figure out ways to achieve that?

It is so hard to answer these questions, because again, though I have long-term goals, they aren’t very specific. And because my goals aren’t detailed, I lack focus on creating any short term goals.

Though I know I’d like to help people, I am not sure what I want to help them with. This really needs to be decided if I want to get anywhere. Reality also needs to be weighed into my decisions. I am not going to be able to help anyone if I don’t have the knowledge or there isn’t the need.

I suppose the first step in all of this is hammering down my goals in a realistic way.

Take my long-term goal for instance: I want to move to England. I can’t just say my goal is that I want to move to England. That statement is a dream, not a goal. I can make it into a goal, but more needs to be said about it than “I want to move to England”.

Why do I want to move to England? When? What will I do when I get there? How do I suppose I will get there? Is it realistic to want to move there?

I used to say I was going to move to Italy. Again, why? Why have I changed my mind about Italy?

Do I really just want to travel for a few weeks, months, a year? Am I just saying I plan to move to another country to sound interesting or to escape a life I am not happy with?

I think in the past I just wanted something to look forward to. As time goes by, I find myself still longing to explore another way of living and still think it would be a positive thing for me to do. With each year that goes by though, I realize I’ve done nothing to really get me any closer to achieving my goal than the day I dreamed it up.

Sure, I am looking to the future in high hopes, but they aren’t realistic plans of action. I will say that I’ve taken baby steps in terms of trying to find a job that will allow me to work remotely, but I haven’t been hired yet. Writing would allow me to do the same, but I haven’t made a nickel for my words. What am I doing to make my dreams reality? What is holding me back?

I suppose I’ve gone on long enough about my thoughts for now, but I do feel there is a lesson to be learned.

If I am smart, I won’t just think of this as a mind dump and turn it into a waste of time. If I am smart, I will hammer down some solid goals, no matter how far-fetched they are, and then come up with a plan of action to achieve them. If I am smart, I will set a 10 year plan, then break it down into a 5 year plan, a 2 year plan, and then 1 year plan. From there, if I am smart, I will set monthly goals and decide if this blog, and the direction I’ve chosen to move towards with it is beneficial. If it is not, then I need to come up with a new plan of action to reflect my true goals. If I am smart, I will look at today as the first day of the rest of my life, seriously, whole heartedly and realistically.

Thanks Linneann, for encouraging me to just write. This exercise has helped me realize that my focus has been blurry because I am lacking a definitive goal.

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