I have a rather nasty habit of setting goals, without giving much thought to what happens once I achieve them. This in itself isn't a problem. The problem is that I focus so much on obtaining what I want, that there is, without fail, a huge anti-climax once I get to the point I have been striving towards. An anti-climax for me means I fall apart*.
I think that the key to lifting my depression has been by setting goals. Without anything to aim for, I flail wildly, not sure what to do with myself. Then I pin all my hopes on that one thing that is going to give my life meaning. It works. For a while. Then I work my ass off to get there before realising that maybe, it wasn't quite what I wanted after all. It wasn't what I thought. It wasn't as I'd planned. It didn't live up to my expectations. I spent so long fantasising about how wonderful everything would be, that it didn't occur to me that maybe my expectations verged on unrealistic.
For several years I lived and breathed for the chance to live in New York. I did *everything* to make it happen- then got there and my world came crashing down. My job was a nightmare, my apartment was hell, the city itself made me manic, and I returned home a quivering heartbroken wreck. Spent a month in bed, angry and frustrated with myself, the situation, before deciding that I had tried. I made it happen- I had a goal and I achieved it. I told myself that was a GOOD thing, and for the most part, I still believe that. I swore that I would return to New York, better prepared, and THIS time would be different. That happened too. I went back and it was different. I was different. My job was different. My apartment was different. The experience was different. Better? In some ways. Definitely not how I planned it, and that year in the big apple was disastrous on oh-so-many levels, and again, I returned, angry, frustrated and heartbroken.
I'm writing this now because I am planning on returning to New York in April. Third time lucky (or so I've been telling myself). Each time I've gone, I've learned SOMETHING. maybe this time it'll work out? And yet all day I've been planning for when it all falls apart and what self-destructive path I can then walk down. I've mentioned before that I live for external achievements. The qualification, the perfect weight, the right job, the best apartment...which goes against everything I stand for as a person. Those things don't matter to *me* and yet I have no other way to define myself. And the more I feed into the whole mindset, the more I set myself up to come crashing down again.
Reality is never going to match up to my fantasies, and that's a bitter pill to swallow. I want everything to be perfect. I want to be perfect. I just don't quite know how to define perfection.
* seems I spend a lot of my time "falling apart"... Superglue, anyone?