2017 is behind us and the winter is coming to an end. Finally, the time to be up and running again! Or at least that is what we think.

We hear it everywhere: good resolutions, bad resolutions, whether you should have resolutions – advices and lifestyle wisdom are univitable at this time of the year. I read about how to set goals, how to stay true to yourself, how you should have high standards but not put the bar too high for yourself. How you should give it a 100 percent, how you should not let other people tell you what to do and how you should be proactive. What a cacophonous compulsion!

I experience so many incentives. I do not know where I stand right now, what I want to do and what I want to enjoy. And only when I know the answers to these questions, I know what I want to think about, where I want to go, what I can find there and what I can do with it. I need rest, reflection and coaching in my journey.

I feel much better since I started recovering from my depression. However I still feel conflicted. When I feel good, I start wanting stuff, get back on lost time and start building on my life again. I want to explore my teacher position, study and customize courses. I feel the need to put myself out there socially too, meet new people, speak to more people. I dream about starting my own firm. Fully alive and developing myself.

But all those desires, wishes and resolutions give me so much stress that I feel like getting dragged back in depression again. It pressures me: I feel the need to perform, I fear failure and feel all the energy leaving my body. The people around me think of me as powerful, they think it is so great I am starting to build a life again. They are a big support to me and motivate to fight for it. What is there to lose? But that is the problem. There is a lot to lose: I can lose my good mood, I can lose not having a depression, my stability and the pleasure in life I finally got back!

I have a proactive side, but also a conservative side. I never want to go back to my depressive period again: staring into the bottomless pit of despair. Endless tears and toxic thoughts. No, I have to be careful not to fall back in this pattern. I should not try to recover too fast. My depression is my limitation, I should not cross my boundaries. I need to enjoy the process and be proud of where I stand. I should be happy that I can smile again and that I can love again. I can achieve goals and build a life again, but does it matter if it will make me break down again?

May I take it easy? No busy schedules, not willing to do too much, just relax. Will it also be fine if I do things just for me? I should let go of all those wishes and pretensions. Life is not a race. But will they appreciate it if I take it slow, will they still respect me? Or will they think I am lazy, a welfare recipient? How will I experience it myself? Can I get enough satisfaction, will I still be going in the right direction of my life?

This is a conflict I have for a couple of years already. Two extremes send me in two different directions. On the one hand I feel like I have to run, work and achieve – participate in adulthood. With exhaustion, stress and sadness as a result. On the other hand I want to let go of everything, take care of myself and enjoy the little things in life. I had a messed up life for forty years, can I at least enjoy the next forty?

Or is there another way I have not found yet? A way where I do not have to be ashamed of myself. A way where I can work towards my goals without crossing my own boundaries? I am looking for a way that can lead to a valuable life. This is what I want to read about on all those lifestyle blogs, these are the advices I need, I want to get deeper into that!

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Rogiér Cenin

I am a philosopher, teacher and experience expert in the field of anxiety, PTSD, depression, personality disorders and just life! I am coming from far and would like to share my experiences and thinking with you.

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