You wake up tomorrow morning and its your 18th birthday again. - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-25-2020, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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You wake up tomorrow morning and its your 18th birthday again.


You wake up tomorrow morning and its your 18th birthday again. What advice would you give to yourself on what you should do, not do, mistakes to avoid, risks you should be willing to take. etc. What would be your best words of wisdom you would give yourself?
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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-25-2020, 07:24 PM
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I am a moderator here so I cannot be honest and post what I'd tell myself if this happened to me.

Slightly off-topic. It occurs to me that if you want people to take your advice, you are actually at their mercy. They cannot make you happy unless they take the advice you want to give them. And an extension of that is this - The best advice is usually the advice nobody wants. If you think about it, even the best advice is usually not given unless the intended recipient of it is closed off and not receptive to it. Good advice is usually just plain common sense. And so, the intended recipient usually does not need someone else to give them common sense advice they already know.

There are things I'd probably try to tell my younger self if I could but at the same time, I think it would be a waste of time. My older "wiser" self is living in the same brain and I remember exactly what I was like back then and lots of people gave me lots of really good advice that I knew was really good advice that I didn't take because I didn't want to. I knew it was good advice and I knew that I was going to regret not taking it but I didn't care.

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post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-25-2020, 07:34 PM
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It wouldn't really help. I always knew what I should do, it's actually doing things that's difficult.

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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-25-2020, 07:35 PM
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I would be extremely depressed if I had to be 18 again and do this all over lol.

Plus idk if I'd take my advice. The only way for me to be better is to have a personality change. I guess I can let myself know to avoid certain people because I know the outcome now and maybe that'll save me some grief.
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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-25-2020, 07:40 PM
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If there was just one thing I could tell myself it would be to choose a different major in college. Also, to seek help for my anxiety issues earlier in life. Maybe if I had tried to address them earlier instead of ignoring them they would be less intractable.

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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 05:06 AM
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Why would I take advice from a screwup?

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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 05:11 AM
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Definitely tell myself about some lucrative stocks.

super chill and mentally ill.
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post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 06:41 AM
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Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow,
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It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 10:15 AM
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I'd think oh no not this again. got no advice for myself lol.

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post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 12:07 PM
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Are we going back in time or am I just going to be young now? Could tell myself to buy some bitcoins etc (at the correct time obviously.)


I mean I'm not going to be able to give myself any useful advice for anything else lol.

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post #11 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillYouStopDave View Post
I am a moderator here so I cannot be honest and post what I'd tell myself if this happened to me.
Ha! Yeah! Same here. I can't post the only sensible thing I could tell myself knowing what I know now, it'd break site rules.

I've learned absolutely nothing in the past...*opens calculator*...26 years that would've changed the outcome significantly enough to matter. I don't remember my 18th birthday but I can safely assume I was lonely and isolated and miserable because that's been pretty much every birthday since at least my early teens (probably earlier, in fact, because even when I had consistent friends, in school only, they didn't celebrate my birthday with me). I've been hopelessly broken since around age 12 or so and every year I've only gotten worse, in fact I was likely just born defective and never stood a chance. Nothing has helped me. Nothing can help me. A much older, much more bitter, much more hopeless me visiting my younger self would have only one kind of advice to offer and I'm sure it's not the kind of advice this thread is asking about.

All the things that everyone else says they would've done differently are things that I either could not have done, being the way I am, or things that were never available to me in the first place.

For example it's pretty easy to advise yourself to "Go out and make friends" when you had/have the ability to go out and find compatible people to befriend and have the ability to talk to and trust and befriend them plus they want to befriend you and they actually plan to stick with it rather than lose interest in you after a short while and move on. That's an awful lot of abilities you need to have and an awful lot of variables that need to play out just right. That's also the same kind of "advice" therapists spent years giving me and it didn't make a difference then, either, because I didn't have those abilities or those options and there's no advice that can magically make such things appear.

Apparently, therapists around here haven't caught on to this. Plus when one lacks those abilities and options, it's apparently solely their fault...

 
(it's my fault I was born prematurely which may have affected my mental and social development, my fault I was painfully shy and sensitive from birth, my fault people (including family) ridiculed and criticized me for that, my fault my childhood was so isolated and my only chance to meet people was in the school environment (which ended around age 18-19), my fault I lack(ed) transportation to "get out there," my fault my mother couldn't take time off work to take me to my driver's ed final, my fault we lacked money to buy me a car, my fault I live in a rural area with few prospects, my fault I'm too crippled by anxiety to work, my fault I have no employable skills in an area that lacks jobs anyway, my fault everyone around me is too impatient to teach my slow slogging error-prone self basic life skills, my fault I'm thus dependent on others, my fault I can't "just move somewhere else," my fault I was repeatedly mocked and rejected by my peers as a child and teen and then online as an adult, my fault I have boring interests nobody else is into, my fault I have no desire to make pointless smalltalk that goes nowhere, my fault I can't form meaningful connections with others, my fault nobody else is interested or patient enough to want to stay friends with me, my fault that repeated horrible experiences trying to socialize have made me avoidant and distrustful and afraid, my fault that it takes two to maintain a friendship and so far, with just one exception, not any one other person I actually managed to befriend has wished to maintain the friendship and they often turned on me in a painful and humiliating manner before ending it (or even just stopped replying, cold, without explanation), my fault I likely have underlying undiagnosed mental conditions that inhibit my social abilities, my fault I lack access to adequate mental health treatment, my fault there's no adequate mental health treatment available in this area anyway, my fault that the time I did try to get help the specialists had no ability to help me, my fault that the support groups were too full or unavailable to me, my fault that the mental health clinic was understaffed and overbooked and never had enough time for even the bare minimum of consistent therapy for me, my fault that they cut funding and services and had to focus on more promising clients, my fault that my Medicaid coverage ran out, my fault that the therapists had to shrug and cut me loose despite knowing I have self-harmful thoughts, my fault that the last psychologist told me she doubted I'd get any better (which she also blamed on me) and not to bother reapplying for treatment in the future, my fault that this clearly indicated to me that I'm unimportant and expendable, my fault that when I tried to reach out for help again a different psychiatrist told me, "No, no, no," my fault that 30+ years of this has left me distrustful and broken and bitter, I'm sure I'm forgetting some things...even when the other party involved in failed social experiences made a promise to reach out or respond and then did not follow through after I did all the work, well, according to the therapist that was also somehow my fault...entirely my fault)


...so the entirety of the failure is on their shoulders...and going through that again and again and again tends to hammer home the message that there's just no point. And oh, if I try to explain any of this I'm just a whiner who likes being miserable and doesn't try hard enough (if I try and fail) and expects too much (if the other party lets me down), so...yeah. That's the advice I got from the experts.


So nah...I have no "advice." My life would play out on the same lonely, isolated, miserable path it already did, just with the foreknowledge of how hopeless/pointless it'd be.

If I don't reply to you, it's NOTHING PERSONAL. It's my ANXIETY.

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Det. Devetko: "Definitely."

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post #12 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 12:40 PM
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Wait, all I can do is talk to my old self? Fat load of good that's going to do. With a bit of prep though. lottery numbers and investment advice could pay off big. Wouldn't fix any of my core issues, but a life of luxury and indulgence might actually be worth living, unlike this purgatory I'm in at the prime of my life.
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post #13 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truant View Post
Why would I take advice from a screwup?
Perhaps the screwup has learned some valuable lessons from their failures they could pass on to their younger self.

But yes in general you should take advice from people who have a demonstrated history of making good decisions and knowing what they are talking about
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post #14 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisinmd View Post
Perhaps the screwup has learned some valuable lessons from their failures they could pass on to their younger self.

But yes in general you should take advice from people who have a demonstrated history of making good decisions and knowing what they are talking about
I was mostly joking. But I have to wonder if the advice I'd give myself wouldn't just be more of the same reasoning that led me to where I am in the first place.

Now, if we're talking about going back in time with all the memories and skills I've acquired since then, instead of just "giving advice", that might be different. Because I've acquired a lot of skill and information, even if it hasn't led anywhere yet. That would give me a competitive edge over my peers, and that might make a difference. I'd like to be able to just keep circling back to being 18 again, bringing back everything I've learned in the 30 years in between, like Groundhog Day on a 30 year cycle, until I get to the point where I look like some kind of prodigy.

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post #15 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 11:08 PM
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I'm pretty okay where life has taken me, I would tell past zonebox to just be the best zonebox that a zonebox could possibly be. I think the past me would appreciate that, and well, it would be pretty solid advice that would be agreeable. The only advice I would really want to give my past self would not be for my benefit, but for that of my younger brother. I would try to prevent him from ever touching any drugs, to stay away from a particular love interest he had that had lead him toward his drug habit.



If I were to be 18 again, well, I would just enjoy life.

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post #16 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-26-2020, 11:27 PM
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I'd just give myself investment tips and which people to avoid over the years.
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post #17 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-27-2020, 03:31 AM
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I was having lots of suicidal thoughts on my 18th birthday. I don't know that I'd have been able to take in anything from my current self, but I'd like to say "You're not a bad person. You're feeling anxious and overwhelmed and you're not making it up or being weak. You need and deserve help and that's perfectly ok. Your current psychologist is a nutcase but the next one will be alright. He's not good at reading between the lines though so you'll have to directly tell him things even if you think it should be obvious. It'll feel a lot better if you say directly what you're thinking and how you're feeling rather than obscuring it in layers so that it doesn't sound pathetic. Try saying some stuff and see how it goes. I promise it won't be pathetic, no matter how anyone responds. Or you could decide not to talk to him, then harbor a wish that you'd been able to talk to him for, say... the next decade. You'll get another shot with talking to him then if you'd like, but maybe just try and fast track it for us hey?"

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post #18 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-27-2020, 05:24 AM
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Definitely would've disciplined myself to get my GED way sooner as well as get a job and a license. I had a pretty late start to all this and more. Also definitely would've tried to be more assertive and confident towards people even though my social skills were/are garbage.
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post #19 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-27-2020, 10:12 AM
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Move across the country from your family, minimize contact, get a degree that immediately results in a career, get a job, save, save, save, then therapy, therapy, therapy.
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post #20 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-28-2020, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truant View Post
I'd like to be able to just keep circling back to being 18 again, bringing back everything I've learned in the 30 years in between, like Groundhog Day on a 30 year cycle, until I get to the point where I look like some kind of prodigy.
Yep groundhog day would be the perfect scenario. Just keep reliving the same day over and over again until you get it perfect. May take a million tries for me to get it perfect though. Practice make perfect! lol
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