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Unread 09-13-2017, 10:20 AM   #1
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Confused Depression triggered by "what might have been"

*Sorry if I've already posted about this: looking for new eyes!*

My depression is usually triggered by stress, or dealing with bad jobs, or interpersonal stuff... but sometimes it is set off by a thought.

That thought is "I could have been a dancer! But it's too late now"

Regardless of whether there's any truth in this, I still have this horrible ache, usually when I see someone dancing.

I always think of the Langston Hughes line "Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go, life is a barren field covered in snow."

Letting go of that dream broke my heart.

When I think about it, I have the sudden urge to weep, sob, scream..
I feel like such a child, but I can't help feeling the pain of the loss.

Still, I'm not dead, or injured. I'm quite young (25... though that's considered old in dance). I may not be able to be a dancer.. but I can still dance.

I teach children English, and we often talk about their futures and I feel like a hypocrite. They ask me if I wanted to be a teacher always, and I say yes. And I love teaching, but I also never really tried to pursue my dream of dancing.

I'm worried that starting dance again will trigger my depression & thoughts of hating my body, & things might spiral. But the idea of never dancing again...

Does anyone else have this problem? Of getting depressed when they think about dreams that ended for them? Let me know.

P.S.: I think there's a tendency in my family to defer dreams. My grandma wanted to go to art school, but never went, and never painted on her own. My aunt, her daughter, became a painter, but stopped painting years ago and all her materials are left in a closet just sitting there. My mom quit trying to be an actress, and my dad is a jazz trumpet player but thinks that he's bad at it, and doesn't play professionally.
I stopped dancing when I got injured, extremely depressed, and quit my dance college after 1.5 years. That was in 2012.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 11:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Depression triggered by "what might have been"

I do have this problem. I've even made good progress in working in a field I love (making music), but I'm still haunted by what could have been if I made more of an effort earlier in my life. I feel like I could have done so much more.

Those thoughts can come out of nowhere, and turn your whole day gray. I do feel your pain.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 12:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Depression triggered by "what might have been"

Eh... I can't deny it - I've been feeling like all my dreams are shattered and out of my reach, and like I'm desperately, feebly flailing, trying to avoid remaining a complete failure by middle age... The only positive I can think of, is that at 25 I felt like I could do a lot and things were going to change rapidly. Although I didn't think about dancing or anything as physically demanding... Well, up until last Christmas I tried to stretch to splits, but finally decided it was futile and useless, aside from not agreeing with some hip pathology that I apparently have...

I quite honestly can't be more positive about it, because otherwise I'd be a hypocrite. Sorry.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 01:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Depression triggered by "what might have been"

Absolutely. I have a lot of those moments. I took a left instead of a right when I was 18 and am still trying to find the right place. In the meantime, I just try to make the best of it. Lots of regrets though.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 11:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Depression triggered by "what might have been"

The terrible irony of it is that we've perhaps all been spending way too much time regretting not doing things... and that time could have been spent doing the thing. I spent maybe the past 5 years of my life completely depressed about this, but I did not do anything (except go to therapy, and take meds, and spiral out). I often wish somebody had told me to just get off my *** and dance, and never stop.

I'm gonna tell you all, please, get up and do the thing you're regretting you didn't do. Obviously, Bjornen, you're successfully making music, it sounds like, which is awesome!

I think a lot about Frida Kahlo who was in a horrifying bus accident. And in a full body cast, for months. And she still decided "Hey, I'm not gonna stop painting just because I can't turn my head". She began her self portraiture lying in bed and painting herself using a mirror installed on her ceiling. That's ****ing amazing. Of course, she was an avid painter before, but, still.

I keep thinking that everyone would laugh at me if I said I wanted to be a professional dancer now. Why should I care? If I had an expiration date and I knew when... would I care what other people thought?
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Unread 09-14-2017, 11:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Depression triggered by "what might have been"

I mean... from my understanding you don't even have to be in public to practice. You could just increase your fitness through dance-like exercises in front of a mirror... Of course, classes are necessary for correct form. On the other hand, if you took classes you'd probably meet people who started much older, in worse shape, etc. I don't know. I could find that motivating.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 12:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Depression triggered by "what might have been"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcheM View Post
I mean... from my understanding you don't even have to be in public to practice. You could just increase your fitness through dance-like exercises in front of a mirror... Of course, classes are necessary for correct form. On the other hand, if you took classes you'd probably meet people who started much older, in worse shape, etc. I don't know. I could find that motivating.
Good for you. Many people who are "old" take dance classes for their own enjoyment and that's cool it's good exercise and lot more fun than slogging away in a gym. In my opinion.....
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Unread 09-14-2017, 04:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Depression triggered by "what might have been"

I've been there too. I've learned that I couldn't dwell on stuff like that because the only thing I was going to get out of it was making myself miserable
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Unread 09-14-2017, 07:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Depression triggered by "what might have been"

I'm confused. Sorry if my words offended.
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Unread 09-15-2017, 02:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: Depression triggered by "what might have been"

Quote:
Originally Posted by labyrinth572 View Post
The terrible irony of it is that we've perhaps all been spending way too much time regretting not doing things... and that time could have been spent doing the thing. I spent maybe the past 5 years of my life completely depressed about this, but I did not do anything (except go to therapy, and take meds, and spiral out). I often wish somebody had told me to just get off my *** and dance, and never stop.
The way I look at it, it's never too late to give something a try. In your case you've lost 5 years, and I understand in dance that probably is huge, but there is no reason you can't go into dance as a hobby and see what comes of it. Give it a shot.

I have been working towards my initial goal for the last 17 years when I started self-teaching and doing online classes for web development. I actually spend most of my time at work now working on our website. Unfortunately, since my degree is totally unrelated, and my experience isn't broad enough, I'm not qualified to work in our systems division, where the pay is higher and the promotions more frequent than the division I work in. So I'm pretty much stagnant where I'm at. I've hit a wall and any future upward mobility is very limited, but I continue to watch for opportunities. It can be very depressing at times.
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"Do you know what’s really scary? You want to forget something. Totally wipe it off your mind. But you never can. It can’t go away, you see. And… and it follows you around like a ghost."
~ A Tale of Two Sisters (Janghwa, Hongryeon) (2003)

"I feel like an outsider, and I always will feel like one. I’ve always felt that I wasn’t a member of any particular group."
~ Anne Rice
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