Rebuilding a life from nothing

Ages 0-11 I was on another planet. Quite literally

Ages 11 to 18 I was a drug addict until I got clean

Ages 19 to 23 I had a bit of a break, made a few friends and had a life where I’d go see live bands etc

Ages 24 to present, my life has consisted of working and that’s it. The rest of my life has been consumed by my mental health problems

Now I am 34 and I have apparently reached a point where I can build something, according to my case manager

How the ■■■■ do I do that?

Honestly, I am not a proper human being. I have never built a normal life for myself or developed healthy pursuits

He expects me to magically find a life, but when you don’t have one, where are you supposed to start?

My case manager asked me why I was so tense? Maybe it was frustration at his commentary


I’d let him know you need help to get started. It’s perfectly normal under your circumstances to need help getting started

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I tried to get that point across, but he said that he cannot tell me what to do

To be honest, I am angry about this as it doesn’t help someone telling you all these wonderful things you can achieve without a pathway towards it


Yes, it is possible, if you win the schizophrenia. Its a mental process that never go backward. Meds only slow down or hide symptoms. I think with the help of medicine and by imaging the perspective of hallucinations, you can found magically a life.

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You’re already doing it. I think your case manager has unrealistic expectations. We don’t get sick all at once and we don’t get better all at once. You’ve grown immensely over the past year and you’re doing amazing work for others. I’m betting you’ll start getting yourself more sorted soon, too. Just keep doing what you’re doing mate, you’re awesome.


The worst thing I know is unrealistic positive psychology that doesn’t regard the circumstances of your life:

“You can do what you want.”

“Keep a positive attitude, and things will be better.”


I don’t know where you should start. I know that IRL friends are important. Do you have some IRl friends?

I wish I had more, but it’s difficult to find new friends.

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This is trying to build more meaningful pursuits and hobbies etc.

All I seem to do in free time is smoke cigarettes, browse the internet and drink coffee

Work wise I am not worried any more.

It’s the stuff that makes life meaningful that’s missing.

Thanks for the encouragement. I just feel pretty perplexed at the moment about what to do with myself. Kinda stuck in a rut. Hopefully I can break the cycle soon

I only have people I converse with online and my parents. There is nobody else at this stage


Maybe start with going for some walks around the neighborhood? A bit of volunteer work? Lots of seniors in lodges with no visitors who’d be happy to play cards with you and chat for a couple of hours.


Your case manager is an idiot. I like @velociraptor’s idea of doing volunteer work. It’ll help you feel good about yourself


Sometimes we get stuck, and people don’t understand what we are going through.

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I think it’s pretty much an accomplishment just being in a position to start building a normal life. I guess finding a way to meet new people and doing some hobbies that you enjoy is probably a good place to start. At least I think that’s what normal people find fulfilling.

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Every day for me is like rebuilding from nothing–Im changing all the time, literally a new person than I was 10 years ago when you’re like 25 your brain matures and over time you evolve and learn. I do like the idea of minute evolutions vs. mass species evolution. If we focus on the small moments we can make big changes…and those can be personal, interpersonal, or whatever…I am not gonna dwell on a past that does not exist relative to the present, Im forging my future life through the lessons learned and learning to start over because its all gonna be different when I wake up the next day haha


It does sound ridiculous that he would expect you to do this without guidance

You don’t have to build a whole new life. At least not all at once. You can add a couple things to your life maybe make a few changes. That’s why they call it “building”. If it makes you feel better then I’ll play devils advocate and say yes, you’re right, you’re starting at ground zero with nothing and you are going to create a life from nothing. But the thing is, you are not really starting from nothing. You have life experience, a brain, and money. That’s a helluva good start to building a life.

You don’t have to build your whole life in one day, one week or 6 months. You start slow and make some subtle changes maybe and slowly improve your life. Now is your time. You don’t need the perfect life or the perfect relationship to build a life. You just maybe take an online class, or even in person. Make a couple new acquaintances. Apparently, you were pretty wild when you were younger. Now you’re more mature and you can pick responsible mature people to let into your life who have jobs too and are doing something with their lives or are at least trying. Yeah, your therapist doesn’t expect you to change overnight. It’s a process.

For me in 1990 it was getting clean. I joined AA when I was thirty after four years of smoking crack. I got clean, I got a part time job, I enrolled in college. I moved away from everybody I used to party with. Those weren’t huge changes for me. I had worked before and gone to college before. But once I got clean I actually kept the job and went to school for five years and made a friend and started doing all kinds of social stuff with my friend and AA people and my family and for 6 or 7 years I had a good life. I kind of slacked off slowly over the past 6 years but I’m still working and taking classes and doing enough to maintain an OK lifestyle.

I think your therapist is right and you can do this. Good luck.


Sorry, it’s your case manager, not your therapist.

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Following fifteen

When you think about the life
you imagine living
What is it like?

My imagined life
So far removed
From life current
But I’ll spend my life
Trying to get there
If the world just
Stops impeding me
Unrealistic they say
Ha watch me
Turn dream to reality
I will
My reality will
In the reality

It’s a serious question
Internet strange stranger
Beat addiction
That’s an accomplishment
Have you ever thought
I did that?
So many don’t
Congratulate the man in the mirror
Ask him
What do you want to do next?

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