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Pain and an Unfulfilled Life (i.e. You only get one)

life happensI only get one life, one chance, and I don’t think I am doing a great job living it.  As I sit here feeling sad for so many reasons (not all of them selfish, as my family and I are dealing with a very heartbreaking situation right now), feeling as if I am failing at life, I am haunted by the notion that the one life I do have, is not fulfilling.  I usually do not write when I am in this type of mood,  you know the mood- sad, angry, resentful, frustrated, fed up with life and the crap hand you were dealt.  Then I realized that if I only write when I am in a positive, happy mood, I am doing my readers, and, most of all, myself, a disservice.  Sometimes the only way to get through a mood like this is to let it out.  The worst part about how I feel at the moment is that I have no desire to change it, snap out of it, smile or be happy.  I am sad and mad (“smad,” as Phoebe once said on “Friends” and I need to feel it, express it, wallow in it.

In my 34 years I have had many wonderful experiences, but I feel like there is so much more I want to do and don’t know if I ever will.  Perhaps my torturous wrongdoing is watching these travel shows about people who just pick up and move to another state or an exotic country and I think- I would LOVE to do that.  Then, I look at the reality of my life and realize it’s one of those dreams that will likely go unrealized.  With the separation having left me financial issues to solve, I feel like I may be stuck here forever and I wonder, can I live here the rest of my life and be happy?

Before meeting my soon-to-be ex I was figuring out a plan to change my humdrum life. I had this fantasy that I was going to finish my Master’s program, sell my stuff to pay off my bills, pack up my car and drive out to Beverly Hills and start a new life, perhaps pursue my dream of acting while being a therapist to the stars. I know, it sounds so unbelievably cliché, and really silly, but it was what I dreamed of and still do, especially given my current circumstances.   I am not sad that I met Jhon and we had some wonderful times during our marriage, but the fallout has left me with more questions than answers.  Additionally, this silly dream that could be possible now that I am “free” again, is still not really a possibility because I am very limited since my back surgeries and my neck/head injuries from the recent car accident. But I can’t shake the feeling that I want an adventure, new places, new faces and I wonder, will I ever tire of this little town, this state full of everyone I know and love, pack up my bags, and the dog, and move far away to start a new life?  Would it make me happier?  Would it change anything?

It’s more than just travel that I think about.  I realistically have another 55-60 years left to live but I can’t see the future anymore.  Will I be able to go back to work?  If I don’t, what the hell do I do with the rest of the long years I have left?  How do I finance those 60 years? Will I remarry?  Lately I feel like I have constant anxiety thinking about the future because it used to be so clear and now it’s like I am looking at it through a filtered lens, one that has doubt and pain and anxiety that distort my vision.  (See last month’s post about How Pain Changes our Perception of the Future)

I have three degrees, which means I have almost as many letters after my name than does the alphabet, but I am not doing anything with that education right now (except paying the enormous loans).  I have never worked more than a year and a half without something, usually health-related, interrupting my life.  My life is constantly interrupted.  When do I stop literally being the girl, interrupted?

I don’t know how to plan for the future anymore.  I know people say not to plan, to go with the flow, but I feel like I can’t do that here in this little town. But, if I were to pack up my life and start anew, would that make me happy?  Would these silly dreams make my life more fulfilling or am I just trying to run away?  Would running even away help?

I know that I can’t run away from myself and my problems, but at the same time I keep going back to the reality that I only have ONE life.  That is a terrifying thought.  I believe in reincarnation, but still, I, Tracy, will only have this one life to make it the best I can…and that scares me because right now, I don’t feel like I have made much of it.  It is…unfulfilled.  Please do not misunderstand me, I have done plenty I am proud of, but if I were to leave this world, right now, it would be an unfulfilled life and not because of my age, but because of the fact that my life, until now, has been…interrupted.  I wish I could get a glimpse of my future, just a small look, but then I know I would live to plan for that life and not live it.  John Lennon said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans…,” but what if you are not making others plans?


Pain and an Unfulfilled Life (i.e. You only get one)

Tracy Rydzy MSW, LSW

My name is Tracy and I am a licensed social worker. I was working as a Social Worker, when an emergency spinal surgery 2 years ago changed my life and my career. I live with chronic pain and, as a result, I have taken my social work and writing skills, and made them into this blog. This blog is a humorous, informative, no-holds barred honest look at life with chronic pain, depression and disability.”

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APA Reference
Rydzy MSW, T. (2013). Pain and an Unfulfilled Life (i.e. You only get one). Psych Central. Retrieved on April 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 17 Sep 2013
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