I Can't Imagine Myself Alive A Year From Now

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Is this normal? Can normal people imagine themselves alive in the future?

I've only ever been able to plan for the future in an abstract way, imagining myself alive the way I can imagine robots on the moon or something else absurd. I'm not sure its a wish to die, persay, but just a fundamental disconnect between my life as it is now and the potential of a life in the future.

And if I'm just waiting around to die, this whole life seems pointless and I should just hurry up and kill myself and get it over with.

I'm not trying to be dramatic, but I know it sounds that way. I just need some meaning or some hope to convince me I shouldn't just accelerate this process.


It's very common to not be able to plan for or even imagine the future when dealing with PTSD, with or without suicidal thinking.

Check out this thread: https://www.myptsd.com/threads/anyone-else-have-trouble-imagining-their-future.34342/

I used to really struggle with it. I'm beginning to get my sense of purpose and ability to imagine myself in the future back. It's hard to deal with no sense of purpose. It was one heck of a long existential crisis for me.


For some reason I don't think it's in the DSMV (it may be? I can't read tech specs right now) but in the DSMIV that was actually listed as a symptom of PTSD: sense of foreshortened future.

It's one of my biggest difficulties. I joke a lot "I quit planning 2 minutes into the future years ago!" Except it's honestly not a joke. When I'm doing badly I cannot own that a few hours from now will exist, much less next week / next month/ next year. Over the years I've learned to ignore it & "act as if" most of the time. When I'm doing well? I don't even have to ignore it. I can see this afternoon, next week, next month, next year... As real places. I can look forward, look ahead. In survival mode? I can't. I'm very much stuck in living in the moment. I hate it. All those stupid motivational posters piss me the hell off. You don't want to live in the moment! A life is not moment by moment! Aaaaaargh. But I do drop out of survival mode, eventually. So when stuck in it? Like now? I remind myself, just because I can't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Get through this moment. And the next. And the next. And eventually? The future will take shape again.

Like I said... I can't read at the moment, but if you can it's discussed here:
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I struggle with this also. For me, if I have something, anything, that has a set duration it helps. When I was in college I could see to the end of the program. Beyond that, normally not, but at least as long as I wasn't drowning I could carve out that chunk.

Now that I have my service dog? The duration of his service seems doable. If I have a project that's time sensitive, or even just a two month workout program. All of those things place markers in the abstract of 'future' that seem to make it easier to grasp. At least for me. Sometimes it's as easy as planning a trip or a concert I want to see or something else out on the horizon.

Doesn't solve it, but my goal is normally mitigation anyway.


Absolutely. I went from mach to stop in 1 day or less. And what a contrast.

Where the day before I was thinking about what I needed to do for clients on this day, this week, this month. planning trips for business, figuring out what I had to do tomorrow, what I wanted to do next year, the thought of 10 years from now was easy breezy.

But then my sense of time got all messed up. The THEN/NOW thing. Time was something altogether different for me when I was rekindled with my PTSD. Then issues (flashbacks) became now issues (even though doctors told me they weren't, that was hard to buy into while I was writhing on the floor NOW to something that happened THEN). The lines of time were completely blown to bits in my head. The future was eradicated because I was so involved in THEN which was problematic to my NOW.

Time is a construct. It takes years to teach kids the importance of time (in this society). The subconscious mind has no knowledge of time. And my subconscious had hijacked me. I am just recently starting to be able to plan based on 'the future'.
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