Tell me your success story in changing yourself after your 20's.

I’m 29, and afraid my life’s been wasted. I’m looking stories of people who have ACTUALLY changed, in their later life. I’m not so much looking for “career change” stories, unless it’s a significant difference that required you to do something with your life that could have been done 10 to 20 years ago. I’m talking about actual behavioral and lifestyle changes, and what led to them. I could use change of some sort, and would like to know that it’s not too late. I want to do a 180, but not sure I can.

Did you decide to do something else with your occupation? Did you kick any debilitating bad habits? Were you alone your whole life, and one day find love? How did you find the inspiration to change? How long did it take for you to feel like you were playing the role of a completely different person? Does romantic love change a person, or did you have to change for your love to be attainable?

Any books or methods, (that don’t involve religion or unrealistic means to find happiness), that have helped you? Right now I feel it’s ‘too hard’ to change. Was it hard? Did it take time, or did you just wake up with a different mindset one day? Do you look back with regret, or are you focused on the ‘here and now’?

One question I would really like people to answer is; Are you Male or Female?

I don’t have a good story but I have to believe anyone can do a 180 with their life anytime. Age is a number not an excuse not to try.

I think folks will ask why you think your life is wasted at this point? Are you broke? underemployed? generally unhappy? adicted?

Its a sappy phrase but Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You might not be too old to join a branch of the military, that should certainly change you around. Go with coast Guard.

I have some threads I started explaining my personal situation.

Now, I’m feeling more invigorated. But for the life of me, I have the hardest time **starting **to change my life. So I want to hear from others to motivate myself. I don’t want to make this a thread about me. I want to hear from other people.

I would love to tell you my story of change but you would consider it unrealistic - so I will try to stick to the stuff you will accept. My life has done a complete 360 as of nearly two years ago. I was living in a chronic mental illness suicidal hell where did nothing but mostly hide at home. Now I am studying to become a teachers aide for special needs kids - I am starting volunteer work at a school next week. I attend a support group where my role is changing from being just supported to supporting others and runing things in the group. I have made sure I have access every support avaiable to me while I have made my changes (mental health services, anger management, friends, church etc) I found someone who I could be accountable to (very important for keeping me on track) I made my own rules and have tried to stick to them. I took responsibility for my own actions and am working on letting go of stuff I have no control over. I spend quite a lot of time telling myself that it is not all about me! I spend time thinking about why I react/think/act in certain ways (being mindful). I am working on the fact that it is not the end of the world if somthing does not work - I need to accept this and move on - try again or try somthing new.
I really can’t give much more info without touching on God stuff so I will end here - I wish you the best.

BTW I will be 37 in May and female

Well - I was 28 when I and my fiance had just cancelled our wedding. I was unemployed, single, homeless, deeply depressed and basically felt I had failed at life. Interestingly, that was the turning point. I’d been doing a lot of things because I thought I should be doing them - working (or trying to find work, as it were), getting married, doing grown-up stuff. I had been very unhappy.

Then I fell head over heels with a guy from far away, and since I had already lost everything, I packed up and left for another town. As for work, I turned my priorities around and put my craft first. These days I work as little as possible so I can write as much as possible. I’m in an honest relationship. I consider what happened at 28 to be the start of my real life.

MyFotsZZZ - hang in there. You’re nowhere near too old to change. You’re old enough to have tried life as you thought it was supposed to be. Nothing you have done is wasted - it’s all experience. You need it to move forward. Now you can make a new life for yourself. But you have to decide to do it. And you can do it.

Don’t hesitate to seek professional help, or counseling, or a life coach, whatever you need. I used CBT along the way - I can recommend it for challenging fears and breaking destructive patterns.

Good luck and take care!

Edited to add: was it hard to change? Yes, it was. But I suppose in my case it was a forced change, to begin with - everything was taken away. While rebuilding, I changed. I think though that change is less difficult if you have firmly decided what it is you want to do.

Oh, and I’m female. 33 now.

Never mind.

**madrabbitwoman **and Walpurgis

Thank you so much for sharing your stories!!

The reason I ask people to ID if they are male or female is… I know a woman can change a man, (I’ve seen it). I’m not confident because you still don’t see too many female doctors dating male waiters, where if it were the other way around, it seems, (imho), more feasible. Things might have changed in time, and I hadn’t noticed it. I just feel that they would see me as “unworthy” because I don’t have my act quite together. And most of my friends will tell you I’m due for a little female intervening. I’ve changed a lot, (for me), to try look better to the opposite sex, but so many women I know intimidate me for being so ambitious, and fearless. I’m not their yet.

I want to be fair too, and put in as much as I get.

But back to you guys… I wish the both of you continued success. I’m so happy you women found your places in life. :slight_smile:

At age 29 (the astrologers will tell you that you tend to undergo transformations every 29 years, tho I place no actual stock in that personally), I basically decided to engage the world with an openess of heart that I had previously (often bitterly) resisted, an attitude which literally paid off for me instantly (as well future-ly) I changed from a depressed aimless pessimist to a cheerful optimist who has made huge strides in a number of areas in my life, personal, psychological, professional, & spiritual (some facets have resisted change yes, but that comes with being human I guess). If I went back in time my younger self simply wouldn’t believe it (in his egocentric sorrow wallowing)-yet I’m the same person anyway paradoxically enough. The only bump in the road is that I am currently doing something different career-wise than I had originally planned for-but I am convinced if I had gone down the other road I probably would have 10x the stress that I do now. Sorry for the lack of any concrete details, but some of this is deeply personal. Hope that helped anyway.

I was 42, and seriously unhappy with myself. While I was earning well, happily married with a great family, good social life, I was also unfit and significantly overweight - as in morbidly obese (BMI 36 - pic) with high blood pressure.

So at the start of 2008, I resolved to change. I stopped eating crap (and cut out lots of empty carbs), started really utilising my gym membership, and walking up the stairs at work several times a day. I had to make myself get home from work (a 1.25 hour drive) and go straight to the gym, almost every day. By May, I progressed to running half a mile to the gym and back. By June I had started running during some lunch breaks, and I completed a 10km in Sept.

As of now, I am 25kg lighter than in 2008 (still a bit overweight BMI 28 - pic) and capable of a slowish (2 hour target) half marathon. I aim to be ready for an Olympic distance Triathlon in Sept this year (2.75-3 hour target), and I hit the gym 5-6 times a week, in addition to running/swimming/cycling all my lunchtimes.

It was hard work, it still is, but the difference I feel about myself is just lightyears better than before. I have made new friends at the gym, and I look forward to saying hi to people when I get there. And I sometimes get used as an example for people who feel that they are not making progress (“you see that guy over there - he used to be really big, seriously. But he has stuck at it and lost weight, so it can be done”).

Maybe it is a midlife crisis based on self-image. All I know is, I don’t ever want to go back to the way I was. And while it takes some time out of my life (my wife does get a bit annoyed sometimes), it’s been totally worth while (my wife also enjoys the benefits of a slimmer, fitter, younger-looking husband).


I started therapy a couple of years ago and that has completely changed my life.

Backstory- I grew up in a household where my mom was married 3 times before I was 12 yrs old. My mom had pretty severe issues with anxiety and depression. She herself did not seek treatment until I was in my teens. I always kept everything bottled up, I couldn’t let anyone (especially my mother) know how I really felt, lest I be rejected. I truly feel like I had two different mothers, post-treatment mom and pre-treatment mom. I have a lot of trouble expressing my emotions, even to myself.

So fast forward to college years. My senior year I start having panic attacks. I went on Paxil and that solved the problem. I didn’t bother with therapy because I felt better. Fast forward another few years and I decide to go off Paxil since I haven’t had a panic attack in years. I taper off the Paxil and everything is fine. Then, 6 weeks after stopping the meds, I crash. I am in a constant state of anxiety and can’t do anything. I can’t eat, sleep, etc, but I am trying my best to hold it together without letting anyone know I am feeling like a complete waste of space.

One day I come into work and a colleague has just attempted suicide in his office. (He ends up ok, thankfully.) A couple of us are gathered in someone else’s office and we are discussing the event. As the others are wondering how someone could get so low as to contemplate and even attempt taking their lives, I am thinking that I can totally see how he would come to the logical conclusion that ending your life is a good decision. At that moment, I knew I needed professional help. I called a therapist listed in my insurance plan and go from there.

It hasn’t always been sunshine and unicorns, I have had to come to a lot of painful realizations about myself, but I am so much more happy and confident. In fact, we are currently working with a psychiatrist in tapering me off the Paxil again. The first time around I did it in the span of about a month, without any real monitoring by an MD. This time we are taking it much slower and under the supervision of an MD. I started on 20mg/day and we did 15 mg for 10 days, 10 mg for 30 days and then we are going down to 5 mg. I am currently at the 10 mg stage and feeling pretty good.

It’s ok, and what you did offer does help. It’s nice you were the same age as me when you changed. I’m glad you’re a happier person. I’ve been trying to see life the same way. I’ve noticed I’ve been smiling more. I just went on the fist date I’ve been on in a while. I’m looking forward to spring. So you’re right that attitude has a lot to do with it. I’m working on it. Thanks for sharing!

Looking good my man! You know… diet and exercise could be playing a major factor with me. I bet that’s something I could work on too. I’m a little above ‘normal’ as far as the way I ‘look’, but I admit I eat junk. I should be way more conscious of that. Seriously, good for you man. I’m sure your family is very proud as well. What drove you to change if I may ask?

I’m sorry you had a complicated childhood. I’m humbled when people tell me about problems they had when they were kids. My parents were great, they just didn’t know how to help me. I was in therapy since second grade, and on meds in High School.

It’s interesting to here about your ‘ups’ and ‘downs’. It just goes to show that it’s not too late to be happy. I REALLY hope that your on a path that leads you to general happiness.

I’m sure you’re all wonderful people. You took the time to humor me, and tell me your situations. I really can’t tell you how much hearing about other people changing helps. As I type this, the sun is shining, I had a date last night and know there will be a second date, The Office was a good episode, (heh)… So I’m working things out. It’s hard to make changes and I hope you’re all proud of yourselves.

Would still love to hear more!