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SqueezeWax

Do you use nostalgia as a coping mechanism?

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I listen to certain music because I remember listening to it at a time when I was happier. I wear certain clothes or watch particular movies and tv shows or read books or buy things because I remember doing the same in a happier time. I have an aversion to anything that is 'current'. I prefer to watch or look or listen to or read things that are dated in some way. I have a compulsion to relive the past in any little way I can. 

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Yeah I've never cared about doing what is current or trying to fit in with what's going on right now or doing what I'm supposed to do at my age.  If something works for me I will do it for a long time maybe for life.  I watch the same shows and movies over and over again it seems.  I still watch cartoons and act like a kid for the most part at 40 because it makes me happy.

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Posted (edited)

Oh definitely.  I keep an MP3 in the car full of stuff from the 60s-80s to fit or bolster any mood.

Several years ago, too, I put my mind to finally putting my digital restoration skills to work on pix from my childhood.  It took months, but I found myself pulling up details in the images about which I'd completely forgotten.  Some of it made me sad enough to cry, or even sob.  But some of it spurred me to scour eBay for a few items of nostalgia - particularly a couple of Dad's portable radios - which I restored and treasure.  Lord, I even take one of the radios to bed with me when I feel like I need a connection to Dad.  I even found the same model of the tape recorder he gave me for Christmas in 1965, just about my best Christmas ever.  Having something tangible and tactile keeps me connected.

That photo restoration skill also meant I started to restore many of my old aviation pix from as far back as 1970, some of which I then donated to a grateful west coast aviation museum's collection.

Edited by MarkintheDark

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Maybe a little.  I keep going back to Battletech books and mechwarrior games. 

I do not go back to or think much about my past.  Most of what I think about my past is extremely negative even though those memories are a very small amount of time. 

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I can't. All of the past is painful for me. There is very little that has a pleasant connection to the past. I wish there were happy memories or items to fill my head instead of  the pain.

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I avoid anything from 2006 or 2007 because I would associate it with my junior year of high school, which was the worst of any of them. Also anything that would remind me of last summer, which was the worst summer I could remember. 

Also, I'm like that character from Seinfeld who couldn't remember Elaine at all although they'd met only recently, but remembered tons of extremely trivial details about the party they were at. I've had this ability since I was a little kid to remember tiny, specific details about moments in my life years and years ago whether they were important events or not. 

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46 minutes ago, SqueezeWax said:

Also, I'm like that character from Seinfeld who couldn't remember Elaine at all although they'd met only recently, but remembered tons of extremely trivial details about the party they were at. I've had this ability since I was a little kid to remember tiny, specific details about moments in my life years and years ago whether they were important events or not. 

I'm like that too but if you asked me what happened today you can forget it.

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45 minutes ago, Stan Islavski said:

Absolutely. I have a deep affinity for things when “life was simpler”. But I also think I often confuse “when life was simpler” with “I wasn’t suffering from depression as badly”.

Exactly. I'm sure it is the same for me.

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I completely forgot about some shoeboxes I've kept in my closet since high school that are full of receipts, flyers, advertisements, drawings, post it notes, cards, ticket stubs, etc. Keeping these things was all part of an attempt to preserve memories I assumed I'd look back fondly on in the future. I even kept a mini journal of every single thing I did on Christmas vacation my senior year of high school. I don't think this type of thing is too unusual, but it seems a bit neurotic of me. 

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On 7/19/2019 at 4:57 AM, SqueezeWax said:

I listen to certain music because I remember listening to it at a time when I was happier. I wear certain clothes or watch particular movies and tv shows or read books or buy things because I remember doing the same in a happier time. I have an aversion to anything that is 'current'. I prefer to watch or look or listen to or read things that are dated in some way. I have a compulsion to relive the past in any little way I can. 

Oh wow.. this thread opened a can of worms in my head. Haha.

I hated my youth. I have disliked myself all my life.

Yeah. Music. I still listen to stuff from the late 70’s and early 80’s, but there is little nostalgia involved. if it hadn’t had been for the music (and all the sci fi/fantasy I gobbled up) I would probably had killed myself then. I hated my teens. Music and books were a means of escape from the life I hated. The bullying. The oppressive feeling of the Cold War and seemingly imminent demise of civilization as we know it(looking back it might have actually been a good thing but I digress). At the time I still naively thought I had hope and listening to the music of particular dark period of my life brings me the “feeling” of the hope I had...but it’s not real though. So I suppose in that sense there is a sense of nostalgia. Interesting.

As empty and pointless as life seems to me times, I would never go back to the 1980’s, 90’s or even 2000’s. I have never believed life was better or simpler in the days of yore. 

Mine wasn’t, anyhow.

 

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On 7/19/2019 at 4:42 PM, SqueezeWax said:

I completely forgot about some shoeboxes I've kept in my closet since high school that are full of receipts, flyers, advertisements, drawings, post it notes, cards, ticket stubs, etc. Keeping these things was all part of an attempt to preserve memories I assumed I'd look back fondly on in the future. I even kept a mini journal of every single thing I did on Christmas vacation my senior year of high school. I don't think this type of thing is too unusual, but it seems a bit neurotic of me. 

I have been decluttering for the last few years and it is very difficult to get rid of physical reminders of my childhood. They say to take a scan/photo, but even that is too much for me.

Keeping diaries is a good thing imo and something always recommended by my therapists. Not sure if it's depression (probably), but my memory for lots of things in life is awful (especially for positive things). It's nice to have a reminder.

When I start feeling nostalgic, it's like a danger signal to NOT go down that spiral. It starts off feeling happy watching old cartoons and children's shows and suddenly I'm thinking about how much time has passed and I'll never be so happy and carefree again. Often I get nostalgic for times that were awful (e.g. university), probably because at least I still had the hope of youth back then.

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I can still feel nostalgic about times that weren't great. Although I still hate that '06-'07 school year, and last summer completely sucked. None of my childhood was ideal, mostly on account of being a complete pariah among the other kids at school, but I can look back on most of it with some degree of fondness. At the time I wanted nothing more to be 20 years old because I had this very strong conviction that my life would magically change when I hit my 20s. I'm 30 now and nothing I dreamed would happen in my 20s came true. I wish I could go back to being 10 and alter the course of my life, because I do believe that even at that age I was making a lot of stupid mistakes that would come back to haunt me. 

 

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