Men Who Stagnate/Frozen in Time

When our lives don’t turn out exactly how we want them to, men have a certain way of stagnating, or freezing themselves in time. We become like Icemen, psychologically trapped in the confines of our own memories and unable to live in the reality of the present. This inability to contact our lives as they are unfolding now means that life passes us by, and a lot of times we don’t even know it.

Why does this happen Why do we get stuck in time? Is it possible to unfreeze ourselves and start living our lives?

A lot of men stay trapped in periods of their lives that were more glorious: when they were captain of the football team in high school, in their party years in college, in their adolescence. Some guys stay emotionally and psychologically trapped in these periods of their lives because this is when they felt good about themselves and about what they were doing. They were getting acclimated and validation for being a superstar, and the dreary reality of their present lives today doesn’t provide them that same sense of accomplishment or identity boosting.

Who wouldn’t want to relive their glory years? Which guy wouldn’t want to feel good about those points in their lives where things were working well, where they were successful in work or with women, or where they felt really good about themselves?

The problem comes when we stay stuck in this alternate dimension, and never unhook ourselves from those past memories. It’s like we can never make contact with our lives as they are playing out in the present.

A lot of times, our lives are too difficult to deal with, or to even look at. We may be unhappy with our careers or our work, our spouses may be making us miserable, our children may have constantly disappointed us, or we may feel like failures to ourselves. As human beings, it’s to want to avoid pain and suffering, and strive for pleasure. When we get stuck in the past, were living in a faux reality that is out of touch with the present.

The first step to waking up from this disillusionment is to become aware that were actually residing in our memories more than we are in our lives. If we can recognize that, if we can start to shake off the past, no matter how seductive it is over us, we can start to turn to face the reality of our current situations, even if that brings pain, grief, fear or other negative emotions. We may need to deal with people who cause us pain, or with situations, such as work, relationships, or depression, if we start to wake up from living in that alternate reality.

It’s also important to seek out professional help, because it’s difficult to see your situation when you’re smack dab in the middle of it. And, on top of that, if you’ve been living your life in the past, you may need some professional support to help you navigate back to your life.

It’s critical to know that dealing with the pain of the present doesn’t mean you’re fated to live a life of unhappiness and misery. You’re not. Plenty of guys can successfully work through their problems or issues and get to feeling better again while living in their present reality, not in their past. Just because you were a successful student athlete, or popular with the women, or were you stand out in your career, all of those things are fleeting and won’t bring you lifelong happiness. If you start to live more in the present moment, and in your current life as it unfolds today, you’ll learn to ease up on gripping the past four your sense of self-worth and happiness.

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About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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