I have realized that I never have dealt with my loss in a way that has allowed me to heal from it. I started with optimism, then disbelief, then denial, then sadness, anger, and then a motivation that came from a feeling I was going to get "even". And through the entire process, even what felt like the good moments, or the advances... inside has been and still is this void.
While Tolle is very good at discussing exactly where my problems lie, even trying to explain the process of moving on, I feel I am doing it alone. I work alone, in a house that continually brings memories of my past. Or I am in a hotel in some city where I know no one. My friends here in this town are as depressed or more so than I am. My wife works constantly, and so while she is an inspiration and truthfully so much happier than I am, I rarely get to be with her during the day.
Trading became a true religion to me. Belief, hope, faith. And also the social aspect I discovered at futures.io (formerly BMT). Others that shared a similar goal. But recently, when I tried to challenge some things in myself, and as a result my trading took a turn for the worse, by breaking my own rules, self-sabotage to some degree.
I have determined that I am not capable of trading correctly with the mindset I have today. A tiny spark of belief in my competency, coupled with the feeling my work was about to end, was all it took to send me down a dark path yet again.
So, with that discovery, at least for today; I am giving up my pursuit of becoming a trader.
That means, I have also lost my "religion". And with that, a loss of a major source of how I occupied my time, calmed my fears, gave me a good feeling inside, that I was moving forward. But what I have seen that is so freeing, is that so many people come to trading for the same reasons. To heal a loss, or fill a void, a create an identity.
But, meanwhile, the nearly constant struggle that learning to trade can be can bring on this rollercoaster of emotions on a regular basis that really does not help anything.
The concept of "now" is helpful, at times, but I am not able to remain in that space for very long. But, each day I practice and am finding it easier.
I have found myself searching websites, not looking for solutions as much as stories of similarity. The feeling of some support group, not just a belief but a knowing that my circumstances are not just my own. And maybe even hoping to see the path that someone else took to get from one place to another. Perhaps reaching for a mentor of sorts?
Just a few short weeks after I took a major trading loss, I was awarded work, work that came as a complete surprise (as the account was lost), that made up for most of it. Projects that will be completed and cash in the bank in less than 45 days from now. Money out, money in. In some ways the damage was contained.
But, while that softens the blow to some degree, it does not make up for this time I now have on my hands, or for the lack of something that can similarly hold my interest. And most obvious, brings to the surface the fact that I have deeper issues that I never did deal with. My identity shifted.
My wife and I have enough today to get us through maybe 4-5 years of living expenses, quite a leap from a recent bankruptcy, and more than many of our friends who were in a similar situation. I believe I can find work, have proven it to myself again. I will most likely still pursue prop trading, sometime in my future. I have learned more about trading than I ever thought existed, and even today can see that if my head were in the right place, it could provide a real financial benefit.
I have ridden some very big waves in my life, from rags, to riches, to rags, to now on the upside again. What I have recently discovered, what became a moment of clarity, is that I am ready for some calmer waters. Learning to trade will be replaced by learning not to, which really means; learning to be ok with my losses, learning to have other priorities. Learning to have fun again.
If you find this story helps you in some way and would like to discuss it in more depth, feel free to contact me outside of PMs or this thread. I know what is is like to feel alone in trying to sort it all out, and would love to be able to help someone else.
This is probably my last post on this thread. If I make it back to futures.io (formerly BMT), it will most likely be to report some profound wisdom. But for now, I am hanging up my surf board, turning my focus to finding solid ground.
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this journal. Good trading, and stay safe!
The following 10 users say Thank You to GaryD for this post:
I totally understand where you're coming from, although it is a bit sad to read. About 6 months ago, I too made a decision to end my Trading career. I was extremely depressed about it since I have done nothing but try to master my Trading for about 7 hours a day for close to 5 years . After a few weeks, I regrouped and started SIM trading and gave myself some difficult, but reasonable goals I had to achieve for a month straight before I resumed live Trading. I'm glad I didn't quit now.
You seemed to be one of the few on here, that had a reliable system...had the ability to tune into what the markets were telling you, at any given moment..and extract a decent profit on a consistent basis. It is obvious to me or anyone at my level that you have all the skills needed to do well at this.
What I didn't agree with.. was when you felt you were somehow failing if you didn't hold a trade until a large target was reached. Sometimes targets have to be adjusted..sometimes market conditions force a strategy to be adjusted for in real time. Taking a 10 tick winner, when you wanted 50..because that's all the Market was giving you..is nothing to have beaten yourself up over. It doesn't make someone a "Great Trader" to mindlessly hold a Trade for a given target..when the conditions are clearly revealing that the probabilities of reaching that target have suddenly grown slim. The flexibility you demonstrated consistently in your earlier entries became replaced by an obsessive desire to hold trades..no matter what..due to psychological issues dealing from your past. Trading then became a vehicle of "Therapy" for you..instead of the masterful trading you originally were demonstrating.
I'm sure everyone on here will be supportive of your decision. I just want you to know that you showed a rare insight into the price movement of CL and you should be proud of yourself for the skills you developed .
All the best to you.
Failure is not an option
The following 3 users say Thank You to lancelottrader for this post:
"it will most likely be to report some profound wisdom."
Or to realize the profound wisdom you have just posted ?
You have found freedom in letting it be...
You have time on you hands...
you have lost the illusion of religion/beliefs and hope...
You have present moment awareness (to what ever degree)
You are now aware of what your motivation was for trading and that it was wrong..based on illusions..
You are now aware that a rollercoaster of emotions on a regular basis does not help anything..
" what became a moment of clarity, is that I am ready for some calmer waters. Learning to trade will be replaced by learning not to, which really means; learning to be ok with my losses, learning to have other priorities. Learning to have fun again..."
You are ready for calmer waters because you create the water you swim in..
In other words the waters are calmer because you are more aware to be less attached to the storms.
Imho the above are not reason to now trade again.
I agree with @lancelottrader in terms of your skill.
In my oppion that comes from your instinct.
Something that cannot be labelled or defined and never should be.
You will never lose this.
Such that (imo) there will come a moment, somewhere, perhaps in an airport or hotel
or even one of those neon diplays in a big city
where you will get a glance of a CL chart from say Bloomberg or the likes,
and in the blink of an eye you will see all your lines of support and resistance,
and what you instinctually know would be your decision...and you will smile.
I would like to add lastly that imo this sabatical is the best thing you could do at the moment.
The profound wisdom you posted above will take what ever time it takes to become the base of a new plateaux..
and you will then be beyond the one you are presently on.
But of all that you said above, the one thing you seem to want to change or not be experiencing,
is that you are alone in your journey.
You are alone, as we all are, but you are not lonely.
We are alone becuase it is each our own journey and our own experiences.
In that, you may begin to see, at whatever moment, the joy of the freedom and time you now have.
In that aloness you will perhaps see the oneness that you and we all are which, somewhat contrary,
will be the reason your instinct always knows you are not alone.
Becasue you have found yourself.
So much is a contradiction at first sight.
It's just a reflection of how we perceive it all and ourselves.
Such that the wisdom in your post above was written by you,
just sitting there, presently and always for you to see it,
as and when you become aware of it.
Sometime ago you metnioned a Part 2 to your Journal.
In the mean time and always, enjoy your freedom and time and the fun having both.
Your post above is what you are presently aware of,
but how aware are you of it !
With respect and kind regards..
Wishing you wellness..
Every moment I wake up I realize I know nothing, and then I smile...
Last edited by zt379; October 27th, 2012 at 03:53 PM.
The following 6 users say Thank You to zt379 for this post:
@GaryD, I don't know that it is necessary to give up on your trading dream, but simply to take a break. Time heals all wounds, but really what you need is perspective. I think you've been going in circles for a while, and I encouraged you to step back and take a break so you could try to gain much needed perspective.
So I am relieved to see that this break is coming, although I think it is possible to implement the break without retiring from trading. I hope to see you back after you gain reflection, perspective and some peace. But I hope that is not too soon, don't rush it. I hope to see you next year!
Best to you and your family,
Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.
Need help? 1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first. 2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses. 3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make. 4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance. 5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers. 6) Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.
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The following 3 users say Thank You to Big Mike for this post:
I understand your point and what you are doing. I think you're doing the right thing for this point in your life. I know trading will always be a part of you and you will eventually come back with a different perspective. But now its time to collect yourself, reflect, grow, heal and finally triumph.
My best to you and your family......
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
The following 2 users say Thank You to PandaWarrior for this post:
When I first thought of wanting to make a certain amount of money, 20+/- years ago, I did not want it to have "stuff", I wanted it to have "freedom". And there is a freedom that having money can bring.
But today, for some odd reason as I drove from one meeting to the next, I also saw that there is a freedom that can come from losing it as well. Perhaps even as a price that is paid to obtain it.
The following 3 users say Thank You to GaryD for this post: