Coping with life and opening up

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    I would like some of you to share your wisdom with me, I am 20 and this year have been suffering from depression. I was never like this before, I was always smiling and just got on with things but I would never discuss how I really felt or what was wrong. I coped really well, did well in school and passed my first year of uni and have always had very few, but very good friends. This changed when I started my second year of uni, I didn’t like living with my friends and I didn’t want to do my course anymore, I cracked and couldn’t face the world. I think this may of been because I’ve always been expected to do well and expected to get on with everything and be independent and this has also made me feel like I have no one to turn to. My family have these expectations and I don’t want to let them down, and I’ve always been the friend that everyone else turns to for help, so when I need help theres no one there.

    I’ve quit uni and moved back home and started to feel better, I got a job and then everything started to fall apart again- I couldn’t cope with the pressure and stress from everyone and knowing that I was doing something that isn’t right for me.

    The problem is in order to sort all of this out I need to be able to talk about how I feel, and I’ve never been able to do that. Now that I don’t feel capable of anything anymore, they expect me to suddenly become capable of something I couldn’t do originally. I can write about it but won’t let people read it, other than people that don’t actually know me. I’ve always had a feeling that showing my feelings makes me weak and vulnerable.

    I don’t know what to do anymore, how can I open myself up to people?


    Pat Merritt

    Making decision in the midst of confusing emotions is very difficult, and sometimes dangerous. There have been so many new changes in your life, you haven’t really had the time to settle in and create your life. And at your age, this is what you are supposed to do. You are being challenged with making “adult” decisions and receiving adult consequences. Growing up and away from our family guidance (if you were lucky enough) to do that, can be life altering and sometimes difficult experience.
    Can you define “what you want”? What is your dream job? What calls to you at the deepest level?
    Maybe if you can write a project type letter which would define your goal, give you some action plan to achieve that goal with a timeline, it might help you organize your thoughts.
    Once you find your passion – you will open to people. It’s hard to poetic and intimate when you don’t know who you are or what you want.
    Sit with pen and paper and begin to ask yourself to – tell you about yourself. You can also write a letter to yourself – stating your goals, emotions and challenges. Then you can go back to it – and work on it from a problem solving level.
    I honestly once you feel better defined – you will have more confidence and be more at easy with people.
    This is just a temporary bump in the road of live. You’ve got a long way to go. So live and learn well so the future bumps don’t throw you out the window.
    Blessings, Pat


    I might not be the most helpful but this this quote helps me out a lot. “And I can play the background, the background.
    And You can take the lead.” The you in this is god. Talk to your parents!


    Well, I am not sure if you are confused or it’s the way you have written about how you feel gives this impression. You surely are dealing with issues, which you want to discuss and sort out.

    But let me tell you that people are dealing with much graver issues….like a mother who has lost both her chidren in a road accident, a young soldier who has lost his limbs in a war, a couple who has learned that their six month year old daughter has blood cancer ………..There is suffering and so much of it. These are permanent loses one can do nothing about. Still….life doesn’t end with any of these and it has to go on…

    If you become slightly objective, you will agree that your problem is just to deal with how you are feeling…..to find someone who can help you in sorting out your feelings….As Matt suggested, talking to your parents is a good idea. Or you can talk to some cousellor if you feel you need one.

    I will request you to count your blessings!!!

    If there is something which you want to share in this forum, you are most welcome….will definitely try to understand and give further inputs.

    Take Care.


    Stay Blessed:-)

    Pat Merritt

    I would just like to say that “suffering” is “suffering”. The magnitude of source of the suffering – does not make anyone’s experience less, or more valuable because the issue is somewhat not seen as “as traumatic”. You are young and confusion and not being able to sort out your feelings and desires is your suffering at this time in your life. It serves a purpose, just go with it. This is one way you will come to know yourself.
    There can be no healing in judgment.
    You are perfect the way you are – and where you are – right now!
    It might help to journal your feelings. I always find that I have all the information inside me and when I sit down and just write, the answers come eventually. I hope that helps.
    Talking to your parents can be helpful and I encourage you to discuss your feelings with someone you feel comfortable. If you ever feel like your life is hopeless, please reach out to anyone around you for help.



    Like you say it sounds like you need to talk to somebody and let all out a bit. I would suggest your parents unless you have a good reason not to. If not your parents then a friend that you feel comfortable with. Basically somebody who you feel will respond in a positive way. When you’re young it’s sometimes good to have somebody older that you can talk to who sees things from a different perspective. (Parents or family are generally best) If there’s really nobody (and I doubt that) then maybe online is a good place. Which you are kind of doing right now. Although I think someone you know, face to face is generally best.

    Also let me just say one of the things I’ve learnt is that there is no harm at all in letting your guard down and being vulnerable with people you trust. In fact it’s a very necessary thing sometimes.

    I also agree with Pat that suffering is suffering. Don’t feel bad about how you feel.

    Good luck 🙂

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