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Help Me

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #149275

    James
    Participant

    I don’t know if it’s depression or anxiety or what, but I can’t stand the pile of shit my life has become.

    My job is soul-crushingly banal and makes me miserable, but if I quit I’ll just be miserable and broke. And finding a new one is pointless because the only jobs I’m qualified for are just as bad or worse.

    I don’t even know what I would try to do anyway as nothing is fun anymore, except for a couple of activities that I’m extremely interested in. At least, I think I am. I get so excited about it that it starts building up massive amounts of anxiety until the only thing I can do is run away and hide from these activities. I don’t even know if I want to do them or if I’m just used to thinking I am.

    But every now and then I manage to cautiously work myself to a semi-functional level. Which is great … until I make some tiny mistake and the scraps of self-esteem and confidence I’ve managed to scrape together go up in smoke. Shortly after that I tend to lose my shit and break things (I assume as a metaphor for hurting myself, but I’m not sure). And then it’s back to square one.

    … I’m just so tired all the time. Sometimes it feels like I’ve run out of spark. Like something in me has been depleted and mere sleep cannot replenish it.

    I’m just so tired. Please. Please help me.

    #149285

    anita
    Participant

    Dear James:

    You wrote that your job is “soul-crushingly banal” and makes you miserable. You are not (or feel that you are not) qualified for a better job. The only two activities that don’t bore you cause you massive amounts of anxiety to the point that you avoid them. When you make tiny mistakes, you get extremely discouraged and you break things. You feel very tired all the time, that something in you has been depleted. You are asking for help.

    Can you share more, so that I understand your situation better: approximately how old you are, how long have you been doing this job, what is the job about, what are those two activities, what kinds of tiny mistakes are you referring to; do you live alone, and how are your relationships with family, others?

    anita

     

    #149305

    James
    Participant

    31 years old, have been doing inventory work in a warehouse for the last two and a half years. I have a roommate and try to hang out with more friends on the weekend. My family doesn’t live nearby but they try to be supportive.

    I like games, game design, and maybe 3D modeling. But all of those things carry a certain weight. With games it is the pressure to perform, with design and modeling it is presenting your creations to other people. These seem fairly normal, but I’m so emotionally weak that these things become overwhelming. A tiny misplay in a game makes me feel useless, failing to create the vision in my head or seeing the mountain of work stretching out in front of me makes me give up because I know I can’t do it.

    And on some level I know that all my fear and anxiety is all in my head and that it’s okay to mess up, but that doesn’t seem to help. It just makes me feel even more useless.

    #149317

    anita
    Participant

    Dear James:

    When you see “the mountain of work stretching out in front” of you and you give up- I am familiar with that in my own life. I call it the Overwhelm Factor. The work ahead, what is required, looks (and is) so huge that it makes you instantly weak, doesn’t it? Just the thought of it. And naturally, plagued by that instant exhaustion, you give up. When I experience the Overwhelm Factor, I disengage from the thought/ image of the final result of my work-

    and instead, I think to myself: I am intending to work for an hour. My goal is not the result of my work, but working for one hour regardless of how much work I accomplish. I stop expecting the final result and focus on the one-step-at-a-time that I am taking, within the hour, not looking further or farther. Just this. And then, just that.

    Stay away from “seeing” the whole picture and wanting so much to be there already. A bit at a time, and over time, you will be surprised how much you accomplished.

    Try this attitude when doing some other project, other than gaming. It can be doing the dishes. Let’s say there are too many dishes in the sink and you experience the Overwhelm Factor, approach the dishes one at a time, saying to yourself: I am only going to wash dishes for ten minutes, and then stop regardless of whether all the dishes are washed.

    Post again, anytime.

    anita

    #149329

    James
    Participant

    I’ve tried steps similar to that before and it never seems to stick. I’m too weak-willed to keep moving.

    I’ve tried looking for a new job, and limiting myself to just one job application a day (and when that proved too much, one a week), but it fell apart because whenever I looked at a job I felt I couldn’t do it and didn’t bother. My friend convinced me to try a few minutes of meditation a day just to see if it would help, and I didn’t even last a week. The first few days were okay, but it just grew tiring.

    Tried to publish a board game I made? Gave up because I didn’t even know where to start. Splitting it up into smaller tasks was impossible because I have no idea what those tasks would even be, nor how to find out. Family members told me long ago that I worry too much and overthink things and I don’t know how to stop. Someone said to do things without thinking about them and I wanted to scream because I don’t think I am physically capable of doing something without thinking about it.

    I’m sorry. I ask for help, and people give it to me, but then I turn around a refuse to be helped. I’m really grateful that you’re trying and I can see you do a lot of work on this site, but … I don’t know. The only person that can really help me is me except I can’t even do that.

    #149345

    anita
    Participant

    Dear James:

    There is no easy way for an anxious person to meditate, to take things slow, one step at a time, etc. The nature of anxiety is that thoughts are rushing, adrenaline is secreted to the blood, heart rushing, everything in a hurry and you are exhausted very quickly.

    My suggestion: a slow yoga class or a Tai-Chi class. Slow, mindful movements will train your brain to slow down that exhausting rushing of thoughts and feelings. Tai Chi, as I experienced it, is a series of very slow motion movements done in silence and with great attention to the movements. Slow down the body that much, and your brain slows down too.

    When your brain slows down, you will be able to help yourself.

    Post again, anytime.

    anita

    #149553

    Dirk
    Participant

    Hi James,

    I had to respond because I have gone through similar things myself. Here’s my two cents based on my own journey:

    The first big realisation was for me to understand that how I thought and feel was different to the average person. The way I’ve come to understand it is each thought you have comes with an emotional charge good or bad (happy, sad, angry etc.) and this emotional charge can be weak or strong (on a scale from 1 to 10).

    So lets say you have a thought like why do I refuse to let people help me? This comes with a feeling of guilt. For an average person this feeling of guilt might be at a level of 2 or 3 and they will quickly reframe the thought into something positive and happily go on with there day.

    For myself however, the feeling would be at a level 8 or 9 and it will be heavy and suffocate and sit with me all day. It will then also trigger other negative thoughts like why do I always feel this way? Cue more guilt at high levels and an overall negative spiral of emotion that covers everything in my life. (This is actually what I think depression is.)

    Now my reaction for years was to try and figure out why I FELT this way by THINKING it through. This never worked because until you turn down the negativity nothing you think will FEEL positive or right and you get trapped not doing anything – analysis paralysis

    So finally I realised I couldn’t THINK my way to a new way of feeling, but I could LIVE my way to a new way of feeling.

    What I mean by this is I researched all the things that support a positive emotional state and made them a part of my daily life and just focused on them until they became a habit. I know that doing them each day is non-negotiable.

    • Supplement with Saint John’s Wort (please research this before taking)
    • Meditate
    • Journal
    • Keep a clean diet
    • Exercise
    • Get enough sleep

    This is a journey. I have had many times where some trigger caused a huge emotional storm and I stopped doing them and was back to square one with negativity. The most important thing however is to never give-up. I thought of it as practice, like a kid tying there shoe-lace, and that each time I was getting at living this way. NEVER GIVE UP!

    So after practicing these things day after day after day, slowly the volume of my negative thoughts was turned down and room was made for new and inspiring ones (that spark you speak of) and the things I wanted to do became easier because when I thought about them I was no longer suffocated by ANXIETY and could actually take action etc.

    So to summarise my advice:

    1. Recognise that the ‘weight’ of your negative thoughts is heavier than for other people
    2. These thoughts will feed off each other creating an overall feeling of depression which then makes it much harder to do anything positive (because you will feel negative about it)
    3. You can’t think yourself better, but you can LIVE your way better
    4. Forget about the new job, board game, game design and concentrate on doing the key things each day that support a positive emotional state for a while and know by doing this all other things in your life will naturally fall into place
    5. Realise that from this foundation how you think and feel about everything else will change and from there life becomes a joy, a festival of lights
    6. Know that following this path is hard and you will fall over many times. See this as an education and never give up.

    Hopefully that all makes sense?

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