July 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm #38137
I have always had a hard time believing that people like me whether it be platonic or romantic, but I love to interact with people and especially to help people live life and be happy while doing it. I suppose one could say that I try very hard to be the ideal person to talk to and I set up very high expectations on the resulting relationship that is produced by an interaction with a stranger or acquaintance. So,on numerous occasions, I terribly and awkward stumble while I converse with girls or I will be wrapped up in my self-berating and self-loathing mind and won’t pay attention to what a friend is saying to me. I have been doing this for a while and I am burned out.
I am tired of trying to achieve in life and I am tired of trying to make people happy and trying to be this awesome guy that everyone would love to have in their presence. I have lost all faith in my abilities. I am tired of fighting a losing battle with my depression. I don’t know if I am asking for help or if I just wanted to let out these thoughts to someone. I have forgotten what I wanted initially by writing this post, but odds are that it wasn’t that important.July 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm #38139HopeParticipant
I don’t have any words of wisdom or much to say that will make things better… but I just wanted to let you know that I completely understand how you are feeling. I am sending a hug your way.July 7, 2013 at 6:39 pm #38140AlyParticipant
I have felt like that myself…PLEASE Dont give up…. one thing that I have learnt in life, is that you just have to be yourself – and try not to worry about what others think of you. You just cant please everyone all the time, it is way to hard on you, and you cant make people like you – they either do or they dont. I dont have the answers either, but please know that I am sending you a hug too.
Try not to be too hard on yourself.. (I know that is easier said than done)July 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm #38142
Thank you to both of you for your hugs and for trying.
I have decided that I am going to move away to another country to live with some family for a month. Where they live, life is very different than here in America. It is comforting to know that people have experienced my fears and disappointment in their own lives, and I genuinely appreciate that you two would share something like that with me.
I don’t know what I want or what to ask to find the answer that to the unfulfilled part of my life. What I do know is that I don’t want the feelings associated with this lifestyle. I want to know what am I doing wrong that makes me different from everyone else who seems to be able to press on. I understand that their lives have numerous hardships, but they keep on pressing on. Why can’t I do that. If I get depressed, I just stop moving forward for days maybe months at a time. I want to live life.
I want to know the reason why I am unhappy. What is it that I missing from my equation that is causing my life to equal recurrent and crippling hopelessness and despair.
I am not saying I want an answer because these questions aren’t very simple in nature, but any response will do.July 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm #38143luciaParticipant
Sorry to read that you’re having a tough time. I know it’s exhausting trying to be everything to everyone. I had tried to do what you have done and be everything to everyone. I can definitely appreciate and agree with what Aly has given you for advice.
I think it’s great that you are taking time for yourself to move and experience how others’ live. You aren’t doing anything wrong Carl. Can’t be hard on yourself or compare yourself with others, some people are better at hiding what is really going on with them. I think you have found what is stopping you in your tracks, the depression. Depression is not an easy thing to overcome. There are plenty of people out there who are suffering from it, just on different scales and with variations of it. The key question is: what do you want to do about it? Not everyone is ready to ask for help with depression, but are you?
There are no quick-fixes for your situation. It will take time and patience on your part. You will have good days and bad days. Imagine your best friend came to you and asked you for your advice about this, what would you tell him or her? This is what you should tell yourself. Be your own best friend, love yourself and be there for you. You are already on your way Carl, you have already said what you don’t want, now is the time to make those changes for yourself and be who you want to be.
I still find myself struggling sometimes, but I have come to realize that I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got, and that is all that matters. 🙂
I hope you find some peace and love for yourself.
LuciaJuly 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm #38144MattParticipant
I’m sorry for the difficulties you’ve been experiencing. Have you had the opportunity to talk to a doctor? Sometimes depression is biochemical in nature, and as much as we attempt to overcome it, it doesn’t go away. Sometimes something as simple as a vitamin D deficiency can cause such emotions and thoughts.
It is also plausible that your strategy is faulty. Your words remind me of the state of mind Osho described as “exhaustion”. When we are investing our effort into maintaining a personality, we become tired, downtrodden and aged. The problem is that when we envision the “dream us” we are creating a fantasy that we can never fulfill. Then, when the seeds ripen and we are in a moment of connection with others, we compare our actions against that vision and lose our connection to our heart. Said differently, when we worry about who we are, we worry about what we say, do, think, which prevents us from being heartfelt in the moment.
Instead, we can dream a better dream, one that accounts for the truth of who we are and the awkward, bumbling learning process we all are going through. We accept the awkwardness of being a crazy mix of heavenly and earthly beings and let go. Letting go is a process though, as we let our emotions and minds settle. The way my teacher taught me was to just notice the emotion.
“This is what feeling exhausted feels like. It is enough to feel the feeling, my mind doesn’t have to do anything with it but notice.” There are some great videos on YouTube by Ajahn Jayasaro about meditation which can help create a stable field for the noticing. Also, consider Pema Chodron’s book “When Things Fall Apart”, which has a lot of practical advice for people who throw their hands up in despair.
My guess is you have a lot of creative empathy, which is like poetry when vibrant and lightning bolts when eclipsed. Each of us is a unique puzzle, and so the key for others may or may not work for you. However, mindful practices are what will help you make your own key. Inventors often fail over and over as they gather data, and your self-awareness (how well you see your side of the patterns… not the solutions, just the data) is fantastic! All you really need is a an effective strategy. This is why Buddhists in the Zen tradition often say masters are masters of creating themselves.
MattJuly 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm #38145JoelParticipant
I’ve felt the same for a very long time, and while it isn’t going to be easy you can find your path. I was able to change my life and if you need someone who’s been there before to listen then I’m here for you. Above all else be kind to yourself and stay strong.July 7, 2013 at 10:29 pm #38149
Thank you Lucia and Matt for your time and support.
You know Lucia, I thought about your question. What would I say if my best friend had told me the words I typed. When I thought of it that way, I could really see what was my problem.
I realized that the reason my life feels unfulfilled is because I don’t actually want to live life. I simply want to exist in a world where I don’t have hardships or if I do have hardships, they are easily surmountable and that’s not what hardships are. A life void of problems is a delusional, awful nightmare. I don’t know if I understand completely, but I see the purpose of hardships. They push us to do things we normally wouldn’t do. Whenever I felt like this, I would have kept this to myself and go on with my day, feeling terrible. But now I am voicing my problems to a public forum. That is not how I normally go about my life. The difference between “those who push forward” and me is that the ones who push forward adapt to the changes in life. I just become immobilized when faced with change. That’s like a baby learning to walk, falling down, and deciding to stay down for the rest of his or her life. Why would the baby do that when it just needs to realize it is down and compensate for the mistake with an adjustment in footing. My method of handling problems is irrational, but I use it consistently. Recurrent negative emotions are expected from a method like that.
I never realized how absurd I was being in my life. I am still going to my relative’s house, but when I’m there I will adapt to the changes that I face instead of using the same trite, tired response.
Thank you Lucia for telling me to ask myself that and for your kind hearted wishes.July 7, 2013 at 10:45 pm #38151
Matt. You are very correct about what I need to in regards to how I react to my mistakes. Whenever I make a mistake, I berate myself for hours on end for committing them. I ignored unpleasant emotions and told myself that I need to be perfect. I even went as far as to create the actual traits and qualities of the ideal me. Looking at it now, this idealistic person isn’t human. He is supernatural and with the “perfect” life that he was expected to live, the only result would be absolute solitude due to a lack of being able to relate. Because it’s pain that draws people together. The ability to relate through pain is what draws people close in a way greater to that of any international social networking site. I mean, on this very page right now are 6 individuals, myself included, who are brought together by one specific common trait. Not our eye color, or our choice of music, but because we all have experienced the feeling of wanting to be the best and subsequently giving up. If we had past each other on the street, we would have never said a word and now the four of you are taking time out of your day to console me. Somebody, you didn’t know longer than 24 hours.
It makes me realize just how terrible being perfect would have been. I would have never known that I had a chance of being accepted for being a “failure”. I would have been ignorant and arrogant toward this very real and common feeling. I will start to notice my feelings because of their ability to allow me to understand people even if I don’t know anything other than their first name. Letting go and allowing myself to plunge into the emotion might just allow me to finally take a breath and relax.
But then again, I’m not all that smart, so maybe I’m wrong about what I just said. But regardless of whether I’m right or wrong, I am thankful to you, matt, and everyone who took the time to help me. It means a tremendous amount.July 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm #38152
And thank you Joel, for offering your support. I will definitely take you up on that offer. I feel much more hopeful after hearing everyone’s responses.
From now on, the only thing I’m giving up on is trying to be perfect when life is much more fun just being myself.
Thank you everyone. Wish you all peace and a resolution to any problems that ails you.July 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm #38153StephanieParticipant
I am sorry to hear about your struggles. With a world and the upcoming generations becoming mroe self centered, we end up feeling like lone fish fighting a powerful upstream battle. The thing is that we do have these events of doubt and they can last a long time. We need to get out of our heads and our insecurities. This of course is easier said than done however if we find that little piece of hope, slowly, a silver lining can be achieved.
The way to do this is to think of three things at night to be thankful for. They don’t have to be big, for example last night my three things were 1) I had the ability to get out of bed (I work in a hospital and see many of my patients not being able to do the simple act of brushing their own teeth, so this is somethign I am very thankful for) 2) I am thankful I can make coffee (I am deployed and I just got a coffee maker and this simple little thing is a huge blessing that makes me feel like I’m at home) 3) I’m thankful I have this website to get inspiration. The three things to be thankful for can be simple, to complex and it helps you see the beauty in everyday encounters.
Another thing you should try is writing letter to yourself about what you are feeling, what you are doing, and where you would like to see yourself in a few weeks or months (goal setting. Keep this letter with you and read it 3 or 6 months later and see where you have improved areas of your life and identify strengths and weaknesses.
Modern day society makes us so self centered we rarely do anything but think about ourselves, try to do something for a stranger, again, simplicity is key. you can smile at a stranger, say hellow, give a compliment, or if you do want to make a difference, help out a stranger with a flat tire (etc.) or volunteer at a shelfter. If we think about the thigns around us and appreciate the beauty in each situation, hope begins to trickle in.
Keep your head up!
S. PJuly 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm #38233luisParticipant
Hi, I went through a similar situation in the past, right now I am 26 years old and I can tell you I am a very happy person. I think you should start by loving, nurturing and realizing how much you are worth =) Carl, but I mean it in a real way. Most of the time our problems come from wanting acceptance by everyone that is around us, it somehow makes us feel important and feeds our ego, but that is just temporary! It is like pouring water in a cup that has no bottom, it never fills up leaving a lack of satisfaction.
When you look at yourself and understand your unique purpose in this world, you can then realize how much you are worth and start being content with who you are; feeling safe and happy on your own company.
I am not trying to say that you will love being lonely or anything similar, but you will feel at peace and through that peace, you will love yourself and once you love yourself, only then, love can manifest on the outside world. ALL COMES FROM WITHIN. you are worth a lot!!! I know it =)
ohh and one more thing. You will be immensely thankful for what you are going through when you overcome this emotional impasse. trust me. thank to that, you will grow.July 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm #38234Pat MerrittParticipant
I can relate to the “people pleasing” and “perfection” ways of living. I have done both for most of my 58 years. At a very age, living with a sick mother, I learned the way to someone’s heart and possible approval, was to try to make them feel better. So that lead me to the realization that I was meant to be a nurse. Off I went to nursing school a the ripe old age of 31 with 2 children.
Becoming a nurse was one of the hardest, but most rewarding day of my life and to this day, I am proud of the nurse I am. I done many types of nursing and helped people in many ways and I have always learned and received much more than I gave through life experience and wisdom.
But having the personality of a “nurturer” or “people pleaser” or perfectionist – is an exhausting journey. Mainly because we put ourselves somewhere very low on the list of people we want to help and keep happy..
I am not sure how old you are and how long you have been at it – but I can share that dealing with the emotions of life ARE depressing. If you surround yourself with people who need help – you will be swimming in life of “what everyone else needs”.
I have learned over the years that although my work is important, and I get extreme pleasure out of helping people, if I don’t put myself high on the list of caregiving – I can become resentful. I become depleted and there is nothing left for me. Then I get angry because I feel people should offer support and help the same way I do. Which is certainly not true. I know we are not supposed to expect, anticipate or judge others and their decisions in life. But I have found that people generally do not want to change even if they identify behaviors and beliefs that keep them stuck. I see change as an opportunity – every day of my life – to do something different – learn from my mistakes and move onto a more “skilled” life. Meaning my coping skills get sharpened and refined. Of course there are times things happen and you are brought to your knees. That happened to me a year ago when my oldest daughter, 33 years old was diagnosed with MS less than a year from her wedding. Talk about anger and depression! I felt sort of betrayed, that I had spent much of my life in “service” of sick and helpless people, then realized that most people do not return the favor. Not that we should live our lives looking for paybacks, it just seems that good karma should great good karma, right?
Anyway, I have come to think of all my relationships in a very different way. I no longer see myself as the hero. People will change only when and if they are ready. I might be able to plant “a seed” of truth – from something I see by observing and listening to their process. After that, then I let go of the outcome (or try). It is up to them to assimilate the information. I bless them and hope they begin moving forward toward healing – either emotional or physical.
At every brick wall we hit in life, we have the option to do something! Everything changes, so the good news is the intensity of the situation begins to lighten it’s grip, then usually we can take a couple of breaths and start to think clearly and move on.
I still love to nurture and care for people – I just don’t take much stock in the outcome. And I certainly try, whenever I can, to put myself at the top of the list.
Maybe if you can define what makes you depressed, you can look at how you have reacted to the challenges in your life. Maybe it’s time to look at your strategy because I have learned that no matter how well I deal with adversity – it keeps right on coming.
BlessingsNovember 15, 2018 at 9:27 pm #237081shaneParticipant
Everyday is a struggle for me i been trying so hard this past year to remain strong, i am about to enter the united states navy and with how i grew up and even now i learned to let everything go in the past, but the past year has been so hard because i lost the person i truly loved so much and she went back to the guy who she was with for years who has done nothing for her, and she is very naive but with a good heart and i used to be so naive and i relate so much on what we both grew up with. He is now going in the navy out of nowhere and i feel like i totally lost her, i feel like she is going to be getting into something that will eventually destroy her, and i care so much but watching everything that has happened and me trying to protect her hurts me so much every day, i know i am supposed to be happy because i just now found great friends that look out for me and my mother and i recently just started getting along great, but everything doesn’t feel right without her by my side, and i know i am not supposed to worry about her and focus on me but how can i? like she is everything i looked for and everything i found in her is something that hits so deep more then anyone i ever thought i truly loved, i keep getting told that eventually we may get back together later down the road, but the weight ways on me so much everyday because everytime i try and find someone else i feel nothing at all, except her i can relate on everything and feel so connected with her, i feel like slowly i am losing energy on everything, i believe in god but i always worry so much about if she is going to get as hurt as i’ve ever been for so long growing up. I don’t know how to feel anymore i just know how to be so strong because i try and be there for everyone so hard, and it’s hard for me to talk about how i feel with anyone and i mean truly how i feel.. I feel like i lost her if they get married but for some reason i feel like down the road whatever is going to happen to the both of us will be very good, but it’s so hard being patient, but everything i will endure in the military will teach me so much more so i can be even stronger. I know i will be told to let her go and move on and blah blah but everytime we got close it felt so right, but then it would go away over something so stupid, i always felt like it’s not meant to be now, but for someone i would go to the ends of the earth for but she is in love with this guy, and yet he is very immature, a coward, and a negative influence on her, and i don’t mean to bash him but everytime i tried to be his friend because it would mean a lot to her, he would show me why it wouldn’t be a good guy by how he acts and his actions, and i just find it weird that he wants to join the military thinking he can take care of her when he can barely hold himself together, idk i just get this negative strong vibe off of him every time i was around the guy.. But i care so much about her i would hold my tongue back and then i would be straight up honest with her and she would take it as an insult, i just don’t get it but i understand cause i used to be that way..