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Life feels meaningless and empty

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 20 hours, 40 minutes ago.

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  • #207653

    Rhiannon86
    Participant

    <header class=”post-header”>I have always felt that my life lacks meaning.

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    I have a constant feeling of boredom/emptiness – i distract myself through social drinking, gaming and reading but the basic feeling of pointlessness is always there and present. I have a lack of enthusiasm for anything, constant fatigue, and a feeling of boredom towards whatever I am doing. Sometimes I can cope with this feeling and block it out but at the moment I am struggling and feeling extremely down.

    My life is ‘good' in general, 2 children, a failed marriage yes but my husband and I are still close and arent yet divorced. I have a mundane but ‘easy' which I dont love ot hate. I have a car. I have some spare cash after bills are paid. But I constantly feel empty. I don't have any hobbies or interests but have tried to get into things but feel no enthusiasm towards anything.

    I have a very small group of close friends and a larger network of acquaintances but can't be bothered to keep in touch, which makes me feel lonely as I don't hear from them very often. Social media makes me feel miserable.

    I can't focus on tasks at work. No matter how much or how little I have to do I always find myself just mentally wandering off after half an hour or so.

    I have very low self-esteem and self-worth stemming from childhood abuse and it has made me needy, and insecure. I have only just realised this about myself as I don't externalise it so no1 has ever pointed it out to me.

    I become obsessed with with meaningless ‘things' – I can spend a whole day researching a new item to buy, go out of my way to get it but then never use it. Or I start meaningless relationships with men (sometimes long distance, once or twice physical) just to make myself feel better/happier. This doesn't work so I push them away, then cry and feel just as empty when they have ‘gone'.

    I struggle to find the energy or the motivation to play with my kids, which makes me feel like a terrible parent. I'll take them out for day trips etc., but when it comes to just sitting down and playing I will always make an excuse – work, cleaning,

    So I end up feeling lost in my own life. I don't know what I want to do, I try and find an identity in the things I own, and I feel lonely all the time, but don't want to speak to people.

    Is it just depression? Laziness? Genuine lack of  interest in life? I really don't know. But it's there. All the time. A big emptiness that surrounds me, and I can't see the way out.

    A lot of the time I accept it and try and fill.my life with artificial meaning but other times i really panic and just think “is this it?! What is the point. I can't bare this for a other 50 years” I hate to think what suicide would do to those I love and care about but sometimes I see it as my only option

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    #207661

    anita
    Participant

    Dear FullOfRemorse86:

    We keep experiencing our childhood experience throughout our lives. Our childhood experience is effectively recorded in many, many thousands of connections (neuropathways) in our brain, and these pathways get activated daily. As they get activated, we feel what we felt then.

    In your previous thread you wrote at one point: “I felt okay over the weekend… However as soon as I woke up this morning I felt that crushing feeling again”- you woke up in the morning and an activation of a pathway took place. A crushing feeling was a part of the pathway that got activated. That crushing feeling got activated before, many times during the breakup of your recent relationship, but it originated in your childhood, it is then that the activated pathways were formed.

    This is your childhood experience, I believe: “boredom/emptiness… pointlessness… lack of enthusiasm.. constant fatigue… lonely… miserable… can't focus on tasks.. mentally wandering off… needy, and insecure…(no) energy or the motivation to play…lost… a big emptiness that surrounds me, and I can't see the way out”.

    You try to distract yourself from this emptiness best you can, drinking , gaming, reading, buying, relationships with me, working, cleaning… but the emptiness, the childhood experience returns.

    There is a way to change that life experience but it is not easy or quick, unfortunately. I am still engaged in this changing myself, seven years or so following my first experience in quality psychotherapy. The changing included the long, long… very long process of increasing my awareness of that childhood experience, of my feelings at the time, and placing my feelings now in the there-and-then context of my childhood, freeing my here-and-now to a new experience.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 20 hours ago by  anita.
    #207665

    Rhiannon86
    Participant

    Hi anita

    On the whole I had a good childhood. I had great parents and we lived in a nice house. I had plenty of friends, one in particular who I was extremely close to (still am) and we were very active children. We both had a great imagination and we would constantly be playing, writing, drawing, exploring getting into mischief. I never felt emptiness or boredom as a child

    #207669

    anita
    Participant

    Dear FullOfRemorse86:

    You shared in the other thread that you were sexually abused as a child. How does it fit into a “good childhood…never felt emptiness or boredom”?

    anita

    #207683

    Rhiannon86
    Participant

    Im not sure. In general my childhood was good. The events of sexual abuse I don't connect with my childhood I guess. I try to block them out most of the time, although I do still think about it and im aware that it has probably lead me to be an insecure person with low self esteem, its just something I accept now. I never told anyone before and it took me a long time to accept to myself what happened (I denied it to myself for many many years) so when I think of my mum and dad, my childhood home or my friends at the time, the things i owned then or the games I played or the things i did or experienced i think of it as good and try and block the rest out

    #207685

    Rhiannon86
    Participant

    I mean to say I do not connect my childhood to the abuse, the 2 are seperate to me

    #207697

    anita
    Participant

    Dear FullOfRemorse86:

    You wrote: “The events of sexual abuse I don't connect with my childhood… I try to block them out most of the time… I do not connect my childhood to the abuse, the 2 are separate to me”-

    Unfortunately they are not separate. You've done your best to separate the two but it can't be done. We disassociate, push down and away emotions that are scary to feel, but those emotions won't stay down and away.

    Are you planning on keeping things as are, separate best you can?

    The price to pay for keeping things as they are is that “Life feels meaningless and empty”. On the other hand, the price to examine the past and see more and more of it is feeling anxiety in a different kind of way (different because of increased awareness to it) and a whole lot of work over a whole lot of time.

    Keeping things as is leads to things continuing to be as they are. The other option leads to a better experience of life and better functioning, as a person, a woman, a mother.

    anita

     

     

    #207701

    Rhiannon86
    Participant

    I don't want to carry on as I am, I will go through any emotional pain if it may eventually help me. I cant carry on living this way, my thoughts at the moment are to run away (but what from? I know that is stupid as I cant run away from my own feelings) or to end my life. It sounds so dramatic and selfish but its truthfully how I feel, I really want to get better though for the sake of my children and for those who care about me

    #207703

    anita
    Participant

    Dear FullOfRemorse86:

    It will be a difficult process but one that has promise for a better future, for you and for your children.

    There are and will be difficulties along the way. One difficulty to start with is finding a quality psychotherapist, one that is capable, dedicated and hard working, not one to just sit there passively but one to actively work with you, setting objectives for therapy, a plan, giving you homework in between sessions and so on. And it has to be affordable for you.

    anita

    #207707

    Rhiannon86
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>What is the best way to find a decent psychotherapist? I live in the UK. Mental health and counselling isnt talked about much here and the NHS service in my area is very poor for mental health. Is there anything I can be doing in the meantime on my own?</p>

    #207711

    anita
    Participant

    Dear FullOfRemorse86:

    It was difficult enough for me to find a quality psychotherapist, a dozen or so before I experienced my very first quality psychotherapy (USA). I suppose the situation in the UK is not better or more promising.

    In the meantime, what can you be doing, you asked. Well, you can share more right here on this thread. You can share what you wish to share, as much as you choose to share, not more, withdraw from your thread any time you choose to, in other words, you can share here and read my/ others' replies being in control the whole time.

    The reason I stress you being in control is that the anxiety and distress involved in sharing and the risk in receiving replies that will not be helpful are real and likely. I believe that my replies will not be harmful to you but they may not feel good.

    I will be as gentle as I can be, if you do share.

    Otherwise, support groups that you can attend in person, where people share under rules of conduct such as no cross talking can be helpful to you, a place that is safe for you to share and be respected, not mistreated.

    anita

    #207881

    nextsteps
    Participant

    Hello.

    Just a quick one about mental health help in the UK. I found the therapist I have been to throigh: https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists

    She was good and it was close to home. People also rate them so you can see how good they are based on others.

     

    If you don't want to talk about it in person perhaps try online counselling. There are some in the UK but I used talkspace-its American and the first therapist I had was great, the second not so much so I guess it depends who you get.

    You also wanted something to do by yourself to act on your feelings and feel better. My suggestions (which please ignore if they don' feel right) are:

    1) read the book called ‘unstuck' I have read alot of self help books but I think this one had the most practical advice in for me (but everyone to their own).

    2) start using Twitter and tweet a picture a day of at least one thing you have appreciated – this helps you to start actively looking for more good.

    3).perhaps with a family you haven't had so much time to yourself- perhaps plan something nice to do for you. In the past I have gone to get a back massage or a manicure. Both of those things actually terrified me as I was scared of the small talk and not being girly enough for those things but actually I was glad I went.

    4) listen to inspiring pod casts in the car e.g. Lisa Nicholls etc there are loads out there or red talks.

     

    5) find music that inspires you and listen to that. One of my favourite composers is enaudi but you just need to find something that speaks to you.

     

    7) try the headspace app. You can try it for free for 10 days.

     

    All these are only very little things and at first it may feel like they don't make a differe once and some days they work better than others but they can make a difference over time.

     

    I hope you feel a little better soon. Xx

     

    #208249

    Rhiannon86
    Participant

    Hi all

    Just a quick update – I've been to my Dr and have been given antidepressants and anti anxiety tablets. However the Dr wasn't very sympathetic to me. I was very open about how bad I feel and what happened in my childhood. She told me im too young, pretty and with a nice body to be depressed and that I should count my blessings that I have two healthy children. Basically that I should feel lucky not depressed 🙁 this made me feel quite ashamed and silly and I left feeling quite belittled. I had to push for the meds and counselling but atleast I got it. I'm now waiting on the referral for therapy which may take a while to come through.

    I'm still fighting suicidal thoughts and keep breaking down. It was my birthday yesterday and I really struggled. My mum died 5 years ago while I was pregnant with my first child so I am consistently bad around birthdays/Christmas etc. I also today found out that me and my children are being made homeless so I have yet another stress and worry to think about now 🙁 🙁

    I have been doing some online therapy sessions which have given me something to work through, addressing some issues and learning coping mechanisms. I'm not sure if it will help but I'm working through it anyway. I figure it can't hurt.

    #208263

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Rhiannon86:

    I wish the medical doctor you saw did not mistreat you as she or he did, communicating to you the damaging message that you shouldn't feel the way you do. Unbelievable, yet unfortunately… believable how callous professionals can be and are. I wish you had a different experience, one with a competent, capable and ethical doctor. I hope the therapy you will have, in person, will be with a capable and ethical professional.

    You wrote that you and your two children “are being made homeless”- what is happening in this regard and what is the plan?

    anita

    #208273

    Rhiannon86
    Participant

    Hi anita

    As always thank you for your kind words and reply. I have been renting a property but the landlord has ended my contract as they need to sell the house. I have options which mean we wouldn't ever end up on the street, none of them are ideal though and it just feels like an extra blow. I keep feeling like I've hit rock bottom finally but then something else happens and I get knocked down another notch still

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