This is somewhat of a fairly negative post, so let me apologize now.
I have a lot of things to be happy about, and I am really struggling to feel happy. I should be grateful for all of the blessings I have, but instead I keep thinking about how much of my life has been wasted on fictional goals and trying to find something that I stand out in.
posted by nidora to Human Relations (26 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like I have been trying to find something that I am good at for most of my life. I have really struggled to find anything, other than being a big reader and that isn't exactly going to win you first prize in the most sociable contest.
I was taking a bath today and reading Viktor Frankl's - Man's Search for Meaning, which I haven't read in a number of years. I felt guilty reading about all the shit that people have had to go through in the concentration camps. I felt, like what do I have to complain about in comparison to that?
While I was reading it, a bunch of things were going through my head. I felt a sense of sadness about how much of my life I have pissed away. I realized that for most of my life, I have been so isolated and this was largely due to bad decisions that I had made. I have felt very discouraged throughout a good portion of my life.
How can I be mourning for all the things that I didn't get to experience when growing up? I'm 37 years old, and I'm still caught up in the past. Why do I feel such a sense of regret? The reason is that I can only blame myself for a lot of my decisions. Things did not go in the direction that I wanted, but I made matters worse by how I reacted to a lot of the circumstances.
To make matters even more complicated, I broke up with my fiancee about eight months ago. When I say broke up, she made the decision and I went along with it.
How would I describe my ex, she was one of the most kind people that I have ever met. She made things that seemed impossible to me, possible. When I was with her, it felt like my life was on track for the first time in a very long time. I was really into her, and it just sucks trying to fill that void.
I will not turn this post in a "poor me" type of post, but rather try to explain why I am struggling so much right now. I was a contractor for the last two years, and I was laid off back in June. I took the time off to finish up graduate school and I should be very pleased with that accomplishment. My fiancee was with me for the entire journey except the last semester, and the accomplishment feels really hollow without her.
Today, I have been reading Pema Chodron's "When Things Fall Apart". It was very Buddhist so a lot of was hard to take in even though the message was positive. As I said earlier, I then went on to Man's Search for Meaning and I just started crying. I have been crying for the wrong reason. Reading what those people had to go through makes my problems seem so insignificant that it just reminded me of all the things that I should be thankful for. The truth is that I just started crying after I read the book, because instead of feeling grateful for all the good things in my life, I feel a sense of sadness about how much I have missed out. The "missing out" was a combination of bad choices and a several unlucky breaks.
To add to that, I have recently found out that some of the people in my life are not the people that I thought they were. I feel a sense of anger at how I didn't notice how self-centered and narcissistic they are. They aren't all bad, as they do have some decent qualities, but for the most part, they are so focused on their own stuff. One of the people has invalidated so much of my existence that I feel stupid for being as loyal of a person to him that I have been. I saw with my older brothers that if you ever go against what he says or does, that he will cut off the entire relationship with you. I one time started up with him and he compared me to my older brothers, so I just backed down. I feel like I have gone along with everything he does and say for most of my life because I have been afraid that he will totally write off our entire relationship. Worse than that is the fear I have had most of my life of alienating him because he has been one of the only people in my life that have stood by me when I made a bad choice. He was raised by immigrants in a poverty stricken neighborhood, so I have always believed that he does the best that he can. I just realize that he has a lot of negatives that I was afraid to look at and let alone voice.
To finish my day off, I began reading Irvin Yalom's - Existential Psychotherapy. The problem is that instead of looking at my life as becoming enlightened and thinking about all the things that I should be happy about, I keep thinking about the things that I cannot do. I spend a good amount of time ruminating on things that I cannot change. Worse than that, is that I'm not really sure what I want out of life. I have been excellent at setting goals that I never reach. That is one of my specialties.
It has been very difficult to find the discipline to get up in the morning and do the things that I need to do. Everything feels so damn overwhelming, that I would rather stay in bed than get up and face the day. Yes, I do see a therapist, and yes I do take some antidepressants.
Why can't I get past this feeling of loss? Loss of what my life could've been and loss of my fiancee. Also the loss of key life experiences at certain developmental stages.
I know that I need to just find a job and to move out of my folks house as I had to move back in without a job. That is something to be grateful for that my parents allowed me to move back in when my life fell apart.
I know that there a lot of things that I should be grateful for, but it is so damn hard to think like that right now. With all of this uncertainty with my future, I just feel a combination of anxiety and depression.
I volunteered at Habitat for Humanity so that I could get out of my own head and do something for others and I hope that this is a positive experience. I also volunteer at a Day School, so that also helps.
I don't want this to be a negative post, but if anyone has gone through a period like this and could share with me things that they did to getting back to being a whole person and stop feeling so much of a loss, please feel free to post.