What will it take to make me feel better?
January 5, 2014 1:20 PM Subscribe
After a particularly bad holiday season, I am feeling unhappy and dissatisfied with my life. I want things to change, but can't bring myself to actually do
anything to help that change occur. This is a long one, so I apologize in advance...
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Before this holiday season, I was already in a not-so-good place - my job has been very demanding and stressful, while requiring tedious work different from what I thought I'd be doing; my lack of a significant other has been frustrating (esp. given that I've never had one and am in my late twenties); and I've been feeling I made a mistake pursuing the graduate degree I earned (the only jobs in the field that interested me were those like the one I have now, and as noted above, that job has turned out to not be what I thought it'd be).
Then, in a one-two punch, I lost both my father and grandmother the week of Christmas (literally one died the day after the other; we found out while burying the first). While in one sense it was a good thing (they'd been ill for a while, and I had been helping provide care, going on a weekly basis to visit, etc.), I simply haven't been able to think of it as such - in fact, I'm just not thinking about because I don't want to (can't?) deal with it.
This has been my general M.O. with the problems in my life - I avoid them. I don't want to deal with negative things (events, emotions) so I mentally run away from them. This in turn means I don't do anything to fix things until I'm backed into a corner and have no choice (e.g. leave projects until the day before a deadline, avoid interacting with people I'm attracted to unless I absolutely have to, etc).
I've gone to therapy multiple times in my life, but it's ultimately of little practical use as it doesn't lead to change, likely because 1) It seems I'm pretty insightful on my own (so I know my flaws + why I have them) and 2) my knowledge doesn't change my desire to avoid negative things.
Right now, I just don't want to care - it would be easier to accept that life will simply be a certain way, and live with it - but the logical part of me recognizes that this is unhealthy. My desire to not care is so great, however, that it is restraining me from doing anything to change. Even writing this, I physically feel myself restraining the part of me that would start doing things differently (it feels like pressure on my chest).
I don't know what to do, or if there's even anything I can do to stop feeling this way. My logical side wants to do things to feel better, because I'm certainly not happy right now, but my emotional side wants to avoid so I don't feel any pain that change might bring. Honestly, I'm not even sure if I should be dealing with this right now given the two deaths that occurred.
I can't raise any of this with my family, as they're all suffering right now, and I can't bring it up with my few friends either - I don't like sharing these parts of myself, in part because I don't like causing others problems, and in part because it feels unsafe to put myself out there like that. This post feels like an exception as it is anonymous.
I still don't want to bring people down, but I feel like I need the help so...any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.