One last question about my crisis
July 21, 2014 12:01 PM Subscribe
I’m still having panic attacks. I’m having a hard time getting my thoughts together because I’m so stressed -- and they’re kind of circular on top of that -- so forgive me if this post is tough to understand.
posted by myitkyina to Human Relations (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
So, recap. A while ago I started to worry about whether I had the innate intelligence capable of becoming a “great” composer/writer/mathematician/whatever. After about a year, I felt like I had mostly gotten over it, though only because I had convinced myself that I did have the innate ability and that it was not too late, rather than because it didn’t matter or because I had to do things that actually held my interest.
When this summer started I set out several goals for myself -- most importantly, I wanted to compose some pieces by the end of the summer. My thinking was as follows: I have been listening to atonal music for several years and I really enjoy it. I would like to create, not just consume, and it does not matter to me whether these creations are any good or whether they are recognized in the future. But as soon as I actually started trying to compose, I hated it. Nothing that came out was any good. I could barely work for an hour before I felt anxious and bored and didn’t want to do or think about anything at all. When I allow myself a few days’ to wind down after one of these episodes, the interest seeps back in, and I become really enthusiastic again about my original line of thought which I outlined above.
Another example of this is reading, say, the news. I’ve always been really interested in politics and other countries, so after reading the news for an hour or so I feel motivated and ready to tackle whatever project I’ve decided to work on today. But, again, as soon as I actually start to work, my interest vanishes -- in the project, the news, and everything else.
So I’m just stuck in this endless cycle of being really unhappy and anxious, feeling a bit better, trying to actually do something and getting really unhappy and anxious again. On top of this, the possibility of finding out that I'm not honestly interested in any of the things I thought I was -- that I just made up a convincing but false interest to satisfy my need for achievement/recognition -- terrifies me. I tried just focusing on a few things that I've pretty much always read about, liked, had periodic obsessions with, etc. but the doubts remain.
This is the second summer that this has ruined for me. I need this feeling to stop. Nothing that I do seems to work. Is there something I’m overlooking?
I really want to do this without therapy because I don’t want to explain this to my parents and they definitely aren’t going to be able to afford it. However, if this doesn't fix it, then I will resort to therapy; I've asked several questions about this, and lots of people have given really helpful responses, but ultimately nothing has worked.