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Deeply unhappy

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:55 pm
by rufio89
I feel like there’s a chance this is going to be long, so bear with me.
I’m deeply unhappy at the moment. I think I tend to think of my life in 6 categories: friends/family/work/financial/health/relationships. When one or 2 of these categories are going well, I’m fine and I deal with the problems but I feel like at the moment, it’s bad all round. I HATE people being self pitying and I’m well aware of how lucky I am in numerous aspects of my life, I certainly am not someone who thinks “it can’t get any worse” and I do count my blessings but I’m increasingly struggling to find any pleasure or enjoyment in anything.
So starting at the beginning of my list of ‘areas’:
Friends – It’s been many years since I had a good group of friends. At the moment I have a group of 2/3 people from my old work, a couple of girls I went to school with, a friend I met from the club circuit when I was a teenager and my housemate. I have ALWAYS been a fiercely loyal friend, people come and go but once theyre in my inner circle I’d defend them to the death. However lately I’m just ‘not feeling it’. The people from my old work, I just don’t know how much I enjoy their company and I suspect that I’ve built friendships with them more because I didn’t have enough friends elsewhere, I find it difficult to make friends and so I thought they were ‘better than noone’. Theyre all really lovely people etc but I just don’t feel like I connect with them on any sort of level. I don’t feel like there’s any common ground except going out drinking and I’ve massively lost interest in that in the past few months. The girls from school have always been the people I was closest to and who I could count on, but we’ve also always been a three which I know can be an awkward number and one of the girls got pregnant a few months ago and recently had an abortion. I did my best to support her even though I have mixed feelings about the issue but the other girl made it clear that she thought she was making the wrong choice. It (understandably) caused a rift between them and so it’s made it difficult for the three of us to spend time all together, so I’ve been trying to spend time with them individually but the girl who had the abortion has (again understandably) latched onto her boyfriend in a massive way and seriously cannot talk about anything else. Like you’ll say “nice weather today” and she’ll be like “my boyfriend likes nice weather”. I tried to talk to her about it but it made no difference whatsoever. The other friend is recently single and making incredibly questionable romantic decisions (which again I understand) but she’s going from one boyfriend to the next and spending all her time with them until she gets bored, so I don’t really see her. The friend Ive known for years I love him to pieces but I’m finding increasingly little common ground. Things are great between me and my housemate but he spends a lot of time out drinking or with his girlfriend so I just don’t see him all that much.
Family – some of you who have read my older posts will know that my brother is schizophrenic and had a severe psychotic episode a number of years ago but had been doing really really well. Over the last 6 months or so he’s been slipping further and further down and his behaviour is getting more paranoid, erratic and worrying. When he was at his worst, he was living with my parents so while it was more stressful for everyone, it was easier to keep an eye on him whereas now we don’t know what he’s doing or if he’s taking his meds or if he’s safe. He’s not as bad as he was before but we cant help him and he’s getting worse. He wont take advice from us and he’s an adult so we cant force him to go to the doctor. He’s not bad enough to section him so at the moment it’s a case of “wait for it to get bad enough” so I feel sick basically all the time about that. I’ve always been close to my family and would have done anything for them but after an incredibly stressful family Christmas I feel like I’m inadvertently turning my back – they cause me so much stress and I just cant deal with it at the moment.
Work – not a nightmare but I just don’t enjoy my job. I’m giving near constant thought to what to do with my life and getting nowhere. It’s not the end of the world but it’s just another thing grinding me down. I’m bored and fed up.
Financial – I’ve got myself into loads of credit card debt (accumulated over several years). I’ve had it under control and slowly been paying it off but last month was bad (and I cant work out why) and so to get up to £0 is taking a big chunk off my pay. I’d adjusted my budget accordingly but then they’ve taken off a weeks pay from my paycheque that I had off back in November and forgotten to process and so it’s put me in a position where I cant afford all my bills. It means I’m going to have to borrow money from my parents just to pay rent (and they don’t have a lot of money, it’ll put them out to do it) and it’ll mean explaining to my parents how much debt I’m in. I hate worrying about money because it’s not important to me but I cannot deal with having these debts hanging over my head.
Health – I’ve been ill basically all the time for the past 18 months – not a constant thing but frequent bouts of tonsillitis, prone to infections, extremely tired etc etc. Now my moods are down so much this would make perfect sense from just stress, but I’ve been quite happy up until the last couple of months. I’ve had hundreds of blood tests and the doctor said in the end ‘maybe it’s ME’ but you cant test for it or treat it? I just feel like I’ve been fobbed off. I’m too tired to do anything most of the time and even though I’m well aware it could be a lot worse, it’s a real grind.
Relationships – I’m just fed up of being on my own! I know with my mood as bad as it is, I’m not in a good position to meet someone and I’m well aware that I need to get through this before I could think about building a relationship with someone (not to mention that I don’t think I’d want someone who wanted me as weak and miserable as I am at the moment). I was on and off with a guy who was no good for me for quite a while but basically I’ve just been single for the best part of 2 years. I know I’m only 23 and it’s not a big deal, I’m in no rush to settle down or anything like that but it’d be nice to have someone in my life – I think I’m just lonely.

Sorry this is so long, people probably wont read it but I just need to get it off my chest.

Re: Deeply unhappy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:04 pm
by Tarantula
Oh boy!

I totally relate to most of that, even though my circumstances are different; who cares? The point is, you let out the L word. You dropped the L bomb. Loneliness.

Nobody wants to admit that they're lonely. It's the ultimate vulnerability word, baring your soul like the pit of a half eaten nectarine. I'm lonely too. There I said it. I'm fed up in some respects and spend a lot of time doubting myself, and then I beat myself up for getting here in the first place. And yes, all the same disclaimers you made, it's not all doom and gloom, but the bottom line is, I feel miserable much of the time and I know that it's ME, MY responsibility, MY poo, nobody else's; but if anything, that sharp awareness just makes it worse because everyday that I don't feel better is another day that I'm falling slightly deeper into this pit.

Well I say this. To be honest the last couple of weeks have been better, so I had to reply! I read each of your categories and was like 'yep, yes, uh huh, feelin' that, yep..' Except the relationship category. That's going very well right now, but I'm aware that every absence in my life (the non-presence of a good social life, daily work that enriches me etc) is having an impact on the one thing that's good - which is the relationship.

So I'm going through this phase now where I have a lot of time on my hands to really think about what I want from life, and how to make it happen. This is very valuable time well spent, and I think you should take some time out from self-judgement and misery and try to get to a place of clarity, just for a little while, in which you can drop your backstory and suspend your anxieties and fears and just ask 'what is the way out of all this?'

I TOTALLY hear you about the friends department. You find yourself stopping midway through a social gathering to ask 'wait, am I even having fun? Or am I just ticking a box?' This moment often comes when you're drunk, or at least it does for me. I try so hard to 'have a good time', but when I drink past a certain point, the same old annoying questions crop up. Because deep down I'm not being real about what I want. I don't want to stand around in some tacky club with a vodka in one hand and my phone in the other, pretending to bob about idly to Nicki Minaj, and worse still, I'm actually PAYING for it! That is not the vision I have for myself (important addendum: not all clubs are that stereotype, but the ones where I am certainly are). And you know that you couldn't have that conversation with the people you're with at the time ('hey, what are we actually DOING here??'), because they're trying so hard to love it too, so you endure until you can make your excuses and go home.

If you're anywhere where I am/was/am/was, you probably feel quite detached by this stage. You're just kinda sick of the same old humdrum routine of meet up, drink, pretend to have fun, feel somewhat awkward and self conscious, go home. And it sounds like you've outgrown your school friends big time, and yes, you are basically hanging on to them out of a lack of resources elsewhere. We're all doing it. Get with the programme.

I think you need to divide up your list of problems into those which are in your control, and those which aren't. You have no control over your brother's behaviour, all you can do is step back, let him live his life, and be there for him if and when it all falls down. You agonising over it, whilst totally understandable, isn't changing anything. Nobody is benefitting. But you are suffering. And don't feel guilty about wanting to have some space from your family. There are reasons for that and they are justified.

I think you're too hard on yourself. The fact that you need to pre-emptively state that you hate self-pitying, on a forum where people are SUPPOSED to write about their problems, tells me that you're doing what I do: beating yourself up for not being in a great place, which pushes you further into the rut, and then beating yourself up for being in a worse place. Where does the vicious cycle end? Well, you just decide. Just DECIDE what the objective steps to take are:

- Are you exercising?

- How's your diet?

- How much money do you need to save each month to work out of your debt? Get a hold of your bank statement and investigate what went wrong. It might be uncomfortable to literally SEE your poor financial priorities staring you in the face, but you gotta deal with it head on. Decide how much is going out, against how much is going in, and stick to it.

- Perhaps once you've got your finances under control, you can start to think about saving up for ways to switch careers. Look, you have a purpose, and sitting around behind a desk waiting for the clock to strike 5 is NOT it. What are you good at? What interests you? What makes you resonate with a deep burning YES! whenever you think about it? There are so so so many options, so many courses, so many PEOPLE and SKILLS and PASSIONS to get involved with, and though it may take some planning, all you have to do in the here and now is put one foot in front of the other. Just decide. Life's too short to be stuck in some 9-5 drudgery. Unless 9-5 drudgery IS your passion, it IS your thing, you GENUINELY get a lotta satisfaction from what you do - then I would say... right on! But that isn't the case, and you owe it to yourself to reach for more. Why is 'a job I get great enjoyment from' seen as such a blessing, meant only for the fortunate few? Why are we all so ready to SETTLE for anything that pays the bills? I have an answer to that but it's off-topic - point is, there's a hierarchy going on and you're in it. How do you want to live?

- I promise that is you were to get all the above sorted, over time, taking little steps each day to work towards a better place, you'd feel better. This feeling better would leak into other areas - areas like how you see yourself, and therefore how others see you. You'd give out more positive vibes and attract more positive people. You might think that nobody can tell where you're at, and it's true that they might not be able to put it into words, but you're sending out messages all the time. We market ourselves 24/7, by things like how we carry ourselves, what we put into our bodies, how tidy our room is (seriously). Again, how do you wanna play it? It's a decision you can make. So basically, get the above down pat and your social life will sort itself out. Maybe you'll enroll on an evening course in massage therapy, or mechanics, or leisure & tourism, and meet like-minded folk who have also had enough of being mice on the mouse wheel. Or maybe you'll be inspired to try a new activity like yoga or life drawing or a book club, and again, meet new people who can give you a fresh perspective. Maybe you'll go to college and then uni.

Be aware that the bit of you which is probably just WAITING to jump in with the 'but but but' is what got you here in the first place. You gonna have to change SOMETHING, or nothing will change! Something's gotta give, right? Make a promise to yourself and follow it through. If you need inspiration, just check back and read your problem on here. How much longer can you tolerate feeling low like this? Don't you wanna be able to come back in a few months and say 'btw everyone - I'm out of my debt/I'm feeling more energetic/I'm happier!' 'Cause that is definitely a potential outcome. And a few months is gonna go by whether you decide to take action or not, so what do you want to be able to say by the end of that time?

I may relate to your position, but what's keeping me going is the fact that a lot of my stuff IS circumstantial, as in a few months time I'll be moving to London and some things are gonna change. I also know that I'll be heading towards a job I enjoy, because I've taken the time to identify what that is, and everyone should think about this! It's only 40 HOURS of your life a week.

Final thoughts: read 'Get Out While You Can' by George Marshall, explore Buddhism (it's good stuff!) and move to London. Support Spurs. Try something new and radical. Shake it all out. Do it today!

Re: Deeply unhappy

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:56 pm
by rufio89
Thanks for replying B_C, it means a lot to get such a thought out answer!

RE: Friends. It's really hard! I've completely lost interest in going out, so I've just stopped going. The voice in the back of my head that's been saying since I was 14 "but if you dont go, what if you miss something" has finally shut up. I'm not going to miss anything. It'll be expensive, I'll feel sick in the morning, I'll either be bored while I'm there or get too drunk. The girls from school are great and I think things will improve between us in time, but I just think we're at different points in our life at the moment. I just dont know how to make new friends, I go to classes, I talk to people and they're nice, they seem to like me, but I just find it really really hard to create that bond, I dont know how to do it.

I exercise, although feeling ill all the time is limiting me. That was what sent me to the doctors in the first place, the exercise that I'd been doing had been getting gradually more and more difficult. I stopped going running and started going to yoga thinking maybe I just needed to give my lungs a break after a series of throat/chest infections. Yoga gradually got harder and harder until I started wanting to cry (bearing in mind I was going with my pensioner mother) so eventually I stopped going. Everytime I've been running, I've got off-work-ill immediately after and everytime I've been to a class like yoga I'm just a wreck for days. I told the doctor this and I think he thought I was just being lazy until I burst into tears. Then he suggested maybe to take it easy on trying to exercise for a bit incase it is a post-viral condition and so I've been doing gentle walking for about 40 minutes a day so at least I'm still getting some exercise even if I cant take what I'm used to at the moment.

I eat very very well, I get about 12 of my 5-a-day and I dont eat much in the way of junk food, dont even eat much sugar really.

I've got a budget carefully drawn up. I was doing alright with it and it was fine until this month which has set me back a bit but I think I'll have it back under control next month if I can just get through. I got myself in a pickle about it last week because I was so stressed about payday but I think if I can pay back about £450 a month (which is the most I can afford while still allowing myself to live a little), then I should be able to get it cleared by September time, assuming no big expenses come up in the meanwhile.

RE: Career - I want to train. I've started various courses/volunteering things this year with the plan of trying to get onto foundation medicine. If I cant get onto medicine then I'm going to train as a paramedic. It's too late for this year but that's the plan for 2014, it just feels an impossibly long way off at the moment. I want to find a job I enjoy more to get me through the next year but I'm just not having any luck. I've had a series of interviews in which they said "you were really really great, we really liked you but there was just someone more qualified/with more experience", which is not that helpful to me since I cant get the extra experience unless someone gives me the opportunity (but I am well aware that is the same vicious cycle that everyone is stuck in). I just need to keep trying and try to make the best of where I am in the meanwhile.

I'm just trapped at the moment. I want to move away, I want to go travelling but I cant until I pay off these debts and save some money which is going to be at least a year. I know a year isnt that long in the grand scheme of things, but it FEELS like such a long time at the moment. It's just so frustrating when I'm trying so hard and it just feels like forever. Once I've paid off my debts it'll be easier because I'll have more control but unfortunately it's trapping me at the moment.

I guess all I can do in the short term is grit my teeth and get through it.

Re: Deeply unhappy

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:40 pm
by Tarantula
Ah, glad to hear you sounding more positive today!

It's good that you've got a solid financial plan in place. I hear what you're saying though; sometimes you really are quite limited in terms of what you can do in the here and now, whilst knowing that wishing your life away (for however long) is never ideal. It's tough. I'm waiting for the next few months to go by so I can get going on my career.

It's great that you've identified what you wanna be doing, too. Medicine is a great idea! But as you say, paramedic-ness would be cool too, or, I imagine, any other branch of health professional where you're directly helping people, right?

12 of your 5 a day?? I need to start taking tips.

'I just need to keep trying and try to make the best of where I am in the meanwhile.' - True dat!