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Topic: Help. I don’t know who I am supposed to be and feel lost

  1. therising
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    26 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    It's amazing how many people I've met in recent years who all tend to express similar things -

    • I've always been the black sheep of my family
    • I've always felt like the odd one out
    • I never felt like I really fitted in anywhere

    and the list goes on.

    I imagine, if all these hundreds or thousands or more like natured or like minded people were put into one place it would be absolutely amazing, like one huge get together of people who really got each other on a deeper level. I imagine some of the conversations

    • Do you ever feel this way?/Oh, my gosh, YES! I thought it was just me
    • Do you ever find you can imagine so easily to the point where you can see what you imagine so clearly, so vividly and a lot of other people just can't see as clearly?/YES! My imagination really triggers me at times
    • Do you ever wonder so much, to the point where you just feel like you're stuck in wonder or a state of questioning?/Absolutely, it does my head in sometimes!
    • Can you feel when people are really bringing you down?/Absolutely! It can be so depressing

    etc.

    It's interesting how you could place all the 'black sheep', all 'the odd ones out' and so on in one place and suddenly they could all relate to each other as being perfectly 'normal'. it leads one to wonder what the deal is with everyone else, the odd ones out who don't fit into such an amazing group of people.

    Perspective is a quirky thing. It's a reality changer :)

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    29 September 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I fully agree with you on this! I think that is part of my journey as well as a lot of others with similar feelings to me that we need to try and find like minded people who understand what the other is going through.

    I genuinely would love to speak with such people as think their could be a great deal to learn from them and for me to take on board from how different people handle the same sets of feelings as to what you have described.

  3. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    16 October 2021

    Hi all

    I am sorry to post back in here again but I am struggling to find where to turn

    My feelings and mental state has plummeted the last few weeks and I lack any sort of energy to even get out of bed or carry on with the day as I know it will be a repeated cycle of questioning who I am and what is the point of all this

    i feel like I have no one in a social sense to really just spend some time with to take my mind away from things and I have lost all hope in the dating realm

    i am constantly agitated at myself for thinking the things I do as I know they are trivial and I should not worry but I don’t know why I can’t relax and even just had one day where my mind isn’t plagued by questions like “how am I perceived”, “what do people think of me in a social media sense”, “what is the point of trying to meet new people”, “why am I like this”

    I hate myself because I can’t find peace of mind

  4. Sophie_M
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    5927 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to Daniel12
    Hi Daniel12,

    We are so sorry to hear you are feeling this way.Thank you for being part of our forums, it takes a lot of courage and strength to reach out for support and we are so glad that you have done so. We hope that you can get some support here, the community will be here to listen and chat with you. You can also reach out to Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline 13 11 14. 
  5. therising
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    16 October 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    My heart goes out to you as you face the mind altering and exhausting nature of self questioning and that sense of feeling lost which can be such a torturous experience at times. On mental, physical and soulful levels, it can really put you through the wringer and can become so depressing. I've come to find there's no point in comparing my problems to another person's, as sufferance is sufferance no matter how it comes about. It's the level of sufferance we experience which is the greatest issue. It points to how deeply we're feeling our challenges.

    I may sound like a crazy woman when I say I have many personas. The reason I mention this is based on you saying 'I hate myself because I can't find peace of mind'. I agree, at times I hate my sense of self known as 'The Analyst'. It's kinda like you just want to scream at that sense of self 'Shut the hell up, you're doing my head in!!!' 'Shut the hell up' is significant, as it does feel like hell at times. I've found lockdowns in Melbourne have brought to life or amplified many aspects of myself. Now in our 6th lockdown, 'The Bi*ch' in me has really come to life :) With my husband taking pleasure in announcing how the lockdowns aren't really all that bad (he likes to drink and watch tv), bamm, out she comes 'Well, that's just great, good for you. Glad you're having such a great time!'. 'The Analyst' and 'The Philosopher' in me share centre stage at times while at other times 'The Critic' in me has what feels like a loud speaker/megaphone, 'YOU'RE BLOODY HOPELESS, GET OFF THE COUCH YOU LAZY COW!' Then there's 'The Sage', 'Stop being so hard on yourself, this is an overwhelming mind altering challenge, this lockdown business'. While we all possess many aspects of self, it's the core sense of self who has to remain in charge. The core sense of self is that which employs the various aspects at different times when need be. It's the sense of self that reigns in the analyst or the critic when they're getting out of control.

    A serious lack of energy can be seriously depressing. We're designed to be energetic beings, so it can get depressing when we're not connected to life through our energy. Whether it's mental exhaustion, an imbalance in our chemistry or the fact that our energy input is so low we're feeling like a flat battery never put on recharge, it becomes a question of why our energy feels virtually non existent.

    Btw, I find it's more so the sage who holds the answers, not the analyst :)

  6. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Thanks again for getting in touch.

    I think the lockdowns here in Melbourne have just amplified feelings which I already had to an degree but chose to ignore and the last month it has taken a particular turn for the worst.

    I find myself looking through things like social media and comparing myself to others and thinking things like because I don't have a big presence on their I am seen as inferior to others. I am not sure if this makes sense what I am about to describe but part of my make up due to the work I do is to critically think so I am aware that these thoughts are irrational but this almost exacerbates the problems because I can't understand why I continue to have these thoughts and so ensues the head tennis I am going through.

    The lockdowns have also seemed to amplify my feeling of loneliness as I look at my life in a social sense and I do not have a large group of friends and again given the age of social media it feels as though this is not normal for someone my age and makes me feel uninteresting and undesirable. This contributes to the issue of dating as this is another area where I feel alone, I seem to go out with someone and it just evaporates into thin air after a second date maximum with no real word of warning or why and I am often left pondering what I did or what I am doing to cause this.

    I hate that I can't just relax and let things go like people around me and feels like there is no escape from this feeling

  7. therising
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    17 October 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    My daughter mentioned just yesterday how if we counted this as still being in our 5th lockdown, with a week of freedom thrown in, we've been doing this one since around mid July. I think coming out of this is going to present some serious challenges for some. While they say it takes around 60-70 days to form a new habit, we will have formed some new habits which we may not be entirely aware of. While forming the habit of being on our own to some degree, social anxiety may be an issue for some. While a greater social media presence becomes the new norm, an intensified social habit, it makes sense that we might come to judge our self for not becoming more of a part of it. Personally, I believe social media comes with some sort of pay off. If you want to stay connected with certain people or expand a network (business included), it pays off. If you want to make people more aware of some injustice or make a positive social difference, it pays off. If there's no payoff, there's no need. I imagine you don't feel much of a need for it. Perhaps in the future you might use it as a type of resource or maybe not. My 16yo son has no need for it. He sees it as an unnecessary distraction. It's in his nature to happily live without it at this point.

    I've found, while questioning and wondering can fast track our evolution in different ways, questioning and wondering without answers can feel like torture. I know people who don't question and wonder as much as they should. Lockdown has definitely amplified that sense of questioning and wondering. It feels like we're being forced to evolve faster, to understand our self better. With lockdowns feeling like time wasters in life in a way, I can feel the challenge of 'How am I no longer going to waste my time or my life when I come out of this one?'. Of course, what comes with this is stuff like 'Who am I, really, and what do I really want to achieve? What direction do I want to head in? Who do I want to connect with?'etc.

    Wondering if you've given any thought to what kind of group/club you might like to join. Btw, I can recall when last meeting with a new group (in a weekend workshop) how high my levels of anxiety were. I'm a bit of a shy gal. While stressful, I meditated on sage-like advice. What came to mind was 'You are simply not used to the feeling of a rise to courage. You're being courageous'. Doing what's new can take a lot of courage. Often it's our rise to courage which leads us to meet new people.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    18 October 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    i feel like I should be happy we are coming out of lockdown but I feel terrified and I feel like I don’t know what to do. My friends all sort of have partners and things like that and it leaves me thinking well what is going to change I will barely see people anyway and when I do anxiety takes over and I get lost in my head thinking of whether I am being judged. This is the same case with social media, I know deep down I have no real need for it other than to stay in touch with friends but I have this problem of thinking I am being judged on all facets of myself.

    In terms of groups, I do play soccer but unfortunately due to a head injury sustained during a game last season I have been told to stop playing and I think this has caused a lot of distress because it was my release from all these feelings and a place I felt I belong but now has been taken away. I am not sure what type of new group to join as I feel embarrassed in myself and would be heightened when meeting new people.

  9. therising
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    21 October 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    The head injury from soccer must have been stressful, not just for yourself but also the people who care about you. Hope you've managed to fully recover. It must be tough to no longer be playing, especially given that it was such an outlet and a resource. I think a lot of people can underestimate the impact of us losing a resource that serves us mentally, physically and even on a some soulful level. Such a resource can definitely have a chemical impact. While I'm a soulful gal, a far less romantic version of who we are is - a big bag of complex chemistry. A lack of the chemistry we experience from no longer having one of our 'go to' resources can be impacting. Figuring out where to get natural highs from next becomes a challenge. As I say to my 19yo daughter and 16yo son 'If you can generate natural highs in life, without looking to drugs or alcohol, you're doing something right'. Myself, I was more of a drinker when I was younger, gaining a false sense of confidence and happiness through alcohol. It takes skill, to do life naturally.

    Changing how we're experiencing judgement can be so incredibly hard. I'm still trying to master this myself. I've found a lot of it comes down to measurement, comparison and feeling. Whether we're measuring and comparing our self to who we want to be or other people are doing the measuring and comparing for us, I think it becomes a matter of 'How does such measurement and comparison feel and serve me?' While it serves me to compare my current self to my slimmer healthier self from some years ago (as this positively motivates me to lose weight in order to be a healthiest version of myself), it doesn't serve me to compare the amount of lines on my face now to how I appeared years ago. You can feel a destructive sense of judgement just as you can feel a constructive sense of judgement. So, you could say while you may judge yourself on not yet managing to find the woman of your dreams, it would be more constructive to judge, measure and feel the progress you've made in eliminating the women of your nightmares or at least the ones you don't vibe with. While we may judge our self for being shy, it's more constructive to measure the lack of egotistical or narcissistic traits we possess.

    While you might be tempted to judge your progress in coming out of lockdown as being 'slow', it's more constructive to judge it as being 'careful' or full of care. Constructive judgement should hold no degradation of any kind :)

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    24 October 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Hopefully you have been enjoying some easing of restrictions in Melbourne over the weekend with your family and friends!

    I think whilst it is not the worst thing to happen to someone being told I can no longer play soccer because of the head injury it has definitely been a struggle to come to terms with and has contributed to this sort of identity crisis I am having because as I mentioned it was one area I really thrived and was quite successful thanks to a lot of training and hard work and it just brought a sense of fulfilment and belong, it almost feels like now what do I actually have going for me without this now.

    Thank you for your advice about constructive judgement as you put it as the way you explain it makes it very easy for me to understand although I feel quite irrational in my thinking at the moment.

    I find myself not being able to accept that I am a quieter, laidback individual that probably feels a sense of anxiousness upon first meeting people and takes a bit to "warm up" before I can really show who I am. I think overtime and probably throughout my young life I have struggled to accept that this is OK as it feels that there is pressure on me to be out there and in your face and loud and charismatic from the first moment because of people I see around me and I get into thought loops of "what is wrong with me, I have a lot going for me so why am I not more like xyz".

    I carry this burden around that is it not ok or not normal to be quieter than those that are more extroverted around me and that I don't get the same respect because of this and I think I have tried to force it out of myself and it does not feel right and then I just fall into a rut where I feel very confused on what I am actually doing and how I am acting

    Thank you again for all your responses it is very much appreciated, you are very sound of mind and your words of advice have been helpful

    Daniel

  11. therising
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    24 October 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    If the soccer was a significant part of who you were, it's understandable to be kinda asking 'Well who am I now, without it?' Bit of a weird analogy but I find sometimes I feel a little like Tarzan, swinging from vine to vine through the jungle. In order to make progress in moving forward, I have to let go of the last vine while being able to identify the next one to grab onto. Sometimes it's easy-ish but if I have no sense of direction as to where I need to head it feels like I'm identifying myself as 'She who's stuck in mid swing, in limbo'. It's such a frustrating place to be at times, that's for sure. It feels a little this way, coming out of lockdown. Not sure at the moment what I'm meant to be reaching for. Maybe it's the self preservationist in me who imagines suddenly go into a 7th one :) Actually, it wasn't until this last one that reality hit: I've spent months waiting out lockdowns. I'd become 'a waiter', so now what to do, now that I'm no longer a waiter? Who the heck am I?

    I wish more people had a talent for bringing out the best in us. It would make socialising so much easier. I admit I'm a shocker when it comes to small talk, you know, that kind of stuff like 'So, what do you do for a living? How many kids do you have? How've you been?' That kind of stuff. I know some people are genuinely interested but I'm terrible at keeping the flow of small talk going. I actually know a number of people who say the same thing. Then you've got those who know how to bring out the best in people. Could go something like 'So, what do you think of the furnishings in this place? What do you think about the colour and the way they've set everything out?' Could start off as simple as that. Could lead into a half hour conversation that goes from furnishings to why it's in the nature of people to choose what they choose in a public place. I love those folk who bring out the best in us - that chatty self, the open minded wonderful self, the self that smiles and laughs, the self that instantly feels relaxed and so on. I'm kinda shy so I love meeting people who have the ability to do this. Makes life so much easier. I like doing this myself, for other people who obviously look uncomfortable in social settings. I really feel for them.

    Perhaps sometimes bringing out the best in someone involves pointing out where that next vine is. I think we all need such people in our life from time to time. Without that next vine in place, can be easy to lose momentum :)

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Daniel12
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    26 October 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I definitely agree with your analogy and sentiments about finding that next thing to grab onto. I definitely feel a sense of well what am I going to do now, I lose such a big area of my life and yes I could get into coaching or a committee role but it is difficult at my young age and it is the team spirit and camaraderie amongst the players that is what was the real release for me.

    I think the impending loss of this has heightened those feelings of being alone and that want for a partner because I figure like if I was to have a partner it would not matter as much as I would have someone to spend time with but that issue is the source of a lot of ill feelings I have in myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself maybe because of cultural expectations to get a good job, have a partner, build a family home etc and it almost feels like I have failed at 25 even though I am young as theres this expectation that I should have all these things just worked out. It is definitely not through a lack of trying maybe I have issue with completely letting go of anxieties and stuff like that which can mask certain parts of myself which flourish around people I know well.

    I have felt myself sort of give up on this area of my life over the last couple months as I am tired of hearing the same thing such as "nice guy but....", I am trying to take a break and let things come to me but I have mixed emotion about this as I've grown to believe through experiences I have had that things don't just happen and I will have to try make something happen. I guess as silly as it sounds it's just very disheartening at the moment combined with this up and down feeling I have of what I want to be.

    I hear what you say about being a shy type of person because I feel the same way although many people have suggested otherwise. The way I describe myself is someone who is probably more inclined to listen to others at first before I almost determine in my mind "it's safe to be myself" as silly as this sounds. I can do small talk but I do seem to get bored of this quickly. I feel like I have an inner fear to let go of voices in my head stopping me from letting go and relaxing in moments.

    Lockdowns definitely affect this and I completely understand what you have said about them, I feel from some things you have told me about yourself despite the possible age gap and differing life experience we are probably similar kinds of people!:)

  13. therising
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    26 October 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I can relate to those voices, that internal dialogue, that can stop us from letting go. Personally, I used to be a shocker when it came to following that internal dialogue. There would even be times where I would want to give someone a compliment and that voice would pop up dictating 'Don't say anything, that person will think you're stupid for saying it', so I'd keep my mouth shut. Later, I'd wish I had said something.

    It wasn't until a certain point in time where I began to give thought to the saying 'To be in 2 minds'. I was so often in 2 minds and, being analytical, had to work out what this was all about. I needed to know what was stopping me from being my true self. When I meditated on the 2 minds thing, what came to mind was that image of 'an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other'. So, I imagined what it would be like to listen to that which felt 'angelic'. Strange but things began to change a little. While once I would have refrained from giving someone a compliment, I began to hand out more compliments, not caring about what anyone thought of me. What came to mind at such times was 'Why would you not tell someone how amazing they are or how beautiful they are?!' My relationships with people began to change. It worked in other ways too. The people who I found to be degrading were met with me saying stuff like 'What leads you to be so degrading?', instead of me sitting back and letting them tell me stuff I'd sadly come to believe, in certain cases.

    I suppose I found it to be an exercise in consciousness, when it comes to the 2 minds thing. Which mind was I prepared to take more notice of? I try to choose 'the divine mind' you could say. A lot of inspiration comes from this state of mind. A lot of challenges come from it too. It's like you can be in a social setting when the words pop in 'Just be yourself'. So, this becomes the challenge, to be yourself. In the 2 minds scenario, this can be argued: 'Just be yourself' can be followed with 'You can't be yourself, what will people think of you?! They'll think you're an idiot'. It can be an almost torturous argument, the battle between 2 minds :)

    Bit of a weird perspective perhaps but in the battle between 2 minds, I try to imagine I'm rising to courage in some cases. The rise to incredible courage feels the same as the rise to incredible anxiety. The difference comes down to mindset, how we identify the rise we're feeling. It can be a tough one to practice at first :)

  14. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    28 October 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I definitely hear what you're saying about the internal dialogue and the two minds going against each other as I definitely feel this in a big way. For example, I will be out at a dinner or at a family dinner and often my mind is ticking over thinking "you should say something otherwise you seem boring" or "just relax and stop thinking about everything" as strange as those thoughts seem it's often the narrative going on. The issue I seem to have is that these turn into thoughts by the end of the night that are gear toward "you're pathetic for not being yourself and relaxing" or "why can't I show who I am" and basically surmising that the way I am is just not good enough socially.

    I am not sure if you have had the same issue before but also another big struggle I find I have is I will be speaking to someone and I feel like in the back of my mind I am judging what I am saying/doing like "what are thinking of me at the moment" or "they think I'm weird I can tell" or "they don't like me or what I'm saying". I actually am feeling the exhaustion of this these days.

    The strange part is I feel like I am aware of all the things I have going for me but it does not help because the thought that I am alone plagues this rationality and it's really sporadic and random the way the thoughts bounce around. For example, I have found I might go to bed one night think "don't stress you have things going for you just be patient and things will happen" then randomly I will wake up and out of nothing I start thinking "I am alone, I am perceived to be weird because I am quiet, why would someone like me or why can't I find someone that likes me" and this just keeps going. This happens throughout the day where I have moments of "confidence" if you will and then I might be on a walk and just see something random or see people together and then it starts again. I am not sure if this normal or if there is just something wrong with me.

    I guess I am just frustrated as well that I feel I can be a great support for others and then it almost feels like I am completely hopeless when it comes to my own issues. I like how you think of it as a rise to courage and I want to practice this and fulfil the potential I believe I have as a person but it just feels like a lonely battle at the moment and I feel very disheartened with where my life is at even though on paper it would seem otherwise to the people around me and I guess I feel misunderstood.

    Thanks again

    Daniel

  15. therising
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    28 October 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    We humans are definitely quirky creatures. One of those quirky traits is the 'You' vs 'I/me' phenomenon. I'll elaborate on what I mean by highlighting something you mentioned: "don't stress you have things going for you just be patient and things will happen" then randomly I will wake up and out of nothing I start thinking "I am alone, I am perceived to be weird because I am quiet, why would someone like me or why can't I find someone that likes me".

    It's amazing how many people experience this, myself included. When I first noticed it, I thought 'I'll see how common this is' (out of curiosity), so I began to observe it. I was quite surprised. I suppose everyone's got a different take on this, what it's all about. While a psychologist may suggest 'I/me' is the ego mind, always searching for a way for us to identify our self, they may suggest 'You' is the conscious mind, trying to communicate with us. Another way of looking at it could involve that thing I mentioned, angel on one shoulder and so called 'devil' on the other - 'You will be okay' vs 'You are pathetic' with the 'I/me/my' being in the middle, listening while analysing and trying to make sense. No matter what it is, it's interesting. When I'm conscious of it, I try to make the most of it.

    I found observing what comes to mind to be challenging in a lot of ways. One of the questions I asked myself many times was 'How do I know what is the 'right' thought vs what is the 'wrong' thought when it comes to taking notice of what comes to mind? This is where being sensitive pays off. The wrong thought feels saddening, depressing, upsetting etc. By the way, constructive thoughts don't always appear as inspiring, happy and positive at first. For example, what comes to mind may be 'You are a loser'. At first it may feel depressing to me until I begin to think 'Well, if I'm a loser, this must mean I am losing something. What is it I'm losing?' The answer may be 'I'm a loser of motivation, direction, a greater sense of clarity...' and so on. Once I know what I've lost, then I know what I need to work toward regaining.

    Making sense of and getting a feel for what comes to mind can be seriously challenging at times :)

  16. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    30 October 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    i definitely feel a lot of what you’re saying describes well the inner battle I feel like I’m having with myself.

    Something I wanted to see what your take on is or if you’ve experienced is that I feel like this constant questioning voice inside my head doesn’t allow me to fully be myself and I feel like this is contributing a lot to these feelings of loneliness as it seems like I can’t fully connect because I’m in my head analysing how I’m coming across and what I’m saying.

    Then there are occasions where I feel myself and I get rejected or feel like I’m coming across weird and it puts me off being myself.

    And I feel like after this I really analyse what I did wrong or what’s wrong with me to an extreme extent and I get exhausted and down and I can’t function, I lose sleep and lost motivation etc

    For example, I met someone earlier this year and it was going really well and it just abruptly ended and since then I have struggled to get over it and i find myself obsessively searching for a reason as to what I did or didn’t do. When I feel I am more logical and say it just wasn’t the right person something happens like we run into each other (we live around the corner) and I spiral into what if’s again as I do not believe there was actually an issue, it just ended from her end and she didn’t really elaborate but I wouldn’t say we left off badly at all.

    I have been feeling a deep sense of regret that I should done something different and this has just exacerbated the loneliness I already feel but I don’t want my happiness/unhappiness dependent on a partner solely because I don’t even feel like I even know who I am on my own

    sorry for the rambles I go on, thanks for being someone to chat with

    Daniel

  17. therising
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    30 October 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I never see questioning or wondering as rambling. On the contrary. I find it inspiring, a person's longing to find answers :)

    I often get a greater sense of who I am through my relationship to other people. My relationships with others has the ability to help me see how I relate to my self. For example, my son's a natural born philosopher, often questioning the nature of reality. The joy I feel in philosophising with him tells me I have this nature. My husband enjoys sameness to a large degree. The agitation I feel when there is little change in our relationship tells me I am someone who thrives on evolution. Even my relationship with a stranger can tell me something about myself. If I'm observing a stranger abusing a shop assistant and I remain a bystander in the situation, my upset will tell me who I am while I continue to stand by and watch: I am someone who cannot simply stand by and observe abuse without feeling it. If I am upstanding, speaking up, then I've met with my true self wholly, not just partly. That stranger reveals something to me about myself. How we feel our experiences in relation to others can reveal a lot about who we are.

    The problem with no feedback, like with the girl you briefly dated, often we can't relate to who we are when there's no feedback. One of the toughest things about getting feedback comes with judging the feedback and not our self. For most of my life, I took feedback personally. Can be depressing. Not taking it personally makes more sense when 50 people may refer to us as 'boring' but 5 relate to us as fascinating. The opinion of the 5 may come with good reason.

    After coming out of more than a decade in depression some years ago, I gravitated toward the mind/body/spirit side of life. At first, this brought me incredible joy. After a while of having a lot of people in my life degrade me (weirdo, crazy etc), I stopped this enjoyment. It became depressing trying to fit in. Then I met this amazing guy who said 'The path to being yourself can be incredibly hard. You have to forgive your self for moving off that path, so as to please others. People will throw mud and sh*t at you and you have to learn to wash it off and keep moving forward'. This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes, by E. E. Cummings...

    'To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting' :)

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Daniel12
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    31 October 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Thanks for replying again

    What you've said is particularly inspiring to me and I find comfort in knowing you got out of your depression and does fill me with a sense of hope.

    I have tried for so long to fit a certain mould in order to really feel like I fit in, it has been this way since I was a kid. I always have found myself with "friends" but never really a valued part of those groups if that makes sense. It feels like I am always easily forgotten if I am to be myself and I've always had experiences where to be myself is to be seen as "weird", "boring" etc. I have grown up around social groups that are what one would call "alpha male" type characters. And it is very sink or swim like. I would say my natural nature is to be down to earth, more reserved and to listen first before speaking. I have been continually met with feelings of self consciousness that I am weird because of this or not an interesting person.

    I really want to experience a proper connection with someone that I haven't had but when I try to open my true self up it ends up with the other person saying you're nice but xyz, or I have had occasions where someone has said I am weird because I am quiet. So over time I feel beat down that to be myself is not the way to go. I feel I need to be loud and boisterous and I have tried this and it exhausts me to a point where I cannot think straight and I spiral into a deep depression when I am alone. I am not sure if that makes sense at all.

    As you mentioned you came out of this depression to fit in I wanted to ask what are some things you tried to do to really accept/find yourself in these moments. I tend to be trapped inside my mind and I don't feel like I am coping that well with all the pressure of trying to meet someone, working and building a future, trying to feel accepted in social settings and also accepting myself. I want to try but I feel helpless as to where to start and I feel weak expressing this, I am not sure if you had this experience as well?

    Thanks again I really appreciate it

    Daniel

  19. therising
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    1 November 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    In order to become more myself over time, I became a 'researcher'. This is one of the benefits of the internet. With me having developed an idea of who I basically was, I took it to the next level. With researching, you can either define it as investigating who you are or re-searching (searching again) for you you are, if you've lost your core sense of self.

    While you may have been a little natural in kinder, who doesn't think about how to act (you just act like you), looking into 'How do I find my natural self?' could give you clues in regaining that sense of self. Perhaps researching 'How do I balance the observer in me with my more active sense of self?' could also lead you to revelations.

    If you're a natural philosopher, researching different philosophers might lead you to vibe with one in particular. 'I would never have considered that perspective in a million years. That's brilliant!' tells you you're experiencing a shift in 'reality'. It's said that reality is often nothing more than 'perspective'. It's like we may all see the same thing or the same event take place, yet it's our individual perspective/experience that dictates how we interact with it, what kind of reality we declare it as being.

    Wondering whether you're this person or that person or wondering whether you're perhaps someone different from what you imagine in some ways, is something worth researching. If you don't research, you may never know. 'I am not who I think I am' is a constructive mantra to keep in mind through such research. If someone declares me as boring or weird and I think (mentally process) and then believe 'This is who I am' then this thinking does me a disservice. Now, if I stop thinking and feel myself as someone who's a listener and someone who is outstanding amongst 'normal' people, this can feel true, it can actually feel good at times. Sounds weird but I try not to think too much. I'm more of a feeler when it comes to finding the truth.

    I found, once I began to get a more solid sense of who I am, I became more confident through falling in love with different aspects of myself, such as the self that wonders, the self that listens, researches, observes, feels and more. Sometimes you can feel how depressing it is to act like anyone other than yourself.

    If you find you wonder far more than anyone else you know, consider the truth as being - you are the most wonderful (wonder full) person you know. There is nothing weird about being so full of wonder :)

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Much of what you say has resonates with me for sure!

    I have actually been feeling things like I wish I was able to just act like myself like I did when I was younger as you mentioned. I definitely want to solve these problems I’m having so I guess that’s a start.

    I am not sure if this is normal at my age of 25 to be going through such an identity crisis that it really cripples my daily interactions and clouds everything I have been doing with uncertainty and a real lack of enjoyment for life at the moment. If I was able to stay in bed and avoid another day of just repeat intense thinking then I would

    I do not know if you experienced similar at all around my age to what I’m about to explain but I would be interested to know if you feel it is a normal sort of crisis if you will.

    I feel when I meditate upon the question of who I am naturally when I am of sound mind I come the conclusion, I am a sort of introverted extrovert who can be quieter in group setting initially until I “warm up” but I am never the focal point of a group or centre of attention, I often feel I fade into the background. I would say I am pretty easy going and just generally down to earth but I have what my family say is a quirky side/sense of humour.

    What I’d like perspective on is the fact that I often see people in groups that seem to be just more free of mind, out there or flamboyant or fun for lack of a better term and people gravitate toward them. I feel this huge pressure that I need to be more of that as why would anyone gravitate toward a person who is just basically down to earth. It feels like me being an easy going, listening before speaking type is not an attractive proposition to anyone and is just plain old boring. I feel hopeless and huge pressures that I can’t attractive a partner or people in general unless I become some alpha male or really extroverted character in groups.

    That is the essence of the internal dialogue battle I have with myself every single day and it has worn me down to a point where I feel even worse for being like this now that lockdowns over because I should be happy to go and do things out in the public but I’m afraid of not being accepted, not finding someone who would like someone like me and from this I just feel pathetic for feeling all of this as a whole and not being able to just relax.

    sorry if my posts are confusing and all over the place as I’ve said before but I’m very thankful you take the time to reply

    Daniel

  21. therising
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    3 November 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I've found, who we attract depends on what they're looking for. It's not so much to do with us sometimes. For example, if a person's looking for someone to drink with and we're not a drinker, we won't necessarily attract them. If someone's looking for a rebel to bring out the rebel in them, they won't be attracted to a non rebel. If they're looking for someone to save, they won't necessarily be attracted to a well grounded person who doesn't need saving. If they're looking for a quiet mysterious type, with a hidden sense of humor, bamm :)

    Environment can be another factor. Certain places will often attract people of a certain type. Pubs may attract drinkers and pool/snooker players, so if you're not a drinker or pool player you can feel like you don't fit in with all the people who are. Nightclubs are the same. People typically go there for drinking, dancing, perhaps picking up and the high energy that such a place offers. If we're not a drinker, dancer or high energy person, we may not be holding the vibe others are looking to connect with.

    I believe, another factor (perhaps the most significant) is maturity. There's a certain maturity to non alpha males. Often, this is recognised by more mature females. This can help explain why some guys date slightly older women. These women are often attracted to males who've evolved beyond the alpha stage. This can also help explain why some long term relationships don't work out so well: While an alpha guy may have been an exciting/intense partner, they don't always make great marriage/father material as a female develops through those stages of life. They grow apart. When you're a mum and you find your son is having trouble with verbally abusive/mentally manipulative kids at school and you're looking for your partner (his father) to come up advice other than 'Just hit 'em', it can be pretty frustrating and disappointing when that's the only advice on offer.

    Personally, I was so lost and depressed when I was 25. I coped with my insecurities, lack of self-esteem, lack of direction and lack of self understanding, amongst other things, by drinking. Not the best solution, at all. As I've said to my 16 and 19yo 'While it's easy to use alcohol to bring out your social butterfly sense of self, your chatty sense of self, your confident sense of self and so on, it's also easy to lose control of your self. Crossing that fine line, one drink too many, often leads to the kind of regret that fuels depression'.

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    3 November 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Makes a lot of sense regarding the type of people and environments. I guess I feel a bit like I’m not actually sure where the right environment is for me which to me is a bit concerning because I feel like I should have this figured out by now.

    It makes sense what you say about the alpha type. With this area it feels like there’s an overwhelming pressure to act like this just to attract a girl and keep them interested at the moment as I can’t really get past a second date with anyone and it seems like I’m too normal or too boring to really keep the interest there. I think I’m smart enough to know that finding a partner won’t just resolve my depression but it would definitely go a long way - if it is the right person. But I am turned off trying because I don’t want to open myself up to the constant beat down and rejection that I’m experiencing, it’s now to a point where I might go on a date and in my head I’m think what is the point.

    Like I’ve mentioned, I see people when I am out and they seem way more relaxed than me and I question why I am not able to relax and not worry about how I come across or how what I say comes across and just enjoy myself. I have used alcohol in the past to try and relax myself but was told a similar thing to what you mentioned so I made an effort to stop relying on it and try to be myself although I feel like I hate being myself because it’s not good enough.

    The enjoyment of my life has dramatically dropped, I feel I have no energy to do anything and my reaction is to just shut down.

    I hate myself that I can’t stop the constant thinking and not just be like a lot of others my age and enjoy this period of my life but I can’t stop thinking I’m alone.

    Did you ever feel the pressures of being alone and finding a partner at my age? Is there any way you were able to relax your mind regarding this ?

    Thanks again

    Daniel

  23. pezhead95
    pezhead95 avatar
    4 posts
    4 November 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    I'm a 26 year old Male, Daniel, and I experienced something similar at the age of 24 when I lost my job, my girlfriend, my Father (abusive home) and my identity all relatively quickly.

    The thing that helped me fight back against my depression the most was having a creative outlet (writing) as well as a physical one (excessive exercise), through that, I was able to build endorphins and clarity through how I was feeling and step by step recover and find new direction once my mind had settled and my body had recovered.

    I'm not sure if the above helps, but you're not alone brother, and it will get better. Stay strong and persist, you're a fighter and people who have fought a similar fight know you have it in you.

    Blessings!

    1 person found this helpful
  24. therising
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    4 November 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    pezhead95 offers great advice, from his own experience. Chemistry, such as with endorphins, can be impacting. Can be hard to build up to the right levels but the benefit of being sensitive involves the ability to feel if that chemistry's working or not.

    Being big on what I label 'the magic trifecta', it pays to question

    1. How am I mentally processing things, making sense of things?
    2. Where's my chemistry at? So many factors impact chemistry. For me a biggy is sleep. If I don't get the right kind I'm all over the place. Also, if I'm not physically active enough, it can be fine for a while but eventually my inaction can come back to bite me. Perhaps no longer playing soccer is having some chemical impact for you. Whether it's sleep, exercise, hydration, diet, social interaction or a host of other factors, if you can imagine an enormous amount of chemical reactions taking place within the body within every moment of your existence, the challenge is to make the right ones happen where you can. A huge challenge at times. Sometimes it can take a bit of experimentation when it comes to finding what works best in the way of manipulating chemistry. While I spent years in depression being what you could call 'a sad scientist' (experimenting with a variety of antidepressants that didn't work), I found it pays to be a bit of 'a mad scientist' these days (crazy). Going down to the beach with my son and getting in the water on a winter's morning, for example, definitely has an impact. Going outside our comfort zone can pay off
    3. From a natural perspective, without addressing thinking and chemistry (psychology and biology) specifically, we're basically energetic creatures. It can be depressing to not feel your own energy or to feel it as 'dysfunctional' in some way. To feel the collective energy of a soccer team at play or the energy growing in intensity between you and someone else, there's no doubt about the fact we can feel it. I think one of the greatest challenges in life comes down to discovering 'What charges us up?', puts us in charge, and 'What drains us?' Even thinking can become exhausting. From a quantum physics perspective, it's said our cells literally vibrate with energy. In this case, it becomes a matter of actively increasing the vibration (vibe). Working to feel a literal buzz can be a goal worth considering. Then going out socially with that kind of buzz can alter perspective. Figuring out what your body can do can be mind altering :)
    1 person found this helpful
  25. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    4 November 2021 in reply to pezhead95

    Hi pezhead95

    Thanks for the words of encouragement and advice, I briefly started writing a journal and maybe it's something I can take back up to air out my thoughts. I have found writing on here has helped as well just to air out my thoughts and get differing perspectives.

    Thanks again

    Daniel

  26. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    4 November 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I think definitely stopping playing soccer has impacted upon me as the team starts going back into training post-lockdown the reality has set in that I cannot join in anymore and there's definitely a massive hole to fill as I have mentioned before it was the one area of my life I felt actually a proper part of.

    I want to try get out of my comfort zone but I struggle with intense anxiety and fear of judgement to the point where it has led to panic attacks and I am afraid of this outcome again so I avoid it like the plague if I am honest. I really feel like a shell of myself if I am being honest and the pressure around me is becoming too much. The pressure to find a partner feels overwhelming as I can seem to find anyone who understands me or likes me and then even just to do things and get out of my comfort or try something new just feels like there is a world of pressure on me just to do that.

    I am exhausted of thinking and I am trying to accept who I am without really knowing and being confused on how to actually act, just feels like I have completely lost my sense of self. The way I describe it is like if someone asked me tell me a bit about yourself and what your like it feels like I can't answer the question other than saying what I do for work and just feels pathetic.

    I feel ashamed for being like this given my age and things opening up and that I really have no reason for feeling this way but I can't help it

  27. therising
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    5 November 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    You have absolutely nothing to feel ashamed about. I actually believe you you should be applauded for your incredible efforts to better understand yourself and your connection to life. When you say you have no reason for feeling this way, I believe there is always a reason as to why we feel the way we do. If we're natural 'feelers' or 'sensitives', feeling our way through life or getting a sense of where we're at, we won't just feel or get a sense of what's right or exciting, we'll also get a sense of what feels wrong or depressing.

    When I found myself in depression in my early 20s I thought the same thing, that I had no good reason for feeling the way I did. I thought about people who had truly horrible childhoods or people who'd experienced significant trauma and it even felt a bit like 'How dare I feel sorry for myself, given their circumstances. What's wrong with me?'. Hindsight makes it easier to work out the reasons for why we feel the way we do at any given time. Daniel, I can look back over the years at some of my tougher challenges (such as being involved in a significant car accident, a couple of miscarriages and a further mind altering level of depression within depression - post natal depression with both my kids) and I can honestly say struggling through my years in self questioning preceding these events was just as challenging and depressing. I don't think a lot of people fully realise how depressing it can be, to not feel an exciting connection to life, to not know where we fit in, to not have the guides we may need to help us find and exercise the best in our self and so on.

    I get where you're coming from regarding 'Tell me a bit about yourself'. While I could feel just as bored as the person I'm conveying my identity to, what I'd actually love to convey is none of that typical stuff. While I could give them my my name, my age, my marital status, my occupation etc, what I'd love to say is 'According to quantum physicists, I am energy. I am one who could give any great philosopher a run for their money. I am a feeler, one who is sensitive and senses ups and downs, amongst many other things' and so on. If my 'I am' is going to define me, I have to love what I define myself as. In comparison, I feel no deep love for my name, my age, my job description, social status etc. I could dismiss any of that in a heartbeat.

    I found, knowing who you truly are and how you truly work is key when it comes to unlocking certain things in life.

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    6 November 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I guess I feel weak for not being able to just relax in myself and accept what I am and therefore be comfortable socially and enjoy myself again.

    I find, and perfect example was this weekend out for dinner with a group, that within a group interaction I am constantly on edge if I am not showing myself or being more extroverted even though I feel more comfortable listening and don’t have much to contribute to a certain topic. I interject where I can but I am by no means the voice of a group or the main talker and it makes me fee uncomfortable as I’m constantly assessing in my head that this is wrong and that people are judging me for being a more introverted type.

    I understand it might be the people I’m around in a given situation but how can it be every time I start retreating inside my head almost like I’m afraid to really contribute myself to an interaction out of fear of judgement and rejection socially.

    I feel like I am a weak person at my age and for the things I have going for me that I can’t control this in the slightest and I feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied with my life and see no end to this, every interaction I have socially seems to reinforce it further in my mind and I end up getting home and falling into a deep depression throughout the night.

    Thanks again for chatting with me

    Daniel

  29. therising
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    6 November 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I recall going out with a guy who I absolutely loved, many years ago. While I was fine around him and most other people, with his family and a certain group of his friends I was a shocker when it came to 'quiet mode'. His family even asked him whether there was something wrong with me. While I tried to fit in with that friendship group, I could easily sense they didn't like me. With both family and friends, I could feel them judging me and figured it was better to keep quiet than trigger any of them to laugh at something I'd say (make fun of me) or argue against it in some subtly insulting way that I couldn't handle. I was always polite, often smiling so as to try and fit in. While I speak of people having the ability to bring out the best in us, these people all brought out the fear in me. I was about 25 at the time and my self esteem wasn't all that great. Meeting my husband's family for the first time more than 20 years ago was also a somewhat fearful experience, as I knew they'd be judging me in some way. They soon put me at ease. From my experience, with all the people I've met over the years, there are some who will put you at ease and there are some who will lead you to stress. I figure, the ones who lead us to stress are challenging us to evolve in some way, beyond the stress or anxiety we're feeling in our mind and body. I wish it was always easy to evolve in carefree ways. Sometimes the challenge can feel more like torture.

    While the quiet observer in you allows you to exercise your ability to get a sense of what people are like and maybe even why they're like that, searching for and practicing other abilities you might not be used to can take you to a new level. Sounds a little simplistic but if you can imagine a video game where you have to work hard to graduate to the next level and then the next and so on, you can't graduate without the hard work involved. There's no denying it's hard to graduate easily when no one's given you instructions on how to play. Whether it be a game or life, it can take hundreds of hours of practicing new skills to the point of ease. Then bamm. You're on a new level again with the challenge to develop more skills.

    We can practice caring too much about how others judge us, to the point of unfortunately becoming really good at it. It's an unbalanced perspective without also practicing 'I could not possibly care less'. Such a practice isn't about carelessness, it's more about practicing becoming care free.

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    63 posts
    6 November 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I am not sure if you were similar at my age but sounds like you have been but basically the way I would describe myself in a group setting, particularly with new people I am meeting or groups I am unfamiliar with or not as attuned to, is that I try to listen to the conversations going on actively and block out thoughts in my head that distract me and if I feel I can contribute I will do so when I can interject otherwise I stay more quiet. I don't know if this is a weird thing or makes me look awkward or boring because it's not like I am a mute I would just say I am not overly animated in conversation with people/groups I have described until I am comfortable (this may not be until the next time I meet these people). The issue starts when I am self criticising in my head during these outings thinking things like "they are thinking I am weird I should say something", "what can I say" etc and pressure builds and builds that when I do say something or contribute it doesn't feel relaxed.

    I am not sure if you experienced similar with the group you mentioned, how did you over time begin to manage this sort of care free type practice as you mentioned. Was there a moment for you where you broke the shackles so to speak with this type of struggle or were there little practical things you tried to implement over time that helped you naturally become more care free.

    I am really trying hard to make an effort to stay involve in conversations and interactions and not let my judgemental thoughts over take my mind and make me lose myself in recent times. I am sort of making it up as I go to be honest.

    I think a large part of the pressure is what I have mentioned previously before as well, I would say in essence I am an introverted extrovert but definitely more on the introverted side particularly when I first meet people. When I am comfortable I have been told I have a quirky side and dry sense of humour thanks to my father that comes out. I think I have my own style which is more a quiet wit if that makes sense, the issue I have at the moment is I seem so intensely focused on the voices distracting me inside my head that that side of me feels like its trapped and to compensate I try to be more like people around me who are extremely extroverted and I feel completely uneasy and have gotten very confused by it all in the process.

    How have you been able to, with experience of course, quell those thoughts of people judging you and just let it go I guess?

    Thanks

    1 person found this helpful

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