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Topic: overachiever who doesn't know how to seek help

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Guest_545
    Guest_545 avatar
    1 posts
    26 October 2020

    Hi, I'm very new to seeking help because I've been denying that I need it and am still in doubt.

    Honestly I don't know where to start but let's start with not being able to sleep at night. I'm not sure if that's a symptom of something but the reason I can't sleep is because of my tendency to overthink things and doubting myself and the future that lies ahead of me. On the surface I seem perfectly fine to everyone around me, a typical overachiever. I have a purpose in life but I have failed once before in trying to pursue my dream career. I know I'm still young and by no means have I given up hope on my ability to reach my dreams but maybe being on a gap year and having nothing to do has allowed this feeling of being useless to creep in. My family are all very hard working and I wish I could be as well but nowadays my lack of sleep has made me very unproductive and it feels like a vicious neverending cycle of crying myself to sleep because I feel useless and being unproductive during the day.

    I'm still very much dependent on my Asian parents. During this gap year they think that I am always sleeping in and have nothing to do. They're not wrong but I really don't want to be like this, that's why I need help. What they don't know is how I can't sleep at night, how my pillow is often wet and how my dried tears sting when I wake up. I don't know how to tell them, they are all super busy. Don't get me wrong, they are very understanding and will probably listen to me when they're free but I'd feel extremely guilty and out of place. Unlike me my twin sister has succeeded where I failed before so I have lost my no.1 and only confidante, although I expected that would happen at the start of this year. The problem is that I don't know how to tell them I need help.

    My parents are always supportive of me and are always encouraging me to do things like volunteering and tutoring to fill my free time. Perhaps it would cure this feeling of uselessness but I need to address the fact that I lack energy and motivation everyday before being able to do those things. I don't like doing things unless I'm fully engaged and enthusiastic in doing it otherwise I feel guilty towards others I'm working with hence why I still feel absolutely useless.

    This is just one thing I struggle with. A lot of the other things have been discussed by others, such as my inability to be myself around people outside of my family. For now I don't want to lose that ability completely. What should I do?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. SarahZ
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    SarahZ avatar
    142 posts
    27 October 2020 in reply to Guest_545

    Hello Marzi19,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks so much for reaching out. I'm sorry to hear that you have been feeling low in energy recently, and how you find yourself trapped in this cycle of over-thinking, dealing with insomnia, and then feeling unrefreshed the following day. I can definitely see how a lack of sleep has been impacting your productivity and even mood.

    I'm really glad that you still have the desire and drive to achieve your career goals, and haven't let any setbacks take the drive away from you. That's really admirable and shows you know what you want and won't let minor setbacks take that away from you. It also seems like the lack of activities keeping you preoccupied during this pandemic has made you feel like you are underachieving (especially since it was your gap year), and also made you feel like your parents think you're not achieving much? I just want to add that heaps of my friends took a gap year this year thinking they were going to travel and engage in various co-curricular activities. However, if we can take anything away from this pandemic it really is that everything is unpredictable. Hence, it's important we just enjoy the journey and the process and not overthink about the destination too much. However, obviously that's much easier said than done. I know I always had this tendency overthink my future, my career, and even until this day I still have this tendency, albeit not as much. For me personally, I think the older I got I just really came to the realisation that it's not my job to make my parents happy with the grades, degrees, and careers they want me to have. Do I want to make them proud? of course I do. But should everything you do be aimed at making them happy? not necessarily. Sometimes, and a lot of times, it should be about what makes you happy. And I know for a fact that if you are not truly happy your parents can't ever truly be happy either.

    I can see how mentioning this to your parents might feel really hard and even uncomfortable. I know I personally always struggled being more vocal to my parents, and had a tendency to internalise all my thoughts. Do you think you can talk about this to your twin sister, and potentially she might be able to discreetly relay it some messages to your parents?

    Please remember you are not alone Marzi19. This community is here to listen and support you.

    Please also feel free to give an update and reach out whenever you feel up to it!

    Wishing you the very best ~

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Emmen
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    Emmen avatar
    388 posts
    27 October 2020 in reply to Guest_545

    Hello Marzi19,

    I understand how it's like to feel useless. I grew up an overachiever too, still am probably - it's hard to get rid of that feeling that you're useless when you're not constantly achieving something. Unfortunately that's a huge load and it's way too much pressure to be putting on yourself.

    I didn't take a gap year, but I did try to take a few months off years back. I started stressing over my lack of productivity. Adding to that, my parents started telling me it was time I started doing something useful and being responsible. People around me kept asking me what I was doing and I felt even more stressed thinking they were judging me for being unproductive. I ended up seeing a doctor with chest pains and breathing difficulties...only to be told that it was anxiety. Looking back, I really wish I had simply ignored everyone and understood that it's okay to take a break and be unproductive. I could have spent that time happily instead of giving myself months of misery.

    I guess I learnt the hard way that life is not about what you can achieve at each stage, it's about the process you go through, the things you learn along the way and about finding your happiness. It's okay to take time off and do nothing. In fact, that's something we all need at some point because you have to balance your productive times with the unproductive ones. You've been productive all through your school years, you certainly deserve a gap year to explore aspects of life you wouldn't have had the chance to before (and yes, that means being unproductive). What did you dream of doing during your gap year? Have you had any hobbies you never found time to pursue? This could be your chance to do it without caring about whether it's a "useful" activity. You lack motivation because nothing now excites you. It's for you to find what excites you and try it out, even if it's an "unproductive" activity.

    You say your parents will listen. How about telling them you have something you'd like to talk to them about and letting them tell you when they're free? It's not healthy for you to keep this bottled up inside.

    Take care,
    M

    2 people found this helpful

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