Something Funny

Stuck in fear, anxiety, comfort, and escapism

21 posts in this topic

Please help me! I feel completely stuck in life. It's been like that for many years now. There is so much that needs to be fixed about myself that I don't know where to start. I feel completely dysfunctional and whenever I try to change myself I always inevitably backslide to where I started.

Every time I try to change my life: start studying, try to learn some useful skills, try to be more productive and stop wasting my life basically, I last for a little bit (from a day to 3-4 weeks) and then backslide to my old habits.

I am 21 yo right now, my parents paid for me to go to the Netherlands and do my masters degree here. I hoped that when I move everything will change (and it did for a few weeks). I will be productive, study really hard, basically ace this year. But it has already been a month and I am back to my old self. I lag behind at the university, fail to socialise, can't push myself to start looking for an internship and future work opportunities, let alone extracurricular activities that I planned to engage in or studying additionally on my own. I sit in my room all day and try to numb myself with food and entertainment.

Whenever I try to push myself to study or be productive, it only lasts for more or less a day before I give up. I've noticed that I have this huge resistance, fear, and anxiety around working hard. I use every excuse possible to escape it. I even procrastinate by watching/reading self-help content and working out. 

A big problem is compulsive overeating. I am trying to eat healthy because of my acne, so I cut out lots of unhealthy food from my diet. Leaving out the fact that I've already slipped a few times and binged on some chocolates and chips, I simply overeat even with relatively healthy stuff. For example I can binge eat a ton of oatmeal, until my stomach starts hurting (without any fruits or milk or sugar added, just plain oatmeal with water). I have noticed that I do it to numb the feelings of emotional discomfort, fear and anxiety associated with studying and feeling as a failure. It's like a ritual: I start my day more or less productively, study for a few hours, decide to take a break to eat something, get stuck watching some shit on YouTube and eating until I start feeling really bad, then I get my shit together, and start this whole process all over again. To clarify, I don't have any issues with my weight, I am in a great physical shape, technically, but it is of little use since my mental state is such a mess. 

I cry a lot, especially at night, sometimes I cry because I have a very realistic bad dream (I have the same dream about my father repeat every few months), sometimes I cry simply because I feel like a complete  hopeless failure as well as a shitty and ungrateful person who couldn't utilise all the opportunities and blessings that were given to me in life. Like seriously, I have had everything you need to make something with your life, and I still grew up to be such a looser...

The other thing that makes me even more insecure is my sister. She is 1 year younger than me, but is so much more developed. She basically did everything that I wish I could have done. She is great at socialising, she is able to earn money to support herself, she is assertive and isn't afraid of confrontation even with her own family (one of my greatest fears). Recently, she got into an argument with my father while being away on the vacation at our grandparents place, it got pretty bad and he told her that she is not welcome back home, probably not being serious, thinking that she will just return crying and apologising after some time as usual. She did not, instead she decided to stay with our grandparents for a while (our mothers parents) while earning money as a freelance graphic designer and planning what to do next.

It really is a great shame, because I have all those great visions and goals, but I fail to achieve them because I am such a wimp.


Here is my backstory for some context:

I come from a fairly well off family and have always lived in comfort, my basic needs were always fulfilled without me putting in any effort. Besides that I have never been that ambitious when it comes to material pursuits, so I basically had no motivation to push myself to get extra stuff that kids usually motivate themselves with cool clothes, phones, laptops, a car, etc.

I have had pretty decent grades in school and university, but I have never really studied, I just prepared for exams and did assignments with as little effort as I could, and cheated where I could. Although this was enough to get relatively high grades and fool my parents and other people into thinking that I am this good, hardworking, disciplined, motivated student, it was all just an illusion. In reality I had no real skills, or knowledge, or discipline, or work ethic.

I wasted 90% of my time sitting in my room and watching tv shows, YouTube, movies, and playing games. Because of that, I never learnt how to socialise and make friends.

Most of my life has been like that. When I was 16 I first got into self-help, started reading books, and it got me to realise that I am wasting my life. It became some kind of a ray of hope for me. It got me thinking that even a looser like me can change himself and make something out of his life. Since then I have been trying hard to change myself. Unfortunately, I had very little success. Yes, I managed to improve some aspects of my life, for example I quit video games almost completely, started eating relatively healthy, started working out a lot, became more conscious and self-aware. However all of that is just not enough when your life as a whole is complete mess.

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You are not a loser. You are not a failure. You are not a wimp. The self-awareness shown in this post is incredible
It doesn't matter how many resources we are given, if someone hands you 100 million dollars and says, "okay, now go change the world" you will still feel pressure. You will still feel fear, worry, resistance, hesitancy, or choke up because it is such a BIG ask– even with the resources. Too much force always elicits a counter force. With every "have to" comes a "I don't want to." Because the highest Truth is that you really don't have to do anything! You only want to do it because you want something else. What are you REALLY wanting? 

Just as there is such thing as information overload, I believe there could be expectation overload that leads to resistance. Consider that you might be pushing yourself too hard and too fast and your body is just adjusting/reacting to that. Our body is wired to maintain homeostasis– of course you are going to backslide when you create such a massive shift in yourself. Any too big of a change (even for the better) can kill you. Your body is trying to protect you. Consider the example of your body's baseline temperature of 98.6 degrees or whatever. It can go up to say 105-106-107. But if it were to skyrocket to 150+ your body will immediately start to shut itself down. Look at your expectations of yourself and ask, where did I get this from? Productivity is not indicative of your self-worth. You are infinitely worthy even if you do NOTHING. Even if you sit on your ass and eat chips and watch video games you are infinitely worthy and lovable. Please watch this video: 

Love yourself because you are Love yourself. Be compassionate and understanding and supportive and nurturing and empathetic with yourself and your mind and body will REWARD you for it. I swear, as soon as you stop trying to change yourself, yourself will allow you to change. 

Edited by Gianna

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For starters, I myself question where the idea to be productive came from? And second, three to four week is excellent, that is magnificent, you're likely a perfectionist who wants to achieve something that seems important to yourself, and you'll get there but maybe not immediately - I'm quite sure a lot of changes can take place as the years go on, and maybe right now you want to learn 5 new skills, but will it be that way in three years time?

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I can also relate to some of this story, you'll want to prioritise what's important, don't expect conversations with everyone, but a simple hi each time you visit a coffee shop they'll gradually welcome you inside, and others may take notice, and open your energy to the whole room with the intent towards greater and greater intimacy, 

And also, work for starters 3 hours from Monday to Friday for the first 1 or two weeks, sits down and set the timer for 33 minutes and 33 seconds, and study, don't move but sip tea or orange juice or morning coffee and get involved specifically with your studies, then when the timers goes off, do something else like pet a cat or water the plants for 6 or maybe 10 minutes and don't think about your studies during this time, one that break is over, restart the timer to 33:33 and work again at your studies until your next 7 or 10 minute break, repeat for until you've studied 3 hours max that day and practise this habit until Friday, take the weekend off, and then the next week do 3 and a half hours or four hours for that week, 

 

In the afternoon relax, play some music, watch some t v, go for a walk to grab food, and then return when you're ready to do that internship thing you like, spend an hour or two in the afternoon organising other priorities, practise a habit and have the weekend off, explore the new town you live in, dare yourself to make a friend who will show you around, see the new venom, don't take it way too seriously, make it as fun and enjoyable as possible, dress in nice clothes,

Edited by Yeah Yeah

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Also do talk to a few people and get past rejection until you connect with someone you think will assist with your studies and answer any question, ask the teachers for help, that's why they're there, listen to what your peers have to say and perhaps answer some of their questions too. 

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@Gianna @Yeah Yeah Hey guys, thank you for your support and kind words. Sorry for not replying sooner, I was anxiously waiting for responses for a day or two and wasn't getting any, and got kind of afraid of being judged because of what I wrote so I just decided to stop visiting the forum to keep my mental health stable. 

You are right and I should try to expect less from my self and stop being so judgemental towards myself.

@Gianna I've watched the video and it was really enlightening although a bit confusing for me at the same time, I think I should watch it once more. I am not sure if you are going to read this, but in case you do and feel generous enough to give me some more advice, I have a question:

As I understand it she says that I need to accept that fragmented part of me that just wants to be lazy and do nothing. And I wouldn't mind accepting it, but how can I do this in practice? Like, if I just decide to embrace it and intentionally do nothing and go miss all my deadlines and fail to meet my responsibilities, than I am going to get painful consequences for doing that (failing university, having conflicts with my parents, failing people that I am doing projects with and being judged but them). So what should I do? Keep pushing myself to be productive even though it is painful? Just let go and watch my life fall apart?

Here is a real life example: I have a group project at the university, I felt like I wasn't contributing enough so I volunteered to analyse some data we collected, organise it and make it into graphs, and I promise to do it until the end of today. However, every time I try to sit and work on it I get hit by a wave of fear and anxiety and procrastinate. Should I just push through it or should I follow the advice from the video, do nothing, deal with my team members complaining about me missing the deadline and other consequences?

@Yeah Yeah I really like your advice about taking baby steps and starting small. I wish I could do it that way. My problem is that after procrastinating so much, I know feel like I have a ton of work to do and need to study really hard, like 8 hours or more a day to keep up, and that makes me anxious and I procrastinate even more :(

Anyway, thank you so much for your responses! 

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Posted (edited)

@Something Funny You’re going to want to follow through with your commitments. If you don’t, you will just feel the lack of integrity, and thus, the guilt, shame, and pain, that comes along with not following through. I would suggest you finish what you started (e.g the project, the class, the semester). Finish it with the intention of doing it for yourself, with yourself, and by yourself. Feel good about your discipline and love for yourself in doing it, if you can. Then afterward, I would reward yourself by pulling yourself out of literally all commitments. Pull yourself out of school, out of your living situation if you cannot afford it on your own. Don’t forget that you can always go back to school, always go back to mom and dad’s desires/expectations. But don’t have this is your mind when you are doing it. What your mind needs is the eradication of any idea of “consequence”. Fuck consequences, there’s no such thing. There’s no such thing as consequences when there are no tasks to bring with. When there are no ties. Get rid of all of your ties. You don’t need money to do this. If you think you need money, become your own source of money by getting a job that you think would be fun. You can go be a lifeguard somewhere (a job doing literally nothing but sitting [like in Las Vegas where the pools are 3 ft deep and 21+ age), a yoga instructor if you think that would be fun, idk what would relieve you. Or, or, save money now and at the end of your commitments go live in a shack somewhere in nature and spend an entire year doing literally nothing but being with yourself. Doing nothing. Doing nothing but whatever you want. Spend an entire year doing whatever you want just for the sake of doing it. For the sake of pleasing yourself, learning about yourself. 
 

Love your lazy side. Give it what it needs and it will give back to you later. What it needs is for you to eradicate the idea that you “have to” do anything. We never have to do anything. We only do things because we want other things.  Reassess your wants, your desires, your expectations, and motivations in life. I think this would be really healthy for you. Give yourself space. Space away from responsibilities. This will lessen your resistance to it by integrating that part (the part that doesn’t want responsibility anymore). If you think this takes money than you are thinking wrong. 

I feel like you are in a place right now where being unproductive is ironically the most productive thing you can do. So remember this when you are feeling guilty for not doing anything. Say to yourself, “Not doing anything is the most productive thing I can do right now.” “Integrating my lazy aspect is how I will be successful.” 

If you continue to do things out of dread, it is not going to yield positive results. And especially not at the degree of someone who actually loves it. Give yourself time and space to find what it is you love. Do that. Every day. Without a lick of responsibility or obligation tied to it. 

Edited by Gianna

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Posted (edited)

21 is an exceptional age to have this awareness, but if your self esteem doesn't get resolved properly & you can't envision yourself as the champion, no amount of self help or money will help you, there's literally nothing more important than this.

Any progress you make you will self sabotage until you solve that issue properly. I had your awareness but didn't solve the self esteem, so I still pay the price.

Time to dream hard & visualize & take action.

Edited by InsecureAnon

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@Gianna You made me realise that I should invest some time to completely rethink my life strategy and goals now. Thank you for such an in depth response!

@InsecureAnon Yeah, my self esteem kind of sucks, I hope I will be able to improve it with time.

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@Gianna in the video Teal Swan mentioned finding a relationship where your partner completely accepts you and loves you even at your worst. Do you believe it is realistically possible to find a relationship like that? It seems like something extremely rare to me and if you manage to find a person like that it would be basically out of pure luck.

In her example it was a woman, but would someone really stay with a guy who lost his job and just sat on a couch eating ice cream?

Also, since you are also supposed to accept your partner the way they are, does that mean that I should stick with them even if they are not able to love me unconditionally?

A bit off topic, but it really bugged me for some reason so I decided to ask.

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6 minutes ago, Something Funny said:

would someone really stay with a guy who lost his job and just sat on a couch eating ice cream?

I would.
 

I would sit on the couch and eat ice cream with him. This is not even a question, not even something to question or think about. It’s obvious. 
 

6 minutes ago, Something Funny said:

 finding a relationship where your partner completely accepts you and loves you even at your worst. Do you believe it is realistically possible to find a relationship like that?

Yes it’s possible. Remember that anything less than this is a relationship not even worth having. Why have a relationship if they can’t do that? That’s the fundamental purpose of a relationships— imo. 
 

12 minutes ago, Something Funny said:

does that mean that I should stick with them even if they are not able to love me unconditionally?

No! Absolutely not. It has to come from both ways. If it is not coming from both ways it is abuse. 
 

Like I said, love, acceptance, and compassion are what relationships are for. To me, that’s their literal purpose. So if someone cannot love you, accept you, and give you compassion when you need it, it is not a relationship worth keeping. At allll. It’s not fulfilling the purpose of a relationship. 

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4 minutes ago, Gianna said:

Yes it’s possible. Remember that anything less than this is a relationship not even worth having. Why have a relationship if they can’t do that? That’s the fundamental purpose of a relationships— imo. 

Yeah, that's what scares me the most. What if will never find a person like that? Since I now realise that any other kind of relationship is not worth having I might be destined to be alone forever.

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Be okay with that destiny— genuinely okay— and it won’t happen. 

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@Something Funny You are already, you just are in a period of struggle so you can’t see reality clearly. It’s like, you don’t really see the sky when you are drowning because you are too busy drowning. But once you have a floaty, you see the sky clear as day because you’ve always had eyes. 

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2 hours ago, Gianna said:

@Something Funny You are already, you just are in a period of struggle so you can’t see reality clearly. It’s like, you don’t really see the sky when you are drowning because you are too busy drowning. But once you have a floaty, you see the sky clear as day because you’ve always had eyes. 

Love this analogy :x 


'When you look outside yourself for something to make you feel complete, you never get to know the fullness of your essential nature.' - Amoda Maa Jeevan

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2 hours ago, Something Funny said:

Yeah, that's what scares me the most. What if will never find a person like that? Since I now realise that any other kind of relationship is not worth having I might be destined to be alone forever.

Yep, I've been there! It's like the more conscious you become, the more your pool of potential partners seems to dwindle. I think @Gianna is exactly right though, make peace with the idea of being alone forever and the odds are that it won't happen - seems paradoxical, I know, but it's funny how life works like that.

Not that I'm saying it's necessarily easy, mind. It might well be worthwhile inquiring into exactly why you even feel like you need a relationship, understanding what's at the root of that desire on an emotional level.


'When you look outside yourself for something to make you feel complete, you never get to know the fullness of your essential nature.' - Amoda Maa Jeevan

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1 hour ago, RickyFitts said:

the more conscious you become, the more your pool of potential partners seems to dwindle

so so so true. 

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Posted (edited)

It's very difficult to grow when you are not having any fun and everything feels like a chore. For me personally, building the ability to be social and connecting with people has grown me the most and this has kickstarted my self-development proces. Maybe it's the same for you, the chances are high, but for me, I was always stuck in self-development just like you, just because I didn't enjoy what I was doing. Deep down I wanted to have friends, have life experiences involving people and being connected. Without that, I was just like you being stuck where I was, trying to build something but never progressing as I didn't fulfill my deepest desire first. I was focussing on things that weren't important to me at the time. Trying to build a career, do a prestigious study and eventually everything would fall in it's place so I thought. It was basically just escapism and distraction. I was also trying to build positive reinforcing habits, but everything from the comfort of my own home. It didn't work. Building habits is good, but when you are not really leaving your comfort zone at all, you are not growing and you'll stay in this loop.

See if you develop yourself so you can have a lot of positive social experiences, you start to gain a sense of self-esteem and power from that, that you automatically get a lot of energy and inspiration from. Your life trajectory becomes a lot clearer as you start to build this sense of personal power and self love. 

You mention it yourself that you have struggles socially. Let's say you could build an abudant social life where people just show up in your life. everyday you have people to surround yourself with. Inspiring people that give you energy. And also abundant experiences with women, etc. If you can fulfill those needs first, wouldn't you be a lot happier and have a better base to grow from? I can't imagine you have the energy and consistent motivation to keep building your life like you are now (Doing the study, the habits etc) when you are not having any fun at all?

Social ability is one of the pillars of self-development. We as people subconsciously use other people as a mirror to assess our own self worth and when you have no social ability at all, of course you feel shitty and your social life will suck. You have a lot of emotional blockages from that that keep you stuck in other areas because your baseline of joy and happiness is too low to motivate you to do other things.

My biggest tip would be to surround yourself with people who inspire you. Could be a coach or people that are also trying to gain social skills.

I like the concept of momentum. Once you feel those good emotions, you can build on them. But you have to really get out of your comfort zone and face the tension you have been avoiding all your life and you'll know what you have been avoiding when you think deeply. Once you build the momentum, you'll feel inspired, emotional blockages will go away and then things can start to manifest in your life. You'll no longer subconsciouly push those things away. They will come to you.

Maybe travel for a year with someone who will motivate you and hold you accountable.

 

Edited by JonasVE12

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