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Forums / Depression / Help. I don’t know who I am supposed to be and feel lost

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

  1. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    12 September 2021

    Hello there I don’t usually do anything like this but I wanted to see if anyone has any advice for me. I am a 25 yr old who on the surface should have everything under control as I have a good job, good family yet I increasingly feel like I don’t know what makes me who I am and often feel down and flat when trying to find answers. I know people have much more reason to be depressed than someone like myself but I just constantly felt flat and lost searching for how I am supposed to be and what makes me who I am.
    I have been trying to find a partner which has been the source of countless rejection which is all part of it I know but often I’m left feeling like I’m quite a boring person with nothing really that interesting to tell anyone and I am confused as to how to act

    I’m usually a quiet natured person but I feel this incredible pressure that I can’t be like that and I am confused as to where I am at with my life

    it is difficult for me to put into words I guess it’s just a lost type of feeling of what my place is and who I am and I thought at 25 I might have an idea of this

    I know my post hasn’t given a great deal to go off but if anyone has experienced similar at my age I’d be glad to hear what approach you took

    thanks

  2. therising
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    12 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel12

    I believe it's the nature of any significant quest to hold many questions. For some, the greatest quest of all is the one undertaken to find who we naturally are.

    Who we naturally are and who we believe our self to be can sometimes be 2 entirely different things (nature vs nurture)

    • You can be a natural adventurer but may have been conditioned to play it safe by a fearful parent
    • You can be naturally imaginative but may have been conditioned out of this by people directing you to 'Stop daydreaming' until you eventually stop being a visionary almost altogether
    • As we work with the many aspects of self, which is perfectly natural, we may forget who we naturally are in the process and what other parts of us we may need to employ at times. We many employ the student/worker for a certain number of hours each week, the housekeeper, the people pleaser, the victim and so on. We may forget we're in charge of also employing he/she who won't tolerate the intolerable, the rebel, the philosopher, the self who deserves to relax, the seriously confronting/challenging victor in search of justice and so on

    You can be naturally sensitive yet may have been told to 'toughen up' one too many times. When I say 'sensitive' I'm more so talking about the ability to sense. Just about all of us start off sensitive; we can sense/feel the need for adventure, excitement, questioning, wondering, reasoning and so on. Each of those can be conditioned out of us to some degree: We can be grounded out of adventuring, told to settle down, asked why we have to question so much, told to get our head out of the clouds, told by those in authority 'I don't have to give you a reason, just do as you're told'.

    I recall, after giving birth to my 2nd child, coming out of more than a decade in depression. I had absolutely no idea who I naturally was. While coming out of depression was thoroughly liberating it was also incredibly confronting. Fast forward 16 years, to now. My greatest revelation would have to be - I began as my natural self but somewhere along the way that self was somewhat hijacked/misguided. Instead of being guided to develop my self, I was conditioned to be someone altogether different, which can be depressing (to lose your self).

    If you feel people find you boring, have you ever wondered why they don't hold the ability to bring out the best in you? No doubt you're jam packed with incredible things, waiting to be discovered. For a start, your ability to sense is clear.

    :)

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    12 September 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi there

    Firstly thanks for replying I greatly appreciate it.

    What you have said makes sense to me despite how confused I feel at the moment.

    I think I attach a lot of pressure to needing to know who I am and where I am at all the time and I don’t really have an outlet in my life to help me along

    I am going to keep note of the things you have said and try and reinforce it

    thanks again

  4. geoff
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    13 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hello Daniel, welcome to the site and thank you for deciding to post your comment and from what you've said 'constantly felt flat and lost searching for how I am supposed to be' and with rejection from this person you want to be attached to, doesn't seem to complement what you believe your life should be about by having a good job, a good family so you believe that having a partner would be the ideal connection to it all.

    It does matter when someone becomes depressed and when this happens we're unable to say who has a worse situation than another person, each one of us handles it their own way and some are able to hide it from others, so who's able to say, that's why everyone is treated the same way.

    The way you are, means that's your personality, you are able to alter it as you see fit, but basically, you are what your personality says you are, you can learn many different traits as you age and are formed on what your personality allows it to happen.

    Is it possible as you have a good job and family you are hoping for the top of the range, rather than accepting somebody that's half way down, as people like what a person can do and not pretend to do, so you would be capable of doing many things, so match yourself with another person who also likes what you do.

    Don't be disappointed but as soon as your heart rate increases, then may that's the one to ask out.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    13 September 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff

    thanks for your reply and advice, I think there is merit to what you have said about potentially trying to find someone to match an idea I have as thinking about it I probably have attracted the wrong sorts because of this as well.

    I think it has left me at a point where I’m so deflated with myself and beaten down that I don’t see anyone really understanding me and I don’t even understand myself, then I tend to spiral as I would of assumed at my age I’d be in the prime of my life enjoying myself and it’s the direct opposite.

    it’s nice to have people on here reach out however small it may be as it does give me a bit of fuel to want to try turn this around

    Thanks again

    Daniel

  6. Makin a change
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    13 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel,

    About 6yrs ago I had similar feelings to what you are experiencing now, a sense of loss of identity ,asking questions like why am I here, what is my purpose in this world ,back then at that point I had an amazing partner a good job, loads of friends, the whole nine yards. But one day something changed inside me, a deep sorrow that was unmatched by any feeling that I had ever experienced in my life, believe me I had been rejected most of my life through society at large and love interests, but that had nothing on this, when I was alone I would cry like I had never cried before, out of the blue for no reason at all ,and because I didn't have an answer, it made it all more painful, and inset the depression or that which I thought I had, to the point where my thoughts were screaming I need to leave this world.( it was my lack of understanding who I was) Back then I considered myself strong and independent Id lived abroad for many years by myself, so I know how to take care of myself, and because I had this conception of who I was I buried that pain deep within me, only for it to resurface a couple of years later with a vengeance tearing my world apart, I lost everything, my partner, most of my friends and found it hard to hold jobs down, you see what was happening to me wasn't happening to me on a mental or physical plane only, it was much deeper and profound, it was happening on a spiritual level, I wasn't a religious person per-se and I'm still not but I needed to know why I was feeling this way so then began my journey. I started with my birthdate, and found out everything I could learn about myself through Astrology( full astrology not just your zodiac sign)Vedic Astrology, astrotheology, numerology, philosophy anything that would help fill the void of which was empty inside me. And so I did and know I now who I am, and what I'm here for, what's happening to you Daniel maybe explained by looking at it from a different angle, go looking, don't stop looking, and give yourself as many resources you can so you can arm yourself with a complete understanding of who you are, find it and be whole again.

    I hope this helps in whatever way that it can be strong take care.

    Mak that change

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    13 September 2021 in reply to Makin a change

    Hi there

    thanks for sharing your experience and I’m glad you were able to find that for yourself and hope you are doing well.

    I had the same thought over the last couple days and reading the other responses on here to try and go back to my roots and where I really come from and search for what makes me who I am right from when I was child as it was suggested to me to look at this

    i can relate to your feelings you had as I have often had nights where I have cried for no real reason and it’s what seems to be the lack of answers I have that makes it all the more worse but hopefully I can stick strong and try my best to find whatever it is I need for the penny to drop and know where I am at and what I am

    thanks

    Daniel

    1 person found this helpful
  8. therising
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    14 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    You're such an incredibly open minded person, open to discovery. It takes natural intelligence to sense your need for an open mind, questioning, answers and growth.

    With an open mind, the more you discover the more your mind opens. Getting started (in coming to know yourself better) is the hardest part, especially when there may not be a lot of people in your life to help you explore different avenues. I believe, having an open mind should come with caution: Be careful what you let in and take on as a belief. For example, you may say to people 'I have this deep need to know myself better. I'm going off to spend time in an ashram in South Asia'. With an open mind, you may take in the excitement and advice some folk have for you regarding this trip, revving you up more. With an open mind, you may also let in comments such as 'Don't be so ridiculous. Why do you have to travel so far to 'find yourself' when you're standing right here?' Then they may give out a laugh. So, on one hand you have inspirational people who push you to seek, leading you to identify yourself as 'I am a seeker', a liberating identity. On the other hand you have degrading people stopping you, leading you to the identify yourself as 'I am ridiculous and a joke'. What you identify with helps define your identity so, again, be very careful what you let in and allow to form as a belief.

    Imagine you go to that ashram, when border restrictions lift and things settle. You land there as a seeker, as an adventurer. Someone in that place where you stay suggests you both go off to help kids in an orphanage. You go as 'A heartfelt giver'. You go as 'A more open minded person'. You come away with an even greater sense of natural identity. Imagine, in this case, you also come to identify as 'I am someone who is needed in this world, when it comes to making a positive difference'. Then imagine you return home to a few people who say 'You could have helped people here. Why did you have to go to help other children?' Suddenly you feel down. Something in you says 'Did you feel that?', leading you to realise you have the intuitive ability to feel people bringing you down. You become a challenger, 'I can feel what you're doing to me. Stop it'. Through your ability to feel, your self esteem rises and you develop into 'I am someone who holds the ability to feel my way through life'.

    An open mind can take you just about anywhere you imagine. Feeling which people can help you along the way is key.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. geoff
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    14 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hello Daniel, it's always great to hear back from those we reply to and if I could give you a simple example, imagine walking down the street looking at clothes that are displayed in the front window and you see something that you would love to have, so you can wear to a special occasion doesn't that excite you.

    So you go in and ask if you could try it on, but the sales person says they don't have your size and wouldn't be able to get any more, that really disappoints you, well relate this in wanting to meet another person, maybe her size doesn't fit you, in other words, she may appear to you that the two of you would be ideal, but she may have had more experience in dating people and knows straight away that any relationship wouldn't last and says no thank you.

    That doesn't mean that there isn't anyone out there who will love you, there is, and someone will love you, just check the quiet person who may be looking at you that you haven't realised.

    Please get back to us.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    18 September 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi again,

    Thank you again for replying and all your advice it is much appreciated.

    I want to open my mind and find my sense of belonging and basically just feel comfortable with who I am and where I come from and I understand the premise of what you have said. I have often thought about potentially going away and doing something as you mentioned to try and help find this sense of belonging.

    I know its going to take time because I have let my thoughts take over for too long that I find it hard not to relapse when for example I meet a new person and I'm left feeling misunderstood and not worthy.

    As I mentioned in my first post briefly, I would say I am somewhat of an introverted extrovert if that make sense whereby I am quiet in nature and the first time I meet a new person whilst I am not necessarily shy I am just not a massive extrovert and I need to sort of "warm up" before the different layers to me start to show and there is anxiety that contributes to this also that I am aware of.

    But with dating in particular or even just meeting new friends, I don't know if it's the world we live in today and my generation that has affected my thinking around this (I'm 25) but there is this overwhelming pressure I feel that showing the more placid, calm and quiet natured side of me and not some big larger than life character from outset when I meet someone is wrong and I feel have to try and be something else to impress or attract someone at least for them to want to get to know me further past a first meeting.

    I then find myself having tried to change the way I am and then I internally feel unnatural and self conscious and then what ensues when I am on my own at home is constant mental warfare with myself with how I need to act and what is wrong with me and why I cannot relax

  11. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    18 September 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff

    Thanks again for replying and I like the example you have used and makes sense to me.

    I am just a bit worn down as I have feel like I am going through a repeating cycle of rejection, if someone says to me as you've mentioned no thank you after a date or something I generally take it well because I would rather be told than have my time wasted and appreciate honesty, it just feels as though I am misunderstood or I am just seen as a "nice guy" because I am down to earth or might not try to get in someones pants on a first date.

    The one area I lack experience is more the intimacy side of things, this weighs on my mind not because I have never done things because I have but not as much as people I have grown up around...the reason for this is simply because I come from a family where I have been raised to be a gentleman and it is just not my nature to want to sleep around or anything of that nature. I feel this overwhelming pressure that I should have just had more experience and that people I date might see this as a weakness if I don't try "make a move" in early stages of dating. It is not that I will never make a move, it is just that I am anxious about making the other person feel uncomfortable and I have friends who I believe give the useless advice of "just go for it" which exacerbates the problem in my mind. I guess I just am struggling to understand if there are people out there in my generation that would appreciate that side of me or whether it is a problem for me to be a bit slow in the intimacy regard. it all feeds into me being confused about how to act.

    I am not that shy, I am just not a loud person and I listen to people and like to listen rather than drive an entire conversation and I feel I am someone the more you meet a different side of me comes out...my friends have described me as someone who when you first meet is down to earth but to get to know me properly is to give me a chance.

    I guess I am just at a loss as i'm starting to ask the question "do I really make that bad a first impression that someone isn't even the slightest bit interested to get to know me past a first date for example". I'd I keep good conversation in the dates I go on and it's all very two way but it's just the same result, so I feel pressure do I need to act different or try and do something in terms of physical intimacy.

    I can tell writing this how confused I am haha

  12. therising
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    19 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    It can definitely prove to be so incredibly hard, to be yourself in this world. It really is such hard work at times. It's like you gotta put on your 'walking on eggshells' shoes before you head out the door.

    I can relate to what you say when it comes to getting a feel for people before you reveal your natural self to them. People can be pretty complicated at times. Eg: You can meet a damsel in distress. First you have to work out is she really a damsel in distress or is she just acting like one, for some reason. You can meet a macho guy. Is he acting like a macho guy for some reason, to perhaps hide his insecurities, or does he just have way too much testosterone for his own good? It's like you're taking your cues from other people/actors. 'To be or not to be (your true self)?', that is the question.

    Sounds like you are naturally a gentleman with impressive self control. You are naturally open minded. You're naturally a good listener and most likely naturally wonderful. For example, when you listen to what people say, do you wonder what leads them to say what they do? Do you wonder why they act the way they do? Do you wonder if they're acting? If you're full of wonder, this makes you naturally wonderful. Sounds like you're also naturally cautious and naturally interested in your own evolution. Could go on but let's just say you're an all 'round natural. As a natural, I imagine you find a lot of people around you to be a bit of hard work at times, perhaps even a little exhausting.

    Don't take it personally, women can be hard work at times. I'm allowed to say this, as I'm a woman :) I'm sure they'd be plenty of women who'd be triggered by this comment but let's get real. If you don't sleep with a woman who's desperate to feel attractive, she'll feel rejected. If you don't sleep with a woman who refuses to control her own sex drive, she'll look for someone else to fulfill her needs. If you don't sleep with a woman who's looking for a deluded sense of love through sex, she'll look for someone else to 'love' her. Yes, don't take it personally. If you happen to come across a woman who enjoys the work up of chemistry over some weeks, leading to intimacy, then she's the woman for you. Kind of like a long foreplay that's kind of electric/energising.

    Gradually trading off parts of who you naturally are can become depressing, to the point where you can no longer recognise yourself. When you find other naturals, you'll know. It's something you just feel.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  13. geoff
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    19 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hello Daniel, what you have said, I totally agree with because that's exactly how I was brought up and going out with different ladies was for one date only, I was even too shy to kiss them and the first real date was my wife who showed me what to do and we were married for 25 years, until my depression kept going on as well as I used alcohol as a self medication, so I was responsible and now deeply regret it.

    We still talk as if nothing happened, always have a laugh and a joke and wonder why we still aren't together, but she is looking after a chap who has now developed dementia, so this is impossible and as I said I only wish this illness had not taken hold of me.

    Getting back to what you've said, some of my mates at school boasted about their girlfriends while I remained single and although I had good mates, I never had the opportunity nor the courage to find someone and only pretended to go along with what they were saying.

    It's not that you make a bad impression at all, all this means, is that you don't have the confidence, and I know exactly what you're saying.

    Take care Daniel and please ask anything you want.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  14. Daniel12
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    61 posts
    19 September 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising,

    I appreciate getting a females insight into some of the things I have said as I do not have many female voices in my life that I can talk to about things, I have grown up in a male dominated environment

    I have, to use your label, grown up around a lot of “macho men” within my friends groups and as I would say I am the more placid character within the group it does create this sense of pressure that I need to be more like them in order for me to find someone or attract someone as I seem to be falling at the same hurdle all the time.

    I am a deep thinker, which can be to my detriment, so I really analyse if I am doing something wrong and there have been times where I can pinpoint things like maybe relaxing my intensity can help and I have been working on this.

    I think now I would really like to find a proper connection with someone that I have never had so far in my life, I also start thinking sometimes is it concerning that at 25 I’ve never had a relationship or really been close. Whilst I’ve dated it has never eventuated past a 3rd date for example and I don’t know if women see this as a potential red flag as the honest answer is it just doesn’t seem to happen at the time.

    I also have grown up in a very traditional family whereby you get an education, get a job, find a partner and have a family and it’s all very sequential. Whilst my parents have changed their tune and suggest there is no pressure on me to find someone until it’s right I feel this incredible weight on my shoulders as I know they expect this and they say things or compare me to others within the family that have partners that make it clear.

    In the current climate also online is really the main source of trying to meet someone and not just a partner but even friends and I feel so quickly judged and this comes back to the whole “boring” thing I have mentioned. I look at myself on paper and think I’m really not that much tbh I just work, study, exercise and then maybe go out for dinner every now and then so how can I come across attractive when I just seem really normal tbh.

    I have looked into ways to join certain classes for example to broaden my circles but I get crippling anxiety to do this

    it just feels as though since I turned 25 I’m driving through a fog and I can’t see where it’s going to clear, my mind races from one thing to the next and I get down and exhausted

    Also, I really like the way you write and examples they use it makes a lot of good sense to me so thank you!

  15. Daniel12
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    61 posts
    19 September 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    It sounds like you have been able to come through the other side of your problems quite well from the way you speak and I think the fact you have a great relationship with her to this day is testament to who you are and I admire this!

    I can relate to not being able to for example make the first move to kiss the girl. It’s something that just makes me anxious, I have done it in the past but I have not done it with someone that I really connect with and when I meet someone I like I get tense and anxious about it whether they’ll like it if I do do it or if I don’t whether I am weak so my mind races before the possibility even presents itself.

    I guess the dynamic I have grown up in has been like a very “locker room” type of situation where people talk about the different women they might have been with and this has never really sat well within me mostly because of how I have been brought up. It has also fed into my constant overthinking of what I am supposed to be or how I am supposed to act as when I try to just be myself I feel it’s not exciting enough or I am worried too much about what the other person may be thinking that I can’t enjoy the moment

    I would not say it’s overly noticeable when I am out it’s more a voice in the back of my head that keeps going and going as I am in situations and I feel I am not fully there whilst I may seem it to other people

    I know all the things I am mentioning seem trivial compared to the worries people have in the world and I am grateful the for the good that I do have i guess I have just been feeling down, flat and confused and I’m trying to find answers in an environment where we are in lockdowns and I can’t seem to find a break in my thought patterns and it wears me out.

    I thought I would have figured this stuff out by my age and given I have been dating I thought experience would help, which is has to a degree but it’s also contributed to more down moments as when I do meet someone and it inevitably ends the same way I try to analyse why and it exhausts me

    i don’t know what other avenues I can try other than online, I would like to try a class or something but I fear my anxiety would just take over and my natural self won’t come out

  16. Whits
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    7 posts
    20 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel,

    Firstly I just want to remind you that what you're feeling is SO normal. Literally no one has any idea about who they really are at 25. I'm 33 and still have an identity crisis weekly.

    It's such a falsehood that having the 'great job' and 'great apartment' equals happiness. Honestly, the people I know who fit this description are the least happy.

    I struggle with anxiety and depression myself, and the main things which keep me grounded is appreciating the simple things, being in nature, being around solid friends, animals etc. Just connecting with what you actually enjoy, and not what you think will make you 'likeable'.

    With regards to dating - this is an absolute mindfield for ALL! I detest dating, I feel it the cruelest form of torture.

    Most people view me as confident, charismatic, decent looking.. And let me tell you before any date I am absolutely freaking out. I feel like they have an expectation of me that I cannot possibly satisfy. Full on existential crisis.

    That said, when you do meet the right person, it just kinds of.. works? I know that sounds annoying, but honestly you will go on 100 bad dates, before the 101st makes it all worth while.

    Just know you're not alone. I still haven't found that person myself, but I have hope that eventually my introverted self will stumble upon that one person who appreciates and loves my quirks.

    And I know you will too xx

    2 people found this helpful
  17. geoff
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    20 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hello Daniel, I don't think for some of us it's not easy to give someone a kiss, especially if you have been brought up in a family where eternic and manners dominate, especially when someone like our grandmother wants to give us a kiss with all the makeup applied, puts us off, so we go hiding, none of this helps us with confidence.

    None of your worries are trivial, this is a problem that concerns you, so to you, it's very important and we must treat every problem on itself, not compared to how others are feeling, and who's to say that person A has more or less problems than person D, so every person who writes a comment, we must take it as being serious for them and that's certainly how I take your comment because it's certainly none less than anybody else.

    Daniel, you have my full support and it's only now, at my age that I have overcome these fears because I'm never sure what's going to happen.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  18. therising
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    22 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    There is definitely no set order to things. My brother recently became a father at 55 and he's so glad he has the maturity and experience in life with which to guide his son. He's an amazing father, husband, brother, son, philosopher, commander of his own life, sensitive loving guy and successful businessman, amongst other things. He really is a sensitive guy in so many ways. Like you, he senses the need to be a self questioner, which explains why he's evolved so much. He senses the need to love people to life, pushing them outside their comfort zone so they find the best in themself and they do. He also does not suffer fools. He can sense foolishness easily. He'd be the 1st to tell you that he has never been immune to feeling fear. I believe his secret is he imagines this feeling as a rise to courage. It's the feeling of courage that drives him outside his comfort zone. He thrives on it. It defines him as courageous, which he is.

    Coming to know yourself is no trivial matter. Sometimes it can actually be serious business, such as with significant mental health issues. And while we can be grateful for what we have, such gratitude should not stop us from achieving more. There can at times be a sense of sorrow when it comes to settling for less. Would you want to settle half way when it comes to fully understanding yourself? Would you want to settle in the same house you're grateful for, for the rest of your life, while feeling the deep need for change?

    I've found some feelings are definitely tough to identify at times. There can be times where I think 'I know what I'm feeling' but it turns out I'm way off, when I've come to make better sense of things a bit later. Wondering if you can relate to any of the following. Put me in a busy restaurant and I can feel my sensitivity to sound (you know that semi muffled everyone talking at once kind of sound). It does my head in. Give me a wine or beer and I'll feel the second the chemical reaction becomes significant. Tell me I have to order quickly and I'll feel the urgency/agitation. I can't be hurried when I go out to relax. If you sat me with folk I'd never met before, I'd be able to feel if they were reading me. Most people can feel when they're being judged. If I was taking in every detail of that restaurant, I'd be able to gradually feel my brain becoming too hyperactive for my own good. A lot of these feelings I used to put down to anxiety, not knowing what I was feeling.

    Oh, to be sensitive :)

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  19. Daniel12
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    22 September 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Hope you are doing well!

    Your brother sounds like a very assured person despite the fact he may admit to being fearful in some cases, I believe this is a strength anyway. I’m sure he has been a good role model for you or voice to lean on or an example to look at. He does sound a bit like my father in a lot of respects, whilst my father is old fashioned because of cultural traditions largely he does often draw on that rise to courage to get himself to adapt to different situations.

    I know I want to push to achieve more in my life it is just the means as to how and this general lack of identity within my sort of social group that I feel is holding me back as I believe I have automatically revert back to my comfort zone out of fear of letting myself fully discover who I am and more to the point letting people see who I believe to be the real me as I have been terrified of being left out and not accepted since I was a kid with respect to social settings. Sometimes I think the difference between myself in the family and outside within society is quite startling and I struggle to fully let go when I am out.

    I am unsure if you were asking me if I could relate to some of the feelings you described when you are out at a restaurant for example but to answer anyway, what you describe is very much how I feel in situations such as this. I can sense the people around me there conversations and sometimes I even judge myself based upon looking at people who look to be having a great time yet I feel trapped inside my head. I often feel I am present without actually being present if that makes any sense, I am aware of what is happening around but there is a battle going on within myself where I try to tell myself to relax but what I think to be anxiety takes over. My friends and family do not recognise this at all as my general demeanour and how I act doesn’t show this and a bystander may even look at me as I look as others. But I often feel confused, worn down and flat at the end of a night out.

    sometimes I feel I am too sensitive and too aware of feelings of anxiousness and the like and that I exacerbate them as my mind keeps pondering them instead of just recognising it and moving on

  20. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    22 September 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    Hope you are well

    I really appreciate your support and time in responding to me it does give me a boost to know people understand and I can talk about things.

    I think you are right about upbringing affecting this as I believe that is a lot of what it is and I am aware their is self esteem attached to this. But I think upon really thinking about it I feel it’s just an anxiety that I will be cast away by the other party and I have struggled with this sense of being accepted since I was a child and it is very much a social issue not within my family thankfully. The common feeling is I want to but I convince myself not to or I feel unnatural. I had someone say to me recently that the right person will understand either way and I hope this is true.

    I know I am confused at the moment and am struggling with a bit of an identity crisis in a time where lockdown makes it hard to escape these thoughts but I have reconciled that I committed to finding the answers I want!

  21. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    22 September 2021 in reply to Whits

    Hi Whits

    Hope you are well and thank you for your reply it does mean a great deal!

    It is reassuring to know people understand the feeling and that I can talk about it.

    Like I said in another post I was told recently that the right person will understand people like us for what we are and I think you’re approach to this issue is really productive in that you revert back to things that you enjoy not what image you want to portray as I am guilty of this.

    I have been influenced in the past by social media and opinions of friends that make it seem like I am missing some key ingredient or there is some major part of myself that turn people away.

    I feel I may need to just keep throwing my hat in the ring but maybe ease off some of the intensity in my search for the right person in particular as it has exhausted me to a point where it makes me question every part of myself.

    You sound like you have a very good head on your shoulders and although I don’t know you personally I think you will find that person you are after! Anxiety and depression does not control you when you have your attitude! Keep it up!!

  22. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2182 posts
    23 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    It's so obvious how naturally wonderful you are, in many ways. You mention 'Sometimes I feel I am too sensitive and too aware of feelings of anxiousness and the like and that I exacerbate them as my mind keeps pondering them instead of just recognising it and moving on'.

    It can definitely be interesting, observing our self at times, wondering about so much, 'Why do I do this or that? Why do I analyse so much? Why am I not fully present in the moment? Why do I get stuck on particular thoughts?' and so on. Before we know it, we're wondering more than anything. Personally, I'm a shocker when it comes to wondering. If you sat me down in front of a laptop and then triggered me, I could go on to stay in a state of wonder for the entire day, quite easily. Could start with you asking me 'Do you ever wonder exactly why you have this/that particular behaviour?' Bamm, off I go, meditating on the question. Then I might wonder whether other people have this particular trait. Then I'd wonder from the perspective of mind/body/spirit: How does that trait interact with my mind, how does this influence my biology or chemistry and is it actually a perfectly natural trait under the circumstances? Being able to put the brakes on our sense of wonder can definitely be a huge challenge at times, with our mind stuck in pondering mode as opposed to moving on beyond it. Couple this with a compulsion to know our self better, for one reason or another, and it can feel like you're in a constant state of analysis. It can get pretty mentally exhausting at times, that's for sure.

    It can be really hard to stop at times. It's like 'Okay, I've stopped wondering/analysing so much. I'm going to be fully present with the person opposite me now'. You can be listening to what they have to say and then suddenly they trigger a feeling in you and bamm, you're back wondering again, 'What is this feeling and why am I feeling it? Why is it stressing me out?' It really can get out of control. I once heard it said that wonder must be balanced with action. It's the lack of action, the lack of balance which is the problem.

    I hope I lead you to smile when I say...imagine yourself as some semi mysterious mystical wizard when it comes to women :) Imagine the moment you first ponder a kiss and sense its magic, then imagine what you'd need, to increase the magic so as to conjure a kiss. While other guys may simply 'go for it', you become a magical man of mystery, with his spell binding ways :)

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    23 September 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Hope you are well,

    It may be a silly question but can I ask how it is obvious to you that I have this wonderful nature as you put it as I am genuinely curious.

    The example you gave me about how you wonder about things is basically the same pattern I find myself in. It can truly be exhausting as you say and the fact I feel I am struggling with an identity crisis that people around me would not be aware of the feelings you describe associated with this pattern of thinking I find very hard to arrest.

    I see merit in the lack of balance when I think about those words you have said. The difficulty I find at the moment is I am trying to navigate myself and my actions in a productive direction but I seem to be bouncing around from one thing to the next not really knowing what the best course of action to take is.

    Your last comment did in indeed make me smile and I like the way you have put it, I will keep this in mind!

    I find on the front of looking for a partner which seems to be the biggest source of these feelings I have is I see my two best friends having found partners and able to spend time with someone and I am genuinely happy for them. But It does contribute to this list feeling of not knowing where I am at as i feel despite having dated for a while now which should give me enough experience to think more critically about it I am just incredibly flat and lack any hope. It is a different feeling to that of degrading myself and negative thoughts I have had in the past, it is more a hopeless feeling that I am further away from what I want than I have ever been in my life. I would understand if I had very high standards in a prospective partner as it may be that I am not giving people a chance but this is not the issue as I have been meeting all sorts of people even some where you could say it was a mistake to entertain the idea bexause it was obvious we were different.

    I have really thought about what I can do better and thinking less intensely about it for my own sanity can help but I actually don’t know where to begin with this as my wondering mind does not allow me. It’s coupled with this overall lack of hope.

    As someone who, as a child and teenager, had what would be perceived as a large group of friends I never felt really a proper part within these groups and I have always had feelings of do I belong here and where is it that I do truly belong in a social sense. With my friends having partners it does spark some of those feelings again

  24. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2182 posts
    24 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    It was some years ago when I came out of depression. This period triggered a sense of wonder in me that remains with me today. It all began with the search for my true sense of self. For that decade and a half in depression I'd defined myself through the traits of depression, so I really had no idea who I truly was outside of it. In questioning myself and all around me, I came to realise all wonder filled people work in a similar way. It's the amount and type of wondering and the number of deeply thoughtful questions that reveals when a person's on a significant quest. From my own experience, to question identity/sense of self tells us we're on a quest to discover our self.

    It's true what they say, the quest to know your self can be like a 'rabbit hole experience'. The deeper you go the more offshoots you find. The more you find, the more wondering you do. Each channel triggers you to a new sense of wonder and revelation. There is so much to learn, about our self, it all just depends on how deep we choose to go. The more you learn about yourself, the more you learn about human nature in the process.

    One of the best pieces of advice I've been given, by an amazing guy who's been one of my 'go to' people for self development, is 'Always remain aware of the circle you're in'. Such advice is life changing. Once you begin to develop yourself, your circle will begin to change. For example, if someone was to vibe with a circle of friends who did little other than sit around in front of a tv smoking dope or drinking that's fine if this person was content doing this for the rest of their life. If suddenly this person begins to feel what grows into a painful longing for adventure, deep self questioning, a need for greater excitement, a calling to feel love, this circle eventually becomes unbearable. With the calling to discover who they truly are through adventure, questioning/wondering, excitement (a greater sense of energy) and expressions of love, such a person suffers through the limitations of their friendship circle.

    I believe we gather people as we go. We look for who'll wonder with us, who'll lead us to adventure, who'll help us navigate great challenges, who'll allow us to feel through that which we call love and so on. The search for belonging is, I believe, the search for our circle (one that can be forever evolving). I've found it's the most super natural people who will often feel they don't belong. When they connect, it's amazing.

    2 people found this helpful
  25. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    24 September 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising,

    I am glad to here you came out of your journey with depression, I think you should be proud of yourself and I can tell from your posts with me you are a very wise person and although we are communicating over a screen I know you would be a great example for people to look at.

    That is a great advice you were given as I can see how different social groups trigger different feelings for myself and I think this feeling I have always had that sure I am part of these groups and have friends but never really feelings a true sense that I belong can be linked to this. I do often think what would happen if I was able to hit reset on things and start where I am not known but I know this isn’t reality as I am entrenched in a certain way of life. But as you say I probably need to find those that will wonder and connect with me in different ways. I basically want someone who will understand me, it is a search for understanding that I feel I am on sometimes.

    These feelings have most likely been deep seated since adolescence but have really triggered over the last 12months. Maybe lockdowns brought this closer to my attention but it was actually when we came out of lockdown late last year that I felt it really triggered. Then I found myself dating people at the same time and it may have been too much to cope all at once.

    I have been reading very carefully your responses to me and have noted down parts that have resonated, which are many, and I will carry them with me through what I feel is a search to see where I finally belong as I am tired of feeling completely flat and hopeless.

    Thank you again

    1 person found this helpful
  26. MangoHole
    MangoHole avatar
    1 posts
    24 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel. I hope you're well.

    I feel as though you and me are similar in a lot ways. I sometimes struggle with my mental health and sense of self being and I thought I'd share some tips that I use when I'm not feeling %100. I think one day you should just ignore social media for the day and try a new hobby or activity. For example an instrument, making art, reading a good book or even just going for a long walk. If you start enjoying it, it can open a whole new world to explore. It can help to open social circles, it can help build confidence and it's also just a new skill to have! And even if you don't do it socially you it's always something you can do for fun and be proud of.

    I think dating has been portrayed and advertised different from real life. For example, apps like Tinder don't really show a lot about the persons personality, which is probably one of the most important things in a partner. And I know it sounds cliché, but the right person will come eventually.

    Maybe you should try ignoring dating for a few weeks and just focus on yourself. Trying to sort out your own life while trying to find a partner sounds really exhausting. And if you do take some time off from dating and make a big personal discovery I'm sure that you'll feel more confident about everything else! Or maybe try it the other way. Maybe try finding a friend or date and then they might help you discover more about yourself.

    I know what you mean about overthinking too. I play out weeks worth's of scenarios in my head before I even take the first step haha. Have you ever tried asking Google what you're thinking or feeling about? I think it might be good to try it if not. Like, for example: "Are people staring at my eyebrows?'. It might give you relief if you know you're not the only one looking for an answer. It also might be a temporary distraction from whatever you're thinking. Another benefit by searching whatever you're thinking is that you might find a rabbit hole to go down and find something you're really interested in. I know that when I search something up I usually end up looking at 20 different Wikipedia articles that I had no clue about until I searched it up. I think sometimes if you end up thinking about the question too long it all just starts jumble up together, kind of like repeating a word over until it loses it's meaning.

    I think it's really important to try new things though. Even if it's only a new flavour of chips.

    I think it's really brave of you to ask for help. I know it's not always easy.

    Good Luck out there!

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    24 September 2021 in reply to MangoHole

    Hi MangoHole

    Thank you for replying and offer advice it's greatly appreciated!

    I think what you have suggested is a great idea and I will start trying to put this into action as quick as I can. I used to play guitar but given the way I have felt I lost the urge to do this but maybe I can use it as a trigger to get myself right again.

    I want to take a break from dating and focus on myself but I also have this loneliness that would be filled by a partner or friend but my mind tends to be too clouded trying to juggle all of this and thats where I start to spiral so I need to find ways of creating a balance.

    Thank you for all your advice it is very sound and I appreciate it!

  28. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15291 posts
    25 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hello Daniel, your body can move with what everyone else is doing but are you emotionally tuned in to what's happening and if not there could be reasons why this is happening, ask your psychologist why this may be the situation.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  29. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2182 posts
    25 September 2021 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel12

    Lockdowns definitely offer plenty of time to think. You can be left analysing the hell out of every aspect of your life and that's not such a bad thing (analysing the hell out of everything) but when you're analysing the hell, fixating on it, questioning it, stressing about it and you still can't work it out (of your mind), what you're left with is feeling yourself stuck in a state of hell on earth, so to speak.

    MangoHole offers sage advice - in summary, start inviting some heaven in. Try new things in a way of coming to know yourself better. If you want to take it up a notch, come to know yourself through your senses

    • Taste - Does this/that food lead me to feel a sense of joy, excitement, peace etc?
    • Touch - Does the feel of particular clothing, the sun on my face or my fingers connecting with my guitar etc lead me to feel a sense of calmness or something else?
    • Smell - Does the smell of the essential oils in my new aftershave, the ingredients in someone's cooking, the rain coming, the lawn being mowed etc lead me to feel a sense of happiness, peace, more energy and so on?
    • Sound - Does the sound of various songs, the rain on the roof, a particular chord being played etc lead me to feel a sense of hyperactivity within myself, peace, motivation and so on?
    • Vision - Does the sight of certain people lead me to fell a sense of agitation, peace, joy, anxiety and so on?

    It's incredible how much we feel through our senses. It's an amazing way to get to know yourself. Personally, I feel which perfume to buy based on whether I'm shopping for a sense of joy, excitement or peace. I'm such an emotional eater. A lot of emotional eating during lockdown. Black Eyed Peas' 'Monkey business' is one of the few albums that'll get me on the treadmill. There are some absolutely pumping songs on that. The quality of speakers or earphones/buds make a massive difference to how we feel music, something my daughter's just taught me. My revelation expressed aloud, which led her to laugh, 'Oh my god, that's what music's meant to sound like and do to you!' Praise Apple's commitment to quality.

    It's amazing how our language starts to become more about 'I feel this or that' as opposed to 'I think this or that'. When you return to dating, you can say to the person opposite you 'Would you like to feel pure joy? Let me order you a Creme Brulee' and if she's triggered by smell, she may even say 'I love your aftershave, it makes me feel so happy'.

    You lead others to feel more :)

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    61 posts
    26 September 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I will definitely make a concerted effort to implemented the strategies of feeling more and being in touch with my senses like you've mentioned as I think it will be productive for me.

    I often use music to calm myself so that is one avenue when I really think about it where I am in touch with how I feel, different songs/albums bring about different feelings and motivations I think music is a great avenue.I know the Black Eyes Peas album you mentioned....great album and definitely the headphones make a difference!

    I would like to also say to you that how thankful and grateful I am for your continued replies to my posts and advice and wisdom you have imparted on me. As someone who has never felt they really truly belong in a social setting it is very heart warming to receive responses such as yours and others to know their are people out there that have similar experiences and want to help! Whilst the interaction has only been online I can tell you are a very wise person and your daughter is lucky to have you! I wish you and your family all the best!

    Daniel

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