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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
    242 posts
    6 May 2022 in reply to therising
    Hi therising


    I think both you and That Other Guy again make very logical points, I guess I’m just irrational at the moment.
    I can’t see past certain things and the loneliness feelings I have are really rife at the moment. Maybe the mistake I make is I correlate loneliness to me being not good enough.
    Maybe I don’t have the courage to change this as well which is what I have been thinking also and that gets ve down as well, I always thought I had some level of strength to handle things but I don’t.
    I’m shutting down a bit and I am trying to avoid people where I can, I haven’t felt like myself for a long time and even if I do go out like I have the last few weeks I’m not normal and no one ever notices me and if they do I’d hate to know what they think.
    Ive never felt really this low, it’s just an absolute nothing feeling and feeling like I’ll never really get to where I want to be or get myself back in some sort of form of my old self.


    I wonder what the video you watched is called? I certainly struggle to move on from things and let things go, it’s almost like an obsessive thinking pattern. Not necessarily about a certain person but more so missing that companionship I’m severely lacking.
    People tell me to enjoy the process and there was a period where I was but I’ve never fully relaxed and been who I believe I am anyway. But I don’t think that person I believe I could be is there anymore
  2. therising
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    6 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I do believe we can enter into the process of becoming more rational. While we may not start out completely rational in every challenge, we get there eventually. I've found there's a lot of weighing up in the process and the occasional wrong conclusion reached here and there but we do get there.

    The guy I've only recently started observing on YouTube, who does a lot of videos on letting go, is named Aaron Doughty. I'll continue to check him out to see whether there's more stuff I can relate to. I've found when I'm aiming to get a bit of an education on how to manage life differently or in new ways I tend to sift out the stuff I can relate to, things that resonate. Not everything we hear is going to offer a major revelation. Sometimes it's simply about tweaking things here and there, in little ways. It can be seriously hard work, all this 'changing for the better' business. Wish I had a full time life coach beside me some days, someone to really push me to go outside my comfort zone and develop much faster.

    I think you make a good point about the loneliness aspect. Perhaps it's a matter of reframing it in some way. Alone time means different things to different people. Alone time for someone who's a brilliant independent planner in life is a gift. They love the freedom of not having any distractions. Alone time for someone whose thoughts are driving them to anxiety or depression can feel like torture. I think a major challenge when it comes to alone time is when we feel it while we're with people. Personally, I never feel alone within a group when there's a really good connection there. Being a bit of an introvert, I find it challenging to make connections within a group of strangers. Another part of my challenge is I have a habit of 'reading' a person or people I meet and I'll feel what I read. This is something you've touched on before. I may feel a person's disinterest, in speaking to me or I may feel a person's struggle in holding a conversation filled with small talk. The fact that I'm shocking at small talk doesn't help matters. I can feel a person judging me and I can feel a person degrading me or shutting me down. Sometimes the whole room can just feel pretty horrible. Blah! On the other hand you can really feel when a group of folk just naturally vibe and are happy to have you making a connection with them. They're the naturals. I love 'em, as such people are so easy to be around. Their nature leads you to feel nothing but welcome.

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  3. Daniel12
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    8 May 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Firstly, Happy Mothers I hope your family spoils you today!

    I guess the alone time for me means thinking and overthinking at the moment. I just don’t feel like I’m an attractive prospect as a male or for any woman to want me at all at the moment and everything feels like a struggle to break that.

  4. therising
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    9 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    Thank you so much for your mother's day well wishes. It was a lovely day. My kids are truly beautiful people. I'm blessed to know them and be their mum as an added bonus.

    I can relate to where you're coming from when it involves alone time being about overthinking. Even non alone time can involve overthinking for me lately. When the challenge we face is a huge one, it's almost like it consumes you, swallows you up. The overthinking can even distract us from even doing our job the way we usually do it. Makes you want to scream, to feel your thoughts so much, so often.

    When it comes to a significant life change, a fork in the road moment in life (wondering which way to go), I tend to gravitate toward mind altering research, so that it'll hopefully alter my mind so I can make better sense of what I'm facing and how I'm feeling. The book I'm reading at the moment is making some difference, 'Sensitive is the new strong'. Perhaps there'll be a massive difference by the time I get to the end of it. I like the way the author places emphasis on the importance of a strong and healthy ego, while being someone who feels deeply at the same time. A strong and healthy ego (different from being egotistical) tells you that you belong in this world, you have a purpose, you should not settle for being treated poorly, you have the strength and ability to stand up for your self and others and the list goes on. An ego that isn't strong and healthy can lead to poor self esteem. It's interesting how she speaks of the ways in which we're taught to suppress our ego, such as with not talking about how good we are at something while being proud of our self, suppressing standing up for our self or others so as not to rock the boat or upset anyone, being taught to be a people pleaser as opposed to saying 'No' to people, in greater service to our self etc etc.

    To confidently recognise and fully believe 'I deserve better than this' or 'I am entitled to the same respect I offer others' while truly feeling those mantras is a reflection of self love that comes from the heart.

    In a nutshell, the book is pretty much about how to truly love yourself while being someone who feels or senses so much. After this book, I feel compelled to read another which my daughter gave me some time ago, 'The subtle art of not giving a f***'. I'll go with that feeling and see where it takes me :)

    Anything you're feeling compelled to do? Is there a deeper part of you that's speaking to you?

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  5. Daniel12
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    242 posts
    9 May 2022 in reply to therising
    Hi therising


    I’m glad you have a good Mother’s Day with your family!


    Thinking about the book you mentioned, I think I well and truly have a problem with suppressing my ego. For example, my parents often tell me to have more pride in what I do for a living/have achieved academically as my mum always says when I’m asking what I’m doing or do for work I often reply “I’m an engineer” but I follow it up with things like “it’s nothing special haha”. Might be a silly example and I’m not the type that likes to talk about myself at all because I don’t like myself but my parents and counsellors I’ve spoken to believe I have a problem with down playing my strengths to a point where I feel I’m not worth the time.


    In terms of dating as well at the moment I see absolutely no redeeming feature in myself that is going to attract anyone so it’s hard for me to break that habit.


    Thinking about your question at the end of your post, the last week or so in the aftermath of how I was sort of treated in the end with that girl I was seeing I’ve had moments where I’ve thought to myself enough is enough I need to change in order to unlock some sort of self esteem.


    There was a period where I had some sort of natural calmness in myself and all of a sudden I went downhill again and fast.
    I guess what I really want is to be able to have peace in my mind and be comfortable in who I am, stop comparing myself to everyone around me and looking at myself on a negative light so I can just enjoy my life better.


    Doing this practically is what I am struggling with, I am trying stuff like mindfulness and things like that but I find that this issue probably can’t just be solved with that but I’m confused as to how to do it.
  6. therising
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    11 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    Our job title is a perfect example of how we can be led to sell our self short. Responding to people's question 'What do you do?' may require a colourful answer or some elaboration, as opposed to offering a simple title. If we're out to impress, why not make it impressive. Eg: A couple of my jobs in the past have involved me working as a carer, analyst, chauffeur, accountant/financial manager, first aid practitioner, counselor/psychologist, seamstress, personal shopper, administrator, liaison, music/art therapist, cook, maintenance person, cleaner, advocate, general manager, gardener and the list goes on. Sounds impressive. Sounds like a lot of hard work. I'll whittle it all down to just a couple of titles, titles that don't get the respect they deserve these days - 'Mum' and 'Home maker'. The amount of women these days who are ashamed to admit they're a stay at home mum really saddens me. They typically feel a sense of shame based on the reaction they get from others.

    Daniel, where would the world be without engineers? They are visionaries, hard workers, imaginative inventors, inspiring, evolutionary and more. They're a significant part of the engine of society which powers it forward into the future. Not happy with the title? Create a new one that better defines what you do. Define yourself as 'Inventor' or 'Analyst', for example. That should get people wondering. If they ask 'What do you invent?'...let's see... Could be 'I'm part of a team that invents ways of connecting people to greater social opportunities', if you're involved in designing infrastructure (bridges, roads, buildings etc). I say sell it. Stretch your imagination and stretch theirs too. Lead people to say 'That sounds interesting'. I bet the simple title of 'Engineer' doesn't do justice when it comes to what you actually do. If people want you to elaborate, you could simply say 'What I'm working on is in the design stage and this is something I can't really discuss'. Sound mysterious? Good. Leave 'em guessing :)

    As I may have mentioned - One of the greatest abilities we possess is the ability to manipulate our own brain and our way of thinking. Typically this is done through the imagination. If I imagine the worst, that's what I'll see. If I imagine anything other than the worst, then that's what I'll see. Can take a lot of practice and strategy to imagine anything other than the worst. Good or bad, our imagination tends to lead the way. Can get out of control sometimes :)

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  7. Daniel12
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    12 May 2022 in reply to therising
    Hi therising


    I think you are spot on about everything you’ve mentioned just there. I think part of it for me is, may sound silly, but the way my brain works is that my default position is “I am boring” therefore to elaborate on my work for example would be to bore people. This feeds into pressure that I have described where I feel like if I do contribute I have to say something out of the box or imaginative to grab and hold peoples attention and I can’t just stay sort of quiet and listen. It’s sort of like thinking “I need to say something because I’m not talking but it has to be good otherwise I’ll look weird”. Then on the flip I also think whatever I have to say isn’t worthy of the conversation so I grapple in my head to say something so I don’t look boring or to not say anything because what I would say is silly anyway and I get nervous.


    Sorry if I’ve gone back over that point again for the hundredth time I just feel it’s probably one of the biggest triggers to the problems I’m having, I think it all ties back to low self esteem and basically feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. For example, I wonder sometimes if I was really comfortable in myself it shouldn’t matter if I talk 24/7 or not because I would be comfortable with who I am but sadly I am most definitely not and I don’t think as you and other have mentioned trying to force for example being an extrovert is going to help because I’m not that. This struggle as you can imagine affects my dating life as well.


    I am trying to strip everything back and just get back to being some form of myself, I’ve taken up a new hobbie but this is where my brain just runs riot….this should be looked at as constructive as part of completely losing myself I stopped doing anything to occupy my time and enjoy myself on my own but instead what I seem to think is “why am I doing this when I should be looking for a partner and using my time to do that”. But at the same time maybe doing stuff for myself might make that process easier.


    As you can probably tell most of the time I’m always confused haha so even if I met someone when they see this thinking side of me they’ll probably run away
  8. smallwolf
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    12 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    I think that it is natural to think we are boring when we have this sort of mind-set. Or at least that applies to me, though perhaps the circumstances or scenarios were different - what appears to be competing activities of things we need to do at the same time. In your case it is wanting to meet someone and find a hobby.

    I am also confident that your life is not boring... you have a story to tell. Perhaps the places where you grew up or things you did.

    But this is clouded by the thoughts of I'm boring.

    You could find that person when looking or a hobby - a group to join? Perhaps talk about the search for a hobby could be another point of conversation. This can be hard at certain times and to simply say "do it" does not work. And sometimes just getting through the day is enough. Please know you are worth it!

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  9. therising
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    13 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    Have to agree with smallwolf, I don't believe you're as boring as what you imagine. I can't help but wonder whether people in the past have triggered kind of boring/typical conversations and that's the real issue. It's the small talk kinda conversation involving 'What do you do for a living? What kind of day have you had?' and the biggy...here it comes...'What have you been up to?'. Oh my gosh! My automatic response to that is typically 'Not much' and then I think 'Gee, I'm boring'. Wish I could say skydiving or saving some endangered species or I partied like an animal last night but, no, 'Not much' is what I offer. Then things go a bit silent and you can feel the silence and it almost feels like the silence is your fault.

    If I threw you in a room packed with wonderful people who took conversation in a seriously wonderful direction I imagine you'd have a great time and you'd probably find out a bit about yourself in the process. There'd be none of that 'So, what have you been up to?' business. The convo would more so be something along the lines of 'Do you wonder how people would react if Scott Morrison attended the next press conference in drag?' or 'What 3 superpowers would you choose, if given the choice?' or 'If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?'. Wonderful conversations are rarely ever boring and boring conversations are rarely ever wonderful. There are even ways to shift attention away from yourself, through the art of wonder. For example, in a room full of people you may say to the person who's asked what you've been up to 'Don't worry about me, what about those people over there. I wonder what they're up to?'. Best to point out a group that appears to be doing something interesting or questionable. You're triggering the people in the conversation to shift focus and begin wondering about other people. This is actually the first time I've thought about this particular strategy. I must try it myself some time.

    I believe throwing our self into a hobby can be highly constructive. We practice what we become good at and that's a self esteem booster right there. Could be a whole new way to go, 'I'll practice mastering a new hobby or interest before I go back out into the world each time'. Self development in between love interests could be your thing.

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  10. Daniel12
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    15 May 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Smallwolf and yourself make good points yet again and apologies if I seem stubborn with my thoughts, I guess it's hard to break this pattern I am in at the moment.

    I have been looking at things and people around me and seems like I have led a very boring life or haven't enjoyed myself whilst I am young. Maybe this is depression/anxiety clouding my judgement because my friends and family have kept telling me it's not true because I have been out and about in the past and I have done things but I am falling for a trap of seeing things like social media and as I have mentioned previously I am not that massively active on it and I see people I grew up with doing all sorts with big groups of friends etc and I just fundamentally don't have that and I have exhausted myself trying to fill that void but either anxiety destroys my chances or I think I am probably just not really worth the time for people.

    I don't know if this is all the depression, loneliness and anxiety really taking over or whether it is just a fact now as I am really starting to believe it because how can anyone like me when I don't even (a) like myself and (b) even know what "being myself" is anymore.

    Like I have gone out and stuff but I feel like I am fairly simple as a guy and being single it feels like this is bad, I need to have more "wow factor" so to speak but is this rational?

    I don't even know what I am saying as I write either, I am sick of this I just feel not worth it

  11. therising
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    17 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    Reflecting on what you've done, growing up, sounds like a key factor perhaps. Some things to keep in mind are the influences that determined the kind of life you've led so far. There can be a lot of influences. For example, my 2 kids didn't have as active a lifestyle as some other kids based on the fact we were a single income family for a number of years. An outgoing or lavish lifestyle was something unaffordable back then, compared with their friends who were going away to amazing places, had the latest mobile phone, had an abundance of recreational activities in their life etc.

    Another factor can be whether a young person has had 'Let me show you the world' kind of parents, who led their kids to trip around to all these amazing places throughout the world or simply the country they're in. Another can involve whether our childhood influencers are social butterflies, socialising us in the process. Were we perhaps led to be a little introverted to some degree? Another can involve whether we're led to exercise our imagination a lot. Were we led to imagine the excitement of an outgoing life? Another may involve whether we're conditioned to develop skills in 'networking' or not. Do we know how to create and work with networks of people who can lead us to experience different aspects of life? Perhaps another involves asking whether we're natural born introverts that function best with other natural born introverts who appreciate a certain lifestyle. Perhaps our parents allowed us to remain introverted because it suited us. Does the perfect holiday for an introvert involve visiting peaceful Buddhist temples, rain forests or some laid back Spanish towns beyond this country, as opposed to the busy rush rush crowded places in the world?

    There are many factors or influences in life that may lead us to appear boring. Personally, how I was raised (my outlook and experiences) led me to be underdeveloped as far as being exciting and worldly goes. I think once we can fund our own life (with the money we make as an adult), it can become a matter of 'Where do I start? How do I start to develop myself now that I can afford to?'. Suddenly, the world becomes your oyster and every experience you cultivate holds the potential to become 'an absolute pearler'. Imagine you are now on the verge of beginning such cultivation. Understandably, 'Where do I start?' becomes that #1 question :)

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  12. Daniel12
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    18 May 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    The question you mention of "where do I start?" is pretty relatable for me at the moment.

    I have never felt this flat and low ever and I do not feel like myself at all so I suppose it's where do I start to find myself again. I don't even recognise myself at the moment.

    I was thinking the other day, for example if someone asked me to tell them a bit about myself and what I do I actually feel like I cannot answer the question at all. It seems silly to say I can't answer the question but beyond saying I am just a nice guy I guess there isn't really anything else I can think of that makes me interesting at all at the moment.

  13. therising
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    19 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    It can be hard to recognise our self when we're in an intense mind altering life changing process. Basic change has a very different dynamic to it. With basic change you could say 'I'm someone who's a bit confused but I know who I am' or 'I'm someone who's a little lost but I still know who I am' or 'I'm someone who's feeling a little less hope than usual but that doesn't stop me from basically knowing who I am'. In an intense mind altering life changing process, I've found it sounds more like 'I'm incredibly confused, I'm completely lost, I'm feeling utterly hopeless and I have no idea who I am'. With this kind of massive shift it can sometimes be about the need to let go of the illusion of who we are. Kind of feels like the rug's pulled out from under us and we have to start from scratch when it comes to discovering who we really are.

    One way of bringing it back to basics could involve you recognising 'Basically, I'm a nice guy with a good sense of humor who's a feeler (someone who feels the emotions of self and others)'. Good start when you consider the opposite - 'I'm a cruel guy who never laughs and I'm basically a sociopath who feels very little'.

    I find we can discover who we really are when we're left with no choice. I'll offer my sister as an example. Like you, she's a nice person with a good sense of humor and is also a feeler. Like many of us, she can lack confidence and be easily upset under extreme stress. A few years back when she was stuck in an airport overseas without our brother to meet her for connecting flights (which was part of the plan before a typhoon hit from his end), she began stressing. Suddenly, the sage or something kicked in, insisting 'You got this!'. With her nice nature and sense of humor she approached a worker who she felt would help her. She managed to board the right plane. She was shocked by how she managed it. As far as she was concerned, this just wasn't her, calm and in control. She'd let go of the belief 'I'm someone who can't manage under stress' and adopted the belief 'I got this, I'm a legend'. She discovered the truth and it got her through.

    I've found, it's the internal dialogue that plays out that can reveal to us who we really are. While in 2 minds, one may say 'This is all turning to poop and I can't cope' whereas the other will dictate 'You got this!'. Always listen to the mind that inspires constructive development. It does have a kind of volume knob to it. There are ways of turning it up :)

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  14. Daniel12
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    19 May 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I guess I need to learn how to listen to some internal dialogue and ignore other types of internal dialogue. Or maybe it's a case of not ignoring any of them but learning how to not go down a rabbit hole with any negative thought but rather just think it and let it go. Not sure if that sounds silly or not.

    I like the starting point you mentioned about bringing it back to basics but I was pondering over a question I got asked by a specialist the other day which was "tell me about Daniel" in terms of who I am, interests etc.

    I actually can't go beyond that I am a nice guy I suppose and I used to play soccer. I was thinking to myself wow am I really that uninteresting that I can't even think of anything beyond that and then who the hell would find me interesting/fun instead of boring, I don't anyone would think otherwise at this stage

  15. therising
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    20 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    Sounds like a good plan, regarding the negative internal dialogue. Practice observing and then let go. I know, easier said than done sometimes. One of the benefits to observing can involve the simple question 'I wonder where that comes from?'. All dialogue comes from somewhere. The book I'm reading at the moment has brought me to a section about internal dialogue actually. As the author mentions, we observe our self through different filters and the filter we're using will determine the inner dialogue we're hearing. For example, if rejection causes us great pain, based on past experience, we'll do just about anything to avoid rejection. If the dialogue we hear is based on a fear of rejection (that filter) it might sound like 'What can I do to make that person happy, so they like me more? I don't care what it takes, even if I have to suppress parts of myself that bring me joy'. On the other hand, if we hear our inner dialogue through the filter of self acceptance, it can sound more like 'I'm doing my best and it's not my fault if other people are upset by that. I'll steer clear of those who just love to criticise me. They're far too depressing for my liking'. In other words, we can be much happier on our own until the right kind of people come along.

    The 'Tell me about yourself' question can be a tough one to answer, without us being a little hard on our self on occasion. I think, as adults, we can feel like the answer has to be impressive in some way, a reflection of our worldly nature as well as the experiences we've accumulated over time. It's more a status thing sometimes: This is how much I've achieved and this is the position I hold in life now. Ask a 3yo to tell you about themself and, of course, the answer's along a different line. Might sound like 'I love butterflies and going to the beach. I like fairyfloss and when my dad pushes me high on a swing. That makes me laugh so much. I like getting dressed up, wearing my favourite clothes. I like my mum's lasagne' etc etc. They don't know about status yet, about feeling the need to prove their worth or 'measure up'. Lucky for them. They are carefree and fun loving. That is who they are, without measurement.

    Sometimes it can be a matter of we've forgotten who we are and that's why it's so hard to provide an answer for 'Tell me about yourself'. 'Give me your social status' is a whole different ball game.

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  16. Daniel12
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    20 May 2022 in reply to therising
    Hi therising

    There was a book I read once that basically spoke what someone thinks of you is their “task” and not yours. I think it was also saying something along the lines of you shouldn’t interfere with someone else’s “task” ie if they dislike you that’s their task to carry out not yours to try and correct. It also said something like if you are inevitably disliked by someone this means ultimately you are living with freedom as it should mean you are being your comfortable sense and are aware of the fact you cannot be liked by all…I may have describe all that badly but I think it might relate to what you mentioned.

    I guess for me at the moment, whilst I feel I understand all this stuff my spirit/hope in myself, my life and relationships and ultimate direction are that low at the moment it’s been a real struggle for me to get back into any sort of groove.

    I actually tried to sit down and write down an answer to the question “tell me about yourself” last night…..I wrote something like “I am a nice enough guy who enjoys sport” and that’s where I go blank as to how to continue. I was thinking to myself like really I can’t think of even a semi decent paragraph to write about who I am, it’s just pathetic it really is. How the hell am I supposed to attract interest from a girl or come across as a fun guy when I can’t even answer that question.

    I’m starting to think now maybe I’m just someone who on the outside looking in seems to be good but is fundamentally underwhelming when you do get in contact or conversation, like what can I possibly contribute to stuff I don’t even know what is interesting about me or what I even like to do etc

    I’ve noticed a shift in myself the last month it’s not so much a hopelessness where I can’t get out of bed which has happened in the past but more so a hopelessness where I feel like I’ve been on autopilot for 6-12months of my life and days are just ticking over and over and I’m not strong enough or courageous enough to try and buck the trend so I’ve accepted it all
  17. therising
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    20 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    Yes, it is the task of another to feel how they feel. Sometimes how they feel can be hard work, such as when someone intensely dislikes a person. Hard work living with that much agitation. Not good for the nervous system, for a start.

    Can be hard to figure out who we are when it comes to the basics. Kind of sounds like a dating app for some folk who may state: I like long walks on the beach. I love spring. I love sitting in front of the fireplace on a winter's evening with my dog/cat. I love Italian food. I enjoy a good thriller and deep philosophical conversation and so on. It's not necessarily a list of achievements, more so a composition of someone's overall nature. What we enjoy or gravitate towards tends to define us to some degree. Of course, our interests change over time, therefor we can resemble someone altogether different as we age, compared to when we were younger.Think about what you love. For a start, you love to wonder. Automatically, that makes you wonderful (wonder full). You like to analyse which makes you analytical. If you love to create, even if it's just at work these days, this makes you creative. There you go, you're a wonderful, analytical creative person, which is a good start. Oh, and a nice guy who likes sport on top of that.

    It's truly horrible when we're stuck in some sort of funk. Almost feels like we're doomed to play out a sort of groundhog day scenario. Every day feels the same. Of course, it's not meant to be like this, which is why it can feel so depressing. What would acting out of character look like? What if you did this just for the heck of it, broke character. If you're someone who can't go out for a meal on their own (without feeling judged for it) for example, how would it feel to be a guy who enjoys sitting down with a good book over lunch, out somewhere? If you're going to read a book, why not do it over lunch. Typically, people tend to stare basically because they may be wondering what you're reading or why you might be out to lunch on your own or they might wonder whether you're waiting for someone. People can't help but wonder. Remember, it's their task. Personally, I used to fear going out for lunch on my own but nowadays enjoy it. Gives me a break from things.

    I imagine there have been some times in life where you've broken character and perhaps thought 'I don't mind this version of myself'. If you were challenged to this this tomorrow, how would you do it? Can be a small thing, for a start.

  18. Daniel12
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    22 May 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I really don't know where to go from here anymore,

    I've never felt a loneliness and sadness like this before. I have felt lonely for a long time but never like this, I think this last "relationship" so to speak and the end of it really hit home at how much I just want companionship.

    I know I am not lonely in a family sense and they will always be there and I understand when they say things like "your brother was 31 when he found someone so relax" but 1 I don't want to be 31 when I find someone with all due respect to my brother he has not gone through the disappointments and dating experiences I have at all and 2 it is not companionship through family that I need at the moment. I know this sounds ungrateful to them and it really has nothing to do with that at all because I know they'll accept me for everything I am all the time, I am severely struggling with a lack of companionship from someone who sees me for everything I am and still thinks "I like Daniel and I want to make time to be with him". I had this for a fleeting moment and if I am completely honest not that I should rely on someone to get me through but I liked myself when I was in that period.

    After every dating experience from being stood up at cafes, being told I'm too nice, being told "you're a really nice guy but...", being actually told (and shown in some cases) they have gone to someone better to replace me, being ghosted without any reason, having someone you like leave not because of not liking me but because of distance or being set up by friends and then interest wanes and whatever else you can think of other than physically being cheated on because I haven't reached a stage of a relationship where that would be a possibility I am sitting here early in the morning at a low point I've never been at and I think to myself what I really am seeking may just never come.

    I am also thinking to myself and asked myself the question "have I given this a good crack, can I do more" and I think definitely I have....after each disappointment, let down or heartache I dust myself off and I go back and open myself up again and again in genuine hopes each time and now I am thinking I don't want to dust myself off anymore and go again, I don't want to feel this disappointment and lowness again....I need to accept the loneliness as I truly can't see a way out of this anymore. I just feel absolutely nothing and I don't have faith that the right person is there for me and will make it worth it.

  19. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    2818 posts
    22 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I feel so much for you as you face some of the deeply depressing challenges life can pose. I believe some of life's challenges to be truly heartbreaking. Of course, a heartbreaking situation's not a problem for someone who doesn't feel so much but for someone who feels easily or deeply it can become almost soul destroying.

    You're right, you can have 2 people appear to be facing similar challenges but when you factor in their histories, their current experiences are perceived through different lenses (developed over time). Your brother's lead up to 31 may not have been as challenging as yours, given your experiences through school, dating and life in general, as well as the factor of inner dialogue. Also, he may not be as much of a feeler as you, so it might have been much easier for him to dismiss certain feelings in his way.

    As I've mentioned before, feelings are incredibly significant, whether they be horrible or beautiful. Over time, they can come to exercise our instinct, strengthening it. The horrible ones are ones that can point us in the right direction. Certain feelings can tell us what we don't want, what we shouldn't tolerate, what's not right for us etc. They can dictate 'I deserve more respect than that' or 'I deserve greater consideration under the circumstances'. Horrible feelings can be forcing us to become greater analysts and can lead us to become more (rightfully) demanding of others. You could say they're the brutal growing pains when it comes to our personal growth. They can even tell us, in some cases, we're looking in the wrong places for what we want or need. The wrong places naturally feel depressing.

    As far as companionship goes, is it possible you've been looking in the wrong places? Where would you find a thoughtful person who feels as much as you? Where would you find someone who's not eager to jump into bed after the first few dates? Where would you find someone who's after a more philosophical or soulful experience in life? Not saying this is the way to go, it's purely an example: With so many dating apps out there, there are ones for more spiritual connections/relationships. Btw, not of the religious type, just people who vibe on a deeper more soulful level (such as the feelers in life). As I say, not encouraging you to look into dating apps again, just indicating how a different pool of people can offer different experiences, other than depressing ones.

    Is your pain forcing you to look outside the square?

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    242 posts
    23 May 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I have thought about the places in which I’m looking and maybe stuff like a dance floor at a bar is not right as I have enormous self consciousness and anxiety when I even just think about approaching someone. But this seems to be in any setting really.

    What would happen is I would start saying in my head “you will look silly”, “she wasn’t looking at you anyway” or “don’t be silly don’t annoy them”. So inevitably I don’t do it.

    Id love to be able to just turn this off, I want to talk about it with my counsellor but because I feel like a scatter brain sometimes when I go there I just spit out whatever’s in my head at that moment and I probably don’t get to the crux of what I am suffering with, you can probably tell from all my posts given the random and sort of spit ball nature of them.

    Id also love to be able to move on from things and not suffer like massive disappointment to the point where I can’t function, it’s crippling me more and more and unfortunately I don’t have the tools or never have to manage these feelings.

    Like I may have mentioned, I’m not someone whose looking to achieve CEO status at work or become a billionaire all I want is one person that appreciates me and I want to not feel this lonely ever again

  21. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3625 posts
    23 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I'm going to stick my oar in here for a minute.

    I think it's great you're getting professional help with your anxiety and self esteem issues, this is definitely worth continuing.

    A dance floor in a bar, not for you! For your personality and the type of girl you would like, no.

    I'm going to reiterate that I think you are best to meet people who share a common interest.

    What about a weekend bush walking/ hiking group? This is how I met my first boyfriend, my friends and I joined a bush walking club to meet guys! You are outdoors doing a physical activity and usually stop for a lunch break, and you get to talk to the other walkers as you go along.

    You could enquire at a national park. I think this would suit you as it's relaxed and outdoors.

    Also a choir or amateur theatre company or photography group.

    But I would encourage a walking group as being outdoors is relaxing and you will be less anxious. I also have two good friends who met that way and have been very happily married for a long time, and to meet someone was why they joined in the first place.

    Cheers.

    1 person found this helpful
  22. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2818 posts
    24 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    Hanna offers a brilliant idea with the bush walking/hiking. Even if it begins as a natural form of therapy to give you a break from anxiety/stress, developing a love of nature could be something that sets you on a different path. Whether you meet someone or not, in the way of a partner, is another thing. I imagine there would be a variety of people to meet, such as those who took it up because they were looking to meet someone, those who took it up because they love nature, ones who do it for greater mental and physical well being, those who do it to combat loneliness etc.

    I mentioned to someone just the other day something I'd heard that changed my perspective on life to some degree. The woman who expanded on an old concept of how life's supposedly meant to go explained it beautifully. I hope I can do this concept justice in the way I explain it...

    Imagine our own life is like a huge net, with a lot of intersecting lines. Each line is a life course. If I chose to live life along one line, my life would play out along that line. If nothing changed, my last day on earth would see me as a largely closed minded person who missed many opportunities to change or develop myself and my life. Along that line I may have closed my mind off to having children or developing interests that could have served me in soulful ways. I could have closed my mind to leaving the job that depressed me, having chosen to stay in it until it destroyed me.

    Now, imagine at various intersecting points I changed course, as my mind began to open to different influences and possibilities. If you can picture an intersecting point on a net (while moving forward) to resemble a kind of fork in the road, I can either continue along the same line or go off onto a new line and that becomes my new course, until the next intersection or fork comes along. The intersections determine where I head at any given time.

    With Hanna mentioning bush walking/hiking, you could see this as an intersecting point. Will life change significantly if you take this course? Will you meet a group of people who will lead you to see life differently or live life differently? Will you develop a love of nature that leads to a love of photography which leads to a love of a photographer you meet which leads to a love of camping, where you play your guitar at night around the campfire, providing peace and joy for everyone who hears your gift of music? Who knows.

    I suppose you could call all this 'Networking' :)

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    242 posts
    24 May 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    How you explained it makes perfect sense and strangely enough the concept you describe very similar to a book I just picked up which sort of relates to me very much at the moment. It starts out with a young woman who basically feels she has no worth and the like and she is transported somewhere where she’s shown all different possibilities of her life, much like the concept you mention. I have only just started it but seems to relate to me a bit and what you mention also.


    I think the issues I have at the moment is….firstly and critically I feel like I provide no value to anyone in my life at all and I’m not worth anyones time so therefore I’m starting to think what’s the point, secondly I feel like there has to be something more and paths I can take as you mentioned but I have no idea what I even want to do which just makes me stand still and lastly I hate myself that I dont have the courage to just choose something or someone or whatever to take a path.

    Using your example which I like, I’m at an intersection but I’m just standing still at the fork in the road too scared to go either way because I have absolutely no idea what I want to do or whether I even have the self worth to do it.

    How do you even figure that out

  24. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    242 posts
    24 May 2022 in reply to Hanna3
    Hi Hanna

    Thanks a lot for the ideas and advice, I will do some research into these and see what I can find.

    I still think I’ll be restricted a bit by anxiety as with the case whenever I’m around new people but maybe like you say the outdoors aspect of it will help with that.

    Maybe I get a bit fearful to try new things because I fear rejection and looking silly to other people so I try to spare that from happening and also some things are against the grain of what I’d usually do so maybe I’m trying to fit a certain mould too much as well

    Thanks again for great advice :)
  25. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3625 posts
    24 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel,

    Nobody looks silly joining a walking group. Lots of people join because they are lonely and they form a friendship group while enjoying the outdoors with other people.. you are out walking, you learn new things about wildlife and nature, you have an outdoor lunch somewhere, we usually stopped somewhere with a lovely view, it's relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable!

    The first time is always hardest, after that it's easy... generally people at these things are very nice, and finding things to talk to is easy as you have things all around you on the walk.

    There are also ramblers groups in the city, I joined one in Sydney, that was great, we would meet up in the city on the weekend, go for a walk around some interesting inner city places, and have lunch together at an outdoor cafe. These are great ways to make some friends! You could look these up, Melbourne is a very walkable city so there would be similar groups there.

    You have to push yourself to try something new... maybe your psychologist can help you here - but this is how you will gain self confidence too.. and find some enjoyable company for times when you feel lonely and want companionship.

    Do talk about it with your psych hey?

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    242 posts
    25 May 2022 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna

    You are very right that I need to try something, I have spoken about it with my pysch. I guess I feel like I don’t have the courage to do it and makes me ashamed of myself because I get paralysed with fear if I approach people in general so the thought of doing something new whilst I want to I struggle to take the step.

    I am seriously lacking energy and thirst for life as well at the moment, I have been thinking that I really don’t offer any value to anyone and what’s the point of everything when that’s the case. I should just leave people alone I feel.

    Im not sure if youve ever felt this way either but for example I know I’d want a partner and companionship but there seems to be this gaping hole in my life in general but I have no idea what is it I really want. It’s not career/job related because I’m relatively satisfied and can’t see myself changing it’s more I look at my life and think that I’m just really an uninteresting person that’s offered no value to the world and done nothing of note.

    Maybe I am placing too much pressure to lead a massive life that I’ve confused myself into just not being present and trying to be me, I don’t know I guess

  27. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3625 posts
    25 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel,

    You seem to have been stuck in that same line of thinking over and over. It must be exhausting. Social anxiety is pretty common and challenging, I think get your psych's advice on how to deal with that... personally I am most comfortable in relaxed situations outside, doing some activity like walking or swimming etc. Maybe you need to figure out what works best for you.

    At some stage, maybe with support from your psych and meds etc, you will hopefully find you can take some steps to try out one or two activities/social events that might suit you. I think it's best to aim at having pleasant casual friendships for a while rather than seeking a partner. To me that seems to put way too much pressure on things! It puts pressure on you and builds up expectations on the other person.

    My impression is that this all got worse after the online dating, but I may be wrong. Friends here were having a fun discussion recently about their online dating horror experiences, all of them had been rejected multiple times, and had also rejected others themselves. The stories were hilarious!

    You do just stay here on this one thread - could you try getting to "know" some people here by participating in some of the games/cafe etc? Think of it as making virtual friendships and maybe you will gain some sense of companionship and confidence from that?

    Others can only do so much, and then it really is up to you - being lonely is no fun, but it can take some trial and error to find the people that suit you.

    Maybe other people can come along and give you some more suggestions. Again, you could try to meet people here on BB too. Good luck!

    Cheers.

    1 person found this helpful
  28. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2818 posts
    26 May 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    The book sounds interesting. Perhaps picking up the book was one of those intersecting points. To pick it up or not to pick it up. There you go. It could begin to change things for you in some way.

    If someone said to me 'How would you live your life beyond basically?', I admit I have little idea at this point. While it still has its challenges, living basically is generally straight forward. Living beyond basically takes a whole different mindset. It can take courage, new coping/management strategies (which may include new breathing techniques for managing potentially stressful challenges), a more exercised vision, more developed instincts, a change to certain belief systems and internal dialogue and so on. It can be hard work.

    While living basically has served me in a lot of constructive ways over the years, it has also become somewhat depressing. As I've mentioned, I'll do whatever it takes to not return to full on depression and I know that involves me no longer living in a way that provides simply the basics. While the first move toward change was a seriously tough one (discussing with my husband the need to separate), I can't stop there, otherwise they're simply words with no constructive change connected to them. It's basically talk with no action. Part of the challenge is to begin developing my vision and this can only happen with a change of internal dialogue. I think we spoke of developing constructive mantras. Btw, the thing about mantras is...you gotta pick ones that you can fully believe in. A believable one might be 'While I fear some of the changes ahead of me, I will come to manage them with skill'. Of course, this means developing skills, as opposed to hoping for the best.

    If you're a little like me and get along easier with much younger people or much older people, interacting with a group of people where the age range varies could be one way of developing social skills while finding ways to manage social anxiety. Another for the toolbox may involve following the guidance of the right kind of internal dialogue. The right kind can be seriously challenging yet it develops us. A very simple example might involve saying 'Hi' with a smile when you next pass someone on the street. While one mindset may say 'Just smile and say 'Hi'', the other may say 'Don't do that, you'll look stupid'. Practice ignoring the mindset that encourages no constructive change. Baby steps. Sometimes we need to learn to walk before we can run :)

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    242 posts
    26 May 2022 in reply to Hanna3
    Hi Hanna


    I’ll have a go at some of the things you mentioned they could be a good starting point for me.


    You are right that it is up to me to ultimately change and people can only do so much and I think that’s part of the feeling I have at the moment as there are people like yourself and others on this thread and in my life trying to help me but whatever I seem to be going through is like a force that’s just taking over me everyday. I feel like a massive burden on people trying to seek help and I’m ultimately scared to live basically because I fear I’m just letting people down.


    So in effect I try a lot to manage it on my own and that’s probably why it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere because I don’t have the courage or the tools to really change it at the moment, I feel like I lack meaning and purpose to others and life in general.


    I’ll try that cafe thing you mentioned to try and expand my horizons a bit, I’m grateful for your advice and everyone else’s advice on here…I’m trying to break through I’ve probably just never felt like an overwhelming sense of depression like this before and when I don’t want to burden my parents and family it becomes a lot for me to juggle and I try find ways to escape I guess.
  30. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    242 posts
    26 May 2022 in reply to therising
    Hi therising


    Funny you mention the stuff about living basically etc because it’s probably the theme of the book in the end as the main character goes through all different possibilities they can live. I can’t quite remember the exact quote but it was something like you don’t need to live


    What you say resonates with me as I feel it’s a big part of the problem with this depression I’m feeling. Difference is I feel like I don’t even know how to basically live at the moment. I feel like I have no purpose in life and that I serve no purpose to people other.


    I don’t have any idea at all of what really excites me in life or is a passion I can use to take up my time and even then just to basically live each day and enjoy my life it’s like I lack the fundamental skills to do this because I keep asking myself what the hell am I doing, what the hell do I need to do and what the hell am I supposed to be doing.


    I don’t have a massive interest or wealth of knowledge in any particular subject that makes me interesting really, I feel my life has just wasted away and I serve no purpose other than to get up, overthink for 18hrs whilst working and go to bed.


    I want to be able to just live but there has to be more to my life than this feeling because at the moment if this is then it’s not worth it, I feel thoroughly unremarkable as a person and the hardest part is people looking in on the outside think I’ve got all and I really don’t because my mind is warped and all I do is frustrate people and let people down with how i feel


    For example, I do engineering to work but would I say it’s a huge passion…not really, I don’t want to change my job because I like it enough and there’s not much else I could see myself doing but I don’t have massive career ambitions, then I want a partner but given I feel like I myself have no purpose I don’t think this would even help at the moment, not that I need to have a massive calling in life as generally I just want to lead a simple/happy life but what the hell does that even mean to me


    I know how stupid I sound to people trying to explain this as well so apologies

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