Idealism holding me back? : After having... - Anxiety Support

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Idealism holding me back?

Lostwonder profile image

After having some interesting conversations lately with a family member, something clicked in my head and I came across this post from years ago and thought I would share my thoughts and wanted to see ways of combating this...

This is the thread in question

To give a brief background, i am almost 25 and my dad passed away when I was 18... This is more or less when my life spiraled out of control and at times badly. I have suffered from aniexty and depression, I've been on SSRI medication (just stopped it 2 weeks ago) and I can say that overall, my life is actually pretty good from a factual standpoint. I managed to complete my degree and obtain some credentials which not many people have (prefer not to disclose), yet, I've never been more stuck... I don't want to work in the field I originally chose for various reasons (some because of my stubbornness, others because the field has a lot of drawbacks in general and requires a lot of sacrifices which I'm not willing to put up with or give up)... So over the last year I was working in a different field which was related to my second passion, but I stopped working in it to pursue my first passion, and well I didn't last long at that job... Now I'm sitting at home, doing nothing, unwilling to work any job just for the sake of working because I can't stand the thought of having to work something I absolutely hate or don't enjoy... I believe this is where my idealism comes in... I want to work something that I can somewhat enjoy, make a difference or simply innovate and/or create. I understand that any job will become boring and or repetitive at some point, and I understand that life is not peaches and cream all the time. I can rationalize and realize all that and that I am thinking wrong or sometimes to idealistically, and I really want to change, but I feel very out of place, everything around me seems surreal... I feel as if I'm depersonalized or like I'm living in a video game yet I consciously realize all of these things and that I'm flawed and want to change for the better... However, Medication doesn't help, counselors/therapists/psychiatrits don't seem to help and advice from friends and family only seems to annoy me because I've heard it all and it's just a never ending cycle of same thing being rephrased (and I end up feeling guilty for having to make people put up with my BS). Finally I can't seem to figure a way to change even though I hate this state I'm in...

Sorry if the post is convulated but I wanted to be as brief as I could, otherwise I could write a book of how I feel

4 Replies

It's good to have ideals but become an idealist and you end up with a broken heart. So you settle for the best you can. The difficult thing is deciding what you want to do and then working towards it relentlessly. You've got three-quarters of a life left near enough so you've time enough to decide.

Deciding what to do with your life isn't really the problem I suspect. You've been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and found no resolution so far. Something must have happened to cause your state of anxiety, a long period of stress maybe that left you with over sensitive nerves and your nervous energy depleted (depression).

You mention depersonalisation, I had that 40 years ago before it had a fancy name. That's your mind sensing your anxiety and trying to distance you from the experience. Along with your depression the depersonalisation will yield when you master your anxiety.

1. Find what's stressing you and neutralise it, be ruthless if necessary, it's your mental well-being that's at stake here. If it was something that happened in childhood (it rarely is despite Doctor Freud) draw a line under it, can't change the past, let it go.

2. Even when the cause is resolved you're still left with anxiety disorder: your nervous system is still over sensitised. The anxiety causes symptoms which causes more anxiety which causes more symptoms and on it rolls. Whether your problem is strange feelings or strange thoughts you recover by doing the opposite of what instinct tells you to do.

3. Stop fighting, surrender to your disorder. Fighting only causes more stress and tension, more of what you don't need. Withdraw from the fight and you experience less stress, less tension. It's a start.

4. Accept all the strange thoughts and strange feelings. Accept them utterly and fearlessly. For the time being, that is. Agree to co-exist with the symptoms of anxiety whatever they are. They are uncomfortable but they are not life threatening. Neither can they disable you or send you crazy. You win not by the blows you give but the blows you take. So accept all your symptoms and in so doing you stop pumping out all the stress hormones that have been maintaining the sensitivity of your nerves. When the symptoms come just let every muscle in your body go limp. Imagine there's a muscle in your brain, let that go limp too.

5. Let time pass. No quick fix this, let lots of time pass. You spent years getting yourself into this state, allow a few months to recover fully. Keep practicing acceptance with persistance.

The day comes, the bad thoughts and feelings have gone now. You have conquored your demons, slain them one by one.

6. Now you are the man or woman you wanted to be. You are fighting fit and ready to decide what you want from life and how to obtain it. And you've still three-quarters of a life left!

Lostwonder profile image
Lostwonder in reply to Jeff1943

Thank you for the insightful post Jeff.

I suppose that my issues overall stem from when I lost my dad at 18 years old. When I was a kid, I used to be bullied all the time for a variety of reasons, and this of course did take a toll on me mentally. Even throughout high school I used to be considered somewhat of a "loser" as they like to say. I used to see the school counselor when I was a kid, and he helped me overcome a lot of things in elementary school. I was only really more of a loser in the early years of high school and I can attribute some of that because of the way I was acting. Towards the end of grade 11 and all throughout grade 12 I was actually at my peak. It was through the help of one of my closest friends that I was able to overcome a lot of my issues, change my mentality, and build relationships with other people in high school and start to gain more recognition. People wanted me around at parties and started to enjoy my presence, and I did too. I got along with people really well, and the introvert in me started to disappear. Even at the beginning of university, I actually made friends quite easily... I wasn't shy or afraid to be myself and was very "outgoing" and not inhibited. It was only after my dad died that I reverted to this old, anxious kid I used to be due to the circumstances I faced and became very closed and inhibited. This is when all my fears, my anxieties, my unwanted thoughts started intruding more and more upon my life...

As I said in my first post, I managed to fight through a lot of this and still go on with my life, as much as it sucked. Nowadays I still have intrusive thoughts and battle with my inner demons, but through the help of a counselor who I last saw about 1 year ago, I've managed to learn the techniques to face my anxieties and fears, and to just let my thoughts run through my mind. Most of my fears and anxieties don't really bother me anymore... I suppose the worst one I still have is social anxiety. To put things into perspective, I was recently on a vacation with a large group of friends at an all inclusive resort... for the first couple of days I was so inhibited and afraid to interact with anyone else because I thought people were watching and judging me, even thought I realized these thoughts were irrational, I couldn't get past them... then on the 3rd day, I just kinda let everything go and was myself (the alcohol did help loosen me up of course) and it actually felt great. I still had my moments, but it felt great and it was great learning experience looking back at the trip.

I normally don't like to partake in a lot of social activities with large groups of people, but I force myself because I realize it's the only way to become more comfortable... my problem is, my body language does give the indication to others that I am not feeling comfortable or happy, and so they are not always impressed with me, or ask what's wrong, or why are you not staying longer, or don't want to come to the club and dance, or whatever the scenario is for a particular event. I believe this is because even though I am willing to go out, I am still very inhibited and I realize that, so I then prefer to either not go out so I don't have to be that downer person, or I go but I don't stay for the full event.

Then I guess I revert to my idealistic ways because of some of these things. Everything seems to be intertwined in some way.

Anyways, I do believe I will get better, I do realize it is a matter of time, but I also don't want to just sit around at home, because this won't help me mentally even though I understand I need time. I am pursuing jobs, I am just being more specific with what I want to work, as there are certain environments or things that don't help with my thought process, and this unfortunately is the worst thing because I understand that no matter where I go and what I work, I will always have to deal with these things

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to Lostwonder

Maybe too much introspection here, Lostwonder, too much self examination. You are no longer that loser in the playground, you got a degree. Losers don't get degrees.

Maybe be yourself, not what others want or expect you to be.

All work is noble, even if it's a stepping stone to something better or just puts money in your pocket.

I know your Dad died just when you needed him but wounds heal and so will yours.

Lostwonder profile image
Lostwonder in reply to Jeff1943

Indeed, I've been told multiple times I think too much and I am too harsh on myself and to just be me!

I can say though, that slowly I am trying to do just that and be myself! :)

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