I don't know : All I've ever done was... - Mental Health Sup...

Mental Health Support

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I don't know


All I've ever done was go to school and study and I still do, but I feel like I've missed so much out of life. I feel so limited in every way. I can't even talk to people, not even my peers, because I cannot relate to them. They seem to have all this life experience that I don't have. I hate being so timid and nervous while having a blank mind when around people. I'm turning 25 this year but I feel like I only have the experience of someone half my age.

11 Replies

Hi, why do you think that is? Do you spend a lot of time alone? Do you have much of a social life? Hobbies?

Kainan_li in reply to Angep

Hi Angep. I wish I had a social life. I had to leave very close friends of mine at a young age and since then I guess I never learned how to maintain a relationship. I'm no good. And then people leave and the connection is lost. I only did what I was told and never learned or had the time to develop good relationships. And now I don't know how to do it and I'm jealous of people who can. Hobbies? I go to the gym. I even go to a few weekly group classes. But even so, over the years I still cannot get to know people

Angep in reply to Kainan_li

Why don't you try inviting someone out to have a coffee or shopping trip? Or something like that? I think some people just generally find it difficult so it's not just you.what about working as a volunteer a few hours a week if you can? I know you probably work but maybe in a charity shop? I find people who volunteer are generally very kind and friendly.I know you said you study so I'm not sure if you work how many hours that would be? If you worked in a charity shop for example you would meet a wide range of people which would be really good for you.


Hi you have lots of life experience but maybe it's just different to your peers? You only get life experience from living and even if it's been just school and university you still have some.

I have never had children and never will now as much too old. All my friends have though so I don't have the same life experiences as they do. But don't forget while they were having children and bringing them up I was doing other things which they don't get either.

It's the same with you. Can you sign up for an evening class with like minded people. Or join a group etc? There are always things you can relate to others about even if they don't necessarily have the same life experiences as you. eg a sense of humour etc. x

Kainan_li in reply to Hidden

Hi. That's exactly right!! My experiences do differ from other peoples. I have Cerebral Palsy and had been in and out of hospitals my entire life. Not one of my peers can say that. But with that aside, I just feel different from other folks. I cannot engage with anyone, not even if just for small talk. When I look at people talking, i wonder what the heck are they are talking about. If I was in their conversation could I contribute? I doubt it. Most likely I'd be really quite listening and feeling awkward for being there. Humor? I don't know what's appropriate anymore.

Hidden in reply to Kainan_li

Engaging socially is a skill we all had to learn as children. It's like anything else - if you don't use it you lose it. You need to practise your small talk again even if it's something trite like what an awful day don't isn't it? Or what are you doing at the weekend? Then work up from there when you feel more confident.

A good one is always to ask how someone is. You might get your ear bent for a while but you will soon end up valued as everyone loves a good listener. The more you listen to people too the more you learn.

Most conversations with acquaintances are short and sweet and there is nothing wrong in that. If you don't engage with others even on a very trivial level then then they can't engage with you either and you get nowhere fast. x

Hi Kainan

Feeling unable to connect with other people is horrible. Try hard (says the man who is still struggling with this) not to compare yourself with others and remember you have no control over them and do not know how they feel.

Also some people leave school at 16 end up in a dead end job in the same town that they were born in and have a social life that revolves around the same pub. They may well be very happy (I am not knocking their situation) but just as easily they could wake up on a Saturday morning with the hangover from hell after another evening at the dog and duck thinking "i wish I had gone to uni". As I said no point in mind reading.

Also think about what you want and who you are. One of my big issues (I will be hoping to use the past tense at some point in the furture) is thinking that I should have done what others have done or be able to tell great jokes or make easy small talk. What I never stopped to ask is one important question, 'what does Matt want?'. Maybe I want to sit and listen and only speak when I really have something to say, maybe the pub doesn't suit me but hill walking with a group does?

Last bit of advice, don't expect too much too soon. I'll share another one of my mistakes with you. Don't go to meet new people expecting to be the life and sole of the party and have loads of stories, don't go to the football club expecting to be team captain. What I am trying to say is that relationships take time and if you set your expectations to high you will just avoid social situations in case you 'fail'.

I am 35 now and still think as you do but am challenging myself, so you have ten years on me!

Try the Meetup website and see what groups are in your area, they do no to require a lot of commitment and depending on where you live there is usually a lot of choice. Also you do identify a hobby and can join a local club this can be good for meeting the same people regularly and building those relationships. If it doesn't work out for you, try something else. Even I feel you are telling yourself that you only get one shot, I am telling you now you get unlimited continues and can have as many goes as you like.

Sorry that I have been going on, but I totally get where you are coming from, and really want you to start putting yourself first.

Good luck my friend, if you want to chat feel free to PM me

Laters, Matt

Oh Kainan, at 25 I couldn't fathom turning 30. Here I am more than 25 years later & I now still expect a journey ahead. Talk to yolur GP and a therapist ( I've been saying that a lot lately!) You may have some level of Aspergers. It can be very isolating. So you haven't had the life experiences of your peers. What things do you like? Perhaps your peers simply don't have the same intetests as you. For instance, if you went to a school that prided itself with its sports teams, but you don't care for sports, you may feel quite alien. Seek out souls who share your intetests. Then go from there. You can create your own wonderful experiences. Talk to us.

hi Kainan ,

from your name & brief story (education, education and more education, no social skills, social phobia) I guess you may be Asian (south East Asian origin) .

I am Asian and I understand your sadness and buried anger?/deep hurt & dsappointment with life & people . My father was obsessed with education and poverty and he was very strict and authoritarian (what he said or did was he law, full stop) Also my mother was very insecure, jealous and possessive and very clinging . Result: I could never make friends or even try to and I ended up being very shy, scared of people and very lonely .

I have lost touch with my "family" (only in name I am ashamd to say), no relatives and absolutely no friends and I am older than you (one more worry) . Being depressed and lonel y get worse with age (pessimistic but true)

I have been depressed for many, many years since 16 . I am sad an concerned you are only 25 and already staring the void of oblivion . What can I say to comfort you? First don't compare yourself with others becauswe are all different, we all have our weaknesses and shortcomings . Nobody is perfect . Ha, ha, ha, I am still trying to ram that into my head !

I am afraid that if you try too hard to socialise/make friends you will be very disappointed and upset . People change a lot and also most people are more or less "happy" so they are not interested in lonely sensitive gentle souls like you and me . They think "I am OK, so I dnt care about others" (though they may feel sorry for you or even try to help) .

We all have our own definition of what is life experience but even if you have little experience, that does not mean you are inferior or you are a loser (like you seem to think). Beware of society's prejudices an expectations and feel you have failed because you think your cannot fit in . Remember you did not choose to be shy and a loner . Maybe it is not toolate to break out of tha stifling mould ? (you are only 25) Maybe if you travel more arund the UK or Europe or better the world (depending on your time & money available) you will het a better more true life experience , and you will at last make some friends without even trying! Or when you have finished your university studies you can do various little jobs whie travelling around the world say for a couple of years . You don't know, maybe happiness is waiting for you back home or in Australia or South America ? I wish I had been more adventurous and travelled the world / or even Europe when I was younger .

I feel for you and I understand your eagerness o bond , to be part of a group or a couple. I also understand your despair of being alone despite your efforts . Keep being motivated and trying new things . Don't only rely n medication (antidepressants) they don't work for most people or only for a short time + some bad to very bad side effects . Depression is rarely just a simple matter o brain chemical imbalance . It goes much much deeper than that and there is not 1 cure for everyone if evr you get cured .

Don't be jalous of other people or resentful , like I did . You will only make yourelf ill/ more miserable . Remember appearances are deceptive .

Don't give up o yourself . I would very much like to have further lond discussions with you .

Take care. cecilia13

H i Kainan,just been reading over some of your posts,you are an incredible inspiration to this group and to those around you,you can do almost anything you set your mind to and I fully believe by helping others on U.H.you are on the right road to achieving any goals/tasks that you want,beleive me and beleive in yourself,speaking freely with others will flow once you learn to feel comfortable in your own skin so to speak--Im a lot older and perhaps wiser ,but I know potential in you and you have confidence -go forward and you will find others too (would be professionals all have failings in learning human skills,and the art of conversation is about giving and receiving)!

Hey Lori. Thanks! that means so much to me. Really appreciate your comment. Yeah I try to help others when I can. Share my own experience. If I can reach just one person out there and let them know they're not alone and it's not the end of the road, then it'll be worth it

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