It’s been longer than usual since I last wrote a blog post, which has been the result of a number of factors. For instance, I wanted my first post of the year to be special, but nothing I thought of seemed original enough or appropriate for the time. Also, there was one significant change in my life, but although this led to less time than before, I feel as if I could’ve found the time to write if I really wanted to.
I guess that’s exactly the problem: I didn’t really want to. The reason for this is that there always seemed to be something more urgent that required my attention. I kept asking myself: Why would I invest time in anything that isn’t related to my goals when my dreams still seem so far away?
This mindset isn’t limited to writing this blog, though, as it affects nearly every aspect of my life. Whenever I think about going on vacation for example, the first thought that follows is: Why would I go anywhere else for a while, just to come back to the same mess afterwards? Even the thought of merely going outdoors makes me anxious sometimes, since any progress towards my goals would require me to stay indoors.
What it all comes down to is everything feeling like a waste of time due to the constant reminder that I’m not where I want to be in life. As days go by it’s also getting harder to imagine myself ever reaching that elusive place that, in my mind, is the only way for me to be happy. It’s not that I don’t believe in my dreams anymore, but the lack of progress towards those dreams is making me hopeless.
Anxiety, doubt and confusion are probably the three factors that are holding me back the most. They seem to be particularly harmful for any activity that requires creativity, which is what lies at the core of my greatest ambitions. Once in a while I do get excited thinking about all the things I could create. Yet, this excitement is usually short-lived as I always end up feeling overwhelmed, leading to chaos in my head.
Often I feel as if there is something wrong with me and that I’m the victim of some undiagnosed disorder. This is not something I linger over too much, though, since I don’t feel like there is much I could do about it anyway. I used to spend a lot of time looking up mental disorders to see which symptoms applied to me, which made me feel as if I was learning more about myself. However, eventually I would always be just as stuck as before.
There was a time during which I talked to several psychiatrists in the hopes of finding out if there was something wrong with me. For a while it was nice to have someone to talk to about things that I couldn’t discuss with anyone else. At the same time I still wasn’t comfortable enough to be completely open and act like myself, which probably made it difficult for them to help me. It went together well with my mindset of ‘no one can help me anyway’.
Due to my internship I was forced to take a break from the program and I was sort of relieved to have a reason to stop going for a while. The sessions were supposed to continue when my time as an intern was over, but after receiving an unexpected bill, I decided to cancel the program immediately. To me, the treatment wasn’t worth the money due to the lack of tangible results.
Another reason why I quit the program was that my internship abroad seemed to be all that I needed in the first place, as it allowed me to get away from everything. Being in a place where nobody knew me was like heaven to me. The experience changed my life, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to go abroad since, and being stuck at home has gradually brought back the same confusion and anxiety as before.
On the advice of the therapist at my general practitioner’s office, I went into therapy again. I ended up getting treatment at a different psychiatric institute, though, since the one I went to before had gone bankrupt. This meant having to start from scratch, telling my whole story all over again. This institute’s approach was a little different, but overall it mostly came down to talking sessions.
After the first couple of talks I already felt that it wasn’t going to work, since I felt way less understood than during the sessions with previous psychiatrists. I started getting the feeling that they tried to put me into a certain category, like ‘child of divorced parents’ or ‘gender confusion’, always steering the conversation away from my problems with creativity. Their approach may have been focussed more on the root of these problems rather than finding a solution, but I felt like I didn’t have time for that.
Again it seemed to me like I was paying for a treatment that didn’t get me any results. In my mind it was absurd that an institution that was supposed to help me move forward in life, was only preventing me from investing in things that could actually help me grow, like an online course or another internship. And instead of talking to these psychiatrists I felt much more in need of a friend with similar interests.
Making new friends isn’t as easy as it was when I was a kid, though, when all you had to do was ask one of the other kids to hang out. Back then the only problem was deciding whose house we were going to, while not even thinking about what we would do. Now it seems impossible to connect with others that easily as I feel uncomfortable thinking about any scenario in which I talk to someone. Even if the other person is accepting and has similar interests, I still can’t seem to be myself.
I tend to daydream a lot about someday being able to really be myself and connecting with people in a way that brings out a happy feeling instead of discomfort. Yet, that day never seems to come, which is probably because I’m expecting things to change while I remain the same. Sometimes I think I just haven’t found the right people yet, but having made virtually no friends in the last few years makes it obvious that the problem lies within myself.
Being alone didn’t use to bother me (or at least that’s what I told myself) as I took some kind of pride in not needing anyone. I didn’t understand the allure of going to any kind of social occasion or even just hanging out with friends and considered it a waste of time. To some extent I still don’t understand this, but over time I’ve come to learn how important the relationships you have with other people are and that feeling connected is everything in this life.
Often it’s the smallest gesture that reminds me of the value of social connection. The beauty of a stranger’s unexpected smile, for example, can turn my day around in a way that no individual experience ever could. Even something as simple as a pat on the shoulder can lead to a sense of belonging and acceptance, even if the person giving out the pat isn’t aware of it. Considering this I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that one meaningful conversation could be life-changing.
Forming meaningful relationships is something that seems impossible more often than not, though, and sometimes I feel like those are what I miss in my life the most. I guess this is also what I’m hoping to achieve with realizing my dreams, since I think that I would be way better at communicating if it was done through ideas instead of face-to face conversations. This is why it bothers me so much to be creatively stuck and I sometimes fear that it is leading to an unfulfilled life lived in solitude.
The need of feeling socially connected is probably what keeps bringing me back to this blog, even if it doesn’t make sense to me to keep writing most of the times. It’s nice to be able to use this as an outlet for my thoughts and emotions, but I guess I’d rather express them more ‘artistically’, while perhaps writing blog posts on the side. In the end I just hope that someone can relate to what I’m trying to say, no matter the way in which the message gets across.
I’m sorry if this post got a bit chaotic, although it wouldn’t be a decent reflexion of my mind if I stayed on track the whole time. There are many thoughts and ideas that I’d like to discuss in more detail, but for now I just want to be done with this post. I hope I’ll be able to get it together enough for me to write more consistently and create a more organized blog. In any case, I’m thankful for anyone taking the time to read my posts and I’d be satisfied if you enjoy them half as much as I like to read yours.