Figuring out what's wrong in my head and how to address it.

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Figuring out what's wrong in my head and how to address it.

Post by BobTheNinja on Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:36 pm

I've been wrestling with a slew of different personal issues lately. Some of them have been with me ever since my early teenage years, others emerged during college, and a few more emerged roughly a year and a half ago after I graduated and got my first job. I'll list off what I'm dealing with so far:

1. Chronic procrastination. This one's been a long-time problem. Whenever I'm confronted with uninteresting or tedious tasks, like work, studying, or exercise, I'll often try to find ways of distracting myself. This has become a minor problem at work, where I feel a near-compulsive desire to check my phone every half hour or so. I still keep up with my tasks at work, but I've been taking breaks too much.

2. Low willpower. When it comes to getting into good habits, like doing more social activities, exercising, changing my diet and other things, often I just feel like it's too much work and fall into my procrastination routine. And even when I do take action, I can never maintain momentum and end up falling back into old habits.

3. Constantly shifting interests. My brain can never seem to stay focused on any one project or activity over the long term. For example, when I try to run a roleplaying game or write a cool story, my interest typically lasts anywhere from a couple weeks to a month or two, and then completely collapses as other distractions grab my attention. Even when they're supposed to be fun projects, eventually it ends up feeling like work and I just don't want to do anything with it anymore. I've been diagnosed with ADD in the past, so that might be a factor, but either way, it's extremely frustrating.

4. Fixation on sex/virginity. I'm now 23 and I still have yet to be intimate with anyone. I know that I shouldn't make a big deal out of it, and I'd like to treat it that way...but there are many times where it just drives me up the fucking wall. I feel like I've missed out by not being more socially active in my college years, and now I've 'fallen behind' everyone else. Somehow, the majority of people my age have experienced sex, a universal aspect of humanity, but I haven't. I currently resort to fantasizing, cybersex, porn, and erotic artwork and stories to satisfy myself, but I'm frustrated with my virginity, sometimes even angry.

Recently I very nearly went to an Asian massage parlor in hopes of landing a happy ending. But I was incredibly nervous going in, and when I had communication difficulties with the counter lady, I got spooked and embarrassed, ultimately taking my money back and bailing out before anything happened. I cried pretty much the entire way home. That's the only time I ever attempted something like that, and even though I probably made the right decision in backing out of that situation, it was still unbelievably frustrating and upsetting. Online dating hasn't been working out either, which is further impeded by the procrastination and shifting interests problem.

5. Shut-in tendencies. This one has been an issue since before college. Most of the time I'm surfing the web, playing games, or reading a book on my own. I occasionally went out to visit friends before in high school, and I regularly attended activity clubs in college, but I very rarely actually went out to events in other places. I've carried this habit with me after graduation, and now that I don't have a regular circle of friends anymore, the vast majority of my free time is spent in my room, doing the same old things. I've gone to a few Meetup events in my area, and gone out with coworkers a few times, but neither of those things are a consistent, regular thing for me.

6. Fear of failure. This one is a big one, and hugely contributes to the procrastination and low willpower issues. Especially when it comes to dating, I'm afraid that I'll fuck up and embarrass myself, ultimately wasting my time and getting myself hurt in the process. Why put in that effort and risk that kind of pain when I can do the things I already enjoy doing at home, where it's safe and I don't have to deal with bullshit?

7. Resentment of my current job. I started out as a retail office assistant, which was engaging, but way too goddamn stressful, so I ended up switching to a porter position, basically acting as a moving guy and janitor. It pays the bills and is a lot less stressful...but it's also boring as hell, and I've begun to feel real disappointment in myself for working in this position. I'm a freaking college graduate. What am I'm DOING here?? Sadly, the fear of failure and procrastination problems also apply to searching for new jobs, so I feel stuck right now.

8. Negative thought/emotion spirals. This one has emerged within the last year and a half, I think because of the stress of my first job. Nowadays I'll often fall into these bad, almost depressive moods, fixating on negative thoughts about myself regarding all of the above problems. I want to make changes in my life to do better in various areas, but I'm too afraid too risk failure and discomfort, and have historically just fallen back on old habits anyway, and it pisses me off because I know that a lot of my own actions and habits are contributing to my unhappiness. Even worse, I often feel like I can't trust myself to figure out what's best for me or what action I should take. I end up stewing in this putrid vortex of frustration, anger, sorrow and hopelessness. It sometimes gets so bad that I end up breaking down and crying. And even when it doesn't get that bad, I've lately been having a lot of less intense, mini-episodes of that same horrible negative mood stewing.

It's gotten to the point where I'm planning to schedule an appointment with my doctor about these problems and see what might be done about it. Despite the fact that I'm now graduated, largely living on my own, and gainfully employed, it often feels like nothing is going right in my life. I don't know if I'm actually suffering from depression or what, but I just feel like I can't get my shit together the way I am right now.

What do you guys think?
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Re: Figuring out what's wrong in my head and how to address it.

Post by Enail on Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:25 pm

I think talking to your doctor about it sounds like a great idea.

It also sounds like you're kind of bored both at your job and maybe in general? Even if you're not at a point where you can reasonably look for a new job, maybe there's something you could do to liven things up there a bit. Could you use it as brainstorming time for a side project you're into? When I was bored at a job a while back, I'd do little bits of writing, thinking about the next sentence when I was doing something physical but mindless, and then jotting it down when I had a free moment, going back and forth between them into actually long stories. I found it easier to keep up than projects I was working on outside of work, because it allowed me to use that procrastination energy towards writing, but it never got too out of hand because I'd write a tiny bit and then want to procrastinate on that, so i'd get back to work Razz  Maybe something like that would work for you?
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Re: Figuring out what's wrong in my head and how to address it.

Post by Caffeinated on Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:27 pm

I think the biggest thing in your way right now is that fear of failure. It contributes to procrastination in a huge way, as well as to low motivation and the shifting interests.

It also sounds like one thing you have is a bit of post-schooling slump. Everything is very structured for us when we're in school, and then suddenly after graduation it's all up to us. I think a lot of people find that time to be a shock to the system, and struggle for a while to learn how to shape their own life.

When you're in a very structured environment, you choose from a limited list of things, and now you're out in the world where the parameters for what you can pursue are basically "anything you feel like pursuing". The lack of parameters can feel paralyzing. It's not possible to compare every possible choice to every other possible choice and pick the best one.

Trying to pick the best thing is your enemy right now. Trying to pick only the thing you won't fail at is also your enemy. You're at a perfect stage in life to get some good failures under your belt. Failed relationships, failed jobs and business ventures, failed artistic projects. No one looks down on a 23-year-old for failing at stuff, it's an experimental age.

Don't try to do everything right, don't limit yourself to things you're sure you can succeed at. It might seem like the safe thing to do, but it's not.
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Re: Figuring out what's wrong in my head and how to address it.

Post by bomaye on Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:01 am

I think you should both get out of your head, and just go fail at things until you don't
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Re: Figuring out what's wrong in my head and how to address it.

Post by BobTheNinja on Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:57 pm

So...the start of 2016 has been less than pleasant. I started my week-long vacation on January 1 so I could go to an anime convention in my area, but I startes getting sick that same day, so I had to miss half of the event to stay and my folk's place and rest. A few days later, I got an interview offer from Dell (I got referred to them by an associate of my Dad after inquiring about how to get into IT work).

The position has technical training included, which is awesome, but the problem is that it's a call center position, so I'd be doing primarily phone-based tech support for customers. My first full time job was phone-based customer service as an office assistant at a furniture retail store, and that job was stressful as hell, and I feel I wasn't the best at it. I ended up transferring over to porter after a year because I didn't want to deal with it anymore and the corporate office recommended it.

I decided that it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up, so I set a date for the interview. But the entire week leading up to it was a fucking roller coaster of anxiety and self-doubt. It was so bad that I actually broke down in tears multiple times, including a couple times at work. I was terrified at the thought that the job would end up a repeat of my first job experience.

In the end, I think I did well at the interview, but I won't know if I'll get the job until mid February. In the meantime, I'm still struggling with all of these awful recurring fears. I did meet with my doctor the previous month and went back on my ADHD meds, which has helped with focusing at work somewhat, but...I think need to see a therapist. I just haven't been able to deal with these anxiety problems on my own. I've been venting to my internet friends since forever and looking up infornation on anxiety and how to deal with it, but neither has done any good, and I think they've actually become just another coping mechanism. Talking with my parents helped more, but the relief was temporary. I love them, and I know they love me, but...I still feel trapped by myself.
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Re: Figuring out what's wrong in my head and how to address it.

Post by Enail on Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:28 pm

That sounds like a rough, exhausting month, I hope things pick up and become less stressful soon. A therapist sounds like a good idea!
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Re: Figuring out what's wrong in my head and how to address it.

Post by BobTheNinja on Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:18 pm

Enail wrote:That sounds like a rough, exhausting month, I hope things pick up and become less stressful soon. A therapist sounds like a good idea!
I appreciate that, thanks.

There are a few other things that are really been bothering me lately. One is my apparent aversion to getting out of the house and doing things. Like, going out for drinks, going to local events, or just taking a walk through a park. Things where I can have a good time and meet people. Thing is, in my past experiences, even when going to social events that specifically cater to my interests, I always have this background feeling of tense discomort at breaking my routine and putting myself out there. Combined with my anxiety about trying to chat with strangers and I just end up not relaxing and enjoying myself, and I think I've become afraid that I'll end up having that same negative experience no matter where I go. It doesn't help that I've got this idea in my head that I won't find people who I'd be able to hang out with regularly.

The other thing is that I now fear that my current issues with anxiety and staying in my confort zone will prevent me from making new friends, or even attracting a potential girlfriend. As in, if people find out that I have personal issues and a very quiet home life, they'll be put off by it. Despite the fact that part of me REALLY wants to talk about these problems with someone people other than my immediate family or internet friends.

I've also become very aware of time and how I spend it. I absolutely dread the idea of spending substantial off time on something other than my comfort activities and risk not having a good time, or even having a negative experience. But then I've also become partly ashamed of my comfort acitivities because they remind me of my bad habits and my failure to live a fulfilling social life. It seems no matter what I do, I lose.
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