Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Still having a rough time.

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Still having a rough time.
Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Atonement     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This semester, I’ve been way more social than previously. I’ve been going to parties and other social events, and have been really making an attempt to “get out there”. And I kind of still feel just as empty.

Last semester, I made all my friends in my premed group. It’s their parties I’ve been going to, and their even events that I’ve been invited to.

The thing is, over the summer, I changed my mind about becoming a doctor. It was just too stressful, too competitive, and I didn’t want to spend the next 10 years living my life that way.

This year, I’m still the #1 most active member in the group, and no one knows the truth. That I don’t feel like I belong here. That I’ve been struggling to make below average grades in most of my classes. That I even had to drop one of my major classes. It’s silly, because even though I’m not at standard premed level I’m still at a very good school getting a very good degree, but I just feel like I have nothing going for me right now. Nothing is working out the way I thought it would.

I don’t feel like I’ve made any real friends, just people to be around. The only real friend here that I feel like I have is my roommate, and a lot of the times I think I annoy her. I tell myself that this is just one of those nagging insecurities, but a lot of times the nagging insecurities I have turn out to be true.

To top it off, I went on a conference trip with a lot of the people I’ve been hanging out with. Among the group were both of the guys that have turned me down since I’ve moved here.

Even though I’m no longer interested in seeing the guy from a few months ago, it was still hard seeing him looking all happy with his new girlfriend while I was alone. And being around the more recent guy, who I still haven’t completely shaken my feelings for was even worse.

I just feel like a part of my life is missing and I’m struggling to fill the hole. I felt like this before, but back then, I thought I knew what it was. Now, I just don’t know.

I really think I need to start getting therapy again. I don’t really feel like I should’ve quit at all, and the only reason I did is because my therapist was quitting. But I’m nervous to make an appointment with the school because I’ve heard you don’t get any say as to who they book your appointment yet. I don’t feel comfortable discussing all this stuff with a guy, and also since I live in a super conservative town, I’m afraid that they will try to tell me that my problem is my lack of religion and try to push me into going to church, which I’m not interested in
.
On top of this, I’m also struggling financially because I couldn’t get funding for the summer I spent here and I don’t have enough money to get me through the rest of the year. I’m applying for a cost of attendance increase, but they’ve told me it’s kind of unlikely that it will be approved. Instead, it’s looking like I’ll have to get a short term loan and pay myself back with next semester’s loans, which means I might come up a little short for then too.

I just feel like everything is against me right now. I keep feeling like this has got to be the end of it, and things are bound to turn around soon, but no luck so far. This time last year I was having such an unbelivably rough time with family issues, but I really felt like I would be happy by now.

Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I personally think one of the toughest things about life transitions from childhood to adulthood is that it tends to take longer for us to cement really good friendships.

In other words, I'd say it's fairly typical for it to take longer to make serious besties than it was when we were younger. There are a lot of sound reasons, I think, why that is, but that sure doesn't make it feel any better.

But, of course, it doesn't sound like that's the only thing you're grappling with, here. I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time.

With counseling/therapy, professional, credentialed therapists should be secular unless they state they are otherwise. Period. But you can certainly ask about that in advance.

It sounds to me like if one were to summarize your two biggest struggles, it would be being lonely and also feeling a lack of direction in some areas. Does that sound about right? If not, can you maybe narrow all of this down to two major deals yourself for me?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Atonement     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I don't necessarily feel that lack of direction is the issue, because even though i did change my mind about becoming a Doctor, I still know what I want to do long term (become a PA).

I think issue # 2 is more that I'm doing not so great in classes when I thought I would. So, lack of accomplishment, I guess.

You're right about the being lonely part. I've been lonely a lot in my life, but feeling lonely even when I'm surrounded my friends is something new, and I think that makes it even more scary.

Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Okay, so loneliness and...feelings of failure? Or, if perhaps not that strong, feelings of not living up to your full potential right now?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Atonement     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Right. Or, not so much of "not living up to my full potential" as realizing that maybe my potential isn't quite as high as I thought.
Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know, if I can put on my deeply subjective Auntie heather hat for a second, I'd like to share something personal with you.

In case it's not overwhelmingly obvious, I have a fairly long history in life as a serious overachiever. Achievement, and particularly my achievement, was a HUGE thing when I was growing up. Huge because I was born a girl at a time when 2nd wave feminism was just starting and opportunities for women were radically changing for the better, huge because I grew up in the working class, and also from immigrant families, huge because I was clearly very smart and talented.

And hey, for a long time, achievement made me feel very good. Of course it feels good for people around you to think you're doing well, and to meet or exceed their expectations. Of course it feels good to get rewarded for achievement and to feel like you're Doing Something.

Except when you're not, right? Except when you aren't meeting someone else's or your own expectations, when you feel you're not achieveing enough, when you feel like there are even five minutes where you're not living up to your potential, blah blah blah.

The older I've gotten, and the more I've worked out that for just as often as achievement has made me feel good about myself, the whole framework has just as often made me feel really bad, or had me miss out on some things in life because of putting achievement so high up on my priroty list...

...the more I start to realize that in a lot of ways, achievement, with a capital A, is kind of like simple carbohydrates.

Simple carbs taste very nummy. When we're eating them, we tend to feel very satisfied, including right after we've eaten them. But we also crash from them FAST. And then we eat more, kind of trying to fill that void or stay on that high without crashing. Which is, of course, impossible: because we just can't sustain that. Simple crabs just don't work that way.

So, here's my best advice to you around that piece: by all means, reach for the things you want to, and feel good about goals you reach. At the same time, I strongly advise finding other ways to learn to feel whole in yourself and good about yourself, including things where probably no one would say "Oh hey, great job! You did it!"

Sometimes we hear messages that say it's okay for us to fail sometimes. And of course it is. But I'd also posit that what's even better is working to try and understand that it's not only okay to exempt ourselves from that whole framework of failure/achievement sometimes, but it's really, really essential. especially if we want to really feel like whole people no matter what, and enjoy the whole range of things in our lives that have nothing to do with that framework.

Do you know what I mean?

If not, maybe consider this: what are you doing right now to let go of any sense of perceived failure socially, romantically or academically? To allow yourself to be in a bit of limbo -- where we'll of course be many times in our lives -- and have it be okay? Have it say nothing whatsoever about your value or worth as a person?

What about whatever framework you have or have had for the idea that your potential, anyone's potential, can even be put on a linear scale from low to high? Ever tried considering that whole idea might be broken, then see what you thought if you stepped out of it a little?

(If I'm talking all of this in a direction that doesn't feel right for you, btw, just give a holler. It has just seemed like something that keeps coming up with you a lot, and has many times over the years, so thought I'd throw a dart and see if it stuck.)

[ 11-11-2012, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Atonement     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No, what you're saying makes a lot of sense, and I think I really needed to hear it.

Growing up, intelligence was the only trait I had that I knew how to value. I grew up chubby and went on my first diet probably before I turned 10. I spent a lot of time on art in high school, but never really got the feeling that it "mattered" because it wasn't very profitable. But I was doing high school math and reading at a college level by the start of 5th grade.

So, I've always considered that to be my "thing". And I guess even if I'm not academically inclined as I used to be, I still like to think a little more than the average person.

It's hard, because I know that I have worth and value as an individual. The thing is, when I "take inventory" of myself, I have trouble seeing where that worth is or what sets me apart from anyone else. And I guess I feel like I need to "stand out" for someone to see me as a good person to be partners or friends with.

Also, as far as being in a relationship, I'm trying to just try to keep cool and hope that everyone is right and that my time will come eventually. But it feels like it's been such a long time, and I really don't feel like I believe that everyone finds someone. Or at least, that they find someone that's good for them.

Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So, some of what you said here ;pinged something for me, which is this:

I wonder if you think it's possible that this need to "stand out" or set yourself apart might have a common thread between the challenges you're dealing with in terms of feeling like you're not achieving enough AND the challenges you're having connecting to others socially?

In other words, do you think it might be possible that what you think you need to do for other people to want to connect with you might, in fact, be the opposite of what you need to do?

How about instead, in your social interactions, you try and focus a bit more on identifying what you find interesting and of value in other people, and worrying a lot less about what they'd value in you? And perhaps obviously, if you're seeing making friends or dating as anything related to achieving something, maybe see if you can't let go of some of that?

Also, sounds like visual art was a lost love for you. I wonder if perhaps you might not find at least a little time to rediscovering that? personally, I think investing time and energy in things we enjoy which are rarely or not profitable or linked with achievement can be EXACTLY the right medicine for learning to change a propensity to overachieve or overfocus on achievement.

[ 11-11-2012, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Atonement     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, you could be right. The only thing is, I feel like I'm acting normally, so I don't really understand how my thoughts and feelings could be preventing me from connecting with someone.

I'm not really thinking of making friends and dating as an achievement, just something that I really want. I always kind of grew up thinking of dating as something that was frivolous but that I still wanted because growing up, I was always told "get good grades, but boys aren't important."

But now that I'm out of high school and out in the world, everyone (including my mom) is starting to acknowledge that having relationships can be important.

I guess I've also been the type of person who was a big romantic, but learned to turn that part of myself off because of tough situations and various kinds of heartbreak. And now that I'm at a point where I'm kind of healing from a lot of the things that held me back when I was living with my parents, I just can't turn it off anymore.

I also think you're right about the art. I have a small table in my closet that I used to use for makeup, but now prefer to do my makeup in the bathroom. I've always put off doing art because I don't want to make a mess, but I'm thinking that might be the perfect place for me to get set up where I can start a project and leave it there without it getting in the way. I'm getting kind of excited just thinking about it.

Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Atonement     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just made an appointment with the student counseling center. Unfortunately the soonest they had available was a week from now.
Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My sense is this isn't a crisis, so waiting a week should be okay. But if I've misunderstood and this does feel to you like a situation where you need crisis care per counseling, you can communicate that to the center at school and they might be able to see you sooner.

Personally, I do think that the ways we think about and present ourselves can have big impacts on our social lives, and social research tends to bear that out. How we think about ourselves is something others can, and often do, pick up on in interacting with us.

Glad to hear going back to doing some art has you feeling excited: it sounds like it could be a really great thing for you.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Atonement     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It just got moved up to two weeks because I wanted a female counselor.

You're right, It's not a crisis. However, I have been putting it off for a while, so it would have been nice to get in earlier, but it'll do.

Any you know, I kind of wonder if what's been "missing" in my life has been that aspect. That maybe I haven't been touching into that artistic side of myself, that used to be a really big part of me and my identity.

Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3