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Old 09-06-06, 12:56 PM   #1
j.foster
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After some advice from anyone who's ever felt a bit dead inside...

I've been feeling a bit off lately and was wondering if anyone has ever had any similar experience and managed to overcome it. I kind of feel like I know what Dave Gilmour meant in the Pink Floyd song Comfortably Numb, nothing seems to hold the excitement it did before for me and i'm kind of lacking in motivation but it's like i'm in a comfort zone - I can't be bothered to change, part of me wants to and part of me doesn't see the point. Things that would previously make me particularly happy/motivated/excited/passionate just don't do it anymore and i feel kind of like getting angry/annoyed/stressed isn't worth the hassle, a bit like i'm devoid of emotion. I think what I need to do is find something that i feel really passionate about so that i don't hear my alarm clock in the morning and start wondering why i should even bother getting up, but the problem here is that the two things i've always been really passionate about (Cycling and Playing the guitar) don't seem to excite me anymore either. Perhaps i just need a big change to shake things up a bit? I've been in my job nearly 3 years and have become quite bored with it, although it has decent career prospects i fail to see the point in furthering my career to earn more money as i'm a relatively simple person who doesn't need much to get by and wouldn't have anything to do with bags more money, on the same subject though i hate to stagnate and get into a rutt whereby i'm not taxing myself. It's like i'm living with my brain switched off, everything is a routine so my mind kind of goes to sleep and i go through the motions like an automaton. Menial jobs seem like too much effort and big jobs seem too far off to accomplish. I know i think too much about everything and i think that in itself is a big problem because i question things but i don't want to end up as someone who just gets on with everything without questioning it. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea and think i'm depressed, i just think i'm going through a funny patch. The odd bit is it's like my friend said, as far as a psychologist is concerned, you've admitted there's a problem, you know what it is and you know what you have to do to sort it but it's almost like you don't want to. I know i need to change my negative thoughts for positive ones, break out my routine, have some aspirations for the future, goals to accomplish and motivation to get out of bed and enjoy life. Sorry to have whinged but i just don't know what to do.
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Old 09-06-06, 01:05 PM   #2
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You're likely to get some good advice in Foo. This kind of thing comes up from time to time with different Foosters and there are many different answers and solutions that have worked. It varies by person, of course. Just watch out for the trolls [edit: see post 4 below].

If you truly think you are feeling depressed, it might be something physical and a doctor would be able to help diagnose and treat that.

If you are feeling burned out on guitar or riding, take a break for a while. That can make things seem more fresh. Or you could find a new way to enjoy each of them. Take a guitar class, or something related like a mandolin class. If you ride alone, join a group ride for a change of pace. Or perhaps there is something else you've been wanting to try in music or in physical activity. Sounds like a great time to give something else a go. You might just find a new passion waiting out there.

Good luck.

Last edited by CyLowe97; 09-06-06 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 09-06-06, 01:08 PM   #3
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Old 09-06-06, 01:09 PM   #4
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Cheer up emo kid

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Old 09-06-06, 01:20 PM   #5
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I think there's actually some physiological basis for what you're experiencing. As you've built up a lifetime of experiences, fewer and fewer things are either new, unexpected, or have not been experienced. Once this happens, it is entirely possible to almost sleepwalk through life - a condition that I think is exacerbated by having compromised about job, career, your partner, etc. I'm certain there are as many solutions to this phenomenon as there are people who experience it. One obvious answer is to attempt something new that holds (or at one point held) your interest. Another would be to focus on more of the details around you - possibly taking up a hobby like painting or photography might stimulate this sort of new focus on observing the small things. You could make a life-changing career move to take up something you've always wanted to do. One last solution - and probably not the one most people would choose, even if it really were a choice) is to contract a terminal illness. This could either work spectacularly, or backfire completely though.

Hope you can find your answer here. I feel a bit of what you describe at times, but it isn't as acute - and actually helps me to avoid getting overly caught up in the moment.
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Old 09-06-06, 01:38 PM   #6
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All i can gladly offer you is a hug as I dont know that finding new goals will not be a temporary fix into the void you are feeling.
I dont know if you are missing something in your life or do we always feel unsatisfied when all becomes not a thrill or a challenge anymore.
I dont know if one can be happy settling and never feel as if there could of been more no matter how happy one seems to be.
I really dont know... so all i can do is give you a big hug and hope this pass or you find the answers, if you do, share them with me
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Old 09-06-06, 02:00 PM   #7
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This may sound a bit corny, but, maybe what you need is to set some new goals for yourself...you know, have something new to shoot for. I find that that helps me when I get into a funk.

Another thing is, to have some level of contentment in your life. IMHO...anyone can do it. We all have personal, relational, financial, societal, moral, physical, and dare I say spiritual issues/annoyances/inconveinences that we encounter in life; and not to get all Friends of BillW on you (and no, I'm not a recovering X or haven't been part of any X-anon group...)but there is alot of truth to some of the concepts one learns in an -anon group; First is to accept the things we cannot change, and to learn to change the things we can...%99 of the time the things we can change involves something we can change about ourselves and our behaviors. Too many times in the past I have let other peoples behaviors affect my life...now I just blow it off. They have to deal with themselves...only I can deal with me. And I don't expect anything to happen overnight either...if there is some issue I need to deal with no matter how minor or major...take it one step at a time...kind of like cycling...one doesn't take his/her first bike and go ride a century...they work up to it in increments, train, sometimes fail, and gain wisdom along the way, until they actually do it. I hope some of this makes sense, as I tend to ramble. At any rate...Cheers to you.
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Old 09-06-06, 02:05 PM   #8
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New hobbies are my only idea. I reccomend you find something new that makes you happy and go for it.

Off topic but worth mentioning is that paragraphs are your friend.
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Old 09-06-06, 02:13 PM   #9
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Hey J.Foster.

You've done a dandy job of defining depression. Oh, and FOO is last place to get help, especially if this has been going on for more than a couple of weeks. Depression is much more than a major drag, it's the ruination of life and a killer.

There's nothing wrong with getting help. Drop a private message if you like. I'm no Doc, but I am a "poster child" for beating this thing. . .been there. . .survived. . .made some life changes. . .ain't goin' back.
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Old 09-06-06, 02:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander
Off topic but worth mentioning is that paragraphs are your friend.
Hey, sometimes the words just come spilling out and the last thing you want blocking some revelation is the enter key.

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Old 09-06-06, 02:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyLowe97
Hey, sometimes the words just come spilling out and the last thing you want blocking some revelation is the enter key.

+1000
when you are done spilling your soul to strangers, Im sure the advise you were really looking for to was how to paragrah your personal thoughts
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Old 09-06-06, 02:32 PM   #12
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Have a drink, you'll feel better... if not, have another one...
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Old 09-06-06, 02:52 PM   #13
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I find that when I am feeling the way you describe, I am too into myself and need to get out and do something for others. We as a society should try to be better people. I often forget about my fellow man in my selfish times. Helping someone less fortunate can be very gratifing. Its usually the simople things in life that bring the greatest rewards, joy and happiness. Other times a trip to Tahoe works wonders for me.

Sean
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Old 09-06-06, 03:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by injured
I find that when I am feeling the way you describe, I am too into myself and need to get out and do something for others. We as a society should try to be better people. I often forget about my fellow man in my selfish times. Helping someone less fortunate can be very gratifing. Its usually the simople things in life that bring the greatest rewards, joy and happiness.
This sounds like a good idea. And stay away from alcohol...
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Old 09-06-06, 03:33 PM   #15
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Frustration, boredom (whatever) with life I can sympathize. The peace corps or its U.K. equivalent sounds like the best advice I've heard. Is your job one that will allow a sabbatical? If not try some local volunteer work.

Best of luck,

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Old 09-06-06, 03:42 PM   #16
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Sometimes the inspiration I get from reading a book by a very good writer is enough to recharge my life batteries.
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Old 09-06-06, 04:25 PM   #17
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Off topic but worth mentioning is that paragraphs are your friend.
+2
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Old 09-06-06, 04:55 PM   #18
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Go on vacation if you can. That seems to be the only thing that really helps me. Too bad once a year is all I can go.
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Old 09-06-06, 05:50 PM   #19
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We all go through times of "funk" and I for one happened to have one of those "Is this all there is to life?" moments. My mom was dying, my job was stagnant, I didn't want to do my favorite hobbies or talk to my friends, blah blah.

I realized that I needed to feel needed and useful. I went and collected a bunch of toys that my neighbor kids have grown out of and on one weekend took them to the ghetto area of my town. I stood there with a few boxes in a wagon and started to ask the kids there if they wanted something. Next thing you know, I was surrounded by happy children and their parents, all grateful for what they were getting. I was able to meet the people of the neighborhood, talk to them, hear about their woes, and see the little faces of children in need.

I went home exausted but refreshed with a feeling that a whole bunch of kids had "new" toys and the parents felt some hope. By then I too felt some hope. For I was finally able to see what I myself had.

Take care and know that you will be just fine. You have your inner self, your sharp mind and your true soul. The best gifts ever.
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Old 09-06-06, 06:01 PM   #20
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^^^^
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Old 09-06-06, 07:21 PM   #21
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Everytime I felt down about something, I had some sort of accident or drama to remind me to never complain again and take for granted what I can do and what I have.. I have learn that fosusing on what I think is missing doesnt work for me.
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Old 09-06-06, 08:47 PM   #22
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I've realized just now that since I left Dallas, I'm missing somethings in my life--I'm not sure what they are though. I'm taking a four day weekend to go back to Dallas and spend some time at some places that were very special to me during my time there (they were some of the happiest years of my life). I'm going to see if I can remember what it was like and discover what I'm missing and if it's good to get back, or find something else. I think I'm in the most difficult season of my life so far right now--at least emotionally.
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Old 09-06-06, 08:59 PM   #23
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Koine

Things might be different, dont' be hurt or disappointed. I did that exact same thing. It was all I needed to realise that I have grown in many different ways and have become a stronger person than I ever was. It puts the past into the past. Because no matter what, going back did bring back memories, but they remained memories. And seeing my old neighborhood sealed those memories into the time that they were. After that, I was able to accept it and move on with my current life. It felt good to not be held back by what used to be, and wonderings of "what if".

Enjoy your visit and take care of your heart. ((hugs))
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Old 09-06-06, 09:23 PM   #24
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I'm impressed by the sensitive and kind responses you've received, j.foster. If you decide to have a drink, do it with a friend you can talk to about this. Some people get a sort of melancholy as summer fades and the hours of daylight become shorter. For most of us, this time of year is also the anniversary of our returning to school, which can be an unpleasant memory for some people.

Coyote gave you a good invitation to contact him privately. He might have something useful for you and whether he does or not, you're under no obligation to obey him. Click on the underlined text, or if that doesn't work go to Google and plug in the string as it appears. It sounds a lot like what you're describing:

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Old 09-06-06, 09:54 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.foster
It's like i'm living with my brain switched off, everything is a routine so my mind kind of goes to sleep and i go through the motions like an automaton. Menial jobs seem like too much effort and big jobs seem too far off to accomplish. I know i think too much about everything and i think that in itself is a big problem because i question things but i don't want to end up as someone who just gets on with everything without questioning it. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea and think i'm depressed, i just think i'm going through a funny patch. The odd bit is it's like my friend said, as far as a psychologist is concerned, you've admitted there's a problem, you know what it is and you know what you have to do to sort it but it's almost like you don't want to. I know i need to change my negative thoughts for positive ones, break out my routine, have some aspirations for the future, goals to accomplish and motivation to get out of bed and enjoy life. Sorry to have whinged but i just don't know what to do.
There's a couple of culprits here I think. One is western view of "shoulds" in life, and one of the most common traps is the "should" of progress. Somehow we're brainwashed into judging our lives in terms of continual progress and improvement, or else you're a "failure". I heard this story on my 6-week Rotary exchange trip to the Philippines a while back:

Quote:
So a western industrialist goes on vacation in the Bahamas and encounters a fisherman on the beach. The guy had just brought back his catch and was grilling the fish on a campfire on the beach. He offers the industrialist some fish-tacos.

"Wow, this is really great, have you ever thought of opening up a fish-taco stand?" asks the industrialist.

"What would that give me?" asks the fisherman.
The industrialize replies with "Well then, you'll be able to make more money!"
"And what would that give me?" queries the fisherman again.
Industrialist: "Then you can buy a bigger fishing boat and hire some helpers!"
Fisherman: "And what would that give me?"
Industrialist: "Well, then you can make even more money and open up a seafood restaurant!"
Fisherman: "And what would that give me?"
Industrialist: "Then you can make even more money!
Fisherman: "And what would that give me?"
Industrialist: "Well then, you can relax, not worry about working and live the good life!"

The fisherman retorts, "Well... I already am!" and goes back to grilling his delicious fresh fish and kicking it on the beach with a beer...
We get into this mindset that somehow, we always need "more", more money, more possessions, more status, higher & loftier goals or else we're not "good enough". BAH!!!

In Eastern philosophy, there is the idea of the peaceful co-existence of duality and opposites. Life isn't linear, but rather circular and goes in cycles. Looking forward to the future, and yet, making the most of the present.The Buddhists call it "walking meditation" where you are focused on what you're doing RIGHT NOW!. You're eating the best fish&chips for lunch, take your time, chew it well, let it melt in your mouth and swirl it around. Taste the crispiness of the batter, the tanginess of the vinegar, notice how the crunchy exterior of the chips contrasts with the soft gooey innards. You're not just filling your belly for nourishment, you're creating an experience to be enjoyed!

Focus on whatever you're doing right now, and do the best you can, and make the most of it. As you walk down the street, notice each breath of fresh air filling your lungs, feel the oxygen coursing through your body and invigorating each and every cell in your body. Each step that you take, notice how the ground feels, how each cobblestone has a different shape, how the birds and clouds seems to follow you everywhere.

So let go... truly envelope yourself with living in the moment. Don't worry about anything else. The future is but a dream, and the past is but a memory... and today... today is a gift and that's why it's called the present... live each day like it's your last.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-06-06 at 10:38 PM.
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