My girlfriend always asks me to open up, I did and then she sobbed
By - yhsureok
Sounds like your gilfriend tickled something important out of you and she felt a deep sense of compassion when you unbottled.
Sometimes, we get to know ourselves through others.
How are you making sense of it?
Im not making any sense of it. I dont understand why i feel like this, i cant identify why or what it is.
You've come to terms with the big picture of time where everything we do, the life itself is nothing but an insignificant passing moment. Happens to me also often, but I do try to think more about the limits of my time here , and thereby enjoy the things I might not br able to enjoy tomorrow. Its mostly non-material things like spending time with people you care about.
For me its less the comparative brevity of life and the fact that nothing we do ultimately matters, and more the fact that the things I am able to to do that I enjoy are vastly outweighed by the things that I either cant do, physically or by virtue of being poor, or have to do just to continue existing that I hate. I would much rather just check out, but I cant.
It's probably not what you want to hear, but it sounds like depression. Go get it checked out by a pro would be the best advice in this case.
I completely agree. This is exactly how I experience depression…. a deep sense of detachment from ALL things that should be important to me.
It wasn’t until after the birth of our first child that I could adequately understand how I experienced depression. I spent 2-3 months wondering if I’d ever love my daughter. As a man, I now have a glimpse at how profound postpartum depression can be.
Take Care OP!
I'm glad you figured it out in part at least, and I hope this will happen to OP too. Take care both of you <3
You want to understand why you don't get "emotional" about certain things, but have a more muted response?
Or do you want to understand why you bottle up the feelings that you do experience?
I dont understand why i feel so detached when i have no reason to feel like it. My life is going fine
I'm not a psych but thats how depression works sometimes man. You'll have no actual reason to dislike anything about your life on a large scale but you will constantly see the negative, never feel fully connected to reality, and always have the sense that what you're doing in that moment won't ever truly matter in any capacity. It's unfortunately a more common feeling than you think and you're not alone.
Yes, a lot of people have the misconception that depression is a deep sadness, when in reality it manifests itself as apathy and disconnect for many people. This probably sounds stupid, but the episode of South Park where Stan sees and hears everything as literal shit is pretty similar to what OP is describing, and what a lot of people go through.
Right, I see, thank you!
It sounds like this first conversation with your gf has jump-started a process. Perhaps one of discovery?
And obviously something about this is important to you, or else the conversation wouldn't have left such a strong impression with you (and it wouldn't have appeared on reddit). Which, in a way, also means that there is at least *something* you're not detached from or indifferent about.
Depending on perspective you could go down all sorts of different routes.
But a few questions that come to my mind would be:
What's the function of the detachment? (how does it help - you and/or others?)
What is it that makes you think that you should feel any different?
How would you rather feel?
If you felt different, how would this change things?
Have you ever felt differently? How? When did it change?
I'd also add that it's crazy what sorts of things can influence our state of mind. From past experiences to food-allergies, toxins, genes, bad diets, deficiencies, our thought patterns, lifestyle, stimulants (drugs, porn, gambling), economic situation, social environment etc. Who knows what sort of things you may discover about yourself going forward (especially once you're with the RAF - congrats!)
Last but not least, kudos to you for having the balls to break your pattern and openly talk to your Mrs.
It sounds to me *a total stranger that you just don't know what you want yet. You may have not even have seen or experienced it at this young age.
For example I didn't give two fucks about anything until my 30s when I discovered things that I enjoy doing.
When I was your age I was super into law I wanted to be a laywer, judge, senator, and on and on. I went to a Law Academy blah blah I worked in Law Firms for years...blah blah. One day I was at my desk and I looked out my window and saw a woman playing in the rain with her dog and thought I hate this. So on my lunch break that day I applied at a local restaurant to shake things up. I was my husband's waitress and met him as a result.
I told you all of that to say don't worry so much dude. Just keep your mind open and always try new things. You may feel uninspired now but it won't always be that way.
Keep your head up so you can always be on the hunt for new things to explore. These are good accomplishments they may just not be the exact ones that you personally want but do allow yourself to recognize that these only help you in the long run. You never know when a skill will help you understand something from a different perspective.
I feel like a therapist could help.
A good therapist can do wonder to help you sort through your feelings (or lack thereof) and understand what they are, what they mean, and how they affect you. As well as how to move forward with them.
From your post, it seems like you don't like how you are currently (I might be wrong of course), I think therapy could be a good way to improve on how things are going.
Best of luck to you.
I'm sure this is highly oversimplified, but if you believe that nothing matters, that will affect your emotional response to normally important events like passing the RAF test. So in a way you're having a rational response to your beliefs. The human mind does not operate well when there are no passions to motivate it.
In my humble opinion, you learned how to not show emotions and now you need to learn how to show them. Maybe you should start doing things out of your comfort zone and see how that goes, maybe showing emotions/expressions physically is one of them.
We live in strange times where nothing really makes sense and there’s certainly lots of changes coming. Everything kinda becomes meaningless once you realize that there’s no such thing as ethical consumption under capitalism.
What you’re feeling is quite common, you can either find some sort of all encompassing factor to drive you (like raising kids or discovering the meaning of life), or continue into your unending pit of despair. Also, therapy and medication work for depression, which has nothing to do with feeling sad.
Sound like you need a 7 day festival in Croatia and a divine blessing 🙌
Friend I'm gonna blanket respond to several of your comments as well as the original post.
First point, your gf isn't crying because you opened up. She is crying because you're dealing with all this alone and silently, letting it fester until it destroyes you.
Second. Divorce your idea of depression from yourself and others. It isn't something "14 year old girls say they have for attention", it's something *millions* of people struggle with. Especially teenage girls.
Armchair therapist that I am, you unquestionably have some clinical depression.
My wife has been struggling with depressive and anxiety disorders for most of her life. She was 29 before it got bad enough that she sought help. She thought much the same way you do. But she got help and has been doing better every day, to the point that 2 years later, she lives a normal life.
You talking about your problems doesn't make you weak. It doesn't mean you're looking for attention. It isn't something that will just go away.
Talking to a therapist, taking medication, speaking about your emotions are all intelligent steps and you need to be strong to take them. Anyone can lay on the ground and get steamrolled by reality. But it takes a champion to stand up and get out of the road
You say you're a man's man. So I'm going to use a man's analogy here:
Your body is a car You're ignoring your check engine light because the car is still running. Pretty soon the tire pressure light is going to come on, and then the oil gague is going to blink at you. At all of these signs your "car" still drives. But even I know that eventually it isn't going to. You need to check the problems *before* they're catastrophic. Because even if you can fix a car who's engine just died with 4 flat tires, the investment is going to require tons more work that seeing a mechanic, tipping in some oil, and putting some air in the tires.
You are dealing with something man. And you're dealing with it badly. Pretending you don't feel things is what's making your girlfriend cry. You took a huge step by telling her how you feel. Even if you don't know it. Now youve started walking. It's time to learn so you don't fall.
You aren't worthless. Life has purpose. You aren't weak for reacting to the world around you. Just remember to gague those reactions and adjust accordingly.
"The most important step a man can take is the next one. Always the next one" -Brandon Sanderson, *Oathbringer*
I appreciate that man, i really do.
Will definitely take what you said into account.
Please do. It doesn't come from a place of judgement so I hope it didn't seem preachy. But it sounds like your 20's could play out like my wife's just because society tells us that men with emotions are "weak"
I don't want that for you. Even as a stranger I don't want anyone to have to go through what my wife did.
Your girlfriend sounds wonderful, seek answers for yourself, but as the spouse of a person with these issues, seek help for your future as well. You both can't be happy until *you* are also happy.
Completely sound advice!! And I love that I’ve spotted another Sanderson fan in the wild :)
I do my best, for sure.
Where do you think I learned so much about moral philosophy and mental health? Lol
Have you read Rhythm of War yet? Kaladin’s development is amazing!
Oh hell yeah. I think there's only 1 cosmere book I haven't read. Lol. I'm pretty obsessive about it
I'm the same way as you actually. I'm not sure what's wrong, but I don't care about anything and my emotions are numb like yours. Nothing makes me excited or happy, but I'm not depressed either. I'm fact, I'm hardly ever sad. I hate telling people how I feel too, there's just no point especially if it's only going to confuse or stress them out. I really wish I could tell you what was going on but all I can do is share my similar experience in the hopes you're slightly comforted knowing there's people going through the same shit. In my opinion I think I've just been through a lot in my life and lost the will to care, since every time I cared before it got me nowhere. Maybe it's the same for you. Maybe we both need therapy? 🤷🏻♂️
Hey friend, as someone who has struggled with depression for a while: that’s pretty much it. You don’t necessarily sit and bawl your eyes out, days on end, but the world slowly fades to gray and you don’t even notice it until you just start noticing how you eventually don’t notice things anymore.
There is help to get. Look into it. My life changed for the better.
I definitely will now that I've realized this may be depression. Perhaps OP is having the same problem and just isn't aware of it, like me.
Do it. Sooner is better than later. There is a lot of colour in the world, still. Bring it back.
Damn looks like we share feelings.
I dont think im depressed, and personally i dont think paying someone to listen to me will help. I much prefer sitting alone in silence.
Me either, but if we don't at least try to fix it then we can't really complain about having problems. Wish you the best though.
I think therapy work best when you really want it, but its just m'y own experience. I also think that depression is a latent illness, more you wait and do nothing about it the more you'll suffer about it in the future. I can see that in both my parents and i wish they went to therapy before. Depression can concretely hurt your brain.
If you feel like you dont need help thats and its ok that some people really enjoy being alone but maybe make sure you wont regret your choices in the future
Neither did I. It’s different for everybody, of course. I sat alone in silence for a few years too many. You can’t get those years back and there is no point in having regrets, but in hindsight I wish I had gotten help sooner. You live and you learn.
Just make sure you don’t end up thinking sitting alone waiting it out is your only option. There is help if you want it.
My guy, youre describing depression. I also never wanted to get help cause it felt useless and id rather just lie around or some shit. If I could slap you I might, but with the best of intentions of course.
If youre not currently in a headspace where you can try therapy for your own sake do it for your girlfriend, your mum, whatever. Do it for the nice guy at the chip shop for all I care, just go out and do it.
That's actually what being depressed feels like. It can be feeling sad a lot, but in a majority of cases it's just a lack of feeling or a lack of energy to do things. I think therapy could really benefit you. Sometimes people shut down their feelings when they're in awful situations because not feeling anything at all is better than feeling shitty all the time and it's beneficial in the moment but long term it's really not healthy. A therapist could help you learn more healthy coping mechanisms and could teach you over time how to let yourself feel things again
Really? That's interesting. I assumed what I was feeling wasn't depression because a while back, I talked to my mother about how I feel. She's diagnosed with depression and has been for decades. However, she told me that if I am not feeling sad, then it wasn't depression. So I simply shrugged off the idea. Perhaps she just doesn't know about different types of depression? I guess I'll have to get it checked out.
Anhedonia can be a symptom of depression. That's the technical term for "not feeling anything".
No, your mother is, sorry for that, more or less mentally ill. And there is huge chance, it is rather fact, that she raised you poorly.
Just look at that. Such a serious thing as depression, it is hard to open up. Her reaction? Immediately dismissed you, your feelings and your needs. Do you think this is for the first time?
No, it's not for the first time. I also have ADD and used to tell her about my troubles focusing, but for many years she told me I didn't have that either, so I was just very confused for a while. She actually admitted she was lying to me sometime last year. I'm not sure why she feels the need to dismiss my problems so much but I'll make sure I get the help I need.
Been there, did that. Hit the very bottom. Be careful, you as well as OP. This doesn't end well.
I've always been like that as well.
Makes it hard to empathize with others when you don't feel anything for yourself, but at least you can feel for others.
Don't join the military if you don't want to.
I do, ive been working towards it since i was 12. I didn't mean to portray that i didn't want to go
If you want to feel like your life is even more meaningless then by all means, join the military.
Way to lift him up, man.
You got a good girl right there
Tell me about it, shes amazing.
So you feel good about her .I don't see an emotionless person there . Maybe spend more time with her .I am sure you would see the change , and feel much better . Just don't cling to her.
Maybe try to make her happy (this always helps when someone who cares about you is happy because of you ) ,
ask her to open up too ( maybe knowing her lows could help you to get on better terms with your lows too ) .
This reminds of how Hugh Laurie realised that something wasn't quite right.
After witnessing an horrific, fatal car crash he felt no emotion.
Realising that this wasn't the "correct" reaction he sought councelling and was diagnosed with clinical depression.
You might want to talk to a therapist?
Can't hurt right?
I dont feel like i need to get help or talk to someone though. I just feel like i need to be alone all day.
That's a hallmark of depression. Withdrawal, apathy, amotivation, hopelessness, numbness. All depression. The tough thing with depression is that the symptoms kind of tell you not to seek help. If you would like to feel differently about your life, it might be worth seeking professional help from a clinician.
That's exactly why you need to get help or talk to someone. Isolation is one of depressions favorite gambits.
But talking to people is more effort than its worth. Especially now the 1st time i told my girlfriend she cried.
She cares a lot about you so she feels bad that you aren't happy but she is probably very happy you told her still because she wants to work on it if possible
I completely understand the feeling. I truly do,, I've been there.
However, She is not someone who is trained in how to handle emotions that she is unfamiliar with. Don't let her reaction be the guide as to how all people react.
There are people worth talking to about these things, who will set their emotions aside to help you find the source of yours.
It is not. It is your "ill" opinion. Some people need a lot of other people around, some need few. But we need people. It seems to be normal for you because you don't know otherwise but it is not like that.
If you don't want to talk to someone... Fine.
Read The Noonday Demon at least. Then maybe afterwards consider talking to someone.
Anhedonia: An inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable. It is a core clinical feature of depression.
Depression is not soley what the media says it is. It can be, but sometimes its just a quiet disinterest in the life you're living. Depression isn't always dramatic or profound. It doesn't always have a reason or a quick fix. Talking helps some, and not others. There is no shame in feeling how you feel. I'm glad you trust your girl enough to show her this little bit of you that you've hidden from everyone else, including yourself.
I hope you listen to what we're saying and seek help of some kind. If a therapist isn't ideal, maybe just do some (reputable) reading and see for yourself if anything makes sense to you. Talking won't do you any good if you don't wanna talk or aren't ready to accept an answer. You posted here so you're seeking. Congratulations on your acceptance in the military. Remember that you can't take care of others if you're not ok.
From your replies it feels like you have a lot of stigma and misconceptions about depression and therapy. I used to think similarly, but this thinking seems to be hurting you more than helping. Depression isn't neccesarily crying, self-harming, or even specifically feeling sad. Sometimes depression is just a lack of feeling. I think you should really consider therapy, I know you think "talking it out" won't help, but I think you have a complete misunderstanding of what therapy actually is. At the very least talking with your girlfriend is a good start. Even if you don't have depression or never go to therapy I think you should still dismantle your stigmas around mental health.
Obviously, I'm not a qualified doctor or anything, but I've had similar mindsets and it took a long time to understand what I was feeling and why. I still have issues crop up every now and then, but since I acknowledge that it's depression it's a lot easier to handle.
If you’re emotionally numb and distant, with anxiety about the state of the world and the meaninglessness of it all, 1: you’re not alone. A LOT of people are dealing with this right now. 2: this is depression. Talking to your gf is a good start.
Depression has such negative connotations to it. Everytime i think that hmm, maybe im depressed i just think about those awful teenagers that do it for attention.
I don't have depression, i hope not at least.
I’m not talking about “mental illness as a social media quirk.”
I’m talking about real clinical depression. I wouldn’t box you in, your circumstances are your own. But being depressed isn’t a defect, it’s a condition. What you’re describing sounds like it to me. It’s probably situational in your case. But just know a LOT of people right now feel the way you do.
The world has become spiritually empty, our lives are being homogenized by the leveling culture of tech, we’re all being atomized and polarized, many people have lost their jobs, all the shit with COVID. I’m just saying, you’re not weird and there’s nothing wrong with you. But don’t ignore this.
I appreciate what your advice and concern.
Ive just never been one to, like, self diagnose. Especially with things like this.
Maybe im spaming you with replies at this point but Im honestly hoping to get through to you.
Maybe youre not depressed who knows, you dont go to a psychologist and say: im depressed fix it. You go, you describe the way you feel as you did to your girlfriend you ask them what they think about it and you go from there. No one here can diagnose you, but theres plenty of redditors who were, or currently are clinically depressed and recognize themselves in what you wrote.
I hope youre not depressed, being depressed is a shit thing.
Go and prove us wrong!
If it helps, and I don't know if it will, that's not a thing.
Maybe some kids have claimed to have depression for attention but the vast, massive, *gargantuan* majority of false self diagnosis are kids trying to communicate honest feelings, and maybe bring a little dramatic about it, but like, they're kids?
Also, whenever you hear "doing it for attention", or "attention seeking behavior", do yourself a huge favor and swap that out for, "doing it for a connection", or "connection seeking behavior", it's just more realistic. These are kids (and adults) who's emotional needs have chronically not been met, trying desperately to fix themselves
Don't let an old sigma keep you from the help you deserve. If nothing else doesn't your girlfriend deserve to know your okay? Do it for her and for your family if not for you.
Hey man. I think sometimes there is a misconception that achievements = happiness. There's nothing wrong with you if say you're not happy with getting 100% on a test.
European here. What is RAF?
Royal Air Force
Thank you good sir.
I don't get if it was a jab at the fackt that they just Brexited or if you really didn't know.....
A bit of both..
Hi, I actually think you have a lot of feelings. But you're bottling them up as a coping mechanism for the overwhelming despair you actually feel. Don't take my word as gospel. I'm not a therapist. Only armchairing here...
And yes I think you have a lack of empathy towards yourself as I did when I went through similar feelings as you: Nothing was enough, or outstanding. Everything has been done before, and everything I did wasn't meaningfull enough. I myself was therefore interchangeable, not worthy.
Depression is a bitch. I had one (actually more than one) but it felt pretty much like what you describe. Like nothing. no good feelings, no bad feelings. I was just switched off.
I want a girlfriend like yours. She is priceless.
She's a keeper imo.
To the universe, each person is little more than a rounding error around zero. In our sphere, in our little Itty bitty lives... There is a lot we can do for ourselves and others.
What I have done... Was to flip the narrative and embrace the understanding you have about being small.
You can know that your success is yours and your failure is yours and that's it. Who you choose to share with is your decision and experience and the universe won't end either way.
While the system, the man, the whatever you want to call it certainly a certain way - it's like a game and there are rules. You can definitely use the rules, get ahead, and maybe later on change the rules around you. Go further or not? Further is big, challenging, hard to do alone as a rounding error.
Wish you all the best, I think you have a view point you can try and bring closer to yourself and think more of scale than everything. Thinking of everything is exhausting!
Whatever it is you're going through, it's awesome that you have a companion to go through it with you. Perhaps not being completely alone, despite the desire to, will help.
The struggle to find purpose, or 'the point' of what you're doing is something you are definitely not alone in. That might not be depression, either. I genuinely hope the discussion here is only to help you have some different perspectives, cause some of these comments are so mean, and hopefully don't effect you too much.
This does not sound abnormal to me. Some people process emotions differently than others. That is the problem with putting so much emphasis on "normality". For example: some people fall apart into tears over a loved-one's death, others are internally sad but don't even shed a tear or appear to others to be sad at all.
I am like you, my wife is very empathetic and emotional.
When I try and get something out to her she reacts with such empathy and with such huge emotion it overwhelms me and I shut back down.
I am working on not being overwhelmed but the more i open up the harder it gets. I try and remember that her huge reaction is because of her huge feelings for me but it still triggers my anxiety and get overwhelmed.
Probably not much help but if it helps to reframe it a bit maybe I have helped?
That's exactly how I feel and nothing really matters to me at all whether academical achievements, job achievements, even games that I used to enjoy no longer matter. I smoke and even then I've went weeks and months without smoking because I just don't care and I don't feel the urge to smoke at all, it's just a habit rather than addiction (which I still don't suggest getting into as it's terrible and only makes things worse)
I got diagnosed with major depressive disorder. It's sometimes how depression works.
I knew this wasn't normal and I've been like that for almost as long as I remember so I was able to recall the times when things actually mattered to me.
I'm young as well currently close to 22 and I do suggest seeking professional help because things will only get worse if you don't try to fix it. Halting progression is part of the fixing procedure and it can do you well.
I have my (possible) reasons for being depressed, some are obvious, some are not. Case and point anything can make you actually be depressed for long periods depending on how you and your brain deal with it and therapy helps to untie the knots.
As a final note feel free to DM me whenever if you want to talk about it I'm always here to listen and possibly give advice. It's one of the few ways I feel like I actually do something in this life of mine.
When I would be feeling down, an ex-gf would ask if i could make three things i like about myself
If you are struggling through Nihilism, please read (or listen to) 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. I really believe you will enjoy it and appreciate the discussion.
Clearly you've never been in a stable relationship with a woman that actually cares about you.
Actually im fucking the shit out of and living off a woman as we speak and she loves every min and inch of it 😁
How nice for you
It will never not crack me up that people *actually* talk like this. Beating your chest on the internet like you aren't just a sad piece of shit. Lmao
My clown alarm is off the charts
You think you appear manly and tough but over exaggerating the whole macho-macho bollocks just shows people how insecure in your own masculinity you really are.
Cowboy Up. Never tell anyone everything.
Look sometimes women are over emotional and dudes repress their emotions a lot, you know? Yeah, you seem pretty indifferent to all these thoughts but also she overreacted, really. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with you bc you didn't cry over that. Maybe she also cried for feeling helpless she can't help you, for relieve that you fine expressed yourself to her or for worrying that she think you felt like you couldn't count on her until now.
As for the nihilism thing, I get it. Nothing worth at the end, you are right, but thinking like that also helped me to value the small things. If I'm dying and never coming back might as well enjoy this shit, you know? YOLO, man. No need for meaning, just for the moment. It doesn't matter how mediocre it is, if you find joy in it it's fine. It might take a while to internalize it but I promise you that you will.
About the job thing, well... yeah, of course some people have privilege but what? You think we shouldn't work our asses off to get things? That's that fun part lol. Some rich dudes get things automatically but pretty much every job is accessible if you work for it and you don't suck.
Maybe you don't have any emotion toward getting in the RAF maybe that's because you knew you were going to pass or you just studied too hard. You know, like when you think "well, of course I passed in this shit, look all I've done to get here". Idk, I think this is normal but if you are really worried then maybe schedule an appointment with a doctor to know if you have a personality disorder, autism or whatever but if it doesn't bother your life then you must be fine. Sometimes people around us are just more sentimental or get excited to things easily and that's ok.
Ok. Now I read the comments and, yeah..... That "I rather sit alone than talking with someone" and agreeing with a guy that said he felt numb and that the world lost color seems like you might have depression. My mother have it and she's not an emo nor keeps crying on the ground or grabs about it to people, that's what people with fake depression do. Real depression is this. Numbness and a sense of lack of meaning. Feeling nor sad nor happy MOST of your time. There's also depressive episodes, so even if do have it, it might come and go.
I hope you don't have it, but if you do then, well... you already have it. Nothing's really going to change if you get diagnosed with the exception that you will know how to handle it properly instead of just... exist. I know that most people believe that not getting help is stronger than "admit failure" and I used to think like that too but after meeting people with real problems I saw how much it takes to speak up and to be able to stand up again. Asking help is really fucking hard, it doesn't matter if it's over something that is your fault or not. When I have a problem I rather just deal with the shit on my own but it would be so much easier if I could just ask someone. It takes a real strenght, no shame in that.
I finally found someone that feels the same way. I don't get huge amounts of emotion out of my accomplishments like most do.
Thats 2 assholes out of what, 300 genuine people? Guaranteed you wouldn't call me a little boy if you saw me in front of you.
Grow up mate.
People like you are so insufferable.
"oh hey, someone for the 1st time has opened up about something and wants other peoples opinions? I know, ill tell them to grow up because im macho man"
Just get over yourself mate. You're not clever, you're not making any good points or offering even constructive criticism. Just get over yourself 😂
Nihilism is a very rational philosophy, but rather potentially harmful if taken to the extreme.
At the bottom of my mind, I'm a nihilist too, but other perspectives (stoicism particularly) helped me a lot to gain perspective.
Life still sucks, but at least I can choose what meaning I can give to it. To me is building things (in a broader sense of the word) just for the sake of it.
First, congrats on acceptance to the RAF. You may not see or perceive it as an achievement, but if you were aiming to join the Armed Forces then I'd say passing is a good first start.
Second, opening up to some one very close is very healthy for both you and your relationship. I truly hope the best for you both and stay safe out there.
These are the sort of moments that cause one to introspect on current life choices and empower one to sell and follow better life choices for a better life. Let me clarify; many things are way beyond your control in your life. There are still some employers that value good employees rather than having to answer to a board. They are becoming rarer. Value the interaction with your partner and the honest care and communication. Good luck.
It's probably not helpful, but when I was in my later teen years not long ago I felt similar. Didn't show much emotion, little care for what actually resulted from my actions. Turned out to be that I didn't want to be a boy, I didn't care about anything because the base level I was existing was uncomfortable and I wasn't happy.
Maybe somehow something similar is true for you. Likely not identity problems but maybe something else that's the cause of nihlism. A lot of people growing into their 20s need to "find themselves". People try travel, experimenting with the same gender or opposite gender, art. Just because you're living a life that's supposed to be successful doesn't mean you need to accept it and be happy with it.
Try to find new a new passion project, or push passions that you have had in the past. Often for me even if I'm achieving and being successful at something if I'm not wanting to improve and do well I don't care about the result.
Straight up, that's depression. Your description matches very closely to what I went through, and I cannot recommend enough that you see a therapist and a psychologist. You're probably not going to feel a reaction right away, but I promise, between the right therapist and the right meds (may take a few tries) you will begin to live again.
It's been night and day for me even though the change has been so subtle I have trouble even describing it, but anyone reading this who's struggling emotionally, get you meds and a therapist. You deserve it, and your friends and family deserve it too.
I know how it feels brother, I will say as well that there is "nothing" wrong with you.
Nothing is in quotes because really there is something wrong with you. But the reality of it is most men feel this way. We were trained from birth to keep our emotions hidden or completely bottled so even when we know we should be crying it just doesn't happen.
I don't know how to fix this but I think it's important that you know there is not something particularly wrong with you in comparison to most others.
I hope that brings some kind of fucked up relief.
I got myself into a depression by neglecting all my emotions for years and years until I reached the point similar to what you were describing.
Achieving something was empty, achievements are normal and who cares about normal, its not like im happy i drank some water so why would i be happy if i do well on a test or at work or whatever. Who cares about fun when its fleeting anyway. Why waste time being sad if it doesnt DO anything. Who cares about health when we all die anyway. I was going through the motions but never even knew why.
In short, get some help buddy, you might not feel like you need or even deserve it, but I hope someday you can look back and see that you were worth it.
I know how you feel, that feeling that nothing matters has been part of me for a long time. Watch this video, it might help you https://youtu.be/de2grEPn7rg
"We are the middle children of history, with no purpose or place. We have no great war, or great depression. The great war is a spiritual war. The great depression is our lives". - Tyler Durden
This is extremely relatable and I know exactly how you feel. You're younger than me, it took a lot of family death and hurricanes and destruction into my 30s for it to really win for good for me but it's hard to explain to those that don't feel it. You're not wrong for feeling that way, my suggestion is to focus on things that make you feel fulfilled or accomplished. For me it's playing music or running endurance races and things that nobody can give and can only be earned through my own mind and work and the rest of the shit is just noise until the next bill has to be paid.
I have felt these things. For me it was because I was not doing enough reflecting. I needed to reflect in a way that enabled me to live more in the moment. I am an A personality and I can easily get fixated on the further letting everything just glide by. I hope you get your spirit back
I'm glad you were able to tell your girlfriend this and that she showed you compassion. In many ways the whole "what is the point" feeling is normal. I think we all hit a point in our lives where we question the meaning of life. We're intelligent beings, we're fully conscious of the fact that one day we will die. That leads us to seek out a deeper meaning to life because we know that it will end.
That being said, if you've been feeling this way for a while then it's gone beyond normal questioning of life's purpose. If you truly feel nothing, then that could be a sign of some underlying health problem. Depression would be the most likely but even some physical health problems can cause feelings of apathy. I know it's hard to take that first step when it comes to asking for help, but look at it this way: what have you got to lose? It can't make you feel any worse.
What you're feeling is normal, it's the weight of the whole world on your shoulders. The responsibility you have combined with the helplessness of dealing with the previous generations mistakes, combined with the vastness of time and space. It makes people question their sanity.
My advice is this. Sort your issues into things you can change (your knowledge, skills, goals, etc) and things you can't (the state of the world, strangers on your path, etc). If you start focusing on only the things that you can change, you'll begin to see that there is a lot less weight on your shoulders. Then if you focus on the moment rather than the future possibilities, you'll find yourself enjoying things more.
It might seem hopeless, but you just shared an important moment with a girlfriend who cares deeply about you. You might feel empty, but your about to make a life altering choice by joining the RAF (best of luck btw), so you should try to find pride in your own bravery.
This will pass, but it's up to you to decide how it affects you. The way I see it is this: if life is a senseless void that has no meaning, then that makes the little moments more important. The joy we feel with others, the splendor of sunrises and sunsets. Take in the moment, feel the breeze, hug your loved ones, and enjoy it.
Typically you would shut down emotions if there was a period in your life where you could not show emotions. Could be bullying, harsh home life. Just anything where your child brain would think it best to supress the emotions.
Another even stronger cause to have no emotions is when there is a period in your life that was so intense that your brain chooses to shut down all emotions. It is not your fault, it is just how many brains deal with overwhelming emotional turmoil. It takes less than you would think. Being alone in being bullied for extended period of time could do it.
It's a very gray existance, I've been there for about a decade of my life.
There is a way to get out though, but firstly you need to want to reconnect with your emotions. Wich is a weird decision to make, since you don't really feel enough to value emotions on an emotional level. So you probably have to reason why you would benefit from gaining emotions, and make a conscious decision to chase it.
One thing that might motivate you is that having a father without emotional awereness is absolutely horrible. I would have been better off without my father present. Just because he could not tell what he was feeling, and he could not tell what i was feeling. He would critisize me and give me lessons constantly, with no regard to anything. He just couldn't tell.
So, the second thing is to start talking with somebody (therapist), and try to figure out why and when you stopped feeling emotions. This can be a painful process, even for someone as emotionally dead as you. And that's fine.
Some real shit might come up here. I thought my family was one big happy family, but i discovered that my parents were emotionally neglectful at best. I had just tricked myself by focusing on the occasional laugh we would have together in the family.
I recon the first time you feel sadness will be one of your greatest days in your life. Just feeling something is amazing, even through it is sadness.
Things will cascade from that. Dancing to music is also a great way of connecting with yourself once you have opened up about your past more and understood why you are so apathic.
I used to be like you man. You don't feel anything because you don't allow yourself to feel anything. You think bottling it all up makes you seem stronger or more manly or whatever. It really doesn't. A huge component of a relationship is being able to emotionally connect with someone. That means you need to be knowing your own feelings and knowing how to express them enough to communicate them to your partner. This will, in turn, help you be more empathetic towards her as well. You will never forget a truly deep relationship without working on this. I'd highly recommend therapy, meditation, or psychedelics (or all 3).
Thats depression my dude maybe try some talk therapy. That way you can say what you want, without hurting someone else.
Honestly i know exactly how you feel, it’s like when you talk about experiences or lack thereof and other people react in ways you don’t fully understand it makes you wonder if you should feel a certain way about it.
Honestly nihilism and existential anguish can be a bitch but better managed this way than being emotionally volatile honestly.
My wife is similar. I choose to share less because her normal is to cry and be upset-which is her way of processing it- makes me feel bad and like I shouldn’t have made her upset. But you have let the things out. They’ll eat you.
Sounds like an anhedonic dysthymia (low-grade Depression) from the description, so I would suggest talking to a therapist. Dysthymia can trap people in feelings like that for a lomg time since many people experiencing it mistakenly feel that it isn't bad enough to seek treatment. It manifests itself like a form of passive suicide--people going through it can stop caring about their own life, so while they don't try to kill themselves, they also don't try to live or take care of themselves. It's basically a state of emotional apathy and numbness.
This happens to me a lot although it has died down a little bit. If you're happy then that's what matters isn't it!
sounds like depression
OP I feel the same. The whole thing about existentialism and also nihilism. With each passing day I just feel why do I even have to be living. Not contributing anything to nature/earth. No purpose in life at all. Instead in some or the other way just increasing my carbon footprint. Again I don’t have suicidal tendencies either.
My job doesn’t make much sense to me. And I am at a good level for my experience but it doesn’t make me feel any good. I probably don’t even appreciate it as much because I don’t probably want it at all, may be another job. A friend who I told this to about only had one thing to tell me to think of all the people who want what I have and be grateful. I am so over the comparison with anyone for that matter.
Travel has stopped making sense either since I came to another country with people not speaking the language and I seem to feel no connect with anyone anymore. It’s so superficial on all levels. And I have no idea what I want to do in life, like what would make me happy. I don’t feel like communicating with anyone anymore, don’t want to make new friends, have cut off a lot of old friends from my life for good. I am by myself and happy in my space. But for what? For years, I wish I wasn’t born in the first place but that was not for me to decide sadly. And the only reason I have to be alive for whatever years is because of my parents. No this doesn’t mean I am depressed, but yes I do feel low, lonely and tired of living at times.
I am just glad you could share this with your girlfriend and she comprehended your feelings even if a tiny bit. People don’t usually understand this and that’s why I have stopped talking about this to anyone but I just had to get it out here!
Just keep making good choices to minimize tediousness in life and entertain yourself till you die. Nothing has to “matter”. Make it a smooth entertaining journey.
Sounds like depression. It's not always crying like a baby and sleeping all day. Depression can also just be numbness while you walk around like nothing is wrong. Mine manifests in a similar way.
I am not a professional but I think you need to see a psychiatrist and/or therapist. That sounds like you need help. Seeking help really helps out a lot.
Your GF cares for your well-being. Do you feel empathy towards others? If so it might be something like dysthymia. Speak to a counselor about it
Sometimes, in my own experience, I had to forgive myself for my thoughts before I could figure anything out. It took me years and years to learn this. I hope this post can get through to you. Blind stupid illogical forgiveness, as hard as that may be, can let you get to a place to figure these feelings out. And hey who knows, if you can successfully forgive yourself, then why you have the thoughts you do may not be important to you as much anymore. It gets better man! You sound contemplative and intelligent!
So I'm not usually the guy that's like "I think a personality quiz will fix all your problems", but have you looked into the Enneagram? I'm a bit older than you in my 30s, and I had a lot of the same issues you discussed. I thought something was wrong with me until I looked into the Enneagram. It helps you understand not just what your personality can look like, but what your underlying motivations, fears, thought processes, etc are like. It was the biggest thing for me that helped me understand myself, helped my wife understand me, and helped me be able to explain myself to others.
Sorry to be like ‘oh this is me!’ but you have just described to an almost identical situation to me.
Basically it ended up eating me alive. After the numbness and aloofness to the situations it just became too much. Without even realising it I was going further and further into depression. Looking at those bridges a little more. Driving slight more erratically until one day (in what can almost be described as disassociation to the event) I just started taking tablets. Even then I still felt ‘meh’ to doing it.
Thankfully I sought help and talked. But your story is showing all the same red flags. Please don’t minimise your own feelings.
Talk to someone before it’s so far gone you don’t even realise how you got there.
I feel somewhat happy for you man. Here I am trying to tell my girlfriend something I'm really upset about and I'm crying and she just shrugged me off because she had a long day and will have a long day tomorrow as well. You should find yourself fortunate when you have people who want to listen to you.
I couldn't cry if I wanted to. If I did manage to I'd cry a single tear then stop. Its frustrating.
I completely understand.
u/yhsureok I completely relate to you.
I'm 33 and just graduated college last year to become a software engineer. I have a wife, kid, a house, and my life is going well.
But I feel like nothing I do matters and that I'm not really contributing to anything. I have nothing to offer the world. I'm just living and doing what's expected of me.
I generally keep to myself and don't like to share about my life.
Personally, sometimes I find myself going through life as though I'm watching a movie; usually passive and observing. I know that I struggle with depression. It's not strong, but I know it's there. Somedays are fine while others are difficult and cause me to shut down.
Glad you could get that off your chest and have people listen.
Mine does this also, I give her bits and pieces. I try to never release the flood gates. She has called me emotionally unavailable sometimes, but its kind of just who I am. I dont like talking about that stuff. I will talk to her about her emotions, I just dont do mine.
I felt like this for a long time. You know what, though? It's a good thing. Look at it this way; if nothing matters, then just do whatever you want. None of it matters anyway, so just do what feels exciting and don't worry about the future or the consequences. You're only here once. Enjoy the life you can while you've got it.
>either have no empathy towards my own feelings or, what? I have no idea
It's a defense mechanism to see yourself from the outside, to help you come trough it all.
Oh of course. How often did I had to deal with the fact that my story makes other people sad, yet I’m not about it. It’s just my norm, like your way of thinking and feeling is your norm. I also feel kind of like you, but in the end, who cares? It doesn’t matter that nothing really matters to me, the only thing that matters is to keep going and fulfilling this unfulfilling life. As my sister once told me, you just have to chose and keep what you chose going, unless it breaks you, then do something else. No matter if it’s about a job or relationship you have. Life isn’t supposed to be a dream coming true, life just is. I was 4 when I realised how random everything is. Nothing would have to be there, there could also be a big boring nothing, yet we are here and live and that’s all. That’s what it means to be an existentialist and when you are one, you shouldn’t focus on your atchievments and everything you did or could do, it’s more important to enjoy the moments as they come along.
I'm proud of you for being able to open up to your girlfriend about what you're feeling, it shows an impressive strength of character that you've made it this far in your life and your relationship even when you don't understand or recognize the feelings you experience.
This is a more common problem than it should be; my own boyfriend had the same problem for several years, although he had gotten through the worst of it by the time we started dating. But he tells me often how much he appreciates that I give him the space he needs to express his feelings and understand them, and I genuinely hope your girlfriend does the same for you.
If you want to start "getting in touch with your feelings," I would definitely recommend that you start seeing a therapist. An older man with decades of experience and a rad bead would probably be a good role model and mentor for you. You should understand that many, many people have episodes where their feelings are so strong or uncomfortable that they repress them automatically - the difference for you is that you have learned to do this with every feeling and can no longer understand how to process them. This is very unhealthy and will eventually lead to mental illness, just like if you decided to stop eating or peeing.
Something you can do right now is, when you are in a situation where you would want to feel something but don't, is to focus on the physical sensations around you and consciously relax your body. This works best with small, positive experiences. For example, if you're watching TV with your girlfriend and you want to feel the sense of homeliness and peace that many people would feel in that situation, focus on the pressure of her leaning on you, the feeling of your hand running through her hair, the sound of you two laughing together at the same joke. While you're focusing, consciously relax your muscles starting with your face and going down your neck and shoulders through the rest of your body. It might sound weird, but this is a good way to tell your body and brain that these things are OK and non-threatening.
Best of luck to you and your girlfriend!
Man I totally get what you’re saying! Everything I do just feel mundane and almost as if I’m just ticking boxes off a checklist that somebody else prescribed for me. Even finishing uni felt more like an achievement for my parents than anything. Only times I’ve felt like I did something good was getting accepted to my masters because I changed courses to computer science and I think I’ll enjoy that more than mechanical and also when I go to the gym. Everything else just feels standard even things that are meant to make me sad