Learning about life and other stories

On holidays, family and boredom

I'm very ashamed and upset to feel very low at this period of the year: 1) During the holidays 2) While with my family 3) When my best friend is visiting from abroad

It makes me feel like I don't appreciate a single valuable thing in this life – holidays, family and friends.

Even though somewhere on top of my head I do understand the reason behind all this. I've had a very stressful month (or a year) when it comes to my work and personal projects. I've shown once again I'm so bad at understanding my inner voice that's telling me it's too much and I shouldn't take more in.

I've put so much burden over my shoulders. I'm anxious from not meeting the external expectations because I have none of my own. All of the appreciation is left on the outside. Which has left me with:

1) Social anxiety with the ones who should be the closest to me – my parents, my sisters, my best friend 2) Being afraid of boredom as it will leave me alone with my racing thoughts, which I fear will leave me with being more anxious and depressed than I already am

From what I know about mental health, it's that you should do more of what you fear. So right now, I believe I should call the person I'm afraid to talk with (which at the moment is my elder sister) and after that leave some time to do nothing. Two goals for today. Or for life.

On the other hand, I feel so tired of working on all this, fighting these episodes all the time. But I just don't have the luxury of not doing so.

Being so detached from myself and my own inner voice for so long has left me with always being dedicated to wrong jobs, wrong projects, wrong ways to spend my energy.

Being so exhausted from work and from trying to prove myself to others has left me afraid of experiencing life in its slow beauty. I'm 29 and have changed so many jobs and hobbies and interests that I don't feel I've ever took some time to do nothing. So now I believe I should try and make a slow introduction to some boredom and time with myself, no matter how scary that feels.

Anxiety and friendships

Note to self: real friends and family are there for you when times get tough, period.

The point of these relationships isn't in you being there for them when it's hard, or you being there when it's fun, it's mutual.

It's ok to speak about your worries even though you've thought all your life that this is only what others are allowed to do, and not you.

Your worries will not burden the others. If they are true friends, they will be happy to take some of your burden off your chest. That really is what friendship is for.

Friendship is not only about giving and being there for others and keeping out of the way with your troubles. Don't ever think that you are not allowed to have issues and feel bad because that's a burden to others.

It is not shameful to speak about your problems. Whoever has issues with you speaking about your problems might as well leave the room.

And open your chest and your soul to speak about the truest and heaviest stuff. Trust me, the other side is not nearly as weak as you think they are.

At the end of the day, what worries you might come out as much less of a problem when you actually speak about it. Usually it's when you DON'T speak about it that it gets that crazy energy that sucks life out of you.

And also, verbalising your problems might help you realize the core of them, and the solutions, and it can give you a new perspective.

Finally, I would just like to say that I believe that life, even though it gets unbearably hard sometimes, it does so to give you some of the answers. Keep up in ordet to learn, and make sure to listen closely what it's trying to tell you.

Understanding the critics and what your anxiety is telling you

Do you believe in tipping points?

Situations that are seemingly unimportant and small, but end up being crucial to the solving of some problems that have been worrying you for quite some time.

I tend to feel anxious over stuff that I understand shouldn't hit me so hard. Behind every single one of those anxieties is a hidden truth that needs to find its way out of your chest.

Anxiety can be an unpleasant enemy. But it's hiding the truth. Think of it as the knock of your soul that tries to tell you something that's super important for your self or your environment.

And feeling this anxiety in similar situations over and over again just means you haven't heard or understood the language of your soul well enough.

I can become very anxious when someone criticizes my work. I don't like it because I am afraid they might be right.

It's easy when someone criticizes me directly, and tells me I'm rotten, stupid, incompetent. Fine.

But when they criticize my work and show me the possibility that what I do may affect the others, that's when my soul starts to burn.

Now there's two ways of viewing this. You can either be very upset because you are afraid because if you make a mistake, people will die because of you, everyone will know about it, you'll end up being publicly shamed, everyone will hate you, and you will have to leave your life and live in the woods where nobody will see you again. Very extreme scenario, but that's what your anxious brain believes.

Secondly, and more realistically, the critic might actually point you in the right direction and I see this as a tipping point. You eat up your pride and actually admit to yourself that you are making a mistake and that you may do something differently. Your anxiety finally makes sense and you understand why it was there in the first place.

In the second scenario, you realizing your mistakes, and using your anxiety as a catalyser to fix something in real life is actually a wonderful thing that can lead to either personal improvement or improvement on a business plan. It will help a knot in your stomach release and give you the energy to move forward with new strength.

However, it is important to understand that not all critics are made equal, not all of them want you to figure stuff out and help you. It takes courage and mental clarity to understand whether someone has the point and whether you should take your time to take their words for truth.

Being exposed to the looks of many many curious eyes, eyes ready to judge your every step, leaves you really tense to the possibility of saying something wrong.

But there's also something magnetic to being exposed. No one really makes you do it. You don't have to. Unless you are a world-known actor and there's absolutely no way you can hide. But being a semi-well-known person, sharing their thoughts online, on a social media platform, and two articles in the local newspaper about yourself, well that leaves you with a choice.

However you choose to post and comment, even though you know it will gain the attraction and the replies you don't really want.

And then you're upset about it having to read the comments that disagree with you. But that's how it goes doesn't it? It's a free online world, everyone has the possibility (I won't say “the right” since it sounds more constitutional) to share their opinion, and there's a really high possibility it won't match with yours.

But you still are upset when you read comments that disagree with you. You still believe that you've said something wrong.

What does it actually mean to say something wrong?

It can be a situation where you hurt someone's feelings. It might be a situation where you say something that will make you look like an idiot in other's people's eyes. It might make you insensitive, brash, arrogant, or dumb, clueless, stupid.

But what if before posting that you gave it a thought. And you were sure that what you wrote matched your true opinion and your values. Should it matter if people disagreed with you if this was the case?

Or even better, should it matter if people disagreed with you in whatever way shape or form?

I feel (and I know) that it has deeper roots than it actually shows. It's your fear of your closest ones disagreeing with you and hence pushing you away from you. You are afraid of being unlovable if others don't agree with what you have to say.

No form of disagreement can make you unlovable. You are worthy of love and that can't have anything to do with any disagreement of opinion out there.