Lv 6
MattH asked in Social SciencePsychology · 8 years ago

How do I cope with this restlessness?

I'm going through a transition in my life.

I'm in my late 20's graduating from a Master's program pretty soon. The writing is going well and I don't have to buckle down to find a job until November/December so I have a little bit of lee way.

In June I got out of a pretty serious relationship. There was alot of disagreement afterwards and the other party has established No Contact (which I agree was the best thing). In July (only about 4 weeks later) I met someone else and we established a "thing". I wanted to take it slowly but at her insistance I spent more time with her... I started to develop feelings for her... but she got cold feet and backed away. This happened in early August. The initial feeling of loneliness really took hold when my roomate and best friend quickly entered into a serious relationship at exactly the same time.... he has not spent a single night at home in 4 weeks and is extremely unsympathetic and unsupportive (not that I expect him to drop anything, but if I ever did mention the need to talk about it he scoffed at it... I think it's mostly the fact he is literally never around).

I went through a good two week period really questioning what I was doing. It was a 2 week period with sleepless nights and extreme stress. My thesis writing has taken a direct hit from this stress. Over the last week, however, I have seemed to "pick up the ball" again and have dedicated much more time into my work. I felt better for a little while...

The last two nights the restlessness and the stress seem to be coming back. I feel this overwhelming loneliness. I have been seeing friends, but I feel incredibly distant from everyone. I feel like no matter how much "company" I am around it doesn't matter... I still feel this numbing sense of loneliness. It's a feeling of uncertainty about the future... guilt at my lack of motivation towards my work, and a sense that I'm all alone.

First I should mention I'm a rational person. I know it is good for me to get back on my feet and I'm glad I'm single because this is obviously a "hole" that I need to fill with myself. I'm fully aware of this. I just do not understand why I feel this overwhelming sense of loneliness though....I can't sleep, eat, concentrate... it's horrible. I find myself awake at night taking incredibly long walks like I'm trying to run away from the inevitable sense of loneliness I'll feel when I go home or when I have to concentrate on things.

Does anyone know what is going on? What strategies would you suggest I take to overcome this?

My apologies for the long description but I feel it's important to highlight everything. Also, I'm the type that is adamantly opposed to taking anti-depressants. If anyone can help, that would be much appreciated.

1 Answer

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Figure out what you want to do. We often feel restless because there seems like there are so many amazing opportunities out there in the world. We flip through magazines and see people scuba diving in the Caribbean, men camping in Yellowstone, and guys partying in New York City. We turn on the TV and see shows where guys are living it up in cool cities, dating hot ladies, and working at a cool job. We’re like a hungry kid window shopping at a candy store. Everything looks so darn enticing but out of reach. And so we feel anxious. We don’t have a net big enough to capture all of these cool possibilities.

    We’re drowning in these possibilities, and we need to turn the faucet down. The truth is that we don’t actually want all of those choices. We have to separate what we think we should want to do from we actually want do. You might have been told that you should study abroad, you should backpack through Europe, you should live in a loft in some big city, you should, blah blah blah. These “shoulds” lodge in our subconscious and make us feel anxious; if we don’t do these things we worry that we’re missing out on something. But this anxiousness often prevents from doing anything at all. Afraid we can’t do everything, we do nothing.

    But you have to evaluate which things you really want do and own that choice instead of feeling ashamed of it. If you’re a homebody who hates traveling, stop feeling bad about that. If you want to become a carpenter instead going to college, go for it. If you want to hike the Appalachian trail, do it. If you don’t, stop thinking about it and move on. If you hate the big city and love living in the burbs, embrace that. And vice versa. Our anxiousness comes from standing in the middle of a decision. We know we don’t really want to do something but we feel bad letting it go. We’re afraid it says something we don’t like about our identity. But you have to embrace your likes and dislikes or you will forever drown in choices.

    Source(s): pSYCHOLOGY
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