Hole always there, don't know what I need

Postby Lou<3 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:24 pm

This might be a bit long, partly I just wanna get it all down in one place and process while writing, but also help you get the best picture of what I struggle with so you can best tailor your response.

tldr:
My [24M] life has sucked in many ways growing up, especially my relationship with my parents, and that seems to endlessly proliferate itself as I get further into adulthood. I have struggled with very low self esteem, anxiety/depression, addictions, and even now after working through so much of all of that, there's still this immense gravity and frequent falling into this low, paralysed, isolated, small state. It's like a hole that I either need to fill or just fall into. I have taken meditation, exercise, therapy etc seriously and am capable of feeling amazing - but..... something. I don't really know what is needed in order to meaningfully move beyond this and take off and no longer have the gravity to go back there.

Longer backstory:
My dad is a very large, intimidating, highly withdrawn, angry, unsociable, completely uninvolved person, the kind that will sit in front of the TV all day every day not interacting with anyone at all, explode about the smallest things like a manbaby, and fake some sort of fatherly presence at the very last possible moment of something important only when prompted by my mum. He would make every holiday aweful.

My mum is quite an insecure, somewhat narcassistic (maybe more so in the past), anxious/neurotic, and quite annoying person. She has stayed in this relationship that is clearly terrible and seems generally like she's not living her happiest life, has deep regret about a past love. She had to do all the parenting for all of us (3 brothers not including me). She had bouts of depression when I was young. My whole life my parents would argue with eachother, quite intensely. When I was in my teens she was arguing a LOT with me and I eventually lost trust in her and most of the sense of attachment. I kind of rejected them at this point and just kept to myself, had friends over, smoked more and more weed, stopped doing music (which was my heart), became more withdrawn/numb/angry/insecure. I think in many ways it was not easy for her, but on top of that I was probably quite difficult, not doing the things she asked, etc. On the other hand, when I later learned to speak up for myself more clearly and confidently, she didn't get certain boundaries, and it is very difficult and retraumatising to have these conversations because it takes her so long to understand. I don't know how much of it was me or her. The part of my brain that was trying with her kind of exhausted itself. Now I find I don't really have that much in common with her, I often don't care when she speaks, and can't really muster any sense of wanting to be around her or feeling safe or that she's my mum.

I was also picked on in primary school by someone who was also my best friend. In highschool when all the stuff was getting worse, my gf at the time who I was deeply in love with and attached to (who herself had serious trauma) started becoming off and on, confusing signals, weird dangerous behaviours, etc, like breaking up in the middle of sex, or breaking up over text while visiting someone met over the internet for the first time.

I've found it difficult to get into relationships, friendships, have fun, let go, etc, since then. I often feel a deep hole of loneliness, neediness, depression, insecurity, selfhate/selfavoidance/dissociation. I had one relationship recently (after many years of working on myself, graduating, kicking porn/masturbation for 3 months, feeling self love and confident) where she actually came on to me and it we had so much chemistry but then got really confusing when sex wasn't working out and it was getting really deep and I was still figuring stuff out and didn't know if I wanted to commit and we were both still living with our parents, so I decided to end it (even though I'm normally the needy anxious attached one). I moved to another part of the city for a new job at this same time. I had deep uncertainty, regret, pain, etc during this time, but slowly it is dawning on me that I made the right decision maybe and that I might have actually done well.

I've had a lot of therapy and it has helped me in ways, especially in character growth (maybe just not the right therapists ultimately? My current therapist I feel like we just talk about therapy or all this "progress" I'm making, lol, but I don't feel like it's really hitting anything), took ssris for a while (helpful at first, but I'm off them now) I have gone far in meditation (in bouts), eat healthy vegan, exercise a lot (went through a whole transformation during university), read a lot about psychology and mental health, kicked weed, food (to a large degree) and video game addiction, previously kicked porn/masturbation and in the process of doing that again, not yet started kicking internet addiction, have friends (don't get to see them much though, and there's a neediness there) and always working on socialising, know what I love and like my vibes, have many interests that I get very deep into and am a highly intelligent and sweet person. My friends see me as wise, sweet, peaceful and formidable. I am definitely capable of feeling great, peaceful, warm, confident, etc, if I stay with it all for long enough.

But aren't these coping mechanisms fake/constructed? I've tried feeling the feels, breaking down, I've tried psychadelics (genuinely quite helpful), etc. At times this does feel more authentic and cathartic. It can also be incredibly hard to coax things out of the unconscious repression-field, and even then, is it enough? Is there an infinitude of shittiness you can feel? I still don't really know what to do with this hole. If I knew, I would just go down that path without doubt. Do I effort or not? Do I go into it or away from it? Does it need to go away, get smaller, be filled, what? What even are the right questions? What even is the problem?

What maps are there? What has your experience been?

I really appreciate you if you made it this far.
Lou<3
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:50 pm

My experience has been that whenever I realize that I’m in a hole, I stop letting my mind drift. I take some time to refocus, set some small goals and then get active.

I don’t think the hole ever goes away. It’s part of life. The hole serves a purpose. What makes the difference is how long you allow yourself to wallow around and waste time in the hole.

For me, the best strategy has been to accept the hole is something that every person deals with in life and that it never goes away. It’s always a thought away, so it is best to use my time thinking about other things, things that actually matter.
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#2

Postby Lou<3 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:18 am

Although I appreciate the sentiment, I don't think that every person deals with this. And I know I can bring myself out of it, redirect my focus, take care of myself etc, but I wonder if I'm just constructing this healthy self on top of it that will crumble as soon as I relax my focus and effort, instead of having some meaningful transformation.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:45 am

Lou<3 wrote:Although I appreciate the sentiment, I don't think that every person deals with this.


You are right, in the sense that not every person spends as much time in the hole or digs themselves a hole as deep. Not all holes are equal. It’s a matter of degrees.

But does that really matter? Does it really boil down to a pissing match between who has dug themselves a bigger hole? That is the path many people take. They make a competition out of it, telling anyone and everyone how they can’t possibly understand, because their hole is special, their hole is so much deeper.

Regardless of the hole, the solution is the same. Stop digging. Spend less time mentally trapping yourself in the hole. Spend more time building things, growing, exploring, learning and contributing. That is how transformation occurs. The hole never goes away, but in time it naturally fills in.
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#4

Postby Lou<3 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:54 pm

Maybe I haven't been clear in my communication. I don't have any sense of getting into a pissing match, but maybe there is some sense in which it does matter, that different afflictions are special. My experience growing up and its effects on me can't be put next to someone who had a mostly loving childhood but kind of feels not okay sometimes. The former is more like an injury, whose healing process is specific to that injury. A doctor wouldn't give someone with a broken bone, someone with cancer, and someone with a bruise, the same treatment.

This makes me question "stop digging your hole". What if merely not digging, focusing on the positive elsewhere, is not enough for me. I have tried many times not to dig, and it only seems to take it out of sight for a while. Also, what if there's something that needs to be extracted, or mended at the root? The further away that I get from it, the worse it feels when I fall back and the stronger the attraction is.

On the other hand, maybe all this is bs and maybe it really is just that I need to continue living in an enriching way. Just continue.

All in all I don't really know anything

Thank you for responding by the way, and sorry if the tone sounds difficult or compatative, I'm more just trying to understand and find some useful advice.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:20 pm

Lou<3 wrote:On the other hand, maybe all this is bs and maybe it really is just that I need to continue living in an enriching way. Just continue.


Exactly.

(1) It is all bs…and it is not easy to recognize that it is bs. Intuitively it makes perfect sense that our past should define our future. We use our past to build a story of who we are. We say, because I suffered in the past, I can’t X or Y in the future. It’s not true, but it feels like it should be true. It’s a mental block.

(2) Just continue. What other option does anyone have? We all move forward. We all continue to fail again and again and again. Time continues. There is no other option. And if we find ourselves in the darkest of places, having lost everything once again, what do you do? Just continue.
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