Why does everything I do or think feel wrong?

Postby TheQuietLife » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:45 pm

Just to note, English isn't my native language so I'm sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes I missed.

I'm 21 and everything I've done for the past three or four years has felt wrong or I was missing something. Sort of second guessing myself in everything I do. For instance, I travelled on a train for three years going to and from university and I would panic thinking I'm on the wrong train going to the wrong place even though I had taken the same route for over a year. I could have sound logic, reason with myself for hours but I still wouldn't trust myself. This is hard for me to put into words so I hope that makes sense. I used to panic and get really nervous when I had to write essays. I'd stay up all night worrying about if all of the content I had wrote on my papers were relevant and good enough for the professors. Some papers should have taken me a single hour tops but it would take me a few days to complete it. It's exhausting but I don't know what to do about it.

Thinking back, something that made me start to question almost everything was when I realised I wasn't the person everyone around me was describing. I realised that I wasn't smart or funny or confident as everyone around me said. If I'm being honest, I care a great deal on how I am perceived by others. I would do things in order to seem smart or funny. I'm not sure if I am just stressed but this has been happening for a few years and I'm starting to give up on everything. I don't enjoy anything anymore even the things I used to enjoy seem like weights. I feel uneasy all of the time, especially the past few months. I'm not happy.

Kind Regards,
Katie
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Postby Candid » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:27 am

TheQuietLife wrote: I realised I wasn't the person everyone around me was describing. I realised that I wasn't smart or funny or confident as everyone around me said. If I'm being honest, I care a great deal on how I am perceived by others. I would do things in order to seem smart or funny.


You know what, Katie? You probably are all these things that others see in you, you're just more aware than most of a doubting inner voice that says you're a fraud and fooling everyone.

It sounds as though this problem began in puberty or adolescence, a time when we begin to individuate from our parents and think about who we really are. You know what you want to be: smart, funny and confident. Those are all positive attributes. Now, perhaps, you want to choose a sensitive friend or two, to whom you can confide that you very often feel foolish, dull or downright scared. This makes you a balanced person who's not afraid to show vulnerability when the circumstances are right.

Perfectionism is a rod to beat yourself with. I'm guessing, by your good command of a second language, that you've always done well in school. It's no good me telling you to stop worrying; some of us just have it built in. The right employer will appreciate the care you take over details, and you'll do well in whatever you choose to do.

I'm starting to give up on everything. I don't enjoy anything anymore even the things I used to enjoy seem like weights. I feel uneasy all of the time, especially the past few months. I'm not happy.


I believe you'll do better when you can admit to someone -- anyone you think would be receptive -- that your essays come at a high price and that you struggle as much as anyone. It will be a great relief to express that to someone in person, and to hear someone else tell you they feel exactly the same way.
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