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chasingowls

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I have kind of a weird problem, that's taken over my life. Even though I know it's stupid and irrational.

I spend almost all my free time online trying to talk to people or watching tv/youtube/etc. to numb feelings of loneliness. I'm aware the solution would likely have to come from irl. Joining a club, volunteering, asking a coworker out, etc. The place I live is very small, so I just want to make it clear that's not an option right now. Moving is also not an immediate option. And I have also tried therapy.

I'm basically killing myself in slow motion. Even though I'm working, I'm destroying any chance I have of being anything other than a husk. And I know this. I know it would make more sense to use all that time on hobbies. The rewards from doing anything other than numbing myself or trying to find people to talk to do not motivate me. Not one bit. Even though I know that the cost of the way I'm spending my time is going to get worse, and worse, and worse the older I get.

I know "it's too late" is a warped way of seeing things that doesn't make sense. It's just that not having anywhere I can go to meet new people, not having anyone I can invest my time in (as you do with friends or acquaintances) makes me feel like I'm trapped underground with no way out. Loneliness is the central problem in my life, and I can't fix it. I feel like I can't do anything, in my own life. It feels like I'm out of control, and all I can do is escape or numb those negative feelings, which I never get any relief from unless I'm in that weird half-awake state of staying up until 2am while watching your 2nd hour of mindless youtube. And I don't understand why it feels like, if I'm not interacting with people, everything I do alone is pointless (even though I know I have to, again because if I do NOTHING, I'll be even worse off in the future). I thought about making drawing my 'thing'-- using absolutely every second of my spare time on that. Because then I'd have tangible progress in at least one thing in my life. But I swear to god, every single time I try anything (that isn't just numbing my feelings) I talk myself out of it and convince myself this is a stupid waste of time, I'm stupid for trying, and etc.

I wanted to use online games as a way to socialize in the mean time (while I'm stuck in this location) but here's a surprise, I've avoided it because I can't deal with people. Even though I want to socialize. Even though I'm expecting a lot of bs rude behaviour-- it's not like I can't handle myself-- I still find a way to convince myself I don't belong. Anywhere.
 

TropicalStarfish

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I can relate. I don't know the solution though.

It's sort of like some metaphorical prized possession has gotten lost or destroyed, and without it, you feel incomplete, and empty.

It's like being extremely hungry, but, having no desire to eat...

I journal some times, to try and get better perspective and continuity. I find that usually if I go through periods of not journaling, it's because I was feeling better.

I know these words probably won't help; but, I sort of look at it like one of those dances in a huge auditorium, that everyone is free to join in. Like that electric slide song.

When you are watching, you are sort of deliberating if you want to join in or not. As you do so, you try to study the moves, so you know when and how to jump in. And if you finally get the nerve to jump in and join, your in it. And when your in it, things are different. It's like once you make the decision to jump in the river, you've done it, and your wet with water.

I've heard that part of the thing about battling, "depression," or what I prefer to call, "despair," or, "chronic despair." Is forcing yourself to do things. And that's the hard part.

It's as if, your favorite food is cheesecake, and you are hungry, but have no desire to eat, and then you force yourself, and the food tastes terrible, and your stomache hurts for all the effort. It's counter-intuitive. It's like being punished for doing the right thing.

And I guess, that's why I find certain things so hard. I don't want punishment as a reward. I want the damn reward...

Keep your spirits, hopes, and faith high though; even if they are as tiny as a few grains of sand. I say as much, anyway...

gl
---
update
---
I think I'm going to spend... a little time now, maybe an hour or so, just confronting my lonliness, or, as I'd prefer to say, spending some time with it.

I can read a book. Do some computer related hobbies I have some moderate skill in. I can try and listen to music. I can put the radio on... Or, perhaps, even just get lost in deliberation for a while, and reflect...

I meditate each day, or try to, for about a half hour; but, maybe my lonliness needs more time with me than that.

So, thnx for your post. It's given me some pause for thought.
 
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LeeG

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@chasingowls I like your post because I'm also in the same situation as you. I stay at home, bored, pass the time binging netflix and hulu series, being online, and just waiting until it's time to work, which BTW I also do from home, so I basically never leave my house, if I do I go to the supermarket (where I could never possibly meeting anybody) or maybe to see the doctor or the dentist or something. Occasionally my mother invites me out to dinner and I do that. But I am home, by myself, with nobody to talk to about 99% of the time.

It seems to me so far that once your in this situation your kind of stuck and getting out and finding an active social life is nearly impossible. I feel like when people see your alone and lonely they perhaps want to avoid you, maybe they think your somehow defective (idk).

I like @sunflowergirl1306 church suggetion and that's a possibility, someone else suggested that to me. The problem I have with that is that I don''t really have religious beliefs, I don't exactly disbelieve I've just never been convinced, so it would be a big lie for me. I wouldn't only be there to try to meet people and I would not share their beliefs. I don't want to go to to a church and debate people about religion.

Unfortunately I don't have good advice to offer you since I can't seem to find a way out of it myself. I'm trying to be happy with what I have and somehow enjoy what I do, but the need for human contact for me is strong. I do talk to people I work with and that helps me try to at least stay sane.

All the best to you I hope you find what you are looking for.
 

mizera

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I am in the same situation too. I have spent a lot of time in my life playing the guitar, and now it's sitting in the closet. I have no desire to play because at my age, it's unrealistic to think I could join a group. So practicing or even trying to write new music feels like a waste of time and I don't feel like playing just for the enjoyment. The loneliness and lack of connection to the outside world just makes me uninterested in hobbies like this. Instead I'd rather play games like poker because I can just concentrate on the game and forget about everything else for a while. I love movies and TV but for some reason I can't find much more than and hour or two of TV each week that I enjoy. The rest is just news and true crime programs that are mildly interesting. I might need to get an xbox one of these days. I take a lot of walks to try to gather my thoughts and try to brace myself for the future, where I'm living the same life except I'm older looking and aged out of the dating pool.

I feel like I'm watching the ship sail by me in slow motion, aware that the time is right now to get moving, finding a long term partner so I won't continue this life into my 50's and beyond. But I feel helpless to change things. I don't really know what to do, so I take a lot of walks and try to gather my thoughts and brace myself for the future. As much as I try, I can't see how life can get better, just a lot of ways it gets worse.
 

ManDss

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Sounds like imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome means other thing. I.S. means, for example, a person who is doing great at his job, but for him isnt so difficult, just a regular day at office, but constantly recieves compliments from everyone, how great he is, and how much effort is doing, people treat him nice, and he feels like "I dont deserve being treat so good, Im just doing regular things". Something like that.
 

ManDss

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Joining a club, volunteering, asking a coworker out, etc.. The place I live is very small, so I just want to make it clear that's not an option right now.
Its really not an option ? Ive been in small town, and in small towns there are more chanced to join to social activities, because everyone goes to the same places.

Anyway, I kinda understand what you talk about.

Meet people IRL is not so simple. I deal with that too. I spend hours looking for people to chat online. Some people I meet online say things like "just go to a bar, talk with someone at the grocery store", like if I didnt know you can do that 🙄.

I know what can I do to meet people, and what are my possibilities.

And I don't understand why it feels like, if I'm not interacting with people, everything I do alone is pointless". Trust me, I feel the same. Sometimes I say that, you know the phrase "if a tree fells in a forest and no one is there to listen it, do that tree exists?", well, I feel like "if Im enjoying a time watching a show or listening music, and there is no one I can tell about how much enjoyed that music, or what I did yesterday, do I exist?". We are humans, we are social beings.

Personally I found ways to feel comfortable being alone. It used to drive me INSANE, dont talk with anyone, go out alone, spend the day alone, go back home alone, then the same the next day and the next. I found ways to cope, but sometimes I feel such a void in my mind, its exhausting, its madness.

What Im not sure about you with what you wrote is if you really dont have options to meet people, or if there is another problem that is stopping you to meet people. Like something psychological, like you are way too attached to this virtual routine that you cant brake this vicious circle and go out.

What about try to find other gamers where you live? I know you said its a small town, but are you trying that ? Finding date ? Tinder ? And again, hobbies, there is anything where you live that you can join ? Again, Im not sure if the problem is that you can break this bad circle, or that trully isnt any way possible to meet people where you live.
 

TheRealCallie

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So why don't you interact with people here? You've been here since January, but you only have 9 posts. There are a lot of good people here and one of the members could turn into your best friend.

I get it, I really do, it's HARD to put yourself out there. It's hard to feel like you do and still make an effort. Do it anyway, what do you have to lose? You can literally meet people anywhere, so why not get to know some people here?
 

chasingowls

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What Im not sure about you with what you wrote is if you really dont have options to meet people, or if there is another problem that is stopping you to meet people. Like something psychological, like you are way too attached to this virtual routine that you cant brake this vicious circle and go out.

What about try to find other gamers where you live? I know you said its a small town, but are you trying that ? Finding date ? Tinder ? And again, hobbies, there is anything where you live that you can join ? Again, Im not sure if the problem is that you can break this bad circle, or that trully isnt any way possible to meet people where you live.

It's both psychological and real. There are mostly seniors groups & groups aimed at parents with babies. It's true that meetups do exist for people who fit into neither of those categories.. but 1. they're rare, and 2. almost no one shows up. Of the people who do show up, there's often a huge age gap. Talking about rarity, there was a board game meetup planned for three days one year. Not three days in a row, but one day each month, for three months. In an entire year.

The other part of it is that it's quite hard to find people who're on the same wavelength. I've tried with people who I just don't click with, and I end up drained, tired, and irritated. People also tend to not understand me. I'm pretty sensitive to social cues and am always aware of what's going on around me-- what not to say, when not to say things, knowing when someone is feeling irritated or left out, etc. But people usually just interpret me as cold or unfriendly. Despite the fact that I make such an effort to be welcoming that at times I burn out and get really tired.

So yeah, I tend to want to avoid those few meetups because I've done it before. And if there isn't anyone there, holy shit, that is the worst feeling. Because you know there simply isn't anything or anyone else. Which creates more depression/anxiety related feelings, makes it harder to do things (hobbies etc).
 

ManDss

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People also tend to not understand me. I'm pretty sensitive to social cues and am always aware of what's going on around me-- what not to say, when not to say things, knowing when someone is feeling irritated or left out, etc. But people usually just interpret me as cold or unfriendly. Despite the fact that I make such an effort to be welcoming that at times I burn out and get really tired.
This sounds a bit like me. Im also "way too aware" of people's feelings. People also think Im cold, and Im bad with timing while talking. Some people catch my way to be after a couple meetings, I mean... the guy at the fruits and vegetables place, he knows Im a good guy, just a bit odd or weird at some things. Other people just dont get me and even talk to me bad or look at me bad. Im a really nice and good person, so the people that can see that really appreciate me, but you know, there are others who just expect you to be a certain way and if you arent like that they just think bad of you.

Just a question, did you ever came across and read about Schizoid Syndrome and felt like you have that ? I used to think I had that. Nowadays, I dont know, maybes yes, or maybe Im projecting and thinkikg Schizoid is what I have. Anyway, my personality is kinda strange. And Im like "way too aware of people's emotions". To the point I even feel like I can manipulate people, I know what people likes, or wantz what kind of replies they like, I use words I wouldnt use by myself, I see what kind of words this people use and tell them so people aprobes me.

Sorry if I got out of topic too much. As you see, I also dont talk much with people, so when I find a conversation I talk all is possible.

About your topic again, hope dont seem annoying, but try to go those meetings even if are weird or the activities doesnt interests you, maybe by chance you find someone who you can meet and make a stable friendship.

Trust me, I know how its to spend hours trying to find people to talk online. Ive been more than one weeked, with nice weather, and just having no one IRL to go out or talk, and spending the whole day at home in forums looking for people to talk, checkikg the contacs Ive made in messenger, sending messages, hoping someone replies me, its sunny outside, dark in my bedroom, its only 5pm and my eyes are red for looking so much the screen, I feel dizzy, etc, and at the end of the day couldnt find many people to talk in so many hours.

Sorry I dont have any real advice.
 
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I am in the same situation too. I have spent a lot of time in my life playing the guitar, and now it's sitting in the closet. I have no desire to play because at my age, it's unrealistic to think I could join a group. So practicing or even trying to write new music feels like a waste of time and I don't feel like playing just for the enjoyment. The loneliness and lack of connection to the outside world just makes me uninterested in hobbies like this. Instead I'd rather play games like poker because I can just concentrate on the game and forget about everything else for a while. I love movies and TV but for some reason I can't find much more than and hour or two of TV each week that I enjoy. The rest is just news and true crime programs that are mildly interesting. I might need to get an xbox one of these days. I take a lot of walks to try to gather my thoughts and try to brace myself for the future, where I'm living the same life except I'm older looking and aged out of the dating pool.

I feel like I'm watching the ship sail by me in slow motion, aware that the time is right now to get moving, finding a long term partner so I won't continue this life into my 50's and beyond. But I feel helpless to change things. I don't really know what to do, so I take a lot of walks and try to gather my thoughts and brace myself for the future. As much as I try, I can't see how life can get better, just a lot of ways it gets worse.
I completely understand what you are saying. I've lost interest in my hobbies as well. The increased costs have kind of sealed the deal. BUT, IMO, even if you are no longer interested in your hobbies you should still do your best to continue doing them. You will probably need to change your view of why you are doing them.

Now you do them because it's something to do. It's not healthy to sit around and do nothing. Sure, you'll probably never be in a band or a music group. But, you might find small pieces of enjoyment around your guitar. Maybe it might be fun to try to play a different genre or something. Or maybe perfecting a single song or something. Maybe make Youtube videos or something. I don't know. But, I do know it's harmful to just completely stop.

Life is becoming more difficult. Life will get worse if you let it. You have to find joy or entertainment anywhere you can. Maybe it's not super exciting any more. But, don't stop.
 

sunflowergirl1306

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I completely understand what you are saying. I've lost interest in my hobbies as well. The increased costs have kind of sealed the deal. BUT, IMO, even if you are no longer interested in your hobbies you should still do your best to continue doing them. You will probably need to change your view of why you are doing them.

Now you do them because it's something to do. It's not healthy to sit around and do nothing. Sure, you'll probably never be in a band or a music group. But, you might find small pieces of enjoyment around your guitar. Maybe it might be fun to try to play a different genre or something. Or maybe perfecting a single song or something. Maybe make Youtube videos or something. I don't know. But, I do know it's harmful to just completely stop.

Life is becoming more difficult. Life will get worse if you let it. You have to find joy or entertainment anywhere you can. Maybe it's not super exciting any more. But, don't stop.
very good advice finished
 

Sir Joseph

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I apologize to those who grow weary of me preaching the same message so often, but I do believe it is the common source of so many problems expressed by people on this website. So Chasingowls, let me say it again for your benefit.

We all need a purpose in life, and without it, life can grow boring, unfulfilling, depressing, and hopeless. Many pursue this purpose through their work, families, sports, or other recreational interests, but too often these things disappoint or lose their satisfying effect. I think being alone in life only exasperates the problem.

As a lifetime single myself (without any family support), I can relate to loneliness as well as anyone here. I understand how it functions as a demotivator for engaging with life more. The evidence is apparent in my own life of world travels, where I don't do nearly the number of things that I'd like to do, or would do, if I had somebody to share them with.

While I live too with persistent loneliness, I have not allowed it to take the joy from my life. You see, I know my purpose in life - to know and love God more each day, and to learn how to love others. This a huge calling that makes each day interesting, productive, and even enjoyable for me, regardless of whether I'm alone or not.

I don't know how to resolve a loneliness problem entirely, but I believe that knowing and living one's proper purpose in life makes it more manageable. Rather than focusing on my problems and deficiencies in life, or succumbing to them in defeat, I counter them with something big and positive. And for me, that's my Christian faith and walk.

Believer or not, I think you'd do well to find a good Christian church - one large enough to have different small groups and weekly activities. It'd take some investment of time to build relationships, but the ones you make there could really change your life. If you fill your life with God and his family of people, the other interests and issues will fall into place.
 

Searcher

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I have kind of a weird problem, that's taken over my life. Even though I know it's stupid and irrational.

I spend almost all my free time online trying to talk to people or watching tv/youtube/etc. to numb feelings of loneliness. I'm aware the solution would likely have to come from irl. Joining a club, volunteering, asking a coworker out, etc. The place I live is very small, so I just want to make it clear that's not an option right now. Moving is also not an immediate option. And I have also tried therapy.

I'm basically killing myself in slow motion. Even though I'm working, I'm destroying any chance I have of being anything other than a husk. And I know this. I know it would make more sense to use all that time on hobbies. The rewards from doing anything other than numbing myself or trying to find people to talk to do not motivate me. Not one bit. Even though I know that the cost of the way I'm spending my time is going to get worse, and worse, and worse the older I get.

I know "it's too late" is a warped way of seeing things that doesn't make sense. It's just that not having anywhere I can go to meet new people, not having anyone I can invest my time in (as you do with friends or acquaintances) makes me feel like I'm trapped underground with no way out. Loneliness is the central problem in my life, and I can't fix it. I feel like I can't do anything, in my own life. It feels like I'm out of control, and all I can do is escape or numb those negative feelings, which I never get any relief from unless I'm in that weird half-awake state of staying up until 2am while watching your 2nd hour of mindless youtube. And I don't understand why it feels like, if I'm not interacting with people, everything I do alone is pointless (even though I know I have to, again because if I do NOTHING, I'll be even worse off in the future). I thought about making drawing my 'thing'-- using absolutely every second of my spare time on that. Because then I'd have tangible progress in at least one thing in my life. But I swear to god, every single time I try anything (that isn't just numbing my feelings) I talk myself out of it and convince myself this is a stupid waste of time, I'm stupid for trying, and etc.

I wanted to use online games as a way to socialize in the mean time (while I'm stuck in this location) but here's a surprise, I've avoided it because I can't deal with people. Even though I want to socialize. Even though I'm expecting a lot of bs rude behaviour-- it's not like I can't handle myself-- I still find a way to convince myself I don't belong. Anywhere.
This issue of talking yourself out of doing things because it doesn't seem like you are going to benefit from it is a sure fire classic sign of depression. You obviously are depressed. It isn't easy but I think you should counteract that tendency by an act of will. If you actually do something instead of not doing you tend to feel better just by doing it regardless of the outcome. It is OK not to do something because you have a better option but if the option is doing nothing then force yourself and do it, not for the sake of getting anything but just for the sake of doing it. When you get there, take an interest in other people and try to make them feel better and don't give any thought to what you are getting out of it. What you are doing is totally natural. I don't blame you for it but, nevertheless, it is a mental trap.
 

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