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wundayatta's avatar

Have you felt like a spectator of your own life?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) October 29th, 2009

Sometimes I feel like my life is living me instead of the other way around. It’s as if my opinions and choices don’t matter. I’m living in some other way. It’s like being a passenger in my own body.

I don’t know what is going on—except maybe it’s a symptom of manic-depression. It makes me feel powerless to change things, and then guilty about feeling powerless, like I’m just giving up because I want to avoid responsibility for my behavior. A mental mess!

Have you felt this way? If so, what happened? How did you interpret the feeling? Did you manage to recombine your selves? Do you know how?

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14 Answers

holden's avatar

Never like a spectator per se, but I have felt at the mercy of the powers that be. More like a feeling of drifting with a current. The current takes me where it wants and if I try to swim against it I’ll drown. These feelings are normally situational and pass.

mclaugh's avatar

We live in a society where alot of the “choices” we are supposed to make are already made for us. I’ve never really felt like a spectator of my own life but I sure think my life would make for an interesting reality TV show.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I have felt like that before. Luckily it didn’t last too terribly long. It eventually just faded. And my life felt normal again.

will's avatar

Finding simple demonstrable things to do that affect change in my life in a direction that I want to go help me gain a better sense of control and direction.

Depending on what exactly you’re experiencing, I’ve also found activities that help me to calm down and center on the physical experience of being (yoga, zazen, exercise) to be useful in feeling more concretely connected to the world.

broncosgirl's avatar

Yes, I felt that way almost a year ago now. I felt like my “life” was living me, that I was not really making the decisions to do what my everyday life had become. It took a lot of courage, and while i beat myself up over it, I was brave, and I made the changes. I parted with someone I deeply loved, and began walking down a career path I truly valued, and reconnected with who I really am again. Scary as it may be, don’t ever be afraid to take the reigns and gain control of your life again. You aren’t powerless to change your life, fear makes you feel that way. I beat the fear and took back what I had control of all along, but sometimes we get caught up on what we “think” we are supposed to be doing, according to our friends and family or society, rather than what we actually want at heart. Best of luck to you!

tinyfaery's avatar

Not so much a spectator so much as a passenger, completely at the whim of chance.

It’s not normal. It is a symptom of depression, but that doesn’t equate to you not being culpable for your behavior. Your mood and general outlook on life might be a result of mental illness, but they are not excuses for your behavior.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

During some of the most destructive times, yes. Getting blindsided by the unexpected and not having experience, tools or aid can throw you into disconnect.

rooeytoo's avatar

At this point in my life, I think I could change just about anything I really wanted to. But….I have reached the point where I am pretty comfortable with who and what I am so I don’t think it is worth the energy!

ninjacolin's avatar

@tinyfaery, no excuses needed. you owe nothing to anyone but yourself.. just like everyone else.

It’s definitely not a symptom of depression. I think you’re missing information. I think you’re simply awestruck by your own god-like potential. It’s like you haven’t quite figured out what it all means. It’s a glowing rock called your life, which you can’t take your eyes off of.

I prescribe some Wayne Dyer. Watch “The Power of Intention.” I think he gets some of the determinism stuff wrong but he ultimately comes to the right conclusions about what it all means and how to take this amazing reality known as “you” and do something really impressive for yourself.

Shuttle128's avatar

I feel like one every damn time I have to do something important but put it off. I know I need to get it done. I even want to get it done….but somehow I do something else. It doesn’t feel like I even made the choice most of the time.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

If my life was a reality show, most of it would be unfit for TV, and the rest of it would be not much better than this, including the monotonous shrill tone.

faye's avatar

lordy, lordy, who’d be so bad off to have to live it and watch it??!!!

Adagio's avatar

Watching: In those brief moments, when the face of the protagonist is separate from my own, there is reprieve.

A few words I wrote several years ago about being an observer/a watcher of/in my own life. Rather ambiguous I know…. a feeling much too big for words

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