General Question

ConfusedFrank's avatar

I'm depressed on things I'll never do, that others DO?

Asked by ConfusedFrank (90points) October 23rd, 2015

I have this depression/confusion that won’t leave because I constantly compare myself to others who are doing something ‘cooler’/more exciting and I have this insane crushing weight on my mind.

I’ve done a lot in my life, did medical rescue/evac/fire for 11 years, wrote a book, traveled, taught myself how to shoot, sky dive, ride motorcycles…yet I deny all this and its like ‘well, I never was a paramedic, only an emt’ or ‘Sure I got good at guns, but I never was in Special Forces so I really am just a fake poser.’

I was really brought to my knees about 3 months ago by this girlfriend I had who worked as a flight nurse on helicopters, she would brag all the time about how cool the mountains were, how many people she saved, how cool she was, etc etc, further she’d tell me how my stuff was boring (rock climbing, cliff jumping, shooting etc) this ate at me so insanely bad, I would NEVER get to ride in the helicopter and save someone on the mountain, or see the city with night vision goggles, god even just typing this I feel worse and have regret.

Further, I have a lot of ex-military friends and I feel like I was a coward or weak, or a joke since I never ‘proved’ myself by seeing combat, or jumping from a plane etc.

I talked to some of my friends and they are like ‘you’ve done a lot in your life’ but in my mind its like ‘but…but…I havent seen the city from the air with night vision goggles, I have paratrooped into hostile territory…I havent done ANYTHING!’

Thanks for any advice

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27 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Dude, if you think you haven’t done anything, you’d probably kill yourself if you had my life. :P

My point is that A) your ex is an asshole and B) you should never measure your worth based on other people’s lives or what they’ve done. Who cares if you didn’t do the exact same things? People aren’t all cut from the same mold and life would be boring if we were.

Set your own goals and do things that you’ll enjoy, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

May I ask how old you are?

_Seek_'s avatar

Here you go – a night-vision photo of Vegas. Now you’ve seen it.

My grandfather was a paratrooper. Landed bad once and fucked up his hip for life and got sent home from the war on Day One. Not all it was cracked up to be.

Dude, you’re a first responder. Tell me a story of your days as an EMT. You’ve got to have a few whoppers. What’s the weirdest/scariest/hardest call you ever went on?

Honestly, I want to hear it.

wsxwh111's avatar

How about go and try the things that you admire about others’?
Give it a shot, it doesn’t even matter if you’ll do good in those things. Life is about experiencing things. If you are fantastic in those things, good for you! If you are not, then you know, oh, there’s something in the world I can’t do, and I think I just met some. But either way, you got the experiences, you know that “I’ve experienced one more thing in my life, now I can say ‘Been there done that’ to myself, how cool is that?”

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Respect. Now find it for yourself. I safeguard a significant portion of the southeast US electric grid, I had to perform CPR on someone, failed and had to watch them die. My actual life is probably boring compared to yours. Credit where credit is due. Your girlfriend is actually a bore, you are not. She did not fly the helicopter she was a rider. You are a doer, an asset to society. I’m mean cliff jumping! shit! Lets see her do that. Did she write a book? doubt it. Don’t let other peoples vain bullshit mitigate your own life.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Your problem is that you constantly using people’s standard as your own. You compare the best of people to the worst of you, and you haven’t seen the whole picture.

Are you completely sure all the “cool” people are flawless and have no problem? Have you seen them dealing with their everyday life? They are human, like you. They deal with their own problem and imperfection. It’s just you don’t get a chance to see it. There can be things you are good at but the “cool” people actually wish for, how can you know?

And by sitting there and compare yourself to others, you are trying to live others’ life, not your.

Instead of wasting your energy on envy, focus on what you are good at. You say you have done a lot and many people confirm that. Focus on it, focus on being you. The people who throw you down, to hell with them. You only need to live your life, not their life.

Bill1939's avatar

Imagine that you had not done all of the things you have done and you met someone who had done everything that you have. What would you think of them? I suspect that you would hold them in high regard, unless they felt that they needed to brag about their accomplishments. I also suspect that the people you are friends with hold you in high regard.

What is most important is not what you or others have done, but what you and they are doing. Life brings different opportunities for people to be there for those in need. Some leave others to be of help and some respond with compassion. However, when one’s awareness is on what they have not done they diminish their capacity to recognize and serve those in need.

Try to focus your attention on those you know and meet and less on yourself. Everyone has needs, physical and emotional. Your girlfriend seems to need to affirm her goodness by disparaging others. This is so sad, but is only too common. She wants/needs attention because at some level she has similar doubts about her worth as you seem to have. The value of a person is measured by how they respond to the suffering that is all around them.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Frank, Do you think she is telling the cool stuff she did because she feels inferior to you?

Don’t worry about braggarts. The really cool people either don’t say anything or they let bits leak out slowly over a lifetime.

I like @Seek answer. Tell us about one interesting call you were on. Was gasoline involved? What did the vehicle look like? How did bystanders react? What made your adrenaline rush?

ConfusedFrank's avatar

Thanks for the answers, it sucks seeing rescues and stuff on tv and thinking ‘that was me, that could have been me’. – esp given my ex. I am almost 30 so there is some midlife crisis stuff going on too I think.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Hye Frank. You’re having a midlife crisis at 30?!?! What the? Don’t make me come over there! :-)

Look. You want to ride in a helicopter with night vision? You can. Easy. Pay $400 for an hour’s ride and borrow a NV scope. Done. (Personally, I’d go with a thermal imager. That is waaay cooler.)

I used to have a muscle car. (I’m a lot older than you) A friend once told me that a car moves on cubic bucks. There is always going to be somebody with more money than brains willing to spend buck to make it go faster. You can’t be the fastest. Why? Because you are reasonable guy and have a realistic view of the world. You’ve got brains.
The next time you start thinking that you will never do something think about how much it would cost to just pay for it. Helicopter? $400. Drive a Ferrari? $750, $1000 Hooker? $1000, Crazy ski trip in Tahoe? $2000. Get the idea? You don’t have to actually do the stuff. Just knowing you can do it, will make the difference.

Now get out there and empty your prostate like Al Capone voted: Early and often.
Let’s see her do that! ;-)

_Seek_'s avatar

Bro. We’re the same age.

You have done so much more stuff than me and I am morbidly jealous. Skydiving? On my bucket list. I still can’t drive a stick. Whatever. I’ve got my own accomplishments – sorta. Nothing that’s going to make someone write a book about me, but who cares?

You’re 29. Unless you’re a quadraplegic in a persistent vegetative state, there is some way you can make the stuff you really want to do happen. Let’s be honest, I’m talking to myself here as much as you.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You are 29, single, intelligent, in good shape, and have some common sense. Have I got a job for you!
I will PM you.

Welcome to Fluther, by the way. You’ll notice that people here really care. Nice.

Coloma's avatar

I will say “dude” for the 4th or 5th time here.
DUDE! The quickest path to misery is envy and jealously brewing from a big pot of insecurity. Ya gotta find your peace man, seriously, I might be more understanding if you had no noteworthy accomplishments or adventures of your own, but this shit is just neurotic as hell. I don’t mean to sound harsh but man, get-a-grip!

There will always be others that have more, have done more, that is just the way it is and the sooner you accept this fact of life the happier you will be. Stop comparing yourself to others and focus on your own interests and achievements.

Littlemisslinny's avatar

You should never let your brain or your mind control you. You should control your brain. Too much thinking and not enough physical activity. Go do something that you really enjoy. Get back your zest for life.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Honestly, for not even being 30 yet (I’m 30), that’s genuinely a lot of accomplishments. You should be glad you’ve done so much (because you really have, and a lot of it is noteworthy and neat), and honestly, you still have a lot of time to do anything else you might want to. Relax! And continue to pursue your interests. :)

flutherother's avatar

Today you are you
That is truer than true
There is no one alive
Who is youer than you.

Dr Seuss

talljasperman's avatar

Team up with friends who have what skills you lack. Adventure together.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

The advice you least want to hear, but here it goes, each person (whether they know it or acknowledge it) has a God-size hole in their souls and they try to fill it with everything but God. Many can go about this with contentment for a long time, or bury the fact very deeply, but women, cars, houses, tons of money, etc, cannot buy peace and contentment, look how many people who had more than you killed themselves.

talljasperman's avatar

@ConfusedFrank I feel the same way. Especially when playing specialist characters. I want to be able to heal and use magic at the same person. You might be a multi potential ite. Just Google ted talks multipotentialite. Which in layman’s terms is to be a multi or dual classed person. You might fit that description or to be a specialist. I am still trying to get a pH. D in general studies.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@LuckyGuy ”...empty your prostate early and often…” That is the best thing I’ve read all day! Thank you!

@ConfusedFrank This too shall pass.

msh's avatar

Never sure is a long time. Goodness!
Why in the world do you and your chosen play: “Nya, Nya, lookit me! Aren’t I wonderful!”
Who keeps hitting you with the huge stick while yelling ‘Loser!”?
There’s no one there. It’s you.
Find a way to fix this or you are going to kick yourself in the arse on and off the rest of your time here.

msh's avatar

Whoa- what a drop-off from what was written on this last post!
Let me reiterate the contents that exist in the atmosphere somewhere over Minsk.

Have you wrestled with this feeling before? That, or tried to keep one step ahead of it- at all expenses?
What makes you so driven? Why in the world would you believe your drive to be over now? “Been there, done that?” once you get that helicopter ride?
Step back.
Do you want a someone to simper and then ‘ooo and ah’ over your achievements?
Perhaps someone who’s going to squash you down as just not quite good enough- ever?
Or someone who challenges you ever onward to achieve or dream bigger?
What hit the ego in the gut at this moment? What made you stop and obsess over this?
You could change your focus and go out to conquer something more difficult…perhaps even- unattainable. What if you can’t quite carry that off well enough? Scary thought, isn’t it?
Who’s measuring you, and up against whom?
Calm yourself. Stop this spiral of self-doubt or ego busting.
You need to think about doing two big things.
One: Get thee to a councilor. Talk. Think. Accept input that may unlock wonderful things.
Two: Get thyself to the Doctor. Find out if this is all physiological in nature. Something you would never have thought of, could be acting up to effect your overall outlook.
Relax. Calm down. This is not the moment that will define your life. As said by rojo- you can pay to do such a flight… Then what?
30 years is not a jump-off point for achievements.
What is so very disappointing to you right now?
Time is on your side. You need to take care of yourself here for a little while, mentally and physically. A check up, if you will.
Let up. Get some healthy time. Figure out just what is next.
Sweetie, you’ve just begun.
Feel better. Take care.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I wish someone had given me that advice before I lost mine.

I hope @ConfusedFrank gets the point .

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” – Joni Mitchell, 1970.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

You’re ambitious. Good. People who have done more than you shouldn’t depress you, they should inspire you. Go out and do something better than what you’ve done before. Do something better than what the people around you have done.

Personally, I try to mix with people who are better than myself in each of my pursuits. I work with people who are better at my job than me. I spar with better fighters than me. I drive with better drivers than me, in faster cars. I get training advice from people stronger than me. They don’t depress me, they give me a goal to work towards, and the tools to get there. Learn from the people around you. And learn when to cut out people who make you feel less than what you are.

Confidence is everything. Every time you wake up, tell yourself that you’re the greatest at what you do. No one else is as good at being you as you are. And make your body language more powerful. Soon enough you’ll be the king of your domain, because ultimately people believe the story you tell them about yourself. People treat you how you treat yourself.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@LuckyGuy That’s basically what my dad said when he lost his. Grandad had it to. Y chromosome is a bitch. Em, male version anyway. One of the ways I read to prevent it is to flush it out often. I may have “accidentally” left printouts in my wife’s work papers on occasion. When she is sad I’ll show her this

ConfusedFrank's avatar

I’m not sure if I can re-edit my post or anything, but thanks for the responses it helps. I suspose there is some neuristism going on, esp that I didnt care before she came along.

It just sucks SO bad hiking etc where I get to a peak ‘well she could have seen this, so what was the point in even coming here?’

Mimishu1995's avatar

@ConfusedFrank you may use therapy if the feeling is so destructive it affect your life too much. You can find the real cause too.

And consider this: you want to do all the cool things because they make you feel good or because you want to please her? If you only want to please her then you are just living her life and not yours. Don’t let her get to you, you are too busy with your life to bother with her.

Strauss's avatar

@ConfusedFrank It’s never too late. When my 30th birthday came along, I was on a wagon train, traveling by mule-drawn wagon or on horseback from Tucson, to Denver, and back again. I was also running herd (with other adult staff) on about 70 troubled teens. After that, I started my music career.

You are an awesome individual. You have accomplished things most people have only dreamed. Your résumé should help you to accomplish anything you want to do.

As far as getting over her, well, I have some experience in that area also. An important thing I have found is to improve your sense of self worth.

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