Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Where can I find that thing I'm looking for?

Asked by wundayatta (58586points) February 6th, 2010

It always feels like something is missing. No matter what I do or where I go or who I’m with, something is missing. It’s as if when they handed out the “who you are” baskets, mine was one apple short.

Looked at the other way around, I got an extra dose of nothingness. Makes me relate comfortably to questions about existential angst and suicide and the meaning of life. Or to those mental illness questions.

I don’t even know what it is that I’m missing. I just know that it’s not there, and most other people seem to have it. For a long time, I thought it was love, or that love was a good substitute. But it is only temporary and most people seem to have a much more substantial version of the thing.

I’m sure the answer is completely obvious to most people. But maybe you could explain it in baby words. I may be smart, but this is one thing I do not understand. Maybe I’m incapable of understanding until I find it.

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23 Answers

aphilotus's avatar

Are you looking maybe for peaceful simplicity?

Also, that website (zen habits) is hugely helpful for the existentially troubled.

Merriment's avatar

Maybe what is “missing” is your acceptance of what is.

wundayatta's avatar

I think if I accepted what is, I would die of loneliness. It is only keeping on trying that allows me to close the distance at all. Then whatever bridge I’m on is bombed and I’m falling into the deep gorge, staring at sharp rocks, hoping for rescue.

gailcalled's avatar

@wundayatta: I worry that your return to fluther has triggered some old habits. It seems you are never going to get the answers here to the questions you pose. Maybe we are pushing you over the ledge without realizing it.

wundayatta's avatar

@gailcalled You think I should go away?

Merriment's avatar

@wundayatta I think you may be mistaking accepting what is and being able to find peace whatever your circumstances with giving up on having more. They are very different things.

gailcalled's avatar

@wundayatta: I said that I worry about you. When you returned, you sounded as though you had made some new resolutions. This question and the one immediately following it are evocative of questions I have seen here before.

Of course I don’t think you should go away.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

One way that I find meaning in my life by meditating. I use guided visualization. It gives me a sense of belonging to something bigger than myself.

I also volunteer for a local nonprofit organization. That helps me get outside my head and keeps me in the social mix to some extent.

Another way I have of filling that void I have in the middle of my chest is by getting regular exercise.

Finally, I have a therapist and a psychiatrist that I talk to often, and I use the meds that the latter prescribes for me.

It took me years of searching, but I have found a modicum of peace. Maybe some of these ideas will work for you, too.

Papeversomniferum's avatar

Begin with realizing that you’re not the only one who feels that way. But you are however one brave enough to say it out loud! Bravo!

As for missing? Well… Only you can answer that. Lame, I know, but it’s true.

DrC's avatar

I think you’re just being paranoid:)

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@wundayatta My heart aches for people who feel as you do. I have an idea I would suggest as a clinical intervention. I’ve seen it be quite successful with clients with whom I worked.

People like yourself suffer from chronic lack of the sense of satisfaction and feeling worthwhile and worthy of being loved without any conditions on that love.

I will tell any of you who ask me what they need to do to overcome this sense of emptiness and unworthiness.

If I offer the suggestion here, people will be tempted to find a reason why it won’t work, can’t work or why it isn’t worth trying. That is the easy response, a way to avoid taking action that will change what keeps you miserable and feeling hopeless.

No drugs are involved and not additional medical appointments.

If you are seeing a doctor or therapist regularly, you must continue to follow their advice and take the medications prescribed for you. I will insist you share my suggestion with your doctor or therapist and only follow my behavioural prescription if it meets with the approval of those professionals already helping you.

You can change you lives for the better and this effect will last a long time and probably forever. If you want to know what I recommend and you are willing to stick with it long enough for it to work, then contact me. I will tailor the solution to your own life and situation. You must agree not to share what I suggest here. I want everyone to have an equal chance to feel better.

If you have given up and are not willing to commit to do something to overcome your sense of emptiness and hopelessness, then you need not contact me.

I care about you all and I am willing to help. I do not charge anything and I will respect your privacy.

liminal's avatar

In a way, this is being discussed over her at this question. I am going to bed and entering into it some more tomorrow. It would be interesting to hear some of your thinking.

filmfann's avatar

You are missing your Mojo.
To find it, you must find the thing that makes you happiest, and make it happy.

Cruiser's avatar

You are looking for the obvious…it’s not right there where you expect to see it…it’s not in the mirror or in what you think you see in other people. It’s hiding in plain sight. Start looking between the lines…look up when you’d rather look down…look for things unfamiliar and when you find them they will appear familiar as you find these gems you are looking for….just be open to it.

HungryGuy's avatar

Did you look under your sofa cushions?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

In my own way I think I understand some of what you’re feeling; I feel it too, from time to time (and more often at this time of year, whether that’s weather-related or not, or SAD or just winter blahs—but I can feel it at any time). For me it seems to be a purposeless to life, and I just have to invent new purposes for each day.

Mostly, I think, it comes from having too much time on my hands and getting too introspective—and I know beyond doubt that you do that (whether you have too much time on your hands I can’t say, not knowing you anywhere near well enough to make a judgment like that).

So, what can you do to get outside of your own head? Coach a Little League or Youth Soccer team? (Don’t laugh; even if you don’t know a thing about the games now, all you need to know is one thing that the kids don’t know, and you’re qualified.) Work at a soup kitchen or Haiti Relief or something. I don’t know what’s going to be your thing, but you do need to get out and definitely outside of your head for a bit.

But don’t leave Fluther altogether. No, don’t do that.

Disc2021's avatar

I understand what you’re feeling and the answer is something I cannot provide. Only thing I can say is to think and then act – think about what you want, where you belong and who you are and try to start working towards that. You might end up realizing that what you’ve been working for isn’t for you after all – but that will only bring you a step closer to finding yourself. You might even find yourself in that same process of not-finding-yourself (sorry for the wordiness, hopefully you get the idea though.

I can say this though – the answer is NEVER obvious to most people. Most people are only doing what they know how to do best, even if they hate it.

Who I am, what I want and where I belong is something I feel I dont entirely grasp – but I’m pretty darn close. There are still a few variables that are either up in the air or undeclared – maybe they will always be.

ucme's avatar

Neath a joshua tree.

wundayatta's avatar

I know what will fill that space, but either I can’t get it or I’m not allowed to have it. Anyway, the mental health professionals all tell me it’s a kind of addiction, and that it won’t help, and that there is some other way to get it. Or to stop being bothered that it isn’t there. All I know is that my body aches and my spirit aches with a semi-permanent soreness.

The sense that something is missing only goes away when I feel bathed in that connection with other people—as when dancing or making music or making love. But I can’‘t do those things every second of every day. I would if I could. I think this need is making me more and more erratic, and it is affecting my mood a lot. I’m getting headaches and body aches and my thinking is depressed.

Then there are my internal rules. If I ask for something, and somebody gives it (say, a hug), then I feel like I have manipulated the other person. So other people must choose to give whatever it is I think might make me feel better, and they mostly don’t, perhaps because it never occurs to them, or perhaps because they don’t want to. It’s a challenge, made even more difficult because I don’t interact with that many people in real life. I should be getting it from my family, but I’m not.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

you said “most other people seem to have it.”
they don’t.

Cruiser's avatar

I have read all your comments and I will add it seems you need to find a hobby or activity that will allow you to express yourself outside interactions with other people. Some form of art…music, dance, or craft. Photography in the outdoors is extremely soothing, so is meditating. Meditating will allow you to relax and connect with your inner soul. Good luck!

YARNLADY's avatar

Have you heard of the new studies that say exercise is the best treatment for Bi Polar Disorder? You could try running as an alternative to the extreme reactions that may accompany the medication. Do not stop any medication without the approval of your doctor. As your doctor about the new exercise treatments that are supposed to be better than meds.

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