Feeling lost? You are not alone despite how it feels.

A common question asked of kids is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Society places an importance on a person’s purpose in the world way before they are ready to perform it. When meeting someone for the first time, a common question is “So, what do you do?” Answering with “I get up at 7 am and grab a coffee” is not what they are after. So when you are feeling lost with your life, it can feel like you don’t belong in the world.

Feeling lost?

When I was in primary school I wanted to be a bus driver. Finishing high school I wanted to be a music teacher. When I left university after six months of study, I wanted to have a career in IT. Over the first 20 years of my life I had changed course a number of times and still hadn’t really started to live. I ended up working as an administration and finance officer. Not much of a link to driving a bus. Did I feel lost? Not at all.

Add another 17 years and I’ve been working in IT for a number of years and progressed into a management position. “That’s great! You’ve achieved what you set out to do!” you may be thinking. Yes, and yet I feel more lost than ever before.

Despite how it looks I never really had a plan on where I would go. I followed the opportunities that felt right at the time and have worked hard to succeed. This is what you are taught to do when you are young. No one tells you that when you work hard and you succeed that you at some point you hit a wall, or will end up with a mortgage, or a family. There is no mention of the other responsibilities and dreams that don’t revolve around what you do for a living. So we think we’re alone and not achieving unlike everyone else who must be doing better.

You are not alone despite how it feels.

Why is it that people feel like their situation is unique to them? Think about how often you speak to others about the issues you are having. When did you last bring up you were feeling lost or like a fish out of water? Has your friend or relative recently come to you to talk about not knowing where they belong in the world? If you answer yes then you are in the minority. People talk about their sucesses and how well they are going with things. No one likes a sour puss. People don’t want to hear the troubles you have. Well that’s what we are told.

I have found that talking about how I feel actually helps to form it into a real concept that can be challenged, broken apart, examined and put back together again. Try it with a trusted friend or your partner. Bring it up with your dog or cat or fish. At least you know they won’t give you bad advice. It makes it real and it gives you a chance to think on it.

Does it mean you’ll feel less lost? No. It does mean you can stop feeling alone and perhaps get advise from others who are feeling exactly the same as you.

Are you feeling lost? Leave a comment with how you have dealt with it so that others can take comfort in not being alone.

Photo by Niamh <>

Your heart or your head? How do you know which one is broken?

“Don’t listen to your head… Follow your heart!” It’s a cliche oft used to point out it’s good to listen when something feels right or wrong, good or bad. I’m being a little more literal with today’s post.

Your head or your heart?

I am sitting in my office at work and suddenly I have pain in my chest. What was going on?  I start to get a little concerned. First I check my pulse. Is my heart racing? It’s a little high. “Maybe I just need a drink,” I think to myself so I get up and grab some water. Dizziness. “Oh crap”, I think to myself. Tingling in my fingers. “It’s just anxiety,” I try to tell myself as I sit down, and hope it all passes.

A couple of minutes passes and I still feel like something isn’t right. I check in with Dr Google who tells me it’s probably my heart. “But what if it’s just anxiety?” my brain helpfully tells me. “You’ll feel like a bit of a dick making a fuss!” I decide to relent and ask someone to call an ambulance.

Finally after spending a night in hospital and having a bunch of tests I now know I was having an anxiety attack. It wasn’t my heart. It was my head. But how was I to know at the time?

While I am lucky that I took things seriously it’s worrying to think of the people who don’t know and don’t get checked. People think they are wasting the time of the doctor but because of their inaction they could end up in the ground. Dead.

My mental illness results in me worrying what other people think, so I am prone to ignoring my concerns in case people think I’m being a ‘drama queen.’ What would I do if it happened again now that I know this time wasn’t actually a life threatening situation? I would ask for an ambulance and maybe cop some crap, but I would know I’d get the help if I needed it.

What would you do if you were confronted with this situation? Have you had to make the call for yourself or someone else? 

Disconnected? Stumble you might fall…

Stereo MC’s had a song they released in 1992 called “Connected“.  The lyrics were catchy (it was used in an ad) and the chorus went something like this:

If you make sure you’re connected
The writings on the wall,
But if you’re mind’s neglected
Stumble you might fall

Disconnected? Stumble you might fall

I am feeling disconnected from the world around me the last few weeks. It is like the people around me aren’t as close as normal and seems like I’m not as in touch with what is going on with me and with others. As a result I have been feeling a little blue. A little disconnected.

When I feel disconnected from the people that love me I am much more likely to love myself less. I find that I feed off the love and good vibes from other people even though I’m an introvert. As a result my mind falters, and so does work, relationships, life and so on.

When I neglect my body, my mind suffers, and vice versa. I am not walking as often as normal and therefore I’m feeling a little run down. I am not taking the time to meditate. My mind is being neglected and I’ve started to stumble. If I am not careful I might fall.

Last night I decided to meditate, go to bed early and see if that would help me reconnect with myself. It hasn’t worked yet but I will give it a try again tonight rather than give up straight away. My plan is to make a lovely chicken satay noodle stir-fry and give my wife a massive hug. I know she has been feeling disconnected to, so perhaps we can reconnect together?

I’ll keep you updated and see if I feel more connected as a result.

What do you do when you feel disconnected?

Photo by Vitorcius