Existential Crisis!

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    Jun 03, 2012 5:21 AM GMT
    Recently, in another thread, another RJ'r said (paraphrased Cliff Notes version of post):

    Paraphrasing another RJ'r...

    1. There is nothing to live for.
    2. There's no purpose to life.
    3. It's not that I'm ungrateful. It's just that there is no one to be grateful to.
    4. I'm in despair. No one can tell. It's easy to pretend that everything is normal.
    5. I long for a morning on which I would just not wake up.
    6. It's exhausting doing something as time-consuming as life...


    So, another RJ'r also had something similar they posted in another thread. So, for all RJ'rs I'm posting this "Lesson Paid for and Learned", and I'm doing it FOR FREE!!!! I'm not the Dalai Lama, or the Buddah, and I'm not any smarter than anybody else on here. I've just got some experiences which worked for me. Maybe something in my story will work for you? You don't know until you try (if you want to).

    Well, back to my response (and, it's a long one)...

    Congratulations! You're having what is called an "Existential Crisis"! I had my first one at age 19, then another at age 35. The one at age 35 is more like the one you are having now. I had "everything", and yet at the same time I felt like, "Is this all there is?" My whole life felt like a mirror shattering, and I was left standing to pick up the pieces. "What mattered? What should I pick up? Why bother?"

    BTW, it was only at about age 40-something-ish that I even learned that "Existential Crisis" had a name.

    Although you can work through this on your own. You and your partner may want to take best advantage of this opportunity to work through this together. By doing this together, you may help him to avoid an existential crisis AND as you "find your bearings" have the best chance of the both of you coming through this as a couple.

    I suggest employing a "Life Coach" if you can afford it. The investment will be worth your time and effort. Again, you can "go it solo". In hindsight, I wish I had employed a life coach at my Age 35 existential crisis.

    In short, you've got to be able ponder your life to date and acknowledge all of your actions...both good and bad. At some point, you've got to clean out any underlying issues which may have you thinking either "I'm the shit!" or "I am shit". You've got to have a real view of what you've done, both good and bad.
    You've also got to take an inventory of all your strengths and weaknesses. Again, get to the root of any superiority or inferiority thinking. You've got to touch this base. It may take a short time, or more time. But you've got to get this in order first.

    Then, you've then got to be able to answer the following questions IN ORDER:
    1. "Who am I?" (Ideally, in one succinct sentence. I must be something you are not afraid to say to somebody's face with conviction.)
    2. "What are my values?" (More of a list.)
    3. "What is my purpose?" (This one is a little harder. It should be a broad encompassing statement which can cover the long-run, and daily living.)
    4. "What is the next right thing to do with my life? (This can be a daily and moment-by-moment question you ask yourself.)

    With those questions answered (and you will refine them over time), you have a set of "lenses" through which you can view everything in your life. You will find that much of what you have learned and done is still valuable. Pick up and keep those pieces. You may find that some of what you have learned or acquired no longer has value. Let go of, and discard those pieces.

    If you do this, you may grow. This is why I suggest doing this with your partner. If you grow to a new level and he doesn't, you two may grow apart. Doing these things first in isolation, then bringing your results to the table to share can give you both insight into each other which builds trust, shares vulnerabilities, deepens mutual understanding, and can then help you two to align what comes next...Traditional "goal setting" and "personal action planning".

    Keep in mind, he may not want to do this. Unfortunately, you can't force others to be introspective. You will have a choice. Go forward, or stay back.

    Your lives may dramatically change from working through this period.

    Ok, so now I'll put some more answers to the original questions:
    1. There is nothing to live for.
    A: You just haven't found it yet. Keep waking up. Keep coming back! You might be surprised.

    2. There's no purpose to life.
    A: You just haven't found it yet. Keep waking up. Keep coming back! You might be surprised. Oh wait, that was the answer to the last question. Oh wait, that's also the answer to this question.

    3. It's not that I'm ungrateful. It's just that there is no one to be grateful to.
    A: You're not being ungrateful, you're just not focusing on gratitude. Think of one thing right now for which you are grateful...

    ...got it? No? Give it another moment. Got it? Good!
    You've just found something to be grateful for, AND you can be grateful to yourself for finding it. Keep repeating this. Make a "Gratitude List". Keep it handy. Look at it when you are feeling down and blue. Remember: "Your attitude determines your altitude. So keep an attitude of gratitude!"

    4. I'm in despair. No one can tell. It's easy to pretend that everything is normal.
    A: People can tell. Don't think you're fooling anybody. It's obvious when somebody is miserable. See the answer to #3 above on how to get out of the despair mindset. Don't like "what's playing" in your head? Then change the channel! With your free will, you can always change the channel at any time! Do the things that happy people do, and eventually you will be happy. Try it.

    5. I long for a morning on which I would just not wake up.
    A: That day will be here soon enough, so there's no need to rush it. Most certainly you can choose to end your life at any time, but what a waste of a choice to do that. At age 47, I've had many good reasons and opportunities to "opt-out" of another 365 day trip around the sun...but I haven't. Because no matter what happens and no matter how shitty it may seem to be...there is still ALWAYS a bit of sweetness somewhere along the way to suck out of the bone of life. And, it's sooooo worth it when it comes along. Tonight, it was Memphis Minnies Big Beef Ribs, and Double Rainbow Ultra Chocolate Ice Cream. I'll probably toss one off before I hit the sack as well. And, rubbing one out in the morning is always a great way to start the day.

    6. It's exhausting doing something as time-consuming as life..
    A: You're right...especially if you're doing it right!!!!! Life isn't easy. If it was, then I would agree with the "why bother?" kinds of statements.

    I hope this is of some help. It will not be easy. It may be painful. However, when you come through the other side you will be poised to enjoy the next leg of your journey with an amazing and fresh outlook on life.

    You have nothing to lose. You have everything to gain. All you have to do is want to be happy.

    Aloha and Be Well!
    Alan
  • tautomer

    Posts: 1010

    Jun 03, 2012 8:15 AM GMT
    Good thread and message! Having been very far down numerous times in my life for reasons almost exactly like this, I can say that in that state, it's near impossible to be reasoned out of it. You stay locked up in your mind and whether or not you actively think it, you think that your thoughts on life are infallaible and final. As such, this is just preeching to the choir, nevertheless, it does sit in the back of your mind until later and it can save you icon_smile.gif.
  • Karl

    Posts: 5787

    Jun 03, 2012 8:27 AM GMT
    GAMRican said
    {5. I long for a morning on which I would just not wake up.}
    .....
    {You have nothing to lose. You have everything to gain. All you have to do is want to be happy.}


    Very good thread and the question number 5 is mine too .Sometimes I see those reason to live are faded out , all I could do it sitting there without doing anything.
    Thanks for those lines above , I think it just given me something very special :-)
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:36 AM GMT
    Good thread, GAMRican. Thank you for taking the time!
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    Jun 03, 2012 7:07 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH saidGood heavens, what is he going on about?
    tl; dr


    You've probably already been there. Done that. This one's not for you, JP. icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 03, 2012 7:09 PM GMT
    Prozac probably cheaper and more effective than a life coach.
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    Jun 03, 2012 7:34 PM GMT
    *rolls eyes at whole damn thing*
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:01 PM GMT
    BritBloke saidProzac probably cheaper and more effective than a life coach.


    Drugs don't get to the root of the problem. They just mask the pain.
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:02 PM GMT
    SkinnyBitch said*rolls eyes at whole damn thing*


    Message not helpful in any way for you or somebody you know?
  • tautomer

    Posts: 1010

    Jun 03, 2012 8:03 PM GMT
    GAMRican said
    BritBloke saidProzac probably cheaper and more effective than a life coach.


    Drugs don't get to the root of the problem. They just mask the pain.


    This. At least in 95% of the cases. Sometimes it is legit needed/helpful, but it's rare.
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:14 PM GMT
    tautomer4314 said
    GAMRican said
    BritBloke saidProzac probably cheaper and more effective than a life coach.


    Drugs don't get to the root of the problem. They just mask the pain.


    This. At least in 95% of the cases. Sometimes it is legit needed/helpful, but it's rare.


    I have taken medications to help me through particularly rough times in my life IN CONJUNCTION WITH cognitive therapy to get at the root of my challenges. These were not "mind and mood altering" recreational drugs, and would have little lasting value if I had not addressed the underlying cognitive dimensions.
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:14 PM GMT
    GAMRican said
    SkinnyBitch said*rolls eyes at whole damn thing*


    Message not helpful in any way for you or somebody you know?

    I wouldn't recommend it because it's based on positivity instead of reality.
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:49 PM GMT
    SkinnyBitch said
    GAMRican said
    SkinnyBitch said*rolls eyes at whole damn thing*


    Message not helpful in any way for you or somebody you know?

    I wouldn't recommend it because it's based on positivity instead of reality.


    Life, and RJ, are like a buffet. Take (if any) what works for your needs, but please don't sneeze on, spit on, or otherwise spoil what is left for others.

    Be well!
    Alan
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    Jun 03, 2012 8:51 PM GMT
    SkinnyBitch said
    GAMRican said
    SkinnyBitch said*rolls eyes at whole damn thing*


    Message not helpful in any way for you or somebody you know?

    I wouldn't recommend it because it's based on positivity instead of reality.


    *rolls eyes at this response*
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    Jun 03, 2012 9:09 PM GMT
    showme said...

    *rolls eyes at this response*


    Some folks choose misery. There is not much if anything we can do to help those unfortunates. People will "self-select" which of the Triage Categories they belong. Some folks just draw their own black "X" on their foreheads. They are already dead.

    Only those who want to live and be happy have any real chance of attaining happiness.

    It works for me. Maybe it will work for others. That is why I share my life experiences with others. I live a purpose driven life, and this is part of my purpose. My heart sings when I can do something for somebody else which alleviates their suffering and/or brings them happiness.
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    Jun 03, 2012 9:20 PM GMT
    GAMRican said
    showme said...

    *rolls eyes at this response*


    Some folks choose misery. There is not much if anything we can do to help those unfortunates. People will "self-select" which of the Triage Categories they belong. Some folks just draw their own black "X" on their foreheads. They are already dead.

    Only those who want to live and be happy have any real chance of attaining happiness.

    Incredibly patronizing, self-flattering and generalizing.
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    Jun 04, 2012 12:20 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidRecently, in another thread, another RJ'r said (paraphrased Cliff Notes version of post):

    Paraphrasing another RJ'r...

    1. There is nothing to live for.
    2. There's no purpose to life.
    etc
    etc
    etc...


    So, another RJ'r also had something similar they posted in another thread. So, for all RJ'rs I'm posting this "Lesson Paid for and Learned", and I'm doing it FOR FREE!!!! I'm not the Dalai Lama, or the Buddha, and I'm not any smarter than anybody else on here. I've just got some experiences which worked for me. Maybe something in my story will work for you....

    etc
    etc
    etc


    ,,,All you have to do is want to be happy.


    And now for the bumpersticker version of the Cliffnotes...

    "Look within; thou art the Buddha."~~The Buddha

    etc
    etc
    etc

    "We all seek happiness, but turn our backs on it. We all wish to avoid misery, but race to collect its causes."~~Shantideva's Bodhisattvacharyavatara
  • tautomer

    Posts: 1010

    Jun 04, 2012 12:28 AM GMT
    SkinnyBitch said
    GAMRican said
    showme said...

    *rolls eyes at this response*


    Some folks choose misery. There is not much if anything we can do to help those unfortunates. People will "self-select" which of the Triage Categories they belong. Some folks just draw their own black "X" on their foreheads. They are already dead.

    Only those who want to live and be happy have any real chance of attaining happiness.

    Incredibly patronizing, self-flattering and generalizing.


    ...I don't see it that way at all.
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    Jun 04, 2012 12:44 AM GMT
    tautomer4314 said
    SkinnyBitch said
    GAMRican said
    showme said...

    *rolls eyes at this response*


    Some folks choose misery. There is not much if anything we can do to help those unfortunates. People will "self-select" which of the Triage Categories they belong. Some folks just draw their own black "X" on their foreheads. They are already dead.

    Only those who want to live and be happy have any real chance of attaining happiness.

    Incredibly patronizing, self-flattering and generalizing.


    ...I don't see it that way at all.

    Patronizing - speaking down to someone "unfortunates" like they're stupid and that their opinions are malformed.
    self-flattering - congratulating himself on his happiness
    generalizing - lumps anyone who disagrees with him into one of these four categories, and deciding which one of those they belong in.

    I should also add passive-aggressive, since he is not insulting my life directly, just using "some folks", and going into other topics to insult me and brag about having blocked me. This is coming from the happiness and positivity guru. I tried a PM to settle it but he didn't read it. We used to be friends, but one can not simply disagree with GAMRican. A difference in opinion is punishable by his majesty's punishment.
  • Trepeat

    Posts: 546

    Jun 04, 2012 10:11 PM GMT
    Based on positivity and not reality? Sounds to me like the OP is suggesting that one should choose or create a more positive reality for themselves. If you're unable and/or unwilling to do that, offing yourself sooner than later is probably for the best. Would save everyone a lot of wasted time and energy.
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    Jun 05, 2012 3:37 AM GMT
    Trepeat saidBased on positivity and not reality? Sounds to me like the OP is suggesting that one should choose or create a more positive reality for themselves. If you're unable and/or unwilling to do that, offing yourself sooner than later is probably for the best. Would save everyone a lot of wasted time and energy.

    Inciting a suicidal person to kill himself. That's a great way to lose your RJ account.
    It seems the people I've sent supportive messages to in the past are turning against me.

    It does sound like the OP is suggesting that, but it's really just a rant against people who don't think as he does, disguised as a helpful post. It was a reaction to seeing 2 other posters with a bleak outlook. Getting on the soapbox and telling them off is not a favour for others, but a cathartic ranting for GAMRican.

    Had he intended this to be a topic for debate, instead of as he called it "a buffet", where his words are the only valid ones, he might have asked me why I wrote that it's based on positivity instead of reality.

    I would have responded with something like this:

    2. There's no purpose to life.

    A positive person says: "There is, you just haven't found it yet."
    A negative person says: "I haven't seen one, therefore there is none."
    A realistic person says: "I haven't seen proof that there is or isn't. Either could be the case, but can't know"

    To assume that something great IS coming in the future is as foolhardy as assuming nothing great is coming in the future. As I said, his anger-fueled guru preaching is given in the positive perspective, and I wouldn't recommend it because it's not in the realistic perspective.

    The sensible and mature response would have been "I disagree" or some kind of debate. Instead he devolved, tossed our good interactions, supportive messages I've sent him in the past, and his innocence in the matter out the window, started making cruel personal attacks, plugged his ears and let the inner nastiness spew out.

    This was the big giveaway that it wasn't all in the spirit of sharing ideas, aside from calling his ideas "a buffet". There was anger bubbling underneath, he angrily had to release it in a new thread but couldn't make it seem hateful, so he masked it with happy, positive-sounding FUs to the people (not me) who made the negative threads earlier. Then I walked in with criticism and the anger couldn't be held back anymore.

    I'm stitching together a theory that all people obsessed with positivity are using it as a pretty rug to drape over the unpleasantness in life. I'm going to need more examples, though I have quite a few.
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    Jun 05, 2012 3:38 AM GMT
    If your existense is in crisis, why dont you kill yourself?
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    Jun 05, 2012 3:40 AM GMT
    I am not a fan of where this thread has gone. icon_cry.gif
  • John6311

    Posts: 165

    Jun 05, 2012 3:41 AM GMT
    Sorry- you lost me at 'Recently'.....icon_eek.gif
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    Jun 05, 2012 3:44 AM GMT
    It is disconcerting to me how negative people can be on these forums, esp. when the intent was to be positive and helpful. icon_confused.gif