I am unhappy...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by phas3, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. phas3 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    I don't know what's going on with me today...maybe it's just a phase. But as I sit here typing this, there are so many things going on in my head that just makes me unhappy. I feel lost, I feel like I don't know what my purpose is. I'm not speaking of suicidal tendencies. But I feel like I don't have meaning in my life, my values...I can't think of any, family I guess and success...but even those I start to question. This might end up being a rant, so I apologize ahead of time but if you can read through it and provide any insight I'd appreciate it.

    I'm 23 years old, started college late last year. I did 4 years in the military, 2 tours in Iraq and wanted to get my education and get a degree in Business Management. So I got out and now I'm in college...but I'm having trouble getting accustomed to the college life. I want to learn, I want to experience college the way it is suppose to be, I want to be like a sponge, absorbing everything college has to offer...but I'm not taking advantage of it, why? I know procrastination in this modern society goes hand in hand with being a college student. I've gotten accustomed to my way of living and it's becoming detrimental to my life. Have I lost my self-control? Self help books maybe? I'm considering.

    Now that education is out of the way...my overall feelings are just unhappy. The gov pays for my education and throws me money to pay for rent, utilities, and other things but I'm not satisfied...I know I could get a job, but that will effect my performance in college which is already lacking...I can live off of what the gov pays me to go to school, no doubt. But am I just getting ahead of myself? Maybe I feel like this cause i'm 23 almost 24 and I'm just starting college and a lot of my friends had just graduated and started their careers...I chose a different path.

    Family...jeez my family, I love them but my family sucks. We don't do thanksgiving, christmas what not, it's not your typical family. I live in california and my parents and little sisters live in Las Vegas. The rest of my branch is in California also. There's really not much to complain about besides the fact that I shed out at least 200-500 dollars every 2 weeks to my dad because they need help and always ask for money. That's pretty much the only time my dad and I talk...is when they need money. The reason why I always give them the money is because I don't think about how my dad needs the money, I think about my little sisters, I ask myself if I don't help in some way, how is it going to affect them?

    I feel like I've had toooo much time to think about all this lately and that's why I'm making this post. I mentioned self help books earlier in this post, I'm serious, any recommendations? I don't even know where to start.

    I want to be happy, I want to be content in my life, I hate feeling like this, I need to change. Thoughts please...
  2. Xenc macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    London, England
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    Major respect for your time in the army. In regards to everything else, purge all of these thoughts now that they are off your chest and start making changes. One a day, until there's nothing left to change.
  3. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2010
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    What are some things you like to do in your spare time? Are you happy with your major? Maybe something else would spark you? Maybe you could try volunteering at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter?
  4. Rapmastac1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2006
    In the Depths of the SLC!
    That is a lot of stuff to deal with, use that as your strength.

    “To a brave man, good and bad luck are like his left and right hand. He uses both.”- St Catherine of Siena

    This couldn't be more true, those who add more to society are usually those who have been through the most turmoil. Another one to add;

    "What you think about, and thank about, is what you bring about" - Anonymous.

    The more you reflect on the negativity of your life, the more of it you bring about, since your constant thought process is based on those negative feelings. You need to change your focus to the other things you have mentioned. Being grateful enough to receive government funding to get you through (something I have been unable to do for a while). Being in a situation where you can actually get a degree and move on, again, something I cannot do at the current time.

    I come from a pretty messed up family, I was raised by my Grandma (she saved my life as far as I'm concerned), I haven't seen my mother and my sister in over 10 years, and I'm only 21 right now. I can add more negative stuff to that such as the history of my father, but I choose not to because I have so much to be happy and thankful for.

    Every day I wake up early and get a full glass of water, and either go outside or look outside while drinking my full glass and think of all the things I'm happy or excited about. I think about how my day is going to go, then I take all my medication and I get things rolling. I'm always "glass is full" kind of guy, no matter what happens I keep my focus on the light house or the peak of the mountain.

    In order to feel better about yourself and what's around you, you need to shift your focus from all this negativity and think about all the things you are greatful for. There is no better way than to help someone with something. It doesn't matter what it is. Wake up one day and say to yourself "I'm going to do something to help someone today, I don't know what it is now but that is my goal for today!". Trust me, you will find something and once you have completed it, you will be very happy with yourself.

    I can keep going but I think you get the point, what you are right now is a result of what you have thought. Keep that in mind next time you are sulking when you have so much to be happy for.
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    You just described my third-life crisis.

    (I came up with the name myself - if a mid-life crisis is when you wake up one day and realize half your life has passed you by, and you still don't know what you want to do with your life, well, I had that when one third of my life had passed by.)

    I was 24 years old and had one more year of college left when I went through a very similar funk. I didn't know if I had made the right choice in college regarding my major, I didn't know what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be with, how I felt about my family and people in general. It lasted about a year.

    Hopefully what you're going through is nothing more than that. Keep your head up, it gets better. :)
  6. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2009
    Well, first off, I would encourage you to not think of this as something that is wrong with you, but something that might be wrong with the system you're living in. Put aside all notions, preconceptions and beliefs about the way one is supposed to live their life, and try and think about what you Actually want to do. It doesn't matter if it's completely unacceptable or abnormal in our culture. You need to figure out which idea gets you excited about waking up in the morning. What is it that you Really want? As soon as you realize that it's not natural to be separated from your family, and it's not natural to live alone and go to college, you'll realize that your feelings of unhappiness stem not from a problem within yourself but rather from a major fracturing problem that forms a devastating crevice through the very foundation of our culture. People are told "this is what you are supposed to do. This is how you live a good respectable life" and so if someone goes thorough those motions and doesn't feel happy, they automatically assume that something is wrong with them.

    The second you look at it clearly, you realize that it makes no sense at all that Anyone would be happy on the standard "path of success" in our culture, and that your current feelings could not be more normal given the circumstances. Our culture is one of separation and alienation, and some people can better adapt to it than others, but nobody is born wanting to be separated from their family or march off to a schooling institution every day to learn about things they aren't interested in.

    So again, drop all notions, all assumptions, all beliefs, all expectations. Look out at the world around you and do what You want to do, regardless of what anyone will think. That is the only way to truly grow, and to acquire a REAL education!
  7. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    I think a few sessions with a counselor might help. Maybe you can get help through the armed services; they must have experience with depression for those who came back from the service and are havIng some problems adjusting. Good luck, thank u for your service.
  8. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    ^^^ Steven's advice about seeing a counselor is a good suggestion. Besides the militay option you could also check at your college to see if they have a counselor who meets with students to talk about life, vocational options, etc. Do you have any good mentors in your life who would spend some time talking with you about this?

    The questions you are asking are completely normal. We all struggle with finding purpose, joy, contentment, and a sense of identity. As a person of faith, I draw on my spiritual beliefs for such answers. Other people have different beliefs based on their own life experiences. As another poster commented, don't see this as a negative, it's simply a part of "growing up" and being human.

    Regardless of what anyone says, I think it's an undeniable truth that life is about relationships. You have reached out to others here on the internet and that's good, but don't stop there. Invest in relationships with those around you in your community. Seek out wise counsel from those more experienced than you, build bonds with those in similar circumstances so that you will have friends for interpersonal support/accountability, and last, find ways to build up those who are less fortunate than you whether it be an investment of time, energy, effort, or finances.

    Like many have mentioned thank you for your service and feel free to PM me if you have other questions that you don't feel comfortable putting in this general thread.
  9. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    +2 for this but make sure that it is someone that knows how to deal with PTSD. What you are describing sounds much like this... The good news is that you recoginze something is wrong and a counselor can give you the tools to cope with it all.
  10. mscriv, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010

    mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    I just want to take a second to please ask everyone to be careful before throwing out internet diagnoses of depression, PTSD, etc. etc.. The OP has not as of yet described anything near the level of distrubance that would reflect the presence of a clinical mental health disorder. Let's not start to use labels or say anything that might discourage positive interaction. In my experience people who feel judged or labelled tend not to want to open up. I'm sure the OP would be open to questions for clarification, but let's not jump to conclusions here. :cool:

  11. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    These are the times I'm glad you post.
  12. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    I just read all of your replies and I REALLY REALLY APPRECIATE everyone's input. I feel much better today and yesterday. I'd like to address a couple points. I'm not offended by the talk of PTSD and such, 1 year before I got out of the Marine Corps, after my second deployment, I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression that stemmed off to alcohol dependancy.

    For the last year of my marine corps career, I had seen therapists, psychiatrists and joined an alcohol dependancy group in the marine corps. It was a horrible time, but it helped me get through it. I rarely drink now, and I don't have any episodes of my PTSD symptoms, which were basically nightmares, anxiousness etc...

    At this point I really do not think that my PTSD may be causing these thoughts in my head. But like my psych said to me before I got out, that PTSD can come back if I experience another kind of traumatic situation.

    With that out of the way, I'm taking a philosophy class right now and I'm amazed of how this class just keeps me on my toes all the time. And I do believe that the subject we talked about a couple days ago about the "meaning of life" through Tolstoy and Camus was the root to my questioning of everything.

    I woke up yesterday and told myself "Today is going to be a better day than yesterday." and it was, I took some time to myself and re-assessed my life.

    - College: Get rid of my bad habits, one day at a time like some of you have said. I want to learn! So change! What I really want is to become a firefighter or a police officer. I'm getting a degree in Business Management because one, I have a lot of interest in the stock market. Two, a degree in business management is going to become my backup plan incase I ever get injured on the job and I have to leave the department. Three, I want to transfer over to USC as they provide free education for veterans who apply for the Marshall School of Business.

    I have forgotten why I chose the path I chose in college...I needed to remind myself.

    I printed something out and placed it in my work area...it says "Why am I doing what I am doing?"

    - Family/money: I had discussed my problems with a very close friend of mind, and she helped me put things into perspective and keep me sane. She knows me best out of everyone and I'm thankful to have her. She said that she knows money is important in my life and so is family. She said that I'm very family oriented, unselfish and the fact that I'm 23 and send my family money every two weeks, she has never known anyone else that would do that. And for that reason whatever I choose to do in my life, me and the people around me will always appreciate me and will always be happy. Sounds super corny huh.

    Wifey material right? I know, too bad we don't see eye to eye on that matter but it's fine :)

    In closing, I feel as if I needed to think this way for that moment. I needed to shift my perspective and get back on track and tweak a few things in my life.
  13. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Glad to hear things are better today. The firefighter/police officer career is rewarding, but can also be challenging. I think it's great you want to pursue this avenue and I have many friends who have done the same. You might want to go ahead and start building relationships and making contacts. See what kind of volunteer work you can do at the firehouse or inquire about taking a ride along with an officer from the local police station. It's never too early to get your name out there and start getting some good advice from people already doing the job.

    As far as your past mental health and addiction struggles go, thank you for being willing to speak openly about them and it's awesome to hear that you have put most of it behind you. I wish you all the best in your endeavors and keep us informed. Internet friends and support can be helpful too. :)

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