Ever felt trapped in your own life?
Ever felt like you were trapped in your own life? Like you just needed to get out and run away from everything? Just leaving everything behind and never looking back?
I have been through some things like depression, anxiety, overwhelming panic. I started looking for patterns everywhere, but only with things that I knew could get me in trouble, things that would make me feel worse. I was like an addict, just so used to everything going wrong, just so used to that awful feeling that I didn’t even try anything anymore. I felt at home with those feelings but I was never happy. I never did something to change them because I believed that that was what my life was about.
Since I can remember I have had the “dream” of dying. What I wanted to be when I grew up was never part of my life because I knew I would be dead. It took me a long time and a lot of anxiety and fear of dying to help wake me up to reality. I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want to stop my life. I wanted a different life. I wanted a different me.
I felt “trapped” in a somewhat great and stable job, in a somewhat okay city. I felt alone feeling that. No one would understand that my life wasn’t good, and since everything I had was what everything else wanted, I started to believe that what I didn’t want was life itself, not just the life I was living. But I didn’t want to die, and when I realized that, I realized I had to change everything that made me have that feeling in the first place.
Have you ever felt like that? Here are some things that I believe are helpful if you ever feel stuck, either in a place, with someone, or in your own mind. Because it would be easy (not really, it’s hard as hell) to just quit your life for good and end it with a bang, or a cut or whatever way you plan to. But the hardest (and this is really hard) is to change what bothers you, you don’t have to stop living, you just have to stop living with what makes you feel that way.
10. Stop complaining. Maya Angelou said “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” That is a great advice, why would you keep complaining about something that you cannot change? If you can change go for it. Do something, get up and make a list and work your way through it. Your boss bothers you? Find a way to deal with him instead of complaining to your coworkers about it. You don’t get paid enough? Ask for a raise, work for a raise. Do something. You cannot sit down and think that everything will work itself out and you cannot think that if you just sit and complain about it that it will make any difference either. Stop complaining. Make a change.
9. Make a list. What is currently bothering you the most? Why do you want, or need, to disappear, to quit from everything? Why do you feel the way you do? Make a list so it’s easier to point out what is the problem. When you sit down and see that what’s bothering you isn’t life itself but just the situation you’re in, it’s better to find a solution for it.
8. What’s “doable”? When you make a list you have to see what you can do about it and what you can’t. Point out the problems and possible solutions for it, but being realistic. If you hate your job and want to quit, first see if it’s financially okay for you to quit without the perspective of a new job, if it isn’t, put “finding a different job” at the top of your priorities.
7. Make a priorities list. Now you’re probably thinking that it is a lot of lists involved in this, well, you got to plan it carefully and making lists and pointing out the problems and possible solutions is a good way. But a random list with only things you hate can’t really be helpful if you don’t separate them into priorities of action. What bothers the most? Can you do something about it? No? So what bothers you the least, which you can fix? So go for it. Put it at the top of the list. It may not seem like it is a great thing to change something small that doesn’t bother that much, but just the fact that you’re working through it is a great thing. Plus, any small change that would make you feel better about your current situation is a big help. It’s like you are really literally trapped, and every small step you take is a way you’re cutting through those chains. Something like constant dripping wears away the stone.
6. Clean what you can. When you declutter your life, things are easier to see. Get rid of the things that you can, things that you hate, things that bother you. Start changing things even with the smallest of steps. If money is a problem, start selling the things that you can to make an extra buck. If your house is too small, find a way to organize things better to get a sense that it is bigger than it seems. Small things can do a lot of change.
5. Think of others. Okay, it’s not so you put other people’s plans above yours, or back down your own to please others, but considerate their feelings. Don’t hurt them just for the sake of hurting them. If one of the reasons you feel trapped is another person, sit down and talk to them. See if they can see their errors, see what you two can do about it to change the situation.
4. Think of your finances. Make a sheet of all your expenses and income, that way it’s easier to just see what you can do financially to change your situation. If your dream is to quit everything and go travel the world, with this you can see if it’s possible. If not, start working towards it. That could mean working more hours for extra cash or looking for different and cheaper ways to travel like volunteering, working, etc.
3. Seek counseling. Any big change should be done with some help, not someone that would change your mind to it; just someone you could openly talk about everything and show your plans to and that would be objective to your needs and maybe even help with some good advice.
2. Think further. If your plan is to quit your job and go traveling the world (a recurring example here, isn’t it?) you need to think of all the problems that could happen to be mentally and completely prepared for it. Think further than your main goal; see what you will do six months after you achieve it. Where will you be a year later? What will you do next? Prevent yourself from getting trapped again in the future.
- Act. Simple as that, you have made everything you could, you found the problem, you found a way out now you have to do it. Don’t just dream and don’t just stick to those lists. You have a way out and it’s not a way out of your life, it’s a way out of your problems. Keep in mind that you’ll always have problems by the way, but some can help you become a better person.
All you have to do is do it. Go for it. Be happy.