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lukeskyflyer

Feeling alone and inadequate

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I'm a 31 year old male who has struggled off and on with depression and anxiety. 2020 was actually not that bad for me but towards the end of the year I got dumped by someone I was seeing who I really liked and it hurt a lot and kind of did me in for a while. In early 2021 the same thing happened with a different woman. This hurt quite a bit too but not as much as the first time.

I am currently seeing someone else, and from what I can tell she really likes me, but I am also so jaded in regards to dating that I feel like I have no real way to tell. I know you can't expect commitment from someone after just 2 months but I feel terrified to broach the topic of making things official for fear of getting hurt. We connect really well on many levels, but I'm really afraid of getting closer to her. When I share emotions with someone it makes me feel connected to them and if that connection is broken it hurts a lot.

I also feel inadequate professionally. I am 31, I have a college degree, yet I only make in the 30,000-40,000 a year range. I have been applying to jobs but obviously the well paying ones require experience I don't have. I feel like I have so much potential that is being wasted and I don't know how to put that to use. There's a part of me that just feels dumb and lazy. I have actually improved a lot in my self esteem over the last year, but I am experiencing a low point that I think is the result of feeling close to someone but dealing with the prospect of getting hurt again. From past experiences, it seems like a bad idea to share this with the person I am dating because it puts a lot of pressure on them and causes them to lose attraction. However, it is hard to fake confidence after a certain amount of time.

I am also dealing with some circumstances where I believe I am being treated unfairly. I have essentially cut one person out of my life who I feel was toxic, and I may have to cut out another. Maybe I'm too sensitive, but this person will act like he's my best friend for a while but then I might do something that in his view is the result of a character flaw, and he will make me feel like I'm dumb, lazy, selfish, etc. From what I have read this seems like gaslighting, but then again maybe I am too sensitive. I was working out at his house the other day and had to leave after he berated me for asking what to him was a dumb question. I can't have a grown man my age speaking to me like a child. Maybe I wasn't fully present but I had already had a bad day and as I drove home I just felt awful. I'd hate to cut this person out too because we do so many activities together but I can't help but wonder if these negative interactions, however sporadic they may be, are chipping away at my self confidence and overall contributing to my feelings of inadequacy.

I want to show up in the world. I want to have a successful career, relationship, and perhaps a family; but I feel inadequate. I am doing things that I feel are propelling me in the right direction but the last couple days I have been walking around feeling sick with worry and depression at the prospect of being rejected again and overall feeling like a failure. I like this person I am seeing and it seems dumb to end something just because I'm afraid it might not work out, but I really need to keep my sanity.

I know I'm not the only one who struggles with mental health issues, but I am really starting to feel alone in the world.

TL;DR - I feel inadequate in life due to perceived shortcomings, rejections, and character flaws; and I am scared of getting hurt repeatedly.

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What you wrote is something quite familiar to me from sad personal experience.  I am so sorry those thoughts and feelings are preying upon you.  Depression and anxiety are both brutal.  Wish I knew what to say that would be helpful.  For what its worth, I think you are very heroic. 

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19 hours ago, lukeskyflyer said:

know you can't expect commitment from someone after just 2 months but I feel terrified to broach the topic of making things official for fear of getting hurt. We connect really well on many levels, but I'm really afraid of getting closer to her. When I share emotions with someone it makes me feel connected to them and if that connection is broken it hurts a lot.

Ya hey. I've definitely been there. I understand your trepidation. From an old guy's perspective, I'd say let it evolve on its own. Obviously stay interested, but don't "push it." Enjoy the companionship. Of course, that's advice from a guy who got divorced after 30 years of marriage.

I'm twice your age but so much of what you wrote is very familiar to me. I'm not sure I've ever felt adequate. I have a negative self image and tend to think about all the mistakes I've made along the way.

 

 

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