I feel lost
I'm currently 16 years old and my life has not been forgiving, especially these past few months. Me, my parents and my brother have always been a dysfunctional family, I understand this is personal but just to clarify, my brother was born with a disorder I won't go into and it's ruined his entire life which has caused a chain reaction for us. My parents are constantly depressed and concerned and it doesn't help that I'm not that great at school even though I have no issues whatsoever (except for a mild case of ADD). I have a ton of friends and I never got bullied, I always was part of the popular group and there's no single person who disliked me as far as im concerned, everyone was so kind to me and they all wanted to be with me. That has always been the same and I'm grateful. But this was much more true back in elementary, I was considered the popular kid in my city, I'm not the type to brag but I promise im doing it contextually but I even had a lot of girls on me as well, so yeah, I was that type of guy. But I was also really quiet and reserved, the "cool" type if I may, heh. Now, its 2018, I go to high school and my life is in serious danger. Ever since august when our beautiful house was burnt down everything started going downhill. My mother almost left my father because she cant ever catch a break due to my father's low temper, who gets angry and starts a commotion about the littlest things. (And they're not just your average arguments, trust me, just hearing what they're saying makes me freeze on my seat while sending shivers down my spine). I started becoming crazy and some people are genuinely afraid or scared of being close to me, so I remain with my one best friend all the time instead. I feel like I've lost sense of who I used to be and that's really frightening me. I don't study anymore, I stopped working out even though I have a great body and want to get even better and I try SO hard to force myself to do so. I used to be the best student in my class, always getting those A's and 20/20 and the teachers always liked me, I was also more lively. Now I'm constantly depressed although I hide it with that insane guise, guess it's my way of coping with life huh. Now I'm the polar opposite of what I used to be and that's going to be the death of me in the long run. People and friends used to look up to me but now everyone thinks I'm some dumb clown because I just can't stop that insane persona of mine from surfacing.
This is far from everything that's wrong with my life but I figure anything more than this will bore people to death. How can I go back to being that calm loved guy? I've been trying for years but my will is extremely weak, especially these days for the aforementioned reasons and way more.
I'm sorry to hear about your home burning down. And I'm sorry your parents have been on the rocks lately.
I think what you're most afraid of is being exposed and vulnerable, and having your public image tarnished. Why do you need to be liked by so many people? Why do people need to look up to you? You're putting too much pressure on yourself for no reason at all, because the truth is we all have flaws. You kind of have to learn to acknowledge them.
If that makes people like you less, then were they really worth being so worried about?
Just try to be yourself and do the best you can. The right kind of people will appreciate that, and you will feel more calm just being who you are and not trying to spend so much time and energy cultivating a likable front.
Do you have another adult you can talk to about your feelings?
Your parents are struggling with the loss of their home, plus their fragile marriage which cant handle this stress. They sound like they weren’t there for you before, and now when you need them for sure they aren’t/ can’t be there for you. That’s why I asked if there is an uncle, teacher, religious leader, parent of a friend, counselor or anyone else in your life.
The teens aren’t easy to navigate. And what works when we are a cute kid often doesn’t fly when we get older. Find someone older to talk to and find out how they got thru these feelings during their teen years.
thanks for your answers guys, I really appreciate it (although reading through my wall of text again i'm starting to think im a bit of a narcissist, sorry about that, i must have been really down at the time)
ill try answering your questions or adding in a comment to your answers in order:
1) I appreciate your concern, I got used to the fact that our house went up in flames but my parents being the way they are right now is still bad for my psychology
2) "I think […] image tarnished" that's exactly it, although like I mentioned above I must have been really down at the time I wrote all that so everything I said was slightly exaggerated. I recently talked to one of my internet friends about this and honestly, I just miss being my elementary school self, that guy had everything I listed and more, but he was also the guy you just talked about. by that I mean he was himself and never had a care in the world of what others thought of him. I want to return to those past roots soooooo much but I'll have to change my thinking process which is proving to be really difficult so far
3) I care about those people liking me because they're some of the finest guys and gals I've talked to, trust me when I say that they have all the great qualities a person can possibly have. I might have even fallen for a girl because of how sweet and kind she actually is
4) I realize I mentioned this exact same thing before but yeah, im trying to become that guy who doesn't rely on other people's approval and generally doesn't really care about anything but im having trouble changing my thought process.
5) sadly I don't have any adult I can talk to, no
I know this girl who's a very close friend of mine and she's actually quite knowledgeable in this sector (unfortunately she was a victim of depression) but she's just a teen, like me, so I feel she won't really know how to respond except for trying to comfort me
that's all, again thank you for your answers, ill try harder to improve my life
call it a new year's resolution I guess
It’s important to think the future is more exciting than the past. While your grade-school life was fun and carefree, it was never meant to last.
But be grateful that it was so positive - but maybe it was awarded to you a little too “easy”?
Things have changed. Now the “work” of life begins. Now you have to “earn” that status you yearn for. It will take some introspection of yourself.
The first thing is to do a validation test:
Are you seeking praise and purpose by relying on your past history (the darling of the elementary school)? It’s a nice thought, but it doesn’t work, since others are growing and changing, too! Are you feeling you are being by-passed?
OR ...are you ready to do the hard work of self improvement - to feel good and confident about yourself- all without the goal of receiving adoration from others? (Because there’s no guarantee that would happen, anyway)
“Praise without productivity and wealth without work” are just two of the “sins” that Ghandi proposes are the faults of our society today.
I do think that part of the reason why i'm like "this" is partly due to the fact that I still have not realized that -- like you said -- things are different now and not everything will be handed to me on a silver platter
people kept telling me that but at the time I didn't pay much attention to it because I didn't know it would be anything serious, guess I was wrong
I definitely, absolutely, don't want my mind to be stuck in the past but I really just cant help it sometimes. I have indeed felt being bypassed by everyone around me here and there, and it's not exactly what you'd call a comforting feeling
The truth is, I deeply wanted to improve since 3 years ago, I do want to feel confident but it seems the desire of approval keeps getting to me in one way or another. But honestly, after watching some videos on this matter and reading your last answer I am starting to feel a bit "different", in a good way
lets just hope that's a good thing
I also do infact disagree with the whole "praise without productivity and wealth without work" ideology but I just hadn't realized how everyone had moved on from that carefree lifestyle and that has costed me plenty of years of improvement unfortunately, quite easily one of the biggest mistakes I made in life
Guess I didn’t explain well
Ghandi says that the fault (“sin” ) of Mankind is to expect praise without productivity (doing something) and wealth wihout work (earning it).
So you have WORK to do, since the attention/ admiration you seek will come when your self esteem is raised. Self esteem is developed when something is accomplished.
So your “work” is to find and develop your talents, gifts, apptitudes, and develop them. (Music? Art? Sports? Writing? Helping others? Caroentry? Math? Theater? Mechanics???? You get the idea.
no lol sorry if it seemed like I didn't get it but my presentation was faulty, as I got my English degree many years ago and i'm starting to get rusty
regardless, thank you for your help, I believe it has genuinely helped me a bit