Post # 1
I have a feeling that all I have done in my life, is a total waste and has no meaning. While people share every small thing online, show off, talk about themselves, and I even can’t say a word about myself to any person because I don’t feel that it has a value. As a result, I am always silent, boring and upset.
School: worked hard, was very responsible, best student of my class. Who cares? No one is interested in school achievements, it was a long time ago, doesn’t make any sense in CV.
Music school: basically survived through years of bullying and struggling with some teachers. Didn’t quit as felt it as my duty to go there and do my best, because my family wanted me to study there. Learned to play two musical instruments and went with a choir for concerts abroad. After finishing the music school, didn’t remember anything of the traveling, never had any interest in playing instruments again, can’t sing due to throat problems. Nothing to be happy about.
Master studies: constant struggles with studying, many problems in family (which made me less social and start avoiding the others). Wasted my time because didn’t try to learn more about new opportunities: finding an internship, going for conferences, finding a PhD abroad etc – didn’t know that there is no sense in studying if you are not being active and don’t search for the new opportunities (and all my life consisted in just going to lectures, sitting with books and crying because of my family’s problems). Result: just a diploma with excellent marks but no plan about future.
PhD in the same university where I was doing my Master: wanted to continue with the same advisor but he passed away. Went to his colleague, but he was just starting his research career at that time and many other people in that university were attacking him (due to the previous disagreements with the deceased professor). During 2 years I was struggling with the opinions from other faculty members and after the 3rd year, my advisor got angry at me for some reasons, stopped helping me as an advisor, leaving me to myself in front of strong attacks by the faculty members. I couldn’t handle it anymore and quit. 3 more years wasted? No one knows about this as I don’t want problems in my current situation, but it is very heartbreaking to lie that I was just working in some lab during 3 years without the possibility to defend.
1.5 year after quitting that PhD, finally found a new one, abroad (I was dreaming of studying abroad). But the circumstances were such that I came into a new place and was falling into pieces. My LDR boyfriend became very abusive, my grandmother just passed away (and I almost don’t have any family), and I was in a new place alone without any help. So, I wasn’t ready to a “fresh new start” I was hoping for.
During my first year: my second relationship was killing me, I felt miserable, got distant from everyone and depressed. Had to manage alone in different situations in a new country without feeling courage to ask for help.
Now, 2nd year of PhD: some time ago finally broke up with my abusive ex. Became less depressed but lost in life… Realized that I don’t have any friends (at all), scared of people and don’t really like the local culture. Even not sure if I like my PhD topic. My professor turned out to be also abusive and due to my personal qualities (shy and very introverted), he is constantly criticizing my results and doesn’t really believe in my wish to pursue a career in research (he told me that if I was so interested in creating research network, then why I don’t socialize and chitchat with other students in lab). I can’t quit the second time, but I am not happy.
Non-career related things: I speak several languages but what is the matter of knowing if I am scared of people and can’t talk to anyone. Also, had lots of traveling with my ex but can’t share travel stories like other people do, because remembering my ex hurts and I don’t want to talk about him to others.
In general, I didn’t achieve anything: everything what I was doing, didn’t give any long-term good result or any slightest feeling of satisfaction which would make me feel proud of myself.
I really wish there was at least something. I am tired of feeling the need to hide everything about my life and I wish I could share something with others and that at least one person could admire me. I look at some people that I know who are interesting, inspiring and giving an example to others. I wish I could be like this, but have no idea how.
Post # 2
I don’t want this to sound mean, but it seems like you need some counseling to help you see your value. You only focus on the negatives and negate positive things. Someone with professional training can help you find your worth and work through why you feel so negative, as well as helping you with residual effects from your abusive relationship.
Post # 3
I’m sorry you’re having a rough time. Academic life can be grueling, and often having a good advisor makes all the difference. Is there anyone you can talk to, maybe seek out couseling services at your university. Is there anyone in your field that you can reach out to for mentionship in terms of your career?
And there’s a lot to be proud of here. Namely getting out of an abusive relationship. Your education is a huge accomplishment. Speaking several languages – also a huge accomplishment.
Post # 4
You sound like an awesome, driven, intelligent person. Multiple languages and multiple instruments? Phd program? Girl you’re a genius. Start seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes. You moved to a new country, broke up with an abusive ex, started another phd program BC the first one was toxic. Clearly you have goals and the ability to achieve them.
Believe in the awesomeness within you!
Post # 5
the key is mind over matter . We all go through devastating life events but what is important is to look at those experiences in a positive light . Pick out what was valuable from every experience. You CAn be happy and social but you must first stop being so mean to yourself. You speak about amazing things you did without giving yourself credit. Begin with I CAN !!! And you WIll —- you Can do it !! 🙂
Post # 6
greentomato : “people share every small thing online, show off, talk about themselves”
PLEASE realize that people are only sharing online what they WANT you to see. I know a girl who posted photos of these amazing trips, always smiling, always laughing, married to a beautful guy and had beautiful children… Her life seemed perfect. She even dropped out of college to work on her modeling career. 8 years later, turns out she was in debt, due to her cheating husband who had a gambling problem, lost everything. Took to drinking, got arrested for DUI, now she has to raise 2 kids with a DUI on her record and no college degree (she works as a beer girl for an alcohol sales company)… but you dont see her posting that on IG.
I think you sound smart, driven, caring, kind, but you cannot let your selfworth come from social media. I believe happiness is a choice, you just need to find what actually makes you happy.
Post # 7
you need to seek herapy for low self esteem and social anxiety. Those are the main things that hinder your success and progress.
Post # 8
I ADMIRE YOU!! I really do, because despite what you have been through, you have achieved so much and you have stuck with things even when its been tough and you had the courage to walk from an abusive relationship.
You have so much to be proud of and so many interesting stories to tell people! i wish i had as many acheivements as you. im 36 years old and im the first to admit, im a bit of a quitter! i never follow anything through to the end!
I think you sound amazing and your life sounds so interesting.
Post # 9
Why does counseling have such a negative stigma on these boards? It’s presented like it’s supposed to be the last resort in a dire situation, when really many people seek counseling for a variety of different reasons and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It is extremely helpful to talk with an impartial third party and–even better!–a professional in working through issues exactly like this one. More people would seek counseling and avoid desperation if perhaps it wasn’t presented as such a negative thing to do.
I think you would really benefit from talking with someone about your feelings and what is causing them. My motto recently in a tough situation has been “nothing changes if nothing changes,” and often that means doing some hard personal work to take charge of your life and your anxieties. I hope that you can find something positive to hold on to and learn to love yourself and your accomplishments. You deserve it.
Post # 10
Why does counseling have such a negative stigma on these boards? It’s presented like it’s supposed to be the last resort in a dire situation
I dont think that is true at all ! Therapy/counselling is suggested very often indeed and I have never seen it presented as some sort of last resort , only ever as a way of dealing with present pain and dilemma and almost always backed up by people saying they have benefitted themselves .
I think jiminycrickets wording was merely to be sensitive to a total stranger who clearly has problems.
OP , I think you sound clinically depressed and have been so for time and I too would strongly suggest therapy, preferably with a psychiatrist who could, among other things , prescribe antidepressants, just to kick start the journey upwards .
Post # 11
I know how you feel OP, I’m a bit the same. I hated my uni course but was to scared to change so I finished it. Didn’t make a single friend or even acquaintance in four years*. Then I took a job in a not so great place in an area I don’t want to live, but I thought I could find another job soon. Well ten years later, still there, to scared to find something else. I interview just horribly, and I’m bad at the job. Not surprisingly I haven’t got any promotion or anything in ten years. Still the exact same job as a decade ago. I’m going to retire in the exact same job I started in at 21 years old. Yikes. Talk about failure in life.
Oh well. It could be a lot worse, right?
* I now work with some people that were in the same year at uni and they not only did not know me, but they didn’t believe me when I said we went to uni together. Lol!
Post # 12
Then why would it be prefaced with, “I don’t want this to sound mean, but…”?
I was literally just thinking about how often people are like, “Well I don’t think this is THAT serious” at the suggestion of counseling, and then this popped up.
Regardless, I think that’s the appropriate course of action here.
Post # 13
Bees thanks to everyone for nice words and support!
I do consider counseling but it has been around a year that I am trying to find courage for it. I think every day that I should get an appointment, but it never goes further… I hope that I will try soon.
Post # 14
Sometimes a person gets stuck in a job that he/she doesn’t like, and this can happen to everyone. But the job is not the only thing in life, right? I believe that there is always something in which we could be just awesome, the most important is just to find one’s passion. That’s why when I had to quit my first PhD program, I decided to take up a new language class as I thought: I might be a failure in research, but there are other things, I love languages and at least can get a small success in this. I might seem to be contradicting myself as I am not proud of my language knowledge, but my problem is that all people around me don’t really think that it is something worth spending time. And as I don’t know how to show to others the value of something I might like, I became more depressed and started to feel that it is not an achievement. But you definitely shouldn’t feel that your boring job is defining all your life, there is always something more!
Post # 15
I didn’t intend it to be that counseling was negative — I think people take
it poorly when someone suggests they need counseling. I fully agree that counseling provides a really helpful outlet for people to deal with issues before they get so far into their problems that it’s nearly impossible to get out. I apologize if I wasn’t clear, and I most certainly was not suggesting her issues were not serious, as your follow-up post alluded to.
Exactly, thanks so much for backing me up. I don’t want to sound like a jerk telling a stranger on the internet to get professional help, particularly when I only have a couple paragraphs summarizing the issue and not knowing the full extent of the situation.