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I feel completely lost and panicking!



New member
Apr 26, 2021
London, UK
Right now having a bout of panic in the midst of an important project that I am working on and I don't know how to keep myself calm and sane. I feel like I am going to go mad if I continue trying to do these worthless stuff. This has been going for a while now, and lockdown made it worse.

I am well aware that I need to do something to “fix” myself, but I don’t have any motivation for it. And since I am not doing anything, I constantly blame myself and feel guilty about my “self-imposed” predicament. As a result, I feel completely lost – typical, but I am struggling to find any meaning in anything I do. But to take a step back, let me tell my story a bit first, and apologies this will be a bit of an unattractive self-pity story to get things off my chest.

I have always been this stereotypical relatively high-achiever (not the super high-achiever or a crazy clever type though), people-pleaser. Life brought me to the UK as an immigrant and now I am only hanging in here to get a second citizenship and not become forced to go back to my home country that hosts my loved ones. However, I am not sure I want to continue living in the UK either. I haven’t been able to find myself in my home country and I hoped moving here would help. Alas, it didn't happen. Life has thrown some small curve balls, to which I failed to react in a way other than, as my therapist puts it, "jailing" myself "in a high tower without any windows or reasonably sized doors for people to enter". So, the UK didn’t work out as well. My sole focus over the past years was to keep myself stable, pass through the immigration hurdles, work my ass off, and that’s it. I have been enjoying my job to a certain extent as I learnt new things – but no more. Meanwhile, I felt this void in me all my life, being in the UK also didn’t help filling it. I haven't managed to establish new friendships, have meaningful connections. I am blessed with a few good friends here from my past life – but no one new.

Anyways, about two or three years ago, I have developed a massive crush, an infatuation, to a person I should not have. I am not going to get into details of the "I should not have" part, and instead seek your trust in me. Usually, I am (or I thought I was) good at managing my feelings towards others, and a crush at this age feels a bit embarrassing. But this one proved unexpectedly challenging. This infatuation made my life truly miserable. Moments filled with extreme intensity routinely ended up with strong desires to run away, pull my hair out, or do something. I was literally unable to eat and sleep for a while, lost around 10 kg in a month, came to the brink of getting fired, but this unwavering crush also made my life equally “worthy” for a while. I felt “Wow - there is something (or someone) I want in this life. I can feel something again. I desire.” I felt she completed some missing piece in me, something I was yearning for, something that fills the void I have always feeling. I saw something me in her.

As I worked on internalising that I have no chance with this person, our differences, her current relationship and partner, how we lived in different circles throughout our lives, how I am not in the same league with her, how I don't know much about her, relationships, or myself, or how I am not seen in the same light that I am looking, I got motivated to become a better person and heavily invest in myself. I said, “obviously this person was out of the realms of possibility for me, but if I invest and become a better myself, maybe, I thought, I can have a chance with someone that is at least similar to her. Even I can’t find anyone, I would become a better person.” Of course - she was on my mind. Saying otherwise would be a lie. It's impossible to kill down completely that little piece of self that constantly says "nothing is impossible" and childishly denies the realities. But anyways, with this motivation, I started reading, attending courses to improve my soft skills or increase my self-confidence, going to events, meeting new people even if it’s just for an evening of chat, oh hell, I even considered speed dating and online dating (both of them are extremely out of my comfort zone). I said "let me start again with a therapist, leave this emotional baggage at the door, I can do this, let me fix this life, make it more liveable, and it’s not too late". She started as a seemingly innocent crush, but I managed to turn this crush into something productive for myself. She became literally my inspiration, my rock, my motivation, and a newfound reason to live for a long time. While doing all this, I really tried to see herself as she is, as much as I can of course. I tried to not put her on a pedestal, not idolise, see her flaws like I see mine, and basically see her in her true colours. I wanted to have something real, something with its good and bad, not a blinding infatuation. I don't want a saint. I am not a saint. I just wanted whatever that might be.

The magical thing about her was how she effortlessly made me feel that I am welcomed. That I didn’t have to hide a piece of me, she cared about me, she was interested in me and who am I as a person. She made me feel safe, comfortable, and supported. This was something new for me. She made feel that there are people out there that I can connect with, people that truly matter. I let my words flow freely with her, my insecurities, my fears, things I was too embarrassed to say to my family or people I call best friends for years, all flowed naturally to my absolute true shock. I didn’t understand how I managed to utter those words to another soul without feeling mad. This didn’t feel like the me I know, but I liked it in a weird way. It showed me that I can really connect despite my lack of feelings for anyone else, I can establish connections that feels like there is a meaning to it.

As we talked more and more as friends, she taught me or made me realise a lot, about life, about myself, about who I could have been, about who I should be, and about the missed opportunities in my unlived youth. All she has done was to tell me her stories, her description of herself, her past, her insecurities, her lived youth, insightful comments, how she sees life, and how she sees me. I was in this weird limbo – where I was scared shitless to get closer to her as it started to hurt like hell, made me live and breathe my insecurities in every single cell of my body. It was increasingly becoming challenging to hide my feelings, and the reality that I won’t be able to get her wasn’t something easy to deal with. But, I was also unable to get enough of her. I wanted to see her again and again, be uncomfortable but close to her. I wanted to know everything about her, good or bad, regardless of the bad thoughts, feelings or memories they would trigger in me. I wanted to enjoy being in the same room even just for sitting and doing completely irrelevant things, her laughs, how she plays with her hair, how she gets excited when talking about what she wants to do in future, how her eyes twinkle when she looks into my eyes as she talks, and how she shares the very same lack of motivation or cynicism with me that creeps up at times. I wanted to be able to share more with her. Be with her. I wanted to see her again and again and again, even though my insecurities were shouting full force at me that I would bore her to death every. single. time. I wanted to talk to her without feeling self-conscious and lose myself in that conversation. I wanted to keep myself wide open for her. I wanted to get hurt again if it was for her. I wanted to touch her, caress her hand, her cheek, or give a hug in which I lose myself. I just wanted her – whatever that may mean.

I also knew that I would mess up massively if there was something between me and her anything more intimate than my current friendship. I know I am not ready for it, though I am in my early 30s, and I know how late I am or too old to start as a new person in the relationships. I know how she was a rare specimen for me that I felt in the same frequency with someone even though we are products of two different worlds. But, still, I know we are not that compatible. She would get bored to death with me with my inexperience, ignorance, and childishness. So, I wanted her to be a good friend, a sincere, true, long-lasting, good friend. For years, maybe even for life. I wanted her to be part of my life. Without me calling for it, she used to say she felt lucky to know me, have me in her life, call me as her friend, how she felt safe with me, how she felt very close to me. She used to respond whenever I say that I care deeply about her and that she is my rock, how she shares my feeling of closeness, and how our feelings were mutual. To be open and fair, she didn’t lead me on, she was very clear on her commitments and how she cares about her partner, her history with him, and I have always been sure that she didn’t see me that way. To the extent I can be - of course. In the midst of all this intense emotional turmoil, I always felt bad that I feel this intensely about her and if she knew, she would have thought I was bat shit crazy.

So, I felt, I should work for becoming good friends with her for life. I said to myself: "Let’s hang out, let me become part of her family, her loved ones become my loved ones by default, even her partner". He seemed a nice guy that I can be friends with. So, let’s just become the one friend who always makes you feel safe and supported for each other. The one friend you can always rely on. The one friend that fuels you to become a better version of yourself.

Years passed like this, and after all this, she is still special for me, I am still in touch with her, we have our every couple of weeks coffee get-togethers, and quick video chats while in lockdown. But recently I noticed that even her presence in my life does not give me a meaning or drive anymore. I am confused. I don't know what to expect from her anymore, or where to put her in my life. I know I still want to be part of her life and her to be part of mine. I know I relied on her (or my feelings towards her to be more precise) far too much and far too long as a source of a will to live, but everybody needs something, right? She was filling a emptiness in me, though not satisfying the “need” completely, I get that. I still sometimes feel overjoyed with love as I think about her even though this was not possible, sometimes I flatly feel confused and depressed when I think about her. I would still do anything for her – but I am unable to convert this to a productive energy anymore, which makes me feel lost like I lost one thing I managed to find over years that kept me going. And with that, I started feel I don't have a ground that I can stand on. I always knew inside that this is an unhealthy thing that I am doing, focusing on one person – even if I used it to better myself. But when you manage find something that gives a semblance of value in a person, a glimpse of love, you grasp onto it. Especially if this is an extremely rare occurrence.

Now I try again and again to motivate myself, to put my head up like a little prairie dog to look for things, I do start questioning everything again, what do I want from this life, what do I live for, struggle for, what do I want from my entourage, what do I want from her to be exact, why do I live and breathe, why should I read, why should I work, why should I try to be a better person, why am I still not burning all of the bridges and trying to get another passport – what is the point? I feel panicky when I think I need to continue living like this. I want to pull my hair off.

I get these rare waves of motivation to do something, read a book, watch something, initiate a change in myself, change my job that gives me existential dread every day, find a way to feel content for a second or two; but all of these waves are very short-lived. I end up feel alone, like everyone. I feel that I won’t be able to break my barriers, walls, or get past the emotional baggage I carry around. I feel like I am wasting years, a life, and a career that I worked very hard for. I still feel that big void in me. Nothing fills it. I don't know how to fill it. I feel that I am unloveable though I yearn to be loved. I sometimes find myself in these rosy dreams in a parallel universe where I became a father to a lovely daughter who I can shower with love. Then I feel lost again. Hopeless. Powerless. Disconnected. Alone.

I don’t know what to do other than to live through this meaningless existence for my parents, who would be devastated with an early departure. That's it. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to continue.

Wow – if you have read all this, a big kudos. You should be a gem of person and your loved ones are lucky to have you. You are important, and I would have loved to do something for you, order you a pint, give you a small token of my appreciation, or give you a big hug. Thank you for being out there and existing.
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