Hello, friends. In this episode, I offer my thoughts on two questions related to feeling lost in the world after graduating from university and feeling trapped in playing the role of your family’s therapist and problem solver.
I have had a lot going on mentally for the past year so I really can’t express everything in this small email but I will try to summarize just so you understand the background. I am 23 years old, last September I graduated from university with a BA in Film Production and I am feeling lost. The thing is that I was never sure what I want to do in life but recently it’s become such a big problem that I have suffered from really unpleasant depressive periods for the past year. I am not feeling like myself, I feel socially awkward (always have but now it’s even worse), I don’t know what is important to me or what I like and I don’t have the energy to do anything. I don’t have a job. I often find living difficult. Plus the pandemic and war in Ukraine are making it all even more pessimistic (I am from a post-soviet country so it’s extra scary and worrying).
I have grown up in a loving family that was always there for me, however, I started to realize that maybe they did things for me too often and too much. I wonder if I am just simply spoiled and the real life after school is too difficult for me (I am not trying enough, being lazy) or is it something else mental health related? I hope my question makes sense and brings some thoughts.
You don’t have to include this in the podcast but I just wanted to add: thank you so much for what you do. In the episode I listened to today you mentioned how if you don’t think you are worth getting better, you should think about how it would affect your loved ones and it made my mind shift so drastically. I have a very loving supportive partner of almost 3 years and he often mentions therapy but is not pushy since it’s my decision to make. I am not sure why but I was having such a hard time reaching out to a therapist (I have done it before), but now I finally added it to my to-do list. I hope for the best! I am ready to heal!
I am currently up in the middle of the night after dealing with this situation, so I figured I’d send it in as a question (in the briefest way possible).
My family has been severely damaged by alcoholism and intergenerational trauma. I have a lot of siblings, which makes it all the more complicated, as everyone has been affected differently. In the alcoholic family, I’m the “peacekeeper,” so I’m constantly stuck trying to keep everyone’s issues at bay. I have in recent years been better about establishing boundaries, insisting with everyone that I am happy to listen but not give insight into others, but this has proven difficult with both of my parents. Both of them (separately) talk to me and treat me as a friend/therapist, which I don’t know how to get out of being. It is a lot to take on and I always feel like I need to help people, but I am constantly parenting them in the way I wish I had been parented. Is there a way out of this? Can you ever stop parenting your parents once you’re begun?
Everyone’s mom friend (including my mom’s!). P.S. This all happens over the phone, as I live across the world from my family
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