It sometimes feels I do not know how to socialize. It is hard to talk about this because my only parent, mother, neglects the problem but it impacts every area of my life, from study to work. I can’t seem to persist or finish things and I have no hobbies. I mainly sleep and eat. All I do is that and it feels like a big part of me is missing. She says only that I seem to have “no drive” but really, she only cares about what I do and even that not much, not about who and what I am,, how I really feel and all my issues. It’s like she evades responsibility and any care for me. I live with some peers (I moved in) and all I do is eat and sleep in my room. It is hard for me to talk to them when I just go to the kitchen, sometimes I am ashamed to even leave the room, it is always unnatural when I do talk, and I do nothing all day. Even if I work, all I do is work and come home. It is hard to focus at work because there is hardly any human contact for me. It is hard to maintain friendships or impossible because I cannot be relaxed. All I have are acquaintances or shallow relationships (saying “hi” and “how are you”). I have nothing to share with people. I am so sick of this life. I feel alone and like I would have no one to call if I were old. Everyone has at least one friend but I can’t seem to keep any. I meet people once and that is it. If I lived at home, in fact I would not have a single friend because all we do is argue and she never takes the time to talk to me how she is supposed to. She both over-focuses on what I am doing and how I am doing it if I ask her to pay some attention (“watch this, watch that, watch that you put salt in the water, watch that you use this cup only” – unimportant things I have heard a million times and already know) and completely ignores the real issue which is being almost friendless and alone and doing absolutely nothing, with a million problems which will be solved by who if not her? If she doesn’t care about this and DOES something, who will? I have tried therapists but you only see them once a week and they merely skim the surface, plus cost a lot of money. It feels like I should be living with another family that really cares for me and I will look into this option. I may be past 18 but it is clear to me I cannot live like this anymore. I can never relax so I oversleep, I never laugh, there is no joy in life except eating something good. All the human enjoyments and contact is missed. My whole life, she only focused that I am going to school and have good grades but at the same time, she was leaving me at home for entire day alone and I was responsible for finding my own company – if at all. There is nothing human-friendly at the home so I cannot be there very long. Because of this, I have moved frequently, it is hard to keep at things and do what I want to do, my life is missing from me and well, I am missing my friends so much. If you can help me, I will appreciate it. (From Slovenia)
I admire your persistence in trying to help yourself. It takes a great deal of courage to keep searching for answers. The symptoms of sleeping too much, eating too much, feeling isolated, lacking focus, not socializing, not enjoying elements in your life, and having a non-supportive home life suggest you may be struggling with a depression. At 23 your mother is not the one you need to look toward for help in changing your circumstances. It is time for you to create more of the life you want by developing a network of support outside of the home. Looking to your mother to provide what she doesn’t have is part of what keeps you stuck. We have a saying in therapy: “Don’t go to a hardware store to buy a loaf of bread.” Your mother doesn’t have the kind of nurturance you are in need of — and while that is sad — to keep looking for it there will only lead to your frustration.
I highly recommend two things. First, get a complete physical. There are many underlying medical causes that can contribute to a depression. Secondly, find someone who does group therapy. It is cheaper and will give you more of the direct tools you are looking for to help make the important changes in your life.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Socializing. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/06/26/socializing/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.