A deep dive inside me Vol. I: understanding my internal fights

Gemini version of this post

I’m sick of complaining about my lack of energy and motivation without understanding it. I’m sick of living in this draining cycle that stops me from moving on, this never-ending state of me that feels like a heavy weight constantly pushing me down. Will I always feel this way? Infinite spare time of mine wasted in nothing, making me feel useless and draining me. Oh, what a useless being I am, what a waste of matter, doomed to stay mindlessly thinking about everything, uncapable of moving a single arm.

Days go by, thinking. Thinking about the state of things around the world. Mind’s not getting rest. This world sucks, and there are tons of solutions, so why is everyone ignoring them? Why do things have to be this way? Why do people choose to make others suffer? Why are good people ignored? What can I do about it? How can I expect to change the world if I can’t change my family and those close to me? What? Why? How? Mind’s not getting rest.

I appreciate this thinking ability I have, this tendency to overthink everything is what defines me: my gift, but also my curse. Is it healthy to spend most of my life immersed in my thoughts? Have I become prisoner of my own mind? What’s the toll of thinking more than I speak? In my lonely mind, there is no one else to share with, no one to bond with. My introvert personality is to blame, but even the most introverted person needs someone by their side, someone to share their trust and mind with.

I spend all day resting physically, lying in my bed, overthinking. My spirit wants me to change the world and spend my time helping others; instead, I spend all my time mindlessly scrolling through decentralised social media and non-algorithmic feeds, hoping to find more things worth thinking about without Big Tech’s profits having an impact on my mental health: and yet I’m no more than a digital zombie. I’m addicted to a nothing that I decided to turn into my everything, addicted to this illusion of freedom I have created. I’m eating air: it’s never enough.

Body, mind and spirit

Today, I reached to a friend, who helped me tremendously in discovering the possible reasons behind my existencial fatigue. “If you are physically tired, rest. If you are mentally tired, rest. If you are spiritually tired, do the things you love” is what he said. These three things, I never thought about them as separate parts of me, each with independent needs: body, mind and spirit. Lying in bed awake and thoughtful all day will never end my mental and spiritual fatigue.

There are a lot of things I would love to do, but then hopelessness hits. There is a clash between my mind, body and spirit. My mind tells me this world sucks, while spirit tells me I should do a lot about it. Spirit wants a lot more than body and mind can give, draining the whole system and pushing me further away from putting an end to this clash. This state of me therefore persists, and laziness reigns my being, crushing me from the inside. If there is hope, it must lie in the whole, because only there in my whole being, could the force to destroy this negative state of being ever be generated.

Nothing at all

Spending all day sitting in front of a computer: this wonderful device that makes it possible to change the world without leaving your seat. It has the potential to improve lives, but also to fuck minds. Spending all your time doing nothing has an important toll on your mental health.

What’s to lose from doing nothing in front of a computer? Your mental energy, your mind. You could spend your time doing more things, and yet you decide to sit all day in front of a machine that only makes you feel bad and useless? It starts becoming an unhealthy addiction. Social media and news do not bring anything meaninful to my day, let alone to my life.

I need to stop letting computers eat my energy, I need to use them responsibly, so my mind can rest more often. Where’s the joy of knowing everything but feeling constantly fatigued? This mindless use of computers is causing me serious problems. If I want to improve my lifestyle, I have to stop.

Attention, please

Who doesn’t want to be the centre of attention? Going through adolescence means experiencing an increased need for identity, approval and belonging. If back then I used to enjoy myself, now I need to be enjoyed. I need to be listened, I need to be important, to be known in those small and kind communities I place my feet on. I need to have an impact, I need my world to turn around me rather than me turning around it. Who doesn’t feel the same during adolescence?

Here, another clash occurs: my introverted need to enjoy myself, and my teenage need to be enjoyed by others. How’s balance to be achieved and preserved? What’s the meaning of being known but not helping those who know me? Where’s the energy needed to help? No balance, no energy, no fulfillment, no hope, and so this draining state of being stays forever.

The fundamental need to stand out

Ever since childhood, my life has turned around this strong and fundamental need of being as different as possible. Every aspect of my life has always been devoted to rejecting the mainstream and trying to stand out in every possible situation. I have never felt like doing the same as others. This strong contempt against being like the majority has directly defined my tastes, choices, motivations and goals that made me who I am today. I consider my whole being to be directly equivalent with this need.

This whole obsession has always made it difficult for me to find people I can relate to, people I can feel identified with, people I can feel comfortable around. At the same time, the more I try to escape the mainstream, the more similar to me are those I find along the way. This makes it seem as though no clash was present; but my mind is always quick enough to find more differences in me, so I return to isolation and my need for belonging is never fully satisfied.

I’m therefore naturally rebel and self-determined: this is also the way I seek attention, trying to impress everyone by showing how different I am from them. I want people to think I’m special, I want myself to think I’m special; but what does being “special” even mean? Am I the one that will start a revolution in the future? Am I the one surviving Big Corp?

Solitude is bliss

Having experienced rejection throughout my school years for being annoying and different, caused me to develop social anxiety and isolate myself from my peers. I always was that lonely kid in recess, sitting in a corner where I could think, never joining friend groups unless explicitly invited, and only for one recess when invited. Even though there is no recess in university, I’m still that lonely guy walking around, listing to music.

I have come to enjoy solitude, in part because there is no one I can relate to at school anyway. Having “skipped” high school and entered university at 15 surrounded by people 18-21+, means everyone was extremely unrelatable to me, distant. The feeling of being free and lonely at school brings an empty joy to me, a joy I feel and enjoy; but that leaves a void that soon takes over. Everyone is nice, I greet classmates on the corridors; but interaction outside class and school hardly goes beyond. The blissful feeling of solitude comes from the fulfilled need to stand out: I’m the only loner, look how happy I am, I can do whatever I want on my own.

This voluntary lack of interaction means I will never experience the typical university social life, I will probably never go or be invited to parties and I will never experience the kind of fun you typically associate with university. I hate parties anyway. The need to be different and the habit of isolation has and will keep bringing frustration and regret to my life. This is the clash the void entails. Will I stop isolating myself when I find the “perfectly relatable“ social group? Is that group even possible given my need to stand out?

Master of none

Perfection is a subset of standing out. Doing things “the right way” only because everyone does things “the quick way”. Perfection is draining, especially when it makes you excessively aware of imperfection, that it turns into both an obsession and a compulsion. Perfection is what triggers the well-known impostor syndrome in my case: I don’t stand being in the middle, I want to follow the best practices in everything I do.

I don’t give myself the time to learn things deeply enough; I want to learn things “the quick way” and put them to practice “the right way” on the first try. This clash between “quick” and “right” brings the illusion that I’m a failure, that I’m an impostor and those around me are the only ones capable of doing things. I want to be a jack of all trades, but always master none. It doesn’t have to be this way, yet it has never been any different.

Somebody to love

Oh, love, do you exist? Will I ever stop denying my need for you only because I can’t seem to find you? Love (or lack thereof) has been the cause of several fights in my mind, an important cause of frustration, hopelessness and depression. Desire to love violently clashes with my need to stand out and my social anxiety. My love experience never goes beyond falling in love. For a long time, love was something I believed I was not supposed to ever experience: it would distract me from pursuing my dreams and changing the world; recently, I came to the conclusion it is the opposite.

The few times I ever fell in love, my life turned bitter and darkness arose, after impatience killed the usual ecstasy and pleasure. The only time I ever tried to talk to a “crush”, the few hopes I had about love faded away, turning into hate and contempt. But at least I felt something: a strong albeit negative feeling that years later turned into nostalgia. It took a long time for that contempt to vanish; but some of it still surfaces.

Even after the contempt faded, the fight on whether I need and should allow myself to experience love only recently concluded, after around three years since its beginning. Now all I can feel is hopelessness rather than denial: will I ever find that “perfect” person? Does that “perfect” person even exist? What does “perfect” even mean to me? Would that person like me? Would I like that person? Would that person accept me? Would we love each other? Impossible.

What I believe I would like to see in a partner, is someone willing to fight alongside me for the same ideals. A relationship based on mutual trust, support and completely free of gender stereotypes, in which we can be our true selves, and we can be free and challenge the social norms, and challenge everything, and have fun. Someone cheerful, rebel but introvert enough, so we can understand each other better and feel comfortable around each other.

My open and liberal vision of love, unfortunately, clashes with my biases based on physical appearance. As much as I would like to say, “fuck it, I don’t care what you look like”; a part of me says it has to be someone I find physically attractive. Someone somewhat similar to me, and without the stereotypical sexual attributes associated with women. Ideally, closer to female in the gender spectrum. But there’s a lot more to it. Why am I even writing about this? Because I feel like it causes me distress, an unfair barrier I wish it wasn’t there.