[Serious] Reddit, have you ever at one point in your life felt like an "empty shell", going through the motions of daily life just to get through each day? If so, what helped you get through this phase?

Obviously, there is no right answer. Everyone is different; everyone has different needs. I think my situation may have been a bit bad so take this into its appropriate perspective and recognize this may not be the right approach for you.

Here is what I did:

For years, I would go through the list. You know what I am talking about--those tips everyone gives off.

I tried exercise. Then when that didn’t work then obviously it was because I didn't get enough exercise. So I did more. Lost close to 30lbs. Still felt dead. I tried getting myself on a schedule. So I had weeks where everything was programmed to the hour. And when that didnt work, I programmed everything to the minute. Still nothing. I tried getting more sleep. 8 hours+ a day and the only thing that got me up was the fact that I didn't die in my sleep the night before. I tried meditation. Sometimes 20min+ a day. Still felt like shit. Etc. Etc. You get my drift.

And when I hit my breaking point, I decided I had had enough. So I stopped aiming for the cat and mouse lifestyle changes, because the results were still shit.

I started aiming for clarity. I started asking myself "why?". Why I felt like shit? Why did I not want to do the things I was once orginially passionate about? Why was that fire gone?

But here are three important distinctions, stuff I felt was important in the process: 1. I didn't stop when I had my first answer. I Inceptioned the shit out of it and kept asking. Kept driving at that most fundamental core of what was keeping me in stasis. I kept going through the motions of life because I felt like shit. I felt like shit because I wasn't taking care of myself. I wasn't taking care of myself because I didn't think it was important for me to do so. I didn't think it was important for me to do so because I didn't trust myself to do the right thing. I didn't trust myself because I didn't think I deserved to be a person who had a good life. 2. I stopped intellectualizing. I used to give myself all of these wonderful cognitive explainations for problems with my life. Instead I tried to focus on the emotions that drove what I felt were problems. My relationship with my family is shitty because my parents are very insecure with their roles as authority figures and I don’t know where my role in the family is as I get older Vs. My relationship with my family is very dishonest and that makes me feel very sad and incredibly alone 3. I took ownership. OF EVERYTHING. It may have not been my fault, but goddamnit it was going to be my responsibility. My friendships are hurting me because they are the ones with substance abuse issues and are mentally unstable and make it my problem Vs. My friendships are hurting me because I don’t tell them that I behavior unacceptable and I have not cut them out of my life. If you do this right, if you are REALLY TRULY HONEST with yourself AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PROBLEMS, this will be a fucking terrifying. We all lie to ourselves to get through the day to a lesser or greater extent. What you need to do is go against the decades of societal conditioning that reinforces this behavior. I would highly recommend seeing a therapist and considering medication if you do not feel ready to do this. I sure as shit had to.

But digging deep, getting to the core of those few things that drove such maldaptive behavior allowed me to actually see what I needed to work on. Then I could start building the life I wanted. Then I could see it wasn’t just exercise or meditation or scheduling or changing careers or ending my toxic relationships with people, it was all of it and so much more. But it’s scary. Its really, really scary to be that blisteringly honest with yourself. One of the key AA steps is your "fearless self-inventory". I don't know how they can think you can do this fearlessly. I was terrified.

The good news, however, is you get to pick. You can be terrified or you can be numb. I decided on the former. And it was more horrible than I imagined, as I am a far weaker, more flawed man than I could have ever dreamed. And it was the best decision I ever made.

Good luck!

/r/AskReddit Thread