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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Feeling Numb to Life
Letter #: 405494
Category: Self-Improvement

Original Letter

Hello! I've been recently struggling with feeling indifference towards everything in my life. I know why I am feeling this way. My department at work recently got shut down and, while they moved me to a different department because of my good work ethic, I'm not as happy as I had been. I'm also struggling with making friends since I relocated for this job, and stressed about the added responsibilities of living on my own. 

So, lately I've just been going to work and then coming home feeling too drained to do much of anything except simple tasks just to stay afloat. I just don't find anything exciting anymore. I just came back from vacation in another country, but I don't even feel anything. When I was there, I was excited for maybe a day, but then went back to feeling indifferent. The only time I really feel excited is when I spend time with my boyfriend. I like being with him and planning dates to surprise him with. However, my mother always taught me to be self-sufficient, and I would like not to depend so much on him for my happiness. It's not fair to him, and it's dangerous if we ever break up. 

So, I guess I'm just not sure how to feel something again. I'm not sure what to do to go back to being excited about other things. Thank you for your help!

Elder Response

Mia, I believe you are suffering from a type of shock. Change can do that to us. You probably did not foresee switching to a different department at work, having to relocate, and starting to live on your own. The added responsibilities arising from all this tumult have overwhelmed you, and now you are feeling numb. When you can't foresee change on a large scale, you don't feel prepared to deal with the aftermath. So you find yourself not getting excited by much of anything, even your romantic relationship. It seems safer that way, correct?

It will take time for you to establish some equilibrium in your new life. It's almost as if your feet were swept out from under you and you fell, though you were not physically hurt. You are becoming self-sufficient, as your mother wanted you to be, but don't close yourself off from the possibilities of emotional engagement in making your life as balanced and whole as you can.

Mia, you can never predict the future, but you can enjoy the present if you allow yourself to dispel past stresses. You have learned to adapt, but now is the time to do more than that. Pat yourself on the back and make some new short- and long-term goals toward which you can successfully strive. Show gratitude for your stable circumstances, and then allow yourself to feel excited every day that you wake up. Try mindfulness meditation.

Next time you take a vacation, things will be different. Enjoy all facets of your life. Don't exclude anything of a positive nature. Stay productively busy. You could even spend your free time volunteering for a worthy cause. Print off a copy of the DESIDERATA from the internet. Read it if you ever feel any indifference, and the indifference will disappear.

Fare thee well.

Best Regards,



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