Why can't I be happy where I am?

I seem to be really struggling lately with finding satisfaction in the life I have created. About 3 years ago I found myself in this position with my job - I had done every thing right, education, secure government job, pension, benefits, etc. but constantly felt unfulfilled - because of that I ended up leaving that career and starting a business. I have loved working for myself, but recently have been struggling with feelings like I am not doing enough or not feeling like I am on the right path. It was fun for a while, and now it’s not fun anymore and I don’t know what to do. I seem to have this pattern in my life of getting bored, and wanting the next thing. As if I am always chasing the next thing. It’s almost as if I am trying to convince myself that as good as the life I have right now is, something else is or would have been better. The chase is exhausting.
Asked by DRy15
Answered
11/29/2021

First and foremost, thanks for reaching out. As always, I believe in recognizing and verbalizing a client's courage to seek help. While it may not always feel like a courageous act, it is. The alternative would be to sit quietly myriad in self-loathing, discontentment, and unhappiness. You have chosen even if subconsciously a different path by reaching out to BH. So, congrats on your first step toward healing.

As to what could be causing this dissatisfaction with "the life you have created," it could be a number of things/reasons.

Being unfulfilled is an awful feeling and very exhausting as you mentioned. So sorry this is happening to you. It must be quite difficult to navigate life feeling so exhausted and running toward something that you aren't sure will fulfill you. Often times when we feel discontent/dissatisfaction it can mean that we are out of alignment with our core values. Sometimes we think our values are one thing when it is truly something else. Based on your message, I suspect that you have lived based on the value of achievement, career, or something along those lines. You are noticing that those things do not bring you the joy, fulfillment that you imagined they would. Exploring your values would be a great place to start.

I often do a values assessment activity with my clients as a preliminary assignment when working with me. We compare those results to their lives and help them to move toward authentic living in alignment with their core values. The assessment is an algorithm-based inventory.

I can see that you have some good awareness and insights about what is going on with you and how it is manifesting in your life. Keep this awareness, continue to notice when, where you tend to get bored. Notice things like how long it takes to get bored with something. I suggest starting a journal if you have not already. In this journal jot down the things you notice from my suggestions above, and then feel free to add anything else that you feel would be of note. I do something that I call "journaling therapy." I assign clients to journal then allow them to bring their journals into the session for therapeutic processing. It can enhance the therapeutic process greatly and offer additional awareness/insights for both the client and therapist. BH help has plans that offer an online journaling feature with the option to share with your assigned therapist at the client's discretion. If not using BH, you can use a number of apps for the same function and/or keep it simple with pen and paper. However you choose to do it, I advise that you begin that assignment quickly and continue it throughout your therapeutic process.

To explore where this is coming from, what is actually going on, I would need several questions answered:

* How long you have been feeling bored by things? (this is a very important question in understanding what may be going on).

* Are you bored with everything or just employment-related things?

* If with other things too, then what other areas of life do you find this bored, moving on the pattern?

* When was the last time you remember being content, happy, satisfied in your life? What was going on at that time?

* What has changed since that time that you felt content, happy, satisfied in your life?

(put the answers to these questions in your journal).

 

Depending on your answers to the journaling questions there could be many reasons for your current experiences from very serious mental health diagnosis to simple life transition/stress. Some reasons might be ADHD, Midlife Crisis, Incongruent Values/Misalignment with core values, personality disorder, and/or overall life stress--a combination of any of these or none of them.

Journaling and therapy will help to move you closer to understanding what is going with your life dissatisfaction. Thanks again for reaching out. I wish you the best on your healing journey!

I leave you with a quote

"IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND HAPPINESS WITHIN ONESELF, BUT IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND IT ANYWHERE ELSE." - Arthur Schopenhauer -
 

 

 

(M.Ed., LPC)