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I just want to feel normal again

I turn 30 in April, and I feel like I am so far behind that I will never catch up. The few friends I have are all finding love and having kids, but I have never found my partner. Things are falling into place for everyone around me, yet its like I have been stuck for years. I feel like I am getting left behind, and I am just now an “afterthought”.

I’m at the point where every happy couple I see just gets me so angry and sad at the same time. Romantic songs, romantic scenes… it makes me look away cuz I can bear to see and hear it. So desperately want that kind of companionship. I have a good friend, but he will never understand why it makes me feel this way.

I think about how things will never change for the better. There is no hope that it will. I will always be the back seat passenger to everyone else’s life, never getting to drive my own.

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Hey Victor,

I can relate to this. A LOT. I’m almost 35 and I underwent a pretty rough divorce last year after being married for way too long in a marriage I shouldn’t have been in. And it’s been hard. Starting over. Starting from scratch. Not having a lot of stability or much to my name. I felt like I was going backwards while all of my friends are getting married, buying houses, cars, having babies, more babies and even MORE babies. And I’m here like, yea, I got divorced and now Im living with parental units…Something I haven’t done since I was 17. Rough.

Its so easy to look at other people who are where you would LOVE to be and naturally feel angry. Its hard. Because you want so badly to have those things and it just doesn’t seem to be happening as quickly as you like and it feels like everyone is just leaving you in the dust. It feels terrible.

Friend. I know how discouraging it can be. But even if you aren’t where you want to be right now, doesn’t mean that you wont get there. Even if you get there a little later than what you had hoped or slower than everyone else. We all go at our own pace. There is hope my friend. You don’t always have to be that back seat passenger to everyone elses life.

What are some things that you would like to see happen in your life? What are some things you are hoping for? What kinds of changes would you like to see happen?

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You are not alone. There are plenty of people who haven’t found their person by 30. But don’t rush it and settle, or try to make an ill-fitted match, or give up hope. You will find your person. The longer you wait, the more worthwhile it will be, and when it happens, the years that led up to it will no longer matter.

In the meantime, I know you’ve probably heard this over and over again, but focus on yourself. The more you develop yourself, the better and more confident you’ll feel, and the more of a catch you’ll be when your person comes along. In any case, you deserve to be happy wherever you are in life, and it’s so freeing to realize that you can be enough for yourself!

You’ll find your person when you least expect it. If you ask either me or my wife, our first date was plus side of average, but neither of us were sure it would go anywhere. But we approached it with no expectations, good or bad, tried to keep open minds and have a good time, and gave it a second and a third try until we realized there was something there.

Dating sucks, but try to enjoy it for your own sake. Instead of feeling pressured to find your soulmate, just have fun when you go out. It’s not so different from a night out with a new friend!

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I’ve dealt with this recently, as well. Through most of 2018 and 2019, I felt lost, alone, and helplessly unprepared for anything real in life. And like you, it hurt to see others happy.
And to be totally honest, I still deal with these feelings most days, but I’m usually able to lift myself out of the downward spiral now.
What changed? Hope.
I was (and still am) married, have the same good job, and was able to have the things I need and was even able to have some things I didn’t. Most things, even little things, would spin me out of control. I just couldn’t understand why I was so depressed and angry.
Then one day, I noticed the answer that had been right in front of me for years: I’m depressed. Sounds dumb, right? But it was that simple realization that hit me for the first since I was first diagnosed as a young teen. For the first time, I didn’t feel like it was all my fault – that I wasn’t choosing to feel that way.
Once I really came to terms with that, I was able to start healing. It’s not easy. It took me more than 15 years to “figure it out” (I don’t know if anyone ever truly does). But once I started healing, I was able to start replacing my hatred and sadness with love and joy. And when I rediscovered love and joy, depression stopped running my life, and I learned to be more optimistic. Most importantly, I learned that there is hope. Always.
Hope is a powerful emotion. It can stop depression dead in its tracks.
Start small and find hope. That’s the best advice I can give.

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This was the hope that kept me alive in my darkest dark days. When it was all I could do to leave my dorm room to get food, I knew there had to be more to life than that. I knew I wasn’t well, and if I was sick, that meant I could get help.

I’m on year 12. I have bad days, today included. What’s changed is knowing for sure what I suspected before: that there’s more to life than abject sadness, and that this too will heal. Tomorrow is another day.

I was always told to keep a gratitude journal. I did, in a few months-long spurts. In my times of sadness, it was just a homework assignment. I did it and was glad to be through it. Today, I know that I can’t just find some random positive stuff to write down and call it a day. Reflect on anything that was good and why it was good. Today I’m grateful that I was able to snooze during my lunch break. I’m grateful that I only need to work another hour and a half. I’m grateful that I can go to bed as early as I want tonight. I’ve made it through Hump Day, or Slump Day for the spoonies, and the weekend is coming up fast. I’m grateful that my only responsibilities tonight are walking the dogs and running the dishwasher. I didn’t win the lottery, buy a new car, or score March Madness tickets, but I have a lot to be thankful for, especially in the context of the tough day I’m having.

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Thank you so much for your insight. Just reading your responses has me fell somewhat better! The gratitude journal i think is a good idea that I will adopt!

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Thank you so much. Reading your response actually made me tear up a bit. You hit alot of nails on the head.

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I’m glad it spoke to you. The last thing I would add, and this is maybe the hardest part of all (at least it was for me), is that it doesn’t happen over night. It takes time and self-care. I still struggle a lot. In fact, I’m having a pretty rough night as we speak. But it’s all about not letting yourself get sucked down in that hole.

It will get easier.

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