7 Tips For When You Feel Completely Lost

I sometimes get periods of time where I’m not particularly suffering anxiety or depression, but where I’m stuck in a rut somewhere in the middle, re-evaluating my life and unsure of why. I can never think logically about what to do – I can’t cling on to any sense of identity or concentrate on anything to take my mind off of it.

It is such a specific numbing feeling, and at the same time very blurred, making it completely overwhelming.

It’s a topic I haven’t yet found to be addressed from a mental health perspective, and I know various others who experience the same feeling. None of us have read an article about it before, and it’s time we did. To tackle this, I thought I’d really put my mind to the test and try to give some good ol’ agony aunt advice. Here’s some tips on what do when you’re feeling like a loose end that never ties up.

1. Talk to someone – whether its over the phone, through a message or in person, sharing your thought-load with someone will take the pressure off you. I normally find that once I admit to feeling down or lost, I start opening up about it and there is a feeling of acceptance in the air. Leading me nicely onto tip numero deux…

2. Acceptance is one of the hardest things, but being aware that you are feeling a certain way can be quite comforting sometimes. I find that when I realise how I’m feeling and say it out loud, it motivates me enough to find a new spark of identity, or at least create some movement amongst my thoughts to think clearly. I believe that acceptance of a situation is halfway to recovery.

3. Change of scenery – moving somewhere new can do the world of good. If I’m in a cold room with no sunlight, I will tend to move to a warmer room with the sun shining in, and where I can cuddle my dog! I find that it allows me to be a little more comfortable, and I can then put more of my energy into thinking clearer and realising I’m not a lost soul.

4. Listening to music really can change my mood quite dramatically. If I want to feel more thoughtful, I will listen to calming music with honest lyrics (which also makes me want to write too!), and particularly if I’m feeling a little lost I will try to put on music that will either distract me or give me knowledge that I’m not lost and alone. A band that currently motivate me are The Lone Bellow – their music is a mix of upbeat feel-good tunes and story-telling ballads with a folk/country flair. Be sure to have a listen.

5. Make sure you have a network of people around you. Knowing you have friends and family supporting you will give you comfort if you ever feel on your own. They can distract you from your mind’s situation for a little while, or just cushion the blow when times are rough. And I know, times can be so frickin’ rough. You must also remember that pretty much anyone who is human will have a time when they feel lost or don’t quite know which direction to take. We lead vastly unique lives, however most of us will share the same feelings and similar situations. Stick together.

6. Schedule something in your calendar – don’t completely fill it as it will be harder to achieve. Just 1 or 2 things that will give you direction. The other day I went to the library by myself (a massive achievement for the anxious side of me!) and I really enjoyed scanning the array of books on every shelf. I borrowed a couple of books about writing, and also found myself drawn towards the photography section – a hobby I haven’t really touched for a good few years. This one hour of my day gave me heaps of inspiration, aspiration and direction.

7. Be mindful – go for a walk, exercise, meditate or be creative in some way. Painting is one of my favourite things to do as it feels incredibly therapeutic, and I end up focusing more on what my paintbrush is doing than what my head is doing! Yoga is also a love of mine – it gets the oxygen flowing, gives me space in my head, and tricks me into doing exercise!

Many of us will have ‘off’ days where we feel a little lost, but then some will go through long phases of ruminating these thoughts and feelings. Be it one day, a week, or several months that you feel this way, I hope you utilise these tips and get back to being the amazing, unique person you still are. 🙂

Sarah x

My Experience With Suicidal Thoughts

*WARNING: Includes themes of suicide and negative thoughts.*

To me, the thought of no longer experiencing mental pain is in some ways quite pleasurable. I guess this is what people feel to some extent when they want to end their life. 

Some days I feel like I don’t want to die, but I also don’t want to live.

Well, most of the time I’m not really living, I’m just existing. Existing in a world of wrongs and rights, but where the wrongs are so overpowering that nothing seems worth it. I’m blanketed in that black fog once again, and no matter how bright my fog lights are, I just can’t seem to see clearly, let alone find the right path for my journey.

A few months back on an ordinary Thursday morning, I was sat in my car, too terrified to move in case I even thought about hurting myself. I sobbed and sobbed endlessly on my steering wheel, just wanting to be out of this situation, out of this mindset. Painfully wanting to be under my duvet at home, where everything seemed rosy. I’d have done so much to extract myself from that state, that place, that circumstance.

Looking back at it now, I kick myself for how silly it was to think like that, but I also feel guilty and ashamed.

Recently, however, I’ve seen these thoughts from a different side. Last month, I lost a friend to suicide. A kind, generous, warm-hearted person who loved fishing and carpentry and seemed to be full of life. I know deep down that he was in a lot of pain, but we helped each other through. The last time I saw him was the night before he died. Surrounded by people and music and cherished loved ones, we hardly spoke, but I felt a sense of acknowledgement in the air between us, like we understood how the other was feeling with words unspoken. I’m using all my conceivable energy right now to try to avoid writing “I just wish” or “what if”, but at the end of the day I am a human being after all, tapping keys on a computer with a hugely complicated brain and normally very negative ways of thinking inside my head. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t realise he was feeling that low. I didn’t realise, no-one realised, and that’s the problem. 

A few days after he passed, me and my partner got a tattoo of the hand stamp which was the door entry for the gig that last night we saw him. It’s a tiny anchor on our wrists that remind us to keep in contact with those who are struggling, ask them how they are, and take care of them if we can. I feel like I’ve never known anything so important in my life than this piece of information, hence why I got it permanently drawn on my body. A small, constant reminder to just be there. I’ll never know what or who it might help in the future, but just the fact that it might help is enough.

The funeral was the day I finally realised how many people loved and cared for him. The decision to take his life has left a family without a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a nephew, a fiancé. As heartbreaking as this situation is right now, I really believe it will make me a much stronger, good-willed, clearer-thinking individual, and I am determined to let his spirit live out through everything I do.

Sarah x

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