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How can I stop the torture ''I don't deserve to be happy''?


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I am a 24 year old girl and I just can't bear to suffer from this psychological torment that tortures me every single day and completely ruins my whole life. I think I am gonna suffocate from this strong pain... Please, from the bottom of my hear, don't recommend me a psychologist since soon, I plan to probably visit one. However, now, I desperately need your advice and help because I am almost alone.. I have nobody to share my problem and even my daily life and it only makes my pain even bigger.

 

The problem - I feel I don't deserve to treat myself right, to pamper myself, to have brand new clothes, to buy a little bit more expensive food or to go to a restaurant.. Now, don't get me wrong - I believe I deserve to be happy.. I don't hate myself THAT much.. When did this all happen? When I graduated high school and already had to choose my professional path. I spent a few years AGAIN torturing myself and even getting sick at 18 all because of the stress of not deciding what kind of profession I want to have. I was EXTREMELY stressed because I was freaking out that I will become nothing. Yet, I began studying something that I wasn't quite sure I will work in years but I wanted to have a bachelor until I probably make up my mind about the profession I really want instead of risking and ending up uneducated. While studying, I was also working and even had relatively good jobs.

 

Thankfully, later, I finally found the professional field I wanted to develop in and even had 2 master degrees. BUT, the problem is that although I am well educated, hard working in good jobs... I constantly feel like I don't deserve to treat myself right, to pamper myself... For example, I regularly wear my old clothes for years and when my mother says "Buy something brand new, you will look better and feel better", I immediately refuse because I think internally "You have no right to spend so much money on brand new clothes and being fashionable, because you don't know whether you will end up with no job and money tomorrow. And then - what? Poor and modern? No..'' That's why If I really need something new - I buy second hand clothes and that's how I feel okay with myself. I also avoid going to restaurants and spending money on more expensive food.

If I like cosmetics which price is high, I also don't buy it, even if I have enough money. Because I start thinking ''What if you find yourself with a poorly paid job and no money tomorrow? This change of lifestyle will destroy me. So I better wear old clothes and not wear brand new ones because I don't deserve it.''

 

In general, I am somehow afraid of the future and whether I will have a good job and make enough money for my basic needs, let alone special ones. And I HAVE worked such jobs but still... especially when I have had new jobs and you know that beginnings are always hard. When I don't understand something in the beginning, I am telling myself ''See? What if you never understand these things and you are so bad at this job that you get fired? You don't deserve to treat yourself and pamper yourself until you find 100% stable job with good salary and a secure future, so that you have no worries about your financial status. Only then you can be really happy.'' Deep inside, I know that life is always unpredictable and you never know what future has in store for you. Also - nothing lasts forever, especially jobs. I realize that I am wasting my youth forbidding myself to do and have things that bring little joy and freedom to life. Especially when I have seen people with no good future at all wearing new expensive clothes, buying themselves some of the things they like, having the freedom to live their lives...

 

So, please, from the bottom of my heart, give me your invaluable pieces of advice and help because I desperately need it from you before I probably go to a psychologist! ;(

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Go to a psychologist or counselor no matter what OP... if you feel this discouraged about your situation, it will be very beneficial for you to go and talk this out with a professional.

 

Now onto my advice and observations...

 

Your attitude around not wanting to throw money away on such things is far from dysfunctional... at least from my point of view. With all of the waste in this world, all of the people that are currently going without even clean drinking water and a roof over their head, and all of the economic uncertainty of so many organizations tightening their bottom line, I think being conscious of your spending and planning for your future is the responsible thing to do.

 

The concerning things are the way you beat yourself up for making such choices... and for stuff that hasn't happened and may never happen... intellectually you seem to understand that you are doing the right thing for yourself, however you haven't yet taken this to your heart and accepted yourself for who you are and what you stand for.

 

Are you surrounded by people that like to spend money on clothing/makeup/expensive outings? Do they have influence over how you feel about yourself? It seems like you are comparing yourself to others right now and coming up short... or that maybe the people you are spending time with are telling you that who you are isn't good enough... when in reality, you are perfect just the way you are.

 

Get yourself into therapy as soon as you can... and surround yourself with people that have the same values and beliefs as you.... that may be less into outside appearances and more into deep introspection and planning for their future.

 

If you really want to shift your perspective, try volunteering at a food bank, or a place that serves lunch / dinner to the homeless population. That will give you a feeling that you have everything in the world to be grateful for once you see how they have to live.

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Sounds like at the core you have an overly exaggerated fear of not having money and yes, it would be really helpful for you to seek some professional counseling.

 

In the meantime, can you try a more pragmatic approach to money? Like create a budget where x goes to basic living expenses, y goes to savings, z goes to retirement, and you give yourself a small sum of fun money per month. Meaning after you've taken care of living costs, savings, set aside something toward retirement, you allow yourself to live a little while understanding that spending that set amount will not make you poor because you've already taken care of savings.

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Do you live with your parents/mother? The good news is you know you are obsessing and that something warrants an evaluation by a professional. See a doctor/neurologist also. Start there. You have insight and intelligence but it seems to be short-circuiting in this loop. Reread your post and how often your repeat the same thing over and over and over.

I am a 24 year old girl. I regularly wear my old clothes for years and when my mother says "Buy something brand new, you will look better and feel better"
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Your mother's comment is a little peculiar. Have you grown up with comments like this all your life about buying brand new things in order to look and feel better? Or was this a one off comment, not indicative of her personality?

 

I'm not surprised if you've grown up with skewed idea of what constitutes happiness if it constantly has to do with material things.

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Why is this even a problem for you, I wonder? Is it that you're not happy buying used clothing or that not going to a nice restaurant makes you sad? There is a whole generation of people that grew up in the Great Depression Era that are/were quite content to have hand-me-down clothes and who shopped only in the bargain bin at the grocery store and even when things got financially good again, felt it unnecessary to over indulge or buy something new when what they were wearing wasn't showing any wear and tear.

 

So... if you're okay with the clothes you're wearing and the food your eating, what does it really matter that you don't buy new or expensive? Most people who are responsible financially plan for and save for the future so your "problem" doesn't really seem to be one at all.

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I agree with ThatwasThen. I buy second hand clothes and dont go to resturaunts. Thats how I lived in college and it just became habit. I dont think I would be happier if I indulged myself. But maybe it would make you happier? You do seem over stressed about not spending money before you get a stable job. You have 2 Masters degrees and you are concerned you wont get a job that allows you to buy clothes?

There are lots of people that didnt even get to go to college.

I find it odd that you have had this feeling from high school to now. This must have been a long time. And you say you have had good jobs; why are you so concerned about not having one in the future? Lighten up a little, go shopping for some nice clothes and take your friend out to a nice resturaunt.

Did you go through some traumatic experience somehow where you saw your family end up penniless and destitute? Is that what caused this?

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It sounds like most of your worries stem from vague, nebulous money fears, especially where the future is concerned. Maybe goals and a budget can assuage some of your anxiety by specifically defining potential problems and addressing them.

 

Don't get too carried away with "what if." You can't predict the future. Nobody can. So there's no point worrying about what disaster is going to occur more than 6 months down the line. Problems are going to have to be worked out as they arise.

 

What you can do is plan for the major financial challenge that most of us potentially face: Unemployment.

 

To do this, you need to establish your cost of living now, and have some idea of what you want in the future.

 

Live below your means so that you can always save money. Then, focus on achieving your future financial goals (house, car, etc.).

 

Know the costs. Know what it will take to maintain your standard of living and sock that money away so that you have a buffer.

 

Aim to have 6-months' worth of salary in the bank at all times. This way, you can buy time to solve unexpected financial problems.

 

Let that be your limit for financial worry: six months. Beyond that, it's just self-torture.

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Malvinka.

 

Rather than being about the money I feel you are engaging in catastrophic futurizing. The issue about the clothes (new or second-hand) is beside the besides. You are feeling that you don't deserve ANYTHING.

 

Catastrophic thinking is ruminating about irrational, worst-case outcomes.

 

Two things I notice you say: "I am afraid of the future". Well, the future isn't here yet.

You also remarked: "I have nobody to share my problem and even my daily life and it only makes my pain even bigger."

 

I agree with the other posters who advise you to seek therapy so that you have some support.

 

Catastrophizing is associated with depression as well as anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder.

 

You remark too: "I have seen people with no good future at all wearing new expensive clothes......"

 

 

Try not to compare yourself with others. Besides, neither they, nor you, have any way of foretelling the future. We cannot manipulate the future, much as we might like to. Only Merlin the magician could (allegedly) do that, and we are definitely not in that league. :friendly_wink:

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Completely agree. Reading through carefully there is an inner dialogue and back and forth with yourself represented in bold/plain text and cyclic repetition of the idee fixe clothes/money themes.

 

This could be about the shape of your nose, germs, throwing things out, whatever. It is an obsession and irrational fears. The good news is you have an appt with a psychologist, however a physician may need to evaluate you as well. Unfortunately many things can manifest like this so a thorough work up is warranted. Many hoarders suffer with delusions of poverty like this as well. Does anyone in your family suffer from that?

 

Rather than being about the money I feel you are engaging in catastrophic futurizing. The issue about the clothes (new or second-hand) is beside the besides.

 

Catastrophic thinking is ruminating about irrational, worst-case outcomes.

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Have you tried cardio exercise for at least 20-30 minutes at a time-whether it's really brisk walking, running, dancing -whatever gets your heart rate up - especially while listening to something you enjoy -music or a podcast, the radio, etc? And see if you have those kinds of anxious thoughts while you are moving your body and your heart rate is up. See if afterwards your thoughts are more grounded and present-focused.

I ordered a $20 toaster yesterday which arrives today. Why? Because I use it at least twice a day and mine which I bought over 3 years ago seems to be wearing down - and it's a bit of an indulgence because technically it works just I can tell any day will be it's last so I wanted a backup now. Why did I even think about this? In my life a $20 expenditure for an appliance I use daily is really a no brainer, not going to affect us financially. And yet yes I went through the internal dialogue over whether I really "need" it since if I wiggle the toaster lever a bit more it is bound to work. I had to tell myself that I deserve to have a daily appliance that works great given my lifestyle/busy schedule. I wish it had been a no brainer but money is tricky that way I find. Especially if there's a life stage change (I was less like this before I had a family). So it's ok to question yourself but do it from a perspective of self-respect -insist on that. And that way you won't focus on "I deserve new clothes even though my old clothes are just fine because everyone knows new clothes make you happy" - well you know what - you must ask will it make "you" happy.

 

What makes me happy is to spend $ on clothes that are comfortable and flattering when I don't have enough of that type of clothing, what makes me happy is to make sure my exercise clothes function as best as possible given my exercise routine but no, getting my nails done or buying new shoes "just because" would not make me happy in the least. Focus on getting to the root of what makes you personally happy -and avoid social media comparisons especially since more than a few people are promoting "new" because they are selling stuff for an MLM.

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What is it, exactly, that you would like to be told by a bunch of strangers on the Internet that someone who knows you and cares about you hasn't told you already?

 

Whenever someone says "Don't tell me to seek professional help..." they already know that that's the thing they really need. So how about reporting some progress in that regard?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Malviinka, just wanted to quickly chime in to say I totally understand

With me it was my hair, people would say you could colour it, get it done at a top hairdressers it would look so pretty, but no I wouldn't touch it, couldn't bring myself to get it done, there was a block there

Also in shops I would not look at the clothes though years ago I loved to wear beautiful clothes

For me, I literally had to FORCE myself to do it - I went reluctantly to hairdresser, I ordered some new clothes

 

And my goodness, the feeling afterwards was amazing, confidence sky rocketed, I felt so much better about myself I felt more loveable just because I'd done these things for myself

 

Would recommend you to just DO IT, then see how you feel

 

Best to you, love Lady D XXX

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You need to learn to live well frugally. My husband & I have what looks like an extravagant lifestyle but it's all financed cheaply. We paid cash for our new to us sports car. We will pay off our mortgage 10 years early next year. We use coupons for everything. We buy used cars, clothes, furniture etc. It's new to us so we're happy. The secret is you have to know where you get gently used high end stuff. We cook at home & eat thrifty meals from seasonal foods that are on sale. We shop off brand discount stores to get the best value. I have what I called a "present closet" where I buy gift items & store them until we need them. For example a few years ago I stumbled upon a Waterford crystal sale. Beautiful vases that were usually $500 were on sale for $49.95. I bought 4. Then when weddings or other occasions came up we have the perfect present for pennies on the dollar. We have a comfortable emergency fund of at least 1 year's living expenses socked away plus we contribute to our retirement fund.

 

The first thing you have to do is set some financial goals. Then make a budget. Do include a line item for splurges. It doesn't have to a huge amount but maybe $100 per month that you think of as mad money. I actually have an account for this. I used to fund it with a part time job. To me that was found money, not part of my "master plan" so I was allowed to be frivolous with those funds because they didn't count. That is where the new clothes came from, where the vacations came from etc. It takes the pressure off your retirement savings but gives you an outlet.

 

Learn to make your money work for you. Read money management books from the library like Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Read thrifty / frugal blogs & websites. Learn to invest. Learn about F.I.R.E. (financial independence, retire early)

 

When you start to realize you are the master of your fate & that you can guard against economic down turns you will feel calmer & more optimistic.

 

This isn't for everybody but another thing that worked for me was turning back to my religion. Prayer calmed me more then anything else I ever tried: therapy, medication, meditation, yoga, exercise, booze etc.

 

You will be OK when you take control of your money. You need action not talk therapy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My personal opinion is you’re incredibly smart!!!!!!!!!!! Meaning by knowing that our lives could change in the blink of an eye and wanting to be secure. Especially at the very young age of 24 I think [emoji189] you’re ahead of the game myself. On the hand I also think you shouldn’t walk around looking homeless (not that you do) just use your money wisely and to me it doesn’t seem like that would be a difficult task for you. You do need to feel good about yourself! It helps you in everything you do in life so look at it that way. Also you don’t have to buy expensive make up I could buy any make up I want it but I don’t, & I’m pretty sure it looks just as good. I personally don’t think you have a mental issue.. You just want to know that you’ll be secure in like. If there is anyone out there doesn’t want to feel security them to me they would be the one with the mental issue . Sorry but not sorry but everyone wants/ needs a sense of security. I just think you need to cut yourself a little slack!!!! Like you said you are a well educated woman yes jobs may come and go but your credentials will always be there therefore you’ll never be without a job. So cut yourself some slack girl by a couple cute outfits to make yourself feel good and continue doing what you’re doing which is saving your money which is the smartest thing anyone could ever do!!! And btw if you’re already happy in the clothes you’re wearing and you already feel good then I wouldn’t buy any new ones either. It all boils down to me personally that you just have to quit badgering yourself about it, stop thinking about it so much, and dwelling on it, and know that you are a 24-year-old smart girl who is saving her money instead of blowing it.

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