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I need someone to tell me what to do


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I don't know how to go about achieving a relationship like this, but i need someone to to tell me what to do at all times. Since Covid, I have had no real grasp on my life, and struggle to get the motivation to do day to day tasks. I'm currently entering exam season, and realistically need to be studying about 10 hours a day to catch up on all the work I've missed at university this semester before I have to sit my closed book exams. I forget to have showers, and eat unhealthily and my room is a mess. I don't even sleep normally, I usually go to sleep at 5am and wake up at 10am and then sleep again at 4pm and wake up at 8pm. Not to mention just hours of mindlessly lying in bed, either watching shows and reading books or just daydreaming. I just want the sense of normality back, and I weirdly, I just want someone to tell me what to do at all times.

An online relationship where someone pretty much controls every aspect of my life sounds like a weird thing to advertise for for but I have no idea where I would look for someone like that. And ideas for anyone on this site for me to find something like this?

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You sound like your burned out. Taking school too seriously. There’s moments in our life when we think a certain job, or education or relationship is going to impact the rest of our lives. 

As you get older you realize there’s no point in stressing these things. Having someone tell you what to do isn’t going to bring you out of this depression. You just need to stop going so hard on yourself and focus on things you can control. If you fall behind on school and have to withdraw from a class or two, it’s not the end of the world.

Take some time to focus on your health and your well being. 

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4 hours ago, annjam said:

. I forget to have showers, and eat unhealthily and my room is a mess. I don't even sleep normally, I usually go to sleep at 5am and wake up at 10am and then sleep again at 4pm and wake up at 8pm. 

How old are you? See a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Discuss the malaise lassitude and insomnia. Rule out physical causes. 

Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist for ongoing support. 

An "online relationship to tell you what to do" is not the answer. You don't need an online babysitter, you need a medical evaluation.

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Morning Annjam!

 

Can I ask, what are you studying? Out of interest? And are you living in a dorm for university or maybe renting a shared house or renting student accommodation? 
 

Reading your post was like being transported back about 15 years! The feelings if I think about it, I can still remember. The putting off and off. The “not knowing what I really want to do”… asking yourself constantly, am I doing the right thing maybe? What am I doing? Who do I really want to be? Who am I! Why can’t I just get motivated?! 
 

I left all my exam study till the very last minute, close of play. It was stressful and caused a kind of, long drawn out, self inflicted anxiety that I would avoid with trivial things and doing mindless nothing. And working my many part time jobs I had juggling on the side. I questioned myself daily, and this was college (British college, 16-18 years old). I never actually went to university, even though my grades, for some insane reason, ended up being very good and I got my pick of nearly any uni I wanted had I decided to go at the time!

 

Anyway, I am not advocating, skipping classes, studying very late, things like that. Not sensible or practical or healthy. 
 

You may be in a depression - how do you feel generally? In my time around your stage in life, I was still put together, had two washes a day and the place where I lived with my boyfriend was immaculate. But I had up and down moods all the same. 
 

Life might be hitting you all at once. This time in people’s young life is often a crossroads. You feel like you are on the verge of turning one way or another and the heavy feeling of “this matters” and “this will set a precedent for the course of the rest of my life” can almost cripple you into complete inaction.

 

You can force lifestyle changes, like daily exercise, getting out, taking a yoga class, eating healthy and setting timers and reminders for study, but you have to try and assess what really is making you feel like this? 
 

Looking back, I was juggling too much at the time and taking courses I knew were of no real passion too me. It caused me to mentally sign out. 
 

When we feel out of control, we often want that safety net of a kind of, parental figure. I think again this is about growing up. You have left the nest, you are alone for once and it’s scary and new and most of us do want to somehow, in some way return to the comfort and security we maybe knew before, where everything was assured and not completely down to us. I think that is normal. 
 

I think, looking for some kind of domination online is a potentially y’know, slippery slope. There are plenty of sights like that where, you can get into all kinds of fetishised lifestyles. But is that what you really want? I don’t really pick up on any sexual element to your problems. You seem like you are lost and searching for guidance. It just struck me because it’s exactly how I felt around your age, I still do now often, and I’m 32, married and with three young kids! 
 

I don’t often advocate therapy - but maybe a couple of sessions just to run over what is causing your deep lack of motivation and energy for life might really open your eyes and help you, especially with your studies.

 

What you are taking at uni - make sure it is for you, not your parents, or what you think you should be doing. You want to be passionate about the subject. 
 

Are you lonely? Maybe forcing yourself out to meet people, finding a boyfriend or girlfriend, (not sure of your gender!) or a friend you can confide in, can help ease the burden of life! 
 

It’s such a tough age - you’ll get through it. It‘s hard. Each life stage throws up different hurdles for each one of us. You have to try and navigate what works for you, what makes you feel good. If that’s, getting a better sleep schedule, laughing about things with friends, changing courses or decided to re-organise your room, decorate it, whatever gives you that boost. Therapy sessions. Maybe you need to try a few things, and step out of your usual comfort zone! Growing up is tough!

 

All the best,

 

x

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57 minutes ago, mylolita said:

Reading your post was like being transported back about 15 years! The feelings if I think about it, I can still remember. The putting off and off. The “not knowing what I really want to do”… asking yourself constantly, am I doing the right thing maybe? What am I doing? Who do I really want to be? Who am I! Why can’t I just get motivated?!

Same here, except for me it's 27 years. Instant freedom with no direction left me in a state of freefall.

I could have written this myself 27 years ago:

8 hours ago, annjam said:

I'm currently entering exam season, and realistically need to be studying about 10 hours a day to catch up on all the work I've missed at university this semester before I have to sit my closed book exams. I forget to have showers, and eat unhealthily and my room is a mess. I don't even sleep normally, I usually go to sleep at 5am and wake up at 10am and then sleep again at 4pm and wake up at 8pm. Not to mention just hours of mindlessly lying in bed

I failed my first semester at college. I skipped most of my classes, slept for days at a time. Oh, the mistakes I made in those early years.... I did often wish that I had someone to tell me what to do. But I also knew that I only wanted that guidance so that I could rebel against it. It was a strange time. But I struggled through and straightened out. You will, too, if you keep at it. 

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I would create -either handwritten or on your phone - a schedule. Detailed -as if it was someone else telling you what to do.  I'd do at least 30 minute increments.  Do: exercise (brisk walking or other brisk cardio at least 30 minutes or if you have to in 10 minute increments); some form of organizing/cleaning even 15 minutes; meal times and then study times.  Do the study times when you know your brain is at its optimal. Pretend the schedule is another person making you do these things and check things off.

For example because of the pandemic and my son's virtual learning I had to be really strategic about when I could get my work done/my optimal brain time and when I could do more of my administrative tasks which didn't require being as intensely brain-focused.  It was hard to be even more disciplined but it was that or not be able to juggle both.  

If your goal is good grades in university I don't think you can take it too seriously - I am so glad I worked my behind off in grad school especially -I graduated over 25 years ago and it's still paying off soo much.  Not to the point of being dehydrated/exhausted but you know -seriously.  If you are not into what your degree will be in yes you may need to reevaluate but good grades will count even if you transition.

Good luck -I can relate to the pandemic doing a number on all of us!

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1 hour ago, dias said:

Can you teach me the trick? I have trouble sleeping. Wish I could sleep for days.

I read somewhere that in your life, you have two main phases where you really need more sleep. Baby years and toddler years, and the teenage years! You do a big push in physical and mental development in those last years, I think physically and the chemistry in your brain - I am not a biologist! - if I can remember this paper, it’s all tying together, some people even in their early twenties. Hence the big drive to sleep a lot. I think it’s a legitimate need for teens, late teens, even people in their early twenties.

 

The older you get, the less well you sleep and the less sleep you take. Ever heard so many older people say, they can’t sleep? Or go to bed really early just to wake all through the night, then get up at 4am? This is every elderly person I know! I don’t know the science behind it, but you do technically need less the older you get. 
 

Those teen and late teen years pull on you I’m sure. I remember staying up so late and then hearing the alarm and I just couldn’t! I ditched class so much. But never had trouble falling to sleep or just, being dead to the world once gone. I’m sure so many people remember it being like that when they were in their teens. 
 

x

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12 hours ago, junebug123 said:

You sound like your burned out. Taking school too seriously. There’s moments in our life when we think a certain job, or education or relationship is going to impact the rest of our lives. 

As you get older you realize there’s no point in stressing these things. Having someone tell you what to do isn’t going to bring you out of this depression. You just need to stop going so hard on yourself and focus on things you can control. If you fall behind on school and have to withdraw from a class or two, it’s not the end of the world.

Take some time to focus on your health and your well being. 

I'm not in a subject where I can withdraw from classes, everything is mandatory and needs to be passed unfortunately, and are mostly closed book exams. I wish I could say I was taking exams too seriously but I'm more worried I'm not taking them seriously enough.

5 hours ago, mylolita said:

Morning Annjam!

 

Can I ask, what are you studying? Out of interest? And are you living in a dorm for university or maybe renting a shared house or renting student accommodation? 
 

Reading your post was like being transported back about 15 years! The feelings if I think about it, I can still remember. The putting off and off. The “not knowing what I really want to do”… asking yourself constantly, am I doing the right thing maybe? What am I doing? Who do I really want to be? Who am I! Why can’t I just get motivated?! 
 

I left all my exam study till the very last minute, close of play. It was stressful and caused a kind of, long drawn out, self inflicted anxiety that I would avoid with trivial things and doing mindless nothing. And working my many part time jobs I had juggling on the side. I questioned myself daily, and this was college (British college, 16-18 years old). I never actually went to university, even though my grades, for some insane reason, ended up being very good and I got my pick of nearly any uni I wanted had I decided to go at the time!

 

Anyway, I am not advocating, skipping classes, studying very late, things like that. Not sensible or practical or healthy. 
 

You may be in a depression - how do you feel generally? In my time around your stage in life, I was still put together, had two washes a day and the place where I lived with my boyfriend was immaculate. But I had up and down moods all the same. 
 

Life might be hitting you all at once. This time in people’s young life is often a crossroads. You feel like you are on the verge of turning one way or another and the heavy feeling of “this matters” and “this will set a precedent for the course of the rest of my life” can almost cripple you into complete inaction.

 

You can force lifestyle changes, like daily exercise, getting out, taking a yoga class, eating healthy and setting timers and reminders for study, but you have to try and assess what really is making you feel like this? 
 

Looking back, I was juggling too much at the time and taking courses I knew were of no real passion too me. It caused me to mentally sign out. 
 

When we feel out of control, we often want that safety net of a kind of, parental figure. I think again this is about growing up. You have left the nest, you are alone for once and it’s scary and new and most of us do want to somehow, in some way return to the comfort and security we maybe knew before, where everything was assured and not completely down to us. I think that is normal. 
 

I think, looking for some kind of domination online is a potentially y’know, slippery slope. There are plenty of sights like that where, you can get into all kinds of fetishised lifestyles. But is that what you really want? I don’t really pick up on any sexual element to your problems. You seem like you are lost and searching for guidance. It just struck me because it’s exactly how I felt around your age, I still do now often, and I’m 32, married and with three young kids! 
 

I don’t often advocate therapy - but maybe a couple of sessions just to run over what is causing your deep lack of motivation and energy for life might really open your eyes and help you, especially with your studies.

 

What you are taking at uni - make sure it is for you, not your parents, or what you think you should be doing. You want to be passionate about the subject. 
 

Are you lonely? Maybe forcing yourself out to meet people, finding a boyfriend or girlfriend, (not sure of your gender!) or a friend you can confide in, can help ease the burden of life! 
 

It’s such a tough age - you’ll get through it. It‘s hard. Each life stage throws up different hurdles for each one of us. You have to try and navigate what works for you, what makes you feel good. If that’s, getting a better sleep schedule, laughing about things with friends, changing courses or decided to re-organise your room, decorate it, whatever gives you that boost. Therapy sessions. Maybe you need to try a few things, and step out of your usual comfort zone! Growing up is tough!

 

All the best,

 

x

I study Medicine, and am in my first year. I am first year Uni halls, and have about 4 other people in my flat. I don't really have a problem of lack of people around me to help me out, a lot of my friends are really supportive, it's more the fact I just want someone to tell me what to do at all times rather than being there to support me.

I also love my degree, the things we learn are so fascinating, and on the few placements I have had so far, I love the clinic. My parents have always been strict but never have pushed me to do a certain degree or pick a certain life pathway, i worked hard to get into this degree by myself.

My problem is more to do with the fact I can't seem to do anything at all, not just to do with uni, but also like day to day things. I think a lot of people around me think I'm fine, because in terms of social events, my friends drag me out all the time and we have fun, so others think I'm living my best life, but once I'm by myself again and have no one to tell me what to do, I retreat back into this lazy version of me.

4 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I would create -either handwritten or on your phone - a schedule. Detailed -as if it was someone else telling you what to do.  I'd do at least 30 minute increments.  Do: exercise (brisk walking or other brisk cardio at least 30 minutes or if you have to in 10 minute increments); some form of organizing/cleaning even 15 minutes; meal times and then study times.  Do the study times when you know your brain is at its optimal. Pretend the schedule is another person making you do these things and check things off.

For example because of the pandemic and my son's virtual learning I had to be really strategic about when I could get my work done/my optimal brain time and when I could do more of my administrative tasks which didn't require being as intensely brain-focused.  It was hard to be even more disciplined but it was that or not be able to juggle both.  

If your goal is good grades in university I don't think you can take it too seriously - I am so glad I worked my behind off in grad school especially -I graduated over 25 years ago and it's still paying off soo much.  Not to the point of being dehydrated/exhausted but you know -seriously.  If you are not into what your degree will be in yes you may need to reevaluate but good grades will count even if you transition.

Good luck -I can relate to the pandemic doing a number on all of us!

I have tried to make schedules and plans, but I can never trick myself to make it believable that someone is telling me to do everything. On the other hand, during my last exam period, I had a friend who forced me to do work in front of her for a few days, and I stayed at her's for a while, and I had never been so productive.

My goal isn't good grades right now, I just need to pass my modules especially since first year doesn't count. It's really weird, because previous to Covid, I have always gone above and beyond in my academia, working ridiculously hard and often sacrificing personal things easily to do so. But the pandemic came like a massive halt to all that and I haven't really been to restart myself.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for everyone's replies, and a few of you mention looking into therapy for burnout. That's not a bad idea, but I'm not sure if I really am burnt out. It also wouldn't help with the exam situation in terms of lessening my burden; currently my university do not accept extenuating circumstances so close to exams.

annjam x

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4 hours ago, dias said:

Can you teach me the trick? I have trouble sleeping. Wish I could sleep for days.

Sadly, no. It only happened a handful of times, and I've never been able to do it since. I've never been someone who takes naps, let alone sleep for days at a time. I honestly think it was a function of me testing my new limits in life! 

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33 minutes ago, annjam said:

I have tried to make schedules and plans, but I can never trick myself to make it believable that someone is telling me to do everything. On the other hand, during my last exam period, I had a friend who forced me to do work in front of her for a few days, and I stayed at her's for a while, and I had never been so productive.

So this is really interesting -  I have a friend whose adult daughter was procrastinating doing her resume and she told her mother it would help if she could come over and basically hang out at her mom's place while her mom got stuff done.  That did the trick.  Can you find a study-buddy - not to study "together" but like you described.

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Posted (edited)

If I were to ask you what you'd like to eat for lunch, would you hesitate? It's seems to me that you're just going with the flow, not really making any decisions about you or your life. Like, since the pandemic your life is on hold until someone pushes you forward, then your life moves a little bit. What are you afraid of?

Your university should have counseling services available for free, highly recommend you check them out. Also, definitely see a physician just to be sure.

Edited by greendots
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I think your lack of focus and motivation isn't necessarily due to "burnout" but could be due to depression. One obvious symptom of depression is no longer being interested or motivated to do things you used to enjoy or be motivated to do.

I used to love going to events and attractions on the weekends. I also was at happy hour two or three times a week. Then I suddenly wasn't going anywhere anymore. I was just sitting at home doing nothing useful or fulfilling. I was concerned and saw my doctor. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. With treatment I have regained my interest in things I did before I became depressed. I also changed up my environment.

I strongly suggest you see your primary care doctor and explain your issues. He or she can help you formulate a plan. This is key because we can't really go through life looking for someone to order us around lol. We have to self-monitor.

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No problem annjam!

 

You have a lot going on and covid did do a number on anyone in the middle of a degree!

 

Y’know, not that this is a good thing but, high levels of procrastination on a regular basis can actually be a sign of high intelligence, along with a slew of other traits people often see as very negative, like being messy and disorganised, and a night owl. I am not advocating it of course just, don’t beat yourself up too much.

 

As Batya suggested, a study buddy might be just the thing!

 

As for outside of uni - you could force yourself out, force yourself to tidy. Some of us just need a big push and to feel bad but then slowly better. Sometimes you might need a few therapy sessions. Everyone is so different.

 

I wish you all the best getting started back up again soon!

 

x

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I'd say you've kinda lost yourself over the last cpl years?

Then maybe YOU need to 'make yourself' snap back into shape.  No one can really do it for you - except you!

I suggest you make small feats here... Like set up a time scale. Eg.  I WILL aim for making myself get back on track re: my sleepiing habbits by end of May.

- I will aim at cleaning my room or doing laundry - just doing something with it by next weekend.

- I will STOP eating all of this junk now and do a shop for real food by next weekend...Etc.

* what I am trying to explain is because you feel lost or overwhelmed, as you've fallen out of 'the norm', you need to work back up to it slowly -- for now you see it all as too much 😕 .

So, do it slowly.. small efforts.  One day at a time.

But no one can do this for you.. Is up to YOU to do. And believe you can do it! 😉 

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See a doctor on campus and describe your issues. I agree about the comment about depression. Second start working on your sleep schedule, diet and incorporate exercise. I think you need more structure and routine so start working on something that works for you. It's not a matter of what you want to do but what you have to do. Try having a bit more discipline and if you need help with depression speak with your doctor. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, annjam said:

Thanks for everyone's replies, and a few of you mention looking into therapy for burnout. That's not a bad idea, but I'm not sure if I really am burnt out. It also wouldn't help with the exam situation in terms of lessening my burden; currently my university do not accept extenuating circumstances so close to exams.

You don't need to self diagnose in order to pursue therapy. Let the therapist poke around and ask questions, and then listen to her-or-his assessment. From there, you can decide whether the assessment has merit and learn some options for addressing your issues.

You don't need to slap labels on problems and then use those to talk yourself out of pursuing the right help (that's a wheel spin), but rather, since you want someone to tell you what to do, start with someone who is trained to deal with people who believe that they need that.

If you want accountability, come back here and report on some outcomes and how you feel about those as well as the options you've learned. You can use this thread or the Journal section of the forum, however, if you do start a journal, you may want to message invitations to participants or post about it here so you can recruit some readers.

Head high, and trust that your definition of self care doesn't need to match what you've always done. However, the fact that you're concerned about it is reason enough to use the resources provided by your school. You've paid for them already, so why not give them a go?

PS: I'd also inquire about being assigned a tutor. This could keep you accountable AND offer you structure and good study habits. 

 

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