I have suffered. Now I have processed some of it and matured enough, that I don’t blame anyone for it.
Most of my suffering is due to my own personality, and the way I interact with the world. The chain of events to which this personality was put in, was not optimum to say the least. Thus I went through a long streak of loneliness, avoidance and escapism.
Result of these behaviors was a mental wreck. Reflecting back from my own point of view, my own tendencies very the greatest challenge. I was compulsive liar and that made living a life very hard. I don’t know exactly when did this habit began to form, but in my teens it was pretty much active, and in my late teens when I didn’t want to lie, I did so anyway on very trivial things too. Most of the time I managed to delay the confrontation for a very long time.
Compulsive Liar and Escapist
My lies were never really confronted even, but I was confronted from different reason, worry. It was due to that experience that I even visited a psych ward for a few days. I hadn’t been attending to school, but a few times during the autumn. I chose to go there, I could’ve easily avoided it, but I wanted change and going there seemed to provide the change I wanted. However as soon as I got there, I knew I wanted to get out as soon as possible, thus I acted accordingly, with lies and got out in a few days.
It didn’t change much, but as an experience it was illuminating. I knew that I didn’t belong there. I got some medication, which I obviously tried and thought that I don’t need such things. For the spring I also got some appointments with a shrink, again which didn’t have much use, because I was still lying compulsively about anything I felt insecure really.
Insecure is quite a key word, when thinking about young me. I was really insecure, and the lying was really just a protective mechanism. The reasons I was that I way, who knows. Why should anyone be insecure? For me lying and running away from problems were the coping mechanisms which I dealt with the world.
I used to escape in video games, those were pretty much the only life I felt I was something. This is true for so many people living in this age, that’s scary. For me the years from about 2002 to 2007 where really about escapism and hedonism through video games and other substances, such as cigarettes and sweets.
Nobody really cared enough to stop these self-destructive cycles, not my family, not the society, well… My friends expressed their concerns, however as I had moved to another town, I didn’t see them that often, I lost them soon enough and replaced them with virtual friends. For me, losing the real friends was a big blow, although I didn’t think it back then, it really affected me as a growing person a lot… Even during my early adulthood, I struggled to find any kind of social life other than online world.
Background of the Problems
Later on the lack of friends was really also a big contributor to the insecurity, although it wasn’t at the time I started plunging into the virtual world. Before 2002 I was living in a small village. Although it was a really tiny village, there was quite many boys around my age, so I had plenty of friends and a few really good friends too.
As a young I was easily influenced to the bad circles, and I soon became a bad influence too. Since I was quite a chaotic personality, even the bad influences didn’t last that long actually, if the people around me disappeared.
The Pitch Black
2007 was a key year. The happenings during the summer, meant my mental breakdown, all my beliefs, purpose and everything had not provided me with the life worth living. I had already exhausted the hedonistic lifestyle, I didn’t’ want anything anymore, but a purpose. My weak, insecure self, didn’t really see a chance at life and was keenly considering and testing the options. My mind seemed to be increasingly fixated on ending my own life, I started testing the limits.
Thankfully the summer in Finland is very short. One message from my teacher pretty much lit up the hope. I considered for a moment: what if I would just pick myself up, and try to complete my studies, since I have failed already everything, I don’t really have anything to lose?
Well, there was A LOT of stuff to do, but since I didn’t really have anything to lose, I started just doing things and getting ready to finish of my studies in a vocational college. This was the first spark to personal development, a test run.
Glimpse of Hope
By seeing a glimpse of light, in the total pitch black night, I would just go straight at it and so I did. I managed to wrap up all my studies during the autumn semester. Pretty good taken that my power level was probably below zero. During the autumn I also did many other things, like quit the sweets, quit the smoking quit also gaming for the most parts, started exercising regularly (from zero too) and started reading. Really positive changes.
However what happens after a reach a goal? I tried to look for a job since I had just graduated, but I wasn’t really experienced in that department either and pretty much blew my own chances by stating that I was looking for a job just a while, until I go to the army. I also didn’t want to settle for “Any job” so I preferred no job. No job, meant unemployment benefits and few week worth of video games.
My habits collapsed during that few weeks, also my unhealthiness became quite apparent. I shrugged it off with ibuprofen and escapism.
Enter Finnish Defense Forces
Then the life changing experience of Finnish Defense Forces dawned upon me. I hadn’t prepared for it much, but probably still more than most people. My physique was quite awful as I had never done any sports, expect the about few months before, that I had actually done some jogging and little something like pushups, sit-ups and stuff. Nothing too serious really. Of course I wasn’t placed in a very physique demanding regiment either. I was a signaler, I don’t know if the term is correct, but we build cable connections and such. I was deemed as an “A-man” meaning normal health, fit for duty. Later on I learned that I could’ve got a exceptions from many causes. I was still so insecure and timid young man, that I really didn’t want to stand out of the flock in any way. I mean in any way, I didn’t raise any concerns of anything unless absolutely something I couldn’t cope with.
The six months in FDF was full of contradictions for me. I tried to keep my recently acquired values, with little success and then battled at the same time against social pressures. I didn’t give in, but I wasn’t really holding on either. After I got out of the army in summer 2008, my life wasn’t getting anywhere…
The Next Depression
I had been pretty much forced to apply for UAS, to some information technology major. I wasn’t really feeling like studying, and I didn’t. I got into the path of vice: skipping the studies, starting smoking, escapism & hedonism. Welcome to the life of no-purpose. Actually I did try to get a job too, with no luck. Recession had just hit the economy anyway and my degree wasn’t really tailored to the job market either. Not that my presence in the job interviews was anything too selling either, if I recall correctly. All this quickly accumulated again to the depression, which lasted for a few months. Up until the spring 2009 I was pretty much sitting at home playing video games and watching anime.
Sustainable Personal Development
However, then the something happened. I got a little bit of fed up. I started to look ways to develop myself. Well once again: quit smoking, quit coffee etc… Start exercising check! The Journaling also started at April 2009. That was a big thing. Most of my ideas at first came from Steve Pavlina, whose blog I had found back in 2007.
Now I really started to figure out my belief system and I started to figure out a way to handle the suffering. Then I stumbled upon Buddhism, Zen and especially Noble Eightfold Path. There was many other ideas too, but this was the one that really hit me. I guess I started changing, I started cleaning the house and trying to look for a job again. Of course failing miserably. My mother however picked up these changes and soon promised me a change as a cleaning staff. I really wanted something to do, so I took up the job.
Adjusting to Working Life
Me in 2009 was as pure computer geek as can be. How did I manage to transition into a cleaning work? Well, I guess my lack of standards, desire to do something and new found value system of Buddhism had a lot to do with it. Reflecting back, I didn’t really have any spine anyway, how would I have had? My transition to cleaning was quite a hard indeed. I didn’t have a good physique and the work was surprisingly physical and tiring. Especially since I in during the summer when there was the basic cleaning going on. However there was quite many interesting people working on at the time, so I quite quickly improved — as the work is just cleaning.
Most notable thing is that I continued to refine my value system through the whole time I worked. It also improved my social skills from the zero to at least to 1 or maybe even 2. Mostly I learned about myself, a little about how I can operate in this complex world. I guess I also forget to mention the important lesson: I had stopped escaping, and started confronting my fears little by little.
I worked for three years total. First year, as in any job is pretty much learning the routine. Second year, I was on my way to build also my work ethic, broader personality, customer service and variety of other skills. Third year was really about mastery, excellence and going the extra mile. Overall the work experience for me did broaden my personality. Now I wasn’t just a computer geek, I was also a cleaner. Shit.
During the three years, most significant thing I accomplished was the ability to speak the truth. Although sometimes I would slip in it, I would be able to correct it in quite quick manner. As I began to notice that it is easier to just speak the truth right away, my compulsive lying tendency was overridden through hard work. It still sometimes pop out in unexpected social situations, but then I know better to correct it as soon as possible.
During the third year in work, I felt already that I wanted to do something more, so I applied once again to study. This time out of my own free will, to a field that I had decided. I started my business studies in 2012. What I have learned, or gained during my studies? Most importantly, I have gained the social grounding again. For me that’s been the most important thing. Also I have satisfied my need and desire to learn a lot. Next in the line is to apply this thing in the way of work, that’s the true Wisdom.
Concluding the Suffering, Starting a Fulfilling Life
Truth is very relieving. Now that I have finally decided to employ myself, the most awesome worker I know, I feel like I can express everything more freely. I don’t really have to be a better person that I am. Actually I have never wanted to be, it’s just the human tendencies. Above all, I want all the readers to know, what kind of struggles I’ve gone through personally. There is probably many who cannot relate at all, but the ones who can relate to my story: I feel you.
This blog is about support, hope and inspiration. I hope nobody has to go through that kind cycle as I did. For me, the glimpse of hope got me out of that self-destructive cycle, and I don’t want that anyone has to go through that. That’s why I am writing and planning to expand all my operations so that people who are struggling in similar situations can find help, support and people to talk to.
If you have any questions or comment: use the feedback form to contact me.