Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. - George Bernard Shaw
Question #91510 posted on 07/30/2018 2:30 p.m.
Q:

Hey 100 Hour Board,

So I'm stuck. Like really stuck. I'm just not feeling anything. What I mean is that I've been living my life and doing the "right" thing or making the "right" choice and now I just kinda feel like a generic human blob. I honestly didn't think that being devoid of personality and opinion was a problem. I mean, I was doing everything the "right" way so why change it? But then I went on an adventure with a friend and we jumped the fence at a different apartment complex and went swimming at their pool and I FELT SO ALIVE. HOW LAME IS THAT. LOL. So rebellious I know. I went and talked to a boy and I FELT SO ALIVE. My mom asked me how I was doing, which never happens, and my heart jumped in my chest and I remembered what it felt like to have someone reach out with compassion.

I don't let myself feel anything and so my locked-up emotions just spill out at random moments.

How do I let myself feel something without becoming a convict or an addict?
And how do I let myself feel consistently so that I don't not feel anything?

-I'm gonna end up in jail because I like feeling the thrill

A:

Dear Aziraphale,

Below me, Alta suggests talking with a therapist, which I wholeheartedly second. A therapist could help you even out the strength levels of your emotional responses, and if you're a BYU student, such sessions would be free.

As for what you can do to feel consistently, I'd advise cultivating different and exciting interests. Maybe find a dojo near you and pick up a form of martial arts. Or start a weekly hiking group. Or learn how to tango. Or do yoga. Or any number of things. Essentially ensure that you have something you find exciting to do on a regular basis. Alternatively, if it's variety you crave, make a goal to do something you've never done before every week. I've found that even simple things like getting up at 5 in the morning to grab a treat from a hitherto unknown bakery and subsequently walking along a new route can feel freeing.

There are lots of ways to feel of the sublimity of living that don't involve breaking the law or getting high on drugs. Find them, and enjoy them to the fullest.

~Anathema

A:

Dear Hopefully Not,

Feeling stuck is never fun, and I'm sorry that you're going through it. It sounds like it's been a long time since you've really felt meaning and happiness in your life, and now you're almost afraid that if you really chase it you'll end up doing something illegal. But as you noticed with the examples you give in your question, you don't need to do anything illegal to feel happy. However, if you feel like you've been avoiding feeling anything because you think you have a tendency to do dangerous or illegal things, you might consider talking to a therapist. They can help you work through those feelings, or give you ideas on how to bring more meaning to your life, or just help you come up with a plan for how you want to move forward.

I would also suggest finding something that brings meaning to your life, because while chasing enjoyment is fun, it doesn't necessarily make for a fulfilling life. Does being well-read make you feel fulfilled? Sign up for an Audible account or go get a library card or join a book club. Do you find meaning in serving others? Come up with a list of things you can do to serve others, and keep your eyes peeled for impromptu opportunities throughout the day. Do you really enjoy exercise, and feel it makes you a better person? Join a gym, sign up for a personal trainer, make fitness goals for yourself. Sit down and make a list of your values and what you care about, and then find ways to incorporate those values in a meaningful way into your life.

Best of luck, friend!

-Alta