submersion issues

Discussion in 'Help Me! I Need to Talk to Someone.' started by r127q, Jul 17, 2012.

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  1. r127q

    r127q Well-Known Member

    I have had this problem for a long time, but don’t know exactly how to label it in order to find answers. I have a tendency to only be content when I am submerged into something (work, personal project, long book series, etc) that takes a long time to complete. These things I get ‘into’ have the effect of distracting me from my suicidal thoughts and planning. However, all projects come to an end eventually and I have to find something else to distract me.

    I tried for a long time to fix the suicidal thoughts and make them non-existent … like trying to find a cure I guess. That never happened, obviously. I eventually had to accept there isn’t a cure for SI in my case (maybe others have found a way to extract it from their mind but I haven’t). I had to accept it and just live with the SI and find a way around it because failing at everything I attempted to make it go away was making it worse. I had to do something else. Maybe this stuck SI is just another symptom of my submerging myself into something to distract from something even worse? It was by accident that I found that I could distract my mind from SI, but it took specific types of things.

    For me, it was college science courses, home improvement projects, long SciFi series -- basically anything that took me away from emotional thinking and more toward the mechanical, scientific, or unreal phenom unrelated to my life. Unfortunately, after 2 BS degrees, several home projects, several long book/tv/movie series, (and no prospects for a job involving any of those things because of my severe introverted mental health causing employers to be too afraid of hiring me – too much of an insurance risk I guess) … I am in a severe rut at finding distractions to keep me going.

    I have it in me to pull myself out if I only fall into the right project to keep me busy and feeling like I am accomplishing something. However, I am in too much debt now to be able to take more college courses, or involve myself in home projects (materials are expensive), or …. Everything costs money, and I get despondent now even in the middle of projects I like because I can see it will end and will have to find something new again. I get depressed when something I've worked on so long comes to an end ... like I'm grieving a loss. It happens especially with long book series or tv shows. I hold off reading/watching till there is significant material to cover. I submerge myself into it and feel a deep oss when I'm finished. There have been a few times I could extend it by going back to the beginning and traveling through that world again, but it becomes even more depressing when it is over and I have to find something new.

    When I say I need something to submerge myself into, it needs to be sustainable. I need for it to be never ending, both physically & mentally challenging, doesn’t involve personal interaction or the feeling of being pressured to talk personally with people. Many places tend to look down on you for just wanting to concentrate on work and nothing else. There is pressure to socialize (and then the negative consequences of opening up to someone when I do). I can’t win in those situations.

    Anyone else have these issues? And is there a term for it that I can look up on the net for professional advice? I’ve tried several phrases … project submersion to avoid mental health issues, workaholic issues to avoid bad thoughts, emotional avoidance leads to work submersion …. There wasn’t anything specifically relevant with my searches. Any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2012
  2. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    I have an almost OCD propensity when it comes to "getting" into things.
    It used to be art, would lose whole days, forget to eat or even drink.
    Then it was the piano, same thing again.
    Studying anything has me completely one track minded until I'm finished and on rare occasions, even housework can take me over.
    At the moment I am obsessed with a computer game, hopefully this won't last much longer because it's driving me nuts and nothing is getting done.
  3. r127q

    r127q Well-Known Member

    Do you obsess over things to get your mind off suicide or is it just a normal part of your personality? I don't have ocd. I just fall into things sometimes that take me away from wanting to die ... well, it takes my focus off of SI till the end of whatever it is I'm doing is over or hits a lull. I can't sit for more than a day or 2 during a lull before my mind falls right back into SI. No one seems to understand that it isn't a choice. I didn't choose Si, it chose me. It is like a virus that is resistant to all medication.
  4. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    I think its a personality trait.
    My mother says I was the most self contained child and could lose myself in things even when very small.
    Happily I don't tip right into OCD, just get very obsessive when into anything.
    It's actually handy when times are rough and I need to escape life for a bit.
  5. Lps

    Lps Well-Known Member

    Hmm r127, isn't this kind of like searching for "purpose"? You DO need to be connected with something bigger...every single human being does. Stopping thoughts seems to just make them more intense, I'd think. If you feel you can get lost in things, that's really so great, and you can apply it to do great things in the world. The world needs you. I like "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl. :)
  6. r127q

    r127q Well-Known Member

    Hi Lps, thanks. I wish it were that simple. Just find something to get lost in and do it, right? Well, the problem is the only things I can do are solitary jobs or activities that do not require interaction with other people on a personal level. These days everyone gets personal no matter how hard I try to deter them. I am polite, but reserved (extreme introvert, borderline Aspie). No one wants to hire someone like me. I’ve got over a year’s worth of rejected applications as proof.

    With no job prospects, it means I have to find things to do on my own (no friends or family by choice). I have teetered on this SI vs submersion in temporary distractions since 2007 (when I discovered the power of this submersion in activities refocusing my mind). The SI has been much worse this past 1.6 years, because I no longer have college as a major distracter. I tried talking to people in the mental health field (as an adult) in 2008/9, but they don’t seem to understand.

    I have been hospitalized; it was a 2 year period about 15 years ago when I was very young. I vowed never to end up hospitalized again, even if it meant giving in to SI … which I came very close 2 weeks ago. MH has never been kind to me, so I refuse to even consider that an option now.

    Yes, I need a purpose. The problem is that the world around me doesn’t want the kind of talents I have to offer because the risks outweigh the benefits. They are too afraid of the mental health issues and the non-social personality. I can’t just ‘be myself’ around others, so I spend a lot of extra energy being someone else in public. It is tiring. I’ve isolated myself because of it. It is a no win situation the way I’m going now. My way of doing things isn’t sustainable long term. That is why I posted, to maybe find people who have similar issues and found a way out. Every problem has a solution.

    I am a human being (even though I get treated as if I’m not), and am not completely unique in the world; no one is totally unique. There has to be at least a few hundred people, if not thousands, who have faced this unwilling SI, coupled with a non-social personality -- both invading their brain and won’t let go.

    Was a focused career their way out? If so, who was willing to hire an extreme introvert and pay them the same living wage as their social counterparts with the same educational background? I have two 4-yr degrees in science, but even the low paying lab cleaning crew employers won’t hire me.

    I have volunteered at food banks, watershed clean-up clubs, cleaned up environmental waste on my own, helped clean public parks and recreational areas … I fell into the Fringe tv show for a while after it had been on for 4 seasons. That was a nice month of just watching, re-watching, reading message boards, ciphering the storyline and glyphs, etc … but it all eventually comes to an end and I’m stuck with trying to find something else to lose myself in. I’m at the point where I don’t want to lose myself anymore. What is the point of existence if my purpose in life is to be lost?
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