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Old 04-10-2019, 06:19 AM #1
Lagartija99 Lagartija99 is offline
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Unhappy Great Gundam, awful pilot

Yeah, you read that right. Gundam. As in, the big robots piloted by youngters in japanese anime and manga.


Let me explain myself: this is metaphor my current training partner (I practice a martial art) uses for when I'm having difficulties performing a technique; he says that my body is just a Gundam, but the pilot is in my head (namely, my will). It's me who tells the Gundam what to do, not the other way around. Not surprisingly, this metaphor works quite well; it helps me focus in what I need to do instead of what my body is telling me I can't do because it might get hurt.



The bad thing is, I can also use this Gundam metaphor negatively for my current feelings of, depression? unhapiness? despair? I don't really know what is it that I have anymore.



You see, all my life I've been told how smart and talented I am. At some point I regarded this as the usual motherly adoration any mom has towards their children. My teachers used to say so too, but I also regarded this as we being small town people, therefore I'm only "smart" within a small frame of reference.



But then I go to college, and then get jobs, and then get into martial arts, and many more people starts to tell me how smart and talented I am; the proof of this seems to be in the work I deliver: almost all of it is great, or at least different of what my mentors are used to see. I start to believe it a little; I cannot fully believe it, for reasons I will explain a in little bit. To make it better, I'm not bad looking at all. So, the thing is, I've been blessed with everything needed to live a life full of success, joy and love.

Except, of course my personality.

So where's the Gundam metaphor here? Well, imagine my Gundam this time is not my body, but my brain, that thing inside my skull with so much apparent potential; the pilot this time is my personality. As a person, I'm terribly flawed; failure scares me. What scares me most is that said failure affects others, like that time I messed up on a website design and we ended up losing the client's long term contract. I cannot count how many times like that one I have loathed myself for not paying enough attention, wishing I could somehow, please, turn back time and fix my error. I cannot cope with failure or other situations in which I feel I behaved incorrectly. They keep repeating themselves over and over in my head, at any moment, and they go as far as that time when I was around 11, when the waiter asked me if it was ok to take away my little brother's hamburger and, since he and my dad were in the bathroom, I panicked for not knowing the right answer and told him yes, it was ok, and then it turned out my brother had only taken two bites of his hamburger and my dad scolded me heavily in front of the whole restaurant, telling me I had left my little brother without his meal.

So, I cannot cope with failure. Since I cannot cope with failure, I can't make decisions unless I'm 100% sure of the outcome; if I cannot be 100% sure, that decision becomes a painful drag in my mind. Should I, or should I not do this or that? I believe this inability to deal with failure and decisions is what has been hindering the development of my growth.


I no longer feel passion for anything anymore. I'm a licensed graphic designer, I'm supposed to be creative, get excited about new technologies and trends, get inspired by other designers and artist. None of these are true for me. Whenever I think "maybe I should not think anymore about competing with others, let's just practice and create stuff", some artists's AWESOME work appears in my Facebook feed or design newsletter and I start imagining how bad in comparison my work would look; I can imagine negative comments, rejection, failure. I again start questioning that remark "you are very talented and smart".

Perhaps. But talent and intelligence mean nothing if they are not put into action, some way, and the me that developed throught the years doesn't take action, doesn't dare to take action. I hate going doing a "my parents did...", but I think it has to be mentioned; my parents are not good at taking action either. My dad doesn't do anything unless it's already absolutely necessary or urgent. Everything else seems to be too much hassle for him. My mom can spend hours looking at his phone or reading a magazine, before deciding it's getting a bit late to do what she was meant to do, and then doing it in a hurry. I inherited the same rejection for doing things that are not urgent or needed from me, which includes of course, practicing. That's why my best works have always been in a school or job setting, where it was demanded, not an option.

In addition, or maybe it's also a consequence of, I'm terribly afraid of conflict; saying "no", putting my feet down, standing out for something. I don't like creating relationships because I'm scared of the inevitable conflict that arises from any human interaction. Needles to say, I've never been in a relationship. Hell, I don't even want to have a pet anymore because I know they live short lives and I don't want to suffer their deaths.

So, I have a great brain, but it is wasted in a lazy, messy and fearful personality like me, and it's getting depressing and frustrating at the same time. I used to go to a psycologist like 4 years ago, but at some point we were just going in circles; I didn't feel any change in my behaviour or way of thinking. A friend of mine, who has symptoms of mental illnes and has gone to psychiatric care, told me that I was too smart (AGAIN with that word) for a psycologist and should maybe try I psychiatrist. But I don't know. What if I end up being "too smart" (whatever that means) for my psychiatrist too and in the end I solve nothing (again) and just waste money?

I feel despair that I have no fixing. That the way I was raised, with fear of the possibilities, it's permanent. I'm already 30 and I can feel time escaping away from me; I no longer have the luxury of waiting for a mentor of somebody to guide me out of this mindtrap. With every year it goes by, I become less a "potential talent" and more a "wasted talent". I want to do something about it but I can't escape this loop of doubt, fear and self-hate. Why bother writing a short story for that competition if I will most probably just going to lose? Why bother spending time taking that animation course if I probably won't be able to come up with a great idea to use it on? Why bother doing anything at all, except for what is demanded of me, if it'll probably be a failure?



This is why it is easier for me to tell myself I'm not really that smart, not really that talented. All those who have told me that simply don't know any better. If I'm not smart nor talented, I don't have to feel bad for not doing anything at all. Thi is the level of cowardice I'm currently at.

This is a world built upon competition, and I was given a great Gundam to fight it off, but I turned out to be the worst pilot for it.



Any advice anybody can give me? At this point, even some words of understanding will help me a lot.


Thanks in advance, and sorry if there are any grammar errors; not an English native here.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:20 PM #2
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Smile Re: Great Gundam, awful pilot

Hello Lagartija: Thank you for bringing your concern here to PC. I see this is your first post. So... welcome to Psych Central.

I'm sorry you are experiencing all of this difficulty. One thing in particular you mentioned that I can relate to is having mistakes you made replay over-&-over again in your head. Unfortunately I don't know as there is a lot I can offer with regard to the problems you discussed in your post. I know you mentioned you saw a psychologist about 4 years ago & felt you just ended up going in circles. But if you could find a mental health therapist you feel comfortable with, & have confidence in, working with that person may be of help. It is certainly true that the therapy process can sometimes be both lengthy & frustrating. There are alternatives to individual therapy though too, such as CBT & DBT as well as others.

I'm an older person myself. And in my own case, I've come to the point where I have to simply strive to accept myself just as I am. Most of my mistakes (& there were some whoppers) are well in the past now. There's nothing I can do about any of them. So I just try to accept that I was the person I was & leave it at that. The primary practice I rely on is what is referred to as "compassionate abiding". It's a technique I first learned reading the books of the Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön. However here's a mental-health-oriented description of the practice:

Relieve Distress By Allowing It: Compassionate Abiding 101 | Mindset: Perspective Is Everything

I hope you find PC to be of benefit.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:20 AM #3
Lagartija99 Lagartija99 is offline
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Default Re: Great Gundam, awful pilot

Hello, Skeezyks!

Thank you for welcoming me to the forums. I appreciate your response and the advice you have given me; I think I will explore CBT, it sounds like something that can help me. I'm reaching a point where I feel trapped within myself, or with myself; it's awful to think of yourself as a your own, personal bully.

Thanks again
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