Anna (1993): German, visionary
1- What do you understand under feeling lost?
Feeling lost is a feeling or situation which completely throws you off your path. It’s a sensation of powerlessness, emptiness and you struggle to get out of it. Also, it leaves you without that inner thrive which normally motivates you in your life.
In addition, feeling lost involves a lack of support from outside, being misunderstood and emotionally isolating yourself from others.
This feeling is something we all experience but still, we struggle so much to open up about it. Sometimes it’s not even possible to put into words.
Also, there are many different phases in life when you can feel lost.
- You can feel lost because you lose somebody who is dear to you.
- You can feel lost in your own emotional state
- You can feel lost in your professional life which also influences your personal life.
In a few words, I would compare feeling lost to a missing piece of a puzzle… There may be many parts of your life that are perfectly fine, but you are blinded by what’s not.
2- Please, describe a specific situation when you felt that way?
The feeling in which I got lost in the most outrageous way is FEAR.
While I was sleeping in a plane on my way back to Munich, I suddenly felt like my soul was getting out of my body. I wasn’t conscious about it until I noticed how the lady next to me grabbed my arm hysterically shouting: Oh my God!
I was hyperventilating and I thought I was dying.
Even though it may look like something seamless and silly, I was convinced that my time had come. It is extremely difficult to describe.
This experience triggered an inner existential fear which got deeply integrated into my system. Since then, I experienced these panic attacks from now and then. Controlling it is very challenging for me.
What is more, it’s like an electroshock that hits me when I least expect it. Imagine that you are sitting on a chair in a restaurant and somebody suddenly grabs you from behind and frightens you to death. That’s how it feels.
Each time this happened, I went to the bathroom and put cold water into my face. After a while, this wouldn’t help anymore.
After two months of isolating myself socially and emotionally, I listened to my inner gut and moved back home. From everybody that I knew, my family would be the only ones that could truly help me. However, this wasn’t the case as they were not taking my fear seriously.
I found myself some structure through work and abstinence of any harming substances for my body. Still, I completely lost my hope to overcome this anxiety by myself. That is why I searched for help from a psychiatrist.
It was the hardest time of my life but I am glad that I was strong enough to get my shit together. That’s what made me who I am today.
Photo by Warwick J. Clarke
3- What helped you to overcome or to deal with the situation?
- Professional help from a psychiatrist
- Abstinence of alcohol
- Singing mantras
- Reading books like “7 habits of highly effective people” and watching motivational videos. However, this only had a temporary impact on me.
4- Which main lesson or result did you get out of this challenging time?
Just like I mentioned before, feeling lost made me stronger and, now, I am simply grateful for everything that life has to offer.
5- What could be done to help somebody who is feeling lost?
I don’t know… Go for a run or try out some mindfulness exercises. Each one of us has different needs, so it’s all about experimenting all sort of remedies until you find something that works for you.
After a while, if you notice that you are feeling worse, request professional help. It is nothing to be ashamed of.
6- Why did feeling lost become such a common experience nowadays?
Back then, life was about surviving which meant that difficulties were related to existential needs.
Today it’s all about how many followers we have on Instagram, how many countries we have visited and what professional path we choose to take. We have everything but exactly that makes our life so difficult as we are swimming in an ocean of opportunities.