Benjamin (1991): French, liability underwriter/insurer
1- What do you understand under feeling lost?
For me, feeling lost is the moment when you put everything into doubt. During that time, you can’t stop making questions but you don’t find any answers.
As you lose confidence along the way, you start to isolate yourself from any healthy social environment that may lead you to depression.
2- Please, describe a specific situation when you felt that way?
When I was fifteen years old, my family decided to move from France to Morocco. My father was working in the military and got positioned there for two years.
Until the day I left my hometown, I was extremely excited about this new experience. I was going to live in another country, with a new culture and plenty of new impressions.
However, the very first day I arrived there, I began to feel extremely lost. It was a huge culture shock and I had to face so many different challenges at once.
I got bullied at school, my beloved friends kept living in Europe and after a few gender-related incidents, my sister decided to move back to France. It was tough.
Missing my familiar and my social environment was probably the hardest part of it all. In fact, I was wishing to have my previous life back so badly, that I wasn’t able to enjoy the present moment.
Instinctively, I separated myself from other peers and profound sadness kicked in. I had no idea what to do.
After one year, I suffered from serious depression. I had spasms which lead me to the hospital. The doctors were surprised because I was too young for such intense reactions.
In school, I was only physically present but I couldn’t follow anything of what was taught. I was trapped in my mind so I wouldn’t hear or understand anything that came from outside.
At one point, I had already given so many excuses to skip classes that I got called out by my teacher. He called my parents and arranged an appointment with a psychologist.
From this moment on, exercises with my parents and reintegrating myself into social life became my daily homework for three months.
Constantly reminding myself that I am not going to live there forever, that I am strong enough and that I will see my friends soon again was essential for me during that time.
3- What helped you to overcome or to deal with the situation?
A penfriendship with my two best friends.
We wrote to each other very long letters every two weeks and, sincerely, this was what helped me the most. They gave me comfort and made me feel connected with my home country. By the way, I saved every single letter I received 😉
Writing a bucket list
Visualizing different experiences that I wanted to live in my life, helped me to look forward to something.
There is a movie called “The Bucket List” which I would definitely recommend to anybody feeling lost:
4- Which main lesson or result did you get out of this challenging time?
- Latest when you hit the ground, stand up and take action.
- Put life into perspective
- Be present and enjoy the moment.
5- What could be done to help somebody who is feeling lost?
- Encourage the person who is feeling lost to express her/his thoughts as they might profoundly be trapped inside of their head.
- Remind that person that also this will pass. It is hard to believe sometimes but it gives hope.
6- Why did feeling lost become such a common experience nowadays?
Nowadays, we are living in a very unstable period in human history. We are at a significant crossroad in many different ways and we have no idea where it will lead us, our society and our planet.
Also, social media has a lot to do with the increased sensation of feeling lost. Don’t get me wrong, it has many advantages as well but it is also a huge source for unhappiness. We are constantly comparing ourselves to the apparent best moments of other people’s life.