Feeling purposeless and alone in life

Hi all,

I (21m) have been feeling a little down as of late. I have gone through the motions of public schooling and NS, and I am now waiting for uni to start. I don’t really have many close friends, even though I actively make an effort to socialise. I get that friends will often come and go, and that’s perfectly normal, and I have been learning to live with myself, but the overwhelming feeling of loneliness often eats me up inside. The fact that I’m gay (and closeted) only exacerbates my situation. I don’t really have anyone to open up to or confide in, as my parents are the type to sweep our problems under the rug, or simply to maintain a indifferent stance whenever I approach them for advice, so as to placate me.

I have also been feeling lost and purposeless in life, but I know it can be chalked up to the struggles of navigating adulthood. I just wish I has some kind of guidance or some reassurance from someone. Apart from my part-time office job, I spend my days at home, doom scrolling, or not really doing anything productive. I am not a part of any community, nor do I feel a sense of belonging to any community. I am very aware of my destructive habits, but I don’t know how to stop it, and I often times feel guilty and miserable. I want fulfilment in my life, but I feel like I am a spectator of my life, paassively watching from a distance. I feel like my future is bleak, and I haven’t even thought about the fallout of coming out to my family. I have been harbouring a lot of self-resentment, but I genuinely want to get into a better state of mind. I have been trying to practise gratitude and breaking down limiting beliefs, but these coping mechanisms only help me to a certain point.

Any advice or help is greatly appreciated, and thank you if you have read this far.


Hey @coconut :coconut: just wanna let you know that you are not alone in this !

Hmmm what would fulfillment look like to you ?
Interested to hear what you think ! :otter:

For me its a simple life with a purposeful job and warm family :relieved:


Hi @coconut :wave:

Welcome to our let’s talk community! First and foremost, I want to commend you for reaching out and sharing what you’re going through. It takes courage to open up about our struggles, especially when we’re feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the future. Please know that you’re not alone in this, and there are people who care about you and want to support you through this challenging time.

It sounds like you’re facing a lot of challenges, including feelings of loneliness, purposelessness, guilt, and self-resentment. It’s understandable that you’re feeling overwhelmed by these emotions, especially given the uncertainty about your future and the added stress of navigating your identity in a society that may not always be accepting.

Feeling stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts and behaviours is a common experience, and it can be incredibly difficult to break free from it on your own. This is where behavioural activation can be particularly helpful. Behavioural activation is a therapeutic approach that focuses on identifying and changing negative patterns of behavior that contribute to feelings of depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

One of the key principles of behavioural activation is to gradually increase engagement in activities that bring you joy, fulfillment, and a sense of accomplishment, even when you don’t feel like doing them. By actively participating in positive activities, you can disrupt the cycle of negative thoughts and behaviors and start to experience more positive emotions and a greater sense of purpose in your life.

Here’s how to start:

  1. Identify Values and Goals: Start by identifying your values and goals. What is important to you? What do you want to achieve in your life? This could include personal, academic, career, or social goals. Clarifying your values and goals can provide you with a sense of direction and motivation. Here (https://www.actmindfully.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Values_Checklist_-_Russ_Harris.pdf) is a list of values you could refer to while doing so.

  2. List Positive Activities: Make a list of activities that you enjoy or used to enjoy in the past, even if you don’t feel motivated to do them right now. These could be simple activities like going for a walk, listening to music, cooking a favorite meal, or watching an episode of your favourite comfort series on Netflix. Try to include a variety of activities that engage your mind, body, and spirit.

  3. Start Small: Begin by choosing one or two activities from your list that you feel capable of doing, even if it’s just for a short amount of time. Start small and gradually increase the duration or intensity of the activities as you feel more comfortable and confident.

  4. Schedule Activities: Schedule specific times in your day or week to engage in these activities. Treat them like appointments or commitments that you can’t cancel or postpone. Having a structured routine can help provide a sense of purpose and stability, especially during times when you’re feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated. If you’d like, you can share with us what you plan to do and when too, hopefully that gives you more motivation and helps keep you accountable!

  5. Notice Patterns: Pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after engaging in these activities. Notice any changes in your mood, energy level, or outlook on life. Keep track of any patterns or trends that emerge over time.

  6. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Practice challenging and reframing negative thoughts that may arise during or after engaging in activities. For example, if you catch yourself thinking, “I’m not good enough,” challenge this thought by asking yourself, “What evidence do I have to support this belief? Is there a more balanced or realistic way to view the situation?”. Here’s an interactive exercise to help you with this: Mental Support & Wellbeing Resources in Singapore to Improve Your Mental Health | mindline.sg

To address what you mentioned about not feeling a sense of belonging to any community, I wonder if you’ve considered reaching out to LGBTQ+ support organisations or community groups where you can connect with others who may share similar experiences and provide a supportive and understanding environment? These groups can offer a sense of belonging and connection, as well as resources and information to help you navigate your journey.

Lastly, practising gratitude and challenging limiting beliefs are important coping strategies, and I’m really heartened to hear that you’ve been making an effort to incorporate them into your life. However, it’s also important to recognise that these strategies may have their limitations, and it’s okay to seek additional support when needed. If you find that these coping mechanisms only help you to a certain point or if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, it may be helpful to consider reaching out to a mental health professional for support.

Perhaps you could first give behavioural activation a try and let us know how that goes for you? :slight_smile: Do grant yourself patience and compassion in the process, and remember to celebrate your progress along the way! You deserve to live a fulfilling and meaningful life, and we’re all rooting for you. :ok_woman: