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Feeling of value?

happy91 Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
I am finding recently with not being able to work or get out much, I am finding it hard to feel of purpose and of value in life. I know my friends (the few that have stuck about) find me helpful. The work I was doing was physical and I am afraid to do much of anything right now until it is sorted. How do you feel of value when you're someone with a limited capacity to contribute to the world? I have thought perhaps exisiting is enough, if you can make someone else smile or their day better that's all that matters. How does everyone cope with feeling like they have a reason to be here despite obvious difficulties?


  • happy91
    happy91 Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
    I am also dealing with chronic pain.
  • exdvr
    exdvr Member Posts: 331 Pioneering

    Hi @happy91                I've suffered with multiple disabilities and chronic pain for 68 years and reaching the age of 70 has only made me wonder even more if there's any point in dragging it out any longer.  I have lost touch with most of my family and virtually all of my friends and colleagues.  I'm spending more and more time attending funerals of many younger than me and my depression is just getting worse.  I don't see any improvement on the horizon and I feel that I should just drop off the perch and stop being a nuisance to all around me.  I wouldn't be missed for long if at all.  I see no reason to simply exist like this until old age kills me off.  I'd rather go now...I've had enough.

    Sorry for depressing you but you did ask the question.

    Best wishes.


  • happy91
    happy91 Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
    @exdvr is there anything you can do in your community to contribute and make friends? I am considering starting a support group for the disabled. I was surprised when becoming disabled at the lack of support available
  • debkenzo
    debkenzo Member Posts: 110 Pioneering
    There are so many people out there who are feeling similar.  To help others would be a good way to start to feel better about yourself!  Volunteering is a wonderful experience by helping others, we are also helping ourselves! We focus so much on ourselves and forget that there are others who need focusing on.  Try it! What do you have to lose?  By using our time volunteering helping others, we do not have much time to focus on our own misery.  You will feel so much appreciated by the people you help and soon you will start to feel better about yourself.  
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    I'm a existential nihilist anyway so don't believe we have a purpose (especially not one where others define that on our behalf), i do think if we choose to give ourselves one then we can.

    Despite this, and the fact that as a disabled person i have the right to a life, i also struggle with feeling like i'm entitled because i need more care. It's hard to justify a lot of things really so sometimes i just wallow in my thoughts and wait until my depression has passed and then feel a bit better about actually being entitled to help (rather than feeling entitled because i need it).

    I'd say i'm pretty useless and not a valuable asset to any nation, but then again most people aren't of value either -we just tend to see value in places that benefit ourselves you know, which makes sense in a way but doesn't mean that anyone actually is more valuable than another.
  • happy91
    happy91 Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
    @feir thanks for the intellectual response, you are right regarding seeing value and others will not see value in you unless you see it in yourself. Mirror

    @debkenzo agreed and volunteering in a way suitable for me might be helpful. It is hard when dealing with health issues.
  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    Agreed with above posts.  But would add.
      Online is good too, for those who cannot get out to go to a shift in a charity shop.  

    (It is a shame nobody yet noticed Queen Victoria died, so there is no reason  people cannot now work, paid or as volunteers, in the hours they have some available 'spoons', even while not being physically able to leave their beds.    

     Police or Care Home or abbattoir cruelty and abuse investigators or people trying to catch cash point muggers  will have endless hours of cctv to watch, and this world could be made a better, kinder, safer place, if highly paid fit police officers were not the only ones putting in the hours.)

    Note....   For some people, the conveyor belt processing of volunteers is not  ideal.  One lifelong volunteer gave up in distress at  being suddenly told to comply with the box ticking, after devoting decades to an organisation,   and prove she is not a terrorist paedophile money laundering drugs baron (!)  It's a pity that, according to all those  findings of  recent reports, those same organisations can't be bothered to stop their highly paid staff using donations to send out chauffeur driven cars to deliver their prostitutes in disaster zones.  
  • happy91
    happy91 Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    Thanks happy. 
    Feir -  you might be intrigued that the top few percent of taxpayers keep everyone.

      Ordinary maximum  household income peaks at £30 k ish.   
    But to pay back what you took out of the public purse needs about £40 k ish.

    So, the majority population, regardless of their trivial tax contributions while working,  are parasites on the high income minority. 

     Or, more exactly, on the goodwill of the extremely  high earners who  ( unlike many of our politicians ) don't simply move themselves, their  business  registration, ( or the profit making part) or their wives, to offshore tax havens.

       I don't know the  solution, but sometimes it seems like a shame that a bunch of securely smug power drunk (and or drunk ?!) blokes  are running the country, declaring  the contents of the public purse can and will be poured out without limit for, say, hs2, trident, hinkly point, the olympics,  the dome, refurbishing the subsidised bars (alcohol in a workplace?!) palaces (palaces as modern workplaces ?!)  of Westminster,   or on whatever latest glittery thing they see, while there is not a penny to spare, say,  for those in desperate need of perhaps £20 a week's worth of life changing care assistance. 
  • happy91
    happy91 Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
    Wanted to add, I have always found it strange how for the working class the methodology is work in any job you can, even one that makes you and your life a struggle, your health comes last where as if you're born into money you can do as you like and choose a profession. The world likes to distinguish between those who work hard get the rewards to be free, as your posts above show that is simply not the case
  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
    Very much agreed with your last post, @happy91 !

    I've also struggled with feeling any value. I've never had any self-esteem anyway, having grown up in an abusive, neglectful family. The only thing I was ever praised for was my schoolwork, so I was *perfect* at school. I had to work a lot to do that, which had the useful side-effect of keeping me so busy that I didn't notice some of the crappy stuff going on.

    I got into a top uni in the US, did an undergrad degree, then a Master's, and then got a great job. I did really well at work, then got a PhD place at Oxbridge. Problem was, I pushed myself so hard at all these places that I kept getting sick, over and over and over. My health / happiness didn't matter so long as I got those grades, did the work as well as possible, etc. I suspect that that's part of the reason I'm now disabled: your body and mind can only deal with such self-neglect for so long before they break.

    Now that I can't work or study, the only thing about myself that I valued is gone. I've struggled with that for 10 years, and am only getting through it with the help of my lovely, lovely partner, a few good friends, and an amazing therapist. What I'm learning is that every human being (and possibly every animal (I like them better a lot of the time) has intrinsic value by virtue of being them. There is nobody quite like me in the world, and nobody quite like you. We're unique, and thus valuable. I know, hearts and sparkles stuff.

    However, I'm also learning just how much people appreciate me for other things. People come to me for emotional support, and it turns out I'm good at giving it. I never thought much about it, because that's what women do, right? Yup, but turns out that people really value it when you just listen, make a few comments, hold their hand while they cry, etc. Whoa.

    People also value the funny things I say, the little rants I write up on FB, my occasional zaniness, and the way that I give them insight into geology, disability, knitting, and the random other things I'm obsessed with.

    There are things about you that people value that you've never even thought of. And if you don't have people in your life that value you, please try to go out and find some other people! You have all kinds of things to offer, and you have value, even if you can't work, can't carry heavy stuff, can't leave the house, whatever. Promise.
  • happy91
    happy91 Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
    @Waylay thank you for your post, I completely relate to your story. The same thing happened to me. I was a high achiever to escape from my abusive, neglectful family. I eventually had a breakdown after pushing myself so hard with no support . I changed career and was happy with it, however I started making choices showing I didn't value myself and moved around a lot to escape reality. It got to the point where after years of neglecting myself, I became in chronic pain with an inherent weakness and found out I was disabled. The upside is it forces you to relook at yourself and heal. Health is always first. The effect of childhood abuse and neglect on a person is massively underestimated and something not often spoken about.

    I am having therapy now and you are right - I have dear friends that I know love and appreciate my friendship. I am glad you are finding ways to be you and your post is perfect.
  • happy91
    happy91 Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
    You've hit on the issue exactly, it's about self-esteem. Love your ''hearts and sparkles"


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