Geeks Vs Loneliness: feeling useless

A few words for those feeling that nothing they do matters, or makes any difference...

With all the best intentions in the world, there are moments in everyone’s life – sometimes, a lot more than moments – when we just feel useless. It might be a feeling of barely being productive. Even worse, it might be a feeling of genuinely being no use to the world whatsoever. That nothing we do makes any kind of difference, and we convince ourselves that nobody cares.

In very extreme cases, we end up convincing ourselves that the world would be a better place if we weren’t in it.

And, as with every Geeks Vs Loneliness piece that we write, there’s no magic answer. There’s no instant magical phrase we can utter that’ll suddenly turn things around. Instead, might we just suggest one or two things, and if nothing else, assure you that – for what it’s worth – we wouldn’t be writing these pieces if we didn’t care about you, and people like you.

That’s key thing number one. No matter how alone, no matter how isolated you feel, we’d wager our Jason Statham collection of DVDs and Blu-rays – regular readers will know just what high stakes those are to us – that you’re not the only person who feels that way. Granted, nobody can exactly replicate each other’s problems, and there’s a degree to which we can empathise, but we can never really know what it’s like to be each other.

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But still: the upside is that people turn things around every day. Not quickly, not easily. But however dark the tunnel may be at the moment, and however hopeless the idea of finding light may be, it can and does come. And tomorrow – heck, today even – it may be your turn.

It helps if you can give things a push, depending on what you’re able to do. A lot of what we write in Geeks Vs Loneliness boils down to a few suggestions, really, and this isn’t any different. But the reason we keep coming back to these points is so many people tell us they work.

Firstly, break any routine you happen to be in. Do something just a little bit different today. Maybe a bit different tomorrow. Something else the day after. Don’t take lunch at your desk. Get up out of the house and just go for a 15 minute walk. Put on a (preferably upbeat) piece of music you’ve never tried before. Book a ticket for something you wouldn’t otherwise do. Push yourself, very slightly, to do something different. And then hopefully build from there.

Secondly, try and talk to someone, be they a commenter below this article, a friend, a family member, maybe a Samaritan (they’re Freephone now too, and they actively encourage people to ring them up even about what you might think is a teeny-weeny problem). But again: don’t bottle things up. One thing we’ve tried on a really bad day, when there doesn’t seem like there’s anyone to talk to, is to open up a fresh page, or a get a piece of paper, and just write how we feel. Every now and then, just getting it out helps.

Thirdly, you’re really not useless. Any one of us can change someone else’s life for the better today. Not pulling people from rubble perhaps. But buy a Big Issue. Hold the door open for someone. Offer to get a newspaper for the neighbour. Some little act of kindness. Things like that do tend to be contagious, too.

A huge virtual hug to you, too. It’s tough when you’re feeling useless to have someone write an article telling you you’re not. But you’re not useless. And we appreciate that you’ve spent some of your valuable time looking at our site. It means a lot.

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You stay awesome, and thanks, as always, for reading.