4 Ways to Come Alive When You Feel Dead Inside


When you feel nothing and all you can think is “I feel dead inside”, you start to believe you’ll never feel alive or happy again. Hold on, because these feelings will pass. You won’t always feel dead inside. Your feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness will pass.

Here, you’ll find a few ideas for taking care of your spirit, heart and soul. If you don’t find what you need, take time to scroll through the comments section. You’ll see that you aren’t alone, and you may find words of comfort and healing from other readers. Above all, remember that feeling dead inside isn’t a permanent state – even if you’ve been struggling for a long time.

This article was inspired by a reader who is struggling to accept her relationship breakup. “I feel like I’m a dead soul on the inside,” says Kate on What to Do When Your Life Feels Empty. “I met my boyfriend at work, and I felt my life was complete because he was there for me. Day and day out I feel like I needed him more than he would ever need me. Now he is marrying someone his mother chose for him, and I feel dead inside. I am devastated and feel nothing. I am however going to start going to the gym to have an activity that I could look forward to besides work. But I am so used to having him in my life constantly, I live alone, and I don’t know how to come alive again.”









You’re not alone if you’re saying “I feel dead inside.” Last month 72,000 people searched for ways to come alive – and the number is increasing. More and more people are seeking to find deep meaning and purpose in their lives.

Overcoming your feeling of being dead inside won’t be as simple as scrolling through my tips and finding a quick fix. It may have taken years for your empty feelings to develop and take root, which means it may take a long time for them to come alive again.

4 Ways to Come Alive When You Feel Dead Inside

I thought this would be a quick and easy article to write because I know what helped me come back to life after feeling like I was dead inside! But I was wrong. The problem is that different people have different reasons for that deadened feeling. And, what works for one person – such as me or Kate above – won’t necessarily work for the next person.

So, you need to figure out what will work for you. You are the only expert on you, and you know more about yourself than anyone ever will. Your job is to find the crack in the tomb and start prying it open until the light comes in. Keep trying new and different things, ideas and activities that might help you stop saying “I feel dead inside” and start coming back to life.

Take one step forward, and don’t give up. These four ideas will get you started…

1. Go back to when you first started to feel numb

When my grandma died, I felt like I was dead on the inside. My grief was overwhelming and constant. I was numb and overwhelmed, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I wanted to hide from the world and never wake up.

Sometimes the feeling of being dead inside is actually grief or heartache that is stuck in our hearts, souls, and spirits. Difficult emotions, such as guilt, anger, shame, or regret can cause emotional issues if they aren’t processed or work through. But regardless of the cause – such as my grandma’s death or Kate’s breakup – the feeling is similar. Numb, no feeling, purposeless, emptiness, flat line. No ups or downs, just sad grey nothing.

I knew I needed to grieve my grandma’s death, and then I’d start to feel alive again. Kate needs to grieve the end of her relationship – and she’s already starting by going to the gym and creating activities that will help her heal.



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What about you – when did this feeling of being dead inside start? Was there an event, or did it happen gradually? Thinking about this can help you heal and come back to life. If you know what the cause was, you can learn different cures. For instance, if you’re dealing with a breakup you can learn different ways to let go of someone you love. If you’re depressed you can try different natural remedies for depression.

2. Bring your story out of darkness into the light

Have you talked about what happened to you? Maybe you need to forgive yourself for past mistakes, or share your story with someone you trust. Secrecy and darkness makes everything worse. If you hide your experiences and problems, they will get darker and scarier. But if you tell people that you feel dead inside, you may be surprised at how much support and encouragement you find.

You may even find someone who says, “I experienced the same thing, and I felt dead inside for months. This is what helped me….” Or maybe you don’t need practical ways to come alive. Maybe you just need to tell someone what happened to you, who hurt you, and how numb you feel.

Bring your story and your soul into the light. It will help you heal. You might join a group of people struggling with the same thing, or start a blog, or just tell your best friend what happened. Maybe you need to see a doctor or counselor. Do something…don’t let the darkness win.

3. Venture into the past

Back when my grandma died, I didn’t do much to help myself come alive again. I didn’t know what to do.

I feel dead insideFortunately, I didn’t experience complicated grief or depression, and I was able to let my pain and grief go. That was an easier situation to deal with because my grandma was in her 70s, and I knew one day she’d die. I was still unprepared and heartbroken, but at some level I expected it.

But what I couldn’t get over for the longest time was my sister’s decision to stop speaking to me. This was numbing and painful at the same time. I didn’t feel dead inside, but I did feel shocked, confused, and ashamed. I’ve also experienced the pain of infertility and the loss of several loved ones.

Now when bad things happen to me, I know what helps me. I connect with God and find His presence incredibly comforting. I don’t know why we have to experience painful events and difficult feelings, but I no longer question. I’ve learned to accept and surrender to what is.

4. Experiment with different ways to come alive

It’s time to get creative! How have you tried to combat the feeling of being dead inside? Maybe you’ve talked to your family doctor, tried different prescription medications for depression, gone for counseling, joined a support group, read books, or even volunteered with people who are worse off than you.

Nothing worked, right?

Maybe it’s time to step outside your comfort zone. Plan a solo trip to Egypt. Move to New York City. Book an appointment with an art therapist. Start a blog. Learn how to play a new musical instrument. Sing in a choir. Go to church.

If you feel overwhelmed and stuck, read 10 Ways to Figure Out What to Do With Your Life.

What’s your experience with feeling dead inside and coming alive? Take time to think about what’s holding you back and how you can get out of your own way. Listen to the still small voice inside of you – because you do have the answer.

While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of feeling half alive or even dead inside. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.







Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books

growing forward book laurie pawlik she blossoms
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.








letting go book laurie pawlik she blossoms

How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.









miss him book laurie pawlik she blossoms
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.







xo


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70 thoughts on “4 Ways to Come Alive When You Feel Dead Inside

  • Amy

    So grateful for this article and all the comments..it helps so much to know you are not alone.

    One tip I would like to suggest, that REALLY helps me…is to not only journal your feelings, but to give YOURSELF advice on paper, email whatever. We go through ups and down, but there are always days that are a bit better, the silver lining in the storm. On that day, even part of the day, I write to myself. Words of encouragement that there is a reprieve, what to do. what has worked to make the darkness go away a bit for YOU, a different way to look at your problems, read your gratitude journal, etc.

    You can trust yourself, be your best friend. You have to believe yourself 🙂 just reading gives you hope. everything is temporary ..especially bad thoughts and feelings.

    for me, when I’m lonely or spiraling down, it always help to exhaust myself physically ( long walk, yardwork, exercise, dance in bedroom) just to get out of your head, listening to favorite music. or because I have severe social anxiety, call one person a day saying you don’t have much time to talk ..going to an appointment etc,… just to connect socially a bit. also, taking a shower and looking nice, putting on a favorite outfit…does wonders for your soul.

    Please take care of yourself..you are special and worth it!

  • Altheia Biaterana

    Part of me died on my Birthday 6 years ago the day my mom died. Three months later my best friend of forty years passed away. One month later my sister passed away, then my cousin and sexual abuser as a child died, a month later my beloved Star a beautiful Pitbull 2 years old died of cancer. All the while I was taking care of my partner with Alzheimer’s and MS Dementia for 10 years. No time to grieve.

    • Antonella Totino

      Altheia,
      I am so sorry for All of your losses.
      How have you managed?
      I admire your courage for writing.
      As I am experiencing the death of my husband, you ABSOLUTELY need to take the time to grieve in whichever form it takes.
      Pray to God for solace and strength.
      Best Wishes
      Antonella

  • Laurie Post author

    Thank you for sharing your stories and feelings. There are no quick tips or easy fixes for coming alive when you feel dead inside…but there is hope! When you write about the reasons why you feel lost and alone, you identify the problem. And if you know what the problem is, then you’re a step closer to the solution.

    It’s hard to focus on solutions when you can barely muster the energy to get out of bed! It feels impossible to move forward when you just want to give up. But if you can find one little thing that may help a little, you’ll have a little stepping stone forward. If you can find a seed of hope, if you can water and nourish that seed, then you might see little sprouts of life. Little by little that sprout will grow and blossom.

    But you have to start small. And that looks different for everyone. What does it look like for you?

  • Iris

    I lost my cat & Im having soo much trouble trying to cope. My house feels so quiet and strange without him around. It hurts soo much. It all happened so randomly, I wish I would’ve known he was sick. I miss him so much he was my bestfriend. He always wanted to be on my lap 24/7 which makes it that much harder to cope.. its strange not having someone follow me around everywhere. I feel dead on the inside.. & so unhappy and empty.

    • Laurie Post author

      I’m sorry for your loss, Iris. It’s terrible to lose a beloved cat! Our pets aren’t just animals; they’re part of our hearts, homes, and souls. He loved you so much, and you loved him back…and living without his warm furry weight on your lap must be so hard.

      What was his name? If you want to share memories of him here, I’d love to get to know him 🙂 Sometimes it helps to talk about our lost loved ones…it keeps their memory alive and helps us heal.

      In sympathy,
      Laurie

      • Iris

        Thank you so much. His name was Max, & he was such a good cat. He was nice to everyone even strangers. I know some people might think its crazy but the love of a pet is strong, they love unconditionally. You can be mad and scream at them & two seconds later theyll run towards you, not even angry with you. I got my cat when I was young and I remember no matter what happened in my life I was okay because at least I had a loving cat to go home too. He was such a silly cat, he would wrap my arm with his arm and pull it towards his face so I could scratch his head, or he would tap my hand with his little paw over and over again until I would pet him. I miss that terribly. I know one day ill get to see him again, & thats what makes me feel so much better. Death is just a part of life, but its not the end. Writting this all out seriously makes me feel so much better. Thank you so much.

        • Carina

          Hi love,
          I’m so sorry you experienced this loss.
          Your story is so cute about the little kitty.
          Now you have a kitty angel in the sky.
          I once read our pets are always with us alive or not. They still play around you and love you.
          I hope you’re feeling better!

  • Tina

    Im in 8th and my mom has been scolding me for not looking at high school, I’ve felt “dead inside” for awhile and to be honest I don’t know when it started because I was so young. I don’t even know how I passed all my grades. I just stay in my room now and my mom is getting more mad at me. I know she just wants the best for me but most of my childhood I was doing all the work my mom never showed me, Im still scared I don’t know if I should talk to her because its like talking to a stranger, I feel like if I show her me. The girl who’s immature, grades that are so bad and the girl who doesn’t know who she is. My mom would be disappointed. I lost most of my friends because I wasn’t “happy” as I was before or I was acting different. and so half my friends are from online, video games and etc. I just feel like Im just a -1% out of 7 billion people. I find my life Depressing, sad and useless. I have tried things but stop half way thinking of so many people who would kill for my life. “your just a spoiled selfish little brat good for nothing who doesn’t even go to school.” -mom

  • Em

    I’ve felt dead inside ever since the tenth grade when I started taking college classes. I’ve felt detached from everyone ever since except my family members but when I hang out with anyone it is emotionally draining. Before this I used to connect with people so well. But gradually over time I became antisocial, depressed, and my self esteem has deteriorated. It might have something to do with this guy I’m obsessed with who has done nothing but make me feel constantly not good enough. There are times that I feel alive and times that I feel depressive and empty. It usually lasts for a few days at a time. It’s been a week now and sometimes I snap out of it when I’m with my family and I’m enjoying life but I don’t know how to be happy on campus or with friends. At my job it fluctuates but lately I’ve also been feeling depressed, despite having recently connected with a coworker which I am proud of but the last time I worked with her I was again too depressed to enjoy her company. I feel like whenever I’m attending school it gets worse and I might associate school with feelings of intense insecurity like not feeling good enough. But I’m not sure exactly what the root of it is. I wish I could be happy again and feel alive and enjoy the company of people. It’s crazy how that is my current goal in life, to be happy. I find it sad.

    • Erin

      This is me.
      You have written EXACTLY how I feel (and have felt) for so many years.

      Have you looked into Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Please Google and research this. Doing so has given me some relief, some validation that I am not alone with abusive partners. My therapist told me that my husband may have this, and yep: his hits every nail on the head. HARD.

      I am at a turning point in my life. I have been dying a slow, painful emotional death. If I don’t change something, anything that has a possibility self-betterment, I know I will die before it’s my time. These last two years have been excruciating; I feel like I have aged a decade since the summer before last.
      I don’t recognize myself. Even though I have felt disconnected and depressed since basically puberty hit, I miss the girl that I was before this 2.5 year bout of chaos that has been my life.

      There are so many words, so much to say. I have zero friends anymore, as I am too depressed to connect with anyone. I have barely enough energy to get out of bed every morning, let alone have enough to be a good friend. I need to find a support group of some kind, anything that gets me out of my comfort zone to actually talk to others that feel the same.

      I am so tired of being tired. LIving with depression is something that I could never, ever wish for.

    • Treace

      One of the things that hit me from your blog is that you mentioned it happens for a week and sometimes you feel better, but you know it’ll go away. Have you looked into PMDD? Usually starts right before your cycle and is much more severe than PMS. There’s is treatment for it as well.

  • Antonella Totino

    I I am so sorry that you feel so entirely empty.
    One day you will find someone who is right for you.
    Let God guide you. He knows what you need, so, hold on.
    Coming to this site will allow you to express your feelings. You were meant to find it.
    Don’t give up. God won’t.
    Best Wishes
    Antonella

  • No need to know

    I’m 27. only once one girl loved me and then she broke with me after a year. My uncle passed away. I never kissed a girl. I never have a job more than 3 months, I am low responsible person, and I lost a chance to have a scholarship, my heart broke many times. I don’t have feelings to live. I hate people around me, I am bullied many times. I lost my future to have a better carrier. It doesn’t matter for me if it is summer or winter. I just don’t want to be exist. I can’t live in the way how I wanted. I haven’t a chance to choose. I’m living with my parents. I’ll not get married. I don’t know who will love me when I don’t love me. I hate myself. I am egoist. I don’t care about others. I hope one day my heart will stop beating and I will sleep forever.

    • Antonella Totino

      I I am so sorry that you feel so entirely empty.
      One day you will find someone who is right for you.
      Let God guide you. He knows what you need, so, hold on.
      Coming to this site will allow you to express your feelings. You were meant to find it.
      Don’t give up. God won’t.
      Best Wishes
      Antonella

  • Antonella Totino

    For me, it began when my husband passed away. Initially, it was shock, fear, confusion. And now, 9 months later, I still feel scared for the future but now I feel empty. The reality that he is truly gone is taking hold of me.
    I feel lonely and strange. I need to discover who I am without him. We were together for over 30 years, married for 29. I was 18 when we met and 54 when he passed away.
    I don’t know what I feel. I am going through the motions.

    • glenys Halton

      Hello Antonella , i am so very sorry for your loss, I have also lost my husband of 46 years we were dating at 15 and he passed away 7 weeks today, he was 62 same age as me. I have a very supportive family who believes they are saying all the right things but have no idea of the constant screaming in my head I feel, NO you don’t know how I feel NO you don’t understand how completely lost and alone I feel. He was my life, my soul mate, my friend, How can anyone understand how empty I am without him.
      I wanted to let you know whatever strength I have remaining I give to you as I really do know the emptiness you feel every minute of every day. I wish you well in whatever your future holds and I hope with gods grace Life will be kind to you.

      • Antonella Totino

        Thank you Glenys
        The loss of a spouse affects so many different parts of the spouse/partner left behind. Your daily life, roles and support are suddenly different. Bam! People don’t get it unless they’ve had the misfortune of losing a spouse too.
        They’re just scared at our level of grief and so they utter nonsense.
        You were young as was I when we met our loves. I basically grew up with him and now, nothing. It is so hard to be without them when we’ve spent half of our lives together. The loneliness.
        I’ll pray for you as you are in the earlier grief stricken stage than I. Somehow I’ve made it this far, albeit lonely and sad but I’ve made it. May God grant you the same mercy. His compassion is what has carried me.
        Blessings

  • Maureen

    I’m aspiring to be an accountant but to do accountancy in college I need at least a Grade 6 in maths but I’m in bottom set for maths so when I do my GCSE’s ( which will be next year since i’m currently in year 10 and I will be going into year 11 soon ) I will be sitting the foundation paper which lonely goes up to a Grade 6 but to sit the higher paper I would need to be in 1st or 2nd set in maths .So it’s technically impossible for me to aim to be an account – don’t get me wrong I would like to move up but it’s not possible,is I can’t be an account then what reason do I have for living ? and why have I tried so hard ? when I couldn’t even become an accountant .

  • Vin

    I dont know what happened to me lately. Its been a year since i lose myself, my sanity, my direction. I wander. I lost. Everyday i cant think straight, i feel like shattering, hazy, exhausted, shaking, and other things that follows. Ive tried everything to think straight, to keep my sanity. But it always bounce back.

    Since yesterday i decided to connect with my inner self (how do i make those decision is beyond my control, my mental shook a lot). Its getting better, but its hard. Its like crawling out of mud that keep sucking you down. And i often feel absorbed to my surroundings that i cant take myself back.

    Im writing this with a little sanity that is running right now. A little. Hope it adds up day by day. Maybe this inner self is what the world call as God?

    Whatever it is, im working really hard on this. Hope this could help those who experience the same thing that we cant even describe or understand it fully.

    Stay tune with ourself.

    Love

  • Shelley

    Thank you for this. It makes a lot of sense and isn’t a list of things that are almost impossible to do when feeling dead and paralyzed. I can see how backtracking to the cause of the feeling can help to get to the root of the problem so you can process it and move forward. It’s not putting a band aid on the state of crisis. So, again, thank you.

    • Shelley

      I was thinking the same thing at first! But then I realized there have been times I did feel optimistic and I did feel joy. I also usually felt a sense of dread in the background of my mind but I was able to silence it or hush it and somehow pursue my goals and live my life with some enthusiasm. But there came a point in the past few years when that became impossible because it seemed like the hits kept on coming…one after the other and my life started unraveling. I never had time to process them and get back on solid ground. Have you ever heard of Complex PTSD? If not, you should read up on it – may explain what you’re going through. It’s been a major eye-opener for me and explains a lot.

  • Jennifer

    I think there must be a difference between feeling chronically dead inside and feeling dead inside because you need to heal from some trauma. Maybe there is a “dead inside” that is grief and another that less defined. My life isn’t bad and there isn’t anything bad going on for me. I like my job, it has meaning and I’m constantly challenged by it, I have family although it’s extremely dysfunctional, a fiance that I might actually marry someday and an awesome freaking dog. I recently went to a Foo Fighters concert and that is the first time I’ve felt “alive”, so to speak, in ages, but it was followed by this rebound effect of feeling so old. Those guys are my age or older and, there they are, rocking it out every night to sold out stadiums. They must be the most “alive” people alive. Everything in my life feels so rote, so lather-rinse-repeat. I’m in my mid-40s and wondering if it’s not time for a mid-life crisis but I have no idea how to go about that. The tedium is never-ending and I feel constantly lost in a sea of adult responsibilities, but unfortunately, I’m aware enough to know I can’t recapture my youth and relive the glory years. My eyes automatically roll when I hear the word “passion”.

    • Katy

      I just picked up a book called “running on empty” overcome your childhood emotional neglect. It’s by Jonice Webb. It makes so much sense. The reason we don’t feel alive is because we don’t feel all the range of emotions. For some, there an event like the loss of a loved one, but for most it goes back to childhood and how we were raised. I would bet that most ppl that feel dead were not raised in an emotionally intelligent home where emotions were expressed frequently and encouraged. This is why we cannot feel. Expressing your emotions is actually a skill you can learn. It’s very hard
      at first and some may need a counselor. The author has you start by sitting quietly by yourself 3 times a day. You ask yourself how you feel. This is harder than it sounds. Once you identify how you feel, you ask yourself why you feel that way. That’s it. No judgement. There’s a feeling lost at the back of the cook and it helps tremendously. At first I was only able to say “empty” after I read the list i was able to see that I’m , closed off, empty, grey, dead, anxious. It doesn’t sound like much and this is my first time , but I’m going to keep at it.

  • Laurie Post author

    Have things changed for you at all, over the past few days or weeks? I hope you found a bright spot or even a person that helps lighten the feeling of being dead inside. I’ve been spending time with a guy who struggles constantly with addiction; he uses drugs to feel alive and happy. He says it helps him to stay as busy as possible, because it distracts him from the deadened feelings.

  • Unknown

    My boyfriend feels dead inside he doesn’t want me to help him. He says that I can’t. And he’s been feeling like this for a long time. I don’t know what to do or how to help him. I want to help him.

  • Jon

    I am so tired of the “you have the answer” trope. No, I don’t have the answer. I have always felt dead inside; I cannot remember a time when I did not. I have tried talking about my story in the past, but nobody cared enough to do more than offer banalities. “You’ll get over it,” etc. Not helpful. Now there is no one left to whom to tell my story. I have no loved ones, no friends beyond acquaintances, no family. I go to a therapist but that doesn’t count — they’re paid to listen. Thinking they actually care is like thinking the prostitute really loves you. I don’t enjoy anything, nothing fulfills me, and I don’t have any interests to speak of. I hate working, I hate interacting with people, I pretty much hate everything. The only thing that keeps me from taking my own life is cowardice; if I could find a quick, painless, foolproof method I would surely take it. And why not? There’s nothing for me here. Your breezy advice is well intentioned but utterly useless.

    • Katy

      Please pick up the book “running on empty” overcome your childhood emotional neglect by Jonice Webb. It can help you. You don’t have to have any answer for why you feel this way. It’s just from suppressing your emotions since childhood on. Get a new therapist bc the one you have seems to suck. May Hod bless you. I’m praying tor you

  • Niki

    Ive felt dead for about 20 years. Brief moments of life when remarried… he died of protate cancer… then fell in love with narcissist…. dead again dont know what to do anymore

  • A

    I am 19. Im broke mentally , i just want this life to end. Im in college and im supposed to study but i cant focus on studies ..i always take every little thing to heart everyone says that and maybe its true. I cant kill myself , i’ve been thinking about it from so many years but now i know that i dont have the courage to do that. Im weak physically also . Everyone in my family says that i’ve changed and i dont speak much like i used to when i was in school. My mom wants me to join some dance class or something else but i dont want to do anything like that. I dont ever go oustside just stay at home everyday and attend college two or three days a week. .after my graduation my parents want me to go abroad for further studies …its something that i’ve always dreamt about in school but now when i look at my own condition i dont think that i will be able to live there without my parents. ..what should i do ?
    I dont want to live but i cant kill myself.

    • donna

      A – I feel for you. I wish life wasn’t so hard for you. I just wanted you to know that I said a prayer for you. Try to take one day at a time, one step at a time and just get through today. I’ll ask God to intervene and help you. with love donna

  • Mis

    I have twin girls 38 yesterday. One is an angry alcholic and one married a Brit and lives in england. Neither one has been that nice to me since teenage with difficult persinalities. They were catered to and im sure me and their dad made that mistake. The one in england is thoughtful and stable but the one here is unstable. Needless to say the one in england cut ties w her alcholic sister and has a happy family in england. The heartache is she lives there with no regard how painful our loss is (grandson 3 who will miss having loving grandparents.) The one here has had 2 divorces. I have the one granddaughter here who i am very close to. I feel like shes all i got out of this deal as both girls have broken my heart. One w her alcoholic and unstable mean behavior (christmas she was drunk and told us to get the F out of her house and life so we did).
    My incredible pain is i feel so cheated out of family. I wouldve never chosen children had i known this was what id get for a family. Nobody can believe me and my husband who are giving caring loving people wkuld be so poorly treated or cast aside.
    Thank God i have my devoted wonderful husband dogs friends church…many other blessings. So when everyone talks about their wonderful families….what should i say as i sit there brokenhearted..

  • Mary

    I feel dead inside. I pushed everyone away due to deep depression. The man I want doesn’t want me the same way. My brothers life long schizophrenia has landed him alone in a halfway house – he’s 54 and lost it all.
    My Mom doesn’t remember me often times because she had advanced Alzheimer’s. My Dad’s cancer medicine is zapping his energy. My other brother doesn’t speak to me. So yeH, I pretty much want to die

    • Mis

      Oh mary…i wish you were close by so i could come gett you for a ride into my little town for a fun day to lift your spirits… please know there are others who care even though dont know you♡♡♡♡

  • Kyio

    Everyone leaves me and forgets about me. Life is getting worst and days are getting cloudier, grayer and even darker. My “friends” found new people and left me. I was there for them and they didn’t do 1% of what I’ve done for them. I have bullies and life gets me down every day. I am invited nowhere and I feel empty, but somehow full. I feel like I am not able to breath and I ak silenty crying all day. I feel that I am worthless and my existence is pointless. I used to feel like this before and I thought I cured myself but now, once again, here I am one more time. I have concidered suicide before and I had serious eating disorters. I was becoming anorexic and had an attempt to turn bolimic. Now I have gone to over-eating and depression is only getting worst. I ak detached, lonely, sad, and every day I am wondering why I wake up every morning and I feel like dying. I am helpless.

  • Anonymous

    I lost confidence in myself years ago when I was in college. I got hooked on opioids and dated a girl for over 2 years in college as I got hooked. I used her to cope with the feelings of knowing I was a drug addict. Then we broke up and I graduated (supposed to be best times of our lives I was starting to resent college although if I knew how crappy my life would be years later I would have tried to enjoy it more) . However I believe this is the time when I was gradually becoming dead inside but I didn’t even know it at the time. I lost all my confidence (unless I’m drunk) and I’m on maintence meds at point in my life I do nothing with it. I lost my job been outta work for a year now been to rehabs never worked I’m stuck

  • Elaine

    I am trying to heal from psychological and emotional abuse from my husband of 50 years. I am in counseling but I have days when all the insidious things come flooding back.

  • Ben

    My advice is when you feel dead inside you have to let go everything all your secrets and bad things. You have to admit to yourself and to god so you can be forgiven. Go to church, you can always find and feel alive there. It hurts a lot feeling dead no seeing anyone and you feel nothing inside. I have to start telling everything to my family and god so they can help me get out of the darkness. I’ve always dream of playing soccer and that’s what I’m going to Focus on more and train more. Even if my parents hate me, I still have to tell them the truth. I’ve lost and felt more pain that made me feel dead. To get out the darkness and to be better I have to be better and not do bad things. It’s going to be hard but I’m going to change my life. I want to feel alive and be alive. Right now I’m going have to get out and make my way up with positive thoughts.

  • Laurie Post author

    When you’re struggling to find ways to come alive – especially when you feel dead inside – it’s important to go where the life is. Find ways to clear the noise and clutter of unhealthy attachments, bad relationships, unhappy people. Listen for the still small voice of God – He is speaking all the time, but you have to be quiet so you can hear the Roar of Something Greater.

    What brings sparks of life, joy, hope and meaning to your life?

  • Crazy

    Hi I am 23 years old and I am a engineering student. I am good at almost everything sports,studies but still I feel that something is missing from my life. life looks useless,empty.
    Tried many things even doctors think that nothing is wrong but still I feel like a dead person.

  • Anne

    Hi Laurie, thank you for been there! I broke up with my partner of 5 years, when we met it was like a light had gone on , we hsd so much in common and as time went on I knew this is what love is. I had been single for 6 yrs and he always used to say it was fate that we met, we were very close. Unbelievable he cheated on me and I found this out on Facebook of all places. He denied it even when I read the message’s from my phone. I loved him so much, I feel so low, how could he do this to me… We are both in our fifties and we used to say we’d grow old together. I had to finally block his number because he was making me ill. Ive also found out from other people that he has lied to me time after time. I thought he was a decent man but I didn’t know him at all, he wanted us to carry on, still denying what he’d done. But I couldn’t and my life feels btoken

  • donna

    thank you for even replying to me. I’m very grateful.
    I’ve printed out your letter and put it in my handbag. I’ll keep reading it. Do you honestly believe going no-contact at all is the best thing for me to do. I spose I am up & down. So happy when I talk to him – because he feels so guilty, he is always nice to me and says that he will always love me. But, obviously, he is now with another woman and wants a different life (like travelling full-time – and that is something I can’t do). Tony says he can’t keep talking/texting, etc – because he feels so bad and guilty. And I don’t want that for him really. Please keep helping me. and thank you again – love from donna

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Donna,

    Thank you for being here! I’m sorry for your loss…it’s so difficult to start over after 32 years of marriage. Your whole life has changed, and it’s so much different than you expected it would be, isn’t it? You didn’t think this would happen…and now that you’re over the initial shock and pain, you’re starting to deal with reality. Perhaps that’s why you’re slowly getting worse: the shock has worn off.

    Seeing a psychologist is a great way to start working through your grief — and even learning how to come alive when you feel dead inside! My prayer is that the psychologist you’ve found is the right one for you, that you find hope, encouragement and wisdom that helps you grieve and heal.

    Take heart! You WILL move forward in your life. You will re-establish your identity, and find ways to Blossom into the woman God created you to be. Don’t give up, even though you’re tired and sad. This is when you need to hang tight and hold on to your faith.

    If you haven’t signed up for my free weekly emails, do it now! You can always unsubscribe if you’re getting too much hope, encouragement, and inspiration to Blossom 🙂
    http://eepurl.com/ca2mJr

    xo Laurie

  • Donna

    I do feel very flat, down and depressed. Very lost after my husband leaving me for another woman and a different life after 32 years of a really good marriage. I am still broken hearted after 12 months and feel like I am slowly getting worse. I’ve just started seeing a psychologist – hoping that helps. never felt so sad in my life. And I’m exhausted from trying to work, visit adult kids, just even getting out of bed in the morning. Life is not always very easy – that’s for sure

  • CG

    I am 49 and burnt out. I worked in human services for over 20 years; have a masters in counseling. I have friends and a family but no boyfriend or serious love in years. I feel washed up and empty now/totally spent. I keep my obligations to friends and family but it is all “fake it to make it” I feel dead inside & lost. I have to go back to work soon but feel overwhelmed, sick and very depressed. Insomnia and gaining weight no matter what I eat or exercise; feel hopeless about the future but suicide is not an option because I am the sole adult in state and my father has severe dementia and a older wife.

  • looking4anintrovertgirl

    There’s just no hope for some of us, no matter how many articles we read about coming alive when we feel dead inside or encouragement we get. It’s just the way we are, we are broken and defective, we are the problem and there’s no motivation or something that can makes us change and it sucks.

  • Laurie Post author

    Thank you for sharing this list with me, Sara! I love it – your life really is filled with joy and purpose. I love a lot of the same things you do, especially learning and travel. My favorite thing to do is go to a conference in a new city or country. In fact, I’m looking for a Christian writers or womens ministry conference for next month. It’s my birthday, and I want to treat myself to a travel/learning trip 🙂

    The biggest thing that makes me feel alive is God. He really is the source of all light, life, love, joy, peace and freedom…and I never feel more joy than when I connect with Him.

    Like you, I also enjoy connecting with my partner (my husband) – as long as we’re having intellectual conversations. I feel the same way as you do 🙂

    Thanks for being here; I really am happy to have “met” you.

    Take good care of yourself, and keep doing those things that make you feel alive!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Sara

    Hello Laurie,
    For years I have been struggling with these things. And I was scared to tell anyone how I really felt. I was down and googled, “feeling dead inside” because I wanted to know if I was the only one that felt that way, or if there was a reason I felt that way or what would come up. I read your post and it is true. Thank you so much. I have done the list. It made me feel so much better and I did feel alive after I started to think about what you wrote and those things that bring me to life, give me joy and purpose. I will keep these as reminders

    The top things I love to do, that bring me life and meaning and joy and purpose are:

    1. I used to love meditating and connecting with G-d and still do it at times. I loved when I went to Israel and want to go again. ( I am Sephardic Jewish but, secular in religion not strict)
    2. I used to love drawing
    3. I used to love playing guitar and at times piano.
    4. I love listening to music
    5. I love spending time with my boyfriend, as long as we are connecting, having intellectual conversations, sharing new ideas…
    6. I love when my niece hugs me and hugging her
    7. I love spending time with my friends and family
    8. I love learning
    9. I love watching the Net Geo, and history
    10. I love to travel
    11. I love helping others that are grateful, appreciative
    12. I love making a difference in this world and contributing to the solution, helping the less fortunate, the homeless, rejected.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Mary,

    Thank you for sharing your story here. It sounds like you and your husband have had a long history together, and it’s not easy to untangle all those problems.

    The best way to find yourself again – and to come alive when you feel dead inside! – is to do what brings you life. When I feel like life is crushing me and deadening my soul, I take time to remember what once filled me with joy, excitement, and exuberance.

    I find connecting with God to be the most powerful way to come back to myself. He is the engine of the universe, the underlying hum that keeps us all going. God is the source of all life, love, energy, and freedom.

    God created you for a purpose, and He loves you deeply. Your job is to accept His love and listen for His still small voice. Who did He create you to be, Mary? What personality traits and strengths and gifts has He given you?

    You will find yourself when you pursue the things you love in life. Your first step is to make a list of 10 things you love to do, things that bring you life and meaning and joy and purpose. You can make that list here, if you like – I’d love to read it! You actually already listed a few things in your original comment.

    And, here’s an article that might help you find your footing in your marriage:

    10 Ways to Build Your Confidence and Stop Being a Needy Woman
    http://howloveblossoms.com/how-to-stop-being-a-needy-girlfriend-anxious-attachment-style/

    And finally, a question for you: What would happen if you let go of your husband’s control over you? You and he are in a marriage dance – and you are participating equally. How would it feel to stop dancing with him?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Mary Feller

    I can join this “club”. My spouse has extreme jealousy, and even if I’m only texting a male friend he gets pissed and I get accused of cheating. After 20 yrs of marriage, faithful the entire time even when he was addicted to alcohol and being verbally and physically abusive towards me, you would think he would trust me.

    He knows my history, as far as I have always had male friends… I’m considered one of the guys. In high school it was normall for me to stay at one of my guy friends house for the night… Nothing ever happened.

    With my personality, I’m very social and really like being around people, talking, texting, etc. He is more of a hermit, unless he goes with me. He doesn’t let me go anywhere alone. I guess finally something something snapped. I buryed my personality to the point I feel dead inside. I’m not on any social media, no texting, talking, nothing. I barely leave my room. After about a month he decided that he doesn’t like it, cuz he also gets no response from me.

    I have no idea how to resurrect myself. If I leave my room, I put on a fake smile just so I don’t have to answer any questions.

    As a little background: I am bi-polar, have BPD, and a severe anxiety disorder.

    Amy suggestions as to how to start getting myself back?

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Mike,

    I’m sorry for not responding earlier (I’m traveling in Vietnam, and it’s not easy to keep up!) – and I’m even more sorry that you’re having such a difficult time. It’s easy for me to write a blog post about “coming alive when you feel dead inside” – but I know that the actual experience is incredibly painful.

    What have you done so far, to pull yourself out of the black hole of depression that you feel? Different things work for different people, and you may need to keep experimenting with different types of solutions until you find what works for you.

    Have you talked to a doctor or counselor about your feelings of depression? That may be the first and best place to start….

    What friends or family members can help you pull through this? Don’t give up hope, and don’t give in to despair! It can seem easy to give up when you feel dead inside, but stay hopeful. Know that you CAN get through this if you keep pushing forwards. Find sources of energy that are helpful and strong, and remember that you were created for a purpose. Your job is to find that purpose, and live with meaning and joy in your life….

    I have to run for the overnight train to Hanoi — have you tried traveling as a method to come alive again??

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Mike

    Just to follow up on that i just really have a blackhole of depression in my chest. I feel dead inside about everything in every situation.I know my father might have or have not caused this with a vindictive motive towards me but either way it happened and i know i need to get myself out of this situation…i just hope i can do it, i think about giving up everyday. It’s just so hard to dig myself out of this hole of misery and mentall craziness. I dont have a car and i know the only way i can get a new job and be able to pay rent is with a car, but i gotta pay rent every month therefore i must keep working for my dad and its just gonna be so hard and take so much energy to save enough money for a vehicle and insurance and all that.i just dont think i can find the will to dig myself out of this deep hole of misery. And feeling like this everyday just makes it that much harder

  • Mike

    I’ve felt dead inside for years now, i wasn’t always like this i used to be filled with excitement. Im 29 now and i cant seem to connect or have any feelings in everyday situations that normal people do. I feel like i have no soul i feel really empty always. I have really bad thoughts about how to end it. I just dont want to affect the people i love. I believe that with my negative feelings and the non ability to connect or feel with other people will rub off on them. I cant even put it into words when they ask me whats wrong, i always just play it off like nothings wrong. Its come to a point where i think im being fake to everyone all the time. Im ruining every relationship with family and freinds ive ever had just by not being able to feel emotions when im with them. Ive turned to drugs to fill the void and thats gotten pretty bad. I cant seem to make myself do anything about it. I have no money for a psychiatrist or anti depression drugs. Ive been working with my dad for years now and i have such anger and resentment built up towards him, i honestly feel he is the reason for all of this.i think he has mentally tryed to kill my soul. I used to be filled with excitemnt and people really liked to be around me,i was always happy and had alot of freinds and i truley believe he was angry about this becuase he was never a people person and let people walk all over him. And i know that i shouldn’t be saying stuff about my father like this, but there have been times where ive caught him doing really messed up stuff towards me for no reason. I dont know if im just crazy or if its a real thing. The things he has done are subtle but very vindictive and very noticeable to me that he was intentionally trying to bring me down mentally and emotionally. I just wrote this comment to get this stuff off my chest becuase ive never told anyone this stuff, i would never tell my brother or anyone else because my dad acts completely different around them. But its gotten to a point where hes literally killed my soul and has brought me down to his level. Im stuck working for him and cant seem to muster up enough energy to get myself out of this pit of misery.

    • Ellie

      Hi i had the exact same situation with my grandmother and my mother. In our family it was a narcissistic disorder. Most people assume narcissism means you are in love with yourself but that is not what it is. It means you are desperate to maintain a fake appearance that other people will love. So they go out of their way to pretend in public what a great family person they are, pick out the “favorites” in the family who will back up this story, post pictures on facebook that are so fake of their happy perfect family. Meanwhile the black sheep (me, you I think) aka the “unfavorite” sees the truth. It’s not your imagination, when you say “subtle but very vindictive and very noticeable to me that he was intentionally trying to bring me down mentally and emotionally” it’s really happening. That’s what they do. It’s because you were strong enough to not play along and face reality, because of that you are a threat to their charade. You probably feel like its better to be honest than to keep lying, but your dad doesn’t agree. The only way he can continue to be superior to you is to either continue screwing with your finances, keeping you dependent on him, paying you very little while criticizing you and making you too numb to fight back or leave. At some level he wants to control you and make sure you can’t get away and succeed, because then you would win and you wouldn’t need him anymore, and you wouldn’t be under his thumb any more, and the whole world would take you seriously and believe you when you told the truth about him. Will they believe a druggie son who can’t afford a car even though his kind and generous and wonderful father is even helping give him work? Nope. You see. There’s a script where he’s always the generous, giving hero and you are the ingrate son, and he wants to keep it that way because he has all the power.

      You say “I honestly feel he is the reason for all of this.i think he has mentally tryed to kill my soul.” He has. Don’t doubt yourself. Read also on “gaslighting.”

      My #1 suggestion to you, is this. I am actually trying to get rid of my car. I started using a bicycle and it is 10000x better than owning a car.

      Don’t ever feel trapped. That’s what they want you to feel. It’s called “learned helplessness” and there are animal experiments on it where they shock a dog no matter whether it behaves or misbehaves until finally it gives up. It just sits in a corner and doesn’t even react when they keep shocking it. It has learned to be helpless, even when it behaved well and did what it’s masters wanted they still punished it. I am a dog lover and I read about this experiment in a psychology book, it makes me sad they did this to a dog but I felt the truth in it then. We are the ones who are expereiencing “learned helplessness” because no matter what we do we are punished. You must break free. My bike, it was a first step, to not being the fat ugly girl, the dependent girl, the girl who coudln’t do anything right, the girl who couldn’t afford insurance and gas and needed money from her family. There is great value in returning to simplicity, I feel.

      BTW I also now develop solar powered appliances and work from my home. I think you will understand why. Solar power is free energy, free power, free life from the sun. The sun doesn’t play games or criticize or withold its gift whenever it feels like punishing you. The sun is out, like clockwork, providing unconditionally, the one thing in life that is so utterly reliable the watch was invented because of it. The sun is everything my parents were not. I build heaters and ovens that run on the heat from the sun, and use no electricity. I am tired of being dependent on abusive people, and by extension utility companies, bills. I love living free, basking in sunlight that takes care of all my needs, and finding new ways of using the sun’s unlimited gift to heat, cool, cook, heat water, and so on. Perhaps you could consider a green career. If I had my youth to do over again, I’d study engineering.

      But for you, step one is to believe yourself and recognize it is not your fault. The abuse is real. Then find a way to free yourself, a little bit. It’s accumulative. One little bit of freedom leads to another. Dump your family as soon as you can (believe it or not, co-dependency is the other side of the coin of narcissism. So once you are gone and doing well on your own, they will come begging you to come back and spend time with them, in other words, to trap you back into the cycle of being the stepped-on kid, to act like all of your reasons for avoiding them are selfish and crazy, and guilt trip you (privately). But in public, they want you back to pretend like we’re all still one happy, perfect family, especially now to show off their independently successful and skinny, suddenly “hot” again daughter. Because your success is all due to their wonderful parenting skills, right? Really, they just want to use you to put their other brothers and sisters down for having fat, dependent kids. This happened to me. It’s toxic to be around them. I only call/text/email them for birthdays and Christmas and Thanksgiving, but never actually go to their house anymore. If you are fortunate enough to get a clean break, good riddance and don’t look back). Be careful who you let into your life as friends, as those of us who were taught that being abused and taken advantage of by your parents is normal, will find friends who abuse and take advantage, because it feels “familiar”. Be real careful about that. Oh, and the best three words of advice I ever got were “but it’s true”. Face what you are feeling, and dump the drugs. Question whether being around toxic dad is driving you to suicide – not overtly, but slowly via drugs and alcohol. Dump the dad, dump the drugs, both are self-sabotaging to have in your life. Ok sorry this was really long, but I identified so much with your story. Good luck.

    • Miriam

      Hey, it’s been quite a while since you’ve last posted, and I don’t know if you’ll ever see this, but what you’ve described sounds like narcissistic abuse.

      There’s an emotional healer I know of out there, who can teach you how to heal from narcissistic abuse.

      I myself am a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and what you’ve described sounds very familiar.

      But I promise you can heal from this, and it does not have to take years. Within a month’s time you can find great relief.

      Healing from narcissistic abuse is a work in progress, but change does not have to take ages.

  • Ann

    For me, there’s no obvious reason like an event as I’ve felt like this most of my life. I can remember feeling this way sometimes when I was a child and not being able to describe it. I’ve had lots of therapy and if I needed to find an event I could probably point to a general disconnection and lack of empathy within my family.

    As a result, I never feel “seen”, and I think this sense of “I will always be alone” is what is causing all the pain. I think it is because while aloneness is painful, togetherness is terrifying, and the sheer panic I associate with connection stops me in my tracks a lot of the time.

    I’m trying my best to be mindful and just trust that I can do something about the perpetual emptiness but it’s so difficult to believe when you don’t know anything else.

    • Shelley

      Ann,
      I don’t know if you’ll see this because you responded 2 years ago but your story is similar to mine. I’ve recently found out about Complex PTSD. You may want to read up on it….it may fit and a lot of things will make sense.

      Good luck!

  • Laurie Post author

    It takes a lot of courage and strength to talk about how you feel. You’re being totally honest – and that’s the first step to getting healthy and happy again!

    When I feel totally overwhelmed – and dead inside – I find it helpful to get away. A weekend or week away would be awesome, but even just an hour or two by myself is what I need. It helps to take a step back from the situation, and see it with a more objective perspective.

    The other thing I do is write in my journal. I write everything and anything that comes to mind! Just spill my guts…it helps me unload and vent. Once I get everything out of me, I can see my life more clearly. I can make difficult decisions, and figure out how to move forward.

    Would that help you?

  • Robin

    I just can’t come back from that feeling. Once it became part of me, it was like no going back. Nothing can motivate me to even GET out of bed. The bad thing, I am lucky for what I have. I’ve lost nothing of value and yet the emptiness impedes my very being. I have more than many, and yet, I just can’t fight this feeling of being dead within. I feel like my soul left, my heart to – they are lost somewhere that I can’t find them. I feel like mine was a slow, gradual disappointment in how people around me in general are behaving and acting. MAYBE mine is how my partner verbally abuses me as well, he’s some what controlling as well, I don’t know. I just know I’m tired all the time and my vivaciousness of life is gone. I just want to sleep, and be left alone, but at the same time, I want to be the same happy, vivacious, energetic person I USE to be before 2010. I use to not be able to wait for morning so I could get up and begin my days, NOW, I stay up most the night because I can’t sleep. I’m in bed usually by 3am and then I try to stay in bed as late as possible. When I say “as late as possible”, my usual wake up time NOW is 6 – 7 PM. I wake up before that, I just make myself stay in bed and fall back asleep. I’ll stay in bed til my back starts hurting for laying there so long. I don’t feel like this feeling is ever gonna end.

    • Kristofer

      I couldn’t have written anything myself that could fit the exact way I feel. It’s as if I’m in a prison where I can see out at what used to be just to taunt me and make me more miserable and empty. It’s intolerable and as a man makes me feel weak, irrelevant and useless. I’ve no reason to be this way. On the outside my life is one I think most would consider blessed. On the inside I’m black, cold and angry.

    • annon

      I feel this way. empty, hollow, weak. My partner verbally attacks to bring me down and makes me feel as if its my fault it happening. sex feels meaningless and i feel their is no more passion. it doesn’t matter what mood i’m in he will take advantage of me regardless. he never abuses me but i feel the negativity in everything he say and does. i feel like im just some empty shell inside. cant stop thinking about negativity when all im around is negativity. i think the worst and im constantly drowning in it all, all day every day. its draining to have all this negativity and it feels like hes sucking my soul. laughs taunts and crushes me when im down. i want to be uplifted. not knocked down lower than how im already feeling. makes me feel as if im with a demon. i tell him i want him to leave and he stays. multi times. nothing happens. its a never ending cycle.

      • Shelley

        He IS abusing you – it’s called emotional abuse. It’s almost worse then physical abuse because it’s so subtle (I say almost because with physical abuse, there’s also emotional abuse) and hard to put your finger on but if you reread your post, you’ll see it.

        It took me about 2 years to get the courage to make my emotional abuser leave. There were a lot of reasons I didn’t do it but I was eventually at a crossroads where it was my sanity vs his needs. I chose my sanity. Thank goodness I still had some will to live and a little strength left in me. That was about 4 months ago – I’m still dealing with the effects of being with him…. it’s going to take a while because he did a number on me. But there were many other things that happened in my life when I was with him and some that happened in the past couple of months that have pushed me over the edge so I can’t blame him 100%. But it was essential I got him out of my life to try to begin to move forward. It WAS terrifying to make the break but I immediately felt a sense of relief when I told him. The last time I told him, I knew it was the actual end and so did he and he didn’t try to manipulate me that time. I was surprised at my sense of relief. In 4 months, I have not once ever regretted my decision or second-guess myself.

        Good luck – I hope you can find the strength to leave him.

  • San

    Over a year ago my children and I moved. We left behind everything. The children’s dad was in prison, again. The man with whom I had been living was having numerous affairs, he went back to using drugs, and was killed in a car accident.
    I got my children situated at school, found a place to live, and a job. I am an alcoholic, so I started going to meetings.
    I began a friendship with a man. It was easy to talk with him. He did not initiate sex, but just would hold me. I met a woman who became my best friend. Our children all play together; she is dovircrd, too. She has become like family. I have family here, but I’m not very close to them.
    The man who’s a friend became friends with my best friend. Although my best friend tells me there will never be anything between her and the man I like, I have been consumed with jealousy. It has affected my relationship with my best friend. I haven’t heard from the man I like since I told him I’d live to be more than friends. I go to church and go to shall group. I still feel abandoned and alone. I continue to pray for God to heal me. To bless my life and my children’s with happiness, love, and peace. I’m struggling every day.

  • Silvia

    I feel extremely tired. I continuously going around this sickening vicious cycle of verbally abuse with my partner. My energy is so low that I don’t knowif I can do what I need to get out of this situation.