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Purpose; Having a Hard Time Finding Meaning in Life

Before I get into this I just want to say, I was originally thinking of posting this on my personal blog but I thought it might be better fitted here. There is a much different audience here and the more I thought about it the more I realized a lot of people may be able to relate and start a conversation which may help way more than anything I could possibly say.

Since 2010 (when I was diagnosed) I have been through a lot in the world of Multiple Sclerosis. I may not have had this disease very long but I am told I have a very aggressive case of MS and so I have not had many “dull” moments over the years. Even so, I never let it get me too down. I always pushed through the thick of it and found a way to just make it all work.

This year has been different. My health took a bit of a dump and this has greatly got to my mental state of mind so it’s been really tough emotionally. I have always been able to find some sort of meaning or purpose to my life and my experiences but I am realizing that I just don’t feel it anymore. Everything feels so meaningless. I feel like I am serving no purpose in life. I know people will disagree and tell me I do a lot of good and help a lot of people just sharing my experiences but for what ever reason, it just has not felt “fulfilling” for a while. I no longer wake up and think “ok, how am I going to contribute to the world today?” and so it has been getting more and more difficult to find a reason to want to get up in the morning and I hate it. I hate feeling like if I was in a coma for a month the world would not be any different when I awake.

Now before you rush to the “Matt, you are just depressed” card let me assure you, I have dealt with severe depression since my early teens. I know the difference between “situational” depression and “biological” depression. This is situational. I am not happy with where my life is. I hate it and I want it to change but for once in my life I feel entirely lost as to how to get out of this rut I am in. I feel like I am playing a game of chess with life and all I have is a king left surrounded by 16 pieces from the other team. How can I possibly survive?

Blogging has been the center of my life, it was a passion, but lately it feels so “forced”, my personal blog has just fallen apart this year and now there are so many gaps in what I never mentioned and the thought of trying to “catch up” is just so overwhelming. I know I should see a therapist but I can’t drive right now and simply trying to get a ride down thee street to the store is a huge endeavor so forget therapy! All I know is if someone as stubborn and prideful as me is finally willing to admit I can no longer do this on my own, well, that is saying something.

I have no idea what other people with MS do and when they do it but surely we all run into this problem. These feelings… Again, it’s not a “chemical” depression, I have been on medication for as long as I can remember and I can’t recall the last time I woke up feeling depressed for no reason, I actually have reasons this time which is even worse because I do not know how to fix them. It’s not as simple as popping a pill, this requires me to change my life and how I interact with these problems. But as I said, I am totally at a loss for how to do that and I really feel like I am no longer the online influence in the world of MS that I once was. I feel like I have no voice. I feel like I just need a “clean slate”, wipe it all away and start fresh, but that’s impossible, so how do people do it?

Have you found yourself where I am now? Feeling utterly defeated in life with no idea how to get back ahead? How did you handle it? I usually try to give advice but this time? I am asking for it, I hate asking for help, but I know I need it. Thank you.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • H Parks
    1 year ago

    Matt,

    Your story really touched me. I was dxd at 42 years of age, at the same time as receiving my B.S. in Criminal Justice. I’ve also been on medications for depression and anxiety since I was 17. Also like you I’m constantly trying to figure out what my purpose is. Especially since I have a worthless degree that I have to start repaying. It may just be me, and it sounds ‘sexist’, but I should be working and supporting my loving wife.

    However, your blog on here keeps me coming back, feeling motivated, and positive! I just came across this article of yours, but am glad I did! Your insight and writing ability is truly a gift that benefits some many others!

  • MissT
    2 years ago

    Matt, Thank you for this post. You have helped me a great deal today. I am so sad that you feel this way, but I understand. I too struggle everyday. I try hard to see the rainbows. Instead, I feel like an empty shell. Money? Whats that? I was a medical instructor that made a good living….now reduced to nothing. Life is harder with MS. We are STRONG! We can and will have good days again soon my friend.

  • Matt Allen G author
    1 year ago

    I think that is the key, always trying to see the positives, no matter how “small” they may be. Write them down every day so you can highlight them and remember them. That is what I do/did when I was really down,

  • Wibbly
    2 years ago

    Hi Matt, I so know about where your coming from. I was diagnosed in 2007 with a very aggressive form of MS, but they think I have had it undiagnosed for much longer. I am now unable to drive or work.
    I was such a outgoing person, now I’m stuck in (with the cat) and finding life very lonely.
    My husband is away all day so spend allot of time wondering “whats the meaning of life?”.
    Don’t get me wrong I live in a beautiful part of the country, but I can’t get out to enjoy it.
    I hate having MS but I hate that people don’t really understand what its like to have it!!
    Good luck with everything and keep well

  • Nancy W
    4 years ago

    I can understand what you mean. I felt that way when I stopped working in 2007, I had a job I loved but could no longer do. I take a spiritual outlook. I have a family, am a grandmother and a wife. But I “worked” part-time from 2009 until about a year ago. Since then I have prayed and thought about what to do next. I found a new volunteer opportunity that suits me. But still, some days when I don’t leave the house, I wonder what I am contributing. I know it sounds pat, but you will find your way, if you keep an open mind.’

  • Matt Allen G author
    3 years ago

    I know, thank you,

  • Alysongayle
    4 years ago

    Matt, I too have found this intense and misunderstood lifelong disease, has increasingly been disappointing. I do so very much wish I had a way to experience positive change each and every day since October 4,2012. However my very “being”is continually challenged by preventing my next steps to achieve. I hope that I find, clarity to not only myself but all who need to successfully be heard and feel that we should remember that in each journey, we can know that our answers on the ability to still feel hopeful may be incredibly difficult.
    I know for myself MS has left me completely isolated even when resources are infinite. Resources to identify where, what and who can help process paperwork and support group
    seems to have severely complicated connections or simply speaking to a person and not lengthy automated versions on hold or waiting periods. Becoming more informed and directly finding those in need to improve quality of life and taking part in a more structured daily lifestyle for achieving short and long term goals.
    I have been appalled with how many doctors have shown a lack of commitment to making a priority in communicating with my MS Specialist and therapists/psychiatrist. I have been treated by doctors who do not make a huge priority to work with my MS Specialist in learning about MS symptoms, the effects and what prescriptions may be helpful to overall health. Persons who are board certified and hold an advanced degree to all medical diagnosis…which in many ways seem to burden doctors in applying a simple background check to bring knowledge. Many times I have had a tumultuously reaction in part of learning my medical records. The disheartening realization to find help seem more complex than ever to find those whom show empathy.
    I have dealt with depression, anxiety and mood stabilizers to balance who I am for finding my best self, however now after 29 years now 33yrs I found the person I love to be and
    MS has made it confusing on so many levels. I was a woman who loved my career and loved feeling the happiness knowing my life was a reflection of myself. The need for more programs and quality medical teams to work on finding our individual best self. Sorry for such a long comment…I thank you Matt for I finally found a moment today in which I can connect.

  • Matt Allen G author
    3 years ago

    I am glad you were able to feel that way :p

  • kicknMSback
    4 years ago

    Matt, hoping this isn’t redudant or too late cause you have figured out how to some other way. But have you checked into video or telephone conference with your therapist. Mine will let me email her, because we have moved farther away and budget concerns don’t aways allow for fuel to go to that kind of appt. I know trying to write things down when you are too close to the tree to see the forest can be difficult. I am sure this set back will just make you stronger and make you realize once you can see the forest again that all you really had to do to get past this is try a different perspective. Unfortunately, that can be one of the hardest thing to see at times.

  • joolz64
    4 years ago

    Hi Matt – thanks for expressing something I have been feeling intensely over the last year …. going through the process of being diagnosed having had symptoms, and suspecting MS for the last 10 years or so.
    I don’t write – on a good day I enjoy drawing / painting or music as a way to express myself – but getting to the verbal piece – not so easy … so I have gratitude to those who are gifted with words.

  • Diana
    4 years ago

    Matt,

    I just want to say that I have really appreciated your posts in the past. You are a young man diagnosed, and I am a middle aged woman when diagnosed. Even though our experiences are different, it really helps to get that different perspective. I certainly go through times when I wonder “is this all there is now?” Remember that even when we feel we don’t make a difference, there are those that are watching, and you make a difference to them. They just may not always tell you. This may or may not help, I hope it does. You are not alone, and people do care.
    The highlight of my week is when this comes in my email every Wednesday afternoon. So please continue writing and sharing!

  • Matt Allen G author
    4 years ago

    Thank you, it does help,

  • Kim Dolce moderator
    4 years ago

    Hi Matt,

    Your dilemma has been my “exclusive” domain for years and now I see that someone else occupies it with me. As a novelist, essayist, and short fiction writer, I learned long ago that inspiration eventually leaves us and writing becomes very hard work. I’ve been forcing myself to write for months now and it’s like pulling teeth–and that’s on my good days, lol. But it’s normal!

    When our lives feel bereft of purpose and meaning, it could be that we’ve taken off the rose-colored glasses and have no “buffer” shielding us from harsh reality. But that’s what writers do, we face the tough stuff so we can report back about it. Writers are a tough lot, and the fact that we are deep thinkers and feelers allows us to do what you have done in your essay: Name the dark well we’ve fallen into and tell what it feels like to be there. My thought is this: You don’t necessarily need to “fix” this, it could be where you need to be right now. It will pass.

    Whenever I’m there, I remind myself that writing is a compulsion, I simply have to do it. It isn’t fun, it isn’t even cathartic, quite frankly. It’s what I do, I can’t help it. And you don’t have to write every day or week, or even every month to be a writer. Most writing happens in our heads anyway. Putting it on a computer screen is the final step. Your perceived helplessness and depression (I would hesitate to call it depression, that word is terribly over-used) has become fodder for an essay. You’ve been writing it in your head the whole time you’ve been experiencing it, yes?

    When I feel burned out or lost with the writing, I become very gentle with myself, step back and binge-watch old movies on TCM. Something enjoyable. In this relaxed state, writing ideas pop into my head when I least expect it. I can’t help it, it’s who I am.

    It will always be there for you, Matt. Even when you’re scared you’ve lost it. Fear, anxiety, meaninglessness, it’s all part of the creative process and it’s all material for the writing. You’ll be okay.

    Hope this helps.

    Kim

  • Matt Allen G author
    4 years ago

    Yes, I am just being patient, it will come back when it comes back. Just taking a break for now,

  • KCDavis
    4 years ago

    Matt, I have been feeling the same way! I have four kids and a husband so people could say “You have your family” and yes, I do. However my youngest child is 16 and they don’t need me like they once did. I have started doing something that is helping a little. I am doing for others. For instance, on Veterans Day I made cookies and took them to veterans I know. That seemed to put a little light in their eyes, to be remembered for service to their Country. Anyone can “do for others” and the thing is, it makes one feel more fulfilled. I know Matt that you have done a lot for the MS community but how about doing something for yourself, like service to someone in YOUR community and just see what happens.

  • Matt Allen G author
    4 years ago

    Well, I am starting a new, fresh blog and may start working on a book. For fun I may also continue the fiction writing (a novel) that I was working on before I was even diagnosed. I think doing all this will help me feel in controll again and give me back a sense of purpose. Time will tell!

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