What Do You Do When You Feel Trapped?

It is a universal fear. We all spend some portion of our lives worrying about it and trying to avoid it. One of the biggest reasons we make the decisions we make and take the actions that we do is in an effort to mitigate the chances of it happening to us. It could come in many forms, from money to career to an actual physical condition. No matter who we are or what we do or where we go, there is always a latent fear of becoming trapped in one form or another.

Unfortunately, as much as we’d like to believe we are in control of our own lives, the reality is that we will all become trapped at some point in our lives. The worst version of this is obviously some form of slavery, which has been a bane of human existence for millennia and shows no sign of being eradicated any time soon. Even if it isn’t explicitly restraining people and keeping them like animals, as long as one group of people stands to benefit from the cheap or free labor of others, it will continue to thrive.

Most of us don’t fall into this category, however, and while it is tempting to believe that we should ignore our own entrapment because it pales in comparison to such horrible conditions, it is foolish to ignore the feelings that arise when we feel like we have no options. No matter how small or insignificant our own problems feel in comparison to some of the more terrible situations that other people go through, they are important to us and deserve a significant amount of consideration, even if only from our own perspective.

As you might expect, the reason I’m writing this post is specifically because I feel trapped in my own life. For the last eight years or so, I have been stuck in a career I can’t stand performing work that is unfulfilling and waiting out the clock until the end of the day. Eight years of not building anything for my future or learning a valuable skill or doing anything meaningful with my time. The effect has been maddening and is one of the reasons I finally decided to do something like writing a blog.

Where the struggle is getting more and more difficult to deal with is the huge wall of the unknown that stands before me this year. My current job ends in the next few months and I have little hope that my next job will be any better than this one. My resume is geared toward the same kind of work I’ve been doing, and breaking into something new would reduce my income to a level that won’t support me or those who depend on me. I feel trapped in an endless cycle of useless jobs that simply pay the bills and nothing else.

Many people would be thrilled to have my problems rather than the ones they are currently struggling with, and I’m very aware that my angst could be judged as ungrateful by people going through far harder times than I am. However, I’ve said in the past that suffering is relative and even if our problems are not objectively as bad as another person it doesn’t negate the intensity of our feelings.

I’d like to say that this post contains some wisdom within it that will help you to figure out what to do in a situation such as this, and many times I do try to provide some kind of advice to help you decide how you want to approach an issue. However, in this case I can only state a question with no answer because the word trapped implies there is little or no chance to escape, at least for the time being. Until I can find a way out, it will simply be a question that needs an answer. For now I will have to be content with sharing my discontent and hold out hope that my situation changes in a favorable way. Sometimes that’s all you can do.

Are you struggling with your situation? Do you feel trapped in one form or another? What can you do in a situation like this? Many times just sharing how you feel can relieve some of the stress we feel when things just aren’t going the way we hoped they would. It isn’t wrong to be unsatisfied with your life, and most of us are always looking for a way to move from where we are to somewhere better. Sometimes we are just trapped by our circumstances.

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