Topic: Am I playing a role or actually living?

English Alexithymia Forum > Personal Experience

Am I playing a role or actually living?
02.01.2020 by User80057C73

There I was, scrolling through YouTube recommends when I see a reddit video on Alexithymia. As I am watching, I realize that I have a strong resemblance to the individual with this disorder. This is the first time I have encountered a word that explains what goes on inside my head. Or really, what does not happen in my head.

I’d like to share and possibly find people that have a similar mind to me. So, all of the time, it is like I am acting out a life that isn’t mine. I mirror emotions of others around me as I cannot make them up myself. Nothing goes on in my head, nothing but empty space. When friends come to me with emotional problems that they want me to help with, I have no clue how to help. I just give a generic answer like “If you don’t worry about life, it becomes better” or some bs like that. How am I supposed to help with emotions that I fake to try and live a normal life. This emptiness inside of me drains my energy and I try to find something to fill, or replace the feeling but nothing works.

Relationship are the hardest things to manage, can anyone relate? Even though I am in a relationship of nearly three years, I don’t know what I am doing. She, my girlfriend, is an extremely emotional person. To the point where she is very compulsive, and has attempted suicide multiple times. She is the total opposite of me, and that’s probably why I am with her. But, I am clueless of what to do when she is in a depressive state of mind and tries to run away from her problems (by run away I mean physically sprint, she’s lucky I’m athletic). When she has something like a panic attack, I just try to give her space. Bottom line is, she seems very fond of me even though I am extremely emotionless and I can’t understand her. Any advice?

A shorter way of explaining me would be, essentially I am a ‘dreamless sleep’ type person. When you fall asleep and see nothing feel nothing and exist as if you are waiting for something to appear, but nothing does. Does anyone else absorb other people’s personalities when you are with them and it’s like you actually feel something, but you know that it’s just an act and underneath you are just a pit of nothings that is endless?

Also I got a 152 on the quiz, 17 years old, been ‘empty’ since about 10 years old when some shit went down. Is there a specific age when anyone else started?

Oh yeah and happy new year and all that

10.01.2020 by User25417C14

Happy new year to you too! Thank you sooo much for writing this! I don't have Alexithymia but my boyfriend does. Honestly i don't know if he even knows it or if he hasn't found the courage to tell me. I just discovered the condition today but have seen (and have been questioning) all the signs/symptoms since I first met him. I couldn't make sense of him for the longest time until today and it feels like the greatest relief. All the miscommunications finally make sense. But now i realize that i understand him far far less than I ever thought. Reading about your experience and what goes on with you internally is invaluable; the more I understand him, the better I can support him. So thank you for sharing. I'm deeply sorry for the emptiness you feel inside, I'm only beginning to try to wrap my head around what life must be like for those with Alexithymia.

I do have a question for you, what motivates you to remain in your relationship? Do you get any enjoyment out of it? Do you experience any sense of love or affection for her?

Thank you!! ❤

11.02.2020 by User12327K97


I can definitely relate to what you're describing. I only figured out recently that I have Aspergers, and that's how I also ended up on this site. That's a long story in itself, so for now I'll stick to the Alexithymia thing. I've felt all my life that I'm playing a role and now at 31 I feel as if there are no more roles to play sort of. It's not so much that I don't feel anything, I do - but often it is easier to identify my feelings the stronger and more intense they are. Hence, when other people are emotional over minor things I have trouble relating to that. I guess my go to strategy for dealing with my feelings, or other people's feelings, is to find some practical way to find a solution, or to work it out logically in my mind.

However, my life was really complicated when I was a teenager, my mother died and a lot of other troubling incidents happened. I don't know exactly how I figured out why I wanted to learn meditation, but I decided to learn how to anyway, so as to let my brain relax and I can tell you it really helped me. I would recommend that both you and your gf give compassion meditation a try. It's worth a shot, and maybe you'll be able to connect better.

I got 151 on the test, btw.

20.02.2020 by kafofi

I feel bad sometimes for not being a good listener, sometimes people just want to vent and I end up getting into solving their problems just so I don't have to deal with the physical anguish of listening to them.
In my relationship I have always had communication problems. She did not feel loved and this always generated a lot of distrust and unhappiness for her. She forced me to seek therapy and discover my alexithymia, that was important. She was also very emotional, which constantly made me feel different and question whether I should be feeling this or that. I wondered if I shouldn't be sad or happy at certain times, not just with her, but in everything.
Today if I start dating someone I will make it clear that I have this problem, that I cannot read signs if the person is upset, if they are unhappy, if they are in trouble unless it is clear. There are no games of feelings with us. I think the relationship with someone like us works better if the other person understands that they need to clearly articulate the issues, which can sometimes be difficult for them as well.
My way of feeling is totally physical too and today I know myself more. If I am sleepy after some problem it is because I am sad, this one I already identified. It still lacks to know what causes me anguish in the chest, the pressure it gives in some parts of the head, tachycardia.
I like to physically feel good sensations like the sound of a loud speaker and the effort of my body while cycling. Perceiving my body is very pleasant, I think it compensates for the feelings that I do not identify in me.

09.08.2020 by DonnieCornfields


If anything even near the realm of traumatic happened to you when you were 10, the lack of sensation makes sense, unfortunately. Grown adults have difficulty dealing successfully with traumatic events or traumatic lives. Children do worse.

At a young age, the kid's brain literally cannot cope or process the enormous emotional spikes that can occur. And if the trauma is repeated then our unconscious part of our brain, the autonomous portion that controls your heartbeat and such,takes control and does some weird things.

It lowers it's own ability to feel, and can do so alllll the way down to zero. And if no adults around you demonstrate how to properly deal with grief, if there's no care or love directed to the child, that child's brain learns/assumes some things about the world.

That the world is harsh. That life is a violent struggle. And that it (your brain) will probably receive no quarter or rest. All of these perceptions and observations made by a brain, but they're pretty consistent lessons we take from traumatic experiences, whether we were child or adult when they happened to us. But children have a much harder time understanding what went wrong, their own role in it (really non-role since no one truly choose a bad thing to happen to themselves.

And all of this is made extremely more difficult for you, the person, to deal with successfully by our own brains continuous development. The emotional part of your brain, the older part that developed first, WILL hijack your control from you when it gets triggered.

Good luck, my friend. The brain can change for the positive, as well. Especially while it's still growing. Neural plasticity, brain malleability, all that