Feeling a bit lost in this world!
Firstly, I have to say wholeheartedly my feelings go out to anyone who is experiencing any kind of stress, anxiety, depression, feeling of rejection or feeling useless, lack of confidence or any combination.
Its seriously debilitating and it takes a great toll (for me at least) on the motivation/energy to actually do something to change this situation!
Anyway, my story.
I am a 23 year old guy and have been studying IT at a diploma level(which for all my life I have always been very interested in and motivated in) for the past 3 years with limited success. I have had 3 repeats at it. I have also worked my entire working life and currently still do work contract cleaning full time in the evenings and early mornings which is a very isolating, mindless and sometimes demeaning job, but I have always ended up talking myself into pulling in the dollars and taking overtime in a job I can do in my sleep to keep myself busy as opposed to spending my energy on a course that I struggled with because of my head not seemingly working properly! I have felt this way on and off for a good 3 years and that won't simply go away if I resign from this job. If I do that I fear I would have nothing... I have had to put the course on hold indefinitely until I sort this out as I am simply not capable of focusing my brain on anything else.
I don't have the energy for hobbies really. I just work and sleep and try and get my head in a space to do those things and keep my head above water.
Socially, I have 2 friends who have their own issues that I actually see on a semi-regular basis (once every 6 months, if that)from high school and have struggled to really branch out from there since I finished high school. School itself was a mixed bag for me, I suffered my share of bullying and harassment all in the name of good fun (at my expense). That seemed to follow me around until I switched schools in year 10 where I did much better, and thats where my self confidence probably peaked for me, at the expense of actual education, but even then there were one or two dickheads who seemed to think I was a good target to get a rise out of! This killed my confidence and no one seemed to actually take it seriously. Things that I saw other guys do, (go to parties, have relationships with girls, and just in general socialise and enjoy being a teen) were seemingly out of reach for me. Anytime I would actually try to step out of my comfort zone resulted in either rejection or more harrassment. That depression this all caused got so low I felt like just ending it all a few times during these years and of course if I confided in anyone who I felt would't overreact rather than solve the problem, it was just a massive joke. But I guess I felt I still had some time and it was just teen stuff and pulled through.
Anyway, here I am 6/7 years later, 23 years old and not getting any younger , suffering ongoing depression and anxiety that I usually do a good job of hiding on the surface, and I'm still scared s**tless of being put in that kind of situation again, it still really affects my confidence and its really getting in the way of my life. So I guess I have kind of isolated myself in my own little bubble. Got on Tinder last year in an attempt to branch out and meet people and had mixed success, took a break off that for a while and got back on last week, but that confidence, social anxiety thing is holding me back lol. frustrating. Same thing when I go out and meet people phsyically. I fear rejection and it really cuts me deep, not sure why??!.
The depression is pretty high currently.
I have also invested a lot of my time and hard earned money in counselling/psychology but my experience has been woeful. Currently looking for a new one but I have never found anyone I could actually open up to or had any idea of what I am experiencing.
Sorry if this doesnt make any sense, just thought it might help me to work through this to get it out in the open and off my chest. I am confused as to what road in life I take from this point..
Thanks for reading
Re: Feeling a bit lost in this world!
I'm glad that you posted here on RO because it's a great place to get things off your chest
It sounds like you've been going through a lot. In terms of your counselling/psychology I'm glad that you are looking for a new one because I've heard that it's so important to find the right fit for you. Sometimes that means trying a few different psychologists/counsellors until you find the right one that you're able to open up to. I really wish you luck in this aspect because I really do think it's great that you're still trying to find the right one for you.
For the IT diploma I really admire your perseverance. Sometimes it's like that, I've been studying at uni for almost 6 years now! It seems you are very passionate about IT. What aspects of it do you find challenging? Could you find a tutor? Otherwise are there other paths which interest you or would make you happy? (Sorry for all the questions!)
For your job it sounds like you work really hard but does it bring you happiness? Is there a possibility of you applying for new jobs in the meantime and see if you can get a new one. Is this something that would work for you?
It really sounds like you've been going through a lot! We're always here for a chat and to support you!
Re: Feeling a bit lost in this world!
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply, sorry it has taken me so long to respond!
Its hard for me to find time where I am in the headspace to actually talk about this stuff and not bury my head in the sand rather than address it! I'm sure why I do that?
I went through that same patch with counsellors/psychology this time last year, after a spike in depression and anxiety as I was feeling lonely at the time and I had just gone through months of stressing over my job over the xmas period the previous year trying to win my employer back his contract. I won my job security back for another year so at that point I though I could focus on this issue instead, I wanted some advice on how to manage those stressful situations. I was feeling much the same way, at the time.
I was advised to branch out more, look for different jobs (which is extremely difficult at the best of times, also not really sure what I would rather to be doing if its not IT related),find hobbies to meet people (which is difficult when I don't have one and when your anxiety and depression makes it hard to leave the house.) I got no advice on how to actually gain confidence in myself, deal with my demons and stop being so incredibly awkward in social situations, express my feelings about things and not being able to approach anybody, which stops me from branching out and opening up!!!!
It was suggested i continue on the lovan dose (anti-depressant/anxiety medication) I have been on for over 10 years but especially the last year it has caused pretty bad mood swings. I'm not willing to play god with any other drugs that could potentially make me worse. I'm barely holding on as it is... I have not done anything further about it since that point as I was tired of the trial and error. I just want to be happy in life and enjoy my young years while there still here! I cant handle any more of this shit.
What really kills me is seeing what appears to me is everyone else having a good time, socialising, having partners and I feel like a dysfunctional human being for not being able to have those things for myself. I simply just exist. All of these issues have taken over my mind and made it impossible for me to give any thought to my course at all apart from turning up to class and balancing it with my split morning/ evening work shift which definitely took precedence last semester. (even though I said I wouldnt let it do that).
I could get the best tutor for the subject and it still wont change that issue.
If I quit my job then potentially more frustration and trial and error, all while sitting at home doing nothing bringing in no income.... I am passionate about changing the social situation first and foremost before anything else...
Sorry for the long essay again. 6 years, wow. thats determination. RESPECT! I hope everything is working out for you and you have found a good balance in your life and your patience and hard work is paying off.
Re: Feeling a bit lost in this world!
Hey @jordz0928 thanks so much for the further info. It is good to hear you're not willing to play God with other drugs - very self aware and responsible. I hear your pain around the hobbies and jobs etc. You're onto something there, it's sort of like "I've got to work my way through this base issue of depression & anxiety before I can launch myself into the world fully." It sounds like you are having a very existential experience right now, which is totally okay
One thing I would say about therapy is, it can take a while to get the right ingredients. I have had five therapists, and now I don't actually use a clinical therapist but instead visit a buddhist temple for guidance - it comes down to whatever works most effectively at different stages of our lives I suppose.
However of the five therapists there was one in the mix that really helped engage and guide me. I am going to list below all the different strands of therapy that you can research, as it could just be you've not found the right modality for you. Also rapport is everything, do you get on well with your current practitioner?
Hope this info helps
- Existential Therapy (could be good for what you're experiencing)
- Process Orient Psychotherapy
- Humanistic therapy
- Person Centred Therapy
- Gestalt Therapy
- Narrative Therapy
This site is super helpful too.
Re: Feeling a bit lost in this world!
Thanks for reading through all of that, its good to hear that I am on the right track of at least identifying these barriers. Just being able to go out socially and talk to people apart from work colleagues (mostly older people, so hard to relate to at all! and dealing with older people in the workplace requires a whole different skillset! lol, I am supervisor at work ironically), approach new people, approach girls even, without totally seizing up in anxiety and thinking I am destined to be alone would be a good start. I know these things don't happen overnight but I have been told throughout my teenage years suffering the same shit 'the day will come' or 'it will all happen'... I am still waiting... There have been rare and far spread occasions that I have been able to do this but that has not been for a while. If I have bad experiences in any of the above and I'll take 100 steps backward... not sure why???? I'd like to be able to go with the flow like other people seem to and not get all cut up by it. I've never really been able to open up about that at all, ever.
I've been reading up about Existential therapy, thanks so much for these links. I''ll be honest I have also struggled to find someone or somewhere for the right guidance or mentoring as yet.
I should say my parents are on my side but their social skills or ability to show me any good examples over growing up have/had limitations theirselves and they are dealing with their own problems. So theres only so much I feel I can discuss with them. Before they start to tune out and tell me to stop worrying about it..