I don't work or go to school. I have no friends. I live with/off my parents. Interacting with people – especially people I don't know – makes me very nervous. It's been like this for years. How do I turn my life around?
(If you don't have time to read this absurdly long post, the above says everything, really. Feel free to answer without reading further.)
So how did it get like this? Not sure. When I flunked out of college, I guess my parents told me I had to go back to school or go to work, and for some reason I said no. They didn't press the issue. Now I'm in my early twenties, and I've spent the past several years doing nothing.
Well, almost nothing. I have
taken a few college courses - and done well in them. I have worked a few part time jobs. Mostly though, I've spent all of my time reading - and occasionally posting at - an internet forum I'm addicted to. (Not this one.)
So what's stopping me from rejoining society? I think, in part, it's because years not-interacting with people have made me both deathly afraid of, and very bad at, interacting with people.
I'm nervous around all people – especially people I don't know well. I have a hard time looking people in the eye. And my speech is halting – I have a hard time thinking of things to say, and forming my thoughts into words.
I know everything gets better with practice – if I spent a good amount of time each day talking with others I'd get good at it! But that's easier said than done. I mean practicing Dance Dance Revolution is easy, because I don't care that I can't beat PARANOiA EVOLUTION on anything other than Light Mode right now. But I care deeply about my social skills. It's devastating when a) someone asks me “what's wrong with you?”, or b) my uncomfortableness makes someone else uncomfortable, or c) someone thinks I'm coming on to them when I'm not.
Anyway, I'm tired of being a miserable, parasitic, neurotic hikikomori; I'm sure my parents are tired of it as well. So I'm going to change.
Perhaps step one should be: asking my parents if they'd like to pay for therapy. I stumbled across this therapist-finder
, and I found a nearby cognitive behavior therapist who believes that therapy shouldn't drag on for years. I may go to her (even though her page, unlike a lot of other pages, doesn't say anything about having experience with LGBT issues.)
And I guess step two is: going back to school and/or getting a job.
My brother thinks I should go to college. A real college, not a community college. And a part of me really wants to do that. I'd like to stay in a dorm and everything, again. Every time I visit a college campus I get nostalgic. Plus I figure being surrounded by people - being part of a community - would be good for me. I also figure if I don't go to college now, I may never. But I dunno. I wonder if I'm too old for dorms and college parties. I wonder if “real” colleges (as opposed to community colleges) cost too much. And perhaps I shouldn't go for college unless I can pay for it all myself. I mean would it be fair to ask my parents to help pay, considering how long I've been mooching off them?
And maybe I should wait on college until after I've figured out what I want to do with my life. Do I want to be a journalist? Travel writer? Documentary filmmaker? Scientist? Physicist? Third world English teacher? Buddhist monk? I have no idea.