Lucy Van Pelt, where are you when I need you?
September 1, 2010 10:58 AM Subscribe
So, I need advice with my life. Just as I'm starting to get comfortable with the idea of going to see a psychiatrist, it looks like I may be able to get a new job that is awesome on all fronts except no benefits.
Inside: My problems. Are they worth seeing a psychiatrist for or will they pass? Is there some other non-therapy way to get through this stuff?
posted by The Captain and Ten Eels to human relations (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Okay, so I guess I need to start this out with a little bit about myself. I'm 24, I'm a guy, and I'm gay. I've had some serious problems with coming out - problems that have majorly derailed my life. Without going into too many details, I basically failed out of my first semester of college upon falling for one dude, and ended up moving a way from a great, supportive group of friends to a soul-crushing job in pursuit of another guy (one that has literally sent me an itemized list of things he didn't like about me - what great taste I have). Now, for the first time in 7 years I'm by myself, and I think I'm ready to move on, but I don't know what I want to move on to.
I guess at the heart of my current problem is that I don't know what I want - professionally, romantically, academically - no idea, and this has kept me stagnant for the last five or so years. Since my first semester of college I've taken a handful of classes, and halfheartedly would like to finish up my degree, however when I'm actually in school I feel no motivation to actually do the work necessary to get to the other side. (I'll be honest it's because I - great ego that I am - tend to feel that the coursework is too easy and I get bored with it) Compounding this is the fact that with the job I currently have I've been given the chance to get paid to write - which is what I was going to school for - and I've found it thoroughly unfilfilling.
On top of that, I'm still not 100% comfortable with being gay. After a lot of introspection, I've come to the conclusion that this is based on some tremendously deep seated "othering" of the gay community - something that has me constantly fighting against myself even though I've ostensibly been out for a good 5 or 6 years. I'm trying to take steps toward the community - I've been making efforts to hang with other LGBT friends more often as well as particpate in events in my very gay friendly city (New Orleans). I went to the NOAIDS task force's gay prom last weekend and have plans to attend Southern Decadence this weekend - however these feel like token gestures as I've yet to actually find myself even remotely comfortable while I'm there. Of course, this may have more to do with my general unease with my self-image (I'm short, chubby and let's just say the years of stagnation has done wonders to my outlook on life) than anything else, but still, I guess I'm just not quite sure.
SO with all that in mind, I think I've found a job that might work out for me. It involves a lot of travel - something I've never done before because I'm perpetually broke - has comparable pay and best of all has nothing to do with the reprehensible people I currently work for. The only problem is that it doesn't (currently) offer benefits. The job I have now has great benefits - especially for mental health - and I was just starting to slowly feel comfortable with going see a psychiatrist.
I haven't been yet, so I guess if I take this new job I won't know what I'm missing, but I guess the question is, are these problems big enough to keep a job I hate (for the time being) so I can get some psychiatric help - or are these the type of problems that you just work through on your own? Has anybody else gone through something like this? What helped you figure out what you want?