My life is a mess - I don't know where to begin to start to improve things. Please help.
posted by seraph9 to grab bag (22 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I debated dividing this question up into multiple concerns, but they all seem to be interconnected and really I am just overwhelmed. Sorry this is long.
I am 34 years old. I suffered from severe social phobia and was almost completely house-bound for seven years after high school. I finally realized I was wasting my life, so I went to college, improved socially, made some friends, traveled and thought I finally had things together. I am also prone to depression and while I had taken meds earlier, this is the only time in my life where I felt the depression had completely lifted. It’s also the only time I was romantically interested in a guy ( it wasn’t reciprocated, but we became friends).
Anyway, about a year and a half ago, I decided to leave my small town and move to a larger city (Raleigh, NC) thinking I could more make friends and get a post-college life, basically.
However, I had no idea how hard moving would be. I still had my retail job from college and I transferred with the company, but ended up in a solitary position at my new store. I went to a lot of meetup.com groups, but would rarely see the same people twice and had a lot of guys asking me out on dates.
None of this should really be a big deal, but I think the combined stress of being in a new place without a support system, completely failing to make any new friends outside of a few co-workers that I see for about an hour a day, trying to date when I have never dated or been in a relationship before and hating my job has thrown me into the worst depression I can remember. In addition, the managers at work are starting to notice that I am not doing a very good job (I can't concentrate, end up crying in the bathroom, etc.) and are putting a lot of pressure on me.
I am seeing a career coach, and trying to find a therapist, but I haven't found one I "click" with yet. I’m really not sure how much longer I can go on like this.
Basically I need to make some major changes, but don't even know where to begin and the depression makes it difficult to make decisions or think clearly.
1. I hate my job. I'm 34 and working in a supermarket. I'm lonely and the monotony is giving my mind too much time to churn out depressive thoughts. However, I feel if I find another job, I will be leaving the only people I have gotten to know in this city - a few co-workers (not even friends really) that I see occasionally throughout the day. Also, I can't afford to take a minimum wage job and still pay the rent. I have a degree in Anthropology, so no clear-cut career path there. I have never known what I want to do. I think I would enjoy anything with some element of creativity and a team to work with.
2. I have no social life. This is partly my fault, I admit. I am still shy, and don't feel as if there are many people I can connect with. I tend to get along with eccentric, creative, somewhat geeky people and I haven’t been meeting them here. I have tried meetup, volunteering, taking classes, and the platonic section of craigslist. Now I am just too tired to try anymore. As an introvert, meeting new people is just exhausting.
Relationship-wise, I have been dating, but have not found any guys I am interested in. I think the depression may be suppressing any interest I might have.
3. I have three cats. I have thought moving in with roommates to lower costs so I can take a different job, or perhaps just doing something completely random, like traveling for awhile or going to work on organic farms, etc. but don't know what to do with the cats.
I don't know anyone who can take them even temporarily, and I don't think any potential roommates are going to want to live with three cats.
I might be willing to find other homes for some of them, but I would have to know it was a good home, and I don't know anyone interested in another cat.
4. I wonder if I should move to another city. This seems crazy at first, but I figure if I leave my job it will be like moving to a new city anyway, because I will no longer see anyone I know. Raleigh is so family-oriented, I really don't feel as if I fit in here. I hate all the sprawl and suburbs, and would love to live in a more walkable, vibrant town. I have even thought about moving back home, but just don’t see any future for myself there.
5. I have to move out of my apartment, as they have told me they are raising the rent again. I have two months to find another place.
So I don't know what to do. I feel like my life has fallen apart just when I was finally getting things together. I guess I had the unrealistic expectation that if I did the work to overcome social phobia, I would be able to have the kind of life I see other people living, but it's not turning out that way. I really need advice, ideas, just some perspective on things…anything. Thanks for reading all this.