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How do I make friends and start enjoying life?
November 29, 2011 11:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm in my 20s and I always thought my life would be better than this by now. I'd love some advice on how to make friends and be happier and improve my life generally.

I don't think I'm depressed. I had depression in my late teens and I spent months self-harming and drinking too much and I used to regularly have to sit down and give myself a pep talk halfway through getting dressed because the idea of putting clothes on and leaving my bedroom seemed completely beyond my reach. This isn't like that - I'm functioning. I'm just not happy, and it feels like I've spent years hoping that soon I'll make some friends and have interesting hobbies and people will like talking to me and life will be fun.

As it is, I have hardly any friends and can't seem to make more. In fact, people seem to actively avoid me. I've had two family members visit my city recently and either not even tell me they were in town or mention it and then ignore various messages I sent suggesting we meet up. To be honest, I don't think I'd seek me out as a friend either. I'm pretty boring. I used to have hobbies but I've recently moved cities and can't seem to make myself start any of them up again. I'm shy and it would just mean meeting even more people that don't want to be friends with me. So I spend half my life hiding in my room wasting time on the internet and not doing work or housework or exercise, and feeling guilty about being lazy and unmotivated. I'm not passionate about anything - I feel like I'm drifting through life.

I have a great family but I can't talk to them about this. They're all really cool, upbeat people and they're busy with their own lives. Also, every time they ask how I'm doing I panic and say that 'life is great! and all my new friends are great! and I'm so busy and productive, yay!' and then they go on and on about how nice it is to hear me so happy.

I've had a few sessions of therapy before, but it was for major things and I'd feel really stupid turning up at a doctor's or therapist's office saying 'I can't make any friends and my life is boring and sometimes I cry because nobody likes me'. I feel self-indulgent enough even writing this whiny mefi question - I know there are a lot of people way worse off than me.

So, apart from that, what practical steps can I take to make my life better and be happier and make people like me more? (I'm already doing some volunteering, before anyone suggests that. And I've read most of the commonly recommended books like 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' etc.) Or do I need to just stop whinging and resign myself to the fact that I'm never going to be the fun happy person with loads of friends and that I just have unrealistic expectations of life?

Thanks in advance for any advice! Even 'oh, honestly, just get over yourself!' comments would be appreciated - I probably need a healthy dose of perspective. Throwaway email address is pohutukawa.trees@gmail.com, if anyone doesn't feel comfortable posting below.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (36 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have a great family but I can't talk to them about this. They're all really cool, upbeat people and they're busy with their own lives. Also, every time they ask how I'm doing I panic and say that 'life is great! and all my new friends are great! and I'm so busy and productive, yay!' and then they go on and on about how nice it is to hear me so happy.

If your family is great, you're doing them no favors by hiding your pain from them. Family doesn't need to be shielded from the hard things in your life, and if you find them a good source of support, it's one of the first things I'd advise.

No, it won't be fun for them to hear that you're not having an easy time of it, but it'll be honest, and honesty is almost always better than anything else. Besides, they're the people who (most likely) know you best at this point, so they may already have some strategies to help you cope that you might be too deep in depression to remember.
posted by xingcat at 11:30 AM on November 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Find interesting meetup.com groups - maybe ones that host travelers or are foreign language conversation groups or do sports or whatever you find intriguing. Be prepared to try several. Go to them, find people you like, invite them to do fun stuff - meals, drinks, museum visits, etc. Invest in a few such people. Don't be dependent or clingy, and be quite casual. Things should develop.
posted by shivohum at 11:30 AM on November 29, 2011


A diagnosis doesn't solve problems in and of itself, but dysthymia is a very real and very frustrating form of depression and might be what you're dealing with.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:37 AM on November 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


I think it's pretty common to be let down by life in your 20s - the real world sucks, making friends is hard, and nothing is nearly as exciting as they make it seem on TV. But it does get better. Think long term, work hard at something, find a few things you enjoy doing and do them. You'll make friends and meet people and in 10 years you'll be much happier with where your life is.

Sorry it sucks - I've been there.
posted by TallulahBankhead at 11:37 AM on November 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


First of all, stop beating yourself up about the whininess of your question. Its your situation and its limiting the way you interact with people and how you feel about yourself. Therefore, it is important. And really useful to speak to with a therapist about (if you want a data point, I just spoke to my therapist today for a FULL HOUR about boys. Doesn't get much sillier than that.)

It seems like there are a lot of threads lately about the 20s malaise, so please understand that it isn't just you. Loneliness skews the way you think about yourself and seems to amplify the way we perceive people acting towards us. I see a lot of myself in what you've written and the mindset that has helped me was that 90% of what people do has NOTHING to do with you. Nothing at all. They're drifting and figuring shit out too. Those family members that avoided you? Well, maybe they had plans that they thought you wouldn't enjoy. Maybe they lost their phones while they were in your city. Whatever, it happened, but it probably has little to do with you. (Another permutation of the mindset I mentioned above that helps when I get crippled by thinking I'm pushing people away is to think just how egotistical it is of me to think I could factor into people's thinking *that much.* Might not be helpful for you but it helps pull me out of my head.)

With regards to not pursuing hobbies - a lot of it could be depression (which takes many different forms, not all of which have to be a crippling inability to function) Various things (therapy, meditation, even meds) have helped me and many others in that regard.

But again, it could be a mindset thing. I listened to, and felt very inspired by, JK Rowling's 2008 Harvard commencement speech recently. My favorite quote: "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default." Just something to chew on the next time you talk yourself out of meetups/hobbies/whatever. Good luck, I'm rooting for you!
posted by Eudaimonia at 11:41 AM on November 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


I've had a few sessions of therapy before, but it was for major things and I'd feel really stupid turning up at a doctor's or therapist's office saying 'I can't make any friends and my life is boring and sometimes I cry because nobody likes me'.

Nonsense - this has to be why half the people in therapy are in therapy! This is what therapy is for. And this is something therapy is incredibly good at helping with. This IS a "major thing" - your life and your everyday contentment. There's nothing else as major or as determinative for what your entire lived experience is going to feel like. That is major. Don't listen to the part of your brain saying that you're not worth working on to fix this (very fixable) issue. Get on the phone and find someone to work with - because this is something you can see real improvement in through therapy.

There are all sorts of other suggestions - meetups, volunteering, talking to friends and family - and while those are good and will help, I doubt any of them will help you as profoundly and surely and, in fact, swiftly as therapy will. You sound depressed, even though you are aware it's not the same kind of acute major depression you had before, but when you say "I can't make myself go out and do things" that kind of lacklusterness and vague unease can indeed be symptomatic of a depression that's real and treatable. So don't dismiss the idea of therapy because you imagine it's only for people with dramatic problems. It's for everybody that wants to address problems that prevent them from living with a normal level of satisfaction - just like physical therapy is for everybody that wants to address the problems that prevent them from moving around with a normal level of satisfaction.
posted by Miko at 11:47 AM on November 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


I don't have a lot of answers to your specific question, in part because I have been in your situation and found it very difficult. It's hard in your mid-20s, especially when you're in a new place.

Hobbies and interests will help, as will time. But that's not what I came here to say.

I came here to say, you might be depressed. There are ways to be depressed that don't involve binge drinking or needing to be talked specifically off of a specific ledge.

It seems like your needs aren't being met, and you're questioning your worth as a social being. That's going to hurt somewhat. It's okay to hurt when your needs aren't being met. That doesn't mean you're a wimp; it means you're aware of what is going on with you. It's okay to trim your sails when necessary, and to ask for help when you don't know how to trim them. That's what I wanted to say.
posted by gauche at 11:48 AM on November 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


... I wanted to say what Miko said.
posted by gauche at 11:49 AM on November 29, 2011


(This sounds like depression to me, honestly. Wasting time on the internet, not motivated to go anywhere, fibbing to family about how you're doing, believing that everyone else is better than you and thinks you're boring, believing that mefites would plausibly tell you "get over yourself" when you're unhappy...yep, sounds like depression to me. Therapist, possibly meds, definitely scheduled bouts of exercise like a class or a meet-up where you can't duck out without it being obvious.)
posted by Frowner at 11:49 AM on November 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'd feel really stupid turning up at a doctor's or therapist's office saying 'I can't make any friends and my life is boring and sometimes I cry because nobody likes me'.

At some point I realized I spent a good five minutes describing to my shrink the difference between two technical concepts that I doubt he had ever heard of or cared about. I stopped myself and said "wait, this is stupid, why are we talking about this." His reply? "I'm the shrink and I decide when what you're saying is stupid. Keep going." And somehow that conversation turned into a conversation about something Important.

So don't poo-poo something that can really help you on the basis that your problems aren't good enough to deserve therapy. Let the therapist decide.
posted by griphus at 11:49 AM on November 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


...that you think your problems aren't...
posted by griphus at 11:50 AM on November 29, 2011


The people I know who seem to have this problem have certain things in common. They complain a lot, they seem to be overly fixated on their own shortcomings, and it makes them unpleasant to be around. While they do reach out to others, they always seem to be testing and measuring the connection and searching for signs of imbalance and unfairness ("how often does so-and-so call me, versus how often I call them?" and other things that people in comfortable friendships rarely dwell on) and they don't seem to really confident that their friends actually like them. Often what they're picking up on is quite real, because even friends who like them may hold them at arm's length. Meanwhile, they also complain a lot about all the other people out there -- how they are users, leeches, liars, drama queens, etc. -- and it's exhausting to hear that litany of negativity.

These people always seem to be really attached to ideas that have no hope of getting off the ground: "If only I could just work on my music, or get my business started, or quit smoking, etc. etc." But there are always obstacles (often fairly minor ones) that keep these goals just out of reach -- conveniently, I think. They are picky and want everything to happen on their terms, so they wind up thinking that the compromises they make toward getting out there and living life are much greater than they actually are. The smallest extension of themselves seems to require great effort, and if for some reason it doesn't wind up working out for them, they are far less likely to try again.

What's funny is that I have also noticed that these people seem to have a much greater network of friends and well-wishers than they seem to think. I went to a birthday party recently for one such person -- I made a special effort to go, because I knew he was nervous about whether anyone would show (and frankly, I was too). But it turned out lots of people came. It makes me think that some people simply aren't happy with the network they already have -- they're keenly aware of status, they feel like they deserve better, they feel superior to most of the people in their lives and worry about how these people will reflect on them, or they're simply envious of others whom they perceive as more popular or occupying a more interesting circle. Funny though, whenever I've made an effort to scoop up one of these people and introduce them around, they fold under their own social anxiety or practically go out of their way to make a bad impression.

I don't know if you'll relate to any of this. I don't mean to say this is you. But these are some of the things that have kept me from being good friends with certain people, despite my best efforts. I watch them struggling and know that I will only do so much to help, because I can't solve their personal problems for them, and it's not flattering or fun to know that someone has befriended me out of sheer desperation and loneliness.
posted by hermitosis at 11:50 AM on November 29, 2011 [34 favorites]


Even 'oh, honestly, just get over yourself!' comments would be appreciated - I probably need a healthy dose of perspective.

No. You already have way more than a healthy dose of that particular perspective. Get over yourself, this is not that bad, you are self indulgent, you are too whiny, etc. The last thing you need is more of that.

The perspective that you need more of is -- wanting friends and happiness is NORMAL! It's what most people are after. It's okay for you to want this and be upset about not having it. There's nothing bad about you at all for that.

I'd feel really stupid turning up at a doctor's or therapist's office saying 'I can't make any friends and my life is boring and sometimes I cry because nobody likes me'.

Don't feel stupid about that. I think you don't even realize how many people BECAME therapists in the first place because they want to to help people with exactly those issues.
posted by cairdeas at 11:53 AM on November 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think you don't even realize how many people BECAME therapists in the first place because they want to to help people with exactly those issues.

This just occurred to me: if I were a therapist and I were dealing all day with people who are suicidal and who can't stop re-living horrible traumatic events from their childhood, I would love to have the occasional patient whose problem was something like yours. Not because you have such an easy problem or because I could just tell you to suck it up, but because you can't talk people down off the ledge 40 hours a week, not for very long anyway.
posted by gauche at 12:02 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


My advice? Therapy. Possibly antidepressants.

But while you're at it, pick up Schopenhauer's Essays and Aphorisms which contains such gems as:

“Much would have been gained if through timely advice and instruction young people could have had eradicated from their minds the erroneous notion that the world has a great deal to offer them.”

It is reviewed here, where the reviewer concludes:

"Pessimistic thinkers, contrary to popular belief, are often strangely and paradoxically the most uplifting. If we believe that we exist to be happy we are likely to encounter a lifetime of frustrations that cause deep unhappiness. Happiness, whatever little we may experience, is merely an added side benefit of this thing we call life and we should be thankful for that. Take a lesson from Arthur Schopenhauer: be a practical pessimist. You might just find that you live in a better world then you initially thought. And this, assuredly, is a pleasant surprise."
posted by edguardo at 12:03 PM on November 29, 2011 [19 favorites]


Just seconding the observation that the twenties really tend to suck hard if you're a reasonably intelligent and introspective person.

Tough it out, mate. Try not to fuss. Try not to think about yourself so much. Try to think about what's outside of you. Explore. Experience. Don't expect. It gets better. Usually.
posted by Decani at 12:03 PM on November 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


One word: Exercise.

Seriously, exercise. Join a gym and start pumping some iron. Buy some dumbbells and a cheap bench and get to it. Really dig into it. Warning: After seeing results, can be addicting! I am a true believer that exercise is an amazing catalyst to a better quality of life. It releases endorphins (happy feelings), makes you lose weight, gives you more energy, and most of all it also creates a certain confidence in someone as you tend to look better and have a more positive outlook because of it. This is not a good thing, but a great thing. Keep it up and maybe friends of the friendlier nature might approach you if you know what I mean.
posted by amazingstill at 12:04 PM on November 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow, I could've wrote this exactly almost word for word. Except I'm in my thirties. I hate to tell you this but it sucks even more when you're going through this and you're almost 40 years old. So, my advice to you is go back to therapy now while you're still so young. That's what I wish I would have done.
posted by daydreamer at 12:11 PM on November 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am you! Or, I have been. And I learned that this is what therapy is for! I spent the first few sessions with my therapist going, "Everything I'm saying is dumb," and feeling stupid for needing therapy for something so basic as being vaguely dissatisfied. The problem is: I was vaguely dissatisfied all the time -- and I had a hundred reasons why I couldn't fix it. Therapy helped dramatically.

What also helped was telling my parents, who I'm close to. In my case, there was the addition of social anxiety, which I'd been hiding for as long as I can remember. Honestly -- I cannot recall a time when I wasn't pretending not to be scared. My family were immensely understanding, and I live a happier life when I don't feel compelled to keep up the *pretense* of living a happy life.
posted by linettasky at 12:21 PM on November 29, 2011


Therapy isn't just for giant big horrible things.

HOWEVER- feeling like you're friendless, boring, yada yada yada for YEARS is actually kind of a big deal.

You can go into a therapy session and say this: "I'm not happy, I feel like I am treading water trying to be the person I want to be. I'd like help to figure out how to reinvest my energy."

I promise, the therapist is not going to be all "ppshhhaw, come back when somebody dies."
posted by Blisterlips at 12:28 PM on November 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


I came here to say dysthymia too. Since it's milder than depression, it can be insidious: you're still getting up and paying the bills, so it's easy to think you're not sick and that low-grade blah feeling is just the way you are.

I was diagnosed with dysthymia several years ago, and it was like "wait, this constant low-grade crumminess is treatable? It's not just that I suck?" Oh man, the difference antidepressants made.

Make no mistake: getting treatment for depression won't necessarily make it easier to make friends or clean the house or figure out what you want in life. But it will prevent your brain from beating yourself up when you don't succeed at those things.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:34 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will put myself on the record as someone who used to have trouble getting myself to do all the fun things that I enjoy doing, and then I went to my doctor and said, "Hey, I'm unmotivated and sad but basically fine and functioning - is this a thing or am I just being whiny?" and my doc said, "Hey, that's depression!"

And then I tried some drugs and some therapy, and it wasn't all magically fixed overnight, but I do things now. I enjoy my hobbies again. I spend way less time thinking that I'm boring and stupid and why haven't I written the great american novel yet (or any novel, for that matter) and oh god I am a faaaaailure. I can just do stuff because I enjoy doing it without putting this huge pressure on myself to Accomplish Things and Live A Worthy Life. I think that's part of what depression did to me - it made me feel like I was very small and insignificant and incapable of rising to be a worthwhile person. Which meant everything I did was An Attempt and then A Failure instead of just a thing that I was doing. I feel like I have the freedom to make mistakes now and be a little boring if I want to and it's not a huge character flaw.

So what I'm saying is - please go see someone. A doctor that you trust, or a therapist, or both. Depression doesn't have to be life-debilitating for it to count as depression. You don't have to be at the bottom of the barrel. It's not selfish to want to feel better.
posted by marginaliana at 12:37 PM on November 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


So other people have it worse. So what? There's exactly one person on the planet who can't point to someone else who has it worse off than them - is everyone else not allowed to want to be better off/happier? Wanting things To Be Better doesn't mean you can't be grateful for what you have and your advantages. Allow yourself to want more.

Now, an inability to appreciate what you DO have can certainly qualify as depression. Don't get hung up on whether you're bad enough to qualify. Like any disease, whether it be common cold or cancer, depression comes in different flavors and levels. Like them it can be debilitating without being full-blown.

Maybe that means meds. Maybe that means opening up to your family. Certainly it can mean therapy. Seek out help to have the life you want. You have every right to it.
posted by phearlez at 12:40 PM on November 29, 2011


I know you don't think this is depression because you've been through something more severe, but it sounds like you've retained the characteristic "depressed" way of thinking even though you've moved past the crippling mood issues. I'd call it residual or minor depression (IANAD). A quick lit search shows that retaining these types of maladaptive cognitive patterns makes people with a history of depression more likely to become depressed again (Haeffel et al. 2005). People with this cognitive style tend to be very pessimistic and negative which is terribly unattractive to happy, well-adjusted people. I could go for hours about negative cognitive styles, but I'm a bit preoccupied at the moment. I'd be happy to talk more about it if you want to memail me.

Therapy is great even when you're not at your worst. In fact, times like these, when you're functioning but not totally better, are when you can do a lot of great work because you actually have the ability to get out of bed, show up for sessions and really try to change your life. I think it could do wonders, but if you're looking for non-therapy suggestions my favorite are exercise, ACT self-help (book), and group therapy (I know I said non-therapy, but group therapy is a totally different beast and it's usually a lot less expensive).
posted by Mrs.Spiffy at 12:41 PM on November 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


while I understand your need to protect your parents from the ugly truth, you don't have to make things up either. It's fine to just say, "meh, I'm okay."
posted by Neekee at 12:59 PM on November 29, 2011


You are allowed to feel the way that you feel.
posted by Neekee at 12:59 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll ninth going to therapy.

Get some exercise pronto. Walk around outside on a regular basis. Ride your bike. Join a gym and work up a sweat. Don't think about it. Don't beat yourself up that you haven't exercised all year, or you are too out of shape to exercise, or you can't afford a gym, or have no workout clothes, or none of that crap. Don't convince yourself that you are special and exercise won't work for you. Just do it. I promise you will feel better. I'm not saying sunshine will be shooting out of your ass but you will feel better.

I have been in your shoes. All day internet usage, neglecting exercise and people -- these are bad habits. When the human body sits day after day it can do some really bad things to the mind. It can make you boring. And speaking of boring, what is your definition of boring? It's okay to be a regular person. Don't knock being a regular/average person.

I'm not trying to discount depression at all but also know that we aren't built to sit all day and dwell. You are not special case. You are not a victim and do not for one second tell yourself that you are not equipped to make friends, be productive, be happy, etc. Don't tell yourself a self-defeating story that it's never going to happen for you.

Do the exact opposite of what you're currently doing to break up some of the destructive habits. Tonight instead of browsing the internet all night do something else. Anything else. You say your housework is lacking. Tonight, or right now, put on some music or mindless TV and do some laundry, clean your kitchen, change your sheets. Throw some stuff away. Take a shower and go for a walk. Go to a movie alone. Browse a bookstore. Make a new recipe. Don't get bogged down in searching for recipes or books or movies on the internet.

You do not need loads of friends to be happy. Right now concentrate on talking to people you see and meet (work, gym, volunteer position) and enjoying these conversations, even if it is small talk. It will mostly be small talk. Be friendly, take it easy, and just enjoy the people you come across. Call a family member or friend you feel comfortable with and invite them someplace -- lunch and a movie, shopping, whatever.

Be kind to yourself and don't be afraid to be honest and reach out to your loved ones.
posted by Fairchild at 1:00 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


'I can't make any friends and my life is boring and sometimes I cry because nobody likes me'.

This is what about 98% of people in therapy are in therapy for. I think you should join them. Depression doesn't have to be all lack of will to live; it can be a complete lack of motivation, too.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:42 PM on November 29, 2011


First, it was hard to ask this question and you did a good job of putting yourself out there, which I admire. It's not easy to ask for help but it's the right thing to do. You must be very lonely and disappointed in your life.

Moving is HARD. Making all new circles of friends and restarting hobbies is HARD. Some people are great at it but most people are not.

I was talking to my mother-in-law about when she moved to her current city, and they literally had a welcome wagon! The neighbors came by and made a point of introducing themselves. Their coworkers were the same age as them and in the same phase of life.

Unfortunately we're not all so lucky, and we have to start from scratch, often in a place where people don't have money to go out much, or their apartments are to small for get togethers, or...it's hard.

Therapy is good step, but here are two other ideas:

1. Join a church with a young adults group that meets regularly. This is how my partner got most of his friends and it's great to be able to simply show up in one place and see friendly faces every week. If you're open to making friends of different ages, you can make friends with the general congregation. It can be like having a lovely second family. (I am not religious so I don't have any ulterior motives here).

2. Loneliness HACK! Your brain needs a certain number of pleasant interactions a day to keep you from being lonely, they don't have to be with friends and they don't have to be deep. Go to a cafe and chat with the baristas, the same one every day. Go to the same corner store every day. Engage in small talk. It will really help you feel less lonely and getting to know a few people in your 'hood is good practice anyway.

Good luck! I know you can do it!
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:11 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


one word: pot
posted by cupcake1337 at 4:08 PM on November 29, 2011


yep, sounds like depression to me as well. and in my 20's, i basically didn't believe that my friends were actually my friends because i couldn't believe people would actually like me. so, i thought i had fewer of them than i did and wasted a lot of time talking to people about why i didn't have real friends.

then, i started taking medication and realized it was basically my overly sensitive to rejection perception and the fact that it can be quite tiresome to reassure someone that yes, you really do like them and they're not horrible.
posted by Maias at 4:12 PM on November 29, 2011


You may be depressed and therapy would probably help. But if you're not interested in going that route, there are other things you can try. If you're female, are you on hormonal birth control? You might try something non-hormonal. Can't hurt, might help. Ditto regular sleep, good diet, exercise. Also, a pet. A cat is good, a dog is better for forcing you to be social and active.

My mid-20s sucked, and I think that's true for a lot of people. But I don't think they were objectively bad--they just weren't meeting my expectations. So maybe the problem wasn't my life but rather my expectations of it. I'm not saying to be a misanthrope or give up on life, but acknowledge that it's okay to be dissatisfied and restless and aimless, and to mourn the "better" life you'd pictured yourself having by now. I wish I had known that, anyway.

Good luck.
posted by elizeh at 4:14 PM on November 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I work in an environment where there are lots of graduate/fellow/PhD types who, because of persuit of their education, go from school to school in various parts of the world. I noticed that they all became involved in some sort of hobby or group when they arrived at our school. Sierra Club, history round table, quilting/sewing group or athletic bunch. It always facinated me because I was and still am pretty much a loner. I finally used the same technique a few years ago when I became divorced and got tired of sitting around the house. I put my big girl panties on and joined a local contra-dance once a week and also a Civil War roundtable. Other advice, don't concentrate on yourself when around others. Ask questions, engage others, find common interests. Unfortunately society sets folk up to think you're supposed to be happy every frigging minute of the day-forever. Not! But getting out there and being engaged will help a lot.
posted by PJMoore at 6:09 PM on November 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't listen to cupcake!!! Pot will make it worse in the long run!
I know from experience. I thought pot was the cure for my blues at first but after about a year of daily smoking, I felt like an even bigger loser than before.
I say try yoga or running or swimming. If that doesn't work, try therapy and don't be ashamed. Think of it like seeing a general doctor for a mole. Sure a mole seems little and insignificant, but it could be cancer.
posted by hellameangirl at 10:08 PM on November 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


to clarify: if you start smoking pot you'll make more friends b/c you'll need meet and actually talk to people to get it. the actual smoking can also help you enjoy life more.
posted by cupcake1337 at 4:33 PM on November 30, 2011


From the OP:
Thank you all so much for your comments. Sorry for the delay in replying; I wanted to think about what you all said for a while.

I went to see a therapist today - the opportunity more or less fell into my lap and it felt like a sign. (Although I probably wouldn't have done it without all your encouragement.) I basically went in, sat down, opened my mouth and burst into tears. It was somewhat mortifying. But she was lovely and really non-judgemental and I think it's going to help. She wants us to talk about depression/medication/etc next time, so I'll see what she thinks.

I also signed up to a couple of Meetup groups. I haven't been to either yet but, hey, small steps. And I managed to talk myself into going for a run the other day.

Honestly, all your comments have made me feel so much better. I just felt really snowed under with everything and you've made me realise that a) maybe I'm not a total loser for feeling like this, and b) there are things I can do that might help. Particular thanks to everyone who said they also feel/have felt like this - it made me feel a lot less alone.

Thanks, Mefites! You're all wonderful people.
posted by jessamyn at 4:14 PM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


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