That I've posed this question more than once before in various forms doesn't say very many good things, but the circumstances being what they are, I have to hope the answer is yet to be found. That's all I've got really- hope.I'm a 23 year old recent college grad ( in May, with a BA in psychology from Stony Brook University in NY), looking for love, a job, a journey and a purpose. I'm also in a wheelchair, unable to speak fluently in an increasing percentage of life situations, grossly overweight, unmotivated and uninspired. Help me build a life away from my couch and outside of daytime TV, Facebook and lies.
posted by marsbar77 to grab bag (25 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
A little more about why I feel landlocked:
- I have cerebral palsy: I'm thankfully 100% mentally but use a scooter and electric wheelchair to get around. I don't yet drive (I don't know if it's even physically feasible for me to start, and a car with hand controls is prohibitively expensive). I do, begrudingly, make use of NYC public transportation when I can, but it's so much more laborious of an endeavor for me than most ( worrying about battery life, catching buses, finding curbs, etc) that I don't do it often. My parents are able to drive me from place to place for now, but they're both busy and at some point, it becomes socially unacceptable to need to do this. Also part of the roadblock that is CP is a speech fluency and spasticity issue that seems to get worse every day. Where it was once limited to the phone and to new situations in which I'd be prone to social anxiety, I've reached a point where I'm unable to talk to my own family without much effort and physical distress. Needless to say, it's wreaked havoc on my social life and doesn't bode well for me in terms of job opportunities in our interconnected and social society. I should note here that I love people and would, if I were only physically able to, be around them all day.
Apart from the CP, the six years it took me to finish undergrad left me with little to show for them. I began to suffer a cadre of stubborn depressive symptoms from the end of sophomore year on ( lack of energy, need for lots of sleep, overeating, etc). I've managed to make do with Prozac but still struggle sometimes. The most crippling part of the condition is the way in which it prevented me from getting the most out of my colllege experience. university. It was too difficult for me to develop a meaningful relationship with most of them as I avoided office hours for the most part ( where I didn't, it was only to get an extension or advice on how to keep from failing a class) and kept to myself during lecture. It obviously follows that I have no research experience of any kind, no independent study experience and no real awards. My grades from sophomore year on are an exercise in confusion- all As one semester, half Cs/Ds, half As the next ( sometimes Ds in subjects I'd done amazingly in the semester before).
More difficult to reconcile than all this the fact that I've never ever followed through on anything and will always look for the easiest and most comfortable way out. People say I can write, but I hate writing ( I don't feel that I see the world's through a writer's eyes), I did reasonably well in certain neuroscience and psychology courses in school but I just feel like the biggest loser when talking about things like that because as intellectual as people have built me up to be, I hate reading, am not passionately curious about most anything, get tired easily and my emotional maturity needs fortifying. I feel like a big, dumb waste of space.
I've kicked around an ADHD diagnosis.... I cannot, under any circumstances, take stimulants ( even a low dose) because of high blood pressure so I just feel like mine will be a waste of a life. Anti depressants don't help, rewards don't help, chunking doesn't help. I don't care about anything enough and feel like I never will, because I never have, even as a child.
All this isn't to say that I don't have a very, very rough vision of where I'd like to go from here at least as far as the near future is concerned:
- All my friends are doing the whole TOEFL thing in places like Thailand and Israel. I'd like to travel and gain experience/meet new people, but that's tough with all of my physical limitations
- I'd like to make a decent salary at some point. How do I get and keep a job, though, with my brain and body being the way they are?
- I'd like to date and make friends with new people.... I have precious few who I talk to outside of Facebook, because of my anxiety.
- I'd like to lose weight. My problem though is that I use food as an antianxiety/anti hyperactivity drug and being hungry is more uncomfortable for me in a physical sense than I'd ever be able to bear long term. I need to be stuffed, and that on carbs and fat ( protein does nothing) in order to be happy. I know I don't have long to live if I keep on this trend.
Will I ever have a good, fulfilling and independent life? How can I make this happen?