I am a 24 year old female at a pivotal point, and I need to address some serious personality and behavioural issues before I can figure out what I want to do with my life. Where are things going wrong here?
posted by DecemberRaine to health & fitness (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
So, a bit about me. I'm 24 y/o in relatively good health. I'm overweight, but have never had a problem with blood pressure, cholestorol, strength, flexibility, etc. I have lost about 60 pounds in the past year and most of the time feel quite well. I don't get a lot of planned exercise, but I do walk 20 minutes to work and back each day. I have had a history of hormone imbalance - never tested out of whack enough to treat, but I was started on birth control at age 14 to control my cycles, and took it off and on for almost 10 years. I am now off and my cycles are regular. I was once diagnosed with Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome though and do still notice some of the other symptoms associated with this.
From the age of 9 to 22 I struggled furiously with anxiety attacks, most often brought on in social situations. They were never treated, didn't know what they were until they started to go away. School was always easy for me, and I eventually learned how to do the least amount of work possible to get what I needed to get. I always did projects, essays and reports at the very last minute, and rarely did homework. I studied for exams the week before finals, sometimes the day of the exam. I graduated high school with an 85% average.
This system failed miserably in university, however, because I had no idea what I wanted, let alone needed, to achieve. Thus, I did no work. Actually, I passed a couple courses that were distance ed where I didn't listen to any of the lectures or read the textbook. I studied the course notes the night before and slept in the student lounge. Wrote a 60% on the exam. I drank and smoked a lot of pot in university to deal with the anxiety and ended up in a lot of debt with only half of a degree. I got involved with a married man and things ended horribly, as they tend to do.
(enter the upswing)
I move back to my home town, get a convenient job, meet some wonderful people. Job changes, move in with some friends, have a pretty good situation going on. I am happy, healthy, and involved in some wonderful, honest friendships and other relationships. Now I'm looking for the next step.
I am making enough money right now to pay my bills. I have the ability to also work from home in my spare time, but for some reason, not the motivation. I feel like I'm not sure where I'm going. Mentally, I'm struggling. I feel out of focus. I spend all my spare time repeating conversations in my head, daydreaming about conversations I want to happen (and more importantly, practicing what I will say). I have a hard time sleeping with this constant dialogue running through my head, and when I do manage to sleep deeply, I have a very difficult time waking up, mostly because I always just want to rest "a little bit longer". I write in my blog and spend a ton of time chatting to people online (mostly people that I'm sleeping with - I also seem to have a peaked libido). I do manage to get out of the house (when I'm not going to work) at least once a week, more during the summer as the weekends are always busy. Oh, and I work the midnight shift, so I sleep in the afternoons.
This isn't a self-confidence issue. I am totally comfortable with myself and who I am. I know that I am smart and if I can focus myself on something and really want it, I can do it. But I feel as if my mind gets stuck in a feedback loop. I used to spend a lot of time counting things (ceiling tiles, etc.) or counting out notes on my fingers when listening to music, being picky about making sure that my stride is the same length as the sidewalk blocks (not because of superstition, just as something to focus my attention on I think). I am "habitually ambiguous" in almost all of my day-to-day communications with people. I don't do well taking orders, mostly because I don't feel like the people giving them are worthy of my service - but someone who has a naturally dominant personality and is smart enough to understand my needs could, with the right amount of encouragement, at least motivate me to get *something* done.
I keep tossing back and forth "what I want to do". I know that I want to go back to university, but for what? Philosophy, psychology, women's studies, nursing - all things I've considered, and with my university background, all doable in 1 year part-time and 1.5 years full time. That will require me to pay off my debt (about $8,000), so that I can qualify for student loans. I currently make $12/hour working at a call center which is dull but tolerable. I know that working a couple hours a day of SOLID work from home, I could probably double my income. I was self-employed for almost 2 years, and always made *just enough* to get by, because I was only working *just enough*.
I should add that I am a fairly regular pot smoker. As with most other things in my life, I tend to binge. I will smoke a lot at once, but I also go several weeks or more without any (a couple years ago it would have been several months without any), and the behaviour is not improved. This started years before I had ever smoked a joint.
So, finally, my question. What on earth can I do to focus myself? Do I need therapy? Prescriptions? A good hard slap in the face? I am willing to entertain all suggestions here - behavioural therapy, drugs, herbs, books, meditation, getting a Chia pet, whatever just throw it out there.