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  1. Hi there. So just to give you all a little background about me first: I'm 30 years old, I live in east coast USA, I work full-time, I live on my own in a one-bedroom apartment, I'm independent, college educated, no kids, single, people view me as an attractive man but my self esteem issues have me thinking otherwise; I'm just a hair under six feet tall, 160 pounds, I have an athletic build, I'm clean shaven always (I can't grow a beard, tried it once and it didn't work), and as of a few months ago I now have a mullet hairstyle (long in the back, trimmed up front). I have struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember, I am being seen by a therapist about my depression and anxiety issues, but right now it's tough because we don't meet in person, it's just been through remote meetings. I have been in a few long-term relationships, but every woman I dated it just ended up turning into a train wreck. My latest relationship was about 7 months, but I had to break it off because she had serious problems that I couldn't deal with at all. Right now I'm just "playing the field", and I don't care too much if I get left or hurt again because at this point I'm so used to getting hurt due to past relationships that have gone bad, that now it doesn't bother me anymore. I don't know how to property word my situation, but the long and short of it is....I feel like I have no social life at all. When I was in my 20s, I had it all: was going to parties every weekend, girls every time, friends always calling saying "hey bro, me and the boys are meeting tonight, wanna join us?" Like I said, I had it all, and I felt like life was going great. If I could do it all over again I would in a heartbeat, because I felt like I was in my prime. Lately what has been going on with me is that....I've pretty much hit rock bottom now. My depression has me very unmotivated; for example yesterday I had to work at 2PM (I work nights), and I didn't wake up until 11:30. When I did wake up, I was so unmotivated to do anything, that I decided to sit on my couch and play on my iPhone for a while until it was time to go to work. I pushed myself to get busy and pack my lunch, take my shower, brush my teeth, etc., but it's like I have to literally push myself to do anything. I usually get home by about 9:30 then I just take my work clothes off, get into my pajama pants, and turn my 65 inch TV on and watch a few shows before I go to bed. I try so hard to fall asleep, but my situation right now is that I live right next door to a fast food restaurant, and I am always woken up by people playing loud music through their cars. I spoke to the apartment manager about moving to a different apartment because of that. I try my best to get as much sleep as I can, but it's like I have to force myself to go to sleep; I have worked nights for a long time, and it's the only schedule I'm used to at this point. Work for me is the only thing that keeps my mind going, because I feel that when I'm at work that I have a purpose in life and it keeps me busy, but lately all it's been is work, sleep, repeat. I had some motivation a couple days ago to get out of bed and go to the gym, which is a miracle to me. The long and short of my situation is....I feel like I have no life. On my day off a couple days ago, I went to a city that's close to me where everything is open without restrictions due to the pandemic; I just went to a bar and had a few drinks by myself. I don't go to bars to drink necessarily, I go to bars because....where else can I 1) interact with other people in a laid-back environment, 2) potentially meet a woman and occasionally get lucky, 3) possibily make new friends along the way? I know some of you might be like "go to a coffee shop or the library or something", my response is: yeah that might be easy for people like you who probably work during the day, but I work in the evening so the only social interaction I have is going to the bars when I get out of work at 9:30, and during the day everyones at work, no one's really in the mood to socialize during the work day. Plus....I just like going to bars; people think I have a drinking problem because I like going to bars, but really, I just have a couple beers and take off. I go for the social interaction; one time I got really lucky: after working a 16-hour shift, I decided to go to a local bar just to have a couple beers, ended up bring home a drop-dead gorgeous 35 year old divorcee; also had a girl stuff her phone number in my hand and end up taking me to her place, and mind you these both happenened within a month after I went through a tough breakup. Lately, I've been going to bars by myself, and people say that if someone goes to the bars by themselves and tries to talk to women, that they are looked at as "creepy", but my problem is....all the friends I used to hang out with are all doing their own things, and it's very rare that I get a chance to hang out with anyone anymore. Another serious challenge is.... I have social anxiety really bad; I always fear that I'm not "fitting in", I also fear approaching new people and trying to talk to them, I also have so many questions in my head when I'm in a social situation, like "what are they saying about me now that I've walked away?" A good example of that was when I was in college, I lived in a dorm with several other students my age, and I felt like I was the "black sheep" of the group; when I would walk out of the dorm and there were several people sitting in the living room, I would be tempted to stay at the door to listen to what they're saying but something in my head said "don't do it!", because I always feared that what they would say would destroy me, like if they were to say "I'm so glad he's gone, he's weird" that would absolutely hurt me, so I was afraid to the point where I avoided even the possibility of hearing that. I remember once about ten years ago, I overheard someone talking about me in an office that I just walked away from where my colleages said about me, "he's a good dude. He tries his hardest to fit in", and for me, "fitting in" has always been a challenge to me. I remember another time that wasn't so flattering: when me and a group of my colleagues went out to the beach, we stopped at Denny's for a bite to eat; I had to use the bathroom, so what I did was turn on the voice recorder on my phone so that I can hear what they were saying about me when I walk away. One of my colleagues said "when he says something, I cringe. Just pretend you're on your phones when he's talking" and then he chuckled, another one of my colleagues said "we need to get him laid", There was about five guys at the table, and those were the only two pieces of feedback I received. I deleted the audio file afterwards because....I didn't know if what I did was even legal. My social anxiety has me thinking a lot about that, to the point where I'm even scared to hang out with some people for fear that I'm not going to fit in. I do my very best to be a good person to everyone in my life, but one thing I've noticed is that there's no "one size fits all" approach to anything, everything is different. So I'm stuck with the fact that I want to have a good social life and not live under a rock for the rest of my life, but also that I'm sometimes scared to talk to people because of my social anxiety. Also another thing....when I'm out and about and trying to meet women, a lot of my peers have advice on how to approach and talk to women, and often times it's very broad, so I often times think "there's no way i can do that in the way most people say to do it", so for the most part, I don't even bother. I need some advice from other people on how to go about this. I need help, I'm at this point a wreck. I know it's a lot of information and I appreciate those who took the time to read all this, I hope it doesn't sound too broad. I will be back on this board soon so if anyone has any questions about my situation please feel free to ask. Thank you all. Cheers.
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