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I am stuck and depressed. Can't do anything about it. Or can I?


WadeCure

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I posted a while ago about trying to find a new job. Well several months (or whenever I made that post, might have been sooner than that, I don't remember) later I am still in the same position. I may have posted about the job advancement thing, well they still haven't advanced me. But regardless. I am in a small town with virtually no friends and still living at home with my Mom TRYING my best to get back to where I was before, looking every single day on the major job sites. A year ago I was living with my ex-girlfriend in the city that I wanted to live with several friends. Now I'm living at home with my Mom with no friends.

 

Well, there is one friend - but he's not supportive of me moving away. I have no personal life. It's literally get up, go to work, work out at the gym, eat, sleep. That's my life's routine. There is no way to have any single activities here in this small place. It's a place for people who want to raise families. So if you are single here, you aren't likely to find anybody.

 

I'm in information technology, I'm a software developer. There are no jobs for software developers in the state that I currently reside, and definitely not in the city that I want to reside in. I haven't really explored outside of the state (that's coming up.) On a popular information technology job search engine dice there is a popular meme on the board where everyone says "the OP should abandon IT. Best of luck." I feel like a failure. I spent 4 years pursuing a Computer Science degree and I can't find a job in the place that I want to live in. As a result, my personal life does not exist anymore. I have had suicidal thoughts for a while. I am beginning to accept that I'll never live in the place that I want to.

 

I am starting to be hard on myself. I wonder what my ex would think of me now. 27 and living at home, struggling to make it, with no friends and no personal life. If she thinks she's better off now. She's in another relationship now and I haven't been in contact with her. The other day she started following my Twitter (she followed back in April then stopped following.) Funny, because the day she started following me was the day after I had this tweet to say about our relationship:

 

a real good friend of mine is in a position that I myself was in a year ago. to say I totally sympathize with him is an understatement. i dodged a bullet and became removed from a relationship that was totally toxic to me. the person i was seeing was nothing short of... completely selfish, completely inconsiderate, and completely disrespectful of me. as a result of that - getting out of that toxic situation i became a heck of a lot better person. I got myself right spiritually, mentally, and physically. still a ways to go but substantial prog

 

I don't know if she read that but chances are since she elected to follow right after that... the timing is very fishy. Regardless. I have nightmares of her verifying how I feel about myself - that I'm pathetic and a failure for being in Computer Science. Of her thanking her lucky stars that she's not with me. Not to say I want to get back with her. I don't. I want someone better than her. But my ego is killing me.

 

I am turning 28 in two months. I do not want to live at home. I want to move forward with my life. I feel like I am stuck and I am becoming irrelevant while everyone else is getting married, having families, so forth. I worry that I'll be 30 and in the same position. I want to come back to the place I love. But it's looking like it will never happen.

 

So as I feel my time ticking. Should I consider moving an incredibly far distance away or continue to wait for something that may never come? I'll be away from my Mom who I love, she's about all I have, but I don't want to be a Momma's boy. I want to be an adult. I have a lot of fears about moving far away. I will know no one. I'm shy.

 

I feel like such a failure. I feel helpless unless I give up the futile dream of moving back. I don't know what to do.

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It sounds like the circumstances of your life are piling on top of you and pushing you toward feeling extremely hopeless and worthless.

 

Its true, you do have some tough circumstances - just plain hard reality. It sounds like the main "reality" problems are - hard to find a job in your field (may require moving away from your closest relative), very few avenues to having a social life outside of work.

 

When a person feels socially isolated, it tends to make them start to feel depressed, hopeless, helpless, etc. So one thing to be aware of is that you are in a bit of a cycle that is pulling you downwards. Just because at the moment you are feeling hopeless and worthless does not mean that you ARE hopeless and worthless. Try to think of that as your mind playing tricks on you. Another way of putting it is that when you are depressed, your thoughts will lie to you- they will tell you things that aren't true. You may need to push yourself to challenge these negative thoughts so you don't go further down the tube of depression.

 

If you spend some time reflecting on the type of life you want for yourself, what does it look like?

 

It sounds like having a job in your field is important to you, as is a social life. From what you've said, you are not going to find the social life where you're at - but one thing I want to ask you- if you were living in a bigger city, would you be able to go out and create a social life? You mentioned that you are shy. I am just trying to figure out how much your shyness plays into feeling isolated - if it is truly geographic or if your own actions are leading you into an isolated position in life.

 

Maybe you can write more about these things I've posted and it will give others some more information so we can come up with ideas to help you.

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Right, my view. Give up software as a career, and move to China to teach English. OK your never going to get anything near the pay you got but your whole life will change for the better.

 

Living in China will seriously improve your confidence, and you will be so busy making friends

(everyone here wants to be your friend), learning the language, and in general enjoying the experience that you wont be in a rut at all.

 

As far as the job goes I was in your position. 4 years of college studying IT and then a Masters (haven't gotten around to finishing it yet). Got a job with Sun (super happy), got fired 5 months later because of downsizing(this was last year just before they were aquired by Oracle).

 

Well with no money I had to move to my moms, litterally the sticks. The nearest village was an hour away. The only companionship I had (apart from my mom) was my next door neighbor (right beside us), nice guy 50 years old.

 

I started farming vegetables and doing a lot of landscaping by hand to eat up the time. Well I was damn near the point of sticking my head in the microwave after a month of that.

 

Then made plans to move to China, contacted a University in an average city (about 4 million, not the main centres, avoid them) and now I'm here. I'm so appreciated here and things are much better. Teaching English (if you make an effort) is quite a lot of fun.

 

OK there are more details, my wife is Chinese, and she had already moved there etc. but it shouldn't be hard for you. The University will take care of everything, apartment, paperwork, and will refund you the cost of your ticket.

 

And your only a year older than me to boot. You've heard the phrase there are plenty of fish in the sea? Well your living in a puddle. Come to China, it's the Ocean. Your not a failure at I.T. I'd say your probably like me, average. But right now there is only room for the exceptional. Average doesn't cut it. So, cut your career losses and go somewhere you are wanted.

 

beginning now you could expect to be in China, starting work the end of August 2010, next year. That would give you a goal.

 

Any questions bud just ask.

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Hey there:

 

Being confused and depressed is a common part of the change process. It is important that you embrass what your subconsious is telling you. The best way I know to move on to the next step is to train yourself to ask positive outcome questions. Experience shows that you will only find the answers to the questions you ask. i.e.: why do I suck will only lead to answers that reinforce the belief that "you suck". Makes sense?

 

Here is a series of questions to get you started (they are not from me but borrowed them for you)

 

1. Who do I love, and what am I doing about it? When someone dies (two of my kids’ grandmother just died, so I’ve been thinking about this a lot), you realize that you never know how much time you have with the people you love. They can go at any time — as can you. And so you must make the most of this time.

 

If you aren’t spending time with the people you love, change that. If you are holding a grudge against a family member, let it go and reconcile. If you’ve done something to hurt a loved one, ask for forgiveness. Drop the pride, and make up. If you haven’t seen someone in awhile, call them now to set up a date.

 

2. Am I pursuing my dream, or is fear stopping me? What have you always wanted to do? Maybe something you dreamed of as a child but have given up as unrealistic? Maybe something you still want to do but are afraid of failing? What fears are stopping you? And what would be the worst that could happen if you overcame those fears and pursued your dream?

 

If you’re already pursuing your dream, pat yourself on the back. You’re doing awesome!

 

3. Am I doing something that matters? There’s a difference between doing work, and doing work that really matters. Much of the time, we use up the few days we have on this earth with busy-work, stuff that doesn’t make much difference, and that’s sadly a waste of our lives.

 

Recently on Dumb Little Man, writer Ali Hale suggested you ask yourself, “Will this matter in five years?” I think this is a great question. It helps you distinguish between trivial busy-work that will take up all of your time but not matter in a few years, and tasks and projects and goals with high impact that will make a difference, in your career, in your life, in the lives of others.

 

4. What am I doing to help others? Kind of ironically, you get the most out of life not just by taking what you can for yourself, but by giving to others. What have you done lately to help people out? Have you been kind to people? Have you been compassionate? Have you been there for anyone? Listened? Volunteered for those in need? If you’re not doing anything to help others, this is a good time to figure out one thing you can do for someone, and put it into action. Ask this question on a regular basis, and you’ll make kindness a habit.

 

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

 

5. Am I as good a person as I want to be? I ask this of myself all the time. Sometimes, when I’m impatient or selfish or less-than-helpful, I think back on what I’ve said and done and realize that I could have done better. Instead of beating myself up about it, I endeavor to try harder, to remember to allow my better angels to guide me, to rise above the trivialities of life to a higher plane.

 

It’s not easy to be a good person, at least not all of the time. It’s easier to be selfish, without thinking about it. But is that how you want to be remembered? Is that how you want to live your life? Give it some thought, and act accordingly.

 

 

6. What am I doing to live life with passion, health and energy? You can do all the right things, and yet live a life that’s dull and sluggish. If you let your health go, you will have little energy and you will waste the minutes you have left on illness. Instead, learn to live a healthy life, with good foods and exercise. This will lead to more energy in your life. And then direct that energy into something you’re passionate about. If you haven’t found that passion (or passions), start looking. You’ll thank me.

 

Much Success To You.

 

JJ

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Some updates....

 

Right after I posted this thing I got a call back from the place in the city. I interviewed there. I don't know what to make of it so far. The guy is making the decision today (I assume the decision has already been made.) Right when I took that interview I got another callback as well. That interview is tomorrow. So things are looking up a little bit. A little bit. Although I was very nervous in the last interview. I fumbled words. God I hate when I do that.

 

If you spend some time reflecting on the type of life you want for yourself, what does it look like?

 

I would like to have a decent career, a good gf/wife/partner, and some friends. I have a decent job now. The relationship aspect is missing, I have no way to meet anyone or anything like that. I have one or two friends here. I don't ask for a lot. I don't think anything I've asked for is unreasonable.

 

It sounds like having a job in your field is important to you, as is a social life. From what you've said, you are not going to find the social life where you're at - but one thing I want to ask you- if you were living in a bigger city, would you be able to go out and create a social life? You mentioned that you are shy. I am just trying to figure out how much your shyness plays into feeling isolated - if it is truly geographic or if your own actions are leading you into an isolated position in life.

 

This is a very interesting and good question and after the job interview yesterday where I was short with my responses, nervous, and quiet - I can say that I don't think I would just instantaneously go out and create a social life. I really don't know what I would do in that case to "put myself out there." I'm not a bar person. I'm a shy Information Tech guy - not the typical guy you'd find in the bar scene, so I would have to pursue another avenue to connect. But I would assume I could go somewhere in the city and get help for gaining social skills, meeting people, etc. I mean, where I'm at now doesn't even offer any therapy or counseling. I was considering joining a Toastmasters group in order to help with this. I know the city has several. I know any city would probably have a decent amount of avenues to help people like me "get out there." So that would be my first step after I moved. I would seek some sort of therapy/counseling to help me integrate into society. Would this plan work? What would other peoples plan be if they were in my shoes?

 

I don't know if or when I'll ever get up there. I've given myself until January to get there, if I don't succeed by then I am going to see about moving somewhere else. I feel like my time is ticking, and I don't want to waste my time being at home. The more time I spend at home, the more depressed I get. I just want a normal life. Is this too much to ask?

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WadeCure-

 

It sounds like you have some things going for you here. First, you are willing to admit to yourself that you are a bit on the shy side. And second, it sounds like you are open to the idea that you might need some "help" overcoming your social anxiety and awkwardness.

 

The good news is that social anxiety/shyness/insecurity is one of the easiest problems to change - as long as you have the motivation to overcome it!

 

Your idea about Toastmasters is a good one. Toastmasters is such a great organization because its very structured and the people are very supportive and encouraging. There are lots of people who go there for the very purpose of becoming more socially confident - so they are not going to jump on you for being a bit shy.

 

The key to overcoming social anxiety is to keep pushing yourself into situations where you have to interact with others - so volunteering at a charity where you have to do tasks with other people, getting involved in meetup groups, stuff like that.

 

I think getting involved in social activities that are focused on doing some type of task are always going to be best - so you're not just standing around trying to make idle conversation - you and the other people are DOING something together and that naturally gives you chances to interact with others in a relaxed way.

 

It sounds like once you get to a bigger city - there will be plenty of opportunities for you to do things to overcome your social anxiety and also meet friends and a potential partner.

 

If you want to get a head-start on your anxiety issues- go to link removed and type in "social anxiety" - it will give you a bunch of different books that might be helpful for you.

 

Good luck!

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Thank you very much for your reply TennesseeGirl, honestly it was immensely helpful and I feel a lot more optimistic after reading what you said.

 

Anyway about the job interview today. I know I didn't do so hot on it, probably bombed it really badly - BUT I feel like doing these two job interviews this week, even if they were bombs, were good 'practice.' Things are looking up. I now have an idea of what to expect from job interviews, and now I can prepare more for them.

 

I think that's the most difficult thing about social anxiety for me. I get nervous as crap before and during the interview (or some other social situation I'm not comfortable with), but after I am able to reflect on it, notice my weaknesses and make the appropriate corrections. Eventually I'll have a hit, it just might take some time. I guess I need to be patient and not think of time not being on my side. I'm 27, almost 28... right? I'm still young, right? I still have plenty of time?

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I get nervous as crap before and during the interview (or some other social situation I'm not comfortable with), but after I am able to reflect on it, notice my weaknesses and make the appropriate corrections. Eventually I'll have a hit, it just might take some time. I guess I need to be patient and not think of time not being on my side. I'm 27, almost 28... right? I'm still young, right? I still have plenty of time?

 

Yes...you are on the right track! The more you avoid social situations which cause you to feel anxious, the worse your anxiety will get. The more you push yourself to go into these situations, and then, like you said, reflect on what happened afterward, make corrections, etc....that is the path toward freedom from a life paralyzed by social anxiety. Your instincts are already on target.

 

A person at ANY age can change this pattern- all it takes is the desire to keep trying! Think about how great it is that you are realizing this now, in your 20's, rather than 10 or 15 years from now.

 

Don't give in to those hopeless thoughts! They are part of the "trap" that your anxiety creates for you. It tells you that you are stuck and can never change. But that is not true.

 

Remember that everyone feels a little nervous in new social situations - you just might feel more than the average person. But I can promise you that if you keep trying, and taking small steps to push yourself, you will be able to become a more socially confident person. You might never be the "life of the party" - but you will still be able to handle the social situations we all need to handle as adults- job interviews, dates, gatherings with co-workers, talking to our neighbors, etc.

 

It definitely sounds like you are on the right track!

 

I just did some searching on-line and found a free on-line counseling program for social anxiety - it says there is a wait list - but it might be worth signing up for - link removed

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