Dear Escapists, I could use your advice.

So I'm not really sure how to start this off, so I guess I will tell you a little bit about myself first.

I'm 22 years old,unemployed,unmotivated and my life has been at a standstill for the past 4 or 5 years, and I have no idea what I want to do with my life, anytime I think about my future and what I want to do with it I get very overwhelmed, and this usually leads me into a negative spiral and into a very depressed state, there are also other things that can trigger this besides thinking of my future but it's irrelevant right now.

Anyways, so I always end up thinking of an occupation I want to take part in, then I get overwhelmed because I have no idea how to do said job, whether it be going into a entry level job or something a little more advanced. I get really far ahead of myself or I end up imagining myself fucking up royally and I get scared and overwhelmed, and the thing is I can't really get a job either because I can't drive,and public transportation in my area is horrible, and I very rarely ever leave the house because I'm terrified of what people will think of me. I just feel like I can't do anything, and I feel really hopeless, which causes me to become kind of suicidal and I start thinking about ending my life( Ive gone to a psychiatrist about the depression and some mild social anxiety and I'm currently taking Paxil for it.) so I'm looking for advice on how to turn my life around.

First: don't make a wrong choice you might regret. The sky is endless, the world is large and there are still so many, many opportunities for you take, so many paths to tread on, so many things you can find that make you happy - ending it simply ain't worth it. You are young - there's still a lot of time to find whatever it is you are seeking.

However, such is always easier said than done and from what I can tell, your situation is far from easily resolved and it will require you to make an effort to change it. The first thing that stuck out to me from your text is that your social anxiety and depression is something that weighs heavy upon you and I'm not convinced that you are getting the right treatment for that. Medication is all good and well but only one part of the equation - it might be good for you to consider some conversational or group therapy. Don't be afraid of asking your psychiatrist for advice on that and don't be afraid of talking to another if you need to - it might be just what you need to help pull you out of that pit you are in.

The next thing is, perhaps, even more difficult: you need to force yourself into activity. If you stay passive and anxious about the future you will get stuck in that downward spiral you are in, but if you are active and do something right now you can derive some happiness from the things you've accomplished. Start small: clean up your room, fight your fear and take a walk, do some exercises, help your family, cook for the folks...something along those lines where you can see a payoff pretty easily and you can be proud of yourself for doing at least something. From there, you can work upwards and set yourselves realistic goals that you can accomplish within proper time, like, say, exercising weekly or start learning a skill. For instance you mentioned you need a drivers license to get a decent job - why don't you put yourself behind it and work towards it? Even if you should fail the first time, there are not only more chances but you also gained some valuable experience in the process. And then if you succeeded in doing something like that you can start looking for jobs. And, frankly, you should not be afraid to go out and try even those that aren't necessarily in your field of interest. You might find something that you like to do; It's no use getting anxious over the fact that you don't know what you want to do at this point - in fact, people who know what they want to do their whole life are a rare breed and I've met a fair share of people who found their way much later. You still have a lot of time to experiment and make up your mind.

Hence, I think it's very important for you to first start with small steps before you tackle the whole job question and the big picture. As for how you should take that on with applications, job market and whatever, I'd defer to other posters with more experience in that area.

Either way: don't give up.

What Chromatic Aberration said pretty much sums it up in a nut shell. First you need to take the baby steps and force yourself into activity. It's better to do it with friends and family then go in alone. I myself have a walking buddy, we go out for an hour walk and just talk as we walk. It takes your mind off things and it's a lot more fun then going alone. Start with the small tasks to build up your confidence then take the next step for the bigger ones.

Also don't worry about failing, it's life people fail. They fail a lot, but it's the people that can get back up and push forward and keep going. I can see in your post that your not willing to give up and that's amazing. Keep fighting and don't give up you'll go far. You'll find in life that you want to do things that make you happy. If you keep doing what makes you happy you can't lose. People love you, care about you, and even support you. Heck you have Chromatic and my support. You are your own person and you do stuff at your own time. If you keep comparing yourself to others it won't work. Hell I thought at the age of 25 I would have my own house with a dog and a husband, I'm 25 now in a small apartment and a cat. Sure I was a little crushed that I didn't have everything all sorted out now but that's life. You roll with the punches and keep going. Just make sure you do what makes you happy, if your happy you can't lose. Everyone that loves you has your back, heck I got your back if you need someone. Don't give up I know you can get threw this.

Chromatic Aberration:


Thanks you so much for taking the time and offering advice for my situation, it definitely brought a tear to my eye.
I will try my best to implement minor changes and try to build my confidence little by little and move onto bigger tasks, thank you for the advice!

I gotta admit your situation is kind of close to home for me. I was like that once. Not as severe, but I know what it's like to have social anxiety. It is crippling. Trust me, when you begin to take steps to change, it gets better. Not overnight, but it does. The hardest part is overcoming the fear. And mistakes are made every minute of the day. It's not a big deal. The human race was built on trial and error. Don't worry what other people think. Negative thinking only breeds more negativity. Love yourself first. Practice makes perfect. I used to avoid people, now I interact with them on a daily basis.

I don't think it's possible to put it better than Chromatic Aberration did. Make some small and realistic goals for yourself, and achieve them. By this I don't even mean something like getting a job, but more like writing a resume, or sending it out. It doesn't matter if you don't get hired or don't succeed in your ultimate end goal, it's important to just get started on the process. And though I'm using resumes and jobs as my example here, the same principle applies to everything, really. Start with little steps, and you'll get to where you want to go.


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