gave up on my dream - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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gave up on my dream

Well, it's official. I have finally given up on my dream.

At least what I thought was my dream. Last year I quit my job so I could go back to college and finish my degree. At the time this felt like the right choice, since I wasn't happy in my current job and wanted to be in a better position.

Fast forward a year later, and I have now left school again and settled for a job that is well beneath the amount of money I should be making at this point in my life… but is at least something I can manage to do on a daily basis without having to deal with constant panic attacks.

When I was in school, I always assumed that once I was finished my anxiety would somehow no longer be an issue for me. I thought by this point I would be able to do all the things that I've always imagined myself doing in my life. However, that day never came. Now I am at a point where I need to just accept my reality. I will always deal with some level of anxiety and do not belong in a job which requires high pressure social interactions on a constant basis.

This is not meant to be a pity thread, because if anything I feel liberated by the fact that I have accepted this. Now I can just go to work without constantly thinking that I should be doing something else with my life, because the reality is…I tried my best to get there, and nothing about me ever changed. I never became that imaginary version of myself I created in my mind, because that person doesn't exist.

My friends and family are happy for me getting this job, because in their minds I was never meant to do anything better. That idea was just a fictional story I made up about myself, because it gave me hope that my life might turn out better at some point. I am now at a point where I realize that my life will always be mediocre at best, and I'm okay with that. I can be happy for the things I do have, and stop clinging to fake dreams.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 06:05 PM
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sorry...I don't know what to say. I guess: work on what you can control, not what you can't.

For much of my life I didn't do what suited me. I didn't even think about it. I think about it now and I act accordingly. Although, I think, if you have SA, you always have to push yourself to some degree, but some things aren't realistic or even desirable. For example I could probably write a script and I would be suited for that pursuit but I wouldn't want to act, nor could I. Sometimes you have to just accept yourself, and sometimes you have to push yourself.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 06:43 PM
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 08:20 PM
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I wish i could give up on my dream, i keep trying to get to it but keep failing. I don't know how to let it go, but is probably fueled by my narcissism though. So anyway in a black kind of way i applaud you.

Bad luck for the young poet would be a rich father, an early marriage, an early success or the ability to do anything well - Charles Bukowski
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 11:13 PM
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I can identify with some of the points in your thread. At school I thought, once I left my home town and went to Uni life would be better and I would be more confident. Nope, I usually found confidence in a bottle and things were worse the next day.
I thought life would change after Uni as I would be out working and have more control of my life. Nope.
Life in a different country would be better- it was initially, but then old anxieties crept up.
My environment changes, but I haven't changed much at all. Obviously it will take more work/counselling than that.
I feel it's a shame you have let go of your dream. Are there other means of studying, such as part-time online? Open University?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I definitely understand where some people are coming from... it tends to sound really bad when a person says they gave up on their dream, and most people would never encourage that kind of mentality.

But for me, it's more about coming to terms with the fact that the future I had envisioned for myself when I was younger is in no way compatible with the person I actually am.

When I was younger and my future was all ahead of me, I always imagined that soon I would move away from the area I grew up, live in a big city, have lots of fascinating friends and an exciting social life, travel to interesting places, and of course make a lot of money.

The anxiety has always been around, but it was something I always thought I would grow out of by then (now) didn't fit with the person I imagined myself to be. I still believe that somewhere deep down I am an extraverted outgoing person. I was as a little kid, and there have been moments and periods of my life where that person has come through, and it's awesome when that happens.

The problem is it's always been the exception, never the rule. Turning 30 last year (which is why I posted this in 30+) has forced me to face my current "future" is right now. I am fundamentally the person I am always going to be.

I know that you never stop growing and learning, but it's too late for me to keep thinking that I am going to somehow drastically change my personality and go into a line of work that is meant for people who thrive in high pressure situations, not people like me who can just barely manage to pull themselves together enough on a good day to make it through those situations, and are miserable the whole time.

What's also frustrating is that many of my friends from when I was younger have gone on to be incredibly, amazingly, frustratingly successful and are currently living the exact lives that I described myself hoping to have.

For a long time I kept thinking that I would soon catch up to them, that I was just a little bit of a late bloomer that made a few bad decisions and I would eventually get over my issues and pull it together.

Now it has gotten to the point where I barely keep in touch with them anymore, because I feel like I have nothing interesting to say compared to their amazing lives, and even just hearing about their great lives just sends me spiraling into depression and self-doubt. I know we are still friends but I don't blame them for growing apart from me, and I don't blame people for thinking I never reached my potential.

I hope this doesn't all come off horribly depressing. It just feels good to get it out and it's not that I'm completely miserable, it's just that I think about how my dreams and my reality are so far away and that it is 100% due to Social Anxiety...not a lack of effort, not a lack of resources or opportunity, just $%*&$%@ SA! And that it's entirely my fault for not coming to terms with it sooner in life and at least setting goals that were compatible with SA.
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