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ukperson 12-15-2019 10:10 AM

Scared that my life will never change but I don't know how to turn things around
I'm 31 and I have had social anxiety for as long as I can remember.

My life is way off track. I spent a lot of my 20s unemployed or studying. I worked a few undemanding office based roles and only for short periods.

Most people my age are quite settled now and the people I went to university with are a million miles ahead of me. From what I gather, most of them got nice jobs very quickly. It is like they had passwords or cheat codes that I didn't know about, as I got higher grades than they did.

A lot of the blame lies with myself as I haven't applied for enough jobs due to anxiety. However, I have had a number of rejections and I find telephone interviews very stressful - to the point that I avoid them altogether.

In an attempt to do something I have decided to volunteer on Saturday at a local run. I feel anxious about it even though I will only be marshalling. It's a regular event that I often take part in, so I hope that I can put it on my CV as my experience section is sparse.

I feel like I am starting from the bottom and I feel so pathetic about everything. I just don't know what the catalyst for change will be, if I ever change at all. I am taking baby steps by volunteering, but I know that the anxiety will always be there and that just gets me so down. I feel like a self-concious teenager who never grew up.

Can anyone relate to this at all?

WillYouStopDave 12-16-2019 10:51 AM

If it's any consolation to you, you're still a million miles ahead of where I was when I was your age. And you're still a million miles ahead of where I am now.

ukperson 12-18-2019 06:42 AM


Originally Posted by WillYouStopDave (Post 1093852795)
If it's any consolation to you, you're still a million miles ahead of where I was when I was your age. And you're still a million miles ahead of where I am now.

Why, what's your situation?

andy1984 12-18-2019 11:20 AM

I had lots of expectations to get a good education and a career but I learned this was unrealistic for me. dont rely on other people's expectations because they have flawed knowledge of who you are and how you feel. and don't compare with other people because you dont know what their lives are really like or how that would translate to your life.

I also got kind of ****ty jobs but they were too much for me or near the edge of what i was ok with. now work part time doing pointless menial work, which is also pretty ****.

sick + lonely NEET ShutIn 12-18-2019 02:07 PM

dude i am 37. i still live with my father.

i only work part time at the supermarket. i also dont know how all my old schoolfriends and friends from somewhere else got all their jobs.
i know so many people who started where i started and then they quit their jobs and studied or did something else. and every job was better then their last one. so now they are all ahead of me.

i guess it has something to do with self confidence. they all talk like the job i do i beneath them. so they just do another job.
me on the other hand, the last time i really tried to get a new job is 6 years ago.

RoadToRecovery 12-19-2019 08:22 PM

I relate very much to you.y wife left me a couple years ago due to my five year struggle with anxiety disorder and depression that began when I was 23. Im 30 now.

Life is truly starting to get better though. I was able to find some resources that have truly helped me to recover from my anxiety disorder. Life is starting to seem fun and exciting again. Talking to others seems much more natural too and Friendships are starting to blossom. I’m overthinking less and the anxiety symptoms are fading. It’s helped so much having someone to help me go through my past and help me to discover what happened in my life that caused me to be afraid of people. A lot of it had to do with my overly protective parents and my highly critical friends I had when growing up. I learned to be highly sensitive to criticism and became a huge people pleaser. I also didn’t develop good containment skills when I was young due to my parents always doing it for me.

leaf in the wind 12-19-2019 10:35 PM

As long as you're going in the right direction and making progress, you're doing good. Everyone has different circumstances and challenges.

For some people, a cause to celebrate may simply be a daily shower or leaving the home once a week to buy groceries. Some people are so disabled that this is literally a mental hurdle too great to overcome without tremendous support.

For others, success may instead look like acceptance into a graduate or PhD program, or a promotion to a manager/director role at their job.

As long as you WANT to get better and you are making steps towards improvement, you open yourself to new opportunities. Your small actions will snowball eventually so be patient.

WillYouStopDave 12-19-2019 10:40 PM


Originally Posted by ukperson (Post 1093853637)
Why, what's your situation?

Sorry I didn't respond to this before. Quote notifications are apparently not working right (again). My situation is (partially) documented in my blog. The sheer magnitude of how screwed I am is probably impossible to convey so I won't try. But you can read the blog if you're interested.

chrisinmd 12-19-2019 11:09 PM

Good idea to do the volunteer thing. May meet some good friends or people with common interests.

Your 31 and still have plenty of time to improve. Im 42 and I am light years ahead of where I was when I was 22.

Also consider the fact that people feel the need to follow the model life plan are 'normies' and need to do that to feel average or better. When you are coming from a history of having SA you're not comparing yourself with the same yard stick and should have more confidence despite 'being behind'

It's never good to be comparing yourself all the time with others anyway, there's always a taller mountain - those who have the wife and kids and career would be comparing themselves with richer people who go on more holidays/better schools, those will compare themselves to millionaire entrpreneurs, those will compare themselves to billionaire moguls.

So make some small goals for improvement every day. Small improvements every day make a huge difference. A year later you will be amazed what you can accomplished.

samboychippies 12-20-2019 06:13 PM

I find a good boost is finding a good group of friends that can help you get out of your shell. The icing on the cake is a good partner. That all helps to deal with the loss of confidence and self esteem of not seemingly being at the same pace as the rest of society. At 30+ pretty much everyone I know is settled down with their own family and house while I'm still stuck in single mode living at home. A feeling of being a teenager that never grows up.

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