Detereriorating lifestyle from anxiety and depression

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Man where do I start, I thought things would be better and my family would have less problems but I guess things don't work that way. I guess moving into a lower rent apartment doesn't actually solve a thing. It's been 5 years since we moved to our current place where our rent is about a hundred less along with electricity, heating and the essentials covered. There were more funds to keep paying off credit card debts, though our bills for phone, TV and internet could've been better but we were managing.

Things seemed relatively OK and for a year or two it was. But of course how could I have been so naive, my dad is a damned impulsive idiot when it came to cell phones and tech. When the Samsung S4 came out, and despite already owning the latest iPhone at the time and even though he DOESN'T need it, he bought it. Through contract. Which of course shot our bill up to the $200's-$400's, on top of another phone line he bought from another company. Our TV and internet service just kept getting higher from $100 to $200's. Not to mention the $250+ we had to make on our credit card debts. Now mind you it might not seem like a big deal to some people here but to be frank we're poor now in terms of official income categorization(less than $20 000/yr).

My dad quit his job when I was born more than 20 years ago and my mother has been in the same secretarial job for a bit more than that because she had no guidance at the time and didn't know what she wanted to do. Plus her English and french are limited both of which are mandatory where we live (Canada). Anyways he quit his job supposedly to raise me back then but most of the time I was placed in a daycare or looked after by a friend of the family. I mean I can't rule out he didn't do what he claimed. But in the following years he got lazy, loafing around watching tv, spending money he didn't have for things he didn't need. Oh yes, our credit card debts are all thanks to him with his overspending because he just can't resist going out for lunch every since damn day and making all sorts of payments that frankly, screwed us over. And then he has the gall to act like the victim, throwing a tantrum when either me or my mom scold him on his bull. Now he's sitting on mid-50's with diabetes and mobility problems that just make things worse and lessen his job prospects. But still he's my dad and I know he's got his problems which he hasn't done a much about. Anyways enough about that, all of that was just a part of the many problems that I wanted to get off my chest because I have no one to turn to, no one to trust or understand me.

I didn't exactly have the best of role models and I guess I grew up around the worst of influences; a deadbeat-dad, friends who hardly care enough to support or back me up.

Anyways I turned into a really shy guy with zero confidence in myself in almost every aspect over the years in high school and it's still screwing me over till this day. I never got to experience an expansive social life, I kept to myself because it was my comfort zone, I became addicted to video games which eventually became a form of escapism. My small group of friends didn't exactly care about helping me out, or each other much really. Fast forward to my graduation when my parents and Councillor urged me to go to College which I knew we didn't have the money for it and so I had no choice but to apply for loans and bursaries on condition of being a full-time student.

It was a big thing for my parents, being someone who was able to achieve a higher education and I allowed myself to be pressured into it. I also had the misfortune of not knowing what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be. I had and still have, an identity crisis. I don't know who I am really or what I want. I thought that maybe having a foot in the door would allow me to explore, I thought I would find out what I wanted during my studies. Fast forward 3 years later in 2013 and I saw my friends and everyone I knew moving on with their lives, with at least the slightest of ideas of what they wanted to do as well as the conviction.

I realized they had a better life and they were only getting better. I on the other hand remained the same, the shy quiet guy struggling to make new friends(most became acquaintances) and still not one bit confident in what I wanted to do. I hardly gained any skills and I felt like I wasted my years just to accumulate my own debt. My life during those 3 years was repetitive and became a daily grind of going to classes, spending money on food from my loans, then going back home to gaming and last minute assignments, studying and homework.

The only positive thing I gained was a good friend who became possibly my only best friend, who has helped me out for some lesser things even till this day but I still keep my problems to myself because I'm afraid she'll think less of me and I might lose a cherished friend. All of my friends from high school have either grown distant and occasionally hang out and put on our masks as if nothing in our lives had changed. Also my one best friend became a bit of an a**hole towards me, always demeaning me whenever we hung out with other people, always giving me the short end of the stick and sure, close friends give each other crap and we do give crap to each other in turn, in our circle of friends as a joke but he goes to extra mile for me like I'm less than human and I get the impression that he's not joking when he treats it like one and then of course follows the routine as if nothing happened and we're all still best friends. I always die a little on the inside with these moments but of course I'm not confident enough to approach the matter and I let things slide, acting as if nothing phased me.

Thankfully we don't meet often enough nowadays but that leaves me to being alone most of the time at home sitting in front of the computer, escaping reality as usual. I'd love to meet new people and even though I'm shy I really do want to, I've realized that I like people but when I'm out there in the crowds, I don't know how to interact like a proper person so I come off as someone shy and lacking confidence and therefore awkward, unappealing to be around. I've been able to manage when it came to one person but even then I'm terrible when it comes getting closer with anyone, I just have no clue on how to do that. I don't know how to take the initiative and handle the outcome. I'm not good at keeping conversations going. It's like my body has developed but my mind is still immature. To make things worse I have a baby-face and 5'6 so not only do I look like a 15-16 year old, but I feel like it to. It's like I'm not 22. It's depressing the hell out of me and my own family problems only make things worse.

But moving on, after graduating from college with barely anything of value and use learned, I went straight to university. Again, thinking I could possibly learn what it was that I wanted to do by taking a multitude of classes and because if I didn't continue my full time studies after a period of 6 months I would be forced to pay off my loans. So I got into History. It was the only program available that I can take as my grades weren't impressive, I should mention that throughout my high school years I was never dedicated in studies and persists even till this day. I was sailing without direction and I'm still struggling with channeling effort into things. When I do, I feel an intense pressure well-up inside of me.

Supposedly according to some of my teachers in college, I had talent. I just needed dedication and replace apathy with discipline which I guess they're right. I've surprised myself by my own performance when I have the mind for it. But still, I lack all of those even till this day and let me tell you, it's destroying my life. My grades in the first year were far from impressive but they were good enough to remain studying. It's like I don't know a life outside of just relaxing and wasting my time in front of a computer. My 2nd year however, was a disaster. My fall semester wrecked my GPA and my performance in the following winter semester were not enough to prevent earning a conditional failed standing. I was fortunate enough to plea for readmission on reasons of anxiety and depression which were true.

Unfortunately before I'm readmitted into full-time status I'm stuck in part time status for a year to raise my gpa back above 2.0. I was left in a bind until I was able to find a job over the summer and it was game testing which I enjoyed. I thought about taking a break away from this years fall semester; to think about my prospects and reorganize my thoughts to be more prepared for next winter when I return as planned. So I decided to keep my job and worked full-time so that I could earn something for myself and relieve my life on the following year when I have actual money of my own to spend. But of course, life bites me once again. I believed I would have enough work for the entire year, that once I finished my current testing project I would be placed into another shortly, oh how I hate myself for that.

My project was cut during the first week of October, the whole team out of the job until we could be placed into something else. But I guess you already know that that never happened, and you're right, a few people were shifted onto other projects while I, and many others have not been called to work since. My prospects fell and I was left demoralized. My life since has reverted back to the daily grind although I have gone back to working out as a way to relieve some stress. So that's how things have been for the past month, living off of what 'decent' money I have left while trying to pay off some bills with my parents, sitting in front of the computer wasting time and then off to the gym.

But things just get worse, as if our debts weren't enough, 6 months passed without my presence in studies! Haha. The government sent me an email to determine a plan for my loan repayment and to be honest, I'm living off of $1000 left, which needs to be spent on transportation, groceries, and my own credit card debt. It's enough to live off of till I get back into school but it seems that with repayment I might end up broke sooner than I expected. On top of all that, I'm still on probation so I'm not applicable for full-time yet and therefore according to an adviser on campus I saw today, will not be applicable for loans and bursaries I need to stave off repayment and funds for my semester.

I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do, I've sent an email asking my program adviser if they can make an exception allow me to take 4 classes to count as full-time but I have my doubts. And before you all tell me to get a job... Well I AM trying but unfortunately for me, I was raised mainly around anglophones and because I wasn't a dedicated person when it came to studying, my french skills are lacking now and it ain't easy learning it back. There's only so much work you can find in a city that prioritizes French before English, even if the people are nice enough to speak the former. Which of course has negatively affected my confidence.

My job at testing was like a haven for me and now it's gone for the duration of the year. I know they won't call me back until there's more work which would be next spring or whenever things get busy again. I currently have no prospective job but I'm still searching, with the looming threat of my own financial crisis. My parents cannot possibly support me what with everything else mentioned beforehand. I'm on my own I guess. I don't expect anyone to pity me or anything, I just needed to get this off my chest because it was suffocating.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Dear Mark.....pleas try to remember that YOU ARE AS GOOD AS ANYONE ELSE...please DON'T lose hope, things can and will get better.....it may be a good idea to have a word with your doctor, you certainly sound as though you are suffering from depression...never, ever, ever think that you are worthless...I wish you so much warmth and good luck young man...please get some help and advice....big sincere hugs to you mark....Deirdre xxxx
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  • Posted

    Dear Mark.....pleas try to remember that YOU ARE AS GOOD AS ANYONE ELSE...please DON'T lose hope, things can and will get better.....it may be a good idea to have a word with your doctor, you certainly sound as though you are suffering from depression...never, ever, ever think that you are worthless...I wish you so much warmth and good luck young man...please get some help and advice....big sincere hugs to you mark....Deirdre xxxx
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  • Posted

    Writing/Getting things off ones chest is like a beautiful friend! It might be worth going back over what you have written every so often - as an outsider/a person with fresh eyes.

    Lacking a role model is nothing new. We are many who can't say that we have one; or, if we do.. that we want him/her. It might be worth taking little bits that you like from a lot of different people.. be they family, friends, aquintances or idols.

    Form your own role model and be it.

    That would take less self indulgence in pity and a hell of a lot of focus (I use the word 'focus' rather than discipline or commitment)

    A few things struck me from reading your post Mark. One of them was regarding your father's proniness to get into debt and that rocking the family boat, creating insecurity as to what to expect and what to rely upon.

    Then, much further down in your inlay; you mention your own debts.

    I shall here jump straight to my thoughts (which may or may not be relevant to you but I take my chances..):

    When we're kids, we rely on the grown-ups. If the grown-ups behave in ways that cause insecurity, shyness, feelings of beeing lesser/inferiour to other peers etc.. then we might feel the need to (both as children and as adults) make sense of this. We have a natural curiosity to find out 'why?' We want to be reassured it is not because of us. We want to believe it was not our fault. We were too small and too inexperienced. So, at an adult age, we might see how the shoe fits. We try to understand and make logic out of something that actually was very disappointing and caused havoc with the development of our own individual minds.

    If your focus was on the hardship caused by your father; - that would have taken over the focus you should have had.. i.e. your grades, your social life, integration and inner development.

    The fadt that you are still very young is a big HURRAH - you are not leaving these dilemmas, as many do, until it is accepted to have a midlife crisis. You are addressing them now! Good on you!!

    I do hope you find something useful in what I've written here.. and, if you do.. it probably won't be anything you don't already know...

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Mark. 

    The fact that you're AWARE is the best. I mean, when in the tunnel on the track, how can you get safe if you're unaware of the oncoming train? Yet this is what so many people are not, even as full-blown adults!

    I know someone who had a very similar experience to you, and today he is one of my best role models for doing life. So many of his friends, who had it really easy in comparison, have hit their self-destruction switches, but not him. He told me it all starts with the most powerful thing in the universe and that is our MINDSET. It's state creates our experiences so let no one or no thing ever contaminate it. I know it's easier said than done but it's possible with our equally powerful WILL, especially when our quality of life depends on it. 

    He only took the LESSONS and the BEST from people that came into his life, DISCARDING all the rest. Like Tancam said, he made his 'own role model', which I now look up to, and lived it every day NO MATTER WHAT. Sadness and strife are part of even a joyful life - it's all there teaching you things that you did not want to know, things that you couldn't have learnt any other way. Start with your wonderful mum who has admirable character traits like a strong work ethic, loyalty and tolerance. Your dad is showing you what not to be like when it comes to materialism. My friend also learned good things from virtual mentors like inspiring books and autobiographies/biographies. Today, this can include motivational speakers and their treasures of wisdom on the internet. 

    Like my friend, one day what pains you now will pain you less, believe me. Your lived experience/'test' will be a testimony for others and you will have developed beautiful characteristics along the way like empathy, resilience and more. Hope this helps. X

     

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for the positive feedback, it honestly makes me feel a bit better although I'm still stressed out about my current own current financial predicament. I've also noticed that no matter how much I try in a group of people, I always seem to be the one left out of things. Like no one actually tries to interact with me as much as with each other and that leaves me to make the effort. It's disconcerting and makes me feel like an outsider and what a fear, like a "child" among a group of "adults" even though I'm just as old as they are. I feel like I stopped developing as a person long ago and I don't even know how to get back on track no matter how much I want it.
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  • Posted

    Hi there again. 

    Just keep being you and doing you, the BEST you know how to at this point in time in your life. Rome was not built in a day, and you were placed here to be and do your unique genuine Self. If people don't like that, it says something about them and not you. You also end up with true and no time wasters in your life when you're not a people pleaser.

    Each one of us in life, no matter what age or position, is in need of better communication and connecting skills. The world would be so much in a better state. Maybe you could make this a goal/personal project. Why not slowly start by say reading a book/article on the subject or watching an expert on the internet? Make notes and study/practice them regularly. Be a people studier when you're out and about - again make mental notes and even write them down if needed. Force yourself to go, when you don't want to, to an event like say a social gathering or trade fair where there are many people. Force yourself to speak to a stranger in the queue or an elderly person in a shop who often love this. Volunteer or work even a few hours somewhere where you will need to talk. Note what you learn. The skills will come with time - it's not just natural for everyone. You'll be on an enjoyable roll and you've got to keep the momentum going.

    The wife of my role model said he was the shyest person she had ever met, but now he is the opposite. He only had the support of his very elderly gran, until the age of 14, because his parents did not have time for him. He once said that if it was not for people outside his family, he would be nowhere. He absolutely loves people, always searching for the good in them (we just have to look really hard in some cases!) and never being drunk on offence. This love and forgiveness has awarded him so much in life. His wife has seen people who often 'left him out' come to him for advice and comfort in dark times - they had secretly respected him inside all along.

    Hope this helps. X

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