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First of all let me tell you who I am. I’m 29 years old, I’m unemployed and I still live at home with my parents. That may not be much of a description of who I am but the truth is this, crippling anxiety is stopping me becoming anything more. Who doesn’t want to live a life full of professional success and have a large group of friends, a girlfriend or wife, and kids? Who doesn’t want to feel happy when they wake up in the morning and look forward to the day ahead of them? I know I do, but so far my life couldn’t be further from that. Up until now I have just kind of felt that I’ve been in a prolonged slump and that I will eventually snap out of it. But as I approach 30 I think it’s time to realise that maybe there is a reason why I feel the way I do.
When I read online about other people who suffer from anxiety I always end up telling myself that I’m over reacting, it is so much worse for other people, and that the reason that I am in this position is all my fault. I didn’t work hard enough, I didn’t take enough risks and I quit things far too easily. I have no idea of the severity of my anxiety because since my early 20’s I have essentially become a recluse, I don’t put myself into positions that are going to cause me any mental anguish or stress. I don’t work a steady job, I don’t meet new people and I refuse to take on any financial obligations. This works well as a solution to anxiety but it is only a short term and I fear that now it will no longer work. I don’t want to live at home forever and I cannot sponge of the state all my life.
I cannot have a social life because although people will not come out and ask the reason why I can’t get a job or why I still live at home with my parents, I know they are thinking it and I know this because it is exactly what I would be thinking too. It causes me embarrassment and shame. It stops me going out of the house through fear that I’ll meet someone I know and they’ll ask me about my situation.
I’m scared that if a speak to anybody about this they will just say that I am over reacting and that job interviews and meeting new people are stressful things to do but you just have to do them anyway. Of course it’s not just these things that that cause me anxiety it is other simple things too like answering the front door when someone rings the bell or making phone calls. One time I came home from being out for the day to find that my family had decided to invite friends over for a BBQ, there was 20 to 30 people in my house most of which I did not know and I cannot describe the feeling that I had. I did my best to not seem rude but I lasted no more than 5 minutes before I used the excuse that the dog needed walked. That was the longest walk the dog ever had.
I know it seems strange but I really have only recently realised that I suffer from this because I live such a quiet life. Most jobs that I have done in the past have been ones like driving where I don’t need to interact with people much and most of my hobbies are similar like fishing. I guess I’m trying to figure out if this is my true personality or if my solitary lifestyle is just a symptom of my anxiety.
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