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I'm Only 21 And Scared Of Everything


peeo2

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Some of you may have seen my post a while back in Members Needing Extra Support Now about my story and how i wound up being where I am. Basically, I am just terrified of anything that requires me to... do anything. People say i'm lazy, but the thought of responsibility, or long days has me terrified. Im 21 and just graduated. Im back home with my parents who just continually bother me to get a job. I am trying, I go to the job centre every two weeks like I am supposed to, but as soon as I get close to finding a job I freak and ignore the phone. Th thought of having a commitment terrifies me and i'm not sure why. I have no friends here, except one. And I don't really know how to find any friends. All of my friends who are good at helping me through times like this are so far away and too busy. I feel so alone.

Mainly, I am drowning in regret from my choices this summer (i had an amazing opportunity to be in the USA for 5 months and wasted all of my money by coming home after a week and a half) and I keep beating myself up over it. I constantly find my mind wandering to what a great time I would be having out there right now, traveling the world and seeing all these awesome things. Just because I panicked and came home I am stuck in my bedroom with nobody to talk to or to make things seem better. How do I stop this regret from ruling my life? My brother, my only real support, constantly tells me that I have my whole life ahead to try traveling again. And that it was just the wrong time for me. But I just feel like I wasted my chance. That now my future is miserable because this is the age im meant to go traveling and see the world and I wasted it. I feel hopeless.

Also, I have a meeting in the morning with my old primary school. I have been considering teaching as a career, because I find working with children very rewarding and enjoyable. Lots of people say I would be good at it and I kind of agree, so I took the initiative to get some work experience to see if I like it. Tomorrow is just a meeting with the headmaster and a look around the school but I am absolutely terrified. When I got the call I was so excited. Now I just don't want to go. I keep trying to think of excuses and I don't even know why. I can feel a panic attack coming on. I'm not nervous about the meeting, I don't find situations like that scary or uncomfortable, im usually pretty good at it. But it's like... I can't explain it. It's like I hate the routine change and it terrifies me that this might tie me down to a responsibility for ONE day a week. How pathetic is that? But for some reason that utterly terrifies me.

What can I do? I feel so alone. Im on a 6 week waiting list for therapy and I don't have any money to go private. I feel like I have nothing in life to bother looking forward to.

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I can relate to your state-of-mind, big time. When I am making a decision or facing something like getting called into work, my mind just naturally races into a state of anxiety and I take the flight aspect of fight-or-flight. I think of ways to get out of everything, and always envision a worst case scenario when I think ahead to things. My only advice is endure it and do what you know you have to, as hard as it is, until you can get in for help. I'm at an in-between stage too where I'm not really sure what this would even be classified as during therapy! There is hope though, I have been on Ritalin for supposed adult ADD in the past and for me it truly helped with giving me energy and the confidence to just face everyday things like looking for a job. In the end I did get terrible headaches and never followed up to ever get the medication changed or re-filled (it was a shady doctor anyway, not even a psychiatrist.)

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I know exactly how you feel - especially feeling the future is bleak and hopeless. However, I can only encourage you to talk to someone about your problems, and seek out help. I've often felt like you do, except I am a bit further along than you are and still feel like I've not accomplished much. At your age, I was full of hope and enthusiasm and dreams that weren't fulfilled.

I read through your post, and I'm seeing a lot of "shoulds" in there. Depressed people often feel that things "should" be a certain way, often putting enormous pressure on ourselves. For example:

That now my future is miserable because this is the age im meant to go traveling and see the world and I wasted it. I feel hopeless.

Who says you are supposed to travel the world at 21? Granted, I lived in Korea when I was 19, but that is because I was in the military at the time. I don't know very many people who have widely traveled, and those who have are very fortunate.

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Thank you for your response, tremblingblustar. I find it difficult to get out of this frame of mind, even though I know what I feel is irrational and kind of stupid. I hope that I can talk to someone soon, because as you said, I should be excited for the future, not terrified of it.

But your point about traveling, I feel so low about it because I WAS one of those fortunate people who had a chance that many don't. And I threw it away. What a waste and what a disappointment for myself, and for those around me who helped fund it, sent me off with cards and gifts and well wishes, and were excited for my huge adventure. I let everyone down, but mostly myself and I can't shake that feeling in order to get on with things back here at home.

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I totally know how you feel. I'm 21 and starting my senior year and I'm racked with regrets.I've lived with my parents during my entire time at college and haven't made any friends or connections. I feel like my college experience passed me by and even if I went back after graduation it won't be quite the same. Bro just stay strong and keep trying.

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I'm feeling like you -- 23 but too scared and afraid I passed up the opportunity to do what I really wanted (teach elementary school in an awesome environment) to "see the world" and move to Japan. I'm now paralyzed here, too frightened to leave the house, take care of basic needs, do really anything other than drag myself 5 minutes down the road to my work where it takes all my energy to avoid crying while teaching. I'm considering giving it up and moving back to the US and begging for that elementary position back. If I had even one cent to offer it would be this -- try to listen to what you need and not how you think you're supposed to be living based on what other people romanticize. I feel so much guilt also for wasting this incredible opportunity, but if my mind is unable to see the value in it, it will be worthless for me anyway. I think I will move home to where I can try to gather my mind and find the value once again in being alive. If it can't be accessible to you, there's no point in beating yourself up over it. Find what works for you.

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peeo2

Try to forgive yourself about the whole travel issue. You are still young enough to do what you want to do in life but maybe for now you need to slow down and take care of yourself. I think it is brilliant that you have identified teaching as a possible career. If it is a case you don't feel up to the meeting, just defer it until later but do try to make it - you aren't making any commitments as of yet.

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peeo2

Try to forgive yourself about the whole travel issue. You are still young enough to do what you want to do in life but maybe for now you need to slow down and take care of yourself. I think it is brilliant that you have identified teaching as a possible career. If it is a case you don't feel up to the meeting, just defer it until later but do try to make it - you aren't making any commitments as of yet.

Thank you. I am trying really hard to forgive myself for it. It seems that I can take something that doesn't seem too important to other people (people keep asking why it still gets me down and i can't explain why) and make it into a huge deal in my head. I am on a larger dose of my medication now so I am kind of hoping the better frame of mind will help me to look past it. I feel so silly for still being bothered by it and not being able to look forward.

I just got back from my meeting and it was really good. I feel very positive today because he made it clear that it was flexible and if I feel like I don't want to do it anymore I am not tied down. That kind of freedom and flexibility stops me from feeling trapped or panicky so the nature of the placement is perfect for me and my anxiety. I am very excited to start on Friday so I am glad I found the strength to get up and out to the meeting :)

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