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A Rant About Life's Disappointments


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When I was a teen, I had high aspirations for my life. I have always been an underachiever but I knew I had the smarts to be anything I wanted to be. There was a time where I wanted to be a doctor. There were times where I wanted to be a computer programmer, or a college professor. So, everything was fine. I went to college at age 19 and cruised along my first year making mostly A's and B's. I had a GF I loved and felt would one day marry. Then my father abruptly died, and subsequently the mental breakdown at age 20 came and I ended up in the hospital and was Dxed BP1. Everything changed at that point. My GF left me. I figured out why I was an underachiever. I figured out why I couldn't hold on to a meaningful relationship. But, I didn't want to allow my illness to define me, so I kept it close to the vest for a long time. At any rate, the years kept ticking by. I dropped out of college shortly after my hospitalization. I worked one dead end job after another, only to have them end in disappointment after a short period of time. Then I woke up and found myself at age 28.

I never really envisioned myself being 28 and unemployed and having no clue what I wanted to do with my life beyond this point. But, here I am - 28 and unemployed and living with my family. Everyone tells me to "just get a job" and "get it together," but I just don't find it that easy. At Thanksgiving yesterday, I saw my brother, my cousins, and other family members close to my age. All are married, working high paying jobs, and have their own homes. I live with my mom and am broke. It is very tough to face those folks during the holidays because invariably that question will come, "what are you doing now?" How do I answer it? I really can't. I just try to shift focus to another topic as quickly as possible.

I go to the state funded vocational rehab now. It has been largely a waste of my time, but my counselor insists on me going back to college. She administered a battery of academic and intelligence tests and said my scores are some of the highest she has ever seen. She tells me she would hate to see me waste my potential on a mediocre, low paying job, or to see me have to rely on SSI forever. I agree with her, but I just feel I can't face the world alone. I don't understand HOW one becomes self-sufficient. Venturing out into the world alone scares me. I am afraid I will lose control and end up being evicted from an apartment, or fall short with utility money and have my power shut off. Also, the prospect of living alone makes me uneasy. All sorts of fears erupt in my mind.

I also feel I am too old to go back to school. I am not sure how I feel being in classes with a buncha 18 and 19 year olds. If I do go to school, I want to go all the way - I want to do something important (which means graduate school). But, I don't want to still be in school in my mid 30's. My counselor suggests social work or perhaps medical school. Yeah, that sounds great, but by the time I finish undergrad and medical school, I will be entering my internship in my mid 30's. Everyone else will be 25.

I have always been the outsider, even since I was a young child. I remember my kindergarten teacher asking me why I sit alone outside while all the other children play inside. I suppose nothing has changed in that regard, and I will have to learn to deal with it. I guess I will have to deal with the fact that I will be in my mid 30's at the start of a career, while everyone else is 25. I guess it's nothing new. I have always been a different sort of cat.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

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I hear you. I was always the loner, but I managed to hold it together till I was 41 before the meltdown. I learned how to pretend I was fitting in: just an act, really. By the time it all screwed up, I was too far down the career route, too locked into the lifestyle to change. So now I am forced to live the lie just to keep up appearances. Now I have a family to support, a mortgage to pay, responsibilities to trap me.

Sorry, I have no words of advice, but I feel for you.

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i have somewhat of a similar situation, but i have a degree and have had a merry-go-round of good jobs and live on my own. i collect ssd.

things may LOOK like they suck, but they actually don't. it does suck when we have to go to family gatherings, because seeing other people's successes only highlights to us how "unsuccessful" (and that is in quotes, because we really ARE successful) we are.

look at it this way- on ssi, you have the time and space to do whatever you want to do, to make yourself into whatever you want to be. if you want to go to school, go to school! apply yourself and do it. don't let any lable hold you back. don't let age or any other excuse creep in and hold you back. people go back to school all the time for degrees they didn't get right out of high school. my college actually has a weekend college program designed for "working adults" who are going back for a degree after having graduated from hs and having worked, but without a degree. there's a whole booming industry of that kind of education, so don't think for a second that you'd have to end up in a class of much younger people or be out of place, or anything of the sort. it all depends on your program and where you go. go where you're comfortable, but do go.

you'll feel better about yourself that you're doing something to better your life and your situation. you're not a lost cause. you're only lost if you make yourself that way. there is something to be said about turning around your thinking to turn around your life. i really believe that it is in the approach and attitude. go for it, don't let excuses stop you, and you'll be able to do whatever you want.

loon

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I went back to schol the week before I turned 40--It was a community college, and specializd in "non-traditional students"--meaning people over 21 who had jobs, families, and othr hinderances. They made it as easily as huminaly possible for me to getmy bursing degree (BSN) in 3 years. There are schoold like this everywhere--don't give up. If there is something you are interested in and what to do, that HARDEDEST thing to do is to take the first step and START. Staying in is a breeze, once you get started.

BTW--during this 3 years, I was batshit crazy, doing way too many drugs, haveing inappropriate sex with 20 year olds, my husband was a drug dealer and left me one day for one of his clients, and beat me up regularly. Plus my mom died when I was in the middle of shcool, and I found myself homeless more than once. My kids hated me, but I stayed with it. It was a nightmare, but I did it and I did it well.

I was never friends with anyone in my class, I was never friends with anyone--how do you explain a totally chaotic life-style to people?

I still am a loner--but up until recently, I was at least successful at being steadily employed. Not in Fla.,however, but thats a dieefernt tale.

If I can help you, PM me,

You can do what you have to do--''china

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I can relate. Luckily I married so the job thing is not a necessity but I am BORED. I plan on going to Beauty School in the fall. I will be 42 with a bunch of 19 yo but hell who really cares, it's not like i even want to be friends with anyone.

I was also wierd in school. I had a little family made of paper in my desk and I lived their life instead of listening to the teacher. Everyone wanted to make fun of me or beat me up.

I won't speak for everyone but a lot of us MI are going through the same shit so don't worry about it and do what you can. Most of my days are spent on the couch so we will see if the beauty school thing actually happens.

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I too had a very sucky beginning. One school I'd be the life of the party, the next a complete loner. Now I'm in a suedo-loner mode. I have friends but not many.

My meltdown came in my mid 20's when I was living with my parents. The meltdown completeky freaked them out and the promptly moved away to CA. I was then all alone with out a job, with out friends, with out a real doc and none of the right meds. Miraculously I got a small job at the local paper. This gave me med insurance. VERY IMPORTANT. I finally had access to docs that did like have 16 million patients waiting to see them. I was diagnosed BP I and off I went with my meds and therapy. I finanlly went back to design school when I was 30 and I was the right choice. There were plenty of people my age and older as well as the youngsters. School was extremely hard not to mention dealing with BP at the same time. But I made it through because there was not other option. My parents would not support me and my sister wouldn't have me. So I made it through by still taking my meds and having understanding friends.

Now I have a career in design and I love my job. Abilify has become my wonder drug for my symptoms. It as cleared all the mind clutter so I can focus. So looking back at my 20's I never thought I'd get here. I would be living in a halfway house or the street if I didn't take a few key steps. Get a job. Mental stimulation helps with the deprression of being stuck living with your parents. Find the right doctor. Our brains can find more comfort, it just might take a different coktail. (As a side note don't settle for a mediocre doc, than can do more damage than good.) Go to school. Nothing opens the brain and body to more possibilities than school. When I was in school life always seemed like it was full of possibilities.

You can do this. It isn't easy, I won't lie. But make the decision to move out of where you are and to the next stop in life. Don't park your life on the couch. Many of us have had better lives because we moved.

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Akathesiasucks - boy oh boy can I relate to your predicament!

I am 28 and have just retired from a shitty menial job due to ill health. One shitty lowpaid job after another and I have 2 college degrees from very prestigious universities so degrees ain't everything. It is not too late to go to college if you want - I plan to apply for a Post Graduate Diploma for the next academic year. Just be sure that you choose a degree that qualifies you to do something. And there is nothing wrong with studying to be a doctor at 28, your life experience and wisdom will make you an extra special doctor.

I don't have much to say beyond that

But I can really really empathize with your predicament

keep us updated

blackbird x

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Thanks everyone for the kind words. Sometimes I feel like just complaining about life, whether it's healthy or not.

I feel rather stable on my meds at the moment (but this could be temporary) so I need to get some motivation and just face the world. I can't keep expecting others to provide food and shelter forever.

It's make or break time.

Thanks again.

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