Anyways, I'm 27, and completely untouched (as in no intimate contact of any kind). Let's start there. I'm also almost flat broke and out of options (yes, I have a job, but it don't pay squat and the benefits are pretty much nonexistant, and apparently there isn't anything else around here willing to give me what I'm looking for weekly, which I at least THINK is not too much to ask). I've come to believe I suffer from what some know as AvPD (avoidant personality), but I can't afford to see a therapist to confirm. Having been in therapy before with negative success (at least 2 of them told my mother, who is the MAJOR issue in my life, that I was better off locked up), I've come to believe that psychologists/psychiatry may not help. Then there is the fact that I am resistant to any medication I have to take for more than 3 weeks (proven fact, and it's not because I don't take it).
I've fought for every single thing I have. Literally, I have fought for my life. It's in my name, even (no, seriously, it translates that way!). I keep up with the bills. I graduated with high honors from a technical school (don't have the job associated with it because I had the luck to graduate just before the economy crashed!). I've paid for every penny I've put into various projects. I taught myself to read and tie my shoes when I was younger. And yet, I keep fighting a losing battle with myself.
When I was in school (what seems like eons ago), I was the scrawny kid that got picked on and beat up for fun (because of the disorder that almost killed me). I was short and skinny as a rail. Now, I'm not so short, but you try finding pants and a belt for someone with a 29" waist (it's impossible... I have to go to the boys department for belts!). My experiences with the girls then were not favorable. And they got worse through high school, seeing all of the decent girls on the arms of posers, while I might as well have not existed.
And all of the while, I've been told I'm not so bad looking. Well, the way I see it, if that were true, I'd be married with kids by now. I don't drink (did that once on my 21st and almost killed myself... NEVER AGAIN), I don't go to clubs, and I don't really fit in much anywhere (because of the AvPD and because I only specialize in things most women could care less about). Pretty much all of my friends deserted me years ago, which adds to the loneliness.
I've tried, believe me. I met a couple women online a few years ago. One decided she would rather marry the guy who she KNEW cheated on her several times (for the money to pay her student loans off, nonetheless) than actually date me, and the other and I just fell apart after a year and a half without actually having met (still kicking myself over this one, and I really see no reason to as it was coming anyways). Now, I can't even get a 15-minute conversation going. Heck, I can't even get past the initial question. Of course, there's the girl at work that I know has been flirting with me for over 2 years, but she just had a kid with a guy who used to be my manager (and I KNOW is a real no-good), even though she does still continue to flirt. No, I won't get in on that. I figure if she's already been there, she's used up. And I figure I blew my chance years ago.
Is there possibly any way I can get some advice of sorts without having to sell my soul (if I even have one any more)? Being lonely and having nobody but my cat to talk to is getting a little old. So is getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night (on a GOOD night) and not being able to finish a meal (I can only eat so much at a time but end up eating again later again and again).
You are obviously struggling with a lot; and have been for a long time. I'm sure that there is much more to what's going on than what you can share here in this post. So, any advice will be limited and possibly inaccurate. That said, I'm concerned about you not sleeping well and your difficulty with eating. I'd suggest you see a physician to help assess the problem. You might also google "good sleep hygiene" or check out info on this at the National Sleep Foundation . Also, you say that you can't afford therapy, but it might be worth finding a low cost or sliding scale clinic near you.
All the professional routes aside, the best way for anyone to start helping themselves when they are really struggling emotionally (but not in serious crisis, such as feeling suicidal when I'd even more strongly suggest professional help) is to build on what they have. Get involved in the things you enjoy. Spend time with people you like. Build relationships with people with similar interests. Do what you can to have a healthy lifestyle - good sleep, healthy eating, regular exercise, enjoyable activities, build social connections. If the last one is particularly difficult for you -- which I'm guessing it might be since you label yourself as avoidant -- then start slow; but build relationships that feel good and make an effort to note the ways that it feels good. As for finding an intimate relationship, you will find it easier (though not necessarily easy) to do this along the way as you feel better about yourself and your life.
This is all much easier written or said than done. So, I suggest you focus on one thing at a time. Find supports to help you -- maybe here, with friends or family, maybe a support group in your area, and/or a therapist.
I wish you well and hope you can begin to find your way back to a happier and less angry life.
Well, as I said above, most of my friends are gone. They went to school and moved on with their lives long before I went back (actually, went twice, but I couldn't find a job the first time and ended up back at square one for 3 years afterwards). Family is pretty much nonexistant. My father is the black sheep of his family, and my mother has destroyed ours to the point that nobody wants anything to do with her, either, other than her brother (who is just like her, as my cousins say, and they can't stand him, either).
Most of my problem is that I hold myself in contempt. Yes, there is more to the story than I dare go into (I could go for days into that). Let's just say that my upbringing has not only left me shy but basically completely distrusting of most women in general (and the ones I would trust have to do A LOT to get to that point). Which is why I'm stuck, since I don't want to end up alone, but that brick wall is keeping me back.
Actually, the brick wall thing isn't completely accurate. I've described myself using a somewhat military analogy. The lucky one who gets to my heart would basically need to navigate a desert littered with land mines, surrounded by a barbed-wire fence and heavily guarded by tanks, carrying a metal detector and shovel to find my heart, buried in a large vault under the sand. Hopefully you could understand that...
As for the rest, I've found myself eating less and less lately. It used to be that I could go to eat, finish a plate, and be hungry again in an hour (or 2, depending on what I ate). If you wonder why I still weigh so little, that's a long story in itself, but I will tell you that I had a record for having the biggest file in my pediatrician's office. And what caused that has also affected my sleep cycle, among other things (that I choose not to bring up as I keep trying to forget that period of time but fail miserably). As for sleep, I've been sleeping less and less since things went south with the one girl almost 4 and a half years ago now, and I'm down to about 4 hours per night, if I'm lucky. I've tried vitamins, watching what I eat before going to bed, and I've tried a couple sleeping pills, but nothing seems to work. I have a feeling that what I need to help that is the one thing that seems quite out of reach.
I've tried several self-help sources. I've tried self-hypnosis using downloaded files. I've tried lots of things. Problem with hypnosis is that I can't get my brain to shut off enough to let the hypnosis work.
A lot of this is affecting my ability to get a second job. I feel inferior, I guess, and I also guess that shows. I need the second job if I'm going to get anywhere because my bills aren't leaving me much room to deal with my issues (about 350 per month out of the piddly 500 or so I get). I'll try looking around, but I don't think there is a chance of my finding any help until I can manage to get things squared away. Which almost seems like it may be too late by then...
Your situation is definitely a difficult one! Again, I think that professional help is your best bet. You say that you will look around for help -- if you are unsure where to start, I suggest trying local hospitals, mental health agencies (e.g. Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Services, state run mental health services), local professional schools for psychology or social work that might know of training clinics, and your state psychological association. Also, take a look at my How To Search for a Therapist tip.
Also, I get that you don't have much in the way of supportive people in your life. When people feel this stuck, it often helps to think about what they are not seeing - e.g. think about who does exist - and work on building up from there (nurturing that relationship and finding new ones). You might pick a particular struggle and start a new thread in this community so that people can help with it.
Finally, many people find that it helps to invest themselves in an activity, hobby, or cause that interests them -- especially in a way that involves interacting with others. This is something that can pull you out of your own struggles and connect you with meaningful activity or relationships.
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