I'm 20 and I've had a rough life. I'd relay it all to you but that's what my therapist is for. Anyways, the short of it is I grew up in an environment devoid of positive emotion, meaningful relationships, and with a split family of highly dysfunctional people everywhere I look. In a lot of ways I'm one of the more stable persons in the group, which I commonly refer to as "The Wolf Pack". My mother and father divorced when I was nine, and my father has been married twice since then. My mother was always wisplike and distant, while my father has always seemed shallow and overbearing. The two stepmothers I've had have also had the pluses and minuses, but no one is perfect. I've been in and out of therapy, mental hospitals, and on and off multiple medications for at least as long for various diagnosis that may or may not have been accurate.

Continuing on, my recent history:
After I graduated high school from an alternative graduation program due to the fact that the overwhelming stress that my advanced classes at the magnet school I was going to were causing became too great for me to handle, I found myself with below average academic scores that were insufficient to garner the attention of any schools' scholarships. On a side note I am also an Eagle Scout. Due to my family's financial status and my father's feeling that I would never make anything of myself without a swift kick in the ass, he had me enlist in the Military and I went cold turkey on my medication. I spent a whopping two weeks in the USAF before the stress became too great for me to handle. It took me a week to separate from them, and during that time the instructors at Lackland made my life a living hell. These people are supposed to train soldiers and warriors, and seeing that I was not the stock of either it offended them. Fortunately I'm from San Antonio so it wasn't too long of a wait.

Upon my return to civilian life my dad almost disowned me. This was by far the lowest point in my life. I moved into my grandparent's house, stewed in my own crazy, and considered suicide more than once. Thankfully things started to settle down and I started receiving treatment for my condition again. For a while they thought I had mild aspergers, but soon enough it was decided that I have dysthymia, generalized anxiety disorder, and mathematics disorder.

To conclude, I have zero job history, severe mental illness, no self esteem, and my family, although they have grown to understand my predicament more in the past 6 months, have no idea what its like inside my head. My family is urging me to go out and find a job, but I don't feel stable enough for employment most of the time, and although I have a wide creative streak (especially in terms of written word) my current environment is too restrictive to allow me to support myself that way. I'm at a loss for what to do next. I've had so many failures throughout my life and zero successes I take emotional pride in. I lack passion for life, and the drive to take risks and reap rewards. Just yesterday I felt like a complete 180 as to how I feel at this moment. What do I do? I've got a lot going for me I know, I'm handsome, I'm physically strong, I'm fiercely intelligent and compassionate and considerate about others, I'm a hard worker and strive to do my best when I can convince myself to do something, but its just that I feel like I'm in a prison within my own mind.

What is this? What do I do? Why do I have to have all of the answers all of a sudden? Why won't someone help me?


2084 days ago
Hi - sorry you're struggling. I think part of the problem is, you were told what to do career wise by your dad, when your heart wasn't in it. Probably wasn't a good idea to go off your medication suddenly either - basically setting you up for failure...since it was a demanding program. Are you back on the medication? Often when young people finish high school this is a transition time and can be intimidating if they don't know what they want to do career wise. What are you interested in doing career wise and reasonably attainable? Maybe learning a trade would be good?? At unemployment centers and colleges, they have career counselors - can you speak to them?

The important thing is to make your own decisions with professional guidance, instead of your family telling you what to do. Your anxiety could also be holding you back and sabotaging you from moving forward. What does your therapist say? Try not be discouraged - many have failures and move on to be successful in something else, with the positive qualities you have.