Early twenties, plagued with anxiety and depression
I am a 22 y/o male. I grew up on a ranch in a small, rural Texas town. My parents, just like most of the community, are very devout Christians. They also hold very strong conservative values. I went away for college, started smoking marijuana and became very open. I ended up finding myself, and came out as a gay man. I also do not hold the religious or political views that my family does any longer. I had a boyfriend for two years. I had a wonderful property management job after college. But I was always unhappy, since I was young. For the first time in my life I did feel a little happier being in a relationship. However, my bf cheated and left me. My anxiety came back full fledge and my depression became unbearable. I had to quit my job and now I am moving back home with my parents. I've been on medications for anxiety and depression for several months now. Very Little relief. It has been six months now since we broke up and I still feel like my life is spiraling downward and I have no way to stop it. My ex is only a small part of the problem. I just have no since of direction or willpower in life. Feeling very lost.
Well, the first thing you can do is stop pressuring and rushing yourself. 'Life is a rollercoaster', featuring ups and downs, or in your case downs and ups, and they can last a good few years in many cases. And what these downs actually are, are intense, condensed learning periods (hence your brain aches and spins). ONCE you've learned whatever you're meant to learn, and start putting it all wittingly or otherwise into practise in how you from then on view and run your life (i.e. pass your final university of life exams), is when things go up-up-up again.
That's WHY the saying, 'I studied at the school of life'.
It's the same for everyone, albeit that the degree and duration of peaks and troughs tends to match how extreme a person you yourself are, including and in terms of how much - as opposed to the cautious, under-confident and unadventurous (or easily pleased) that never their whole lives stray from the homestead and all else they know - you tend to FLING yourself at new experiences and ventures...because obviously the higher you jump/climb, the further you have to fall/descend before jumping/climbing again.
You had a good two years. Not ecstatic, no. Course not. Because you had baggage (domineering parents) to sift through and weights (inadvertent brainwashing) to throw off as you toddled along. But two good years, nonetheless - you said so yourself. So now we know your present-day up-and-down timings, don't we? :-) ...or we do if we remember to take into account how things progress much more slowly going UP an incline than down (thankfully).
Six months descending already, you say? What do you suppose that means - only another 6 left, if that? :-)
That good two years was supposed to be your encouragement.. to grit your teeth through this wee nadir whilst waiting patiently for every new thing to click into place until you have a final, new picture and horizon. Meantime, you need to change your attitude (because it is NOT the end of your world, and that medication can't do it all by itself if you won't give it a cooperative leg-up):
- You do NOT 'not hold the religious or political views of your family'. You, one adult, simply have different views to two or more other adults you know. (Whaddayaknow - so do I and many, many other adults!)
- You were NOT 'always' unhappy. (If you had been, you'd have topped yourself thus never come out nor got all the juice that was on offer out of that helpful relationship (your 'tricycle' as must always precede the 'bigger boy's bike') or experienced a wonderful job). You were intermittently happy- well, alright, CONTENT and unhappy both, but where the latter for a while predominated.
- You did NOT 'quit' that job, life quit you of it...Or are you telling me you told your bf at gunpoint to do what he did? No, you didn't, so there you go - life quit you of it.
You might have quit that job anyway, of your own volition. And don't say you wouldn't, because you don't know what Fate had in store for you a bit beyond that point...that might have been a prior plan for you before the plan for whatever good reason got changed, meaning, had it not, you could, for example, have been head-hunted and accepted it without a backward glance.
- You are NOT 'moving back home'. You are going to stay as a guest at your 'ex-parents'' house for recuperation purposes (you and your earplugs, LOL). Their son you may be but you ceased being a child, even theirs, when you flew the nest and lived for 2 long years as an adult, remember? YOU'RE A KNOWN GUEST. Behave like one and treat them like hosts and you'll find you get different treatment back.
It's true, that, because parents are ALWAYS reactive, which you'll concede to if you remember that it's the baby that decides to start eating solids and crawling, etc., not the parents telling it 'Today, Little Johnny, is the day you're going to learn to crawl!'. Correct? Same truth principle, different era, that's the only difference. So that's how you go into this, showing them a new and altered persona - today's - ...however you want to do it: shake their hands hello instead of hugging, calling them father and mother instead of mum and dad, a more grown-up and formal/polite manner and tone... you decide. That way, they won't be able to fall back on old interactional habits (because those were for 'him' and seemingly you're not 'him' any more, get it? :-)).
As for your lack of sense of direction and willpower. You're not meant to. Not yet. Those, and more, come once you've recuperated, with your wings back to good as new, and/or - if you want a marker - have become bored silly of the predicament.
This is how it goes. Always, always, always. So now, if you want to shoo away quite a bit of that Black cloud over your head, I suggest you start to feel ENTITLED to this emotional hospital stay and thereby embrace it for the fact of it being a VERY rare chance to have a long and luxurious rest, reflection and a re-think (or better, harder think) before you naturally feel like pressing Play again. Because, you? You're struggling. And, unbeknownst to you, it's that very struggling as is making this feel so, so, SO much harder than it NEEDS to be. (Do I hear a "duuh!"? ;-))
You've been granted a ticket to Relax&PleaseYourselfVille. Lucky you! It's full of books and films and pottering about, possibly learning new skills (cooking?...DIY?) or just soaking up the scenery, if and whenever or once you feel up to it. Meantime - no more morning alarm-clock for you, hurrah! :-)
So who was it told you this was actually a BAD thing again?
Oh, and by the way: your next fella and the quality of your relationship with him is going to make your ex look like Shrek and feel like a cross between Mr Bean and Cruella de Vil, I guarantee it! And you'll be bloody grateful the ex was a tw*t, as well, because, if not 'you wouldn't this/that/this'. So if you knew this wee but intense/condensed gauntlet-run were the very thing that was going to earn you your ticket to HappyHealthyVille with a much better, nicer boyfriend, you'd see it as a small price and endure it happily, wouldn't you? :-)
(PS: Yes, sickeningly positive. That's what results when you're the sort who's been to Hell & Back more times than you could shake a stick at. ;-))