33 Year old depressed and confused about choices

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Laurie79
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Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/2/2014 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm new and found the site by googling 30something depression.

My main issue is feeling, for the first time in my life, that I'm too old for certain opportunities, and my innocent, naive youth is behind me. I understand to someone decades older, 33 is very young, but all things are relative. And there's no denying the fact that a 21 year old has more on the horizon. Recently I've been mourning my 20s.

My 20s was filled with exciting experiences and lots of world travel. Now, I'm in 30s my priorities have shifted and it feels like all my experiences don't amount to anything because I don't have a career I love, a family of my own, nor do I have many close friendships (because of all the moving around). I lived a bohemian life in my 20s and now that I'm older and would like to settle down, it seems I didn't play my cards right.

More troubling is the realization that I am probably commitment phobic and have trouble connecting with people, which may be the reason I spent my 20s moving from town to town instead of working a steady job, going to housewarmings and weddings, and building relationships like a "normal" person. I was always happy to have an independent and adventurous spirit, but now at 30something I just feel lost, and pathetic.

I know what many of you may say -- start now to build the life I want. And I have, but it doesn't make the feeling that all my choices in my 20s were wrong, go away. It's too late to go to all the weddings I missed and make the friendships I didn't build. Most close social circles and friendships are established in your 20s. Now people my age are focusing on their families/spouses. Sometimes, there's just no making up for lost time.

It doesn't help that I've moved very far from family in order to get my graduate degree. I'm isolated. And stress from school is enormous. I've become increasingly depressed and don't know if I should drop out and go home, or what I should do. I feel too despondent to make a good decision, especially now that I feel the last decade of decisions were shortsighted. It's all spiraling into many negative thoughts … I'm really down on myself, unable to feel happiness, and anxious.

Sorry for the long post. I'm hoping some folks my age or older can offer words of advice, personal stories, etc.

Thank you for reading.

Post Edited (Laurie79) : 2/2/2014 9:30:56 PM (GMT-7)


gugfl
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Date Joined Feb 2014
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   Posted 2/2/2014 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Laurie79,
I'm new here too.
In my case, I don't share all of your fears and frustrations but I can say that since I have been battling depression, all of the smaller things that bothered me suddenly seemed monumental and overwhelming. It seems like a trick to me really, but in actuality, it is just that our coping is so poor right now, that anything seems too hard to overcome.
I do understand the feelings of making poor choices, and even recently practically every choice I ever made felt like the wrong one.....but somehow, telling the right people and talking to the people who understand can be such a blessing, and then, for maybe just one day at a time, you feel understood and supported.
I personally have started to feel helped by some additional medication for anxiety and another for depression. It has helped me to cope a bit better. I do have a great family doctor, and am hoping you do too.
Good luck to you in your decision making and journey.
Sending good wishes and vibes -
gugfl

SFGamerBabe
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Date Joined Oct 2013
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   Posted 2/2/2014 11:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello ladies!

I am 28yrs old. So I will share my life motto even though I am younger.

I have never had regretted my past and here is why...... I made my choices right or wrong and they have all lead me to the moment I am in for a reason.

I have an 8 year old son, I am twice divorced and very happily single.

I am bipolar, I have anxiety that does keep me in bed for days or weeks at a time and I am happy for one reason, the choices I made have brought me pain, sorrow and the best happiness I have ever felt in my life. I would never ever change my past.

The past is the past and that is where it needs to stay! Look forward and never forget the fun, that is why it is the past, lessons and time to live. Now you live for today. You will have the family and wedding and all of that, just be you.
With love and hugs from MissJD (s2s)
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getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41701
   Posted 2/3/2014 4:27 AM (GMT -6)   
You can't move forward if you are dwelling on the past. We need to live for who we are today.

I think the 30's were awesome years, so try (all of you) to stay in the present and enjoy life as it is. Have no regrets of your past, it is what made you who you are today.

I hope all of you grasp what I am saying...

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


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Myself 09
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Date Joined Dec 2009
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   Posted 2/3/2014 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
The past is gone. The future is not set in stone. And the present is all you have.

I am 45. In my twenties, I was married, working, and doing my art.

In my thirties, I was divorced, dating again, being an academic in a demanding field.

In my 40s, so far, I was an assistant professor until I quit to start over. Now I am substitute teaching, battling various illnesses including depression, and studying for the teaching certifications.

Each step along each decade was very interesting. The only thing I regret is my student loans.

Perhaps the chronic illnesses makes me more reflective? After all, if I let comparisons with my peers get in my head, i would never get out of bed.

Start overs are common. So is wanting someone else's life. But remember, all choices have good and bad attached to them. If you had kids and a mortgage, it is substantially harder to make another choice.

So is figuring out what you want now, and working to make it happen. Sometimes, being sad is a way of moving towards a different choice. So, own your introspection, buddy.
Fibromyalgia DX 2005. Ulcerative Colitis 2003, Crohn's 2013, enteropathic arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis, 2013. History of Fibro--2 out of 3 siblings diagnosed. Started SCD-June 2013. *There are three kinds of people in the world: ones who see the glass as half-full, ones who see the glass as half-empty, and others who see a big crack in the side which is leaking all over their %$#@# foot

Laurie79
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/3/2014 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for all the responses everyone. To Myself 09 and others -- how do I figure out what I want? I'm living in a constant state of doubt and sometimes I really have no idea what I want.

I guess my question is: What next when you realize your priorities have changed, and all the decisions in the past have been for a different set of goals? How do you stop the train?

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41701
   Posted 2/3/2014 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
You have to ask yourself what you want and really think about it. Do you have anybody professional that you can talk to about your career or what you would like to do with your life.

I had a lot of questions when I was young. But I learned to take life one day at a time. Kind of go with the flow of things. It is a lot easier, but I know with your age and the way that you are thinking you have so many questions. Maybe you need to talk to somebody of faith...

I know how it feels to wonder so much. But I think you are thinking too much. Slow your mind down with meditation. You will then know what you want to do.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


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Myself 09
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   Posted 2/3/2014 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
No stopping the train, I am afraid. But you can get on another train, realizing that it has good moments and bad moments, problems as well as delights. You make a choice about which train you want to ride, to continue the metaphor. You realize that if you switch trains, you are starting over.

I chose to leave my tenure track job for a lot of reasons, knowing that my life as a professor would be over. I miss some things, but I do not miss the daily anger and apathy. I wish I made more money, but I will get there. I wish my relationship was stronger, but I think that will get there, as well.

In other words, you put on the big-person pants and make a leap, after doing all the thinking and planning in advance.

I do not often recommend self-help books. I am a do-er, not a reader. But, BF is addicted to them and they sit all over our apartment. One he keeps in the potty, called "The Joy Diet" by Martha Beck. about giving yourself permission to think about your desires.
Fibromyalgia DX 2005. Ulcerative Colitis 2003, Crohn's 2013, enteropathic arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis, 2013. History of Fibro--2 out of 3 siblings diagnosed. Started SCD-June 2013. *There are three kinds of people in the world: ones who see the glass as half-full, ones who see the glass as half-empty, and others who see a big crack in the side which is leaking all over their %$#@# foot

Gizzy'n me
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Date Joined Jun 2013
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   Posted 2/3/2014 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Laurie79 .....
 
   "Most close social circles and friendships are established in your 20's"!
 
   I have two daughters - and each having taken a very different course in life.
   My youngest is 28 and has worked her head off for both her education and for her moving up in the career world. She has done a great job in NOT burning bridges with people in her lifetime. In her case, her best friend still goes back to grade school. Her next best friend goes to when she was working on either her B.A. degree or M.A. degree. She and her BF will be moving 1000-miles away soon ... and I know she will be making many new friends when she's in her 30's!
   My oldest daughter is 37 and she started a family at a pretty young age. She stopped with an A.A. degree. She has no friends from that part of her life. Her two closest old friends are from high school - and she hardly sees them at all anymore. The great majority of friends have been thru her kids in one way or the other (school, girlscouts, etc.) - and not many from her 20's!
 
   We all have a different course in life. That is how it should be because none of us are carbon copies of someone elses pressummed life.
   We all are ... a sum of our experiences! It has a lot to do with what makes us all at least a little interesting - and being individuals.
   I can imagine .... right now .... there are a few people who have read your story - and who are kind of envious of what you did with your 20's!
   Please ..... don't question what you did or didn't do (within reason) at any point in time of your life. Try to build on it. A talk therapist could be of great help to you in going back in time for your "difficulty in connecting with people" ..... and how it could or should relate to you today.
 
   You're a bright young lady (forgive that term if it bothers you) - and you might find some of the people here may have started their lives or their new lives later than you think! 
   A divorce late in life got me into a talk therapist when I was close to 50 .... then, thanks to my therapist, started all over again with a new circle of friends.
 
   Best wishes
 
Rob & Gizmo
 

Laurie79
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/3/2014 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you again folks for all your comments and personal stories. I really appreciate it and will be reading and rereading.

Gizzy'n me said...
Hello Laurie79 .....
I can imagine .... right now .... there are a few people who have read your story - and who are kind of envious of what you did with your 20's!


Gizzy'n me - that you are right. Many peers and older folks were envious of my 20something life. I think because I had the courage to do things they wanted for themselves. Now…hmm…not so much. Now it seems all the people who worked their butts off in their 20s are enjoying the fruits of their labor. Socially, financially, etc. I can't help but feel like I'm left with a stamp-filled passport and an empty apartment. I understand there are intangibles, but it's hard to focus on those when we live in a world of tangible accomplishments. Employers don't care so much about "life experience" as much as 10 years of work experience and a Master's or PhD. Being un/underemployed has given my self confidence a beating.

Gizzy'n me said...

Please ..... don't question what you did or didn't do (within reason) at any point in time of your life. Try to build on it. A talk therapist could be of great help to you in going back in time for your "difficulty in connecting with people" ..... and how it could or should relate to you today.


That has been my problem. Hesitation because of a badly shaken confidence. When I was younger I just did things and didn't worry about a future, and I seem to be paying for that now. I will be speaking to someone, hopefully that will alleviate some of the anxiety.

Post Edited (Laurie79) : 2/3/2014 12:14:28 PM (GMT-7)


getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41701
   Posted 2/3/2014 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gugft,

I don't think I welcomed you to the forum. I want you to know we are all happy that you joined us.

Keep posting and know that we care...

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

web101
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 2/5/2014 11:31 AM (GMT -6)   
From my experience, and from observation of friends around me, the 20's are really not the best time to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. Be glad you got to do what you got to do while you were in your 20's. You're in your 30's now with a lot of life experience already... and that is fantastic! Moving forward don't feel pressured to do all the "expected" things people your age are doing. Regretting decisions you made in your 20's is much much less distressing than regretting decisions you made in your 30's or 40's. Move forward, do your best, forget the past, be your own person... and don't listen to anybody who tells you otherwise.

claire_h
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Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/9/2015 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Laurie79, I know this was quite a while ago, but I am almost exactly the same place. I travelled the world and now want to settle, but it's tough. I missed so many weddings etc, and bonding. My old uni friends are doing the whole getting married and babies and mortgages thing and I feel very alone. I picked up a great guy on my travels, but lost a lot of connections.

How do you find you are getting on?

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41701
   Posted 5/9/2015 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Claire,

Welcome to the depression forum. Even though some people settle at a certain age, that may seem appropriate, it doesn't mean you have to follow that norm. Be you. And be proud of you and know you will settle down when you are ready. After all if you have kids, it is at least 18 years of living your life for them. So enjoy the dayswhen you can!!!

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

pitmom
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   Posted 5/9/2015 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Claire. Welcome. Since this thread was started last year, you might not get the response from the person you hope will respond. I'm glad you are here and wouldn't want you to be disappointed.

I get so caught up in the posts that I forget to look at the dates they were made!

Hope to see more from you!
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WingZero
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Date Joined Oct 2011
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   Posted 5/12/2015 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I know how you feel. I made poor choices all my life. Right now I feel powerless to change that, and so I destroy more and more. I know I'm doing it but can't seem to stop. I don't really have any good advice for you, but I wish you well and hope that things will turn around soon.
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HardLife
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Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/3/2017 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Laurie and others,

I felt a connection reading this thread so I wanted to share my story also.

I'm 33 and I feel like I'm at the end of yet another career path. I've always been interested in EVERYTHING and in the past decade I've graduated as a food engineer, worked in a warehouse for 2 years, studied gardening for a year without graduating, worked as a pest controller for 2 years, obtained a masters degree in the biofields and now finally working as a researcher at the university.

My problem is that at some point I always get really disappointed at what I'm doing and I ruminate on various reasons to start over. It could be the wrong kind of people, too much interaction with people or too little, the work tasks are unfulfilling or too demanding, too little creative task (I play the guitar and sing which helps a little) or anything else. Now, as a researcher, I'm constantly second-guessing my ideas and because I'm not really involved with the community, Its hard to ask for help. I tried to belong but because all the other researchers are foreigners and I'm a native (hope this doesn't come off as racist), I just don't feel the connection. So I feel alone. On top of this I, yet again, don't enjoy the work.

I have lots of friends outside work and a wife to whom I can talk to, but this only brings temporary relief. My wife also went through similar feelings a year ago with the exception that she has a passion to follow. I know that I must man up and make these decisions alone. It just seems that I'm always making the wrong decisions and I'm getting tired of starting over.. I'm highly introspective about these things but the more I think, the more confused I seem to get. If it were up to me, we would all live in rural communities where the work is a joint effort for the good of the community and everybody's contribution is respected smile

Anyway, hope you are all doing better in your lives and also that this story resonates with some of you!

Post Edited (Jake84) : 7/3/2017 11:54:50 PM (GMT-6)


pitmom
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Date Joined Jan 2015
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   Posted 7/4/2017 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum. You have posted on a very old thread. It is suggested that you write a new post/intro so we can get to know you.
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