Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Social Anxiety, Skills, Support, and a Job with this Weight
I'm sorry for a long post, I just want to see if anyone could give advice or share their experiences/situations, or help me get my priorities straight? I just don't really have that many people to talk to.
I don't really know where to start in order to improve myself, I am having a lot of issues right now. I don't have that much social support due to moving to another state and sometimes you just lose touch. Well either way a few of these issues those close to me don't really have answers to themselves, especially since most of my current problems are just being experienced by me and not them.
I think since I have gained weight, it has increased my Social Anxiety considerably. I have always been shy, and have had some sort of Depression (diagnosed with Major, but seems like Moderate for now) for most of my life. But when it comes to social skills, I don't really know where to start. I know it is possible to make connections without the eye contact, but this has not been the case for awhile now.
My moods have changed since coming off Effexor, and sometimes I am even calmer than when I was on it when it comes to Generalized Anxiety. But the Shyness and Social Anxiety is the same, and maybe even has gotten worse. It does take practice, but I just start moving into this Social Anhedonia-type mood when do I have the capabilities to do so. I just don't feel like myself from all the weight I have gained. Just the other night, we were at this reception and I started tearing up because Social Introductions and eye contact are so hard for me now, also having to do with my self-consciousness about how big I have actually gotten.
I know this is really stupid, but I compare myself to others and am like wow they get to travel, have a nice car, house etc., but I don't think I will ever make it there. Well I talk about this financial security thing below. But I know happiness is better left internally than externally.
I did not necessarily expect it to melt off after stopping all of the Meds, but luckily, I do not eat as much. But I am definitely still going over 1200 calories, so an exercise routine falling into place will hopefully make me eat the healthier stuff. It is mostly a food preparation thing, I am still finding ways to get motivated to do what I need to do.
Besides finding a social support, my SA is also giving me trouble to find a job. So I keep on feeling that out of everyone else, they are not hiring me due to how I look. But I know how important eye contact is, but I just don't do it the whole time when I am actually in the interview. I have tried for work-at-home jobs, but I messed up a few of the opportunities, of the other ones out there require you to have a Land Line. I have had temp agency jobs, and I am waiting to hear about this one next week, but it's for an Inbound Call Center, so I hope it's not that verbally abusive! But I would have to quit it next month anyways, because my friend is flying out, and I would probably not get time off. You know how devastating it would be to tell my friend I cannot do anything with them after they paid for their tickets. I planned on having a job way before this, but them agency did not find me one, and I did not have any interviews until April (since my previous contract ended in February). It's part of that social support thing. If I have been depressed from a lack of social support, then I have right to try and save money to do things with my friend for a week right? I add this in because it sounds like the irresponsible thing to do ppl might say, but I would go insane if I had to say no don't come, that won't work.
Getting a job is important right now because of my debt, and my bills are so high that I just can't pay them. On top of that, how can I get counseling if all my money goes to them? There are resources with cheaper prices luckily. Maybe even self-help books. I want to add that my BF does help, but there are certain things I am going to pay him back for, and I don't feel comfortable living rent-free forever. I am 25 and one of my parents helps me out, but I don't ask for the full amount I need for bills because that person is on disability. But it makes Depression worse (sometimes even eating habits) when you do not have financial security.
From my 1 year of college and a little beyond that, there were times when I was on probation, and thus had to take out Private Student Loans in order to keep in school. I cannot get a lowered payment from most of the most likely, because I tried once and she said, "well, what about your cosigner?". Well, my cosigner is my elderly grandmother so that will definitely not work.
I should add that I have a Bachelor's in Psychology, but did not pursue graduate school. I honestly did think that's what I wanted to do. But I wanted to at least be in better health before trying to heal others. So I thought it would not be for me. It would not be worth getting a graduate degree and going into even more debt when you are not sure that's what you want to do, right? I could take out a car loan for that. (Well, no I couldn't, but that is just an example). I am appealing financial aid to get a certificate in Web Design and Development (due to loans already being given to me for 150% of my undergraduate education). There aren't that many actual psychology jobs with a Bachelor's, you have to find jobs you can at least qualify for, and most of these are probably in the Social Service field.
It seems like even when I exercise and feel good, I cannot problem solve as easily. The last few days I have decreased the amount of food (especially Jimmy John's) I used for comfort, so that's good I guess. I'm sorry I don't mean to be ranting, I just, well you know how it goes. I had trouble with self-worth even before being at an all-time weight high, but I don't really know where to start if it is affecting how I associate myself with the outside world.
I'm sorry again for the long post. I would be very appreciative of insights and stories, if you can please?