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This is destroying my life
#1
I'm at the end of my rope. My self-esteem and confidence issues are utterly destroying my life and I don't know what to do.

Firstly, let me give some background info about myself and what I believe has had the biggest impact on my life so far that has led up to this point. At 20 I was stricken with a softball sized tumor in my chest. Right next to my heart, growing into my lung, inoperable. Long story short: I've been through years of chemo to shrink it and will have to endure weekly chemo for the rest of my life as I've had radiation in the attempt to stop its growth which has not worked. I've no other options. This treatment makes me quite miserable Mon-Wed and generally very fatigued for the rest of the week. The reason I mention this is that it's had a significant impact on every other area that has caused these problems which I'm about to elaborate on.

Anyhow, when this diagnosis hit it completely ripped me out of a "normal" life. One day I was in school and working, then after spending every day for weeks on end at the doctors office during the diagnosis, a month later I was in bed constantly miserable enduring chemo with that world long gone. This lasted throughout a significant portion of my twenties and it took priority over everything. I didn't work or go to school had no friends (nor family aside from my parents) that stood by me, and basically did nothing but fight to survive. This had a hugely detrimental impact on any feeling of self-worth. Social skills deteriorated. I'm still undergoing chemo and I've no career, no work experience for over a decade and a half (and what I do have is mostly fast food, retail, etc), and no skills. NOTHING to feel worthwhile about, and nothing that society seems to value. Being healthy is the status quo to the healthy, and many of these people don't seem to give due credit to someone that has to work extremely hard for something they've been given for free.

As it is, I currently reside with my parents and live on $1K of SSI a month (+ EBT stamps) which makes me feel like a low-life bum leech on society. I have such sensitivity and self-esteem problems that I self-medicate with shots of vodka if I have to go out into the world and interact, even if it's just to go to the store to buy groceries. But it makes me not care and this wonder drug accomplishes more in five minutes what years of therapy have failed to. Talking to people makes me sick to my stomach without it, especially with women. I hate socializing and attempt to keep it as brief as possible. Going out into the world is a dreadful ordeal. I am also bald and very self conscious of it which makes it all the worse. Some guys can pull the look off; I am not one of them and get looks of mockery and contempt all of the time.

Speaking of women, my relations with them are non-existent. I'm not entirely inexperienced with the opposite sex physically, but at 36 I am still a virgin. The cumulative effects of chronic chemo and meds has also had an effect on my ability to sexually function at times. Go ahead, point and snicker, nothing can make me feel any worse about myself than I already do. I have a female friend who's flat out indicated to me all I have to do is make a pass, but this is not what I want. From past experiences, I just can't get that close to somebody unless I truly care for them and will only punch my card with someone when I do. I'm continually told I'm an extremely good looking guy and could get any woman on the planet if I desired.....well, what they don't realize is that would entail me opening my mouth and speaking. When I do, all disappear like I'm the plague and this is excruciating and very disheartening to witness. You'd be amazed. I've had absolutely stunning woman that many guys would KILL for approach me who are obviously interested, only to quickly leave when I attempt to engage them. Not even politely either, but simply get up without a word and rudely leave. I can't begin to express the frustration of having the tools to open doors to my desires, only to have them slammed shut in my face by my own ineptitude. Every experience only leads to more self-loathing, which causes lower self-esteem and less confidence, which leads to more failed attempts. It's a vicious self-fulfilling cycle. I'm so sick of this that I don't even try anymore, because I don't need to have something happen to know what's going to happen.

Regardless, I am very much desperate for companionship....for emotional and physical intimacy of which I've never known as I've never had a serious relationship, nor have been in love. I also long for friends. I have some on the mainland but am on Maui which is a very small world, both in space and mentality. Being chronically sick makes all relationships hard as no one enjoys being around someone who is always miserable and this condition drains me constantly both emotionally and physically. I just don't have the energy most of the time and people are very hard to understand this. Seeing couples kills me and my heart sinks. I sob often due to this. Christ, I see my nephew who is less than half my age with girls and I'm envious beyond measure. I long to share my feelings with anyone but my social skills are a solid brick wall to this which I am pounding, screaming, crying, and pleading against. It doesn't budge. If I can't find a way to fix this problem, I will end my life (that is, if my disease does not do it first....I doubt I'll see 50 if the recent past is any indication) as I can barely tolerate living life like this anymore. I've tried everything I can to no avail. I have the strength to stand up to this horrible disease and live yet it is pie in comparison to this issue for me. This is my real battle.

I never knew how vital these aspects of character are and I'd give anything to be able to attain them. But after all this time I've resigned myself to the realization that these traits are at the fundamental core of who I am and I can't change them any more than I can change my gender through sheer will. I am a small child in a man's body, am severely emotionally stunted, and I lay a large part of this at the feet of this diagnosis that took me out of life at a time when I was coming out of my shell and developing areas that lead to a healthy self-image.

I hate myself with a burning passion.
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#2
Wow man... That all sounds pretty rough... If I knew you in real life I'd get you a bag of pot, pronto. I do suggest seeking some out, if you have any way of doing that, might help lift your spirits a bit, see the world in a new way. Do they have medical cannabis in your area?

Aside from that, maybe just take a break from yourself some times and get outside and just enjoy the world a bit. Our suffering stems from our desires, I have quite a few myself.

Feel free to stop by the chatroom some time. We are a pretty goofy child like bunch.

Maybe check and see if you have any Bhuddist temples in the area or take up meditation...
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard inner battle."
-Namu Amida Butsu
--Hippo Sad
---May your jimmies be forever unrustled...
----"At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice." -Maya Angelou
-----"Lack of personal justice does not excuse one's own ignorance.  Do not be blinded by the wrongs done to you, lest you stumble and wrong others."
------"...There's jazz going on..." -Alan Watts
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#3
(12-16-2013, 01:19 PM)TropicalStarfish Wrote: Wow man... That all sounds pretty rough... If I knew you in real life I'd get you a bag of pot, pronto. I do suggest seeking some out, if you have any way of doing that, might help lift your spirits a bit, see the world in a new way. Do they have medical cannabis in your area?

Aside from that, maybe just take a break from yourself some times and get outside and just enjoy the world a bit. Our suffering stems from our desires, I have quite a few myself.

Feel free to stop by the chatroom some time. We are a pretty goofy child like bunch.

Maybe check and see if you have any Bhuddist temples in the area or take up meditation...

Thanks. There's medical pot here, but being Hawaii nobody cares what kind unless your yard is a growing field. Even then green harvest simply takes it with no charges.

Pot helps symptoms wise but it makes me paranoid.

I'll check out the chat.
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#4
hmm, sucks about the paranoia. That can happen I guess.

...but yeah, hope to see you in chat...
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard inner battle."
-Namu Amida Butsu
--Hippo Sad
---May your jimmies be forever unrustled...
----"At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice." -Maya Angelou
-----"Lack of personal justice does not excuse one's own ignorance.  Do not be blinded by the wrongs done to you, lest you stumble and wrong others."
------"...There's jazz going on..." -Alan Watts
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#5
I am so sorry that you've had to endure all that...I cannot imagine how you got through this far. But it sounds like deep down you're a really strong person because you've fought through the thick of it...so please don't give up. If you need to talk to anyone on those particularly bad days, you can always come here and vent it out.

I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to deal with low self esteem and loneliness and your condition, but I agree with TropicalStarfish, perhaps you can try doing something to take your mind off things by meditating or doing yoga which won't really exert you too much.

Is it possible for you to volunteer for an NGO or shelter? You might make some new friends there, and if you're feeling particularly sad or lonely, its nice to spend time with animals, dogs especially. If you can't have a pet at home, spending some time with them at a shelter can be just as fulfilling.

As for women, maybe if they got to know you as a friend first, perhaps things could go down a different direction?

I would never be able to fully sympathize with your situation, but if you tried to spend more time doing things you enjoy, and focusing on things you're good at, maybe with time, you might find yourself feeling more positive.

You've been through a lot and its going to take time, but hang in there friend. Also, I know its hard to avoid thinking about not having a career or a social life, but battling such serious health problems isn't something to consider lightly, if anything you should be really proud of yourself for having come so far. I definitely admire you for it.
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#6
Have you ever seen a counselor/life coach? I believe you have to start with baby steps to get to where you want to be and also the want for a change. I have been a social worker for 7 years and i have seen it all, i also have seen people change when they have the desire to want a better life. You hold the cards.
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#7
Do you want to pm me and we could be e-pals? I'm a lot older than you but have had cancer (I was luckier than you in that treatment eradicated it, but I remember the utter exhaustion which the chemo caused.) Also LIke you I am not working due to health issues, so can relate to you there as well. I leave it up to you. If you decide not to be my e-pal, I won't be hurt or offended in any way.
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#8
(12-17-2013, 02:54 AM)LifeCoachWithL Wrote: Have you ever seen a counselor/life coach? I believe you have to start with baby steps to get to where you want to be and also the want for a change. I have been a social worker for 7 years and i have seen it all, i also have seen people change when they have the desire to want a better life. You hold the cards.

Well I can't seem to play them correctly, and it's not from lack of trying or desire. I've been in therapy since 15. Flash cards, CBT, self-affirmations....nada.

I've never had more desire, and that's the problem. I cannot fix this no matter how hard I want or what I try.
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#9
(12-17-2013, 03:51 PM)Kale Wrote:
(12-17-2013, 02:54 AM)LifeCoachWithL Wrote: Have you ever seen a counselor/life coach? I believe you have to start with baby steps to get to where you want to be and also the want for a change. I have been a social worker for 7 years and i have seen it all, i also have seen people change when they have the desire to want a better life. You hold the cards.

Well I can't seem to play them correctly, and it's not from lack of trying or desire. I've been in therapy since 15. Flash cards, CBT, self-affirmations....nada.

I've never had more desire, and that's the problem. I cannot fix this no matter how hard I want or what I try.

(12-18-2013, 06:16 AM)LifeCoachWithL Wrote:
(12-17-2013, 03:51 PM)Kale Wrote:
(12-17-2013, 02:54 AM)LifeCoachWithL Wrote: Have you ever seen a counselor/life coach? I believe you have to start with baby steps to get to where you want to be and also the want for a change. I have been a social worker for 7 years and i have seen it all, i also have seen people change when they have the desire to want a better life. You hold the cards.

Well I can't seem to play them correctly, and it's not from lack of trying or desire. I've been in therapy since 15. Flash cards, CBT, self-affirmations....nada.

I've never had more desire, and that's the problem. I cannot fix this no matter how hard I want or what I try.

Finding a life coach/ counselor can be like trying on different pairs of shoes, have to find the right one that fits and that you can connect with. You mind me asking, what have you or what are you doing to change your life?
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#10
(12-18-2013, 06:16 AM)LifeCoachWithL Wrote: Finding a life coach/ counselor can be like trying on different pairs of shoes, have to find the right one that fits and that you can connect with. You mind me asking, what have you or what are you doing to change your life?

Therapy, I go to the gym on and off (depending on my motivation, energy, and the severity of my symptoms) and do 45 on the elliptical which makes me feel incredible for about 2 hours after, I'm trying to eat better, and I'm on meds which help with my Bipolar II. I do go out to art festivals and small family parties here and there, but as I said this is not without the aid of alcohol so I can't say that qualifies really, but it does get me out there at least. I go to the movies, alone but I still go. I 'm finally pursuing my dream of learning piano after having saved and found an affordable one. I get massages to help with chronic pain, chemo helps lessen this temporarily as well. I'm trying to meet some people on Craigslist just to hang with but it seems to be a hive of scum and villainy so I must be cautious.

I was volunteering at the animal shelter cathouse downtown about a year ago but was a complete fish out of water socially and the start of another chemo regimen made it hard to continue on their schedule. I seemingly make people very awkward and uncomfortable which I attribute to esteem and confidence. If someone's not at ease with themselves it rubs off and others become uncomfortable in turn. This is why I hate it. Every time I interact with anyone it's a direct and glaring reflection of me (or at least I attribute it to me, but when it happens with mostly everyone it's a good indication).

I don't know what else I can do really. I'd like to get a job or attend school as I think this would have the greatest benefit to how I feel, but my condition has me absolutely miserable more than half of the workweek and pretty exhausted the rest. I've gone to school counselors to discuss this to no avail. They pointed me to online courses. It's like whenever I start to get back on my feet this f***ing disease is right there to rip me back down to take care of it and I can barely pay attention to anything or anyone else that would aid with these problems. It is an enormous burden, and as I mentioned, it is chronic and will not end.
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