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Ridiculously alone at 39

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by avatar csp 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #716662 Reply
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    Phil Harmonic

    I want to apologize in advance for this rant I’m about to go on. I don’t have anyone else I can really confide in so I’m turning to the anonymity of the internet to get it off my chest.

    The last 2 years have been the loneliest of my life. As I write this I’m coming off a heroin high. I spent all day alone. I ate dinner at a bar last night by myself.

    Some background and “about me” stuff: 39, male, inattentive ADHD, INFP (which is to say introverted and creative) personality type.

    I moved to my current California suburb two years ago after the dissolution of a relationship in another state. I found this website as that relationship was going down the tubes, as she was cheating on me in various ways with various people as we were living together. This experience was a serious hit to my self esteem. I posted about it at the time and wish I had actually followed the advice folks provided on here. Instead I clung to the relationship in the increasingly desperate hope that this girl would come around and we’d work it out and get married.

    Moving to a different state has been good in some regards. I’m in a better writing-related job, and I found my musical soulmate with whom I’ve been working on a new record (I’m a musician on the side).

    However, beyond these admittedly very important things, I’m completely and utterly alone. I don’t know how to make friends out here in the ‘burbs, and spend most weekends alone at home doing drugs, listening to records, trying to be productive, but mostly metaphorically sleepwalking through my days in a low-grade state of depression. When I go out, I go by myself–like seeing bands or going to a bar–everyone my age that I know is married with kids and has much better things to do. I’m less than two weeks away from 40, and have never been more alone.

    As I’ve said, all this alone time has given me time to indulge in a bevy of drugs–the most insidious of which, believe it or not, is pot. Heroin is something I snort 1-2 times a week when I’m feeling really shitty and alone, like this weekend. However, it’s never grabbed hold of me–actually no drug ever has, apart from sleeping pills–and I can go weeks sometimes without touching it.

    On top of the loneliness I’m encountering the most insane songwriting block that I’ve ever gone through. People are counting on us finishing the record, and we’re 80% done, yet I can’t close the deal.

    All of the activities I do are mostly solitary–songwriting, running, surfing.

    #716663 Reply
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    Phil Harmonic

    Sorry, cut off the last part–

    I can’t seem to get myself to a meetup, plus the activities never really appeal to me.

    I don’t know what to do. Therapists have been worthless. I’ve tried and quit dating apps and match.com more times than I care to admit. I don’t know where and how to meet people. I’m stranded by myself in tract house, big box store suburbia with nobody to talk to or see. I don’t want to move though as I have a good job that’s 15 minutes away (plus I just signed a year lease).

    Just wondering if anyone else has gone something like this around my age, and what they did to pull out of it. Any feedback is very appreciated. Thanks for reading this very long post.

    #716670 Reply
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    Heather

    https://www.thecut.com/2014/08/ask-polly-how-do-i-make-friends-in-my-late-20s.html

    Sorry not enough time atm to add more, but this might help.

    #716678 Reply

    I’m an INFP too, I do think we’re a bit prone to feeling (and being) isolated. I’m sorry you’re feeling so low. I’m definitely concerned about the drug use, you certainly seem to be self medicating which isn’t great. I don’t think dating is the way to go right now, you’re getting over a hurtful breakup, feeling lonely and depressed, and you’re self-sabotaging right now with the record. None of that is going to bring out the energy to attract a healthy partner.

    I would give therapy another shot even though you haven’t found it effective before. Just having a neutral place to dump all the crap that’s in your brain can be incredibly helpful as well as having a regular place to go other than work.

    You sound pretty well rounded–job, music, running, surfing. You do have stuff in your life that’s positive, I hope you realize that. I am going to make the suggestions I make to everyone who’s lonely–rescue an animal. If you are together enough to give a dog or cat a loving home consider doing so if you have the means. Fur buddies really do have a presence that brings life and joy to a home.

    #716679 Reply
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    Sunshine Brite
    Participant

    First and foremost, get yourself professional help. Heroin, pot, pills are all masks at best for your problems and could easily lead to your death. It doesn’t help the loneliness and doesn’t help you be in a place to offer yourself to another.

    Have you fully processed the breakup? It sounds like the move was a positive with your creative pursuits. It sounds like the loneliness started with the breakup; you need to learn to be friends with yourself first. It’s not a low grade depression if you’re taking drugs to forget how alone you feel in the moment. It’s not surprising to me you’re experiencing a creative block with how much you’re doing to numb yourself.

    It’s not a romantic relationship you need right now; you have to get in a place to be a true partner to someone. It’s not that you’re solitary in nature but I think you’re losing sight about how dark of a place you feel you are in. That’s good you’re still able to exercise and work with your music. Meet-ups aren’t the answer either if the activities don’t sound fun.

    What sort of therapy have you tried and fully implemented that you found worthless? That may be a sign of a different therapy to consider. Consider medications as a tool and see a psychiatrist or psych nurse practitioner in addition to help alleviate some of your immediate symptoms. Find chemical dependency support in the area whether a counselor or a peer group feels more comfortable; daily use meets the criteria. Plus, drug use even pot puts your good job at risk. Find online communities you’re drawn to if there aren’t neighborhood activities of interest. Stick to platonic relationships for now and find outlets for this darkness with professional help.

    #716687 Reply
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    Leslie Joan

    Sunshine Brite said it well, and probably more politely than I would. Your substance abuse is getting in the way of any relationship. And you exhibit the classic denial of an addict. Your substance abuse – and to be clear, the marijuana use is very much part of it; don’t be misled by the unaware that may think it’s not possible to be dependent on weed, because it is – is a means of self medicating whatever psychiatric conditions you have. You need treatment. There are outpatient programs – I’m not sure if Thelma McMillen is in your area, but that’s a good one – and I would recommend you pursue that along with an actual psychiatrist to treat your condition. And you will find some real friends who will very much understand you in the program, I have no doubt.

    You won’t find relief by just making a halfhearted stab at addressing some of your issues. Meet-up is not the solution to the problem. Your avoidance is all part and parcel of the problem.

    Good luck to you; I hope you do take action to get the help you need.

    #716699 Reply
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    Miss MJ

    I agree with the others that the self-medication/distraction of the drugs isn’t helping you out here. I don’t know if you’re an addict, but you’re abusing them and using them as a crutch to pass time alone instead of actually doing anything about your unhappiness. Get off of them and look into getting real treatment for your depression.

    On a different note, you mention the suburbs and how you hate them, so I can’t help but wonder why you live in them? Can you afford to move to a the city/a more downtown neighborhood? Maybe even with a roommate (which might help with the loneliness in general)? Or into a condo or apartment with common areas where there will at least be other people around? Not saying they’ll be instant friends or anything, but you’d at least have an opportunity for regular human interaction. Changing your location and getting treatment for depression can do wonders to change your outlook, which will increase your energy level, which may motivate you to get out and go do things.

    Also, love the idea of rescuing a dog. If you can take care of it, a rescue pup will change your life. (But only do it if you can take care of a pet!)

    #716726 Reply
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    Northern Star

    Some people build a tight, lasting sense of community with the fellow members of their NA or AA group as they work to kick their addiction. At least they feel like they’re not alone.

    Something to consider.

    #716740 Reply
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    dinoceros
    Member

    You’re going to have to figure out the drug stuff first. Because if you meet someone you’re interested in, they are going to run for the hills if you’re using drugs to get yourself through the week.

    A lot of people who write in do note that they’ve seen a therapist and why it did not work. You just mentioned they were worthless. Why exactly was each one not helpful? I know that some of my friends didn’t like their therapist because what the therapist was asking of them was something they weren’t ready for, and since you just gave a blanket statement, I’m curious if that was the case here or if there were specific reasons why those therapists were bad.

    I think it’s hard to give much advice outside of that because you’ve sort of pre-emptively shot down (not in a negative way, but still) a lot of the advice people would give. You mention that you don’t meet people who are available when you just go to your normal activities, so I’d mention meetups, but you said you won’t go. There’s a finite number of activities that a person can do to meet other people. Typically, I think people make tradeoffs. Like I could probably make more friends than I have if I put myself out there more and did stuff that maybe didn’t sound fun on its face, but I’m not in that dire of a situation, so it’s not worth it to me to put up with what is possibly an annoying event because the alone time I spend on the weekends isn’t too much to me. But yours is. So, I think you’re going to have to make a tradeoff in that you do things that might not seem that fun because your alone time isn’t tolerable.

    #716741 Reply
    FireStar
    Firestar

    Are you ready to give up drugs? The others are right though you may not want to to hear it. The drugs are standing in your way to meaningful relationships. Start with NA. I wish you luck.

    #716742 Reply
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    Heather

    https://captainawkward.com/2012/12/30/414-what-are-the-green-flags-for-a-good-therapist
    As I think you’re still going to need on, Letter Writer.

    #716743 Reply
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    Leslie Joan

    The reason I recommend an outpatient treatment program is that I think the LW needs a lot more help than just a 12-step group, whether it’s Marijuana Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or something else. Working with professionals will be more useful at dealing with a dual diagnosis and cutting through a long established pattern of denial. LW will get a lot better results, and quicker, with the right program. There’s a reason I mentioned the program that I did.

    Just sayin.

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