I am currently stuck in a situation I see no way out of.
I've been struggling with depression for several years now. I barely finished my studies and have no marketable talent - I can draw but the process is too slow and inconsistent to be reliable, especially with my mental issues.
I had to move to live with my family outside of my country of origin - in a village on small isolated island. My stepfather has a decent job here, but for me there are none, especially with my crippling social anxiety (avoidant personality disorder) and lack of knowledge of local language. I have nothing to go back to in my home country, nor the means to do so. Here I'm not a citizen, just a resident, which limits my options even further.
I'm losing what little friendships I've had in my life and despite many attempts I'm not able to meet anyone new. I'm gay, but aromantic, so I don't have much to offer when it comes to a relationship. I've only been in one in my life - long distance, which lasted for years, but made both of us miserable in the end - we broke up a year ago.
What little money I'm able to make I have been spending on a therapy. But it's been several months now and we did not progress one bit, I'm failing at the simplest tasks. And I'm afraid I just can't afford it any longer.
I keep hearing you can overcome depression, get out of it, but I've never actually seen anyone do it. And I'm just... losing last bits of hope I have. I don't see any way forward.
I don't know what to do anymore.
Anonymous (age 29)
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You definitely sound like a fish out of water. Based on what you have written, moving back to your homeland is not an option, and I am assuming you can't find any other friends or family back in your country of origin to move in with? So, I will answer you based on the assumption you are stuck where you are on this foreign island.
I am reminded of an old television show called Northern Exposure. It was about this young Jewish doctor who made a deal with a scholarship committee that if they paid his tuition he would then move to Alaska to a small town there and be their doctor. He is most definitely a fish out of water, and, although he likes many of the people, he can't adjust to their quirky, small-town, frontier-like attitudes. For years, he struggles, until one day, instead of ceaselessly wishing he could go home, he decides to embrace Alaska and actually enjoy where he is.
You must do the same. Don't speak the language? Well, I would say you have a strong reason to learn it. The best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it, and what better way than to live among native speakers? Try to talk to locals. Begin with ordinary words and phrases and use them daily. Learn how to order lunch or ask for directions or simply say "hi" and "have a nice day." Study the local culture and history. Learn about where you are and embrace it. While you are doing that, start researching how to apply for citizenship and then take the steps necessary to become a citizen. Your father did it, and so can you.
Once you have adapted to your new home, it will be much easier for you to make friends and, hopefully, even enjoy where you are. The only alternative is to continue what you are doing, which is isolating yourself and feeling miserable.
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