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Topic: Worried about my future

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. caitlin.rose
    caitlin.rose avatar
    7 posts
    30 June 2020

    Hi. This is my first time posting online about anything mental health related, so this is a bit terrifying.

    In October this year I will be turning 18. I've recently applied to university, got my learners license, and have been applying to jobs to try and get my life moving. I've had severe social anxiety for as long as I can remember, and becoming an adult is somewhat scary. I have been feeling a deep urge to become independent, so while it is scary is is also exciting.

    One thing I'm worried about is the fact that I have no friends. I do home school after having severe anxiety attacks when I was attending school. My anxiety has stopped me from making friends, and the fact that I will be spending my 18th alone physically pains me. I've always wanted a group of friends, but I feel like my social anxiety has held me back in so many ways. I got my leaners license later than everyone else in my town (everyone got theirs as soon as they turned 16) and everyone has jobs and a big group of friends. It doesn't help that I moved here in Year 7, and the town I live in is very close-knit. Everyone knows each other, and I am an outsider. I didn't get to grow up with a group of friends due to my family travelling Australia when I was in primary school, and then in high school having to move schools because we had to move closer to my grandparents when my pop got diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Unfortunately he passed away in 2016, and the grief that I felt after he died also contributed to a growing anxiety and fear of the future.

    Recently I also got diagnosed with anorexia, which is also terrifying because I don't know how it is going to affect my chances at university next year. I'm feeling really lost, alone, and tired. I haven't been able to sleep, and I hate hurting the people I love. My mum is worried sick all the time and I hate the affect I have on her mental health. I wish I could take that pain away from her, she's been through a lot herself and I feel like a burden when I add to her pain.

    Sorry for the long post...but does anyone have any advice?

  2. Guest_7403
    Guest_7403 avatar
    293 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to caitlin.rose
    I did my years 10 and 11 at home school in Victoria (decv) same sort of reasons, bullied and anxiety. Similar had no real friends

    Got a job at coles, and found it a lot easier to make friends via work and most people there were more mature, slowly builds your confidence and before you know it you have a group of friends, partner and have moved on to better things

    Don't stress itll work out for you
    2 people found this helpful
  3. Soberlicious96
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
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    Soberlicious96 avatar
    520 posts
    30 June 2020 in reply to caitlin.rose

    Dear Caitlin,

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and well done for reaching out.

    One of the things I have always loved about being online, since it began, is the whole social networking thing, such as Facebook, and the online help that is available, like here on Beyond Blue. It feels to me as though the internet, and all that it offers is a 'buffer' between myself and the rest of the 'real' world. I know that some people might see it as a cop-out, but I am now at the stage where I don't care what they think! They are just as entitled to their opinion as am I to mine. Plus, 'they' don't walk in my shoes. I do. As do you walk in your shoes.

    What I am trying to say is that there is nothing wrong with who you are, JUST AS YOU ARE!! People make friends and connect with others in a whole variety of ways .... and for some, face-to-face can be a bit too much some days.

    Having said all that, it sounds like you've had a bit going on in recent years, and perhaps it might help to develop a mental health plan. You could go see your doctor to get a mental health plan started, and/or perhaps you could go to your local community centre and see what sort of free counseling and support services they offer, yeah? Do you think that might help? Sometimes it's good to talk to someone who is both a professional, and a bit removed from the situation.

    Most importantly of all, please stop comparing yourself to others. We all have our very own fingerprints for a reason; because although we humans have much in common, we are also all unique in our own ways.Take me for example; I'm a lefty, so I don't write like others. I didn't get my licence until I was 22, I prefer coffee not tea, I am somewhat obsessive with buying all things BLUE; from kitchen pans, to purses, to shoes, to clothes ... you name it, If I want it, then I want it in the colour BLUE! I like indoors not outdoors (too allergic for outdoors), word search not crosswords ..... so you see? We're all unique. So while maybe while you may want a group of friends, perhaps what you really need is just one or two good quality friends? Perhaps it's more about the quality, rather than the quantity?

    Anyway, I don't know if any of that helps or not. I hope it does, even if just a little? In the meantime, you can keep coming back here as much as you like. After all, that's what we are here for.

    Take care. I'll be thinking of you. xo

  4. caitlin.rose
    caitlin.rose avatar
    7 posts
    2 July 2020 in reply to Guest_7403
    Thank you, this really helps. I've been applying to jobs in the hopes that I can meet people that way too...I'm really glad it worked out for you :) anxiety really sucks and so does bullying, people don't realise how much words can hurt.
  5. caitlin.rose
    caitlin.rose avatar
    7 posts
    2 July 2020 in reply to Soberlicious96

    Soberlicious96 - thank you. I actually have a mental health care plan that allows me to get support from a psychologist, and I've been seeing her quite a bit for the last few years. While it helps in some ways, it's nice sometimes to hear from people who have had the same or similar experiences.

    I really appreciate you sharing bits about yourself, I love the fact that you love the colour blue! It is one of my favourite colours. Thank you so much for replying to my post :)

    I think what bothers me a lot about not having friends is the fact that I don't really have a support network that I can relate to...like I have a lot of support, however I don't really have people my age that I can talk to about 'teenage' things such as the anxiety over becoming an adult, getting a driver's license, going to university, etc. I wouldn't say that I've had a 'hard' life, however like everyone else I have endured hardships that have affected my life in a lot of ways, and I feel like it would be nice to be able to have someone to talk to about these things and be able to see for myself that I'm not alone.

    What you shared has definitely made me feel less alone, so thank you :)

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Soberlicious96
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Soberlicious96 avatar
    520 posts
    5 July 2020 in reply to caitlin.rose

    Yeah, having people your own age to talk to would certainly be helpful. Although we were all teenagers once upon a time ........ perhaps some of us just remember it easier than others! I often find myself thinking that I am still a teenager myself! And I must admit I did look forward to becoming an adult to a large degree because as a young person, I felt like I had no power ....... and being an adult would mean I would have more control over my own life and my own decisions.

    In fact, perhaps you could make a list of all the things that you CAN do, once you are a fully legal adult; you vote for whoever you want, drive whatever car you want, choose whatever course you want .... adulthood is yours for the taking!

    And really, after all is said and done, age is just a number. I was forever hanging out with people older than me, even by 10 to 15, even 20 years older than me. I've always had partners that are an average of 10 years older than me too. I think I just felt more secure in the fact that they were more experienced at life than me, so I knew that whatever I was thinking and feeling, I knew they had already thought it and felt it, and could always help me navigate my way through the tough stuff. Perhaps it also help that I am the youngest of my siblings, and was also used to them having their friends around, which of course were older than me.

    Anyway, am glad I helped a little. Still here if you want to chat some more. xo

    1 person found this helpful
  7. pinktulip
    pinktulip avatar
    33 posts
    5 July 2020 in reply to caitlin.rose

    On the Uni front, try to make connections with people in O week or join student societies despite the social anxiety... (It's harder to do that subsequently because I guess people do that in first year and then meetup amongst themselves) Also, I think from my personal experiences, you should see if they are any clubs on meetup or whatever not linked to university re for young people or interest (I've gotten sick and it's awkward going out somewhere to Uni if you are not currently studying) Oh I did do a three year senior via Distance Education ages ago for a medical condition too... Did randomly find people at Uni who had also done Distance Education re different year levels at Uni by coincidence so I had something mutual to talk about...

    Would it be easier for you to invite people for a get together rather than a birthday (if you had people you wanted to be in the presence of theoretically)? For instance, I invited all my friends over in the school holiday the year before most of them were going to go to Uni (as a get together re quality time away from school environment)... However, my birthday happened to be in sort of in the middle of the year and they gave me presents (it wasn't a birthday party)... The next year I didn't invite anyone when I turned 18 because I remember how they seemed to carpool and I lived further out then anyone else you know a city metropolitan area... and I guess no one apart from one person had ever personally invited me over, another one for their birthday at a ice rink...

    Think getting a job will probably help you.

    Go see the Uni Student Services or Disability branch or whatever it is called when you go to Uni... they can help set up a plan in case the anorexia or social anxiety affects your studies... You'll need to get documentation in a particular format so book appointments with the relevant professionals treating you in advance if there are long waiting times...

    1 person found this helpful
  8. caitlin.rose
    caitlin.rose avatar
    7 posts
    7 July 2020 in reply to Soberlicious96

    Soberlicious96 - I appreciate you sharing your experience! I can totally relate to hanging out with people older than you...I think for me it is about maturity rather than life experience. I feel like being alone for most of my life (my small family of four travelled around Australia on and off for 5 years) has made me kind of 'mature' a lot faster than other people my age, which sometimes makes it hard to make friends because I don't really enjoy the things they do, nor do I really get involved with teenage 'drama'. I'm definitely more of a quiet person who follows the rules and likes to have control over situations...I'm not a risk taker like many teens are.

  9. caitlin.rose
    caitlin.rose avatar
    7 posts
    7 July 2020 in reply to pinktulip
    pinktulip - thank you so much for replying to my post :) this is really helpful. What you said about gathering people for a get-together - I would, but in my small town there is not much opportunity to meet people and go 'out'. At the moment I don't have anyone that I would call a 'friend' that I would really want to hang out with...a lot of people that I've tried to become friends with already have people that they hang out with and I often go ignored. I'm hoping to make friends when I go to uni next year, and the things you mentioned (clubs, societies, etc) sound like a great way to do that, so thank you :)
  10. BeagleMona
    BeagleMona avatar
    2 posts
    7 July 2020

    Hi Caitlin,

    I understand how much social anxiety would be awful as I also have gone through school without any close friends to support me. Uni, in my experience is pretty tough because I’m so scared of meeting new people so maybe real friends come later on in life. I have also gone to counsellors for advice when I feel sad and lonely, especially because I’m at home most of the time. I hope we can all get through this massive challenge and find real friends someday!

  11. Failsafe
    Failsafe avatar
    9 posts
    7 July 2020 in reply to caitlin.rose
    Hi Caitlin,

    I really struggled at school, had very few friends and always felt like crying when someone would say "enjoy these days, they're the best you'll ever have" Save me!

    I too had social anxiety and while I didn't go to uni straight out of school I did get a job and found that the works outside of school was something entirely different.

    It helps to remember that each new person you meet knows nothing about you, all the things that make you feel uncomfortable or worried they have no idea of. They just see you as a new person they've met, there is no pressure on you to be anything but you in that moment.

    I found I made friends through work and it made a really big difference to my confidence. Then when I did go to uni it was the same, nerve wracking but no-one knew me, and a few pracs and tutes later I was on my way to having friends.

    It can seem and feel really overwhelming to think of the future and the unknown, but it is also full of possibilities for you.

    I hope that helps a little :)
    1 person found this helpful
  12. caitlin.rose
    caitlin.rose avatar
    7 posts
    11 July 2020 in reply to BeagleMona
    BeagleMona - Thank you for commenting :) I get how nerve-wracking it is to meet new people, social anxiety really sucks. I too hope one day we will make real friends that we can share experiences with, best of luck to you!

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