Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™
SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Struggling with Anxiety
Hello EWC, my name is Casey and I'm 22 years old. I'm a recent college graduate, and I'm looking into moving into the career portion of my life. I struggle with anxiety which I believe stems from a rough break up and the use of destructive habbits in my life. I've recently started to decide to make changes in my life, which include quitting smoking along with other stuff. As stated I'm moving into the career portion of my life and it feels like I'm having a million decisions I'm having to make and it seems like life is really weighing heavy at the moment. All of this is horrible for my pre existing anxiety. I have lots of goals which I strive for and I have a plan for my life, but it just seems like all my goals are so far off in the distance. In all of this I've been looking for a new partner, but anxiety can make this a bit of challenge at times because of my nervousness. I've been single for about 3 years now. The best way I can describe my anxiety is that I like having time to myself but I dont like being lonely. However, all this to say that I'm looking for help.
Casey, you are to be commended for getting your college degree. This period of your life is obviously anxiety-provoking but it should also be a time of excitement and preparation for seeking fulfilling employment and the achievement of other personal goals. It would seem that getting a job (in your field of study) is your most pressing need. Doing this would go a long way toward giving you a sense of equilibrium. It would lessen the anxiety.
A lot of colleges have placement offices which post job openings. Another place you should investigate is your local job service office which has job postings as well as other services. I went to one service that had a job-seekers support group.
With reference to your past romantic relationship which still causes you anxiety, try to think about what you gained from the relationship rather than what you lost. Surely you learned about what it takes to establish such a union, which means you will know what to do when the opportunity for a new relationship arises.
Stopping the destructive habits in your life is a step in the right direction. The achievement of this goal makes room for other healthy goals. The other goals you say you have must be long-range goals (since they seem so far away). Come up with some short-term goals that are closer at hand. This will make the life plan you have more attainable.
It's good that you like having time to yourself. Use some of that time to work on self-enhancement, doing things that give you motivation. This will aid you in all areas, including getting ready for romantic involvement. Human beings get lonely at times, but capable humans don't let loneliness overwhelm them. You are capable; you have proven that.