|Feeling isolated, alone, and lost in life; what can I change to move forward?
Just over five years ago, I ended my first serious romantic relationship, not long after seeking advice here on the behavior of that boyfriend.
I was able to see after leaving that I'd been in an, at worst, an emotionally abusive relationship, or at best, an utterly incompatible one.
I suppose what makes things difficult is that, for most of my life, certainly all through my adolescence and early 20s, I had a host of issues - anorexia, bulimia, severe depression, anxiety - therefore I really missed out on socialising with people my age, so when I met my ex partner, who was of course wonderful at the start, I thought everything had finally come together.
I've spent the years since the breakup slowly building up my self esteem and trying to heal myself from that damaging relationship. I've also finished a PhD, and have been working as an (untenured) academic.
When I exited the relationship, I moved back home with my parents, which was meant to be temporary. What I need help with, however, is the fact that I'm still there, for a variety of reasons. But the situation with my mother has become untenable. We have frequent arguments, which escalate quickly into her insulting me, and I'm left feeling incredibly anxious, with no one to talk to about it. I have very few friends, and in the past 5 years, have only dated 2 people, both of which ended badly.
What also compounds my problem is the fact that my job is unreliable owing to the current situation with COVID, and I'm becoming more and more disillusioned with academia. I'm also very isolated in life - as I said, very few friends, my job is very alienating, I don't have relationships with coworkers, I basically have no social or support network besides my immediate parents, and one or two friends.
I thought by now I'd have met a (good) partner, something I've badly wanted for a long time, but has always seemed to elude me.
What's stopping me moving out is, honestly, a terrible fear, of where to go, of being alone, of being in a precarious financial situation.
I've unfortunately found therapy useless. Since my late childhood, I've seen a variety of psychologists, psychiatrists, and apart from glimmers here and there, I've found them very unhelpful. For the past year, I was seeing a doctor who I thought was on my wavelength, and yet, he recently gave me an ultimatum, that he could only continue to be of help to me if I took more medication, a route I'm determined not to go down again.
I believe I need encouragement and direction to build my life, not to be diagnosed with a mental disorder and medicated.
I'd be so grateful for any advice, especially if you've had a similar history to me, about how I can move forward, how I can begin to create my own adult, independent life?