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How to get positive attitude back?

I’ve been mostly unemployed for the last seven years. I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs and gotten rejected for a number of random reasons (too young, too old, overqualified, not qualified enough etc etc).
I’ve even been let go from some temporary jobs for no reason at all ( I was not given any reason), and I’ve quit some jobs because I wasn’t paid. I’ve tried to get jobs by asking people for favours. I’ve tried to borrow money and start a business too. Nothing has worked out.

- I don’t have any friends.
- I haven’t been on a date in ten years.
- I have no savings
- I’ve had to live in my parents home for the last seven years, and I’m 35 now.
- I haven’t had anyone to celebrate anything with or even to talk to in years.
- I can’t seem to fit in where I live and don’t seem to be able to change my situation.
- I seem to be losing my physical health, since I’m trying so hard, and not getting anything in return.
- I have no one to talk to.
- I’ve tried dating apps, meeting people at networking events, reaching out to neighbours, and even random strangers at places like the gym, but unfortunately haven’t made any friends.
- I’m trying to follow suggestions of people on how to solve my problem, yet I’m still stuck

I’m not asking for a solution to my career or social problem. I am asking, how can I get a positive attitude back.

Over these seven years I have read several self help books on positive thinking etc, as well as Buddhists teaching, the Bible and more. I’ve made a large effort to be mindful of my thoughts and make sure I control them, and follow the suggestions in these books. I’ve also tried praying.

The problem is, seven years have gone by, and I’m broke and alone. I have no idea what to do. All this positive thinking seems like nonsense, if things don’t actually change. I’ve even seeked psychologists, but they say nothing is wrong with me, and anyone in my situation would have crumbled by now.

What can I do to convince myself that something good is on its way? How can I convince myself that my life will get better?
3 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Wow, I really feel for you.  It sounds like you have had many rough things happen.  When you say 'positive attitude', I think what you are talking about perhaps is hope.  How do you have hope it will get better.  Does that sound right?

Being hopeless that it will never get better probably feels a little natural given all that has happened. And perhaps this is what you mean when your counselors have told you that you this is 'normal'.  That the lot of things you've been through is tough and that your feelings are along the lines of normal.

This doesn't really solve your issue though.  I have always believed that one way to have hope is to keep the focus on what I can control. That is pretty much just myself.  :>)  But I look at what **I** am doing that keeps me in the bad position I am hating in my life.  I am often one of its main contributors.  It often feels like I can't quite get a break but when I really dig deep, I see that I am not changing up how I do things.  That gives me hope in some strange way.  What is the change I need to make for a different outcome?!  I focus on that.

So, I'd keep a journal that is all encompassing.  I'd write down what happens to you, what you feel about it, lists of ideas of how to change it up 'next time'.  Maybe it just is what it is at times and you have to move on.  

I also like your idea of praying.  Keep doing that if you are a believer.  That can be a great source of comfort and offers hope.  I don't know why some people go through so much but do think it is part of their journey.  It makes us wiser.  The devastating things that have happened to me totally stink but changed me into the person I am.  

Anything you want to talk about, I'm here.

And if you feel hopeless and have other symptoms of depression, we can talk about that too.  Hang in there.
1 Comments
Thank you for your response, but I don’t think it helps. If you don’t have a job, you can’t buy food, you can’t take care of yourself, and you’re looked down upon by society. I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs, even unpaid ones, jobs I’m overqualified for, and not once has anyone found any fault with my work. I’ve even taken classes to learn new skills, and done jobs for people even before they agreed to hire me, so there would be no risk to them. If at least someone was critical of me, I could identify some area to work on. I’ve never even been fired.
Perhaps you didn’t see, but I mentioned it’s been seven years - I’ve tried every suggestion people have told me to try, and gotten no where, again and again.
At some point, you can’t tell a hungry person “don’t be hungry, it’s all in your head, keep a journal and try to do things differently”. If the guy doesn’t eat he’s going to be hungry. There doesn’t seem to be any solution rather than someone giving me a job. It isn’t this hard to get a job.
973741 tn?1342346373
I really hope you come back and let us know how you are doing!
3 Comments
Short version of what I wrote :  positive thinking can work, but it's more of a sales technique that a way of living.  Mom is right -- what you probably want is hope.  An objective look at life would show anyone that bad things happen all the time, so false positive thinking doesn't get anyone anywhere worth getting to.  But being depressed about bad things happening doesn't help any either, and that's why it's considered a disease.  For me, suffering hasn't made me any wiser or healthier.  I'd love to go back and live life without mental illness.  But Mom is right about setbacks. they do make people without mental illness wiser if they stop to ponder what happened and why.  It drives art and literature.  It drives us to do better.  It's the mental illness part that gets in the way, and again, if you do suffer from depression, fixing it won't make you life all peaches and cream, but the bad things don't seem so bad.  It's possible you haven't found your niche in life yet and are trying over and over to squeeze yourself into places that don't suit you.  No way for us to know.  Only thing we can say is, if you're depressed, trying to fix that will make your life better no matter what else is going on in it.  All the best.
I don’t think I’m depressed, more like fed up. How long can one go without a job, when the whole world goes by. If there was at least some criticism on what to improve so I could get a job, I would have some direction to go in. Instead there is just rejection. People who have jobs can afford to mope around and act depressed. I’m constantly trying to find s job and going nowhere. I don’t think counselling will help - there isn’t anything wrong with me. I need a job and social interaction.
See my comment on your other post.  As I said there, you have two problems.  One is your life isn't working out as you hoped, but you can change that by changing what you do every day.  There's some reason you have such a problem holding a job, but there's a lot in life to enjoy that isn't at work.  The second problem sounds to me like depression, that's why you feel so hopeless and can't find any enjoyment or friends.  I may be wrong, it's just my impression.  All the best.
1616953 tn?1443839111
I just spoke to someone who has some of the same issues.  Finding someone else to get into a relationship with seems to be more difficult.  Maybe its the communications by computer and texts that has things mixed up I don't know.  Anyway all I can tell you is that your not alone.  There are a lot of women in the exact same place.  Hopefully you meet the right one and can solve that.  I'm the wrong guy to suggest an answer to that.

Work is a big part of everyone's life and helps if they can do something.  A cousin was in kind of a strange situation where he went to collage got his degree but it was in Aviation and he was color blind.  So he couldn't fly for a living.  So... he struggled a bit and did kind of an odd thing.  Don't laugh this is for real.  He got a lawn mower and just went around asking people if they wanted to have him mow their yards once a week for (Don't remember how much)  He had so many people who were sick of mowing that he had work set up for 40 hours a day.  He took some of the money and turned in his junky lawn mower for a larger commercial one where you stand on it and drive it around.  He got together some used trailer to haul his mower and get him to the different neighborhoods.  Then he started getting calls from others wanting him to mow their yards and got 1 and later 2 or 3 people to work for him.  He had a trailer and two of these mowers and while he wasn't making a fortune it was pretty good money.  And if I understand what he was telling me he wasn't even doing the mowing after hiring the last guy.  He was just finding new customers, getting gas, talking to old ones if they had problems and so on.   (He paid off his collage loans this way) and had enough for food and rent.  He sold his "business" and went to work at one of the financial places after taking some classes.  The thing he told me was that no matter what happened with his "real" job he knew he could go back to this lawn care thing.   Anyway I'm not saying go do the same thing (or?) but maybe just ponder some of the more unusual types of work that are always needed.  Getting out in the sun and air is (According to my GDoc) a huge mental health plus.

I don't know if this last part will help but I was going to see a doctor at the local University and feeling a bit depressed.  I'm walking down the "tunnel" and This skinny girl in a wheel chair started making weird sounds and waving her arms around.  The guy that was pushing the wheel chair told me she wanted to talk to me.  Well... It was really hard to understand her but she knew my name and asked me if I was "ok" because of being in the clinic part of the U.  I finally realized she was someone from my old neighborhood the sister of a good friend.  She was barely able to talk.  Couldn't walk and she was terrified something was wrong with me.  

She has MS which is really bad.  I left her thinking its all relative.  How quickly would I jump at the chance to go from where she was to me with my stupid problems?  I think about her once in a while when I'm getting depressed and it somehow helps me put things into place.  I know depression is more difficult then just "thinking happy thoughts" or trying to put yourself in someone elses place but maybe that stuff can help a little bit.

Sorry to make this a book length response but the last point I wanted to make was that depression can be treated with a variety of drugs.  Some of them have to be a particular dose, some just don't work on some people and all of them take a while to start working.  If your not taking anything and your dealing with depression I urge you to talk to your doctor.  It doesn't have to be a "shrink"  The drugs for depression aren't going to veg you out or make you into someone else.  They do make a difference when you find the right one(s) at the right dose.  The other thing is talking to a therapist.  Its not like they show in TV.  I can talk about anything thats bothering me and I get some good advice if nothing else.  Some of it may not always work but its "something" that can be tried.  And that is often what is lacking with depression.  Your depressed and you don't want to do anything maybe you think your going to fail?  I dunno.  Having a TDoc act as some kind of "adult supervision" (ha ha) can sometimes be a good answer.  

Oh one last thought.  I was once so depressed well.... I was at the low of lows.  Relationship crap it can be depressing to anyone.  There was this movie (A comedy) that I was watching called the Darwin Awards (Stupid people doing stupid stuff and getting killed.  So I'm at an all time low and David Arcet (The actor) is trying to impress his wife so he fires an Army surplus rocket motor bolted to his El Cameno so he is going 400 mph....  He swerves to miss some family in a station wagon.  His car hits the side of the road and launches him hundreds of feet in the air and he starts pumping his fist and screams, "I FINALLY DID.... SOMETHING!!!!" and the car hits a mountain and poof... He blows up.  It took 5 or 6 seconds but I started laughing. I fell off the couch and couldn't stop laughing.  Sometimes a good comedy can disconnect you from depression.  Maybe not THAT movie.  But something...   I really wish you good luck man.  Keep pitching.
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