Warning, this is long. Sorry. I just turned 26, and I feel like I've wasted my youth hiding away. I've been suicidal for almost 10 years, and now that the year/decade is coming to an end, I can't stop thinking back to how many opportunities I've let pass me by during this time, how little I've done with my life because of my all-consuming depression and social phobia... I've spent nearly every night the past couple of months crying for hours in the middle of the night, lamenting my deplorable life choices. I can't seem to stop feeling regret and just accept my mistakes and move forward with my life. I should have spent my youth meeting people, going out with friends, having fun, getting a career started. Instead, I isolated myself, didn't make friends in school, hardly ever went out, was too anxious to seriously look for work. My life revolved around avoiding social interaction, basically. I managed to graduate college this year with a good GPA, ended up getting fired from a minimum wage job recently (mostly due to my social anxiety), and now I basically live like a bum. I don't just feel worthless, I actually AM human garbage with every reason to kill herself. I'm unemployable and painfully lonely, and I don't see an end to this. At the beginning of this year, I'd decided take baby steps to try and gain some confidence. After neglecting my appearance for many years, I started wearing nice clothes and fixed up my hair and makeup, and suddenly I was no longer invisible and ignored at school; I realized I wasn't ugly. But still, my lack of life experiences and social skills made me unable to relate to anyone my age, so I ran away from every potential friend... Then, I started volunteering regularly at a couple of places to try to build social skills. The people I worked with were perfectly nice, but I found myself avoiding interaction with them as well, and it became apparent that they started to think I'm weird because I'm quiet... I can often go out places now during the day-- movies, cafes, shopping, museums, that sort of thing--which I was totally uncomfortable doing before. But I'm still too terrified to go out to try to meet people, especially at night. So yeah, I'm a socially anxious failure, nobody likes me, and my future is a dead end. I feel stuck. I don't know how much more of this I can take. :sad: I typically retreat into a fantasy world to deal with the pain. But I've wasted enough time doing that! I want to finally get my life started, but I don't know how.