I'm going to share with you, a email I got... that's some what changed my out look. I've gone through thousands of similar emails... but this time I felt for once I got told like it is. "ELDER RESPONSE: I want you to imagine that I'm your real grandma who's lived 45 years longer than you on this earth. I'm not going to give you any "new age" advice or be kind to you. I'm also going to use some old sayings that might annoy you, but happen to be true. I'm not going to mince words, so if you don't want to read any further, now's the time to erase my message. First of all, you're a first class whiner. All I read is you, you, you. Your problems, your inabilities to change things, your lack of friends or a girlfriend. Well there's a reason for that which you are at least wise enough to recognize that people don't want to be around you because of your "mood". Heck I wouldn't either. Noone likes to be around someone who is so self absorbed. I don't know what terrible thing you did to lose your childhood dream, but it's time to quit using that as an excuse. Booze is ultimately a depressant, so you'd better face that fact. It very well could be contributing to your depression. It's also time to stop blaming your childhood. Everyone has a tough childhood. And it's time you stopped using that as an excuse too for your failures. Your main problem is comparing yourself to your friends. There's a saying that you're judging your insides to other's outsides. You don't know how they really feel or what their inner lives are like. There's an old parable about a holy man who came to town and put up a rope between two trees. He then told everyone to put their troubles on that rope. He then had everyone pick out the trouble they wanted instead of their own. And, you guessed it, they picked their own. You keep thinking everyone has it better than you. You think they're happier and more successful than you. Noone knows what goes on behind closed as the song goes. And neither do you. You might be shocked to find out that a lot of friends lack self confidence, have drugs problems, lousy relationships, whatever. So stop envying what you don't know to be true. You've been told you've been told that you're good looking, a good writer and interesting. But you choose not to believe it. You want to think the worst of yourself because then there's no expectations for you. Rather than living up to these opinions of you, you'd rather denigrate them so you don't have to live up to them. An easy way out, no? As my grandmother used to say "idle hands make work for the devil". You're wallowing around in self pity and escaping into video games and TV You have so much time on your hands that you're falling into that old trap of overthinking your problems and then blowing them out of proportion. The good news is that you realize your life is miserable. But there is no easy solution to turning your life around. As the Chinese say "each journey begins with one small step". I think the first thing you might want to consider is having a complete physical work-up to rule out any medical condition that may be causing your depression. Then make out a list of what you want to accomplish. But, take one goal at a time and give yourself plenty of time to accomplish it. The first thing is to find a job, any job. Find one that will make you work hard and banish all this self analysis you indulge in. And while you're working, volunteer at a half-way house or a shelter or at a soup kitchen. Once you realize how bad a lot of people have it, you won't feel so sorry for yourself. And perhaps it will also wake you up to all the potential you do have. But the best thing is you'll be helping others and there is no surer way to self-esteem then to be making a difference. No amount of self-help books can miraculously change your life. Only you can. And once you do make a difference for the less fortunate, you'll gain self confidence as well. It won't be easy and you'll probably back slide a few times. But, pick yourself up and keep doing it. Next on your list is to see at least one friend a week or two. And tell yourself you're going to be upbeat and positive for that one time. You'll be amazed that when you force yourself to enjoy yourself, you actually do. Again, this takes time. You may backslide, but that doesn't mean you've failed. Get up and do it again. The reason I answered your letter is that I think you have guts. Anyone who lays their raw emotions out so completely as you have, has guts. I think you have the wherewithal to pull yourself out of this depression. But only you can do it. And you have to stop the comparisons. They are meaningless and you are demeaning yourself needlessly. Believe it or not, I'd be proud to have you as a grandson because I know you have it in you to change your life. You're young, handsome and bright which puts you way ahead of the pack. Think of that when you start putting yourself down. Good luck, Luke (which happens to be a favorite name of mine!) and I'm here if you need me. I know I've been tough on you, but I believe in you. I also know you're one tough cookie who wants people to tell it like it is. Otherwise I wouldn't have taken the time. Best Regards, Candy" Now I got extremely bad on friday, I was surfing the internet, and reactived my face book (BAD IDEA). I wanted to kill myself again... But I went back and read this... I resisted the urge. Not to mention my father was in route to pick me up. Doubt he'd like to come to his son's apartment to see his youngest son dead in front of the computer. So I went with my dad down to his home in the country. Another bad idea in terms of my mental health. I feel isolated when I'm away from my city streets. I'd like to think I'm a country boy at heart... but the reality is, I like to hike, and camp, but god do I hate the country. Nothing to do here but sit around and watch the TV screen. So instead of sitting in front of the TV and letting my thoughts run around my head... I went for a hike. And got completely lost... I never get lost! Embarssing, I was happily following deer trails, then on my way back, I just wasn't pay attention and actually over shot where I needed to be. I ended up on a 100 foot cliff above 35 east heading into Jackson, Ohio. Weird. So I naturally find my way down from the cliff and start heading down the road hoping I can get some idea of where I need to be. A mistake like that, a simple as getting turned around in a forest I'm not even use too... well lets say I "expect better of myself". So after about an hour of walking along the highway beating myself up. Some kind soul, a guy named Josh, actually stopped and gave me a lift. Let me use his cell phone to call my father. I managed my way home eventually... but in the end. I'm glad I got lost, because I had a little adventure. And if only to meet some one new for just a few minutes... was good. IT was journey, and all it took was for me to get off my ass and stop whining in my head. I feel better even if getting lost like I did was totally moronic of me. Feeling down? Get out and do something, pick a direction and promise yourself you're not going to stop intill your satisfied. You never know what might happen. Amazing how much... you can experience, how much you can actually get by on your wits and the kindness of others. I feel a little more confident in myself, because even when lost... I find a way back home.