I started a new job yesterday, and I am pumped about it. I have spent the last year in my flat, on the internet, and socializing minimally. I didn't want it to end, but now I am working again I am surprised by the attitude I had. It's work for the dole so I don't get paid, but I don't care. It's active, hands-on work and I can afford to live on my dole payment and don't need any more than what I have at the moment (except maybe a nice bottle of spirits to end the day with). I'm working at the local Salvation Army store, in the furniture and bric-a-brac department, and the majority of the job is moving furniture around. In the mornings I move the furniture outside, in the afternoons I move it back in (with a few other volunteers of course), and during the day I sort stuff and move/sell furniture where needed. Also, new furniture comes in daily that I have to unload off the truck and fit into the store/outside area. The amount of furniture I move out and in is approximately 4 lounges, 4 single lounges/recliners, 3 tables, 10 chairs, coffee tables, bikes, exercise machines, and other bits of furniture. I am finally getting a good workout and working up a sweat, so I will hopefully lose some weight in the process. I only have to work 2 days a week, 8 hours a day, and the days are spaced out over the week so I have a couple of days in between to rest and recuperate. It's weird, but one of the best feelings in the world is the one you have when you come home from a hard days work, stiff and sore, knowing you did a good job. The work is fun, the staff are great, and I quickly made friends with a girl my age (who is also quite attractive) who started work the same day I did, but in a different department. I get to chat with her during smoko and lunch (if we take it at the same time) which is nice. It's an all around good job. My ideation is the weakest it's been in months, and my enjoyment and satisfaction has gone way up. Now, I get to look forward to coming home to a drink, a hot meal and some internet time, instead of just waking up and jumping on the net. Plus, I still get to do that on my days off, if I want to, which is cool. The best part is that I don't have to feel bad about staying home all the time anymore. Like in jobs I've had in the past, I actually look forward to going to work also. I know it's early days, but I have found that if I enjoy a job, I will enjoy it for the long term. I'm going to try and stay away from pot, which is a change for me, as that will help me work with a clear head and have more energy. If you are in a situation similar to the one I was in (unemployment, not leaving the house much), I recommend volunteering as an alternative to getting a paying job. You'll most likely be hired, as they always need more volunteers, and even though you don't get paid, you will probably enjoy the change. I didn't think I could work, but I was so wrong it is laughable. If you are doing what I was doing, you probably don't think you can either. I'm still not a social person, I still have social anxiety, but work seems to overpower it. It probably will for you too.