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Don’t know what to do

Community Member

I’m not sure if anyone will see this or know how to help but I turned 19 a month ago and since then I’ve been struggling mentally. First it was about my career and what I want to do for the rest of my life and I spiralled into panic attack after panic attack. I finished my semester at uni and felt relief for a few days until I realised that I’m not ready to be independent and I’m aging so fast and I’m wasting time. I just can’t get a moment of peace and I’m worried that I’ll be like this forever, I don’t know why I’m not happy anymore.

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Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

A huge warm welcome to you as you face such an incredibly stressful and challenging time in your life 🙂❤️


I wish someone had told me early in my life 'You'll need guides throughout your life because that's the way life naturally works'. This way I wouldn't have thought (as I'd gone along) 'What's wrong with me? Why can everyone else appear to cope but I can't? How come everyone else seems to have some sense of direction but I don't?'. If someone had clued me in to the guide factor, I imagine I would have just thought 'It feels like one of those times where I'm going to need a guide'.


Changing 'I'm not ready to be independent' to 'I'm not prepared for independence' could be another way of looking at things. How were you prepared for this time in your life? From 0 to 18 we're largely dependent on being guided through structure. Monday to Friday (outside of school holidays), we wake up in the morning at a certain time, have breakfast, shower, get ready to leave and we show up for school by 9am. Each class is structured to begin and end at a certain time, right through to 3 or 3:30pm. Outside of that there's structured homework, dinner at a certain time, maybe time for tv or whatever and then we go to bed. Life is structured and directed. Of course there's some self development and independence in there, otherwise our mum would still be dressing us for school in year 12 😅. So, how to create our own independent structure and sense of direction beyond school, beyond 18?


As a mum to a 21yo gal recently diagnosed and struggling with ADHD and a son diagnosed with high functioning autism who'll be 19 next month, both of them struggle intensely without solid structure/guidelines. They also struggle with a lack of direction when there are no solid goals in place. I actually struggle with these things myself. Add to this the challenge of being sensitive and you can sense the lack of structure, sense the lack of direction and even sense time being wasted. So, it can also be about how to master the ability to sense on top of everything. It can be a mega challenge when no one else around you can sense quite as intensely. It means they can't necessarily relate to how you feel or how you're feeling life.


It's never too late to begin preparing for what you wish to do and who you wish to be. And it's definitely not a waste of time trying to figure it out, unless it becomes about thinking/mental processing without any action taken toward goals that offer some sense of achievement. Even at this stage if you want to be someone who looks into mastering feeling through their nervous system, inner dialogue or something else along those lines, greater self understanding and personal evolution is never a waste of time. Btw, learning how to breathe through stressful thoughts and inner dialogue is something I never had to learn until my 50s. No matter our age, when a need is calling to be met, it's worth answering the call. The bonus is we develop a skill to add to our backpack of tools and skills, as we travel along life's path. You get to reach in whenever you need it. If we don't develop skills, there's nothing to reach for. Finding a guide along the especially dark parts is an absolute must, someone who can shed light while leading the way.