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I don't know if I'm alone here but...

Community Member

As I sit here at my laptop I ponder where to start and if this is just a cry out for attention, I'm just a bit lost.


Hello my name is David, I am a gay male, I work as a mechanic/technician and have been for now, just over 10 years. Due to the toxic and hostile nature of the industry and trades it made it hard to be open about myself, I made the mistake of never coming out, being true to myself and open with everyone.

As time went on, I could tell, even though there are nice people I work with, I had to "play" along (playing "straight"), come up with excuses or fake stories if there was any questions I had to be quick thinking. This has not put me in a great position as I've formed some friendships at work over the years and no one really knows.

Sad thing is, I need to get out of the trade, at least out of this job. The stress and anxiety I experience actually makes me sick in the morning and i go into a blank frozen zone in my mind and just shake/panic attack, luckily I'm on meds that help with that.

This is already pretty full on, add to that I've been suffering depression since probably early 2010's, ups and downs and the downs have been gradually getting worse.

I have a partner which I proposed to in Japan last year when we were on holiday with friends, that was a special time of my life (I really wanna go back to Japan too haha). 


Add more to the mix of my messed up mind, I have issues a bit with his weight only because it turned me off during you know what time. And it really annoys me and makes me sad when i realise this. It's something I can't help, like a natural impulse thing it's hard to describe. He's working out, swimming, going for walks, getting a better job and I couldn't be any more proud of him and I love him so much.

Sadly we haven't made love in probably years, I'm not kidding. It actually hurts me that my mind just doesn't feel like it (anyone had this?) 

I feel like I'm hurting him like I don't love him but it's not true..


I have fear of getting older tied up with being a failure and also a strong fear of change, finding a better job and new people etc. I also haven't had good luck with any psychologist in the past, could be I just haven't got the one that "clicks" with me but even to my own mind I feel extremely complicated and it's stupid and actually pisses me off.


Sometimes I really want to escape it all, like spiderman no way home, have nearly everyone forget i ever existed and start again.

10 Replies 10

Community Member

I'm sorry for the life story, I feel context really helps in understanding, just want to see if people have any similar stories in some aspects, what happened that may have helped them or changed, or what did they change. 

Should I just go try another psychologist? I'm on my 2nd type of antidepressants (1st one i was on for probably too long then did nothing) and i'm finding these are only barely helping.

Community Member

Last reply, as a Millenial I am deeply sadened and annoyed with the current housing market and the government and society in general at the moment. I don't think I'll ever be able to own a house with the bank with my partner until we're a lot older sadly and I just hate the way things are.

Hi and welcome Anonymous1337,


I just spotted your post and I immediately thought of a book I heard about. I’ve been listening to the podcast The Wellbeing Lab with Will Young. I’ve listened to about 6 or 7 episodes now on various mental health topics and found them really helpful. But I also learned about a book he wrote called To Be a Gay Man. I haven’t read it but read a description of it and he describes a dilemma similar to yourself where he masked being gay for a long time. I just thought it may be of interest, especially as he has had mental health struggles he has been working through along the way. I am a straight female so I don’t have the same kind of experience. But I just thought I’d share that info.


With regard to psychologists, I think you do have to try a few sometimes to find someone who is the right fit for you. I tried a few to find one.  I wonder if you can do an internet search for one specialising in the things you want to work on? Some identify in supporting those in the LGBTQI community and may be more attuned to your experiences.


I hope you can find the right support. There may be others here with similar experiences to you who may be able to offer support too.


Take care and all the best.

Thank you very much for your very good reply, I'll definitely look into that, appreciate your help.

I guess one of my other main issues is ever since i have had depression for such a long time i don't remember much of who i was before it, i have some good memories but sadly i feel it's altered my brain.

Things I used to love doing, I don't so much any more, I don't even know what I want to do as a career because I don't really know i'll enjoy anything because it's made me so stale. that's what i need help from a psych somehow.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

The warmest of welcomes to you David and congratulations on your engagement, btw.


You sound like such a deeply feeling person, a factor that can definitely present challenges in life. I can recall when I was younger not having that much of a problem with feelings. I was a fairly insensitive kid to some degree. The problems started when I stared to 'come to my senses' around the age of 19. Not easy to do, come to your senses or come into your senses, without some guidance. Suddenly being able to sense so much became depressing, stressful etc. Long term depression was the result of (1)the belief I was 'broken' in some way and (2)relying on alcohol to turn the volume down on a lot of the stuff I could sense or feel. Nowadays, as a 53yo gal, it's more about 'How to do sensitivity like a pro' or 'How to master the ability to sense so much, without alcohol getting in the way'. 


I don't consider sensitivity as challenging until you can sense things becoming challenging or intolerable, then it can just get depressing and/or stressful. The more intolerable things become, the more depressing and/or stressful they become. Joy, excitement, happiness etc is easy to feel. On the other hand the growing need for significant change can have a pressing and even painful feel to it at times. It can be like 'I can tolerate closed minded people, 'til I can't. I can tolerate discrimination, 'til I can't. I can tolerate rejection, 'til I can't. I can tolerate the depressing nature or the stress of this job or this environment or this relationship, 'til I can't'. I've found it makes a huge difference to find a guide in life who can help me manage what I can no longer tolerate, someone who can help shed light and lead the way out of what's become intolerable. Guides are an absolute must at times.


Attraction can definitely be a complex thing. Physical, mental, emotional, soulful etc, it can be a bit of a mixed bag at times. While we can be thinking 'I'm not physically attracted to my partner', there can be more at play at times. Can sometimes be a matter of 'I struggle with being attracted to someone who doesn't love their own body enough to treat it as a temple'. When I look in the mirror, I feel this way toward myself at times. When I lost a lot of weight some years back (before I put it all back on), when I'd look in the mirror I'd feel strongly attracted to myself. It wasn't at all in an egotistical way, it was in a soulful kind of way. I would think 'How beautiful you are'. These days, it's more like 'What the hell happened?!'.😂 To reassure, that's coming more from my inner comedian than my inner critic. 

Hi again David (and wave to therising),


I really empathise with that feeling of struggling to connect with the person you were before. I have felt that a few times and I can also relate to not connecting with the things you previously loved doing. With me my guitar playing and songwriting, something that had become part of my identity and was once so healing for me, has just almost entirely stopped. I have no drive to do it now. I feel like what you are describing is very typical of depression, the loss of spark in your sense of self and the things you love. I wonder if that is also affecting how you are feeling in relation to your partner and whether if you can bring the spark in you back to life it will come back to your relationship too?


The good news I believe is the spark is still there somewhere. I have these moments of reconnection with my younger self who is naturally enthusiastic and optimistic. Sometimes there are just layers to work through, a bit like an archaeological dig, to find those parts of yourself again.


I also relate to what you say about feeling complicated. It would be ideal if you can find someone you can work on things with one step at a time. I am trying to do that myself. Right now I feel I have about 10 topics to discuss with my psychologist and it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out what to focus on first. But I guess it’s a case of starting somewhere, perhaps with whatever feels most pressing, and going from there. Once the process begins I think things present themselves gradually more clearly as to what to look at next. As you explore, things like what new kind of career/job may suit you may emerge.


Depression and anxiety are so challenging. It may be that if you can move from your current work to something more aligned with you, it may start to shift things and you can evolve more into your true self, if that makes sense? I can only imagine that having to mask your sexual orientation in your workplace must be, in itself, exhausting. It’s a stress you don’t need and I wish it wasn’t like that for you. I feel there will be a place for you somewhere that fits with who you are, but sometimes we have to quest quite a bit to find our place. I’m in that process in life now myself having lost much of what defined me in the past - my work identity, health status, loss of family etc. I think it’s a transitional phase where things can feel very vulnerable, but it can also be a deepening and wisening time and an opportunity to live by following your heart. So hang in there and know things can get better. Take care.

thank you very much and the rising, i read all of that and those are very wise words with what sounds like much my experience than me atm, and i definitely take that on board and the advice and taking things a step at a time, i think my first major step is to focus on leaving my toxic workplace and even if it's temporary finding something less stressful and where i can be myself without giving a damn.

if i can make it through that hurdle then i can focus on other things in life instead of allowing my brain to catastrophise everything at once which it loves doing and it's hard to control.

i can't let this go on for longer, i feel it can have detrimental effect to my mental state of mind and could even have a permanent physical effect in mind and body that i won't like. being like this for so long is unhealthy and damaging.

thank you everyone again for your insight and advice ❤️

Hi David


It can be so easy to forget who we are. For most of us, if we went all the way back to the age of about 2 or 3, I think we'd find who we naturally are. Back then, we weren't someone who looked in the mirror while harshly judging how we appeared. Mirrors meant nothing to us, unless we wanted to see what we looked like in some form of dress up (super hero, fairy princess or whatever). We loved and longed for adventure, whether it was simply to the local park or further afield. We wondered and questioned regularly. We lived in a state of amazement, even when it came to the simplest of things like the amount of ants on the ground in the back yard. With an open mind, our imagination was fertile ground and just about anything was a possibility. So, you could say who we naturally are is non judgemental, adventurous, wonderful, questioning, easily amazed, open minded and highly imaginative. I fully believe the ultimate challenge is to return or turn again to who we naturally are but with a sense of maturity and life experience. For sure, far easier said than done.


I recall sitting in a post natal depression group therapy session about 19 years ago. At that stage I'd experienced long term depression for about 15 years or so. As everyone in the group was asked to contribute to the list on the whiteboard, which involve the traits we struggled most with, I can remember thinking 'These are all my traits'. Then I thought 'This can't be a coincidence' and then it suddenly hit. These were the traits of depression, not my traits. Then I thought 'Who am I without depression?'. Wait for it...drum roll...'I have absolutely no idea who I am!'. It's been a long road from then to now and if there's one key thing I've learned along the way it's this 'I'm not who I think I am' or to put it another way 'I am so much more than my thoughts and beliefs'. I think the only way we can meet with our true or natural self is through changing our thoughts and beliefs. Hell, most of our thoughts and beliefs aren't even ours to begin with, they're instilled in us by others (friends, family, work colleagues, society in general and so on).

Those are some very wise words and i fully understand you, it is difficult but i hope one day to find my true self and not what society and my depressive mind tries to either block or steer me in a wrong/misleading direction of myself ❤️