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Time to reach out

Community Member

Hello, my name is Paul, and I'm having trouble figuring out where my life is going. I feel like I'm stuck in a cycle of the washing machine that never ends, and I can't seem to break free. I've never been fired, but I want to know what I did wrong because I have an intellectual disability and am on the autism spectrum. I'm also pursuing a bachelor's degree in justice studies at a university.


Every job I've ever had has either ended up in liquidation or been eliminated due to funding. I'm so sick of this that I've all but given up looking for work. I mean, I'd like to, but I don't want to be taken advantage of. I've been married since January, and my wife has two jobs to keep money coming in. She's such a loving partner who doesn't care if I find a job and doesn't mind my disability or my Centrelink money.


I just want to know what is wrong with me; I feel like I need to give up now and just disappear; I feel so lost and afraid to speak out to anyone; I'm not sure what mental health problems I may have; I really need help figuring out what I may be struggling with; I'm just losing everything around me; I'm a strong guy; everyone loves me; they say I'm such a big-hearted guy; they say I'm down to earth; they say I'm always willing to help out.


I apologise for my outburst, but it was a joy to meet you all. I look forwards to hearing any advice or assistance you can provide.



3 Replies 3

Hello Paul,

We are pleased you found the strength to post about your confusion. We are a very helpful and supportive community, and we want to welcome you here.

We understand that you have never been fired, but every job you have had thus far has ended for various other reasons. This has encouraged you to feel as though you have been doing something wrong because of your intellectual disabilities or your ASD.

We know that the human brain is wired to see patterns in everything; whether the patterns actually exist or not. This is a survival trait, so it often confuses us.

It is our understanding that one of the healthiest way to deal with negative interpretations of these pattern perceptions is to challenge them. For instance, in today's world, the majority of jobs are not actually permanent; even when the job description states the position is permanent. Market forces, funding patterns, and even the size of the company, amongst many other factors, determines whether the position will continue or end. In the past, finding a position with a large organisation often meant the job would last a long time. Nowadays, this is no longer the case. Therefore, we would encourage you to continue applying for jobs, and appreciate the time that the position remains yours.

We understand how this can cause you to feel down, so would encourage you to ring our experienced counsellors on 1300 22 4636, or Lifeline on 13 11 14. Both services are available 24 hours per day, every day of the year.

We feel certain some of our community members have excellent advice on how they deal with this struggle, and look forward to reading their thoughts.

Warm regards,

Sophie M.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Paul~

I'd like to join Sophie_M in welcoming you here, it is a a good place to come to.


I think that is some ways you are overlooking some of the most important things in life. I can't preach because I did the same - though I can now understand.


I lost my job - one that was my career, and I was invalid out and told I'd not work again.


That loomed very large in my life, my mental health problems and the loss of my working life.

Those two things filled my mind, and frankly at the time there did not seem much else.


Now when I look back I can see that the gold in my life was simply overlooked. My wife realy looked after and loved me, and looked after the family -and went to work. She was a constant in my life, and as time went on I realized it more and more.


Eventually I went on a course of study (it beat sitting around the house feeling bad) - admittedly working more slowly than some - but passed. My ability to think, to stick to something and succeed was still buried inside me when I lost my occuption, but hidden from me for a while by circumstances.


You are already studying - in a degree that is a hard one, and you have married and have a loving partner who is holding things together financially - as well as valuing and understanding you.


I believe these are foundations -you and your partner and your relationship.


OK so the jobs you have had did not work out. I'd strongly suspect though no fault of you own. I guess it's human nature if jobs disappear to wonder if you have gone wrong somewhere, the hard thing is to realise that  it is human to feel this way, and that in fact you are the worthy person you have always been.


There is nothing ot apologize for, it is quite OK to talk about the hard times life has handed you. I'd hope doing so to people who themselves have had hard times and understand may help you put these matters in proportion and allow to to keep on going. It would be great pity for you and others if you took things to heart when they did not deserve it.


I hope we can talk some more






Mark Z.
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Palrium,


I'm so sorry for your challenge and it must be very frustrating.


I think it's time to seek professional help. First of all approaching a psychologist via your GP will be a good idea.

If you figure out that your mental health issue is not that serious, I think you may lack of some career techniques. Then you may need to have a chat with a career coach. Usually it's not free, but it's worth it, especially when you can't break your cycle on your own.