As long as you think there’s nothing here on earth for you, it will be true. The only person who can change the situation is you. Ask yourself: Is this the life your mom would have wanted for you? I doubt it very much. Perhaps thinking about her will help you find the strength within to make some important changes.
You live is one of the most beautiful – and isolated – parts of America. You probably know just about everyone in your town who is a peer. Fortunately, the county seat is an easy drive away. And making that drive is just what this doctor is ordering. You’re not going to meet new people by sitting at home feeling sad.
A new place can mean new beginnings. You love animals. There are several animal shelters, clinics, and pet supply stores in that nearby city. Consider volunteering or taking a part-time job at one of them. Or – expand your universe. Get involved in a political campaign, an organization whose mission you support, or a house of worship. Any place that requires you to be even a little active could change your life for the better.
You say you work “odd hours”? If that means you work at night, there is still daytime to explore opportunities. Working all the time? Do you really need to or are you using work as a way to avoid taking charge of your life? If you want a social life, you need to reprioritize how you spend your time and extend yourself to other people.
Yes, I know you’re out of practice. I know you are feeling “burned” by the guy who disappointed you so much. I know it’s hard to break out of a habit of isolating and feeling stuck. But I think you are getting ready. Writing to us here at PC was an important first step. Now take the next one. Decide on one place you will go this week where you will possibly meet someone new. And please remember, wherever you go there are probably other people who are even more rusty at the social thing than you are. One way to stop being self conscious is to reach out a helping hand to someone else. Being generous is often repaid many times over.
I wish you well.