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Old 02-02-2009, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Bergen County, NJ
1,603 posts, read 3,632,690 times
Reputation: 1838

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I have a friend who has made a series of bad life choices and reality seems to be setting in now that he's in his 40s.

He really has nothing going for him, sadly ... He has no career path, no college background so he's having issues finding a job, he's deep into debt, can't keep relationships, he just moved in with a relative because he couldn't afford to keep his place, and I see him slipping into a depression now ... He has no health benefits so he can't seek counseling and I'm worried about him ... If I ask him if he's ok and tell him I'm here just to listen, as a friend, he says ok to shut me up.

He tends to distance himself when things go wrong, and he isolates from all his friends ...

Do you think people can change their life around after spiraling down a dark, unproductive road? He almost seems like a heroin addict who has lost "everything" only to start from scratch, but doesn't know how or where to even begin ... he has no motivation, inspiration or dreams to chase. It's painfully sad. And, he has no family- He's estranged from both his abusive parents.
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Incognito
7,005 posts, read 18,580,726 times
Reputation: 5459
The Foreign Legion is an option.
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Indiana
591 posts, read 1,280,243 times
Reputation: 424
Sometimes I think people need to hit rock bottom before they can climb fully up the ladder. I would just be there when he needs to talk. Let him know that you care and are there for him.
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:30 PM
 
28,906 posts, read 46,587,988 times
Reputation: 45995
I think CLW is right.

On the other hand, you have to be extremely careful NOT to let this guy take over your life with his ongoing drama. Why?

Because your life is nothing more that the cumulative choices you have made. Sure, there are the odd extenuating circumstances such as illness or the aftereffects of getting hit by lightning. But, overall, people who are friendless and in desperate financial straits at age 45 are that way for a reason. They have made one unwise decision after another, and they will likely keep on making them.

That means, the more you're involved in his life, the more likely it is that he will take a huge emotional toll on you by asking your help in dealing with the crisis du jour. You will wind up being his support system in life, all that goes with it.

If you are emotionally prepared for it, then go ahead. But it will be thankless, and you probably won't even have the satisfaction of solving his problems, for he will continue refusing to do what is logical, sensible, and ethical in his life.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Everybody is going to hurt you, you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for-B Marley
9,506 posts, read 17,741,438 times
Reputation: 9340
I know people can change their lives and completely turn it around. When I left my husband, I had no skills or experience so I had no idea how I would take care of myself and my teen-agers. I spent most of my marriage in a depression with a guy who didn't know his family existed and the longer we were together, the deeper my depression got. Four months before I left him I ended up on strong medication for depression and I lost those four months of my life. I decided that was it for me. I left and picked myself up by applying for student loans, scholarships, pell and other grants and went back to school to become a national certified medical assistant making $15 an hour. Granted, that wasn't a lot but it was more than enough to support us, buy a home and vehicle and start all over. That's exactly what I did. If I can do it with kids, surely, a man without them can. He just needs to know what resources are available and for me, that took a solid two months of footwork and paper work. It was well worth it.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:27 PM
 
809 posts, read 2,595,351 times
Reputation: 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImCurlybelle View Post
I have a friend who has made a series of bad life choices and reality seems to be setting in now that he's in his 40s.

He really has nothing going for him, sadly ... He has no career path, no college background so he's having issues finding a job, he's deep into debt, can't keep relationships, he just moved in with a relative because he couldn't afford to keep his place, and I see him slipping into a depression now ... He has no health benefits so he can't seek counseling and I'm worried about him ... If I ask him if he's ok and tell him I'm here just to listen, as a friend, he says ok to shut me up.

He tends to distance himself when things go wrong, and he isolates from all his friends ...

Do you think people can change their life around after spiraling down a dark, unproductive road? He almost seems like a heroin addict who has lost "everything" only to start from scratch, but doesn't know how or where to even begin ... he has no motivation, inspiration or dreams to chase. It's painfully sad. And, he has no family- He's estranged from both his abusive parents.
He could go to usajobs.gov and search for government jobs which are actually in pretty high demand right now. OR he MAY be able to join the reserves in one of the branches of the military (I believe the cut off age for some is like 42???) ..... this could get him some education AND start him on a real career path..... Sure he'd have to dedicate for 6 years or more to the military but at least he'd have a sense of direction
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:34 PM
 
Location: In my skin
9,043 posts, read 14,273,249 times
Reputation: 8900
That's a hard rut to pull out of, but it can be done - if he wants to do it. Depression will suck the life out of him, so he won't be motivated on his own. He needs counseling, and there are free/low cost options for him - especially if he comes from an abusive background. His county health department and a county mental health clinic may offer a sliding fee scale. Catholic Charities, The United Way, Salvation Army and similar organizations may be able to refer him as well.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:52 PM
 
336 posts, read 680,939 times
Reputation: 297
Someone on this board gave a "eye opening" advice, IHMO. The best way to combat depression is to stop focusing on yourself and redirect your energies to helping others. Maybe, you can both volunteer in a shelter, hospital, or anywhere looking for help. Certainly, don't allow his down turn drain you positive energy. If he doesn't want to try anything, then just let it go. He is his own keeper. But hover near.

With all his misfortune, self-made or not, he's still a lucky guy to have a caring friend.

Last edited by joyBeing; 02-02-2009 at 03:29 PM..
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:08 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,119,644 times
Reputation: 26518
It's very hard, if not impossible, to try to help someone who isn't interested in helping him/her self. All you can do is let them know that you are there if they need you.

If that someone wants to help himself there are plenty of community organizations. Not all are good, not all are bad. But all you can do is suggest and be there. Don't beat your head against a brick wall. Cheers!
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,160 posts, read 44,716,995 times
Reputation: 12732
Mr. Cat beat me to it - French Foreign Legion all the way! (assuming they will have him...)
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