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Old 03-25-2020, 07:55 AM   #1
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Default On Being a Highly Functional Mess

I'm 32 years old. I'm an aerospace engineer, but I wouldn't say I'm typical of my cohort.

My childhood was traumatizing. My 6'2" 250lb step-dad would lose control of himself on a weekly or monthly basis, screaming so loud that neighbors 3 doors down could hear, calling my mom a ****ing ***** and telling me that I need to move out. This started when I was 8.

My real father wasn't present at any point in my life. He died when I was 19.

In 7th grade I was truant for 3 weeks because I refused to get out of bed. The emotional chaos at home was exhausting.

High school was just a sequence of house parties as far as I recall. Did a lot of drugs.

So on and so forth, I ended up dropping out of high school and didn't turn it around until age 21 when I was finally diagnosed with major depression and prescribed Effexor. This drug really helped me get out of a bad place.

I proceeded to community college and then university. Did well in economics, psychology, and computer science. Spent a few years living on my own. It took me 8 years but I earned a bachelors of science in mathematics. Graduated when I was 28.

After graduating and landing my first job I spent another 2 years on my own. Then I had really big meltdown. Essentially on nothing more than impulse, I quit my job and moved to Oregon to work on a farm. Yeah, that kind of farm. Met a beautiful and intelligent girl out there and proceeded to completely **** her over by stealing her heart and then losing control of myself and calling her every name in the book. That's a paraphrase.

I've spent the last 2 years living at my mom's. I loath my employer and don't care much for the work. I recently realized where I want to take my career path. This is a new feeling. Since graduating I've basically just floated from one engineering role to the next without much of an idea of where each would take me. But now I have a vision of my future, and it's a great feeling. There are some drawbacks of my new plan, the role is quite niche, opportunities are scarce but do exist. I'm going for it.

So that's where I'm at. It seems I haven't really provided the nail here for you to hammer. Ehh. I'm sorry for how rude this sounds, but I would like to hear from any successful professionals out there who cope with depression. Engineers, architects, scientists, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and successful entrepreneurs or sales reps.

Are you out there? I need to know I'm not alone, and I want to hear your stories.

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: On Being a Highly Functional Mess

Dear ringmodule,

I can really identify with what you wrote.

At this point in my life I am not comfortable revealing too much about myself on an open Forum but I think I definitely meet your qualifications for a being "a highly functional mess."

What helped me personally and please do not take this as advice, was moving from my profession into a profession that I felt was more meaningful to me, what you might call a "helping profession." Sorry for being intentionally vague and I realize of course that most professions are in a sense "helping professions."
I am certainly profoundly appreciative and grateful for the amazingly helpful work that engineers have contributed to the world and which have improved, in so many cases, the health and well-being of millions of people.

My change of profession involved some economic sacrifice which I thought would be hard on me but turned out to be, how do you say . . . 'no big deal.'

I realize that each person here on earth is unique and that what works for one person might be all that helpful to someone else. That is why I don't feel able to give advice in many cases. This case being one.

I am not sure my post will make sense since my command of the English language is not strong, rich or robust. Hopefully others here, others who fall into the category of respondents whose stories you wish to hear will answer your post and provide more helpful information to you.

You have accomplished a lot in life so far and I really admire you for it. I think your story is inspiring and I think it will get more inspiring as time goes on. Of course I am not prescient but that is my feeling right now for what it is worth.

Sincerely yours, -- Yao Wen
Every human being is my brother and sister and so is every animal. From Dr. Albert Schweitzer I have learned even to walk carefully so as not to destroy the little creatures walking beneath my feet. For I see even the ants as my brothers and sisters.
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:40 PM   #3
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