Where to begin with this...probably for the last 12 or 13 years or so, I've been dealing with social anxiety and depression. Social anxiety my entire life, actually. It's probably one of the main reasons I didn't go to college, because the thought of public speaking is petrifying to me. It's a problem. My depression has evolved over time. I have a bit of delayed adolescense for several reasons. I never had much of a social life growing up, mainly because of my father. He was very controlling, and wore the worst hairpiece/toupee you can ever imagine. And he wanted his privacy, and the ability to leave his hairpiece on a wig block in the middle of the kitchen table without the possibility of me coming home with a friend. Fucking ridiculous. I think i was in my early 20's when I realized how crazy my father was, then felt it necessary to reevaluate everything he'd ever taught me, every value and concept I held, that perhaps he had had a hand in forming in my mind. About that time, my dad suffered a series of strokes, which further complicated my life, because my Mom and I had to care for my father at home full time. This, too, put a serious damper on any socializing, plus now it was up to me to pay most of the bills and keep a roof over our heads. There was no way I could "move out" because my parents could not make it on their own. I felt trapped. Finally in 1998 we could not care for my father any longer at home. He was difficult to deal with, and frequently he would fall down while I was at work and my Mom would have to call me to come home from work and help her pick him up. Sometimes he would fall outside. Many times he would get up in the middle of the night, find a way to make it to the kitchen, turn on the garbage disposal and every water faucet in the house, open the garage door, turn all the lights on, turn the thermostat down to 55 degrees...and one time, even called a friend of mine's mom and told her, "the Russians have launched their Nuclear weapons...we have less than 30 minutes to live..we're all going to die." Enough. We put him in a nursing home, and my Mom decided to move to Bahrain with my sister. They have since (2007) relocated to Tucson, Arizona. When I was 33 I finally came out of the closet and told my family and friends I was gay. Most of them had figured this out, but some were surprised. Shortly thereafter I had my very first sexual experience...yes, I was a virgin until age 33. When you're gay and 30 you've pretty much missed the Gay Boat haha and now I'm 44, never been in a relationship, and feeling alone. I've never liked my kind very much, and cannot stand the whole 'gay pride' movement or the typical gay male. To me, walking down main street in a parade with an "I swallow" t-shirt on does nothing for acceptance of homosexuals. I'm embarrassed to be stereotyped with those individuals who give the rest of us a bad name and perception. So, I'm gay and 44, about to turn 45, and I'm not attracted to guys my age. In fact, I'm mainly attracted to straight guys who are half my age, and I admit, an occasional younger girl. I've obsessed over several guys over the years, currently a 23 year old co-worker, which really sucks. We are so much alike, text each other at the same time...finish each others sentences, but he's straight and not available in that way to me. It's a problem. Guys my age I find to be stuffy, and most of them don't take reasonable care of themselves. Most people think I'm in my early 30's and are shocked when I tell them I'm 44. I've never had a cavity, go to the gym, look reasonably fit, but I just can't seem to find anyone I click with who is available. But then, I need to get myself right before that can happen. I realize that wanting to be in a relationship just for the sake of being in one, is not the answer. Nor will another person be able to fix all the issues with ME. I need to look within and find a way to beat my depression first. I have found myself working too many hours, mainly because it is a distraction from thinking about my problems. I used to distract myself with hobbies, but my two main hobbies are very expensive...working on and restoring cars, and flying airplanes (private pilot). These two passions have been out of my reach for a few years. And now that I have admitted that I'm depressed and need help, who knows when I will be able to fly airplanes again. Any diagnosis of depression or subsequent medication or treatment makes the FAA very nervous. I finally broke down and went to a doctor on January 9th. My doctor of 15 years retired, and I hadn't been to a doctor other than a walk in clinic once, for over 3 years. I found a very nice new doctor of internal medicine that an acquaintance recommended. She did blood work, and listened to me, deciding to prescribe Effexor XR. I'm taking 75mg per day. It has been 3 weeks...I have the usual sexual side effects, and it has affected how I urinate...making me feel I really have to go a lot, when it is only a small amount...and the stream is not strong...like I can't fully empty my bladder. I have to get up every 2-3 hours in the night to go. But when I do sleep, I sleep very deeply. I think it's helping my anxiety a bit...but today I slept till 11 and found it very difficult to leave the house. Finally about 4:30 I forced myself out the door to the gym and grocery store. I go back to my doctor on the 24th of this month to discuss my blood test results and get a full physical. Just admitting that I'm depressed and reaching out for help is somewhat of a relief...but I have a lot of work to do and should probably consider counseling as well. I just couldn't go on any longer as I was. I've become spiritual over the last 3 years or so. I have no use for organized religion, but I've learned to respect nature and all forms of life, and I believe in cosmic connectedness, that everything in this world matters somehow and is all connected. Sometimes it feels like the more I learn, the more I realize how fucked up the world is and how in the dark most people are about what is really happening, the harder it is to cope. It all seems so overwhelming sometimes. So many ignorant people and a government that has us all in the dark. I've lost 2 of my best friends to death...I still feel their presence, but I miss them. 2 of my other good friends have moved away, and one of my best friends of the last 13 years recently has become Mental or something and is just a chore to be around, so I have distanced myself. I feel very alone and isolated...basically going to work, gym 3 times a week, and just sitting in my soon to be foreclosed house by myself, watching Netflix in between those activities. I'm grateful for my overall good health..but just...lost and wondering what to do. I've thought about moving to Arizona to be with my Mom (age 86 and healthy) and my sister, niece, and nephew. They all live in Tucson. Ahh, life. Better than the alternative I suppose. This post was quite a ramble and not very structured..but I needed to get all this out. Love and light to all of you reading this...thank you!