How to find motivation and ovecome the feeling of hopelessness while living in a small town, having no friends and working a 9-5 dead end job?

I have a double-degree in Medical/Communication. I graduated from college back in 2014 and I think those were the best years of my life. In 2015, I worked in the big city. Then I was privileged enough to go to London to work with the UN/WHO for a while. I got to meet people, travel, solve problems, help other human beings and so on. It was amazing. One of the best things I worked on in London was how to improve their Public Health system in regards to adolescents mental health. It was so exciting and rewarding.

Something happened in 2017 that forced me to come back to my small hometown to take care of my family. I had to make ends meet any way I can. I worked in a cinemad as a cashier. I wrote for thr town's newspaper. And i ended up working in an office doing paperwork, talking calls, writing articles and sometimes handling the social media page of a banking/medical insurance company.

I'm grateful for my job. It pays higher than most other options around here. I get to write, which is something I enjoy. My boss is an okay person. But other than that, it's pretty dead-end. My colleagues aren't sociable. There's not much going on. Whenever I'm in the office, I just feel so empty, dreadful and hopeless. And my mind keeps wandering back to my days in college and the big city and working in London. But those are no longer options for me.

I have nothing to look forward to. I have no friends in town. No girlfriend. All the people i grew up with already left to the big city. There's just nothing.

I know it's affecting my mental health because sometimes I would just cry while driving back from work for no reason. This has been going on for years. It's like I'm trying my hardest to hold on to my past years because those are the best i'll ever have. Now I'm lonely, I have no friends, I have no goals in life, I just feel so empty. I can't think straight.

I just feel like life is so empty now. So far I'm holding on. But I'm just scared I might go down a harmful path to get rid of the emptiness. Like drinking, smoking or taking drugs. What can I do to combat this?

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