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Melissa came to therapy shortly after her 24th birthday, saying that she felt “lost” and “trapped”. She talked to her psychologist about how she often felt as though she was adrift, and her greatest fear was waking up one day at 30 or 40 years old and still feeling her current sense of aimlessness and unhappiness with her life circumstances. Melissa explained: “I wasn’t one of those students that left high school knowing what they wanted to do for the rest of their life — but I figured hardly anyone has that stuff figured out at 17. I remember, at my 21st birthday, my friends were excited about how the world was our oyster, and my aunty joked about how she’d do anything to be that age again. But all I felt was this urgency to at least be in a job that I liked, if not have enrolled at Uni or moved out like some of my girlfriends. Now I’m 24, I’m still living at home, lots of my friends have been overseas and I’ve barely crossed the state border. My most serious relationship ended after 8 months, and that was ages ago. I don’t mind my job, but it’s just not ‘me’, and I don’t make enough to have saved very much at all. I’d go to Uni or TAFE, but what would I study? I’m starting to cringe when people at parties ask me where I work or what I do or where I live. If I don’t get this sorted soon, I can just see myself still like this in 10 years’ time.”

One person's experience

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