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Dear Miss Information,

I'm going berserk with loneliness, boredom, and frustration. I live alone in my parents' house, in the town I grew up in, while they're waiting for it to sell. I'm unemployed and never quite good enough for anyone. I dropped out of university because I couldn't muster the motivation to actually study; while the subject matter was interesting, there was no spark, no drive, nothing that pushed me to keep going. Those skills I do have are mostly self-taught, but without a formal qualification, nobody will take me seriously.

I've never had a girlfriend; the sum total of my experiences with women are two ill-advised make-out sessions with a friend in college. I've only got a few friends, many of whom live fairly far away. It makes communication hard. Loneliness and regret have pretty much been the defining features of my life: loneliness because I've never really had many friends (I was the school nerd, bullied and ostracized); and regret because there are so many near-misses I've had, and I can't help but wonder what might have happened had I not been so lacking in confidence, or at least been able to read people's intentions better.

My handful of friends always tell me that things will improve when I get more self-confidence, or when I'm not so self-deprecating and harsh on myself. It seems, though, that those problems are self-perpetuating: I'm not confident, I try to meet people/find employment/etc., people sense I'm not confident, reject me, and my confidence falls another notch. I've spent more time than is probably healthy on introspection, and the only solution I can think of is for someone to accept me out-of-the-blue. I should point out that the lack of confidence isn't a belief that I'm not capable of anything β€” I know that I can probably do anything if I put my mind to it β€” but that anything I'm capable of doing will be utterly worthless to anyone else.

I just wish I could get out of this. What do I need to do to get a fresh start on life?

β€” Hometown Zero