…although if you don’t have a GED, you’re over 25, and don’t have major extenuating circumstances, you’re just being lazy at this point. There are community programs that will help you, and doors will open once you have it. Go do that. I will google crap to help you get started, I promise.
Neither education and I.Q. matter much in day-to-day adult life, unless your career requires excellence in both categories. What matters more is your mindset and your ability to apply yourself. I had my I.Q. tested in high school, tested out at 136 and I professionally clean offices and do customer service jobs. It is completely appropriate to say that I clearly messed up at some point.
This is obviously an outgrowth of a substance abuse problem, but that in itself is a product of a bad environment which leads to an extremely defeatist attitude toward life. From my experience and (un)scientific theory, tweens/teenagers that are more intelligent than average tend to disengage from what their lives are – I think that’s fairly normal, actually, but when put in a position that they can’t do anything about (crap, I’m going to have to go to this school and live with these people for the next four years? That’s ⅓ of how long I’ve been alive. How do I get out of this?), we bend toward substance abuse because it’s a pretty effective way of numbing feelings and creating an artificial happiness. Then we mature into adults that don’t have normal emotional coping skills, have delayed skillsets, and an attitude that life is ultimately futile. That in itself is a ticking time bomb, but throw in “high intelligence” and “tendency to set on own life on fire to be amused by the flames for six minutes” and this explains why I know two other people like me who have had traumatic lives that they can’t seem to extricate who they are from (hi, i love you).
I have a personal tendency to get stuck in guilt – recent posts have gotten me to look at the fact that the period I was homeless and heavily involved with drugs was actually pretty brief, and I had somehow managed to base my entire identity on that – I thought I was essentially a hopeless piece of crap, but so deeply that I wasn’t aware of it. Even if say, that’s been someone’s life for over ten years, that’s not who they really are. That’s more of a role they’ve been playing, and they can stop doing it.
So, look at how you look at yourself and others. Don’t let the script in your control your life, instead try to understand and control the script in your head. The things you say to yourself matter, and if you keep going back to the same trauma and same people – it’s you that’s doing it, not someone else. I found therapy, spirituality, and a lot of books really helpful – I still do, and this is still a process in my life – but if you keep getting stuck in the same ruts, you need to change how you think, and you’re going to need outside help. The inside of your brain can be a beautiful place, but it can also destroy you.