Starting when I was 15, I spent almost 20 years in the state mental health system; roughly half of that time I was an in-patient at a state hospital. I'm not, however, mentally ill; turns out that actually being mentally ill wasn't as important a factor as you would've thought under the circumstances. Clinically speaking, that means I have no Axis I diagnosis. Aside from a single initial evaluation, which said I was schizophrenic with little hope of recovery, no psychiatrist or psychologist has ever found evidence of an active mental illness.
As a result of the hospitalization, I never got the chance to develop normal social skills; especially in regards to the opposite sex. My senior year of college, when I was allowed to spend a year living in the dorm, I made significant strides; however, I never managed to get an actual date. While they meant well, the friends who promised they would set me up with someone instead made things worse. The only thing more depressing than not being able to find a date yourself is knowing that other people can't find you one either.
After college, I lost track of the friends I had made there. They moved on with their lives; I didn't. I tried my hand at grad school, but pretty much failed miserably. An excellent student in class, I lacked the motivation outside of class to do the necessary work on my thesis and to prepare properly for comps.
I've since settled into a dead end retail job that pays the bills. I've nothing really in common with my co-workers who have lives of their own. Part of the motivation for starting this blog is the realization that I've been in the same rut for the last 9 years and there is no real sign of any change on the horizon. I guess I'm hoping that becoming involved socially on-line will, if not replace, at least help compensate for my lack of a social life in the real world.