Micheal - this was why i said you need to speak to someone who has much more time than this forum can offer.
If you do seek a counselor or psychologist - be warned that it's an art form. There are many more poor therapists out there than good ones. In other words, you may have to visit a few (unless you get lucky).
In terms of depression, the only proven long term solution is Activity:
- Running (and like exercises) is proven to lift peoples moods (long run...no pun intended). Being out in the sun is better than inside.
- In terms of not finding enjoyment anymore...I once read a book that depression made you not want to do anything anymore...yet the solution was in once again doing...once again finding the joy that comes from doing things you find enjoyable...so it was a catch 22, but a necessary step for anyone wishing to get over it (with or without medication). This is a conscious choice, but if your willpower is weak, then find help in your friends, or if they aren't available...take small steps, and persist, and persist, and persist, and persist...keep returning, even after you give up in disgust - it's about small steps...always returning...even after you quite multiple times.
I only know times in my life when I was happy, and those were when I had people in my life that I loved.
Well almost everyone is happier when that's the case, but to me it sounds like you might have history from your childhood where you did not receive these things - that is something that again, needs to be sorted through by a psychologist with you. I think perhaps your need to have this in your life has lead to you not placing importance on other things...try and find time to stop for a moment and look around you, and find the smallest things that have meaning to you...say something like 'this has meaning to me because...' (and it doesn't sound right, try a different meaning...until it sounds right)
You could try writing such things about anything and everything in your house, or a park that you like, or what you like about playing tennis, or watching your favourite sporting team...etc (and desribe absolutely everything you like about each thing)
You are right, but at the same time I know I've tried very very hard, and the bad things that have happened haven't been my fault.
Be aware that when people possess a victim mentallity, they subconsciously go out of their way to do things that reinforce their victimhood...this takes many different forms
In terms of trying very, very hard...multipronged strategies need to be employed...both persistence, and understand, and activity (and reflection on activity)...and growing your awareness (usually requires reading)...and activity...and activity...and activity (while keeping your goal in mind)
I don't know how to escape feeling helpless.
You're trying to stop feeling helpless by attempting to gain the hardest thing you can possibly imagine. Start on lots and lots of small things first, and work your way up.
If you can't thing of small things to master, you could try :
-learning a new language (it's not small, but the steps taken to learn it are),
- learning handwriting analysis (seeing as you like writing). I liked 'Handwriting Analysis : Putting it to work for you' by Andrea McNichol.
- flying a RC Helicopter - they are quite challenging. A really good small one (that can survive lots of crashes) is the Blade MSR X. Expensive hobby though - to fly that well, it's best to have a computerised transmitter (which start at around $200).
- learning about self deception (it's actually a really interesting topic, but with few books on it - apparently it's difficult to write about)
- woodcarving/working (some like this, but you also need the workspace)
- learn magic tricks (plenty of books/vids for this)
Don't forget that of the things suggested - they do need to be in an area you think you would find interest (ie. what interests me, may not interest you)...and of course there are a mountain of other possible activities you could learn...
The point of it all is - that as you start mastering lots of small things, you'll find yourself more confident in mastering bigger things...and you'll also find yourself coming to realise that you can control your life. If you look deeply into your self and work on that each day, you'll also find that you will gain greater and greater control over yourself, your mind, your emotions, your attitude etc...but that takes time, persistence, and a desire to be better each day.
Hope it helps in some small way..but find someone to talk to who can spend time with you, because I think you'll need it (at least at the start)