No Progress

Standard

(warning: suicide discussion below so don’t read if that bothers you)

I didn’t realise I had left it so long to update, time seems to pass very quickly when you don’t have a lot happening in your life. Throughout 2013 I don’t think there was a single time when I met up or spoke to anyone who could remotely be considered a friend. The last year I have slid backwards so much, it’s so disappointing compared to how relatively well I was doing in say, my last year of uni. I am practically back to 2007 levels of isolation but in a way it is a lot worse because at least back then, I know with hindsight that I had somewhere to go. I was younger and I had that opportunity of going to university as a second chance at life. I was yet to meet some of the people who, despite only making the very faintest of a connection with, at least didn’t mind spending time with me and didn’t go out of their way to make me feel worthless. Unfortunately the circumstances that led to that, being at university or talking to them online, have now evaporated and I’m back here on my own again. It is impossible, for example, that any of the people who I lived with at while I was away at uni would ever have got to know me under any other circumstances than us being randomly assigned to share a flat. The people I knew online have either moved on entirely and no longer need to talk to a disastrous loser as me or I have neglected to talk to them for so long they have forgotten about me. I don’t have anything to say anyway. My life is empty. I don’t have anywhere to go or anything of note to contribute to anything.

It is strange to look back and think about how strongly I felt my life was over and wanted to die so much during the time when I tried to kill myself. Strange because everything was immeasurably better back then. It took another 3 years, until I was in my final year of university to realise how much I actually benefitted from being there and appreciate all that I had built up over those few years from when I felt at my lowest point (before I started blogging) and now it’s all gone. There’s no way I was worse off in 2009 than I am now. I wasn’t hurting for money or unemployed, I had people who would spend time with me. I had friends online.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about how I tried to die and I have very conflicted feelings about it all. I feel bad for all the trouble I caused other people but I don’t think I was unjustified in what I did. Some people might expect me to be thankful that I was unsuccessful and that I ought to be glad to be alive but I am not. Do I wish that I had died? I would have missed out on some good things but none of them really make up for the pain and disappointment that I feel having to be me. If I could choose to change things, I wish I hadn’t been found and everyone could just put me to rest and get on with their lives.

I don’t feel fully justified in using the word ‘pain’ to describe how I feel but I don’t know how else to word it. I feel more of a sense of crushing inevitability and a dull ache than serious pain. I hate being the awful, worthless person that I have become. There are few bigger examples of wasted opportunity than me.

It was my birthday in January and it was one I have not been looking forward too. I don’t think I will be able to stand reaching a milestone age next year and still being the same unaccomplished loser. I have a suspicion this year may be my last. Back in 2009 I could have been convinced that it wasn’t too late, that I could have turned things around because I had time on my side. Looking back, I can admit that I was wrong about some things because it wasn’t too late at 24 to do anything. I’m rapidly approaching passing the point where if I was to die it would be considered a tragedy and reaching the stage where people would wonder what took me so long.

Zero Self Esteem

Standard

I’ve been feeling extremely down for the past couple of days. Someone who went to the same school as me and who is 2 years younger than me moved in to the house next door. I never really spoke to him when we were younger but we know who each other is. The other day, I was walking back from the bus stop and ran into him and he ended up talking to me as we walked back to where our houses are. He said something like “I think I’m living next door to you now. You still live there don’t you, with your mum?” and a bit later asked how old I am and what I’m doing. I don’t know whether it was intended to be malicious but I think it almost certainly was a jab at me. It made me feel upset but then is it really any surprise that people think I’m pathetic?

I often think the worst things possible about myself, I genuinely dislike and resent who I am but even so, I simply can’t handle criticism from other people about it. It is probably the main reason I avoid so many things. Every nasty thing people could say about me is true, so how I am supposed to handle that? It’s hard to know how to deal with being a loser. I’ve read things about dealing with low self esteem but they seem to rely on the assumption that the person reading them actually isn’t worthy of derision.

It has been a long time since I’ve felt this low and I am back to the point where I can’t see a future for myself. At least not one that I want to be a part of.

Describing Anxious Feelings

Standard

Something I used to struggle with immensely during my therapy sessions was finding the words to describe how anxiety made me feel. A big component of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is identifying thoughts, feelings and behaviours related to anxiety and how they interact with each other. I always found it difficult to describe feelings in relation to the anxiety I feel in social situations accurately. I honestly think the English language lacks the vocabulary to fully describe such personal things and my own feelings are more complex than just simple fear or whatever.

I ended up having to leave my CBT therapist because I was so depressed at that time that working on my anxiety with CBT was becoming impossible and he didn’t think it was effective. I wasn’t sure about how well I would get on with it either but lately I’m starting to think that I might benefit from it now even though I am still depressed, it is not quite so all-encompassing as it was in 2009/10. One thing that springs to mind is the cascade of horrible thoughts and feelings that overcomes me whenever I have to look at job listings. I tried to put it into words but some of the things are just too hard for me to verbalise.

The main thing that fills my mind is how I am almost the exact opposite of how people need to be to be successful. I am so inadequate in almost every way when it comes to work. I don’t feel confident at all in my own abilities and I can say with 100% honesty that I cannot see why anyone would want to hire me over anyone else who happened to apply for the same position.

I am immediately taken back to my first job where I could not cope at all with the demands of working there and I dread (and I really do mean dread) having to be in that position again. I would end each day completely mentally exhausted and not have the mental strength to do anything else once I had finished work. I hate being there so much, before I left in the morning I would have to fight myself from thinking too much about it because I would uncontrollably get tears in my eyes. I am not someone who cries a lot but there were several times I had to hide in the toilets when I was working there and fight back tears and there is nothing I fear more than being stuck like this.

I won’t have to opportunity to leave like I did when I was working there. At some point I will have to support myself and that would simply not be an option. I couldn’t handle being trapped like that and I don’t know what I’d do (or rather, I fear I know too well what I would do) if I was stuck in that situation.

All of this and more comes to me in a flood of sickening anxiety. Needless to say this makes job hunting quite a daunting task. I am already feeling extremely guilty because of how long I have been unemployed despite having good qualifications on paper, this just adds to my worries.

Blogging’s Impact

Standard

I have received some kind comments, someone even said they found my blog encouraging which pleased me a great deal. One of the things that often makes me hesitant to continue writing on this site is that it quickly became a place where I wrote down a lot of my darkest thoughts and went into quite a lot of detail about my feelings when I was at very low points in my life and I don’t know how useful that is to anyone who may be reading it. I worry that my very depressing and probably frequently triggering posts may make someone who happens to stumble upon this site feel worse and I really don’t want that to happen.

The problems I experience are not typical of every social anxiety sufferer and just because you might have the same condition, it doesn’t mean you are going to end up a wreck like I am. I have made a lot of bad decisions in life and depression along with anxiety and possibly having an avoidant personality have all contributed to where I am now.

Going Back to the Doctor

Standard

I can’t remember when the last time I made an appointment with my doctor was, it has been years since I went to the GP here where I live. When I was at university I got tired of messing around with the psychiatrist and couldn’t stand dealing with the unhelpful person they used to send to see me (presumably to make sure I wasn’t about to hurt myself) and so worked my usual avoidance magic until I was free of them. The medication I used to take was on a repeat prescription so I managed to get that for a few months without making a doctor’s appointment and I’d stopped taking it by the time came for it to be reviewed. The GP I used to see there had left and after all the different medical staff I’ve had to try and explain my situation to over the years I didn’t fancy going through all of that again with someone else. At any rate, I felt I could get on without the antidepressants by that point and I managed reasonably well.

Lately I have felt like I really need to talk to someone again though. I think I would benefit from being back on the sertraline too, I just hope that it works again, it took a lot of tries to find an antidepressant that made a difference without awful side effects. I don’t want to repeat myself, but I am practically in the exact situation I was in back in 2008 yet again, only this time I am 5 years older and don’t have the chance to escape to university.

It’s been months and I just can’t get myself to overcome the obstacles in the way though. It might seem like I should just make an appointment and go, but it isn’t that simple. I will try to explain what’s stopping me. I realise this will sound crazy but it’s just how my mind works.

  • I will have to let my mum know because she’ll want to know where I’m going and I don’t want her to worry about me. She seems to think I am over the depression but in reality it’s just a lot easier to hide when I don’t have the stresses of uni work or a job but that has to change at some point. If I start working I know I won’t be able to cope alone.
  • Having to explain everything to yet another new GP is very difficult for me to do.
  • I don’t even know if I’m still registered at the doctor’s surgery here. I didn’t tell them I’d registered at the one where I went to university.
  • Making the actual appointment itself. This may seem trivial but using the phone is still something I go to any lengths to avoid. I don’t know if I can do it.
  • Money is very tight and because I’m not on jobseekers allowance (for a multitude of reasons that I have gone into before) I would have to pay for the prescription which I can’t really afford.

I might try and talk to my mum about it but I keep remembering how much she used to get upset about it all before. I don’t think she wants to think of me as someone who needs┬ámental health help. Also considering how much she blames my suicide attempt entirely on the paroxetine I used to take despite me being suicidal for years previously, I don’t think she’s too keen on me taking any sort of antidepressant.

Making No Progress

Standard

Following on a bit from my last post, and paraphrasing Oscar Wilde a bit, the only thing more depressing to me than going back to old places like the social anxiety forums and seeing people stuck in ruts for years is seeing people who you used to know and relate to have moved on and aren’t like you any more. I know this is a selfish sentiment and I feel bad even admitting that in public but it’s probably not too uncommon for people to feel that way. I am quite a jealous person, I suppose.

Recently I was talking to my mum about some people we used to know from my old primary school (she used to work there) and it brought some bad memories back. I know how ridiculous it is to obsess and ruminate over things that happened so long ago but from a young age when I was practically forced to make friends with those people up until I dropped out of university when I was 19, these were the only people outside my family I spent any real length of time with. Since then I have never formed any kind of long lasting connection with anyone who I see on a regular basis. These people were around for my formative years and as I’m sure anyone who’s read any of my many previous posts on the subject knows, contributed enormously to the mess I made of my life and why I hate myself so much.

I keep thinking about how different everyone’s life is now from back then, yet I am still largely in the same situation. I live in the same place, have the same bedroom, have little life experience to show for the 10 years since I last spoke to them. I feel terrified that one day I might run into someone who knew me before my decade of virtual isolation and have to try and explain away why I am such a failure.┬áMy life is a prime example of how not to do things. It’s difficult to explain how I have ended up like this to any normal person, I think most people would struggle to understand how anyone could end up like this but given enough crippling self loathing and fear it is possible.

Since my last birthday in January I have been preoccupied with getting older and how little I’ve accomplished. When I started writing the stuff that formed the early entries on this blog in 2007 I was young enough that a lot of things could be sort of written off, like there was still a lot of time for me to fix things and get on with having an actual life. Getting closer to 30 (it actually pained me to write that because putting it into words really hammers home the reality of it) I no longer have that excuse of youth to hide behind. Every single passing day brings me further and further away from normality. [this is an aside, but I have this awful habit of obsessing over time in a weird way. When I would have time off, from work or school for example, I would always be dreading going back and I’d think things to myself like “I still have 3 more days where I can not have to worry about not being able to sleep that night” and stupid things like that. It’s hard to put into words.] I honestly don’t know what I’ll do when I actually am 30, I am abnormally preoccupied with this because in addition to all the usual things people worry about crossing a milestone age, I have the fact that I still only posses the life experience and ability to deal with things as a child, not even the average teenager. Unless something dramatic happens in the next 2 years (unlikely) then I honestly can’t see myself living to experience it. I don’t want to alarm people but I think if I am still like this at age 30 then I will have given things long enough to not feel bad for giving up on life.

I can’t pretend I am a good enough person not to feel anger at the people who first made me despise myself so thoroughly and forced me to withdraw from society. The first counsellor I used to see would ask me if I felt angry, and back then I didn’t really. Nowadays I do feel a lot of resentment towards them.

For many years, the majority of my life so far, I 100% believed that everyone would have the same attitude towards me. That they would at best see me as a figure of fun and someone to quietly mock. At worst, I feared being hated like some people back then used to hate me. This kind of mental beating that went on from when I was 11 ground down any self esteem I had (and believe it or not, I was quite happy up to that point) and I have never recovered or had any reason to like myself since.

It is only in the past few years that I have found anyone who didn’t regard me with such negativity. Sadly I don’t live near any of them but even if I did, it is probably only my limited contact with them that stopped them from becoming bored or tired of my horrendous self doubt and sadness. I already drove away most of the people I used to speak online with.

Even this small glimmer of acceptance makes me sad though. I keep wondering what my life might have been like if instead of being surrounded by people who always wanted to put me down and make me feel worthless, I had been around some of the people who don’t hate me. Maybe I would have some friends in real life? Perhaps if I didn’t take every opportunity to shut myself off and hide away I could have developed some confidence and not be completely unable to cope in the work place. I’m not a stupid person but any intelligence or skills I have are going completely to waste. It is incredibly depressing to think about the potential I have wasted over the years.

There is no real purpose to this post, I am trying to verbalise the thoughts that have been swimming around my head so much but it is difficult. It’s like there are certain ways that people learn how to act and how to cope with life that I have completely missed out on because of how much I screwed everything up and it’s already too late to ever catch up. I felt this right from when I started this blog but it is slipping further and further away and at a seemingly quicker pace than ever. I really need to start getting help again.