Trying to Stay Positive

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I will admit that for a long time now I have not been trying to stop myself from slipping into depressive thought patterns. I have just let them wash over me and it colours my mood constantly. One of the things I find hardest is to stop myself from just being overcome by these thoughts and trying to entertain the idea that there is any possibility things might ever be any better. It probably sounds unusual to people who don’t think like me, but I find it easier, comforting even, to just be accepting of the fact that I will never not be miserable (I don’t want to say happy, because it is unrealistic for anyone to expect to be happy all the time). It’s one difference that I think there is between unhappiness and depression. When I am unhappy there is a reason but there is usually some kind of outcome that could change it. Depression to me is the feeling of complete hopelessness, when everything feels lost and there is no path out of it. I used to hate being asked by people what I would like to change about my life because there is no realistic things I can think of that would alleviate my depression.

There are degrees of depression though (in my experience, I don’t want to speak for everyone) and I have gone through several points where I just wanted everything to end right there and then. Strangely, these are not the times when I have felt worst. At the times when I have been at my lowest, I just didn’t have the mental energy to think like that. It’s difficult to put into words. It is returning to this state that I fear more than anything. In 2006/7 when I was at my first job, I cannot express how miserable and defeated I felt. Every day was excruciating in a blunt sort of way. I hated getting out of bed in the morning, I hated the long journey there, I hated entering the building and more than anything I hated being around people who made me feel like shit and not being able to do anything about it. I was trapped and that is my biggest fear.

I don’t know if it’s because I was younger and less prone to self-destruction back then, but I only ever had brief thoughts of suicide then. I thought about it but never seriously considered it. It frightens me to think what I would be like if I was in the same situation now. I have little self-control when it comes to self-destruction. Part of this is because of the incredibly straight-laced way I used to act, which I became completely sick of. It feel so self-indulgent to admit this aloud (in a manner of speaking) but since I accepted that I was never going to be acceptable to society, why should I carry on like that? I feel resentful towards the people who would have me carry on like that and pretend to be fine, dragging myself through soul destroying days with a smile on my face for a derisory salary.

OK I am getting away from the point here, which was supposed to be about the last week. I have been trying to stay in a positive frame of mind and I have been reasonably successful. I really enjoyed something for the first time in many, many months and that was being with my friend V and her friend whom I hadn’t met before. It was the most “normal” I have felt since I was at university with my flatmates. I feel like I managed (albeit with the aid of valium) to behave like a fairly normal person, even by my own harsh self-judgement. I didn’t try to seek approval afterwards, which is a trap I have fallen into many times before. I usually end up apologising for some minor mistake or something to try to get whoever I was with to reassure me that I was ok.

It is a strange feeling, I am very conflicted. The first time I have really felt happy for ages – it was nothing special, we just had a few drinks and watched a film, but to be around nice people and not feel as though they hated being there was a big deal to me. I wish they didn’t live halfway across the country from me. The thing is, now I keep having to battle thoughts about how infrequent these occasions are and I will most likely just be alone again for a long time. I can’t really discuss these feelings with anyone, I am still not seeing any kind of therapist but I doubt they would be helpful anyway. I feel like I used up all of V’s patience with me back when I was suicidal and I don’t really want to act weird towards her by going on about how nice it was to see her.

What is making me conflicted is my unwillingness to believe that maybe I am not such a terrible person after all and that my prior experiences were not a true reflection of my “value” as a person. I am aware of how bizarre this probably is, but I am trying to work through my thought processes. I don’t really know why I don’t want to believe that. Surely it would be a good thing, you may think. I’m trying to work out what scares me so much about it. I think it’s because I would have to admit that I have been wrong about myself and have wasted so many years isolating myself for no good reason. I also don’t want to change my view of myself, only to have it destroyed again by other people who hate me.

Is it possible that the few people who I have met and enjoyed being with in the time since I left school/work people who made me feel worthless are the only exceptions, that these 4 or 5 people are the only ones on the planet who would feel that I am likeable? Logically, probably not. It pains me to even type this out, I don’t want to admit it. It’s so much easier to believe that I am inherently awful and unlikable.

As a kind of experiment I am trying to force myself to behave as if I am not the hateful loser that I have spent the past 15+ years believing myself to be. It has only been a week, but I am going to try to carry on. It isn’t easy though. I can’t express enough how deeply I completely accept that is how I am perceived and how many painful thoughts need to be challenged. At the moment I am feeling sad because I really wish V and her friend lived closer and I could see them more often, and that I had other friends like them. There’s a lot I have to hide about myself to appear normal, I mentioned before how this can feel deceitful but I think everyone engages in this to a certain extent, and this makes it very hard for me to meet new people. I am also easily threatened by people especially if they are loud. I don’t know if it would be possible to make any new friends here, but for the first time in a long time I am going to try to believe that it is possible.

 

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A bit of good news

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I don’t normally have much positive stuff to post about on here but I the last few days have been pretty good. I went swimming with my dad on Saturday, we used to go every week when I was younger but I hadn’t been for ages. I’m going to try and start going regularly again.

Last night I met up with someone I met online a few years ago, we hadn’t seen each other for a long time and I was afraid that after how quiet and boring I was last time that she wouldn’t want to see me again but it was really nice to catch up. Her friend was with her who I hadn’t met before and I was quite anxious about it but I think everything went alright and I enjoyed it. I feel like kind of a fraud on the rare occasions when I sort of manage to bluff my way through these kind of things, like I am almost lying by trying to hide what a loser I really am. Anyway, I’ve been trying my best to silence these doubts and stop myself from analysing everything that I said or did wrong and am doing better than usual. 

Exam Stress

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I was never one of those people who worried too much about exams. It was probably one of the only times when I was calmer than those around me. At school, I did fairly well and I felt in control when I was about to sit an exam. Looking back, I think it was a twisted desire for validation that I almost liked exams and tests. Objective proof that I was good at something.

Unfortunately, I have not been in education for a while and I have an exam coming up tomorrow afternoon which has been causing me much more anxiety than I had before. It’s not even that important, I need 12% to pass the module which should be easily achievable and even if I fail, I could still conceivably pass the year. The first year doesn’t count towards your final degree classification anyway so what am I worried about?

To be honest, finding the right place where I need to be, getting to my seat and not falling over or having my desk collapse (which people used to do on purpose at school, I guess some folks just love attention) that is causing me the most stress. I just want to get in there and get it done.

In another way, I’m kind of apprehensive because once I’ve done this, I’ll have finished my first year at university. It seems like 5 minutes ago when I was agonising about starting and the first year is less than 24 hours away from completion now. I don’t really want to go back for the summer, I like having my own room and the freedom to come and go as I please at any time of the night or whatever. I like being close to the town and not stuck between the motorway and some farms. I like not having to put on a front or be told off for shutting myself away.

The SLC wrote back to me and I have to pay the full fees again next year 😦 This means I need a job, and it brings back the fear and disheartening feelings of 2007/8 when I was out of work for long periods and was rejected time and time again. I can’t take the pressure of the real world. I’m not in crisis, this is just how I am. I don’t think I am adequately equipped to handle living as an independent human being, I can’t hack it.

Since I last posted, I’ve had some minor “triumphs” regarding my SA and could probably tick a few more items off the list of “things I’ve never done” but I feel unfulfilled and flat. It gives me no pleasure or sense of achievement. I remember reading somewhere that people with similar problems to mine see their lives as a series of lucky escapes when things go right and I can’t help but feel that is exactly what I feel.

Logically then, I should realise that maybe I am wrong. However I can’t accept this. Someone told me that they liked me as a friend and that I should stop beating myself up about things but still I cannot accept that they like me. The thing is, I don’t believe they are lying either. It’s a horrible form of cognitive dissonance and it’s highly unsettling. I can’t reconcile those two beliefs.

I’m too tired now but I want to write a proper post about things. Maybe tomorrow.

Good day

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Stayed at uni last night and didn’t really accomplish much (including eating 😦 ) but I went out this afternoon to meet a friend from a social anxiety forum who lives a few miles away. We’d only met once before but we went to see a film and had a fairly long chat in Starbucks afterwards. It was really nice to see her again and I think we got on quite well. I managed to talk quite a lot by my standards and I don’t think she was too bored.

Back home now in preparation for my CBT on Monday, but I’m annoyed because I forgot both my phone and my meds 😦 I found one 150mg tablet here but that’s going to have to last me 2 days.

Things have certainly improved since this time last week when I was probably at my lowest point for 6 months. I’m going to try and stay positive and keep working at CBT and aim to spend a bit more time with my flatmates (though I have a creeping feeling that I am starting to annoy them when I am around more, like they can’t really enjoy themselves if I’m in the room).

First CBT session

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I have my first CBT session today but I am so scared about it, unlike I have been scared of a medical/mental health thing for some time. I want to try and get better, I wish I could be normal or see myself as normal but it is so difficult for me because of how ingrained my beliefs and self hatred are.

I’m scared about making it there ok. It’s a long way and I can’t remember exactly where I need to get off the bus and I keep thinking I’m going to get lost and be late and start panicking like I do when I’m in that situation. My nerves are already shot, I keep crying and can’t seem to stop. Maybe it’s partly down to the venlafaxine withdrawal; my psychiatrist told me to drop down to 150mg this week and 75 next week and then stop altogether. I’m not sure about his schedule, it seems rather abrupt especially if it is having this much effect on me already.

Mostly I am sad because I fear I have lost a friend though. I don’t know if I can repair the massive damage I have done by being so foolish and I’m hurting so badly even though it was my fault. I’ve never lost a friend who I actually cared about before, I was glad to be rid of the people who were supposedly “friends” at school, but I have never felt like this before. I’m struggling to write this without making it into a guilt trip. I really don’t deserve forgiveness but because I am so childish and socially undeveloped I don’t think I can cope with the consequences of my actions.

I hope I can make it there alright and be able to show them the things I have written, otherwise it is going to be extremely hard to explain how I feel and it seems to me like this CBT is my last shot at the start of a solution and I am desperate.

I never want to feel so suicidal as I did over the weekend again but at the moment I can’t tell when it will happen again. It has begun to make other people’s lives worse and that is too much. I can’t let that happen, I need to try and overcome this but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it.

Who am I, really?

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I’m not bipolar or cyclothymic or anything like that (hypo/mania is thankfully something I don’t have to deal with.) My mood isn’t steady though, within 48 hours I have been the happiest I’ve been in years and back to suicidal again. I’m not over dramatising, I was cursing my luck that I left the pills at my university flat last night and the last train back had already gone.

People seem insistent that I should be the “happy” me and that when I’m down it’s the fault of depression, cause unknown. What if I am the sad person and when I’m happy it’s an aberration? Even when I’ve been in a good mood, I don’t suddenly find life wonderful and valuable. I don’t thank my lucky stars that I didn’t kill myself 2 weeks ago, or even 3 years ago when I first seriously planned to. Things are better than they were back then but not so good that I’d willingly go through it again.

Maybe I’m just one of those people who is always going to be unhappy, it seems more likely to me every day. I can imagine that if I won the lottery or something then I’d still be miserable. Perhaps it’s just who I am, but I don’t want to be that person.

I don’t know when I’ll feel suicidal next, it could be tomorrow or even later this evening. (I wrote this next bit in an email to someone, hope they don’t mind me reusing it) I am worried that if I feel like that again, I might go the whole way next time. Each time I have gotten closer and to be honest (if you ignore the fact that I wouldnt be here to say this) I wouldn’t be hugely regretful if I had killed myself a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t suddenly found life to be wonderful, I just don’t feel quite so crushed that action needs to be taken to end it. I have the energy to carry on for a bit more, but I don’t really know why I’m bothering other than I am worried about an OD going wrong or being paralysed if I jump. It’s hard to explain how I feel and I’m not sure a rational, sane person would understand but that’s the best I can do.

I wish my family hated me so I didn’t have anything holding me back, I’d honestly rather get this over and done with if it wasn’t for the fact that it’d upset them. As things stand, I’m just edging closer and closer towards the point where wanting to escape becomes stronger than not wanting to upset my family. I wonder how long they want me to keep up the pretense that I enjoy and want to live.

The crisis team are coming to see me tomorrow afternoon, the right thing to do would be tell them this, but I realise I can’t verbalise it properly. I feel ashamed that I want to die because I have things so easy compared to people with real problems. Perhaps I could write it down but I still have bad memories of trying that on my first GP appointment and him refusing to read it. I’m pretty sure I know what their answer will be; “The CBT will help you address this”. But I have major doubts it will change my attitude to life.

I don’t want to come over all nihilist, but I don’t see any value in my life. I want to know why people want to live so much, I fear I already know the answer and it’s because they experience things I have never and never will, things like true friendship, feeling a part of something, having someone who loves you.

Last night I annoyed one of my online friends by talking about this. I have a hard time believing that a fat, ugly, boring, inexperienced, lifeless, suicidal, depressive, quiet, immature, loner who has never managed so much as a kiss on the cheek in 24 years of life will be able to find a girlfriend. I can back all those adjectives up by the way.

What on earth would any girl want to do with a person like that? There isn’t really much more I could do or be in order to become less attractive.

I remember another boy in school who used to get made fun of because he never had a girlfriend when we were 15. In retrospect, that was pretty harsh and at that age being in such a situation probably isn’t too uncommon. The thing is, there will be girls around that age who haven’t had a boyfriend either and even the ones who do won’t expect much maturity from teenage lads (if they do, they’ll probably be disappointed). At 24 though, things are rather different. I suspect discovering that a guy who was still a virgin at that age would raise a lot of red flags, there must be something wrong if it’s not for religious reasons (I could make a point about the foolishness of such reasons but I don’t want to get even more sidetracked.)

I think women in their mid twenties have justifiably higher expectations from men than teenage girls. My friend tells me that it’s never too late to catch up, but I don’t see how it’s possible. When my parents were my age they’d been married 5 years, I know of people that went to my school in years below who have families now. It’s almost impossible to explain how utterly inadequate these things make me feel.

That 15 year old boy was probably nervous the first time he kissed a girl, but the odds of his partner being in a similar situation (according to the data I’ve found, assuming they are the same age) were reasonable so there would be the benefit of knowing that they were both in the same situation. I have to ask myself what girl (assuming they are insane enough to get past all the other crap and somehow like me) would put up with such inexperience from a person of my age? That’s just one simple example, I have no idea how to be in any kind of relationship.

In my whole life I’ve never talked about sex with anyone. I can’t remember when I found out the mystery of where babies come from but I wasn’t so sheltered that I had to learn in year 8 science class. People have made me feel as though I’m not allowed to think of myself as a sexual being though. That is a laughable thought. I’ve never talked to any of my “friends” (post coming about them later, it’s ok you can return from the edge of your seats now) at school about girls because to everyone there I was a non-person. Just a laughable entity who worked and got made fun of occassionally. During the whole time I was at high school I never once started a conversation with a girl and I only spoke when spoken to.

It was incredibly difficult for me to write that paragraph, I still can’t see myself as a person who deserves or is capable of forming that kind of relationship with a person. I am human though and I’m not assexual. I have a lot of issues, obviously and it seems to me that as I get older and older the chances of coming across someone who can accept such immaturity and inexperience are becoming exponentially less.

Back

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I hadn’t got the energy to write last week, I had an assignment to complete but I could barely get out of bed most days and was constantly worrying that I was going to fail. Fortunately I applied for an extension and have been given an extra week to finish it.

My mood has been up and down again, never above “just surviving” though. I still haven’t been able to discuss how I’ve been feeling with any medical professional though, my attempt to get a GP appointment was ruined. I phoned on Monday morning and they couldn’t give me one until the following Monday, which I couldn’t take anyway because I have to be at home to see my psychiatrist. I’m not sure I am up to telling him (the scary consultant) about my plans to kill myself, about how I ordered a lethal overdose quantity of pills. It’d be best to say something, I suppose, but I don’t think I can quite reveal all.

The last few days have left me wondering what exactly can be done. Obviously they can’t change what bothers me, my enormous lack of life experience, repulsive appearance and boring personality. All they can do is try to help me cope with being how I am. I’m not sure if “accepting” who I am will be part of what they want me to do, that’s what my mum wants me to do apparently, but I can never do that. I don’t want to do that. I can’t settle for being such a horrible, vile waste of space. I really would rather be dead than have to live like this for years. I’m sorry if this is controversial,  but it brings to mind “fat pride”. I can’t understand why people want me to adopt the same type of cognitive dissonance or delusion. I know I have problems, I know I’m an awful person but I’m not about to say “That’s how I am. Fuck you, I’m brilliant.” I can’t pretend everyone in the world has a problem except me, that would be delusional.

I tried talking to my sister but she tries to minimise what’s wrong with me. I’m tired of people saying “Oh I don’t have many friends either, most people don’t” but I simply don’t believe it. I can see hundreds of photos of her and her friends together on Facebook, she tells me stories about them, she has a boyfriend and recently went on holiday with him and some friends. That’s so far removed my situation that it’s not even funny.

To give an example, when I was at school, sixth form and college (and now university I suppose) whenever there was a holiday, I’d never see anyone else apart from my family. I wouldn’t go to anyone’s house or be invited anywhere. Nobody would come to see me. When I went back after summer, the people I hung around with (who bullied and psychologically tortured me) would belittle and laugh at me for being so reclusive and hiding away at home for months at a time.

Please tell me if this is a common experience, I’ve been mocked on a social anxiety forum for revealing this before so I doubt it, but people seem determined to convince me that I’m not unusual.  From age 11, when I started secondary school, I’ve had no-one I could call a proper friend. I saw no-one outside of school. Every day I’d go home and do things by myself or with my family. At weekends I would do the same, holidays were the same. I’ve never been out on Friday and Saturday night, never been to a party, until this year I’d never been to a “club” (it wasn’t even a proper one really), never had a girlfriend, never kissed anyone, never held a girls hand, never asked a girl out. I’ve never been on holiday apart from with my family.

I can’t help but be depressed by this horrific waste of life. Maybe I don’t deserve to have been so cruelly deprived of a life, at this point I can’t see why I’d deserve anything other than bad things. In any case, I feel massive crushing jealousy towards everyone I see around who gets to do these things. Anyone who has a life, people who have friends, people who have someone that they can actually talk to beyond saying “Hello, how are you?” which is the limit of my relationship with anyone. I wish I had a friend who I could call and talk to, even that seems beyond the realms of possibility.

People say that it takes time, but I’m 24. Twenty four years old and I don’t have the social skills or life experience of the average 12 year old. Some people tell me that I can learn, but how do you do that? Normal people get that kind of thing out of the way when they are younger. They have friends going through similar things. I can’t imagine many people in their mid twenties are still worrying because they don’t know how to kiss, not that I’ll ever have to worry about putting that into practice.  It’s pathetic to even think about it.

I’m so ridiculously immature, no psychiatrist or therapist can change that, and that is one of the main reasons I am so depressed.