Perfectionism

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Relevant song lyric of the day: “I’m not afraid of dying, any time will do”

I had to call and cancel my crisis team visit, I can’t handle having to talk to people at the moment, I feel ill (cold coming on, it wasn’t just the meds) and that kind of flat, empty depression has taken over. I don’t feel desperately sad or like crying as I sometimes do, just lifeless and bereft of happiness and will to live. I had somewhat of a revelation which I wanted to write about but I am too tired to get into it properly today.

I was thinking about the time when my first psychiatrist asked me if I was a perfectionist. My first reaction was to almost laugh in disbelief; I don’t know how anyone could look at me and ask that question. I don’t exactly look like someone who wants to be perfect. When I think about it more carefully though, I think that I am sort of a perfectionist, in my own twisted way. My (subconscious, or is it unconscious? I can’t control it anyway) idea of perfection is different from what most people would think of as perfect, and I seem to hold myself and others to this ridiculous ideal.

I want to conform to societies ideas of where and what I should be, even if I don’t actually want the things themselves, if that makes sense. I want to want to be a normal person. This probably sounds insane and it most likely is. I don’t think I could actually give up certain aspects of my life, I could never be one of those people who always has to be around others, I need time alone a lot more than others even when I’m not anxious. 

Having something like social anxiety makes you analyse everything to a huge extent, I remember details about inconsequential conversations from years back and a million other useless things that would pass most people by. It’s quite odd really, you can almost appear psychic since people tell you things and then forget that you ever talked about it but I remember most things (probably on account of the fact that I have about 1000x less conversations than the average person). 

I don’t know if I could give up my level of self awareness and the things I know about how people manipulate you, but while I have these dubious qualities I don’t think I can ever be happy or “normal”. When I think back to the time when I was actually happy, when I was a child, I had no idea about how cruel the world was and how people take advantage of any weakness you show. I hate this site, but the description of stages explains what I mean better than I could, the blissfully ignorant stage. I don’t even want to consider the advice that it preaches, maybe I am embittered and destined to be like this forever but I just can’t become the person that it seems I need to be in order to fit in.

My twisted perfectionism makes me want to be all things to all people. I realise that everyone probably does this to some extent, but I change who I am based upon who I’m with. I don’t know who the real me is, maybe it’s the person who write this narcissistic, self obsessed drivel. This is the only place I am honest after all. I can’t be that person in real life though, I can’t express myself verbally. I’d be too scared about being thought of as a stuck up snob, which maybe I am.  I come across huge problems when I don’t know what people want me to be though. I think this is a big reason why I am so scared of meeting new people, I don’t know how to present myself because it’s been so long since the real me has been allowed out, it has withered away.

To fit in, you need to expose yourself, part of your personality and let people know about you. I find this terrifying, even giving away the slightest details about my opinions is often beyond my comfort zone. I can’t offer any opinions on music or anything else that most people talk about without a second thought. I’ve been through so much mockery and psychological grinding down that I can’t give away any chances for people to do that to me again. 

I’ve spoken to my online friends about this before and they always try to tell me that I’ve been unlucky with the people that I’ve been around and that not everyone is so malicious and cruel, but I can’t honestly put all that down to luck. I could start thinking that I’m the unluckiest person in the world, something my dad seems to do and I want to avoid. There’s no point in trying to pass off my own failings as someone else’s fault, I don’t want to blame the world for my problems. If there is one good thing that can be said for me, I want it to be known that I take full responsibility for my own actions and I realise it’s my own fault that I am such a wreck.

In the past I never considered myself to have a short temper, but recently I find myself being increasingly frustrated with people. I hate banal small talk, I don’t want to try and sound superior – I know that I’m definitely not. I just wish that I had some kind of flash cards I could hold up to save answering the same old shit over and over.

I think I expect everyone to be “perfect” like a robot, like I am. It might sound ridiculous, on this website I probably come across as a histrionic maniac, but in real life I am extremely reserved. I can’t stand to do things “wrong”, I’d rather not try than fail. This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks. I am terrified of making mistakes in all areas of life. To pick a random example, we used to have a pool table in the sixth form common room. I never played a single game on it even though I used to like it when I was younger and I always wanted a snooker table of my own but we had no space for one. I was so scared that I’d make a mess of it and everyone’d laugh that I never once played. I could list a million other examples of how this has held me back. This is incredibly difficult for me to say (being the master rationaliser that I am, I think I have avoided admitting this for other reasons) but perhaps one of the reasons that I have never had a girlfriend is that I’ve never asked anyone out or shown any interest (irl). I probably never had any friends because I’ve been too scared to approach people in case I make a fool of myself and so kept to myself and my group of abusive associates (I refuse to call them friends any more). 

One of my sisters friends once had a birthday party at one of those places with bouncy castles, ball pits and slides etc to which I was invited. I can still remember vividly being afraid to go on any of the things or do anything other than sit at the side. I was scared that I’d fall over or do something else to make the other kids laugh at me so I did nothing. I was probably under 8 at the time, but I can remember the feeling and it’s the first time I can remember someone explaining the concept of “regret” to me. My mum told me I’d have a good time if I went and played and that I’d regret it if I didn’t (I just realised that sounds like a threat haha, it wasn’t said in that way). How right she was.

My whole life is littered with examples of wasted opportunities, I never did anything at a young age while it is still acceptable to be less than perfect and you have chance to learn. For example, I never used to play football with the other boys. When I got to secondary school this would return to haunt me as we were forced to play in PE and I was obviously awful, embarrassingly awful at it. I used to get so worked up and anxious in the days leading up to PE, begging my mum for sick notes, forgetting my kit on purpose and ending up with my first detentions. It seems like most of my readers are women so maybe this sounds pretty inconsequential (not being sexist, I just think society seems to push boys and girls into different areas around that time in adolescence) but not being good at sports is a great way to make yourself unpopular and an outcast at that age.

There are literally hundreds of other things that I avoided rather than risk embarrassment which have hurt me massively in the long run. Not attending any social events is probably the biggest of these.

I wonder if it’s too late to repair this massive damage. I am literally an empty shell of person, devoid of any life experiences, significant or otherwise. At the moment I feel that it is too late for me. Maybe if I was 16 or younger then I’d have a shot, but I’m supposed to be climbing the career ladder and buying houses now, not worrying that I don’t know how to kiss or any other basic life skill that should have been learned 10 or 15 years ago.

This post is all over the place, I’m sorry. I only got a couple of hours sleep last night and I’ve barely eaten again so my concentration isn’t exactly brilliant at the moment. I highlighted the main bit in bold if you don’t want to read the whole lot.

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.