Numb

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I have been awake since midday on Wednesday, the last few weeks attempt at sleep have generally me lying there tossing and turning until the wee hours before giving up and downing a zopiclone, which are become ever less effective as tolerance builds (that’s my own fault for taking them longer than Dr recommended). Wednesday night I decided to try and reset my body clock and just stay up until I felt ready to sleep, and I’m only just feeling drowsy now. I don’t know if the increased (30mg) paroxetine/seroxat has anything to do with it. My GP doesn’t think so but all I know is that it hasn’t helped whatsoever with depression/anxiety and the embarrassing side effects are there.

I can’t help but feel I am just treading water, running out the clock before I finally get the motivation to write an adequate explanation for killing myself and getting it over with. I can’t see what I have to live for any more, life’s passed me by and no matter how hard I try to play at being a real person, I just can’t do it. I don’t belong, I don’t fit anywhere.

The student loan company has decided not to lend me any tuition fees again next year, my mum’s boyfriend lent me vast amounts for the first year and he’s giving me some towards this years but I have to make up more of it myself and I don’t know how I’m going to do it. How can I go to a job interview and sell myself when inside I am wondering how I am going to be able to find a place where I can be undisturbed for 36 hours while I die. I can’t bring myself to make plans for the future because I half know that I won’t be here and it seems futile. I’ve exhausted all options from the mental health services besides being locked up, and I can’t see how that will help me at all. Maybe I am a danger to myself, but what if I always will be? I strongly believe suicide can be rational and I don’t see many counter arguments to say why I deserve or should want to stick around in this world for much longer.

I’m off to try and sleep now.

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.

New Psychiatrist and Self Loathing

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After a 1 hour 20 minute wait with the Daily Express for company (ugh) I finally got to go in and see the psychiatrist I’ve been transferred to. He seemed like a pleasant enough guy, he listened patiently while I answered the same questions that I’ve been asked seemingly hundreds of times. When, where and how I get anxious, what I was like at school and so on.

One of his questions threw me though. He asked whether I was sexually active, something nobody else has felt necessary to enquire about (it’s evident that I am not just by looking at me) and when I responded no he asked when I last was. I thought the uncomfortable silence and throat clearing might have tipped him off but I had to say the horrible words myself; “I never have been”. He seemed rather taken aback by this and later on asked if I have or ever had a girlfriend and later on made one of the most ludicrous suggestions I have heard yet. “You should have sex” he said. As if it was something so simple, that I could go out and do on the way back after I pop out to the shops or something. I don’t know whether he has some kind of logical disconnect, I’d already explained to him that I cannot even talk to or form friendships with the people in my classes whom I see every day.

It will improve your self esteem, he tells me. You will enjoy it. No shit. I want to scream out in anger and furious jealously every time someone talks about having relationships, one night stands or whatever like anyone can just go out and do it. This stuff made me feel that horrible pain deep inside. Not the dull hopelessness, the “I want to kill myself right now rather than live another second as this pathetic creature” feeling. He commented on my age and told me that I need to change and stop accepting other people’s opinions of me as 100% accurate and form my own opinions about myself. At this point there is no difference though. I don’t know if there is a philosophical term for how I feel, but to me, nothing matters except what other people think. If all that mattered was how good you felt about yourself then insane people who think they are Napoleon or whatever would be considered the worlds most sucessful and aspirational figures, not the talented and attractive people we actually do look up to.

I was too saddened and quite shocked to explain to him the grim reality of being such a loser. It doesn’t take long to find examples of what a crap situation I am in. Even the examples in these sites (there is very little material out there that doesn’t refer to that film which name haunts me or religious claptrap about older virgins) don’t address the extra layer of utter pathetic inexperience that I unfortunately possess. I am a million miles away from even kissing a girl and I’m twenty-fucking-four. Has anyone ever been so god damned sheltered, ugly and such a loser and recovered from it? I sincerely doubt it unless a lottery win was involved somehow.

I really honestly want to kill myself whenever this topic enters my head. I’m probably about to make myself sound like a horrible snob here but I feel seething jealousy whenever I’m in my local town, which is a grotty place full of single teenage mothers and chavs and I see prospectless, petty criminals who manage to have some kind of relationship and I know that I never will. It’s times like that when I HATE myself for not realising earlier what life is all about and what you need to be successful. Hindsight is so wonderful. I wish I could travel back in time and tell my 11 year old self that being “clever” doesn’t count for shit in this world. It’s all about making connections with people and being outspoken and confident. Don’t waste fucking time being a goody good and thinking that not getting involved with usual teenage activities makes you superior. It makes you liable to turn out into a fucked up waste of a space that I am now.

I seriously might as well be a robot. I doubt anyone would notice. I have no capacity for forming relationships. I’m far too ugly and un-humanlike to ever have any hope whatsoever of getting with any girl. I can only bear the crushing realisations and watch my dreams torn down in front of my eyes in quiet reserved fashion for so much longer. I’m like the shy teen that never grew up, everyone else around me became adults and now people 5 years younger than me have overtaken me too.

I’m sick, so fucking sick of being such a useless sack of shit. Why do they want me to live like this? So I’ll devastate my parents if I kill myself, do they think about how devastating it is to live every single day as me? I wish I could make them try it for a few months. Days and days on end with not so much as a conversation, let alone any physical contact. Respect and being treated as a social equal? Forget it.

I genuinely wish I hadn’t left my pills at uni, it’d be risky being discovered too soon here but I really don’t think I can take much more of this. Damn that stupid bridge barrier.

Despair

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pain weighing down coping resources

I’ve tried everything that I’m supposed to do. I’ve had a month long back and forth email conversation with Samaritans, tried to distract myself, talked to my family. A few months ago I went to the hospital of my own accord and told them I felt like I was in danger of killing myself and they spoke to me for a while and sent the crisis team round afterwards. None of this has changed anything in the long run. The problems are still there and they are deep lying and in some cases insurmountable.

The time has come when I can’t stop thinking to myself “Why bother?” I don’t think the pain is worth enduring any more. Life is no fun at all for me, I get no enjoyment from anything and I see no future worth looking forward to. Everything from now onwards will be a downward spiral of misery, loneliness and ever-increasing mockery and disgust from others.

What reasons do I have to carry on? I can’t think of any particularly good ones. Sparing my mum the grief is all I can think of that is stopping me right now but I don’t know how much longer that will keep my alive. Is saving her that pain worth keeping myself miserable and utterly despondent for however long she has to live? I don’t know, maybe for once in my life I will be selfish. I have no friends to leave behind, my funeral will be an empty place. Whenever you hear about a young persons untimely death on TV, people always say “He was so full of life and always laughing, everyone loved him”. If anyone was asked about me they’d probably think “He was so withdrawn and sullen, I was in his class for 10 years and he never said a word” before lying with a similar cliched load of rubbish. I can’t say anyone’d be surprised, I’ve always been “that guy” wherever I’ve studied, lived or worked.

I’m getting tired of thinking about the future. It’s a black hole of pathetic loneliness for me. I don’t want to rot away in some single bedroom flat, holing myself up in there day after day like I have done for the past 20 odd years. There are people on the social anxiety forums who are in their mid thirties and forties who are in that position, some of them still living with their parents and I can foresee exactly that same thing happening to me. I can’t live that life, I won’t let the people who laughed and tortured me have their theories proven right. I’ll take eternal nothingness over that.

The jealousy I experience every day is getting too much. When I went to the arboretum in my home town, there were lots of people around my age there sitting together in groups and just chatting or reading. It makes me want to cry because I’d love so much to be able to do such simple (and probably mundane to most) things. Instead I walked alone, trying to avoid looking like a drug dealer or homeless crazy person. Being an outcast is intolerably painful because there’s no end to it. The only solace I ever got was becoming a hermit and never seeing anyone or what I was missing out on. I can’t take that any more though, that was the cause of my first suicidal break down. I think it was 18 months with no human contact other than my parents and sister.

What triggered my break down was seeing a documentary about older virgins and a guy who decided at 23 (now younger than I am) to pay an escort to have sex with him. I realised how pathetic and what a monster people think of such losers like him. He was a joke, the whole point of the program seemed designed to mock and make a spectacle of these weirdos who were so undesirable they had to pay someone to like them. I’m not proud of this but after about a decade since puberty and having no experience whatsoever (I don’t think I even started a conversation with a girl when I was in secondary school, I can’t remember ever doing it anyway) kind of gets to you.. I considered doing the same thing briefly. The more I thought about it, the worse idea it became of course. Beyond the moral ramifications, I realised that even a woman who was being paid would probably refuse to come within 2 feet of me.

I don’t want this post to make me sound like some kind of sex crazed maniac, I’m far from it. I think humans have a need to express affection and love though. I need which I have never and will never get to fulfill. I’m far, far to messed up in the head and monstrously ugly to ever know what it’s like to hold another person close, despite how much I crave it. The agonising pain of seeing every girl I have ever liked go off with someone else, never realising I existed will always be there. I have no redeeming qualities and it would be delusional to think otherwise.

It’s been a long time now and I’ve given a lot of thought to it. It’s not a rash decision, I think tonight may be the night. I don’t feel like crying, just numb. I have the pills, I just need time alone.

Mixed Feelings

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I came back home today and found a letter from the psychotherapy place, they’ve offered to put me on the waiting list for cognitive behavioural therapy but couldn’t tell me how long it’ll take until I can see someone more specifically than “several months”. I’d hoped that it would be sooner than that, although I suppose I’m lucky to get the opportunity at all without having to pay for it. By the time it starts I’ll probably have finished university for the summer, which puts me in the bizarre situation of being back at home but not being around anyone who I know.

It’s going to be difficult to make any progress when I don’t even have to opportunity for any socialising, at least when I’m at uni I could see and say a few words to a person I know every day if I wanted to. When I’m at home, there’s nobody except my family, who I have no problem talking to. I dumbfounded my psychiatrist by telling him this last time, I wouldn’t accept that there was no-one I could ring up and arrange to meet. “No friends? How about a friend of the family?” Nope, sorry doc. I’ve told them this before, I’m sure they don’t listen or they think I’m exaggerating. I really sat at home and didn’t speak to anyone outside my family for months and months. Nobody wants to know me, it’s obvious to me why that is, but they either don’t listen or don’t care (probably both). The place where I live doesn’t help things either, there is literally nothing but houses around here. There isn’t even a shop any more, you have to walk for about half an hour to get to another housing area where there is a Spar. Hardly a vibrant and inspiring place. The local town is a rough area and pretty much consists of £1 shops and bookies. If you tried to strike up a conversation with someone there you’d probably get knifed.

It’s very disheartening to think about how long this would all take if I try to stick with it. I’ve already been waiting over a year since I realised CBT is what I need and it’ll probably be another 6 months before I’d even get to make a start on things. Another package arrived today as well, a way out. I’m not sure how long I can stop myself from using it. I walked around the house with a suicide note in my pocket for 4 days last week, distraction only works for so long.

Getting “help”

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I’ve all but given up on making this blog useful, apologies if you came here expecting something helpful.

I had another psychiatrist appointment last week. I faced the dilemma that many people with mental illness have to deal with; whether to say the right things, jump through their metaphorical hoops and and take the easy way out, or whether to face up to the hard task of telling it how it is and facing the consequences of that. Last time I took the first approach, she seemed quite pleased with the progress I was making. In the days leading up to my latest appointment though, I’ve been feeling extremely hopeless and suicidal again. It often seems to disappear as soon as I get the chance to talk to someone about it and I feel like I’m being overly dramatic by bringing it up but this time I was determined to speak the truth about it.

I haven’t been feeling the desperation that I did before, I don’t feel the need to go out there this minute and do it, it’s more of a realisation what my life is going to be like. The horrible truth hangs over me every day, reinforced more and more with every failed social interaction, every rejection, every person staring and laughing. I feel crushing jealousy as I see people with friends, even glancing at groups studying together brings out a great sadness in me. I am totally alone here, and everywhere except in my home. I can no longer see how I’m going to get past the fact that I am hopelessly socially retarded, my appearance scares people and I am incredibly boring. There’s too much to overcome before anyone would even be remotely interested in knowing me, never mind the fact that I’ve already established myself as the weirdo loner here. It could be worse, at least I know a couple of people’s names, but I never dare interrupt their groups to talk to them, even if I could think of something to say.

I managed to tell the psychiatrist that I have been having the thoughts again and then of course I had to talk to the terrifying consultant. He’s incredibly intense, always staring and picks apart everything you say. I already over analyse the way I say every single thing to make sure it’s no misinterpreted but he sends me into overdrive. It can take me 30 seconds to answer a simple question, I get scared he’s going to get angry at what I say, especially after he smashed his fist on the table after I deigned to ask about anti-anxiety medication. The end result of it all was that he didn’t seem to think I was serious about it and just upped my venlafaxine to 225mg and said I’d benefit from one to one psychotherapy. I was referred a couple of months ago but still haven’t heard anything.

I don’t know what to do with myself now. I wish it was possible to transfer a confident person into my situation (of course no normal person would be in this position in the first place) and see what they’d do. I simply have no idea. I could carry on going to lectures, sitting alone and speaking to no-one for practically the entire week. I’m scared of the people my flatmates bring around here, I’ve missed several meals because I’ve been too afraid to leave my room and go into the loud, social atmosphere of the kitchen.

I’m so screwed up, laughter scares me now. If I here a group of people (especially men) laughing it just triggers a fear response inside me. I suppose it’s some kind of Pavlovian response after all the years of mocking and torment but I wish I didn’t feel like it. I don’t have a clue how I’m ever going to be normal*.

* Now I know the usual response to this is that “nobody is normal” or normal people aren’t interesting, but that’s not what I mean. I think most people would agree it is pretty normal to have at least one friend. It’s reasonably normal to be capable of going out somewhere without being crippled by fear of being laughed at and humiliated. I’d love to have someone to talk to, who I didn’t feel like I had to put on a show just to seem like less of a freak to.

I was asked some difficult questions by the consultant; “Have you ever had any close friends?” Not since I was a young child. He asked about when I was about 15; “Lads have mates who they go out and do ‘lad’ things with” he said. Not me. I had people I hung around with in school because I was too scared to leave them (they bullied me as much or worse than the other people) but I never had the slightest desire to spend any more time than absolutely necessary with them. I never saw them outside of school. I’ve been a loner for the vast majority of my life, but that isn’t how I want to be. I’d say the problem is probably made worse by two enormous problems. First, I am not the kind of person people like. I’m no fun to be around, I’m far too quiet and I don’t like drunkenness and parties, I look hideous, I’m probably too arrogant and élitist in my own introverted way. Second, I lack the basic skills that seem to come naturally to other people, probably through trial and error when they were younger and social faux-pas weren’t as heavily punished. I find it incredibly hard to explain just how little I know about how to interact with people, a lot of people think they are “shy” or whatever, but I’ve not come across many as socially maladjusted as me. I know nothing about what people do, I know they don’t spend every waking hour reading or on the computer like me but all I have for reference is what I see on TV and in movies (which I do realise aren’t realistic, by the way). I feel completely out of place as a human adult.