I was just reading Ruby’s latest post at her blog and it relates to something I’ve been worried about for a long time, even since before I first sought medical help for my problems. I’m scared that I will, once I reveal the extent and massive effects of my craziness, be told that there is nothing that can be done for me. I’m already skeptical about my chances, certainly none of the self help books or mental health professionals I’ve seen so far have any useful suggestions or even concept of what my life is like if I’m perfectly honest. What can almost be considered a standard text on social anxiety,
Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness, doesn’t offer me any real solutions. It seems to start from the premise that you are involved in social activities and similar things already but you just find them to be anxiety provoking. So far I haven’t found any useful advice for people who have been relentlessly told they are not good enough and therefore totally withdrew from society and are now socially stunted, massively inexperienced and have little to no self esteem.
All the books or website that I’ve read only seem to focus on one area, where as I feel like I have 3 main problems that feed off and cause one another to become worse; social anxiety/phobia, depression and chronically low self-esteem. It seems like the treatment for any one of these relies on doing something that the others make incredibly difficult, if not impossible. I have found many guides for overcoming depression, for example, that explain how you shouldn’t isolate yourself and it’s important to carry on seeing friends and going out. Now that isn’t really an option if you don’t have any friends, is it?
I find the main causes for my depressive episodes are; that I hate my appearance so much and I know it can’t be changed enough to make a difference, I have no friends, I don’t know how to make friends or interact socially, I’ve wasted my life and have no valuable experience or achievements, I’m ridiculously undeveloped and immature for my age, I crave love and affection but know that I will never have either, I know what it takes to be successful and that I am/have none of those things, I feel guilty because I have a comparatively easy life and some people would give anything for the opportunities I have. Lots of these also contribute to my anxiety and low self-esteem. It’s hard to put yourself into social situations when you believe that people smirking at you are trying to suppress laughter, as has happened to me before. I look in the mirror and see a hideously ugly, disgusting person. I simply cannot imagine anyone looking at me and not thinking the same. I’ll admit (because I’d like to think that I am at least honest, if nothing else) that sometimes I do the false modesty thing, but I’m really not kidding or exaggerating about this. It’s unfathomable that anyone could not find me at least highly unpleasant to look at. Now I know that there are uglier people out there, and some of them have even found somebody that loves them, but you must have to have a lot of other good qualities to make up for that.
Being quiet and severely unconfident already puts me way down in the attractiveness stakes, being hideous as well puts me pretty much at the bottom of the barrel. Both in friendly and romantic terms. Nobody wants to be friends with a boring, quiet, repulsive loner. People make assumptions about you from who you associate with, no-one wants the burden of a retard like me hanging around.
This all weighs heavily on my mind, I don’t believe in fate or anything like that, but I am intelligent enough to know where my life is heading, pretty much. There are people I knew of in school, I always knew they’d be successful and now they are. There are some who turned out to be not so successful, as I imagined. Maybe they’re happy having to look after children at such a young age, who knows? I’m trying not to come off as a judgemental bastard here, but let’s be honest, things are unlikely to change for me at this late stage in my development as a person.
At the psychiatrists, CBT assessment and various other times, I have been asked a question which I find unreasonably difficult to answer; “What do you want? How would you like to be different?”. I think I make things harder for myself and mental health professionals because I know what goes on behind the curtain. I’ll make it clear now, I really don’t know. I couldn’t say for sure at the moment. The way I make things more difficult though, is because I know that if I said something like (random example) I wanted to be able to perform on stage, then they’d set that as some kind of long term goal and make me do things to work towards that.
Trying to think what I want is a tiring and mostly pointless exercise at the moment. If we’re talking magic and time machines stuff, then I’d like to not have been born, please. There’s nothing I’ve ever experienced in life that makes it worth living through all the shit. I don’t see why it’s valued so much (I often wonder if everyone is as depressed as me but far better at dealing with/ignoring it sometimes). More practically (ignoring a lethal dose of heroin shot into my veins) I’m very uncertain and can only think of abstract things such as I’d like friends. It seem pointless to say such a thing though, “friends” aren’t some item that can be bought from the shops, I suppose what I really mean is that I’d like to have a personality and be rid of all the repulsive attributes about myself that make me impossible to like. I want to want to live, if that makes sense.
I can’t go back in time, so most of what I really want is out of the question. I’d like to have had friends as a teenager. I’d like to have gone out to the movies, bowling, whatever it is that young people do before they start buying cider and getting pissed in the local park. I’d like to have known what is what like to feel anything other than unrequited love for a girl. To have belonged. Maybe I wouldn’t be the twisted wreck of a human that I am now.
I can’t think of where I can go from here. I guess I’d like to graduate but it won’t change how much of a loser I am. I’ll never be able to make up that lost time. By the time I graduate, most people my age will probably have careers and be starting families and doing all that kind of “grown up” thing that people nearing their 30’s do. I don’t know what kind of woman would accept a man with less dating experience than the average 12 year old.
Apologies, I seem to have rambled on far longer than I intended to.