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 Quarter of a Century of Disappointment

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This Sunday will be my birthday, I’ll be 25. I think that even though I had low expectations, if you showed my younger self what I’d be like at age 25 it would come as a huge disappointment.

I seem to have missed out that part in life where you are supposed to “grow up”. I know people will inevitably tell me that 25 isn’t old etc etc but by this age you should have at least moved on from a simple chilidish emotional state of being. I still have the exact same feelings now as I did when I was 5 years old, the terror I felt when going to school and being forced to be around other children, the isolation and desperate longing to get away from it all. In many ways I haven’t moved on at all since then.

Apparently most people go through some kind of the stereotypical rebellion as teenagers, wanting independence and all that. I never felt that way; most likely because I’ve never had any friends with who I wanted to stay out late or go into town with or whatever. I never went to any parties or even hung out with people outside of school. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than having to be with the people who made my life such hell for 7 hours a day any longer than was strictly necessary.

It is this lack of any social development that has led me to be in the sorry state I am now. Afraid to leave my room unless I am sure there is no-one outside my door and I have to pretend to be happy, or at least not utterly miserable, a challenge which becomes greater every day. No matter how good their intentions, there are only a few people who I actually like to see and spend time with and this is only because they are either related to me and so have always known me or I have met because they suffer from similar problems.

Just lately I feel as though I have been moving backwards. I live with 2 other people at my uni house and I haven’t said more than 2 sentences to them over the past month that I have been in that house. I consciously avoid them more than ever, more than I did last year when we were even less familiar with each other. The thing that bothers me most is how physically scared I feel whenever I hear one of their boyfriends in the house. I don’t know whether this stems from some sort of jealousy, he is almost the exact opposite of me in every way from what I can tell, confident and outspoken, popular and would almost certainly find my behaviour to be completely alien. I am terrified when I hear his voice though, or him thudding up the stairs. I have confined myself to my room late into the night when I was desperate to go to the bathroom and had to be up early the following day because I was too afraid to cross the living room where they were watching TV.

I don’t know how a person as crippled by such bizarre issues will ever be able to function in the real world. One day I won’t have my mums house to retreat to every weekend. I am already living beyond my means by buying sandwiches and eating out because I am afraid to spend 10 minutes in the kitchen cooking in case I am trapped into an awkward social situation.

A perfect storm of circumstances seems to be forming. The dark winter months, a stark reminder of  how immature I am, the increasingly difficult work at university are all conspiring to make me feel overwhelmed and unable to cope any more. I missed my CBT appointment while I was off over Christmas and he left a voicemail on my mobile which I haven’t yet dared to check and won’t dare to call back anyway. I don’t know what else I can do, nobody can help. I can’t expect to be bailed out all the time and I just cannot cope on my own, I am simply not good enough.

I feel sorry for my parents. Live or die, they are still stuck with a pathetic loser of a son. I can’t help but feel that a tragic loss for them would be better than a continuing disappointment for the rest of time.

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.

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.