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 รฉlitist 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.

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14 thoughts on “Getting “help”

  1. Cheryl

    Oh bugger, I posted my comments by replying to the new website post instead of this one, spot the newbie!!!! LOL.
    Here’s my previous comments which I SHOULD have posted here, please forgive me hun.
    I was in tears reading this site. I bet if I met you in the street I wouldn’t know you as this ‘weirdo’ you have portrayed. In fact, I reckon from having read your incredibly sad online diary, you are one of the most sensitive and caring people god put on this earth.
    I consider myself a freak too. I look goddam awful, I’m a 36yr old woman, ok so I have a fab boyfriend, but when ever he wants to go out, I have to psyche myself up for about a week before hand otherwise I just can’t face it. I have the most disgusting teeth you’ve ever seen, therefore I hardly ever smile and … yup… I am labeled (in my mind anyway) as a miserable bitch. I am a fun loving person trapped in an antisocial appearance. Yes it gets me down. BIG time. I am even in a LOT of pain for days on end because I have severe dental phobia (thought I’d better chip that in there before you start saying ‘well go to the bloody dentist then!’ – if only it were that simple!!!!!!! I tried that and it was AGONY and put me off even more. The pain is what is driving me to suicide, not my appearance, ohhhh the irony!).
    Ooops I’m so sorry, I went slightly off subject there! You see, that’s what I think we all have in common. We’re all self obsessed in some way, whether we admit it or not. Lets just stop and think what we can GIVE to the world. We’re not selfish people. The fact that you have written on this subject is no doubt not solely a cry for help, but also you hope it will help others, or you’ll find like-minded souls. We hear you hun, we hear you loud and clear and hope you’ll stay with us. We’re all here to learn. I learn new things every day. I can completely understand why you are sooooo down on yourself. I have NO friends except my boyfriend, and I am convinced that even his parents hate me coz I am sooooo bad at socialising. I just know that it’s my parents fault for wrapping me in cotton wool from day one. No socialisation when I was younger, no friends over for tea, don’t speak unless you’re spoken to, etc etc. I could go on forever.
    Anyway, believe it or not there’s a point to this ๐Ÿ™‚
    I sincerely, with all my heart, hope you can see that being different is not bad. It’s unique. You are you. No one else is. If no one else likes it, TOUGH.
    I am going to get my hair done for the Christmas season and live it up like I have never done before. I don’t feel like I have lived. You live you life as you want to sweetie, if someone is a true friend, they’ll stick by you no matter what. They won’t judge you and put you down. That’s what YOU’RE for LOL.
    I hope in some way my waffling makes you smile and feel a little better. It really helps writing about stuff doesn’t it. It’s SOOOO hard to talk face to face about such personal feelings and thoughts.
    All the best to you sweetheart. You are young, but you will learn ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Cheryl – that was a really sweet comment … very sincere. I hope it really does help him ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nick, u’ve been through dark times before and u’ve made it through. once u realise u can live only for urself and to please urself and start working for that, i think ull be able to use the lessons learnt from those dark times.

    u are stronger than you believe … keep moving forward friend ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Nick

    I’m sorry you feel like that, Cheryl. I doubt you are as ugly as you feel if your boyfriend loves you. I’m scared of dentists too, and anyone else who evaluates and examines you. Being different isn’t bad if you are different in a good way. I just lack everything that people find desirable in a friend or partner. I don’t think that uniqueness is anything to be proud of. I’ve not had a true friend since I was a child and never will, so I don’t need to worry about anyone sticking by me. Good luck with everything, you sound a much better person than me.

    uncensored, I don’t think I’m strong for carrying on – I’m just too weak and afraid to do what needs to be done.

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  4. Mina

    Hi
    I just want to say that you should see the positive side of things as well: You are coping in unfamiliar settings and you have at least attempted to talk to some people on your course and get on with your flatmates. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Please don’t be so negative in your descriptions of yourself, especially in real life, because people will believe you. I hope you don’t mind me saying that I think you have a skewed and exaggerated vision of how others see you.
    I would advise you to continue making the effort, whether by volunteering an answer in a tutorial, by making some small-talk with people, or just simply by smiling at people like your flatmates. It will probably be worth it in the end.
    Small talk can consist of simple things such as asking someone from a tutorial, or that you know is on the same course as you:
    “Hey, have you done the assignment yet? [space for answer] …what did you think of it?”
    Or “terrible weather isn’t it?” Or “What do you think of the new lecturer?”
    By asking this sort of question, you end up sounding sociable and considerate, while not having to say all that much, just nodding and listening can do the trick. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also,try to introduce yourself to your flatmate’s friends, you don’t need to say much, but it will seem much more friendly than avoiding them directly, even if you do leave straight away and go back to your room.
    And please realise that people don’t judge you as harshly as you judge yourself, and even if you think that they are, just smile at them before giving up.

    I hope that I’m being helpful and that I don’t sound patronising or anything, – If I do I don’t mean it. The above is basically the stuff that I discovered after a torturous attempt to become more sociable (It helped me anyway) and I hope that you can use it to improve your situation a bit.
    Good luck! Mina ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Nick

    Thank you Mina, I do appreciate your advice and as far as social things go, it’s not really possible to patronise me.

    I’m not being too negative about myself, just realistic. I think you have things the wrong way round; I believe the negative things because other people have said and done them to me many times over the years. They already believe them so it doesn’t matter what I say, not that I talk to anyone in real life about anything of substance anyway.

    You can think I have a skewed vision of how people see me, but you don’t know what I look or act like. Maybe before I go and it won’t done any harm, I’ll post a picture of myself so you can see I’m right. (Sorry if that sounded hostile, I didn’t mean it to)

    Hmm I don’t have tutorials or seminars so whenever I go to lectures, people just sit with their friends and I’d feel stupid sitting down next to them when there are other available seats. I already did that once by mistake and got berated for stealing someone’s place so they couldn’t sit with the rest of their little group ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    The most I manage to say to my flat mates is just stupid things like “have you got any more lectures today?”. I feel like I’m intruding where I’m not wanted if I go into the kitchen (the only shared room). They all hang around with the people from the opposite flat now and I don’t know any of their names or anything. I’d feel ridiculous introducing myself now because they’ll wonder who the hell I am and why they haven’t seen me around before even though they are always here.

    I don’t get any chance to talk to people from my course, the only time I see them is in lectures. They don’t want me near them in any case, nobody want a hideous looking loner around.

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  6. Cheryl

    Hi again.
    Firstly, thanks all for your lovely comments. I have to say my boyfriend is my rock. Without him I’d probably think just like Nick. Infact, some days I do feel just like Nick even with my boyfriend (I’ll call him Simon from now on) and there’s nothing Simon can say to talk me out of my ‘I’m not good for anything or anyone’ moods.
    Our minds are incredibly cruel. When we have too much time on our hands, we let things float around up there and everything turns into a snow ball, and the more we think about stuff the bigger the snowball gets and everything seems hopeless.
    My advice hun: let everyone else get on with their lives, get on with your own, keep yourself really busy. And when you do meet that special someone, and/or a true friend, they’ll come to you ๐Ÿ™‚
    You are soooo young and your negativity is very real to you now, but it’s scary to the rest of us and may actually put people off you…and don’t you dare say they’re put off you already! You have met a handful of what appear to be idiots wrapped up in their own lives with no care for others. You are NOT like that. You have PROVED that by caring about what others think of you! You CARE about the impression you give when you meet people…THEY CLEARLY DON’T because they have been horrible to you and sound like they are not worth knowing anyway! Personally I don’t value their opinion for one moment. It is what you think of yourself which defines who you are hun. I hope what I am writing here doesn’t sound like I think it’s easy to change your opinion because I know it’s not, not at all. Like I said, I have good and bad days, but ultimately my good and bad days are dictated by MY state of mind, no one elses. If you approach someone with the preconception that they’ll reject it you, that to me sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ok so if you have that attitude then you won’t be disappointed if you are rejected, but what you have to realise is that it is THEIR loss and NOT yours. If they reject YOU, THEY are the worse person! THEY only care about themselves and not how YOU feel. YOU are much more of a good person than them just be definition!
    Wow, that was some lecture huh!? Here endeth today’s lesson ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope some day, some how, you’re negative feelings will disperse and you’ll become the positive person with the wonderful qualities we can all see you have just by how to care so much.
    Lots of hugs to you and all who are in the same boat xxx

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  7. Nick

    I have never had a girl remotely interested in me and never will. I wish I could think that at least one person I’ve come into contact with had found me attractive or desirable in any way, but I can’t take comfort in it because it hasn’t happened.

    get on with your own [life], keep yourself really busy. And when you do meet that special someone, and/or a true friend, theyโ€™ll come to you

    I have no life. There’s no chance of me meeting a friend because my life is spent alone because I don’t know anyone to go anywhere with.

    You are soooo young and your negativity is very real to you now, but itโ€™s scary to the rest of us and may actually put people off youโ€ฆand donโ€™t you dare say theyโ€™re put off you already! You have met a handful of what appear to be idiots wrapped up in their own lives with no care for others.

    I’m almost in my mid twenties, it’s already far too late for me to ever be normal. People my age have careers, homes, relationships. I’m not even beyond the stage of a 12 year old. My peers will be buying houses and getting married and I’ll still be wondering what it is like to kiss someone or hold someone’s hand. I’m a pathetic screw up. Of course people are already put off me, I don’t know how to talk, be social, I’m repulsively ugly. The people I’ve met are typical, people aren’t nice to mentally screwed up hideous monsters. The best I can hope for is pity.

    It is what you think of yourself which defines who you are hun.

    In that case I am a disgusting, hideous, mentally deficient, boring, depressing, arrogant, selfish, socially stunted creep.

    Ok so if you have that attitude then you wonโ€™t be disappointed if you are rejected, but what you have to realise is that it is THEIR loss and NOT yours. If they reject YOU, THEY are the worse person!

    No, I wouldn’t blame them at all for rejecting me. There plenty of reasons to reject me and none to accept me. It doesn’t mean they are a bad person, just that they aren’t stupid.

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  8. Cheryl

    Ok honey. Big hugs to you. You seem to have it all mapped in your mind and nothing can change it (at least not at the moment).
    Can someone please read this site and help Nick?
    I can’t answer that last post, I am not qualified and do not want to make you post even more negatively which is what seems to have happened. I sincerely wish I could help but it seems I can’t.
    I won’t be coming back here for fear of doing more damage than good, but I sincerely hope that your wildest dreams and hopes are realised one day.
    Lots of love to you Nick
    There are people in this world who care more about you than you seem to and I hope they can help you
    xxx

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  9. you are stronger than u believe.

    u need to believe in urself and accept that u do have achievements. they may not be “normal” like u say, but u have overcome obstacles and u should be proud.

    please be strong and believe in urself

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  10. Mina

    Hi,
    I’m sorry about my message above, I think the tone didn’t come across quite the way I wanted it to.
    You are right that I can’t make any real judgments about you apart from what I get from reading your blog.
    But I do want to say that the reason that I said that I think you have a skewed vision of yourself is that you seem like a perfectly nice, intelligent person from this blog, and I can’t bring myself to believe all the negative things that you say about yourself.
    Just take the compliments and be happy that there are people that don’t think of you in negative terms, even if it is only the internet. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hugs.

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  11. Dudious

    Thanks for sharing your story dude. I have a “bowling” day at work later this week and I’m scared shitless because I don’t talk to anyone at work. I have trouble talking to any of them usually its just.. so what did you get up to on the weekend.. they say their thing and thats about it. Problem is half the time I can’t even hear them as I’m deaf. I can only really hear family members as they know how to talk clearly.

    I haven’t had any friends either I was more of a “follower” I just follow people around so I don’t have to sit by myself. Sure they make fun of me but its better then nothing.

    I like yourself get jealous at people who can easily have a conversation with someone about nothing. Although not as jealous of people with girlfriends n’ whatnot. I’m in my mid 20s also and it seems like its too late. Other people our age seem to already be well on their way with life.. having travelling around the bit.. had many girlfriends.. gotten laid.. etc. Yet we sit here and read our books and type away at the computer.

    Though of course people fail to realise we have tried. I’ve tried a great many groups.. bushwalking.. gaming.. tennis.. soccer.. dancing.. etc. But doing those things doesn’t all of a sudden give you the ability to socialise.

    I understand your concept of “normal” too. People just don’t get that half of the stuff that they do and take for granted we have a lot of trouble even trying.

    You know one thing I do though.. I knows its morbid.. but it works for me so it may work for you too. I say to myself that I could easily be gone the very next day if I wanted to. No more worries. If this is the case then why should I care about what happens today.. I don’t give a crap about the fact that you’re not talking to me.. I don’t give a crap I froze up when talking to such n’ such a girl.. whatever.. fark it.

    By the way your consultant sounds like a dickhead. My consultant would never talk to me like that I think you should find a new one. He doesn’t even understand the concept of having social anxiety.. of course you haven’t done normal boy stuff.. going out with the lads. If you’ve done that you wouldn’t have a problem in the first place.

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