Scared

Why oh why did I arrange to meet yet another new person? 🙁 I’m so scared about this, I know the person in question from a social networking site and she doesn’t know that I have SA so this is much scarier to me than meeting other SA sufferers. We’re going to the Tate Modern and generally wandering around London so I’ll be on the train again tomorrow (definitely going to leave plenty of time to get back this time). I am severely doubting my ability to maintain the facade of being a normal, vaguely interesting person for an entire day. If I hadn’t already bought tickets then I’d have backed out of it but I’m committed now.

Ugh, time to dose myself up on sleeping pills and try to get some rest before the ordeal begins.

I Am a Failure

So after a brief period of feeling alright, I’m finding it hard not to think about being dead again. My therapist seems to think that my meeting new people should make me feel better but it hasn’t really helped much. If I were to look at what happened objectively, these attempts at socialising just reinforced what a quiet and uninteresting person I am. I barely said anything of note and while I had a nice time with my friend at the weekend, I can’t help but feel it must have been excruciating to spend time with someone as dull as me.

I don’t think I’m ever going to escape these feelings, even in these “make believe” social events, I am still useless and stand no chance when I’m eventually going to have to try and get on with people who don’t know what SA is or care about how difficult simple conversations are for me.

*Sigh* hopefully I’ll be better tomorrow.

Alcohol

I meant to write about this a while ago but never got around to it. One thing that worries me more than most about socialising with people is the fact that I don’t (and can’t at the moment) drink alcohol which makes me extremely unusual among people my age. I won’t go into too much detail why I don’t, but it involves several horrible experiences with someone very close to me which I never want to repeat again. I’ve never had a worse day in my life, it left me feeling depersonalised for a week afterwards and I never want to act the way they did. I also don’t want to become reliant on it if I find that it allows me to escape my anxiety around people.

Heading off to university usually involves getting seriously drunk for most people and I am worrying that I will be even more of an outcast because I really don’t want to do that. Partly because of the reasons above and partly because I’m afraid of losing control of myself, that is extremely scary to me. I’ve only been slightly drunk once before and I didn’t like it at all and have no desire to repeat that, and I couldn’t even if I wanted to because of my medication. I don’t know how to explain to people why I don’t drink, telling someone that usually results in the same reaction as saying that you like to torture kittens in your spare time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t look down on people for drinking and I’m not condescending about it at all, but people that have found out so far have had a lot of trouble with it.

I already feel very different from most people my age, I have hardly any life experience and most of the things that I like are considered “boring”. I can just imagine that I am going to be as shunned and made a figure of mockery by people again, just as I always have been.

Had a Great Time

I didn’t back out! We had a very nice time in London, the film was saw was brilliant and although we were both quiet and somewhat nervous I think we got on well. It is quite strange to be with someone else who has SA and knows that you have it, it’s a big relief because you both know what the other person is going through and from the few SA sufferers that I’ve met, they seem to be very nice and understanding. It is also a little weird meeting someone in person for the first time when you have been talking on the internet for a long time. I’m too tired to write what I mean at the moment, hopefully I’ll write about it later.

Hopefully we’ll be able to meet up again, it’s a shame that we live so far apart because travelling makes me very tired. I only just managed to get my train back from London – I had to run! That was probably the most anxious I was the entire time, getting stuck somewhere is a big phobia of mine and even though I usually leave more than enough time to get back from places we got a bit lost and I only just made it. It was really hot and humid and because I ran, my face was sweating even more than usual (it happens when I’m anxious and makes me feel even worse) then I had to fight my way through people on the train and ask someone to move out of my reserved seat. Ugh.

Meeting People

I’m going into London tomorrow to meet a friend from the internet. We’ve been talking most days since last December and get on very well and she has SA too so it shouldn’t be too nerve wracking in theory, but I’m still getting quite anxious about it. The thing that keeps running through my head is that I’ll be so boring to spend time with and she’ll be wishing for the time to go quickly so she can escape 🙁 I’ve told her that I’m worried about being boring and she reassured me that I won’t be, and that she feels the same way. I find that hard to take on board though, maybe it’s because of my low self esteem. Whenever I’m in any social situation, I always feel responsible for any lulls in the conversation or awkward moments, even though logically I know that it may not always be my fault, I simply cannot believe it in my heart of hearts.

Despite all this, I’m determined to go anyway (I’ve booked my tickets and everything now). Meeting up with my friend is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity so I really want to take advantage of it. We’re going to watch The Dark Knight in Leicester Square which should be fun, and at least will give us another topic of conversation.

A Minor Triumph

A couple of weeks ago I met up with some people from the UK social anxiety forum and we went to the cinema together. I was quite pleased with myself that I’d managed to do something sociable for the first time in absolutely ages. Anyway, I didn’t find that too challenging because there’s not a lot of interaction when you go to watch a film.

Yesterday though, I met up with the same couple of people and we went for a walk in the park and sat around and talked for a couple of hours! I was quite amazed that I managed to speak a lot (for me..) even though I was the most quiet of the 3 of us. It felt pretty strange to be out in public with people, I actually managed to relax for a few brief moments. It may not sound like a lot, but I am quite proud of myself for managing to do it 🙂

Bell tower at the Arboretum
Bell tower at the Arboretum

A Few Updates

Thanks for the kind comments, they did help me feel better in what has been a very rough week for me. I felt more suicidal than I have since 2006 and I honestly thought it might come to that 🙁

I’ve got a bit better, things don’t seem quite as hopeless now though I am feeling guilty because my sister found out because one of my online friends told her. I’m not mad at her for doing that, I didn’t leave her much choice. It was selfish of me to talk about such matters and scare her. My mum has found out as well now and left me a letter asking me not to do anything drastic 🙁 I can’t bring myself to discuss this out loud with her so I’m just acting as if nothing happened at the moment. Not healthy, I know, but I’m used to this kind of head-in-the-sand way of being.

Last night I got an email from the online friend of mine who had disappeared for over 5 months. I was so overjoyed to hear from her again, I had being trying to reach her for so long and sometimes feared the worst since she has depression, OCD and SA. Thankfully she is ok, though she was obviously feeling really guilty and was very apologetic. I was just so happy, the first time I’d felt that way in a long time.

I’m going to make a proper post later, I’m just so tired at the moment because I didn’t sleep at all last night so I’ve been up for 32 hours now..

Depression

Slightly modified version of a post I made on a forum today

I thought I’d been making some progress over the last few months. I’ve got close to my long term goal of going back to university after I dropped out a few years ago, I’ve been accepted and now I’ve just got to wait until the time comes and hope that I’m still feeling like I can manage it.

Despite this, over the last week I’ve been feeling awful and thinking a lot about suicide again 🙁 I really don’t feel like I am going to be able to cope with the harsh realities of life. I have trouble even interacting with the understanding and kind social anxiety sufferers that I’ve met, there’s no hope for me dealing with the majority of people who are obnoxious and rude. I’m sick of feeling that no-one will ever like me (I have no real life friends) because of how utterly boring and uninteresting I am to 99.99999% of people. I know a lot of people with SA feel the same way, but I honestly think it is true in my case because I don’t enjoy things that most people consider fun and I can’t relate to the vast majority of people either. 

On top of this, and what I fear causes me to be most undesirable, even more than my horrendous social inadequacies, is the fact that my physical appearance is so disgusting to people. If I have to look in the mirror, I just see a monster, I don’t even look like a real person. To others, I appear like I have some kind of mental disability (I can’t think of an inoffensive way to describe what I mean) and people generally assume that I’m “retarded”. 

I’ve spoken to my therapist recently about my issues with my appearance, but I don’t think she understands the trouble that it causes me. I don’t appreciate being patronised by her pretending not to know what is plainly obviously wrong with the way I look 🙁 There’s no way I can change it without extensive surgery but even that can’t change some of the horrible things about me. I’d also need some kind of acting lessons so I can behave in a way that doesn’t make people assume I’m functionally retarded.

I really don’t know how to get out of this massive depressive state I’m in at the moment 🙁 I’ve not slept until 4:00 and 5:00 in the morning the past few days because I can’t stop thinking about how pathetic my life is and how much I wish I could just disappear without a trace. The only thing stopping me is the fact that I don’t want to hurt the few people who like me (i.e. my family who don’t have a choice).

Reprieve

I managed to explain to my mum what happened, and after calling the student finance people I discovered that I’m not eligible for tuition loan because of my previous college course. Apparently even if I had not taken out a loan (which I had to do to pay for it) I still wouldn’t be eligible because of the subsidised fees back then. So they are retroactively punishing people for taking courses when there was more financial help available, great. 

Luckily for me, my mums boyfriend has offered to lend me the money for the first years worth of tuition so I can still go. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a job over next summer to pay for the second year. It’s hard to describe my feelings about this though. On one hand I’m hugely relieved because I was seriously feeling suicidal before when I thought I’d lost everything. I really can’t go on living how I am at the moment, so sheltered and constantly being subjected to snarky comments and discouragement about changing myself. On the other hand, I feel so guilty about taking that amount of money from someone, especially since I don’t really know him all that well (I’m too anxious to hold a proper conversation with him). 

I really want to thank him for his generosity but it’s so hard for me to talk seriously to people, I think I might write him a letter. Anyway, hopefully I’ve got over the arduous process of application by now, there shouldn’t be any more hurdles to overcome before I actually go there.