I’ve been feeling extremely down for the past couple of days. Someone who went to the same school as me and who is 2 years younger than me moved in to the house next door. I never really spoke to him when we were younger but we know who each other is. The other day, I was walking back from the bus stop and ran into him and he ended up talking to me as we walked back to where our houses are. He said something like “I think I’m living next door to you now. You still live there don’t you, with your mum?” and a bit later asked how old I am and what I’m doing. I don’t know whether it was intended to be malicious but I think it almost certainly was a jab at me. It made me feel upset but then is it really any surprise that people think I’m pathetic?
I often think the worst things possible about myself, I genuinely dislike and resent who I am but even so, I simply can’t handle criticism from other people about it. It is probably the main reason I avoid so many things. Every nasty thing people could say about me is true, so how I am supposed to handle that? It’s hard to know how to deal with being a loser. I’ve read things about dealing with low self esteem but they seem to rely on the assumption that the person reading them actually isn’t worthy of derision.
It has been a long time since I’ve felt this low and I am back to the point where I can’t see a future for myself. At least not one that I want to be a part of.
Something I used to struggle with immensely during my therapy sessions was finding the words to describe how anxiety made me feel. A big component of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is identifying thoughts, feelings and behaviours related to anxiety and how they interact with each other. I always found it difficult to describe feelings in relation to the anxiety I feel in social situations accurately. I honestly think the English language lacks the vocabulary to fully describe such personal things and my own feelings are more complex than just simple fear or whatever.
I ended up having to leave my CBT therapist because I was so depressed at that time that working on my anxiety with CBT was becoming impossible and he didn’t think it was effective. I wasn’t sure about how well I would get on with it either but lately I’m starting to think that I might benefit from it now even though I am still depressed, it is not quite so all-encompassing as it was in 2009/10. One thing that springs to mind is the cascade of horrible thoughts and feelings that overcomes me whenever I have to look at job listings. I tried to put it into words but some of the things are just too hard for me to verbalise.
The main thing that fills my mind is how I am almost the exact opposite of how people need to be to be successful. I am so inadequate in almost every way when it comes to work. I don’t feel confident at all in my own abilities and I can say with 100% honesty that I cannot see why anyone would want to hire me over anyone else who happened to apply for the same position.
I am immediately taken back to my first job where I could not cope at all with the demands of working there and I dread (and I really do mean dread) having to be in that position again. I would end each day completely mentally exhausted and not have the mental strength to do anything else once I had finished work. I hate being there so much, before I left in the morning I would have to fight myself from thinking too much about it because I would uncontrollably get tears in my eyes. I am not someone who cries a lot but there were several times I had to hide in the toilets when I was working there and fight back tears and there is nothing I fear more than being stuck like this.
I won’t have to opportunity to leave like I did when I was working there. At some point I will have to support myself and that would simply not be an option. I couldn’t handle being trapped like that and I don’t know what I’d do (or rather, I fear I know too well what I would do) if I was stuck in that situation.
All of this and more comes to me in a flood of sickening anxiety. Needless to say this makes job hunting quite a daunting task. I am already feeling extremely guilty because of how long I have been unemployed despite having good qualifications on paper, this just adds to my worries.
I have received some kind comments, someone even said they found my blog encouraging which pleased me a great deal. One of the things that often makes me hesitant to continue writing on this site is that it quickly became a place where I wrote down a lot of my darkest thoughts and went into quite a lot of detail about my feelings when I was at very low points in my life and I don’t know how useful that is to anyone who may be reading it. I worry that my very depressing and probably frequently triggering posts may make someone who happens to stumble upon this site feel worse and I really don’t want that to happen.
The problems I experience are not typical of every social anxiety sufferer and just because you might have the same condition, it doesn’t mean you are going to end up a wreck like I am. I have made a lot of bad decisions in life and depression along with anxiety and possibly having an avoidant personality have all contributed to where I am now.
Thanks to Healthline for including me in their list of top anxiety blogs again