Painfully Alone

Every time I started to write a new post, I just froze because honestly I’m ashamed of how little I’ve done since the last time I wrote any kind of substantive update. The past few years have been mostly uneventful and I just haven’t had the motivation to write anything that could be worth reading.

Looking back it seems like the last real update was when I started back on antidepressants. I carried on taking them for over a year but the gradually started losing effectiveness and I couldn’t afford to keep paying for them. The NHS prescription levy isn’t that much (about £8 per month) but that is a lot to me since I have no money and massive debts from university due to having to pay fees out of pocket which I still have on credit card. To make things worse, I tried getting an HC2 certificate for people on low income but once it expired I didn’t realise it was out of date and ended up having to pay a £50 fine, which I could not afford so in the end  I just stopped taking them because it was all too much.

I did manage to get into therapy for a few sessions which I did find helpful, but after the initial 8 appointments I was supposed to have to wait for 6 months before I could re-apply, but as usual I still have not been able to do that for all the various stupid reasons that prevented me from trying to get back into therapy for all those years. I’m still holding out hope that maybe I could possibly get back there and see the same therapist because I feel like he was the only person who really understood me and where I was coming from. It probably took 3/4 of the sessions to get to that point and I simply cannot face trying to go through all the explanations again for what would probably be the 5 or 6th time, it is just too painful and embarrassing. Knowing my luck, he’s probably moved on just like everyone else I have ever had try to treat me.

I did perhaps made a little progress when it comes to social anxiety, it can be hard to tell because most of the time I have little or no chance to have any kind of social interactions. A couple of years ago I started going swimming with my dad on Saturdays and through some weird turn of events he ended up talking to a woman who was there with her daughter and told them it was my birthday. The daughter (who is about the same age as me) came over to wish me a happy birthday and we actually ended up talking a bit because she worked at a tech company and I told her I had done computer science at uni and and some web development. This probably all sounds mundane to most people but over the following few weeks I managed to talk to her more and got to know her a bit.

She is a very nice person and it became the highlight of my week to go swimming because I knew I might get to see her. I know how sad this sounds, but it’s true. At the back of my mind I knew I was being foolish for thinking that she could really care about me, she’s beautiful and successful and pretty much the exact opposite to me, I couldn’t even understand why she continued to talk to me. I realise it’s unhealthy but seeing her was pretty much the only thing I looked forward to. Sometimes she wouldn’t be there and I’d be filled with anxiety that it was my fault, that I had said or done something stupid and ruined it all but she did come back. That was until this summer. I knew she was going away for a several weeks to the country where her mother is from because they were going to see family but I didn’t know when she’d be back. For about 6 or 7 weeks I would get my hopes up, only to be disappointed every time.

I sent her a message (we are facebook friends but I am always reluctant to contact her much because she doesn’t really use it much and I don’t want to be overbearing) and found out she and her mum had started going to the gym instead of swimming and I can’t really express how sad it makes me that I don’t get to see her any more. I have been able to talk to her a couple of times when I saw her leaving the leisure centre as I arrived in the last month but didn’t have more than a few minutes to say much, and I felt like my usual stupid tongue-tied self.

I always wanted to get to know her better but I was always afraid of saying anything because I didn’t want to come off as a creepy guy or drive her away, but thinking back, I know I wasted my chance to make any kind of real connection. There were times when I might have been able to say something but I was too afraid that it would backfire and I preferred to have that fantasy not destroyed. I do realise how ridiculous it must seem for a 30 something to act like a stupid teenager but that’s just where I am.

It feels wrong to even admit that I have these kind of feelings for someone because a fucked up freak like me doesn’t really deserve to have any kind of affection, but I really like her so much and it would make me so happy to know her better and be part of her life but I don’t think it’s ever possible to be more than a casual acquaintance, if even that is possible now. I had a chance where I could have tried to say something, but I just have no idea how or what I could say that wouldn’t come off as weird. I keep wanting to reach out and say something but I don’t know how to tell someone that I want to know them better.

There aren’t many things I can think of that could realistically make me happy but it would mean so much to me if I could spend time with her. I doubt it can ever happen now though, as with all people we are drifting apart because I have nothing to offer and no idea how to connect with people.

 

Psych Appointment

I have the first of my stop-gap psychologist appointments for while I’m back home over the summer today. I really don’t know what to do, I’m an accomplished enough at hiding the truth about how I feel that I could get away without saying anything. The alternative would probably be undesirable. I don’t want to deal with the crisis team again. I can’t have them coming to my house and still be able to tell my mum that I’m ok. She’ll start crying again and wanting to come up with a magic quick fix and just flat out tell me that I’m wrong about myself. She has no idea.

5 pills in. 12 hours left until dosing time.

Numb

I have been awake since midday on Wednesday, the last few weeks attempt at sleep have generally me lying there tossing and turning until the wee hours before giving up and downing a zopiclone, which are become ever less effective as tolerance builds (that’s my own fault for taking them longer than Dr recommended). Wednesday night I decided to try and reset my body clock and just stay up until I felt ready to sleep, and I’m only just feeling drowsy now. I don’t know if the increased (30mg) paroxetine/seroxat has anything to do with it. My GP doesn’t think so but all I know is that it hasn’t helped whatsoever with depression/anxiety and the embarrassing side effects are there.

I can’t help but feel I am just treading water, running out the clock before I finally get the motivation to write an adequate explanation for killing myself and getting it over with. I can’t see what I have to live for any more, life’s passed me by and no matter how hard I try to play at being a real person, I just can’t do it. I don’t belong, I don’t fit anywhere.

The student loan company has decided not to lend me any tuition fees again next year, my mum’s boyfriend lent me vast amounts for the first year and he’s giving me some towards this years but I have to make up more of it myself and I don’t know how I’m going to do it. How can I go to a job interview and sell myself when inside I am wondering how I am going to be able to find a place where I can be undisturbed for 36 hours while I die. I can’t bring myself to make plans for the future because I half know that I won’t be here and it seems futile. I’ve exhausted all options from the mental health services besides being locked up, and I can’t see how that will help me at all. Maybe I am a danger to myself, but what if I always will be? I strongly believe suicide can be rational and I don’t see many counter arguments to say why I deserve or should want to stick around in this world for much longer.

I’m off to try and sleep now.

Exam Stress

I was never one of those people who worried too much about exams. It was probably one of the only times when I was calmer than those around me. At school, I did fairly well and I felt in control when I was about to sit an exam. Looking back, I think it was a twisted desire for validation that I almost liked exams and tests. Objective proof that I was good at something.

Unfortunately, I have not been in education for a while and I have an exam coming up tomorrow afternoon which has been causing me much more anxiety than I had before. It’s not even that important, I need 12% to pass the module which should be easily achievable and even if I fail, I could still conceivably pass the year. The first year doesn’t count towards your final degree classification anyway so what am I worried about?

To be honest, finding the right place where I need to be, getting to my seat and not falling over or having my desk collapse (which people used to do on purpose at school, I guess some folks just love attention) that is causing me the most stress. I just want to get in there and get it done.

In another way, I’m kind of apprehensive because once I’ve done this, I’ll have finished my first year at university. It seems like 5 minutes ago when I was agonising about starting and the first year is less than 24 hours away from completion now. I don’t really want to go back for the summer, I like having my own room and the freedom to come and go as I please at any time of the night or whatever. I like being close to the town and not stuck between the motorway and some farms. I like not having to put on a front or be told off for shutting myself away.

The SLC wrote back to me and I have to pay the full fees again next year 🙁 This means I need a job, and it brings back the fear and disheartening feelings of 2007/8 when I was out of work for long periods and was rejected time and time again. I can’t take the pressure of the real world. I’m not in crisis, this is just how I am. I don’t think I am adequately equipped to handle living as an independent human being, I can’t hack it.

Since I last posted, I’ve had some minor “triumphs” regarding my SA and could probably tick a few more items off the list of “things I’ve never done” but I feel unfulfilled and flat. It gives me no pleasure or sense of achievement. I remember reading somewhere that people with similar problems to mine see their lives as a series of lucky escapes when things go right and I can’t help but feel that is exactly what I feel.

Logically then, I should realise that maybe I am wrong. However I can’t accept this. Someone told me that they liked me as a friend and that I should stop beating myself up about things but still I cannot accept that they like me. The thing is, I don’t believe they are lying either. It’s a horrible form of cognitive dissonance and it’s highly unsettling. I can’t reconcile those two beliefs.

I’m too tired now but I want to write a proper post about things. Maybe tomorrow.

Update

I’m feeling a little less desperate now, I think worrying about a social thing over the weekend pushed me over the edge :S Sorry for being so self centred again.

Also I had to disable comments on both my “Pages” (if you know WordPress) because they were getting 50 spam comments a day.

Perfectionism

Relevant song lyric of the day: “I’m not afraid of dying, any time will do”

I had to call and cancel my crisis team visit, I can’t handle having to talk to people at the moment, I feel ill (cold coming on, it wasn’t just the meds) and that kind of flat, empty depression has taken over. I don’t feel desperately sad or like crying as I sometimes do, just lifeless and bereft of happiness and will to live. I had somewhat of a revelation which I wanted to write about but I am too tired to get into it properly today.

I was thinking about the time when my first psychiatrist asked me if I was a perfectionist. My first reaction was to almost laugh in disbelief; I don’t know how anyone could look at me and ask that question. I don’t exactly look like someone who wants to be perfect. When I think about it more carefully though, I think that I am sort of a perfectionist, in my own twisted way. My (subconscious, or is it unconscious? I can’t control it anyway) idea of perfection is different from what most people would think of as perfect, and I seem to hold myself and others to this ridiculous ideal.

I want to conform to societies ideas of where and what I should be, even if I don’t actually want the things themselves, if that makes sense. I want to want to be a normal person. This probably sounds insane and it most likely is. I don’t think I could actually give up certain aspects of my life, I could never be one of those people who always has to be around others, I need time alone a lot more than others even when I’m not anxious. 

Having something like social anxiety makes you analyse everything to a huge extent, I remember details about inconsequential conversations from years back and a million other useless things that would pass most people by. It’s quite odd really, you can almost appear psychic since people tell you things and then forget that you ever talked about it but I remember most things (probably on account of the fact that I have about 1000x less conversations than the average person). 

I don’t know if I could give up my level of self awareness and the things I know about how people manipulate you, but while I have these dubious qualities I don’t think I can ever be happy or “normal”. When I think back to the time when I was actually happy, when I was a child, I had no idea about how cruel the world was and how people take advantage of any weakness you show. I hate this site, but the description of stages explains what I mean better than I could, the blissfully ignorant stage. I don’t even want to consider the advice that it preaches, maybe I am embittered and destined to be like this forever but I just can’t become the person that it seems I need to be in order to fit in.

My twisted perfectionism makes me want to be all things to all people. I realise that everyone probably does this to some extent, but I change who I am based upon who I’m with. I don’t know who the real me is, maybe it’s the person who write this narcissistic, self obsessed drivel. This is the only place I am honest after all. I can’t be that person in real life though, I can’t express myself verbally. I’d be too scared about being thought of as a stuck up snob, which maybe I am.  I come across huge problems when I don’t know what people want me to be though. I think this is a big reason why I am so scared of meeting new people, I don’t know how to present myself because it’s been so long since the real me has been allowed out, it has withered away.

To fit in, you need to expose yourself, part of your personality and let people know about you. I find this terrifying, even giving away the slightest details about my opinions is often beyond my comfort zone. I can’t offer any opinions on music or anything else that most people talk about without a second thought. I’ve been through so much mockery and psychological grinding down that I can’t give away any chances for people to do that to me again. 

I’ve spoken to my online friends about this before and they always try to tell me that I’ve been unlucky with the people that I’ve been around and that not everyone is so malicious and cruel, but I can’t honestly put all that down to luck. I could start thinking that I’m the unluckiest person in the world, something my dad seems to do and I want to avoid. There’s no point in trying to pass off my own failings as someone else’s fault, I don’t want to blame the world for my problems. If there is one good thing that can be said for me, I want it to be known that I take full responsibility for my own actions and I realise it’s my own fault that I am such a wreck.

In the past I never considered myself to have a short temper, but recently I find myself being increasingly frustrated with people. I hate banal small talk, I don’t want to try and sound superior – I know that I’m definitely not. I just wish that I had some kind of flash cards I could hold up to save answering the same old shit over and over.

I think I expect everyone to be “perfect” like a robot, like I am. It might sound ridiculous, on this website I probably come across as a histrionic maniac, but in real life I am extremely reserved. I can’t stand to do things “wrong”, I’d rather not try than fail. This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks. I am terrified of making mistakes in all areas of life. To pick a random example, we used to have a pool table in the sixth form common room. I never played a single game on it even though I used to like it when I was younger and I always wanted a snooker table of my own but we had no space for one. I was so scared that I’d make a mess of it and everyone’d laugh that I never once played. I could list a million other examples of how this has held me back. This is incredibly difficult for me to say (being the master rationaliser that I am, I think I have avoided admitting this for other reasons) but perhaps one of the reasons that I have never had a girlfriend is that I’ve never asked anyone out or shown any interest (irl). I probably never had any friends because I’ve been too scared to approach people in case I make a fool of myself and so kept to myself and my group of abusive associates (I refuse to call them friends any more). 

One of my sisters friends once had a birthday party at one of those places with bouncy castles, ball pits and slides etc to which I was invited. I can still remember vividly being afraid to go on any of the things or do anything other than sit at the side. I was scared that I’d fall over or do something else to make the other kids laugh at me so I did nothing. I was probably under 8 at the time, but I can remember the feeling and it’s the first time I can remember someone explaining the concept of “regret” to me. My mum told me I’d have a good time if I went and played and that I’d regret it if I didn’t (I just realised that sounds like a threat haha, it wasn’t said in that way). How right she was.

My whole life is littered with examples of wasted opportunities, I never did anything at a young age while it is still acceptable to be less than perfect and you have chance to learn. For example, I never used to play football with the other boys. When I got to secondary school this would return to haunt me as we were forced to play in PE and I was obviously awful, embarrassingly awful at it. I used to get so worked up and anxious in the days leading up to PE, begging my mum for sick notes, forgetting my kit on purpose and ending up with my first detentions. It seems like most of my readers are women so maybe this sounds pretty inconsequential (not being sexist, I just think society seems to push boys and girls into different areas around that time in adolescence) but not being good at sports is a great way to make yourself unpopular and an outcast at that age.

There are literally hundreds of other things that I avoided rather than risk embarrassment which have hurt me massively in the long run. Not attending any social events is probably the biggest of these.

I wonder if it’s too late to repair this massive damage. I am literally an empty shell of person, devoid of any life experiences, significant or otherwise. At the moment I feel that it is too late for me. Maybe if I was 16 or younger then I’d have a shot, but I’m supposed to be climbing the career ladder and buying houses now, not worrying that I don’t know how to kiss or any other basic life skill that should have been learned 10 or 15 years ago.

This post is all over the place, I’m sorry. I only got a couple of hours sleep last night and I’ve barely eaten again so my concentration isn’t exactly brilliant at the moment. I highlighted the main bit in bold if you don’t want to read the whole lot.

Ugh

I can’t think of a good title. Stupid as I am, I forgot to take my mess last night so woke up this morning feeling like crap. Vaguely unsettling hungover like feeling, dull headache and I have no energy at all.

The damn crisis team phoned me on the train and talked me into having another home visit on Monday. I don’t really see the point, I don’t like or feel comfortable with them so I can’t tell them anything relevant or new. I just want to get them out of there as quick as possible.

There isn’t anything they can do. My problems are too long term and deeply ingrained to be solved in a 30 minute form-filling session.

My brain is fried today. It’s taken me about half an hour to write this rubbish. Coming off venlafaxine is going to screw me up badly. I’m supposed to be down to 75 this week but I don’t know if I can do it. Suicidal thoughts are constantly swirling around my head. They are chronic, not acute (if I may use a probably misinterpreted medical phrasing) and there is going to be no easy way to stop them.

I’m going to have to wait ages for cbt and I probably won’t even be in Lincoln by the time it starts so moving places will have been pointless. I just hope for my families sake that I can keep on treading water for a while longer.

Anxiety and CBT

I’m absolutely tired out but I wanted to write a post, so forgive me if it’s even more haphazard and depressing than usual. I got up early to get the two buses I needed to arrive at my CBT appointment first thing this morning. After meeting the therapist last time and my relatively good week I was in quite a positive mood but she then explained to me that having spoken with her manager and the crisis team at Lincoln, they found out I have been referred for CBT there instead and so I can’t see her any more 🙁

After I bared my darkest fears and thoughts, I’ve yet again been shunted along to someone else. It seems that every time I have any form of appointment I have to start explaining things from scratch and by the time any kind of connection is made I’m moved on. In one year I had 4 different GPs at home and one at uni, seen 4 different psychiatrists and 6 different crisis team people. It’s beginning to get rather tiring and disheartening.

Later on I started feeling incredibly anxious, not in an obvious shaky-hands way like when I’m forced into a dreaded social situation but it was bubbling beneath the surface. I felt like I had to keep moving, keep thinking and acting quickly. If you know the feeling you get when you know that you have to leave the house or you will miss a train or whatever but you can’t find your keys, it was like that. I’ve managed to calm myself a bit now, feeling the venlafaxine withdrawals kicking in though as it’s more than 24 hours since my last dose. It’s an odd sensation, your brain craving serotonin or whatever it is.

Had a meeting with the psych last Friday and managed to convince him to slow the withdrawal down a bit so I’m on 150mg for another week at least. He wants me to move down to 75mg after that if I can, but I don’t know if I can do it. At least he didn’t talk to me about sex this time. One thing he did say was “It sounds like this crisis you were in is over” and I understand what he means but I don’t think it explains the whole picture.

Like most things, it is not a black or white situation. I may have felt in an acute crisis at that time but not now, but that doesn’t mean everything is fine. I should throw the pills away but I can’t. I still want to buy more, more components of a lethal cocktail.

No medication can change my situation, the psychologist who I could’ve had for CBT said that today and I can’t agree more. When the possibility of me going back there after I finish university was mentioned, it dawned on me that I may be like this forever. Of course I have thought that many times, but no-one has ever said it to me implicitly like that before. I don’t want to think about being 30 or 40 and still having the social capabilities of a child. That fear will always be there in my mind and that is what keeps me planning my escape.