One of the few upsides to the loneliness social anxiety brings, is the time to think. Lately I have been contemplating what is really important in life and what I want out of it. If you had asked me a year ago what I wanted more than anything, I would have said “to be rich”. I was as materialistic as the character I chose as my nickname for this site. All I wanted was to be rich so I could at least be seen as an “eccentric millionaire” rather than just a weirdo. I felt resentful towards others for making me feel anxious around them and just wanted to be rid of human contact.
I’ve since been almost isolated from the real world and have come to realise that this would not be the answer to my problems. I imagine when an old person looks back on their life and remember the best times and experiences, materialistic indulgences wouldn’t be figure highly. It’s a contrived expression but maybe the best things in life really are free. Staying up all night talking with a loved one, laughing and joking with friends, first kisses. These are the moments that are worth far more than the flat screen TVs and games consoles I tried to substitute for them. I have only had the smallest taste of these experiences, I could only ever have called one person in my life a true friend, but I know enough that friendship and having someone to share your experiences with is “living”, fuck Playstation 3.
What makes a person interesting? Everything I am not. I have no witty anecdotes to tell, my only life experience is by proxy through books and movies. I am a terrible conversationalist, I have no self confidence because I have nothing to be confident about, to be any other way would be pure baseless arrogance.
When it comes down to it, I am a worthless person from an objective standpoint. I am the epitome of a misspent youth. I spend every day beating myself up over a wasted childhood and teenage years. I am 23 years old soon and I have nothing to show for that many years on this planet. Certain events hammer this home, for example a childhood friend of my sisters used to hang around with us a lot until I was around 14. Back then she was very immature and not that bright and yet she has recently moved into her own house with her boyfriend and is at university whereas I am still living with my parents and have no job. It’s very disheartening to see people all around you getting on with their lives and being “grown up” when they are much younger than you. I guess being told that you were very intelligent growing up and being expected to get into a good university and get a well paid job sets you up for a big fall if you buy into your own hype, which I did.
I used to console myself that even though everyone was much more popular than I was, that one day I would be doing well in life and have a great job and all the studying and being a social outcast would be worth it. It is all the more galling to see those same popular people go on and succeed in every way when you fail yourself.
Social anxiety and it’s cousin avoidance have decimated my life. From the moment I realised I could escape the pain by avoiding situations where people made me feel that way, the “fight or flight” reaction, everything took a massive downturn. “Fight” hasn’t won once since then. I started missing lessons at sixth form (optional part of school you go to from 16-18 for non Brits), maths in particular because of certain people who made my life a misery during lessons. This proved costly as I wanted to study computing at university and needed maths A-level to do so. I ended up dropping from a B grade at GCSE to an E for A-level, mainly down to missing so many lessons.
Subsequently I have used avoidance as a coping mechanism, shying away from all social occasions such as prom and Christmas parties. I alienated my friends and never spoke to anyone enough to make new ones. I dropped out of university as I described in my previous blog and even though I got into a college to do a 2 year diploma, I hardly had any social interactions with the people there. I never spoke to any of them outside lectures and have no contact with them now.
It is not necessary to point out that this solitary existence means I have never had a girlfriend, or even a girl as a friend. In fact I can’t remember the last time I spoke to a girl who was not a family member or in a professional setting. Until recently I used to tell myself that I did not need a girlfriend, that I could manage without a relationship. I know now that I was deluding myself. The pain of loneliness is deep and unrelenting and I honestly can’t see how things will change. I have been bullied and taunted about my appearance enough over the years to know that I am not physically attractive in the slightest, and I have neither the confidence or life experience to be considered to have a “good personality”. I am thoroughly unlikeable in every conceivable way.
Earlier this year suicidal feelings were dominating my thoughts as I’m sure many of you have experienced. At one point a young lad who my sister knew was killed in a hit and run on a nearby road. People had left flowers and messages of their memories of him at the side of the road and I went with my sister so she could place some flowers there. When I stood there looking at all the notes and cards people had left it struck me how much he was loved by so many people and at the same time made me very depressed to think that if I died there would be no outpouring of grief from so many people. I don’t think anyone outside my immediate family would even notice if I went, I made no impact on peoples lives. I am invisible. If it wasn’t for my family I honestly believe I would be dead by now, they are the only reason I have to continue existing.
How late is too late to start living? I am socially stunted, I have no idea how to talk to people since it is so long since I have done so. Even if I somehow managed to start a relationship with someone, I wouldn’t know how to act or what to say. The majority of people get through these awkward first stages of having a girlfriend/boyfriend when they are younger and both they and their partner are inexperienced. By the time you get to my age it is extremely unusual to be this inexperienced and I’m sure most girls would run a mile when they encounter such a weird person.
I am tired of being so alone. Instead of dreaming of riches, now what I want more than anything is to be with a girl who is my best friend. To share our thoughts and feelings, to go out places and enjoy ourselves. I dream of curling up under a blanket on cold evenings with someone instead of being alone as I have been for so long. Money doesn’t bring true happiness. I never used to believe this, and sure it can be a temporary distraction but the bitter pain of loneliness is always lurking and it can only be bought off for a short time.
If you’ve managed to read all of this, I thank you. This is the only place I feel I can be honest. The semi-anonimity of the internet has made it possible for me to get these thoughts out there when I can’t say them in real life. If you read the relatively small amount of information I have wrote about myself on this website, you would know me better than anyone in real life. That’s how little I speak to anyone about myself, and it is a very sad thought indeed.