Went to the doctors this morning. I let my anxiety build up and didn’t try to stop it. My chest was very tight by the time I got in and I think Dr Ripley knew how bad I was. He said the test I completed last time showed that I had depression and mostly anxiety and he prescribed my citalopram which I have to take for 6 months. I was quite pleased about it, hopefully it will make me feel good enough to try and tackle the SA problem. I got the prescription filled myself after psyching myself up for it. Mum was ok about it, although I still feel like she doesn’t want me taking SSRIs. I took my first one after tea and I felt a bit weird about it. My lack of sleep and the massive anxiety I went through earlier probably had something to do with it but I felt light headed and a bit giddy.
After years of worrying and apprehension I finally made it to the doctors today to discuss my anxiety. I was extremely nervous and I had written down my problems as some people who have been through the same thing advised me to do because I was worried about how to talk about it. When I got in there though, he refused to read what I’d written and made me say what was wrong. I froze up and didn’t know how to say it, I feel embarrassed to say these things out loud and I don’t think I managed to get it across to him what I’ve been through.
He gave me a questionnaire to fill in and wrote down the phone number and website of a social anxiety support group and told me to come back in a month. When I got back home I tried the website but it no longer exists, I even tried phoning the number which is a big thing for me because I hate using phones so much but the number was not working either 🙁
I feel pretty down about the whole thing, like I’ve spent many years to get to this stage and now I feel like I’ve blown it and the Dr didn’t believe there was anything wrong because I couldn’t say how I feel. I kept worrying that he thought I was making things up to try and get benefits or something and that my problems aren’t important compared to people with physical illness.
I really don’t know what to do now *sigh*
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.
I’ve known something is wrong with me for years but I have been avoiding facing up to my problems. I have been practically confined to my house for almost a year now, the only time I go out is to rush to the shops and back for food or to walk where there is no-one around. I have hardly spoke to anyone outside my family except for the rare job interviews I’ve had, all of which have gone badly because I get so incredibly anxious.
I decided recently that I need to face up to this social anxiety and do something about it because my life is going nowhere. I’ve already missed out on so much in life and I don’t want to miss any more. I never went to my school prom or any of the Christmas parties, I dropped out of university because of this, fallen out with the few friends I had and basically had no life for my teenage years and early 20’s.
I made a small step this week by telling my sister about my social anxiety and she was very supportive about it. I felt bad because she is 2 years younger than me and I didn’t want her to worry about me and it was extremely hard for me to talk about it to someone in real life. I had to write it down because I couldn’t bring myself to say it aloud, how pathetic is that? I couldn’t even tell my own sister, my only friend 🙁
I want to go to the doctors about this but I had such a hard time talking about it and I don’t think I can manage to tell a stranger about what I am going through. I keep thinking that he will say there’s nothing wrong and I am just “shy” or something like that. I can’t even bring myself to phone up and arrange an appointment, I hate using the phone so much and I have to psych myself up for a long time before I can even call for like a pizza or something inconsequential like that. I want to get help but I don’t know if I can face my problems being brushed aside and being told to just get on with things. I’m so depressed just thinking about what a complete waste of a life I’ve been, so many missed opportunities…
I just feel like writing this down just to relieve some of the pressure. I never talk about this with anyone IRL.
The earliest time I can remember being affected by what I now am pretty certain is SAD, was when I first started at school. Most kids hate it and some cry a lot but I really couldn’t stand it. I didn’t speak to anyone at all for a long time and some of the other kids used to pick on me a lot. At break times I would just stand around on my own and I remember some kids would think I was deaf because I wouldn’t talk to them and used to shout in my ears.
Eventually I made a few friends, who I stayed friends with for a long time and looking back I was almost like a ‘normal’ kid for a while. When I was in the final year at primary school it was the best time I can remember, I had more friends then than I have had since and I used to enjoy going to school.
It all changed when I started secondary (high school) though. i was very intimidated by the older students, I have never been friends or hung around with anyone older than myself really. I started being very quiet and was picked on a lot by the other people in my class because I was good at lessons. They used to call me ‘square’ and would always be making fun of my name and the way I looked and was so shy. This pretty much destroyed any self confidence I had and the only people I ever talked to were those who went to the same primary school as me and I had known for years.
I didn’t go to my prom or any of the Christmas parties because I knew that they would all be laughing at me because I’m so awkward in social situations. Eventually even my friends would get annoyed at me because I never wanted to go out places with them. Although I had known them for years I was still uncomfortable around them and I can only think of about 2 people who I could be alone with and not start geetting anxious because I didnt know what to talk about.
When everyone was getting ready to go to university they were all excited about it but I was petrified of going to another new place with thousands of people I don’t know and all the social events that take place. I applied to a uni in the same city I live in so I could stay at home because I knew I wouldn’t be able to deal with living in halls with other students. I dreaded starting for ages, I thought I would be on my own because my few remaining friends were going away to other cities but a couple of them changed their minds and decided to go to the same place as me. I was disappointed because I thought that it might be a chance to make a fresh start and not have people around that already had preconceptions about me but that didn’t happen.
When I started there it was just as bad as school for me, my friends were increasingly annoyed at me for being so unsociable and I didn’t want to be around them any more because it was causing me so much stress. This is when my phobia of phones started, I would go into a panic every time it rang in case it was them asking me to go somewhere. I ended up turning the ringer off because I couldn’t take it any more.
At university I would just go in for lectures and hang around at the back of the hall, then go straight home afterwards avoiding people if I could. Then later on we had to make a presentation in front of everyone and that was the final thing that sent me over the edge. I was so depressed around that time and I couldn’t bear to go back, I don’t want to talk about what happened next but it was the lowest point in my life at the time. I decided I couldn’t carry on going there and I knew my friends would try and talk me out of leaving and get mad at me so I sent them and email saying that I wasn’t going back and that I had been going through anxiety problems and not to call me again. I haven’t spoken to them since and that was 4 years ago now.