Getting Things Done

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I made a list of things that I wanted to try and get done this past week, it was mostly small things that I kept putting off for one reason or another like replying to some message that I was nervous about reading etc. I managed to get a few of them done but I’m still left with a few that are very difficult. I am not in a great situation financially and there is a bank account that I opened while at university pretty much only because it came with a free railcard and I was taking the train a lot at the time. Anyway, this account was overdrawn by a small amount and I tried to get it back in credit and just leave some money in there so they didn’t bother me but somehow it got charged again even though I wasn’t overdrawn so now it’d back in debt again. I really need to phone up and get it sorted out but I hate using the phone, especially for things like this where I am going to have to give them loads of information and I just can’t face it. There is another thing that I need to phone up and cancel because it’s costing me £20 every few months, which I can hardly afford but it’s so daunting to me that I have just left it for well over a year…

There are so many ways in which being this way has cost me huge amounts of money. The most obvious is having a degree which is supposedly in demand but not being able to do anything with it. Even if I could call my old workplace up and face going back there, I was still only getting just over minimum wage. I dropped out of university and going back ended up putting me into way more debt than everyone else my age.

One of the more pressing things I want to try and accomplish this week is something I have been trying to do for like 2 years now and get back to the doctor. I just find it so hard going back there, I can’t really explain all the reasons why. I am scared of them telling me I can’t go back on the medication I was on, the only one which worked. I am scared that even if I do, it won’t work this time. I am scared of everything about calling them to make the appointment, going there, talking to the doctor, telling them everything all over again, what they might make me do regarding mental health workers etc. I can’t go on like I have been for the last few years though. It’s getting too much to try and handle alone.

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Paradoxical Feelings

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Over the last week I started talking to a new person I met online and had a few nice conversations which you might think would make me feel better but strangely I actually feel worse. I have been trying to break it down in my head as to why I feel like this and it kind of happens in a few stages. First of all I usually expect to be rejected by everyone because it is my honest belief (I don’t just say this to try and make people disagree and reassure me) that I am a boring, worthless person who is fundamentally unlikeable. If this doesn’t happen then I can occasionally have positive experiences, like how I described in a post from last year (I cannot believe a year has passed since that already..) but afterwards I start to get a sense of dread building up. On rare occasions I can fight it for a while but I inevitably end up replaying conversations or things I did over and over in my mind and thinking about how stupid and inept I came across. I usually get the urge to try and correct it by giving some sort of apology or seeking approval in some way. I feel ashamed admitting this because it sounds so pathetic but that’s what it is really. The alternative is what I am feeling right now about the most recent experience, that I feel guilty for deceiving the person into thinking I am more interesting or less of an idiot that I really am.

The main conclusion that I have drawn from this crude self-analysis is that a lot of my problems come from my fundamental beliefs about myself, which have been formed from years of experience both personally and from listening and reading about what people say about others. I know I am the kind of person who is almost universally thought of as a complete loser and looked down upon by pretty much everyone. The thing is, I don’t necessarily disagree with them. I don’t like myself at all, and I’m not just saying that for effect. This leads me to think “if I don’t like myself, why should anyone else?”

This is a big sticking point when it comes to trying to get better. I have been feeling very depressed just lately (but not actively suicidal) and fed up of not knowing how to deal with it. I read a book called Reasons to Stay Alive because I thought it might have some insight. The author gives a very good description of how depression can feel (at least in my experience) and obviously had more acute and severe anxiety than me. I couldn’t help but come away with the feeling that our situations, and the situation of a lot of people whom I have read describing their dealings with depression are very different and come from a completely different place. I think for some people, depression is a completely irrational thing. This guy had a loving girlfriend, to whom he gives enormous credit for helping him through what was a very difficult time. I’m not trying to play down anyone’s experiences, but I can see why it might not be quite so hard to find reasons to stay alive if you have that kind of support.

I find myself in the same old situation of not having anyone besides my immediate family who I can talk to or get any kind of support from. Even this is very limited because I don’t like talking to them about things because I don’t want to upset them any more than I already have done in the past. I never talk to my dad about things, my sister is so busy and stressed out by her job I don’t want to add to her troubles and my mum seems completely unable to understand why I feel the way I do even though it is clearly not a normal situation at all. Even though they are sympathetic, I cannot shake the feeling that it’s because I am related to them and doesn’t really reflect on my value as a person because people often support their family members even if they are truly awful. Maybe this makes me a bad, ungrateful person, I don’t know. I simultaneously crave, but cannot believe that I will ever have, acceptance and friendship from other people who aren’t obligated to give it.

The common thread I have seen when people write about recovering from depression is that they try to invoke the fact that you can return to some sort of state that you were in before you were depressed, and I can see why that is valuable because if you used to be OK then I’m sure it would be possible to be OK again. The thing is that some of us don’t really have those memories or experiences to look at and think “I can be like that again”. I can’t remember any prolonged period in my entire adult life where I have not been depressed. At 18 I felt like my life was falling apart because I couldn’t cope with university and this was the first time I fallen off track from what I was “supposed” to do. 19 to 21 felt like an extension of my school days, at 22 I realised work was just as bad and that people there could hate me and make my life a misery just as much as they did at school. At 23 I spent a year unemployed and isolated (as I have done from 2012 to now) my mid 20s were spent battling suicidal thoughts and actions that I have described in tediously great detail on this blog. The closest I can think of is the last year I was at university. This would hardly rank as a great situation for most people, I spent virtually every day alone and only briefly spoke to one person in my classes every now and then. I didn’t feel utterly hopeless though, perhaps that is the high water mark I have to aim for.

Year of Nothing

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2014 was probably the least productive year I have ever had. I don’t think I accomplished anything of note and it just seems to have flown by. I remember being in this exact same place a year ago, thinking about how I really need to go back to the doctor if I want anything to change for the better. This time last year I wrote something about worrying that birthday would be my last but the truth is I don’t have the energy or drive to feel like killing myself. I haven’t been able to think about things without being overwhelmed by just how pathetic I am. I don’t even know if it would help if I had anyone to talk to because I am at the stage where I am so embarrassed to say out loud how pathetic I am because it hurts so much to contemplate. If I talked about the reality of my life, there is no way anyone could honestly not think I was a complete loser. At best they could pity me.

I did manage to make one tiny step towards changing things. I decided to ask my sister to help me try and resolve the problem I have been having with doctors. I have found myself yet again slipping through the cracks and not being registered with any GP that I can get to. I decided to try and phone my local GP here even though I hate the phone so much and have been putting this off for over a year and of course no-one answered. I tried calling back several more times but could not get through. In the end I asked my sister to come to the reception with me and try to explain the situation to them. I managed to get a form to re-register (even though I don’t know for sure if this is the right way to be going about it) but ran into more problems because they need to know the name of my previous GP who has subsequently left the practice I was registered at before when I was at university. The whole thing is an administrative nightmare, doubly so when you using the phone is such a difficulty.

I am going to try again to phone up and get an appointment if I can face it tomorrow. Why does everything have to be such a struggle? I hate saying things like that because I know I bring a lot of it on myself, but I am getting so tired of my mental problems making everything such a colossal pain to deal with.

I don’t really know why I am bothering to be honest but I have run out of options. I did manage to turn things around at university and I don’t think it is a coincidence that I coped best when I was taking those antidepressants. It also helped that I wasn’t surrounded by negativity that I have at home though. It’s not that anyone is overtly mean to me but just constant comments and things that make me feel worthless. I need to get out of this house but that requires about a hundred other things to be in place first and this cycle means I am stuck here.

I can’t even write coherently now so I am just going to leave it but I will try to update again soon when I am not so strung out.

Time keeps on slipping away

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I’m not sure how long I managed to try and stay in the positive (kind of) mindset I wrote about in my last entry but unfortunately it has long since passed. It is clear to me now that the isolation is no good for me at all. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the only time for probably 2 years where I have felt any semblance of self worth was when I got to spend a few hours with some people who I can almost convince myself liked being with me. Last night I was thinking about how the best time of my life was probably from mid 2011 to mid 2012, my final year of university (it is probably no coincidence that this period was a big downturn in the number of posts I wrote here, I tend to only write when I am feeling bad). It was a strange situation because the sociability of my living arrangements had decreased more and more: I started off in the halls of residence, then shared a house with 2 of my flatmates and ended up living on my own. This let me spend time alone when I needed to though, and I still saw my classmates so I wasn’t totally isolated. Compared to most people I was still practically a hermit, but this was the most comfortable I have been.

My current situation is constantly deteriorating. I have always had a decent relationship with my parents despite their ridiculous situation of being separated but still living in the same house. Things have started to get on top of me lately though. I don’t want to badmouth them because it would seem massively ungrateful since they let me live with them but things have begun to get a bit strained. I can’t stand to listen to my mum going on about things she has read in the Daily Mail (for people outside the UK, a hateful newspaper) and making horrible comments about people she works with (too fat, too thin, too lazy, too obsessive. You can’t win). It makes me depressed to think about what she would say about me if I wasn’t her son. I keep spending more time alone in my tiny room whenever we are all in the house. I remember a time when all I wanted more than anything was to be at home but now I cannot wait to escape this place. Sometimes I feel as though I am going through life 10+ years behind schedule.

To put it simply: there’s no way I can see my life getting any better. I know it doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things but my birthday is coming up and I remember this time last year how determined I was that I wasn’t going to let the year just slip away into nothingness but that is exactly what has happened. I have achieved nothing in the past two years, they have been a complete waste of time during the part of my life when I should be getting things done.

One of the very few people I have on facebook from the “before time” prior to when I tried to restart my life in 2007/8 is a girl I went to primary school with and we were friends when I was very young but lost touch after we started secondary school. I can quite vividly remember an early time I felt what I would describe now as social anxiety, was when someone told her that I had a crush on her. Anyway, I saw on facebook the other day that she got married. I didn’t feel jealous, I have not even spoken to her in person for over 10 years, but it did hammer home how much my life has diverged from the people I grew up with. When I occasionally see them they look like adults but virtually nothing has changed for me since I was in school.

It is impossible not to feel like there is something irrevocably broken about myself that I can let things go so wrong. I remember when I first started writing the entries in 2007 on another site that I transferred over to here, that one of the main things I was depressed about was how I had missed out on key development in major parts of my life. I am in pretty much the same situation now, 7 years on. I am still the same loser that I was back then except now I don’t even have time on my side. I thought 23 was too old to change things but I was wrong about that. I wish I was that age again. I don’t know how I would do things differently but at least I had time. Now I don’t have that, I don’t have any hope.

My old therapist used to ask “How would you like your life to be different?” or what I would like to change about my life and it used to leave me stumped. You would think that someone so unhappy would have a huge list of things but I could never give concrete answers and I still can’t. Part of it was that I knew what they would do if I could think of something, they’d try and come up with some way of working towards it so I would always be second guessing about what my answers would lead to. If we restrict it to the realm of things that are actually possible, then I can’t really envisage anything that could make things OK. This is my major problem, I would much rather just not be alive than to try and patch up this ridiculous life that I have made for myself.

I sometimes wonder if anyone could be so far gone as me and still manage to turn things around and not want to die. I know there are people with much, much harder lives than me and that I have things extremely easy but they must have some kind of will to fight on that I don’t have. What is the point? If it came down to being as miserable as I was at my first job in order to survive then I would vastly prefer to be dead. Other people might have the comfort of coming home to someone they love or seeing friends but I know that will never be possible for me.

There is nothing for me that would make the awful parts of being alive worth going through.

I apologise for such another rambling and depressing post. I still have not been able to make a doctors appointment, I still have no job and I haven’t spoken to anyone outside my family in any sort of social situation since when I last posted in September. There is not much else for me to report.

Trying to Stay Positive

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I will admit that for a long time now I have not been trying to stop myself from slipping into depressive thought patterns. I have just let them wash over me and it colours my mood constantly. One of the things I find hardest is to stop myself from just being overcome by these thoughts and trying to entertain the idea that there is any possibility things might ever be any better. It probably sounds unusual to people who don’t think like me, but I find it easier, comforting even, to just be accepting of the fact that I will never not be miserable (I don’t want to say happy, because it is unrealistic for anyone to expect to be happy all the time). It’s one difference that I think there is between unhappiness and depression. When I am unhappy there is a reason but there is usually some kind of outcome that could change it. Depression to me is the feeling of complete hopelessness, when everything feels lost and there is no path out of it. I used to hate being asked by people what I would like to change about my life because there is no realistic things I can think of that would alleviate my depression.

There are degrees of depression though (in my experience, I don’t want to speak for everyone) and I have gone through several points where I just wanted everything to end right there and then. Strangely, these are not the times when I have felt worst. At the times when I have been at my lowest, I just didn’t have the mental energy to think like that. It’s difficult to put into words. It is returning to this state that I fear more than anything. In 2006/7 when I was at my first job, I cannot express how miserable and defeated I felt. Every day was excruciating in a blunt sort of way. I hated getting out of bed in the morning, I hated the long journey there, I hated entering the building and more than anything I hated being around people who made me feel like shit and not being able to do anything about it. I was trapped and that is my biggest fear.

I don’t know if it’s because I was younger and less prone to self-destruction back then, but I only ever had brief thoughts of suicide then. I thought about it but never seriously considered it. It frightens me to think what I would be like if I was in the same situation now. I have little self-control when it comes to self-destruction. Part of this is because of the incredibly straight-laced way I used to act, which I became completely sick of. It feel so self-indulgent to admit this aloud (in a manner of speaking) but since I accepted that I was never going to be acceptable to society, why should I carry on like that? I feel resentful towards the people who would have me carry on like that and pretend to be fine, dragging myself through soul destroying days with a smile on my face for a derisory salary.

OK I am getting away from the point here, which was supposed to be about the last week. I have been trying to stay in a positive frame of mind and I have been reasonably successful. I really enjoyed something for the first time in many, many months and that was being with my friend V and her friend whom I hadn’t met before. It was the most “normal” I have felt since I was at university with my flatmates. I feel like I managed (albeit with the aid of valium) to behave like a fairly normal person, even by my own harsh self-judgement. I didn’t try to seek approval afterwards, which is a trap I have fallen into many times before. I usually end up apologising for some minor mistake or something to try to get whoever I was with to reassure me that I was ok.

It is a strange feeling, I am very conflicted. The first time I have really felt happy for ages – it was nothing special, we just had a few drinks and watched a film, but to be around nice people and not feel as though they hated being there was a big deal to me. I wish they didn’t live halfway across the country from me. The thing is, now I keep having to battle thoughts about how infrequent these occasions are and I will most likely just be alone again for a long time. I can’t really discuss these feelings with anyone, I am still not seeing any kind of therapist but I doubt they would be helpful anyway. I feel like I used up all of V’s patience with me back when I was suicidal and I don’t really want to act weird towards her by going on about how nice it was to see her.

What is making me conflicted is my unwillingness to believe that maybe I am not such a terrible person after all and that my prior experiences were not a true reflection of my “value” as a person. I am aware of how bizarre this probably is, but I am trying to work through my thought processes. I don’t really know why I don’t want to believe that. Surely it would be a good thing, you may think. I’m trying to work out what scares me so much about it. I think it’s because I would have to admit that I have been wrong about myself and have wasted so many years isolating myself for no good reason. I also don’t want to change my view of myself, only to have it destroyed again by other people who hate me.

Is it possible that the few people who I have met and enjoyed being with in the time since I left school/work people who made me feel worthless are the only exceptions, that these 4 or 5 people are the only ones on the planet who would feel that I am likeable? Logically, probably not. It pains me to even type this out, I don’t want to admit it. It’s so much easier to believe that I am inherently awful and unlikable.

As a kind of experiment I am trying to force myself to behave as if I am not the hateful loser that I have spent the past 15+ years believing myself to be. It has only been a week, but I am going to try to carry on. It isn’t easy though. I can’t express enough how deeply I completely accept that is how I am perceived and how many painful thoughts need to be challenged. At the moment I am feeling sad because I really wish V and her friend lived closer and I could see them more often, and that I had other friends like them. There’s a lot I have to hide about myself to appear normal, I mentioned before how this can feel deceitful but I think everyone engages in this to a certain extent, and this makes it very hard for me to meet new people. I am also easily threatened by people especially if they are loud. I don’t know if it would be possible to make any new friends here, but for the first time in a long time I am going to try to believe that it is possible.

 

A bit of good news

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I don’t normally have much positive stuff to post about on here but I the last few days have been pretty good. I went swimming with my dad on Saturday, we used to go every week when I was younger but I hadn’t been for ages. I’m going to try and start going regularly again.

Last night I met up with someone I met online a few years ago, we hadn’t seen each other for a long time and I was afraid that after how quiet and boring I was last time that she wouldn’t want to see me again but it was really nice to catch up. Her friend was with her who I hadn’t met before and I was quite anxious about it but I think everything went alright and I enjoyed it. I feel like kind of a fraud on the rare occasions when I sort of manage to bluff my way through these kind of things, like I am almost lying by trying to hide what a loser I really am. Anyway, I’ve been trying my best to silence these doubts and stop myself from analysing everything that I said or did wrong and am doing better than usual. 

Five years on

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warning: contains frank discussion of suicide

It is five years ago since I tried to kill myself. In some ways a lot has changed in that time. I just read back on some of my posts from around that time, something which is difficult because I honestly hate myself more after reading what I was thinking around that time.

I can’t remember exactly what was going through my head in the days leading up to it. The pills must have really done a number on me because there is a total black hole in my memory (which is otherwise very good) from that point up to a couple of weeks later. The only record I have is what I posted on this site. One thing that surprises me is how many people commented and offered their support. God knows why, I really don’t think I deserved it. It looks like I had some kind of upswing right before crashing and it scares me to think about how I don’t even remember what caused me to actually start taking the pills. I remember quite clearly the fact that I had researched what I intended to do and had the stuff stockpiled for months in advance. There wasn’t any major event that tipped me over the edge.

The thing I have often thought about since is how I feel about the fact that I wasn’t successful. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to die and had done for quite a long time. Do I wish that I had died? To be completely honest, despite the fact that I have had some good times since then and even knowing that I did finally manage to graduate, I still can’t deny that I do. I will concede that at the time there may have been some part of my subconscious that wanted me to be discovered and that’s why I slipped up, but in retrospect I just wish that I had been more thorough.

My situation is no better, in fact in a lot of ways it is objectively worse. I still live in the same place and have no friends or life to speak of. I am older, more in debt and I have nothing to look forward to. If you showed me back then how my life had turned out then I would have been more sure than ever that there was no point to carrying on except for other people’s benefit. Upsetting my family was the only thing holding me back for a long time and I don’t know how much pain I should have to silently endure to keep them happy.

I don’t feel as actively awful as I did back then. The acute feelings of despair are less frequent and I mostly feel a dull all-consuming ache rather than a desperate desire to be dead. I can tread water for a while longer.

There is no future for me though. Each passing day is another wasted one. I have missed the boat on ever having anything like a successful life, wasted whatever potential I may have had. People like me just aren’t compatible with what the world wants.

I don’t want to worry anyone who may be reading this. Please believe me (and I am always honest on here, even if it does make me seem terrible) that I am not in any danger right now. I can’t really describe what I am feeling right now. Disappointment, maybe. Melancholy.

I don’t have anyone to talk to. Nobody wants to put up with someone as permanently miserable as me and I cannot convincingly act as though my existence is constantly permeated sadness for very long. I may finally be getting closer to going back to my doctor. They have a new appointment system where you have to speak to them on the phone first which is awful for me, but I am tired of being stuck just spinning my wheels. It’s sad really but I have slid backwards so much. I remember sitting here in this exact spot at the end of 2007, contemplating the fact that I was going to be alone at new year and making my first forays into contacting some other people with social anxiety. Since then I made a few online friends and even met some of them but that has all slipped away from me and besides a couple of people I occasionally talk to on twitter, none of whom know anything about my problems, I am back where I started.

For some reason this is the hardest thing for me to write about, but I want to be able to see some way out of all this. I don’t know how I can ever be able to be free from these feelings or if it’s even possible. By admitting this to myself I am opening myself up for more disappointment, hope is more dangerous than giving in to despair. Maybe there is some way for me to survive. It’s painful to think about, but I hope that there is.