Basically Friendless

For ages my therapist has been encouraging me to try to make some friends. She asks me on a semi-regular basis whether I’ve made any new friends or if I’ve hung out with any friends since I’ve seen her last (I have sessions once a month since I’ve been doing well mentally).

Often the answer is no.

Right now I have one good friend that I work with and speak to outside of work. We talk about our personal lives and text/call each other rather regularly. She’s really the only one.

It’s pretty sad when I reflect on the fact that I don’t really have any friends anymore. All of my best friends from high school live in different states, none of my college friends live nearby and former co-worker friends have drifted away.

I feel jealous sometimes because I feel like everybody has friends but me. I wish I had a friend that I could get coffee with or go shopping with.

As an adult I don’t know how you can make friends outside of work and religious gatherings. I don’t believe in any religion, I don’t join clubs, I’m not into the bar/pub scene and when I go to the gym I don’t speak to anybody.

My therapist has made so many suggestions on how to make friends but I shoot them down.

I often spend time with my family or my boyfriend when I’m hanging out with other humans. I visit my grandmother on a regular basis especially since she has been quite ill. I sometimes will take my younger cousin out for lunch or shopping. I spend time with my mom and brother pretty often as well.

Family is important to me but I think that concept only came about because I don’t have friends to occupy my time anymore.

I mainly spend my time alone.

I read books, practice Japanese, read the news, watch YouTube and watch tv shows or movies. I write on here too!

I’m more introverted so I don’t hate spending most of my free time alone. But there are times, like tonight, when I wish that I had a friend to hang out with.

Things I Do Because I’m Depressed

Whenever I make a mistake and I know that I’ve hurt somebody’s feelings, I immediately fall into depression. It catches me as if I was falling from the top of a building. It’s always there to catch me and wrap me in a blanket then whispers horrible thoughts in my ear.

When I’m in this state there are some things I automatically do as a way to protect myself. It’s a lot of shit that I’ve been doing since I was little.

  1. Hide: This is my natural instinct when something is wrong. Ideally, I hide in my room with my door closed and cover my head in blankets. My goal is to usually escape from whatever is going on either in reality or in my mind. I hide away until I can face the shit happening.
  2. Stop eating: When I’m very depressed or anxious I feel like I can’t eat. It feels like my stomach shrinks to the size of a grape, that if I eat anything more than a cracker I will feel sick. When I was really struggling two years ago, I would go sometimes for an entire day without eating anything.
  3. Sleep: If worries are buzzing in my brain, I can’t focus on nearly anything. Today I have a lot of those so I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on my work. But when I’m hiding at home, I often just go to sleep. I sleep to get away from the anxious thoughts, sometimes it is the only time I can find true relief.
  4. Cry: I am a cry baby. I cry about everything which I find annoying to myself. When I’m really overwhelmed or sad, I just sit down and cry. It can be silent tears or ugly sobbing depending on what is going on.

I know a few of these are not healthy coping mechanisms but I have (for now) kicked my most unhealthy one which is self-harm. At many moments in my life those urges to cut were so frequent that I was hurting myself almost on a daily basis. I am proud of myself that I have been able to work things out in a different way and curb those urges.

If you are struggling right now with your mental illness, I hope that you can make it through. And if you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, I have a few posts about potential ways to silence those thoughts.

Stay strong everyone!

My Fears: I’m Not Good Enough

Like my fear that everyone pretends to like me, I’ve had the worry that I’ll never be good enough. I think that is the overarching phrase of my entire existence.

As a child I never thought I was good enough to be a part of anything special or succeed in academics, sports or music.

I remember being in 5th grade, I was selected to be a part of the Four Mile Singers (the school was called Four Mile, hence the name) which was a special singing ensemble for 5th graders.

I went up to my music teacher and told him that I didn’t deserve to be in Four Mile Singers because it was for special people. I told him that I was not special therefore I shouldn’t be in it.

I have blocked that memory out for the most part but every once in a while it creeps back up in my brain. It’s quite painful to think about.

I loved playing the piano but I have never thought I was very good. I took lessons from kindergarten through 12th grade.

I would compare myself to the other students who took lessons from the same teacher. I would hear them play and think, “Wow, I wish I could play like them. They have so much talent!”

By the time I got to high school, I rarely performed in recitals on my own. I would become so incredibly anxious that I would fuck it all up. So my teacher would pair me with other students to do duets, duals and quartets. I loved doing those! I felt confident because I had other people around me to support me.

With friends and boyfriends, I have always thought that they secretly hated me. I’ve always thought that they would leave because I was not enough for them. That I couldn’t provide whatever they were searching for so they would leave to find somebody who could fill that void.

As I am growing up I am feeling this a little less. I am confident in my relationship with my boyfriend, I know that he loves me. I have only a few friends in my actual life (outside from social media and texting). The couple that I have will reach out to chat or even take the lengths to spend time with me.

Every day I have to work towards self-acceptance. I need to accept myself for who I am, not look at what I lack. I do not need to live my life to meet the standards of others. 

May 2019 bring some more self-acceptance! I will be doing a New Years goals list this month. Follow me so you can check it out!

My Fears: Everybody Hates Me

Since I wrote a few days ago about my fear of being fired from my job, I figured I would do a series about my different fears sustained by my anxiety. This one is about my fear that everyone secretly hates me.

I have thought that everyone hates me since I was a child. I don’t know where it originally came from but anxiety always told me that. I often thought my friends were friends with me for pity and not because they wanted to hang out with me.

As my mental illness developed as I grew up, I felt that way more and more.

I mainly have felt this way in romantic relationships. With my first boyfriend at the age of 15, I thought he was dating me for pity. I thought he was so cute, cool and 16 that there was no way he actually wanted to date me.

That feeling was solidified after I found out he was cheating on me with another girl. It told me that I am not enough.

Fast forward to 22 and I felt that way again with my ex and now at 25 I still have those feelings about my current boyfriend.

I worry that deep down he hates me. I worry that he is with me because he feels sad for me. I worry that he is always on the verge of breaking up with me especially if there’s an argument.

Whenever there’s a rough patch I think, “Omg, this is the end. He’s going to break up with me.” So far that hasn’t happened, we have been together for 2 years.

It’s this deep insecurity that I have always had inside me. That I am not good enough and not worthy of love. That my mental illness and other weird quirks are a turn off, making people run away from me as quickly as possible.

Anxiety screams so loudly in my mind that it is often difficult to tune out. On repeat it tells me that everybody hates me and is planning to leave me.

My therapist has worked hard to try and tell me that my anxiety is wrong. That there are many people who care about me, she even had me create a list once! She asked me to really think, without anxiety’s influence, about who I know does not hate me.

Maybe I should do that again but I’m not sure if it will curb these thoughts.

Hope you guys are all doing well!

— Megan

 

Thank U, Next Mentality

I was writing for another mental health blog and it somehow turned my thoughts around on a situation I’ve been experiencing.

Someone who was my best friend and I are no longer speaking, we are done. After two years of drama, we have unofficially ended things.

She was someone who did not respect my choices, did not support me when my mental health was at an all time low and tried to control me.

She told me that I needed to drop everything to follow a regiment that she created to “get my life and career on track.” This would have required me dumping my boyfriend, quitting my job and moving to a new city. By the end of it, she more or less said that I was a failure compared to our other mutual friends because of my life choices.

Since that conversation and her refusing to apologize for her actions, we have become more and more distant.

In the last few months, talking to her gave me serious anxiety. I was worried that she was going to call me a failure and that I need to change my life again. I hated talking to her because of that fear.

Then Ariana Grande dropped her single “Thank U, Next” and it empowered me.

As I’m reflecting on my ex-friend and I’s former friendship, I was sad and disappointed things didn’t work out. Now I’m saying, “thank u, next!”

This woman brought so much negativity into my life that I am happy to be saying thank you, next. The anxiety that she made me feel was not worth the broken pieces of the friendship that we once had and were trying to put back together.

Shit didn’t work out and now I am ready to move forward and beyond that failed friendship.

Thank u, next!

I’m An Ambivert

Let’s get the definition of an ambivert out of the way. An ambivert is someone who has some qualities of both an introvert and an extrovert, we are sort of a blend of spices.

Sometimes I hear people talk about introverts and extroverts incorrectly, it’s not about whether somebody is social or not, it’s about how one gains their energy. Introverts gain energy by being alone while extroverts gain energy by being with others. Simple.

As a young teenager and as a child I felt more like an introverted individual, I would spend a lot of time alone reading books and listening to music on my CD player or iPod. Classic. After school I would retreat to my room to recharge.

But once I got to high school and college, I loved spending time with my different friend groups. The time we spent together gave me so much energy that when I was alone for too long, I felt totally drained.

I’m 25 now and I have grown into someone who sits somewhere in the middle which was at first a really strange adapting. I had gone from needing to spend time with friends and family to needing my space to keep myself sane.

After I got severely depressed I spent a lot of time alone ruminating on my suicidal thoughts. So any interaction with others was incredibly draining since I already didn’t have very much energy to begin with. I think all of that time curled up in my bed led me to become more introverted than I ever was before.

Sometimes I am energized by being with friends and family while other times I come away feeling absolutely exhausted. When I spend time with my family (that includes my boyfriend) and we are all eating, laughing, joking, I feel energized by that.

A month or so ago I had breakfast with a friend and then went to this art gallery event with him and a friend of his. I was so drained that I had to excuse myself and go home.

I balance somewhere in between and that’s totally fine by me. I enjoy my ambivertness which I am learning to live with each day.

Are any of you out there ambiverts or have had a shift like I have had? Let me know!

Oh the Guilt!

I hate feeling guilty and shameful. The other day I posted about guilt and right now, I’m having one of those moments where I feel so guilty that I want to curl into a ball so tightly that I disappear.

Have you ever felt that way?

It’s a cycle for me with guilt and mental illness. My anxiety will tell me that nobody loves me, that I’m stupid or that I’m a bother to everyone around me. Those thoughts are so loud in my head, it’s hard not to hear them. When I say them out loud or assume someone actually feels that way, I end up feeling guilty for saying my anxious thoughts out loud because it makes the person I said them to upset.

I say, “You don’t like spending time with me, do you?” Then that person gets frustrated, they’re blindsided by that comment and why I would say something like that in the first place. For me, that question makes sense because I have been hearing it for years.

My anxious statements make me immediately feel guilty. I tell myself that I’m a bad girlfriend/friend/sister/daughter, I’m a person that nobody wants to be around. I wish that I could vanish into a small space where nobody can find me. A place I can hide until the guilt subsides and I can breathe again.

I’m going through this right now so the emotions are really fresh. I feel ashamed when I let my anxiety speak because I know I should not let it have a voice. From my perspective, those anxious thoughts ring in my ears so loudly that I forget that nobody else can hear them. I forget that maybe what my mind tells me isn’t actually true.

What do you do when you’re feeling incredibly guilty about what your mental illness makes you do?

I hope that you guys will all be alright. –Megan