Friday, 14 April 2017

Loneliness.


Just a warning: if you don't like whinging, whiny type posts, this isn't the one for you. It's literally just me bitching about not having any friends. I'll be back to inoffensive posts about beauty boxes again soon, I'm sure.

For the first time in ages, I feel confident enough in myself to use this blog as what I intended it to be: somewhere I could document exactly how I'm feeling. And recently, I've felt absolutely exhausted.

Lately I've been really struggling. I've been experiencing symptoms of depression, and even had to fight urges to self harm. It's been a really long time since I've felt the way I do, probably a good seven years now. I thought I was past this, but I'm clearly not. This kind of regression is almost embarrassing to me; I'd stored these feelings away in a compartment and labelled them as "teenage/early 20s drama queen". But they're back, and it's left me feeling like I've been knocked down by a bus.

I thought that maybe it would be useful to open up to someone - I tend to avoid doing this because it usually leaves me worrying for hours that I sound idiotic. Is there anything more infuriating than trying to tell someone that you're struggling, and having them respond with how terrible their own life is? It instantly makes me feel invisible, but also selfish for thinking that anyone wants to hear my shit when they have their own to deal with. It makes me wish I'd kept it to myself.

And that's how I usually am - by myself. Blair works offshore so it's just me and the cats most of the time. I am an introvert and I don't mind being alone, but being lonely is a very different prospect. And I am incredibly lonely.

Joining Twitter and engaging on there was really exciting for me at first. I originally believed that I'd found a community of like-minded people who I could discuss my mental health issues with, who would understand and wouldn't judge. Somewhere that I could fit in, and make true friendships; where my mental health was acknowledged but not the be-all and end-all of who I am. All I actually found was another way to make myself feel insecure. I'm not blaming anyone for this, because I know it's my own thought process that is the issue, but I really didn't expect to feel like socialising had become a competition. Twitter is all well and good until you realise follower counts have become badges of honour, a tangible way to rank and rate who is worth listening to, and who isn't. 

I've been utterly consumed by the lack of a follow-back, by messages left on read and by public tweets that have gone unacknowledged. I have started to feel like I don't have the right to talk about my own mental health because I'm not part of a certain clique. The community lead mainly by pretty, talented, articulate young women who've shown utterly no interest in me is just another group I don't fit into. I've undervalued my own writing, my own feelings, a thousand times over because people I don't know don't care about them.

I don't really have any friends - instead I have had a lifetime of feeling like I don't fit in. I've worked in four places where people have taken an instant dislike to me and I've never worked out why. I've had best friends turn on me with no warning. There is something about who I am that people do not like. I just didn't expect that to be the case online as well.

Ever since I was a child, any friendships I've had have been fairly one-way. I think a combination of anxiety and BPD means I get very attached to people, even when they don't necessarily feel that strongly about me. I've never really had someone that I consider a best friend - at least, not one who also felt that way about me. I'm 27 years old and I live in a world where I can talk to anyone, at any time, and yet I still can't find someone who would consider me their closest friend. Believe me, I know how tragic that sounds, but it's at times like these, when I'm really struggling with my mental health, that I feel utterly alone. I know there are people who will tell me they care and will listen, but I want more than that. I want to feel like I am valued, that I am important to them, and that they care all the time, not just sympathy when I'm at my most pathetic. I really want a best friend. But approaching 30 and practically housebound, it's looking unlikely.

I'm sorry that this turned into a massive pity party for myself, I feel like a bloody idiot complaining about this when I have so much else I should be grateful for. I know it's going to look like I'm looking for sympathy or attention but I'm really not. I just feel like I am missing out and it's hard. 
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4 comments

  1. First, I want to congratulate you on being brave to post about something you wanted and had self-censored to avoid rocking people's boat and calm image of you in their mind, because not only this is your space to express everything you wish but also that in doing so, you are taking that power over societal stigmas and wishes not to discuss those painful aspects of (y)our mental health.

    Second, I want to express to you my deepest sympathies as I've also experienced loneliness throughout my life, just as much as those feelings of inadequacies and not fitting-in with other people. I know it’s hard to believe that this situation can change, but not only it’s possible for it to change, you can even find yourself surrounded by truly caring friends who’ll bend over backwards to support you. The only pieces of advice I can give in a short (ish) blog comment is to be patient, to persevere and to accept your uniqueness. In this I mean not to pursue an ideal of normalcy, because that part is boring and contrary to your nature. It might take a while and I know this can try your patience but it’s so rewarding to find the right people for you – which include bi-lateral friendships.

    Regarding online : this can be tricky, because there are literally so many of us online at any given moment, that posts can left unseen and with allgorhythms, it can compound the invisibility. I don’t know of miracle solutions, except to reach out to others, send direct messages and comment, as that might modify the allgorhythms. I for one always respond to DM’s, where we can continue part of this conversation.

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  2. In many ways I feel exactly the same. Although my mental health got to a point where I couldn't leave the house I have managed to overcome that and I'm sure you will in time too. I do still feel lonely and find it difficult to make friends or even feel like I belong in the blogging community. I'd be happy to talk to you if ever you need someone to listen and I hope things get better for you :) x

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  3. For loneliness trying new things helps. What really helps is taking a walk, going to church to mingle with people, striking up a conversation with a stranger on the buss, writing letters to people.

    Lung - www.e-counseling.com

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  4. Firstly, you are NOT and idiot and certainly not idiotic for having these feelings. To me it sounds like Your MH and BPD are partly to blame for feeling so lonely, BUT on the other hand, it's a good thing too - it means you are the person you are because of them. You are beautiful, caring and and so very kind (and loads loads more!) but the online community doesn't take the time to appreciate people like you, they tend to forget that behind the username, there is an actual person, a person with feelings, a person who just wants to be loved and appreciated in her own way.

    Don't ever feel lonely and that you cant talk to anyone, my door/phone/mail box is always open for when you need it. I would never turn you away, I'm here to listen any time.

    Chin up beautiful lady, you are stronger than you know. always keep smiling! Xx

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