My sister moved into her university accommodation yesterday. My mum, my other sister and I went with her to help her unpack and settle in. I suppose I’m jealous of her in a number of ways. The campus there is beautiful – they have a pond, lots of greenery and wildlife, with beautiful views. She gets to do the whole independence thing and (hopefully) have some of the best years of her life. I wish I could become more independent and live my own life but I don’t think I’d last 5 minutes in student dorms because of how socially demanding it would be. She’ll get to make loads of new friends and go to parties and have all sorts of new experiences. I suppose I just wish I could’ve done it all myself, but it’s just one more thing that SA has ruined for me. I only went to one event during Fresher’s Week – a field trip to Holyrood Park, which made me anxious enough. I obviously didn’t go to any parties or any other social events. I haven’t made any friends. I’ve had all the stress of uni and have done all of the hard work but I’ve had none of the fun parts of the university experience. When I was at high school, it was constantly shoved down our throats that “These will be the best days of your life” – which clearly wasn’t the case for me, and only served to make me feel worse at the time. But most people give me the impression that university is supposed to be full of good times also. This hasn’t been the case for me either – or at least, certainly not so far. So I’m left wondering – when will the best days of my life make their elusive appearance? Will I ever find a time when I actually enjoy life and can connect to other people? Most people have led me to believe that after this, it’s just a case of working in a shit job that you hate (if you’re even lucky enough to get a job, in this day and age) for 50+ years. What fun that sounds. I have missed out on so, so much because of my social anxiety and depression. I will never get that time or any of those missed opportunities back. I hate living this way. Will it ever go away?
Is the best yet to come, or did it pass by long ago?
I suppose, at the same time, in a lot of ways, I don’t envy my sister at all. Just sitting in her dorm room with my other sister (while her and mum were out shopping) and listening to other people introducing themselves and having conversations in the hallway made me feel anxious and very socially incompetent. I was scared to even leave the room to go to the toilet, for fear of bumping into anyone who might try to talk to me. Someone knocked on the door, wanting to introduce their self when my sister was out (she’d told us not to talk to any of her dorm-mates when she was gone) and it made me feel sick. I imagine that if I was in that situation, I’d probably never be brave enough to actually answer the door and introduce myself to people. My sister was a bit anxious about/ reluctant to introduce herself to her dorm-mates, but she managed it no problem. Another person introduced herself to us while we were unpacking my sister’s shopping in the kitchen, and (even though my sister did almost all of the talking) I still felt very, very anxious. If I lived in dorms, I’d probably end up using the kitchen at about 3am – to avoid having to talk to other people – or I’d hardly eat. Just being there made me feel extremely anxious. I don’t know how I’d ever cope with living there. My dorm would literally become my cell. I’d hardly ever leave it. I’d be living in solitary confinement. I’m convinced that the people in my dorm would end up hating me anyway. At the same time…I find myself wishing that I could be around other people my age. Maybe if I listened to some of their conversations, I’d have more of an idea how to go about making conversation myself? Still…as much as living at home, or at my grandparents’ (who fight almost constantly) house gets on my nerves at times, it’s probably the best option for now. At least I can actually venture out of my room without intense anxiety there. At least I get some social interaction.
It will be strange not having my sister here, since we’ve shared a room since she was a baby. As much as she gets on my nerves and upsets me at times, I will miss her a lot. Hopefully her university experience will be a lot better than mine has been so far.
My self-esteem has generally gone down the toilet over the last few days. Over the last few weeks, my self-esteem has see-sawed between being the highest it’s been in a long, long time, to being extremely low, with very little in between. My mood and self-confidence are up and down like yoyos at the moment. Welcome to another day on the dynamic rollercoaster ride of Gemma’s mood swings. I keep mentally beating myself up. The criticising ‘voice’ in my head is constantly telling me what a worthless, useless, ugly, incompetent, stupid, horrible, disgusting piece of shit I am. I hate myself. When I was walking my dog earlier, I didn’t even want people to look at me or see my face. I didn’t want to offend them with my ugliness and my worthlessness. I don’t even feel worthy of going out in public when I’m like this. I can’t believe that there is anything good about myself as a person. If anyone tries to tell me that I do have positive qualities at all, my immediate reaction is to think “What a lot of rubbish”, but I obviously don’t want to say that to them because I don’t want to offend them. I just can’t see it though…and I don’t know how anyone else could see anything good in me.
I keep thinking about my lack of friends, the unlikelihood of a relationship, and my inability to connect with people (yes, I’m obsessed with those things – it’s difficult to ignore them when you are so intensely lonely). I long for friends; I long for happy times to share with other people; I long for people to like me; I long for human contact; I long for touch; I long to feel part of something; I crave love. And it seems that social anxiety decided long ago that I can’t have any of that. I don’t deserve a life or to be happy like other people. I don’t get the chance to have friends, or to fall in love, or to have a family, or to be myself around other people. I don’t know how to get over the self-hatred I have. And I feel so ungrateful because I have things so much better than a lot of people in the world. I even feel awful posting this on here because it must be annoying to read about someone who is so caught up in their own self-hatred and keeps whinging about the same things over and over again.
I’ve noticed that before I go into situations where I will have to meet new people, I just become so convinced that they will hate me anyway so there is no point in even trying. I’m so convinced that other must think so lowly of me, even if they don’t even know me. It’s bizarre. I’m convinced that they’re all judging me negatively. Even if I’m just passing someone in the street, I’m convinced that they must think “What a disgusting, ugly, pathetic freak”. I’m just waiting for the insults, even though I know logically that it probably won’t happen. It worries me that I don’t even operate in logic at times like this. I become paranoid about what other people think of me, completely convinced of my worthlessness as a human being. Meh…sorry for the word vomit. I think that getting back to regularly doing CBT is probably what the doctor ordered.