Today’s SA meet

I went along to another SA meet today and it didn’t go too well. There were 5 of us altogether and I couldn’t really talk to anyone at first. I was the one left out of the conversations as we walked. I’d been looking forward to the meet so much but I just feel like I’ve completely blown it and they all think I’m a freak and dislike me. I didn’t really manage to have a proper conversation with anyone except the organiser. I couldn’t talk to anyone unless they talked to me first. I was so self-critical of myself the entire time. I can’t even pay attention to what is actually going on in the external world because I’m so caught up in criticising myself for every little thing and analysing every mistake I’ve ever made. It’s like I wasn’t even there at all. I feel like everyone else there is so much more intelligent than I am, better academically, far funnier/ wittier, more clued up socially, and they seem to have far better social skills. They also all apparently have friends. I will never know how anyone with severe SA can have friends…or maybe it’s something else about me that makes me incapable of forming friendships – a personal failing of some sort? I just feel useless compared to them. I can’t carry on a conversation at all. When they were talking about something that I was knowledgeable about, or asked a question, I couldn’t say anything. I just froze. I wanted to speak but I was too afraid.

I did manage to talk to the organiser quite a bit but I feel that I probably came across as such a freak and as very rude and annoying. Unlike everyone else, I didn’t eat lunch before I went to the meet and although I bought lunch, I couldn’t eat it in front of them because I was too anxious and worried about making an idiot of myself. This meant that I was too hungry to even properly pay attention to what they were saying. I also get quite angry when I’m really hungry so I’m worried that I may have been rude to people there just by the way that I looked at them. I was also overheating somewhat because it was an unseasonably warm day and I was only wearing a short sleeved t-shirt underneath my jacket so couldn’t take it off. So I just generally felt crap both physically and emotionally, which I’m guessing certainly did not help in coming across well to the others there. I’m not sure if I can even explain why, but towards the end of the meet, I was so upset due to over analysing everything and bringing up past memories that I had to try my hardest not to cry – which didn’t really work. So they must’ve thought that I was such a weird, pathetic, sad freak. I just feel like the worst human being ever. I couldn’t even talk to them. I probably came across as rude or uninterested.

*Trigger warning: suicidal + self harm thoughts*

Like I said, I can’t even say what it was that upset me so much. As I’ve said before, it’s never really the event itself, but the memories it triggers and reminders that it hits home. On this occasion, it was the reminder of just how incapable I am of talking to people and making friends. Even just being in a group of people my age freaks me out – I feel like the outsider from the start. I feel like an alien. I just hate myself so, so much sometimes. It’s like the social part of my brain is completely broken. I don’t know how to talk to people or how to act or what to do. When the meet finally ended and I managed to find a quiet spot to have lunch in Princes Street Gardens, I just could not stop crying. I ended up having to walk through the gardens and all the way along Princes Street crying uncontrollably. I felt so anxious and ashamed of myself and was trying to hide the fact that I was crying, but people noticed and gave me some really weird looks. I hate myself. And I couldn’t stop crying the entire time that I was on the bus home either. I tried to hide it by closing my eyes and pretending that I was just having a light doze, but the tears would not stop running down my face. The amount of self hatred and uselessness I felt after that meet was unreal. I wanted to punch something or slice my arm or mutilate myself in some way. I passed North bridge and my first thought was that I should jump off it and go through the glass roof of Waverley station on my way down. I considered hanging myself with my belt when I got home but I couldn’t do it. I don’t know why – life hungry stupidity, I suppose, along with not wanting to put my family through all that pain. But I just wish that it could all be over – no more being constantly reminded of my complete social incompetence and lack of friends/ the ability to make friends. It seems impossible. I will never have friends. I will never be able to be in a relationship. I will never have any meaningful connection with anyone. And without those things, life doesn’t seem worth living. I don’t know why I stick around if it all seems so pointless and futile. I’ve let so many opportunities in life go to waste because I was afraid to take them.

I don’t know…I should probably just shut up now because I’m not really making a whole lot of sense. T, my online friend, did help me a bit by effectively doing some CBT with me and helping me realise that I’d blown things out of proportion quite a lot, but I still feel like I’ve completely blown the chance to get to know the people at the meet up group. They all seem really nice but I’m convinced that they all hate me or think that I’m rude now.

I’m going to do another update soon on going back to uni. Things have been very up and down, but in a lot of ways, I’m still in the exact same situation and it has been very lonely. I feel like just recently (i.e. in the last couple of weeks), I’ve been regressing with my SA again.

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5 Responses to Today’s SA meet

  1. solcolasoda says:

    I really don’t think there’s anything personally wrong with you that makes it hard for you to have friends. The people who managed to show up during SA meets probably have less crippling SA..? For someone with severe SA, I really think that it’s a big step to actively join such meet-ups, since many others would have backed out at the last minute. I only know you through your entries, but I really like you as a person from what you wrote here. At least to me, you are empathetic, gentle, very introspective and intelligent. Social skills can be learnt, even if it may take years. I’m positive that you will grasp it one day if you keep up with your progress. I’m already 23 and worse yet, I’m a really slow learner. Still, I did see a lot of improvements through time and plenty of relapses. I truly believe that one day you will look back and feel happy about how much you’ve achieved. This is a really tough period but I’m sure you can tide through it and see better days sooner or later.

    • Gemma says:

      Thank you. It’s very kind of you to say that. I think the main problem is the combination of my very poor social skills/ inability to know what to say or do, and my fear of getting close to people. I hope that I can gradually learn all the social skills that I should have developed over the last 15 or so years. I really hope things will get better. I’m glad that you’ve improved a lot. 🙂

  2. It saddens me to hear you considered suicide. I’ve thought about ending it all many times in my life, so I know how bad things have to get before you feel that way. If it helps at all, just know that I’m here if you need to talk to someone.

    I’ve made a few friends over the years, but I don’t have anyone to go to when I’m at the lowest points in my life. Even when I’m with my friends, I feel lonely and empty inside because they’re different from me. I don’t know if there’s any point to having friends who can’t understand me and are only around me as long as I’m happy.

    But at least you and I have people on this site who can relate with what we write about. I really hope you’re feeling better than you did when you wrote your post. Stay strong!

    • Gemma says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve felt suicidal many times as well. 😦

      Thanks. Feel free to email me or whatever if you feel that you need someone to talk to. 🙂

      I know the feeling. Feeling so different and misunderstood is also a big part of what discourages me from trying to make friends. It must be very difficult/ disheartening to have friends who don’t understand. 😦 You have my sympathy.

      It is really good to have people on this site who understand what it’s actually like to have social anxiety disorder. Unfortunately it seems like most people I come across outside of the internet really don’t understand.

      Thank you. My mood has been very up and down but I am feeling a lot better than I did when I wrote that post.

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