Is There Life Before Death?

I’ve been feeling really down again over the past few days. My negative thoughts spiral out of control when I’m at work, and can be triggered by even a simple comment which was not meant to hurt me. For example, yesterday at work, one of the delivery drivers sarcastically referred to me as the chatterbox of the place. I know that he was probably just trying to have a laugh with me and get me to talk but because it’s not the first time he’s commented on how quiet I am, and because I get these comments ALL THE TIME, I end up interpreting it as other people not accepting me. I end up feeling that I’ll never fit in anywhere, and no matter what I do or how hard I try, other people will never like me. I get so incredibly anxious about appearing rude to other people, and worry that my manager will end up sacking me because of how quiet/ weird I am. The negative/ depressive thoughts take over to the point where I can’t focus on anything else. They completely consume me, no matter how I try to shake them. I’ve been having thoughts about suicide over the last 2 or 3 days (though thoughts only) as a result of the negative thought spirals. I feel I will never get any of the things that I want from life. I feel that no one outside of my family (except perhaps my online friend) would even care if I died. That’s the mark I’ve left on the world. I have no close friends to speak of except that one close friend who I have never even met in person. I’m sick of wasting my life. Wasting all these years. I’m sick of having the same lonely and miserable time while it seems like everyone else my age is out having the time of their life and making the most of their youth. I’m sick of all the memories and of a lifetime of being misunderstood, taunted, hurt, and rejected.

Another thing which triggered my low mood over the past few days is that my plans to travel around Scotland (or even to go to just one or two places) have indeed been ruined. The accommodation prices are ridiculous at the time I’d be going away (over three times the limit of what I’d like to be paying), because I’ve left it so late. Well…there was one place, but it was at a hostel in which I’d be sharing a dormitory with complete strangers, which would pretty much ruin the trip for me (my anxiety would probably prevent me from getting much sleep), so I’ve decided against that one. I can’t help but think about how SA makes the sufferer miss out on so much and leads to our experiences being less enjoyable. For example, if I had a group of friends, we could go travelling together. This would mean that not only would it actually be affordable, the trip would probably also be significantly more enjoyable and less lonely. I know I shouldn’t really compare myself to others my age but I’m very jealous of the fact that so many of them get the opportunity to go  on holidays abroad with their friends, or to ‘T in the Park’, and have a great time. My cousin (who attends the same university that I do) is currently on a trip to Cambodia/ Thailand. I went with her to the first meeting about the trip, and she seemed to really want me to go, but I just couldn’t handle the anxiety of travelling with a group of other, more stereotypical, students. The two different  week-long trips I’ve had as part of my course were bad enough. The trip that she’s currently on lasts for weeks. I was also really worried about my cousin (and everyone else on the trip) finding out about my self-injury scars, and, as I didn’t have a job back then, I didn’t think I’d be able to afford it anyway. I do kind of regret not going now though. Someone else I know has just gotten back from a trip to a wildlife reserve in Africa, which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for years, but of course, I’ve never had anyone to go with. Loads of people from my course have done something similar. I’m not sure if it’s even the comparing myself to others that makes me miserable. I think it’s the fact there are so many things I want to do which my anxiety and social isolation prevent me from doing.

As I often do, I’ve been feeling especially awful about my lack of friends/ a relationship lately. I can’t understand why I’m unable to make any close friends unless it’s through the internet (my mind convinces me that it’s because I’m an awful person and no one likes me). I can never seem to get very far past the acquaintance stage  with people. I am usually unable to show people the real me. It’s the same at work. I cannot show my real personality at all (I think my colleagues would get a real shock if I did!) And I know that all of this is illogical because I certainly don’t think that people like the person that my anxiety forces me to be. It doesn’t make any sense. Also, future boyfriend, if you’re reading this, now would be a really good time to come out of hiding, as I’m losing all hope of ever being in a relationship here. I can’t even have a basic conversation with guys that I find attractive (and even many of the ones that I’m not attracted to), so what hope do I have? Even if the man of my dreams was to suddenly materialise in front of me and ask me out, so that all I’d have to do would be to say “yes”, my anxiety is so bad that it would probably still manage to mess that one up for me.

I really feel for all the people in a similar (or worse) situation than me, especially the people in their thirties, forties, and beyond, who have never had any close friends or been in a relationship. It’s a horrible way to live. And I probably can’t even imagine the amount of pain and loneliness that they feel. No one deserves to go through life friendless and unloved.

I heard a little girl
And what she said was something beautiful
To give your love no matter what
Is what she said.

I love all of you
Hurt by the cold
So hard and lonely, too
When you don’t know yourself

– ‘My Friends’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers

I can’t help but feel that the CBT I’m doing is bullshit/ a waste of time, though it is early days, so I will keep going with it. I apologise for another depressing post.

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12 Responses to Is There Life Before Death?

  1. Clementine says:

    You seem pretty normal to me… does that sound strange? All those “normal” people, who you might think have a better life, really do have struggles that you’ll never know. That’s not to minimize what you are experiencing at all! SA is hard and lonely and depressing. And it stinks that your brain is always telling you bad things about yourself. I hope CBT helps you find a more neutral voice that doesn’t judge. I’m sure you’ve heard all of this before, but the only person who can be compared to you… is you! My biggest challenge has been to live in the moment and not catastrophize the future. And it takes so much practice! So, maybe give the CBT a chance? Have you tried meditation, particularly “lovingkindness”? I think different things work for different people, and I know you’ll find something that works for you. Don’t give up! Your spirit shines through your writing, and you have so much to offer the world! Tell the voice in your head that I said so. πŸ™‚

    • Gemma says:

      I don’t think there is any such thing as a normal person. I know that other people have their own secrets and struggles as well, but at least most of those people have a support network of friends who can help them through tough times, and who they can go out and have enjoyable times with.

      That’s very true. I will definitely keep trying with CBT, though I’m finding it extremely boring, and not very helpful at the moment. I’ve tried meditation before (though not the kind you mentioned) but I didn’t find it helpful, as I found it impossible to quiet my mind. Thank you for your comment.

  2. Hi Gemma!

    Im sorry that you’ve been feeling so down lately and it’s hard for me to read your post because I can see so much of myself in it.

    I sincerely hope you feel better soon and hope we can become online friends! Haha you seem like a great person who’s caring, self reflective and wise – kinda like me!

    Btw i was wondering have you tried anti depressants or anti anxiety medications? They have worked tremendously well for me πŸ™‚

    Sarah x

    • Gemma says:

      Hi Sarah.

      Thank you. πŸ™‚ Yes, I’ve tried two different SSRI anti depressants but didn’t find them helpful. I’ve also tried (and still occasionally take) propranolol for anxiety, which has helped me a lot, but gives me worrying side effects sometimes. Which medications have you tried?

  3. I’m sorry you’re feeling so discouraged. I used to get that all the time: “Youre so quiet!” It used to enrage me and fill me with shame. The people who say that are such clods.

    I just want you to know that there is hope. I battled crippling SA for decades and managed to escape its grip with a few years of trying a lot of different things. I hope you find something that works. You’re a beautiful, intelligent and valuable presence in the world, and one day I think you’ll be able to connect with people and let that out.

  4. Phil says:

    Hi Gemma, Firstly I hope this message comes across as a message of support and empathy because you don’t deserve what has happened to you. I have SAD too and have done for 20 years. Like you I’m sick of living in a box. For years I was against taking meds but recently I reach for propranolol tablets before meetings etc as well as doing meditation, these are taking the edge off and so might be worth a try for you.
    Some others things I’m about to try that might help are random acts of kindness and voluntary work. In fact I think people with SAD care very much about others and that is our strength and we owe it to others to use our caring nature.

    From someone who shares the pain I’m sending all my best wishes to you. I firmly have faith that you will break free from this so keep the faith and keep your chin up. X

    • Gemma says:

      Thank you. I do occasionally take propranolol tablets and have found them to be helpful, though they have given me some worrying side effects. I may start taking them before work and see if that helps. I didn’t find meditation helpful before but would like to try it again. I agree that people with SA do tend to care very much about other people. What kind of random acts of kindness do you have in mind? Thanks again for your comment.

  5. Liberty says:

    I can so relate to your post, I am so sorry you are feeling this way, I also have so much i want to do with my life like you, and social anxiety just takes that away from you.
    I am on the waiting list for psychotherapy and I am getting so impatient, because its taking so long, but i know its worth waiting for the help.
    How is your CBT going?
    If that’s not working out to well, as I’ve done that myself and didn’t find it too helpful, maybe ask about psychotherapy something more long term as it will help you to get over the deep rooted issues for your social anxiety.
    And I am sure so many people would care if you died, your family, and all the people that read your blog, you probably don’t realize how much of a difference your Blog makes to people, suffering from the same thing as you, and its actually really confident of you to even talk about your difficulties with SA online of all places, so i know you are a strong person and will get through this.
    Take care xx

    • Gemma says:

      I know the feeling. My introductory appointment for group CBT is next week. I’ve been waiting since the beginning of March. It’s ridiculous that it takes so long. I haven’t really found the CBT programme (the online one that I am working through on my own) to be very helpful so far, except with some negative thought stoppage. To be fair, I’m only on session 3, and I haven’t been brave enough to try one of the strategies around other people yet. I will ask the psychologist who assessed me for psychotherapy/ interpersonal therapy if CBT is not enough for me to make significant progress. Thank you so much. Your kind comment made my day. I hope psychotherapy helps you. πŸ™‚

  6. Sabana Patel says:

    Heyy, I totally understand how you feel, I have SA and never fitted in anywhere. I dont have any friends either and struggle with depression too. Life is a constant struggle I couldnt cope in my first job and got sacked as a result. I feel utterly hopeless. Maybe we could be friends?

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