I’ve been feeling very depressed over the last couple of weeks. I’ve started crying myself to sleep again, and also crying randomly throughout the day. I can’t be bothered to do anything. I stay up later than I should, reading articles or watching funny videos, only to still end up lying in my bed for ages, unable to sleep, with tears rolling down my face. And I only end up regretting having stayed up so late, as I have to be up so early for work. I used to do the same thing during my big depressive episode in 2011-2012, often staying up on the computer until 3 or 4 o’ clock in the morning, when I had to be up at 7:30am to go to uni. I know it’s stupid but I also know that as soon as I go to bed and I’m alone with no distractions from my thoughts and memories, I’ll end up crying again. It’s just putting off the inevitable. I know it’s not healthy, and I need as much sleep as I can get, so I think I’ll try to force myself to go to bed early, and then I can always play a video game or watch a funny video on my phone if I start crying again.
I don’t know why I’m such a mess at the moment. I’ve been feeling so miserable and so hopeless about the future that I find myself wishing I’d had the guts to go through with suicide when I was eighteen. My life is such a waste. Every day is another day that I will never get back. I wish I could donate days like I donate blood. I wish I could give them to someone who would make better use of them than I do/ will. Life with this curse of a disorder doesn’t feel like a life at all. And I know I have things better than a large chunk of the world’s population. Yet I’m still utterly miserable and hate this life that anxiety has forced me to lead. I don’t know if I will ever have any close offline friends. It’s looking rather unlikely that I will ever be in a relationship, and I don’t really even have a way of finding a relationship. On my brief forays into online dating (more on this in my next post), I’ve always been open about suffering from social anxiety disorder. But the guys who have messaged me/ messaged me back usually mention something about understanding because they have shy friends/ family members. They never seem to understand that it’s so much more than that, and that it controls all aspects of my life. Most of them also tend to bug me about the fact that I don’t have a picture on my profile (or ANY of my online profiles), and can’t seem to understand why this might be difficult for someone who has social anxiety disorder. I honestly don’t think any guy could ever understand or accept my anxiety. Perhaps another SA sufferer, but how would we even meet or get into a relationship in the first place? I’ve had people tell me that I should focus on myself/ overcoming my anxiety before getting into a relationship. Well at this rate, I’ll be about 90 before I have my first boyfriend (if I even live that long). In many ways, I find online dating even more depressing than trying to talk to men in a face-to-face situation. And my previous experience has made me even more reluctant to meet someone from an online dating site. To be honest, with my final year of university fast approaching, while having to hold down a job, it’s highly unlikely that I will have time for a relationship anyway. It’s depressing as hell that I’ll graduate from university without ever having had a boyfriend or kissed a guy. I feel like I’m already so far behind everyone else that no one is ever going to want to be with me. I want to make sure that I don’t get into a relationship simply for the sake of being in one/ other selfish reasons. Lately, I just find myself wishing I had someone special in my life who would be like a best friend to me and who I could tell anything/ cuddle with/ go to new places and do activities with.
Speaking of university, I still don’t have the faintest idea as to what I’m going to do after I graduate. The pressure on us to figure out what we’re doing and to begin applying for jobs will probably be intense. The stress of university combined with anxiety, and often depression, is bad enough, but the pressure to figure everything out, and the belief that I’ll never be able to hold down a full-time job after I graduate/ will end up in a job that makes me utterly miserable, is enough to make me feel suicidal. I don’t even want to think about it, and to be honest, I feel like my priority is reducing/ overcoming my anxiety, as I see no likehood of being able to get/ hold down a graduate job if I can’t do that. I wish my tutors would understand that those of us with anxiety/ depression/ other mental health problems are already under enough stress as it is. My final year at university will no doubt be horrendous. I haven’t even been able to enjoy my time away from university due to work. I always plan to do so many things during the summer and then end up not doing half of them.
Today at work, someone from another department was exceptionally rude to me. After crying myself to sleep last night, I ended up nearly in tears again due to the way he treated me. I was so angry/ bitter/fed up today that I honestly felt like screaming at/ punching someone. Other people get angry over the slightest thing compared to me. It’s ridiculous what I put up with in terms of how I allow other people to treat me/ how other people think they can treat me, and by this I mean both recently and throughout my life (or at least since starting high school). And eventually, after people have pushed me too far, I feel as if I’m going to explode. People sometimes ask why I prefer animals to other human beings, and my answer is that animals aren’t a bunch of ar**holes. When I was younger, I used to go on SA forums and hope that I would never become as bitter as some of the older people on there. But after the way other people have treated me recently and throughout my entire life, it’s difficult not to be bitter.
The female colleague I mentioned in my last post (the one who always ignored me when I said hi to her) continues to ignore me, but happily chats away to the guy who started working there at the same time as I did. Within half an hour of starting my shift this morning, the new guy on night shift pointed out how quiet/ awkward I am. This was probably less than 10 seconds after he attempted to start a conversation with me. How bloody awkward do you have to be for someone to pick up on it that quickly? I don’t know if it’s because I’m feeling so depressed or simply because I didn’t get much sleep last night, but my brain was running even more slowly than usual today, when it came to trying to think of a response to other people’s comments. I suppose the effect of social anxiety disorder on the brain is similar to the effect of a major virus on the speed/ performance of a computer.
I was one of the last people to go for a break this morning, so there were no seats left at the table that all of my colleagues were sitting at. I had to sit on my own at another table, until the last person up for their break sat beside me. I always feel especially awkward around this colleague because she tends to talk to herself so when she says something, I’m never sure if it’s directed at me or at herself/ rhetorical. So usually when she says something, I’ll just smile at her and feel awkward. I don’t know if this is just my paranoia combined with feeling so awful, but the female colleague that I mentioned earlier on in the post came over to us, and I’m sure she was subtly mocking the fact that the other colleague was sitting next to me. Just as I got up to leave, the colleague who talks to herself said “Well it was nice dining with you”. I’m still not sure, but at the time, I felt like she was being sarcastic, and I felt like they probably talked about how weird I am as soon as I left. I was so angry that I nearly punched the door as I left the room. That’s one of the worst things about social anxiety disorder – not being able to trust your own mind. Not knowing whether your perceptions/ feelings match reality or not. My brain is constantly trying to pick out even the faintest tone of sarcasm/ mocking. I honestly feel like everyone in that place hates me, no matter how hard I try. They probably don’t think I’m trying at all. I wish they could understand how difficult it is for me simply to be at work and to function there at all. I wish they could understand that I’m not a rude or horrible person (or at least, I don’t mean to be), it’s just that I have a crippling anxiety disorder. I hate SA so, so much. I never fit in anywhere, no matter how hard I try.It seems like everyone loves to mock the socially awkward outcast. They have no understanding of the pain behind it.
I’ve been considering taking propranolol before work but I don’t think it would make that much of a difference. I’m feeling so awful that I kind of want to take the diazepam I’ve been prescribed, but I couldn’t use it long-term at work. I have only eight 2mg tablets, and there’s also the potential for addiction. I just want it all to be gone. All the anxiety and all the intense, indescribable pain of a lifetime of being unable to connect with other people. Nothing I do seems to work. The online CBT course that I’m currently working on hasn’t really helped at all so far. In fairness, I haven’t been able to practise “slow talk” at work because our picking targets have been increased, so I’ve been trying to go around the shop like a greyhound on crack in an attempt to meet the requirements, trying to use all that adrenaline to my advantage. Speeding up is the exact opposite of what the course tells you to do in anxiety-provoking situations, but I don’t really have a choice. And I’m going to have to somehow increase my speed even further.
Recently, the bosses of my department messed up with funding, so there was supposed to be no overtime until further notice, but last week, my manager took me aside and asked if I could do overtime. He asked me to keep it quiet because there was only a limited amount of overtime available, and everyone else had been told that there was no overtime at all. I think he probably asked me because he knows I’m unlikely to tell anyone, given how quiet I am. But he put me in an awkward position by doing that (because I didn’t want to have to lie to my colleagues/ for them to think that I had gone behind their backs). A couple of my colleagues figured out that I wasn’t contracted, and I’m sure I heard them discussing how I managed to get overtime. Ugh. The whole episode probably just made my colleagues dislike me even more.
I will keep trying with the CBT for now, but to be honest, I’m not sure why I try at all. Nothing I’ve tried has worked, and I have no idea why. What’s wrong with me? There must still be some hope that things can better left inside me, or I wouldn’t still be alive. How much longer will I keep trying in the face of such a bleak looking future? I don’t want to get old and feel like my entire life was a waste, taken from me by a life-destroying anxiety disorder. Time will tell, I suppose. For now, I’m just trying to ride out these depressive feelings, in the hope that they will eventually pass.
I’ve heard this life is overrated
But I hope that it gets better as we go
– ‘Here Without You’ by 3 Doors Down