What would it take for you to notice
I am a heart on fire, and all the world’s a fuse
So don’t get close
Trouble and the worth
Am I better off on my own?
– ‘Methadone’ by Rise Against
I don’t have enough propranolol to kill myself. Or at least, it would be unlikely to kill me.If I do eventually commit suicide, I will choose a method where survival is extremely unlikely, as I do not want to end up being still alive but severely disabled/ brain damaged, and being an even greater burden to my family. I’d like to point out that I’m not planning on doing anything in the near future. Life is hard but dying is harder.
Of course, I don’t think anyone who is suicidal truly wants to die. Of course we’d choose a life that we could be happy/ content with over self-annihilation. In my case, I find myself wishing that I could be reborn as someone else. Other than being reborn without social anxiety disorder (which is the single most important thing that I’d like to get rid of), I’d also want to be born with a different personality. I’m so damn sensitive to everything. When someone rejects me, especially if it’s someone I was close to/ good friends with (like my online friend, who is currently not speaking to me), it hurts me so much emotionally that they may as well stick a knife in my arm. I don’t really know why I’m like this, though I suspect much of it has to do with how much it hurt me to suddenly be rejected by my childhood best friend (I’ll do a post on this later). I’m very reluctant to get close to anyone because of this, and that’s probably the other main reason (with the first being my SA) that I find it so difficult to make friends. I don’t want to be hurt again. And yet, stupidly, once I have been able to finally let someone new into my life, I always seem to make the mistake of only having one close friend at a time. So inevitably, when they leave/ reject me, I fall to pieces and I’m a complete wreck. Perhaps I become too reliant on that person. How does one balance being too reliant and being too distant? I’m always one or the other. Perhaps people who befriend me eventually just get utterly fed up with my negativity, anxiety, depression, and tendency to over-analyse everything, and want to be friends with someone who isn’t such a downer/ so annoying. This is exactly what happened with a couple of my old online friends. They also had mental issues, but somehow got better (mostly through making offline friends and going out and doing stuff with them – can you tell they didn’t have social anxiety?), and were then irritated with me because they didn’t think I was even trying to overcome my issues, and seemed to think that my problems were as simple to fix as theirs were. When it comes to those previous friendships (and also occasionally my friendship with my current online friend, though perhaps that’s just me misinterpreting him), I’m reminded of the following lyrics:
You like to give an inch
Whilst I am giving infinity
But now I’ve got nothing left
You have no cares and I’m bereft
– ‘Dead Inside’ by Muse
I’d do everything I could to help those people, often staying up very late and depriving myself of sleep even though I needed to be up for school in a few hours (I was still at high school at the time), because they were in crisis. I feel that one old online friend in particular often manipulated me and took advantage of me in this way. I’ve always seemed to care far more about my close friends than they ever cared about me (or maybe they just didn’t know how to show that they care, or showed it in different ways). I’ve often sacrificed my own needs/ priorities to attend to them when they’re in crisis, yet it seems that I’m lucky if they even give 1% of that back. I’ve always been deeply affected whenever a friend has been in crisis, so much so that I feel almost as bad when a friend is suicidal as I do when I’m suicidal. I cry and can’t stop worrying about them, and I’m aware that much of this (particularly the self-sacrificing) isn’t healthy, but to me, it’s all worth it if I can make them feel better in some way/ help them to get through the crisis. This is also why it hurts so much that others seem to just abandon me whenever I’m the one in crisis. I will always stick with them no matter how painful it is for me to help them through a crisis, but people always seem to get fed up with my crises, and stop giving a damn.
So how does one avoid being hurt? The answer is simply to never trust anyone, and never get close to anyone, which I have often considered doing, and am considering doing if my online friend really doesn’t want to talk to me/ be my friend any more. But I feel that if I do that, and therefore deprive myself of human connection for possibly the rest of my life, I really may as well be dead. I worry that so much time spent alone has indeed made me selfish and incapable of sustaining friendships/ relationships. I worry that I will never be able to trust another human being enough to be in a relationship with them.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
– ‘The Four Loves’ by C.S. Lewis
One of the problems I’ve encountered with a couple of the friends I had in the last six years is that (much like I described in my previous post) they can’t seem to understand why a seemingly minor event could trigger such profound distress in me. To be honest, even I don’t know how this works. I suppose it’s because I’m constantly thinking of all the ways that social anxiety affects my life and storing up all the pain and misery associated with that, and then some minor trigger will just serve as the straw that broke the camel’s back. They also seem to think that I’m somehow exaggerating, or overreacting to, the extreme pain and misery that my SA, low self-esteem, and social isolation, cause me.
Seeing as how I mentioned Myer-Briggs* (yes, I’m aware that it has many flaws and limitations, and is overly simplistic), I’d like to briefly touch on it again to help explain something. One of the things I hate most about my personality and the way my mind works is that I am almost never (probably <0.000000001% of the time) actually living in the present moment. I am always either worrying about the future, obsessing over the past, obsessing over my problems, deep in thought about something, or simply off in my own little fantasy world somewhere. I find it extremely difficult to just focus on the present moment, or to simply breathe/ be and take in my surroundings. A pink elephant could probably walk past me and I wouldn’t notice, because I’m too focused on what’s going on inside my head to pay attention to anything else. This is probably a large part of why I’m often so depressed/ miserable, and it’s also why I feel mindfulness might be of great help to me, if I can actually do it. It might also explain why I’m so prone to derealisation. I was terrible at meditating when I tried it before because I have no idea how to just “be”. I also don’t really understand what one is supposed to gain/ achieve from meditation. Or maybe the point is to be okay with not achieving/ gaining anything, or to not be obsessed with what can be achieved or gained, for a few minutes?
* It irritates me to no end that I’m not a “thinking” type, even if my “feeling” preference is only slight. I’m usually fairly logical, though I definitely haven’t been over the last few days. As INFJs are supposed to be one of the rarest types, I’m wondering if this is why I feel that no one I’ve ever met has truly understood me. Anyway…just my thoughts on a limited (and probably outdated) personality test.
I’m also wondering if the reason that no therapy has worked for me so far is a combination of my personality and also my inability to trust other people. I do not trust so-called “mental health professionals” at all after my previous experiences with them, and I don’t believe that anyone can truly help me. Another reason that I found so much of therapy (particularly counselling) such a waste of time is that it seems one of the goals of therapy is to make a person more self-aware. I am already self-aware, and so counselling had no purpose or positive outcome for me other than catharsis. I worry that nothing will ever work for me and that I’m treatment resistant. I worry that my anxiety, thought patterns and learned responses are too deeply ingrained to be changed.
I’m going through a bit of a self-hate session. I hate everything about myself: my personality, my negativity, my social ineptitude, how I look, my voice, how pathetic I am, my inability to connect with others, how easily stressed I am, how sensitive I am, how weird I am, my weird sense of humour, my posture, how incredibly annoying I am/ seem to be to other people, how much of a pushover I am, how much I doubt myself, how easily hurt I am, and so on… Oh wait…I just realised that I’m beating myself up. I’d better go and sarcastically read that Dr. Richards handout to myself, because that magically makes all those thoughts go away! I don’t understand how to truly love myself. I am getting a little bit better at forgiving myself for the things that my anxiety makes me do, but I’m still unable to love the person that I am. I feel that I don’t belong anywhere in this world and I never will.
A large part of me feels that I only ever hurt other people with my negativity, and for this reason I shouldn’t even bother with friendships or relationships. I don’t want to hurt others or be a burden to them due to depression/ anxiety. I also cannot stand the pain of rejection. I want to be in a relationship but I don’t want to be a drain on another person’s emotions, or to hold them back/ prevent them from enjoying life in any way. I don’t think it’s fair to subject another person to everything that my anxiety/ depression entails. It is better for me to be alone, or that just something I tell myself because I’m too afraid to trust another person that much?
By the way, I’m aware while writing this post that it probably seems all over the place to anyone reading it, as my thoughts generally fly all over the place, and in about 476,952 different directions, when I’m writing. Wheee! I kind of wish I had a more linear thought process, as it would make writing blog posts, and also doing uni assignments, much easier.
What would it take for you to notice
I am a hand grenade, pin already pulled
So don’t let go
As we chase the sun
My shadow slows us down
And without me along,
You’re better off and I know
You’re better off and I know
– ‘Methadone’ by Rise Against