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School and non-school related issues

Community Member

I'm currently 17 y/o, partway through year 12, and so far it feels like a repeat of last year. Since I have an absurdly high academic goal to reach I've brought the bar down. Though the problems I've faced with studying, like procrastination, have come up again, and I've felt guilty and ashamed for not improving. It's the consistent struggling that makes me believe that I'm incapable of ever doing well. This is coupled with my friends succeeding in their social and job lives at just year 10-11, making me feel envious and incompetent.

Something else I struggle with is anexiety. In my previous schools I initially struggled to make friends, because of how weird I am. I am usually either far more energetic and spontaneous, or dull and tired, than those around me. So I've decided to cut myself out from people in my class. And since I rarely left home, I was socially isolated for a while. I would make some friends, and hang out with people during lunch from time to time, but by about year 7, I hadn't made any close friends.

I travelled here in 2017, which is when I'd meet two great friends, though I'd only make a close friend by late year 11. I was getting more anxious around people, since I was used to staying at home. During year 11, I've isolated myself whenever possible, during class and lunch, by keeping my head down, or sitting in the lockers. I'd always say that I'm sleeping whenever someone checks on me, which I justified with my real poor sleep schedule. Near the end of year 11, I had trouble controlling my imagination. During arbitrary times, I'd imagine disgusting sexual or violent imagery, with the former being far more prominent. I used to keep my head down, often tearing up and feeling ashamed of myself, while trying to stop them from appearing. I found that pain helps stop this, though I understand that it's a terrible way to manage it. Though this is a symptom of OCD, which I have not verified, I'm concerned that I might enjoy the former. I'm sure that I don't, but if I were to tell anyone, I'm sure that they'd say that I'm just perverted, so I'm being impartial.

I've also felt suffocatingly lonely, balling up in bed to cope with the feeling. I am trying to socialise more often, though the interactions are feeling hollow, since I can't tell whether people enjoy my company, or just put up with me to not make a scene. I've felt this way since year 11, and still have no way of discerning between both cases.

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

An incredibly warm welcome to you ThatKindCoder

I'm so glad you followed through with the thought to come here. I think that while sometimes we can beat our self up for a lot of stuff in our head that we can't seem to manage, there are definitely times when we should give our self credit when it comes to listening to the sage in us or that part of us so desperately looking for direction. Sounds like you're facing a lot of challenges at the moment and my heart truly goes out to you as you face the challenge of making sense of them.

In some ways you remind me a lot of my son who's in year 11. We're a little way into his journey of greater self understanding, so I hope what we've discovered so far can offer you some helpful info. Just to set the scene, he's a fairly hyperactive very humorous guy whose imagination is out of this world. Since prep, his introverted nature has led him to reflect on the idea that he'd much rather sit alone than hang around with a group of people who he just doesn't vibe with, which set him up for a lot of alone time over the years and some soul destroying bullying. It's only this year that he's found the people he best vibes with, a group of friends who encourage each other to be true them themself. They're a mixed bunch, comprised of those who are members of the so called 'alphabet mafia', those on the autism spectrum, those who are the black sheep of their family and society, those who are highly sensitive and can feel so much etc. Together they click exceptionally well.

With major focus issues and a longing to do better at school based on his long term goal, we saw a psychologist for an ADHD assessment at my son's insistence. With the psych testing, she suggested he's more inclined to be on the autism spectrum. This was only obvious in hindsight. My son was never after a label, he simply wanted self understanding and direction. With this direction, it helped explain a lot for him. Next we set up guidance with the help of a woman who organises student study habits. She explained why studying without a system doesn't work for many, especially for those with an exceptionally strong imagination. She's touched on the reasons for procrastination.

Never settle for people who say stuff like 'You just need to get on with things' or 'Try harder' etc etc. That's a lack of guidance and depressing. If, in summary, you're expressing 'I'm lost and I need to find my way', only settle for those who are happy to help and want the best for you.

Dear ThatKindCoder,
Firstly, welcome to the forums we are so glad that you found your way to this supportive and welcoming community. We hope that you find ideas, options and support from the shared experiences and knowledge of all our members.
School can be overwhelming and stressful even with the ‘bar’ set low, so we hope that you acknowledge your achievements if you have been achieving high academic goals to this point. Please don’t feel the need to compare or measure your value and success by how those around you are doing. Everyone progresses at their own pace and receive opportunities at the right time, these moments will come for you.
Anxiety and struggling to fit in socially while at school must be difficult and we understand the need to isolate yourself when feeling overwhelmed. You mention having two great friends and one close friend, do you socialize with them more this year than last?
Have you discussed these feelings with your school counsellor or administration? Have you discussed these fears and concerns with your family? Have you considered engaging with your G.P to discuss these feeling that you have OCD?
We would also like to encourage you to reach out, it can really help having someone to talk to when these negative thoughts and images arise. By engaging with Beyond Blue via phone or chat the counsellors can provide advice and support, please contact either via phone 1300 22 4636 or web chat: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
Kid’s helpline is also a great service to contact for counselling or just to have a conversation about your concerns. They are available to anyone aged 25 or under, you can call them on 1800 55 1800 or at https://kidshelpline.com.au/ .
If at any point those disturbing thoughts become too much to process, or you no longer feel safe we urge you to contact emergency services on 000.
We hope that you find the support and direction that you are seeking on the forums. Once again, we are so glad you have joined the forums and we hope that you feel welcomed into the community. 
Warm regards
Sophie M