Just another post about loneliness
i am new to this forum. I’m just concerned about the disconnect I feel with people in my life.
A little history I have a bad track record with friendships. I haven’t had close friends for quite some years as when I did I often would get very upset and angry with friends for reasons I don’t understand and would treat them quite badly. I feel very humiliated by past actions. Humiliation is a big part of my identity really. I have some friends but not anyone to close. I find I can manage the friendship better that way but it also means I’ll only see people once in a blue moon. I have become quite acostomed to spending most of my time alone and enjoy it really. I know the reasons I enjoy it aren’t very healthy. I have a job and a loving family and the disconnect comes from the interactions I have with family and colleagues as I find my self lying about what I’m doing and how I’m feeling all the time out of embarrassment more than anything else. This same embarrassment has stopped me from seeking help. I have reached out and received help on a few occasions but can’t help but skirt the truth about my feelings and day to day activities. I just generally feel so much shame and humiliation about who I am as a person. I am just wondering if anyone has a similar experience or any advice on how to over come these feelings and accepting my past and present self. I’m not really in a position where I’d make any new friends that could be close. I am ok with this as I’d like to be at peace with myself before I’d even be able to form any close relationships. I understand having good relationships is important to heal but I am currently unable to trust anyone with my inner embarrassment. Any thought you may have on this would be greatly appreciated.
Welcome to Beyond Blue (BB) forums. People who post here are supportive and caring, and you'll find pple responding overtime.
Your issue is very close to my heart. I know exactly how you feel because over the years, while I've made friends I keep them at a distance.Never too close. The only close friendship I have is with my husband who I trust implicitly.
Like you there are many reasons for avoiding close friendships. Humiliation is one example, as is shame and guilt for past actions. Added to this is trust, not so much about my inner embarrassment, but trust they will do the right thing by me. During my childhood my mother was very controlling about who I saw, when I saw them. They had to come from the right family, the right values and of course in her eyes none of my friends did. It was drummed into me that friends where untrustworthy, you couldn't trust anyone else. "Evil would happen". Really!! Over the years I worked through - the right family, right values issues however, the issues of trust is the hard one.
Not sure if I'm helping you much at all. I'm just understanding you. Not sure how to make this better as I'm struggling myself.
Hopefully other posters will come to our rescue.
I'm pleased to have brightened your day. One of the things I do in my life is 'smile' (even though sometimes, that's not really how my heart feels). I always try to give people I walk past in the street a 'smile'. You know what? I frequently get a smile back. That helps me tremendously.
Do you smile much or smile at others when shopping? I'm thinking not because you maybe too shy. But I too am very shy. However, a smile comes naturally to my face. I learnt it from my dad.
Even though I find it difficult making and keeping friends, I do have social contact with people through various groups (nature walks, photography) and sporting activities (swimming, walking). While I often put myself on the periphery, I do make an effort to communicate because it is important for my mental health.
Some things I need to touch on with you is, seeking help from your gp and a mental health therapist (e.g. psychologist or psychiatrist). It sounds like you may have some underlying cause for your withdrawal from people. You may find it useful to explore where there is any cause for it. I have a gp I've been going to now for about 7 years and trust him implicitly and recently started going to a new psychologist because my last one retired. It helps me to do things - like going out and interacting with others. Interaction with others is essential for a good life.
Hope this all makes sense.
foreword: this is very long, please feel no obligation to read/reply I’m very grateful you’ve spoken with me this far.
It’s interesting you bring up smiling as I work in customer service I spend all day smiling. In fact I’ve just spent 10 hours of my day smiling. My smiles feel genuine as I can’t help but smile, although, I feel it may also be a learned habit to protect myself. I really don’t like people around me to know I am often feeling quite sad. I feel I’ve done enough of negatively impacting people; I’ve been quite a nasty person. I find peace in loneliness as I’d rather not project onto others. I know everyone is trying to cope with their own struggles. Even now speaking anonymously with you I am feeling uneasy about how selfish i am being within this conversation. I am very grateful you are taking time to speak with me.
On the topic of seeking therapy. I have done so on maybe 3 or 4 occasions in conjunction with medication. I usually last in therapy about 5 sessions. I have quite often found medications to make me feel suicidal which is not a feeling I encounter frequently when not on medication. This is likely because I’ve not found the correct one or I may just not need it. I also view suicide as a non option for myself as I have a very loving family who are willing to be very supportive and I simply could not leave them with such grief as I’ve caused enough disappointment to them in the many years I’ve spent being a nasty person. I haven’t found therapy to be of much help as I can not overcome my perceived embarrassment and shame. I also feel I’m not really entitled (for lack of a better word) to feel so sad inside as I have had such an easy life and I have been well looked after; nor suffered any abuse. I have lived through rejection though, most notably my bio father who left me when I was 3. However I was embraced by my mums new partner at 4 and he has been a wonderful dad since. I am now 25. It will take time to build courage to seek help again. Although perhaps here is a start. Kindest regards.
I hope you do not mind if I answer you here. I find it difficult to navigate this Forum and keep up to date if a person has several threads- that being said my apologies if I have missed something.
Having medication that backfires is not unknown, as you correctly thought. It is unfortunate but in many cases (my own included) it can take a while to find the right dosage of the right drug. A long drawn out process as each medication has to be allowed to stabilize, then there are periods of tapering off if it needs to be stopped. Eventually I found a regime that helped -a lot.
Therapy again is as much a question of the therapist -and your relation with them - as it is anything else. You mentioned only lasting a few sessions each time, do you mind if I ask what goes wrong at that stage rather than the start?
Feeling suicidal due to the wrong drug is a horrible danger, and it would be prudent to have a Safety Plan in case you become overwhelmed. Have a look at one I recommend as being realistic:
I appreciate you are not normally like that, however that can be a disadvantage in some ways as the feelings may be fresh and you have less experience to deal with them.
Feeling at great disadvantage not being able to cope with others is a terrible and isolating thing, so I, like PalelaR, would suggest you persevere with medical support. I guess if I look at myself it is my negative feelings about myself that taint relationships. I can relate to the idea of over-reaction to something I think someone has done - they normally don't deserve it.
Working in customer service is not the easiest of occupations for someone sensitive and failure to sleep often comes, particularly when you feel isolated and alone. May I ask how long your partner is away for?
I have in the past been on shift work with contiguous double shifts and at one satge was dangerously sleep deprived. It reached the stage where not only could I not account for some of my actions (I could end up at work without needing to be there) but also started to see things that were not there. Fortunately I was able to reduce my work activity and I've never had the same sensations again.
Feeling sad has nothing to do with your circumstances or being entitled, it is simple a fact of life that needs fixing. Please persevere with meds and therapy despite those feelings (write things down and hand it over if that helps)