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Hi, Im new to the forums. I guess Ive ended up here looking for some advise. Im not sure if Im depressed. I know I have unhealthy thinking patterns sometimes. I think Im more dysthymic which I guess is a form of depression.
I practice meditation, exercise and use st johns wort so I seem to be managing it ok at the moment.
My main concern is a pattern I see in my relationships that has been ongoing for many years, decades in fact. I just cannot seem to maintain friendships with anyone. I end up feeling very disappointed in people. I meet people and at first I seem to click well with them then they will do or say something nasty, spiteful or thoughtless etc and it turns me off them and I go into avoid mode. I also discover quite often after Ive known someone for a while that they have issues with alcohol. For example once they start to drink they can't or dont stop and end up really legless and abusive. A nasty streak is revealed. This has happened to me often enough to make me feel like its not a coincidence and that perhaps Im attracted to these sorts of people. My father was an abusive alcoholic and Im wondering if there is something about these people that feels comfortable or familiar to me because of my childhood???
Anyway so I end up preferring to be alone because I just find people way to difficult to deal with. I cannot tolerate the substance abuse, the dramas, the egos, the petty jealousies and resentment etc etc. The problem is I feel very lonely and long to connect with people in a meaningful way but never meet people who I consider mentally healthy enough to want in my life.
I know nobody is perfect and I am far from it but surely there are people out there who are on a path towards self realisation instead of self destruction. Where do you meet healthy likeminded people in this money, looks, status, alcohol obsessed society?
Welcome to Beyondblue. Sorry it's taken so long for you to get a reply. The forums have been pretty busy of late.
You're story is an interesting one. Before I go too much further I wanted to ask if you are male or female? Are these friends of yours who are getting drunk and nasty male or female?
I used to think similarly to you, in that I thought I was drawn to people who needed help because I've been through such a troubled life. I've learnt that this isn't specifically fact. It's more so that it's in my nature to help people, so I guess they feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable with me. Sadly plenty of people find that they can't really enjoy themselves if they aren't under the influence. I used to see this a lot in past friends. Then there's people like you and me who don't need to drink in order to have fun. You personally would have learnt very early the negative impacts of alcohol, others haven't had the same exposure.
Where are you meeting your friends? It might be worthwhile broadening your avenues for meeting people. Perhaps try local community groups, meditation groups (bcos you mentioned you're into this), networking sites that offer social groups (avoid the activities that involve alcohol), groups at the gym. What sort of work do you do? Are there colleagues you can socialise with?
The other thing you could try is for you to arrange the activities when you catch up with friends. Avoid bars etc and stick with coffees, sports events, movies, dinners and lunches etc. When friends do invite you to a bar or pub or house party perhaps put a time frame around how long you will stay. Maybe leaving early enough that you don't need to witness them completely inebriated.
Have you ever confronted one of your friends about the impact their drinking has on the relationship you have with them? Friends should be the kind of people who can empathise with your concerns and meet you half way with a solution. If they're not willing to do this then they're not true friends. If you do decide to speak with them always talk about the behavior not the person so you can keep things civil.
I know I've asked a number of questions, I hope we will hear back from you.
To answer your question about confronting my friends about their drinking. I have confronted one but only because his drinking effected me in a negative way. He has since cut back a lot but the friendship has also faded. I like to go out and have a social drink. I just don't want to get drunk or be around drunks. For people who have had a problem with alcohol it's very black and white. They can either drink till they are blotto or they give up and no longer have a social life where alcohol is involved. I guess I'll try and find different ways to meet people. It's no easy in Sydney though. We are a very populated busy city but making long term friends with people you really connect with here is very difficult.