Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘socialising

I get a text from a friend. We’re going for pizza. Want to come?

Simple question. Yes or no. But then I have a massive fucking debate in my head, because I like pizza but I really don’t feel like leaving the house, and obviously no-one will want me there anyway, they’re only asking to be polite, and maybe I should leave the house because my mother’s pissing me off and I’m not working this weekend but I’m not doing anything else either and time is just draining away. I really like this friend, and the other people who are going, but what will they talk about? What if it’s a subject-matter that makes me uncomfortable? What if it’s something I don’t know how to talk about? What if it’s silent and awkward? Maybe I should text back and say I can’t go, but what if they want to know why? I can’t say it’s because I just feel weird and I’m anxious about conversations I can’t predict, that sound stupid. Maybe I should just go? But fuck, I feel like I’ll cry if anyone looks too closely at me. Maybe I should just ignore the text, turn my phone off even, and then next time I see them I’ll pretend I didn’t get it until too late – but I feel uncomfortable about that, too, like they’ll see right through me and know I’m making it up. I start wondering if my friend gets delivery reports.

I agonise for 10, 15 minutes. I can’t go but I don’t know how to say no, and I turn my phone over and over in my hands, not knowing what to say. Eventually I text back, make an excuse about having family stuff to do (nobody knows that my family is fucked, that we don’t do stuff together, that there are few things I wouldn’t rather do than play happy families). I feel sure that my friends feel relieved, and – duty done – can now enjoy an afternoon with the people they actually want to spend time with.

I know it’s stupid. I’m just finding other people difficult right now.

Everyone seems kind of disappointed in me. Everywhere I go, people are telling me that I need to do something different with my life. Some of them have specific plans for me (there’s one person who insists, every time we bump into each other, that I’m born to be a librarian), but mostly they just say that I’m wasting my life and that I need to make plans and move on and do something better. I know they mean it well. They mean it as a compliment. They see me as intelligent, and they want me to succeed. They say, “come on, Laura, what are you going to do?” Whether it’s good friends or acquaintances or people I hardly know (at work, a manager from another department came and spent a couple of hours with me, getting to know what our department does. By the end of that short time, he was trying to inspire me to hope and dream and push forward, trying to work out my aspirations and encourage me to go for them) – everyone wants me to be ambitious.

It’s not that I lack ambition, as such – I like being good at things. But being ambitious involves thinking of the future, and that puts me on shaky ground. Everybody means well, but all I hear when they try to push me is that how I am now isn’t good enough, I’m worthless, stupid, useless. The people in my life see potential in me and they won’t stop talking about it, and it makes me feel like a fraud, like I’ve somehow lied to them or tricked them into thinking things that aren’t true. Their faith in me feels like a burden. People ask me what my plans are, what I’ll do with my life, and I shrug and look lost and stop being able to form sentences. They think they’re being helpful, but they’re not. They’re just reminding me how much I’ve ruined my life.

How can I think of the future? How can I plan or hope? I’m clinging to a sinking ship: whatever I do, I’m fucked, so I’m holding on to the familiar. 

I shut myself in my room. I try to find meaning where I can, but I struggle (I remember when I would listen to music, and memorise the lyrics that touched me. I remember when I would read books, and see myself reflected in certain characters. I remember when things meant something to me, when I could make a connection with something outside my life. It all seems so long ago). I avoid my friends and I avoid my family. I avoid thinking about the future, and the past. I take deep breaths and I lie in the dark and I don’t cry – too tired for that. I don’t even really think about anything. I’m just hyper-aware of time passing and nothing changing and I feel trapped.

(With all the melodrama I feel able to muster,) the only thing I hope for is death.

That’s it. A life, wasted. Even if I had the energy to get out of this, I don’t know what way to go.

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Posted on: November 11, 2011

My friend invited me, on Facebook, to his birthday party. He used to be one of my best friends, but I’ve seen him about three times in the past two years, and all of those times have involved me sort of looking away and being awkward and promising to spend more time together even though we both know I don’t mean it. I don’t know what to say. I’m so used to getting these event invites on Facebook and answering maybe and never going to anything.

Read the rest of this entry »

Things are going okay. I’m having snatches of my mood lifting…an hour or two here, an hour or two there. To be honest, most of the time I’m feeling reasonably cheerful. It’s interspersed with bursts of absolute panic re: everything but – horrible as those times are – at the moment, feeling okay is taking up more time.

I had another counselling appointment on Friday. If I’m being perfectly honest, it wasn’t particularly useful. I had a lot of difficulty understanding what she wanted me to talk about, and even more difficulty actually talking. I can’t find the proper words. Everything feels like either an understatement or an exaggeration, and I just sort of sit there, casting my mind around for something I can say without having to clarify it or follow it up with “…sometimes” or “I think” or “I’m not sure that makes any sense”. She keeps asking for explanations, too. That doesn’t particularly bother me – obviously it’s best if she actually understands what I’m talking about – but the more I try and fail to explain properly, the more frustrated I get with myself. It’s like there’s a brick wall in front of me every time I speak, or else a switch that flicks in my mind and stops my thoughts from reaching my mouth. When I speak to her, I feel more than ever like I’m being vague or making strange comparisons or just saying the wrong things in the wrong way…I listen to my words and I don’t think I‘d be able to get it, if I didn’t have access to my thoughts too.

I suppose she must be good at her job because, unlike with pretty much everyone I’ve ever tried to talk to about this, talking to her doesn’t immediately make me want to throw myself off a cliff. There’s only time for two more sessions, anyway, so I might as well keep going. I suspect that maybe it’s the fixed, short-term nature of the thing that stops me from panicking: it doesn’t matter what happens, because soon enough I’ll never see her again.

I went to my friend’s party on Saturday night, too. It went reasonably well. I was alright. I spoke and laughed and it was all okay, although I kept getting distracted by the sky (I don’t know what it is about night skies. They feel weirdly significant, and I tend to get lost in them easily). The people who were there who I knew already were lovely but kept asking where I’d been, why I hadn’t been in touch…why we hadn’t spoken for six months. I don’t know where that time has gone. It worries me that half a year can pass and I’ve done nothing and not contacted my friends and not really noticed anything. I worry that a whole lifetime could pass that way.

The people who were there who I didn’t know were a bit of a problem, too. Well, not a problem, as such. I just get annoyed when, within seconds of my reaching a place, people are grinning at me and laughing and talking at me in that way that feels like they’re prompting me, trying to get me to say something ridiculous. And then, a couple of hours later, they were listing the funny things I’d said (apparently several entries for their Quotes of the Day), and casually telling me I’m “a bit strange”, as if it’s a completely obvious and uncontroversial point. Don’t get me wrong, they were nice people. I just tire of everyone’s first impression of me being exactly the same (a friend once introduced me to his girlfriend as “Laura. She’s crazy”, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been introduced to friends of friends and they’ve raised an eyebrow and grinned and said, “yeah, I’ve heard all about you”, and later, “[our mutual friend] told me you’d be like this!”). I don’t even really understand why it happens. I mean, I’m not that weird, am I? There are definitely people weirder. It just saddens me a bit, and sometimes makes me feel more like free (and slightly bewildered) entertainment than a friend.

I’ve been considering going to counselling again this year.

It would be difficult, though. I mean, what would I say? How do I explain to someone I haven’t seen for 18 months that the break I took to sort my life out did nothing of the sort, that everything is still fucked up – perhaps even worse, as I actually, genuinely have no support in any form whatsoever -, and that I haven’t changed, except perhaps from being older, more tired, more cynical, more negative? I’d love to make an appointment, just one, and just drop in and say something like, “Hi! Just wanted to come and let you know that everything’s brilliant now, my life’s on track and I’ve never felt better”. That was how it was supposed to be, I was supposed to be okay. I’d love to have some sort of confirmation that the decisions I’ve made have been right ones, and that there is some hope for me.

I don’t know how to go to a counsellor and admit that every hope I’ve ever had for my future has fallen by the wayside, because I’m no longer capable of achieving everything, because I’m too slow, too stupid, too frightened.

I don’t know how to look someone in the eye and admit to them that I’m ruining my life, I’m wasting my opportunities, and I can’t imagine a future for myself. I don’t know how to explain that I’m living my life from one day to the next, doing what I feel I can, and feeling guilty for everything I don’t manage.

But it would be so good to have someone to talk to. Not just someone who knows about all of this, my private inner life that I conceal with such devotion, but just someone. This flat is so quiet. I see people, we say hello, and that’s it. I sit in the kitchen, eating my meals alone. I go to make a cup of tea, and nobody’s there, or if they are, they don’t hang around to chat. I’m trying not to compare it to last year’s flat, because that will just make me unhappy. But the truth is that when I feel like I do today, if there aren’t people everywhere, chatting to me every time I leave my room, inviting me to go to places and do things, then I won’t speak, I won’t have any human contact.

So maybe the counsellor could just be a person, an opportunity to speak sometimes. And maybe she would help me understand my fucked up brain. And maybe she would help me when it comes to deadline time, etc. – I don’t want special treatment (it’s not like I have a real problem, it’s not like any of this matters), but just someone to help me explain might be good.

But then, maybe she’d nag me to go to a doctor (I won’t. I can’t. Non-negotiable). And maybe she’d try to help me make friends, and I’d feel like such a failure because it’s not supposed to be a problem, and anyway I don’t have the energy for making new friends.

I don’t know.

I didn’t do anything today. I mean, I dressed, and managed to eat, but apart from that I’ve been mostly hiding in my room, alternating blankness and crying fits and exhaustion.

I wish there was an easy answer. Or even just an answer that was easy to decide upon.

Hooray!

I’ve been feeling fabulous lately. Read the rest of this entry »


Hello

My name is Laura. I was once told that I have cyclothymia. This blog is mostly where I write about living as a person with extremes and instability of mood, and the history of a life that led to the development of those symptoms.

I complain a lot, I'm very repetitive, unreliable, and I tend to contradict myself.

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