But here I am in the raging sea
And my soul is bound for hell.”
I had some pain in my left side yesterday and the night before.My stomach or intestines,probably It was deep inside rather than a strain. It came on quickly and I even had trouble sleeping and breathing I thought it was serious, maybe drinking too much for too long and taking certain types of tablets over many years. The pain has gone today. I think I willed it to go. I am due to see a friend you see, my only one soon and I won’t let it stop me. It may come back once I am back home again. I give it permission to come back, to take me even, but not yet.
I did not feel so bad yesterday and today depression and anxiety wise. I went shopping for a birthday present in the city centre on Friday afternoon. However the shop assistant asked me in a friendly banter type of way if I had had a nice day when I was at the counter and I just said “Fine thank you”. I can’t do banter. I did not even feel anxious or shy, I just can never think of pleasantries or small talk when only the day before I been thinking about suicide. It’s the main reason I dont want to meet new people. I have nothing to talk about that isn’t depressing. I wonder what the meets for depressed people are like. Yet the useless advice on self help forums and blogs is to remove negative people from your life. I am the negative one you stupid bastard! I just looked on the anxiety forum. Where are you going for your holidays? Nowhere. I have only been on one holiday in the last 30 years and would not go alone. I have no family and no job. When you are at the bottom how the hell do you claw your way back up again? Perhaps you don’t. its not as though I was normal when I was younger and have a normal personality to return to. I’ve always been mental and anxiety ridden, even before depression struck.
This is so true in many ways. When you are negative people online or in real life ignore you even more and this actually increases your negativity and feelings of paranoia, of being hated, disliked and makes you worse, even suicidal. This means that when you are feeling at your worst there is no help .However,rather than have some deep spiritual meaning it’s nothing more than human instinct and survival of the fittest. You are faulty so people avoid you as you are no use to them. Next they start to dislike you and even blame you for acting this way on purpose to justify hating and ignoring you.
I read once that we evolved in small family groups where everyone knew each other as extended family so that when you were distraught or unhappy then everyone would be concerned and want to help as they knew and loved you and it was for the good of the group. Thats why we act this way, to get attention from people who cared about us However in the modern world where many people have no close family and no friends then no one really cares. Strangers on the internet of course have no connection to us whatsoever so have no bond. You have to have already formed online friendships and a network before you can express any negative emotions as then people will care. Forging that bond in the first place is somewhat harder if you are not normal.
If you read support forums and mental health blogs they almost try to bully and shame people to be positive. You are made to feel guilty for not being optimistic as if you are choosing to be this way or you are simply wallowing in self pity and this puts you off posting at all. This of course further isolates you. They often claim you should meet people but ignore that in real life too you almost have an obligation to tell jokes, to be social and happy and optimistic and if you are miserable in real life people will avoid you also and never want to see you again.Therefore people who are chronically in need of help are cut off from society and get even worse. The only advice always being if you feel that bad to get help from a doctor (and dont bother us again until you are more cheerful.)
I think at this stage internet forums and self help groups should be avoided at all costs as they will make you feel even worse and just magnify feelings of being alone. Anything is preferable to the feelings of hopelessness and fear and dread each day so a more spiritual even religious way of thinking may be of benefit. The advice for getting over social anxiety is of no use whatsoever as when depression starts to take over it overrides everything else making you too miserable to be accepted by strangers. Almost all online social anxiety advice assumes that everyone with SA is identical and you are just a bit shy and will make a complete recovery by constantly pushing yourself. It totally ignores depression, lethargy, hopelessness and of course age as everyone on the internet who is shy is no older than 25 or so it seems.(certainly on youtube!)
I try to write things down sometimes to help me understand , to make me feel better but honestly my mind is so dead most mornings that even putting a coherent sentence together is difficult and everything becomes muddled and mixed up. This is even when I dont drink so its a depression thing. Likewise trying to be positive or friendly on an anxiety forum is so hard I have given up. yet the only way to make friends or contacts whether over the internet or in real life is to be friendly and funny to get people to like you. Just be yourself, my arse! if this doesn’t show how judgemental people are I dont know what does and it also shows why people with mental health problems will find it much harder. If you are faulty(mentally ill) then nobody wants to know you! if you have no support such as family then you really are on your own.
It’s so easy to see how people who are down or depressed just keep getting worse as everyone ignores you and avoids you even more which then makes you feel worse. is this evolution at work? removing you from society, from the gene pool to stop you passing on faulty genes. Are you supposed to go away and die for the good for the species? are you a waste of space and valuable resources in an already overcrowded world? Are suicidal thoughts a natural reaction to failure and society not letting you be one of them unless you are normal?
Its partly sunny so I will take some paracetamol and try and force myself to go out this afternoon again on a walk. Its becoming harder each week. Even going to the local places I have been many times before is hard. Getting a train and going further is near to impossible without severe anxiety and bowel problmes and doing it more often did not make it easier. Do these people who boast of having a positive attitude realise it isn’t always a choice?
Getting hard to breathe,
Getting hard to believe in anything at all,
Mother of Violence,- Peter Gabriel
it’s getting to the point now that I feel so bad for so much of each day that death becomes a hope although I am still too cowardly to do it yet. To end it now would require far too much bravery. On my walks in the peak district I would often stand by the edge of cliffs and imagine coming back at some point with a bottle of whisky and wondering if I could do it drunk. Of course you need a hard flat hard surface to end it quick otherwise you are still alive in agonising pain. This would put me off as I would no doubt be left at the bottom of a cliff in unbearable pain all night and still alive if I did it wrong. More failure.I’m even pessimistic about failure in suicide! I also stand at the side of busy roads as lorries and buses go by at high speed but again it’s hit and miss(quite literally!) and also it’s unfair to involve an innocent driver in your schemes.
Of course the reason people still contemplate such things is not because they are all out of their minds, its because the NHS is still shit at curing mental illness and we live in the world where survival of the fittest operates for humans just as much as for animals. Many normal people in normal jobs with normal families would contemplate such a thing if they faced being a homeless beggar and they had no family or friends or support and lived in a world where you are ridiculed for being a failure.
People have told me to get out more and go to places as if I will automatically connect with people. Examples are volunteering jobs and various internet meetups Don’t be silly, I have never connected with anyone in over 40 years. Stop giving advice that only works for normal people!What will happen is I will be extremely awkward and miserable, this repels normal people so they avoid me and then I will go home in a state of distress at how bad it made me feel. And then these self help experts tell you to keep doing it over and over again! It’s like telling you to keep hitting yourself in the head to cure a headache. Why on earth they think repeated exposure to failure will cure you I have no idea. Why do they imagine repeating something will make you better? That other people will eventually like you? That when you have done something many times the anxiety goes away? That at some point you start acting normally? That at some point other people start liking you instead of hating you? Often it keeps getting worse if you repeat something bad, not better.
Shyness kills, eventually.
If you put social anxiety into Youtube you get several videos come up with self proclaimed experts immediately giving you their sure fire tips for overcoming it. Either that or young attractive people usually girls with their own experiences of anxiety. (Oh I wonder why I have got so many views! Its ‘cos the internet is full of horny young men desperate for a shag!)The thing is the advice from some of these people with their huge confidence and egos is utter total crap and once again appears to be aimed at moderate to mild shyness and not social anxiety at all. The one guy’s tip is to go to a bar over and over again and you’ll probably become friends with the barman! What? Arte you a F**KING imbecile? With overwhelming SA you blush stutter look uncomfortable, find it hard to impossible to make small talk even if someone talks to you non-stop. In reality you look like the weird creepy loner who sits on his own in the corner and never speaks and no one ever speaks to. People will laugh at you.
He then says if you are bad at public speaking you should do as much of it as possible to get good at it. Again this advice is completely bollocks. Going from gibbering wreck to forcing yourself to speak in public is a nightmare. Once again he never even contemplates blushing, sweating stuttering and looking very, very anxious and uncomfortable. People will laugh at you and mock you. You will probably feel worse and end up wanting to kill yourself. You fall to pieces and get more avoidant, not better. The advice is totally hopeless. As the social anxiety guy says on his blog 95% of advice for getting rid of SA is useless! All they tell you is keep going out and doing stuff and assuming you will automatically burst into fluent chat and make friends and get better just by being in the presence of other humans. Doesn’t happen!
Let me be weak, let me sleep
And dream of sheep
Kate Bush – And Dream Of Sheep
Fight or flight. I read that much of our anxiety fear comes from this primitive instinct deep within our ancestry. We fear things that are sometimes not important and this trigger is then set off due to circumstances and becomes out of control. Realising that there is no danger decreases fear and ends anxiety. Except it doesn’t.
I went out taking photos on Friday afternoon as it was sunny. It was a place I had been many times before. However there were lots of young students lying around sunbathing as it was the university gardens. Of course in England the sun only has to come out for about 5 minutes and the temperature exceed 20 C and people dress like they were in Barbados. I immediately became edgy and paranoid again. I heard laughing and see them looking at me. again, yet again. I imagine them mocking me. I weird lonely man taking pictures. Taking photos seems like such an innocent pastime and yet I always feel like I am being judged.
They say you get used to continued exposure because its not going to kill you. Bollocks! of course young girls are not going to beat me up or kill me. Just them taking the piss out of me makes me feel bad and avoidant. Yes, I know you think I am just paranoid and imagining it. But i did not imagine girls at work calling me a zombie,mental and treating me with disdain for 20 years did I? Telling their friends to avoid me as I was weird. ITS NOT ALL PARANOIA! if you act strange the majority of people treat you like a freak! When you sometimes then do try to talk and be friendly like all this advice advocates these people already have a negative opinion of you and treat you like a F**KING C**T! They ignore you and look at you like a C**T! ITS TOO LATE! That’s why so many people dont get better as they are stuck with the same people at work or school who hate them and wont let them socialise. Thats why your confidence does not improve. And of course you cant leave school and its hard enough to get a job at all if you are shy so you are stuck in a place full of people who hate you.
On Saturday I went to the riverside festival. Again I have been many times. I took a picture of the band on stage. Immediately some man who was with a crowd of people said “Oh, a fan!” and started posing in front of me like a twat. So I walked off. I think he had been drinking. Taking pictures isn’t simple. You immediately draw attention to yourself. Perhaps being a photographer is actually bad for anxiety.There were crowds of people, lots of stalls selling food and stuff. I hated it and went home to the TV again.
The point is I have been doing stuff like this for years and often using photography as an excuse to get out and its gotten far worse. Exposure has not helped. I hate crowds of people, being in crowds of people, being near people. Feel the fear and do it anyway has been of no help whatsoever but to increase my anxiety and avoidance. Just because I am in no real physical danger does not retrain my flight or fight response to feel calm. I barely ever have a good time or a good experience when out alone. I have never made conversation with strangers or felt part of a crowd. I come home angry and stressed out and sad,again. Forget the saying no pain, no gain. So far its been lots of pain and still no gain.
Its finally time to stop doing things I don’t like and ignore the advice. I will from now on try to go to remote places in the countryside and in the week when there are less people. I will not do things that make me feel worse in the vague hope that some strange magical happening might occur and change my life. It wont, it never has. I think if you are paranoid and anxiety ridden and to enjoy going to events like these you have to be with people you know well, friends and family and I have neither. Being alone in a crowd is as bad as being alone anywhere else, in fact it’s probably worse.