Thinking about your problems can make you even more stressed so I think its good to completely zone out and do other things for a while rather than obsess about mental health. or is doing other things merely avoidance? For instance every time I look at self help for anxiety and depression it makes me much more depressed and more anxious! Yes sometimes avoidance is good, isn’t that what most relaxation techniques really are? So walking in nature is one escape and so is photography, even indoors. On Friday I spent some time just trying to get pictures of the numerous apples which have fallen off the tree I planted over 20 years ago in the back garden.
Macro photography is harder than it looks. You need a good clear background, preferably dark. You then need to have the right lens so you can get close enough and since it only focuses on one spot of the subject you need to take several photos and merge them together. I dont have a macro lens so this is the best I could get and you can see that its already beginning to lose focus and detail as I get closer. Pro photographers often take hundreds of shots in every possible setting and use only the best or merge them together with software.
I also went back over the thousands of pictures I have taken over the last 12 years or so. Sometimes they make me feel happy and bring back good memories and other times I feel sad as they remind me of the turmoil of the time or that I may not go back to many of these places again. This stag from two years ago was completely ruined before as there were other deer in the background but using software I have managed to remove most traces of them if you dont look too close.
In other news I previous mentioned my dizzy spells which had completely gone for the last few weeks. This morning I actually felt dizzy again and passed out when I got up to go to the toilet and hurt my arm. I still wonder if its something to do with my allergy tablets which I have to take almost daily. A normal person would probably go to the doctors but I am I normal? The ForK I am.
I forced myself to go on another walk yesterday afternoon as the sun came out and it was a fine autumn day. I did not feel so good this time as I got quite agitated and started talking to myself again. Is a lot of mental thought just a bad habit? Is self talk and criticism inevitable if you see no way out or future and all therapy a pile of delusional shit? You see I have been going on similar walks for over 10 years and despite the vast majority of time nothing bad happens I never habituate or get used to going the same places and I never relax and I seldom if ever enjoy. In fact all my most memorable walks appear to be when there were no people around. Perhaps I am allergic to them.
Is depression even curable if the reason due to real problems like severe anxiety and the prospect of being homeless or dead? The future gone and a family life now impossible despite almost all therapy and self help books seeming to believe that everyone reading them is 23 and you still have the rest of your life ahead of you.
Can social anxiety even be cured if depression has taken such effect that you are now unmotivated and so far down the hole that only a miracle can save you? if I go to a meet wont they think me a miserable so and so and quiet and boring and hard work like so many before them and then not want to see me again making me even more close to the edge? How can you demand people go to every social event and then assume they will be friendly and sociable when they in reality depressed and socially inept? Where does pleasant conversation come from when you have no job, no family and spend most days at home thinking of the end? Do I just drink alcohol before meeting new people and hope for the best? Why is advice for socially anxiety absolutely shit?
Even looking back at some of my old posts I see the people who used to comment regularly all left and never returned because they were sick of my negativity. Thats the reality of being depressed. Other people cant handle it and demand you are happy to please them. Some actually had the nerve to get angry with me because they couldn’t bully positivity into me. “I cant believe this depressed life long virgin and totally isolated, been unemployed for years, hasn’t changed years of negativity overnight because of a few comments I sent him on WordPress! Some people are SO ungrateful! He should go out and speak to strangers. That’ll cure him!”
This is not really happening, not happening at all.
You bet your life it is.
Escape is on your mind again
Escape to a far away land
At times it seems there is no end
To long hard nights of drinking
How Will You Go? Crowded House
I think the overwhelming sadness is one of the harder things to cope with. Its always been there since I was a little boy. The not fitting in or feeling normal, the family always being a bit strange and the underlying tension, the complete lack of security as if always standing on a cliff edge and feeling like at any time I would be pushed over. This started at school which I absolutely hated and never really stopped.
Then people say its your fault for not trying hard enough, heaping yet more guilt on a mind racked with self doubt for decades when of course most people dont even have to try that hard because these things are supposed to be normal and available to everyone. You didn’t ask to be this way but if you dont do everything they say to be normal its still all your own fault.
Sometimes I want to lie down and cry and yet no one else must know as they dont really understand and most dont care anyway. Self pity is reviled from society especially from people who think its all your own fault as you did not work as hard as them. In fact people who have supposedly recovered are often the most critical of all as they were hard on themselves to succeed and so think that gives them the right to be just as hard on you too. It doesn’t, they’re simply selfish ass-holes. All the hopes and dreams you had for yourself are pretty much gone forever now. You mourn for what you could/should of had, that love you always wanted, the family life and children that would have been yours but for a minor alteration in the wiring of your brain. All those fantasies and hopes you you waited your whole life for did not happen, they stayed just fantasies.
I dont much care now if its all over. I keep finding myself saying I want to go quite often as its all becoming tiresome and boring. I dont see much hope for the future and absolutely no self help site, book or person has shown me any whatsoever. In fact for many people optimism seems to be no more than a delusional fantasy based on making things up that they like the sound of. The more I look for hope the more depressed I become as quite simply if you’re mental,weird or different its hard to fit in to normal society as they dont want you. If there is some kind of afterlife or not who cares. Existence in misery is no kind of life at all. The hope of youth, that it would all change and come good one day like the end of a story has vanished long ago. The only thing I have learnt from life is the unfairness and random nature of it. Some of the worst of mankind have everything while so many good people have nothing.
Almost all advice I read suggests starting off by making small talk to strangers to get over social anxiety. If you are a hermit just go out and talk to people on the street, in shops, in elevators (we don’t have many elevators in this city) at bus stops, just anywhere. You will get better and better at it and before long it will become second nature .It makes no allowance for depression and being suicidal, for being older and whether it’s normal to speak to people of different ages or sexes, for being paranoid and for being socially inept including physical manifestations like blushing, stammering, mind freezing and acting awkward. It makes no allowance for things going badly and keep going badly or for other people being aggressive or nasty back to you. Why on earth do they assume it will just keep getting better? Success breeds confidence, not repeated failure.
You see I thought therapy tried to cure you of all this crap first so that you could go into social situations more confidently when it appears to want you to force yourself into social situations over and over again straight away and work it all out yourself as you go along.
I dont see it possible for me to do therapy as I can’t find any starting ground to begin with. if even the supposedly simple things cause overwhelming anxiety then what the F**k do you do? Drink heavily? If I tried to go round my city tomorrow making small talk to strangers I would be shit. I am miserable, have poor body language, a shit voice and massive paranoia and apart from the weather which I find a pathetic subject and exceptionally corny I have no small talk subjects I feel comfortable with whatsoever. As I am well over 40 I would feel uncomfortable speaking to younger women in case I appear creepy and women in general in case they thought I was coming on to them. I can almost guarantee being ignored or looks of total disdain. If somebody says yes it is crap weather then that is the end of the conversation and awkwardness ensures. I don’t have 50 follow up lines at the ready. This massively increases feelings of being disliked and a freak and then makes me more avoidant.
What f**king planet do therapists come from when they assume socially inept hermits go round making witty banter to strangers and do great and that failure does not affect them. Absolutely none of the books explain the basics of small talk in detail, they basically just say do it and assume you know it all. Going to a party or meet, you act weird(shy then), you have shit small talk, people avoid you. Staying in a stressful situation for 90 minutes until the anxiety subsides is not really possible without looking a twat and does not actually help you talk to people or make conversation. Do you hang a sign around your neck? Nervous anxious person. Do not disturb for 90 minutes!”
Even more importantly most strangers don’t talk to each other at bus stops or say hello to other strangers on the street anyway. When I was younger and at my worst even when occasionally somebody spoke to me first I could barely think of an intelligent response so no witty banter or conversation happened. I often felt awkward which just made others awkward and then they never spoke to me again. I even get paranoid thinking that if I did it regularly as advised then the same people would see me again and think , “Christ its that weird nutter who speaks total shit about the weather ! Look the other way!” because people hate awkward strange loners and that’s why you stay an awkward strange loner as you are always on the outside looking in.
A whole load of social skills need to be learnt before you even start to make regular small talk with strangers and even then you still need to be motivated and enthusiastic to force yourself to go into situations repeatedly. Its pretty hard to fake confidence though and that is vital to start with. And of course if you have no family, no job and never leave the house your range of subjects and interest to other people is going to be limited anyway.
That was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream
I have never been abroad which is highly unusual for someone in the UK. My parents were obviously crackers and never took us many places when I was young although we did go on holiday on the East coast when I was in my teens for several years. But Skegness is hardly the same as the Caribbean. In fact I seldom left my own county apart from the yearly school day trips. I also never learnt to drive due to anxiety and so only really started travelling in the UK more when I got made redundant. I quite enjoyed it although anyone travelling on UK trains and buses can understand the expense and the often crappy service. Even so I could rarely travel further than the Midlands due to the time constrictions and arranging to get back in the same day. I remember going to Wales via 3 trains once just so I could say I had left England once in my life. I went once again on a coach trip with a family member but am unlikely now to ever get to anywhere more exciting.
I would have loved to have visited iconic places like Rome, Paris and America at least once in my lifetime if only for the photography opportunities. There are some locations that have always seemed magical since seeing them on TV as a child. Yosemite and Yellowstone in the US are two such places and also have amazing wildlife. Even though unlikely it would still have been an ultimate dream of mine to travel one day. Something to dream of and motivate me if ever I managed to make a recovery and attain anything like a normal life.
However even if I wanted to apply for a passport now in the UK its basically illegal for me to attain one as very shy or socially anxious people are not allowed out the country. Yes, its almost impossible for someone with extreme social anxiety to get a passport even if they wanted to one day travel aboard and chase their dreams. Thats because you must have someone countersign your application. These people must have known you for two or more years and they must also have a professional occupation. Oh they even said it cant be your own doctor any more although I think they used to allow this.
As I speak to no one for months and have virtually no other human contact its completely impossible. I have never even known people with professional level jobs in my life. Therefore the only way I could legally travel abroad is to find and deliberately befriend someone in a professional level job and then keep in contact with them for over two years before I could even apply, that’s if even if they agree to sign it. How the F**K does everyone else find it so easy to get a passport? Surely there must be some kind of scam going on. I am not sure if its just as hard to get a driving license as well but looking on their website it says you need a passport as proof or you then also need a signatory who knows you well so it would also be impossible for me to learn to drive even if I wanted to. Its strange how even the most simple and basis things are made impossible by anxiety yet are completely dismissed as excuses or irrelevant. As said before once on the bottom rung of life society keeps you there and does not allow you to recover. After all we dont want mental people going abroad or learning to drive! We already have enough of them in the house of commons!
So when does normal small talk become harassment? You see almost every single self help site or book says you should speak to people at every opportunity and if you are a single man, women. Speak to them at bus stops, in the supermarket, in elevators and indeed anywhere you see them so you get used to it. Smile at all women, say hi to all women. Literary, this is what it says in a book I read today. No matter what age they are. Still seems a bit awkward to me if you are old enough to be their dad but then I have no concept for normal human behaviour at all anyway.
You see sometimes I would feel more like a dirty old man or when younger a pervert, if shy, a creepy weirdo and if so then all talking advice for shy men is completely pointless. A lot of small talk makes you look like you are only after sex, like one of those gift of the gab men I used to know at work who seemed to go into some sort of trance like state whenever an attractive women walked in the same room and immediately started witty banter. They would blow their car horn if they passed a girl outside work and offer to give them a lift. So when does normal friendly chat become something more? Or is it just my paranoid mind thinking the worst and most women expect men to talk to them in every circumstance even at the freezer section in Tesco. I think it would be really F**King annoying if you were a women and had men pestering you all the time but then all men are told to do this as we know women never make the first move and if we dont we will die a virgin. So men have to approach women all the time. However if we are shit at it or if we do it badly as in shy and awkwardly we are called creepy and weirdos.
The prettiest girls at work never spoke first. I used to wonder if it was simply they were used to so much male attention and men initialising conversation that it was just normal to them and they could not comprehend quiet men like me and then thought them weird. I once remember a girl asking me the time at the bus stop outside work and as I was with another guy I knew from work he seemed to think later she liked me and was trying to start conversation and was almost angry at me that I gave her a one sentence answer as if I had let a golden chance slip. Its ridiculous as all she did was ask me the time but to this other guy she may as well of asked me out.
But that was unusual. You see in all the walks and things I have done over many years and working for all those years women barely spoke first ever. Once again I think this is just normal human behaviour and that women have to be far more cautious as men are sometimes seen as dangerous especially when out and about. However at bus stops, cash machines, shops and certainly at work for 20 years women barely ever initiated conversation with me but often still thought me weird for being so quiet. Even working in an office at a desk quite near to me. One girl would not even ask me for help because she said I was quiet and this made her feel awkward. And there you have it in a nutshell really. Shy awkward men make women feel nervous and on edge in case they are nutters. Weird loner syndrome.