On Friday I went to Lincoln cathedral as I did last year. It was really to pray and try to get some peace and think for a while. The Christmas market was over the previous weekend so it was quite peaceful once you climb the hill and get out of the main shopping area.
I was still very agitated and anxious when I got there. This is because I had been this way for the last few weeks as my anxiety had been getting steadily worse. When I got in and it was almost empty apart from some staff looking at me I became so anxious I almost left. I did not speak very well to the cashier(yes its £8 to get in!). This again proves that when you are depressed and anxious then doing stuff like meeting people doesn’t cure you like the long list of things they advise for depression. My f**ked up depressed mind made me act anxious, feel terrible and I did not enjoy much at all. To top it all there was a 2 hour journey there and back on a crowded train and there were also some art students drawing all over the place so it was not as peaceful as I hoped and I once again become paranoid and thought some laughed at me.
In a private chapel I stood before the sculpture(above) that represented the face of Christ and as I touched it all I could think of was “IT IS FINISHED! which are supposedly the last words he said on the cross before he died and went to heaven. I then prayed to him to take me soon and let me die quickly. Last year I prayed for help or death. he gave me neither. Perhaps he never existed or is a bit deaf. This was the only time I felt spiritual all day. This life is a complete waste of time and is finished. Nothing has worked, nothing I think and do has ever helped for long. I am now far too old for any miracles and almost every single day I feel deep misery and exhaustion but also burning ANGER and RAGE. There is virtually no help available and those that claim there is demand you just change your mind and go around talking and being happy to strangers which shows once again that they have never truly felt intense misery and have not the the slightest clue what years of this can do to you. I have no intention of getting to the stage of begging on the street as a homeless man.
On Saturday morning while making breakfast I had a sudden pain going across my left side and especially my heart. I become dizzy and had to sit down. It ached for several hours and again when I became anxious later on. I thought he had heard me and it was about to be over but not yet, there are still some things to do but hopefully soon he will take me. There is nothing left.
I saw this quote earlier today and realised I have been thinking pretty much the same for quite some time now. Years in fact, especially when my elderly mother was dying slowly. Its not always going back to bed I crave as I wake early almost every day and can’t sleep again but I often wait all day for night to come when I can drink as I have been drinking almost every evening for some time now. I often wake up in the night after more bad dreams and wish I would die. And no I dont want to come back again to confront my problems like some hideous nightmare as some people believe. This is how depression makes you feel and yet the self help sites are full of absolutely unbelievably shit motivational tips and quotes. Get up early and do stuff! Yes more housework is going to make a lot of difference! See your friends! See my other 500 posts on social anxiety an lack of any friends. My depression is not caused by chemical imbalance so cant be cured by pills. There never was a normal life to go back to.
I again look at the only meetup group in my city which I could attend which is for photography and imagine how to make small talk,having to explain being unemployed for YEARS and YEARS, not being in a relationship and never having had one even though I am over 40, having absolutely no family or friends and apart from photography having nothing to speak about at all. This is even without my awkwardness, social anxiety and depression for them to deal with so the idea of just meeting a bunch of strangers to make you feel better is complete bollocks and shows how bad the advice is. If the advice is to avoid negative people then they would avoid me so what do you do if you are the negative one? Drink? Such meets demand enthusiasm, friendliness and social skills to even start with and I have none. Why is there never any advice whatsoever to even get to the level of meeting people? Is it because there is none? When you are so far down mentally and physically and have no support then death is the only result, the inevitable conclusion? I have certainly seen no help for my problems by looking at CBT and therapy. Some even think exercise cures you of depression!
I think Christmas is making things worse again. Today has been awful with wave after wave of depression and misery and feelings of wanting to die. Taking a shower, going for a walk and dong some gardening or housework(the usual shit advice for depression) are about as effective as putting a small bandage on an freshly amputated leg. Little helps if you are this lonely, depressed and your life is a complete mess and has been for decades. Your personality has changed beyond recognition and as nobody wants you then you stay alone and never get better. I did not have a wife, partner, kids or family to begin with so can’t get help from them.I see the end of another year when nothing has changed in the slightest and I still see absolutely no way out or escape whatsoever other than death. The prospect of applying for a job I could get, do and which I would not hate is as achievable as being told to chat up and marry a supermodel after being a lifelong dateless virgin. I came close to self harming again earlier but must get past Christmas first. All this negative shit and I have not even drunk anything yet. Better start now.
“Kill that fear of emptiness, loneliness I hide.
River, oh river, river running deep
Bring me something that will let me get to sleep
In the washing of the water will you take it all away
Bring me something to take this pain away”
Peter Gabriel; The Washing of the Water.
The loneliness is one of the hardest things to cope with. Of course I have never even been in a relationship and some people may have expected me to get used to being a sad loner by now but I never have. Sadness becomes a way of life. It infests my very soul and turns people away even when you do occasionally try to connect. Sad people are losers and hard work. Other constant feelings are envy and bitterness even if you try to hide it and hope it will go away yet it always returns.
What did you do to deserve this? Nothing yet they blame you for not doing enough to put it right like its all your own fault. At least when I was working I had contact with people and was even beginning to almost feel normal(ish) towards the end but since my redundancy I have sunk into the abyss and see no way out. I never have, not even for a second. I realise that I was just kidding myself to imagine something would happen. It never did and never will. Things dont get better just because a self help site says they will. People will just suggest the usual things of going to meet ups but as a social inept and depressed loner OVER 40 its a particularly difficult thing to do. Christmas is an especially depressing time and I have even spent the last 4 years since my mothers death at the cemetery on Christmas day afternoon just to get out. No doubt in a RomCom this is a situation for two lonely sad people to meet and fall in love. In real life nothing ever happens.
There were three meetup groups in my area that looked slightly vaguely doable (on a good day)for a moment. The social anxiety one collapsed within weeks due to lack of interest(what a surprise!) and the walking one is often way out in the countryside at early times so you need a car. The photography one always go for some kind of meal afterwards which puts me off as I cant abide talking with a group of strangers looking at me. How do I explain my long term unemployment to them. Shame, guilt embarrassment all get worse not better when you feel like you have done something wrong and I dread the questions of “Hows the job hunting going?” or “Have you got a job yet?” every time I see them. Thats why I have not been back to the dentist. I feel like I need people with support and understanding but there is no depression or anxiety group in my city at all.
Of course to admit you are lonely is to admit you are weird or a loser and will get you ignored even more. Just like appearing too desperate. I would not even contemplate dating now at my age even if I had a job and ignoring my huge problems with sex. Young people just assume as you get older you start to fancy other old people like its normal and you see older pensioners on dating shows who still even appear to be sexually active. In reality the mind has barely changed since I was in my twenties. This means I still feel attracted to females in their twenties and thirties and sometimes forties but hardly any people my own age at all any more. This also means that the fantasy(a normal loving relationship) has already left the building. People who say its never too late are F**king liars.
“I’m not sure shy people realise sometimes how inadvertently uncomfortable they can make non-shy people,”
This is an interesting quote from the social anxiety forum especially as I was VERY aware of how uncomfortable I made others feel especially females which is why I never ever tried to chat one up! Its true though! In fact its f**king obvious! Very shy people make normals very uncomfortable so they dislike and avoid us making it much harder to fit in and ever be accepted into society. They guilt trip us for not doing enough and then ignore that people hate us for acting shy when we do try!
My reply was;
Really, I thought this was the problem with shy people as we are too worried what others think of us all the time and how we make others feel. I felt very disliked at work for being shy and making other people uncomfortable which is why I could never even try and chat a girl up and partly why I have not been to any meets especially anxiety meets plus I am now a similar age to you and so too old. There was a new SA meetup group in my city a few weeks ago but despite 50 members it closed down already due to lack of interest!
By contrast all the self help books and sites I have looked at in the last year seem to imply that this is maladaptive thinking, most people dont even notice our behaviour and its not really important and that we should just keep trying. This is obviously lies as people are very judgmental in my experience did notice everything especially as when I was in my twenties I used to blush and stammer and sweat uncontrollably which made people very uncomfortable and so has taken away all confidence in CBT or that therapists have any idea what they are talking about.
I am not expecting a sensible reply or debate though. All my past experience of SAUK tells me that people love to argue, call you names, belittle you and generally think they are superior. Good God that’s the reason why so many people are shy in the first place as they had parents and other people treat them this way in their upbringing. Then they just copy the behaviour and treat others this way!
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.
Socialization is important. Make a standing appointment to have a friend or family member pick you up to go out. This way you’re held accountable to someone else. If there are no friends or family members available, don’t use that as an excuse. Going to the bookstore and people-watching in the coffeeshop is preferable to sitting home alone. Who knows? You may make a new friend. That is certainly motivating.
Yes, chronically depressed people often make friends in a coffee shop because strangers love approaching a lone 40+ year old miserable looking man. Oh you mean its up to me to make the first move? That doesn’t happen. I am not Hugh Grant and real life is not a Rom-Com. See previous 400 posts on social anxiety and how shy awkward men come across as creepy losers which women hate(even though they pretend they dont as they are afraid of appearing as shallow as men who mostly go for looks, looks and looks).
Actually I did force myself to go for a 3 hour walk yesterday afternoon amongst the drizzle of a late May bank holiday afternoon. I even took some pictures of flowers(see above). Did I enjoy it? The F**k did I. I did not talk with anyone as nobody ever speaks to me and I never speak to strangers just like the last 3000 walks I have been on. My fault for not making an effort? No, that’s what its like having social anxiety. You dont suddenly get confidence or gain witty banter because someone on the internet tells you to do more stuff.In the evening I got drunk again.
I have downloaded absolutely loads of stuff on shyness and social anxiety the last month and some of it consisted of entire manuals of 700+ pages. The thing is and its quite hard for me to say so but, but THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CURE WHATSOEVER!
All of the manuals and self help sites say only one thing. Go out and do stuff and hope you get better and then do more stuff until cured. Strange really as rather than scientific knowledge this is basically what i was told to cure shyness when i was a small child. Oh they may have breathing and relaxation techniques and also make you challenge your over the top irrational “Woe is me! Everybody hates me!” type of thinking but there is absolutely nothing else whatsoever on any website I have ever come across that helps in the slightest.
The problem is that depression fucks all that up. No motivation whatsoever, already suicidal thinking so being told to go and smile at strangers on the street and make banter with shop assistants about the weather or Donald Trumps snazzy hair are about as useful as being told to Just do it! or my favourite as a youth “Just Go Talk to her!”
In reality acting nervous got ridicule or contempt which increased my anxiety which increased avoidance. If in doubt I go straight onto YouTube where hot girls say how much they hate shy men as they act creepy and make them feel awkward. Women love confidence , its officially one of the biggest turns ons. The advice also ignores your age. Contrary to belief not everyone with social anxiety is 23. A man my age smiling at women considerably younger than me on the street will be thought of as a creepy weirdo after sex so why not say that when advising smiling at 6 strangers per day as exposure therapy as if its normal. Virtually no strangers smile at people on the street unless well they do fancy each other.
Social etiquette still matters or do you assume that very shy people will understand who to and who not to smile at? Just like advising you to ask attractive females out as what have you got to lose? Well there are lots of attractive twenty and thirty something years olds but as someone in my forties(Shock! Horror!)I would have about as much chance as bagging one as I would attracting Cameron Diaz(although at 44 she’s way closer to my age range!) Oh you mean only ask people your own age but once again just assumes you know that.(even though at my age everyone is much uglier including me!) Do I tell them how long I have been unemployed as well, that will impress them. Fact, long term unemployed men are avoided as much as ex cons so something else to destroy confidence.
I prepare myself on a daily basis for the inevitable end now. I almost long for it after all these years of pain and loneliness. Today was absolutely awful and I struggled not to self harm. The reason I feel worse is because I looked for help and found there wasn’t any. People just like to pretend there is to make themselves feel better. They like to pretend that the majority of them are nice and kind too.