There’s a friend of mine who I have come to identify with a lot…he goes through a lot of the same issues I go through…depression…anxiety…
I get so irrationally jealous when my friend spends time with others, and it feels like he doesn’t care. He gets irrationally jealous when his friend spends time with others, and he feels like he’s mad at him or doesn’t care about him.
And people are complaining and complaining about him, like, “Oh, Chris* is having a crisis again” or “Is Chris having a breakdown again?” or “Chris is being stupid and only wants attention.”
And today I realized like.
People need to stop. It’s not okay.
I felt really bad. All I could think of is that’s the last thing I want people to do to me, talk about my problems to other people and complain that I go through them.
So what if he experiences the same shit over and over? He has clinical paranoia and depression. It’s a thing. It’s a process. I know how it feels to ruminate over something, or have one idea in my head and not be able to reason with it. That’s what I’ve been struggling with forever.
My closest friend is going through some issues, too. But I don’t think, oh god, he’s talking about not being loved again, he needs to shut up…I feel bad and feel concerned. As a person with obsessions or anxiety or depression, we tend to worry and complain about the same things…I know. I do that.
And today he came into the dining hall with a bandage on his arm. I’m afraid he’s self harming. He’s obviously doing it in a way to gain some attention, but whether or not he’s doing it for attention or not, it’s still self harm and still a problem. People were complaining about that and saying that he’s overreacting.
Yes, he’s overreacting.
But he can’t help it.
I hate that people complain about the way he thinks.
I sent him a text. I don’t know him super well, but I told him that I have come to identify with him on more than one level, and that I empathize with him and know what he’s going through. I told him that because of that, I’d be willing to listen to him if he ever needs anyone to talk to. Because I know how it feels, and I know the feeling of being left out or feeling like you have no one to talk to because you don’t want to be a burden.
And it made him happy. He appreciated it. And I opened a door for him and myself. Maybe we’ll talk more. I like him a lot, I think he has a lot to offer. People are just being turned away by his personality.
Because a new good friend of mine who has become like an older brother simply said to me, “if you ever need help, I’ll be there. It isn’t a burden for me to help those who I really care about, but an honor.” Just that little text completely made my day and changed a lot. No one had ever said that to me before. To most people, I feel like a burden. Even to my best friend, I feel like a burden now. He said that it’s hard sometimes because he knows he’s my closest friend, and it’s hard for me to talk to him about my problems all the time. To me it felt condescending, partially true, but also made me feel like a burden. I feel like I can’t go to him with my issues because he doesn’t like talking about emotions, he has his own issues, and I don’t want to bother him.
I thought he just needed to hear that. He was really happy to receive it. My close friend said I’m very kind..but I actually did mean everything I said.
Mother fucker what the hell is going on around this college dorm?
APPARENTLY the head hall director wants the RA to do mandatory 1-on-1 conversations with their residents. In other words: me. I do not wish to talk to my RA. I barely talk to her now because I’m afraid to. AND NOW I AM BEING FORCED TO. And it’s for 30 minutes. THAT’S HALF AN HOUR.
I’M FREAKING OUT.
I’M STRESSING OVER SOMETHING NO ONE ELSE REALLY STRESSES ABOUT.
I’m not doing as great with this social anxiety stuff as I thought. The minute I read the email, my heart sunk and I instantly felt more stressed. I might throw up.
I might faint.
She’s like, “I am willing to meet you guys wherever you will feel the most comfortable,” and I’m thinking, “NOWHERE is comfortable for me.”
Can’t I just facebook chat with her or something?
Before you start, stop and think what you want to change. You need to know what the problem is in order to start working on it, and no two people are exactly the same. So ask yourself:
- How does social anxiety affect you?
- What are the ‘signs and symptoms’ that bother you?
- How would you like things to be different?
Write down your answer to these questions in as much detail as you can.
Let’s start with the first question:
Social anxiety affects me mostly in situations involving strangers. When I’m in a new class, or if I’m in the dining hall, or walking around campus, I get worried. I worry that people are judging me. I think that they think I’m weird, or dumb, or stupid. It gives me fear to be around them, because I don’t know who they are. And in the back of my head all the time, I keep thinking that they are in fact thinking badly of me.
The second thing that social anxiety does is make me doubt my friendships. This is quite possibly the worst part of the whole thing. It’s undoubtedly the most emotionally straining part of my anxiety. Like, I have been doubting my friendship with my best friend for as long as I’ve known him. I was never sure that he even thought of me as his best friend until this year. And I obsess over this. I worry that they don’t really like me, and that I’m not good enough. And I’m too afraid to talk to them about things that bother me. And when I do, I immediately feel like it’s a bad idea.
And the anxiety has brought upon self-esteem issues that make my life even more difficult, where I obsess over things I shouldn’t obsess over, etc.
Worrying about what others thing about me
Hard to remember things, blanking on memories or facts
Painfully aware of what I say
Worrying about the future up to six months in advance
Dwelling on situations
Lack of eye contact
Not attracting attention
Having “Safe” places and people
avoiding social situations
A certain specific fuzzy feeling in the back of my head that I can’t really explain through words.
anger at myself and others
What would I like to change?
I want to be confident to the point where I can go into the dining hall and not be haunted by feelings that people are looking at me or judging me. I don’t want to worry about my friendships. I don’t want to be embarrassed by my friends. I don’t want to feel uncomfortable ordering an ice cream cone or buying things at a register.
I just want to be to a point where I don’t need to be with friends to feel comfortable. Where I can be myself without worrying about if I’m being weird or not. Because I think keeping myself quiet and reserved makes me boring, and it makes me invisible, and I very much don’t like that.
I lost my train of thought.
So, I finally recharged my Kindle, which means I’m back to the book for overcoming social anxiety. And I’m at the self-help part. I’m ready to take the next step and follow it, so I guess I’ll document it here. That’s what this blog is for!
One of my classes, a classes I actually like, is economics. And right now, we have just learned about the core idea of supply and demand. And right now I feel like my place is at the low end of a supply and demand curve, right below the equilibrium point on the demand curve.
My friendship with my closest friend has been feeling stale lately. I’ve expressed to him the things that have bothered me about our friendship. I’ve told him what annoys me, what gives me anxiety, and what causes me to worry. I’ve told him at least three times that I feel like the last person he wants to be around, or hang out with, and that it feels like I’m less than important.
Yet nothing’s changed. And half of me says to just accept it, and half of me wants to cry in frustration.
In the low end of a demand curve, it isn’t quite at the equilibrium. there is a shortage of supply for the demand. And those who are willing and able to pay more for a good will pay for the equilibrium price. At the low end of the curve, there are your substitutes. You can the product at a lower price, but it’ll probably be of lesser quality. And those who want a better product are willing to pay the higher price for it.
I’m there. I feel like a substitute. I have never and may never feel like I’m at his equilibrium point for friendships. I feel like I’m not good enough for him. I feel like he can replace me whenever, and he’s willing to do so in order to get the higher quality friend. I feel like I’m not interesting enough, and that I don’t bring enough to the table.
I feel like I can be easily substituted. I always have. I’ve always felt like he’s liked other friends more than me.
I mean, he’s more open with other people. He’s more visibly affectionate. He always opts to hang out with them over me, or talk to them before me. In large groups, I’m usually ignored.
Maybe there is a reason. Maybe he sees me separately from these other people. I’ve known him for over four years, he’s just met all these people recently. He acts differently around me than around others. He’s more serious, he’s less forward. Maybe he just doesn’t talk to me as much because I am so close to him.
Or I’m just simply not good enough. I’m afraid that he doesn’t really care that much, and doesn’t put in the effort because he knows I’ll be there because I care a lot.
I mean, I know he does care…he knows me well, he tries to show that he wants to help me when I’m in distress, he just has trouble doing so. I just have no visible proof. And visible proof is what I always want.
Part of me wants to stop talking to him so that he will realize that I’m not just there, that if he doesn’t start to put in any effort, that he’ll lose whatever friendship we have.
And part of me tells me I can’t do that, because if I do, he’ll be like, “oh well, too much work,” and go for the optimal friendship point.
Because I’m a substitute.
And because I’m a lower quality good, he’s not going to try too hard to get me.
I haven’t posted in a while.
I guess that means I’m doing well! I’ve had some good encounters with people lately, not much anxiety (regarding people, at least). I hung out with a few friends this week and last week, and with them I don’t see them as much, so it’s a little more awkward. I went to Boston with a friend last week, and it was kind of awkward because we’re both kind of quiet and aren’t good in conversation and there’s a long awkward history between us, but I won’t get into that detail.
And last week I went to Boston with a different set of friends, and that was great. Although the drive back was really killing me because of the rain and bad conditions. I had to just not look out the window.
But I’m going back to school soon. Only time will tell what will happen this semester. Going back to therapy, at least.
One-on-one is seriously ten times more difficult than if in a group for me. There are only maybe three or four people I’m comfortable having a one-on-one conversation or hanging out with…really only one, maybe two people, where it’s second nature for me to talk to them.
But even then, sometimes I don’t keep the conversation going. It just doesn’t feel awkward if there are silences, with them.
I’m hanging out with a high school friend tomorrow. We’re going to Boston. We were originally supposed to have another friend with us, but he couldn’t come last minute.
I enjoy his company and like talking to him, I’m just afraid it’s going to be awkward because I fail at conversing. And he isn’t that great, either. We’re both pretty awkward, I guess. It’ll be interesting.