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Pan

Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

Hi everyone, I'm new here and suppose I just want to say something. For the past 6 months or so I've been getting more and more... depressed, I guess you could say, but I don't know if that's it. I think it's more social anxiety. My friendships have all gone downhill, and while in my head I'll immediately think that it's their fault, I can tell you now that it's my fault. I keep thinking and rethinking, and relating everything I see to myself, and knowing how awful it all is. I've cried more in the past six months over seemingly nothing than I have in my entire life. And yes, I know how damn selfish it is. But I'm getting a little off track. I thought of a metaphor for it: imagine a tower, with every floor being a very specific type of person (but there's still thousands of them on each floor). I'm in the elevator. The elevator moves at random, and I can't control where it goes. The walls are glass so I can look onto each level. When it stops I can see people and all their relationships, and I want to join in but I can't. The elevator begins to move again. Sometimes other people come onto the elevator and I watch them get off at their floor, then try do the exact same thing but everyone on the floor is watching me screw up. However, sometimes it works. Sometimes I get in onto a level. Often it's not the level I'd particularly like to be on, but it's out of the elevator, so I'm happy. But eventually something will happen and I'll have to go back into the elevator and won't be able to get back out for a while. This keeps happening, over and over again until I give up and stop trying. I keep to a corner of an elevator and admittedly, I'm relaxing a bit. It's quiet. But not for long, because people will still be coming and going, and when they get in the elevator they'll look at me on the floor and ask, "what on Earth are you doing down there? Come onto my floor and we can talk a bit." And I do. I hate myself so much then because I do even though I know nothing will change. I get my hopes up every time... Anyways, thanks for reading. Does anyone else feel the same way - about being just on the edge, between the worlds of blissful seclusion and isolation, and seeing all the judgements people give, and yet all the happiness and apathy they have? I just can't ignore them, no matter how hard I try. Sorry about there being no paragraphs, I'm on my phone.

Re: Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

Hi there @Pan! It sounds like you are trying very hard to change all of this and I loved your metaphor by the way!
I definitely get where you are coming from when you talk about your constant thinking and rethinking of things. This can be very stressful and exhausting after some time so it is important you give yourself a break.
Have you got any self-care strategies that might work for you? Perhaps taking a walk, writing in a journal or listening to music?
Over long period of times, do you feel that you start to worry less about everything around you? So can you focus and get through daily tasks alright?

There isn't necessarily anything wrong with being isolated from the world, but when it happens for long periods of time and it starts to affect your day-to-day life, that's when you need to try (like you have been) to push yourself to get out there and do things! This is where self-care is very useful!
Pan

Re: Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

Thanks for replying so fast! I do try to go for walks, but haven't been able to so often 'cause of exams. I end up talking a bit to myself by the end of it, too. I did start a journal a couple days ago, in fact, but it mostly just records exactly what I've been feeling. The metaphor's from there. I was putting off writing anything at all simply because writing/saying anything seems to make it real... I don't know if it is, tbh. When I look at it from the outside there is something wrong, but from the inside it's just bad. I try to listen to music as often as I can, lets me block everything out. I'd just like everything to stop.

Re: Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

Glad to hear you have tried a few things!
Another way you can look at journal writing is writing down your exact feelings (as you said) but then when you have finished, also stop the flow of judgements and thoughts around them - That way you are focused and addressing the feelings as you write them so that they aren't just being 'pushed away', but then also allowing yourself to move on from them when you close the journal.
I know this is something I do which helps me briefly address the issue whilst not becoming overruled by them.
Note that this is a suitable short-term solution, but in the long-term, if you are finding it difficult to move past some of your feelings or thoughts around something or if they become too hard to manage, it is best to talk to someone face-to-face that you trust like a family member or psychologist etc. Smiley Happy

Re: Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

Hey @Pan! Welcome to the forums Smiley Very Happy

 

Wow metaphors! I love analogies, they're a super great way of communicating what's going on inside your head to people who aren't inside your head (so you know, everyone Smiley Tongue). I too like the corner of the elevator. It's safe and peaceful and allows me to be by myself, which sometimes I like, but can sometimes be a bit frustrating and lonely. Especially when there are cool people doing cool things on each of the floors and I'm like, 'I can pls join?' except only in my head because social anxiety man. It's the worst, and something I struggle with a bunch (I should probably make a thread about it, it's becoming a bit of an issue...).

 

You mentioned that some of your friendships have fallen away a bit. Are these friendships something you want to maintain? If so, do you think there are some steps you could maybe take to go about improving them? Friendships can be tricky, I'm totally aware of this!

 

I also understand the writing thing. I started a journal with the intention of writing about some of the things I was struggling with, just to organise my thoughts and get them out of my head. It took me like thirty pages of writing about gummy bears and shoe laces before I could bring myself to write what I actually wanted to write. You're right that it's super scary and kind of makes it real, but I think that sometimes making it real can be good because you can recognise what's happeing and begin to work through it.

 

Wow, I just wrote a small novel Smiley Tongue

Pan

Re: Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

I'd like to talk it (whatever "it" is) through with people irl, but every time I come close once I've coherently arranged everything in my head I just can't. I'll remember how flippantly they've mentioned issues like anxiety. Everything from a friend saying [about another friend dealing with stuff] that you should keep your problems to yourself, to my parents insisting that I'm strong enough, and have too much self-esteem for that (Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Yes. Good joke. I laugh.) I don't want to be thought of as less... I want the help, but I know it's going to come with judgement. And pity, and worry. I don't want any of that. I'm pretty bad at emotions, so aside from it making me uncomfortable with all the point-five-percent-chance-of-attention, from past experience I know I'll just retreat again. Give up yet a-bloody-gain.
Pan

Re: Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

Thanks @rosieisnotaplant (love the name!). I do want to keep my friendships, but lately I've been growing more uncomfortable with them. Like with the elevator in the tower, I'll be with them for a while but it'll get to be too much. I don't know how to handle most of the situations, so I take to sitting by myself in the library. The books don't judge, don't constantly try get me to show as much emotion (bloody hell, I'm starting to sound like a robot!) Eventually I try go back to my friends... but I end up feeling worse off than before. That's actually why I started using this forum today.

.... I figured out paragraphs. Bahh

I guess you can start working towards it, but I don't want to waste people's time. This isn't anywhere near as large as other people's problems, just judging by what I've read so far, and there's a part of me that is dead certain I'm just whinging and complaining. Teenagers, and people in general, aren't constantly cheerful, and everyone has downs. Then there's the other part that is certain there is something wrong with the whole picture when compared against other people. The first part oh-so-smugly responds with "you're just selfish and greedy", and the 24/7 argument begins...

Re: Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

Hi @Pan Smiley Very Happy

 

Talking through things irl can be super ridiculously difficult! I have a friend who I talk to about things like this over Skype by just sending messages. Is there one person in particular you can think of that you might want to talk to about this, and might react well and be less judgmental? Maybe try sending them a message via some sort of messaging platform, and perhaps you could have a conversation or it could spark up something to talk about at another time. Do you think this could work for you? I know having a not-face-to-face conversation removes some of the nerves when I'm talking to someone.

 

I know it's easy to compare your problem's to other people's problems, and to compare yourself to other people. I do this all the time, and I'm pretty certain that most people do too. Thing is, there's always gonna be someone who's worse off than you, and there's always gonna be someone who's better off than you, so if you can, maybe try thinking about it differently. Sure, there are other people with their own struggles, but that doesn't undermine the fact that what you're going through is totally valid. Does that make kinda make sense?

 

Also I totally agree that books make great companions Smiley Tongue Is there anything in particular you're reading atm? (I'm constantly looking for reccomendations lol).

 

Pan

Re: Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

:0 I'm mostly reading Steven King at the moment (Desperation, Insomnia, Cell and 22.11.63 are all brill), but there's one series that is utterly amazing: The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. I don't wanna fill the thread up with book talk, so I'll just say that it's fantasy - an epic. Very long, and can be a bit slow to get into, but it's worth it. World building at it's finest.
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Re: Anyone else stuck in the elevator?

Oh cool @Pan! The only Steven King book I've read is the sequel to Mr Mercedes (well done for starting with a sequal roseisnotaplant, that was not at all confusing). I loved it though, it was suuuper intense! I haven't read any Brandon Sanderson though, I should give it a go Smiley Happy