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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

Hi @Hozzles

I would also like to pipe in here and let you know we see and hear you ❤

I know how painful it can be to feel so lonely and unable to make friends, but know that you have us. I understand it's hard that we're just online (I really struggle with this) but we do have your back. I was just wondering how strong your negative thoughts are when you're in social situations? Like I have social anxiety and I know my negative thoughts absolutely sky rocket when I'm in those situations and really do just want to make friends. It's like I try and mind read and tell myself how much people hate me and how they think I'm pathetic and wouldn't want to be friends with me. Just wondering if you share the same sort of thoughts? 

 

I think the work you're putting in at the moment is incredible and like others have mentioned, it really does show your strength. Don't give up on your dream to travel Europe. Money is a bitch but if it's something you really want and are willing to work hard for, it'll come to you. I also just wanted to mention not to give up on the idea of going alone. Like I mentioned, I struggle with alot of similar experiences to you - I will also sit at a phone for hours trying to work up the courage to make a damn phone call (and half the time it's to someone I bloody know!!!!!). So I totally get you. And for some reason I have never been successful in making friends here, but when I went and travelled solo things changed and I made two of the most incredible friends. Friends that I'd take a bullet for, and friends that I know will have my back for the rest of my life. So it can happen. Please don't give up on it because I thought the exact same thing (and still do). Some of us just have to travel to the other side of the world to form those special bonds. But they're out there, I promise you ❤ 

 

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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

Thank you everyone for your kind words! Heart Heart

I volunteer at my local headspace, and I also do pole/ aerial fitness twice a week. This month is the first month I'm back after 7 months, I broke my wrist on aerial silks. I lost all my progress during those months as I was inactive because of depression, so I lost all my muscle and had to start all over again. It sucks but I'm keen to work even harder this time, and keep positive. I love going there, even though it's hard and it hurts, haha. 

I've definitely spoken about it before, but everyone says the same things... like it should be easy, I just need to 'put myself out there'. But, like I said, I do! I honestly really think it might be an Asperger's thing, and that's the whole problem. When I first saw a psychologist at age 11 they suspected I could have it, but my mum rejected any further testing because she was misinformed and thought it was only a thing children 2-5 yrs old had. Since then, a lot of people have suspected in such a round-about, degrading way. I feel like I've talked about this here before, but they used to say things like 'not saying you have autism, but here's what helps people who do...', and they'd non-stop ask me about the eye contact thing obviously assessing it but not saying anything. I hate how stigmatized it is, because if I do have it (which after research could be a strong possibility) then I obviously want targeted assistance! I want psychologists to tell me what they're thinking, not avoid the topic! What works for everyone else just doesn't work for me.

My negative thoughts are often common in social situations, particularly recently. I just find myself thinking things like 'these people are so cool, I'll never be on their level', and things like that. I look in the mirror and see someone that's just not like anyone else. The other day at a class I don't usually go to, someone was like 'the vibe in here is so different today, everyone's not as cheery' and I immediately thought, 'that's because I'm here'. It's so annoying, honestly I'm like to myself 'just be quiet! It's not you!', haha. I really do hope I get to travel and meet amazing people one day, too!

Just something I wanted to get off my chest, because I know this website is such a safe, supportive place... I am so sick and tired of alcohol/drug culture, and I am sick of hating myself because I hate alcohol/drug culture. It's becoming such a huge morality issue for me. I fear people might look at me and think that I think I'm 'better than everyone else' because I don't drink or anything. I hate myself for being this way about it and wish I could just enjoy myself like everyone else, but that goes against everything I value, like standing up against peer pressure. I hate so much that I can't meet people without this environment being around, and I hate that I will have to explain myself to every single person I meet for the rest of my life. Even my ex, who didn't drink, got angry at me because I wanted to leave a party and she said 'can't you just respect that people get drunk for fun?'. 

One of my old psychologists in high school said I should just show up at a party with an old alcohol bottle filled with dyed water, so I can pretend I'm drinking. As if that's more socially safe than saying 'I just don't want to!'. My high school friends used to make fun of me and laugh when I asked them to stop talking about being drunk and parties, since it gave me incredible anxiety. 'Everyone, stop having fun, Hozzles hates drinking!'. It's been causing me so much anxiety lately that every time I hear about parties/ alcohol/ drugs I feel sick to my stomach. I feel like it's starting to become an OCD thing, where I have to avoid any mention of it. I hate it so much, because as long as you're not hurting anyone I guess it's okay in moderation... I don't even know anyone in my life who has abused drugs/ alcohol, so I don't know why I am like this! I guess it's just being judged over and over again, and seeing the people I respect and care about acting different from themselves and having it consume their life (without strictly abusing it, if that makes sense. Like, all their conversations would become 'can't wait until the next party where I'll get so drunk!'). Other than I don't like the taste, and I'm simply not interested (and it will interact poorly with my meds + mental health in general), my biggest concern is losing control of my thoughts and acting in a way inconsistent of myself. I'm afraid I'd reveal dark, hidden things about myself without thinking it though. My thoughts are what makes me me, and losing control or being around others losing control makes me feel ill. I apologize in advance, I know these two paragraphs make absolutely no sense and are a bit all over the place, haha.

Also, I feel like my OCD is getting worse. Going out feels like a nightmare of rituals so I feel like isolating myself again. It hasn't really been this bad since high school. I feel bad going off my original medication, because that really helped OCD and I feel like that's what I struggle the most with. Comorbid mental illness sucks.

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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

Hey @Hozzles 

 

I'm sorry things are so hard Smiley Sad it sounds really intense...

 

Do you think it might be helpful for you to connect with or read about the experiences of others who are on the autism spectrum? I found that really helpful when I was considering if that might be me (and still do now I'm sure). It's nice feeling connected to a community, and to witness and be part of a culture where autistic traits are accepted and appreciated rather than condemned. I've actually found this more helpful than interacting with professionals regarding autism.

 

In autism circles from what I've seen self identifying as autistic (or having Asperger's if that's what you prefer) is not seen as less valid than having a diagnosis. If you've looked into it and think it fits for you there's no reason you can't incorporate this as part of your identity, or connect in with autistic communities.

 

Or if it's important to you to seek an assessment/ diagnosis/ services know that we'll be here to support you Heart (Autistic communities are great for this too though, and can have useful insider knowledge on finding good services).

 

I found following a variety of neurodiversity friendly Facebook pages by autistic people really helpful, and also contacting someone from ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network- Aus/ NZ) who helped me find a supportive online autistic group and put me in contact with a few local autistic people.

 

I know I haven't really addressed a lot of what you've said... The injury and lost progress, the frustrating experiences with professionals, the way people respond to your dislike of alcohol  culture, your OCD and medication challenges... It all sounds like so much to be juggling. I'm here for you and I care and I think you're really strong and insightful, and I hope others have advice for the topics I haven't really touched Heart

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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

Before I dive into my response (and I already apologize for the length of it cause I totally know it's gonna be a long one..) I just wanted to say thank you for sharing all of your thoughts and feelings with us. Reading your post just had me continually saying to myself "me too!" or "omg I completely understand". So honestly, thank you!! So much of what you have spoken about here has been so relatable for me so you've also re-highlighted the fact that I'm not alone. So I just wanted to make sure that I pointed out that you also are not alone ❤ And I really do feel for you because I know how overwhealming those feelings and thoughts can be. So THANK YOU for sharing!!

 

To keep this a little shorter I'm not going to touch on aspergers because I feel like @hellofriend has done a pretty good job! But just wondering if you've ever reached out to any of those communities before? 

 

This part of your message REALLY hit home and stood out for me: "I just find myself thinking things like 'these people are so cool, I'll never be on their level'." I hate the thoughts that come with anxiety for that exact reason! It's like our brains make it impossible for us to function and they've already made up their mind that we are going to fail at whatever it is we are doing. I hear that exact same thought almost every single time I'm in a social situation! I even hear it when I'm with my two best friends and they are chatting away. I seem to always hear myself saying I'll never be as cool as them and that they probably don't even like me that much.. (even though they tell me they love me). So I'm definately hearing you here. And I'm so sorry those thoughts have managed to weasel their way into your brain because they absolutely SUCK and I'd never wish them on anybody!!!! I would like to mention two things here though.. one is that, from reading your posts and getting to know you a bit through here, I personally think you're awesome (better than cool) and have absolutely no reason to be worried! And I know it's not an easy thing to hear or take on board when you have anxiety, but honestly, you seem like such a beautiful person and if people can't see that then they aren't worth your time. The other thing I wanted to mention was your experience in class. Now, I'm not going to lie, I did have a small giggle at this because that would totally be my immediate go-to thought! BUT I think the most important thing to acknowlegde here is how you recognized the thought and told it to shut up!! Seriously, you go girl!!! That is so incredibly hard to do, so I think it's something you should be very proud of!! Is talking back a strategy your psych has given you, or have you just started doing it on your own? Cause I think it's just amazing that you are so make sure you keep up the awesome work and tell it to shut up as much as possible!!! Do you have a name for the voice? My psych wants me to name mine but that in itself sends me into a freak out 😂 So any suggestions? Lol 

 

The other part of your post which really stood out for me was the alcohol and drugs part. Please don't feel any less for not wanting to be involved in that scene. I was the same in my teenage years, and still am, but I've grown to realise that if people can't accept me for being someone who doesn't drink and wants to make fun of me for it then I don't want them in my life. Every one is different, but I can almost assure you those idiots who have made fun of you in the past will eventually grow up and realise that scene is not all it's cracked up to be. I think it shows great strength and maturity within yourself that you are able to stand by what you believe in and not be peer pressured into it. I know it's not easy to not feel different and become annoyed at yourself because drinking seems to be a 'social norm' these days but you don't have to like it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with hating it!! I personally think it shows what a caring and mindful person you are because you don't like what it does to people. I'm also sorry that your old psych suggested fake drinking while you're around those types of people because I do not agree with that at all. She/he shouldn't have made you feel like you needed to try and 'fit in', they should have encouraged you to stand tall and feel comfortable with your decision not to be involved in it. 

 

I hope this kind of made sense and in some way helped? But please know you certainly are not alone and I'm here to listen and chat if you need ❤

 

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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

Thank you guys so much for your support! Heart

Sorry for not updating in a while... blegh, this is going to be another long one. Sorry in advance.

@hellofriend - I've seen some mini clubs around that I've been interested in joining! Hopefully one day I'll be able to attend some meetings/ events. 

@MB95 - Hahaha, I feel like my different psychs through the years has given it all kinds of different names. At one point I even refereed to it as my childhood imaginary friend (or should I say imaginary enemy?) Smiley LOL. But honestly I feel like I just started doing it myself, now that you mention it! I feel like every time a psych told me to do it I was just stubborn and thought... 'well, that's not going to work'. Smiley Tongue

Every day my OCD is getting worse. I'm starting to do routines like clicking the light switches until it feels 'right', and ordering things again and again. I'm getting intrusive thoughts about doubting my sexuality, which upsets me the most. I've mentioned on here before, but OCD made me repress my sexuality my entire teenage years due to intrusive thoughts, and I really don't know how I can allow myself to go through all that again, especially when I've gotten so comfortable with myself (going to Pride, etc). I feel like I never should have changed my original meds. My depression was getting worse on them but those meds made my OCD stay quiet. 

I'm so frustrated at myself that I don't have any hobbies or do anything worthwhile. All through high-school I called myself a writer but I don't write. I'm too scared too, too afraid of failure, too unmotivated... people keep saying to me that writing in my head 'counts' as writing but, honestly, it doesn't. 
I keep thinking of this Sylvia Plath quote:
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it's exactly how I feel. I feel like I'm missing out on so much just by being myself. I want to have fun and go to fun places with friends, and travel. I want to write poetry and stories and not worry so much. I want to create things. I wish I was able to draw/ make art, and I wish I could play an instrument. But I feel like I'll never be able to. How on Earth do I escape this feeling? 

I feel like the past two years were a blur, and nothing really good happened. It's probably not a good idea to attribute it to anything, but I really did start going downhill after I met my ex. She completely damaged my self-esteem. I was meant to graduate two years ago, but I didn't. I know it's annoying that I keep going on about this but it's frustrating watching everyone else live their lives while I'm just completely stuck. I feel like I'm existing, not really living.

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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

Hi @Hozzles , 

 

I've just been catching up on this thread, and saw what you said about having traits of asperger's/ autism and the stigma that can still exist around that. I thought I'd share this resource if you're not already aware of it. 

 

I know some people who are involved in this organisation and they all speak incredibly highly of it, it's a network and resource site for people with autism, including people who think they may be autistic but haven't been diagnosed, or identify as quirky/ neurodiverse. It's all about the unique strengths and experiences of people with autism, and is proudly run by people with autism. Incidentally, it's now being increasingly recognized that girls and women often don't get diagnosed with autism, and a lot of people are now being diagnosed much later in life (I know a woman who was recently diagnosed in her 50's). 

 

There has been so much stigma in the past around autism, and hopefully that narrative is beginning to change. 

 

Anyway, here is the link to their site if you find it helpful https://www.icannetwork.com.au/

 

From what I see here you have so much to offer - you clearly love and appreciate literature, and add so much to this community with your intelligence, insight and interesting writing. You say that you don't feel like a writer or feel like you do anything worthwhile as a hobby - I totally understand how hard it can be to get motivated, but I also think from what I've seen here you have a lot of talent, and I think you can definitely call yourself a writer Heart Heart 

 

 

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Check out our community activities calendar for March 2020 here
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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

I'm not sure whether to post in this thread, or make a new one, but an update is way overdue.

I'm going to start with the most pressing matter first: my physical health. The past few months I have felt noticeably achy, had tingling feet/hands, and at times nerve pain. More recently, I have felt EXTREME fatigue (I seriously almost fell asleep in a public toilet...) and brain fog. I feel extremely dizzy and sometimes out of breath whenever I'm standing. I have a fitbit, and have noticed whenever I stand up from sitting my heart rate soars...

Why am I describing this? Because I have been to the doctor so many times in the past few months. I went this week. Every time, they tell me the same: 'ah, it's probably your anxiety'. I KNOW it's not anxiety. I have lived in this body for 22 years, and have dealt with anxiety for that long. I KNOW it isn't anxiety. But they won't take me seriously!! I'm really concerned for my health, every day it gets worse and worse. Today, I had an aerial class and during warm ups (just light exercises like star jumps) I felt really out of breath -- I looked at my fitbit and my heart rate was in the extensive cardio zone! I can't really go to the doctor again anytime soon because making an appointment is really hard with coronavirus around. I don't know what to do. Smiley Sad

In other news, I started uni again this week. I'm only doing one literature subject, so hopefully it'd be manageable... in saying that, my fatigue and OCD have really gotten in the way of things. It's improving now, but the compulsion where I have to reread the same page over and over again until I've memorized it or it feels 'right' has, obviously, interfered with my reading. Not good for a lit unit, lol!

I applied for a job! First serious job application, ahah. To be honest, while I'm proud of my application, I know I probably won't get it, especially if there's an interview. I'd have no trouble answering questions, but I can't make eye-contact and focus on what I'm saying at the same time, it's impossible. I also know my answers will be filled with 'um's, 'ah's and 'like's. 

Speaking of jobs... I had an appointment with the psychologist at my jobsearch provider. She thinks it's absolutely shocking how I've never had my case reviewed with Centrelink to see if I am actually well enough to look for work at the moment (I am not). She explained things to me I never even knew the entire time I've been on Centrelink. I've just been so frustrated with it all, it feels like I attend every jobsearch appointment to tick a box. They look at my resume, say 'it needs work' without telling me where, then send me home. They've never offered me anything that might help with me getting a job... other than telling me that 'everyone deals with anxiety, most just get over it with time!'. I felt so heard when I finally got to see the psychologist!

So... that's my little update. It's been up and down, honestly. My mental health is probably the best it's been in a while, actually (apart from OCD). It's mainly my physical health and the ever-lingering problem of not feeling heard that's bothering me at the moment.

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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

@Hozzles I've been in a really similar situation with the physical health... It sounds like there's some diagnostic overshadowing going on...

I don't know how your OCD would react to this, so ignore it if it isn't helpful, but one thing that helped me was to find out all the conditions that could cause my symptoms, then cross them off one by one.

It involved a lot of nagging my doctor until he referred me to specialists, but I have a diagnosis now.

 

Another option is to try Healthdirect. They tend to react when anything heart-related is going on, and they won't know that you have anxiety.

 

Anyway sorry about my ramble.. I hope that things improve for you.

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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

No worries @Tiny_leaf, any advice is good. Sometimes my OCD does go a bit crazy looking up symptoms, so I've been trying to avoid it... but I might try to give Healthdirect a try. It's so frustrating. Smiley Sad

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Re: Genuinely afraid of happiness?

Good luck @Hozzles