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I just don't even know...

Hey Guys,


I just want to make it clear that the main reason I'm writing this is to vent. Nothing more, and nothing less. I'm just hopelessly confused and hoping that maybe writing it all down will help.


I have absolutely nothing to be annoyed, confused or angry at, which just makes me even more annoyed, confused and angry. I have a great group of friends and the most loving family anyone could wish for. My life is easy- I'm a 17 year old girl who attends University and has just started a part-time job. I live in an area of my city that is beautiful and well-kept, and most importantly it's safe. I live in Australia! It's an amazing country! I honestly don't know why I'm so frustrated and confused and sometimes feel absolutely hopeless. 


I've had "issues" in the past, which I like to think I dealt with pretty well. I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which my Nanna & Mum, not realising how annoying and potentially damaging it was, joked about it. In November 2010, I self-harmed, which was partly merely to take the pain and frustration away and also, it sounds absolutely horrible, but also to make them realise that it was serious and it was psychologically damaging me so much. I went to a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist, I was put on medication in January 2011, and I'm still on that. I've managed the OCD really well I think, because now it's almost gone, but the Psychiatrist suggested that maybe I had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)... 


I started to use the ADD as an excuse. I really did. And I hate that, so much, because mental illness should never be used as an excuse. Even though I'd never thought of having ADD, I convinced myself that I had the disorder. It took over from the OCD in intensity. The reason that I couldn't concentrate, I told myself, was because I had ADD. I was in Year 12 by this time, and so my study wasn't going well. I ended up getting an ATAR much lower than had been predicted the year before by my careers advisor, and needless to say I was very upset. At that time, as well as a few times before, I felt like self-harming, but I didn't. I got on with life and at the beginning of this year (2013), I told myself that it would be a good year. It still might be, I don't know. 


In late February I started studying at Uni, and got very overwhelmed. After the first week I broke down and wanted to change courses, and I also cut myself again because I felt like I was stuffing up the friendship I had/have with the guy I like. I'm honestly such a weird person, and when I like people that just gets accentuated tenfold. It's ridiculous. Anyway, so I've now just finished the fourth week of university, and after a 12 week gap between the end of school exams and the start of Uni, it's incredibly difficult to get back into the swing of things. Especially when you have convinced yourself you have ADD, and that's why you can't concentrate. 


I guess I just feel hopeless, at the end of the day. I'm 17 years old and I've never properly kissed anyone, never had a boyfriend, and my friends all keep going on about all of us being "Forever Alone". I used to ignore it all but now it's taking it's toll. I mean, is it too much to ask just to know what it's like to be kissed and to be loved in 'that' kind of way? Society can be such a bitch, sometimes, I swear! The other scary thing is that I'm expected to be an adult now, when all my life I've been wrapped up in cotton wool. I don't know if I can cope. I have a part-time job as of the past couple of weeks, but before that I loaned money off my parents and I have a huge bill piling up that I have to pay them. There's costs for everything, it seems, and forms everywhere. It's all so complicated and I don't know if I can handle being an adult. 


I talk to the boy that I like quite a lot, and part of the reason I self-harmed a couple of weeks ago was because I wanted to have something for him and I to connect on and something that only he knew about. That's pretty damn f**ked, isn't it!? He is one of my best friend's friends, and I know that he's kind, even though he won't admit to it. He says that what I'm going through is teenage angst. I want to believe him, and I really hope he's right. Anyway, I think I'm scaring him away, annoying him and weriding him out by telling him what's on my mind. I definitely want to be his friend, and of course more than that, but as long as I am friends with him I don't mind what happens. I don't know if liking him is dangerous to me and my mental health, though. He has done nothing wrong, he listens and he talks to me heaps over Facebook, but I feel like I'm f**king things up with him, and it hurts so bad. I feel like I lack the ability to convey emotions and words correcly and appropriately, like a small child almost.


I sound so melodramatic, but the last guy I liked made me learn that liking people is so silly. I know it is, and it's silly for me to want a relationship so badly, because as people (excluding some of my friends) say, 'I have my whole life ahead of me'. I try so flipping hard to be optimistic, but sometimes that's simply not possible. I'm lying on my bed next to my fat cat Norris right now, and wishing I could be without a care in the world like he is. Being a human has it's pros, don't get me wrong, but it sure as hell has it's cons too. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two. Generally in my life I'd say they are in balance. I've never been suicidal, I like living too much and I'm always able to see the good around me if I stop and focus. Sometimes it takes a while to realise it's there, but when I do, I know that life could be so much worse. I have my problems though, as well as my selfishness, and I hate how these are skewing my perceptions of the world and the future that I'm sure is ahead of me. I think I need to learn how to tackle obstacles and come out a better person after doing so. 


Thankyou for taking the time for reading, if you have. 

Re: I just don't even know...

Hey lauralou, welcome to Reach Out! I'm glad you found us and had the courage to share your story.


You said you have no reason to be confused because you live in a great place and your life should be easy. I know it's really frustrating to look at everything you have in life and wonder why you're struggling when you could be somewhere like Africa and have it much worse. But I want you know that regardless of how it looks on the outside, your emotions and your hardships are real and valid and it's totally ok to be confused and angry with your life.


Starting university is a really big transition. All of a sudden you're expected to be an adult and know what you want and how to do it, which is really hard - especially if you're not used to it. This fact sheet on starting uni has some really helpful tips on how to get into the swing of campus life.

Have you been officially diagnosed with ADD by your doctor? If so, you can talk to a special needs or student services co-ordinator at your university and find out what kind of assistance they can offer you. Most universities will have a system in place to help out students with learning difficulties. This article might also be of some help.


Are you still seeing your psychologist or psychiatrist, and have you discussed your self-harm with them?

Your health - both mental and physical, is really important. It really helps to identify the triggers that make you want to hurt yourself, such as stress. Using an online tool like ecouch to track your moods might help you identify when the urge strikes so you can learn how to manage the feeling and distract yourself. If you have the urge to self-harm to form a bond with somebody, you might need to think about what you want your friendship to be based on and steer it in that direction instead.


If you ever feel overwhelmed and need somebody to talk to, don't be afraid to call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Sometimes it just feels good to let out what's inside your head and Lifeline counselors are avalable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And of course, we are always here to listen!


PS> I have just edited some of the details in your post to remove words and phrases that might be triggering to other users struggling with self-harm, as per our community guidelines. We just want to make sure Reach Out is a safe space for everybody.