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Isolation


Ralph

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Depression has gotten worse and I've been isolating more. I could call a friend but don't want them to see me like this. I don't like socializing anyway. It always leaves me feeling like I've done something wrong, like I've embarrassed myself. I don't like being alone either, though, at least not this much. I also don't even like myself, which is part of why I don't like socializing - I can't convince someone to like me when I don't like me.

I don't like myself because I failed at managing my career. I never planned for life because I was planning suicide, but I chickened out. Actually I tried once but even failed at that. The second time I chickened out. I've come to believe that doing so is wrong though, so I've given up on killing myself although I have been as far as making plans and deciding on a method.

By not planning, I've fallen far short of my potential and had to relocate away from my friends in order to find work. Well, I didn't have to, but because I cannot plan I end up wherever the wind takes me, it seems. I didn't know it would be this hard to find work after graduating with a business degree. Don't get me wrong I am fully thankful for the fact that I have a well paying job in this economy, but then again I sacrificed everything that was good in my life in order to get here, all because I have no flippin clue what the hell I'm doing in the professional world when I come from a white trash family.

So, where to go from this? Only thing I can do is try to make myself better so that I can like myself, no small challenge. At the moment it seems spirituality is the way to do this as spirituality calls us to be better versions of ourselves. Then again that's hard work so who knows if I will stick with it. Spirituality also turns out to be a crock for some and I am more like that type than not. It's just that I'm in so much pain right now that I don't see other options aside from self destruction which would make me hate myself more. To be honest, I'm lost and grasping at whatever seems to fit the bill for the moment.

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I'm sorry you are struggling so much, Ralph. :(

Depression has gotten worse and I've been isolating more. I could call a friend but don't want them to see me like this.

I understand that you don't want your friends to see you in so much pain, but I would think that a true friend would want to be there for you and especially at a time like this. It's okay to lean on others sometimes if you need the extra support.

Only thing I can do is try to make myself better so that I can like myself, no small challenge.

Maybe the first step would be to accept yourself and treat yourself with kindness, patience and compassion, rather than with harsh criticism and judgment. I understand this can be very difficult and challenging. There is always room for growth, but along the way there will be bumps. Learning to care for yourself during these times is very important, I think.

To be honest, I'm lost and grasping at whatever seems to fit the bill for the moment.

If someone you cared about said this to you, what would you suggest?

I'm sorry for your pain and sadness, Ralph. :( We are here to listen and support you.

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I also don't even like myself, which is part of why I don't like socializing - I can't convince someone to like me when I don't like me.

I'd say: It's not the point of socialization - to convince people to like you. And it seems that many people with problems with socialization see it this way and it prevents them from being aroud other people. One of the bacis problems of a big part of those who hate themselves (I don't know if this applies to you, too) is that they derive their self-image from approval and love of others and when they don't get enough of what they need from them, they suppose they're bad, wrong, unlovable. Of course, it's a natural mechanism to some extent - but it's basically here to teach the child that he's lovable, but then, after childhood, we should be less dependent on the love (and other positive feelings) that others express to/for us. The problem is that when somebody doesn't "learn" this "self-love" (and a kind of independence which arises from it) during childhood, because of his disfunctional family, then it's much harder to achieve it later :(. I'm sorry; this may be quite out of topic here... But my main message here is: You have to know that there will always be some people not liking you and also some others liking you. And it's, of course, right when you want to be kind towards others and don't want to act awkwardly, but not for the reason "to make them all like you". It's up to them to deside if they do and when somebody doesn't, then he can have so diverse reasons but no-one of them means that you'd be "bad" and "should change". It just means that we have all our subjective preferences... (Of course, I don't apply this without limits - there are many kinds of intolerable behaviour (like crimes, obscenity, ...)... but I'm sure you're not doing anything of that kind, so...)

Meeting people with the idea "I'd like to convince them to like me" puts lots of pressure on you and makes you uncomfortable, so you can't feel fine about your behaviour (and also might seem odd to others). At least, it's like this in many cases - I can't know if in yours, too, I'm just sharing my thoughs.

I don't like myself because I failed at managing my career. I never planned for life because I was planning suicide, but I chickened out

...

because I cannot plan I end up wherever the wind takes me

I can relate to a big part of this: I also used to see no future at all (I imagined suicide very often but was sure I'd never do it - because of my family and boyfriend/husband) and my current position is the result: I'm still unemployed and have no idea what to do. But I'm also very lucky, because my unemployment hasn't yet had bad consequences and I'm not anxious about the future - I'm still waiting that "the wind will take me somewhere" and believe that when circumstances become favorable, I'll be able to find a job [now I'm abroad for some years and there's almost no chance for me as a forigner to get a job].

But the most important: I managed to stop hating myself for it - for the past when I "destroyed my potential career". It's probably impossible to describe how it happened: How exactly to get rid of the hate and regrets. My therapist had the most important role in it, but also reading (Yalom, Nietzsche, Frankl, Moore, ...) about reconsiliation with the past etc., ...

Our past is not as important as our feelings often tell us. And we have almost always more options for the present and future than we see. But it's so hard to learn to see... :( Good luck with that, Ralph!

So, where to go from this? Only thing I can do is try to make myself better so that I can like myself, no small challenge. At the moment it seems spirituality is the way to do this as spirituality calls us to be better versions of ourselves. Then again that's hard work so who knows if I will stick with it. Spirituality also turns out to be a crock for some and I am more like that type than not. It's just that I'm in so much pain right now that I don't see other options aside from self destruction which would make me hate myself more. To be honest, I'm lost and grasping at whatever seems to fit the bill for the moment.

I see you struggle... :( But no matter how sad it is, I can see also something very positive in it: You don't give up and are still active, motivated. I hope you will never lose this "core" :) and will succeed...

Good luck!!

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I can't convince someone to like me when I don't like me.

And I would flip this around and point out that a fair number of us here like you, without needing to be convinced. So you might be surprised on this one, in more than one way.

If you're you, some people will like you, some people may hate you, and most will tolerate you. That's the statistical breakdown of the thing. So your only job, really, is just to be you. And I know that probably doesn't seem like enough achievement for you to feel worthy, remembering past conversations about self-worth. But think about it this way: who else out there can possible carry off being you? ;-)

So right there, if you manage it, you've achieved something that's only possible for one person in the entire universe. Instant gold medal. :-)

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If you're you, some people will like you, some people may hate you, and most will tolerate you. That's the statistical breakdown of the thing. So your only job, really, is just to be you.

:D Mark said by few words what I tried to express by so many... Oh, well :rolleyes: ; I'm not surprised :P ...

BTW, I like this the most:

I would flip this around and point out that a fair number of us here like you, without needing to be convinced.

:)

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Thanks for the feedback. It really helps. I need to work on being more accepting and compassionate toward myself. Why can I do this toward others but not for myself? If someone else was in the same situation I guess I wouldn't know what to say but I wouldn't blame them for wanting to escape.

One of the bacis problems of a big part of those who hate themselves (I don't know if this applies to you, too) is that they derive their self-image from approval and love of others and when they don't get enough of what they need from them, they suppose they're bad, wrong, unlovable. Of course, it's a natural mechanism to some extent - but it's basically here to teach the child that he's lovable, but then, after childhood, we should be less dependent on the love (and other positive feelings) that others express to/for us. The problem is that when somebody doesn't "learn" this "self-love" (and a kind of independence which arises from it) during childhood, because of his disfunctional family, then it's much harder to achieve it later :(.

This describes me more than I care to admit. It will take some time for me to change my thinking but I see the truth in this. I need others' approval to feel good about myself. It's like a drug for me, I feel super happy for a short time when I get praise but if I don't get it then I'm down in the dumps.

It's good to know I'm liked here. I reveal things about myself here that I don't in real life because I worry it could cost me my job. The people here it seems are more accepting though. We all have similar problems so we don't hold that against each other. Having depression in 3-d land is stigmatized and people will avoid you. That is part of why I feel I am unacceptable and unlikable, even though I would not reject someone else just for having an illness.

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It's good to know I'm liked here. [...] The people here it seems are more accepting though. We all have similar problems so we don't hold that against each other.

I'm glad you feel that you're liked here and that it feels good :). I know we cannot provide "real therapy", but I think that this is one of the similarities between such a community and a therapeutic situation (mostly in group therapy): Both can provide something called corrective experience: You experience being liked and accepted as you "should have" in your childhood and you may internalize the fact the you are likable and then not seeking more and more proofs of it in your - "3D", as you say ;) - environment. That's how it works in therapy and, unfortunately, it's rather less effective here - on-line, but... I hope it can also help at least some people. (I'd love to see you among them ;).)

I reveal things about myself here that I don't in real life because I worry it could cost me my job. [...] Having depression in 3-d land is stigmatized and people will avoid you. That is part of why I feel I am unacceptable and unlikable, even though I would not reject someone else just for having an illness.

Well; yes... :( There are still many people who are surprisingly ignorant in this area and can hurt those who suffer from depression. I can't deny this, although I've been lucky not to experience this (mostly because I've never been depressed - I used to have only a rather mild social anxiety that was relatively easy to hide to a supportable extent - and then I used to have suicidal ideations for many years, but those are also perfectly invisible to others, so...) I'm babbling about myself, just to say I don't have an advise how to cope with those people :(. However, there are thousands of depressed people in the world and a part of them surely can cope with this, so... it's certainly possible.

Maybe you could write sometimes more specifically about the problems others cause you because of your depression. What do they say? What do you tell them about your condition? How precisely is your condition interfering with your job and other activities?

Take care!

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Maybe you could write sometimes more specifically about the problems others cause you because of your depression. What do they say? What do you tell them about your condition? How precisely is your condition interfering with your job and other activities? Take care!

I don't tell anyone about it although I am sure some people can see through the disguise. It causes problems with my creativity and concentration, so I don't come up with as good solutions to problems when I am depressed. It also messes with my self esteem/self perception so I come off as someone who dislikes himself and that harms my credibility when trying to "sell" ideas. Basically it keeps me operating at the ground level when my job is to see the higher level view and come up with broader solutions.

I have seen other people discredited because of their condition so I don't make it common knowledge. What I heard was jokes about so and so must be off his meds today and things like that. I already get comments about people are worried about me because I am too quiet, and it's always the quiet ones that go postal. I don't like this type of comment because I can't help that I'm introverted and shy. I would never go postal; I don't even like to be around guns. Besides if I hated work I would just stop showing up. I don't see any need for violence over something like that. If I wanted to throw my life away I would just go to the beach and spend my remaining money on getting high. Why would I want to hurt someone else? It doesn't make any sense to me. I think people who go on shooting rampages are taking too many things way too seriously and whenever it happens in the news I am always worried about why, what could have prompted a person to do something like this.

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One of the places where I used to work, there were lots of guys who were deer hunters, using guns or bows or pretty much any way except mano a mano. Which, come to think of it, might actually be amusing to watch. ;-)

Yet they too picked me as the one most likely to go postal, because I was so self-contained.

They were wrong though. When I couldn't take it any more, much later in my marriage, it was only myself that I took it out on. Sometimes the silent types are stronger.

So, how to cope with people who are idiots? Ignore them on the outside and flip them off on the inside! ;-)

They're not worth the heartburn.

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:-D Oh, Mark... You're so nicelly foolish sometimes ;-P

But, I'm sorry, this time "I have to disappoint you", because I've just found out that it was Ralph who used that expression first, on this blog:

I already get comments about people are worried about me because I am too quiet, and it's always the quiet ones that go postal.

Never mind; you're still a very rich "inoculum"... ;-)

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