Friday, 1 February 2019

How anxiety has made me incredibly isolated, and unable to maintain any real friendships.

How anxiety has made me incredibly isolated, and unable to maintain any real friendships.

Two nights ago, I was watching tv with a warm blanket and a cup of chamomile tea, and I began to scroll through Facebook and noticed two of my friends hanging out and preparing a trip together and I'll admit I was jealous, they seemed like they were having so much fun with no worries, no sadness, and no problems. Then there's me sitting at home night after night watching the same trash tv, thinking about every wrong decision I've ever made and getting myself in a sad, depressed state. I suddenly felt this overwhelming wave of sadness, I looked around the room and realized how lonely I felt. I tried my best to snap out of it by remembering positive memories and all the exciting things I've got to look forward to but it didn't work, I broke down and sobbed uncontrollably, tossed my blanket off, and held my head in my hands trying desperately to stop. From past experiences with friendships, I've been ignored because I'm continually canceling plans because at the time I felt far too anxious to go out and socialize. However, my friends didn't except that, and we drifted apart. I'd love a friend who's there for me and able to accept my faults no matter what, However, friendships like that are so hard to find. Now I'm beginning to feel rejected by everyone who I believed was a friend, and I can't help but wonder if I never talked to them again would they even notice.?

To all the friends I've lost over the years I'm sorry, I'm sorry for not being able to tell you how I feel because I'm scared that you might think I'm silly or immature, Im sorry I can't pick up the phone and call you, I'm sorry I can't message you first because I'm scared of saying the wrong things, I'm sorry I can't turn up to your house unannounced, Im sorry I can't go on spontaneous trips because I feel anxious when I'm away from home, and I'm sorry there are uncomfortable silences when we're together. 

When we are together and having lots of fun and laughs, anxiety manages to sneak in and ruin it by bombarding me with a million thoughts, below are just a few of them...

nobody likes you they're just putting up with you
everybody hates you
you look stupid
you're embarrassing yourself
there laughing at you
there pointing at you
there wondering why you are standing like that
Why are you talking like that
why do you smell like that
they're wondering why you have piled on the pounds
they're wondering why always wear leggings
Why do you always have the same hairstyle
they would rather you leave them alone. 

These may sound ridiculous and not a big deal to you, but to me they're constant, and that's what makes me think I'm not good enough for you. You're a confident, bubbly person and I'm negative, needy, and I constantly need reassurance.
This is why I'm so shocked when you invite me out or decide to phone me because that means you truly like me and enjoy my company. So if you can learn to accept that I have anxiety and struggle to maintain myself let alone a friendship then we can be friends. I hate being made to feel guilty for not constantly keeping in touch, it's not that I don't want to it's because one I'm busy trying to be the best mother I can be and not let my son see me anxious, and two I can't stand the way social anxiety makes me feel so unless I've got a great support system I don't want to have to deal with these types of feelings.

I can feel isolated anywhere even if I'm in a room full of people, the other evening we were invited to a family birthday party, it was very crowded and because my partner wanted to chat to everyone I was on my own a lot. I talked to people a little bit until the conversation eventually dried up, and then came the embarrassing, uncomfortable silence. I endured that for a while until I couldn't stand it anymore and said something like 'oh I'll be back in a minute, just popping to the loo' truth is I needed a break for five minutes. Anyway, Everyone is dancing, laughing, talking amongst themselves and I'm standing around looking isolated holding my glass and smiling at whoever looks my way, then it happens I stare into space, the sounds around me become muffled and it's like everyone is speeding past me very fast. All I could think about was how much I wanted to go home, I can't be here anymore, nobody wants to talk to me, everyone thinks I look stupid. Then came the sweating, shaking, and that overwhelming feeling when your body burns up and tingles, I felt really claustrophobic and I had to go outside for some much needed fresh air.

This isn't just at family parties its everywhere take school for example, I wait outside to pick up my son, and I see all the parents chatting with one another laughing and joking about there lives and bearing in mind their backs are completely turned away from me, and it's very distressing.
I really wish I had the courage to walk over and say hello, but I feel physically unable to. I can't help but think that even If I did walk over and strike up a conversation, they would probably choose not to listen and think I was awkward.

I really wish isolation wasn't laughed at because the number of times I've walked into a room or traveled on a bus and been stared at and had to deal with those awful thoughts of everybody looking at me and laughing amongst themselves, well that's what I believe they're doing anyway which as you know is one of the most irritating aspects of anxiety. 

Truth is however much I want friends and be able to stop feeling too scared to socialize, I do prefer to be alone purely because I can't offend anyone, make a laughingstock of myself, or say the wrong things and end up embarrassing myself in some way. So if you're feeling this way, then let's become friends and talk to one another when we're feeling sad, depressed or anxious. 

Have you ever felt this way, or is it just me?

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