drive

im 23. i still feel the same, maybe

they say it gets better. i guess it has. time heals. it does. its hard for me to remember just how hard it was four years ago. but i know it was. i know that i was frozen and i was so so so scared of everyone. and i remember more years ago … pretty much as far back as i can remember … all i wanted was to die. i didnt know what happiness was until i was 17. people always say your childhood days were the best of your life and they wish they were five again and i just stare in wonder. having no responsibilities doesnt mean you will be happy. im happy now. most of the time. but its still hard. it still comes back.

will i ever be free?

will i ever be the girl i dream of?

i like to be alone most of the time 

i guess i do. the more alone i am, the more used i am to it. but i know im happier surrounded by love and laughter … but being around people doesnt mean youre not alone. not quite. sometimes when im around people i feel more alone than if i wasnt.

is it all in my head, what they said? 

i ruin my own life just for nothing

im always afraid of wasting time and wasting life. i know i could be so much more. but i dont do it. i fall into the same old comfortable habits and watch my dream girl crumble to dust

i drive fast so i can feel something 

why

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noises

my mind makes noise too much 

Shhhhhh. Calm down. Breathe. Maybe stop thinking for a while oh but what if i never find love and connection and remain alone forever oh i know that i am a terrible person and i know youre disappointed in me trust me im disappointed in myself too why am i only valuable as a sex object i suppose i should stop wearing makeup and trying to look nice then ill stop being stared at thats the point of all that isnt it not like its possible to just want to dress up for yourself?

im afraid that i need help

but what if no one is able to help me maybe im beyond saving and then what will i do maybe ill just keep blaming all my problems on mental illness instead of trying to get any help for it because what if it doesnt work then all ill have to blame is myself what if im not mentally ill just a failure

i know its not right but you cant fix me this time 

thank you for not trying to fix me. i wish people would accept that sometimes i just need someone to talk to i dont need a solution you dont have to berate yourself for failing to fix me because you couldnt no matter how amazing a person you were im my own worst enemy i know that and its up to me but i dont know how i feel i dont have the power but i know this is something i have to do if someone else does it it wont be complete i will still be broken this isnt about you this is about me

what do you see when you look at me?

i dont want to know am i as much of a failure to you as i am to myself maybe i do want you to know my true self because at least it will be real it wont look like success but feel like pain. what do you see do you see emptiness or do you see potential is there hope for me

i cant control my emotions lately, im excited, im sad

why does the smallest thing turn me into an uncontrollable wreck why cant i get a grip why is everything so apocalyptic oh why does my heart break and why do i want to kill myself because of a bad day will i ever be free from this i think i am crazy

i think you mightve overdone it again

definitely. please forget that

the faces that you love are slowly giving up 

youre not supposed to take that long to get better are you? how long can i blame my upbringing for my problems i promise you ill get better but you know its an empty promise

is this me? tell me who i can be

how long do you have to be like this before it becomes who you really are they say its just your brain and you must not listen to your brain but arent i my brain if im really someone else when is she going to show up

Look at me.

meaningful connections

I follow my university’s “confessions” page and I’ve noticed a common recurrent theme in these confessions. There is an overwhelming amount of students struggling to make friends at university and in life in general. They are lonely, shy, afraid of rejection, tired of trying, depressed, and suffering from low self esteem.

They are, in other words, my kindred souls.

The number of posts and comments suggest that loneliness is an epidemic, but that’s good for us, isn’t it? It means that there are plenty of other people out there who have NOT established friend groups yet and are looking for human connection.

For what do we mean when we say “friends”?

We don’t mean the girl you wave to when you pass each other in the hall or the boy you’re paired up with for a group assignment. I hate small talk and although I know that I’m further isolating myself and causing my own loneliness, sometimes I’m too tired by small talk so I just don’t bother. And it’s not only that I’m tired and anxious. I don’t see the point. I don’t enjoy it and who’s to say it will lead to anything more? And maybe it’s because I try to make small talk with people and go nowhere, while I see a girl who spends one week with the people I have known for a year already become integrated into the group in a way I know I never will.

But, as evidence seems to show, again, I am not alone. Yet, if there are so many of us pining for friendships, why are we not able to find each other and make these connections?

Obviously, it’s not as easy as it sounds. From personal experience, I can vouch for anxiety being a huge huge factor in isolation. Everyone will tell you to join clubs and to talk to the person sitting beside you in the lecture. They don’t seem to understand how much courage it takes to merely show up at one of those club meetings and to merely NOT leave a seat in between you and the next person. We’re not even talking about going up and introducing yourself. Just to put yourself in a position where that could happen is terrifying. But say it does happen. You do end up in a club meeting. You find that half the people already have friends and are laughing and chatting at a high decibel. The other half are already in engaged conversation with the person they met 15 minutes ago. You sit in silence hoping someone will come up to you and make the first move. If someone does, you talk for two minutes about both of your majors and they give a fake laugh at your lame joke, then they announce their friend has arrived and leave.

But here’s the rub. If by some miracle of nature and humankind, you manage to put yourself in a social situation and start talking to another person, that doesn’t mean you are going to become friends. I’m not sure what percentage the likelihood of friendship developing is but I know it is not high.

I’m beginning to think I might understand something of why so many of us are struggling with this thing they call friendship. Friendship is connection. But how are connections formed? Maybe connection is formed through shared experiences and conversations – through a growing mutual understanding of each other and spending enough time together to grow comfortable and able to open up and perhaps most importantly, it means becoming attached to another person so that you care for each other and form an interest in each other’s lives.

Time forms bonds.

But before I’m comfortable with someone, it’s so hard to keep conversations going (small talk) and they don’t care about my life yet because they don’t know me and it’s so hard to have the strength and courage to start that conversation in the first place. And yet that could be the foundation of forming a friendship.

So I am stuck in a depressing circle.

And then there are people who can be immediately comfortable with strangers and OF COURSE they are going to be chosen as a friend over someone who is awkward and nervous and not quite herself yet.

The only area of connection with which I’ve seemed to have had fairly consistent success is when sex is involved. This makes me wonder if the prospect of sex encourages a person to participate in an emotional and psychological exchange and this in turn causes connection. I can’t say the idea doesn’t depress me. Do I need sex to convince people to give me a chance?

I guess some evidence goes against this theory. Some people do seem to make friends very rapidly. Then I fall into a rabbit hole of wondering if I am simply an excruciatingly boring person; hence, why I end up alone. The flip side is that the conversations I have managed to sustain haven’t succeeded in bringing me friendships. So why expend time and effort for something that is so unlikely to bear fruit?

Maybe it is a self fulfilling prophecy. I always return to this and wonder if I am the enemy of my own life. If I believed that everyone wanted to be friends with me, would this turn into reality?

Seems like a fantasy.

At the end of the day, I know it is not a question that I am my own enemy. I’m the one who is anxious, too tired to make an effort, too quiet, too intimidated by everyone talking over me to pitch in a word and unable to make myself heard when I try.

I’m still longing for connection and I’m not ready to give up trying just yet. But I’m well aware that what I call “trying” falls short of everything I could be doing and I’ve been trying and trying to change my personality and neuroses enough to make real “trying” possible.

But it never happens.

self fulfilling prophecies

i couldnt begin this post in a more cliche way, but im going to do it anyway

when you believe you are a certain way, you end up becoming more and more like it. im sure there are always exceptions, but beliefs about oneself that may not really be true can limit you in ways you dont realise

a prime example (because this is essentially a post telling me not to be like this): my belief that i am a socially anxious, socially awkward human who is bad at anything social.

and i honestly dont know how true that is. some people tell me im the most awkward person to ever awkward, while others say im completely normal. yes, i am anxious. but once i get comfortable with someone, im fine. once we hang out for a couple months … sure, there are still those awkward silences and weird moments when youve just said hello but the conversation doesnt kick off immediately. but you know what? i survive those moments. and theyre really alright. i dont get sick in my stomach (usually) before having to meet someone. its really not as bad as i make myself believe …

as i do make myself believe its bad. but maybe if i told myself that … no, socially awkward and anxious is NOT who i am and things sometimes really ARE easy and natural … i would actually feel less of this fear and more freedom

what if i believed that i can and am sometimes the person i wish i was – confident and talkative and fun?

ive also realised that im not as awkward or untalkative as some people. thats not to say anything against them – but just to say that maybe the narrative i keep telling myself isnt true anymore.

if i dont want this to be my identity – and i dont – and if i want to change my narrative … then i can

but i need to shed these labels and stories first

Hiding my face in a paper bag

I have this thing where whenever someone I don’t know tries to talk to me, I feel the irresistible urge to run away. To hide my face in a paper bag and never see them again.

It’s not that I hate people. I love people. I love human interaction. I think I’m a people person.

It’s just … I’m terrified. Terrified of people. Terrified of not being good enough. Terrified of being boring, annoying, or offensive and driving people away. I’m terrified and incredibly intimidated of people.

In real life, I can’t run away. I mean, I suppose I could in the literal sense but that would be a little bit awkward … But even so, I can’t completely avoid people. I go to school and see the same classmates every week so I’m forced to somehow endure the terror of social interaction and eventually I become friends with these people and it’s not so scary anymore.

But it’s different online. When the interaction is online, running away becomes a plausible and quite tempting option.

I don’t have the greatest online track record.

I abandoned my old blog without a single warning … Just disappeared from the blogosphere.

I abruptly stopped emailing my penpal even though she’s been there for me when I needed her and we had gotten quite close at one period.

I started a business of Fiverr and forgot all about it. When two people bought my service and gave bad reviews because I forgot to deliver, I put my account on hold and vowed never to use it again.

When people talked to me on Twitter or I tagged people, I logged out of my account for three months.

When I comment on people’s blogs, I don’t always check for replies especially if I said something heartfelt or particularly meaningful to me.

Sometimes I do things online that I later regret or I write about something controversial or extremely personal. And that’s usually … relatively ok, because it’s online. I can just abandon my account, or blog, or whatever platform. I do post pictures of myself sometimes, but I have an alias, and separate social media linked with my pen name.

This time around, it’s a little bit different. I linked my personal social media to this blog, for instance. Should I have? I don’t know. To be honest, the main reason I linked the accounts was so I could have those pretty icons on my sidebar, and I didn’t want to start separate accounts for my writing persona because it’s just too much haste and too hard to maintain. And that’s a legit reason. I also used my own email for my blog.

If I ever want to abandon this blog, I could just transfer my email account so I can start a new one, but again it’s a lot of hassle. And if I begin mixing the lines between personal social media and the blogosphere, it’s going to be harder to hide.

But I mean, I’m scared. Chances are, I’m going to do something I regret and wish I could change my name, wear a paper bag on my head, and move to a different planet rather than face up to it. And I guess the truth is, online relationships don’t matter all that much to me. That does make me sound cold, I know. I guess it just doesn’t feel as important as my IRL relationships so it always gets put on the back burner and I end up abandoning online friends and personas because I don’t care enough. That does make me feel like a terrible person.

I don’t even know what my point is … I guess it’s just to say that it’s nice being anonymous and having a blog where nobody reads what you write, and nobody comments … At the same time, I do like interacting with people online. I’m just not sure how far I’m willing to go with it. And I don’t want to end up being rude and yes, I’m terrified of driving anybody away.

But I guess I’ll try … try to be a bit more brave and run away less.