Content note: worry that mental illness won’t get better
I’m worried that my mental illness is untreatable cuz I’ve gone through several therapists and just can’t seem to get along well enough with any of them for the partnership to be able to help alleviate my symptoms. Hotline staff and people on forums can’t seem to help me either cuz I keep having conflics with them, too. I haven’t had any luck with friendships and am worried that I’m incapable of ever having positive relationships with anybody besides my parents, who probably just stick around cuz we’re family. I’ve been trying so hard to learn social skills, but I still just can’t seem to deal with people. I keep finding these interactions excruciatingly painful. Therapy is supposed to help with stuff like that, but I’m so bad at dealing with people that I can’t even seem to deal with a therapist. I’m in an ugly cycle and can’t see a way out of it.
Content note: gets into my interpersonal pain
Currently, my parents are the only people I have in my support system. I don’t wanna overwhelm them, so I’ve been trying really hard to change this, but it has been difficult. My experiences with therapists have been very painful. Calling a hotline has resulted in pain. Asking for help on forums has also made me feel worse. I rarely make friends and haven’t been able to keep the ones I’ve made. I feel that people have unfairly made negative assumptions and judgments about me. I feel that people have been hostile towards me. I feel like I have been blown off. I feel like my hopes have been shit on. I don’t feel understood. People have accused me of attacking them when that wasn’t my intention, and I don’t understand what I did that makes them think that. I can’t tell if they’re villain-izing me on purpose as an attack or if I’m making mistakes with my behavior that make me come across badly unintentionally.
Lately I’ve been finding people confusing, disappointing, threatening, and chaotic. The thought, “Fuck people, I’ll just stick to myself and my family from now on,” has gone through my head. I’ve been tempted to abandon my hopes of finding friends, community, and romance and get back into work/school/volunteering, and do nothing but consume media all day or maybe even just go into a hibernation state for the rest of my life.
In spite of the lack of support system, I made some breakthroughs with my recovery that I wrote about earlier, but as the conflicts that have been happening in my search for support have added up, it has been unraveling. I had a bad conflict with my therapist and need to start fresh with a new one, but I’m not sure if I can gather the strength to find one. If I can’t get it together, I’ll lose my Social Security income and become homeless, so the pressure is intense. I’m suffering so much. I dunno if I’ll ever be okay again.
My (now former) therapist and I had an argument today, and the thought of facing her again stresses me out so much that I decided to switch agencies. She said that not every friendship will be a close friendship and people don’t have time to invest in friendships. I thought that friendships are supposed to be close, so I was upset to hear that, and I said, “That destroys me.” She accused me of having a mean tone. I got defensive and said, “I don’t appreciate the accusation.” She said, “You’re putting words in my mouth.” I said, “I’m not.” She said, “It seems like you’re trying to pick a fight.” I said, “I came here for therapy, to feel better and cuz Social Security forces me to. You’re just making me feel 10 times worse.” She made another accusation, I forget what, and I got so angry that I lost my temper, saying, “Shut up, asshole!” and I left.
I have a long history of difficulty getting along with therapists and people in general. I don’t want life to be like this. I constantly feel like a bomb could go off. People seem chaotic and threatening to me. That could be related to my schizophrenia. I wanna be able to be comfortable around people and have positive relationships. I wanna be a force of good in the world, someone who people can be comfortable around and who has a positive impact on peoples’ lives. I’m gonna go over my notes about the Nonviolent Communication book, by Marshall Rosenberg, again and start reading The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Anger, by Russell Kolts. I like that it has compassion in the title, since that’s something I value and a trait I wanna cultivate more of.
I hope to turn over a new leaf at the next agency. I’ll talk to the new therapist about the difficulties I’ve had getting along with other therapists. Maybe they’ll have ideas about how to make this relationship go better. One idea I have is to end the appointment early or leave the room for a little while and come back if I start getting upset.
I’ll continue updating the blog about my progress learning to manage conflicts.
For a while, I’ve had a bad habit of spending 12 hours or more per day sleeping due to mental health issues. Even after my mood started improving and I started enjoying activities again, the oversleeping persisted.
I feel a surge of willpower and am finally committing to not oversleeping anymore. I wanna spend more time developing myself as a person, helping others, taking care of my responsibilities, and simply having fun.
To help with this goal, I’ve started a new ritual of planning my day when I wake up every morning, which gives me something to look forward to when I’m going to bed. I’ll write about how I do that in another blog post.
It’s a privilege to be able to make the choice to cut down on my sleeping. Some people have health conditions that don’t give them a choice. I appreciate this ability and won’t let it go to waste anymore.
Content note: feeling of hopelessness
I thought that my date with Ky went well. He asked about my blog, and I appreciated that he showed an interest in it, since it’s such a big part of my life. We laughed a lot. At the end, I asked him if he’d like a hug, and he said yes. I said that I had fun, and he said that he did, too. However, he ignored the message I sent asking him out again. That’s typical for me. After dealing with this yet again, I have little confidence in my ability to read how well a person likes me. Being ignored after a first date is a particularly painful way to get rejected, but it’s how it usually happens for me, which sucks. I’ve made dates with four people since my last relationship, and all of them have rejected me. One even changed his mind about meeting me before our date. I’ve been in ten relationships, and every single time, I’ve been the one who was dumped. The constant rejection is excruciating. This time, my sleep problems (swinging between extremes of not sleeping enough and sleeping way too much) got worse, and I’ve been fidgeting and barely eating anything. It’s so rare that I see anyone who I can message on a dating site, for reasons such as they indicate not wanting to date a fat person or that they’re looking for something casual, that I can’t easily just jump back into dating after a rejection. Coming across another person that I can try with is a painfully slow process. I’m in a horrible mood and don’t feel very hopeful about being able to find a partner, or even local friends (I have one friend, but she lives in Seattle).
During my worst episode of depression, time started to pass very slowly for me. I found it unbearable. I thought that the slow passage of time contributed to my depression, but now that my mental health is better, I see that it was my depression that made me dislike the slow passage of time. I enjoy life enough now to like it when time passes slowly so that I can savor every moment. My change of perception has been such a relief.
Gaining knowledge and skills and doing activities can help build self esteem. Pursue things that are related to your interests, not just to impress others or cuz you think that’s what other people expect of you. Doing things for the latter two reasons can build resentment and leech enjoyment out of those things.
If you’re not sure what you’re interested in, it’s okay to dabble with a lot of different things till you find something that clicks. If you try many things, and nothing clicks, that could be a sign of a mental health issue, such as depression, so it may be a sign to talk to a professional.
Pursue things that you can measure your progress in so that you can see how far you’ve come. For example, on my blog, I can keep track of how many posts I’ve written. Even leveling up my Pokemon in my 3DS games gives me a little boost. For more abstract knowledge, you can measure things like the number of books you’ve read about that topic. Since I’ve started reading again several months ago, I’ve read six books about psychology and subtopics within it, such as communication and the therapy process, and I feel good about how my knowledge has been building with each book I’ve completed. Whatever your interest is, it’s okay to set small goals. Sometimes I read a children’s nonfiction book or a For Dummies or Complete Idiot’s Guide book to start digging into a new topic.
There are lots of how to videos/books/etc to help with building skills. Good old practice helps, too. Learning something or getting better at something can take a lot of time and effort, so be patient with yourself.
I’ve learned more about writing over time as I’ve been working on Oasis Charm. For example, I’ve realized on my own that it’s nice to have a little wrap up at the end of a post instead of letting it trail off at a random sentence.
These kinds of things help with building self esteem cuz they can give one a sense of direction, accomplishment, and even mastery. What knowledge, skills, or activities make you feel good about yourself?