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Topic: Feels like I'm an extra in a movie about my life

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. dan2001
    dan2001 avatar
    2 posts
    8 December 2019
    Hi All,

    First time posting and I made this account just because I need some help. Also, this going to be a long one so get comfy.

    A little bit of background about me first;
    A few years ago I went through about 30months of severe depression and anxiety, I have been hospitalized and have had treatment for my illnesses. Since mid last year I have been in remission and have been living a great life with only a few minor hiccups along the way. A little more personal but I am a promising young athlete with lots of potential (or so I've been told). I also have a good group of friends and a great career/life in general.

    Anyway, this last month has been very difficult and I don't understand why. I seem to have everything going for me but I still feel terrible. It's hard to explain without getting to specific but I'd say I just feel so lonely, all the time. Now, since I have had treatment in the past I've been actively trying to go out and see friends and socialise to try and combat these feelings but I still find myself feeling utterly alone, even in the direct company of my friends. I had a very hurtful experience as well where I invited roughly 10~ of my friends over to my house, they all had a great time but only one person had a conversation with me. I just sat there, in the middle of everything, completely unacknowledged and ignored, in my own home for my own hang that I had arranged. I'm also finding that even in the company of my friends I no longer enjoy their presence and I want them to leave. I just feel like I don't have anything in common with them anymore, and I don't know why. So now my lonely thoughts are telling me to find new friends, so I've jumped on to some of those meet apps
    But alas, zero responses over weeks of trying and it's just so demoralizing. I just feel abandoned but I deserve it because I had 'outgrown' my friends?

    Anyways, this loneliness is now starting to effect my career and I'm not performing as well, which is only reinforcing those feelings of deserving to be isolated and that I'm a failure. And now having those other factors of my life that I used to rely on become unsteady I'm starting to question everything I do and my self-worth is plummeting everyday.

    I'm going to stop the monologue there before I get too specific but hopefully you get the gist.

    Anyone got ideas/things I could look into?
  2. Larnzi
    Larnzi avatar
    3 posts
    8 December 2019 in reply to dan2001

    Hi Dan2001,

    Welcome to the forum. You definitely don’t deserve to feel abandoned or isolated because you have outgrown your friends & I am sorry you are feeling that way. You have been through a lot of changes & experiences in your life over the last few years & it would be dismissive to say that those would not affect your whole life, including friendships.

    I'm not sure if you will relate to this but I found that when I battled anxiety, as I came through it, my feelings & thoughts towards others started to change, people I'd known for years. I thought it was to do with them but I realised it was actually to do with me & the new values I was starting to develop. I was starting to respect myself more as a person & realise that going out with a friend for a coffee & not have them ask me once how I am or what I have been doing in my life was not ok to me anymore, but it had been ok for years prior.

    You have been growing so much as a person in so many different ways & it sounds like you have got to a good place in life where you really have a lot going for you & that's fantastic! Maybe you have grown & flourished but your friends haven't. You have a lot more life experiences now than they have. When you battle a mental health issue, you go through an enormous amount of change & sometimes other people don't understand that. Maybe your feeling that you have outgrown your friends could be a part of this. If you feel comfortable, were your friends around much during your difficult times or are they aware what you have gone through?

    I can imagine it was not a nice feeling for you to not be acknowledged in your own home & you probably felt hurt with that & you are completely justified to feel that way. Is the one person that did have a conversation with you possibly a friend who sees how much you have grown & valued you inviting them to your house? They sound like they enjoy your company & appreciated you inviting them over by talking with you.

    One thing I tried was joining some sporting classes & it took a little time to make friends. At the gym I joined I haven't made any friends at all yet but I am trying to look at it that I am proud of myself for joining & learning new skills.

    What are some of the things you get joy from that could help bring back some self worth? You mentioned you are a promising athlete,are there any people there you could possibly organise a get together with?

    Look forward to continuing the conversation with you.

    Larnzi

    1 person found this helpful
  3. dan2001
    dan2001 avatar
    2 posts
    8 December 2019 in reply to Larnzi
    Thank you Larnzi for taking the time to read through and reply thoughtfully to my post :)

    My friends were not there to support me at all when I went through my period of illness a few years back. And now that I think about it more deeply, even when I have opened up to discuss what I went through I've never been able to tell my full story as someone has always cut in with 'oh well I've had...' or just brushed off with humour.

    In regards to expanding my horizons and what other things I get joy out of - my career is as an elite squash player, however, I am only 18 years old and I've only been playing for 4 years so I'm still relatively new and everyone at my level is at least 5 years older than me.

    I am also keenly into Lego, however same problem, the user groups of adult fans of Lego are all at least 10 years older than me.

    You also mentioned life experience which I 100% agree with you on. My only predicament now is that I feel more mature than most of my friends are, despite being one of the youngest (18-20). I'm now stuck with behaving and feeling more adult, and therefore better suited to an older crowd, but still young enough for me to feel awkward around people only slightly older than me.

    I also wanted to mention how happy I am to hear that you have joined the gym and are sticking with it! Any positive change is worthwhile and although the results may not come immediately (new friends, fitness, etc) you will reap the rewards of what you are sewing.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to reply thoughtfully, I truly value you taking the time out of your day to help a stranger.

    - Dan
  4. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    92 posts
    9 December 2019 in reply to dan2001

    Hi Dan

    Wow, you've come along way and achieved much. It is a massive achievement to rise out of depression. I love Larnzi's sage advice by the way.

    You will find your self not just rising out of depression and anxiety, you will find your self continuing to rise in a number of ways. There will be a lot of challenges that come with this incredible process, some of them simple and some pretty intense and confronting. Every time you rise to a challenge and meet it, it gives you a natural high in life (something drugs just can't offer). To give you an example: You mention that the folk around you are a little older than you. I want you to imagine that both you and they are mature and amazing enough to set the age factor aside. Suddenly you find your self hanging out with them more and more and you love this. Not only have you met the challenge but you've actually risen above it. You've risen again, higher, to meet the next challenge, to meet the next high with a great group of friends to now support you.

    Personally, I have the attitude 'Bring it on!' when it comes to challenges. I find solving them and rising above them to be addictive. It's one of the ways I get my natural high in life. I don't invite emotional pain or anything like that into my life, I just love developing greater faith and love in myself.

    Rising is a beautiful experience in life, especially when you begin to get the hang of it. The process can be a little draining at times (when you can't identify the challenge at first), yet once you're on track, the energy it gives you can be exhilarating. These experiences can lead us to feel incredibly proud of our self and the gift that comes with that involves us not needing the approval of others.

    If this group of slightly older people you speak of is friendship material, it will be easy to recognise if you know what you're looking for. They will love giving each other uplifting challenges (inspiring each other), they will have the same energy as you (before you started feeling a little drained), they will be lighthearted and not draining. Basically the tribe you vibe with will continue to raise you and support you. You might be surprised how much you have in common with them (including outgrowing friendship groups).

    Myself, I came out of my depression just over 14 years ago and I'm still rising. A key piece of advice: Change the word stress to challenge and perception changes. Make 'What is this challenge asking of me?' one of your mantras.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Larnzi
    Larnzi avatar
    3 posts
    9 December 2019 in reply to therising

    Hi Dan,

    You are so very welcome. It is sad to hear that your friends were not there for you when you went through your illness. The hard thing with any kind of illness, & more predominantly mental illnesses, people don't know what to do or say or how to support so they tend to be stand-offish or avoid talking about it to you as they don't know how or think you don't want to talk about it. And really the truth is that us talking about it helps us greatly & to let our friends know that is extremely hard.

    I can relate with the interuptions & brushing it off. I've learned the people who will listen to me & those who fall into the "well I've had..." category - I only see those people sparingly as I see them now as not genuine. I hope that helps you to distinguish what I'm saying there.

    I totally agree with the advice above from the rising about the group of slightly older people. You have grown so much that these people have now become where you are meant to be. Age is just a number & when it comes to friendships it is not valid at all.

    I will share something with you. I am 34. At school I never got along with kids my own age & felt out of place. When I left, I left all those friends too. I went to uni & met some slightly older people within 10years of age of me & I had fun with them. When I got my first full time job I made quite a few friends there & they were 20-25years older than me & I finally fet like I had found my clan. The age gap was irrelevant because I had a lot of life experience from things I had been through so i could relate to others well - just like you now have. Move forward 11 years, 8 years on from working there & I am still friends with them. They are in their 50s-mid 60s now & I feel lucky because I love their company & we always have lots to talk about. More recently through my sports I've made friendships with people younger than me with mature heads on their shoulders, just like you, & those have been rewarding too.

    If you're comfortable, give the Lego group a go, it may take a few times of turning up, getting to know others & feeling comfortable, but you already have one thing in common with them, a love of Lego & with that you already have a foundation for friendship, (& the same goes for squash too). There is so much benefit from having older friends, you can learn even more life experiences & they can learn from you.

    I will definitely keep up the gym, it's been great learning new skills!

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Larnzi

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Lee97
    Lee97 avatar
    2 posts
    11 December 2019 in reply to dan2001

    Hey dan,

    I can definitely relate to all you have said about your friends and feeling you’ve maybe outgrown them and need new ones. I am in the same boat. It’s really hard to accept that my friends just don’t understand or have the same thought process etc that I do. They were also not there for me at all when I was struggling real bad at my own 16th birthday and no one knew - ended up in hospital the next night and when I disclosed it to one of them later it was like she didn’t believe me or didn’t think I was serious..? Not sure but either way I know what you mean. It’s also why o came here. I needed some new friends and hoped to be able to make some on here that I can talk to.
    thanks for sharing and hope to see you around!