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Topic: not knowing who my friends are

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. orangejuicewithpulp
    orangejuicewithpulp avatar
    7 posts
    19 April 2020

    Hello, first time using an online space like this. Feels a bit odd but I don't really know where else to go for this.

    About 2 weeks ago I'd had an argument with one of my best friends. It was about some stupid thing, she were upset about a joke me and some mates made that went too far. We all apologised for the it but she kept badgering on at specifically me for a better apology. Now, I don't think I have any mental illnesses, but this triggered something and i had my first panic attack. I'd had minor shakes and stuff before but nothing to this extent, I was shivering, it was hard to breathe and I was very scared. I ended up having 2 of these. This had been all over text so obviously things were lost in communication and the whole fight went on for about a week. I was also very confused what was happening with me, my heartrate was raised every single moment of the entire week, so I asked her if I could take a break to calm myself down but she was unrelenting. Basically, the end result was she thought I didn't care about her and cut me off.

    It sounds stupid, I still don't understand it myself but the worst part was that at the end it was like she'd changed into a completely different person. I used to trust her with my life and now she was using my fears and anxieties as reasons for my poor behaviour and telling me everything was my fault. I have two other really close friends who were also sort of involved in this whole argument but they're much closer to her than they are to me and one of them has stopped talking to me as well.

    So, it's been around a week since the whole thing ended and i've nearly gone back to normal but I don't know what to do from here now. The person I trusted the most in the world wants nothing to do with me and my other friends seem like they're inclined to do the same. I have other friends but they're more like the lads I'd have a lot of bants with rather than people I can rely on. But it seems the people I did rely on have left me anyway. The logical choice seems to be putting a wall back up like I did after my girlfriend left me 2 and a half years ago but I don't know if that wall is what's got me in to this mess or what. I've been trying to distract myself too with my hobbies but whenever my mind wanders, I just go back to feeling alone.

    I hope this post isn't too long but I'd really appreciate any thoughts. I've kept my feelings hidden from my mum and dad all my life and I don't have any friends left to ask advice from so yeah

  2. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
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    1856 posts
    19 April 2020 in reply to orangejuicewithpulp

    Hello orangejuicewithpulp, I like my OJ like that too..

    Welcome to the forum and I am so proud you have come to get some support here when I can hear how confused and sad and frustrated you are in this time. I hope that you are feeling ok and that your physical feeling of panic has moved away.

    So..I think I can tell you what I would do in this situation and you can see if any of it resonates with you and might work for you. Firstly I want to whole heartly agree with you about walls, this is not a great way to manage any situation by putting up and shutting up and hoping it goes away, it mostly always comes back and sometimes worse than before, so I am so pleased you are here and sharing to get this out.

    Ok..I would CALL your friend to discuss this with her, but before that you could put some bullet points on paper for you to read off so you don't forget or get the message wrong when in the time of the call, as you might be nervous or anxious. Keep the call short but just tell her you are calling to let her know that you made a mistake, that things got out of hand, that in text things get misinterpreted, that you care for her and that you are sorry this has happened, you can put these into your own words. You can perhaps end the call with ..I will leave this with you and hope you can accept my apology and I hope we can still be friends, I am here when you want to chat.

    This was you have given her a heartfelt apology, you have reached out to her and made a big effort, after that the ball is in her court to respond as she wishes, you cannot control the situation after that, but you can know you did all you could to mend the situation.

    I am glad that you have some hobbies and things to do to keep your mind busy, however my feeling is that once you make this move with her and take the lead on repairing the relationship you will feel better, even if she does not accept it. You know you have done all you can. Keep doing your hobbies, chatting here and getting out how you are feeling, that is a really great step and I congratulate you for coming here today.

    Hope to chat to you some more and hope you find these words helpful.

    Hugs to you

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  3. orangejuicewithpulp
    orangejuicewithpulp avatar
    7 posts
    19 April 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Thanks for replying,

    Funnily enough I did actually try to do everything you've said I just didn't get to mention it because of the character limit in my post. Let me try and draw a better picture:

    When I did ask her if we could take a break from each other, she was reluctant but agreed. The break ended up lasting about 3 or 4 days. In that time I tried very hard to get my thoughts down in an effort to communicate better (that was an issue she had with me) and make sure I knew what I wanted to say. I ended up writing over 1000 words but although my thoughts were clear, I was still not completely stable and was still sort of in a mode of panic. I'd asked her after those 3 or 4 days if she wanted to talk through everything but I got panicked. I think I didn't take long enough of a break. She got very upset that I wanted to wait longer and that's when she started attacking me and also when she cut me off. I had told her that all I wanted was to have a proper and rational talk and I had written these notes but she was adamant that I was a terrible person and ended up saying a lot of things to me that deeply hurt me.

    I'm not interested in trying to repair our friendship because I've already lost all my trust in her. I'm just confused right now because she was the strongest relationship in my life and she just went and did a complete 180 on me. She's even blocked me on every social media and started turning my other friends against me. My second closest friend has outright said she's tired of this whole argument and told me she doesn't want to talk to me about it anymore.

    What I'm struggling with most at the moment is that I've no longer got a support network and I don't know what to do now. I find it hard to open myself up to other people, I always have out of fear of rejection or hurt, but now I just feel like I can't trust anyone. I used to be able to tell her things completely worry-free so it's really shaken me considering what she's become now. I never tell my parents anything either and my other friends are pretty useless in terms of emotional support, hency why I've come to this anonymous forum.

    I also wonder if it's something about me that's horribly wrong. It's not the first time I've lost an important friendship. I'm 19 years old and I've gone through 5-6 best friends since 2017.

  4. Aaronsis
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    20 April 2020 in reply to orangejuicewithpulp

    Hey orangejuicewithpulp

    That is good at least my first post was somewhat helpful in that you had already done what I was thinking so at least we are on the same page...cool.

    It is a really hard time with iso to reach out to new people and establish some new friendships, I wont deny that. I am sorry that you have lost your main support network but I am proud of you for having some integrity and staying true to you, if the trust is not there and you don't feel good and safe in the friendship it is wise to consider the value, in which you have done. This really speak volumes about you and your sense of self worth which is wonderful.

    In the meantime, and I guess I mean while this iso situation is happening and it is hard to socialize and make new connections. You are 19 years young and I can say that you are going to have many friendships move through your life, this does not mean that there is a thing wrong with you, it means that you choose what feels right for you as will others. We don't get along with everyone in life and if we did that would kind of be boring and weird as it would suggest we are all the same, we are very much not. I am 45 years old and I can't even begin to think about all the people that have moved through my life. But with each person comes a lesson, some great memories and like the saying says "people are in your life for a reason or a season"...

    While this iso time is on I am more than happy to share your stories, your worries, your concerns, be a sound board and a friend. You are anonymous and that is the magic of this space in that you can be honest and you can purge and we can let you know our opinions and thoughts and help you through this time.

    19 is a pretty rough time anyway with a whole swag of "shoulds" and life expectations...what do I do when I "grow up"....can I say I am 45 and still figuring that out...I think if there is one thing that this time has shown us is the value of people and family and friends, you will make new connections and new friends and have people to trust again in life, just have to weather this storm called COVID.

    Hope to chat some more to you

    Sarah xx

  5. orangejuicewithpulp
    orangejuicewithpulp avatar
    7 posts
    17 May 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    I've been feeling a lot better recently thanks to the chat we had a month ago. I still have random instances throughout the day where I'll find an old photograph of my friends or I'll see some kind of update on socials and I'll suddenly shut down and spend an immeasurable amount of time inside my own head thinking about what I could have done differently. And it's during these times that I start to feel like I'm never going to find another meaningful friendship.

    I'm not outgoing or talkative. I'm that guy who sits on the edge of a circle of people at parties who's constantly waiting for his turn to speak but never does. I can't initiate or continue a conversation unless it interests me. For example, if my mates are talking about how hectic their Friday night was, I can't think of a single thing to add in to that conversation even though I was there with them. But if the conversation turns to philosophical questions posed by a Terrence Malick film from the 70s or the harmonic construction of an obscure piece of soundtrack from an old Jean-Pierre Melville film, I can go on for hours (to the annoyance of my peers). I've been told by people I'm very likeable and easy-going and I assume it's because all I can do is nod my head and talk about things they want to talk about rather than what I'm interested in.

    Following on that, I've recently started to discover I'm not very normal. I mean, I always knew that I was super weird and had niche interests but I'm beginning to think it's more than that. When I watch people, there appears to be no break in their actions. Let's say I'm talking to somebody else, a 'regular person'. They sip their drink, they continue talking, and they put down the drink and let me speak. Whereas, I don't function in the same way. I'll pause periodically for a couple of seconds whenever I speak and have to dig far into my mind for the right words to say so that they fit: the topic of the conversation, who I'm speaking to, what our relationship is and where we are. I often feel like my speech and actions are strung together like a sequence of events that my brain deems socially acceptable and hence it comes across disjointed. It's especially noticeable to me because when I'm on my own I can spend minutes staring straight ahead inside my own thoughts to be almost 'woken up' by someone talking to me like I was waiting to be activated.

    I feel like I can relate more to an alien hiding amonst humans than I can to an actual person.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Aaronsis
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    21 May 2020 in reply to orangejuicewithpulp

    Hello OJWP...I really love this name by the way..

    It is really great to chat to you again and I am so pleased to hear that you did feel better after spending some time here and getting some things off your chest, talking about it and sharing them really does make it seem a little more manageable.

    Feeling different from people is a really interesting journey and while you say that you are "super weird" and that you are "not normal" I would just like to say firstly..who is normal? What is weird, we are all very different and some people chose to just go along the path of most travelled and some, like you choose to go on another route. You will meet others on your journey, ones that challenge you, that make your version of "super weird" seem "normal". I think the fact that you said you " I can go on for hours (to the annoyance of my peers)..shows you are able to contribute to a conversation and that you do contribute. Maybe you should attempt it more and get some of those folks travelling on the "common road" to come and walk on your path for awhile. Teach them about Terrence Malick, about the soundtracks from a Jean-Pierre Melville film, after all, as they say, you are likable and you are easy going, maybe they really enjoy hearing about the things that interest you. Life is a journey and you will meet others that click and connect with you, being a young adult of today is hard, it is so very different from when I was young but can I say as you move into your older, mature self you will attract those of similar niche interests and values to you, it is just kind of how it works. Right now seems tough, kids can be mean, school is hard and especially now with Covid there is a whole lot of "new" to get used to.

    I am really happy to chat to you some more and maybe you can enlighten me on some of the interests that you have and some of the things that make you tick, I am always wanting to be introduced to something new so share away, if you like OJWP.

    Hugs to you and so very pleased to hear you are feeling a little better.

    Sarah xx

    1 person found this helpful
  7. orangejuicewithpulp
    orangejuicewithpulp avatar
    7 posts
    1 June 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi again Aaronsis,

    Thanks for the kind words. I didn't expect to get anything out of this forum when I joined but this has almost become the only place I can really rant or talk about my feelings, which as sad as that sounds feels like a welcome comfort.

    I've become really down lately and I pretty much hit rock-bottom today. I said I was feeling a lot better in my last reply but that was probably the highest point I've been at in the last few months. I probably only spend half my days feeling normal, like I can do my uni work, watch TV with my parents, etc. The other half I just feel empty and lonely. It doesn't take much to trigger it, I just think about that experience I had 2 months ago where my friends cut me out and I'll become catatonic. I feel like I don't have a home anymore. I mean I literally moved house this week so I really did lose my home (for the 7th time, I've moved house 7 times in my life in 3 separate countries).

    There's a number of other things that I think about everyday like: other friends I've lost, being bullied at school until I was about 17, my parents separating, the fact that I haven't had a girlfriend for 3 years; but at this point it just feels like there's someone intermittently pressing a button inside me labelled 'sad' and then he'll go sit down and finish a cup of tea before turning it off.

    I'm beginning to wonder if I have some form of mental illness. My mum and my grandma both had anxiety and depression and my mum had it especially bad. She has bipolar disorder too and it kind of broke down her marriage with my dad and made her suicidal a few years ago. She's got it under control now though. But I wonder if I'm going to be affected by that in any way?

    I hate to self-diagnose, I'm aware of the dangers associated with that, but I feel like I have something called 'high-functioning depression'. I can hide what I'm going through from other people pretty well (almost too well. I wait for my parents to clear the house before I use this website and I delete my search history and clear my cache after). Most of my friends don't even know about that big blow-up I had 2 months ago or how badly I've been affected by it. I don't cry. I always feel like I'm on the verge of tears but I can't make them come out. It's akin to being an actor in a film that has to cry for a scene except he's already done 5 takes and has run out of tears.

    Sorry if it seems like I have a different issue everytime I post but yeah

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
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    2 June 2020 in reply to orangejuicewithpulp

    Hi OJWP

    It is really great to chat some more to you, to answer your last point first, the only limit to how long your post it is the 2500 that Beyond Blue has on each post, if you use every one of those characters that is fine with me, you come here as often as you need to, or as you are doing while you are on your own. I just wanted to acknowledge that point first in that it is hard to feel so down and so sad, but then to have to put in the effort to hide it and to make it seem like everything is just peachy, that must be just exhausting. I just wanted to you know two things, the first being that there is no shame in feeling lousy, at some point we all do, however some struggle much worse and much deeper than others so I am not sure why it is such a taboo thing not to share when we are struggling, is it that we are weak, or we are not in control or there is something wrong with us?? I am not sure but we have no problem telling others when we are feeling good so why not when we need help? The second being that my brother wore a mask of happiness, strength, success and like his life was just fine, his suicide note suggested otherwise, I would have given my left arm to help him through his pain, if he had of not hidden and not felt like he did not deserve help or that he was a burden. I would have dropped everything to have helped him, I was not given that choice, so I ask you to think about having a chat with someone close, to let them know, afford them the opportunity to help you, you matter and you are loved.

    I am so pleased that while you had no expectations here on the forum that you have found support, that is wonderful to hear that we are helping.

    I am sorry to hear you have hit rock bottom OJWP but weirdly happy too, you know why, as the only place to go from here is forward/up on the journey to wellness, it can start today, with maybe a call to your GP to make an appointment, dont know what to say or how to start? you could even just show them this post, they will start the conversation with you, you have captured how you are feeling so well.

    I have a bunch of stuff to say but am running out of space...I too have moved house more times that I care to mention, it made my school life hell, I had trouble fitting in and making friends, I am 45 now and it doesn't really impact my life, I get to make the choices now, I look back and actually see that it did teach me resilience..the hard way.

    Chat soon, I do have more points..lol

    Sarah xx

    1 person found this helpful
  9. orangejuicewithpulp
    orangejuicewithpulp avatar
    7 posts
    3 June 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hey Sarah,

    I'm sorry about your brother that must have been awful. I can't imagine how bad someone has to feel to reach that point. I understand what you mean about reaching out to somebody close and that it makes more sense than holding everything in but I don't know how. I never tell my dad anything out of fear that he'll laugh at me (and he honestly would). He's stoic and traditional in terms of being a masculine father figure. The only time that I can remember him showing me affection was him putting his arm around me at a car show when I was 8. The only time he's ever told me that he loved me was in an automatic email that would send in the event of his death and he forgot to turn it off once. The way I read that is he'd basically die before saying that he loved me. I find my mum easier to talk to but there's a massive language barrier since I can only speak at the level of a 10-year old in her langauge (Cantonese) and she can barely speak a lick of English. Often when I do try to tell her things I get the words wrong and she misinterprets me. It's been a big reason why I've never been as close to my mum as I am with my dad even though I can't really tell my dad anything as ironic as that sounds.

    I've tried in the past to ease in stuff about what I've been feeling with my close friends (the ones I have left) but they don't know how to respond. They'll nod and say 'yeah that sucks man' and we'll sit in silence for a bit until we talk about something else. I'm really also afraid to tell them anything more than 'I've been feeling kind of down after that whole thing with blablabla' because I'm afraid of accidentally having a breakdown in front of them and causing a scene. Deep down I think I try to keep people at an arm's length incase I become dependent on them and I don't want to be dependent because if they leave me (which it seems is the precedent) then I'll be alone.

    I think I'd like to speak to a GP as you suggested but I'm very afraid of my parents finding out. My dad lets me see the doctor alone now as I've got a medicare card and BUPA card both on family plans but will there be a statement that goes back to my dad? Do they have an obligation to notify my parents if there ends up being a diagnosis? Another concern I have is money. My job's on hold for now because of COVID so I have no way to pay for treatment if I end up needing it. Or is that covered under medicare?

    Thanks for listening to my TED talk again

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Aaronsis
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    3 June 2020 in reply to orangejuicewithpulp

    Hey OJWP

    Thank you so very much for your kind words and your support with regards to my brother, I only wish he was as brave as you are to reach out and talk and get some support and some comfort. With regards to reaching out, I know it is hard for some people, who to reach out to, how to reach out..If you can make an appointment with your GP this would be a great start. You are 19 so they would not have to report back to your parents as you are an adult and not a child. They might suggest some conversation with your parents so you have support. The doctor can then set you up on what is called a Mental Health Care Plan and this will give you access to 10 sessions with a professional, you can talk to them about this in your appointment, make sure that you book a double appointment so you have the time to chat about how you are feeling. You can even show the GP this post as you have outlined very well and very clearly how you are feeling and what you are having trouble with.

    That is so tough that you had to receive and email like that from your father, that must have hurt so much, knowing what it's intention was and that you were to know this information should he pass. I hear what you are saying that you interpreted that as he would rather die than tell you he loves you, I don't know your father but the fact he wrote it means he does love you, maybe he too has his own struggles with being able to communicate and expressing how he is feeling also. I know that is not an excuse for you feeling the lack of emotional support from your dad but it sounds like he too may have some issues he manages each day that we don't know about. Maybe he too struggles with who to reach out for support to.

    Being a young adult is tough as you know and I am just so sorry all the pressure we put on our young people. Just what you were saying about your friends not being able to support you, maybe they don't know how to , maybe they are scared they will say the wrong thing or be laughed at in return for saying the wrong thing, is there one friend you could talk to rather than a group? We could even practice here how a conversation might go..if you like?

    I love the analogy of your "TED talk" but let me reassure you that I am enjoying talking to you and I am learning things too, that this is the joy of the forum that we share, care and learn new things and new ways to cope, things we never thought of or considered before. I look forward to your next "TED talk" OJWP.

    Hugs

    Sarah

  11. orangejuicewithpulp
    orangejuicewithpulp avatar
    7 posts
    30 July 2020

    Hey Sarah,

    It's been a while since we spoke. I just wanted to give you an update and maybe ask you a few things.

    It took nearly 2 months of trying to convince myself to do it but I finally went to see a GP yesterday. I told her what's been bothering me, or at least a small fraction of it, and she prescribed me an SSRI to take once a day. In regards to how I've been feeling, I thought I hit rock bottom before but it turns out there's actually a hidden basement level below rock bottom and I have now fallen down the elevator shaft to the underground pipe work beneath the basement. The thing that made me decide to see the GP was when I had sobered up after 3 days of binge-drinking last week to cope with everything and saw how adversely my free time was being spent dumbing down my pain.

    The GP initially suggested seeing a psychologist but I was a bit hesitant to do that because even with the mental health care plan, in order to get money back I would need to claim it against medicare and that would mean telling my parents everything. I may do it in the future but right now the GP suggested an alternative route to see the counsellor at my university because they talk to people free of charge. I'm going to do that tomorrow.

    On the SSRI, I was told by the pharmacist there was a small chance it would actually make me feel worse for the first few weeks and it has already started to make me feel constantly nauseous. The GP said this should be normal and to only come back if it became unbearable so I'm looking for ways to help with it.

    I really wouldn't have decided to ask for help if it weren't for our chats on this website Sarah and I appreciate you taking the time to quell the inner turmoil of some stranger you've only ever spoken to through an online forum. I hope you are doing better as well and wish you the best.

     

    Kindly,

    Orange

     

  12. Aaronsis
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    31 July 2020 in reply to orangejuicewithpulp

    Hi Orange and it is so great to hear from you again

    I am so pleased to hear that you went to the GP, it does not matter that it took 2 months to do, you did it and that is the most important part, and sometimes we do have to get to what seems like rock bottom before we reach out, I am so glad that you did make this choice for your wellbeing.

    Medications work differently with different people and it make take time and some changing until you find the one that works for you. I hear what you are saying and that sometimes they make you feel worse until you feel better but the GP's are the ones to work through this with you, I think keeping your GP across how you are feeling and what you are thinking also will be the key to getting your medication right, maybe even keeping a few notes each day on the things you are experiencing so when you go to your GP next you can read accurately from your notes.

    As I said before, it sometimes takes to hit rock bottom to realize that we do need some extra assistance and as you have probably realized now, alcohol seems like a good idea at the time and even whilst having a few drinks but it never is the answer and it can never fix a problem, in fact it can make another problem for you in the long run. A clear mind is what you need right now to let the meds and the support you are getting help. I know you know this but just want to remind you.

    I hear what you are saying and that getting help with a mental health plan and medicare means your parents have to know, I know we have chatted about this before in that you have not talked to your parents, that you do fear being judged and even rejected if you were to tell them, can I suggest to you this is a fear and that it may in fact not be reality, that if they knew they would want to help you, to see you get the support you need, both from them and professionally...internal noise and thoughts can really impact reality and what you fear and what you think they will think or say may not be the case at all.

    I am really pleased you are going to see the Uni counselor, they are another really great support network and the more people on your team the better Orange. They will have experience with people your age and many others that feel the very same way you do, they may even have some services that you can access free through the uni..I hope so.

    I am always here for you and I am so happy you feel supported here orange, we do care so much.

    Look forward to chatting some more

    Sarah xx