If you’re not moving forward, you’re just moving backwards

Well it’s been, I don’t know, maybe 3-4 months since I left my last place of work; I still haven’t applied for a job yet.

I had been looking at one particular job for ages. It was simple, <15 hours p/w and also temporary. It would give me a chance to get back into work, maybe try to learn to drive again and also some spare time to push for a social life.

I spent hours and hours writing out interview questions just to be sure that I wasn’t going to make a complete fool of myself if I applied.
I could have completed the full thing in 15 minutes but no, I had to sit there and stare at the screen for weeks without even typing in my contact details for no explainable reason.
Today was the last day for the post and I had just filled everything in at the last minute. All I had to do was click Save -> Submit but no, I wait another half hour for no explainable reason.
Try again?

Position is no longer available.



Not even going to attempt to discuss my family as it’s just all over the place. Wish I had somebody to talk to about it.

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2017 is here

Not really sure where I am in life at the moment.

The iritating stress of work caught up to me and I took some days off, which turned into weeks of and has now become a month off.

Just sick of running around like a headless chicken for others, stressing myself out over nothing. Everything from waking up in the morning with 5 texts and multiple phone calls from work, to leaving for work feeling sick, to working like an idiot with idiots, to going home at night and wondering which of my colleagues to sit with on the bus or train and who to walk past. Just can’t be bothered with it anymore.

I’ve probably really annoyed my “managers” by disappearing but I don’t think I’ll be back so….fuck it.

I’m now 25 and have barely moved forward in my life over the past 2 years. I’ve been thinking about going back to my GP to talk about taking antidepressants again but I think she’s left and I don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone else. I’ve been there twice in the past 6 months for other health stuff and she wasn’t there. From what I remember she was off sick several times and she kind of mentioned to me once that she had no close friends due to work (I don’t know if she just moved or something). Maybe the stress of the job was too much, it wouldn’t exactly be rare for a GP.

So….that’s pretty much it.

Oh and both the sports team which I’ve followed religiously now no longer exist which is heartbreakingly unlucky. Nothing really to do with my free time now apart from surf Reddit and wait for the nuclear annihilation of humanity.

Exhausted

I am currently completely drained.

Everything in my life brings stress whether it’s my fault or not. The only time I get to relax is when I don’t go into work early and everyone else is out. Sitting in silence with my phone turned off is the best feeling all week.

I can barely handle work anymore. I don’t understand how anyone else does it. Part of me wants to write a post about work etc., but writing just gives me more things to worry about.

6 Months Later/To See or Not to See…

Well, according to WordPress it’s been six months since my last post.
I still check my WordPress reader every night to read others blogs but not many people I folow post any more. I guess that’s how the things work; people go through phases of posting when they’re at a particular time in their lives and then move on.

What’s the reason I came back to write this post?

I guess partly to summarise the last six months which I haven’t really had a chance to step back and look over yet, and also to mention something which happened to me yesterday.

Summary

I got offered a zero hour contract about four months ago just after I finished at Royal Mail and I took it. It’s very similar to what I was doing there i.e. working in a warehouse sorting stuff. Technically they can tell me to leave at any point and I don’t have any rights to compensation etc. but I like to consider it my first permanent job as I don’t feel any pressure to be looking for anything else currently.

I think people probably see me as a bit of a kiss-arse in the place as I work a good 50% faster than most other workers but that’s not the reason that I work like that.
Actually I’m not sure of the reason why I work like that. As Monica Gellar once said, “I’ve got this uncontrollable need to please people.”  It’s not that I want the managers to like me, it’s that I don’t want them to not like me. I don’t want to be seen as a lazy person.
I think this has partly came from the last few years of not working and a very small period of being on JSA, and also just from my personality and environment. I know my parents are the same, always trying to please people. Whatever the reason, it’s me.
I’m not perfect but at least I’m not as racist, sexist, homophobic and downright cruel as the other people in my work/life. God knows why people say the shit they do.
I was telling  my manager the other day about a young persons ID which had somehow ended up in amongst our work. It had the picture of a maybe, 12/13 year old girl on it and my manager said to us without any remore afterwards, “maybe her mum threw it out because she’s so ugly”. Seriously! Stop saying unnecessary stupid shit people!
Racism is probably the worst. I’m really sick of people telling me their opinions on who the laziest person in the building is and they almost always seem to be “that black guy” or “that paki guy”. Fine, you have that opinion, you can have any opinion you want, just stop fucking broadcasting it to me every fucking day because your opinions are irrelevant to me.
I also don’t like people looking down on me because I look young. I’m 24, yes I know I look 18. No I don’t want to hear your arrogant dismissals of everything I say because you are more experienced in life than I am. No I don’t want to hear your arrogant wind ups about me asking out someone who I’ve never spoken too simply because we studied the same course.
Rant over. Almost.

Errm, I think my sister’s boyfriend might have ran over my neighbours cat a few weeks ago and then drove away. As I was leaving for work during the middle of the day, I saw his car driving away from outside my house even though he hadn’t came in. He didn’t look over as I came out the house which was suspicious at the time as he must have heard/saw me. It was as if he went to park the car and then changed his mind, driving away instantly. Anyway that night when I got back from work my sister said to me “Guess what? I found the neighbours cat outside which had been ran over. It was horrible.”
Maybe I’m just over thinking it but he does seem like the kind of person who would panic and drive away. Anyway I’ve had that in my mind over the past few weeks too.

So this is pretty much where I am at the moment. Still worrying about stuff. Worried about starting night shift tonight for the first time. Worried about family. Worried about myself. Worried about the entire planet.

Yesterday

I went out yesterday to get some groceries and on the way back a car beeped its horn behind me. I assumed it wasn’t at me as, well, I don’t know anyone. Eventually a guy averted my attention to the car as if to say the beep was for me. I turned around and it was my friend from school. My last friend. He asked me if I wanted a lift and I begrudgingly accepted as I never really cared if I never saw him again but didn’t want to seem rude.

He gave me a quick lift home and we sat in his car and talked about everyone from school and what they were doing with their lives now (Spoiler alert: all my old friends lives are a mess.)
I guess my opinion of him slightly changed in that conversation as he was quite honest about himself and clearly knew I was a bit of a loner.
He told me that he was wasting the best years of his life by doing nothing with his life. He also said he only had one friend and was clearly quite sad about that.
This may not sound like a lot but coming from someone who was a bit of an alpha-male, would never open up, played on peoples weaknesses, this was all a bit of a surprise to me. It seemed like he had matured.
He was obviously quite questioning of me and what I’ve been doing with my life. He must have said the word “social life” about 10 times amongst his many questions about my life. I just gave the best answers that I could without lying or seeming like a loner.
Apparently he had been looking for me all over the internet but because I don’t really use any social media so he couldn’t find me. He found my graduation picture on my sister’s Facebook page which tells you how much he looked.

Anyway, he asked me for my mobile number and I gave him it. He’s text me a few times already about catching up and I replied to the first one with an excuse but not the second.
The thing is, I know that I will feel better about myself if I don’t talk to him again than if he becomes my closest friend again. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand again for the sake of a few cheap laughs with someone who I know is controlling and didn’t have any respect for me in the past.
The idea of not replying to his text if horrible to me but I see no other option. He’ll get the gist soon enough.

Attending a Mental Health First Aid Course

Through the volunteering I am often offered the chance to attend certified courses for free. The first one which I decided to attend was a mental health first aid course as I thought it would be valuable tool for my own mental health, as well as an opportunity to learn an important life skill.

It was both difficult and odd to listen to most sections, especially suicide. Watching videos of people who have had several previous suicide attempts describing how they felt about themselves, and knowing that’s how I feel about myself, was a little bit difficult.

It is a very unnatural topic to discuss also. We were asked to practice asking someone if they’re suicidal and it just feels really, really odd to say the words out loud. Despite how often it’s in my head every day, including the discussions I’ve had with MH professionals, I don’t think I had ever said the word ‘suicide’ before last week.
It’s always been something which I avoid talking about as I don’t feel people are compassionate enough to those who attempt suicide.
The best example I can give is the man a few years ago who threatening to kill himself after killing three people. Sky News decided to film the whole stand off live as some form of entertainment. I don’t think I’m going to forget that night where most of my family were sitting in the living room watching it, and me and my dad sitting in my bedroom trying to understand why anyone would want to watch it.

The course was split into two days and the second day – today – was a little easier, not by much though. The topics were self harm, anxiety, depression and psychosis.

I was going in and out of periods of feeling self-conscious so the anxiety section was not great. Having to explain the symptoms of anxiety to 16 people at once, only by drawings was a bit stressful. I did find it annoying that the subject of social anxiety came up minutes afterwards and we had to watch a video about a guy called Jo(h)n and his dealings with SA. Urgh, why me?

Overall I am glad I went. It was only supposed to be learning the basics of how to initially respond in a crisis so it’s not as if I’m a qualified expert, hell, even the person running the course said they never thought they should be.

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Last Wednesday was my most stressful day of volunteering so far. I had several different things go pear shaped and I was pretty much on my own to solve them. First of all, I was supposed to be left some sheets to photocopy, and for my OT to pick them up later in the week but nothing was left in the morning and there were no messages. I was worried that if I went home without doing the photocopying, it would affect the MH course as the sheets were used for handouts. After a few hours I got through to my OT and she said she could do it herself next week so I didn’t need to worry.

While the was going on I had to set up my account on the system to get emails, access to the shared drive, use the printer etc. Unfortunately my coordinator, despite knowing about my anxiety, told me to phone the techies to get everything working as she had to leave. Good one. There’s virtually no chance of me phoning a stranger in an office, while sitting next to people who I don’t know. I ended up wasting a good hour doing things I could have done at home, until I had to leave for the health walk.

I wasn’t expecting anyone to attend the health walk this week as nobody came the week beforehand. Surprisingly three people turned up at the last minute and this just happened to be the day where I was working with the one woman who stresses me out. I was in my head too much throughout and forgot to go through the correct procedures, which is probably going to come back to bite me tomorrow. My colleague asked me to lead the walk and because I don’t know the routes 100% yet, I was walking strangers, who were mostly on their lunch break, almost around in circles. Despite not knowing the exact turns to take, and shitting myself the whole way round that I would get everyone lost and make a fool out of myself, we eventually made it back a few minutes late. I was told by my colleague that one of the walkers (non-zombie) was out of breath half way round so she stopped the group to show everyone some flowers and give the person some time to catch her breath. I was too busy trying to get everyone back on time, and without getting lost, to notice.

I was up quite a bit that night just thinking about my stupidity in almost getting lost. There are definitely some parts of me getting worse and sleep is one of them. I just couldn’t stop thinking.

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I’ve seen the therapist for the last time. I had maybe 9 appointments with her and it just felt like the right time to move on. While it’s almost impossible for me to believe the things that she’s taught me, such as considering my negative thoughts from a neutral perspective instead, I am happy that I have this new perspective prodding away at me from time to time.

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My kitchen and bathroom are being ‘done up’ at the moment so I’ve had a plumber and joiner in my house for 5 of the past six days, with only the kitchen finished. This is unbelievably annoying as it means everything is scattered all over the house, my bedroom gets used as a storage cupboard, I’m constantly disturbed, and, I can’t get into the kitchen for food because of the joiner.

Past 5 days

The noticeably busy periods of my life have increased significantly from late 2014 – present, compared to how it was the year before. I had another one of those busy weeks this week and, judging from all of the events on my phone calendar, I’lll probably have one next week too.

Monday involved me going round local shops/libraries/colleges in the baking sun asking if we could advertise/publicise the volunteering that I do, with leaflets.
I volunteer helping out at health walks btw. So if somebody is looking to improve their physical, mental, or social health, they can come along to a walk with me and another member of staff, as well as any other member of the public who turns up.
The other staff hoped the walk would include the inpatients at the local MH facilities but it was too difficult to get the clearance required for them to come out on the walk with their CPN’s.
It was disappointing over the first few weeks with only two people there on the first week, one on the second, two on the third and four this week. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good for my social skills as I can talk to just one person, whereas I would be silent in a group situation but that’s not what I’m there for, I think… I’m not really sure. I just feels more like walking than working just now. It’s supposed to be a fairly fast paced walk to improve people fitness but we’ve got an old woman in our walk who simply can’t walk that fast, so it leads to the group getting split with the faster walkers speeding off ahead. I guess the group getting split allows me to talk more.

So, I was asked to hand the leaflets out and I said yes. I couldn’t come up with many places to hand them in to but at least I done a few. I planned what I was going to say beforehand, so I probably sounded a bit robotic but it’s not as if I find something like that incredibly easy so progress is progress. It was easier than I thought it was going to be though as I stuck to a script. I plan to do it again at some point next week.

I visited my gran afterwards and after a while I noticed something on her table that I had used before. It was a blood pressure and heart rate monitor. Last year when I was there with my auntie they asked me to try it to see what my measurements were. Unsurprisingly my heart rate shot up when I used it because I was uncomfortable being watched, and as a result everyone thought the machine was broken because it gave such a high reading.
On Monday I saw a chance to test myself to see if I would panic again, so I asked to use it. My resting heart rate was 117bpm from sitting on a couch with my gran. Not good.

I had written a full thing about what I done on Tuesday but decided to delete it because I’m just too paranoid of somebody knowing me. I guess I’ll discuss this at some point in the next few months. Sorry 😦 It was probably the only interesting part of the post as well.

Wednesday was volunteering. One problem with the walking is that everyone else, including the other staff, are middle age/older women and I stick out like a sore thumb as a young guy. Not that there’s anything wrong with there being 40-80 year old women there, it does make sense, I just wish we had some other demographics represented as the conversations I could have with somebody younger or male would be different and involve less small talk. My colleague was laughing afterwards saying I’m going to have to brush up on on my “older women small talk” (her words not mine!) in this position as there’s no chance of anyone outside that demographic turning up.

On Thursday I had to travel to get an ID badge for volunteering plus helping my uncle to prepare for his wedding anniversary party.
Something which I find difficult is how to react when I get lost and unfortunately I got well and truly lost on Thursday. I feel like such an idiot if I all of a sudden, just turn around and walk in the opposite direction so I decided to just keep walking, and walking, and walking. Eventually I had decided to turn left at the next street and turn left again to come back along a different street. Only problem was after I took the first left there was no street for me to double back along, it was just fields. Eventually I had to cross a canal, even though I never saw one going in the other direction (apparently I went through a tunnel underneath a canal), and I found the place after an hour of walking.
Funnily enough I lost my bus ticket and had to walk 80 minutes to get home as well. No wonder I look like a stick-man with all this walking.

I was at my uncle’s trying to set up speakers for his party that day too. I wish I was comfortable around him and my auntie but I’m not even close. They’re just too extroverted to relax around. Thursday wasn’t the difficult part though. The difficult part will come at the party itself next week.
They have a big house so you’d think there would be a bit of breathing space if I wanted a break from everyone during the party, but they’ve invited 60 odd people. Over 60 people in the living room, dining room and under the gazebo in the garden (assuming it doesn’t rain) doesn’t allow for a lot of breathing room. There’ll be no hiding in the corner like all the shy people do at family events. It’ll be people everywhere, music everywhere, for hours on end.
To make things worse I’ll have to talk to my aunties sister. My family was invited out with them last year and they seemed to want to see me specifically (phoning up and asking if I specifically was going etc). I think they were going to mention something about me helping with some basic admin for my aunties sisters business. Of course, I panicked beforehand and said I wasn’t feeling well so I didn’t have to go (yes I’m aware I’m a coward).
Now I am forced to talk to her and I don’t know how that’s going to go.

If there’s one thing that I know after 23 years, it’s that things never go as bad as you think they will so I shall try to remain positive for as long as I can beforehand.

Volunteering

It’s felt like a busy week or so for me, even though it probably wouldn’t be considered that for an average person.

As I explained, I had the cinema on Tuesday, but I also had to see the OT & the volunteer coordinator on Wednesday, and then a full day volunteer training course on Thursday.

I was on a high seeing the OT this particular morning as I had just went to the cinema by myself the day before. I discussed the good stuff and also the slight negative of struggling to keep up with the meditation after doing it consistently for a week or two. I just didn’t feel like it was making a difference, plus I felt like a bit of an idiot doing it so I just stopped.
She gave me another breathing exercise to do instead; it’s not meditation but it’s supposed to relax you a little when you’re actually in the stressful situations. It’s called 7-11 breathing and it is what it says it is. You breath in to the count of seven, then out to the count of 11. It’s mainly about having a longer out-breath than in-breath, so if the counts too long for you then something of a similar ratio can also be done.
Don’t always breath like this, it’s just 1-4 breaths to calm yourself then back to normal.

I had two appointments that day which were 3 1/2hrs apart, but in buildings right next to one another. I decided that instead of going home I would go to the local library with TKAM and read.
I wandered around looking for somewhere more secluded to sit when I first went in but because I wanted to stop drawing attention to myself, I just sat where there were empty seats. Unfortunately this was right next to a bathroom… Just after I came in, some old guy used the toilet for 15 mins and the smell was ridiculous. Someone had to come in and clean afterwards. I wish I could have just walked to another seat. People must have been looking, thinking WTF am I still sitting there for.
Anyway, I was proud of myself for reading in a tiny library for a few hours.

Setting up the volunteering was next. It went fine. I was comfortable talking to the woman for some reason. I think some people can seem so lost within their own minds that it is easier to talk to them. I did completely forget about references though. I just assumed they weren’t necessary for volunteering, especially when they knew of my MH. The worst part was it had to be at least six months of knowing the person for a reference to count and my jobs were only for a month each, so I couldn’t use anyone from there. Fortunately my university lecturer said I could use him last year so that’s one. I didn’t contact him to say that someone would be in touch but there’s not much I can do about it now. Hopefully he hasn’t forgot who I am since.

I’m not going to talk about what the volunteering involves yet, but I will say a few things about the volunteering training day.
When the training leader first started talking she instantly asked for us to introduce ourselves to the group and I was first. It was a bit of a rabbit in the headlights moment but I got through it as it was only about 10 seconds worth of talking. People couldn’t hear me talking some of the time in the room because my voice is apparently so quiet/monotone, but I don’t think I can go any louder without literally shouting and sounding like a sarcastic prick.

The worst part of the day was when we took a break for lunch and went outside for a look around the local area. There were 10 people including the leader of the training and I ended up walking by myself while everyone else had conversations. How is that even possible? We just took the first few steps on the pavement and all of a sudden there were 3 pairs, one group of three and I was by myself. I just don’t understand how to talk to people.
I think it’s partly a ‘chicken and egg’ situation i.e. you can’t have conversations unless you have friends/life experiences, and you can’t make friends/life experinces unless you have conversations. I don’t know how to break the cycle.
The volunteering will also involve a lot of long conversations with several strangers so I though this was a good test for me and I failed pretty miserably. We were out for about 30 mins and I was conversing for about 5-10 mins of it thanks to one of the women seeing that I was by myself and talking to me about holidays etc.

I really need to learn how to have a conversation with strangers but I don’t know where to begin. When I’m out walking the dogs with my sister and her boyfriend I just say random things like, “Can you think of a song with your name in it?”, or “Let’s have a quiz!”. If I did that with I stranger they would run for the hills.

It is said that most people love to talk about themselves and I think this is true. Not all people though. I couldn’t just start talking about the book that I’ve just read about the environment or science, or even how much I love american football, because I know no one is interested to hear that. But WTF do they want to talk about? Even talking on forums is impossible.

I searched for ‘how to have conversations social anxiety’ on Google and it gave some step by step guides.
One said find out things about the people you’ll be talking to from their social media accounts but don’t do it too much as that’ll be considered creepy. Then ask them where they see themselves in five years…. Another site said the exact opposite, just give yourself three seconds to walk up to someone and then go with a completely blank head, hoping everything works OK.

No matter how much I push myself I will always have the quiet and boring tag attached to me.

I have had my first day of volunteering btw. It was unbelievably crap but as I said above, I will wait a while before I post about it.

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I was unsure whether to tell anyone in my family that I went to the cinema by myself last week because I didn’t know what they’d say. The topic of Ted 2 came up after my sis and her boyfriend went to see it and I decided to tell them that I went to see it too. My sister asked who I went with and after I said nobody, she decided at this point to shout “loner!” at me.

If I had three wishes, one of them would probably be to give people more emotional intelligence. People should know automatically that it’s not okay to call someone who has no friends, a loner. It really doesn’t help.

I remember once, my best friend phoned me when I was 13. He asked if I would come with him to the army cadets once as his dad was forcing him to go. I didn’t exactly have concrete beliefs yet at that age but I was aware that the disciplined nature of that kind of place was not for me. Back to the story. My friend asked if I would go and I said I wasn’t sure. He then said, “I’ve already asked X, Y, & Z and they said no.” 😦
Are people actually that stupid that they don’t realise it’s not okay to tell someone that you’re their last option!?
I think my number one requirement for friends/GF in the future, is somebody with emotional intelligence/empathy. They don’t have to be perfect, but they should have that little voice in the back of their head that filters out the things that could hurt people, if said.

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I’m struggling with my weight again. After putting on 21lbs in a year, I’ve now lost 8lbs in the past four months and it’s just going to keep going down the more active I get. I don’t understand where people get their high calorie meals from, especially since I’m trying (not very well) to eat a little healthier too.

Going Outside

Since last week I’ve been trying to force myself to go out more, even if it means ignoring applying for jobs for a bit.

When I saw the CBT therapist last week she was clearly getting frustrated with my lack of progress. I was at a brick wall that I couldn’t get through and never thought I would be able to.  It was my comfort zone.

I could push myself to go to the shops more, but it always just one shop. I could push myself to go out more, but it was always somebody else asking me to go out. I could push myself to go into my back garden more, but it was always with sunglasses on and just my back garden.

I’ve tried breaking the wall down a little bit over the past week or two. I was sure I mentioned some of what follows in a previous post but apparently not. Sorry if I’m repeating anything, everything is muddled in my head regarding where/when.
I’m trying to get a volunteering position for myself in the NHS for a month or so. It was arranged at the jobs place.
I walked home from the jobs place last Tuesday and went to the nearest shop to look for Go Set A Watchman. It might sound like nothing but it was a large Sainsbury’s and I don’t like large shops. I couldn’t find the book.
Walking home isn’t exactly nothing for me either. It meant walking through my and my old friends neighbourhood. It also meant being able to walk past the canal next my old house and being able to feel the crunching of my shoes on the grey ash paths which ran alongside it. This amazingly simple sound instantly brought back memories of me riding my bike along the canal paths with friends as a child and hearing the skids. I also took a detour to walk through the park which felt good too.

Thursday was the therapy appointment that I mentioned above. I walked home from that too, this time in a different direction to go past even more of my old friends houses.
Then on Friday I went out to the shops to buy To Kill A Mockingbird. I don’t like showing my personality, so walking through a big Morrisons store with a book in my hand was no fun. The word sweating comes to mind.

Saturdays events were written in the heat of the moment so I’m just going to copy it in below (it’s in the wrong tense so I apologise for that):

I had a bit of a crappy day today. I went out planning to go to the library to find and read a book about healthy eating which I saw online, and also to buy some music.
This would have been one of the first days of my life where I planned to go out and do something by myself (not including appointments, haircuts, local shops and travelling to my grandparents house).
I went to buy the music first as that was closest to the train station. Unfortunately on the train, despite normally being quiet (or at least just individual travellers), friends and couples were getting on and sitting next to me which was more heartbreaking than usual. Having to listen to people laugh and joke and whisper is horrible and makes you bloody paranoid when you’re by yourself.  

This was probably the loneliest I’ve ever felt in my life. Note to self: Going out at the weekend by yourself will make you feel miserable.

I went to the shops to look for some CD’s but I couldn’t find any of the ones I was looking for and eventually couldn’t be bothered with the sweating and feeling uncomfortable with one of the employees a metre or two away the whole time.
They had some of the worst sorting of CD’s I’ve ever seen too. It was in a very rough alphabetical order, just by the first letter of the band. So if I wanted to find the Stone Roses I had to rummage through Shayne Ward (I’m ashamed that I know how to spell his first name correctly, I blame my sister) and any other shit you can think of beginning with the letter S.  The albums weren’t sideways so you could see every album/band name either, they had the artwork facing you so you had to peel them off of one another.

I couldn’t face sitting in the library by myself after walking through groups of friends/ couples everywhere, so I just got the train half way home and then walked a few miles the rest of the way to keep myself outside the house for longer. Oddly enough the train was very rowdy and as I looked up in uncomfortable…ness, I saw an empty pack of Citalopram in the compartment above my head. What are the chances? 

At least I tried a little today.

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I’ve had “going to the cinema by myself” on my list since February and today I managed to do it for the first time. Being able to book the tickets online in advance made it easier, not to forget the ticket dispensing machines in the cinema too. Unfortunately the machine wasn’t working so I had to go to the desk and ask for the tickets.
The cinema had maybe 10-15 to people in it by the time the film had started and I was first in so I managed to avoid any anxious feelings.
It was Ted 2 that I went to see btw. Not my kind of film but there was nothing else on and I just had to go to show myself I could do it. It wasn’t bad. Had a few cheap laughs.
Leaving was probably the hardest as the lights came on and I could see everyone. After an awkward few minutes of waiting for any funny scenes in the credits I walked out.

Honestly this was probably the first day out by myself that I’ve enjoyed which is hugely encouraging for me. Maybe going out at the weekend by myself isn’t a good thing yet, but I’ve got a social experience to build on for the first time in my life. Next up is probably to try the library again.  The only problem is I don’t really know how to get into the building…

Stalemate

Progress is slow for me just now. I was waiting to hear back from the MH employment service that I was referred to almost two weeks ago and they just got in touch yesterday. I’ve to go see them on Monday.
When I talked to the woman on the phone she was asking me a bunch of questions about what kind of benefits I am on just now. When I told her that I’m not on any, having come off job seekers allowance (JSA) a month ago she seemed a little confused and I had to explain to her that I couldn’t deal with the stress of it all. I’m surprised that someone from a MH (and addiction) employment service doesn’t deal with people like me who struggle with anxiety or depression and aren’t able to go through the whole JSA routine every day/week but are also not at the level for a long term sick note (I was offered a month long sick note by my doctor but I didn’t use it).

I’ve also got two driving lessons from a birthday present coming up over the next couple of weeks so hopefully that goes well. I read some reviews of the instructor on his website before calling and everyone seemed to be very positive about him. I was a bit worried though that I might have left it too late as I only had a week to do the lessons them but when I talked to him on the phone he said the expiration date didn’t matter and he was happy to fulfil the voucher. He did seem really, really nice on the phone too, like the reviews said, so hopefully I’m comfortable and not as anxious when in the car as a result.

Tbh I have no idea whether it’s the anxiety or depression that plays a bigger role in my life any more. I honestly don’t think I’m ever going to get past this. I just don’t feel like I belong here and that feeling just never leaves me.
I’m not really doing any of the list of hierarchical situations that make me anxious any more. They’ve just gone out of the window, well except from going to the Aldi shop that I feel uncomfortable in, I’ve been doing that more often instead of going to the dearer, further away Tesco which I feel more comfortable in (Self Checkout!).
I know it’s cowardly and everything to not be even trying these things at least once but I just can’t. There’s a total mental block to me going outside (other than walking my dogs/ a few select shops) and I don’t know how to fix it. I think I need to find some smaller steps to take first. Something at a similar level to going to Aldi.
I think it might be something to do with the amount of people that’s in the shop that makes me uncomfortable, so I can possibly try to work off that if I can be arsed.

I’m going to apologise to my therapist when I see her tomorrow as I just haven’t felt capable of doing much of the list we made. I don’t care about myself but I don’t want her to look bad if her boss or something sees I’m making no progress. I don’t know if that’s how it works but there must be some kind of oversight on patients. Sorry for being miserable.

I Hate Facebook, But It Helped Me

I don’t just hate it just for the perfectly rational reasons such as it’s creepy online social experiments, illegal data collection etc., but also because it has happy people on it.

I don’t have a facebook account in my name but I had to create an anonymous one for Spotify a few years ago. Not long after I finished uni I decided to use the account to search for some old friends/acquaintances to see what they were doing with their lives four years after school had finished. Most of them were still at uni (21/22 at the time) and only had pictures up of them at parties. Nothing too serious and some without any boyfriend/girlfriend.
I made the mistake of searching for the girl I obsess about from school, but I didn’t really find out very much about her. That’s probably a good thing.

Anyway, last night I had a random thought that popped into my head that said “I wonder how Paul (a random weird male friend that I knew up until I was 16) is doing”. This probably sounds horrible but my theory was that because this guy was super weird/awkward at 16, if he had managed to do something with his life and I hadn’t then I knew I had completely fucked up my life.
Well first of all he had a facebook page, which is a partial sign of a normal functioning human being. Then I saw he had a long term job which he seemingly made some friends in, and also had some photos of him travelling the country. From what I could see he was still not a social butterfly and there were no signs of friends/girlfriend pictures at any point in the past, but the guy had clearly made an effort to do something with his life which is unbelievably impressive in my books.

I then made the mistake of looking through his friends list which took me onto others I knew from school. All of these people had, at the very least, travelled, done something interesting at uni, had long term partners and some even had a child already too. Probably unplanned, but still.

It knew it wasn’t a very good idea to be looking at former friends/acquaintances facebook pages and comparing myself to them but it wasn’t hurting me too much at this point. Unfortunately for me, before I signed out I went one friends list too far and spotted the best friend of the girl I obsess over. She was a tiniest person at school, probably well under 5ft. When I saw her facebook page a few years ago she still looked really tiny and young but this time she looked like an adult . Growing up wasn’t the thing that was getting to me about the picture though. Half of the photo was taken up by her boyfriend smudging his face into the picture.
It was the first time I had saw either her or obsession girl with a boyfriend. It might sound weird that I was affected by the best friend having a boyfriend, but they always came as a pair when I saw them. Any time I saw one of them, the other one was there also, and I never saw any boyfriends from when we were 14 until last night (23) [Admittedly, I never saw them for a few years after school but still].

Just seeing the best friend with someone told me that obsession girl has a boyfriend too, I just know it. I don’t have it in me to search for her and double check as it’ll hurt too much, but I can just feel it.

And credit to her and her best friend. They are the two sweetest people I’ve ever met and both deserve the very best, but it still hurts, and amazes me too that neither of them had boyfriends much sooner.

I went to sleep last night with tears in my eyes knowing how much I’ve missed out on. Former friends doing uni courses in subjects that I love, girls I’ve obsessed over for years moving on with their lives. It’s hard to take.

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When I woke up this morning I had to do something productive with myself. I needed to take a step forward after some recent wobbling after completing my work experience. I decided to add as much new info as I could to my CV to improve upon what I had before the work experience. It’s not what an average 23 year old will have on their CV but it’s a huge improvement on six months ago when I hadn’t had a job yet.

I’ve also contacted a employment support company who help those with mental health problems improve their chances of getting a job. Hopefully I can learn some interview skills from them and find myself in a job in the coming months. Something has to change soon.