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Post of The Month (July)

Aidan is our Post of The Month winner voted by the community for the following post:

"Hey Lucie,

You say you're still on medication and have had lots of therapy? Maybe it's a matter of revisiting old coping techniques and anything else like that, that therapy taught you?

And Drea is absolutely right! Even someone with everything material that they could ever want isn't insusceptible to mental illness. Any sex, race, age, class; it doesn't discriminate...
"
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Struggling to make friends

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  • Struggling to make friends

    Due to an abusive relationship that only in the last 8 months ended, I lost contact with pretty much everyone I knew because I wasn't allowed to talk to them or made to feel bad/ guilty if I did. I spent those 3 years in a very bad place, because of that I struggle a lot to talk to people. I managed to get back in contact with 2 of the people I lost. Problem is that one lives in Canada, the other very far away, so I can't ever see either of them.

    I recently got in a relationship with someone else, he's always very busy, he's in a band so spends a lot of time with the other members, sometimes for days at a time. The problem that I'm having now is that while he's away, because I don't really speak to or see anyone other than him, I really can't deal with being without him for more than a few days at a time. The days where he's gone, I don't leave my house, barely even my room. I hardly talk to anyone and it's insanely lonely. When he's with his friends and I know he's having fun I can't help but feel incredibly jealous and left out. I'm glad he's enjoying himself but it makes me feel awful knowing I'm at home barely making it through each day and I'm so tired of feeling like this every time he's gone. I want to feel ok but my anxiety really plays up at times like this and it never helps the situation.

    I know that I need to put myself out there, I know I need to try and make more friends in my area so I'm not alone and don't rely fully on him anymore. But the thought of going out to meet people really puts me off and even though I really want to do it, I also sort of don't. I find it incredibly difficult and exhausting talking to people, my social skills aren't that good, I'm really shy and can never seem to connect with anyone in the fear that they'll either leave or judge me. It's been the same my whole life.

    Something needs to change, I can't go the rest of my life not having a friend.

    I apologise in advance if this doesn't quite make sense, or what I'm trying to say doesn't get across too well.

  • #2
    Hey Meg,

    ​Loneliness is a lot more common than you think, so you definitely aren't alone in feeling this way

    ​The abusive relationship you mentioned sounds like it was really tough and isolating. It sounds like it's had a big impact on your friendships and your self-confidence. Luckily for you, today with social media and technology it's quite simple to keep in touch with distant friends! Would you and your friends be okay with occasional calls, texts or even a video chat or something? I'm sure it would be nice to catch up, even if you can't actually do anything together because of the distance.

    The mix has a page on loneliness if you think that'll help you:
    http://www.themix.org.uk/sex-and-rel...nely-4526.html

    ​It's great that you've already recognised your anxiety is being so detrimental to your social life, and you aren't alone with that either, I too have (and to an extent still do) suffer from anxiety ​It's like a cycle-
    ​You feel anxious, so you don't get out there
    ​and because you didn't get yourself out there, you feel either more anxious about getting out there

    ​And I know myself how hopeless and futile it can feel breaking the cycle, but I reckon I've nearly made it. It's gotten a lot easier over the last year especially with telling my GP and getting help and treatment since. If it is really affecting your life, anxiety or social anxiety are health problems

    Have you already sought help? If not, I would strongly recommend it. The mix conveniently has a page on going to see your GP too:
    http://www.themix.org.uk/mental-heal...blem-6835.html

    ​Feel free to look online for help yourself too, there are plenty more pages you might find useful here, as well as all ovvvveeerr the web

    ​Take care of yourself, hope to here back soon!
    Aidan



    SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

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    • #3
      Hi Meg

      How have you been?

      I agree with Aidan in that speaking to someone can really help us heal from the experiences that have hurt us. I would really recommend counselling but I also believe that you know what is best for you right now and you may not feel ready for that just yet.

      Let us know how you're getting on.

      glenn

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Meg.

        ​I hear everything that you are saying but first of all I want to say how much you are actually putting yourself out there without even knowing it, right here on The Mix.
        ​It takes a lot to even consider it, but to openly talk about yourself and post online shows that you are connecting with people more than you may think.

        ​It sounds like your previous relationship has really affected you and this is totally understandable. It's hard to lose friends and parts of ourselves but the main thing is that you fought through it and it sounds like you are in a better relationship. Though your boyfriend is away a lot and this can be quite lonely, maybe think of it as a time to regain all those things you may have lost. Some time for yourself. To rekindle any hobbies or likes. A time to do things like pick up that book you've always wanted to read, or even just to relax.

        If you are struggling with anxiety, remember there is no pressure to actively go out and seek friends. It's more common than you think, so even if it feels like a vicious cycle, there are many people out there who feel that social pressure too.
        But I think one of the best things is to use your hobbies or likes as a starting point.
        ​To begin with this can just be online, joining Facebook groups or following things that you enjoy. Maybe you could search for things that may be in the community around you?

        And try to think of this as a way for you to spend your free time and enjoy it, rather than it being for other people.

        ​And then in the future, if you feel ready it could lead to events or going to places. For instance, you said your boyfriend is in a band, how about going along to a gig to hear some music?
        f you surround yourself with things you like, people that share that common interest will be there too.
        I mean, comic lovers go to comic stores. Book lovers, book stores. Music lovers, music stores. Things like that!
        ​Personally, I've even done things like joined tv, music or foodie groups online or met new veggie-lovers at veggie or vegan stores. It's all about what you like and then through that you can meet others.

        ​This can also help with what you mentioned about worrying that people may leave or judge you because these people have similar interests with you to start with and you can begin to bond over that first. It gives you common ground and can help conversation flow more easily.
        ​If you connect with these people online first and get to know them more before even meeting, this helps even more with conversation flow and connecting with them!

        ​I agree with what Aidan mentioned about occasional calls, texts or video chats with your friends that live far away. Maybe you could make it a regular thing and have a coffee over the internet? (Or a tea if you prefer!) ​ To be honest, it doesn't make it any different than in person really - and it saves you that fiver at the café!

        ​Maybe have a little search over social media and see what's out there near you?

        ​Or even let us know some of the things that you enjoy and we can point you in that kind of direction?

        ​-PositiveAura

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