Asking for Help

If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning, it’s not news that life after graduation has been really, really hard for me. Some of it has just been adjusting to being an adult: getting jobs, having jobs, paying bills, cooking for myself, and in general just being more self-sufficient. But a larger part of it, which occasionally stemmed from and influenced all of those other things, was my social life and the loneliness and anxiety that came from being on my own. At first, I was comforted by all the people telling me that what I was feeling was completely normal. But as I passed the six-month mark of feeling fairly miserable for much of the time, I knew that what was going on was, for me, not at all normal.

I’ve been a very active person my entire life, as well as a very Type-A person, and that has filled my life with a lot of probably unneeded stress. And even though I don’t consider myself a social person (see this entry and this one to know what I’m talking about), I always had plenty of friends that I loved because, through activities and school, we discovered that in addition to being on the team or in the class together, we actually liked each other and wanted to spend time together outside of those things.

Once I graduated though, something that I had always joked about was revealed to be very, very true: I didn’t know how to meet people or make friends. As I said, all of my to-this-day good friends are people I met through some sort of activity, or because another close friend would hang out with them while also with me. There was no pressure or time limit to get to know each other because, hey, we’re going to be in History 101 together for an entire semester. And then after working on a project with them or enjoying their witty remarks (or them enjoying mine), we would slowly become friends. I never realized how easy school and theatre made it to meet potential friends, without even really trying.

But then came graduation, a time after which classes were pulled from my life and acting opportunities were scarce. It’s not that I didn’t have any friends, but many of them are in different states for grad school, others were working like me, and the friends that were still at my alma mater seemed to be creating a whole new life, with new friends, without me. The latter group wasn’t ignoring me- we still met up and texted occasionally- but after seeing them pretty much every day whether I wanted to or not, it seemed a sudden drop and it left me miserable and crying a lot of the time. While I was living in my first apartment (room), I was always alone, being too shy to insert myself into my landlord’s life, and I thought it would be so much better when I moved in with people my own age. And in some ways, it has been much better: though I’m still too awkward to even join my roommates in the living room very often, at least I have people around. But the combination of me being too shy to talk to them and feeling slightly out of place due to our different interests (they’re all kind of into the same basic stuff. I’m not), as well as their sexual relationships with the significant others they have over a lot, just make me really awkward and feeling like I force my presence on them. All of this added up to me being really really lonely and more constantly miserable than I’ve ever been in my life.

The sadness started to affect me really badly this month. For the fifth year, I joined the ranks of writers who compose a 50,000 word novel in a month. For the past three years, I’ve made that goal, using every free second I had (even though I didn’t have many of those) to word towards completing the challenge. This year, and especially this month, I had ample free time, and as of this moment, I have completely stopped writing the novel. I just don’t have the self-motivation anymore, and it’s not because I don’t want to write the story. I didn’t want to do anything, didn’t even really want to leave my room, let alone my apartment. While I’m a crier, for situations good and ill, I was crying all the time because I was so sad, sadder for longer than I’d ever been in my entire life without a clear cause. My panic attacks got more frequent, and it was just in general hard to motivate myself to do anything. And then this week, I started having really bad and dangerous thoughts (and I don’t use those labels lightly), and I knew that it wasn’t a “maybe” thing anymore- I had to get help.

I’d been considering going back to therapy since the middle of the summer, but never really did anything about it besides casual research. I really really wanted to find one that was free, since, though I’m still on my parents’ insurance (thanks, Obama!), it’s not their fault my brain and emotions are a mess. But it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to find a free one, and so over the break, I summoned up the courage to ask them for help. I had told my mom before that I was thinking of going, but my recent behavior made it imperative to speak to them about it. Thankfully, my mom said yes right away, which was really relieving (not that I ever really doubted she would, but technically I should be getting closer to being more independent.) I’m starting therapy on Monday, and I’m full of trepidation. During my last bout of therapy, I went in unwillingly and hated every second of it, but afterward, not only did I notice a positive change in myself, so did a lot of other people. This time around, I’m hoping that since I’m going into it by choice, I’ll be a lot more open and forthcoming in the process. Either way, I know it will help me, and I do know that, hard as it is to admit, I do need help.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. http://thegreatflashbang.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/were-all-scared/
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 20:39:07

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  2. Trackback: Attempting NaNoWriMo | "Explore. Dream. Discover."

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