Ever since my dad killed himself 3 years ago, I’ve found it really hard to relax with other people. I’m fine in a group, but when I’m one on one with another person I feel so much pressure. It’s like half my mind is with the other person and engaged, and the other half is in my own head, constantly thinking about what to say next. This feeling is present with pretty much everyone apart from my mum and a few others. I hate awkwardness and I just feel in constant fear of it. I am always overthinking whether the other person is enjoying my company or not. It’s not like I struggle talking to other people or anything, I’m really confident and always take a lead on conversations. This is why I don’t think I have social anxiety- I am always putting myself out there and am really sociable. My insecurities just make it really hard to find a genuine connection with anyone. I just find it really hard to be fully myself as I don’t have a lot of faith in that getting me very far. I know something has to change, but it just feels like too much of a fundamental flaw and I don’t know if it is possible to alter. I’m starting to think that there is something very wrong with me, as no one else seems to struggle making friends in the same way I do. It leaves me feeling really alone. Even my longest friends I struggle to feel at ease with. Even my boyfriend, who I know accepts me whatever I at times feel uncomfortable with. It’s exhausting feeling like this every time I come into contact with another person. I just feel messed up and I don’t know how to change.
Ok so I’ll try and keep this as un dramatic as possible, as I hate melodrama. I guess I’m a pretty normal girl from a pretty normal English family, but lately I’ve been feeling like I don’t want to go on and it’s tough. Anyways, when I was 15, I was probs living my best life and starting to blossom out of my awkward pre teen all girls school nerdyness into a pretty social being. That summer my dad started to get pretty ill, he’d had depression all his life. I would be a bit dramatic to my then boyfriend I guess for attention, speculating whether my dad would kill himself. And then in March the next year he actually did, which was such a shock. I guess I didn’t really know how to take it, and just kind of went on with my life. I was pretty attention seeking and angry, but was really numb inside and kind of just acted how I thought I should be. All this suppressed emotion kind of made me undesirable to be around I guess, and I lost a lot of friends around this time. I carried on with school, missing one day and managed to get all A* in my GCSEs. I hated grammar school and was pretty unsatisfied with my remaining friends, so decided to start a new school for college. Anyways, this didn’t work out and I ended up going back, feeling as though the few friends I had weren’t good enough and feeling like a social failure. For the next 2 years I became obsessed with perfection. Now don’t get me wrong, none of these feelings actually meant I was a bad person. A lot of this was internalised, and I was generally a lovely girl to those around me. I lost my best friend at the time, but she was pretty nasty to me and let me down many times. But I was completely obsessed with getting perfect grades, having the perfect body, being super sociable and an all round goddess. I think the high pressure all girls environment fuelled this to an extent, but also I felt like I had something to prove after my dad killed himself. This really showed when I spiralled into a 3 month depression after I dyed my hair black and hated it. I wouldn’t look in the mirror or leave the house. All these feelings had accumulated to a superficial trigger point. Somehow I got better and managed to get A*AA in my alevels and an unconditional offer for my favourite uni. A levels exams were absolute hell though, and I was so anxious during them I could barely function and was convinced I would fail. After my dad died, my grandparents totally filled the role. They kept me, my mum and my brother going. A month before I sat my a levels, my grandad was found having taken an overdose of sleeping pills with a suicide note. I was there when my grandma, who was in the last stages of a rare cancer found out and I was in shock that another of my close family members had died by suicide. Anyways, I helped to nurse my grieving grandma as she died, and 2 weeks after my grandad she was gone too. My family are super positive and I never really felt like I could be upset about this, because I had already ‘grieved’ for my dad so more wouldn’t be necessary. Anyway, I went to work in America all summer and had an ok time, but I never really was able to fully enjoy it because I was so insecure inside. I am super confident, attractive and friendly but for some reason I struggle to connect with others. When I got home I had a week to prepare for uni and did basically nothing but put it off in my head. I had such big expectations on it going amazing that I was scared it wouldn’t live up to what I had built in my head. I basically said I would end my life if it didn’t work out. Anyways, I got to freshers, moved in in a hurry without even saying goodbye to my mum, and went out every single night, getting way too drunk and making a bit of a tit of myself. It got to the sixth day and I was just so totally overwhelmed and desperate that I put a belt around my neck in my room, pulled hard and passed out, after calling the Samaritans about 3 times. My mum came to pick me up and we drove 4 hours home the next day. I was so ill and ashamed that I couldn’t get out of bed and slept for the next 3 days. I am now about 3 weeks past that point and feel in constant despair every day. I had put so much on uni working out that I had no plan B. I am forced to take a gap year because I am too anxious and depressed to return but I live in a small town and all of my friends are at uni. If I had planned this in advance I would have gone travelling but I have no motivation to organise anything. I feel like a failure and want to end my life every day. I am hurting so bad and I don’t know what to do.