I’m going to start moving out of this loneliness rut


I'm coming out of ten years of intense social isolation related to my depression and bipolar disorder. Can any of ya'll relate?? I'm now 25, in grad school, and finally starting to unpack my baggage and move forwards.

I am still really lonely. I live alone. I'm in a new environment. I cry nearly every day, and even though I am slowly working towards attaining my goals, a lack of social support really takes a toll on me. Covid is not helping, lol.

I had friends in college, but I moved a few times and now I live really far away from anybody. We had good times, but I don't really keep up with that crew. I feel like when I was in college, I had really low self-esteem and hated myself. That's why being a good friend or making new friends was near impossible for me then. That's also why I became a serial dater — ironically, I could seduce someone and get their attention that way. I now have one 'friend,' who is my ex. I'm in an unhealthy relationship with them for the time being, but until I can replace that with something else, I keep that around. It keeps me sane.

I'm starting to take steps to put myself out there. I don't find that part to be that hard, outside of my workplace. I got certified to indoor rock climb, can go to open studios for ceramics (I started to learn how to throw on my own), and tried to secure a community garden plot today, but got put on the waitlist. Idk, I might join a mountain biking club in town.

Here's the first hard part for me though: putting myself out there in my workplace. See, because I am still dealing with self-hatred and lack of self-esteem, I don't work very effectively. When I don't work effectively, I get imposter syndrome. The last place I want to be when I have imposter syndrome is in my office, on my own (I was supposed to have labmates who started with me, but due to covid, I don't). That's where people can reach me, see I'm not working effectively, and it's just all kinds of anxiety-inducing stuff. BUT!!! If I'm not in the office, I also won't be giving anyone the opportunity to get to know me. Double-whammy.

The second hard part is that what I really want is serious and deep connections, not small talk. That's what I really liked about dating — you could usually get around to the meaty stuff pretty quickly. I don't know how to get to that point when trying to make a friend. It's like old-school courting someone… but without the sex. I don't know how else to describe it, lol. Maybe it's cus I'm from the east coast but it's hard for me to get to an honest conversation with midwesterners.

But basically, I will do the following to pick myself up from this self-pity hole:

I'm going to slowly ease myself into spending time in my lab. Nothing major, just an hour a day to start.

I'm also going to make it mandatory that I do something social every day. My form of self-care. Could be climbing, or ceramics, whatever. But I'm realizing I can't keep crying myself to sleep anymore. It's pathetic.

I'm also going to continue with my current growth system. I have this thing I developed for myself that's working out pretty well. I just have to keep fulfilling small goals for that, doing things that make me feel whole.

The last thing I'm gonna do is update this post, so ya'll can see how I'm doing. Dats it.

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