Today I was trying to explain to a friend why I decided to cancel on a social event. I found it really hard, first of all making sense myself of what I’m feeling, and then trying to convey it in some way that’s understandable.
I don’t blog for sympathy. I don’t blog because I think I have interesting things to say. I blog for therapy, by words and pictures. And I blog to try and help folk understand even a little bit about some of the issues that people like me with depression and Crohn’s Disease face. I have mostly focused on the former – I like to take and show photos. It’s a form of escapism, although laced with frustration (I’m a perfectionist after all!). I’ve not so much talked about my issues. In one case I retracted what I wrote, embarrassed about friends and strangers knowing my intimate problems.
Most of my readership comes from Facebook, so a variety of close friends, mates, colleagues, family, and professional acquaintances will read about my problems. In some ways it’s very cathartic getting thoughts in print, in other ways it’s embarrassing being so open with many people I really don’t know that well. It’s also a one-way exchange; visitors here take away something about me (positive or negative), but I rarely get back something about them. But as I’ve said, this isn’t about that.
Going back to why I bailed on an evening out tonight, I declined to socialise because I feel really detached from my usual social group at the moment. New friendships and relationships are afoot, but not coming my way. Probably my own fault, but I feel lonely and isolated. This knocks my confidence: “I must be doing something wrong”, “People don’t like me”, “No one fancies me” and so on. So I hide. Of course, this makes me feel worse for not socialising, and I beat myself up about it. Which makes me feel unsociable, and repeat from the top…
I have periods of this, I think triggered by seeing friends and associates being apparently capable of a level of social interaction that I am not. Mostly because they have some sort of romance in their lives. I’ve had none for years now, and for reasons I won’t talk about now, I’m unlikely to resolve this any time soon. Being on my own kind of suits me for most of the time, but eventually it gets too lonely and I crave company and physical contact. I’m not a natural hugger though. I grew up in a house where hugs and cuddles were not common, and I have become a 30-something adult not knowing how to ask for them.
If none of this seems rational to you, then it’s because it probably isn’t. People with depression can get depressed for totally irrational reasons. Which is why you can’t simply tell a sufferer to “cheer up” or “just ask for help” or similar things which seem obvious and easy to others. It’s far more complicated for us than just being able to do the thing which would help us. But we do appreciate you trying to help, if you want to. I appreciate it, and thank you to everyone who’s offered support before. Cheers.