Alphabet soup

Hi all. I'm Val. 40 yo mom to 2 teenagers with ASD. I have fought BED, depression & anxiety since my teens. I'm my 20s a doctor added Borderline personality disorder to the menu, and a couple of years ago another added PMDD. Hence the title.

I am having a really hard time, more so than usual, connecting with people. I want to. I want friends and a life outside this cell I've built for myself. I just can't seem to figure out how. I've always been socially awkward, so friend making has always been hard. Does anyone know of a book or a website I could go to, that would evaluate my behavior, see what I'm missing, and help me learn the social skills I need to make and keep good friends? Only friends I've ever had were just using me as a means to an end. I decided after the last mess it was just better to be alone. But maybe there's some way to tell if a person is genuine and how to make friends with him or her? Am I making sense?

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  • Hi nice to meet you. I think making friends is an art and something most people learn when young and living at home. I have suffered from depression since my childhood.

    For some people like me the skill bypassed me completely and it wasn't until my mid 20's that I decided I wanted friends in my life too so I set out to teach myself how to make them. Also too I never married or had kids so always had to work and being around people all the time and not knowing how to connect with them was torture.

    Now I will tell you how I learned. I studied people and watched how they interacted with others, especially the most popular people, and picked up many tips such as always be pleasant to others and smile. Slowly I started putting them into practise based on my own personality and for the first time in my life I did make friends.

    It's important to remember there are several layers of friendship and types of friends. You get the ones who are casual friends but you can hang out for a chat with them. Others can graduate beyond this stage and become those you go out with or go for a coffee with.

    A very few will earn your trust and liking enough (mutual) to be more open with and talk about life and cabbages and everything in between! Once you have made a friend like this you hang on to them not forgetting to be a good friend back. They have earned your trust and you theirs. .

    It takes quite a long time to find good and trusted friends and you need to meet as many people as possible. Apart from close friends all other friendships are in a state of flux. You might decide to 'upgrade' a casual friend to a good one or the reverse depending on how they behave and how much you like each other.

    Good places to start making friends are at work, organised meet up groups, evening classes. With these people you already have something in common so you are off to a good start.

    The common mistakes many people make is to come across as 'needy' so just keep it casual and enjoy the other persons company. If they enjoy yours too then you are off to a flying start.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.

  • I am afraid val that you are the key to untangling that web inside your own mind. Have you ever considered looking into your mind to find out the deep dark reasons for any of your thoughts, perspectives on life and so on?

    As no two people have the exact same experiences in life, much the same way , no two people have the same exact answers for their cases. You are the key to unwinding that web and taking back control of mind, and your person.

    please find a good psychiatrist /neuropsychiatrist willing to engage, listen and work with you in meeting your mental goals and getting you the right treatment.

    at the same time, begin taking 10 minutes here and to to engage yourself in self therapy sessions to help you pinpoint core issues and fears you need to battle and fight until you win over each core, so your mind becomes yours to control. That should come first.

    Better people and friends and all else will come later on

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