Am I the weakest link?

If I am not going to kill myself, which is a decision I've come to only recently, then the bigger question is how will I navigate this life? Am I going to be disappointed with the life I lead because I won't be able to engage it full on? I feel as though I am weaker than others.

I barely know how to function as an adult. Every responsibility intimidates me. I don't have a fulfilling social interaction with others. It's as if I am merely an onlooker to everyone else's well-adjusted, joyous, fruitful, and unexamined lives. I am petrified of intimacy, I have no self-confidence. Things people take for granted like going on dates or writing an essay or editing a CV petrify me. I may live in this perpetual, humiliating half-life state indefinitely.

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  • Hello Smallscreen

    Welcome to this community. I am so sorry that you are having such a difficult time. It does sound as if you are being positive in contacting us. This is a supportive community so our members may be able to offer more information and help. Do let us know more about your situation.

    Some of the topics to the right of this message may of help and also the Pinned posts with guidelines on mental health issues may be helpful.

    You might consider getting in touch with you GP for more support from your mental health services.

    Take care and keep in touch

  • Hi I saw your post last night and wanted to reply but was tired so went to bed. Well done for understanding that you aren't going to kill yourself and for coming in here and talking to us. You have taken 2 big steps to helping yourself which is very positive.

    I think the next step is realising that no one (virtually) lives a happy well adjusted life and can breeze through things like dates, writing a cv etc. A few rare people can but most of us are human. You are only seeing things from the outside and some people are very good at hiding their fears. To them you might seem to be coping fine.

    Now you have decided you want life you need to start working out what you want in life, or as it's often easier think about what you don't want. Remember this is your life so you are free to choose. There are many things in life you can change and some that you can't and those you have to accept and live with.

    I reached a similiar point to you in my mid 20's where I was either going to kill myself or try my hardest to make my life at least bearable and worth living. I decided I needed some counselling so sought it. I also decided I wanted to learn to make friends so I watched how others interracted and started copying them. It took time but eventually it worked and I started making friends. The more your life expands the more choice and opportunity you will have and I discovered through going out and about more my passions in life which I still do now many years later.

    This is a very exciting period for you as you will be going on a journey of self discovery so relax and enjoy the ride. x

  • Hi,

    I can absolutely relate to your situation, what you have said pretty well sums up my life as well. The root cause of my problems is Asperger's, I just wish I'd figured that out when I was younger as I think it would have been a big help to me, to understand why socializing is so difficult, when I still had time to sort my life out.

    It's good that you've come to the decision not to end it all, I'd say from your writing you are highly intelligent and you probably have undiscovered talents. I don't think it's productive to make comparisons with other people's social lives, if you can't function well socially then that's just the way you are and it's not likely to get much easier. It's better to look at what you want to do in life, and follow that path, rather than follow the herd.

  • I have to disagree with that RoboMark as I think social skils can be learnt, often with the help of counselling. I know many people, including myself, who are a lot better than they used to be. Any skill can be learnt with enough determination and application.

    I totally agree with everything else you said though and think it was a good reply.

  • Probably should have worded my response more carefully, as I wouldn't want anyone to think that if you have problems socializing, you are stuck for life with an intractable problem. I always look at this very subjectively, and relate other people's problems to my own condition which is rather socially debilitating; this is probably not always the right thing to do. There is a big difference between social awkwardness, which can be caused by previous life experiences, and Asperger's, which is a 'problem' with the way the brain is wired. Social awkwardness and social phobias can be overcome, but you need to accept that you have a problem and try to get help with it as much as you can. Even with Asperger's you can improve your social skills, even if you never really understand what you are doing. It's a bit like learning phrases in a language you don't speak. Asperger's doesn't preclude you from having friends and a social life, providing you identify and ideally get a diagnosis of the problem.

    Having said all of that, I won't go on about this here as this is somewhat off topic from the original post, and Smallscreen may not be (and hopefully isn't) afflicted with an ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) in the way I am. But to anyone with these kind of problems, I would suggest reading up on the condition and if you do think you are affected, try to get a proper diagnosis. In any case, don't think that you are at fault or in some way a failure just because you can't interact socially in the way you think society expects.

  • Yes I agree. If there is a known cause for social problems such as Aspergers then it is probably limited in what you can do. Like you said though things can usually be improved with help.

    I never learned social skills or how to make friends as a child so had to learn all this when thrust out into the world on my own at 18. It was very hard but I did learn and have been fine for many years now thank goodness.

    The flaming depression won't go though! That I have found is lifelong for me but it has eased a lot over the years, though I still have a few bad flare ups. Life isn't easy is it? But then no one ever promised it was did they? x

  • No, life is neither easy nor fair. I guess most people discover that at some point. Smallscreen describes his existence as a 'half life', which I think is a very good metaphor for how life can be when you are depressed. Perhaps we should think of depression as having a half life, so, as with yourself, it will get better with time.

  • Yes half life is a good description. In my 20's I got to rock bottom and had to decide between killing myself or to do everything I could to make my life more bearable. It was a stark choice - black or white. I decided there was no point in being miserable and making myself unhappy and if that was the case then I might as well end it. If I could change it so my life would at least be bearable and sometimes even enjoyable that was my aim. And I succeeded.

    I have lived what you could describe as a half life, but to my way of thinking it is a lot better than no life so I accepted it. I am around 70% glad I did.

    Ok I would have missed a lot of pain but then again I would also have missed much pleasure. I am proud of myself for surviving so long. x

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