Before I start spouting advice, I ought to mention that I have some major issues that have made it all but impossible for me to keep friends, make friends, or maintain relationships. I currently don't have many people I can talk to ( by "don't have many", I mean, there's all of TWO - okay, maybe two and a half - and I can ONLY talk to them when they're available - read: almost never - read: a week every four to six months ), I gave up EVERYTHING ( by "everything" I mean shelter - I'm homeless, job - I have none, and a 14,000$ scholarship ) in order to help my friends at a moment's notice whenever they needed me, and they've even admitted that I've been there when no one else has, and I've shown them unconditional compassion in a way that no one else has. Yet, they've succumb to "obligations" ( which, really, are an illusion of first world minds ), and have "lost time" to give to anyone but their obligations. Therefore, I HAVE NOTHING. Seriously, the clothes on my back, my sketchpad in a satchel, and a tent in the woods with some blankets is what I own now. Even my fucking pencils have been stolen from me!
That being said, I fully understand what it's like to be rock-bottom. I'm not sure you could get much more rock-bottom than me unless you gave up on life completely. At least I'm not doing drugs or being a prostitute, so I guess I still have my dignity? Other than that, no friends, no family ( still talk to my mum, but she won't let me live with her ), very few personal items, no income. Honest to God, if I died tomorrow NO ONE would be aware of my disappearance. Even my mum, who I communicate with the most, will go a month or more without being worried enough to reach out to me. I'd be long gone before anyone noticed.
And yet, I don't really FEEL like I've hit rock-bottom. Because I don't LET myself. Those "issues" I mentioned at first? Paranoid schizophrenia, in a nutshell. Though, that's putting it very simplistically. My first therapist HONESTLY broke up with me because I was "too advanced of a case" for her to feel comfortable dealing with. I have to police my thoughts every day, several times a day, to keep from succumbing to truly believing that my friends have abandoned me ( my paranoia is a bit unique in that it's not "everyone's out to get me" so much as "everyone's fallen into circumstances in which, despite their honest desire to be a good person, they can't" - it more or less comes out to the same result, though ). My now-therapist doesn't believe there's anything wrong with me, despite TWO THERAPISTS before saying, very sternly, that there very much WAS, it's just... very, VERY well hidden. My case is complicated by the fact that I'm also very logical, and very aware of what's going on around me. Most schizophrenics are very much trapped inside their own minds, and can't see into other people all that well. Therefore, it's fairly easy to debunk their delusions about other people because you can use logic to sway their misconceptions. I, on the other hand, am exceptionally empathic, detail-oriented, and observational, and my predictions on other people's motivations and personality traits are often true, so on a scientific scale of probability, it's difficult to refute my intuition, which, when in check, is usually pretty spot on.
Now when I'm suffering from an emotional upset - like when my sister told me she no longer had time in her life for me, or when my two best friends told me basically the same thing ( one even joined the military, which I'm vehemently against because of how many people I've known who've come back totally fucked up, so that hurt a lot ), and that's when the "voices" and insane insinuations on other people begin to creep in. I've lived with this my whole life in a family that doesn't believe in it, though, so I've ALSO lived my whole life keeping in check what's "real" and what's "in my head", in order to "present as normal".
I feel that a similar vigilance can be used to "combat" depression. When you find yourself feeling upset, feeling sad, feeling thwarted or bested, pining, what-have-you, stop for a moment and analyse it. DO NOT BOTTLE YOUR FEELINGS. Simply let them play out, and ask yourself, "Is this how I want to feel?" You may have a desire to wallow, a desire to feel pain, you might even want to gouge that wound with sad music or revisiting broken memories, which is NOT unnatural or unusual. Allow the emotion to flow, allow it to pass, do not disrupt it, but once you begin to regain yourself, assess the situation, assess how you're feeling and why ( and it's NOT unusual not to be able to pin-point reasons at first, but with time you'll likely get better ). As you get in the habit of assessing how you feel, you'll also get into the habit of choosing to feel differently. Saying, "Okay, I've done that, let's move on to something else now." I'm homeless, I have no friends, I could CHOOSE to feel miserable and upset and pine on the past, but I shrug my shoulders and ask myself, "What use is there in being upset?" and move on.
I know I haven't said much about you, but let's face it - I don't know you. I simply hope that seeing someone else in such a situation might help you come to the conclusion that if someone else is that low down, yet maintains a smile and a desire to help others that perhaps you could do something similar. It's hard at first, but a habit only takes twenty-eight days to form. That's only a month, 1/12 of a year.
Thank you very, very much for your advice, I will try to follow it as best I can and deal with the pain in a positive way as you described.
I'm very sorry that you're in the situation you are in. I realize my problems are nowhere near the level of what you must endure. I've hit rock bottom before, but I feel this is the first time ever hit the peak of the emotional pain I can endure. Perhaps I'm just simply weak, but in any case, I hope things improve for you.
I truly believe that there is no such thing as a comparison in emotional turmoil. Perhaps you've never been homeless, friendless, jobless, and lost so much, but then, I've never been a starving child in Afrika. Just as it's impossible for me to understand the emotional turmoil of that child, it is impossible for you to understand exactly what it is that I'm dealing with - and likewise, just because I've had it "worse" doesn't mean I know diddly about how you're feeling right now.
I believe that your turmoil and your situation is just as paramount as mine. You should never belittle your own feelings - they're just as valid as anyone elses. A child drops his ice cream, and he will feel just the same amount of grief and unbearable sadness that you or I would feel at losing a loved one ( presuming, of course, that the child hasn't already felt the pain of losing a loved one ). It's a spectrum thing.
I really, very much, appreciate your concern and care about my situation, but my telling you wasn't so you could compare your sadness to mine, but to show you that despite the odds, someone can still maintain a smile. You are not weak, you're merely inexperienced. Experience doesn't happen until you, well, experience it, so keep trudging forward, keep learning, keep expanding your emotional horizons, and perhaps someday you'll be the person telling someone else about how when you hit rock bottom, you still managed to keep a smile despite it all.
When I should have been taking care of myself and building the kind of life I wanted, I instead let the pressures of life get on top of me and my life essentially came to a halt. I don't want to put other people through my problems, even if deep down I need someone in order to love life again.
Get help. I say it in the nicest way possible. We all go through some rough times, and in the end it'll only make you stronger Maybe being in a relationship isn't the best thing for right now. Seek out a therapist/counsellor who seems right to you and start from there. Things will get better. I'm so sorry for you, but please don't give up
Thank you very much for your kind reply. I hope when this is over I'm happy again. Not being certain of the future is one of the most difficult things I suppose. It's good that I'm on my own again, but I don't think therapy will help me. Not professional anyway.