No one likes me

No one likes me, they say they do but are they really my friends? This is what my mind has been saying daily to me for most of my life, it says that I’m no good, I’m worthy of friendship, eventually, people get sick of me and abandon me. It feels so real despite having friends who support my mental health advocacy, correspond with me, say they care, my mind can never fully trust them an that hurts. My friends don’t hurt me but my anxiety does, it bullies me into thinking that everyone is against me.

I truly think the one who dislikes me the most is myself, in many ways I hate myself, I don’t know why but I just don’t like the person in the mirror and I figure no one else does either. I call it social paranoia and the paranoia HAS cost me friendships many times, no one wants to around someone who needs constant reassurance, puts themselves down or questions who is friends are, I wouldn’t want to know that person either.

I don’t know if I was always like this but it certainly got worse after I was bullied, I couldn’t trust people and I  became hyper-vigilant in order to protect myself, it’s a constant fear of saying the wrong thing or coming across a certain way and then  I’ll be rejected and rejection stings.

I really don’t have a lot of skills at my disposal to combat my anxiety other than my journal, meds, and prayer, sometimes I may relay on friends but again, oftentimes I feel misunderstood so I keep these social paranoid feelings to myself, I shy away from speaking about it out loud for fear it will further drive people away.

It’s very lonely to have to deal with this anxiety every day. it hurts. I have anxiety attacks over social gaffes I may or may have not made and I’m sure others have forgotten them but my anxiety won’t let me forget it. All I know is that I really struggle with this and writing is my therapy, it’s the only way to process this barrage of anxiety. When is it going to go away, when can I finally relax? I even worry about how this entry is going to be perceived ( if anyone even bothers to read it.)  God, anxiety is the worst but at least I’m not alone, I’m never alone.

 

No one likes me

No one likes me, they say they do but are they really my friends? This is what my mind has been saying daily to me for most of my life, it says that I’m no good, I’m worthy of friendship, eventually, people get sick of me and abandon me. It feels so real despite having friends who support my mental health advocacy, correspond with me, say they care, my mind can never fully trust them an that hurts. My friends don’t hurt me but my anxiety does, it bullies me into thinking that everyone is against me.

I truly think the one who dislikes me the most is myself, in many ways I hate myself, I don’t know why but I just don’t like the person in the mirror and I figure no one else does either. I call it social paranoia and the paranoia HAS cost me friendships many times, no one wants to around someone who needs constant reassurance, puts themselves down or questions who is friends are, I wouldn’t want to know that person either.

I don’t know if I was always like this but it certainly got worse after I was bullied, I couldn’t trust people and I  became hyper-vigilant in order to protect myself, it’s a constant fear of saying the wrong thing or coming across a certain way and then  I’ll be rejected and rejection stings.

I really don’t have a lot of skills at my disposal to combat my anxiety other than my journal, meds, and prayer, sometimes I may relay on friends but again, oftentimes I feel misunderstood so I keep these social paranoid feelings to myself, I shy away from speaking about it out loud for fear it will further drive people away.

It’s very lonely to have to deal with this anxiety every day. it hurts. I have anxiety attacks over social gaffes I may or may have not made and I’m sure others have forgotten them but my anxiety won’t let me forget it. All I know is that I really struggle with this and writing is my therapy, it’s the only way to process this barrage of anxiety. When is it going to go away, when can I finally relax? I even worry about how this entry is going to be perceived ( if anyone even bothers to read it.)  God, anxiety is the worst but at least I’m not alone, I’m never alone.

Social media addiction

I am hopelessly addicted to social media, I am on there all day, constantly posting, seeking validation, I live for those likes and comments, I love the rush of my notifications bell going off, it makes me feel connected in a world wherein reality I feel totally isolated ( even before Covid 19). I feel like people understand me online, they judge me less, I can edit myself, I can delete posts, I can create an image of myself that makes me seem cooler and more interesting than I really am. I can live a lie and omit my glaring flaws, that’s what social media is all about

A lot of people knock social media but I actually receive tons of positive support online and it’s such an amazing feeling, I feel like I belong, I run groups, I do live Facebook videos, I am vulnerable, I put myself out there for the world to see and people respond, I have never felt understood and now I do, I should be happy, right? I am but I’m not and therein lies the problem, the joy of feeling connected is short-lived and I log off of social media feeling exhausted and frustrated by the whole thing.

Yes, I get support and I feel connected but I also feel overwhelmed ( even when I get more than enough praise), too many comments, too many messages, too much being in the spotlight, it’s unnerving at times and this constant need to be heard takes everything out of me. Because when the notifications go from a flood to a trickle ( and it always does), I need to make the next post that will get even more likes or comments and I have to respond to everyone to ensure my posts stays in everyone’s feed ( that’s how social media works, you don’t interact with others, you disappear) And to make matter’s worse, the social media algorithm buries our posts so that only a few people can see them and we never see the posts from the friends we care about, so we miss 95% of the movie and only get the end credits. And it makes us feel we are being ignored when in reality social media is toying with our emotions and controlling what posts we see, while our mental health deteriorates as a result,  it becomes an obsession to stay relevant.

And if the amount of likes or comments doesn’t bother me, it’s scrolling endlessly through my newsfeed ( again interacting with others so they will continue to see my posts.) I  see nothing but smiling faces, people with stable relationships, better jobs, more money; taking nice vacations, eating really delicious looking meals, more friends, the list goes on. And of course, after scrolling, I tell myself that it’s a lie, people are only posting their best moments ( a greatest hits album of their life, while mine is the b side) and I’m at home in my pajamas eating microwave spaghetti. People are fake on social media, just like they are in real life, so it shouldn’t be a surprise but it certainly feels real while I’m scrolling. And suddenly I’m comparing myself to my friends on Facebook, I’m not good enough or handsome enough or have enough friends, I am perpetually focused on what I don’t have instead of counting the many blessings I do have.

Lately, I have gotten zero joy out of being on social media, it doesn’t matter how many likes or comments or messages I get, nothing can quell my loneliness or frustration, nothing can satisfy me and I am just numb to the whole experience ( aside from the advocacy work I am doing with other advocates, that gives me joy) I feel a sense of anger and resentment at social media as a whole and it’s no longer healthy, even if I am advocating for mental health, being on social media has become counterproductive and it has hurt my creativity as well, my blog has taken a nosedive since all my energy went toward Facebook and Instagram, it’s a shame, really.

I have been logged out of all social media for two days now and while I feel anxious, I also feel relieved that I no longer have to see highlight reels or worry about likes or comments. My only reason for being on social media at this point is watch videos related to mental health that are a part of advocacy, aside from that I am no longer making posts of my own, I am no longer scrolling, I am taking an extended hiatus from social media, it is the only way to get better and recover from the damaged caused by these addictive platforms.  I can heal, I know I can do it and so can you.

Flood of healing

Memories flood back but I won’t run away from them, I’ll let them rise to the surface, I can manage the heavy rainfalls, even if it leads me to an ocean of tears. I have a boat and an oar, I can weather the storm.

It’s a distance away but I can see the shore, I can see the beam from the lighthouse guide me to land, shine the light on me, lead me to shore and to safety from this treacherous journey. If I keep moving, I know I’ll get there, even if it takes every bit of strength I have left, I’ll get there, believe that. 🚤 🌊

I am now on the Moments of Clarity Youtube Channel

Hello everyone, as many of you know, I am a mental health advocate and I lost my brother to suicide when I was 14. I am now collaborating with Moments of Clarity with Tiffany; a radio show and Youtube channel with content related to mental health, for my part, I am focusing on making Suicide Prevention videos. The channel is growing but I would love your support, please subscribe to their channel, Thank you so much.

 

youtube.com/…nel/UCIb3Xr7G3dE0gtDq-s_xILw

 

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Facing the past

About ten years ago, I had just created a Facebook account and I only had a few friends ( about 10 or 15 people from work and that was it) and I rarely talked to them online. Suddenly I got a friend request from some people in my past and I hadn’t spoken to them in a very long time. I accepted the request and I found myself adding everyone I knew from my childhood and I realized, they weren’t kids anymore, they were adults with families of their own, living their own lives, it made sense logically but not emotionally, like I wanted them to be same as I left them all those years ago. I felt inadequate because I was still struggling with disabilities and mental health issues, I thought back to how I always compared myself negatively to them, the memories flooded backed.

I added people I knew from 12 steps and a lot them were people that I didn’t want to think about ( I had a terrible experience being there) but I added them because I curious to see how their lives turned out and maybe we could reconnect in a positive way. I could feel my anxiety rise and as I saw these long-forgotten faces, I thought to myself “Would they accept me? What would I say to them?” I knew that I had to come to terms with the past that I had tried to bury in my own mind, I wasn’t ready.

I felt scared in front of my computer, knots in my stomach, I got comments and messages from all these people asking how I was after such a long time, it may have meant little to them but it meant a whole lot to me, I actually felt my whole world crashing on me in instant. I messaged a woman I barely knew in 12 steps but she was happy to hear from me, I think she was a waitress somewhere close to where my grandparents had lived when I was a kid and I talked to another old friend who I had known in an alternative school that I later saw in 12 steps, he was about to get married and I remember him saying at the time that he known my brother ( maybe it was through 12 steps) but he was a good guy and a friend,

As I’m talking to all of these people from the past, I kept thinking “What have I done, I’m scared of them” I was listening to music, it was George Harrison, I just lay on the floor, feeling all these intense emotions coming back to the surface; buried feelings, feelings of fear, sadness, trauma, regret that I missed so much. But in that instant ( I didn’t realize it) I began to heal, I couldn’t run away anymore. I had to face my past, in order to move forward. Fear is not the answer, sometimes we gain strength in our most painful moments.

 

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Last moment of freedom

After the meeting, I’m sitting outside of this church in Alexandria, smoking a cigarette with these people who knew my brother Joe when he was in Sunrise, one of them drove me there, I am not quite why I was there, I guess I was struggling with using and I needed some kind of support. It was one of my first meetings and I was nervous about being there. I had actually just gotten kicked out of school because I had a punched a hole in the wall and they were ready to ship me off to Lynchburg. I was talking with this girl from Sunrise who I had the biggest crush on and I was telling her and this other guy that I was leaving and if I could write to them. They gave me their address but I never wrote to them and they never wrote to me. But I never forget sitting in that church parking lot, enjoy my last moments of freedom with these people I barely knew and I’m sure were never comfortable with me, to begin with.. 😥