Have become ridiculously isolated

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Turnitoffandonagain

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I've pretty much run out of all social contacts, bar occasional ones with close family. I never was a hugely sociable person, but in the past generally had a small number of good friends (who I took some pride in the idea of super-loyal to...itself probably a function of my tendency to all-or-nothing thinking). But one-by-one over the years of ill-health I've lost contact with (in several cases, fallen out with) every one of them.

This is a direct consequence of my health problems. I find it's just impossible to maintain, or even begin, social relationships when one is chronically, unrelentingly and debilitatingly, ill for a long period of time. Or is it just me?

My problems are predominantly physical - just crippling, apparently, undiagnosable physical symptoms. Most of the day and all of the night they dominate my consciousness, I can barely concentrate on anything else but the pain and discomfort.

There's no real help available other than patronising and condescending and useless CBT, or appointments with medical consultants that have 6 month waiting lists for the first assessment then lead to the same tests I've had multiple times already, followed by negative results and a discharge letter.

I know I have psyche issues as well, essentially obsessive-compulsiveness and that all-or-nothing thinking, overlying a horrible feeling of emptiness. I was once diagnosed with a PD, a very long time ago, but, quite honestly, I had learned to live with it, mainly by throwing myself into obsessions and taking satisfaction from getting very good at particular, narrowly-focussed, activities, which kept that emptiness at bay (and kept me in sucessful employment for a long time). When I felt physically well enough to do things I was usually pretty good at them, because I would do them obsessively.

And my PD diagnosis changed (to 'cluster C, otherwise unspecified' - just how useless is that as a diagnosis? They might as well have said 'generally screwed up'), then seemed to have been discarded entirely as now they say I'm just "depressed". In fact I'm not even sure whether either I, or the psyche profession itself, even really believe in personality disorders at all any more. They seem very arbitrary and subjective in definition as they clearly depend entirely on the culture you are in and what your social status is.

Anyway, my isolation isn't just my fault - most of the friends I did have had mental health problems themselves, and all of us became more and more overwhelmed by our own issues. And a kind of horrible two-way resentment creeps in, as each becomes convinced the other has it easy and should make more of an effort in the friendship.

And those friends who aren't themselves ill, also cut off because they don't want to be dragged down by soemone who is, and becuase you simply can't physically do the things that friends do together, and indeed don't even have anything interesting to talk about because you never go anywhere or do anything due to being too ill and having no money. All I can manage is to browse the web and go for very slow, shambling, walks while feeling like I'm going to pass out.

Anyway, my situation makes me think of Kafka's "metamorphosis". Anyone read that short story? It seems a good analogy for the experience of chronic illness that isn't treatable or even diagnosable. People give up on you, you lack the strength and energy to interact, and you just kind of fade away in isolation.
 
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Turnitoffandonagain

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It's a sign of how isolated I feel that I've started posting such personal stuff on a web forum, incidentally.
 
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EstherRose94

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I’ve read like half of metamorphosis. I never got to the end lol. It’s okay to post here. Do you like any music, shows, books, or online games?
 
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Turnitoffandonagain

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I’ve read like half of metamorphosis. I never got to the end lol. It’s okay to post here. Do you like any music, shows, books, or online games?
I used to read a lot, but haven't for years because I just have too much brain fog and headaches to concentrate on reading (can't even concentrate to watch a DVD or TV). Still have loads of books I bought years ago and have never been able to read as the book-buying continued for a while after book-reading ceased!

I listen to podcasts and audiobooks sometimes, but find it hard to take anything in. Oh, and there's mindlessly playing solitaire, over and over and over.

Thanks for replying, it's appreciated.
 
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EstherRose94

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Audiobooks sound nice! What about other games like Tetris or connect three games? I’m addicted to those lol. It takes strategy but they’re relaxing too.
 
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goodgollymiss

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I find audiobooks harder than regular books. I must read slowly
 
Parayana

Parayana

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I've got very few friends left, mainly just my ex and her grown up son, I've even cut my my friend Hassan off due to the aggression he demonstrates at other people. My CMHT try to get me to go up the local day centre but I find a lot of peoples conversations to be very shallow and trivial in RL. I have my friends I play games with online though, that's a bit of a social life and my friends on here and other forums.
 
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Turnitoffandonagain

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Would like to reply but I'm too tired to think (but can't sleep). As an aside, I'm kind of amazed with how I still have this constant angry monologue going through my head ranting about all the things I think are wrong with CBT. I'm mentally writing a thesis on it, apparently. I seem to have become obsessed with the topic since they discharged me. Keep thinking of new things that are wrong with it as a form of therapy.

I just _can't_ read books any more, and I used to a lot. I can listen to audiobooks and podcasts while slowly shambling around the streets (honestly feel so dizzy and pain-wracked and exhausted that I walk a fraction of the speed I used to). But I have to relisten to sections over-and-over because my mind wanders or fuzzes up and I realise I haven't taken anything in during the last mile. I do love that podcasts are free, I must say. I bet they will eventually all go behind paywalls.
 
Fairy Lucretia

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sorry you are isolated I know is not the same as RL but I hope you make some friends here
there was a time this place was literally all I had and it got me through a lot xxxx
 
fazza

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It's a sign of how isolated I feel that I've started posting such personal stuff on a web forum, incidentally.
Reading your first post was really heartbreaking and so much like I feel Albeit without the physical symptoms.

I have also lost all my friends whilst on this journey of mental adventures.

I no longer think about the past friendships not because it is painfull but because it is pointless. Everything moves on and I feel I have to move with whatever is thrown at me next. To say roll with the punches is patronising but in some ways that's what I am doing. I take small challenges head on. If I want to have a friend then I will start chatting to someone whilst walking the dog. I have to keep moving and occupying my mind that is in a constant state of flux. I am rising to the challenges but sometimes I just stay in bed and recharge the system.

We are not out yet.

I really hope you can get your physical symptoms sorted out as this could be the key to everything. Dont try fixing everything at once. Make a challenge for yourself even if you have to force yourself to watch a dvd or a TV show.

It sounds daft but every action we have mentally has a key. Concentration, Enjoyment, romance, laughter, and the sense of self worth all need to be unlocked as for some reason people like us locked these emotions away and now we are struggling to find the keys.

I know this is a ramble it I really hope it helps.
 
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Turnitoffandonagain

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Just realised the trouble with the 'like' system is if you 'like' a post you then feel bad about not liking everybody else's.

To be clear my 'likes', as on every forum I've ever used, are somewhat randomly allocated on the basis of sudden impulses. And I feel far too self-conscious about giving 'hugs'! (even virtual ones, though never really gone in much for real ones).

I actually read quite a lot on this forum, though most of the time do not feel qualified to reply to people. Or have the energy/mood to do so.

Got up feeling very ill again this morning, with a head and chest full of burning glue, and feeling like I'd suffered a head-injury. After a terrible night, which triggered still more angry monologuing about CBT. Lord, there are so many issues I have with that treatment mode. I seem to be obsessed with it though.
 
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Turnitoffandonagain

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I've spent today, like most days, continually fighting with an invisible monster torturer (one that, among numerous other things, physically crushes my brain till I feel like it's dying from lack of blood supply, leaving me feeling as if I have permanent concussion - headache, nausea, dizziness, and a constant desperate need to yawn, as if to try and force blood into my brain).

I really want some sort of brain-scan or at least a head x-ray, because I don't have any doubt that there is some sort of inflammation or something _physical_ going on in my head that is causing these sensations, probably by constricting the blood-flow to my brain or physically compressing it, much as with concussion (which I had once, after a childhood head-injury - it felt quite similar). They are not the only symptoms - there's similar chronic pain in my mouth, osophegus, stomach, and urethra as well - but they are the most overwhelming.

But in 25 years of this I think I've had one single head x-ray, when they denied that I had sinusitis (even though at the time I quite obviously did, as my face felt like a mask and my cheeks - in front of my maxillary sinuses where I could feel the blockage - literally glowed red hot to the degree where even other people could hold their hands near my face and feel the heat coming off them). This time round, i.e. for the last 3 years, the pressure and pain feels deeper in my head, more like the spheroid sinuses.

And now I have to wait nearly 6 months just for a first appointment with an ENT consultant, before I can even attempt to persaude him to give me some sort of head x-ray or, ideally, scan (last time, 2 years ago, the ENT guy just looked up my nose with a camera, said it was just mild inflammation and nothing serious - then discharged me again...suggested the GP send me to an immunologist instead, then the immunologist just gave me a lecture about depression and discharged me without really doing anything more than a few blood tests).

The fact that medics never seem to see anything when investigating my various afflicted internal body parts - all of which nevertheless are constantly in intense pain - does kind of make me feel like I'm going mad. But I do not accept the idea that just because they haven't found the cause means there isn't one and that I'm some how imagining all these symptoms or somehow making them happen with my bad thoughts.

I know that's the fashionable idea of our era - that everything is down to the bad ideas in individuals heads and that the mind has amazing quasi-mystical powers - but I continue to think it's nonsense. Nothing in the last 25 years of torture has changed my mind about that.

I often wonder whether a lot of 'mental health' problems are not functionally any different from undiagnosed invisible physical health problems.

It all just amounts to constantly struggling with overwhelming sensations and experiences others can't see, don't themselves expeirence, and don't understand. Perhaps the only difference is how close to the center of the 'self' the physical problems are located.

It's just unavoidably, inherently, isolating.

Lord knows why I feel compelled to post this stuff semi-publically now, but it's just driving me out of my mind.

Thanks to people for the responses. I probably should engage a bit more with the specific things people have said...I get that everyone here has their own struggles.
 
HauntedWitch

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And I feel far too self-conscious about giving 'hugs'! (even virtual ones, though never really gone in much for real ones)
Thanks for saying that. I was wondering if it was just me or what. I've become touch avoidant in real life due to abuse trauma. I'm not offended if people give me virtual hugs but I'm unsure about giving them.
 
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Turnitoffandonagain

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Thanks for saying that. I was wondering if it was just me or what. I've become touch avoidant in real life due to abuse trauma. I'm not offended if people give me virtual hugs but I'm unsure about giving them.
Well that's at least two of us, I guess! Likewise, I don't object to being given them, but feel like it's presumptuous or imposing, or over-familiar, or something like that, to give them. Then I feel bad about taking and not giving...
 
HauntedWitch

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Well that's at least two of us, I guess! Likewise, I don't object to being given them, but feel like it's presumptuous or imposing, or over-familiar, or something like that, to give them. Then I feel bad about taking and not giving...
True. I feel self-conscious about it where I never did before the trauma. I'm sure it will wear off in time, even if I'm never the same.

I don't think you should feel bad about not giving online 'hugs'. Hopefully, people here will understand.
 
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