Wasting my own life


#1

I’ve always been the a shy person. Its not that I wanted to be like this, but I always found it hard to speak up or make new friends, as a kid and even now. When i did speak up, I was always ignored or not heard. Watching a home video of a camping trip from when i was a little kid, I noticed many times I was in the background saying something or repeating myself but being ignored or unheard.

Its not like I want to be this way. Nor does it make sense. My dad is the most outgoing person I could think of, and my mom is also a social butterfly. My little sister has also never had troubles making friends and is also extremely outgoing. I’m sitting here realizing I’ve spent 3-4 years in University, and I’ve made 0 friends outside of my housemates. I’ve never been in a real long term relationship, because while I’m at least somewhat attractive, every girl eventually realizes how boring and inexpressive I am. I just spent like the whole summer simping over a girl that left because I couldn’t tell her how I really felt. Somehow she was the only person I could tell about my secrets and problems, but even then I couldn’t tell her I loved her, and that was a deal breaker for her. She thought I wasn’t serious about her or that I was using her, but it was just my inability to speak up for myself.

Even when I played competitive baseball (my dad was a jock), my shyness made it hard for me. Whenever I joined a new team or tried out for a club team, I was always the person with no one to warm up with. And while i loved the game and was at least decent, I didn’t even try out for my college team because I didn’t think i could handle it socially. Even going to the gym takes a lot of courage for me. At parties, I wont talk to anyone unless they come up to me, and when that happens, I’m just awkward and weird.

At work, people always tell me they cant understand or hear what I’m saying, even though it sounds fine to me. Its embarrassing when i have to repeat myself several times. Lately tho, I’ve been singing out loud on my commutes in the hopes that it’ll help with this.

While I have no issues interacting with people after I get to know them, even then I feel mentally tired every once in a while. Things like job interviews are easy enough for me because I can study and prepare for them, but you cant really do that in a dynamic social setting. I actually spent the summer alone in order to “focus on myself,” but it just made me realize how much I’ve messed up my own life.

I feel like my whole life has been a waste sometimes. I’ve been blessed with a lot of great gifts, but I haven’t been able to use them because there’s something wrong with me. I just feel like if I had someone else’s personality, my life would be so different. I could make my dad proud by being an athlete and make my mom happy by bringing home a nice girl. It sounds so simple in my head, but my life story says otherwise.

Sometimes, I just wish I could run away to somewhere far away and start over completely. Well I tell myself I’ll start-over someday once my life is in better shape, but I also know nothing will change. I’m basically wasting what should be the prime of my life doing nothing, because I don’t know how or where to make friends in real life.

I don’t know if i made the wrong decision at some point in my life, or if there’s something just wrong with me. I guess I always thought my life would be different, and even though I’ve had plenty of chances to go in the right direction, I always fumble them away. This is really just a rant more than anything else, but i guess it feels good to actually express whats on my mind. Even if its on some random board i found online. If anyone reads this, i hope you can relate, because it would make me feel a lot better about myself. Sorry if this is borderline unreadable, i kind of just wrote what i was thinking.


#2

Hello beeflord,

Welcome to this random board you found online. Everyone here, at least the people who are here for the right reasons, will understand and relate to what you are saying. That’s because we all have, or have had, social anxiety. And, thus, we know what a life choked by anxiety becomes. Doesn’t matter if you have the “opportunities” in life or not - with social anxiety, doesn’t feel like there’s much hope. And when you got the opportunities, with social anxiety you’ll just feel more like a loser because, in your mind, you’ve wasted them away.

Usually I just stop at welcoming people on this topic of “Share Your Story”. This category is for letting it all out. Letting it out is good in itself. “Sharing Your Story” deserves to be heard and understood - not advice given.

As with so many of these shared stories, though, yours hits close to home. They always hit close because of the shared feelings and anxiety, but yours does in that way that it’s practically the same life as mine. Your writing is also in no way unreadable. In fact, it’s just the opposite. And thank you for choosing to use paragraphs! I’m guilty myself of writing huge blocks of text. Paragraphs make it so much easier to follow through reading a piece of writing.

I played soccer competitively. My dad was a more successful athlete in his way. I could never enjoy soccer as much as I wanted to. I had a scholarship to play goalkeeper in college. Turned it down. Anxiety. My dad is very outgoing, life of the party type. I didn’t turn out that way. I do have good friends, but I didn’t make any in college that last to today. People liked me, but I couldn’t get myself to keep that going. I never made any friend in class, never met a single one of my professors. I went through college invisible. You might say I wasted all that time. I knew I was wasting my high school moments as well - I knew that clearly at the time. Anxiety. I never had any relationships to speak of up until the end of university. Never talked openly to anyone ever at that point about anything real concerning my confusion about my issues - the anxiety.

Social interaction exhausted me. I still need alone time to recharge even now, but it doesn’t exhaust me like those days. That makes sense because anxiety is exhausting - defensive strategies are exhausting. Headaches all the time. While you say you can prepare for interviews, I avoided any interview, any job that required that type of scenario, for a very long time.

I used to spend large amounts of time alone thinking how I wasted my life, my opportunities, a chance with this person, a road not taken for a career or experience, a life of quiet desperation, wasted despite having all the opportunities there, available. So it was me, my problem, my fault.

Here we are.

So I found out about social anxiety much later than you, late twenties, starting therapy around 30. I don’t have social anxiety disorder anymore. I don’t spend time thinking about what was. All the thoughts you have about your current situation are thoughts I had for years, journals full of such thoughts, and I bet the people here have those same thoughts. I could point out the irrationality of such thoughts, but that won’t matter from your perspective. It wouldn’t have mattered to me then, either. I don’t live in that world now. You won’t have to live in that world forever, either. And when you begin to come out of that world, past what-ifs, could-have-beens, missed-chances, regrets - those all become big ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) that you will have been working on to dismiss. You’ll go to a place where those thoughts are not your day-to-day.

Well, here I go slipping into advice or a vision of your future that could be, through making a choice to do therapy, your effort. I’ll stop there then. At least you know I can relate - to everything you write.


#3

Hello @beeflord. Are you progressing in the therapy? If so, how far along are you?


#4

Hey, it was very readable and I’m glad you shared. I can hear and understand how desperate you feel about this situation. When you say that you feel you have wasted your life, I really feel for you, as I can relate so well. To see wasted years and wasted talents is very painful and depressing. I understand that you don’t want to be this way and I doubt anyone does because it certainly brings misery as a close companion!
No one can bring the wasted years back but we can take steps toward improving our future. I am on week five of Dr Richard’s online therapy programme and finding it very useful so far; I feel hopeful. All of these negative thoughts in our heads - the ones that there is some wrong with who we are - are bullying liars. The problem is, we believe them.