On the brink of depression

Postby Marcus123 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:55 pm

Hi everyone,
I hope you are up for reading all of this.

I am a 24 year old guy currently in the process of completing the last year of my bachelor. The past week has been rough due to a lot of events that has happened lately, and I am interested in hearing anyone's input. I have never suffered from any form of depression that affects my daily activities, but I have had to take the past two days off from school as I am unable to focus.

I have always had issues with getting friends; I was "diagnosed" with mild Aspergers back in elementary school, and even though I don't allow it to be part of my character, it still affects me a lot during the day.

I was born into a religious family of Jehovah's Witnesses. My family is very harmonious and we have never had major issues. When I turned 18, I happened to be baptized (due to friends getting baptized and everyone expecting it of me as I had turned 18) without understanding the consequences of it. I have never believed in anything supernatural and non-scientific, and I consider myself an agnostic.
Baptizing as a Jehovah's Witness means that you give yourself completely to your God, and that means giving up on "what the world offers", ie. drinking, sex before marriage etc. If you are baptized and participate in these things, the Bible compels the family and friends to cut relations to the person not living up to the standards of the Bible.

I have never had a Birthday party, or participated in Christmas. I have never had sex or tried drugs, or even had a girlfriend. I am currently living on my own, in a city far from my family, so I can't claim I haven't been drinking at parties.

Two years ago, as I was accepted for starting university, I told my father that I was not interested in continuing life as a Jehovah's Witness. I had been considering how to tell everyone this for at least 3 years prior, and during this time, I had decided to take down my facebook account and phase out communication with my friends -- to make the switch less painful for everyone.
I proposed two ways to my father to me getting out of JWs; either "announce" to current friends and family of my decision, or living as a JW in my new life for a period and slowly stop attending meetings (Jehovah's Witnesses attend meetings two times a week and it is considered mandatory for being a JW)
I went with the slow approach.

It has been two years. I have not made any real friends, and even though my new facebook account has 100 friends, no-one ever messages me, asks if I want to get together. Really, I have been lonely for these two years, and respecting my father's "wish" of me living by Bible standards, I have not tried to really get close to anyone, least of all get a girlfriend.
It is difficult attending parties with people as conversations always end up about prior relationships and life before the school.

Honestly, I have no idea why I haven't told anyone that I used to be a Jehovah's Witness. If I had started out saying that, people would probably have been more understanding to why I act as I do.

For about two months I have been talking a lot to a girl at school, and I have liked her throughout the two years I have been here. She has had a boyfriend and recently broke up with him, so I saw her as a real chance. We started eating lunch together and talking more than just school stuff, I never said anything about my life before school though. Being socially awkward, it is quite amazing to have someone I can talk to and relax around, so my feelings quickly went from liking her into a common "teenage crush".

Last week I visited my parents. I talked to my father and explained how lonely I am and essentially telling him that I will not hold myself back anymore of being a normal young adult. This means, if I end up interested in a girl and she is interested in me, we will get in a relationship, and as it is the norm, probably have sex.
I know that if this happens my family will be forced to cut relations to me.

My father accepted my decision and decided that it is time to explain the situation to the rest of the family, which is currently happening.

The girl I am interested in, and was ready to give up my family and friends for 22 years for, just got a boyfriend.

This is what really crushed my spirit.

I was ready to be shunned from my previous life, friends and family, and had taken the first steps towards it, and now I am completely alone. My relationship to my family will not be the same after this, unless I somehow end up a Jehovah's Witness again. I still have no friends, and every time I see the girl I like, I get depressed for what could have been.

Usually I get rid of frustration by listening to certain albums, watching a certain movie, playing games etc. but lately I have been so frustrated that this is not enough anymore. I took up working out to get rid of more frustration, and (being the only positive thing that has happened to me lately) I have ended up quite fit from doing so.

Where do I go from here?

I can't focus on my school work with the girl I like around me there, when I get home I am completely alone. I am not ready to speak to my family yet, and my hobbies I used to like doing, means nothing to me anymore. Most of all, I have no-one to talk about all these things with.

What do I do?

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Postby Calm » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi Marcus!

You know what? You're really BRAVE. It's not easy to make a decision you know will upset your family (and possibly mean that they won't want contact with you). It takes a lot of integrity to be honest about your own beliefs or lack of beliefs or whatever, when you've been raised your whole life to think a certain way.

It's totally normal that you feel confused, alone, disoriented and upset. Not to mention the whole disappointment with the girl you hoped to be with. Seems like that's hard partly because it was something that was keeping you afloat (while the whole family thing is going down), partly because you were finally sharing/ spending time with another human, and partly because you probably had an idea in your head that things would move in a direction and it's always terribly disappointing when our hopes and expectations don't square with reality.

What to do? : )

First of all, remember that no situation or feeling is ever permanent. Things are changing all the time. New people fall out of the clear blue sky. Your feelings will change. Your attitude will change. Your interests will change. Even if it's super hard with your parents right now and you have the idea they will disown you, remember that that is not forever. And that they love you, know matter what! They may just have some beliefs that to you and me seem confusing, but to them seem correct. It's really hard to deal with people who have really strong beliefs! Keep breathing, keep opening your heart, keep forgiving. I like to add "right now" to the end of every sentence when I am feeling frustrated with a situation. It reminds me that this is just how things are "right now" and that they will change! I feel friendless "right now," my father doesn't understand me "right now," "I don't really know how to live like a normal 24 year old "right now," etc.

Part of why we feel so bad when emotions take over is because we feel like this will last forever. We don't see a solution so we think there isn't one : ) And then we just feel trapped and things get worse and we stay stuck in the feelings for longer. Remind yourself that feelings are like clouds. There is always a beautiful blue sky beyond them, no matter how thick and dark they seem.

Also, try not to globalize, meaning to throw everything - the family stuff, your disappointment about the girl, your feeling alone and isolated, into one big ball of gloom and doom : ) Try to relate to each thing separately, otherwise it just feels like this giant unmanageable emotional mess, and it's hard to work with that. It might help to write about each thing. Writing has been an amazing tool for me throughout my life.

As far as the colorlessness you feel from the disappointment about that girl, it too shall pass! I don't know a person on this earth who hasn't felt that sense of hopelessness in the face of love disappointment. I can remember myself curled on a couch thinking there was no reason to live if I cannot be with this person - and I now laugh at how mismatched we were!

Just ride it out. Be kind to yourself. Might be a good idea to get out. Are there MeetUps in the place where you live? The gym may be good, but it would be good to go where you can actually connect with people. In fact, it's always a good idea to try to be of service when we are not feeling great. It gets us out of our mental loops (which are running over the situation again and again). Maybe there's a program for kids "on the spectrum" where you could volunteer? I know you are busy with school. But it's really so positive to get out and give when we feel like crap!

It also good to think of all the other people who are struggling in a similar way. So many hundreds of thousands of people right now in this very moment are feeling similar heartbreak, and feeling lost and stuck. Your situation may be unique but the feelings are the same. Think of them, send them peace : )

Thinking of you Marcus! Hang in there. Everything will change. New positive things will arrive.
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Postby Calm » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:46 am

How's it going, Marcus?

We hope you're well.
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Postby Marcus123 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:11 pm

Hi Calm, I want to thank you for replying to this.

It was a tough week and it seems like the worst bit has passed. I can finally start focusing on other things. I have started to take the initiative and talk to more people daily, and I already feel better.

To make things even more complicated, the girl I was talking about's boyfriend somehow just "broke up" with her (yea, after about a week, I am not sure why).
She seems as shattered as I was, took a couple of days off from school this week, like I did two weeks ago.

I have a lot of mixed emotions about this, but from this weeks' reflection on the situation, I don't think that "us" could work out. So I will not try to pursue her in any way, and rather just be a supporting friend, helping her through what she is experiencing now.

Actually, I am very worried about her.

I deliberately tried to avoid her this week, so I could "get over her" a bit faster, though I could definitely see something was wrong around the time her new boyfriend broke up.

This Friday I went out with some of her close friends and heard that she actually got sent to the hospital having eaten too many pain killers. I really hope that it was an accident and not a suicide attempt, her friends were not sure.

I know her family is taking care of her, and I am currently reading though the internet for what to say to people who has attempted suicide, just in case, so I don't happen to say something that could hurt her.

My life is way too complicated right now.

Again, thanks for the comforting reply, I really appreciate it.

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Postby Calm » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:15 pm

Hi Marcus!

I am so glad to hear that things are going better for you. You sound strong and clear, Good that you are talking to people. Bravo : )

Sorry to hear that your friend is struggling. It is kind of you to think carefully about how to not destabilize her more than she already is.

If you do have contact with her and you don't know what to say, you might even point her in the direction of this forum! You don't have to let her know you are on it : ) You can just mention it along with the other resources, if it comes to that.

Not much you can do, really. She just needs to know that things will change, that time heals, and that she's the same person now as she was before she met him. Nothing has been lost. Plenty of fish in the sea : )

Thanks for letting me know how you are. Take good care and see you around the forum!
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Postby TheCloud » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:22 am

When life is complicated and you feel stuck, there is one surefire way to make progress; open yourself up. Imagine that your inner life is a castle or a garden or something, with a wall around it. Imagine opening a door in that wall and letting someone in. Maybe you confide in them. Maybe you help them with something they're troubled by. Maybe you join a club and meet a bunch of new people. How you do it is up to you, and there are no rules and no limits. But open those doors somehow, unless you want things to remain the way they are.
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