Pushed friends away & it's making my mental health worse

Postby rightleftwrong » Sun May 17, 2020 6:55 pm

I have issues with acting impulsively and destructively because of not coping well with my anxiety and black-and-white thinking. Within these past two weeks, I sabotaged my friendships with 2 whole friend groups because of my issues, and now I only have 1 friend. These 2 friend groups are entirely done with me, so I cannot apologize or try to fix the friendships. I deleted my social media because I do not trust myself online, and am pursuing behavioral therapy.

However, I have been feeling incredibly stressed, lonely, and suicidal these past few days. My self-harming has gotten worse than ever. I live with emotionally-abusive parents, and my mental state was already not great before this, so not having any large support groups is destroying me. Writing down my thoughts does not help, and I do not want to constantly vent to the 1 friend I have, nor do I trust my coworkers enough to vent to them.

I am aware this is the consequence of me acting badly towards my friends and I don't expect them to forgive me, but I'm barely holding on at this point, and I can't become a better person if mental illness drags me under.

Is there anything I can do to better cope with this situation?
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon May 18, 2020 6:01 am

rightleftwrong wrote:I am aware this is the consequence of me acting badly towards my friends and I don't expect them to forgive me, but I'm barely holding on at this point, and I can't become a better person if mental illness drags me under.

Is there anything I can do to better cope with this situation?


My older brother struggled with similar issues. He use to alienate friends and family. What helped was a therapist who got him to focus on (1) what really mattered to him in his life, and then (2) learning the skills to work towards what mattered and ignore everything else. It was a form of behavioral therapy.

Initially my brother had a similar thought process to what you posted. He would say that what was causing his problems was a mental illness, anxiety, stress. He used vague terms that really could not be traced to any concrete, specific issue that he could address. Instead of vague concepts the therapist identified certain specific "triggers" that resulted in him feeling a lack of control or of being controlled. When he encountered a trigger his go-to response was basically to get angry, blow up and in one way or another say, "Don't try to control me."

Once my brother figured out what was triggering him...which was a lot of things, from politics, to work issues, etc. he realized that 90% of them were BS. He was just lashing out at anyone and everyone that he disagreed with, because it provided him a place to focus his energy while avoiding the tough goals in life he really wanted to work on. Part of his issue was social media as well. It ate up his time and allowed him to channel his frustrations at others instead of reflecting on the lack of progress he was making in the areas of life that were actually important to him.

He deleted social media as well. It wasn't really as much to avoid triggers, but so that he could spend more time focused on opening his business. As life happened he used the business as his main goal, his main focus, and he stopped letting other things distract him. Whenever an issue might surface, he started asking himself why the issue even mattered, why did he care? If it didn't impact his goal, if it didn't impact his business, he ignored it and moved on with life.

Being over 10 years older than me, I sort of learned through my brother's experiences and adopted a similar thought process. I started focusing in on what matters and let the rest go.
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