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I never think the loneliness of mental health is properly understood or acknowledged by people. Especially by the people who are meant to care.

In a way the most obvious source of my loneliness is the fact that the person I loved for nine years left me just eight months ago, and I’m readjusting to being with myself, I’m learning from this who I am and it’s fucking hard to do.

But I also feel lonely in more damaging ways. People come and go – other people are just collateral to our own lives.

When I’m in a social situation it’s probably the worst – when I feel pressured to interact, to make a good impression, to entertain, to connect.  It’s all so intense. So I become insular and quiet. I often make excuses to go to the bathroom so that I can just sit alone in the cubicle and refocus my mind.  Or I leave. I just leave. I’ll explain to the people I feel need to know, but mostly I just lie about something (HIV meds are always a good one).

I’m the flakiest friend you’ll ever have. I’ll cancel on you at the last minute, or I just won’t text you back – plans make me anxious.

What I think people don’t understand about loneliness is that it’s not something that has an obvious opposite.  “Just go out and do something!” seems like all people want to yell at me. “Don’t just sit around feeling sad” comes second to this. But it’s not that easy.

In a way there’s irony in the fact that someone who is self loathing is so strongly can feel most at ease when they’re alone.

But I would put it this way: A mental health disorder is your best friend as much as it is your worst enemy.

Remember in the finale of Sex and The City when Carrie and The Russian break up? Carrie says that she wants: “Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.” Change “love” to “hate” and you’ll get the idea.

The hatred I feel for myself is so constant, so consistent that it is one of the most comforting things for me when I’m feeling like I’m losing control.

A word a person who suffers from depression (or BPD/Bi-Polar etc.) will be used to hearing is “selfish”.

“You are so fucking selfish, Hamish” they say. He said. You said. Yes. I am selfish. I hate myself, but I love to hate myself. The glorious narcissism of one’s own mind.

They say that suicide is the most selfish way a person can die.  To leave all the others behind, with so many things about you left unexplained.

“What if we could have helped?”
“I wish he’s just said something…”
“He was too weak”

Suicide sometimes just feels like the inevitable ending to it all. Where some people would see it was a selfish death, I see it as the smartest way out of a shitty situation. To muster the strength to pick oneself up, start afresh and never look back at the sadness? Fuck that. With mental health the fact that medication/constant therapy/incessant scrutiny are the norm it hardly makes putting the effort in seem worth it.

The first steps to getting “better” are often the hardest.  Making the call to the doctor, sitting in that little room and crying it out. Explaining everything you have enough of a grasp of to put into words – it’s hard, it’s really fucking hard. I’d hazard to guess that so far I’ve explained about 10% of my insane musings to mental health professional – the other 90% seems irrelevant or too disturbing for me to share.

I’m shaking as I write this.

When friends/family beg you to explain the situation to them, attempting to force you to be honest and open, it’s horrifying.  The intensity of thinking that for five minutes I need to talk to someone who isn’t impartial. It’s too much. I know people “just want to talk/understand/listen”, but I feel that people don’t grasp how much being the person doing the talking exhausts you.

Like I said before, social situations terrify me. But a one on one with a family member explaining my mental health? Have mercy! Send me to the firing squad.

So what. There’s no hope? Of course there’s hope.

There’s hope from the perspective that I’m being as selfish as I possibly can be to give myself something to focus on in order to make my life feel like it has some worth. Even if that worth is material, I can’t see that as a bad thing.

I’ve spoiled myself rotten this year, there’s no denying it.  But I’ve done it in a way that I feel has been therapeutic for me. I’ve obtained a lots of things that I know make me happy, that I can enjoy in my own way and most importantly, that I can enjoy alone.  My records, gigs on my own, holidays alone, books, video-games – it’s all mine and it’s all an escape.

I don’t want to kill myself. But I don’t want to live.

I’d rather we all died by some divine intervention. Something that levelled the playing field. I don’t want to live, but I don’t want to cease to exist either.

As much as I have said that I like being alone, I love so many people and I have so many people who’s love I see as some comforting light in the overwhelming darkness of my mind.

Thank you to everyone who has been there for me to cry down the phone to, to everyone who’s hugged me for longer than usual because you’ve felt my pain, to the people who have seen my scars and not questioned the reason for them being there.

Thank you for loving me in spite of me.

Hamish (@AGayToRemember on twitter)

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Hamish you are an inspiration to me! one line that I say to myself over and over again.. you have nailed it…

    I don’t want to kill myself, but I don’t want to live either.

    I have stopped trying to kill myself because I don’t want to die alone. I just want the world to end and for people to stop judging is that so much to ask for?

    Take care my friend

  2. I can’t imagine the loss you feel (I’ve never had a relationship pass the 6 month mark) but I do know how it feels when suicide is the preferable life option. It’s quite common reaction I have to any setback; career, health, life, love.

    In my case it’s due to long term feelings of worthlessness from my childhood which have left a trail of self-sabotage throughout my adult life. I’ve suffered massive bouts of anxiety too which leads me to mentally freeze up while my life falls apart around me.

    I’ve had my fair share of unhelpful support, both from professionals, family & friends. I found they made my isolation worse.

    I just wanted to say thanks for sharing what I suspect is only the iceberg tip of your pain. I have a lot of respect for the bravery you’ve shown in this & previous posts.

    Thanks for sharing Hamish.

    Hywel x

  3. I’ve been feeling such loneliness for the past few years. I have been through three marriages and my current relationship with this lady seems so damn hopeless. Tonight I was feeling exceptionally lonely (Valentine’s Day) so I Googled “I’m so fucking lonely” and that brought me to your post. I’m 48 and don’t like being without someone to share love with but I am so damn socially crippled…a sociology major who can not socialize. I go to work related get-togethers but am unable to strike up conversations with anyone so I make my way to the restroom then to the door.

    I don’t know why I am posting on this site…feeling better thought now that I have express mu feelings…to someone as there is no one else I can talk to. Thank you for sharing what you’re going through. I am in no way suicidal despite my daughter having done so 5 years ago. I have two sons I need to remain strong for. Without them I would have checked out by now though.

  4. Your posting is just exactly same as what I wanted to say. I’ve been feeling so damn lonliness since I moved to bigger city for my job. Everything is better than before but everyday I feel less happiness. Now I just live a life as it goes. I don’t have the reason why I have to continue my life. Actually, my life seems pretty good if someone sees. Regular income, few besties, single parent, stupid brother… and no relationship. That sucks. I think that is the problem. But I can’t find someone appropriate for me. There’s no guy satisfies me… Whatever…everything sucks…. Wanna die…

  5. You have written exactly what i feel from last 2-3 years. I know it hurts alot. I think i can’t live more with this feeling. You know there is a place beyond hell that’s my life. :”(

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