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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Opening up to other people

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Author Topic: Opening up to other people
Member # 105716

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I just need an outlet, a release for these feelings.

In the last few weeks before my college lets out for summer, I've been trying to get closer to people emotionally and connect with them. I know that it isn't an instant process and that it takes time. But it seems to me like all my attempts are falling short. I want to get closer to other people, its just that I don't know how to, or I'm too afraid that they'll reject me.

My depression is part of who I am, but at the same time I can't seem to overcome or go beyond the feelings my depression helps create.

I just feel so completely alone and empty right now. I know that I'm not alone, and that the feelings of emptiness are part of who I am, but that isn't exactly helping.

Posts: 19 | From: North Central Texas | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

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Sorry to hear you're feeling alone at the moment. What kind of things have you tried, to get closer to people? What do you mean when you say your attempts fall short- what happens?

Also, what kind of support do you have for your depression? Do you see a mental health professional or attend therapy?

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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I am sorry to hear this process has been tough for you. But you have been trying, which is already a good first step!

One suggestion I would make is to try and limit the scope of your project for the time being. I hear you saying you are trying to get closer to people, which sounds like a very big project. Maybe you an start by choosing one of two people you know well and feel you can trust, and focus on that?

In a previous thread, you were talking about contacting your old therapist. How has that gone? Might you be able to talk about strategies for connecting better with your therapist?

Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 105716

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Thanks for getting back to me.

I have seen my old therapist, and it really helped; she helped me realize that I need to accept my depression as a part of me and inspired me to try harder to get closer to people.

I've never been really good at social situations, and I'm pretty sure I lack in social skills. I'm trying to engage with people more and be more social, but it feels like I haven't made any progress at all.

I know this is a gradual process, but I'm starting to get discouraged by my apparent lack of any sort of real progress.

Posts: 19 | From: North Central Texas | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Patricia H
Member # 103815

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Hey nosalis, if I could just pop in here and chime in, too:

I totally hear you with the depression and feeling socially awkward/inept. I recently just went through some major life transitions that were in some ways traumatic, and I just had a bout of depression not too long ago myself; in fact, my mother's been diagnosed with clinical depression, and for all I know, I, too have had a history of it as well, particularly during my senior year of high school. Point being, I understand what it's like to experience and have depression in your life.

However, you don't have to make depression become a part of your identity any more than you would make acne or the flu part of who you are, because for all we know, you are an individual who is a lot bigger than a condition. I know that might be kind of hard to grapple with when you're in the midst of feeling utterly miserable--which is not to say that you need to freak out thinking that being depressed is bad and you need to get rid of it ASAP--but simply being aware while you're there that, yeah, you're in the dumps right now today (or for these past few days, or this week), and knowing in a (minimally) optimistic way that this isn't going to last forever, that this dark cloud hanging over you will one day be lifted and be gone, can be helpful.

Sometimes these things happen on their own accord, and then sometimes, these things take work. Since we can never know which is going to be which, I say to bank on being proactive from the start to be safe. Admitting that you've hit a doldrum and you want to get out of there is a great step. So's coming up with ideas that will help you get there, which brings me to my second point about social awkwardness/ineptitude.

When you're depressed, people problems don't make it any better. Not sure if you've ever tried this, but have you ever considered volunteering? I, too, consider myself socially awkward, so I tried volunteering in high school as a way to force myself to practice interacting with people, and never looked back since; it also helped me garner experience for scholarships to boot, so that was a nice touch. [Smile] It doesn't necessarily have to be your local hospital, homeless shelter, or something that requires you to put in a commitment of six months or stuff like that; depending on what is available where you live, you could volunteer for fun stuff, stuff you care about, like ComicCon, a food festival--fun events where you put in a few hours at a time, get to hang out and connect with cool happy people, enjoy free t-shirts and food...heck, what's not to like?!

I get you when you say you want to get closer to people emotionally and connect with them. But sometimes that means you have to make the first move by reaching out to them. Maybe it means meeting up with a social worker and asking if you could shadow him/her so you can see them working with people up close and personal, or your local women's shelter. And if you know of an organization you're keen about that doesn't have a volunteer program, start one and be their poster child! Pretty soon, you'll have so much going on that you won't have time to feel depressed and morose. And that's a good thing.

Hope this helps. [Smile]

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Posts: 234 | From: Hawaii | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 56822

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Yeah, volunteering is fun. Just choose something you like, and give it a go!

All the best with your new endeavors! It's so fantastic doing something you love out of the goodness of your own heart. And it's very appreciated by all caring organisations! [Smile]

Posts: 540 | From: Australia | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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