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    Don't Like What I've Become
    tominsd posted:
    I don't know what subject I could call this. This is the best I can come up with. I feel like I am having the blues lately now that the holiday season is upon us and it looks like there will be no family and/or special someone to share it with, again!

    I have an invitation for Thanksgiving and it's by a real nice guy at my job. However, it's going to be all family and I will be the only one that will not be. There will be some kids there and I'm not going to feel comfortable with it. I don't like being around kids that much. If I were married, I would not want to have any kids. I would hope to find someone that feels the same way.

    I had a meeting with a man that I see every Thursday evening. He reminded me that I should go to the Thanksgiving dinner and try to be open to people whose lives are different than mine. He has a point, but this is a family thing and I get the feeling that they may not pay attention to me. I have been to those things before and I've always ended up miserable and preferred to just cook a nice dinner for myself. I've cooked a T-Giving meal by myself many times and I enjoy it because I have cooked the way that my parents did.

    Also, I am a male, 52, and I find that the more I get out there with people, the less I have in common with them. I remember when I was in my 20's (that seemed like just yesterday for me) it was so easy to just go somewhere, unpack, and then I made friends. It seemed like I had so much in common with people back then. Not anymore. And now lately, I feel like I can't do anything right socially.

    Because of this and also that my small family that I have left (2 brothers and my sister) have split up it makes me feel depressed and I feel like I have nothing much to look forward to. I feel like I want to end it all sometimes. I told that to the man I see each Thursday night and he almost cried. The last time I talked to him, he said that I was worried about how I will be for Christmas.

    Well, that's my bit for now. If anyone wants to write to me privately, my email address will be in the profile. Remember, at is @ on my email address. Sorry it was so long.
    jpcil responded:
    Hi Tominsd! I can't believe how much you sound like me. Only I'm female and and 31. I have an incredibly difficult time connecting with people. Never seem to fit in with any group so I have empathy for you, my friend. As for the meal, I'm kinda siding with you. It would be good to get out but it's awful being the 5th wheel, so to speak. Go with your gut feeling on this one. Only you know how you'll react. Don't apologize for writing at length. You are helping yourself by doing so. No one will mind, in fact, I bet most here would encourage it. I hope the holiday season goes by quickly for your sake. I know how much that loneliness hurts. I hope you cook for yourself since it seems to be very enjoyable for you. Take care and check in again. Jen
    jpcil responded:
    Hey Tom, How are you doing today? Just thought I'd check.

    tominsd responded:
    Thank you for asking. My day went OK. Went to a church this morning for the first time in a while. It looks like I may stay with it for a while. I went for a three-hour bike ride and it was a nice day for it.

    Pretty dismal day emotionally as no one has called and emailed me all weekend. I've called people and emailed. They were not home or busy and I did not get anything back from the emails, at least as of right now.

    I'll be going back to work tomorrow. Weird as this may sound, I'm looking forward to it. It will be nice to be with my work friends again.
    jpcil responded:
    I'm with you. I don't like the weekends. Too much time for thinking. That brings problems. At least during the week I can keep those thoughts at bay, except for bedtime. It's really hard to shut the brain off. Have to read for awhile before I sleep so I can have something to combat those dark thoughts. Do you have that same problem? And for the lack of communication with others...I have the same issue. Always wonder why people won't respond to emails. It is frustrating. Well, here's hoping the week is good to both of us. Take care. Jen
    tominsd responded:
    I feel down about the weekend because there were no contact with anyone. I don't know why this had happened. There were no events of any get-together this whole weekend. It's very depressing for me that no one called. I made a couple of outgoing calls; one to my sister who lives 3,000 miles away. She would have called me at another time. The conversation went very good; it seemed like that was the only thing that went right for me the whole weekend.

    I am usually very busy on the weekends. I do a lot, but yet I feel like a hamster on a wheel. Getting exhausted spinning my wheels and going nowhere.

    I can talk to people pretty well, including strangers while I'm shopping or wherever. It's just getting to the point of asking them to get together that's so hard. I feel like I live in a world of couples, families, and strangers - and that's why I feel so lonely. I also don't have motivation to get out there anymore because I've done it so much and I feel like I don't have much in common with the people I meet. There are times when there are cliques when I go to a gathering.

    Funny thing is that at work, I feel like a special someone. If the people at where I work see me and don't know me that well, they would think that I have one hell of a great life at home. I really do not! Well, let's just hope that we have a better week coming up. Thanks for replying to me. You sound like a great person, and you don't deserve what your getting on the weekends.
    jpcil responded:
    Oh, Tom! What a sweetie you are! Thank you so much for your kind words! That helps get my morning off to a good start. I really appreciate that. Thank you, thank you. Jen
    hill20001 responded:
    Tom and Jen, I'm addressing you both as you seem to be going down the same path. My 29 year old son makes me think a lot of how you both feel alone and want to stay in. This helped him so I thought I'd pass it on. I got him a dog, a sweet German Shepherd pup, that needed and relied on him. They grew together beautifully and his interest in life and the world outside of work began to pick up. You do have to take a dog out and socialize them. Then he decided to try obedience classes and they both excelled. I went online and bought a Service Dog vest and patches to enable him to take the dog in stores with him as the dog had begun to alert my son to impending panic attacks which he suffered when trying to go out alone. Now the two of them go everywhere and it is a great way to meet people. Having the dog with him he knows before the panic ensues the dog will alert, it's a change in body chemistry smell dogs pick up on, and he has trained the dog to lead him out to his truck, takes his anxiety med, relaxes and all is well. All legal and you are supplied with cards explaining what a service dog is and the ADA laws governing them. Just be certain you train your dog well. The AKC has Canine Good Citizenship certification classes I highly recommend. All in all just a thought as I have seen the beauty of what the outcome can be and you are never alone with your new very best friend which will definitely introduce you to some new two legged friends. God Bless you both and maybe gift yourselves with a dog for the Holidays and beyond.
    jpcil responded:
    Hi Hill! Sorry it took so long for me to respond. I really appreciate you taking the time to write and offer some proven advice. That was very kind of you. I can't have a dog. Have a cat already who is skittish. That and I have allergy issues. But I understand what the point is. It is easier to make friends when there's an icebreaker. Thank you again. Jen
    tominsd responded:
    Hill - I have to agree that having a dog would be a great idea. It's a beautiful story about what that dog has done for your son. And I do agree that it would be a great icebreaker to meet people. There are lots of people who walk their dogs at where I live.

    I have thought about a dog in the past before. I do feel, for the most part, that having a dog would not be for me. I live by myself and I feel like I'm out of my place a lot. I feel like a dog cannot be left alone very long. I also feel like it would be too much care. I normally do not like dogs that much, just like some people don't like cats and/or kids.

    Thanks so much for your suggestion. Of course, in my life with the way it is, I get lots of suggestions from others. It would be so nice to be able to establish good relationships with others so that people will no longer have to make suggestions to me. I feel like what's worse than being alone is having to listen to suggestions that have been tried and failed, or they are just bad ideas.

    It reminds me of when I was unemployed. When I told others that I was unemployed, they would make all kinds of suggestions and they would be things that I did try and it didn't work. It was finally nice to end up with a good job (and I ended getting it on my own with no help from others) and then the suggestions all came to a silent end.
    layzlia responded:
    Hi Tom,

    I just wanted to let you know that I've been there and sometimes I used to feel like the world had no place for me. But the world has a place for everyone, and the trick is finding out what that place is without relying on anyone else to tell you. You say you have nowhere to go for the holidays, but you do have a place to go. You can show up to this family's house as a complete individual with interesting stories to tell and interesting opinions to offer, or you can show up as a person in need of people to make him feel ok.

    Everyone feels socially inept sometimes, and that feeling can grow depending on how many times you have been rejected or how many times social situations have not turned out the way you planned them to. Whenever you hear that voice in your head that says, "you shouldn't have said that," or "what are you doing," just remember that the voice is yours and not the voice of the people you are with. You don't know what they are thinking. I used to interpret the facial expressions of people in ways that would make me feel horrible. It took me a long time to realize that it's usually their "thinking" face, not their "judging" face...

    It's hard to take yourself out of your own mind long enough to remember that there are other people with their own minds around you. The only mind you can truly control is your own. If you remember that everyone has his own voice berating them, it will help you get through a holiday dinner with strangers.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is that your friend may be inviting you to dinner because he wants you to meet his family, or because he needs a friend too, or because he likes you. You've traveled, you like your job, you bicycle, you are a good cook, right? Focus on what's good about you and share that with people without expecting anything in return. Focus on what's good about others too, because they have as much trouble as you do reaching out. The ones who make it look easy are the ones with the most scars.

    Also, friendships usually happen slowly, because both people fear rejection. It's a tentative process that takes time and repetition.

    Now I'm thinking, "what makes me the expert to ramble for so long." But that doesn't matter because I wanted to help you however I could, so the benefit outweighs the cost.

    Good luck and I wish you happiness and peace within.
    Skindycoral responded:
    It's not WHAT YOU'VE BECOME....It's WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE.. and you are not alone.. I'm in the same boat myself...and I know exactly how you feel. To top it off I'm unemployed & broke.. my bills get paid & there's nothing left for fun in my life. Cindy
    jawibo56 responded:
    Hey Tom,Hope this finds you well today. When I read what you wrote it was like looking in a mirror. I am 53 and know exactly what your going through. When I was younger,I too could make friends easy,but they all turned out to be half-way friends,they never stayed around long,users mostly. I am alone too,have been for sometime. I dont want to be around most people,because I find them totally so into themselves,or ignorant,or find they have nothing in common with me. I would not go to the dinner,because this may depress you more,as those people have known each other for years and will be talking all about there lives and there kids.You will feel out f place. Especially when there bragging about there cute little progeny. I too do not want to be around kids,and cant stand all the screaming,and stuff kids do.I really hate it too when there parents say well isn't little Johnny so cute and smart,makes me want to hurl! What's worse is when they pull out there picture albums and bore you to tears with there " happy little family",please.I dont like being lonely,but if I have to put up with others like this,then I am happy to be alone. I know you will be ok,in what ever you choose to do.Hang in and hang tuff bud..James..

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