August 9, 2018 at 10:58 pm #220951
Hi, first of any sort of activity on here so this might just be a shot in the dark, but here goes nothing.
I'm in my younger years (teen) & a pressing issue for me at the moment, & for the past year or so, is this nagging insecurity that my friends & others will leave me one day out of the blue, or that they don’t actually like me, irrational things like that. (Typing it out like that makes it seem even more ridiculous to me, to be honest)
I know as well as I can that these things aren’t true – the friends that I feel this way the most about are really good friends of mine & this is demonstrated all of the time through things like emotional support & things like that. Even so, there’s this constantly-present feeling in the back of my mind that since other people have left like that or that I’m in “those years” in school or whatever else, these friends are just going to change their mind about me one of these days.
I keep sort of, fighting, I guess, with myself about this, telling myself “you’re a teenager, insecurity and things like that are common” or “this is really nonsensical” because, of course I think that it is, but I can’t seem to stop feeling like this. I love these friends a whole lot & don’t like the idea of doubting them because they’re the best friends I’ve ever had – true, honest, supportive, the whole 9.
The only thing that I can think of that would put me on to any thinking patterns like this is something that happened a few years ago (2014, somewhere along then) which was my parents splitting up. It’s pretty common, unfortunately, and for me and my sister, it was pretty rough emotionally. Since then, I haven’t had contact with my mom in about a year straight now, but I can say that I’ve seen her maybe 4 times for a weekend since she moved out years ago. Even before anything happened (in my point of view) things were kind of bad as I’ve come to realize with growing up. My parents just weren’t fit for eachother, my mother was struggling mentally, both my mom & dad were struggling financially, etc. & these things were sort of projected onto us kids.
Anyways, I think that maybe my mom leaving and us not having been in constant has me stuck in a sort of rut that leaves me feeling insecure like this, but obviously that’s partially what I’m here for, some guidance and helpful advice (pleeease). I would also like to mention that these 2 friends aren’t really where these insecurities stop, but they’re just the subjects of the “least irrational” fears.
Here, I guess I’m just asking for some more helpful insight into why I’m feeling like this and even how I could “get over it”. I feel like I’m disrespecting my friends by doubting them like this. It’d be much appreciated. (:August 10, 2018 at 6:05 am #220979
A child needs to know that the grown ups in his life, his parents, are able to take care of him (or her). This is where safety is, for a child, knowing his parents are calm, strong and capable. What you experienced, way before the divorce, is two parents who were not calm and strong: “both my mom & dad were struggling financially, etc.” and “my mother was struggling mentally”.
As you look back now, as a teenager, you can see that these two parents were able to feed you, clothe you, etc., so you may think: well, they were capable of taking care of me. But the young child doesn't know that, doesn't see the future. For the young child, if a parent is anxious, not calm, it means there is trouble, something is wrong something can get worse, and he is not safe.
This is common, parents who struggle financially and otherwise, later divorce, or not, and that is the reason anxiety is also common, beginning in childhood and it keeps going into adulthood.
Anxiety is fear that keeps going and going. It is like a sticky substance that sticks to new things. It is now stuck to your friends, fearing they will leave you. It is stuck to other things you didn't mention.
There is a way to heal from early anxiety and it takes a long time and persistence. There are ways to manage anxiety, to lower it when it spikes, to take healthy breaks from it (a walk in nature, for example). Let me know what you think of my answer so far, and if you wish, we can continue to communicate.
anitaAugust 10, 2018 at 9:02 am #221009
Anita, thank you, your answer was very helpful. Everything you said made sense & applied to what I wrote. Thank you for taking the time to read & for giving your insight. Continuing to communicate with you sounds like it’d be helpful as well, so thank you for the offer.
I really like your explanation of me being not only my present self as a teen, but sort of like a matryoshka doll with a younger, past self inside, that being the place where these thoughts are coming from. I’m still not so sure how to manage this anxiety about my friends, school, life in general, etc. But you taking the time to give me some helpful information is greatly appreciated & has definitely helped me learn more about all this than I did before. (:August 10, 2018 at 9:14 am #221013
You are welcome. In looking into “how to manage this anxiety about my friends, school, life in general”, it is important to know what you already tried, what helped you in the past and what didn't help you. You can share about that and I will reply further.
anitaAugust 10, 2018 at 10:34 am #221045
Thank you for the suggestion, & as for what I’ve tried to manage my anxiety, not a whole lot as I’ve never known how to go about it & where to start. One thing I’ve done semi-frequently is talking about these issues to people I trust, i.e. my stepmom & my friends themselves.
I’ve talked about my insecurities & everything with my stepmom because she’s dealt with really difficult mental issues in the past, like OCD, lots of anxiety, & being in emotionally tolling & damaging relationships/marriages. These things for her have gotten better, she says, since she married my dad & her best friend for years now, & she says this is because of how well they communicate, how he’s as supportive & helpful as he can be, etc. Pretty much the jist of what she’s given me is that I’m just an anxious person, & that she deals with it too.
As for talking with my friends, they’ve told me that what I’m scared of happening isn’t in their plans & they’re going to be supportive, reassuring, & helping in other ways that they know how.
I’ve also lightly tried journaling, but the habit doesn’t stick with me very easily just because I’m very forgetful & it’s kind of difficult to fit things like that into my schedule consisting of school, soccer, clubs, my job, household/family duties, etc etc etc. The small length of time that I was trying to write daily, though, seemed to help me organize my thoughts like that but I haven’t seen what happens in the long term.
Like I said, I haven’t dived into this whole issue with myself a whole lot mainly because I’m clueless as to what to do & how to go about it. Your comments have been really helpful, though, so thank you.August 10, 2018 at 10:57 am #221051
You mentioned your schedule “consisting of school, soccer, clubs, my job, household/family duties, etc etc etc”- reads busy to me, maybe too busy. My recommendation write your weekly schedule down and evaluate it over the next few weeks. Maybe it will be wise to remove some items in it, limit others, expand an item or two in it, add something. It will take time to make this evaluation, experimenting with this and that change, and come up with a less distressing and more helpful schedule for you, one that will help with your anxiety.
Reads like you get enough exercise, soccer being one. If so, no need to increase exercise. Maybe this or that club includes interactions with difficult people, interactions that add to your anxiety, or many there is simply no benefit in this or that club, for you. Something to add could be, for example, taking a walk outside when you feel distressed, or guided meditation.
But again, evaluating your schedule and making changes will take time and experimentation.
I will soon be away from the computer for about sixteen hours. When I return, if I read from you, I will be glad to reply and continue our communication. Anxiety is not an easy issue to begin to resolve, not likely in one or in a few posts.
August 10, 2018 at 4:43 pm #221087
- This reply was modified 6 days ago by anita.
Anita, thank you so much. Your responses, though they’re few, have helped me out a lot.
Your suggestion of cutting down my schedule/organizing it has been on my to-do list for a while now, not for my anxiety, just for decluttering purposes. (: Though, for the purpose that’d it’d also be serving now, it sounds like it’d be very helpful.
My soccer season isn’t year round, & I’ve noticed that I feel better, mentally, while in season. My clubs & school are kinda taxing because of my classes & my clubs involving lots of activities (Beta, StuCo), soccer takes up a lot of time but isn’t that draining mentally I don’t think, & my “job” is babysitting on weekends/free days. I sorta like being busy to a point, & I really like learning. There are some things I could take away & add to make it more beneficial & less stressful, so thanks for the suggestoon & extra motivation (:
Don’t know what you’re going to be away for a little bit for, but I hope you enjoy your time away (: again, thanks for your input & helpful advice, it’s much appreciated.August 10, 2018 at 8:48 pm #221095
In dealing with similar problems, I realized the way to solve them is by loving myself more. It sounds simple but hear me out. When I worked on self love, I started loving those around me more. And I stopped being insecure around my friends because it would be their loss to refuse the love that I knew I was capable of giving. Before that I felt like they may not like me secretly because I wasn’t giving my all in loving them and wanting the best for them. Self love is the tricky part. A lot of that comes from learning to comfort the inner child within each and every one of us that is still not healed from past experiences, such as the separation you went through. Picture yourself as that young child, viewing what was happening and being really fearful about it/taking it personally, and be that person to hug that child and comfort them, letting them know that nothing was their fault and it’ll be okay. Things like this work wonders for healing my past traumas and I just feel more whole afterwards. It’s a substantial way to know what it’s like to love yourself. Any fear you have can be pictured as that small scared child and it’s up to you to hold that child and give them so much love that they won’t remember pain. Once you know your own worth and have that relationship with yourself people will naturally be drawn to you/want to hang around you. In any situation where someone is adding value, others will want them around. I hope this helped, best of luck. You can heal.August 11, 2018 at 4:04 am #221151
I get away from the computer every day. The reason I mentioned it to you is in case you post and not get a reply for many hours, to let you know that I will be back and reply when I am back.
Decluttering is major in reducing anxiety, decluttering your own room, your relationships, and your schedule. Simplify your life best you can.
Increase the activities that relax you, ex. soccer and decrease the activities that tax you (some of the clubs).
Most people live mindlessly, that is, not paying attention, repeating the same activities out of habit, not stopping to ask themselves: how am I feeling right now?
Living mindfully, attentively, means paying attention. As you go about your day, slow down a bit, live intentionally. Ask yourself why am I doing this, is it benefiting me? Why is my body feeling so tense right now, what is triggering this distress? If it is a conversation that is triggering distress, end it, come to it later if necessary. If you worked too long and too hard on a homework assignment and you feel tense, don't ignore it, do something about it, take a break.