Don't know what I can do

Hello everyone. I'm writing this in the hopes that some of you may have been in a similar situation and found a way out. I feel so alone but I feel like there's nothing I can do about it. I don't have any friends anymore, I haven't for years now. My routine for the last 2 1/2 years has been go to work, come home and play the xbox or watch netflix. Go to bed, wake up and do it all again. I brothers that ocassionally play with me, but they have their own lives and do their own things too. The only people I do have are my immediate family but because i'm around them so much I feel like i'm always sick of their company. I can't reqlly go out and do things unless they will aswell, because of my anxiety it is hard to go and do things on my own. Can you see my problem? I'm either on my own or with family but feel like I need to be away from them at thr same time. I attend a social group that hasn't been going too well. And i've tried online dating or looking for events but they all cost. It seems like anything I want to try to be more social costs money. Money that i'm reluctant to spend as I'd probably pay for a dating event and be too anxious to show up. I just don't know what to do anymore

  • Hello Dean,

    Do you have any interests such as reading, art or film? Most of these interests have clubs. Book clubs, art clubs and film clubs. The good thing about these sort of activities is that you know beforehand what the topic is going to be. I used to belong to a film club that I just turned up and watched the film and went home again for a while, until I felt comfortable enough to take part in any discussions. 

    There is a forum called wrongplanet that may have a dating section - I don’t know. 

    Walking groups through the Ramblers Association may be another gentle way to get yourself among other people. Museums and art galleries are good places to practise getting out on your own.

    Graham.

  • Hi Dean, thanks for taking the time to share this post. It is greatly appreciated more ways than one. I can relate in some areas such as not having friends. Friendships are complicated by no means least. It is so easy to be caught up on your own space because that's what you are use to. But, to some extent things take their tole some of which is out of our control.

    You are a gifted person don't lose faith in your ability and what you have to offer. With the strain of work, home life combined it is without a doubt a strenuous time. I can understand watching the Netflix and playing Xbox it is like a distraction to help ease things or forget about anything that can make you feel down. The hurt, pain, guilt it is a mixture of emotions. Especially, when you have tried everything else and all has failed it can push you to your limit whilst at your wits end.

    With that, you don't want to seem like your a burden or that you taking up too much time of others. Anxiety is something some people don't fully understand or recognise in detail. Nevertheless, be proud of how far you come and the person you have become. You are making small leaps but making even bigger steps gradually. Try not to take too much upon yourself (easier said than done). There's only so much you can do as a person. 

    I myself have tried social gatherings. At first, it went well but I did rush in to early on to try and fit in making friends. This is a great example not to rush things. Dating, can be somewhat expensive but you don't necessarily have to put a cost to enjoying yourself. The best things in life are free. Believe in what you possess it is something worth savouring.

  • Hi Dean. I know the problem. Some quick suggestions:

    • Ask your family to introduce you to people. Use what contacts you have to meet new people, so that includes work too. That helps you get more comfortable with new people.
    • I wouldn't pay for introductions and that kind of social group particularly (although many people do, even for walking groups). Rather pay for something you might enjoy even if you were on your own.
    • Have a look for adult education courses.
    • Do have a look around meetup.com for something nearby that might be interesting.

    Keep on keeping on.

  • Hi Dean,

    I know exactly how you feel as I have been there myself and still am sometimes. All through my school life I didn’t have any friends and felt left out from everything. Any effort that I made felt wasted because when people found out I had Aspergers they stopped being friends with me. It has taken me until my second year of uni to find what I consider to be my true friends- over 15 years. 

    I have tried many things from support groups to reading books, but in the end what helped me the most was a combination of CBT coupled with this book that my psychologist recommended I read. I’m not suggesting that you have to have, or for that matter need CBT, but just in case you feel you want to give the book a go it is called :Asperkids guide to the secret unwritten social rules. I found it really helpful and for me, it was learning more about how NTs think and putting those unwritten rules into play when I went to uni that has meant that I now find it easier to make friends. 

    As I got older and learnt these rules I started to care much less about other people and what they thought. Sometimes it can still be hard, and don’t get me wrong, I do still find it hard when people “walk away” from me as it is very hurtful, but if that happens to you just try to see it as their loss and that those people are not worth you time. From my experience, real friends don’t betray you and are true to their word and like you for who you are. I’m sure you will find good friends-keep persevering!