After being thrown in the deep-end with assessments and stressful situations, thankfully I’ve made it out the other side just fine. I’m halfway through my semester one exams and my next one is on Monday, so I’m taking a break for the night and finally have some time to catch up on blogging, hooray!
As much as I sound relieved and glad to have the most difficult exams past me, unfortunately (yet again…) another issue has surfaced in my life, and definitely not one that I’m having the most comfortable of times dealing with. Except that it’s not about me, it’s about my friends. And honestly, it’s even harder than having to deal with issues of my own…
My close friend has been succumbing to his anxiety more often these days, and it’s really taken a toll on him. He’s constantly in bad spirits, overthinking, has a debilitating negative mindset and is always putting himself down. He’s suffering physical pain from having to suppress his frustration and has a habit of punching walls to vent. He becomes triggered so easily that it’s difficult to talk to him at times. That being said, we text every day and I’ve been becoming increasingly upset with each conversation we have– I’m constantly anxious that I’ll accidentally say something wrong and set him off, and it pains me to listen to some of the things he says about himself. He’s always apologising and expressing how he feels terrible that he “gives me so much crap to deal with,” and honestly, I don’t mind at all and am more than happy to listen. I myself don’t hurt, but I hurt because HE’S hurting, and I hurt because of the way he’s neglecting himself. Us two are extremely similar in terms of our emotions and way of thinking, and it hurts because while I’m having better days, he’s still down in the dumps, seeing himself as inferior. And I know EXACTLY how he’s feeling, yet I’m powerless to help him.
These past few days I’ve been leaving our conversations in tears, heartbroken at the things he’s been saying about himself. There are times when I become so anxious that I leave in the middle of our conversation, afraid that any word I say will cause him to feel frustrated again. I won’t do this ever again though because I did it yesterday and made him feel absolutely terrible (ughh…I’m so sorry…). I hate that he’s not honest with me about his state of mind at times, but I do understand that he hides it because he doesn’t want to exert negative energy on me; I’d do the same if I were in his shoes. But I just can’t…I CANNOT happily carry a conversation knowing that he’s trying to be happy for me. I appreciate it greatly and at the same time despise it with a passion.
It’s very much similar to my last update, where I expressed how I feel helpless that I can’t do anything for my other friend whose mum was diagnosed with cancer. But she was purely upset and distressed over the incident, whereas my friend now (and I hate to say it), has the most stubborn, ingrained mindset that he’s useless and inferior in comparison to others. I do understand how hard it is to change a mindset, especially if you’ve thought it to be true your whole life, and it’s proven to me that no matter what I say, none of it makes him feel any better. Don’t get me wrong– I don’t say things to force him out of his way of thinking, I provide words of encouragement, support and reassurance. Still…I know that it barely makes a difference. And if it does, only a temporary one.
One thing that’s been recurring for a while is his frustration at his lack of skills in piano. He won’t (and I understand how hard it is not to) stop comparing himself to other musicians in our school’s music program, which to say the least are people who have already done their diplomas or have been learning their instruments since they were young. He started learning when he was young, then stopped and recently has been trying to acquire his skills again. But he feels as though he’s getting nowhere and always makes a joke about how bad he is, as if it’s a laughing matter. It’s definitely not in my eyes, and I get very distressed whenever he does this. First reason being: everyone has their own gifts and talents, and maybe piano just isn’t meant for him. Second reason: if he’s constantly frustrated at his lack of skills, he’ll never be pleased with himself, and will miss the slightest hints of improvement while waiting to reach those huge milestones. The third reason is something much more closer to my heart, and it’s that it hurts me to see that he’s working so hard, yet feels as though he’s getting nowhere. Just yesterday, I asked him whether or not he only sees talents as physical, tangible things, such as being gifted in music, writing poetry or painting. He said no, but still feels that he lacks in non-physical talents too. I can tell you that that’s completely wrong. As expressed in a lot of my previous posts, I’ve always hated my sensitivity and feel as though no one can understand me. However, this friend of mine is the sweetest, most empathetic and down-to-earth person I’ve ever met. His ability to listen and relate to me on so many levels makes him an absolute gem, and it feels effortless to talk to him. But…of course, he undermined this compliment by saying it made him the “world’s biggest wallflower.” Which he is by all means NOT.
I’ve thought back on it, and realise that him joking about this whole situation is most likely his way of coping. I don’t blame him, and I’m thankful for the fact that he’s willing to talk about it rather than bottle up everything inside. But I just can’t keep listening to how he treats himself. I can’t sit still and do nothing…but really, I feel utterly powerless.
Best wishes to you all xxx