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I am told loneliness can eventually lead to depression, which is why I'm posting this here. Since there isn't a 'Loneliness' forum, I can only assume that the concept of such a forum, so that people in this situation have somewhere to post, before they suffer from Depression, hasn't occurred to the organisers of these forums?
For as far back as I can remember, I have always considered myself 'different' to other people, and with some justification as I was born with two disabilities, one I am pretty-well proud of, the other, I am ashamed of. Up until 15 years ago when my legs started giving me problems, with me eventually having to start using a wheelchair about 10 years ago. I was born in 1949, so I have seen how society and individuals perceive the disabled evolve over the decades, the first real changes occuring in 1981, as a result of the International Year of Disabled people.
Although I am visibly able-bodied, I attended schools for the disabled up until I was about 12, at which I pretty-well always felt the 'odd one out'; after that, up until I was 16, I went to a 'conventional' school, but there, I also felt the same, but with the added 'stress' of wondering if I should tell anyone I had a disability, mainly because at my other schools I had seen second-hand, how cruel some kids can be. Also once I started working, there was the issue of deciding which 'Label' I should apply to myself - However during all of this time, and even now, the disability I am ashamed of, I refuse to 'own up' to, unless I have to. You could say that this situation has really messed up my head and had a pretty big impact on any physical relationships I have had, or have. I have had a number of personally soul-destroying experiences due to people who either just walk away from me, without giving a reason or say it's 'ok' but then a few months down the line, abandon me. Sometimes the reason given was, "You decieved me".... Therefore pretty-well the the main thing I 'Learnt' from these events was that whichever way I tried using to resolve this issue, meant I was going to fail.
I've tried Counselling, but the kind of 'confidence building' that that delivers, only has a positive effect for about 3-6 months, and then you are back at square 1 again. Maybe that is partly because my socialising skills are rubbish, because for decades I have kept 'myself to myself'. I suppose I am pretty happy being on my own and fending for myself, but envy, from seeing how easily other people manage to socialise, or get friends who invite them along to things, (or come to that, accept invitations from me) just leaves me from time to time, wondering, "What am I going wrong?" or "Where's that rule-book on socialising, everyone else was obviously given a copy of, but I've never seen?" I've often had people say to me, "We really must meet up again, I'll get back to you ... here's my number etc" but they don't call, and if I do go to the trouble of taking the initative, they kind of brush me off one way or another.
I am beginning to wonder, if I'm just destined to be one of societies social outcasts?! I have joined a number of clubs, (on things I have an interest in) but once the initial 'welcome' has evaporated (3-4 weeks at best) I soon see everyone is talking amongst themselves, and if I attempt to join in, (and not bull in a china-shop style!) I just find the group will just talk around me, almost as if I'm not there! They talk about the meet-ups they've had with each other, obviously arranged outside the 'club' enviroment, so I end up yet again, feeling monumentally marginalised and an outcast. I once attended a course on being assertive and socialising, but within 2 weeks, everyone else on the course had split up into little cliques, with me on the outside of all of them, and largely ignored. I decided enough was enough, I'm not going to put myself through this kind of misery for the rest of the course, so left. I didn't even get a follow-up call from the course organiser, to enquire why I wasn't still attending!
I'm just wondering if anyone has any constructive advice on how, or what I need to do, to move on from this situation.
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