Here we are at World Mental Health Day again, and my life has retreated to the point it was when I wrote about my struggles with avoidant personality disorder 3 years ago. There is no doubt that the issues I am facing in my workplace have a lot to do with this.
And the loss of the only supportive relationships in my life has been the most detrimental of all.
There are many people in this city who are smarter and more qualified than I am who cannot find work representative of their talents, so 5 interviews in 3 years shouldn't be regarded as a bad thing, but that's not the way my mind perceives it. That my two most recent directors dismiss my abilities, experience and education is even more debilitating.
Two days from now, Pints & Politics through the Urban League is hosting an event about loneliness. I signed up and I've been reading the links they've posted about loneliness in the context of living in a city. It's been difficult reading those articles.
This letter from The Guardian (UK) stood out:
When you’re approaching 50 and trying to ‘start again’ in a new place, it can be really hard. In a city it can feel like the whole world is out having fun, which makes you feel like a bit of loser.
I was 45 when I moved to London and I am approaching 60 now. It is difficult to meet people for friendship when you are a middle-aged single woman. Most other single women in your age group are juggling children from their now-ended marriage, their jobs, and, usually, a new relationship. The female half of couples in your age range regard you as a threat to their relationship, and other single women in the same position as you look at you as competition. My experience of this city until 4 years ago is that it is cold and insular.
I have managed in that time to meet people who share my interests - mainly politics - but the biggest issue I've faced is that they are 10, 20, 30 and - in a few cases, more - years younger than I am. And other than a couple of interests, I have nothing in common with them. So I find myself on the outside, with my nose pressed up the glass of social media feeds that make me feel even more alone.
Tonight I returned from a weekend where I spent days tending to my aging mother. It's emotionally draining for a reason other than the obvious one.... in 20 years, there will be no one to look after me.
In the 2 years since I developed chronic ideopathic angioedema, my panic attacks have returned; I'm afraid to sleep, afraid to be alone.... afraid that one day it will be the type of swelling that affects my tongue and and throat instead of just my lips and I'll die alone here and no one will know.
I was betrayed this summer by someone I cared for, my personal safety and security compromised. And there's a voice in my head that tells me that I should never expect more, that this is what I deserve.
I have no one to talk to about this, no support system.
More than anything, I hope other people don't have these feelings too, and that they are able to reach out and find what they need. As the song says: there must be something better than this.