An Open Letter

A digital journal

Today was the tennis club's first practice, and I’m an officer (practice coordinator) this year. I was looking forward to it a lot since I made many friends through it last year, and I was hoping to make more to replace friends who’ve moved away. The first few practices have an ungodly amount of people (~150), and after about a week, it softens to around 40; the club becomes much more social and more like a family at this point.

I thought I was doing okay today, but at the practice, I realized I felt horribly angry at the end. I think I had a good time, it was a bit weird and performative to be a super social person and try to make the club look like a very fun, inclusive place (which it is to be fair). As the first day ended, I realized how alone I felt.

I saw several friends I am supposed to be relatively close with, but I felt alone. I had to reach out in our group chat to ask if they were going to hit earlier, and they told me last second that they were. Once I got there, they were all there together along with another friend who isn’t even part of that group chat. I’m going to CBT this in a second, but that just ran its sharp fingernails through the scars of childhood exclusion. On top of it, near the end of practice, I heard that same person telling another friend how they were going to get breakfast on Wednesday. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that – but I’ve been doing my best to reach out and be proactive with this friend to make plans and stuff, and I just constantly get the feeling they aren’t putting in any effort to be friends. Honestly at what point do I give up?

I’m pretty sick of this stupid fucking scar, where I always have to fight to convince myself that people are my friends. I feel like I’m losing today, as I want to just stop interacting with all of these people. It’s an incredibly addicting feeling, telling myself that these friends are toxic or it’s a bad relationship and that I will find new friends to replace them. I think this is a wrong thought, but fuck is it an enticing one. Because then I have the hope that the problem is with these people, and not some big issue I face overall.

Honestly, at this point, I might as well just start the CBT.

Situation: Friends said we were hitting before practice after I asked. There was another friend not in the group chat there. Additionally, that same friend who I’ve tried hanging out with who has been busy is hanging out with another person on Wed.

Thoughts: If I didn’t ask them, they wouldn’t have told me. They told her, however. I am just chasing after them, but they don’t actually give a shit about me. We are not fucking friends. Also, with the other person I’ve tried making plans with them and they’ve just taken several days to respond to my messages, and haven’t made any effort to make time or do anything. I’m done trying to put in all this effort. Rot.

Feelings: I feel angry, and I feel good writing this. I feel good the same way self-immolation on a cold day feels at the start. This will set off a downward spiral that will destroy me, but fuck FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK it feels good in the sickest way. I want this drastic change. I want it all to burn down. I want it done over gone done over gone.

Behavior: I cut them off. who knows maybe I fuck around and eventually cut myself (:

Thoughts: Cringe L9 behavior aside, all of this can be logically deconstructed.

  • They mentioned beforehand without making any concrete plans how they were going to hit beforehand, they could have assumed I knew
  • They also could have not planned anything out until I sent the text
  • One friend in the group is close with the non-group chat person, and they could have just texted her

All of this revolves around the information that they knew I was coming and didn’t feel a need to explicitly invite me.

About the other friend

  • She could have been less busy now
  • Maybe the other friend reached out to her and went through all that hassle of planning something with her

Honestly, as fucked as it is I think I’m realizing that this person is just not someone who wants to be more of friends. Unless they show me something otherwise, I’m going to stop trying and just match their current energy.

Feelings: I honestly feel pretty bad in this case. I find it funny the healthy thought makes me feel way worse but in a way not doing heroin would be both good and miserable. Not indulging in the idea of them being bad friends keeps my relationships afloat, but also makes me face reality without having a facade of an ideal friendship to disillusion myself with. I feel like I’m doing the right thing, however.

Behavior: I don’t burn down these bridges, and I face reality. I try out some new things and potentially figure out I’ve been navigating this wrong this whole time, all without causing a horrible downward spiral.

This does feel incredibly hard, so I’m going to write this down for therapy. I also lost, and texted the closest friend there “Hey, can I ask if you guys had plans to hit before practice before I asked?”. I can’t shake this thought. This is going to be rough to get through, guess I got what I wanted, huh? I remember thinking about how upset I was that I didn’t feel like I had any concrete problems I was facing mentally so I had nothing to change or work on. Oopsie, my bad god. Stay strong, love you Rengar <3

Hey me, it’s been a bit. Classes start tomorrow so I should try to keep this relatively short – but I wanted to journal a bit to keep up with this routine. Recently on advice from, I started doing RAIN for mindfulness, and to stop ruminating on issues.

RAIN is the following:

  1. Recognize the negative feeling

  2. Accept the feeling

  3. Investigate the feeling

  4. Nurture as you would a friend

It seems pointless, but the effects are incredible for how it lets me stop ruminating and overthinking things. My problem however is now I’ve realized with this I can drop thoughts and let go of them without beating them into the ground, which is a good thing for my mood and mental health, but also prohibits me from learning or analyzing them.

I attribute a good amount of my emotional intelligence to the amount of overthinking I’ve done, along with the many hours upon hours of processing said thoughts. I think this has its benefits, but it also has been incredibly detrimental to my life. I personally see this problem as an explore vs. exploit – as there is probably some point where it no longer becomes worth it and is better to just enjoy life as is with the knowledge you’ve struggled for so far. I wonder if this is the case for me and if I should start just being in the moment and not overthinking everything to the point of incapacitating myself.

There has to be some balance, but god knows I’m too naive to figure out even a guess.

Situation: My friend’s mom who was willing to mentor me said after talking to their therapist that they cannot be a surrogate mother for me.

Thoughts: I have overstepped my boundaries, and given them the impression and burden that they need to do that for me. I’ve messed up horribly badly because they’ve set a boundary.

Feelings: I feel nauseous, and I feel like I’ve ruined this relationship. I feel like I am a horrible person.

Behavior: I avoid this relationship, along with potentially future ones along the sort. I also damage the friendship I have with my friend.

Now a bit less doomer

Thoughts: Her setting and clarifying a boundary is a healthy thing. On top of this, I realized I don’t exactly see this person as someone who has things figured out or is in a good place to give advice I would need. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, but this means I don’t necessarily have much I want to ask them that would be directly important to me. I wasn’t really planning on this relationship going any further, and so with her giving this feedback this is fine for me.

Feelings: Feels a bit awkward since this is new territory for me, but I ultimately feel ok since nothing is wrong.

Behavior: I feel fine, and I adapt my relationship with this person accordingly. I also don’t feel an immense sense of guilt, and don’t sabotage my relationships with anyone as a result.

Life is hard, but it’s also the sweetest fruit. I guess it’s the only fruit if you try to compare it. Enjoy it langwaldeakx4 ♥

I couldn't have stopped it

drinking a beer in a hammock in the sun realizing maybe i don't have to hit myself with hammers every day forever just some or most days

- lakevida on Tumblr

A good friend has this post pinned on his Tumblr, and I’ve always read the post but never really felt that it resonated in the way it does now. I was driving back from getting food after the gym today and felt sad for no reason. Sometimes this happens, for fully normal chemical reasons.

In my freshman year, I watched a video explaining the smoke detector theory of depression, where essentially the brain doesn’t think you’re able to handle some issue, so it hides it from you. Because of this, I’ve always been incredibly self-critical in trying to find out the possible things my mind is hiding from me. This has led to a lot of things I’ve learned through life, and a lot of self-awareness; but this has also led to me essentially hitting myself with a hammer every single day I don’t feel happy 24/7. Honestly, I don’t think this is a good way to live.

Maybe I don’t have to hit myself with the hammer every day?

A friend told me “I keep forgetting that you’re literally the most emotionally intelligent person I’ve ever met”, and as I sit here reflecting about the day and life, it stuck out to me. To me, this was an incredibly kind thing to say; but I also don’t exactly know why I feel happy about it. I sat down to journal tonight about why I am the way I am, and more or less just ramble about it, but I somewhat am now curious about why I felt good hearing that.

I guess it may just feel good the way any compliment feels nice, but I guess for me this is a value I pride myself on, but I also don’t necessarily hear this from other people often. Even typing that out, I immediately contradicted myself mentally, as my therapist, people I talk to, parents, and friends always mention to me how mature and emotionally healthy I am. Those to me don’t ever sit right however in a weird way – I can never let that compliment sink in. At least not in the way this one did.

When I was going to grab the exact message to paste here, I was thinking “I wish they said emotionally intelligent rather than emotionally mature”, even though those two feel synonymous. It then turned out she did say intelligent, and maybe that’s why this feels different to me. This may be grasping at straws, but I was thinking about how “emotionally mature” to me feels like they are saying I am mentally healthy. In some ways I definitely am, but also I struggle so often with things I consider myself very mentally unwell; if you want proof just look at this blog, (I don’t think mentally well people write every single day about something or other they are struggling with).

But that being said, I am pretty confident I have a very good sense of awareness, and I am pretty well-read on a lot of common struggles and mental problems. I would watch videos on psychology a lot as a coping mechanism growing up, and I also was incredibly proactive in therapy, which contributed to the stuff I feel I understand fairly well.

So to me, when he said “emotional intelligence”, it felt as if it was acknowledging the stuff I know, and the things I work towards – but also didn’t come with the assumption that I was mentally well or healthy. I felt very seen by him, as he recognized the work I had done, all without undermining how much I was struggling. I can’t thank him enough, not just for this.

Situation: I started to feel anhedonia again, and felt no joy.

Thoughts: Something has to be wrong, I need to figure it out before I get depressed.

Feelings: I feel panicked, afraid, and terrified of depression. I feel frantic to try to find something to fix or to point blame towards.

Behavior: I overanalyze innocent interactions and overthink them to try to frame them in a negative way, all so I could potentially fix them. I live under high stress and become depressed.

Now thanks to AI,

Thoughts: This is a feeling. It will pass. Nothing has to be wrong, there are plenty of innocent explanations ranging from time of day, brain chemistry, or just being bored. Ultimately though, it will pass.

Feelings: I feel calmer, and I feel like it is going to be ok. I think everything will be okay in the end, and I will not spiral.

Behavior: I don’t ruminate or overthink things, and I just settle down and have a calm night. I do some self-care, journal, do my affirmations, make some tea, and watch youtube with my dog. I will be ok.

I love you anhedonic. ♥

I killed a plant once because I gave

it too much water. Lord, I worry

that love is violence.

-José Olivarez

I'm writing this with the intention of not sending this to you, so I can be honest.

It makes me sad to see you hurt and suffer alone. I want to be here for you, but you don't want that and I have no choice but to respect that.

I noticed in a private place you put your pronouns as she/him, and I thought I could indulge that part of you – but I feel like you would feel uncomfortable; I don't understand it as I wish there was some way for me to show you my perspective on it, but ultimately it's your wishes I want to respect.

I wish you'd come to me when you're struggling, so I could be there for you the way you've been for me. I'm at a crossroads because I can't try to force you to open up obviously, but I wish I could repay the kindness you've given to me time after time.

I thought of the poem, because I feel like any way I try to help you would just hurt you. I know it's not my battle to fight, but I wish I could somehow help. It feels unfair for you to help me so much and for me to just watch you struggle.

I guess the most I can do is tell you I'll be here for you in any way I can. I care about you big dog, I want the best for you.

I was talking with a close friend and I mentioned how I had a couple of ideas I wanted to do when they got back in person. She asked me if I had made a list of them, and I said I didn’t because I thought it might be overbearing. She didn’t acknowledge that and said she was going to start a list also, and I should.

For me, I have been insecure and trying to convince myself that she considers me a close friend for a while, and I have plenty of evidence to back that up. It’s still hard, because of childhood issues and a lack of constant explicit confirmation. For fucks sake, even her MOTHER told me I was a close friend of hers. But the thing I found weirdly nice was how she didn’t even consider that we weren’t close friends – at least in the sense of me being overbearing on planning hanging out when she comes back. This is something I don’t take for granted or assume, I don’t internally believe that we are guaranteed to hang out when she gets back, but I guess in her eyes she definitely wants to.

I think this difference in perceptions of the same thing is so funny. The same relationship is perceived so drastically differently, and it shows me how it’s not the relationship itself, but the baggage I’ve carried with me that skews it in this way. Maybe my friends do like me. Huh.

Situation: A close friend talked about making a list of things we want to do when she is back in person.

Thoughts: She values me as a friend. She wants to spend time with me when we get back in person, and she enjoys my company. She wants to be friends with me, and we are close friends.

Feelings: I feel like things are okay. Not in the immediate sense, I’ve been actually doing very well, but more for my inner child. Maybe friends aren’t doomed to eventually hurt you and betray you, and maybe they can just love you. There is enough love in this world for me too.

Behavior: I live happy and free from the bad experiences as a child. I look forward to future moments with her and also enjoy my present without the extra baggage from childhood reminding me all the time.

There’s no other way I’d like to see this. I’m happy. I love you drop master 💝

Hi me, it’s been a bit since I’ve journaled – and that’s mostly due to life going much better. I’ve been spending a lot of time with friends, and I’ve been doing very well mentally. When I start to do better, I tend to neglect the things that I think helped me do better – such as the routine I have set out for myself daily. I wanted to stay consistent with this so here I am.

Today at the gym I was wrapping up my workout when I saw a girl who didn’t exactly seem to know what she was doing. She pulled over a crate and tried to do a pullup, but was struggling to do it and was on a weird bar where even if she did her head would hit the top. I had been in similar situations before, so I wanted to go over and offer some help but I didn’t want to come off as patronizing so I initially avoided it as I normally do. I then worked up the courage to just try anyway, and so when we were both in between sets I went over and mentioned I saw her, and if she knew about the assisted pull-up machine – as I also struggle with pull-ups and that’s what I do instead. She didn't, but seemed eager so I offered to show her the machine which was near us, which she gladly accepted.

We struggled with the machine a bit and talked about the workout, and then I went back to finish my workout. I realized I was being a coward and was staying in my comfort zone, so after I had finished that exercise I went back over and told her my friends don’t work out and if she wanted a workout buddy, and she enthusiastically said she was thinking the same thing and was regretting not asking me earlier. We exchanged numbers and IGs, and are planning to go workout tomorrow.

Immediately after this, I maxed out the calf raise machine – my first time maxing out a machine! I then went and maxed out the hip abductor machine, which I had never done before either. In a weirdly poetic way, this kinda felt like a divine intervention – explicitly showing me how much I am actually capable of. I’ve spent the last few weeks doing 310 on the calf raise machine, when I was able to do 400 lbs 10 times in a row without much struggle. To me, this shows how I am incredibly more capable than I think I am. In the exact same vein, my comfort zone would have been to stay to myself and my music, and not go out of my way to talk to that girl. And then again, it would have been comfortable for me to not go back and ask for her contact information. And look what happened because of that!

Life may not be as hard as I make myself believe. Maybe it is that easy? Just roll the boulder up, everything doesn’t have to be Sisyphean. I originally planned on doing CBT, but I sat here for a bit and couldn’t think of any negative thought patterns I wanted to change. Life is good. Love you big doug <3

So turns out she (obviously) doesn’t hate me and does value me as a friend. I’m glad I did CBT, but I also did talk to her about my concerns and I hope she understood and internalized it. She proactively reached out to me to call, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. Weirdly enough, I also had a Zoom call with her mother after that. That happened through pure coincidence, but I talked about a lot of things with her mom. One notable thing I was proud of was her mother wanted to tell me something about my friend that I thought may have been personal, so I interrupted her and expressed my discomfort with that. That aside, her mother reinforced the evidence that we are friends – and was very understanding because we had fairly similar childhoods and struggles.

It was very nice to be able to talk to a mother figure, and have that assurance and advice I was envious of other people for having. It also was very interesting to see how inherently flawed and how many of the same struggles I deal with now are things her mom is still dealing with. We talked a lot about different issues we were able to relate to, and it was overall an incredibly healing process. Before this, I had gone over to their house to join them for dinner once, and that was the first time I had done that before. Turns out both she and her husband liked me a lot which was a very nice thing to hear. Her mom was also incredibly surprised with my awareness and emotional maturity which was a nice bit of evidence for myself. I would surprise her with the stuff I had to figure out going through life, and with my awareness of different things. She even really liked the technique I’ve come up with of having a dialogue with yourself out loud, to self-support in a weird way.

We said we would talk again sometime in the future, and she said “And I am quite fond of you in specific : )”, which made me somewhat feel like tearing up in a nice way.

It’s nice to know life isn’t the view of it I have scarred in me from my childhood. I guess time for a bit more CBT to really run this idea home.

Situation: A friend’s mother said that said friend values me a lot as a close friend, and I am insecure about the level of this friendship.

Thoughts: There is no way for her to know, this is just her saying random stuff or trying to be nice. Even if this was the case, we may have drifted apart, she could have replaced me, or I could have ruined the friendship and she finally got rid of me.

Feelings: I feel horribly alone. I feel incredibly insecure about the relationship, and I feel ultimately unloveable and unfit for friendship.

Behavior: When I have a bit of lucidity, I will overexert or put too much strain on the relationship to test if it is still there. This will inevitably destroy the friendship as I will continue to strain it to test until it snaps. I will destroy this friendship to stay consistent with my childhood worldview instilled in me. I will be alone.

If I give myself a bit of compassion and step away from that worldview, however:

Thoughts: She means it. Her justification makes sense and aligns with the fact that this friend does care for me and values me as a friend. I am not being replaced, and even if she does make new friends, that will not affect our relationship drastically. We are close friends!

Feelings: I desperately want to truly believe this. I feel like I have more than enough evidence for this, and all the evidence against it has felt shaky and ill-founded. I feel okay, and I feel loved. I feel like everything is fine in life, and that it is no longer like childhood where I was unloved and neglected. Things will be OK.

Behavior: I won’t self-sabotage this relationship, and I will also allow myself to show the best parts of myself instead of the ugly insecurities to this friend and others. I will also be overall less stressed and will have a great experience in order to undo some of the neural patterns that have been reinforced so hard in me. I will be ok.

I stopped and started to write this down halfway through the unhealthy thoughts section; one indicator of an unhealthy thought would probably be when to try to justify it, I have several different reasonings that could be true – yet they do not coincide with each other. For example: her not knowing if it is true but meaning it, or her not meaning it and saying it to be nice are both POSSIBLE, yet one conflicts with the other. To me, this feels like me trying to justify whatever will keep my worldview consistent. This is a nice little tell I want to be more mindful of to try to avoid this stuff in the future.

The effort you’ve put in is seen, and it is incredibly valuable. I love you blight <3

Right now I’m feeling very upset at a close friendship, but my issue is I don’t know if I am reasonable here with my problems or if I am just being unreasonable and unhealthy about the way I view it. I decided to vent/CBT here to try to leave this feeling behind so I can move on with my day.

I’ve felt somewhat angry because I’ve been the one who has been reaching out and initiating about 80% of the time, and a lot of the time it’s ignored. I also want to preface that there is context and I am only telling the parts that line up with this toxic narrative so take it all with a grain of salt. But I realized I felt very shitty because the person had not responded to my messages, but was posting things on their story throughout the day. I realized whenever I see something pretty in nature or cool things I try to send them it as a way of putting effort into maintaining the relationship, but they don’t do the same. They don’t send me pictures of random things they find interesting, I have to find out by looking through their story and swiping up. Also, they’ve made plenty of promises they haven’t followed through on to the point where if they say they will do something I don’t believe them anymore. I know that this isn’t done with malice, as even when we are in person it’s the same with stuff like paying me back – but I still find it a pretty unfavorable trait. I hate playing games like this, but I’ve tried explicitly mentioning to them several times which is incredibly uncomfortable for me to do – and each time they’ve made promising remarks and acknowledgments, but haven’t done anything else, and nothing changes. I know that typically friendships can get used to the mode of initiator and recipient, but I think this situation is different due to big timezone delays. I’m kinda sick of the feeling of them messaging me as a chore, and so I think at least for the next 24 hours I’m not going to initiate. I think overall I’m going to avoid initiating for a bit to experiment and see how it feels, as currently, I don’t think I can sustain this emotionally.

They mentioned in the past while talking about something different that if I stopped initiating with them, they would think something was wrong and would go out of their way to reach out and initiate. I’d like to hope that’s true, but realistically I think they’ll just continue as normal without noticing. Maybe I stop putting this much effort into the friendship if it’s not being reciprocated in my eyes.

Venting over – now CBT:

Situation: A close friend is not reciprocating communication, and they aren’t initiating with me.

Thoughts: They don’t value me as a friend, and are enjoying the friendship as long as they don’t have to put in effort to maintain it. I feel upset because I am putting in a lot of effort to try to maintain it, and it just seems like it’s not reciprocated at all.

Feelings: I feel like shit, and I feel like this friendship is on its way out. I feel like she doesn’t care about me as a friend, and that she doesn’t actually want to maintain the friendship. I feel somewhat taken advantage of, but that it’s my fault for that.

Behavior: I pull away from her as a friend, and I reinforce the feeling that people wouldn’t want to be close friends with me. I put less effort into the relationship drastically, and she sees that as a sign that I don’t want to be friends and also stops – friendship over.

Now in a better world:

Thoughts: She just sucks at texting, and doesn’t understand how I feel about it. For example with other friends of mine that I value a lot, they text me out of the blue 90% of the time, and I’ve always just assumed that’s how they are as a person, and I have no problems with it – I actively enjoy it. She probably doesn’t have the awareness to understand how she would feel in this situation, and so there’s no malice behind it.

Feelings: I do feel upset in a way because I’ve tried to explicitly communicate and stop the miscommunication, and it doesn’t seem like she’s paid attention to it, but she may not be a bad friend or ignoring it, she might just not be emotionally mature enough to recognize and be able to empathize with those feelings. I feel like it’s a bit more understandable, and when I frame it as a personality flaw instead of an indication of the friendship I no longer feel like the friendship is deteriorating. I can also corroborate this with evidence, as she’s mentioned in the past how she’s a bad texter and she wants to improve on that. I feel more secure in the friendship.

Behavior: I may have to stop communicating about harder things for her to change, and rather look to coerce or manipulate the behavior out of her through natural means instead of expecting her to consciously change her behavior. I can do things like text her less frequently, so she doesn’t feel like there’s no reason for her to initiate if I am always willing to initiate. But in doing this I can instead be more reasonable with the effort I am putting in and have her help maintain the friendship instead of it feeling so one-sided.

Every time I do CBT I am surprised with how well it works, which makes me glad I force myself to do it out of habit now. I think the key statement to take away is that things can be personal flaws instead of indications of the relationship. I think that’s something incredibly important I need to carry with me more often. Proud of you man, keep fighting for the life you want to live. Love you Feet Pics 💌

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