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Telling friends about my life is not so easy

I remember when i was a kid, i would tell my family and friends everything. One day when my friend asked me to tell her a secret i had, I told her i had none. It was true. She knew everything.

So much has changed since then.

I feel like my friends dont know half of me anymore. I think they see that i struggle sometimes. I think.

They know my life is a mess right now. Probably because ive told them i changed from studying architechture to taking a bunch of random subjects only because i think i could pass with minimal effort. They see my hair unwashed for a bit too many days. I stay in my room for long periods.
Ive never had so little energy for school. I got easy As and Bs just last year in difficult subjects. Now ive managed to fail one of the easiest subjects. I dont know what changed. Maybe Uni is harder? Maybe everything that has happened lately finally sank in?

I started making video vlogs to myself, to remind me everytime i was happy, and everytime i was sad. My brain tends to just forget, or belittle the reasons i was sad. But now my past self is describing why i was crying, and that its valid and ok.

If i hadnt made those, i dont think i wouldve understood why i dropped achitechture after the first semester. And acrch. Was chill right? Just draw and listen to music, right?

I felt so much pressure being there, every day in the same classroom. Everyone so talented and creative. And then there was burned out, introvert little me. I was so stressed out and scared. It might be the reason i got sick at least a week once a month.

I failed my arch exam because i got sick at the start of the assignment we had. At least thats what i tell everyone, and myself. Im sure i couldve passed if i has tried a little harder. But i didnt. I wanted to. But i didnt? Its all so new to me.

An old friend of mine passed away a month into starting uni. He was my age. We knew eachother since kindergarden, maybe before then too. We had a bit of contact after i moved because of his neighbour. She was both mine and his best friend at the time, C. From what i remember, they lived next to eachother for at least 16-17 years, he passed at 19.

C and I still have contact to this day, its minimal, but its there. We talked a bit after he passed. We try to meet every year, but its been a while because of the pandemic. I love to go there, even though i was only 5 years when we moved. We have visited there so often it feels like ive lived there for way longer.

When i saw the message that he had passed away, it felt like a part of my childhood home had passed away.

I never told anyone except my roomies who saw me crying when i came home early from school.

I am constantly reminded that i dont have forever with my grandparents. Scary abrupt hospital visits, looks like a stroke, but its not(?). All three of them, in 4 months. My dads dad has started to forget, we are pretty sure its dementia, but nothing diagnosed. He often forgets he has talked to someone, just minutes after they left. My moms dad got a diagnosis recently, dementia. They saw it on the scans after what we thought was a stroke. It might have been an episode or a consequence of not taking his blood pressure medicine for two years. He was devastated when he got the news. So was i. I will cherish every single day they remember my name, until they dont. I love them all so much.

Not told one single friend.

this part is a bit long, a lot if its just a discussion with myself, sorry

I have two brothers, both older than me. I dont talk a lot about my oldest brother, A, to my friends. It might sound strange, but it was so important to one of my friends, X, that he had to point out that i never talk about him and that i always talk about my brother, B. Never A. His words. This was right after i had talked about A. I opened up a bit and told them he had ME/CFS so he doesnt do as much that comes up in normal convos, and thought he might understand. He then said «Its like his only personality trait is having ME». I know we’ve talked about it a bit before, but hes neven been this hars(?) about it.

We were in a discord call, so just muted myself and cried. (I played the muting off as me just eating chips when they noticed). I dont know if i was disappointed in my friend or sad that i didn’t explain better. But its always been a difficult subject for me. Ive had to see him go through depression and everything else that comes with ME. My family has tried EVERYTHING to get him better. He has had it for as long as i can remember. 15 years maybe.

To define my BROTHERS personality as just someone with ME is just… Its so hard do explain but it also feels so obvious, and thats why i found it so hard to confront him about it. I felt like i had to confront me about it somehow.

I cried so many nights in bed just agonising over why A doesnt get to live a “normal” life. Why every task has to be so energy draining for him.

Before i came home for easter, i wrote A a message. He never opened it. Never answered. It hurt me a bit, but i know just the thought of answering a message can be draining, even for me. So i let it go. I came home. Never mentioned the message. Dont know if i shouldve. He was home sometimes(he lives a 10 min drive from my parents), seemed well most the time. I realised that i dont know him that well anymore, so most of our convos were about our dog Lilo or sometimes games. I want to talk to him about so much more, but i struggle to know what mood hes in. And my mom has told me to not talk about our childhood a lot because that was when he first got sick. Like, i wanna share those good moments, but they’re not good moments for him. One day i asked if he wanted to see a pic of Lilo after her bath and he said no. I just said ok and held in tears till i was done making food and went outside to eat and cry a bit. Idk why i even cried. Its all so confusing.

I sometimes wish i knew more about his life, and could talk more to him, but i dont know how to get there. Hes so much more than him having ME. For example, hes the smartest linguistic person i know, i wish he could get a degree cuz i know he could if the edu. system was different. Maybe he still can, just that the thought of starting is exhausting. He knows so much history, about old languages and how they evolved to how we speak today. Hes very aware of politics and global warming and trash, stuff like that. Sometimes becomes the dinner talk and its really interesting.

I sometimes wonder if i look at him the wrong way somehow, and thats what friend X is calling me out for?

After the discord call i thought X wouldnt bring it up again. But a few days later we were playing games on my switch with some other friends. I have A as a user there so he can play when we’re both home. “Oh look, theres the brother you never talk about!” he says in a jokingly(?) way. No one laughed cuz it wasnt funny. The other people there hadnt even been in the discord call. I felt i couldnt say anything because we were with lots of other people. So i just cried at night instead. I then felt like i had to message him or something, so i wrote a long message. I never sent it. Time went by.

Then me and my X took the train together after easter back to study. I had found an article my aunt had shared about someone with ME. The girl with ME had written it herself with help from her mom. It felt like the perfect thing to share with x, for him to get some understanding of how it is. Especially with the context of A having had it for 15ish years. So i told him, im gonna send you an article about someone with ME and maybe youll understand a bit why its not logical for me talking about A as much as B. First thing he says. “Im a hypochondriac, when i read it im gonna be more scared to get it”. Sure, not the completely right thing to say i feel, but fine(?). He reads it and we talk for a bit. I think he gets it a bit more now. So we’ll just have to see. I still dont feel at peace with it though.

Like i said earlier, A got sick so early in my life, i cent even remember it. Its been like this for as long as i can remember, so i dont know why its bothering me so much now. My parents offered me to go to a therapist when i was younger, as a family thing, but it didnt bother me then so i just said no to join. I was like 11. I wish they tried harder to get me to do it, but i also get that they didnt. Im gonna talk to my GP when i move home after my exams to get a therapist and figure shit out because its been such a bad year and a half. I shoulve gotten it earlier but i always felt like i couldnt for many reasons.

Im sorry if this is written weird and if it doesnt seem to have a point, because it probably doesnt. I wrote most of this at 3 am because i couldnt sleep.

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From: ᏒᎧᏕᎥᏋ

Hi Friend, I hope that writing this post helped you to cope a little bit. I think your idea of seeking therapy is a wonderful idea. You can work a lot of things out in therapy. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you find peace. ~Mystrose

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From: lovecraft-pilled

I hope that you can return to doing the things that make you happy and that you like doing. Being creative and introverted in school can be a challenge, especially when you feel that everyone around you is more talented. I’ve been there. But I would suggest continuing on your creative path. Don’t let anything discourage you from doing what makes you happy. Being introverted, it may be easier to express how you feel creatively. It sounds like it would be a positive outlet for you. Don’t let anything stop you from pursuing your passion.

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From: Dr Hogarth

Hi butterfly,

Your brain does what my brain does at 3 a.m.! There is so much here to keep you awake at night my friend and I’m sorry for that. The part that resonated with me the most was your experience of university; feeling like everyone else was so much more able and creative. I remember feeling the exact same way; your brain just exhausts itself going over and over, comparing youself, beating yourself up. It’s horrible. You sound completely overwhelmed and I think that’s why you dropped out of architecture. Your friend passing away and everything else, you reached your limit. That doesn’t make you less creative or less able then anyone else, you just need a break!

Have you spoken to your tutors about your course choices? They may be able to guide you with your degree going forward. The university should be there to support you. They also may have some talking therapy available on-campus. I can assure you that you are not the only one to experience burn-out at university, and it says nothing about your ability.

It sounds like everything is just too much right now, so you need help to find a way to bring down your overload levels. Your health is the most important thing here.

I am so sorry about your friend belittling your brother’s ME. It is debilitating, but in no way defines him. In fact, I think facing adversity makes us so much more, and that goes for you as well as your brother. You both sound like very strong individuals.

Keep us updated my friend. You’re loved. x

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, Thank you for your post and your thoughts, I love the fact that you got to write all that has been playing on your mind and I hope in some way that writing it all down has helped in some way to clarify a few things and also enabled you got get some sleep afterwards. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, that is so sad. It is also very hard living with a sibling with an illness, knowing how to help or what to say to make a difference when really you know there is nothing you can do is tough and I think sometimes that gets forgotten. That doesnt take anything away from what your brother goes through, I am sure it must be hard to live with ME, I cant imagine just how tough that is. It seems like you are all trying to manage the best you can under difficult circumstances and I think you are doing well, I am sorry Uni didnt work out but you have a long life ahead of you to decide what you do want to do and maybe you can find something that doesnt involve so much pressure on you? I want you to know that we at heartsupport are always here for you to listen and support you as best we can. I wish you lots of luck in the future. Much Love Lisa x

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I did before christmas. I got a bit of help and i figured out i could take courses in computer science because thats what i wanted to study originally. They werent really helpful after that though, never answered my emails:/
Im taking a year off to go to a school with no grades and just pure activity and creativity, then im gonna try getting in to computer science again.

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Hi butterfly,

I can relate to friends (and even family) not knowing as much about me anymore. Maybe it’s due to how we relate to other people being more focused in our society (at uni, work, etc.)? Regardless, it can totally feel isolating at times.

I think it’s great that you’ve taken sometime to vlog and take note on how you feel/audit your self talk. Life can be so fast paced and it’s easy to skip out on “checking in” with yourself.

Being a fellow introvert, the pressure that is felt in a room of extroverted people can be overwhelming (and draining). Just remember that you have something special to bring to the table/conversation just by being you (even if it’s something quick/small).

I hope you can take some time to detach from uni and process/restore. Please do keep us updated and know we are here to support you :slight_smile:.

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