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My friend says I have changed since A Levels…don't think he means for the better. watch

    • Thread Starter

    Specifically he says that

    a) I was better 'socially adjusted' then (for AS yes, A2 absolutely not, that was the onset of my illness)

    b) I seemed more secure (I had lifelong social anxiety and low-ish self-esteem/need to 'beat' my siblings and defy the girl in year 6 who rejected me for being fat, compounded in A2s by the below problems)

    c) I had 'less obvious problems' (I spent A2s with hypochondria, health anxiety-induced restricted eating, panic attacks and insomnia which reduced me to a cripple. In short I believed I was dying. I joined this site at that time, mostly hanging out on the ED Recovery Support thread. Most of my friends would hang out with the girls outside and I would sit in the cantine with this friend and the year 7-11s)

    d) I was 'less open' (mental health stigma and not being able to objectively assess my actual problems, although I talk about it a lot-maybe too much-now)

    e) I was also less open about my Dyspraxia, whereas now I refer to it/use it as an excuse 'ad nauseum' such as if I lose my house keys

    f) I 'didn't interrupt' when he was talking (he has ADHD and I put up with just listening for a long time, which prevented me working on my social skills) nor did I say 'stupid things' (I make bad hyperbolic immature jokes about geeky things, the kind of thing he used to say to me

    It's ironic because when we were 16 I was the secure one he was really insecure. Now I get called insecure by him even when I do nothing

    He is not the first person to say something though.

    -My dad also said 'something changed' during A2s a few weeks ago when I went to see PCAL, the Primary Care Liaison Service. Here he specifically referred to a new apparent obsessive streak, intense/anxious, possibly more depressive nature, and unusual amounts of rumination.

    -My mum spent a long time talking about how my appetite had changed, in a bad way, as if I were anorexic (which I was not, but I was on my way to if CAMHS hadn't picked me up)

    -My brother, although he now lives with his Uni friends and rarely comes home, either refuses to associate with me or finds it difficult

    -And she never said it to me, but I am pretty sure that my ex spent the majority of my relationship waiting for me to return to the 'old me', the person she crushed on in Years 7-11. I never did, and I bet she also thinks "He's changed, and not in a good way." The last couple of months we were in contact I had, somehow, deeply wounded and offended her to the point it was painful for her to talk to me.

    This makes me feel really sad, like I've become somebody awful, someone letting others down and people no longer want to associate with. I'm finding it hard to brush it off, although he tried to be kind about it.

    I'm surprised he brought this up, since we've been hanging out alone and with other friends at socials, having a laugh, sharing stupid stories etc. as well.

    I will admit he has endured some of my worst moments, such as a big panic attack/anger episode on the Tube during our visit to London, and a talk along the lines of "everybody cheats" over summer. We have both also become more open about our problems. I thought I had told him abut my mental health issues, many times, he seems to have forgotten or walk around the subject, although he asks me frequently if everything's OK.

    I don't know what to do about this. I basically feel **** about my illness letting me become a worse person. Who's to say it's even the illness, maybe this was always in my nature?

    I'm not sure where this going, can anyone relate and suggest anything?

    Hey, I'm sorry to hear about all of this.
    I myself have not been in a situation like this. What I can say, is that you shouldn't be thinking of your illness letting you become a worse person. You are experiencing things through your illness, to form the person you are today, and will be tomorrow.
    I get why you feel so **** about it. Your illness is not bringing out the worse in you, its just bringing a little change than your everyday environment, and it feels not-right.
    I suggest, that you sit down and talk to your family and friends, and help them understand that you all will need some time to adjust, but you are the same person you were before you illness, stronger and more mature. In the good way for long term.
    Don't allow your illness to dictate or change anything you do. Its understandable that you will be feel out of place, of course. But, don't put yourself down for it either.
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