I realized I've mostly been posting positive and optimistic messages on this site so far. I usually try to focus on any topic rather than my own problems, but I'll discuss some of it here in an effort to give a more truthful representation of who I am, no matter how optimistic I 'seem' to be. I don't care if anyone reads it, and I need no sympathy. I'm grateful that I have control over my conscious thinking, and I use this at every opportunity to promote love and hope, because it is all I can do to try to counter my emptiness and isolation which grows deeper as I further displace myself from the world around me. I'm not suicidal, and haven't been for many years - I consider myself to be one of the most optimistic (while at the same time quite depressed) people I've ever known. Everyone has their own personal misfortunes and struggles in life, I truly believe that - some even hide it so well that they refuse to even admit to themselves that they have problems. There are a lot of stories I could talk about from my childhood, but I'll just include a few major events for now. Yes, it will be boring.. but it's the honest thing for me to do. First of all, I was always very sensitive and felt 'different' than my peers. I had a few close friends, but never felt comfortable with the majority of students in school. That's not to say I didn't enjoy school - I have had many great memories which I'm thankful for. Back on topic: I grew up in a neighborhood with kids who were forced to fight eachother by the 'leader' of our group, he also taught them to steal and he formed a gang later on. They disowned me early on after I refused to fight my best friend (who later moved away after his parents divorced) It sickened me to see kids fighting, spreading bigotry, and generally exhibiting forms of displacement and projection by targeting those perceived as 'weak'. It disgusted me to witness initially good people learning to become hostile and aggressive from exposure to the authoritative nature of their peers. I didn't understand until later that they were likely badly abused by their families or friends, the 'bullies' were the ones who needed the most help, not the victims. The 'leader' of our neighborhood who formed a gang was an only child.. his mother worked overtime, and his abusive father was in and out of prison and never home to look after his son. I had another friend whose father left when he was only 3 years old, leaving the mother to struggle just to care for her children. Meanwhile, I generally became shy and anti-social in school. I quickly lost my attention span and ability to concentrate in class with each passing year. An overactive imagination tore me away from reality, and teachers began complaining to my parents about my inability to pay attention. (I was later diagnosed with NVLD and other conditions, but that wasn't until age 18) I received near-failing grades except for the classes I was most passionate about, as a result of losing motivation and willpower to complete work, and sheer boredom of the repetitive assignments. I enjoyed courses encouraging creativity, but the vast majority that required rote memorization and repetition took the spirit out of me. My parents did not take it well, and my father in particular began directing his anger and disappointment over my school performance towards me, which only caused me to suffer more as I continued to receive low grades. I was gifted at the piano from a young age, so my parents knew I was intelligent enough to get good grades - they simply got frustrated because no one knew what was wrong with me at the time, and my father assumed I was being lazy. My parents fought a lot, and came close to divorce though it never happened. I became close with a new group of friends, which was a high point for me - we used to be good friends for years. I used to spend many nights at a friend's house rather than face my parents. Although later, this friend - the dominant person of our group - would manipulate us, and used my depression to get me into drugs and leeched tons of money off me. Still, these friends were all I had, they were who I grew up with; plus my best friend from younger childhood had moved across the country, and I was too shy to just move on to a whole new group of friends. I trusted them. Regardless of the unhealthy school environment, I still managed to pass the courses, though my GPA only remained above 2.0 in high school due to the fact that I needed that to continue sports. (I used to have a dream of being in the olympics) I got an MVP award in track during junior year, only to quit the team and eventually school altogether during the beginning of my senior year. (I destroyed the chance at a scholarship, left home, emptied my savings account on drugs, attempted suicide, and abandoned almost all my friends except for my new best friend at the time who wasn't part of the bad group) I think I'd always had anxiety and depression to some extent, but it became too much after I had to break up a relationship after 6 months with a girl who I cared about at one point in time.. she said she loved me - but lied compulsively, even showed interest in another relationship behind my back, and then said she had been "confused" when presented with proof. The worst part is that I knew she had severe problems.. I could tell she really wanted to be with me, but she had another side to her that cared about no one and caused her to put herself in dangerous situations. I tried to help her, but it just became too much to handle.. I began losing my trust, and feelings for her.. she was becoming attached and was even suggesting marriage (which is nuts at the age of 16) and I just couldn't continue the relationship without it being genuine, it was going to hurt her more if I waited any longer. The breakup ended horribly, with a lot of tears and threats and resentment from her.. She refused to remain friends with me, which hurt me a lot too. Unfortunately her relationships that followed were much worse from what I heard, and she refused help from others. Years later, acquaintances of mine had lost contact with her and I got the impression there were also subtle hints of a suicide even though no one had the guts to tell me the full story. Anyway, it was after this initial breakup that I first became truly and noticeably depressed. I quit sports, and quickly turned to drug & rave culture which my friends were into at the time. I got into many different drugs within a matter of weeks, and that year I spent thousands from my savings account on drugs and music events for myself & friends. MDMA (ecstasy) in particular changed my life. I seemed to be more sensitive to this drug than anyone I knew, and the experiences I had were deeply spiritual and altered my perception heavily. (decided to edit & cut out much of the story after this) Later, there was a (brief) relationship with another girl that I felt a connection with at first while we were both on MDMA, but it didn't continue well at all - in my sober states that followed, I felt uncomfortable, she took it personally when I wasn't as intimate.. and then proceeded to insult and degrade me along with her friends. Oddly we kept coincidentally running into eachother in random places even after not talking for ages. She tried to stay in contact with me even a couple years later, and acted as if she never said those mean things to me.. I'll never understand why she did that. I'll discuss more maybe another time. That was the last time I felt real love for someone, even if it was initially triggered by a drug.. I felt really hurt, but I don't know why I still care to this day. Well, there's a few bits and pieces to get started with. There are nearly endless stories I could bring up from earlier life and later as well. The many unusual events and characters are hard to forget. The anecdotes above were a few brief events from my childhood that I believe contributed to my initial depression and social anxiety, which only continued to get worse later, even though my life improved in many ways and I learned to control my feelings better rather than feeling emotionally unstable. (Though I still have good and bad days, it's just not as extreme) My social life mainly deteriorated, though I did meet some good people in the rave scene, we grew apart for various reasons. I quit with partying and drugs 3-4 years ago, though. There's more to talk about from that period, but I'll save it for later. I separated myself from all of my original friends, only visiting them a few times on very rare occasions. I continued getting phone calls, emails, letters, etc. for a long time, but I have finally ignored them long enough that it's stopped for the most part. I had to do this because almost all of my past friends have been harmful to me, and I only have a few true friends that have been there for me through bad times, and who I feel comfortable with. I had problems with depression, anxiety, insomnia for years afterwards. I've been in therapy for awhile, and mostly occupy my time with college courses these days. I focus on my wide range of academic interests, studying new subjects all the time as an escape from my emotions. It helps that I have a lot of interests that are always growing, so I never become bored. Though I sometimes fail classes due to not attending enough, often I have dropped from classes even when I had an A, simply because the stress of forcing myself to act "happy" with people to feel like I fit in (when I'm clearly unhappy) bothers me to the point where I just stop attending. I love being alone, and tend to ignore everyone except my most personal friends and family. I don't tend to get lonely, and I generally have learned to become independent and rarely go out like I used to. I don't trust most people, though I would like to some day find true friends & partner to love, though it seems unlikely to happen if I continue the way I've been going. It's not that I'm being cynical, I believe in humanity, I'm just not willing to take part in it right now. Lack of motivation + stress that causes me sleep loss, headaches and other physical pain is enough for me to prefer solitude right now. I'm seeing a therapist (a good one, finally) and I have a few friends that I love like family, and that's all that matters to me right now.