*i am not sure if you are a man or woman, but I will write this as if you are female, although it can go either way in interpretation. Hope this helps.
I understand how u feel completely. I feel right now I am at my lowest health-wise, self-esteem wise, and professionally. I have so much stress and anxiety I have become depressed and a big stress factor causing this is lonliness. I have been hurt terribly in the past, particularly by my first love (high school thru college) whom I kept forgiving over and over even beyond reason. I would make up excuses for him, convince myself he loved me, and lived in a little bubble. When he hurt me and betrayed me terribly this past summer, I finally mustered up the courage to leave him. I felt pathetic- I had wasted five years of my life loving someone who did not love me back.
I lost all the youthful hopes and romantic illusions I had. I began having casual sex, one night stands, and liked the feeling of disattachment and protection against pain. These men cared nothing for me and I cared nothing for them. But I still had an inkling of hope left in me. That was until a close male friend whom I began falling for broke my trust in men all together. He was always telling me he had feelings for me but did not want to disrespect me by making a premature move b/c he was "messed up in the head" over his ex. I knew him for two years, talked to him almost every day for the last few months, and I trusted he would never do anything to hurt me or use me. Then one night I got drunk at his place (he was sober) and we had sex. I barely remember it. I was happy though, because I believed what he said before- maybe now he would be willing to be with me; maybe now someone would really want me. But no- nothing came of it...He continued calling me and complaining about his ex and acting like what we had never happened. A couple weeks later he coyly asked me when we ould sleep together again and I was disgusted with him. The only guy I ever met who didn't just want to use me for a one-night stand was talking to me like a hooker. I became distant and pushed him out of my life. I convinced myself it didn't matter and I should have expected it just like I expect it from everyone else. He still tries calling and asking why I won't talk to him, and apologizing, saying "its not his fault that hes not ready". But u know what? It did matter to me- it was hard enough opening myself up after the heartache I experienced with my ex, but I mustered up the guts and did it- but all that did was make me vulnerable to pain.
Now I have no faith in men anymore. I don't believe a word that comes out of a man's mouth, regardless who it is. I know there are good men out there, but I have never had a good experience. My distrust and cynicism are protective barriers, but instead of helping me hold on to my dignity and protect myself from heartbreak, these barriers cause me to live in lonliness and hopelessness.
The question here is: what is more dangerous- an optimist who hangs onto hope in any situation, gives people chances, opens themselves up, and risks heartbreak? Or a pessimist who prepares for and expects the worst and never gets hurt? Sure its safer to be a pessimist- its the easy way out. We tell ourselves men are liars and pigs and when they live up to these expectations we can just say "i knew it, I was right" and we're not disappointed.
But then I wonder: is pessimism a self-fulfilling prophecy? Do people like u and me set ourselves us for romantic failure by being cynics? Its like people who have impossible expectations- they want prince charming on a white horse to rescue them and throw aside men who don't meet these idealistic standards. Its silly and irrational and most of them end up alone if they don't realize they have to settle a little.
Cynics take this to an extreme and don't even consider the possibility that prince charming (or anyone decent for that matter) exists. We think that we are doing ourselves a favor, but then the lonliness sets in and we understand that our most powerful asset- our "wall" around the heart- is actually what causes our demise. This is called the icarus paradox after the greek legend of icarus who built wax wings so he could fly and be as powerful as the gods, but he got so close to the sun it melted his wings and he fell to his death. Plus, having the mindset that men are only going to hurt us makes us unconciously want to fulfill that prophecy and we tend to sabotage possible relationships or opportunities for any reason we can find. We are afraid to be happy.
I used to live by the quote,"dance like no ones watching and love like its never gonna hurt". I used to think the heart is meant for two reasons: to be broken and to be put back together. But this optimism, though often admirable in others, caused too many nights of crying and worrying and wishing for things that I never seemed to get. I was lonely, but I kept trying. And whats so bad about that? Then when I was physically exhausted from crying and stressing, when I had panic attacks and bulimia random episodes of fainting because my heart was (literally) skipping beats, I turned to marijuana and alcohol to numb myself. But when my last year in school started I knew these habits couldn't continue, so I decided that I was done- men were all the same, they all used women, and they were not worth my health. But the pain only went away for a little while. I had to replace my addiction to the weed and alcohol, because there was nothing to look foward to- no solution. I had closed my heart and I needed a new focus. So I focused on school, but since I had trouble doing my work, I decided to try taking adderall to concentrate, and it really worked. It really helped me get motivated and I did all my work and went to every class. Every free second I had I studied and that became the only priority in my life. I didn't care about my lonliness anymore, because all I cared about was getting adderall so I could finish my work. I stopped hanging out with friends, I stopped writing poetry, I cut out all the things in my life that used to make me happy- including sleep and food. Within 6 months I had lost 40 lbs.
But there was one week when I couldnt find any adderall. I began to crash. Hard. I tried a slew of strong diet pills from zetrax to phentremene to try and get that same feeling. All they did was speed up my heart and give me migranes. I snorted coke to stay awake but it didn't provide the same kind of focus addy did. I began throwing up my food because my body was suffering. The anxiety and mood swings I experienced on adderall massively worsened with withdrawl. All the lonliness I had been supressing came bursting out of me, causing uncontrollable sadness and self-hatred. I could not get out of bed, I refused to talk to anyone...I became hopelessly depressed.
That was last week. Tomorrow I am going to see a counselor at my school and hopefully I will find the courage to live without adderall by finding the courage to open myself up to happiness. I had to hit rock bottom to realize I am killing myself- not only with the physical addiction but also the mental addiction to fear and protectionism. I isolate myself and give myself zero chance at happiness instead of taking a risk and having some chance of succeeding, even a small one.
These walls we build are the enemy, not the world outside of them. We are locking ourselves in a fantasy world disguised as "realism", and that is worse than dreaming about prince charming. Optimists are brave, not us. It is when people can be crushed, and know it, but they keep on going out there every time.
My advice to you may sound drastic, but depression and fear and lonliness cannot just be wished away. You have to get help, like I am. Your walls are not made of stone, they are imaginary because you put them there. I know trauma and failure in love is incredibly difficult to forgive or forget, but our probelm is we don't want to let them go. We think that just because we don't love ourselves everyone else isn't capable of loving us and letting them in will only cause more pain than we already cause on our own. But that is not true.
Only when we learn to live with ourselves will we be able to let someone be good to us, and take chances on people, and be happy. Failure is nothing to be scared of. It is what builds character and allows us to become brave. We can still hold onto dignity and self-respect by removing ourselves from negative or harmful relationships immediately. Think of it this way- we have an advantage- we can use the traumatic experiences we suffered through as learning tools to never repeat these mistakes again. Just because someone gets attacked on the street one day does not mean they can never leave the house. They cannot sit at home alone and waste the only chance they have to live. They may have to take self-defense classes, or talk to a therapist to put this experience behind them. It may take a while, and they will be scared, but at least when they have the courage to go outside again they will be more aware of their surroundings and can channel their fear by making others aware. This is what empowerment is. We are dead right now, and we can only resurrect when we give living a chance. Living is scary and hard but it can also be beautiful and love is beautiful.
And hey, maybe optimism is also a self-fulfilling prophecy- maybe believing with all your heart that you will find love, that you deserve it, and that you don't have to be alone, will actually make you more willing and able to find it.
Please take my advice, I know I will, and we can support each other. Write me your progress, and if you need any help finding a couselor or an inspirational source, let me know and i'll help you. But only you can do it yourself.