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Personal development

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
This is something that I think has improved a lot in my life in the last few years.

I'm now 25 and graduated from university in 2007.

In my latter teenage days between 16 and 19 I was put down quite a lot, mainly by one group of people. I think this could be classed as bullying really - being told I was ugly, boring, disgusting, had nothing going for me - things like that.

Since going to university the vast majority of people I've met have been nice and I cut this group out. I think I posted about this at some stage before, but this group started inviting me to do things just after my GCSES and then in lower sixth and upper sixth some of the group engaged in bullying behaviour - clearly not friends with hindsight. I've not really known why there was this change, but maybe it was their own insecurities/jealousy and I was an easy target.

But at university I had mental health problems as this behaviour had clearly affected me.

I think I believed I was unloveable/wouldn't have a girlfriend/wouldn't make friends.

Then in first year of university I went on a trip to Paris and this girl showed quite a lot of interest, walking arm in arm and things like that. I was speaking to a counselor about this in the past and she said it was like this experience contradicted what I had been led to believe and contradicted my self-worth. I definitely wasn't expecting this attention believing what I had been told. I thought about the experience a lot at the time and I became psychotic and ended up in hospital - I think my head was just a mess and this contradiction to what I thought was possible had a big impact.

Now a few years later 2 + 2 has made 4 rather than 5 at the time (or at least that's how I see it)

Since university I have been involved with my local MIND and done lots of courses and worked on my mental health as I had two psychotic episodes and depression whilst at university.

I think my confidence and esteem has gone up a lot and I've learned a lot on the courses and about wellbeing.

I'm currently doing a confidence and assertiveness course.

I've not done that badly with girls, but have not had a girlfriend yet, but hopefully that will come with time. I think I have a fear of rejection, but maybe the best thing I can do is just have more of a go and think of my good points. Not sure if there is any sure-fire way to improve my confidence with women ? I hink it can only come with having a go and I have female friends.

I think the transition from university to life afterwards has been a bit more tricky for me, but I've done the right things I think by putting my health first and the world of work will come.

I've found the fact uni friends and others are far away difficult and have worried about losing them. I've made more friends at home and am still in touch with friends from school, but the lack of contact from people from uni/people who live far away has affected me. Maybe it's out of sight is out of mind as it always seems the people I hear from live nearby.
I don't know if I've worried unnecessarily, but the distance factor has been tough.

Just wondering if anyone has thoughts on what i've written and how I can continue my development/deal with the distance issue and lack of contact ?


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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Mark1984,

    Thanks for your post; it’s really interesting as well as encouraging to read how you’ve developed yourself personally over the last few years! It sounds as though all the steps you’ve taken have been very positive and have brought you to a good place in your life, and that you realise that this is something that you can continue to work on.

    Now that you’re feeling more confident in yourself it seems like a natural progression that you’re beginning to think about the wider context of your relationships with others, and that you have a healthy attitude towards them. With regards to finding a girlfriend, have a look at this article on how to boost your confidence with the opposite sex. You say you have female friends so why not pick their brains on how to approach girls you like? As you said, give it a go! If you don’t, you won’t get rejected but you won’t get lucky either! This article’s also got some good tips on taking that first step and asking someone out.

    I think your fear about losing touch with uni mates is one which a lot of people can relate to. As the time since you’ve left uni increases, the amount of contact you have with those friends always seems to decrease, especially if you’re not living in the same place any more. Life and work get in the way and before you know it, it’s been months since you got in touch with a really good friend. Maybe you could take that first step and organise a get together? It may be a bit of a hassle but it will be greatly appreciated as I’d be willing to bet that those same friends who you haven’t heard from in a while are feeling exactly the same as you! Even a phone call can instantly take you back to those good times and make you forget the distance between you.

    Hope this helps! As I said before, you seem to be doing a fantastic job of working on your personal development and it makes for interesting reading. Good luck with your next steps and stay in touch.

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru

    just wanted to say i think what you've done is really admirable and i hope your confidence continues to increase.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru

    Thanks for the replies. I've just booked myself on to some more courses at my local MIND, so I'm looking forward to doing them.

    I'm enjoying the courses I'm doing at the moment and learning from them.

    Part of the good thing about them is the social contact and people being there for the same reason.

    Since university I've had success at meeting plenty of new people in my area through MIND, joining a film club and voluntary work and this has helped me a lot.

    But I still care about the people who live away from me, but just find this more difficult - maybe the lack of contact is just due to busy lives and it's hard to meet up due to the distance.
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