Lately, when I’m feeling bad, I delete my messaging apps, add them back and delete them again, over and over. It’s something I’ve done before.
In the past, I would delete people’s numbers from my phone so I had no way to contact them, but that’s not something I could keep doing. Asking for people to send me their numbers again was getting embarrassing. People forgave it the first time, maybe even the second and third times, but eventually, they’d get tired of my behavior and stop giving me their numbers again.
Deleting the apps is an easier way of doing this. Hardly anyone texts me these days. Everything happens through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. That’s how I get in touch with people and that’s how people get in touch with me.
When I feel bad, I think that everyone hates me and they are sick of me. I’m also tempted to message people because I want some kind of attention to prove that someone does care about me. And often, once I start that conversation, I get addicted to the sympathy and find it hard to stop messaging them. Deleting the apps is a way for me to stop myself from sending people messages. It also means I don’t make myself ill by waiting for people to contact me or reply to a message I’ve sent. I can relax for a bit.
But it also makes me feel really lonely. I’m isolating myself.
When I reinstall the apps, I check for messages. If no one has sent any, I feel like people don’t care, but I immediately delete them again so I’m not tempted to annoy anyone with “needy” messages. If I do have a message, then I’ll reply, but if they don’t then reply back immediately, I’ll panic and delete the apps again so I can’t bother them again for a bit. I imagine friends getting my messages and feeling irritated and wishing I’d leave them alone. When I do get into a conversation with someone, I can feel a bit better, but if I’m feeling really bad then as soon as I’ve had that conversation I am filled with shame. Thoughts go through my head about how annoyed people must be with me and it makes me hate myself even more. So, I delete the apps again.
I don’t know how much this behavior is a good thing because it stops me being too “needy,” and how much it’s a bad thing as it’s based on paranoia and the assumption that other people must hate me as much as I hate myself. It’s a form of isolating myself and withdrawing from people, which I suppose isn’t healthy. But sometimes, I’m just so worried I will become obsessive with someone that it seems like the only solution.
Have you ever done this, or something like it, because you fear people hate you and want to leave you? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.