So for the last two or three weeks I've been at home, on Christmas break. It's been… different. I needed to get away from university. I needed to get away from the people and the stresses there.

And now it's January 5th, and I've got to go back tomorrow. I go to university four hours away from where my parents live. For me, that's really difficult sometimes.

 If you've read my "About Me" you'll know I've stuggled with a social anxiety disorder for most of my life. Choosing to go to a university hours away from home was really hard. Every instinct I had told me to pick the university less than an hour from home. My heart quailed at the thought of living hours from home. And that's exactly why I picked it – I hoped it would help me grow.

 I managed to stay away for two months before I broke down. And then I went back, and it wasn't so bad. 

 But now the novelty of living with hundreds of other people my age, with no parents around, has worn off. I don't want to go back; I've gotten too used to being at home. I'm afraid to go back. 

I'm so scared. I don't know if I can do this anymore. It's been a gradual change, but since I've been home I've really noticed it. I've done a complete turnaround. I'm not who I usually am. I'm not me anymore.

 I was in therapy for two years to get over this anxiety disorder. My therapist was a miracle worker; with her help, I became able to do the things that used to scare the shit out of me. I used to be absolutely terrified at even the thought of going into a Starbucks and ordering something. Now, I can do it without blinking. I don't feel as if everybody is staring at me, judging me. So I've improved enormously in that way, but…

I used to be a nice person. I used to be happy, I used to be cheerful. I used to be kind. Now, though, I'm just cold. I'm extremely irritable… even downright bitchy. This isn't me. And I'm not happy – I'm far from it. I'm miserable and I feel so hopeless about everything. I don't feel like having out with my friends anymore. I sleep too much, because my dreams are better than real life. I eat much more than I should. I'm always snacking. Maybe it's a way of trying to fill the emptiness I feel. 

And the worst part is, I can't even tell anybody about it. They'll call me a drama queen. They'll tell me I'm being emo. They think it's just a mood swing, because I hide it when people are around.

 I work retail. I've mastered the art of looking calm when I want to scream, of smiling when I want to cry. I've spent my life hiding these things from everybody. 

My own best friends don't know that I cut myself for two years. It began doing it every day, simply because it helped me cope. I'd always wear long sleeves, and go to school with bandages on my arms. Nobody knew. And I couldn't tell them – they'd think I was doing it for attention. Even now, though that was years ago, I have so many scary from it. I'm still conscious about short sleeves; if anybody looks too closely, they'll see. I usually brush it off as something else, though. "I was a clumsy kid," or "My friend's cat decided I was a scratching post," or something.

I don't ever want to go back to that. Ever.  

But it's getting harder and harder to cope. I'm thinking about maybe making an appointment with the university therapist. 

Today was the last straw, really. It's such a stupid thing. My mom wanted a portrait of me and my brothers for my dad's office. My older brother is a photography student, so he took the pictures.

And I look really ugly. I dressed up nicely, put on some makeup and did my hair. I smiled as best I could. And I look really ugly.

I've always been ugly. It only really started to bother me in the 7th grade; before that I didn't really notice. And then I started looking at my peers, and looking at my reflection and photographs.

It kills me. It shouldn't matter to me so much, but it does. I grew up wanting to be just like the Disney princesses; wanting to be beautiful and graceful. And I'm neither. And I'm not even skinny to make up for it. My hips and thighs are too big; my breasts are too small. I don't even have a small waist.  

I am the most self-obsessed person I have ever met. It drives me crazy. Every minute of every day I'm looking at other girls, and thinking, "Why can't I be pretty like that? Why am I ugly?"

And my relatives and my friends say, "You're so pretty!" but it doesn't make me feel good. It makes me feel sick. I know they're lying.

I'm at my wit's end. I don't know what to do anymore. I should be thankful for so much – I have everything I could possibly want when it comes to material things. I have a good family who loves me, and I have friends who care about me.

But that doesn't seem to matter. I cannot be happy. I should be happy, by all rights. Why can't I just be happy?

I'm so afraid I'll end up alone. I'll turn into a terribly bitter old woman who regrets her life.  

I think about dying a lot. I don't think I'd ever actually kill myself, I just think about it. Which method would be the best. Or what if I was suddenly diagnosed with a terminal illness? I almost wish I was, so that I would finally begin to appreciate my life.  

I'm not living, right now. I'm just existing.

Even now, I'm fighting back tears. I feel so hopeless. I just want to be happy; I don't ask for anything in my life to change… I just wish I could be happy with what I've got.

I'm sorry this is so long and pointless. 

Maybe I do need to start seeing a therapist again. I thought I was pretty much over everything, but it looks like we just scratched the surface. Maybe I should try medication this time, but the thought of that really scares me.

I don't know what to do anymore. 

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