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It’s Ok to Feel Like an Alien

little-alien-1440223A lot of the time I feel like I’m different from the rest of the world. It’s as if my upbringing, my attitudes, my preferences and my opinions make me a singular being out of the billions of other people on earth.

It feels as if there is no one else like me on earth.

It’s a strange feeling and part of it is due to social anxiety and paranoia. Essentially I see everyone else in the world as a collective group of beings who form a community of which I’m not a part of. They have their community and I know I don’t fit into it either because I’m different or strange or any combination of other things.

They don’t trust me and I don’t trust them.

Even in groups I should fit into I feel alienated. Writer’s groups are too judgmental and revolve around fantasy, science fiction and romance, all things I don’t connect with. In groups of young professionals, everyone is trying to network or talking about their jobs, even in groups of fellow schizophrenic people I don’t relate to them because they seem to be unaware of the fact that they have an illness or they seem like they’ve given up.

The fact is, I feel like an alien.

This idea has been rattling around in my brain for a few months and I’ve been thinking about it and what it means.

It relates to friends, relationships and finding your niche in the world and you have to have a place where you can feel comfortable.

Every piece of advice I’ve heard about joining groups, volunteering has fallen flat because I have yet to find another person who gets on my level. Even my best friends and family are different from me and I feel like I have to put on a mask while they’re around.

That’s not a bad thing though, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m extremely self aware, I’ve spent a lot of time alone and I’m very analystical and introspective so I know what goes on in the deepest levels of my psyche. I am myself wholly and completely and no one I know matches up to that.

I’d like to think everyone has a place in this world. Sometimes that place is hard to find, I know I’m struggling with that. Maybe it will take some more time for me to find that place but for now anywhere I can be alone is a respite.

The thing is, it’s perfectly ok to not feel like you fit in anywhere. It’s perfectly ok to not vibe with people. It doesn’t make you a bad person if you don’t fit into any pre-prescribed corner of the world. It makes you exceptional.

If the world feels false to you, just take comfort in knowing that you’re real, besides you never know what anyone else is thinking. It’s just hard to access that deep stuff on a cursory level.

You’re not alone, I know that may feel like a lie but with seven billion people like you in the world there has to be someone or several others that resonate with you, at least that’s what I tell myself.

We’ll see.

It’s Ok to Feel Like an Alien

Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). It’s Ok to Feel Like an Alien. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Aug 2015
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