When You Want to See Friends but Depression Wants You to Be Alone
I’m sorry, mate. Can’t. I’ve been busy. I’ve been unwell. My grandma’s giving birth. Again.
For the past few years, I have had to reject invites to weddings, social gatherings, barbecues and events quite simply because I was scared. And nervous. Let me explain. You see, I have been on a slow mend from my manic depressive state. I hope I have been recovering but some days, it just seems bleak. And I became aware the trigger points may well be people. Ain’t I in trouble when the world is inhabited by humans? There’s simply no being alone.
I am not against friendly company or good friends. In fact, I have plenty who care a lot for me, and that actually makes me feel really bad. But when there are social gatherings, the conversation inevitably swings to:
A. “How are you now?”
B. Comparisons of who’s more successful.
C. Material possessions.
“A” makes me always answer the truth. I feel low, horrible and feel like dying in my own puke. And it’s usually a conversation killer. “B” makes me feel even lower because I’ve been held back from progressing in life from a few years on the bench, recovering from poor mental health. Now, “C” is the game of the silent library. I have very little worldly possessions and I remain a balance of wistful and quiet. There’s simply no coming back from either or all of the three topics posed to me.
I realize I really want to meet up with friends and company but the thought of having to answer those questions puts me in proper dread. I become anxious when the atmosphere changes to an intensely quiet one. I just killed everything. I usually always return home a broken soul from not having participated actively in a social setting. And I hold myself responsible and surrender to the emotions police back in my man-cave.
So, I started actively avoiding gatherings. I compiled my list of eternal excuses. I thought hard, researched thoroughly and corroborated with alibi. But even my alibi got tired and urged me to reconsider my position. And I was suddenly alone. And it did not feel any better than when I was inundated with offers to pick me up from my doorstep straight to a gathering. It did not feel any better than when I was swamped with questions of care and concern.
And for the past week, I actually reconsidered my position and got in touch with old pals. They were genuinely taken aback but glad I was getting fresh air. With them. Hearing what I felt, they actually volunteered to sit beside me and watch the next big game, beers in hands, nothing else. No speeches or questions.
For the first time in a long, long while, I actually might get to try out those new shoes I bought. It’s time to dust off the cobwebs and take those feet for a spin.
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