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When You Want to See Friends but Depression Wants You to Be Alone

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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.

Image by Free-Photos via Pixabay

Originally published: July 19, 2019
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