I was supposed to move to Portland this month, but things changed. I thought I belonged there, but now I’m thinking maybe I don’t belong anywhere. Mammoth is where I am at, though. And I’m realizing that maybe, right now, I wouldn’t survive in Portland anyway, because I don’t really know anyone there, no one there has really tried to accept me, and I’m not one who makes friends easily. In fact, I think I have forgotten how to altogether.
When I was in high school I had a lot of friends. I made friends any time I went out of town, and I was pretty good at staying in touch with them. I loved them all deeply. Most everyone at my high school knew me, and most everyone who knew me liked me, even if they didn’t know the shit my mind put me through. So I never realized I had a problem until I got a little older and realized all of those friends were out of convenience.
When I got to college I didn’t make an effort to make friends right away, and stuck with the ones that piled on and accepted me as time passed. My sophomore year I had a mental break down and pushed everyone away. Those that helped me through that time, for the most part, forgot that my mind is not always broken, and that I can be healthy and happy and normal. And so, when I was ready to pull them in, they pushed me away and forgot me. I accepted that I am forgotten.
When my mind broke, I developed some pretty strong social anxiety, just to add on to my manic depressive tendencies. Going to someplace where I don’t have someone to cling to gives me panic attacks and overwhelms me unless I have something to distract my mind with. But it’s like no one understands that. Because of this, meeting new people freaks me out, and even though friendship and community is something that I really desire, it’s not something that I feel capable of obtaining.
My biggest fear is that I am annoying. I think I become more annoying when I mention that I’m annoying, than I am in actual annoyance. When I meet someone new, I am afraid to pursue their friendship, because I’m worried that I’ll push them away, and when they don’t pursue me in any way, I decide that we’re not friends and that they don’t like me anyway. When someone does invite me to do something, I expect to hang out with them. However, when they invite more than just me and I’m with a bunch of people that I don’t know, I shut down and become afraid to go at all. You can see how making friends is a problem.
But you see, the biggest thing that people were created to want, desire, need, is community. Humans need each other. I need people, so why am I so afraid of them? If I had moved to Portland I would have starved myself of other people and eventually quit functioning altogether. Being in Mammoth, near where I grew up, I know people, but I don’t have friends, and it’s already a struggle. So I guess what I’m saying is that I need friends. I need to remember how to make them. I need to remember how to be a person again.