Thursday, September 27, 2012

Connecting with People

I miss having a best friend. It has been a very long time since I have connected with someone in that way. It seems I have lost the ability to do that over the years. When I was young, I had a fairly easy time making friends. I loved to laugh, make others laugh, engage people and be involved in whatever activities the kids around me were doing. That sense of "connecting" and making someone else happy was a special and amazing feeling. It made me feel needed and that I had a purpose. It made me feel happy inside.That feeling is a distant memory now because as my SAD progressed, it became very difficult for me to engage and make new friends. Instead, my life became about avoidance. Avoiding the potential to embarrass myself, of being judged and/or not being liked and accepted. It became an excruciating contradiction - wanting to fit in and not being able to.

I'm not saying I don't have special people in my life. I have a wonderful partner and family whom I love with all my heart. But I miss having that special connection to someone who doesn't have to be in my life but who I could call at 2 in the morning and know they would be there for me if I needed them and who counted on me do the same thing. I've been very lucky to have experienced this several times in my life but these people have gone their own way. They have moved on. As I refer to them in my book, they were my "comfort" people. They have no idea how much they meant to me.

When you have SAD, you become a good actor. You have to because that is all you have to somehow  feel part of your surroundings. For me, I can not relax enough to be myself and respond naturally. It is an instant transformation for me when I come in contact with someone. I become tense, anxious and my brain ceases working. I become paralyzed in that sense. My actions and conversation become "forced". I can barely put a sentence together. I force something out that I usually regret afterwards just to have something to say. When all you're doing is pretending, you're not really into the moment. You're not really forming any type of bond. Your connection is superficial.

I am surrounded by friendly, smart and funny people everyday. The potential for new friendships is there. I just can't seem to make it happen.

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