First, a special shout out to my homies in the land of aloha: It was gorgeous
here today. It must have gotten up into the fifties! I actually went out with nothing more than a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater, long pants, and heavy shoes! It was glorious!
So I’ve noticed recently that I have a number of new friends I didn’t have a few years ago. And that’s noteworthy. See, I used to have lots of good close friends. And then in the six months or so before docorion and sionnagh moved away (to the aforementioned land of aloha), I didn’t have time or energy to maintain my existing friendships very well, much less make new friends. And in the couple years after they moved, I was too depressed to get out of the house much. I’m probably lucky that any of my friends stuck with me through that time. I was needy, lonely, yearning for connection but uncomfortable talking about the important things1, and probably dreadfully boring. But I did, gradually, come out of that space. It’s an overstatement to say that everything’s better in my life, but I’m feeling better than I have in years.
And the interesting thing is that I’m noticing new friends in my life. It sort of happened without me paying attention, but now I’m noticing a lot of people in my life I didn’t know, or know well, a year or two ago. And one person I’d known casually for several years but hadn’t really gotten to know well and have much enjoyed doing so, and whose dance card I now seem to be written on in pen, which is truly lovely. And thanks to the miracles of BiCamp and LiveJournal, I’ve gotten back in touch with a few old friends. And I’ve gotten closer to some friends I was already connected to before docorion and sionnagh moved.
None of this is all that profound. It’s a matter of getting over the shock and loneliness, and the other complex emotions, enough to actually be fun to be around again, and enough to want to be around people again; and just as loneliness and depression is self-reinforcing, when I get well enough to start investing more energy into friends again, old and new, that becomes self-reinforcing. So once I started coming out of my hermit-hole, it was just a matter of time until I reached a happy tipping point.
I don’t know exactly what my point is or why I wanted to post this. It felt more coherent when I started typing. :-) I guess I wanted to both publicly acknowledge and thank the people who’ve come into my life recently, and the good long-term friends who listened and gave advice and supported me and let me cry on their shoulders when I wasn’t as much fun to be around, and also sort of acknowledge myself for having worked through the hard times2 and gotten to a good place again — rebuilt a personality that feels like my own again, that feels whole.3
Changing that, and actually deciding to look for support, is probably the one thing I did that most helped me get out of that rut.
Which of course is an ongoing process, but it sure feels a lot easier than it used to.
Sounds maudlin and melodramatic, doesn’t it? That’s not how I feel while I’m writing it. And I feel weird about talking about my own depression and tribulations, since I know that by other people’s perfectly accurate yardsticks, they weren’t so great. But I still feel like I’ve accomplished something, and I’d still like to take a moment to appreciate it.