I guess I’ve been doing better than usual lately. Work has been going okay, and nothing too obscenely complicated has happened socially. The last time I updated, I was feeling socially overwhelmed, particularly in terms of having to figure out a number of relationship situations. Those situations have largely thinned out since then.
I find myself, now, figuring out one situation, and hoping for one or two more. I also find myself waffling pretty extremely between feeling like I have too much going on and feeling like I have not enough going on. I don’t like scheduling too many things in a week, but when I end up with empty afternoons as a result of not scheduling things, I end up feeling lonely. You would think the solution would just be to get over it and schedule more things, but having empty afternoons feel lonely doesn’t change the fact that I get Schedule Panic when I have too many things planned in a given week.
I feel like my brain is to being social like a cat is to a door. Cats always seem to want to be on whatever side of the door they aren’t currently on. “Let me outside! No, let me inside! Now, let me outside!” etc. In that same sense, my brain tends to “There aren’t enough people, no one loves me! There are too many people, make them all go away! Why doesn’t anyone want to hang out with me, ever?! Jesus, will everyone just leave me alone!”
It’s exhausting. The ideal situation seems to just be to be able to get to an afternoon and then call someone and hang out, but most people tend to schedule more in advance than I do, so this isn’t a plan that works out all that often.
I also find myself wanting more opportunities to be physical with people, and to be having sex. It’s a little bit strange to be spending time feeling like people aren’t interested in doing that with me when the reality is that a number of people are.
I’ve always remembered this one line from one of those Chicken Soup for the Soul books I read way back when. It was something like, “The truth is that when we ask ‘Why doesn’t anyone like me?’, most of the time what we’re really asking is ‘Why doesn’t the person I like like me back?'”
It’s true. Usually when I feel like people don’t like me, or that people don’t want to do the things that I want to do with me, the reality is more like, “The people I would really like to be doing these things with are not necessarily interested or capable of making the time to do them with me.” It isn’t that no one is interested, it’s that no one happens to be in the overlap between me being interested and them being interested.
Even that isn’t really the case right now. There is some overlap happening in that area. So I find myself wanting to have rational reasons to feel not particularly wanted right now, and I find myself coming up blank.
I suppose some of it may have to do with my still feeling like I am generally the more proactive person about initiating interaction in most of my current friendships. This problem doesn’t seem to have been as bad over the last few months as it has often been, but it’s still definitely a problem for me, and I’m still not really sure what to be doing about it.
I’m not sure what to be doing about it, because part of the problem is just that I have more time than most people that I need to find things to do with. It’s possible that I would be just as bad at keeping up with people if I had more things to spend my free time on. But right now free time is scary for me. Free time means making an effort to find things to do that won’t worsen any of my physical symptoms. It means not doing anything that requires staying still for too long (e.g. reading books is fun, but not for too long), it means not doing anything that will aggravate my tendonitis, which has conveniently recently decided to take up residence in my legs as well as arms. So, assume you can use your legs or arms, and can’t do anything that requires being sedentary for too long. What would you be doing with your free time?
In reality, I guess it’s no wonder I spend a lot of time feeling lonely. Having free time to be by myself these days feels more like a sentence than a break.