This winter has been a rough one for me. I find myself finally being able to deal with and adjust to some new realities. It’s far from a quick process to make adjustments but the mere realization of what needs to be done and taking control over it helps significantly.
Although I have some wonderful friends here, I have no real close relationships or people I get together with frequently. The lack of the one or two people you can go to when you need a shoulder or more importantly, don’t wait for you to come to them, is difficult. Pairing that with my lack of general human contact makes for a lovely combination. Think of this, remove your roommate or spouse, remove your co-workers, remove the gym or exercise group contact and maybe you’ll start to get close. Most days the most contact I have is with a cashier. An average week has two or three quality contacts and one paid contact. My electrologist is my most consistent contact.
Save for just a few friends, their is a veil that has been placed between me and most of my friends since I started this transition. Where I used to hear from people a lot, less contact is had. Consistent contact has been replaced by much more intermittent gatherings. Some friends now only see me by themselves, no kids, no other friends, no random gathering invites. With that said, intimate and more personal situations are not there either. Dinner or drinks out replace hanging out on couches. Vague and overarching statements of support are expressed, but that does little to actually help. “I’m there for you.” is great to hear, but is usually wrapped in silent restrictions and lack of meaning.
Until a couple weeks ago, I felt the best way to deal with that was to hang out as much as I could with whoever was available to help fill time and be less lonely. What I found is that many of the situations actually had a lasting negative affect on me that enhanced my emotional turmoil, feelings of loneliness and made life just plain harder to deal with. I’m better off not being around, even a friend, if that person creates conflict, drama or needs lots of emotional help all the time. Those situations tend to have a severe affect on my emotional self. It often paralyzes me for days and zaps all my energy.
Before in life, if those situations occurred, I would be able to lean on someone else at some point to debrief, vent or just have a hug to recover. Now I don’t have that option and any reserves of energy are simply not there due to everything I’m going through in life now. Thus, avoiding those situations becomes so much more important to my stability. I had a conversation with one of the few actual friends I have that is still there for me as much as she can be. I explained that I think I’m gonna end up being a crazy old cat lady, just without the cats. The stability of that situation seems quite enticing right now.
Friendship has been acting as a veil over the reasons for my emotional low spots the past few months. Being able to see through that veil has helped shed light and bring a better state to my mind. As I said before, it doesn’t happen overnight but the knowledge and beginning of action gives at least a small sense of strength to help get through until a more stable place is reached. As hard as it is, I know the people and situations where the most stress is caused and I’m just not accepting that in my life. Despite loving and caring for a friend, if being with them affects me that much it’s better that I’m not around them unless they change. If that further means more time by myself, it’s still a better option than sending me into an emotional downward spiral.