Diary Page 35
Still February 8, 2003 - I've spent a lot of time alone. Sometimes I wanted to be alone and sometimes I didn't. I was alone much of the day today but that was fine. It gave me the opportunity to think and reflect on some past experiences. I have been alone many times in the past when I didn't want to be alone. The worst thing is that I was usually surrounded by other people. That has got to be the worst kind of loneliness. I have frequently found myself in just that situation. I remember that I would always wonder why I wasn't interesting enough for anyone to notice me. And usually I did try to be noticed. Everyone would be paired off or in some little group or another. I'd walk up to one group and try to get in on things. I'd walk up to another and try to start a conversation. And at every turn, there was just a distinct lack of interest. The funny thing is, usually people seemed pretty happy and excited to be whereever we were. I can just think of so many occasions when this has happened. It happens far more often than me actually being a part of things. It always hurts and confuses me a lot more when it is happening than afterward. Afterward I just accept it and move on. But I don't forget it. I won't until something comes along to shake it loose of my memory. When I sat down to think about it today I couldn't believe how often this has happened to me. It doesn't always happen in large groups, in fact, that doesn't bother me as much because you can be lost in a crowd. It happens a lot in small groups of ten people or less. Sometimes it happens where there are only three or four people. Isn't that just pathetic? Would I be ignored if there were only two of us? I wonder. I feel like I am on the outside looking in, and I am right there. Now this doesn't always happen to me. A while ago I went to Michigan with a group of people and I never felt left out not even for one moment. And this was a group of people of all ages, in fact, everyone was older than me. Some were three times my age. But it didn't matter, I definitely felt a part of things. You know, when I went on that cruise a while ago I roomed with two older sisters. They were always trying to include me in things and they spent time with me. They seemed to be genuinely interested in me. Older people, sisters in general, are a lot nicer and more open with me. I wonder why that is?

There is nothing more pathetic than me wandering around desperate for some attention and conversation. I just want to feel like I am a part of things. I'm not the kind of person who can get lost in my own mind when I am around people. I need to interact in some way. Or I need to quietly observe but still feel like I am wanted and accepted. Every group or event needs a quiet person or two, just to keep things sane. Perhaps older people are more understanding and accepting of differences. Well I won't limit my friendships based upon age at all. I don't really see the point since I've never felt much like a peer anyway. Its not like I really feel older than my age because I don't. I just am what I am. When I was younger I did feel older but now I just feel like me.

February 9, 2003 - My personality has changed. A few years ago I was more of a thinker than I am now. I still think, but I don't speak in terms of logic and make as many objective analytical statements as I used to. I am a lot more touchy-feely now. I rather like the change. I'm sure the people I communicate with are a lot happier. It isn't like I didn't have emotions before, of course I did. And it isn't like I didn't care about other people's feelings because I always have. But when I spoke, I chose to communicate more like a thinker than a feeler. In fact, I'd switch back and forth. But now I use a lot more feeling in my speech than I used to, and I try to identify with people on that level.

People are so different. I am trying to learn not to become annoyed with the differences that I do not appreciate. People speak the same language with a different meaning and in a different dialect. I enjoy studying differences in people but sometimes when it effects me personally, I can become exasperated. Patience is a virtue, huh. I must remind myself of this continuously. This is one reason why it is good for me to have some time alone when I can ponder things such as this. Without some solitude I think I would explode. I have been really calm and I have found a peace I hadn't experienced before. I expect that it won't always be there but I will do my best to make it a close friend.

Hmm, I haven't eaten today and it is 6pm. I hadn't even noticed and I am not hungry. For me, this is a good sign. Sometimes people eat when they are upset or stressed. When I am feeling good then I don't eat. I suppose I should still have more than one meal a day but at least I don't feel like I need it to self-medicate. I suppose if I wanted to drink this would be a good time to do that as well. I hadn't really thought about it so why force it.

I'm really warm and comfortable right now. And I am completely alone again, as this time my family is at a dinner held for all of the congregation elders and their families. Oh well.

February 10, 2003 -
I am rather concerned about something. Only within the past year has my social anxiety disorder become this severe. It has been a long, hard descent to this lonely abyss but I seem to have survived it well enough. I have long been acquainted with anxiety and emotional problems so I am accepting this better than can be expected. The problem is everyone else. I have been in the same congregation basically since birth. Everyone knows my family and me too. My father is a popular elder and everyone loves my mother and my brother. They love me too, although I still don't believe they really know me. I don't think I have let them. Anyway, everyone really expects me to be back soon. I haven't gone to a meeting in months but no one really understands the implications of this disorder. I honestly don't know how long this will be or what to expect. This is new for me. I appreciate all of the concern and encouragement, but what will happen? If months turn into years, what will happen? The ministry concerns me as well. If I miss a month then I will be "irregular". Well I will definitely be missing more than a month or two. Am I still "irregular" if I am sick? Will people stop pressuring me? I don't want them to stop loving me or give up on me but I would rather like to be treated like other seriously ill people. No one pressures or threatens them. They just love them, encourage them and accept them. I am NOT spiritually weak. I am really extra concerned because my circuit overseer is not a gentle man and he cannot stand it when someone is irregular in the ministry. I hope Jehovah can help him understand, I really do.  

I have been trying to write something every day. The more I do it the more comfortable I am. Whether it is poetry or a story or something else, I keep trying. I would like to branch out creatively but I suppose I must take it slow. I really would like to take pictures though. Perhaps tomorrow I can just grab the camera and take a little walk around the neighborhood. That sounds like fun.

Lately I have been trying to be more open in my relationships (which mainly means family) and be myself more. I've decided that people are just gonna have to like me for me. I want to be able to connect to people on a real level and in order to do this, I think I must be open and real with them. Hopefully they will reciprocate. But that is so much more easier said than done, and it cannot be forced. Trying to force someone else to open up is such a big no-no to me. I tried that before with disastrous results. It is not really so simple as saying, "Open up to me, let me in!".

I think I will have to continued this on another page. I can't stop thinking about it.
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