Thursday, May 29, 2014

a loner's manifesto

I've never been one to have lots of friends, but growing up, I always had one or two.  The last time I had a regular friendship like that, it was built in part on us both being social fringe dwellers.

Back in highschool, we were both loner types, who didn't relate well to others, so this created a bond of sorts, between us.  Somehow, he eventually started connecting with people, though.  I never really knew the details, only that one day, I'd show up to hang out as I had so often before, but he'd be amidst this circle of strangers.

They might have been more welcoming of me, if I hadn't looked like this weird little kid.  It might have helped if this friend of mine had made some effort to explain my situation to them, but guess that didn't really occur to him.  He had normal friends now, and that was the important thing. He stopped coming by to visit.  I felt left out in the cold, and faded away.  From what I understand, it wasn't until years later that he remembered I existed, and went looking for me, but I was gone.

I can barely even remember what it's like, having friends, but I was pretty content, having just one or two.  It wasn't until very recently that I started realizing that this poses a certain risk, as I've touched on elsewhere in this blog.  As I got older, and more distant from family, realizing that this was a precariously tiny little island I was depending on.  Maybe due to aforementioned past experience, I had a sense of what was coming.

Honestly, the relationship between Jenny and I wasn't great.  I haven't been much of a romantic in a very long time, but it wasn't even a healthy relationship. I don't know how long it'll take me to recover from trying to stick it out, but I guess I just had this idea that perseverance made the most sense anyhow, all things considered.  Jenny and I were both floundering, but we had each other.

Then she got into trouble for stealing dilaudid from work.  She'd been taking the occasional hydrocodone for years, but told me it wasn't an issue, and I never thought that much of it.  I didn't even know she was escalating, until weeks after she'd been caught.  Not that I'd have been able to do much about it. It was a mess, certainly.

They're pretty lenient there in Chicago though, and put her on unpaid suspension pending a successful rehab program.  Rehab strove to keep her too busy to relapse, so it was an all day thing, with meetings and and the like every evening.  Meanwhile, I was alone in our apartment, the entire time, just trying to stay sane.  She'd come home each night, exhausted, saying she was too talked out to do any more talking to anyone.

I did my best to be supportive at first, but a month went by, where I'd just been alone, all day every day, with no one to talk to. Trying to figure out what to do with myself, despite emptying my entire bank account at the beginning of each month, just to fall short of paying the rent.  I wasn't doing so well, stressed out and depressed, but figured we just had to hold on, and get through it.

She was meeting all sorts of people though, learning that maybe she wasn't as much of a loner as she'd thought.  On a regimen of anti-depressants and AA meetings, she found her way into a nice little circle of friends.  Wasn't long before she started wondering what she was doing with a creepy little pod person, like me.

Fuck, if that didn't feel all too familiar.  Not there was any alternative.  I can see it from their side of things.  The situation is what it is.


sue rouda said...

Don't trash yourself for being socially clumsy or different (or indifferent). Many of the coolest, smartest, sweetest and/or most interesting people are. Go with what feels right and don't sweat the rest. It'll be what it is.

Joshua Abell said...

I don't mean to trash myself. I'd be much happier with being who I am, if it weren't so lonely, and didn't look like it might mean needing to choose between homelessness and moving to Florida with my mother. I'm just falling apart here, because I have no idea what I'm going to do.

Anonymous said...

I'm an opposite kind of person so it helps me to read your thoughts. Someone close to me is similar to you, but was even more of a loner than you when she was younger. Kind of an extreme case actually. Her whole life turned around in her early 20s when she found people with common interests by accident. In my opinion the solution to this kind of social problem is to be very honest about yourself--your opinions, your taste, your hobbies--because eventually you'll attract like-minded people. Whether it's through the web or in person, just try to represent yourself accurately at any opportunity. As far as I can tell you're a pretty smart and articulate person, so at least you're way ahead of most people, because most people in the world are flaming idiots.

Joshua Abell said...

Thank you for the input. I've been trying to do that, it's probably part of why do most of what I do online. It's the only way I've been able to meet anyone at all, in a long time.

I'm not sure what like-minded would even look like, anymore, though. Chalk it up to neurochemistry, but I don't think I've ever seen such a thing.