Something I thought I’d gotten used to in high school when I first started seeking it out because I couldn’t handle being around so many people. I used to sit in the far corners of the classroom if I could, where no one could come up behind me and I could scare off everyone with a glare if they tried to approach me.

But now, it’s different. I have people I want to see, people I want to hang out with but they don’t seem interested in hanging out with me. I end up asking myself “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so overly attached to these people who have their own lives and don’t need me screwing it up for them?”

I’m at a family reunion right now. Have been for about five days. SO many people. So many LOUD people. And little kids. The first couple of days I was fine, eager even to interact with people after being holed up in my parents’ house for days on end. But by day three, I was done. I couldn’t cope anymore. So instead of joining in the festivities, I’ve been hiding out in the room provided for me, desperately hoping no one will ask me to join them. But at the same time, desperately wishing I could join them and be okay.

I have to keep reminding myself that it’s all right if I can’t do it. I have bad social anxieties plus being around people drains me and leaves me wide open for a depressive or manic episode. But I want to be included. I don’t want to feel this empty feeling in my gut as I listen to their laughter.

Why me? Why do I have to be the one that’s hiding out? Why doesn’t this stuff affect more people so people can understand? These are all questions I ask myself when things like this happen.

I know I can’t do it. But I want to. I want to so badly that my chest aches and I feel like I’m going to drown in the cold silence of this little room. Of course, even if I were out there, I’d probably still feel lonely. One of my gifts, I suppose.

I know everything has a purpose and someday I’ll see the reason behind why I have this illness. But right now, it’s taking everything from me, leaving me feeling alone and abandoned by the world.

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