My friend and former roommate, Kay, used to use me.
.Anytime Kay had a “work event” like a company picnic she would bring me along. I guess I was her “buffer”. Her coworkers found me funny, charming, intelligent and very social. (I’m actually blushing a little bit). I never thought much of it because I was just being me. Her coworkers like me so much they used to ask Kay if I was coming to the next picnic. I didn’t think it was a big deal then; I would kill to go to a “work event” now.
Shit as much as I disliked working two jobs to survive, I would love to go back to work now. But I can’t. I would love to be able to go to Nifty Fifties and get a milkshake, to my sisters’ house, to visit my brother who lives close to the beach, museums, to see my Uncle in New York. But alas.
I never “liked” to drive mainly because I am pretty bad at it. I also have a fear of driving over bridges stemming from childhood nightmares. But I overcame it and would almost drive weekly over the bridge into Philly to attend poetry venues. I would meet up with “friends” and/or coworkers and have a great time. These same people would invite me out to lunch (or vice versa) or visit me occasionally. On the weekends during the summer, you could find me on the beach in Atlantic City. Sometimes with a friend, but more often or not alone which was “okay” with me at the time because with my hectic schedule I “needed” alone time.
Be careful what you say you need.
Since my “annie” rupture in November of last year, I have so much alone time I am sick of myself. Honestly, I will say for the first six months, I didn’t like being out in public anyway. It was too chaotic for me. I lost my peripheral vision in my left eye and my hearing is still distorted, making me paranoid. Because I am tiny, I am very kidnappable. So to avoid ending up in someone’s trunk, I have to have someone or something on my left side at all times. I bump into people and shelves when I go shopping. It’s embarrassing when that happens and explaining it is even more embarrassing.
I also lost my “filter” which has been a blessing and a curse. In the beginning, I would say whatever was on my mind and didn’t care who heard it or how loud I was. After it was brought to my attention, I am so conscious of it that most times in social settings, I don’t say shit for fear I will sound like I have some sort of social Tourettes. Combine that with the medication I am on just to “keep me calm” doesn’t allow me to “get tipsy” to “loosen up”. I fear I look like a weirdo.
Remember my “friends”? Yeah I can count one hand who texts, calls, or comes to see me now, and I will have quite a few fingers left over.
My brother, KD, comes to get me every Tuesday to attend a poetry class. I get so excited to go, I feel like I talk him to death on the way there. This week we had a guest speaker and he gave the class tickets to attend a pretty dope poetry event, and since it was during KD’s class, it became a field trip. What is even better about that, is the show is the day before my birthday, I wanted to go anyway, but like I said I can’t drive so it was like I was given an early birthday gift.
When I got home, I cried.
Partially out of happiness, partially because I feel pathetic.
My birthday is November 6th and my rebirth day (the day my life was saved from the “annie”) is the 10th. I even posted it on Facebook that I was going to celebrate that whole week.
It’s kind of hard to celebrate anything when you don’t have many friends anymore. I Love my Mom, but she takes me to my doctors’ appointments and food shopping if needed, so I’m sure she needs a break from seeing me too. And if I hang out with my Mom on my birthday, I am going to need large quantities of rum, which I can’t have. (Well maybe, it “is” my birthday, I may have a little)
But on the flip side, I don’t want to be pitied either. Please don’t call me or come by because you “feel bad” come by because you “want” to.
As I was thinking about this blog on the walk back from renewing my lease (which was the highlight of my day), my BFF texted me and said she will be in town this week for work, and we can hang out in the evening.
Again, I got teary eyed. Shit, I am getting teary eyed typing this.
Social isolation can lead to depression. Then I feel guilty about being depressed because after all, I’m “alive” right? There are people who are “worse off” physically than me, right?
Yeah sorry, fuck off, that doesn’t make me feel better. It just makes me feel worse for complaining. Thank God for the meds to calm me down, cuz I would be a mess right now fighting to keep from executing my suicide plan. (Don’t worry; I won’t do it, because of my daughter, granddaughters and the whole going to hell thing)
So in summary, this is just one of the things “survivors” don’t talk about, mainly out of fear we are complaining or whining, but maybe y’all need to know this.
Also, be careful what you ask for.