Welp, I spent my birthday, alone, at home. Then I realized that I was starting to feel really lonely. So I made a concerted effort over the next month to have some kind of social contact. I went through my entire address book. There are some people who I’d seen once or twice a year, but always with me making the first move, even when they knew I was depressed, and out of work, and unwell. So two years ago I sort of decided, not really consciously, but planned all the same to not make that move, and to see what happened. One girlfriend texted me last October (like, 1 year ago) saying how it had been ages and we should meet up, and I replied that I’d love to – when and where? And that was the last I ever heard from her.
Next I sent a couple specific, hopefully attractive, invitations to people who I had thought were friends but perhaps are only just acquaintances, or even nothing – “Want to go see this show with me on Friday the X? My treat!” “I’d love to treat you to dinner!” The replies ranged from radio silence, to “I’m busy” without the added grace of “but another time!” or “but we’ll have to get together soon! I’ll call you!” or anything really inviting any further contact, to an acceptance that turned into an understandable last-minute cancellation.
I’ve always tried to be a good friend. The one who still sent hard-copy Christmas cards, the one who tried to remember birthdays before Facebook reminded us all, to appear cheery and interactive and ask after others’ lives and not seem needy even though I was suffering like hell. I’m not sure how this has added up to me being alone – because alone is what I am. There’s a couple of acquaintances I could go for coffee with once or twice a year, and some long-distance friends, but as my psychiatrist put it, “…so people moved on with their lives.” Yes. And people have moved on with being a couple, and buying homes, and having careers, and basically moved up, up, up, away from me.
It’s fucking heartbreaking, like aren’t I cool enough or likeable enough for anyone to make the effort? really? and yes, I could go about trying to build a whole new set of friends from scratch but as Jackie Brown said, “I’m scared… I gotta start all over again, but I got nothing to start over with.”