A lot of what I've been reading lately in relation to 'getting better' (it is in quotation marks because I'm not entirely sure that it's the correct term for me) has suggested that the people more likely to get through difficult illnesses have a strong connection with friends, family, and a wider community.
Having read this, I have been thinking lately of what my own community used to be like, and how it has changed since I got sicker.
I will say that I am not in a particularly happy frame of mine right at this moment, so I apologise if this post is rather negative or melancholy, but I think I need to process this a little bit through writing before I can figure out what to do next.
Basically, I was beginning to get sick back in high school (now about 9 years since I started getting worse). At that time, I was involved with multiple friend groups - I would visit the one that called to me at each time, and I found I was able to make friends with most people regardless of their 'status' in the social hierarchy. I am not entirely sure I was happy at this point in time - because of having multiple friend groups with multiple interests, a lot of the time I felt as if I was faking who I was. I had become the metaphorical chameleon.
After high school finished, it was like a great weight lifted off of me and I was able to be a bit kinder to myself. Not very kind, however, as during second year I had a kind of mental and physical breakdown which stopped me from leaving the house without one or more of the following: panic attack, depression so dark I couldn't care less what happened to me, multiple physical symptoms all the way down to fatigue so heavy I couldn't move. It was incredibly difficult for me but, with the support of my family and Xin, I was able to go see a counsellor and work my way back to uni. Oh, and anti-depressants played a part at that time, too.
As you can imagine, my deteriorating physical and mental health did not do wonders for my social life. There are still times for me when I'm around a lot of people when I feel claustrophobic and I can't breathe too well.
It has actually gotten to the point these days where I count about three people (including Xin) outside my family that I feel comfortable talking to about my health and mental state. These are the people I count in my support network. I have others, but they are further out and feel more distant for me. This has obviously disturbed me enough that I have started dreaming about people that I used to be close with in the past. I dream about having talks with them, laughing with them, and, overall, feeling supported and loved and loving them in return.
Part of me thinks this is all too hard and I should wait for others to approach me, but I know it doesn't work that way. It seem that, through my required move away from life to support my health, I have developed something of a social phobia. I think, perhaps, it is time to move on from that.
Love to all who read.
P.S. I know a lot of these posts are pretty introspective, but I hope that in some way they are helping others to move through their own stuff. Once again, please note that I do not want any advice here, or negative comments. Everyone has there own stuff that they're dealing with - let's respect that and be supportive instead of tearing them down. Love.