What It's Like To Be Encompassed by Friends Yet Feel Completely Alone

3 Mins read

I look around at the dinner table, and my college buddies are sharing stories. I sip my drink in the bar, while I bob my head and my girls twirl around me. I nod along, saying “yaaas” and “totally”, during another long-distance phone call. I close my eyes, just for a few seconds more than a blink, to recuperate from the chaos.

Sometimes I can't be the person everyone needs. It gets exhausting to hold the smile on my face. But I would rather be emotionally tired than often hear a slew of “what’s wrong?” and “please come” and “are you okay?” sentiments. Once the focus turns to me at a gathering, I say “everything's good”, because it is. I have no major complaints. Yet, I still get questioned as if I should have some major moment that needs discussing. As if I should share all things that happen within my life.

I grew up experiencing some dark times. I made it out on the other side and I am who I am because of that. But a lot of my friends do not know anything of my childhood or tween years and I like to keep it that way. These secrets and the silence that surrounds them has it advantages, in my opinion. I am not forced to talk about my feelings or about my skeletons or drudge up old memories that create too much pain. When I retreat into the silence, no one can save me because nobody knows the thoughts running around my head.

And I'd rather not be saved.

I like having time, alone in my head, and that seems to be what no one understands. I am unable to always pinpoint a moment or a source of my despondence and when asked why I'm distant, I do not feel comfortable discussing it because I really couldn't explain where my mind just went.

For a girl much like me, a girl who always has plans, which has friends across states, which has friends who expect things of her, silence is an awful place to feel comfortable in.

I understand that no one can be the happy girl, or the life of the party 24/7. Yet, I still feel that is what is expected of me. Most days I want to sit in my bed with a book or lay under the sun with music flooding the noise around the globe out. But I always surrender when asked if I'm liberated to talk or say yes to any outing it doesn't matter how I am feeling. There is a 90% chance that if you were ever in my life, I usually answered your call and you can of course, totally come over. Maybe I was just raised to be too nice. I give rather than take and try my best to never be rude and dismissive.

What I wish people would realize is when I'm not smiling, nothing has to be wrong. Smiling actually gives you wrinkles so, really, I'm just working on preventive care for my aging skin. There are times when I just don't feel like talking AND THAT'S OK. It doesn't mean I am mad; it means I am relaxed or pensive.

I love all of my friends but I don't think we need a big rendezvous or a life-changing chat whenever we hang out. Sometimes I feel alone among the people around me, and that i wish that we could just simply, be. I seem to have dug myself in a hole where existing isn't enough. I feel that I created a second version of myself over the years while I've been too accommodating.

Gwen 2.0 may be the glue keeping everyone together and everyone laughing. She is sharing anecdotes and feelings that they didn't even know she had because she always must be sharing to make sure the others are comfy sharing when they need to. She can not be quiet because quiet isn't good. She is ready at the drop of a hat to console a friend regardless of her sleep or work or personal life in your own home. She is confident they would do the same for her. She looks around and convinces herself they'd.

But I don't really know if that's the case.

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