I’ve always had a lot of friends, but never have them in my life for long. Making friends has always been easy for me in the past because I never let my personality out. I was quiet and easy-going. As long as people liked me, I was fine, so I tried to act in ways that I thought would make them like me.
As an adult, I’ve realized being liked isn’t enough. Friendship isn’t about having someone to kill time with. It’s about having someone who will reassure you that you’re not an awful human being when you think you’ve done the worst thing. It’s having someone who will sit next to you when you’re at your worst and they really don’t mind that you’re not peppy and upbeat. It’s about having people who love you so much, you feel their support even when they’re not around.
My boss at The Uniter has a blog called Dry Wit and she recently wrote about finding other people who were sober. That community was so important to her, the way my vegan community is to me.
But I’m not just a vegan. I’m a feminist vegan who cares about the environment and is struggling with an anxiety disorder, healing from the emotional trauma of being sexually assaulted and trying (with a few unfortunate setbacks) to quit drinking. I’m finding that those are all things that are difficult to do alone. Being the only one in a group not drinking is awkward. Not being allowed by condo rules to compost at home is frustrating. Being honest about my mental state is embarrassing around people who’ve never dealt with anything like this.
The other day, I had coffee (also having unfortunate setbacks when it comes to quitting caffeine) with comedian Adam Schwartz. Getting to sit down with another passionate artist and talk about our crafts and our paths was so motivating. It’s another event that made me realize just how important a like-minded community is.
To all those dealing with issues similar to mine who have reached out, thank you. To all those who haven’t reached out but feel alone, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Dealing with this shit is so much easier when we’re not alone.