One In A Million

On Pride weekend Sunday, the big day, my friends were out of town so I spent it with myself.

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There were over one million people there and me. I wandered around. Saw the sights. I saw the parade. I saw some performances. I saw groups of people. I saw couples. I saw myself… alone.

I kept pondering how a person could feel so utterly alone in a crowd of over a million people. I could not come up with an answer.

It made me depressed.

I thought about how I find it relatively easy to meet good people on Twitter. How I can meet very nice people through work and yet how I find it very difficult meeting people "in real life". Or to put it more precisely I find it very difficult  to meet and to connect to people in real life.

To me, in real life, people are complicated. Relationships are complicated. I have never been very good at social interaction. I had one friend in grade school and only a handful in high school. And I felt I was never very good at it.

Today I have a very small circle of friends. And for them I am very grateful. But the whole meeting new people and getting to know them is downright complicated to me. I can run circles around a computer but put me in a room full of strangers and I'll sit in the corner of the room wondering why I'm sitting in the corner of the room.

Yes the answer is obvious. Get out of the corner and talk to people. But it fills me with such fear I am utterly incapable of doing it.

So there I was in a crowd of one million people… alone.

I got more depressed.

I started to look around. I started to look at the people. I started to look for people like me. I started looking for men. Gay men. Mid-forties looking gay men. Average build mid-forties aged gay men. The kind of man I would date. And I hardly saw any.

Now I'm not saying you can't be friends with people who aren't like you but if I was looking for someone who I could easily relate to I was not seeing them. My friends, both in real life and online, fit a certain demographic. And I was simply not seeing very many of them in this crowd. Where were they?

I theorized that many were "over" Pride and stayed home or went to the cottage or went anywhere but Pride. And then I thought about all of the people my age that died in the late 80s and 90s. People like me that didn't make it out of the century alive.

I went from being depressed to sad. To grateful. To happy. To sad. To depressed. And finally to bed.

Transient

Today, Monday, I sit with myself beside a quiet river. Just me. Not another person in sight. I am grateful to be here. I am grateful for life. And, surprisingly, I am not lonely.

Life is weird.

 

Follow Up 2!

So it's been about a month since my second appointment. So what's changed?

The doctor recommended therapy. He said that I should see a therapist once a week for as long as required. "How much do they cost?" I ask. "Depending on the therapist $100 to $200 a session". Gulp. Once a week. Four weeks in a month. $400 to $800 a month. Gulp. That's $5200-$10400 per year. GULP! Well that isn't happening.

"Do you have coverage" he asks. "$500 per year" I reply. For that much money I might get to Tom age 10. Certainly I'm not going to sort out nearly 46 years worth… Not that I think there is 46 years worth only a couple of key sticking points but you get the point.

So I'm not sure how to proceed. I can't afford those prices but I need to clear my head. So what do I do? Well for starters I go to the beach.

Sure I'm not directly dealing with things but I'm not creating new things either. Having a completely stress free day really helps out. The warm weather helps. Being out and about. Swimming in the water. Watching the people. Watching the sunset. Generally speaking: it is a day to completely destress.

Are the problems gone away? No. Do they seem as important today? Yes. Are they bothering me as much? No.

So here I sit, on a Saturday night. Outside by the river. I try to move forward. I look for patterns in my behavior. I breathe.

Psych!

So I had a lot of blood work done recently. Eight vials worth to de exact. I had a urine sample taken and analyzed. My doctor examined me from top to bottom. I was poked, prodded, and had a finger inserted about my person. He asked me 50 questions. He did everything medically imaginable a GP could do. And what did he find? Absolutely nothing.

I am, for all intents and purposes, a very healthy 45 year old male. I'm even off the cholesterol medication that I've been on for years. Everything is exactly as it should be. So, I ask my doctor, "why do I feel like crap and why do I have no energy?"

He starts asking me another 50 questions. He pauses slightly and sighs weirdly between each. "When was the last time you had sex?" Hummmpf. "How often do you go out with friends." Hummmmmmmmpf. Question after question. This is just uncomfortable. Even more uncomfortable than the "finger".

"(during your answer to that last question) you started to say something else. What was it?" For the life of me I don't know—I didn't even remember the question at this point.

There is a long pause. I stare blankly at him.

"Well the tests show no signs of any trouble. What do you think the problem is?"

I look quizzically at him. I'm tired of his questions.

"I'm going to send you to a specialist. How do you feel about seeing a psychiatrist?"

His question does not surprise me. "That would probably be a good idea" I say.

It is something I've pondered for a while. Should I go to therapy? Am I depressed? According to my doctor I probably am and just to be certain he wants to send me for a psych evaluation. I go this week and I am looking forward to it.

I do not view this as a bad thing. I view depression as any other disease. It is a medical fact. Maybe it will be treatable without medication. Maybe medication will be required. Hopefully it will get better quickly. Maybe it will take some time.

What I'm hoping for is that this psych eval will help me find some answers… sometimes you just want a diagnosis that you can hang a plan upon.