Just last week, I discovered I had been abruptly blocked on Facebook by someone for no specific reason, whom I thought considered me a friend. It initially set me down a dark path of negativity and frustration until I realized the issue wasn’t with this person at all, it was with me and that little kid I once was in grammar school who so desperately wanted to make friends, but never got any.
Honestly, sometimes I wish the word “friend” wasn’t used at all for any of those connected to me on Facebook, because I’ve noticed every single time someone unfriends or blocks me, I get really upset. Yes, I know I place way more stock into someone tied to my online social media circles than should be, which is precisely why I finally realized this issue is a much deeper one, one that goes all the way back to my childhood.
You see, I was once a kid who got constantly picked up and just never quite fit in. A kid who spent the majority of his time by himself, head deep in books, and constantly looking over my shoulder to see when the next bully might approach. A kid who typically got looked over during any group activities, especially gym class. And a kid who simply remained invisible to the masses, who was consistently picked last in any game and usually sat alone during lunch in the cafeteria.
I so desperately wanted friends back then and it wasn’t until I chameleonized myself at the age of 17 did I ever start to get any. It took me until 2012 to finally let that chameleon part of me go, but now I find myself mostly alone once again these days. I know that’s the very reason why I place so much stock in things like those tied to me on social media.
Overall, this issue often causes me to be a little too clingy and intense with those I consider to be a friend. It’s definitely a character defect and one of the main things that tend to drive people from my life. But, thanks to a gentle nudge and suggestion from someone I know in recovery, I’m starting to see that maybe the way to changing this is learning to like myself a lot more than I really do right now.
In fact, sadly, I’ve definitely struggled to like myself much as of late. While I may love myself and love the person I’m constantly working on becoming, I may love the things I do to help others, and I may even totally love my constant quest and thirst for God, I honestly don’t like the life I am living right now, with all my health issues, with getting older and looking older, with not being able to hold a job, and well you get the point.
So, this is where my work is right now. Maybe that’s why my Higher Power has me in the place I’m in, where I’m forced to spend more time with myself, because I need to learn how to like myself far more than I do lately. It’s hard though, especially when my body hurts as bad as it does on most days, where the best I can do is take small walks for short periods of time.
Nevertheless, I’m inclined to believe that there is a way to like myself on every level, even in my current state, I’m just struggling to access that within me. I know the solution to this isn’t going to be based on the number of friends I have on social media, or how crowded my social calendar gets, or how much money I earn, or how healthy I am, or how fit I can look, etc. And neither is the solution in trying to figure out why someone doesn’t want to be my friend anymore. Rather, it’s the person I get to see in the mirror every day that I need to like a whole heck of a lot more. I pray that God will help me figure out how to do that, because darn it, I’m worth it…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson