Today I met up with a friend that I had originally made on OKCupid ("there's no chemistry but you're really good company," he said) to visit the V&A. He was laid off work in June and I told him back then that what he needs is an unemployment buddy, and, fortunately, I was available. He's now getting squirrely himself - working too hard to find jobs that just aren't there (he's so high level that it becomes a magic combination of the position opening and the personality being right) and making himself a little crazy. So we hung out and talked about a bunch of baloney, basically, but we both got out of the house and I think that was a good thing.
However, he bailed a mere hour and a half after we'd met up (! - I could have stayed home and been more productive! - but I got free cake and tea so that was good), so I wound up just sitting at the museum reading - not the worst thing, really, but I just didn't feel like sketching, even though I'd brought my stuff with me.
Anyway, I left from the museum and went to meet up with Nahid to see "The Indian Tempest" at the Globe. She was looking very poor - gray, I thought, in the face - before the show, then indicated she was finding it boring - poorly acted. And it was just not gelling, so I said, yes, let's leave. I found out as we were walking out that she actually had been passing blood (!) and had been at the doctor beforehand and was feeling really weak and I was just terribly embarassed that she hadn't just stayed home and taken care of herself!
Anyway, we went back to her place (!) and had a really long chat about my life and what is going on. She said listening to me talk about how grateful I feel for my friends breaks her heart, because she can't bear to think I feel so poorly about myself. But the shunning Celine, Irene V, and Rachel gave me fucked me up pretty bad. I think I feel better, now, but ... I think there's still some pattern there (in my head) that I'm a crappy person who doesn't deserve friends, because if three people I was so close to could just write me off like that, what kind of a human being am I, really? God knows the events of the last two years have kind of reinforced that message - I'm not the kind of person people want to stay friends with.
But mostly I've come to believe I've made mistakes in choosing friends, and I need to pick people who 1) like me as I am 2) add positivity to my life (rather than sucking me into who's in/who's out clicquish silliness or wanting support but never giving it). Nahid is one of those people. She said I need to work on building up my resilience, so people's petty jibes don't cut me so hard. I agree than I'm thin-skinned, but the last seven months have been pretty exceptional - as, with the adrenaline gland stuck in the "on" position, I've been wracked with fight or flight responses to both minor slights/insults and, well, the actually major shit I've had dumped on me that rightly freaked me out. Mostly, right now, I'm still trying to get Ye Olde Adrenalin Gland to shut the fuck up and leave me alone, but apparently it does this better if nothing gives it a squeeze. So zero stress is the goal for now, and then, hopefully, when the urticaria is dead, I can look at building up my reserves so I can handle attacks ("criticism," some people call it, but "criticism" from the point of someone who actually doesn't like you is really just an attack). I think, underneath it all, I'm much better mentally than I was eight years ago: but I need to get to a point where I'm just like I was back in October. Then, when I'm feeling level and centered, I might work actively on building up a thicker skin; but until I've got Mr Lizard Brain down for a really, really long nap, I'm going to make my focus on calllllllmmmmmmnnessss and centeredness and getting my body juice in a better situation.
Anyway - it was a really nice night and, while I feel bad that Nahid didn't just stay at home and take care of herself, it was good to chill out at her place and feel grateful that a completely awesome woman like her is willing to be friends with me - not because I think I'm shit but because, wow, she IS awesome. :-) As are you. :-)