Fires and friends

My anxiety has increased dramatically recently. I already had an intense fear of fires, especially the ones that start at night and quickly escalate. Blame it on that time that my little brother set fire to my grandparents’ bathroom (TRUE STORY) or the time he left smoldering paper towels in a cardboard box in our garage in New York (TRUE STORY) or the multiple times he left matches under my parents’ bed (TRUE STORY)… But NOW, years after my brother’s shenanigans, the Napa and Bay Areas are all on fire, literally EXACTLY where we were looking to buy a house if my husband had gotten one of those jobs, and all those fears are coming back.

Oh, and Trump… What can anyone say about Trump? Fortunately, I don’t personally know more than a handful of people that publicly admit to voting for him, but most of the people I talk to live in California, which is a very skewed sample. I didn’t vote for him… I didn’t vote for Hillary either, so maybe I threw my vote away, whatever.

I’m not usually dramatic, and I don’t think I’m being dramatic now – I don’t usually talk about this stuff, and you wouldn’t even know these things are stoking my anxiety fire – but WOW. There’s some crazy stuff going on right now; it’s easy to get overwhelmed and bogged down by these things, but somehow, something happened over the past month or so: Despite all my efforts at being a dedicated homebody hermit, leaving my house as little as possible, I’ve made friends. Rekindled old friendships and made new friends. I was going for the Unabomber (minus the psycho killer stuff) or Living Alaska lifestyle, but I guess I put off more of an “I’m a decent person” vibe than I realized.

I’ve been reminded:

  • People are good. You can find good people to call your friends even though you spend most of your days sequestered (with your kids) in your mountain home, away from all the people because you get so mentally worn out from all the #socialintercourse.
  • Real friends don’t have any motive other than they like you, and it’s okay to tell your friends you love them. Real friends can be found online or in person (even at a funeral). They don’t judge, but if you’re lucky they’ll be honest and tell you all about their psychiatric diagnoses, or the differences between the various types of marijuana and how they’re processed, for example.

Before last week, I’d been having a really rough time, but this week, I’ve talked or texted with friends and maybe I don’t have the energy and motivation I’d like to have yet, but I’m on my way, and my friends have helped so much with that, even though they might not realize it. I wish I could shout it to the world: I’m so grateful for my friends, and I hope I’m there for them and help them even half as much as they’re there for me and help me.

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