It’s too complicated to fix.

I have a complicated personality.

I’m an introvert. Note that this doesn’t mean I don’t like being social. I do, quite a lot. Socializing is a normal, enjoyable part of my life. But being around people for long periods of time is a taxing process. It drains me. Carrying on conversations takes a lot of effort. When people think I’m disinterested in what’s being talked about in a group, I’m really just running out of steam. Sometimes I just want to walk away from a conversation. Not because I don’t like it. Not because I’m indifferent. Not because I don’t like the people. I just can’t keep up. I don’t have the energy to.

Normally, this isn’t a problem for people. But most introverts don’t suffer from crippling mood swings. Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, aggression. It’s all there, in my head. I lived for years attempting to deal with it. Years without someone to talk to. Years without a friend in my corner. And then I met the three people who would turn my life around.

Joshua. One of the quietest people I’ve ever met. We were best friends almost immediately. Probably because we both had quirky senses of humor. Our jokes only made sense to the two-person circle we made in the back of class. He was the one who came to my house to play hide-and-seek with my then-8-year-old sister. He was the one who came to me, scared to death that he was making the worst mistake of his life when he decided to go on an LDS mission. He was the one who loved me so much that he tasked his mother with a quest to my house the day after Christmas to give me a bag of handmade Ghanaian painted stone beads. A bag that had flown across an ocean, over 7000 miles, just to get to me by the holidays. He’s the one whose letters make me fall to the ground in tears and shrieks next to the mailbox as soon as the paper touches my fingertips and my brain processes the name my eyes see on the envelope.

Garrett. Sarcastic, cynical, and an eternal pessimist. A.K.A the male version of myself, minus the emotional instability. He was my bridge between being a loner and being alone. He taught me that pleasing everyone is an unrealistic aspiration and that I should cross it off my to-do list. He taught me that as long as I’m happy with myself, then fuck everyone else. He was the one I called when I didn’t think I was good enough. And after I cried and cried and stained the shoulder of his signature black button-down shirt, he’d look at me and laugh. He’d laugh and remind me, “You’ve always been good enough. You’re just looking at the wrong set of expectations.” (That’s not an exact quote. But it’s something I could imagine him saying.) I got him through the good, the bad, and the ugly relationships. We were basically Bonny and Clyde.

James. Quiet, reserved, romantic as all hell. On our first date, we nearly crashed into a ditch because I was terrible at giving directions and he was too nervous to hear me anyway. I met his parents that night and the moment his mother hugged me, I knew I would like it in his family. He was the one who didn’t kiss me back the first time because he was too shocked for his lips to react to what his brain was saying. He was the one who became my sister’s brother. He was the one who let me stay in his house when I didn’t feel safe at school. He was the one who stayed up with me til 4 a.m. in a tux after prom. He was the one who never took it personally when I yelled in his direction. He was the one who loved all of me.

Josh is still in Ghana on his mission. Garrett and I haven’t spoken in over a year. The only one who is still around is James.  I’ve been with him for over 4 years now, and we’re still going strong.

These three people showed me what love is like. They gave me someone to share my life with. Someone to go to when I’m scared or depressed. They’ve helped me in ways they’ll never know.  But there’s a problem with this. Because I don’t want to be dependent on other people to function normally. I want to be strong, independent. I want to be my own person. But until I learn how to deal with my depression and anxiety on my own, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to be an individual.

Who knows what will happen. Maybe one day, I’ll find a way. Maybe I won’t. We’ll just have to see.

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