July 7th, 2002

"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"


All right. I want to holler today, but people are around so I shouldn't. It seems like all the people who gravitate towards me have Chronic Issue Syndrome. I love my friends dearly and they're the bestest friends I could ever hope for, but it just drives me nuts that they have so many problems. Of course, I say this while wearing my "i have issues" shirt, and I have my share of problems (I'm kind of a hypochondriac, I have all sorts of physical problems that are enough to irritate me but too minor for medication or treatment, I'm socially retarded, etc.), but it seems like every single one of my friends (especially my close friends) have so many severe problems that I just feel overwhelmed. It seems that half my friends suffer from chronic depression, just about all my friends had terrible childhoods, and no matter how hard I try to help them, they just get worse. Now I know that problems don't just go away, and some scars never heal. It hurts me that my friends will probably never have the happiness and security they deserve. But what really irritates me is that whenever I'm in a really good mood, I'll get a call or email or something from a friend and they'll be in one of those self-hating, depressed moods. And that will make me feel bad and ruin my good mood. I woke up today feeling like today was going to be all right, and then one of my friends practically had a nervous breakdown, so now I feel bad for her and want to be there for her and it's going to put me in a bad mood all day.

I don't blame my friends at all. I don't want them to hide their issues from me just because I have issues with their issues (I'm not making sense, am I?). I just wish that for once they could all be happy. Just for a day. Just a day where we can all be in a great mood and go prancing among the daisies and forget all our problems. No tears, no pain, just smiles and laughter. But that will never happen. My friends don't just have issues, they have subscriptions. No, they have lifelong memberships. And I suck at cheering people up. I've tried being serious, letting them know I'm there. I've tried humor, being funny to make them laugh (I know it works for me - say "exlax" and I'm howling with laughter.). I listen, I talk when necessary, I try to give advice, and I try to heal. Nothing works at all. Sometimes they'll thank me for being a good friend, but it seems I can't do anything for them but be that good friend. I know that I can't solve everyone's problems, and that upsets me. Even if I become the world's greatest therapist, my friends will still be bombarded with problems beyond anyone's control. It just makes me want to scream, "Why do ALL my friends have so MANY problems?!?!" I know everyone has issues, it just seems that my friends all have such severe issues that plague them every single day. What can I do? Are they destined to stay that way forever? Is there anything more that I can do for them?

Well, I just had to get that out of my system. If you're a friend who suffers from Chronic Issue Syndrome, don't feel guilty. It's not your fault I feel bad that I can't solve other people's problems. All the weight of the issues builds up and I can't take it any more. But do tell me if I'm making any difference at all in the way you feel. I try to at least brighten things up. Don't hide your issues from me, when people hide things from me I feel like they don't trust me or think I can't handle them. I just want to help.

Well, I'm hungry again, need to send off some emails, and then get to work on this project my dad gave me.
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