Emergency Backup Blog

I've been trying to parse the significance of the trip. I think the most important thing was establishing a sense of connection. In several ways.

I met an online friend of 11 years for the first time, likely also the last time but it's great to know what somebody is like in person and verify it's the same as in text. It re-values not just my relationship with that friend, but with all my online friends, every time I get another confirmation of how easily my friendships transfer offline when there's an opportunity. It's a good reminder that all these people are real friends even if I never meet them, and that meeting them really wouldn't be that different (sort of paradoxical there, that the insignificance of meeting in person makes it so highly significant).

Also re-met an online friend who I rarely talk to, but who invited me to stay with her and her family. This reinforces the feeling that even people I don't feel very close to can pop up at random and be a big help and even offer me transformational moments. That helps me to value other people I message a few times a year. When you have a limited social capacity, it's great to be able to highly value people who take up very little of that capacity.

Then there's connection to the land, seeing 3.5 new states. Places like Salt Lake City and Denver aren't just concepts on a map anymore, and I know I can reach them in a long day's drive. So the world feels a bit smaller, and my options a bit larger.

Perhaps the most useful thing about big trips though is having something to look forward to in the future. With that in mind, I'm penciling in Portland for a year from now. With a little luck, having that on the horizon will allow the year to pass without that nagging feeling that I have no plans between now and my corpse being discovered rotting away in my apartment after dying of old age a year earlier.
 
Social anxiety almost got me free pizza today. There was a knock, I panicked for a few moments, by the time I got to the door there was nothing visible through the peephole so I figured the evil children were back. But I decided to look out the kitchen window, where I could just see a delivery guy lingering, so I went out and saw he'd left a pizza on the ground by my door. Then, after informing him that my apartment complex has two #12s for no good reason, I pondered whether I should order a welcome mat with "you have the wrong address" printed on it.

Bought 4 Christmas cards this year on a brave outing to Dollar Tree's lack of self-checkout. Then realized I needed 5 and printed off a custom one to fill the gap. My biggest send ever.

I'm cautiously optimistic that somebody will actually show up to my social anxiety group's holiday gift exchange on Saturday. I hope that'll be a start of reviving that group. The hiking group is sputtering, nobody comes to most of them but occasionally somebody signs up and at least they don't no show.

Went to the board game group for the first time since August, because they had an event at a location that's easier to handle than usual. Maybe I'll go back every month or two, we'll see.

Pondering a booster shot next week. Not really looking forward to being miserable for a day or two for the sake of extra protection from something I have 99.9% less exposure to than most people, but I guess I should fulfill my responsibility anyway.
 
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One dropped out the day before, four a**holes no showed without a word, and one texted that he'd be 45 minutes late. So, having wasted $6 of gas and a couple hours of my day, I went home. Closed the group. The one thing I learned organizing it from 2014 to 2021 is that most people with social anxiety are too self-absorbed and selfish to literally lift a finger for you. Frankly, the reason most of them struggle socially is that people actually do hate them with good reason -- because they're jerks who are late or no show without a moment's tap to indicate it whenever people invite them somewhere.

For a long time, I thought that might just be how most people are. But with my hiking group, I discovered that normal people are actually considerate. Nobody shows up to most of those meetups either, and most of the people who initially sign up there change their minds, but they never fail to indicate their change of mind. So it's just SA people. I've got a better chance with the normies.
 
My Moderna booster left me feeling just as crappy as the last two shots, but at least it subsides slightly quicker each time. About 24 hours this time (after an onset delay of only ~12 hours). 'Tis annoying that it'll probably only help much for a couple months.

This month has been so cold, even snowy at times, rare for here. That's making it too easy to stay at home all the time huddled up doing nothing. Well, so it goes.

Christmas was nice, predictably boring. New year's will be the same as every year, staying home alone not observing. The next thing that I expect to happen is... uh... my mom's birthday in late April.

I guess 2021 was a good year. I was happy to complete 7 audio dramas, 2 film riffs and 2 short stories. My micro-income ticked up slightly instead of the usual down. I managed the trip. I coped well with every social situation I encountered, but was unable to manufacture more such encounters. And in a strange way, the ease with which I socialized all year made me feel more hopeless about it -- because even when I feel like I'm doing as well as imaginable it still doesn't lead to forming any friendships.
 
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