Tuesday, May 10, 1983

As I sat waiting for the chemistry exam to be handed out, I watched the other students wander into the room and take seats evenly spaced. The expression of their faces matched my own: blank, with a slight expression of dull anticipation for the rapidly approaching encounter with another chemistry midterm.

Behind me, I overheard two fellow students talking for a moment. The student to the left, I analyzed to be a freshman male of fraternity type. He said something similar to, "Well, what about Christy?"

"What?" answered a young female student, who I analyzed to be part of some living group also.

"Well, do you hear from her?" responded the young male; sitting with two seats separating them.

"She has her new boyfriend now. She doesn't need you."

A slight pause followed this reply from the young female. Sitting a row in front of them, I actually didn't hear the first three lines spoken by the two chem students. But when I happened to hear that one particular line, I struggled to have my mind recall what they might have said between them. The name in the first line could have been any female's name and the questions could have been worded differently, but as I clearly heard the girl's reply, I quickly itemized what facts I could conclude about their previous conversation.

After the slight pause, my attention clearly tuned into his response, I heard the guy reply, "Yeah, nobody needs me."

"Sure they do. I do," said the young female in an almost careless fashion.

Another pause followed, while the guy probably sighed. The girl continued by saying, "Are you going to the beach with the rest of us?"; said with the same careless tone.

But I didn't hear the guy's response. I felt too emotionally tied up inside to concentrate on their conversation any longer. First, my mind wondered why this bit of conversation had found itself taking place in the mists of a chemistry exam. It didn't seem the type of conversation that one would overhear; at least I'd never heard someone say in a chem class: "Well, she doesn't need you."

Mulling over of this one line made me wonder why this girl had no care about what she said to the guy; how could she just calmly tell him that so-in-so didn't need him anymore? Perhaps the reason behind my own emotional hurt inside came from the deep feelings of hurt and rejection that seemed to radiate from the young male, expressing his feelings through the spoken line: "Yeah, nobody needs me."

This bit of dialogue prompted me to think about my own struggle to feel needed. Sometimes I do wonder if anybody needs me or REALLY cares about me.

Somehow I made it through the exam, and wandered over to the main library, climbing several flights of steps to the sixth floor. Beyond my desk, I watched the silent clouds and the busy people. It was relaxing to sit on the top floor of the library and watch the Common below, watching the clouds scattered randomly around the sky and watching the people travel continuously across the walkways.

Suddenly, while reflecting on the interesting bit of conversation heard earlier, I realized why I had been acting strangely, insecure, and seeking out close relationships before the end of the term.

Recently, I thought, I've felt a strong desire to be needed; I've felt a need for support. As a solution to the mass loneliness, I've found myself seeking out companionship, trying to develop closer relationships with people I knew. However, in my search for companionship and some reinforcement of self worth, I ended up only finding part of what I wanted, because something was still missing from the friendships I had. I still didn't find a solution to the ever present loneliness.

I put off any studying I should of been doing, and began writing, hoping to unlock the mysteries hidden in my thoughts. I began jotting notes to myself about how I was feeling about my search for some companionship.

The feelings of wanting true companionship, a desire for acceptance and love, is sometimes a very deep and real problem to solve. It seems the desire for support or to feel needed sometimes leads to seeking out a companion to offer closeness; a feeling that leads to seeking out an acquaintance or friend to develop a closer relationship. Yet the desire for companionship and presence of people doesn't always provide comfort; it takes more than being surrounded with people, but being with people who cares. Then, sometimes, if the support is offered from a caring friend, such as in the form of compliments or just sympathic listening, it doesn't always make any impact on the desire to feel close and comforted. The hurt is so great that it takes a great deal of pampering and attention to heal. And sometimes no reinforcement or support occurs, which ends up making the entire situation worse.

The situation worsens because the insecure individual either doesn't have any close friends or feels he is pushing himself upon a chosen companion without any real response. The insecure individual feels that the chosen companion has no idea what is really happening, and then the insecure individual begins wondering if his presence is wanted, accepted, enjoyed? He feels doublely insecure, because the companion, who was sought to relieve the feelings of unworthiness, offers no reinforcement, which just increases the loneliness and insecurity.

The affection or attention is deeply wanted, but is not something that can easily be asked for. The reinforcement has to be freely given or the person seeking it will not believe it's a genuine response. Many times the chosen companion doesn't even realize the role that he had been chosen for and presented with. Once he does realized, he has to truly find worth in the depressed individual and really care about him to be of any help.

'So alone in a world of people. A star
in a universe of stars, and yet so alone.'

A friend that had moved away some time ago, wrote that quote about being alone, and sent it to me in a letter. At the time I noted it as expressing his loneliness in the new town. Memories and thoughts flooded my mind.

The feeling of being alone or loneliness seems to always be with me, almost creating a constant state of mild depression. I feel lonely, lost and alone: that no one really knows who I am. Sometimes I feel like I don't even know myself. The loneliness is painful; a pain that never seems to be recognized or noticed. I'm all alone; just me. Many times when I find myself alone, I begin to cry. I cry, and yet I don't even know what to do towards changing the way I feel. I feel like the reaching out to people for friendship isn't fulfilling the loneliness and emptiness inside.

I don't necessarily want everything to be easy, that life be perfect. Without darkness, sadness and disappointment, light, happiness and special things can't be appreciated. I just want things to be better than they are. Yet, sometimes I wonder if it's just the way I am? Perhaps the whole problem is me. My high school English teacher told me once that it was all a matter of accepting myself for who I am. Perhaps. Yet, I think something needs to meet me half way, that it's not all my responsibility; once I have myself in shape, fate has to be there too. I don't know. Someone could say that fate has nothing to do with anything, and that everything is up to the individual. But anyway.

Yet, am I always suppose to look for the good in everything? Am I always expected to be brave? Someone talk to me: tell me something, show me something to believe in, show me that I can still believe in something special. Does it really get better? I do agree that "Often the test of courage is not to die, but to live." (Alfieri-Drestes) Because sometimes just making it through the day becomes an emotional struggle of thought and feelings, some moments reaching the very bottom of despair and hopelessness.

Feeling needed is something very important in life; to have a place, to have a purpose and a destiny in this world is important. But I seem to find only feelings of hopelessness, because I can't seem to find where I belong or fit in. I feel that even if I knew how to get there, I'm lost with no place to go. I wonder if I'll ever feel like I belong; if I really do belong somewhere? I feel so alone; all alone. I've got to make it. I've got to find a place to belong.

I want to be happy. I want to feel good inside: about who I am, and about the things I want to do and be. I want to learn all there is to gain and learn form life. I want people to like me. I want the chance to be accepted. But mostly, I want to feel like I belong somewhere.

Is it wrong?

How do I find trust in myself without the companion? How to receive faith in myself without looking for reinforcement from others? Can God supply the entire need of feeling self worth? How do I pick up the pieces, go home, and be a complete individual by totally finding the strength within myself?

People filtered in and out around me as I sat thinking, and staring out the huge window, staring beyond and without the pane of glass, to the outside world. I breathed another of several sighs from the intense battle within. The green tinted binder paper and the eraser crumbs across the page caught my attention again and I continued in my search for answers.

The clouds were still hanging throughout the sky, and the people were still crossing the walkways on the Common down below; only the clouds were darker and the people were not so many. I left the library to find Tim, to show him what I had written. Somehow it seemed like the best thing to do. I didn't have all the answers to my multitude of questioning, but at least... I didn't feel as depressed.

Tuesday, May 10, 1983 - Written at age nineteen. © 1983 Searching Within.

May 21, 1983


As the end of this term approaches rapidly, I'm finding myself under tremendous pressure to put a last spurt of serious concentration on studies; but lately it's been very hard to concentrate.

I think I am looking forward to settling in Madison. But lately I've felt the rapidly approaching pressures of getting ready to move. At times I've found myself fighting feelings of depression. Although, there doesn't seem to be one thing causing these feelings, but a combination of school work, having to say good-bye to friends in Corvallis, and the anxieties of packing to move.

Late May, 1983


I have become aware through recent learning experiences, that my definition of best friend in my life includes both friend and lover. The lyrics, "now that I've found a friend and lover...", seem to confirm the desire to find both qualities in one special individual.

A best friend is someone who shares common interests, shares an emotional concern, and shares simple enjoyment of the other's presence; someone to travel down a similar road or common goal, towards a shared ideology of the future. But also someone who is different enough to make the right balance.

The best friend relationship, that I am thinking about, also contains something more; a relationship that has a physical dimension added to it. Although, the physical aspect of the relationship is not the something more, but merely an expression of the wonderfulness, awesomeness of the something more.

A deep, permanent commitment; a binding of lives and feelings.

I wish I had a best friend.


"The language of friendship

is not words,
but meaning "

Henry David Thoreau

"Your friendship
mean so much
for so many reasons."


Thanks for being a special part of my life,
in treasured memories of yesterday,
in the discoveries of today,
and in a promise of tomorrow.