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I've joined the forums before last weekend. It was when I decided that I was really fed up with my life as it is now, and that I was in for some change. Before then, I had lost myself in marihuana (ab)use, which I only fully come to realise now. Since I joined, I quit cold turkey and haven't touched the stuff in over a week now!

And what a great decision that was! I have not felt so good in, what seems, forever! After only a few days my mind started to clear up, and I started feeling much better. It's like a blanket has been lifted off my head. It has given me a lot of courage, and I noticed I suddenly had much less trouble trying to be assertive (e.g. on the work floor, where it's expected of me because I'm one of the most experienced).

It gave me the confidence to take social iniatives. For example, there's a new guy at work that, although he seemed nice, caused a lot of anxiety in me. He's very outgoing, and I was afraid he'd think really bad of me, being not the socially outgoing type. Actually, I think he might have triggered the change in me, because the situation prompted me to take a look at my life and made me realise how badly I was drawing further and further into myself. Before he started, I had almost decided to just give up on social life and except a life of solitude. Now, I feel completely different! Also, I have made more attempts at helping others, and even trying to start small talk. The feeling of being useful to others is a real boost to the self esteem.

Something less nice also happened. There's a friend that I know mostly through the internet, but there have been the occasional meetings IRL as well. This friend had suddenly disappeared early this year, and no one had heard from him since. This came up in a conversion with some other friends whom I mostly know online as well. We were all worried, and decided someone should muster up the courage and try to find and contact his parents. Since I was in a rush of positivy, I decided I would do this. My gut feeling told me it might be bad. And, sadly, this turned out to be the case indeed :( Turns out the friend is no longer with us. "Luckily" it was not unexpected for his parents, but nobody else had seem this coming (although there were some signals), so it was quite a shock for all of us. The parents appreciated the call, and at least I could tell them that he'll be missed by a bunch of people. We're going to have a meet-up in his honor.

The reason I posted the last bit in this positivity forum? Well.. it's really double. There's the shock and deep sadness of missing this really cool person. But otoh it makes you realize the importance of relationships. Not having the guts to talk to someone of whom you suspect there might be something wrong really sucks, and I have come to realize this now. I hope in the long run it will be a boost to try harder to be there for other people rather than wallowing in self-despair. I also hope to be able to keep up the positivity and not fall back into avoidance as soon as something triggers the anxiety again.

So all in all, this week was truly a mixed bag of feelings. Both very high ups that I hope I will be able to remember when being down, and deep sadness over the loss of a friend.
 
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