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Hello, will try to keep it real short and sweet for you guys..
I had my share of hard times as a child and I grew up trying to fill all these voids in my life. Got involved with the wrong crowd in high school and it really took a toll on my life ( got arrested, drugs, violence, etc.) As I started to grow up, I found a group of friends that still were into it but not as bad as the other dopers my older friends grew to be. I graduated high school, still enrolled in a community college and I guess I found myself thinking real hard about my future.. basically found myself awakened to all the responsibilities I had tried to escape through wasting time, drugs and such.. A whole chunk of my high school - college life has been revolving around dealing, drugs and going to music festivals.. By the time I had started to realize this I was 20 years old so I still try to convince myself that I can still make up for all the school work I had lacked in and all the essential skills I need to be successful in the eyes of society but more importantly, myself. I basically changed up the yardstick I had used my whole life to measure entities with ( friendships, relationships, family, etc.) Over the course of year, ( starting end of 2012) I started looking at the values of my friendships very differently.. I started developing anxiety whenever smoking, taking hallucinogens.. I couldn't do it anymore. I developed a bad habit from heroin, took me a while to get that monkey off my back too. During this whole time, my best friend stood by me ( friends for 6 years) but as you all know, even the strongest of bonds can wear and tear through time and space. I lost contact with most of the group, we just make up excuses not to see each other.. I think I started seeing that we were friends for different motives ( such as using together or dealing and such) I felt that these " friends" weren't very genuine at all.. don't get me wrong they did me no harm whatsoever but I guess I just couldn't relate to them any longer and had drifted apart for too long for even casual hang outs now.. So it has been a solid two years of me just being by myself.. sometimes seeing my best friend ( who had recently moved in with his other college buddies a hour away) and myself just trying to justify I can't just go out and see people anymore.. but I guess you guys know what it feels like... to desire nothing more but to connect or relate with someone, someone new.. and the shame you feel when you see your old friends just because..there really is no reason to but because you see that you are so different and not normal.. and you just want to feel human and be with group of friends no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you are happy by yourself.. thanks for listening and any advices or experiences or such would be appreciated.
 

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I wonder if you carry some deep guilt for being a dealer and likely being a part of harming other people.

I'm glad you've gotten away from that, but that was my first impression of a potential trigger.
 

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This sounds very similar to what happened to me except luckily I steered away from a lot of my old friends in high school once they started getting into heavier things (this was before my SAD). I didn't have that same strong interest in drugs as they did, and like you said they turned less genuine. It seemed they cared more about getting high than actually hanging out.

I felt the same way as you described in the end but eventually after high school I've learned to accept it and realized this is who I am. If I enjoy my time alone then so be it; I'm not gonna keep lying to myself and force who I "should" be. I still sometimes go out with a few of my old friends who weren't so into drugs (or used to be friends) though I feel a large disconnect in these friendships, and I know exactly why--because of my anxiety and withdrawn, introverted personality. These people were good friends who I grew up with and now they merely seem like strangers who I used to know. It is what it is I suppose.

Welcome fellow Dirty Jerseyan.
 
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