Friday, May 29, 2015

An Every Day Need

I talk a lot about how I'm the neediest person you'll ever meet and that I need lots of cuddles and attention and talking about feelings every single day. I'm always saying that I'm not willing to function without those things. Sometimes I've felt guilty saying how much I need cuddles when I've done nice things with my friends recently. I don't want to feel that way anymore, and I don't want anyone to think that I'm not grateful for all the things they've done for me, so I found an analogy to clarify my emotional needs:

Someone says to you, "I didn't eat anything today and I am soooo hungry! I have a headache, I feel dizzy, I can't function unless I get some food." Now, would it ever occur to you to say to the person, "But you had something to eat yesterday! Wasn't that good enough? How can you need food again today?" Most likely, you would not say this because you accept that fact that people need food every day.

When I say that I need lots of cuddles and attention and talking about feelings every day, I mean every day, and I mean a large supply of it, the same as any other resource that humans needs every day. You would never say, "Well, I had more than enough food, water, and sleep yesterday, so I'll be perfectly content having none of those things today." You wouldn't say that because you would still be miserable going a day without these things, no matter what you had done yesterday. This is what I mean when I say that I need cuddles every day. I feel like when I do get lots of cuddles and talking and fun with friends, I'm expected to live on that for a long time. I'm expected to be okay without it for a few days because I already had it. That's not how it works for me. Cuddles with friends are an everyday need for me, just like any other need. Even if you eat a week's worth of calories in one day, you still can't go the rest of the week not eating without feeling miserable. That's not how our bodies work. You could survive the rest of the week without food, but you would most likely feel really bad and not be up for doing all of the things that you can normally do.

Last Sunday, my friends and I had a 13-hour beach party. It was awesome! It was way longer than I normally spend with my friends in one day, and we had a blast! I got home and texted my mom, telling her how much fun the party was. She was glad we had a good time, and asked if it was okay if she and my dad didn't stop by on Monday (which I had off for Memorial Day) like they had planned because the traffic would be really heavy. I said that was fine, I was exhausted and would probably want to relax on Monday anyway.

I woke up Monday morning feeling incredibly lonely. I wanted someone to cuddle with and I had no one. There was no one in bed with me to curl up next to. I woke up at 7:30 AM, and my friend who lives close to me wouldn't be awaking up till 1:30 PM to even let me know if they were coming over, which I had a feeling they weren't. I needed lots of cuddles and friends and attention that day, and I didn't have it. I felt like there was a hole inside my heart, sort of like it felt when my ex first broke up with me, or when my parents used to leave me at college and not come back for a long time (I never actually *wanted* to be away from my parents for very long. College was a horrible decision). I was pretty miserable for the first half of the day until I decided to go visit my parents at their house.

For a while, I kept wondering how I could possibly feel so lonely when I had just had so much fun with my friends. I had refrained from calling any friends or writing about how bad I felt because I didn't want people to think that I was not grateful for the time we spent together or that it wasn't good enough. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that how I felt on Monday had nothing to do with what happened on Sunday. It wasn't because Sunday wasn't good enough. Our party on Sunday was absolutely awesome and will always be a happy memory for me. But cuddles are an everyday need for me, and having plenty of them on Sunday didn't change how I would feel on Monday, the same way that if you ate a big feast one day, you'd still wake up the next morning hungry for breakfast. Last I checked, people still eat food the day after Thanksgiving. Last I checked, no one was ever expected to go without food on that day and just be satisfied with the memory of eating on Thanksgiving Day. Memories are special, but they don't change your every day needs.

If someone cooks you a meal, you can be very grateful for it, but you'll still be hungry for food again the next day. Maybe even later the same day. It doesn't mean that the food wasn't good enough or that the person who made it for you did anything wrong. It means that one meal, no matter how good it is, just isn't going to last someone a whole week. It means that remembering how awesome the meal was yesterday doesn't stop you from being hungry again today.

I want to make it clear that when I say I need cuddles, attention, and talking about feelings and I'm not getting enough of that, it does not mean that I'm not grateful for the cuddles that people have already given me. It does not mean that I've forgotten what we've already done, or that anything we've done wasn't good enough. It just means that cuddles truly are an every day need for me, and it's a new day.

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