June 20, 2020:

When I moved from San Diego to San Francisco, loyalty was perhaps the most urgent hurdle to my mental health.

I found it difficult to accept new friends, because my real friends were those I'd left behind. Thus, This is not my world, these are not my people. My life still existed but it was 600 miles to the south; and I refused to choose new friends over the friends I loved.

The outcome was that intense loneliness overdetermined my breakdown, in a feedback loop spiraling ever downward. If you think of the unevenness of recovery as more or less two steps forward one step back, my world was more like one step sideways, one step backward, another step backward, another step sideways but in the opposite direction, one step forward, another step forward, so that in the end I was where I'd started but very dizzy. Obviously this was an irrational posture on my part but that judgment is hindsight. At the time I did not understand what I was experiencing, neither what had happened nor how I was contributing to it by my choices. I needed professional intervention but did not understand that, either.

What should I have done?

If my brain had not been broken I'd have made use of my natural gregariousness to make new friends, accept the many sexual advances which came my way in that period, come to terms with past being past, and embrace some kind of meaningful present. Instead the present was exactly what I denied, to myself, again and again and again: This is not my world, these are not my people.