My feelings today may be influenced by a virus that's been hassling me. I feel like it's the flu.

I'm thinking that I'm resigned to my situation of friendlessness as I noticeI don't make attempts to join groups or activities to meet new people. Instead, I have become addicted to my computer and the internet, spending whole days reading blogs orplaying solitaire word and card games. I'm doing this despite the objections of my body, which complains with backaches, neck pain, tendonitis, leg pain, and repetitive strain injury in my wrists, hands, andalong my arms. My index fingers protestby swelling when I overuse themby excessive mousing. And yet, I don't stop.

I have become complacent with my boring existence, my reduced activity, and my solitude. I have no hope of being able to change anything, especially myself. My relatives and former friends now view me as a lesser individual, no longer giving me the respect they once did. I have become a second-class human being. This is what hurts most.

Two years ago, I did connect with the Seniors Center to request a "Friendly Visitor". Yes, it took two years to match up a volunteer with me. I met her in October and we meet once a week, either at my home or at Starbuck's if the weather is above 0 degrees Celsius. That helps. But it's not like having a few good friends that I can call anytime or that would call me anytime.

It's said that to have friends, one must be a friend. I no longer feel able to be a friend. In the past, I organized dinner parties and invited as many as a dozen friends and acquaintances to enjoy my ethnic cooking. Now I don't have any faith in my cooking: I often believe I'm not hygienic enough and worry (or rationalize) that my cooking might make someone ill. I know that I don't cook as well as I used to do.

My relatives know that they are welcome to visit anytime. Yet, they are too busy too drive or fly over from the province next door (even though they have time enough to visit the US or Mexico). Perhaps they think that because I don't work, I have more time than they do for travel. That is true, but I don't have enough energy or money for travel. And I'm not as young as I used to be.


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